Dec 18 2013
To Máirín, with love …
I know this seems odd, a love letter from me, someone you have only met in the last few years, but as I told you that first time we met at a Slow Food event in Galway, I feel like we are kindred spirits.
Standing there, immaculately turned out, showing us your smart and sophisticated fashion sense, with your hands clasped and eyes glistening, we were never quite sure if you were going to burst into laughter, or tears, as you talked us through your journey of love, life, food and of course, family. Having a membership to the Slow Food organisation has many perks, and I have found over the years it is the place to meet the most authentic people. I only feel sad that our paths have not crossed sooner. This must be all part of the bigger plan though; the one neither of us can control.
Inviting me into your home and heart has only deepened my unquenchable desire to hear more stories from you, and to say you are an inspiration seems, well, not enough. But then I looked up the word inspire – the old fashioned way, in the dictionary – and the explanation nailed it in one sentence:
Inspire: To affect, guide or arouse, by divine influence.
You, so gracious with your time and tales, offer such strength and encouragement to younger women like me. Because you see Máirin, just like you, I want to find the courage to follow my dreams. Knowing you have done just that, gives me the motivation I need to work harder to achieve whatever I set my mind to. I won’t be waiting for someone else to come along and hand it to me on a silver platter.
Spending an afternoon with you at your home overlooking Galway bay, in Oranmore, sharing tea and smoked salmon pancakes, was the highlight of these past few months for me as a student. For most of my life, I have surrounded myself by strong courageous women of all ages. Women who can teach me something but are also eager to learn from me. Women who are willing to share their secrets and understand that in order to climb all the rungs on the ladder of success, we must support each other by offering encouragement and motivation.
Máirin, I want what you have. An insatiable zest for love and life. A passion for our national language and culture. A way with words that will whip anyone into shape, but caressingly so. An affection for friends that is relentless, a fondness for fabulous food and deep rooted knowledge of knowing what it takes to keep a family together – creating an impenetrable bond.
You truly do inspire me Máirín. Thank you for being such a rock xx
Much grá … love Móna
Earlier this year, I took a morning off college and hopped on the train to go watch Máirín in action as she and her team began shooting the food shots for ‘Celebrating Irish Salmon‘, Máirín’s 5th book.
Her publishers (Vincent Murphy and Mary Ruddy from Artisan House) were kind enough to let me take a few photos – they were working with food stylist extraordinaire Tricia Doyle and award winning photographer Walter Pfeiffer.
They, as a team, have produced the most beautiful book which is truly a celebration of Irish Salmon, the most noble of fish.
I can only hope by the time I reach my seventies that I have accomplished half of the achievements Máirín has.
Artisan House has given us a copy of the book to giveaway to one of our lucky readers here on the blog. Leave me a comment down below if you would like your name to be entered into the hat. Happy to ship it worldwide!
A much longer interview with Máirín Uí Chomáin will be published in the Connacht Tribune in a few weeks. I will post it here once the paper has sold out!
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