Fish, Saffron, And Chips!

It was a matter of coincidence and contrivance and social conscience that brought these three together and apart but, regardless of the circumstances, they added up to an enjoyable day.

Word had reached us that the Meadow Saffron was in flower in Inistioge, an annual event we look forward to and go to see each year. Meadow Saffron – Colchicum autumnale – is a very scarce native plant which grows in only a very few locations in the country so it is truly fortunate to have one location within striking distance. It was recorded along the banks of the River Nore as far back as 1799 and it is only through the sympathetic management of this riverside pasture that it continues to survive. It has disappeared elsewhere. As a side note: these are dreadfully poisonous plants, containing colchicine and the common name of “Meadow Saffron” should not tempt anybody to include them in their cooking. In fact, they don’t even produce saffron – it comes from Crocus sativus, an unrelated plant. And, plant-naming crime of all plant-naming crimes: don’t call them Autumn Crocus!

Inistioge is a beautiful village and we parked so as to have a walk, to enjoy the surroundings and the scenery. The bridge is spectacular, a ten-arch construction built in 1763, and standing still and in daily use a monument to its designer and builders. The river views are both beautiful and spectacular and it is no surprise that it is a very popular tourist location. It is also a very popular area for fishing and there were three men fishing as we passed. There was quite a strong flow on the river and I was surprised how far out into the river one of the men had waded. It struck me as dangerous but I suppose he is well experienced and familiar with this area of the river. As luck would have it, one of the men caught a fish as we were watching.

The number of flowers in the meadow was truly wonderful this year and it was fabulous experience to see them, something so very beautiful and, unfortunately, so very rare. I hope that they continue to be cared for and continue to grow for many years to come.

And Chips! – that’s the name of a fish and chip shop in Dungarvan and what better way to finish the day than a delicious take-away to be eaten in the Seaview Restaurant! We had passed through Dungarvan a fortnight ago and had stopped to sample the fare at this shop – it had received a glowing write-up in The Irish Times and was going to be the nearest we would get to dining out in the present circumstances of the Covid 19 virus. However, as with the best laid plans of mice and men, the day did not come to the anticipated and planned end. Numbers of confirmed Covid 19 cases have been quite high over the past fortnight and yesterday had 217, the highest since May. Our social conscience kicked in and we decided not to travel to Dungarvan and to forego the treat of the delicious fish and chips. Now, to be honest, my social conscience, is a little on the lines of Samuel Johnson’s “patriotism is the last refuge of the scroundrel” in that my social conscience might well be the refuge of the timid, the nervous, the frightened. I simply considered it was unnecessary and not sensible to go for our fish and chips in the present circumstances. Instead, we settled for fast food at home – an omelette and an apple crumble prepared earlier. Delicious!


3 thoughts on “Fish, Saffron, And Chips!

    1. The colchicums have been growing in that meadow since 1799, at least, and I so hope they continue to thrive. The bridge has nine spans which is unique,

      Liked by 1 person

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