Culture, Food, Food & Wine

Hungry and Thursday – cook around the world

A sallow 17-year-old, I was sent away with a recipe book, and not a clue how to cook – that’s an Irish Mammy for you!

Of course, I was never afraid to seek guidance, knocking on my flatmate’s door to ask how to make an omelette.

When he had his girlfriend around!

Well, you can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs.

I’m still checking out how the experts do it: when the Scary One allows me into her kitchen.

Here are my cookery demos from around the world:IMG_0964

It’s got arms and legs

Pulpo; The driver transporting me from Santiago de Compostella on my Camino would repeat two words on our 100km drive.

Albergo (hostel) and pulpo (octopus) .

Eating pulpo with Galician tomato sauce (not the stuff out of the bottle) sitting on a high stool with a vase of Rioja…

Bueno!

My friends at the Spanish Tourist Board in Dublin took us to Cookery School to show us how it’s done.

It looks like just boiling: something I could master.

Visit CaminoWays www.caminoways.com and read A pilgrim’s prayer

And obvs salty pulpo was the first dish I ordered in Tenerife with CanariaWays www.CanariaWays.com.

Where they taught us how to make mojo rojo, a fancy tomato sauce! A walk through the ages… Tenerife.

Ruby’s a gem:

Barbados Okra: Cooking in the Caribbean is a shared experience.

Which is why Ruby enlisted me as her assistant at Club Barbados http://www.thelubbarbados.com

To make Barbados Okra.

This is how to do it… heat the butter in a saucepan and sauté onion and garlic until soft and nicely smelly.

Add okra, salt and remaining water. Cook for ten to 15 minutes on low heat or until okra is cooked. 

 

Of course Ruby had something to say.

Also see www.visitbarbados.org and www.tropicalsky.ie.

And here’s my misadventures in Barbados Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna.

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Pasta masters

Pasta: Catherine Fulvio is Ireland’s pasta master.

And she’s now got me, of course, too whenever she needs some advice at her www.ballyknocken.ie.

Catherine and her kitchen were good enough to teach me how to make my own pasta and more.

When Top Flight, the Italian specialists, brought us along to showcase their new brochure www.topflight.ie.

Italy is a culinary dream and everyone returns with tales of their favourite restaurant and dish.

Mine’s is a risotto ai piselli in Padua… Frescoes

Cooking with Auntie

Curry favour: Or more accurately Uncle…

The uncle in this case being Uncle Kenneth at the Blue Crab restaurant in Scarborough, Tobago http://www.tobagobluecrab.comand http://www.visittobago.gov.tt

Uncle Kenneth let me help him cook the chicken curry… there’s a big Indian culinary influence on the island.

Auntie Alison was the real entertainer (hilarious) though telling the womenfolk how to keep their men interested.

Auntie Alison was the real entertainment (hilarious) though telling the womenfolk how to keep their men interested.

Here’s a peek, and some of my ramblings on the island made famous by Robinson Crusoe and, er, Ainsley Harriott… ainsley.

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How to boil an egg

Egg fried rice: The obvious one. But in the hands of a professional cook, and entertainer, it’s pure comedy.

And on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas they’ll do just that with their open kitchen.

What these guys can do with an egg… we’ll actually hatch a chicken in their chef’s hats.

While starting a singalong.

Visit www.royalcaribbean.com. And here’s a Royal party for you A Royal Party.

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Flyday Friday – Philly charged

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I’ll always go where people play and pray.

And wherever you find sportsfans you’ll see prayers being sent heavenwards for the success of their sportsteams.

Philadelphia, a real blue-collar city is one of America’s great sports hubs.

And if you were around in the Seventies and Eighties in particular you would have seen the City of Brotherly Love’s teams win…

Chinatown. Philadelphia

At baseball: the Phillies,

Ice hockey: the Flyers,

American Football: the Eagles,

Basketball: the 76ers.

But then Philadelphia forgot what it was and who they were and in a Tower of Babel moment they incurred the Curse of Billy Penn…

The city’s founding father.

Read how they won back Billy’s favour in Philadelphia Freedom and www.visitphilly.com.

