What I'm reading: The Tycoon's Perfect Match, by Christine Wenger; The Switch, by Sandra Brown
I realized yesterday afternoon that it's St. Patrick's Day today, and I thought it would be appropriate for my daughter, Jessica, to be a guest today. She lives in Northern Ireland, and can offer some insights into how the holiday is celebrated over there. I thank her profusely for stepping in with a post with virtually no warning. Welcome, Jessica!
St. Patrick's Day is truly a world-wide holiday, and here in Northern Ireland we celebrate with the best of 'em. Belfast puts on a big carnival-style parade, complete with floats and musicians. Most people have the day off work and schools are closed. The bars and pubs will be teeming with people, as you might expect. It's a big day out for adults and children alike. And with any luck it won't rain that much. But a little rain rarely dampens the spirits of the locals.
Yes, as you might expect, there is a bit of a political problem with the event. You will always have a small minority of people out there trying to prove some point by being disruptive. However, the police expect that and for the most part, the big celebrations go off without a hitch. I have a few friends who make a habit of trying to catch any "misbehavior" on film, as I know many amateur photographers.
Other than perhaps some pipes and drums, you aren't likely to hear what most Americans would call "traditional" Irish music. No one will be singing "Danny Boy" or "Four Green Fields", but it's a good day out for most all the same. And you won't find corned beef and cabbage on a menu anywhere. That's a purely Irish-American invention. Irish stew, soda bread, wheaten bread, and colcannon (mashed potatoes with cabbage and ham) are more likely to be found. And please don't look for green beer. Don't pinch someone if they're not wearing green. Just grab a pint of Guinness, Smithwicks, or Harp and a wee dram of whiskey and relax.
And, for the record, it's "St. Pat's" or "St. Paddy's". Never call it "St. Patty's Day". Patty is short for Patricia, while Paddy is short for Patrick!
I don't know how you celebrate in your community, but yesterday, as I was driving down to Woodland Park, there was a lighted roadside sign warning to have a designated driver, and that the cops would be out in full force. I'm guessing they hit the pubs and bars here, too.
Tomorrow, Jason is back with more HDR images, this time of Fonthill Castle. As always, you won't want to miss them.