I have been tagged for this meme by Margaret from Kitchen Delights and thought, why not?! Could be fun. Annemarie from Ambrosia & Nectar, Katie from Apple & Spice have already completed theirs. So, now it’s just me and Holler from Tinned Tomatoes.
4 Jobs I’ve held:
I work in New Media now as a Project Manager but I’ve had a few jobs in my time between summer jobs and jobs at university so I’ll stick to the eclectic :)
- Library Assistant
I worked in the library at university for two years shelving books mainly. I worked 4 hour shifts, and loved it as it meant I was pottering in and out of bookshelves all the time. As a science student studying physiology I didn’t have much exposure to the Arts or Humanities so enjoyed looking at and flicking through the books to see what they were all about.
- Cleaner in a psychiatric ward/school in Munich, Germany
Student summer job when I was 20. We went to Munich for the summer and lots of us ended up working as cleaners. Relative to Irish summer jobs it was very well paid. The Irish weren’t very popular in Munich at the time, due to our reputation for raucous behaviour and we lived in a tiny house in a campsite that looked like a human size birdhouse. We got up at (I think) 5.30am to make the long commute to the hospital to start work at 7am. I worked in the psychiatric ward which had it’s moments, the most intense when one patient moved all of his furniture out of the room and started shouting at me in German. I hadn’t very much German atall so couldn’t understand him and was advised by the psychiatrist to ignore him, which was pretty tough as he was following me up and down the corridor shouting! There was a very sweet man there who used to give me sweets, I think because I couldn’t speak the language he felt sorry for me and I also looked about 16 at the time! I was usually grateful for the sugar rush. I also worked with a lovely Bosnian lady that had fled the war, we communicated using a smidgen of Fernch and sign language. Not much food happenings there, my diet was appalling and most of my shopping money went towards beer. Ah, student life!
- Cook at a pizza restaurant in Cork, Ireland
Having returned from a post-university stint travelling the mediteranean, I had absolutely no money and needed a job! A friend was working there at the time and secured me one. It was great fun, very busy at times and I had great room to experiment with food. As cook I had to make and roll the dough, prep, cook and dish out the food. Rolling the dough that first time was exhausting but I soon got the hang of it and developed muscles to boot. As a non-sporty kinda gal it was a first! There was quite a buzz when the restaurant was full and the adrenaline was rushing. I did enjoy it even if it was the worst paid job I have ever had.
- Callcenter operator in a callcenter in Cork
Another badly paid job but I met some great people here. I worked here whilst studying for my MSc. I took some crazy calls for an Irish TV bingo show where one old lady accused me of trying to turn all the young boys of Ireland gay by allowing a transvestite to present the show (sigh & lol – I am sure he would laugh if he had heard the crazy call). We took calls for lots of other companies, English & Irish. It made for some great comedy moments, but also some of the most frustrating moments of my life. People can be extremely rude & nasty over the phone. This was my last job before turning towards career jobs at the end of my MSc.
4 Places I’ve lived:
At the tender age of 19 and after my first year of university I went to Nice for 6 weeks and stayed for the summer. It was my first time abroad and was a fantastic experience. We lived in a little studio off the Promenade des Anglais and my bedroom was in a mezzanine. It was all good bar an invasion by two salamanders at the start of August. I really got into food here, and not just French food, I hasd Vietnamese for the first time. The food highlight for me was when I went to Italy for 2 weeks at the end. It’s when I properly discovered pizza and good french omelettes, especially potato and fontina pizzas. Over that summer I put on 2 stone but luckily lost it again quite quickly with little effort but that’s the joy of being 19.
I was born and raised in Waterford but spent many summer holidays in Cork where I really developed a love for food under the tutelage of my Aunt Kay. She had a fruit and veg garden and a greenhouse growing many things I didn’t even know you could grow at the time. It’s the first place that I had homemade potato salad, made jam having picked the berries, ate wild strawberries and raspberries from the hedgerow and on and on. I then went to University there and lived there for 8 years on and off. I love Cork, one of my favourite restaurants is there, Café Paradiso, the English Market is a foodie paradise with the lovely artisan food stalls mixed in with fishmongers and local butchers and the Farmgate Café sitting astride it. I could go on and on and I expect I will next time I go home and blog it!
After my degree I moved to Amsterdam from September until just after xmas. There was a big group of us there and it was great fun. It’s a lovely city to live in, very bohemian with lots going on. I left to move home and do a diploma in Web Design (cough, not that you’d tell! There’s just no time) followed by an MSc in Multimedia Technology. I always thought that I would move back but came to London instead and have been here since.