Philly is the only American city on National Geographic’s top 25 places to visit this year…

Grand Canyon

Along with Grand Canyon National Park which I’ll always flag up… The grandest canyon.

Now I don’t need a reason to praise Philly but Aer Lingus has flights there from €189 as part of a return trip.

As part of a raft of special deals, both American and European.

For travel April 1 to June 15. Visit www.aerlingus.com.

Money back

Got your interest, well let’s progress.

Your flight is late and you just have to suck it up (how I hate that phrase).

And you know that if you’ve got a connection to make and that’s not going to happen.

Your plane just gone?

Then you need to know your EU Regulation 261/2004… www.citizensinformation.ie.

And we have much to thank Sturgeon v Condor Flugdienst GmbH and Bock and Others v Air France SA last year.

Now I’m imagining it’s not the Sturgeon who wants Scotland to be independent and stay in the EU.But whoever you are we salute you.

Sweet Amsterdam

It would be wrong though to knock our airlines because they are corporate Leviathans.

They are manned by real people and as tempting as it is in the stress of the moment.

Air France-KLM http://www.airfranceklm.com sorted out an oversight on The Scary One’s Dublin-Amsterdam tickets.

Which meant that she hit the canals smiling… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/pictures-of-amsterdam/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/george-and-amal-hotel/.

Lufthansa http://www.lufthansa.com and Aegean Airlines https://en.aegeanair.com also got me on the next connecting flight from Munich to Athens.

Old relics… Athens

After things had gone Der pear-shaped…

Though this relic did see his old Greek relic in the end.

Ryanair www.ryanair.com are the passenger’s favourite whipping boy but they too will help you out.

I know first hand having had a booking moved.

Because I had again messed up on not looking carefully enough at the return flight from Tobago https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/13/flyday-friday-caribbean-island-hopping/

And http://www.visittobago.gov.tt to London.

Because it was going to return the next day. It’s easier than you think.

Anyhoos try out www.airhelp.com for a wee help out.

Paris match

Window to the world: Ryanair

We’ll be giving it plenty in 2020… Ryanair, I know you love a good sales pitch so you can have that one for free!

Because you do keep us interested with your seat sales the latest of which offers 10% off one way flights for travel January-May.

Paris which is from €21.99 is a city I’ve yet to crack properly.

Because of mes misadventures.

I recall being kicked awake while sleeping on Paris St Lazare railway station.

When I was a callow 17-year-old on my way down to the French Riviera with pals after my school exams.

I travel in slightly better style these days… http://www.atoutfrance.fr and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-boat-dazur/

And then on our family holiday a few years back I had the bell rung in my ear at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery http://www.parisinfo.com.

Cafe culture

As we were rushing back from Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde’s last resting place.

If I wanted ringing bells I’d have gone to the Notre Dame, merci bien, Monsieur.

Alas, of course, that wonderful church was ravaged by fire.

But mes amis in Paris tell me that they are working furiously to try to revive it to its former glory.

The Glasgow tongue

Our language is continually changing and that’s no bad thing.

But sometimes we forget that old words and definitions still hang around for an older Fifty Something generation.

My home city Glasgow www.peoplemakeglasgow.com is a case in point.

Just in from Glasgow Airport: ‘January Sale: save 20% on parking and the Lomond Lounge.

‘Book until January 8. Valid for arrivals until December 31.’

And then to reinforce the urgency… ‘It’s there and then it’s GONE. POOF.’

Visit www.hello@e.glasgowairport.com.

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES

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The faces of 2019 – Adventure

I’d like to say it’s been a walk in the park, and it was, but it’s also been a walk up mountains and through rain forests.

And desperate dashes through airports to catch (and miss) airplanes!

But someone’s been smiling on me.Because I didn’t miss one trip and got to race with goats in Tobago, ‘Bandanaman’, whom I got to christen.

He’s a winner too.

And some even giddier goats: take a bow ‘Auntie’ Ali, ‘Uncle’ Kenneth, Marsha, Phil, ‘Porridge‘, Ean and Ian and ‘Santa’ Brendan.

