We 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.
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.
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.
I 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 saving 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.