Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Have Judy Blume and Meg Cabot ever met?

On Sunday just gone, the journal.ie sent me an email entitled "Long Reads" where they had a round-up of 6 or 7 different articles from during the week, published by various news and publishing outlets.  They summarized each one and gave an idea of how long it would take to read (e.g. 25 mins/31 mins etc).

So first of all, each article looked well chosen and interesting. And secondly because I am (a) disgustingly competitive and (b) pride myself on being a very fast reader, I took it as a challenge to read each article in a minimum of half the time they suggested it would take.  Yep.  That's the kind of petty I am.  Sorry.

The last one, it being the anniversary of 9/11 last week, they linked to Meg Cabot's blog post written around, or soon after September 2001. This, I thought was going to be "just someone's blog" but what would be of great historical interest to read - a capture of what someone was going through at an awful point in time.

So I am reading the blog.  And crying. It's a horrific tale of course, and she tells it from a couple of different, equally personal, perspectives. As I am reading, battling through the tears, I am like "who is this writer"??  This is no hobbyist blogger (like me and this silly little ol' blog of mine). This is someone with pure talent and real skill.

At the point where she mentions she now lives in Key West I put her name into google.  Meg Cabot, she of the Princess Diaries series, only one of the most popular teen writers of the last decade.  My generation had Judy Blume, millennials have Meg Cabot. And they both live in Key West.

So yes I am a week or so late in linking to this.  But really the message is timeless.  I leave you with the words of Meg Cabot, the introduction to her September 11th post, and the link to her blog:

"This year is the eighteenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93.
Every year in remembrance I post this essay about my experience living in Manhattan a few dozen blocks from the World Trade Center on 9/11.  I think it’s important that we don’t allow the memories of those we lost (or the brave acts that so many men and women performed) on that day be forgotten.

So if you have a few extra minutes in your day, please read on. And if you think what you read was important, please share it with a friend".

Monday, 16 September 2019


Goddurnit, I really wish I was better at taking photos! 

A little summary of where I have been eating lately

Seaweed salad, escargot, crab cakes, lobster bisque and scallops Florentine.
And that's before I have even mentioned the great Malbec and Pinot Noir, and Key Lime Martini to finish as a dessert.

Mediterranean platter (pitta, chicken skewers, olives, peppers, tzatziki), spicy cajun shrimp and grits, and lobster cakes.
The wine not so much - awful Italian plonk, I have erased the name from my mind forever.

On the subject of jazz, I took the opportunity to read my blog posted after my first viewing of La La Land.  I went on to watch that film 6 more times.  I love it so! And it is high time I watch it again.

And finally, the piece de resistance!
No photos alas.  
I had the Confit Duck Leg, my date had the a Seafood Risotto.
And Malbec :)
This place is always excellent - food, service, atmosphere - it's got it all. 

Terrific day on the water!

Another great day of fishing with the wonderful crew of the Gulfstream.

Shout out to First Mate Ryan!  Thank you for all you do during the trip and afterwards all the gutting and filleting of the fish.  There is fish in the freezer for two dinners now! Plus thank you for helping me with my fish (showing me how best to hold it), these great photos are the result!

Grocery Shopping

Hey guys, who wants to read a blog post about the mundanities of life such as grocery shopping?!
You got it! Coming right up!

Amongst $150 worth of grocery shopping (ok so there was a small element of beer in there also!)  were the following:

This will come as a surprise to some of you.  I eat (some) green stuff now.  Plus how cute are those tiny little tomatoes!

Kerrygold butter was on special at 2 for $6.  Plus Irish cheese 2 for $8. 
The Barry's tea is from Amazon, and no of course I don't drink it, as a proud Dublin woman it is Lyon's all the way. (If I even drank tea that is!)

I was looking at the cheese and was like, am I going mad, or at home is it just "Dubliner" cheese?? i.e. no mention of the "Kerrygold".  I was relieved when I posted it on facebook and one of my friends said the same thing.  It must be an export/marketing thing and leveraging off the Kerrygold name which is so known over here.  Everyone loooooves Irish (or grassfed) butter!

I did a bit of a google hunt this morning and found this:

And also found this, THIS is what I am used to at home:
Sigh...I felt a little twinge of homesickness seeing it.

How and ever, I've never noticed the Carbery name before!
More google hunting threw up  this information all about Dubliner cheese, which shock horror is made in Cork!!!

Monday, 9 September 2019

Sharing is caring

I spent a beautiful yesterday morning hanging out at the beach.  I find the beach both reviving and restorative. 
A good book and a little picnic of a Cuban sandwich was the bow on the top, it was so pretty perfect that I ended up going back today also! 

On the way home I cycled past a house that had a basket and sign outside!
I frickin love this little island!

And for anyone wondering (i.e. all my Irish friends!) this is what a starfruit looks like when cut.  
Nature is amazing, right?!


Fishing - White Street Pier

Am back fishing during the week on White Street Pier.  Plenty of nibbles but no catches - YET!
What I like about fishing off the pier is that we are using different kinds of rods and reels from those on the boat.  We are also using spoons and lures rather than live bait.  Totally different, the main difference being that you have to cast your hook/line as compared to simply dropping the line when you are bottom fishing from a boat. It is very enjoyable learning how to cast.  

And! You are always doing something; casting out, reeling in, and repeat.  So while I am not catching anything (AT THE MOMENT) it feels like an active exercise as compared to sitting there passively waiting.

Did I mention the sunsets down at the pier? Glorious.

Tourist Trail - Shipwrecker's Museum and Hemingway House

We've been doing a few little touristy things lately which has been a nice change of pace.

Shipwrecker's Museum
First up we visited the Shipwrecker's Museum and Watchtower.  The museum is located in an old warehouse used for storing wreck salvage by Numero Uno shipwrecker in town, one Mr Asa Tift.  (Which in a strange twist/coincidence was the owner of the (now known as) Hemingway House prior to Ernest and Pauline (Pfeiffer) Hemingway purchasing and move in circa 1931).

The museum is a pretty good telling of the 400 years of salvage history and the impact that had on the development of Key West. It works well for both children and adults which is always a positive!  Nothing worse than going to a museum which is All About the Kids.  And equally, nothing worse than poor bored children being dragged around an establishment that has nothing for them. Finally to cap it all off, the watchman tower has some excellent views of the island.

Hemingway House
Hey, my Key West folks, did you know that locals get free entry into the museuem?  Well now you do.

I've been to the Hemingway House a number of times and I just love it.  I love the house from a structural/architectural perspective.  I love the interior decor of the 1930's with Spanish influences chosen by the man himself. And I love the stories of Hemingway in Key West - writing, drinking, carousing, fishing and LIVING.

And of course I love the literary history.  To think that he wrote some of his wonderful works right here on this island is simply spectacular.  Amongst the KW works are "A Farewell to Arms", "Death in the Afternoon" and "To Have and Have Not". As part of your visit you can go see his writing studio and his typewriter. 
(Hey! That brings to mind my trip to Atlanta where I saw Margaret Mitchell's typewriter)

Two good spots in Key West if you are here for a quick vacation.  
More to come!