I was born in the Bon Secours Hospital in Cork in 1969. This magnificent building opened its doors in 1915. By the age of 5, I was attending school in another magnificent building. Ursuline Convent,Blackrock,Cork. I remember the walk up the sycamore tree lined avenue every morning,often collecting "conkers" (chestnuts ) to play with at lunch time.
Things have changed since then. The Bon Secours is still operating as one of the largest Catholic hospitals in Europe but the Ursuline school I attended is now a listed building with a new school built on site. People and traditions however have not changed.
Irish people are a passionate people. Consistently passionate ! So of course it can be good and it can be not so good !! We love ,fight, argue, write and feel passionately........Giving it our all. To some this is difficult to understand. Perhaps it has something to do with our history of national struggle. I still remember the street vendors and shop owners in Cork to this day. The ENGLISH MARKET is an everlasting memory and is among the many influences that formed my passion for food. Located off Princess Street,this pedestrian market opened its doors in 1786. In 1980 it was destroyed by fire but was rebuilt. Walking through there , is a delight for the senses. Butchers, Fishmongers, bakers and Cheesemakers all sampling and selling their wares. Fresh eggs were a staple in our house. Every Friday I remember my father getting fresh Cod or Plaice from the English Market. My mother would bread and fry it and serve with a bechamel sauce. Floury white potatoes and fresh garden peas accompanying the fish. Mmmmm