And here’s our moment of glory.., Ready, steady, goat… in Tobago and www.visttobago.gov.tt.

It’s been all go and the shoe leather has taken a beating.

In Europe’s most popular national park Teide in Tenerife.

And the hills up to Afur in the midday beating sun which our guide Maria took in her stride.

And even had some ooomph left at the end to give us a pilates demonstration at the top of the mountain.

With CanariaWays.com in Tenerife… http://www.visitingtenerife.com.

And through the Alps from Ehrwald in Austria http://www.tyrol.tlinto Germany with mountain man Reini… where naturally I had a run-in… Water rip-off – a German pit stop

But, of course, I’ll be back in Bavaria https://www.bavaria.by.

It is a region I have loved since first going to the Oktoberfest 34 years ago.

The coming of the Lord

And where the Messiah himself graces them with his presence next year…  Oberammergau and https://www.passionsspiele-oberammergau.de/en/home

And I’d recommend you go on your trekking holiday with https://topflightforschools.ie.

We were, of course, always back in time for the entertainment.

It’s now or never

The lederhosen-clad Septuagenarian singer Christened Ehrwald Presley.

On account of his oompah, waltzing and keyboard renditions of The King.

Not all walks worked out alas and I missed out on the trek up the Hollywood Hills.

Because of a 24-hour sickness bug.

But I made up for it in style all across LA, West Hollywood and Anaheim www.visitcalifornia.com, www.attractiontickets.com.

As part of the American Travel Fair www.ipw.com and My weekend with Marilyn and Stair Wars

Just gone swimmingly

With all that walking I definitely earned myself my dips.

Not a natural swimmer I was glad of the chance to cut corners and the Dead Sea and the Nylon Pool gave me that.

Where I laid back, read a book and dreamt of Jordan http://www.visitjordan.com.

And stood in the sand back in the crystal waters of the Caribbean deep in the sea in Tobago It’s Robinson Crusoe’s very own Tobago limin’ with other revellers.

I’ve tried to conquer some water sports demons.

And went searching for submarines and tanks in the depths of the Dead Sea… Petra and the sands of time

And found out why snorkelling isn’t me… my moustache blocks the airways!

Which is why I dispensed with the snorkel and just used the goggles to see me some rainbow fish in Tobago.

Everybody’s gone surfing

It wasn’t all just corner-cutting. I did learn to paddle board on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas off Barcelona…. https://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/ and Surfing the seas in Barcelona

And http://www.royalcaribbean.com

While our Sligo pro surfer Gearoid taught me how to stay up on the surf in RC’s simulator FlowRider.

Well for three seconds at least.

Fun, fun, fun

I’d been practising with the Beach Boys you see in Surf City, Huntingdon Beach.

Enjoy your adventures in 2020. And…

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

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Give us this day – holy water fonts

You get a name for yourself… just by going to Mass.

And before you know it people are referring to you by that awful definition ‘religious’.

Then you’ve been approached to be a reader at your church.

And to give out the host.

It all culminates in being bought a holy water fount for Christmas.

Oh, well, She had waited 25 years to get her own back.

After I’d bought her a non-stick frying pan, bacon, sausages, eggs and black pudding for our first Christmas.

This holy water fount is from Lough Derg, St Patrick’s sanctuary.

In my Dear Old Mum’s homestead of Co. Donegal in Ireland…. https://www.loughderg.org.

So what of the history of the bénitier?

Well, it’s a fancier and Frenchier way to describe a holy water font.

So you’ll not be surprised to know that it’s… found all over Gaul-land http://www.atout-france.fr in very ostentatious style.

It is often adorned with, say, Our Lady.

In olden days too rosary beads were often draped around the fonts.

Although in Marian sites Fatima https://www.fatima.pt/en and https://www.visitportugal.com/en/content/the-best-of-portugal?gclsrc=aw.ds&ds_rl=1258950&ds_rl=1252939&gclid=CjwKCAiA9JbwBRAAEiwAnWa4Q0nu0ByiGL2UMA94MnpCYcRAgaCRJQGmKM10FZv5yTiIEiAU8YjfzRoCym8QAvD_BwE, Lourdes https://www.lourdes-france.org/en/Medjugorje https://medjugorjelive.org you would do well to prise them out of the hands of the pilgrims.

