An Awful Long Way to Offaly

You may have realised by now that I do a lot of things (I won’t include a list here, I’ve tried before but there’s a lot to list.) Not that I am particularly skilled in those areas, but I love trying new things, particularly if they involve things I can eat or drink. Nothing beats the satisfaction of being able to make something – be it drawing, painting, sewing, knitting, cooking, and anything you can think of, they all involve a creative process and ultimately producing something new. My newest interest is one I have been hoping to pursue for a while now, but never got round to it. It was actually quite daunting when I first considered it, and seemed like it should be reserved for the professionals. My newest obsession, despite not being a huge fan of the regular stuff, is making wine! As I write this, my demijohns of blackcurrant wine and mead are happily bubbling away on the hearth at home. I say mead, but until there’s some alcohol present, it is technically not mead, or a wine. More like spiced honey water, but here’s hoping the fermentation process will be well under way by the time I get back.

The wine is something like this

The blackcurrant wine is something like this

We spent the night in a B&B in County Offaly, Ely House, in the process of picking up my sister who has been doing an internship in the Cochise stud farm down here for the last month. Apparently Cochise is world famous for Western riding, but it is definitely off the beaten track. I also got the chance to see Clonony Castle, which a friend of the owner of the Cochise stud is currently restoring. I also got another two demijohns to help with the wine effort, and after some serious scrubbing and scalding, I managed to get about 30 years worth of dirt and dust off. The next batch of blackcurrant wine is also starting tonight, so it’ll be a few months yet before I have anything drinkable.

Aside from the winemaking, I’ve been getting into my project properly this last couple of weeks, and things have been improving. My skills are getting better, and slowly but surely I’m making progress. Hopefully I’ll get onto sequencing soon and start getting some results. And of course, there’s God of War 3 when I’m not working. At first I wasn’t a fan of the game, and it was a bit too over the top, but I’m really starting to get into it now. And if you get a chance, go watch some of the World Police and Fire Games. The ice hockey was really good!

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