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