When Irish Eyes are NOT Smiling

As most of you know, I live in a very small, rural town, and it’s not as though people expect to go through our historic streets with the one traffic light and come across an Irish pub, let alone an authentic one. Believe it or not, though, we do have one…well, technically speaking anyway. In reality, what we have is a posh bar, with a fancy sign. You’d think the owners would at least try to make it a legitimate Irish pub, but there, you would be wrong. Oh sure, the menu is covered in clovers and Celtic knots and has elaborate dishes with the words ‘Irish’ and ‘Dublin’ liberally strewn about, but that doesn’t make it a decent Irish pub. Although I have yet to make my heart’s desire journey to Ireland, one thing I do know is pub food. As a matter of fact, there is a quintessential Irish pub about an hour away, so I do have that oasis…but still, it’s quite the hike for fish and chips, no matter how good it may be. And trust me, it’s amazing.

So when this new joint first opened, I had high hopes of ditching the long commute in my quest for bangers and mash, and the aforementioned fish and chips. But alas, those hopes were dashed like a bottle of Guinness caught in a wave against the Cliffs of Moher. My main gripe with this place is its hours and upscale, hipster vibe. It gives every impression of being an upper crust establishment, with upper crust prices for extravagant dishes you’d never see in Ireland, let alone any self-respecting pub. Calling a brie-cheeseburger covered in crab imperial (a Maryland specialty by the way) a Dublin Burger does not a Dublin Burger make.  I won’t even get into the portions that look like they’re meant for an elf, and a smallish elf at that. As for the hours – now I know my town rolls up its streets at dusk, but still…no self-respecting Irish pub closes before 10 PM on any given day. I mean hell, that’s when all the best drinking starts. I can’t be the only one who thinks that, right? Right!?

But their ploy is working, this bar was actually voted ‘Best Irish Pub’ in the area. Although given what else is in the area with regards to food and entertainment, maybe that’s not so hard to believe after all.

Out of Time and Place – Revisited

Okay, so I’m a little late for Saint Patrick’s Day as the day is almost over. And I have no valid reason for being behind because I’m re-posting an entry I wrote from February 2014.  So I didn’t even need to write something from scratch. My only excuse is I’ve been under the weather and not really on my game.  Still, I hope you enjoy it and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

** originally posted 2/7/14:  Out of Time and Place **

Have you ever had a feeling of déjà vu and known it was something you can’t possibly have experienced in your own lifetime? I get this feeling often, a heartfelt pining for a time period I’ve never lived through and a place that I’ve never even visited.  Many of these feelings are tied directly to Ireland in the early 20th century and onward. I’ve never been to Ireland and although I’m not about to disclose my age, suffice it to say that while I may not be a spring chicken anymore I certainly wasn’t alive that long ago.  So where does this pull come from? I know that I have Irish ancestry so maybe it’s some sort of engrained memory in my genes; some attachment that’s been passed down from generation to generation, gently calling me back to the homeland.  Maybe the memories of a past life are bubbling subtly to the surface of my consciousness.

Since I can’t time travel or teleport, the best I can do to ease this unnerving feeling of living out-of-place and out-of-time is to read as much as possible about this beautiful and bewitching Ireland. History books, news articles, and authors specializing in the place and era. I read and read and read some more, stoking this connection and hoping to quell this unexplained feeling of homesickness….a strange yet compelling homesickness for a place I’ve never even been. The reading does help, but it doesn’t answer the burning question lying underneath the feelings. Are the ghosts of my past whispering to me or am I just a nutcase?

Galway

Out of Time and Place

Have you ever had a feeling of déjà vu and known it was something you can’t possibly have experienced in your own lifetime? I get this feeling often, a heartfelt pining for a time period I’ve never lived through and a place that I’ve never even visited.  Many of these feelings are tied directly to Ireland in the early 20th century and onward. I’ve never been to Ireland and although I’m not about to disclose my age, suffice it to say that while I may not be a spring chicken anymore I certainly wasn’t alive that long ago.  So where does this pull come from? I know that I have Irish ancestry so maybe it’s some sort of engrained memory in my genes; some attachment that’s been passed down from generation to generation, gently calling me back to the homeland.  Maybe the memories of a past life are bubbling subtly to the surface of my consciousness.

Since I can’t time travel or teleport, the best I can do to ease this unnerving feeling of living out of place and out of time is to read as much as possible about this beautiful and bewitching Ireland. History books, news articles, and authors specializing in the place and era. I read and read and read some more, stoking this connection and hoping to quell this unexplained feeling of homesickness….a strange yet compelling homesickness for a place I’ve never even been. The reading does help, but it doesn’t answer the burning question lying underneath the feelings. Are the ghosts of my past whispering to me or am I just a nutcase?

Galway

Let the party commence!

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m very happy you’re visiting but let’s just go ahead and be honest right off the bat because this relationship—the intimate bond between anonymous blogger and reader— should really be about trust, right? With that in mind I have to confess that as of right now…I can’t really tell you what this blog is going to be about. The “hook” as they say in the industry. I know, I know, it’s horrible. Here I am as your guide, your ambassador into this new online portal and I can’t even tell you what to expect. As a consolation I do have a couple pieces of concrete information that can maybe offer some meager amount of security.

  1. My name is Wendy.  Hello again.
  2. I have two kids who are the loves of my life.
  3. I wish I lived in Ireland.
  4. I am trying to be vegetarian but so far failing miserably and that bothers me.
  5. ……..

Yep, that’s all I’ve got.  Sure, I could tell you my age, hair color, blood type, zodiac sign, and shoe size, but those nuggets will end up being scattered non-strategically throughout the blog anyway I’m sure. The focus here is not telling you about who I am, but rather relating with you through the communication of experiences and emotions. I have a feeling it’s going to be quite a rollercoaster ride. One day I may write about animal advocacy and then seamlessly shift to another entry that could be a dissertation on the glowing merits of Despicable Me.  After that maybe an exuberant rant on a newly discovered cheap chardonnay you would swear Trader Joe’s paid me to write. That might be followed up with a trip up, over, around, and down the ol’ family tree where I expose my roots which could lead into recalling a disastrous hair dyeing fiasco where I tried to hide my roots. See what I did there? Nice pun, right?  My family of course provides much of the inspiration and will probably be discussed way more than they would like.  That should be fun.

Anyway, while I’m not quite sure what the nucleus of this blog will be, my main hope is that you dip, swerve, and zigzag in your enjoyment. I invite you to laugh at my blunders, empathize with my yearnings, become prone to fits of welcome nostalgia, leave the page with a sense of warmth, and return when you need to be in touch with a friend.

Let’s go on an adventure, shall we?