So I got through my first full day of farm work with my stamina intact. I was feeling energetic enough at the end of it all to take a four mile bike ride to the nearby village of Castlemaine and knock back a pint of Bulmers with an octagenarian Irish gent. He told me that the best cider is in the US. I told him I haven't tried it and he said I should try to find a small local cider mill. I got some nice photos of the Kerry countryside out of the trip as well.
The only reason I have energy to blog after a full day of work plus that bike ride is Claire's delicious high-calorie Irish cooking. Supper tonight was two rashers of dry-cured bacon (not as good as ours, more like salty ham), two award-winning local sausages (amazing), Jolly Green Giant sweet corn (hey, it's a comfort food) followed by soda bread with Irish butter, blackcurrant jam and Ardahan cheese (imagine an earthy Brie with an aftertaste like good dark chocolate). And of course, black tea with milk.
The younger O'Connors are finally starting to warm to me. I would point out that sprightly little Vietnamese girls with Irish accents are possibly the most adorable things ever. Anna (8), the oldest, has a generous heart, but much like myself, hides it with razor sarcasm. I can't help but see myself reflected in that girl, especially considering how she schemes and pushes around the younger two. Frances (5) is pure energy, constantly bouncing around and treating every moment as if it were Christmas morning. Lan (1) is a relatively new arrival. She still seems to be carving out a niche here. She walks quite well and seems to want to go and do everything she shouldn't. She loves sweet corn.
Work today started with powerwashing the dairy again. I'm getting better; Gerard said I only missed one spot. I aim to miss none next time. I then spent about three hours pulling weeds. I recognized most of the weeds, since a lot of them travelled to America with the colonists. It is still quite warm here and since all my short-sleeved shirts are dirty, I decided to take my shirt off in the garden. Go figure my back got burned. In Ireland of all places. Weird, just weird.
I'm starting to get this whole accent thing down. Here are a few observations.
-"Zero" is 'naught'
-'Your man' can mean 'that guy' or 'this person I'm talking about.
-The midpoint of an our is 'half-' For example 4:30='half four'
-The trunk of the car is 'the boot'
-A dip in the ocean is 'a piddle'
-Here in the South of Ireland, they pronounce "th" as "t" so 'three' sounds like 'tree' and 'throw' sounds like 'trow'.
Incidentally, I just realized that the radio is playing the news in Irish. What a crazy sounding language. It took me five minutes to realize that it wasn't just a super-thick Kerry accent.