This Is Just To Say

IMG_5546We met an old college friend and his family for lunch. We travelled, about an hour from here, to the Ballymaloe Cookery School at Shanagarry. The students at the school serve pizza from a wood-fired oven every Saturday.IMG_5483

The place has a few short-comings. It’s not cheap and the choice is limited to, I think, four pizzas. On this occasion, the tap-water tasted bad, the coffee was cold and we had to wander out to the shop to find ice-cream. It was all a bit chaotic and the service was non-existent.IMG_5490

On the other hand, the setting is charming, the pizza was delicious and the ice-cream heavenly. Just like every time we visit, we had a good time. More than good. Memorable. A day to lodge in the bank of good memories.

I think the magic lies in the gardens behind the school.

Ballymaloe Cookery School.
Ballymaloe Cookery School.
Gate to the old gardens.
Gate to the old gardens.
The formal herb garden.
The formal herb garden.
The perennial flower beds.
The perennial flower beds.
....and more flowers.
….and more flowers.
Nessie's Cork cousin.
Nessie’s Cork cousin.

IMG_5528I have been a very good girl, all my life, but I am nurturing a new-found boldness. I took (stole, I suppose) a blackcurrant, two raspberries, a poppy seedhead and a plum. As I reached up for the plum my old friend introduced me to this (famous, he tells me) poem by William Carlos Williams:

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

It was a moment, you know, standing there in the orchard sucking a stolen plum. It’s rare enough you have someone on hand to quote just the most relevant piece of poetry for you.

I took the poppy seedhead out of my bag earlier. It got a little bit crushed and it probably wasn’t quite ripe for picking. I do feel guilty and I’m not sure whether the potential  flowers will remind me of my guilt or a very special day. They were probably saving it for Spring. It was irresistible, so round and so plump.IMG_5551

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