Mornings in Cork

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is MORNING:

  • For this week’s photo challenge, publish a new post with an image that means morning to you.

Self’s idea of a perfect morning is waking up in Café Paradiso in Cork.

It means a good, hearty Irish breakfast with scones and croissants and butter and cream and jam and yogurt:

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One of the great pleasures of staying in Café Paradiso is, in addition to the great FOOD, the selection of art books in the rooms.

And dear blog readers know about self’s fascination with windows, right? These are the windows in the Blue Room:

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The Blue Room, Café Paradiso, Cork

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Room: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is ROOM:

From the four walls that currently surround you to the infinite potential of space, this week we’d like you to show us your take on room, rooms, or a room.

Here is a picture of self’s room in Café Paradiso, in the city of Cork.  She arrived here from Ballyvolane House yesterday afternoon, in pouring rain.

She was lucky to snag a place here, just last week.  There are only a handful of guest rooms above the best vegetarian restaurant in all of Ireland.  She got “The Red Room.”

In love with her room, in love with the city

In love with her room, in love with the city

All self did in The Red Room was read and write and drink tea.  And eat, of course.  There were two delicious chocolate truffles in the fridge when she arrived.

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She had breakfast delivered to her room.  The card explained what her breakfast consisted of:

Breakfast in Her Room! The goodies were placed in her fridge last night, except for some fresh pastries which were waiting outside her door this morning.

Breakfast in Her Room! The goodies were placed in her fridge last night, except for some fresh pastries which were waiting outside her door this morning.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Leaving Ballyvolane (Boo)

It is fitting that, this morning, it is pouring rain.

She had a huge Irish breakfast:  yogurt, lashings of cream, whole milk, rich coffee, stewed pears and prunes, huge nutty Irish bread, soft butter, fresh orange juice, poached egg — yes, amazing how all of that could fit into self’s not-so-teensy anymore tummy.

There are some really fantastic books here, so self inquired whether there was a bookstore roundabouts, and she was told there is one in the nearby town of Fermoy.  Here’s one she enjoyed browsing through:

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Self has never heard of Darina Allen, but learns she is the founder of the Ballymolae Cooking School.

Where can self sign up?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Claremont, Day 4: Gorgeous

Mood:  Relaxed

Weather: Gorgeous

State of Mind: Happy

Breakfast:  Some Crust Bakery

One word to describe self’s life right now:  Fulness

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Some Crust Bakery, Claremont Village

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

ONE # 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

First, a digression:  Today, self and The Man went to see the first screening of American Hustle.

J-Law is just a-DO-rable!  Simply adorable!

Amy Adams was of course hot.

Bradley Cooper was the exact same speeded-up dude he played in Silver Linings Playbook.  Only this time, he was an FBI agent.  Many of the funniest scenes in the movie were his.

But Christian Bale.  CHRISTIAN BALE.  Since self had just seen him in Out of the Furnace, she couldn’t quite wrap her mind about this new Christian Bale iteration.  But — he was magnificent.  And also the only member of the cast whose Noo Joi-sey accent was firmly in place, from first to last.

The accent thing was quite a crucial thing in this movie.  Alas, self has finally spotted a chink in the J-Law persona:  Her accent was the messiest in the movie.  But self feels so chary in pointing this out.  For J-Law has the most hilarious scene with an exploding microwave.  Not to mention, she brings such vulnerability to her role.

And now to — the ONE!

Breakfast # 1 at Broiler Express in San Carlos: 1 egg, 1 pancake, and a strip of bacon.  All for $3.95!

Breakfast # 1 at Broiler Express in San Carlos: 1 egg, 1 pancake, and a strip of bacon. All for $3.95!

After the movie, we went to The Man’s favorite breakfast place:  Broiler Express on Laurel Street in San Carlos.

This time, when they brought her order, the pancake had mouse ears!

BWAH. HA. HAAAA!

Self’s pancake never had mouse ears before!

This was the very first time!

Self’s face broke out in a huge grin, she just couldn’t help it.  And the waiter was grinning, too.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Good Morning 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

So self is still in Bacolod, the home of wonderful brewed coffee, hot piaya, puto, and other breakfast delights. When she saw the WordPress photo challenge of the week, her first thought was: MADE JUST FOR SELF!

Here are some photos that capture breakfast in her Dear Departed Dad’s hometown:

Brewed Coffee at Café Uma is always served with muscovado and a petite piyaya!

Brewed Coffee at Café Uma is always served with muscovado and a petite piyaya!

Papaya for breakfast, Happy Valley Resort

Papaya for breakfast, Happy Valley Resort

Having Breakfast in Dearest Mum's Sun Room (adjoining her bedroom)

Having Breakfast in Dearest Mum’s Sun Room (adjoining her bedroom)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Good Morning 2: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is:

SHOW US A PHOTO THAT SAYS “GOOD MORNING!”

Here are three different takes on the theme:

Farmers Market, Ferry Building, San Francisco:  Held Every Saturday morning

Farmers Market, Ferry Building, San Francisco: Held Every Saturday morning. Here you can buy 30 different kinds of specialty salt, a hundred kinds of herbs, and all kinds of cooked food ranging from grilled lamb to Italian sausage.

Dawn Breaks Beneath the Window Curtains (After a Sleepless Night in Bacolod)

Dawn Breaks Beneath the Window Curtains (After a Sleepless Night in Bacolod)

The Famous Manapla Puto (Rice Cakes) from Manapla.  Self decided to try the "Cheese" Puto (Name is somewhat misleading:  the puto contains no cheese.  The "cheese" on the label refers simply to the color!

The Famous Manapla Puto (Rice Cakes). These are “Cheese” Puto (Name is somewhat misleading: the puto contains NO cheese. The “cheese” on the label refers simply to the color!)  These are really great with brewed coffee!

 

 

Good Morning: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is “Good Morning.” Ah, mornings are absolutely self’s favorite time of day.  The day is all possibility, and her thoughts are clear.  Here are three iconic “Good Morning” memories:

The vaporetto stop on Ca' San Toma, early morning

The vaporetto stop on Ca’ San Toma, early morning.  Self had made arrangements to be taken to Venice’s Marco Polo Airport from here.

Self's breakfast at the Bacolod Organic Market, where they sell 10 different kinds of rice, all manner of organic coffee, and pumpkins/squash.

Self’s breakfast at the Bacolod Organic Market, where they sell 10 different kinds of rice, all manner of organic coffee, and pumpkins/squash.

Sunrise, Bantayan Beach, Dumaguete

Sunrise, Bantayan Beach, Dumaguete

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh 2

Still musing on the WordPress Photo Challenge this week:  FRESH.

As the guidelines state, there are two ways of looking at the word “Fresh” :  It can be “a state (new, recent, previously unknown) or a taste or sensation (cool, sweet, invigorating).”

Self was trying for photographs depicting “a state,” but ended up showing her favorite bakery, Pamplemousse (because their croissants are so divine) and Bacolod food (again) and also flowers (again).

Pamplemousse on Broadway, downtown Redwood City:  Self's All-Time Favorite Bakery!

Pamplemousse on Broadway, downtown Redwood City: Self’s All-Time Favorite Bakery!

Self's breakfast at the Bacolod Organic Market, where they sell 10 different kinds of rice, all manner of organic coffee, and pumpkins/squash.

Self’s breakfast at the Bacolod Organic Market, where they sell 10 different kinds of rice, all manner of organic coffee, and pumpkins/squash.

Our neighbor a few blocks down has an ever-changing flower arrangement on her front gate:  Hearts in February, Clover in March, and so forth.  This was from the previous summer.

Our neighbor a few blocks down has an ever-changing flower arrangement on her front gate: Hearts in February, Clover in March, and so forth. This was from the previous summer.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

How Self Spent the Last Sunday of October 2012

All that remains of Cactus Hall, in Santa Fe Resort, Barangay Granada, Bacolod

Just another weekend in a sleepy, provincial city!

