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St. Patrick’s Day Blues

Irish Rainbow |

I must admit to being a little homesick today. How could I not be? St. Patrick’s Day was always one of my favourite days of the year. As a child it meant a day off school and a brief respite from the abstinences of Lent. In my college years and early twenties it meant finding a pub with good Guinness, music and craic. This day last we were up the Dublin Mountains in Johnnie Fox’s eating the finest Irish fare.

My memories of St. Patrick’s Day are of sunny days. I’m sure it wasn’t always so – not in rainy Ireland – but that’s how I remember them. The sunshine would put people in good spirits and the craic would be mighty. People from all over the world would come like pilgrims to see the “real” parade and be Irish for just one day. While New York turned green Ireland was simply beaming.

Mussels in Johnnie Fox's |

To put myself in a better mood I tried listening to one of my favourite Irish singers, Damien Dempsey, but the tunes only served to make me even more nostalgic. His rousing rendition of “Kelly from Killane” brought back a swirl of memories – of the year we spent living on the Blackstairs Mountain in Killane when I was about five, of learning the song in school, of boys I knew from Shelamliers’ GAA club and of the big man himself sitting in a sunny window in Whelan’s of Wexford St., banging out tunes for hours on end. I remembered a photo of a rainbow I had taken in Killane around this time last year, just before we set off on our odyssey. I thought it was the perfect postcard for today.

Damien Dempsey

My blog also began around this time last year. For those who weren’t with me at the beginning, here are a few of my early posts from Ireland which I think are apt for today:

  1. A hankering for greens: making the most beautiful pea-green hummus. [read more]
  2. Rainy days and Sundays: a stroll around the stunning Howth peninsula, one of my favourite Sunday afternoon pursuits. [read more]
  3. A load of bull: visiting an Irish cattle mart. [read more]
  4. Our maiden voyage: our first weekend away in our camper van, visiting Dungarvan, Ballycotton and Kinsale. [read more]
  5. Irish Soda Bread: my twist on the classic, using yoghurt instead of buttermilk. [read more]

Irish Soda Bread Scones |

It’s snowing here in Lithuania today, and bitterly cold. I have a loaf of soda bread in the oven and a can of imported Guinness chilling in the fridge for later. It won’t be the same, but it’s all I’ve got.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, folks. Wherever you are in the world and however you’re celebrating, I hope you all have a wonderful day.

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13 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aha so you are a Wexford woman at heart! Sorry to hear of your homesickness- hopefully it has since passed :-) K


    March 24, 2014
    • Thanks Karen! I’m all better now – never one to stay blue for long.


      March 24, 2014
  2. Noel MacEntee #

    Wonderful National Saint’s day here in Ireland. March was much colder in my memory and u could not even buy a cup of tea in Dublin on the big day, with everything closed. We now have one of the best celebrations in the World. Class Act. Wonderful that Spring has sprung, as I hate our long wet Winters. I take it that Arunas is not coming back to his old job in Dublin ? He was great but life goes on ! Kind regards.


    March 18, 2014
    • Hey Noel. Glad to hear you enjoyed your day yesterday. No plans to come home just yet but we’re making it up as we’re going along, so who knows!


      March 18, 2014
  3. I guess there aren’t too many Irish parades in Lithuania,

    Hope you enjoyed the rest of the day xxx I know the feeling – it’s day like that that can make home seem a long way away


    March 18, 2014
    • Certainly no parade near me, Lorna! The only other time I was away for the day was when I lived in Texas, where I think the parade was almost as big as Dublin! I did enjoy the day in the end, thanks.


      March 18, 2014
  4. Snowing? Brrrrrr! Oh, but scrumptious soda bread… for that I’m almost tempted to leave sunshine and 22 degrees… almost ;-)


    March 17, 2014
    • Soda bread is one of my favourites. I’m hoping the snow will be short-lived – it was gorgeous here last week. A bit jealous of your 22 degrees! But when it’s 22 here and 32 there during the summer I’ll be just as pleased! ;)


      March 17, 2014
      • It’s more like 45. And yes, it’s hell, and I’d rather be in your neck of the woods ;-)


        March 17, 2014
  5. I’d like some day to take part in real St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but for now the Vilnele river getting a green dye make-over for the day is pretty much all there is


    March 17, 2014
    • Oh dear – dying rivers green is so unIrish – we never do that! Looks like there’s quite a bit going on in Vilnius, though. I hadn’t realised or I might have arranged a day trip. Enjoy it if you’re there!


      March 17, 2014
      • I think there’s some small but rather active Irish community here in Vilnius, so this unIrish river dyeing must be part of their activities or something


        March 17, 2014
      • I didn’t know there was an Irish community in Vilnius – I must look into that. The river-dying is not something we do in Ireland, but it’s done by Irish expats all over the world! To me it’s not traditional, but anything that celebrates the day is a good thing in my book!


        March 17, 2014

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