Whiskey in the Bar

I still attend NUIG and love my programme. However, that’s not what this post is about.


Thursday night I ran into a friend from class, F., on the bridge coming home from errands in town. We decided to catch up at the College Bar, then went to an off-licence, then to “her” place that she’s sharing with some married Brazilian friends until she moves out this week. Armed with a bottle of wine and sesame crackers for our hosts, they brought out the cheese platter and beet dip (very good stuff, as I found out). We sat around and talked, and I understood about half of what the two Brazilians were saying to each other, such as when yer one was telling the other to go to the corner shop to get ingredients for capirinhas, etc. A good time was had by all – topics of conversation ranged from Portuguese men to getting a Ph.D. in Ireland, and I even was able to speak French with our hosts.


Friday night, L. and I went to gather the foodie supplies in town for the Why Not? Adventure Film Festival. L., another volunteer for the Festival, just happens to live in the building next to me, is also getting a masters at NUIG and, as she is French, was the perfect person to shop for cheese with, particularly as it was a rather small budget. In the end, we were successful: we braved tempestuous winds to get there, but exited Sheridan’s Cheesemonger’s having sampled delicious (although disagreeably smelly) cheese and stuck to a budget.

Once back home, while L. started making dishes for the Festival, I grabbed food from my apartment to make dinner, given that it was going to be a long evening of last-minute preparation. I made a very cheap meal of steamed carrots and lentilles aux lardons (essentially, green Puy lentils with pancetta or fatty cubes of ham). I should mention that one of L.’s roommates, also named L., is Italian and snorted at what Dunnes’ (chain store) calls “pancetta”. I got good reviews for my cooking from L. and L., which was a relief given that it was the first time I made the dish for people other than myself.

Almost every time I go over to theirs, they always ask me if I want pasta. This really means, “You are going to have pasta. How much do you want”? Then we eat cookies and drink tea just to balance out the calories.


Although the Why Not? Adventure Film Festival did not officially start until 5 that evening, my day started (like most peoples’) much earlier. At 9h30, L. and I headed to our boss’ apartment, C., and with the help of her many roommates, carried materials to the theatre where the event would be held. This included the wonderful food made by the Brazilian roommate. We did all the glamorous things: set up tables, put up signs with sticky tack, went for a kebab run, troubleshot PowerPoint presentations, set up the food, uncorked the wine, coordinated with the interviewers &c.

As the seven speakers arrived early in the afternoon for the pre-party meet and greet, I was pulled away by C. after having briefly met two of them (one of whom was Mike O’Shea) to help solve some technical issues. All was well and ready for 5pm in the end.

Saturday evening

First, all the speakers–well, spoke. For the speaking part, since I was the only one who wanted to, I kept time for the speakers. As such, I was fortunate enough to get to stand in the wings, so the screen and the speakers were right there. I devised a tap-dancing reel to warn the speakers to end, since waving my arms and eyebrows did not have the desired effect. The moderator (a brilliantly kind and funny speaker himself, Mike Jones) said they should have bought tap shoes for me. Everyone in the wings had fun with that part.

We then had the first of about four or five intermissions throughout the 11-films-watching spree. After selling some raffle tickets during the first one, I seized the opportunity per C.’s insistence to go to the volunteer/staff/speaker-only room upstairs and eat leftovers—and took the advice per the one female speaker (Claire Riordan) that I grab a glass o’ wine from the afternoon’s meet-and-greet. So, I did accordingly and hid myself in the stairwell to avoid the horde of people queuing at the bar and getting progressively rowdier. The theatre auditorium filled up with just as many beer bottles as people by the end of the night. Five hours craning your neck up at a screen is mildly physically uncomfortable, no matter where in the world you’ve been.

Saturday night

Films ended well after midnight, those of us left went to the pub, then back to C.’s for several hours, and then we all walked to our various places after.

I can’t express in the limited experiences told above how much the speakers and films showed much-needed and nuanced viewpoints, including on topics beyond adventuring.  The night itself was an adventure, from the down-to-earth, earnest and comic speakers to the edits of the films and wayside discussions. I’m looking forward to the next adventure, for all of us (including readers)!

*Also, C.’s Brazilian roommate should seriously consider opening her own restaurant.

P.S.: I will be off the grid for at least two days visiting Cousin Carmel in Kildysart as of tomorrow morning!

(Last but not least, a picture book for some lighter reading . . .)


Last week’s outdoor Market in Galway. 




What happens when you sauté the above with tomatoes and mincemeat (or “ground beef”, as we’d say in the U.S.)


What happens when you’re going to Kildysart tomorrow and opt not to buy groceries as they’d spoil before Wednesday: cereal, grapefruit juice and the obligatory cup of tea. 


“A Tiny Picture For a Small Orange”, or how to use leftover oranges before you are leaving for a few days. Cheers to actually using the provided juicer found in the press!


2 thoughts on “Whiskey in the Bar

  1. Anonymous says:


    Why do you tell us some people’s names and then others, give us intials?

    Love – Aunt JO


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