As 2020 continues with all of its challenges, we’d thought we’d take a moment to share some of the ways we have been spending our time when not working at the kitchen table!
What are we reading right now?
Dad is an adventure fan and is enjoying Michael Palin’s Erebus which is about the story of the 19th century ship which met a tragic and mysterious end on Captain Franklin’s fateful expedition to find the ‘North West Passage’ in the Artic. Palin charts the ship’s arduous journeys and the host of characters on board who braved un-chartered waters. Paddy, the history man, is reading an early account of the life of Michael Collins. The book was written in the 1930s by Frank O’Connor and has plenty of colourful anecdotes and memories from Collin’s contemporaries. Rosy was lucky enough to go an amazing trip to Colombia in February, cycling from Bogota to the coast. Everywhere she went, people recommended checking out the Colombian author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. On returning to home, she has been immersed in Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. “It’s an intense read that brings you into a vividly imagined world filled with all manner of human vices and virtues.” Rosy has always been the more intellectual sibling and is also working through a copy of Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet and she has taken to looking at this thought provoking collection of poems and even writing a few of the lines down.
I am reading reading Dictatorland – the men who stole Africa by Paul Kenyon. A fascinating yet disturbing book about life after the colonies – the corruption, greed and global players mixed in with Africa. I have also started Time and how to spend it by James Wallman – in an attempt to get some guidance on how to capture that elusive work/life balance for evermore!
What have we been doing outside work?
Each of us have always loved the outdoors and now is a time more than ever, to take a few minutes every day in any of the green spaces around us. We count ourselves very fortunate to live in rural areas and have all been watching the arrival of spring with new beech leaves appearing and yellow gorse in full bloom. Mum and Dad go down to the local pier for a morning swim and are always joined by the aquatic Labrador, Riley! Paddy keeps some Aberdeen Angus cows and has spent a lot of weekends mending fences! Rosy has managed to avoid the fencing and on weekends takes to the side roads on her bike, with her sketchbook to hand for a real sense of escape. I have been going for long walks and enjoying the luxury of spending more time with my children and husband. (Although I sadly do not think I am cut out for homeschooling – apart from nature walks and the lifecycle of frogs – tadpoles are everywhere!)
What have we been cooking?
Rosy has very questionable cooking skills but has taken to foraging for wild garlic to make pesto which looks impressive…but is very straightforward! Paddy is probably an even more questionable cook than Rosy but does in fairness make a decent loaf of brown bread. Dad is most proud of his barbecuing efforts this spring and has been experimenting with everything from home-made pizza’s to lamb. I love to cook and have been trying different risotto’s recently from pea & parmesan with some bacon lardons or tomato and fresh prawns!
What is our favourite piece from Spring 2020?
As the old saying goes ‘never cast a clout till May be out’! With this in mind, Dad’s go to is of course the Cavan Gilet, a perfect source of warmth for the temperamental Donegal Spring! Paddy never feels the cold, so he is already pre-empting hot summer days in our Irish linen shirts. Like a lot of us, Rosy has been working from home and has been living in the comfy Willow linen trousers. I have a soft spot for the Emma coat – a summer or winter piece, oversized with patch pockets. We first launched it with a classic black & white herringbone, this Spring we have it in pale pink & cream cashmere blend and blue & white wool.