Bye bye to the Ballymaloe Bubble. I’ve swapped a 100-acre organic farm for my suburban back garden vegetable plot, the enthusiastic crowing of the roosters for the overhead rumble of planes en route to Cork airport, my chef’s whites for my Speech & Language Therapy uniform….. and I’m not sure that I like it.
It was quite a culture shock to move from an atmosphere of focusing on whole food and its health benefits to a hospital full of hand sanitiser and chemical nutritional supplements, not to mention patients living with (and dying from) complex illnesses.
My re-adjustment probably wasn’t helped by tiredness, a chesty cough, my ‘will they won’t they; maybe, maybe not’ hormones, and my sore finger.
Yes, that finger, the one I cut back in Week 5. It had gone from recovering to the extent that I could successfully turn off my electric toothbrush, to a propensity to swell up on cold mornings in Kitchen 2 and looking a little crooked. The written exams probably finished it off- it assumed and remained stuck in an inverted V shape.
Working in a hospital does have its advantages. My fantastic Occupational Therapy colleague promptly slapped me in a splint, in which my finger will spend every waking (and sleeping) hour of the next four weeks or so.
That aside, it took about 10 days to catch up on washing, and try to pick up the debris left all over the house from my unpacking. My recipe folders have been neatly re-indexed and labelled and have found a home (it you call being wedged between the piano and computer desk home). My mind has yet to follow. I haven’t really had a chance to contemplate my whole Ballymaloe experience, to survey the horizon rather than drowning in waves of information. What to do post-Ballymaloe….