Being half Irish I celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Today I am making green cupcakes and trifle with green jelly.But the green beer is definitely out. Green food dye seems to react badly with beer and with the human digestive system. I wouldn’t recommend it.

We had a great laugh last night reading through an old book of Irish proverbs my grandmother gave me many years ago. The Oxford dictionary defines a proverb as ” a short, pithy saying in general use, stating a truth or giving advice.” Some well-known proverbs include – A friend in need is a friend indeed or A change is as good as a rest. Quite true, I think.

The Irish proverbs however, are quite different, mostly because they are quite funny.

Take this one –

“There is no need to fear the wind if your haystacks are tied down.”

Excellent advice, particularly if you are a farmer getting the feed in for the winter.

This is one I use often –

“It’s no use carrying an umbrella if your shoes are leaking.”

Absolutely true. I mean, what is the point?

I also love –

“There will be WHITE blackbirds before an unwilling woman ties the knot.”

Amen, to that!

I am also fond of –

” Men are like bagpipes. No sound comes from them until they’re full.”

Now I know that one is true!

But this is my absolute favourite mainly because its meaning is completely indecipherable –

“It’s as hard to see a woman crying as it is a bare-footed duck.”

Can somebody help me with that one?

I was reading an article yesterday which outlined that psychologists have discovered a phenomenon called dysthymia which is a mild, low-level depression many people suffer from which allows them to still function well in society but also dilutes the beauty they see around them, turning it into muted hues.

The reasons for this low-level depression seem to lie in the punishing pace of life, the breakdown of family relationships and a lack of real connection to people in an everyday setting. I have been thinking about this all night and feel it is a widespread thing. How often do you have a meaningful interaction with a work colleague? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Do you know your mail man? The guy who makes your coffee in the morning? The woman who packs your groceries at the supermarket?

We are surrounded by people all day yet in many ways remain distant from them. Our ancestors existed in tribes – interacting, talking, hugging all day. They were social beings, as are we. Yet we often find ourselves in a state of isolation.

My cousin was named after St. Patrick. Patrick was a humanist, a political activist. He believed it was important to nurture our connections with people we like and to treat others kindly and fairly, that the smallest gesture of caring could make all the difference in someone’s day.

So I’d like to say in the spirit of my cousin, Patrick, and his namesake, the patron saint of Ireland, nurture a connection today. Be open. Unafraid. Reach out and touch somebody’s hand (not in a creepy way.) Make the world a better place if you can.


27 thoughts on “HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY

  1. I thought it meant, women are crying all the time, just like ducks dont wear shoes.
    Happppppppy St. P.s day, I’m going out to creepily touch peoples hands.


  2. I raise a glass to your cousin Patrick. I know he meant a lot to you.

    A duck is always bare footed (impossible to get shoes on those webbed feet, ya know). Therefore it is always the easiest thing in the world to pick up when a woman is crying.


    Those little thin webbed feet look so delicate. Imagine seeing a duck walking over snow or hard stones. A sensitive soul would find it hard not to want to put little shoes on the duck to protect its feet. Just as difficult is noticing a woman crying and not being able to do anything. (But I would’ve said “barefooted child” maybe.)

    My takes, anyway.


  3. CHRIS – methinks Guinness had a lot to do with that ducky proverb. Hahaha.

    KATE – the last time I reached out to touch somebody’s hand they told me to ‘back off, hippy.’ But I persist in my quest to make the world a better place. Love your interpretation of the proverb. Hahahahagha. That is beyond brilliant!

    DAOINE – thank you so much. He did mean a lot to me. I love your takes. Who hasn’t wanted to put little shoes on a duck? Well, maybe only the Irish guy who wrote the proverb. Hahahaha. I am having so much fun with this! 😀


  4. I love those Irish proverbs! I think we are losing our connections to other people. One of the reasons I like to shop in small local shops is I can get to know the shopkeepers a little bit and have a chat when I’m doing my shopping.


  5. CRAFTYGREEN – you are so like me. I walk everywhere I can with my big straw basket and shop local. I know all of the shopkeepers and their children and what’s happening in their lives. It’s nice to cultivate a sense of community. Plus they give you the best produce. 😀


  6. happy saint pat’s my dear,,

    May the road rise to meet you,
    May the wind be always at your back,
    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
    May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
    And, until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.


  7. Happy St Patricks Day Selma. I may have quit blogging but I can’t stay away from yours… Love those proverbs and love the Irish. I could listen to that accent all day and all night.

    Being the Avon lady means you know more than is probably good for you about the community you live in. I know their husbands, kids, dogs, horses, I know information that could probably get me killed (only joking about that one). Those connections are what I love the most about what I do.


  8. GYPSY – I am delighted you are still visiting me. I truly value your comments. I’m sure you have hundreds of interesting stories to tell re. your time as an Avon Lady. I love the Irish too. They really are characters. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!


  9. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Selma. I raise my cup of coffee to your cousin Patrick (right now it’s waaay too early for anything else).

    I agree with you on how people have drifted apart, at least in person. We’ve figured out how to spend a lot of time chatting with people half a world away (yay!). But it is good to get out and spend time with those corporeal beings who share our space. Unless they get all handsy and touchy-feely… (snicker).

