This coming Tuesday, February 25th, is apparently Pancake Tuesday, the day the Irish all go flipping crazy for pancakes! Pancake Tuesday (or Shrove Tuesday, to give it its proper name) always falls before Ash Wednesday which marks the start of Lent. In the “old days” the basic idea was that, before the fasting and abstinence of Lent started, all the rich foods in the house had to be used up. The pancake was a good way to combine them all. In the U.S. this may or may not manifest itself as free pancakes at your local IHOP. Here, it’s a bit more symbolic now but, even so, ready-made pancakes are available in grocery stores next to the bread shelves. I’ve no idea how good a mass-produced, pre-packaged pancake could be and I’m not really interested in finding out. Local breakfast spots are apparently doing some pancake specials Tuesday and I will investigate.
As I mentioned earlier, we’re getting wild weather here. For example, this afternoon I left the apartment for my daily walk in bright sunshine and clear skies. Sure, there was a stiff wind and temps were in the low 40s but the sun really felt good. Within the course of my 70-minute walk, it clouded over completely, rained briefly once then stopped, snowed and hailed for about 10 minutes then stopped, rained briefly again, and on my return it was sunshine and clear skies again. Very entertaining but tough on those who don’t dress appropriately. The weather forecast “sunny and clear” was, as they say here, complete shite.
As your keen observer of homo sapiens’ behavior, I note some interesting fashion trends. For women, Doc Martens combat boots are back (or are still) in fashion, as are high-water pants with a single cuff roll but no socks (don’t they get cold ankles?). Ripped and torn pants are big and so are leggings (haven’t they heard of LANP? Leggings Are Not Pants!) – again, chilly, no?
Also, shiny, tight, stretchy pants that simulate leather are popular, if not always attractive. Young guys prefer hoodies, tight jeans, and full, brewer beards, while goatees are not seen on anyone under 50.
The “trainer” (or “running shoe” in U.S. parlance) is the shoe of choice for guys, who often do not deign to zip or button their coats, the better to show of their scant tee shirts and showcase their frost-bitten manliness. Flat caps, which tend to blow off, are not as popular as wool hats. Everyone wears down coats and scarves.
I’ve been doing some research for short term lodging in the second half of 2020. I marvel at the way some hosts choose to advertise their places, for example, when their listings include:
– No photos of the space at all
– Photos that are all out of focus
– Only six photos, three of which are of the patio, one of which is of the Town Hall
– Photos taken at night with poor lighting, so you can’t see anything
– Photos taken while someone messy was living there, showing their dripping toothpaste in the bathroom sink and their underwear on the floor
– Photos taken without cleaning first – shower mold, anyone?
– Photo of a bed that fills the entire room – you can only get on it from its foot
– Photo of the bed, which consists of a mattress on top of a stack of dirty- and worn-looking shipping pallets – splinters, anyone?
– Photos of apartments that are jammed with every kind of dust catcher and knick knack imaginable, with not an empty horizontal space anywhere.
Yes, it’s not all fun and games finding acceptable accommodations!