I’m with you all in spirit(s)! Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Of course, I can’t actually be here on line (and in fact I put this post together way back last week), but I didn’t want to miss out on wishing each and every one of you a glorious St. Patrick’s Day!
I’m going to have to cheat a bit though, so instead of me prattling on when my mind’s not really on the subject, I thought I’d link back to some of my favourite previous St. Paddy’s Day posts. And I’m doing it a day early, so you’ll have time to implement the recipes if you like.

So, from the great grand-daughter of the folks from the Mountains of Mourne in the north of Ireland, I invite you to visit any or ALL of these spots:

GET YOUR IRISH UP!
SPUDS
SEVEN STEPS TO HEAVEN
TAKE ME HOME AGAIN
THE CRACK-CRAIC
STAFF OF LIFE
HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR (IRISH) COFFEE?
SAINTS PRESERVE US!

Have a grand St. Patrick’s Day!

Kat

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A Contest: Help! I need your ideas.

 

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Hi everyone,

I hope this post finds everyone well on this St. Patrick’s Day.  I’m finding this day a bit more difficult than I expected.  In fact, since the 2009 First Anniversary of my dad’s death in November,  all special events that we used to celebrate as a family are days that I just want to get past.  I didn’t think this would be the case, but I suppose we were all in a bit of a fog for that first year after he died and now the reality has truly set in.

St. Patrick’s Day is an especially poignant day for me and I have many fond memories of my father that I associate with it.  Today, I don’t want to hear Irish music, or eat Irish food or even have a shot of whiskey (okay, that last one I may be able to overcome), but generally I’ll be glad when I awake to find it’s March 18th.

If you are new to this blog or you just enjoyed them last year, you can always revisit my Seven Days to St. Patrick’s Day series from last year (when I was in the early grief stages and the pain was just a numbness that enabled me to face head-on all those Irish legacies).  Start on this post:  I Ever Sang For My Father and work back to discover recipes (a great whiskey cake), songs (meself, singing in a podcast!), anecdotes and Irish jokes (the craic) — a wealth of the “Old Country” at your fingertips.  Sláinte

The Contest

Now, if you’ve read my notice in the top right of the blog, you’ll know that I’m currently collating and editing my poetry in order to publish a slim volume of selected works.  I have been busily working away at this—not merely reworking and repairing the poems themselves, but zeroing in on the ones that best express my “poetic voice”.  You’d be right in thinking that this is not an easy task, since my poetic voice is all over the place really—you’ve read stuff that’s been dark and dismal, uplifting and spiritual and some that’s pretty funny (at least, I hope you thought so).  You’ll know that what I prize above all is a good rhyme and that word selection is critical to me.  How then is it, that I am having such a tough time coming up with an actual title for my collection?

This is where you come in.  I’d like to ask each of you to make a suggestion for a title of my poetry book.  I value your opinions, but more importantly, the perspective you have on my work may just be a little clearer than my myopic view — I am so close to it right now, that I have no idea which words will best represent it as a whole.

If you leave a suggestion in the comments (and I hope at least a few of you will be keen to do so) and I either use the entire suggestion or am inspired enough to use it as a jumping off point to the end result, then you will receive a hot-off–the-press copy when the book is complete. 

Sound good? Great!  Get your thinking caps on and post your ideas for the title of my first poetry book.

Thanks to all my valued friends and readers.  And a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all!

Kat

The Crack (“Craic”)

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The word craic, is taken to mean some good-natured high jinks, a bit of drinking and some tom-foolery. It is believed to have first been used as recently as 1968 in a newspaper ad and is actually the Celticization of the word “crack” specifically to make the word more Irish in origin. (Any of my Irish readers, please feel free to correct me or add in any information you might have.) The crack is not specific to Ireland, but rather includes Scotland and England as well, but most folk think the Irish are the only ones who indulge in it.

A big element of the “craic” is the telling of jokes. It seems, no one likes a good joke like the Irish. No. Really. They don’t! I’m not saying Irish jokes are the funniest ever written or told, but they are true to the Irish sensibility.

Every St. Paddy’s Day in the Davison household, we would drag out this green and white Irish joke book with the black print on the cover. One time, after dinner, my mother and father and Kevin and I were celebrating as we were wont to do on the day. We’d had some Irish coffees earlier on, a few glasses of wine in the Waterford crystal glasses that my dad’s niece, Patricia had brought over as a gift, and a bit of the Bailey’s, I fancy as well. Out came the joke book and Lord have mercy, if it wasn’t the funniest thing ever put to paper on that occasion! One joke in particular tickled our fancies, so much so that my dad was given to his typical choking and tears streaming from his eyes as he mulled the joke over repeatedly in his head. We decided it was definitely our very favourite joke of all time from that book and determined that each and every year we would read it aloud and giggle and guffaw over it. Only problem is, every year the same thing happens and we cannot find the joke in that book to save our lives! Someone always says, we must write down the page number, or mark it or something, but we NEVER do! And so, come the 17th, we find ourselves flipping the book’s pages, frantically trying to discover THAT particular joke. After what seems like ages, lots of sharing of other jokes and much passing back and forth of the book, inevitably someone strikes upon it, reads it out and by this time, our high has worn off and the joke fizzles out. It’s as if we were never meant to recapture that first moment of glee when we found it many years ago.

Now, I’m going to try and find the book and the joke so I can share it with you and see what you think about it. Bear in mind it’s meant to be a bit of fun, nothing serious and the subject matter though, in some circles might be taken badly, should only be seen for what it is: a JOKE!

A bit of warning about Irish humour: Irish jokes usually involve someone being the “butt” – typically Flanagan or Slattery or some such obviously Irish name. Particular regions of Ireland are often made fun of too much like we in Canada make fun of Newfoundlanders, or “Newfies” as we like to call them. Think of them as the Blonde Jokes of the Emerald Isle. Irish jokes are ever so much funnier when you’ve had a pint or two or three, or better still a bit of the “juice of the barley”.

The Joke (located on page 38, yesterday):

Although they were amateurs the Wexford farmer took a chance and lent them two guns and three dogs. Half- an-hour later they were back.

“What do you want?” he asked, “More ammunition?”

“Oh, no. More dogs.”

(As you all know, I am a serious animal lover and would not harm a flea, so I must have been 3 sheets-to-the-wind to find this as hysterical as I did.)

Here’s one my dad had marked in red in the book and I think this one’s funnier still.

“If you feed hens different foods it will effect the eggs,” explained the Agricultural adviser to the farmer.

“I know that, replied Flaherty; “a cousin of mine in America fed his hens sawdust and when the eggs were hatched six of the chickens had wooden legs and four of them were woodpeckers.”

And there you have it, a taste of real Irish humour. Ha ha ha!