‘THE ITCH YOU CAN’T DITCH’ 26/3/18

Adventure inspires adventure. The more adventure I taste, the bigger my craving for something even sweeter. To some, it’s known as ‘the travel bug’– and let’s just say this little bug has bitten me in the ass.. HARD! It’s an unstoppable force of nature, compelling me to move forward all the time. I want to be everywhere! See everywhere! And just live day-to-day with an excitable uncertainty as to where I might end up next. These feelings of escapism and exploration have been reignited once again by my most recent trip along the Road Beside the Ocean that is Great– also known as ‘The Great Ocean Road’ .. go figure! Not that these feelings ever left but they have been blindsided by my focus to get rich or die trying here in Melbourne.

The Tweleve Apostles

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In 2014, I travelled to Thailand with none other than my wicked gal pal Jazzy. Upon my return to Ireland I vowed that I would only remain here long enough to save up some magic beans and hit the road once again. The ‘travel bug’ had bitten and left me with an uncomfortable itch- an itch that couldn’t be scratched or soothed by cream and antihistamines. However, over time the itch began to fade. Once again distracted by life and routine, I fell back into the clutches of the city and my sights only stretched as far as the end of the working week (which never ended in hospitality). Carrie Bradshaw and the girls all back together! Oh how very Sex and the City!! (Although lets be realistic, I’m definitely Samantha).

Pee Pee, Thailand 

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The next few years weren’t spent in misery and gloom. I continued to get rich or die trying, focused on my career, acted in some of the most exciting roles I’ve done to date and had many weekend getaways and trips with friends. Wonderful! I used to call myself ‘a lady of leisure’ which transcribes as someone who does not need to earn a living. Quite the opposite in my case- however, the way I behaved would have suggested that I was sitting on a rather large inheritance fund or something. Any excuse for casual coffee catch-ups, brunching with the ladies, dinner dates and many, many late nights of hookers, cocaine and cocktails.. well, not in that order of course.

The lady of Leisure 

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Having lay dormant for some years, my long lost ‘itch’ began to resurface. The symptoms were brought on by a number of factors. My gal pal Jazzy introduced the BIG PLAN of travelling to South America… this is when the scratching started. My mini road trip that summer through Spain and Portugal with my good friend Pedro Salguero made me incredibly itchy for new horizons. In fact, after this trip I had what can only be described as ‘post holiday depression’. On a couple of occasions I remember weeping like a kid who really didn’t want to go to school.. “But Mam! I just want to travel!!”. I didn’t want to be a lady of leisure anymore- Sarah Jessica Parker’s life made me sick “YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THAT BLOODY CITY!! GOD CARRIE.. I MEAN, CAOIMH!!”. I was trapped in a life that I had so neatly made for myself and once again there was no quick way out- it would take time. I denounced my title as Lady of Leisure, moved back in with my parents, made my own lunches and worked 2 jobs solidly so I could see the digits rising in my bank account.

Road beside the Ocean that is Great 

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Finally, in January 2017 I escaped from Alcatraz and I’ve never looked back since. Sometimes I feel sorry for other travellers I met along the way who had to return home- mainly for financial reasons, back to the bump n’ grind of everyday life. I heard the same tale on many occasions from those with insatiable travelling itches “go home, save up and I’ll be back out there in no time”. Although, now it seems that ‘no time’ has manifested into ‘quite a long time’ and I wonder have they lost their itch completely? It would appear from social media that their bites have healed and Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha are back sippin’ on Cosmopolitans, back to the REAL WORLD.

Cosmo Caoimh 

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It can be very easy to get sucked back into routine. Financial stability and responsibilities can produce feelings of purpose- and being an explorer, a bit of life structure has temporarily soothed my adventurous soul. I tell myself I’m travelling.. but I dunno… this feels pretty real worldish to me right now and I’m not quite sure how long it’s going to last. The Real World is like a Cosmopolitan Cocktail. Glamourised by the Sex and the City girls it tells a tale of city living or real world living – working, earning, partying. Rent, bills, responsibilities. Stylish outfits, yellow taxis, dating and the hunt for Mr. Right.. or Mr. Big.