You see I have seen it too first hand.

Stoups, of course, are most likely to be found in churches.

But did you know that they can sometimes be found above the bed? Passion killer, n’est ce pas?

I make a habit of seeking out places of worship wherever I go.

They have the best art in Rome http://www.rome.netand sometimes also the best craic… Give us this Day – Sunday School, Tobago https://www.visittobago.gov.tt

But while I like to pray I love to play.

And no saint me. I have been known to fill bottles.

Vatican rules

With holy water from St Paul’s Basilica at the end of my Via Francigena pilgrimage… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/small-roads-lead-to-rome/

And in St James’s Cathedral in Santiago de Compostella http://www.caminoways.com and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/camino-a-pilgrims-prayer/ after walking 100km from Sarria on the Camino.

Now, in the interests of full disclosure, I’ve also taken holy water from.

Water, water everywhere

A font by the River Jordan… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/petra-jordan-jesus-and-the-sands-of-time/ and http://www.visitjordan.com.

A Greek Orthodox church on Mt Hybanthus… http://www.athensattica.com and Give us this Day – The Iconic Greek Orthodox

The Frauenkirche in Dresden http://www.dresden.de and Dresden’s renaissance under the eye of Martin Luther.

The cathedral in La Laguna in Tenerife… http://www.visitingtenerife.com and A walk through the ages… Tenerife

And these are just the sample charges.

I’d better get some prayers in then… maybe Our Lady will intercede on my behalf!

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Jocktails – Pour me an Espresso Martini

The Appletini doesn’t fall far from the cocktail tree.

It was our thing, me making cocktails for The Scary One on a Saturday.

Until I didn’t. Work got in the way which it never should.

Now the Son and Heir is working and making cocktails (he doesn’t drink them all), he has taken my place.

And so Christmas Day started (we waited until 3pm) with an Espresso Martini.

You’re wondering why I’ve got the sausages out.

No, I’m not about to cook them. It’s just my nod to Tobago Soca Christmas Parang singer Scrunter…Visit http://www.visittobago.gov.tt

And his standard Piece Ah Pork which was the soundtrack to my pre-Christmas trip to Tobago… It’s Robinson Crusoe’s very own Tobago and Not any old Glasgow bar.

Of course you can drink your Espresso Martini with anything you like.

Though, in truth, it’s pretty filling in itself.

Dick Bradsell is credited with creating the Espresso Martini at Fred’s Club in London.

After a woman is said to have asked him to give her something ‘that would ‘wake me up, then f*** me up’.

And so to your Espresso Martini:

You want 43mls of vodka, 21mls of espresso, 21mls of Kahlua and 9.5ml of sugar syrup.

Pour into a shaker with ice. Shake, fine strain and pour into a chilled Martini glass.

Garnish with a coffee bean and serve.

Alternatively give it a dry shake without the ice and it will foam up all the more.

Honey, honey

While a nice touch is to add honey.

London, of course, has many more cocktail stories to explore.

And as many cocktail bars as coffee beans… try Scarfe’s https://scarfesbar.com/#homepage-popup in posh Holburn.

Where I swear the double bass player accompanying singer ‘Marilyn Monroe’ is Boris Johnson… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/31/londons-punch-and-judy-show/ And http://www.visitlondon.comGet cocktails done!

And for another Jocktails with a coffee twist… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/05/jocktails-tenerife-coffee-liqueurs/

And as I say I rested up my shaker although I’m always happy to be on tasting duties.

MEET YOU IN THE BAR

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Hungry and Thursday – curried Christmas Turkey

Yes, it’s a thing here in Ireland where St Stephen’s Day (Boxing Day to everyone else) is when they curry the left-over turkey.

Which obviously got us thinking about the no-neck poultry.

You’d think that they’d have a built-in antennae for the time of year when they’re most in danger.

But these guys I met in Tobago www.visittobago.gov.tt on my Caribbean adventures https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/07/ready-steady-goat-in-tobago/ seemed totally oblivious.