London! My home away from home. I moved here as I was looking to live somewhere else and get a job that didn’t involve answering calls for a TV bingo show. That last bit was very important! Preferably one that was related to my recent education. It was a rough transition, I expected to love it straight away but this didn’t happen. I toyed with the idea of leaving for a couple of years but then London grew on me. It’s like when you first have an olive and it makes your eyes water, then one day you have a craving for them and realise that you love them! It’s a great city. So much on all the time, although, I have found that the secret to living here is to expect not to be able to do everything. You could drive yourself crazy otherwise. For food, it’s fantastic, there’s a restaurant from every country, food shops that would make your mouth water and beautiful big open spaces. I especially love the cheaper restaurants that do rustic food so well. London allows me to indulge in music, food & film in it’s wonderful shops, café’s, restaurants, venues and cinemas. It would be difficult for another city to compare although, Sydney provided a challenge last year!
4 Places I’ve holidayed:
I spent a lovely holiday in Croatia a couple of years ago, starting in Dubrovnik for 3 nights and then island hopping to Split and back. It was lovely, although I must admit that Dubrovnik at the start of September was too much! I felt like a piece of tourist meat. It was much better when we headed to Mljet and stayed on the edge of the National Park. We spent a few days cycling around it and swimming in beautiful lakes. Well, I say swimming, but in my case it was more paddling and cutting my feet on the small sharp rocks. Then off to the mainland to Croatian wine country where we indulged and I was savaged by mosquitos. A few more islands and Split, which I really liked, it felt like a living city and the Diocletian Palace was wonderful. There was a great food market when we were there and I bought lots of olive oil and fresh cannelini and borlotti beans which I cooked up in some homemade stock in Vis. Favourite islands were Mljet & Vis overall. Vis has only been open to the public since 1984 as it used to be a Yugoslav Military Base. Great, fresh seafood, although it has gotten quite expensive. In one restaurant we saw the fisherman dock with his leerfish, clean it in the sea water and we were eating it half an hour later. Gorgeous. We also had the most amazing clams there. It was a lovely few days. We happened to be there for the 50th anniversary of World War 2 and there were a few UK veterans there to celebrate. It was lovely to see them treated with such reverance. They put on a lavish banquet for them of lobster and other beautiful seafood. It was quite an emotional time for them, they had buried some comrades there and they all visited the graveyard. Quite emotional to watch too, really.
I’ve been to Italy a number of times, it’s one of my favourite places to holiday. My favourite city is Rome, every corner you turn has something amazing to offer and the food is sublime. There’s a great energy there too. I love buzzy cities. Four of us had the most amazing meal in a trattoria there 3 years ago, 3 courses, 1l of wine and lots of beer, €60 incl. service for all of us. Really, that’s incredible, compared to the UK & Ireland anyway. I’ve had the best pizza I’ve had there too, courgette flower and curd cheese with a lovely tomato sauce, all for £5!
I’ve only been to Greece once, but it left it’s culinary mark. I started in Athens, then flew to Mykonos to meet some friends that worked there. We then island hopped to Kouffinissia & Amorgos. We were travelling with a greek girl so she always asked where the best local places were, and, wow, we were never disappointed. Highlights were local olives, a gorgeous veggie mousakka on an island mountain followed by the proprietars own goats cheese, anything they did with fava beans and breakfasts of greek yoghurt with honey. Low points, being bitten|stung|eaten by all manner of insects, someone came up to me on the beach and asked should I go to hospital I looked so bad, and the 13 hour ferry from Patras to Italy, on the deck with the Ricky Martin cd single on repeat. FOR 13 HOURS!!
Sydney was one of my favourite holidays. I went last year with an old friend visiting two others. It was so good to see them and we had such a good time. I was so impressed by the Sydneysiders, they were so friendly, and the food – wow! Great quality, really cheap. Favourites were the vietnamese & thai food and a breakfast trip to Bill Grangers where I had the most amazing ricotta pancakes with banana and honeycomb butter. We also made it to the hunter wine valley and found a winery with a dairy on site. I was very sad to leave.
4 Favorite Foods:
Ooooh, tough. Ok, I am going to choose things I like everyday as opposed to something special.
- Hamachi Sashimi - yum, yum, yum! So good! When I had it for the first time this year in Japan it was like a revelation. Melt in the mouth.
- Pie - any pie, pie with pastry on top, pie with potatoes on top, warming comfort food.
- Pasta – especially comfort soupy pastas like pasta e patate or pasta with pumpkin.
- Curry - especially south indian vegetarian curries.
4 Places I’d Rather Be:
Right now? Ok, right now, I’d rather be in…
- Italy eating with a big bunch of friends & family, Godfather style.
- Sydney eating Vietnamese with Karen, Peter & Sarah.
- Dublin out with the girls like last weekend!
- Agua Amarga in Andalucia, Spain where we spent some time in June with all those fine folks from our upstairs/downstairs flats. I want to relive that holiday, it was wonderful.
And now I need to tag 4 bloggers so I am going to tag: