Well. That Was A Crappy Week


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And it’s only Tuesday. Can I tell you how many ways the last two days totally and utterly sucked?

A couple of tough weeks at work, some sleeplessness and I’m done in.

It’s unseasonably warm in Dublin and I’m sweating all the time. I’m god-damned blotting my upper lip like it’s going out of fashion.

I started an evening course on Monday. I’m the oldest person there, this includes the lecturer. This is the first time this has happened. I am drowning in a sea of pop culture references. I hope this gets better. My usual quippy jokes fall flat.

Today, I managed to send five or six emails before they were ready, like my fingers have discovered a short cut, but they’ve decided to keep it a secret from the rest of me. Conversations don’t go right and I’m coming across as aggressive and it’s not how I feel but that what is coming out of my mouth.

Oh and I piss off my Line Manager before 9am. There is someone at work, just coffees and lunches and I thought we were getting somewhere, but today, it felt off, there was nothing. And I wanted to cry.

I have to be reminded of a friends kindness and I feel like a fuck.

I slither out of work and gravity is really working on me.  I have a tension headache that I would gladly punch a small child to get rid of . Ugh, just get me home. I get to a pedestrian crossing, hit the traffic stop button and my fingers come away sticky and gooey. There’s internal screaming and I use every curse word I know. I go to the nearest pub to wash my hands. The barman tells me it’s a thing that the local kids do, spitting on things. Wonderful. I’ll probably get hepatitis.

So now I’ve missed my bus and all I can do is look at the offending hand. Don’t smell it, you’ll look like a weirdo. When the bus does arrive, it is packed and full of horrible people. Everyone is horrible. It smells of pee. There is a woman down the back that seems to be dying of pleurisy and she’s trying to take us all with her, through the power of her cough. She is coughing without prejudice. I get off the bus and don’t even thank the bus driver. Walking home, I feel guilty about that.

I get home and C, who is off getting her hair did and on a jolly jaunt, courtesy of her first full pay packet will not be seen this side of midnight. She has not washed her breakfast dishes. This almost brings me to tears.

Alright, I give up, I collapse onto a chair and consider the option of crawling upstairs to bed. Then I see this face:

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Doggie does not care about my shitty day. This old doggie is however, happy to see me. If he picks up on my black mood, he says nothing. He is telling me what he is always telling me and it is

bring me outside, I’ve got stuff to smell, things to pee on, and damn it I really want to do some running.

Without further ado, we are off. We’re walking on grass and I’m looking at the Dublin mountains and the sky is blue with fluffy white clouds and we’ve got the whole park to ourselves and it’s too warm to wear my jacket so I have it on my head, like a cape, I’m holding doggies lead like a lasso. I look up and see

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It looks and feels like summer, there is a light breeze and I can smell autumn in the air, but also flowers.

In the end I’m just glad to be here. In the end I realise that, that wasn’t such a bad day. In the end I am grateful that most of my days are full of smiles and pleasant words.

We’re home now. Doggie is asleep. I swear he’s smiling.

You’ll never get another today.

Today is the gift.

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Spicy Chicken & Chorizo Stew

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This is an incredibly tasty and hearty dinner. I like whip up a batch at the start of a busy week as I can happily live on this for a couple of days. The recipe you see below is a variation on one I found here.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pack of between 4 & 8 chicken pieces (I prefer breast)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 110g chorizo, cut into small pieces
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • Few thyme sprigs, plus extra leaves to garnish
  • Bay leaves
  • 200ml fresh chicken stock
  • Good pinch of sugar
  • 650g preferably baby potatoes, cut into halves

Bring potatoes to boil and then simmer until done, drain and set aside (for best results bring pot of potatoes to boil from cold water, when you can easy push a fork through the skin, those bad boys are done, it usually takes about 20 minutes).

Heat the oil in a large casserole dish over a medium heat and brown the chicken.  Remove from dish and set aside.  This needs to be just a quick brown, as if you leave it too long, the chicken breast will be like rubber. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes (you may need to add a little more olive oil at this stage) , stirring frequently, until soft and lightly browned. Add the chorizo and cook for 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally. Add 100mls of  the chicken stock wine and reduce by half. Stir in the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, stock and sugar.

Return the chicken to the pan and push under the sauce. Add the rest of the chicken stock. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and leave to simmer on a low heat for 40 minutes if time allows, 10 minutes at a push (the longer you leave it, the better it tastes).

A note on the ingredients and quantity, the general rule of thumb is that unless it’s baking and needs to be chemically precise for a desired outcome then everything is to taste, be it at your own peril!

Enjoy with a massive glass of red wine….anything from a claret to a rioja will do.

Bunsen, Wexford Street, Dublin 2.

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The menu here can fit on one side of a business card, in fact that exactly what the menu is. There are just two burgers options – a hamburger and cheeseburger. Fries are hand cut, shoestring or sweet potato. It is minimal but don’t let that put you off, they know what they’re doing.

I’m not even sure I can accurately describe the burger, I fear my vocabulary will fail me, but I’ll give it a lash. The first thing you will notice is that when they are taking your order they ask you how you would like your burger. Initially my instinct told me that a medium-rare burger is not a good idea, but I decided to hold the course, the waitress recommended that we should choose the burger the same way we would choose a steak, mines medium-rare. Be warned, once they take your order, it’s going to be  at least  10 – 15 minutes before your food is in front of you. Everything is made to order and fresh. They use only high quality Black Aberdeen Angus, which they mince themselves (there’s a couple of good videos on their website about the process, you can find them here).

This is the best burger I have ever tasted. Bar none. The toppings are all classic – tomato, lettuce, pickle with mayo, ketchup and mustard. The buns are fresh and tasty. But the star of the show is the burger itself – you’ve never had a burger like this – it was so juicy, so tender, so full of flavour, it practically melted in my mouth, it was delicious. my verdict – this burger will change your life, it has to be tasted to be believed!

The wait staff are all suitably youthful and attractive, but they are genuinely warm and friendly and were happy to engage in any annoying questions that I had. It gets really busy here, especially towards the weekend, but the do also have a take out service.