However, the definition of the word ‘Cosmopolitan’ comes closer in describing what I believe is the reality of any explorer ‘familiar with and at ease in many different countries and cultures’. While some city slickers solely itch for the next round of cocktails, my itch yearns to taste another country, another culture. It took a 3 day trip down ‘The Road Beside the Ocean that is Great’ to make me reevaluate my situation: my itch has resurfaced but this time it’s manageable. I’m paddling in the Cosmopolitan cocktail glass for now but when the time comes I will gracefully tip the glass over and slide on out. Weeeeee! Perhaps I’m running away from the real world- and so what if I am? I’m allowed! I’m 28, I’ve no kids (not that I know of anyway) no mortgage and no tall dark and handsome billionaire husband. What I do have are 2 legs, a passport and 2 pairs of glasses which I will wear proudly so I can actually see all that I want to see on this planet. As tempting as fancy Cosmopolitan cocktails may be, I am a cosmopolitan human at heart and I can’t lose sight of what I came here to do.. TASTE & EXPLORE.

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‘SETTLED in SLIPPERS’ 13/3/18

Last week I bought a pair of slippers for only $5- bargain! I brought these slippers back to my humble abode and as I slipped my feet into them I had a sudden, stark realisation- “It’s official. I’m settled”. Nothing says ‘home’ like owning a pair of slippers. Your house shoes, your comfort cushions, your foot snugglers- the bigger and bolder they are the better! Fashion doesn’t come into the equation cause this is your safe space. Here you are free to experiment with texture, colour, shape and design- the only necessity, comfort. Why did it take a pair of exotic pink, hun-inspired slippers to bring on this subsequent realisation? I’ve been living in Melbourne for nearly two months now!?

My ‘Howya Hun’ slippers

 

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About 2 weeks ago, a friend asked how I was settling into life in Melbourne but used the phrase ‘has the dust settled?‘. An interesting idiom, which only now I’m connecting to my state of affairs. Moving somewhere new is always a big undertaking- physically, emotionally and mentally. There are many things to take into consideration- the obvious being; finding a home, finding a job, finding new people to play with. Finding your feet on the other hand is a process that takes a little bit more time. Finding your feet isn’t quite as tangible in the same way that finding a job is. You don’t make a foot resume- size 5, hardworking, a bunion on the left foot which demonstrates mileage and experience.. no no no.

I couldn’t quite explain my slight feelings of dis-ease and displacement over the last couple of weeks. I’d found a home, I’d found a job (2 jobs in fact) and I’d found friends to play with? Why hadn’t I found my feet? Finding your feet can only become a reality when all the frantic fundamental finding is over. It happens naturally and in it’s own time. I’d been kicking up the dust these last few weeks and only now do I feel that the sediments are starting to settle.

Kickin’ up dust at Melbourne night market

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I have a fondness for the use of metaphors when I write.. a metaphor-whore so to speak. My mind tends to teach me through metaphors. Like most humans, I can get lost within my thoughts but symbolism always speaks to me on a more pragmatic level. Here’s a metaphor to explain the slipper metaphor ……. It’s like giving a 6 year old an adults book and expecting them to make sense of it. A non-fiction, million billion word, old leather bound book. In this metaphor, I represent the 6 year old and the book represents life. The first problem encountered is that there are too many words, big words, adult words that I don’t understand. The second- other children trying to read my book to me which is ridiculously confusing! They can barely even read!! Thirdly- it’s long, way too long. I’m missing all the key points and I’m losing interest. Lastly and most importantly, there are no bloody pictures!! Enter: SYMBOLIC IMAGERY i.e PICTURES. All of a sudden, the key points become a little clearer. A picture speaks a thousand words. I don’t need to ask the other kids for help because I understand now. Slowly but surely I start to make sense of each chapter. The pictures inject colour onto the pages and help summarise the chapters (or lessons) in a way I understand.

For the last year I have lacked the need for a pair of slippers. An explorer’s slippers are either your bare feet or a pair of flip flops (also known as ‘thongs’ down under). Slippers are to be worn in the comfort of your own home and as an explorer.. well, you don’t really have a home. Your destination is constantly changing. Slippers would be considered a luxury item and unfortunately they would take up too much space in ones backpack, thus making them an inconvenience. These slippers came into my life at exactly the right moment to help me realise that the dust has finally settled. I am settled and I am comfortable.. in my new life and in my new slippers.

For those who don’t own a pair of slippers- I suggest you stop what you’re doing and go and get a pair right now! It’s foot-heaven! Am I sounding like a granny? Meh! Then I’m the happiest granny in Melbs. Other things we can learn from grannys.. liquidise your dinners- saves energy on chewing. Soaking your false teeth in a glass of whiskey makes for an excellent morning beverage. And repeatedly telling the same stories over and over again demonstrates strong long-term memory. 

