Irish Eyes on St.Patrick

‘For each petal on the shamrock, this brings a wish your way – good health, good luck, and happiness, for today and every day.’ (Irish Blessing)

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us and it’s a day that makes me feel very Irish and connected to people with Irish blood all round the world.

For me, St. Patrick’s Day is just that ~ never, ever Paddy’s Day or Patty’s Day. Nor is it a day of mad drinking, green beers or leprechaun hats.

I think an honouring of St. Patrick’s Day goes back to my school days in Castleblayney , Co. Monaghan when I was six or seven and the whole school would congregate in our gymslips and Gaberdine coats out on the avenue and sing Hail Glorious Saint Patrick on the eve of March 17th.

The other song that always comes to mind on St. Patrick’s Day is one written by Chauncey Alcott (1858-1932) who was a stage actor, songwriter and singer, born in New York and of Irish descent:

St. Patrick’s Day is a day when I find myself thinking ‘as Gaelige’ (in the Irish language) and I’d like to wish everyone who is Irish, loves Ireland or feels a sense of IrishnessSt. Patrick




The Sleeplessness of Blogging

Kilfarrasy Beach, Co. Waterford
Kilfarrasy Beach, Co. Waterford

Ocean people are very different from land people. The ocean never stops saying and asking into ears, which don’t sleep like eyes.

(Maxine Hong Kingston)

Thinking about this quote this evening as I was walking along Kilfarrasy Beach, I got to thinking about the extent to which there is a similar difference between bloggers and non-bloggers.

It continues to be a source of amazement to me that lots of my blogging friends across the ocean will be blogging away merrily when I am fast asleep and that there will be a batch of surprise posts waiting for me when I wake.

There’s a kind of reassurance and comfort in that which I find hard to describe. Maybe, it’s the knowing that if I wake with nightmares in the early hours that I will always find a post which will bring me off to some other place far, far away in terms of either thinking or geography and make everything seem well with the world again.

More than two-thirds of the readers of Social Bridge are from outside Ireland and over half are from beyond Europe. I simply love that diversity and the range of time zones involved, not to speak of all the different individuals with their own histories and places to share.

March is well underway in places like Australia but only young on the West Coast of America. I sometimes look at the list of countries from which people read some of my posts and simply stare in awe. I’m no geographical genius and to see the names of small countries far, far away is a huge thrill. I wonder if these readers know as little about Ireland as I know about their countries.

These are the little things about blogging that keep me motivated. I suppose it all comes down to a sense of connection.

So Happy March Everyone and I leave you with this Irish blessing:

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun.
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches.
Today, tomorrow and beyond.



My Birthday Weekend ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 277

Birthday Card from Big Bro!

Given that my birthday is falling on a Friday this year, I’ve decided to make a weekend of it. Yes, today, is the big day and one that I’m delighted to share with two of my all time idols ~ Chuck Berry and Martina Navratilova.

Birthdays were hugely significant events in our house when we were kids, undoubtedly because Mother placed great emphasis on them. It was only when I had my own son in 1995 that I realised the extent to which a child’s birthday is a day that a mother is unlikely ever to forget and hopefully likely always to celebrate.

Mother has been very much on my mind this week and I can only smile when I think of the last birthday we shared on this day in 2008. I always hated birthday parties but in 2008 Mother decided it was time to put an end to this and organised a surprise party for me. I really felt I could read her every thought at that stage but she caught me out totally and I landed into a party in full swing which I have to admit I enjoyed immensely.

There is a helluva storm blowing here in Tramore today but I just couldn’t resist the temptation to go for an early walk around the beach. The rain and wind were blowing furiously into my face on the outward journey and if ever there was ‘living in the moment,’ this was it. I almost flew home and couldn’t but think of these lines from a traditional Irish Blessing:

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields …..

Thus far, it’s been the walk on the beach, a long steamy bath, lunch of mackerel with spinach and grated nutmeg, and cosy dessert of hot juiced apples with cinnamon; a quick trip into Waterford to my mecca of Irish produce ~ Ardkeen Stores ~ and a visit to Amazon to download recent books of two of my favourite bloggers for weekend reading ~ Roy McCarthy’s ( of Portelet Manor and David Millington Croft’s ( is Blood. 

Birthdays, for me,  are all about remembering, sharing, enjoying, plotting, planting, smiling, creating memories ….. What do they mean to you?