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Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Sláinte, mes amis!

Brigit_Gaelic_goddess_of_Poetry.jpg Pictures, Images and Photos

Welcome mes bloggy chums... Fàilte, in fact.
I think you know where I'm going with this one today, non?! Given the date, and all?

devils causeway Pictures, Images and Photos

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire....

Guiness Pictures, Images and Photos

And you know of course that today is St. Patrick's Day? So, I tottered feverishly in through Lady Wiki's darkened portal early this morning, to find out a little bit about the Sainted Patrick, feted on this day, practically all across the world... Probably wherever there is an Irish Pub on the planet, which is probably everywhere, given my experience and travel to date!

Did I mention yet that when we holidayed in Nice in France a couple of summers ago, our lovely lady taxi driver was pointing out all the Irish pubs in the city... GJ and I snorted disdainfully... We hadn't we come all the way to the chic and cosmopolitan south of La Belle France, only to spend evenings in a mock-Irish Pub?! Shockingly, in fact, we found we were tootling past and stopping by one of the pubs she'd pointed out most evenings, on our way back from dinner and en route to our lovely mediaeval apartment in that quartier of Old Nice...

The staff in the pub, both French and Irish, were unstintingly lovely and charming... Grizz was able to keep in touch with his friends at home for an hour or so via their free Internet service, as long as we bought a drink in the bar, (some hardship that. Mind you, we were drinking French beer, to stay loyal to la France, 'though!), and the craic, as they say, was good for the heart...especially one odd Hawaiian evening when the oaken floor was covered in sand. and the staff wore palm-tree-patterned shirts and Lei!

slainte Pictures, Images and PhotosSaint Patrick (estimated AD 387 - AD 461); La Wiki tells me that Saint Patrick (Latin: Patricius, Irish: Naomh Pádraig), is said to have been born Maewyn Succat, a Roman Britain-born Christian missionary who is the patron saint of Ireland along with Brigid of Kildare and Columba.

He was educated at a monastery and school of divinity founded by Saint Illtud, often called "the oldest university in the world". It was distinguished for educating Taliesin, Saint Gildas, Saint Samson, Saint Paul Aurelian and possibly Saint David, the Welsh Saint.

When he was about sixteen, Patrick, was captured by Irish raiders and taken from his native Wales as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After entering the church, he later returned to Ireland as a missionary in the north and west of the island, but little is known about the places where he worked and no link can be made between Patrick and any church. By the eighth century he had become the patron saint of Ireland". Funny that, such influence and yet based on so little evidence?

Gaelic Pictures, Images and Photos

"...Evidence does not allow the dates of Patrick's life to be fixed with certainty, but it appears that he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. Two letters from him survive, along with later hagiographies from the seventh century onwards. Uncritical acceptance of the Annals of Ulster would imply that he lived from 340 to 460, and ministered in what is modern day northern Ireland from 428 onwards". Now, living to be 100 in those hardened times would have been something, would it not?!

"On 17th March St.Patrick's day is celebrated to remember him and what he did.
Pious legend credits Patrick with banishing snakes from the island, but evidence suggests that post-glacial Ireland never had snakes;

One suggestion is that snakes referred to the serpent symbolism of the Druids of that time and place, as shown for instance on coins minted in Gaul, or that it could have referred to beliefs such as Pelagianism, symbolized as “serpents”.

St. Patrick's Day Pictures, Images and Photos

Legend also credits Patrick with teaching the Irish about the concept of the Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a 3-leaved clover, using it to highlight the Christian belief of 'three divine persons in the one God'".

St. Patrick's Day is a strange old celebration, it always appears to me...

No-one seems to agree that the fellow even existed; He may have been a mixture of two significant historical figures, who knows?...

And even those of us who aren't Irish seem to have adopted the fete as a chance to have a good old knee's up, a drop of the Black Stuff, (for Fhina has always been partial to a pint of Guinness!), with a parade of green leprechauns, porcelain skinned, flame-haired maidens, with bunches of shamrocks, and a 'point' clenched in our palms!

In fact, the day seems to have become synonymous with the ale itself, and marketing... With the Irish themselves apparently only forming a committee as late as 1996 so as to kick start the celebrations of the Saint's Day, as a way to focus attention on increasing tourism to their beautiful Emerald Isle... Of course, the day itself has grown like Topsy ever since...

And we so want to belong, don't we? Even if we have no Irish blood coursing through our veins... Oh, to have a tribe we can identify with is a wonderful thing... Then we have history together - a shared, fellow-feeling; We can have a laugh, buy each other a jar, and be brought back to when the world was a far smaller and simpler place; Back where we knew our neighbours and we could leave the back door unlocked... And is that so bad?

May you have the hindsight to know where you've been
the foresight to know where you're going
and the insight to know when you're going too far...

Sláinte - Cheers!
slainte Pictures, Images and Photos


jinksy said...

I wish I had a glass of Guinness to toast you with. Seeing one full to the brim made me drool!

blognut said...

Sláinte, dear Fhina! You have outdone yourself again.

Derrick said...

Fhina, creditworthy though your historical research may be, there seems to be an error!

I said, only a week ago, and quoting from the excerpt from the book "I never knew that about Scotland", that St. P was Scottish!! From Old Kilpatrick, no less, in Dunbartonshire.

I'll fight you for it! :0)

'Slainte mhath' to you to!

Protege said...

To me, who loves an Irishman and enjoys Guinness like nothing else, this was wonderful read.;)
Happy St. Patrick's Day Fh.;))

Derrick said...