    Here in the US we have managed to get rid of so many of the little specialty shops. Big chain discount department stores have pushed them right out of business. So now, we drive to the supermarket where everyone is so busy there isn’t any time to chat. Or worse, if the clerks stop to chew the fat with a customer, they run the risk of getting a talking to by management for “wasting” time.

    I do try to look everyone in the eye and give a nod, or say “hello.” It’s important to make sure everyone is acknowledged. It’s better than thinking you’ve gone invisible or something. Although, a grope-fest in the produce section could be more fun…


  10. I like groovy lady’s interpretation of the proverb. 🙂

    Ah my dear I am the office person who hugs people, etc. In fact I was WELL over 40 before I came to realize that not everyone is as comfortable with hugs/touching as I am. Strangest thing.

    Have a WONDERFUL day today and I hold your cousin Patrick in my prayers today with you.


  11. Happy St Patrick’s Day, Selma.

    We have no prairies
    To slice a big sun at evening –
    Everywhere the eye concedes to
    Encroaching horizon,
    Is wooed into the cyclops’ eye
    Of a tarn. Our unfenced country
    Is bog that keeps crusting
    Between the sights of the sun.
    They’ve taken the skeleton
    Of the Great Irish Elk
    Out of the peat, set it up
    An astounding crate full of air.
    Butter sunk under
    More than a hundred years
    Was recovered salty and white.
    The ground itself is kind, black butter
    Melting and opening underfoot,
    Missing its last definition
    By millions of years.
    They’ll never dig coal here,
    Only the waterlogged trunks
    Of great firs, soft as pulp.
    Our pioneers keep striking
    Inwards and downwards,
    Every layer they strip
    Seems camped on before.
    The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage.
    The wet centre is bottomless.
    –Seamus Heaney

    “A tyrone woman will never buy a rabbit without a head for fear its a cat”
    The “Proverbial” Knowledge of Ireland


  12. MELEAH – and to you too, my dear Meleah !

    KAREN – you are so naughty. Groping in the produce section! Well, I never. Actually, there is a very handsome young man who works in the produce section of our local supermarket. I know many of the female customers think he is quite gropeworthy. I see them peering dreamily at him through bunches of celery. But of course, I don’t. I am a married woman and old enough to be well, his much older sister. 😉 Happy St. Paddy’s Day !

    GROOVY – you are an absolute genius. That’s it. Brilliant!

    NANNA – there’s nothing quite like a good hug. I’m all for it. Some people do shy away from it though. They think you’re after their money or maybe their virtue. Happy St. Paddy’s.

    CAROLINE – the proverbs really are a classic, aren’t they/ They make me laugh everytime.

    BEC – and to you too, dear Bec!

    DAVID – another well-selected poem from you. What would St. Patrick’s Day be without a bit of Seamus Heaney? That is a very funny proverb. 😀

    ROSHAN – believe me when I tell you you would not like green beer. Oh no. I think the Irish are considered lucky because they are the only ones in the room who can consume 6 Guiness’s in a row without falling over. Hehehe

    MICHAEL – that article opened my eyes. It’s much more common than doctors initially realised. Happy St. Paddy’s, my dear!


  13. nice post – the proverb’s were funny and that last one, about the duck: i think it just means women cry a lot…

    Also, I love that low-grade depression thing you talked about. I am glad they have finally named it because since I moved from the country to the city, I have been 1) feeling it myself, and 2) knowing, without a shadow of a doubt that many of the illnesses (mental and physical) we have in our society today are caused by the kind of “unnatural” lives we are forced to live: 8-6 jobs, not enough sleep, no time for joy, barely making ends meet…etc.

    PS: I am going to do that meme, I promise!


  14. Happy St. Paddy’s Selma!

    Talking about reaching out and touching someone…. at the gym today we had a similar discussion about losing contact with friends and family. Most of my family are in Ireland and I often wonder if I were to abandon the phone calls and emails if I would ever hear from them again? When I think about this I get bummed out!

    Yet I keep doing it……



  15. POET – now come on, we don’t cry that much, do we? Although Jake did comment that I was crying over an ad on TV last night. But it had a puppy, and it was alone, and I couldn’t help it. Well, maybe you’re right.

    The low level depression really needs to be addressed. We are inadvertently sapping the joy out of our lives.

    No pressure on the meme. Please. I don’t get offended by things like that at all. I have a few outstanding ones to do myself. It’s all good!


  16. JIM – missing family is the worst. I know exactly what you mean. You would hear from them again. They would miss being in touch with you. Sometimes staying in touch falls down to just one person and sometimes you think – ‘Why is it always me that has to make all the calls etc?’ I am a bit the same. My Aunt told me recently she has come to rely on me for family news. It’s an important job being local gossip gatherer. Take care and don’t feel down about it!


  17. Happy belated St. Patty’s day Selma. My old lady is part-Irish (with the temper to boot). I am mostly Scot so we have a few tiffs now and then.

    Thanks for stopping by and giving me encouraging comments. I hope I didn’t rub ya wrong with the POM joke response I left ya. I love the Aussies, they are good peeps (you included).


  18. JOHNNY – you could never offend me. I know you are coming from the right place. And if you’re mostly Scot, well we are practically kindred spirits. Watch out for that Irish temper!


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