There was a funny email going around Sascha’s office last week about what it means to be Irish:
- Describing someone with longstanding, persistent and untreated psychosis as “a character.”
- Saying “There’s definitely no recession here!” every time you see more than 5 people in a pub.
- Saying “Ah but he’s very good to his mother” about some utter langer
- Liking TK Red lemonade and white pudding. Not together of course
- Your ma or da greeting you with the phrase “d’ya know who’s dead”?
- That mini heart attack you get if you go out and forget to turn off the immersion
- You’re not drinking??? Are you on antibiotics?
- Wallpaper on your school books
- Being Grand!!
- Boil everything in a huge pot for 3 hours
- Being absolutely terrified of a wooden spoon.
- Learning a language for 12 years and not being fluent
- Going absolutely mental at concerts because famous people rarely come over
- Knowing that Flat 7UP heals all illnesses
- Calling Joe Duffy or any radio station instead of the Guards from my HTC/iPhone!
I got a good laugh over most of them. I also laughed over Frank McCourt’s explanation. He was writing about Limerick in this quote from Angela’s Ashes, but it’s still applicable:
Above all — we were wet.
Out in the Atlantic Ocean great sheets of rain gathered….The rain dampened the city from the Feast of the Circumcision to New Year’s Eve. It created a cacophony of hacking coughs, bronchial rattles, asthmatic wheezes, consumptive croaks. It turned noses into fountains, lungs into bacterial sponges.
This past weekend was perhaps the most recognizable celebration around the world of being Irish–St. Patrick’s Day. I don’t know why in the U.S. it is St. Patty’s Day, and here it is very definitely St. Paddy’s Day, but it is. After three sinus infections (something I’ve never had a problem with), and some pharyngitis, laryngitis, and conjunctivitis, I’m pretty sure my respiratory tract looks something like this:
So I did not attend the parade. Sascha took the boys and braved the crowd of 500,000 revelers to see the parade in Dublin. Some had been there for hours to reserve a spot. Many had brought ladders to stand on; others climbed atop the monuments and statues in the city centre to get a glimpse. The boys could see only when their dad hoisted them onto his shoulders.
On Sunday, we drove south to Bray and visited the The National Sea Life Centre, a small aquarium.
Bray has the slightly faded, dilapidated feel of seaside resort towns that have seen better days, like spots along the Jersey Shore or Coney Island, which is part of its charm. There was a carnival along the water so we rode the carousel. The boys had great fun digging on the beach and the sea air helped clear my head for a few hours.