Dear Fhina,

Please do no such thing (your comment on my blog). I was being naughty and choosing to ignore the one VITAL word "allegedly", that was linked to my fascinating fact!!

La Wiki has just as much chance of being correct as anyone else! Now, where did you put my gauntlet?

Anonymous said...

A wonderful read! I like that last quote too.

So - cheers. Slante, Salud and Skål!

Lola said...

Ooo Guinness. I'd give anything for a frothy pint right now. Unaware of being pregnant yet, years ago I had trouble understanding a sudden craving for the lovely dark ale. I later learned of its beneficial and galactagogue properties. Salute!

Anonymous said...

"And we so want to belong, don't we? Even if we have no Irish blood coursing through our veins... Oh, to have a tribe we can identify with is a wonderful thing... Then we have history together - a shared, fellow-feeling; We can have a laugh, buy each other a jar, and be brought back to when the world was a far smaller and simpler place"
Truly, ever St Patrick's Day I wish I was Irish! How did you guess?

French Fancy said...

I'd rather be a Druid than a Catholic saint, but that is just me.


Expat mum said...

They're going nuts here in Chicago - where everyone has claims on an Irish heritage. All the kids in my little guy's class were wearing green today, and half of them are Jewish. It used to be a holy day of obligation!

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Ah to be sure, I'm married to an Irishman. My daughters have both inherited his Irish eyebrows - not happy, we have LOTS of tweezers chez nous. At the St.Paddy's day parade in Brumham on Sunday there was the Pope on a tractor. M'thinks the credit crunch has hit the Vatican!

Scriptor Senex said...

I adore the squirrel! Where do you find these things - you are always so inventive and imaginative.

Michelle said...

Sláinte - Cheers! TO YOU!!!!


auntiegwen said...

Slainte from your Scottish pal who has an Irish mammy xxx

Diane said...

The Irish do the most beautiful blessings, don't they?

My mother always made us wear orange on St. Pat's... said it was a Scottish thing. I dunno. But I got tired of being pinched, so I'd sneak a little green in there ;)

lakeviewer said...

WE're all Irish today! Happy Shamrock to all!

Rob-bear said...

May the road rise up to greet you
may the winds be every at your back
may the sun shine warm upon your face
may the rains fall soft upon your fields,
and, 'til we meet again,
may God hold you in the hollow if his hand.

A Cuban In London said...

Happy St Patrick's Day (belatedly!) to all Irish people! Those photos are stunning!

Greetings from London.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

jinksy: Ah, you only think that glass was full. I'd already had a sip out of it! x

Bless you Bloggus Nuttus for your bloggy goodness! xblognut said...

Derrick: I should have you know, Sir, that it is all Gullible's Travels with Fhina, so I shall believe practically anything you tell me and fall for it all - Hook, line and sinker! Er, I think St. Patrick was actually Welsh!

Protege: Aha, yes, I know you like a bit of the blarney, Z! How lovely for you - There is nothing like a charming Irishman, I can imagine!

Derrick: You left your gauntlet over there, Sir beside Lady Wiki's pikestaff, methinks! x
She is known for being a fickle mistress, tho' - If I had longer, I would do better research!

ladyfi: OOooh, I like the idea of Skål! Another wonderful language to think about - I know absolutely no Norse languages...sadly. Excellent, thank you, dear ladyfi! x

Lola: Hello there, Lola! My you do know some wonderful words connected to the Black Stuff - I need to look "galactagogue" up now! Is it to do with the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy?!

The Things We Carried: Meredith, I know, and I feel just the same - only Lancashire in my veins from long ago, 'though, and I think some Scots from my mother's side - 'Twill have to do, until I dig deeper and find I have some Irish there too! x

FF: I know I felt a bit odd writing about that - I had not realised that he had possibly driven out the Druids - That is not something I am at all comfortable with, FF! History is a very interesting and sometimes deliberately confusing thing to study, is it not?! x

Expat mum: Hello you! I read your comment out to my family and we all laughed very heartily at it - I noticed on the web that some cities dye the river green - Astonishing - Is it green food dye, I wonder? Crackers! But, you Expattie, are a hoot! Thank you so! x

Reasons: And once again, this comment, Reasons, made us laugh out loud fit to startle the neighbours - We have had lovely Irish friends with those same eyebrows - You are a darling! I swear by Tweezerman Tweezers by the way - Not cheap, but they're worth it! And your comments about the Vatican's response to Brumham! You are a veritable wag, m'lady! x

Fair Scriptor: Thank you, sir - The squirrel is a little darling, isn't he? - All my pics come in html copied over from Photobucket, until I can work out how to upload jpegs from Google Images to Blogger, as well... - Can anyone advise? Bless you for your kind comments!

Michelle: Hello Cheeky! Take care you! x

Auntiegwen: Thank you, beautiful Auntie Gwennie! What lovely heritage you have! x

Diane: Ah, Diane, I think your (possibly Scottish, was she?) mammy was having a bit of a dig at the old green there, if she had you wear orange on St. Patrick's Day - Goes back to the Orange Day Parades, and all that, methinks, but I am often wrong! My best to you, my bloggy friend! x

LV: Happy Shamrock - I likes it! x

Rob-bear: You big bear, you! I know that little blessing, I think it's lovely, and that was almost my post today, bear! It was either that or the strange one about, May you be eaten by the cat, and may the cat eat the devil!

A Cuban in London: Hello and Welcome! Thank you for enjoying the pics I have selected for the posting!

pet care tv said...

Haha, that squirrel is great

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Something I wrote earlier...

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