1. Arrive at cottage late at night. The only heat source is the small stove in the living room. Unable to light a fire (run out of matches), so bundle up in coat, scarf, hat, and climb in bed under 3 layers of blankets.
2. Awake to pleasantly warm cottage (after taking off layers while half-asleep during the night). Realize that my eco-cottage has a heated floor system that kicks on late at night and turns off in morning.
3. Realize I do not have a three-pronged converter for my laptop, only two-pronged. Slip into depths of despair.
4. Trudge to island shop for sustenance. Find three-prong U.S/Ireland converter for sale, against all odds. (This is RARE, folks!)
5. Read my backlog of New Yorkers a little faster so I can use them as fire starter.
6. Build raging fire on 4th night by lighting only 1 match.
7. Cook a Spanish tortilla de patatas without a recipe. Delicious.
8. Meet an American (Michelle) working as a designer at the Inis Meain Knitting Company. Have an in-person conversation with a human being for the first time since the immigration officer.
9. While opening a bottle of wine, break off the metal corkscrew inside the cork. Three days later, determined to drink over the holidays, force cork down into bottle. Drink wine with miniscule fragments of cork dancing inside glass.
10. Eat store-bought mincemeat pies on Christmas Eve.
Note on #10. Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I love Irish & British food. The island shop had dozens and dozens of individual-size box raisins for sale on the day before Christmas Eve —for mincemeat preparation I would guess, not school-box lunches.
My best to you over the holidays.