Let me begin by saying de gustibus non disputandum est —in matters of taste there can be no dispute. However, I am puzzled by the way the Irish make their burgers.
The beef in this country is the freshest, most delicious I have ever tasted in my life. [apologies vegetarians] When I cook it at home I always marvel at the difference between this beef and the offering in the States. It is light years better. Despite this superior quality meat, I have been regularly surprised by the Irish burger. Every restaurant, with the exception of fast food establishments, makes their burgers with fillings. As in, bread crumbs, egg, seasonings and possibly other ingredients like chopped onion or chilies. To me this is meatloaf or a meatball like you would make to go with spaghetti, not a burger!
I was confused when a friend asked me what I put in my burgers. “What do you mean?” I said. “Nothing! A little salt and freshly ground pepper on the outside and then throw it on the grill!“ I have even seen my friends post social media pics of their ‘burger recipes’. Photos of a bunch of stuff going into the food processor that will be added to the ground beef [beef mince as its called here] and then fried or grilled on the barbecue. And it looks like a huge production for what should be the simplest and most tasty of sandwiches. Pinterest, I discovered, is loaded with ‘burger recipes’. This is astonishing! What’s my burger recipe? Meat. End of story.
Maybe I am the oddball… maybe its just a regional Pennsylvania thing? I doubt it though. I can’t remember ever having a meatloaf style burger in a restaurant outside Ireland. However, as I said in the beginning, tastes are personal. So if that’s how you like your burgers Ireland, who am I to complain? I’ll just have to remember when I go a restaurant, that what I get on the bun is not going to be what I am accustomed to. Or, you know, just order the fish and chips!
As a rather contented introvert, being isolated should not be such an ordeal. I’m used to not talking to anyone all day long until my husband comes home from work. And yes, we’ve made some new friends here and enjoy an occasional get-together. But my daily life is fairly solitary. Besides exercise and household chores, my routine consists of writing, researching, editing, and possibly art projects. However, in a strange twist of fate, isolation has completely disrupted this quiet existence.
Since we’ve been in lockdown for the last couple of weeks, I swear I have spent more time writing and answering messages, emails, and talking over WhatsApp and FaceTime than I ever have. We all feel the need to get in touch. It might be out of genuine concern, boredom or perhaps that dreadful feeling of I might never get to see you again if one of us gets sick. It’s probably a combination of all those things. I’ve never been a Facebook person but I find myself scrolling through it all the time now. I have joined local groups so I can find out what’s going on here in the village. This is not me!!!
It is not surprising that ‘people’ people [extroverts] are in constant contact. I get that they need to be connected to feel energised and fulfilled. But someone like me doesn’t normally need that kind of interaction. It also doesn’t make me a bad person or cool, aloof or uncaring. It just means I cope differently. I find peace and quiet rejuvenating. Isolation should be a piece of cake. Should be. Why am I losing my mind?
These are unprecedented circumstances. Even though I’m reaching corona fatigue, I still feel the need to pay attention, to wait hopefully for that good news to come. Until a return to normalcy [whatever that’s going to look like] we all need to talk, to vent, to connect and make sure everyone in our circle is doing ok. Even us introverts, apparently. I should be great at self isolation. But I’m not. How ironic.
It’s four weeks today since I fell and broke the ankle. It feels like four months. I am absolutely hating all the sitting around. For the first two weeks, I had to keep the leg elevated all the time which really kept me stuck in the chair. After the first two weeks, I had the cast off and the stitches out, now the leg is in a boot. At least with the boot, I can take it off to wash and give the leg a little massage. Sleeping in the bulky boot is a challenge, though. The ankle doesn’t hurt anymore and I don’t have to keep it elevated, but I can’t put weight on it, yet. I’ve been doing exercises on the floor so I don’t get too out of shape. I’m used to walking/jogging 3-4 miles a day. I will say this… I’m definitely going to have more upper body strength when this is all through!
I have, however, been making good use of my time. I’m doing some copy editing for another writer and I have started [restarted] working on my WWI novel. I’ve got a series of sketches planned, two of which are completed and one which is in progress. And of course I am reading plenty of interesting research material.
I guess if you try to look on the bright side, this injury happened in January when the weather is miserable and the days are short. By spring time, I should be healed up enough to go outside and enjoy the sunshine and milder temperatures. Well, maybe not sunshine so much… it does rain all the darn time over here. Nonetheless, I have two weeks to go till my next follow up appointment and I’m hoping for a good report. In the meantime, I’m getting around the best I can: