October 13th, 2014 | Uncategorized
This weekend Caroline and I were invited to Sunday dinner at our friend (and fellow SCL Sports Mentor), Aimee’s house. Aside from the Maguires, Aimee was my first point of contact for SCL, and I’d say she was the first friend I made in Ireland. I still remember her coming to pick us all up from the airport… a tiny package of a person but just extremely vibrant and full of good energy. Whenever someone asked her where she was from she would always proudly declare, “Island Magee! It’s the place to be!” This Sunday allowed Caroline and I to see, first-hand, that there’s quite some truth to that statement.
Aimee’s house sits on a tight road, only big enough for one car at a time. There are only houses on one side of the street, and on the other side lays a wide expanse of greenery, complete with roaming cows and sheep. Past the fields of green to the right, you can even see the Irish Sea… and that makes up the view she gets to enjoy every day as she walks out to her car. We had chicken, potatoes, turnips, carrots, peas, and Yorkshire pudding with homemade gravy for dinner. We were each probably given three times an appropriate serving size but we cleared our plates happily. (We are American, after all 😉 ) When we were finished, Aimee took us down to Port Muck, a small shore right down the road from her house, where people like to fish and relax while enjoying the scenery. We could easily see Scotland from up on the hill off the shore, and Aimee was telling us stories about jumping off rocks into the ocean, despite the year-round freezing temperatures. The entire scene was so picturesque, and I couldn’t imagine having a place so beautiful just down the road from my house. Aimee told us that it’s her favorite place in the world.
When we returned to the house, we were given another heaping portion of food, this time pear crumble, for dessert. It was generously coated with homemade custard, thick and steaming from inside the bowl. When we were done this time, none of us could find the willpower to move from the couch for at least 30 minutes. Instead, we found entertainment in Aimee’s two year-old niece Courtney, who seemed to be prepared to do anything to avoid a “nappy change.”
It felt amazing to get out of our usual environment and go somewhere new. Other than the Maguire’s house, we haven’t had much opportunity to experience the inside of an authentic Irish home and enjoy the comfort and hospitality that seems to go hand-in-hand with that. I found myself not wanting to leave… even as we drove away I wished her house were more accessible so we could visit whenever we wanted to! Before I came here, I remember past scholars advising us to accept any offer we would get to have dinner at someone’s house. At the time I thought that might be a little awkward… but it turned out to be everything but. It was the best change of pace to forget about all of our responsibilities and get away for a little… just the same type of feeling I used to get from going home on the weekends during college. As far as lessons learned, I happily discovered that, 1. I love Yorkshire pudding, and 2. Island Magee, is indeed, the place to be. But until next Sunday dinner, I’m back to cereal three times a day. 🙂 Thanks Aimee!