Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Celebrating St Patrick

Despite the fact that we are living in a box. A cardboard box. Life goes on! Homework has to be done- keep the pencil pots unpacked. Clothes must be washed, worn, laundered again- keep the clothes unpacked, and the clothes horses, the iron (ha!), the laundry baskets. Dinners must be made and consumed- keep the pots, pans, food, tea towels and kitchen sink.

I resist all attempts to pack up the boys' books. Mine are long gone, and I never resist pointing out the one tome that I could so happily have used right now, thank you very much, Prince Charming. Accompanied by wistful gazing in the direction of the cardboard mountain that is our dining room.

I will continue to resist until after Monday. We will be needing our dePaola, for goodness sake! And I know our felt St Patrick's brooches are at the bottom of the craft box at the bottom of the bed. Somewhere.

In honour of our patron saint, fraise has taken on his traditional colour. Yes, fraise has gone blue. I was at a truly fascinating talk last night by Tim Campbell, director of the St Patrick's Centre, in Downpatrick. He asserts that green became associated with Irish celebrations mostly after Irish immigration to America- post-famine obviously, but also prior to those disasters in the phenomenon of Irish Presbyterian emigration. Everyone missing the green fields of home in the midst of harsh American snow, and wearing their green shamrocks.

As it transpires, however, the colour associated with Patrick in his day was blue. It was a colour of the church and apparently also associated with one particular family who may have been his patrons.

So I shall be wearing blue on Monday. Not my only sign of rebellion. I have previously herein bemoaned the fact that our children never get any time off school for St Patrick's. Well! Now that I am working in an integrated school, and getting the whole day off, we are taking the strawberries out of school to go to the parade in the town of Downpatrick. Even before we got The Peace* Downpatrick was resolutely holding a cross-community parade, with all political symbols banned. Prince Charming and I have always wanted to go- though actually he played in a band once that was on a float in the parade, so it's really only me who really wants to go.

I would promise pictures, and indeed have identified the source of my problems as being cookies. I thought these were things that you ate in copious and gluttonous quantities. So now I just need to eat them all up. In the meantime I am leaving you with an apparently huge picture of The Land of The (sometimes tearful) Strawberries. It is all becoming increasingly emotional, and tears will be shed.

*The Peace. We do tend to talk about The Peace here in the Frozen North as if it was something we had caught, like The 'Flu. "Now that we have The Peace..." we will say. Secretly cynical, or perhaps just aware of how fragile Peace can be. Wishing you all peace in your land x


Thistle Cove Farm said...

Mags, love the beautiful photo of your side garden; looks like spring has arrived.
Peace is fragile most places but especially in your area. Thank God y'all had a safe and sane Christmas.

Lisa Richards said...

What a great header picture on your blog! I'd love to play there. I spy someone in the playhouse!
Have a great St. Patrick's Day!

M.K. said...

Oh Mags, at SO many times in our family's life, a staple phrase has been: "It's in a box somewhere." I'm glad you will get to unpack those boxes soon and put everything loved thing in its place, for its use. i hope you had fun at the parade!

The dB family said...

Our two oldest go to our local Catholic highschool. The school colours are blue and green. It's called St. Patrick's. There is a lot more to the blue and green part of the story, but I don't want to bore you with it. I write that to say that I had no idea that the St Patrick's colour is actually blue. I can't wait to tell my teens how appropriately coloured their school is!