You see my cooking has come on leap and bound this year…

I even cooked something.!

After being given the recipe for Dahl curry by our hosts G Adventures in Dublin… https://www.gadventures.com/?aw_ag_id=49375547731&aw_kw_id=aud-360242417736:kwd-296402816580&aw_ad_id=297109875494&aw_nw=g&phonecode=PPC_SEM_Brand&gclid=Cj0KCQiArozwBRDOARIsAHo2s7t7hmH99Ist6icPt9oHDzkak2RC_How1OfDnhxuuj7arpD5lLi6X2MaAl0BEALw_wcB.

Of course it’s only a start and nothing like the feasts our Jordanian hosts put on for us… Petra and the sands of time And http://www.visitjordan.com

And in the desert too!

Going underground

With their zarb where they bury meat, veg and rice in a pit in the ground, add lots of embers.

And wrap it in blankets and bury it in sand.

The zarb is put on in the early afternoon and by the evening it is meltingly tender.

Not much call for it though in chilly Greystones here in Ireland.

So where’s the best curry. India? Probably. But remember it is Britain’s national dish.

Curry belongs to Glasgow 

And in Glasgow where there is a big Asian population and where they gave birth to Chicken Tikka Masala.

When Ali Aslam, the owner of the Shish Mahal restaurant http://www.shishmahal.co.uk added tomato soup and some sauces to his chicken curry.

To satisfy a Glasgow bus driver who had sent it back because it was too dry.

Scottish and Sub-Continental fusion is a definite thing.

Which I knew about being of the Caledonian variety myself I belong to Glasgow but with which I renewed acquaintance…

Piping hot

When I visited the World Pipe Band Championships… https://www.theworlds.co.uk

In ma wee hame toon Glasgow https://peoplemakeglasgow.com/visiting/top-reasons-to-visit-glasgow and https://www.visitscotland.com.

The perfect fusion between Scot and the Sub-Continent is in fact in the Sub-Continent.

Or more precisely with the Sri Lankan staff on the Maldives with Island… Atoll tale – the Maldives and http://www.kuramathi.com And http://www.kandolhu.com

Where I played cricket, of sorts, and football (chased shadows).

And, of course tucked into their food which comes from everywhere.

Although I might arrange for them to get some Irn-Bru shipped in.

And now that we’re well into the Christmas drinking… here, by popular demand, Jocktails, your favourite Cocktail column by your Scottish cocktail guru.

And this is a reminder of what we’ve got in the bar… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/01/jocktails-the-strawberry-daiquiri/, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/15/jocktails-bajan-monkey/

While try out https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/29/jocktails-mimosas/

MEET YOU IN THE BAR

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Forget the Fairytale… my Christmas song

Now this qualifies as treason here in Ireland, and it’s probably because I’m a contrarian but…

The Fairytale of New York is not the best Christmas song of all time.

In fact it doesn’t represent New York City https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/21/old-new-york-hamilton/ and http://www.nycvb.com.

There is no NYPD choir, for example.

And the ‘Irish’ pipe band didn’t know Galway Bay (obviously) so did the ‘Mickey Mouse Club March’ instead.

Now I love Da Mouse and Da Minnie Why I love The Donald and Stair Wars. And http://www.visitorlando.com and http://www.disneyland.disney.go.com and http://www.disneyworld.disney.go.com .

Enough Fairytale already… here’s what I call a Christmas song.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gjYWYJudTPE

Yes, Johnny Mathis’s When A Child Is Born.

Talk the talk

Too scmaltzy for you, the lyics, particularly Johnny’s spoken lyics?

But I love it and I love a talky interjection.

So hit it

And all this happens because the world is waiting,

Waiting for one child

Black, white, yellow, no one knows,

But a child that will grow up and turn tears to laughter,

Hate to love, war to peace and everyone to everyone’s neighbour

And misery and suffering will be words to be forgotten for ever

The Christmas Office Party Bore

Now you’ve probably met the office bore at your Christmas party who gives out about Jesus being wrongly portrayed as white.

When he was born in the Middle East.

And how the whole Christmas story is wrong.

