Twenty Twenty Vision

The end of a decade is upon us and the English-speaking world is weary of political dramas. So let’s turn our attention elsewhere.

The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
      To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
      Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
      And whether pigs have wings.’

Looking forward to our traditional dinner of cabbage and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day 2020. The day will mark not just the new decade, but also two years for our family in Ireland. Your guess is as good as mine how long we will stay.

Last week, I celebrated my 67th birthday with Kelly and the kids in Galway. The kids had McDonald’s delivered to our Airbnb apartment and Kelly and I had dinner at Aniar.

Dexter beef with seaweed and elderberries at Aniar

The next morning, I took a train to Dublin and met my high school chum, Joe Shea, for day two of the birthday extravaganza. He and I had the best pizza in Ireland out in Rathmines, then relaxed with couple of pints at the Library Bar at the Central Hotel. As you can see, Joe takes his relaxing seriously.

On December 8, Kelly hosted the opening of a show at X P-O, the former post office turned art center in the village of Kilnaboy. Kelly’s portraits were a hit and the party was grand. The large turnout surprised us given the fact that a winter storm was raging outside and Kilnaboy is a bit remote. Centuries ago, this was a major religious center with thousands of inhabitants, but Kilnaboy is nearly a ghost town now, the population was 347 in the last census.

I made a large pot of chili for the opening and we served chili with cheese and tortilla chips and margaritas to the crowd. The chili was devoured long before the party ended. Ava and Joe did the bartending. I say, teach your children useful skills early in life.

A loaf of bread,’ the Walrus said,
      Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
      Are very good indeed —
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
      We can begin to feed.’

Winter is oyster season on old Pouldoody Bay and my bags are full of plump ones. David Donohue and I went down and grabbed some for a barbecue the other day. They were fabulous.

My New Year’s resolution is to empty a whole bag of my gigas oysters and to visit Moran’s oyster bar every week during oyster season and eat as many “natives” as I can.

O Oysters,’ said the Carpenter,
      You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
      But answer came there none —
And this was scarcely odd, because
      They’d eaten every one.”

Happy 2020!