With Saint Patrick’s Day upon us and considering that I just returned from a four month stay in Clonegal and Dublin, I thought that my American take on a few things Irish might be of some interest.
I realize that most of my blogs have been about Ireland and I will now try to skew towards America in future posts.
I also realize that Americans honor the “stand your round” tradition, but in Ireland it is a most sacred pub requirement.
When in the company of a group of people in a pub, a system of ’rounds’ is traditionally used, whereby each person in turn will buy, or offer to buy, a drink for all others in the company.
It is not the done thing to just buy yourself a drink without making the offer to buy one for everyone else – and those who fail to at least offer to ’stand their round’ in this way risk being looked upon as mean and unsociable.
The best advice for dealing with the rounds system is to get in with your offer to buy as early as you can. Otherwise you can end up drinking a lot more than you intended to while waiting for your turn to come – and you daren’t leave before it does unless you want to earn an instant reputation for meanness!!
Myle is a Mark O’Neill subject. The painting is not finished yet and according to Mark it will be featured in his next exhibition. (See “Imagine” blog)
Myle does not stand his “rounds” and Myle can well afford it. He is a frequent visitor to Osbornes pub in Clonegal and the “locals” complain of his avoidance in buying a round. I recently experienced his “deep pockets” and thought how differently the rest of the country “stands their rounds”.
German bankers brought many, many, many rounds/mounds of money “euros” cash and then more of it to Ireland. In turn Ireland bought “rounds” for BMWs, five bedroom houses, vacations, more vacations, fine wine, dinning in the best restaurants, second homes in Spain and Florida. Then the German bankers did it again and guess what the Irish did … bought more “rounds” and then bought even more “rounds” to show those Germans that they “stood their rounds”.
Ya know what…Ireland is broke and they are still buying “rounds”.
I was not feeling well for a while and visited with my brother in law’s doctor in Bunclody. I must have spent 15 to 20 minutes with him talking mostly about Irish politics and Obama-care. Don’t get me wrong he was very thorough and he further ordered blood tests for his review. That visit cost me 40 euros.
About five days later I dropped into his office for the results. The receptionist told me that the doctor would like to talk to me about the tests. I did not like the sound of that. I waited for about five minutes (can you believe that) and he called me into his office and told me their was nothing to worry about and that I might consider taking another medication for my cough. He must have spent another 15 minutes with me and I asked what his fee was for this visit. He said “no charge, I’ll catch you next time”. Isn’t that what all American doctors say?
Back to St. Patrick…
Last week, we drove down the coast road and happened across a narrow road, only able to fit one car at a time, leading to Cahore Point. Over looking the Irish Sea was an old cemetery and an ancient church in ruin. While sitting in the car a women came by and I asked her about the beach, church and the cemetery. She said legend has it that St. Patrick “himself” landed on the beach and started this church. Mind you it is a legend and I found no confirmation of this event.
I thought I would hype some of my Irish found object art….
Andy is one of the biggest land owners in our part of Ireland. I have asked, how big on numerous occasions and can’t seem to get an answer. My guess is about 1000 acres. Which would make him a very rich man.
Did you ever notice that when you ask an Irish person a question and they don’t know the answer they will respond but the answer is no where to be found in the response. Kind of like how politicians would answer questions.
During the snow and ice storms, Andy was kind enough to bring Mary to Bunclody to shop for food and lent me the only snow shovel in Clonegal.
Andy has farm equipment to match most American farmers and he is a generous man and good neighbor… but don’t piss him off … he was recently robbed of over 5,000 euros worth of petrol and diesel fuel.
Andy made a habit of dealing with the “tinkers” oh … can’t say “tinkers” any more, they’re called “traveling people”. Everyone knows they’re the culprits. They knew the lay of his land and it took them all of about 7 minutes to drain his tanks.
The other night coming back from Osbornes I spotted Andy interrogating a “traveler”. He had crashed his car into a stone wall. I stopped to ask Andy what was going on and he said “the guy is stoned out of his mind and I’ll hold him till the Garda comes”. I asked Andy if he needed any help and he said he would take care of him. Off I went and the next day I heard that the “tinker’s” car was set on fire. Apparently the “tinker” had asked Andy for a match to light his cigarette and Andy gave him one or two. Perhaps the first didn’t light.
The story was told by Ben. Ben of Clonegal duck fame and, along with his brothers, run the few businesses on main street Clonegal.
Ben complains about everything and knows everybody and every thing that is going on at the “castle” and in the village…but Ben does not vote.
The turn out in the recent Irish election was about 70% and Ben didn’t vote. Ben is like Americans that say… “why bother voting, they’re all the same and things won’t change”.
If you don’t vote … then … fuck off … shut your fucking mouth…I don’t want to listen to your bull shit… strong letter to follow…
I mentioned how generous Andy was and in a different light and the subjects of future posts … Tom, Anne, Des, Phyl, David and Sharon’s lights shine deeply in my heart.
… and of course …so does… Tiberious Purcelli…
Happy St. Patrick’s Day…cheers