Monday, February 22, 2010


February 18, 2010

Amazingly, there are several very dedicated readers of our blog though we are not very dedicated bloggers. I am going to attempt to do this more often rather than posting huge ones once a month (no comment from Jeff, though). First, a couple photos:

My recent spring cleaning issue-- the holiday decorations

The cat in our manger at Christmas

A coastline in Sligo which we walked last week

Jeff, on the same walk, contemplating his next step

Over Valentines weekend we went to London and stayed with Jeff’s cousin Bill, wife Laura, and two kids Poppy and Daisy. They took us under their wings and showed us how to get about. We learned the tube and rail systems pretty quickly (one is forced to, lest they be trampled by hoards of women in heels). Sights on the list included the following, though I will not go into all the details of each: the National Gallery, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, the V&A Museum, a walk around the river, junk store shopping, the Tower of London, and the London and Tower bridges. These were cool, but I only want to talk

about my two favorite things, which were the food and the Jack the Ripper tour. Imagine a hundred tourists standing around in the dark, some with clear plastic ponchos despite clear skies, following around a dude with a wheely suitcase and a stool. Funny scene. We walked around what was old London proper and learned all the gory details of the Jack the Ripper murders while standing at the actual murder sites. The guide was awesome, though sometimes the sites were unexciting. (“This is the very site of the third murder…” as we stand in the middle of a parking lot). Anyway, it was a good time and a funny way to spend Valentine’s. Then, there was lots of food. We have

been severely lacking tasty tidbits here in N. Ireland—we have found one good Indian take-away in Omagh, but everything else is just lacking taste. So in London we got our fix. We had good Thai with Bill and Laura, made Mexican, had lunch at a fabulous vegetarian cafĂ© (Jeff loved the sweet potato pie), and we finally struck out at a bad Chinese place our last day. The best day was at a place called the Bell—we went out to the country a bit to see Laura’s parents’ place and go to this pub. The Bell has been owned

by one family for six generations, and the rafters were literally brushing my hair as I walked around. On offer are three things—beer, pickled eggs with vinegar chips, and baps (buns). Pickled eggs are, by the way, fabulous. On your bun you can order a variety of options, all of them meat or cheese. Jeff got ox tongue, which apparently tastes like baloney. I got the strong cheddar bun which is literally a bun with a half pound of cheese on it. It was

amazing, but definitely more cheese than I could ever eat myself. Here is a photo of the cheese. After lunch we visited a nearby sacred old yew tree, estimated to be around 1000 years old. There are all sorts of random sacred things around here.

We flew late at night, took a bus back to Omagh, and a taxi to the community to get in bed by 2:30am. The next morning we were up by seven to wake people up! I do not know how it came to be that all the people here are woken up by us (my previous experience shows me that most people can wake with an alarm). But that morning we were especially cursing the pattern that has been laid out for us.

More to come, sooner than later. This is unofficially my last big post, hopefully to be replaced by more frequent but smaller ones.

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