Self spent the morning in Santa Fe Resort.  She poked around among the cottages, got a peep inside the “Oscar Villas” (Very nice!) and had some tanguingue with rice with brewed coffee.  She certainly wasn’t hungry, but the way self sees it, there are only two ways to go:  One, she can continue losing weight as she did (drastically), her first week here.  Her driver disappeared (paid off, ha ha ha, by her loving familia:  she hopes he is rich now and able to buy his own punong) and that was quite an unpleasant surprise.

Or, two, she could force herself to regain her former appetite and return to a semblance of her usual rotundity.  She of course chose the latter route.  It is best not to attract notice by shrinking to half one’s size in one week.  Especially since she had the misfortune to acquire a seriously disfiguring black eye, only her second night in Bacolod, and gossip was going around here, there and everywhere (Exhibit A:  Chef Guido at the Negros Museum Café, overwhelmed with curiosity only 30 seconds after meeting her:  “How’d you get the black eye?”)

Anyhoo, self ordered the tanguingue, produced by a very excited chef (Junior, self thinks his name was), and since she ordered it, she of course had to eat it.  With rice.  And then the coffee.  And then she could hardly sit up straight, her jeans were so tight.

Never mind!  Self did get to see the ruins of Cactus Hall, which used to be the venue for elegant parties, with all the prettiest belles of Bacolod, including Dearest Mum (The first time she came, everyone seemed to want to call forth memories of her Dear Departed Dad.  As her presence has grown more and more familiar, however, now everyone seems to want to call forth memories of her Dearest Mum)

Then self returned to her hotel, just in time to avoid a really thunderous downpour.  Then she went to the Salon one floor up, to be healed by yet another “blow-dry” (Her hair is now moussed and hairsprayed to the max.  If her hair were longer, her “do” might begin to resemble Imelda’s beehive).  Then she tried to call Philippine Airlines.  Then she called her home in California, and The Man picked up.  Upon learning when self would be returning home (When self left, she kept the date “open”), he said:  “No one will come trick or treating because there are no Halloween decorations up.  You are going to have to eat every single last piece of candy you bought.”  Since self bought 4 lbs. of Snickers and Milky Way bars, that is quite a daunting prospect, dear blog readers.  But self has no compunction about gaining weight in California.  For one thing, over there, she has no social life.  She could go around 24/7 in a duster and flip-flops, and weigh 250 lbs., and no one would notice.  Oh, the wonders of America!  All you have to do is breathe the air and, self swears, you gain five pounds!

Then she went to 18th Street Pala-Pala and ordered a dozen fresh oysters, and specified she wanted them grilled with plenty of garlic.  She ate everything in something like 10 minutes.  They were teensy oysters, not the behemoths she had last March, in Punta Taytay.  She made the waiter swear she would not get an upset stomach by eating so many oysters in one go.  He kept nodding and smiling encouragingly.

Now she is going to try and catch a ride to the airport so that she can change her damn ticket and head back home in time to vote for Obama. (On second thought:  she took one look at the driver and she just could not imagine herself making small talk all the way to the Bacolod Airport and back.  No offense, dear driver, but self has been chattering like a magpie with sundry curious people, since early this morning.  She decided to pursue the ticket change thing tomorrow.  So now she is once again ensconced in her room, wondering what that brown bug with the two twitchy antennae is, the one that’s crawling down the white blinds at this very moment.  It doesn’t seem to be a cockroach, which is a relief.  On the other hand, self hates the thought of falling asleep and having the unknown bug crawling on top of her and perhaps taking a bite out of her while she is unconscious.  She stops blogging to hunt around for a slipper to smack the brown bug with, but by the time she has armed herself, the bug has disappeared.  Eeeek!  It might even have crawled up to her bed!)

Oh!  Self almost forgot:  This morning, she shot her first handgun with live rounds.  There was a terrific noise, and because she was holding the gun very limply when she fired it, the weapon ricocheted and she cut her thumb.  Why does everything have to happen to self?

Well, at least she hasn’t killed herself, yet.  Which is something The Man is constantly telling her she will do, one of these days.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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