The Irish word Meitheal means ‘work team’ and was used to describe the practice, in rural Ireland, of neighbours helping one another during harvest time. Using the concept that many hands make light work, this communal work ethic benefited everyone involved. Flash forward several decades to the arrival of the Celtic Tiger. Things were good in Ireland, money was gushing in and people were too busy counting their cash to consider their neighbours. A distinct ‘me féin’ attitude prevailed and the spirit of Meitheal retreated into the shadows of the ambitious tiger. Then came the crash that took the wind from our sails, yet, as with everything in life, there is a silver lining to this murky, dismal cloud and that is the return of the community, the return of Meitheal.
I love food. Let me clarify, I love good food. On holidays, I awake to thoughts of what will be on the breakfast buffet; fresh local fruit, baked pastries and a variety of home-made breads and jams. Freshly brewed coffee and eggs of some type. Whilst eating breakfast I fantasize what I will have for lunch. Afternoons are spent prowling side-streets in search of the perfect dinner venue. Peering in restaurant windows, reading menus and eyeing other diners dishes is akin to visiting a museum for me.