Friday is the preparation day for the weekend, it is a good day for mindfulness, for freeing the mind. Friday it’s not Saturday when the free time actually happens, and it’s not Sunday when you start preparing your mindset for the week to come. Friday is teenagehood, is the expectation, is the hors-d’oeuvres before the main meal when you are really hungry. Friday is that early hour in the morning when you have your coffee and the world is still silent, nothing has really started yet. “Friday” is the state in between things when everything is possible.
In my #discoveringireland trips, I arrived in the city of Waterford, presumably the oldest city in Ireland. Before embarking on the trip I looked up Waterford on Google, obviously, and I discovered that one of the main attractions of the city is Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre. Waterford is known as well, as the Crystal County and apparently is worldwide renown for its glass production history. In the Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre, you can find products from crystal tableware to chandeliers or large pieces such as a crystal harp, Cinderella’s carriage (about 50 cm long and priced at about 40.000 euros), or a more artistic endeavour, a crystal rugby hat, etc. You can take a guided tour around the factory and see how the glass is actually blown and moulded but I only chose only to visit the showroom and take photos. While I was there, for about an hour, groups of people were coming and going, mostly American and Asian, apparently crystal is very popular among Americans, or so a young employee girl told me. If I think about it, the american classic homes own more decorative elements, such as porcelain ballerinas and crystal vases than the Romanian communist homes of our grandparents. Such clutter, one mights say! But I guess it’s a way of life, with a history of it’s own.
Besides the clutter, I tried to understand why would anyone pay such large amounts of money to own a piece of decorative crystal , mostly without a specific purpose but then again, isn’t this the description of luxury items? And the luxury universe has a life of it’s own, independent of efficiency, minimalism, unmaterialistic principles , ecology, etc. We won’t go deep into this subject right now.
Anyway, I took some close up photos, so to let myself get past the instant, perhaps superficial dislike of decorative crystal, and ponder more on the craft, the details of the glass shapes and carvings and the magic of the play of lights.
Cinderella s carriage, 40.000 euros.
In the end it was a pleasant experience, money and purpose aside, everything has a beautiful side. And crystal has many, wonderfully cut and crafted with dedication by artisans, and it is worth appreciating even if not buying it and placing it in your house.
Oh, and I almost forgot, if ever at Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre, do take 10 minutes to enjoy one of their home made cakes, in Crystal Cafe (on the right of the main entrance, the showroom is on the left). They are delicious!
My opinion is that Beck’s new song is an irony to our DAZZLING society, a critical attitude being afterall one of the main roles of a true artist. The message is clear: elephant ‘s in the room, boom boom… but we’re too busy to see it, well cause we’ve got a whole other set of preoccupations to make us BIGGER AND BETTER. Don’t get me wrong, nothing bad with self-development, if it comes from interior to exterior, if it’s not for others, if it’s not just to keep up with the Joneses and the Kardashians.
“Now we’ re pissin’ in the wind cause it’s so pine fresh”, ha ha ha, oh Beck, you are funny.
And another thing I particularly love is the introduction of the Wild West sounds and images into this song and video, I am a fan of Westerns, have just seen “The magnificent seven” yesterday, but that’s another story. Anyways this cool, urban cowboy just blows my mind and for me, he’s a worthy follower of David Bowie. There is hope!
Listen to him, dance to him and drink responsibly.
And so I did. To start with, I didn’t move to a big city but a small one, to be sure that I get the Irish way from its core. And I got a job at a pub, enrolled in the army as I like to say, but what better way to start knowing a people but by its traditional food and drinks. I’m a Guinness fan already, and also I tried to reproduce at home boiled bacon and ham, chicken and mushroom soup, chicken curry with fries and on my way to making a seafood chowder.
About the weather. Rainy and cold, no surprise here, but then again I have made a great discovery, even if there’s no constant sun, the light here is absolutely brilliant, no wonder it has inspired the likes of William Turner, (well, he was British, but the weather is the same as in Great Britain, they share the climate).
What else, oh, Irish kids are the most healthy looking babies I’ve seen ever! Cheeks, all blushed and round, and curly blond or red hair, it’s like cherubs from religious icons. No wonder many fairytales were filmed here, its the land of leprechauns, elves, and cherubs.
Last but not least, this is the country of Oscar Wilde, James Joyce and W.B Yeats, and in Dublin, they have poetry written on the walls, in the street! It’s very inspiring. Make sure to check The Winding stair (named after a Yeats poem) bookshop if you’re in town, it’s very close to Temple Bar, Dublin’s main attraction. And speaking about Dublin, if you take the public transport named Dart, along the coast, to such cities as Howth, Bray or Malahide you will find the most amazing little fisher’s villages and most delightful sights. After you walk around just make sure you relax over a pint of Guinness and a portion of fish &chips, at one of the local terraces.
This is just to let you know my first impressions on Ireland, been here only two months, will be reporting in detail soon.
I will be short and go straight to the subject of this post, just as my recent trip to Vienna. Bottom line, if ever in the beautiful capital of Austria, just make sure you take a walk on Burgasse street, near Museum quartier, where you’ ll discover at least 3 worth visiting places.
One is Pure living bakery where they have yum yum cakes and coffee and teas and just the coziest atmosphere and design. Or as they say:”Pure Living Bakery Cafe brings positive & relaxed California optimism to Vienna”
A bit further off is Burgasse 24, a coffee shop and vintage boutique with an eclectic selection of fashion items and design objects. I felt like in the living room of a country house, somewhere lost in time and space, but in the same time right in the middle of urban life. A fireplace, vintage armchairs near minimalist tables and chairs, antique carpets on the floor, all made for a wonderful eclectic mix.
And we could not have passed on Burgasse and not notice this weird association between shoes and sardines in a store called just that: Shoes & sardines. Apparently, they sell a brand from Lisboa, Ben Bento shoes, and as well specialties from Portugal!
Just yesterday I was musing about the simple joys of life after taking in my hand a warm egg laid fresh by a chicken from my parents small farm. Then today I find out about this Kevin Bacon commercials for eggs.
And I have to mention that on the wall of my kitchen I have this Sarah Lucas photo.