One of the many good things about winter is the fact the clothes are heavier, which in turn means that the odd extra kilo or three is less noticeable. In other words, you can eat more, and it doesn't matter so much. There's always the spring for getting in shape.

So: good news for those of us relaxing into our winter clothes is the fact that there's a massive chocolate festival in Temple Bar in the preChristmas season. I'm trying to persuade my boss to pay for me to go to some of the non-free events as part of my cooking education, but so far he hasn't been won over. But I'm gonna keep trying!

In other news, I'm wearing my boyfriend's clothes :-) One of the great perks of being in a couple, or at least being the female part of the couple, is that your wardrobe effectively doubles. I'm tall, so all his sweaters and shirts fit me quite well and in this chilly weather there's nothing like man-clothes to warm you up!

Yum, yum

I've picked up some extra work at the Taste of Christmas do at the Dublin convention centre next week! This is great because A) it will give me the chance to earn a little extra money for Christmas and B) otherwise I probably wouldn't go and this way I'll get to enjoy it without having to pay the entrance fee.

So, it looks like a lot of fun. There are going to be lots of famous chefs showing people how to cook and, I fondly suppose, loads and loads of things to taste. I hope so, because this gal likes to eat!! I can't believe I used to see food as just something to get me through the day. Since I started working at the restaurant -- and living with an Italian chef! -- I've really learned a lot about how to enjoy it.

This Christmas, we (funny to be part of a "we" after all this time) have been thinking of having a few friends around for dinner and are planning an elaborate feast. I was thinking, maybe stuffing with chestnuts would be nice ... or maybe something exotic and not-traditional-christmassy. There are so many really cool foreign grocery stores in my neighbourhood. Maybe something piquant and African? Or Asian? Well, I guess there are still five weeks to work on the menu.


I've been told by the best of authorities -- my friendly local greengrocer -- that one of the things to do in Ireland in the winter season is to see a pantomime. Now, I've never seen one but I've consulted a few friends and everyone has concurred that it's definitely something to do at least once, and that the pantomimes in Dublin are the best in the business.

So, I was thinking I might go to this one in the Gaiety Theatre. I believe pantomimes involve a lot of in-jokes about Irish politics and culture and goodness knows there must be a lot to make fun of :-) I wonder how old pantomimes are, as an art form? There's something very folklorish about the whole thing.

Anyways, I was planning to take my beloved (blush) out after work tomorrow for a glass of wine and am thinking of this place. I need to sweeten him up, because I've got some alarming news for him: my Mom and Dad found cheap tickets and are planning a visit in the New Year. And I think they want to stay -- and as I haven't gotten around to telling them about the new living arrangements, it's going to be, ahem, interesting!!!