Settling In

It’s been almost two months since I arrived in Dublin. When I first came, it snowed almost every day (though with little accumulation). Then there were harsh winds and overcast skies. Now, the weather seems to be taking a turn for the warmer, with some days of nicely sunny skies breaking through.

I’ve been lucky to have some contract work while I’ve been here (since I can’t legally work here yet), and hopefully more contract work will be in the future. In the meantime, I’ve taken steps to submit my visa application (a whole blog post in and of itself), and just settle in. With the warmer weather, I’ve been more motivated to do things (rather than just working or sitting on the couch!). A few fun things I’ve discovered:

  1. Slow-roasted tomatoes: we’ve been accumulating tomatoes recently, and a brief Google search yielded options for a variation on the sun-dried tomato theme: turning on the oven to a low temp (about 100 C) and letting the tomatoes dry/bake for several hours. The result is indescribably delicious (and which I will blog about later).
  2. Gardening: We’ve taken the plunge to getting a garden plot, or allotment. It’s quite large, with endless opportunities (and challenges!). Hopefully in the next week or so, we’ll have a chance to prep the space and set up the raised beds. In the meantime, seeds have been ordered. Stay tuned for a lot of posts on this front.
  3. Biking: I will confess, I’ve been on a bike once since I was 16. But, given that I’m in the ‘burbs and I don’t want to get a car, the bike is a great way to go. Plus, I could use the exercise! So I bought a bike – named her Aoife – and have been exploring some of the local cycle tracks. I’d like to train for a charity ride, so I suspect there will be some posts coming up on how I’ve managed that.
  4. Shedding kilos: I’ve managed to drop a few kilos since I arrived (3 to be exact), so hopefully the next 3 will go just as quickly. I attribute this to cutting out a large amount of junk food (though not all!) and lots of home cooking. Judging by our organic scraps box, we go through a LOT of veg and fruit. Will update on this front in mid-June!
  5. Cooking: I love to cook, and working from home (and sharing said home with someone) means more opportunity to try out new recipes. The cooking shows on BBC and elsewhere are fantastic – dishes you actually want to try to make (and don’t seem ridiculously difficult). One particular favorite for me is BBC’s Saturday Kitchen. Next stop: trying out some of Paul Hollywood’s (swoon) bread recipes.
  6. Reading: I’ve actually managed to get some reading in, mostly my meditation books (as part of my meditation teacher training). Now that it is getting warmer, I’m hoping to maybe sit outside int the grass and read more.
  7. Farm shop: My SO took me to a farm shop and cafe when I was here last year, and we’ve since visited several times in the past few weeks. The cafe has delicious food, and the shop sells not only their own produce but also other items. They aren’t all local (farmers’ markets here are not the same as in the US), but by law provenance has to be labeled on produce and meat so I can see where things come from. I am always amused by the French and Dutch potatoes, and I confess to having bought some pineapples from Costa Rica.

So far, things have been really wonderful here. I’ve also been taking classes at a local yoga studio, and getting my home office set up. There has also been a good amount of walking in a local park, as well as some day hiking. In a few months, I’ll start the job hunt in earnest, and will hopefully see some fruitful results!

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