But what really matters is not what Jesus was: white, black, yellow, red, but that he WAS.

Bah, humbug, white liberal intellectuals should just see how the Christmas story is celebrated in the Caribbean….

The ‘other’ Jesus

I should cocoa – Christmas in Tobago and www.visittobago.gov.tt.

And in Mississippi… http://www.visitmississippi.org and The Promised LandThe story of the Blues and http://the king of kings

Though I’d be flabbergasted to think Jesus was an earlier incarnation of Phil Collins.

The West Indians have their own slant on the Christmas songs and put a calypso or Soca rhythm to it.

Put the two together with just the right amount of sauce and you get parang, an example of which is….

Scrunter’s ‘Want ah piece ah pork’ https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FLpEvkj9jTc.

Now Christmas can be a challenging time for many.

And although it was never written as a Christmas song, it has entered the pantheon for its lines:

Wish I was at home for Christmas

No more war

Jona Lewie’s anthem was, of course, an anti-war song. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2HkJHApgKqw

And as we move further away from the centennial of the end of the First World War In Flanders fields and http://www.visitflanders.com

Lest we forget amid the commercial gluttony of a 2019 Christmas those for whom an extra mince pie and some grog.

A peaceful Christmas

And some respite from being bombed and shot at.

And the chance to have a kick-about with the opposition on a muddy battlefield was Christmas gift enough.

Let me know what your favourite Christmas song is… mmmm mmmm mmmm!

A CHILD IS BORN… MERRY CHRISTMAS

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Holidos and don’ts – Christmas luggage

I’m among the hundreds of people waiting at arrivals at Dublin Airport.

Mine’s is Daddy’s Little Girl, on her way home from Edinburgh.

Now Santy is here, there are well-wishers with Welcome balloons and I dare say a choir will appear any minute now.

Have you a giftie for me? Santy at Dublin Airport

And I’m looking at the trolleys of suitcases.

Nothing different there. Only I’m wondering what’s in them.

Not that I’m weird or anything. I’m just thinking that many of them will be packed with presents.

Oh, but that long walk

Which makes me think… why?

OK, there might be that Christmas gift you can only get in that country you’re coming from.

Although you can buy most things over the internet now.

And have it delivered to the family home or a relative to pick up.

Or even tell them what you want them to buy and recompense them when you see them.

Because packing your bags with gifts only means that you have less room for your own stuff.

And if you’re only home for a couple of days and can get away without taking a suitcase at all…

Because rucksacks hold more than you think and then you can always get your clothes washed at home.

Or better still change your wardrobe with some new clothes in the Boxing Day sales.

And then you won’t have to go to the carousel.

And you know what I think of carousels…

Having had to wait a day for my undelivered luggage to be sent to my address. I wasn’t alone.

The smaller the airport, of course, the smaller the carousel and the ANR Robinson International Airport in Tobago is definitely my size.

It even has reminders of home.

Here are a few reminders of some precious memories from that trip… Ready, steady, goat… in Tobago, Give us this Day – Sunday School, Tobago and I should cocoa – Christmas in Tobago.

And www.visittobago.gov.tt.

This being Christmas Eve’s Eve this will probably be my last airport visit of the year.

Although I live in hope!

So a big thank you to all the airports that have hosted me this year, particularly my second home, Dublin Airport… www.dublinairport.com

And while it’s probably too late for you to heed my advice, remember that the best gift you can bring is…

Yourself!

Unless you can persuade Rihanna to visit… A kiss from Rihanna.

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Trawling the graveyards of history

I’m dying to share this… how one woman is remembered in the Caribbean.

From the inscription which marks the span of her life.

From sunrise to sunset…

You have to think that Emily was a ray of sunshine herself.

Well, she was from Tobago, an island where rain is known as liquid sunshine… www.visittobago.gov.tt.

Insert your own caption here

And I left with a mountain of memories… It’s Robinson Crusoe’s very own Tobago and I should cocoa – Christmas in Tobago.

I was thinking about death today (no, not a heavy Saturday night) but a regular occurrence.

After visiting the ancient burial ground of Glendalough, Co. Wicklow, near my home here in Ireland.

