I’ve finally arrived at Ballymaloe after months of anticipation. I’ve met my housemates and was welcomed with a delicious feast of homemade pizzas, lemonade, wine, and ice cream. Darina even served up the first birthday cake to a young woman from Cork, Ireland (I believe she was anyway, honestly I was a bit overwhelmed). Lots of young people, but my housemates all appear to be about the same age and in the same space as I. That is, ready for a new adventure. I am not the only one to have recently left a career or await what comes from this new beginning. Nor am I the only one who likes to swim. My roommates from France and Denmark swear by swimming in the cold, open ocean waters.
Here’s why I’m writing tonight though. I need to release the first day’s jitters. I may have felt that I wasn’t nervous, but my many somatic symptoms belie that claim. Could be the late nights enjoying the fabulous music scene in Dungarvan, could be jet lag, but who am I kidding? I did swim a lot this past week as the Park Hotel in Dungarvan has a very nice pool. Without easy access to a pool while I navigate a new and challenging environment, I warned my husband that our FaceTime will likely be a litany of physical complaints even if I claim to be steady as she goes. One of my housemates has already cautioned against beginning to read the packet of materials before bed that welcomed each student upon our arrival if I want to sleep tonight.
I believe sixteen countries are represented in this class and the women in my house alone hail from Denmark, England, France, Ireland, and the US. Short and sweet tonight because I really don’t want to oversleep on my first full day tomorrow. I look forward to sharing some great recipes!