Top 10 Moments on Inis Meain

Old Irish Cottage on Inis Meain

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.

Posted in Travel.

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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My favorite has to be #9. Desperate times call for desperate measures!

Happy Christmas, bellissima!


[…] returned home Monday night from a 3-week holiday in Ireland. (Read previous entries on this trip here and […]