My Weekend: These days its Zoom gatherings and quizzes on a Friday night

Artistic Director of The Everyman, Julie Kelleher, talks about how life has changed during lockdown
My Weekend: These days its Zoom gatherings and quizzes on a Friday night
Everyman Artistic Director Julie Kelleher Picture Darragh Kane

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m from Carrigaline, I’m the eldest of three sisters and auntie to two amazing nieces. I have been living in Ballinlough for eight years now, the last two of which have been in a wonderful little cottage that my I own with my husband. I have worked as the Artistic Director of The Everyman since 2014. It’s a job that I truly adore, and to have a role such as this in my home city, when finding work and making a life in the arts is profoundly challenging, feels like nothing short of a miracle!

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

After work drinks with friends, somewhere like The Bridge or The Corner House, since they’re near to work. Followed by dinner somewhere in town – the Fish Bar in Electric was a regular haunt for a stretch, but Arthur Mayne’s and Jacques are also terrific if you want to continue wining with your dining. My favourite nights of all are where the chats are so compelling that you don’t get home till very late!

These days I’m substituting with back to back Zoom gatherings and quizzes etc on a Friday night, which have been great fun in the main, but just not the same.

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

Historically, I was only ever up with the lark if I had to travel somewhere on an early train or flight, or if I’ve not yet made it to bed, though those nights are fewer and further between now. In the last few years, I try to keep my sleeping patterns the same all week long, because I find a decent night’s sleep to be the bedrock for all other good habits that keep you sane and healthy in life.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

It frequently did, since I would be travelling and seeing shows for work. Since the lockdown started, my weekends have been entirely my own, and I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t some pleasure in that.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

Paris, with my friends Dee and Karen. We have taken multiple trips to Paris over the years, usually as cheaply as we possibly can. But you’d never tire of it, the city has so much to reveal. It’d be a thrill to go to any city and spend as if money was no object. Maybe we’d go around the time of fashion week and stay somewhere really fancy.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

There is no ailment that a trip to the beach in West Cork or Kerry can’t cure: Garrettstown for a short drive, Cape Clear or Dingle for a few days away. I’ve been counting myself very lucky to live in a neighbourhood that is so brilliant served by parks and walks. I’ve been walking as much as I can with in the 2km radius and am hugely grateful to have several parks, Beaumont Quarry, the Marina, and the Ringmahon walk all within reach. I’m looking forward to being able to walk into town again, now that we’re into the 5km radius! Every great city takes public space very seriously, and I hope that post-lockdown that planners and developers responsible for our city continue to bear that in mind.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

I do, and, like everyone else, I’m missing not being able to do so. I typically would travel one weekend a month to see friends, since so many of my friends don’t live in Cork anymore. My last visit outside of Cork was to Wicklow to visit my friend Elizabeth and her family, just before the Coronavirus situation changed so rapidly. It was a gloriously sunny weekend and the memories of it are sustaining. The rest of my immediate family are all nearby in Carrigaline, but right now it’s not near enough. They were all able to be together, socially distanced in my mum’s garden for my sister’s 30th birthday lately, and I have never felt so far away.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I love to cook and practice yoga, particularly as I find both very calming and enjoyable.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

I think I’m 50/50 on that question – I love both. I’ve done less entertaining in recent years as we’ve been renovating our house, but I’m throwing the doors open just as soon as I can. I don’t have a signature dish, I’m like to try new things, but some of my old reliables include a Crab Crumble starter and Beef & Root Veg casserole, which sounds dull, but with the right accompaniments is sensational.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

I’m not a coffee drinker, so thankfully I don’t have the lack of a decent cup on top of everything else. But I miss all of MacCurtain St – I have lunch and cups of tea almost everywhere on the street.

The one lunch dish I have absolutely been dreaming about since lockdown is Crab Tagliatelle in the Crawford Gallery Café. I really miss Cafe Idaho too, for Chicken Salad and cake.

For something special, I adore a late lunch with wine in the Farmgate, or dinner in Jacobs, which is where my husband and I had our wedding reception in 2018 so it’s always special.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

Watching a movie, or a couple of episodes of whatever TV show is on the go.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

7.30am in normal times. Stringing it out to 8am these days, since I don’t have a commute.

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