 

It’s a mystery: In Tobago

I may well have inherited my fascination for graveyards from my Dear Old Dad who I’ll meet there one day.

The Tobagonians have a unique way of seeing life… and death.

As evidenced by this riddle on what has become the most famous grave on the island.

Riddle me this: In Tobago

So that you don’t have to strain your eyes too much the gist of the inscription on the 1783 grave in Plymouth reads in part:

‘She was a mother without knowing it, and a wife without letting her husband know it except by her kind indulgences to him.’

Riddles in Tobago

Now we were asked by our hosts the same question they pose to every visitor: ‘What the heck does it mean?’

My answer, the obvious one, is it’s a woman, whoever knows what goes on in their minds.

Marilyn and me: LA

I keep my eyes open for graves and final resting places wherever I go.

Just this year I discovered that Marilyn Monroe’s final resting place is off a busy street in LA… www.visitcalifornia.com and www.discoverlosangeles.com.

Where she is forced to spend eternity with her old nemesis Hugh Hefner which I tell you all about on this blog… My weekend with Marilyn

 

You can’t pick your neighbours

Of course, graveyards have strong personal connections to those who are related to, or are friends of the deceased.

World War I battlefields

Such as when I was the first of my family to kneel at the graveyard of my Great Uncle Willie who fell in Ieper, or Ypres.

While on that tour of the World War I battlefields In Flanders fields with www.gtitravel.ie and www.visitflanders.com and http://www.visit-somme.com I visited the Canadian and German memorials.

The Canadian memorial with its Caribou statue has a special resonance for my family as Grandpa George fought for the Canadian Army.

And met Granny Mary, a nurse, when he returned to Scotland.

A South African tale

War and graveyards tend to go hand in hand.

And in a visit to the Eastern Cape in South Africa at the start of the year What’s new pussycat? I braved the cold and the damp…

And the big game to visit the graveyard of an Afrikaans resistance fighter from the Boer War…

Of course hanging around graveyards at this time of year you’re liable do get some spooky vibes.

And the lines between this life and the next can become blurred.

Make of me and my colleagues from that trip to South Africa what you will… www.southafrica.net.

Uncategorized

Hungry and Thursday – Ainsley, cooking and the Caribbean

There are few people who could leave TV chef Ainsley Harriott gobsmacked.

Septuagenarian mine host ‘Auntie’ Alison is one.

West Indians give their seniors respect (remember when we used to do that in our society).

So everybody has hundreds of aunties and uncles who are just as precious to them as their own kith and kin.

I wasn’t there when Ainsley popped by the Blue Crab http://www.tobagobluecrab.com in Scarborough in Tobago this year to film his Caribbean Kitchen TV series… https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=9T5VZU-Kxp4

But I was there last week to hear Auntie Ali tell us the secret of her 50+ marriage to Uncle Kenneth.

Put your underwear in the bottom drawer to show off your bum-bum we were told, complete with demonstration.

The same goes for grating cheese.

Of course what works for Auntie Ali doesn’t necessarily work for a Fiftysomething beardie Scotsman with no rhythm.

And besides I had to keep my mind on the job.

As Uncle Kenneth allowed me to give him a helping hand as he gave us a cooking demo of his chicken curry special.

Of course I had form having been taught how to make fried okra by Ruby at Club Barbados https://www.theclubbarbados.com… and here’s where it went https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna/

And it wasn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time I savour the pleasures of Barbados… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/rihanna-in-barbados/

I was all over Tobago, Robinson Crusoe’s island last week. Quite literally. And I have been sharing…

I’m a Tobagonian

Check out https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/11/tobago-ready-steady-goat/, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/05/robinson-crusoes-tobago/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/12/03/i-should-cocoa-christmas-in-tobago/

And also check out these recipes I found in my last billet Kariwak Holistic Haven in Crown Point, ‘just around the corner…’ http://www.kariwak.com.

There I found one of the barmen referred to by the manager as Mr… and my waitress at my local boozer calls me and my family ‘goys’. Mmmm!

For more on Tobago visit http://www.visittobago.gov.tt and look out for my review in the Sunday Times Ireland soon.