Around the world today, at each time zone hits March 17th, St Patrick’s Day celebrations will swing in to action. People will sport hair in hues of vivid orange and green, perhaps don impossibly big foam hats and will generally enjoy a day of all things Irish.
For me, the celebrations started and ended this year with socks. A pair of green and white striped ones that I pulled on this morning as I had inadvertently worn my only green T Shirt to work the day before.
It wasn’t always like this, especially during the time when my (Irish) husband and I ran a pub. March 17th was a day awash with alcohol and fun. The first year we were there, my mother-in-law came over for a visit, bringing with her Irish corned beef from Dublin. Not the dark speckled stuff that comes in a tin and is the weird bastard cousin of Spam, but silverside that had been marinated in brine fragranced with mysterious additions and was served with white sauce.
We had Guinness (of course), shamrock cocktails at special prices, soda bread, Irish stew, Coddle, the famous corned beef with colcannon and (as I proudly wrote on the poster), ‘Genuine Irish Mother appearing live all day’. Around two o’clock one of the punters asked me when the band started.
‘What band?’ I asked
‘Genuine Irish mother.’
‘She is not a band,’ I explained, ‘she is sitting over there.’
Years later we came to WA for a holiday and had a St Pat’s day as customers. Starting the day with a healthy cooked breakfast and a pint and carrying on from there, through the warmth of the afternoon to the early evening. The good thing about St Pat’s is that it is an all day drinking event, so for the most part, people pace themselves and are up for a good time. The bad thing is that you will lose count of the number of times you sing along to, The Irish Rover and as lovely as they are, there is only so much any sane being can take of The Corrs.
My green socks were not lost on my knee specialist, who I went to see today. I explained the Irish connection.
‘How is the knee?’ He asked
‘It is like a whole palette of different pain since the operation, ‘ I replied, ‘Less painful at night, but every now and again it feels like someone has given me a dead leg. It is still really swollen. My knee looks like a celeriac.’
‘It looks like a knee to me,’ he replied. ‘Unfortunately, the dead leg feeling is probably the arthritis.’
After a bit of banter along this line, which I am sure he enjoys – I mean what professional who has trained for decades would not want their handiwork described as a root vegetable? – He decided that a cortisone injection might be the way to go and I was booked in for one next week, the day before my birthday.
It is a long way from eggs, beans and chips with a pint, I can tell you – and I know which one I would have preferred today.
Happy St Pat’s.