I was lucky enough to spend a St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland when I was about 10 or 11. My Aunt Jo (when she was still married to Uncle Declan) had just bought a pub and in typical Aunt Jo fashion decided that opening day would be St. Patrick’s Day. Nothing like plunging in at the deep end.

It was a lovely country pub with cedar panelling and an enormous oak bar that had knots and swirls in it  – so old and so deep – that I felt like I could understand the language of trees if I spent long enough tracing them.

Aunt Jo decked out the entire bar in forty shades of green, as she called it; but in fact there were only about four or five. For weeks my cousins, sisters and I cut shamrocks out of green paper, sticking them on every conceivable surface. Aunt Jo used us as guinea pigs for her variety of green foods – the green lemonade was quite tasty but the green sausages were disgusting.

I watched in fascination as Uncle Declan practised drawing shamrocks on the cream on top of a pint of Guinness. It took him a while to stop them from looking like blobs, but eventually he got there.

The opening was really successful. We weren’t allowed to come into the bar but from our vantage point in the kitchen we could see the place was packed. Uncle Declan’s shamrock Guinness went down a treat. He was so pleased with himself he led the entire bar in a rousing rendition of When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.

Even though Aunt Jo was busy she hadn’t forgotten us. In a field of clover (which she said was shamrocks) that lay beyond the woods behind the pub she left treasure from the leprechaun’s pot of gold. They were just chocolate coins, but we had so much fun finding them and imagining the leprechaun who had left them there was watching us. Full of chocolate and green lemonade, it was the best St. Patrick’s Day we had ever had.

As my Grandmother used to say –

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.


[Image by Emmzilator at Deviant Art]

15 thoughts on “HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY

  1. I think just about everywhere I’ve been, there’s an ‘Irish Pub’ close by … they serve Guinness, wear green shirts and say ‘Faith and bejazus!’ a lot, and there the resemblance ends.

    I always say, if I want an Irish pub, I’ll go to Ireland.

    ‘Ah, we won’t be open for another hour, but ye’re quite welcome to come in and sit down. And, would ye like a drink while ye’re waiting?’


    I do love the Irish sensibility. Their outlook on life always cheers me up. hope you managed to squeeze in a few green beers.

    There are so many nice Irish blessings. I wish I had written a lot of them down. My Grandmother had one for every occasion.

    Green beer for everybody. Slainte!


  3. My favourite Irish Toast:

    May you be in heaven a full half hour
    before the devil knows your dead.
    May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.

    May your heart be light and happy,
    May your smile be big and wide,
    And may your pockets always have
    a coin or two inside!

    Always remember to forget
    The troubles that passed away.
    But never forget to remember
    The blessings that come each day.

    May you always have a clean shirt, a clear conscience, and enough coins in your pocket to buy a pint!

    May the face of every good news and the back of every bad news be towards us.

    May neighbours respect you,
    Trouble neglect you,
    The angels protect you,
    And heaven accept you.

    May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
    The foresight to know where you are going,
    And the insight to know when you have gone too far.

    May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.

    May those that love us, love us.
    And those that don’t love us,
    May God turn their hearts.
    And if he doesn’t turn their hearts,
    May he turn their ankles,
    So we’ll know them by their limping.

    May misfortune follow you the rest of your life, and never catch up.

    May you have food and raiment, a soft pillow for your head. May you be forty years in heaven before the devil knows you’re dead.

    May your mornings bring joy
    and your evenings bring peace…
    May your troubles grow less
    as your blessings increase!

    May you get all your wishes but one,
    so that you will always have something to strive for!

    Cheers, David
    You’re post was great by they way. 🙂


  4. I think it would be just so…cool…to be in Ireland on St. Patrick’s day, and Rio during Carnivale.

    They’re on my “To Do” list.


  5. DAVID:
    I love all those blessings. The Irish just have a way of putting things that sound right, don’t they? Thanks for including them!

    Amen and down the hatch!

    Have you ever tried Guinness from a can? It’s not good. Has a funny taste and always seems to be on the verge of going flat. Some of the pubs in The Rocks in Sydney have it on tap and it is pretty good. They say you should drink it if you’re anaemic. At least, that’s my excuse!

    Thanks so much!

    It is more fun in Ireland. To be sure. To be sure. Some day soon I’m going to be spending a St. Paddy’s Day there. I am determined!

    Oh, absolutely. Wouldn’t that be fun? I’ve heard the Carnivale is spectacular!


  6. Happy (albeit belated) St. Paddy’s Day to you dear Sel! I’ve got a wee bit of Irish blood so I feel that luck will show up one of these days. 😉 Sending wishes for a wonderful week to you friend.

    Hugs, G


  7. Ah, the last time I had a Black and Tan… I like St. Paddy’s Day more with every year. Wearing my green tie, telling everyone my Irish middle name, seeing the drunk teenagers who’ve cut school. I’m into it (as long as a riot doesn’t break out. Then the fun is over).


    Hope you have a great weekend, G. I also hope that your troubles are easing a bit. We definitely need some luck – gotta get that Irish blood working!

    Oh come on. What is St. Paddy’s Day without a riot? Reminds me of all the Irish weddings I’ve been too!


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