St. Patrick’s Day! The day we all have a little Irish in us. I was going to add that if we’re lucky we have a big Irish in us, but that seems crude. Plus my mother reads this blog. So I won’t say it.
Liam Neeson. (sorry. couldn’t help myself)
How far we take our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations kind of revolves around our age, gender, and whether or not we have the energy to throw up a leprechaun at the end of it all.
But there’s more to the Irish than the stereotypes of drinking Guinness and wearing Irish lace.
There’s drinking Irish coffee and wearing fisherman knit sweaters.
I haven’t celebrated St. Patrick’s Day since I went to my friend Brigid’s house in Grade 4 and was bamboozled by the green spaghetti her mother served. I was suspicious of it and assumed it was some sort of Irish witchcraft. Looking back on it, it was probably just spinach pasta.
This year I’m going to give St. Patrick’s Day another go.
If you’re interested in doing the same, I’ve come up with an easy to follow “How to Spend the day Irish Style” guide for you.
An hour by hour schedule of all things Irish you can do.
Wake up: Down an Irish Coffee. This coffee mixed with Irish Whiskey is a great way to work up the nerve you’ll need for your next step.
8:00 a.m. Call in sick: Tell your boss you’ve got a “brutal bad dose and you’re gonna have to bunk off”.
9:00 a.m. Laze around: You now have the better part of the day to make traditional Irish soda bread. You can sit around all quiet-like in the kitchen making soda bread but the smarter thing to do would be to blast some music. Music makes everything better. The top three Irish choices I’d go with are Van Morrison, The Pogues and Stiff Little Fingers. Irish classics if ever I heard one.
11:00 a.m. Call a few friends: Ever talk to your friends and suddenly realize you’ve told them everything there is to tell them? That’s when a good joke comes in handy. Here you go …
An Irishman was flustered not being able to find a parking space in a large mall’s parking lot.
“Lord,”he prayed,”I can’t stand this.If you open a space up for me,I swear I’ll give up drinking me whiskey, and I promise to go to church every Sunday.”
Suddenly, the clouds parted and the sun shone on an empty parking spot. Without hesitation, the man said,”Never mind,I found one.”
12:00 p.m. Eat lunch: Have a slice of toasted soda bread with chocolate milk. Chocolate milk of course, was invented by Irishman Sir Hans Sloane in the 1680. The Irish just got more awe inspiring.
1:00 p.m. Nap time: Your belly’s full, you’re kindda sleepy, you called in sick. Might as well take a nap. Dream of submarines, tanks, and guided missiles. All invented by the Irish. Which is why the only people who mess with the Irish are other Irish.
2:00 p.m. Read: You’ve napped so you can probably now read a book without falling asleep 1 paragraph into it. Ireland has produced literary giants like James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and C.S. Lewis, all producing classic novels. Maeve Binchy who died in 2012 didn’t write literature. She wrote good old fashioned books and she did so with a story telling skill that seems to be bred into the Irish. And if you haven’t read Angela’s Ashes by Irish/American Frank McCourt do so now. Like, right now.
5:00 p.m. Make Dinner: Shepherd’s Pie! I love Shepherd’s Pie but I didn’t really know how to make it really well until about a year ago. And the version I make is admittedly a churched up version of it. It’s based on this recipe from Gordon Ramsay. It’s seriously delicious. Seriously.
8:00 p.m. Watch TV: Moone Boy. If you do only one thing on this list, this is the thing to do. It’s an Irish sitcom I was introduced to by my friend (and globe trotting makeup artist) Andrea. It revolves around 12 year old Martin Moone and his imaginary friend. And it is great television all around.
And now your day of Irish is almost complete.
Head up to bed, get under the covers and say a little prayer of thanks to the Irish. For the hypodermic needle, WiFi, flavoured potato chips, the tattoo machine, colour photography and soda water.
And yes. Liam Neeson.