Here are some things I bought at the Aldi in Cavan Town:
- Fresh pasta
- Two jars of jam
- Two smallish loaves of bread
- Basil, cilantro, mint
- Salad leaves (as they call it over here—cress and other pungent flavors)
- Two packages of fresh tomatoes
- Asparagus, green beans, two long pointy red peppers, garlic, onions
- Packet of crisps
- Two bars of chocolate
- Two kinds of Irish cheese
- Box of oat cakes
- Extra nutty granola, luxury style (oh, the good granola over here! So good!)
- Almond butter
- Irish strawberries and blueberries and some bananas
- Some smallish yellow-skinned potatoes
and probably a few other things I can’t remember at the moment. Oh!
- Vegetarian sausages
- Greek yogurt, plain, two kinds
My hosts have provided me with eggs from their hens, who are, as we speak, roaming around the yard looking fairly smug.
And I am doing okay, food-wise, to be honest. Here is how my day goes:
1. I get up. I make tea. I have a breakfast—yogurt and granola and fruit, plus toast with almond butter, or eggs and potatoes and toast. Either way: lovely. I love breakfast.
2. I begin my work. Today, some writing I’ve been sort of plodding away at really kicked into gear, and I am feeling good about that. I’ve also been reading a bunch of things—books of poems I brought, plus there are lots of interesting books around here.
3. I go for a walk at some point. Or yesterday, I went for a run. I used an app which meant that after each kilometer, my phone spoke to me. Fairly unnerving, I must say, the first time it happened. On the plus side, I actually ran four kilometers and that made me feel like a boss.
4. I have a snack lunch.
DIGRESSION: Snack lunch is amazing, and I am a big proponent of it. My snack lunches have so far consisted of:
- Oat cakes
- Some of my fine Irish cheese
- A few tomatoes
- Some Kalamata olives (add: Kalamata olives to the list of stuff I bought)
- A cup of tea
- Half a banana
- Maybe instead of oat cakes, I have toast and almond butter. Or maybe I have both.
Whatever assortment of these things I eat, they are satisfying, and they make me feel right at home here and also like I am doing as the people do here, which, I have no idea if that’s really the case, I’m just an American, shutting herself up in a barn to write poems, not a cultural anthropologist with expertise in foodways.
I might also have a spoonful of that jam, in honor of The Historian, who loves a spoonful of jam or so. Frankly, I have a hard time keeping us in jam—I’ll bring home a couple of jars and maybe a week later, I’ll be looking for some jam to stir into a bowl of yogurt, and there is no jam to be found, and TH will just shrug and say, I finished that off years ago, and I’ll be all, damn, I have a hard time keeping us in jam, and that’s how the jam situation is chez us. DIGRESSION OUT.
Friends, I have two things to say:
1. I’m pretty sure that my snack regimen is the reason I am having the good writing day I’m having. (Maybe another factor is the small nap I took, on account of the fact that for the second day in a row, I could not get to sleep until the light at yon window broke around 5 a.m., LORD. Also another factor: the year-old New Yorkers laying around here, in which there are all kinds of riches, who knew!? Maybe I should read the magazine when it is delivered to my own mailbox at home, but who has time for that in ordinary life? I traveled across an ocean and seven time zones to have time for reading the New Yorker, apparently.
2. I’m a little worried about my oat cakes stores. I have eleven oat cakes left! That’s three snack lunches plus a more paltry snack lunch!
Obviously, I can find my way to a store to re-provision up. In which case, I might also find some cookies. There are no cookies in my house and I don’t know how I’m supposed to have writing breakthroughs without them, if you ask me.