Back TO BAE-sics Part I

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In the words of Mattress Mick…. “I’m back, I’m back, I’m back with bang!”. Yes, yes.. over a year since my last recipe post. I’ve been VERY busy you see.. oh you know, just travelling the world, no responsibilities, having the experience of a lifetime- the usual. Oh and for those of you who don’t know who Mattress Mick is- stop what you’re doing, sit down, follow this link and watch the Dublin legend himself.

Mick- I salute you. If Mick can sell you mattresses, then I can certainly sell you bananas. Although.. these are no ordinary bananas, they are BAE-nanas. What makes them BAE? Well, before we begin could those of you that stood up to dance while watching the mattress Mick video sit down again, please.

In the modern human world of abbreviations BAE stands for- ‘Before anyone else’. Mainly used by cosy couples of instagram to refer to their significant other as BAE. Woah woah wee woah woah!! Stop right there! Stand up! (sorry, this post has been a game of musical chairs). I am single. I don’t have a significant other. I AM BAE. I PUT CAOIMH- BEFORE ANYONE ELSE. This shouldn’t solely apply to stunning, witty, adventurous, kind, honest, charismatic, exceptionally amazing singles.. like myself ; )  It should also be practised by those who partake in #couplegoal selfies. Putting yourself before other people- being SELFISH.

The Cambridge English dictionary defines the word selfish as “Someone who is selfish only thinks of their own advantage”. Other definitions imply that someone who is selfish “lacks consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure”. Your honour, I object! Opposition is misleading the humans! I would like to file for a counterclaim against The Cambridge English Dictionary’s definition of selfish for their negligence to recognise the depth of the word in question and failure to disclose alternative opinions. Proceed counsel? Okay. My argument is that if you don’t put yourself first, do what’s right for you, do what you really want to do- then you’re not helping yourself and consequently you won’t be helping anyone. ‘Thinking of your own advantage’ isn’t a negative attribute- it only has negative side effects if that’s as far as it goes. Being selfish is looking after no.1- you! Taking care of yourself, nourishing yourself, being kind to yourself and loving yourself- is that a crime, your honour?  Once No.1 is in a steady place you are ready to reach out and help others No.2 (Erica), No.3 (Rita), No.4 (Tina) and Mambo no.5 (Sandra in the sun). I rest my case.

What has any of this got to do with BAEnanas? Everything! Part of putting yourself first involves looking after your health and your body. Eating BAEnanas won’t heal your life instantly but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Everything that enters your mouth has the potential to nourish you. So remember to put yourself first, you are BAE and you can be the best bloody girlfriend/boyfriend to yourself.. WEAR THE CROWN, BE THE CROWN, YOU ARE THE CROWN.

Ingredients

1 large BAEnana
1/2 Cup of Oats
1/4 Cup of pumpkin seeds
1/4 Cup of pine nuts
1/4 sesame seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
100g/1/2 pack of blueberries
Honey
Fresh lemon juice.
Yogurt
Nut butter (Optional)

Method

  • Pre heat oven to 180 degrees.
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper. Add all your dry ingredients to baking tray- oats and seeds. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Disperse ingredients evenly across the baking sheet. Add to the oven for 8-10 mins. Remove when they turn golden.
  • Take your BAEnana, cut it in half and put it in the oven for 5-6mins until hot but not gooey.
  • In a saucepan add your blueberries, the juice of half a lemon, 3 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of honey. Turn on to a mid-high heat. Keep stirring and let it come to a boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer so that the water evaporates and the juice becomes more syrupy in consistency.

Remove BAEnana from the oven, plate it up. Cover it with crunchy granola and blueberries, drizzle with honey and serve with yogurt.

Back TO BAE-sics Part II

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Since arriving in Melbourne I have dangerously rejoined Netflix. This means only one thing- BINGE WATCHING. I’m a bit late to the party but I recently started watching ‘Suits’. For those of you who don’t know, ‘Suits’ is a tv show about a top law firm in New York City. It follows the lives of Harvey Spector (yum)  ‘the best closer in the city’ and his prodigy Mike Ross (a young genius, who never went to law school but bluffed his way into the job because well, he’s the best). With 6 seasons to catch up on I have taken binge watching to the next level. I don’t know if it’s because I’m an actress but when I binge watch a series I love- I think, eat, sleep, breathe, dream and live it. Hence my heavy use of judicial jargon in my previous post ‘Back to BAE-sics Part I’.

My imaginary court hearing, Caoimhe vs The Cambridge English dictionary was quite fun to write actually. I fully embodied the role- I even wore the old school black robe and wig as I typed. Haha okay, that didn’t happen- but I did imagine what I would look like wearing it (Obviously I would have jazzed it up a bit with some ghetto gold. Perhaps a gold medallion, some ghetto hoops and gold encrusted grill. Although, in the end I opted to go grill-less. No one likes a lisp in court). I plead my case and sure enough I won. Of course I won, IT’S MY GOD DAMN IMAGINARY COURT ROOM!

