Our office bromance: built on 1990s rap music, orange juice and fruit

The Irish Times: We Love Food – Brian Morrissey, graduate programme and Vincent Brady, myhome.ie

 Friendship and fruit: Brian Morrissey (left) and Vincent Brady on the roof of The Irish Times

Friendship and fruit: Brian Morrissey (left) and Vincent Brady on the roof of The Irish Times

Thu, Nov 21, 2013, 12:44

Last December I moved desks in The Irish Times office so I could take up my position with the online team. This meant sitting right behind the guys on the MyHome.ie team, none of whom I had met. This didn’t last long as I started to settle into my new environment.

Vincent was the first person I made friends with. Besides the weather and the difficulties of two-wheeled transport in snow, a common conversation was rap music, particularly that of the early 1990s. This was a genre I was discovering for the first time, while it was something Vincent had enjoyed during his college days in the mid-1990s (when I was learning to walk).

A bromance was born.

One thing I’ve always loved is orange juice. Even in the days when a student diet consisted of waffles and baked beans, there was always a litre of orange juice in the fridge. I thought this was filling me until, after taking a nutrition course, my Mam was able to inform me that a litre of orange juice contained less Vitamin C than a segment of orange. Then a friend’s knowing mother told me that that orange juice lost its Vitamin C shortly after squeezing. She had seen this on the BBC, so it must be true.

And so the juicing revolution began.

I splashed out a whopping 10 quid on a manual squeezer and with my bag of Aldi oranges in hand, went to work to start my new Vitamin C-filled life.

If Vincent has one stand out talent it is an ability to give a curious look. Without ever being asked, I found myself explaining my habit, its background and the perceived benefits.

Another endearing quality of Vincent’s is that he is quite generous. He is also very health conscious and knows a lot about good food. To cut both a long story and my praise of Vincent short, we started to share food and juice. It just happened. It wasn’t planned or necessarily arranged but before we knew it there were grapefruits, oranges, dates, figs, and a huge variety of nuts and seeds in a co-op of sorts that was drawing attention from far and wide.

The experiment hasn’t been without its difficulties. There have been periods when one or the other has failed to maintain the contribution, but this particular problem was resolved when wise man Vincent referenced the Footsteps in the Sand parable and taught me a valuable lesson.

Other difficulties included the period during which Vincent felt it appropriate to lob my daily fig allowance over onto my desk. This led to several unwanted shocks and when it occurred on a ropey Monday, I had no choice to put an end to it.

Vincent says: “Monday to Friday I spend more waking hours in work than I do at home with my own family. It helps if you can make meaningful connections with those around you and in this case it happened to be food that kicked it off.

“I graze throughout the day – mainly on fruit and a mixed variety of nuts and seeds – and enjoy the daily banter in sharing these with Brian. It’s a good deal, a glass of freshly squeezed juice and an insight into the fast-changing world of the next generation. Long may it last, even if Brian is only now forgiving me for disrespecting Mammy Morrissey’s homemade granola.”

All in all, it has been a worthy experiment. It’s obviously healthy and helps steer us away from the chocolate and crisps, but really it’s a moment in the day that you can appreciate the goodness in collaborative effort for simple reasons. The possibility of renting a high street premises has been discussed, but for now Vincent and I are enjoying the benefits of a good old squeeze.

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