Posted in Travel sparks

There is no place like home. Except when there is.

So, here’s my last travellin’ post for a little while. A collection of some of the pics from my final days in Ireland – after a fortnight of mostly perfect weather, these last few days have been rainy and pretty chilly, so it’s a good time to head home to the sun. Always tough to leave here, but I have had a fantastic holiday and it has been great to be able to catch up with old friends and check out some of my old haunts. There’s a line in that John O’Donohue poem (‘For the Traveller’, which I posted a few weeks ago) about old friends making it seem like nothing has changed since you were last with them, and that is exactly how it’s been. Whether it’s five years or ten years since I’ve seen some of my Irish mates, they’re the kind of friends who fit like a glove. Some people don’t have any place that feels like home – I know I’m super lucky to have two. Waa waa waa – here are the photos!

Beautiful day for a run in Phoenix Park, Dublin. I tried to get a photo of the herd of deer that live in the park, but from this distance they looked sort of like a pile of logs, so I didn’t think you’d believe me anyway.
Phoenix Park – it’s one of the largest enclosed parks in Europe. Yes, I did double check that fact online.
About 30% of the Phoenix Park is covered by trees, which are mainly broadleaf parkland species such as oak, ash, lime, beech, sycamore and horsechestnut. Yes, that’s from the website too.
Now THAT’s a Banoffee pie. With about 10cm of cream on top, at Avoca cafe.
The first rule of Cake Club? Talk to everyone about Cake Club, I’d say.
Ah, modern pharmaceutical art. From an exhibition at a Wexford art gallery.
It’s a Jedward chocolate bar. A twin bar, to be precise. The side of the packet says, “FULL ON, CRAZY, JEADLEY!” Yes, really.
Some of the locals saying hello in Wexford.
One of the many pretty thatched houses in Kilmore, Wexford.
Kilmore, Wexford.
Great name.
Ah, country life. Stuck behind this big guy for around 20 mins as it made its way along the narrow roads to the farm.
It’s real and it’s in Dublin. I was too scared to go in, though, so I can’t tell you any more about it.
Posted in Travel sparks

Plane speaking: Vegetarian desserts

I’ve had an issue with this for a while, but I’ve never said anything about it until now. Because although it’s made me cranky, it wasn’t until I was faced with this particular outrage on my recent flight to Dublin that I finally snapped. My issue is this: just because I order a vegetarian meal on a flight, that doesn’t mean I don’t eat dessert. Look, I’ll be honest – it doesn’t even really mean that I don’t eat meat, it’s more that I’m a bit fussy and figure it’s better to order a vego meal to be on the safe side. Well, that and I do like to feel a bit special.

Anyways, back to this particular outrage. The lovely Etihad lady went around the cabin handing out menus as we began our journey. I had no clue what time or day it was, so had completely forgotten that my vegetarian meal was pre-ordered – I looked through the menu at the delicious sounding options (of which one was even vegetarian) and started to get excited. And then I got to the dessert section and saw this:


Oh yeah. Banoffee Pie is one of my most favourite desserts in the whole wide world. So you can imagine how excited I was. But then my meal came (it wasn’t the amazing-sounding vegetarian option from the fancy menu, by the way) and I eagerly scanned the tray for my pie. But instead, I found this “dessert” waiting for me:

Uh huh. Not quite Banoffee Pie. I sobbed quietly to myself. Then 15 minutes later when my neighbour finally got his meal, I got a glimpse of what I had missed out on…I would have taken a photo of that, but I couldn’t focus through my tears. And he wolfed it down so quickly that I didn’t get a chance.

This always seems to happen to me – the airlines give fruit for vegetarian meal desserts (and it’s not even a strict vegan meal, it’s that lacto-ovo option, so surely that rules in most desserts?) instead of real sweet treats. But it’s never hit me as hard as this flight, when the Banoffee was so near and yet so far. It’s enough to make me cancel my vegetarian order for the flight home, just in case…