If you hadn’t noticed already, I can go obscenely off topic when it comes to my recipe intros. I generally don’t make a plan or premeditate what I’m going to say. I unleash my mind and I start typing- my fingers follow my thoughts and the end result can sometimes be very unpredictable. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is my channel, my safe space and what ever comes out at the end is my creation. It’s creative blabbering and it’s fun. I’m not sure where I go when I write like this; however,  I’m certain my mind does not remain here on planet earth.

I’ve managed to do it again! Write an entire post that has nothing to do with the recipe below. Whether or not you read this- the most important thing is the recipe. It’s not god damn rocket science and it’s definitely not original. I’m sure most of you have made these pancakes before and put your own spin on it with mouthwatering flavours. Good on you! This post merely serves as inspiration for those looking for new healthier ideas. The only thing original about this post are MY words. This is what is important to me. Creative expression. I AM BAE. I PUT CAOIMH- ‘BEFORE ANYONE ELSE’ and I knead to create, I knead to explore and I knead to do it for me. That’s what KNEAD4CAOIMH.com is all about.

(I’m one smooth operator- see how I managed to tie it all back to BAEnanas at the end. ; ) Case closed)

Ingredients

1 BAEnana
1 egg
1 handful of almonds
Seeds (Sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, chia)
1 Pear
Coconut oil/butter
Honey

Method

  • Easy peasy, get a bowl, peel your BAEnana and add it to the bowl and mash. Mash it as much as you can, then crack in the egg and mix it in until you get a slightly lumpy mix.
  • Take your handful of almonds, put them in a plastic bag or in the centre of a tea towel and bash them up with anything you can get your hands on. A pot, a cup, a hammer- until they are completely crushed up. If you happen to have pre crushed almonds- super!
  • Add your crushed almonds to the egg and BAEnana mix.
  • If you have any seeds lying around now is the time to chuck them in too.
  • Take your pear and slice it up. Mine was slightly hard so I laid my slices out on a plate, drizzled then with some water and popped them in the micro for 1 min. Heating the pear makes it go down well with the hot pancakes.
  • Preheat your pan, medium to low heat. Add a spoon of coconut oil/butter.
  • Slowly and careful spoon out your mixture into 4 dollops on the pan. They tend to spread out a bit as you pour so disperse them evenly over then pan so they’re not touching.
  • The ripeness of your BAEnanas will determine how long they take to cook. Ideally ripe BAEnanas hold together better. If they’re not that ripe they may be a little more temperamental. Just give them time. You want them to cook and firm up slowly, not burn.
  • Using a spatula and a fork gently turn the pancakes, the 2nd side wont take as long to cook as the first. Don’t over cook them, as you want them to retain some moistness. When they are ready, plate them, top with pear and drizzle with honey.

 

‘CHRISTMAS CURRICULUM VITAE’ 27/12/17

Trying to get into the Christmas spirit is a little difficult when you’re living in a ridiculously hot and humid climate. Back home, the tinsel-filled excitement can start building as soon as the Halloween decorations come down. Early November?! Too soon lads in my opinion, but none the less- it happens! The lights go up, the hats and scarfs go on and the mulled wine and hot whiskeys go down… I love whiskey, I love whiskey down down it goes, down into my belly. The same happens in Australia.. the lights go on, the temperature goes up and the clothes come off. Bikinis and Christmas hats- did ya ever see the like?!

Suns out.. buns out 

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Having finished up work in the outback I arrived in Darwin on the 3rd of December. Every time I walked into a shop or a bar and noticed Christmas decorations or lights I just felt like it was some sort of joke. At home my Dad used to put up Christmas lights on the front of our house every year. A couple of times out of pure Dad-forgetfulness,  these lights stayed up all year round- and on the odd occasion someone in the house would accidentally hit the switch on a glorious summers evening mid June and our house would be lit up like Santa’s grotto for the world to see. This is what it felt like in Darwin- that everyone’s Dad had pulled a classic Dave Cassidy stunt and accidentally forgotten to take their Christmas decorations down.

I lacked any excitement for the ‘Christmas’ I once knew. The only thing I was excited about was my trip to Bali. I don’t want to sound like a grinch, a humbug, a Christmas murderer- I’ve always loved Christmas.. but this year I was ready for something different. With 27 years experience in the Irish Christmas industry, I wanted to update my Christmas Curriculum Vitae.

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