Paddy’s Day in the Park

I’m not really a huge fan of the whole St Patrick’s Day thing. Although I live here, I’m not in any way, shape or form Irish, nor do I pretend to be. So I find it odd seeing people visiting Ireland and on the telly talking about how they’re Irish when, well, they’re just not. Irish-American, yes. Irish, no. It’s a tricky one I know, because it gets into questions of identity, and that’s not always clear cut for everyone. And although I’m pretty forthright on some things, in general I prefer to live and let live, so this shouldn’t bother me as much as it does.

Anyway. There are 2 things I will not tolerate: reference to “St. Patty’s Day” (Patty? Really? I don’t know anyone called Patrick who would be happy with that as a nickname. Paddy or Pat, but not Patty), and green beer. Green beer is wrong.

I don’t dislike the idea of having a day off work, or object to the festival at all, but the fake leprechauns, and stupid giant green hats, and, well, pick anything you can find in Carroll’s gift shops as a starting point – they annoy me.

So, instead, I stay at home. Much nicer.

Today was a lovely sunny day that felt like the beginning of spring. I’m feeling spring like at the moment – I’m getting on top of my to-do lists slowly and I’m getting my hair chopped short again on Friday. Anyway, a nice sunny day in Dublin means it’s a nice day for a walk in the Phoenix Park.

I love the park. It has so many different faces. We started our walk on a small slightly overgrown path that neither of us had been down before in the Furry Glen, and quickly realised why neither of us had been down there before, and made a mental note not to again, especially at night. Ewww.

Anyway, the rest of the walk was bright and fresh and lovely.

Nice wooded sections

Cute park ranger’s cottages

The pope’s cross and American ambassador’s residence across the 40 acres. The fallow deer are off to the right but out of the picture.

And finally, a cliche but not that unusual a sight the in park:

Then home for a nice spot of lunch and a big mug of tea. Perfect.

7 thoughts on “Paddy’s Day in the Park

  1. I hate St Patty’s day as well. I don’t know anyone in Ireland who calls it Patty’s day. It’s funny but it seems Patrick’s day is bigger in the US than it is here. You almost never see green beer or food here.

    Your walk sounds lovely, the park is a great resource, very few cities are lucky enough to have a massive park like it.

  2. Lovely pictures Isobel and sounds like you had a great day . I too did not attend any celebrations in Dublin either and chose to enjoy myself out and about elsewhere. However I see your reference to the ‘Furry Glen’. While it is a lovely spot to visit, unfortunately it has built itself quite a reputation over the years and not a place to visit alone.

  3. After three years on a Welsh-language course, in which the question of identity is raised in every single lecture every single day, I have come to the conclusion that national identity is wholly imagined. I am certain that if I put some effort into it, I could pass myself off as 100-percent “authentic” Irish, as long as no one looked at my passport. I could do it with just about any other white European people — I can already do it with Welshness.

    People’s imaginations of themselves can be strong, deeply rooted and nigh unchangeable, so identity can appear to be something greater than it is. But it’s not.

    Point is: Those Americans who say they’re Irish? Perhaps they really are Irish. Even if the people actually living in Ireland disagree.

    (Also, there’s a certain bit of lost in translation there. Americans will state themselves as German or Irish or what have you, meaning that is their heritage.)

  4. The pinching, when I was a kid, really was the worst thing about St. Patrick’s Day. Whose dumb idea was that!?

    Well, sounds like you had a really nice day, whatever the reason.

  5. When I was a kid it seemed my family made a big deal “We’re Irish!” – it was a bit confusing – we were all born in the U.S.! When I went to Ireland, I remember feeling distinctly non-Irish. Funny. Now that I have a kid, sure I’ll tell her to be proud of the Irish heritage in her family, but she’s very American. I also can’t stand the greening of food for St. Patrick’s Day – why do marketers think that’s cool?

    I remember touring through the park when I visited – your photo of the Pope’s cross reminded me – thanks!

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