Yesterday was St Patrick’s Day – For the second consecutive year, courtesy of coronavirus, Ireland’s drinking hostelries were remain closed on Paddy’s Day. The spiteful pathogen depriving likeminded Irish revellers of the euphoria afforded by celebrations in packed pubs.
According to a Celtic acquaintance of mine, 17th March (St Patrick’s Day) is the supposed day old Padraig passed. I’m unsure what the ‘Apostle of Ireland’ passed, but if he possessed the brain power of my Celtic cousin it wouldn’t have been his GCSEs…… Although, as they didn’t exist in the 5th century, that’d be the same regardless of intellectual capacity.
Despite COVID protocols vitiating against large Gaelic knees-ups marking Ireland’s patron saint’s passing, no doubt smaller and equally self-indulgent celebrations stilled played out wherever Irish eyes are smiling; or even grimace with bloodshot disquiet.
On both maternal and paternal family tree branches, I possess ancestry from the Emerald Isle. One bloodline from a Limerick great grandma; along with a Tipperary great grandfather (x3) on my paternal side. Forebears whose DNA contribute to GJ Strachan’s overall genetic brew.
That being said, I don’t tend to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Enjoying long term existences in both Yorkshire and Tyne & Wear counties, has inflicted me with a severe enough identity crisis without complicating it further by dining out on generations old Irish descent.
The way I look at it is, if god wanted me to be a ‘Paddy’ he’d have bequeathed me greater drinking capacity and more frequent displays of a chirpier disposition. On reflection, overtly counting myself amongst their number maybe dent the Gaelic carefree reputation and love of the craic.
That being said, even though I don’t bask in my Irish roots on St Patrick’s Day, I do hold a soft spot for Ireland, along with my fellow Scottish Gaels, who form large sections of my ancestral forebears.
As an aside, yesterday my mother returned home after a six week ‘incarceration’ in a hospital stroke ward. On arrival back into her natural habitat, although looking frail and fatigued, Mrs S senior afforded yours truly her trademark smile before proffering the habitual request of “Put the kettle on”.
Footnote – As fate would have it, within minutes of mum asking me to “Put the kettle on.” an Irish horse with that very name won Cheltenham festival‘s 3.05 race.
Maggie’s reintegration into the wild has been relatively pain free so far…. Well, with the exception of her running over my foot with her zimmer frame; the dozy mare!
Her personal community home care commenced shortly after the Royal Standard was raised above the flagpole to inform villagers the queen of East Ardsley was back in residence. This accompanied by a soundscape of celebratory chimes from St Michael’s church bells, along with cries of “For she’s a jolly good fellow!” echoing around the manor.
Understandably, Mags is delighted to’ve once more granted carte blanche to navigate casa Strachan’s chambers…. Well the downstairs rooms anyhow. Her disposition certainly a great deal sunnier, and the confusion which plagued her while hospital in situ appears slightly diminished.
The downstairs wet room construction commenced today. Consequently, within ten days or so the commode will be consigned to the chamber pot graveyard in the sky, and mater will be afforded greater dignity for her personal care.
Happy days!!… Although, on reflection, that maybe over-egging prevailing esprit levels a tad.