March Hare

March was a month I always looked forward to for many reasons.

The days were stretching and the worst of the winter was over and signs of spring were everywhere.  Buds appeared on trees and shrubs and the flowers popped their tiny heads above ground level to show us they survived all that the winter had thrown at them.

The religious season of Lent always seemed to cover the month so as a young lady it involved fast and abstinence.  One full meal and two collations was the norm for the forty days.  For the collations fish & or eggs were allowed, but no more than four ounces!  The fasting was between these meals and the only exception was to have a cup of tea or coffee and two plain biscuits!  The law of abstinence required a Catholic from 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honour of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday.

The first three of us in the family were unlucky enough to have birthdays during lent.  The middle guy of those three was late Feb so sometimes missed the cut.  Lenten birthdays were celebrated with a special meal (cake with a candle in it) on the nearest Sunday evening!  Since two of us had birthdays in March just two days apart, we even shared the one cake!  What was I saying about abstinence? 🙁

Back in those far off days before Hallmarkfests we were lucky to get one birthday card from all the family.  It never saw a stamp or Post Office since the last person going to bed left it in the hall below the letterbox!

The Hi-light of the month was St Patrick’s Day, feast of our Patron Saint and a national holiday.  The penetential fasting was lifted for the day and a fatted calf turkey, ham or joint of pork was roasted with all the trimmings, anyone would think we had not seen food since Christmas!  For the folks who had abstained from chocolate for the duration, St Pat’s Day was a welcome break.

I never remember going to see a Parade in my young life – I was probably in the kitchen peeling a ton of spuds for the big feast.  Parades were for other people.

When I moved to Northern Ireland the St Patrick’s Day parade had political connotations so I kept well away.  It was a normal working day here and Miss Elly had to attend school.

The celebrations always seemed a little over the top in New York with green beer, three quarters of the Irish Government in attendance and every Tom, Dick and Uncle Harry wearing a chest full of weeds.

In recent years the celebrations have returned to Irish soil and that is where the Patron should be remembered.  This year we have again, the Irish St Patrick’s Festival it runs from 12th to 17th March 2009.  Pixie has been working with the organizers on a huge photo sharing project to help document this year’s festival in photos from the perspective of those attending.

The aim is to invite everyone bringing their camera to this year’s events to contribute their photos to the official St Patrick’s Festival group so that the experience can be shared with people from all over the world.

Besides all the above, Marcus from Pix.ie has announced a fantastic opportunity for Photographers, Photobloggers and Bloggers in association with The Saint Patricks Day Festival organisers, Canon and The Guinness Storehouse.

To make things a little more interesting, we’ve created a competition and will be selecting three lucky winners whose photos capture the spirit of the festival. Canon have very kindly offered to sponsor some of the best prizes we’ve seen in a photo competition and with a total value of just under €1,800, these are very generous prizes!!!

Not only are they giving away these beauties from Canon, but Marcus has managed to get lots of ways for photographers to take some pictures from special locations, and after all that hard work the reward is  inviting a group of photobloggers to the Guinness Storehouse for a pint of the black stuff.

Woo hoo to Marcus and the team at Pix.ie, for all the effort

Since my new motto is:- The only way to have a friend is to be one and the only way to enjoy a party is to join in!  I am joining in with my entry for the competition.

I am all dressed up and ready to go… wearing my bow on my hair.  You will have to take my word for it, it is a green Bow & dress,  I know because my mother told me many, many times over the years and the photo was taken long before we had colour films or digital cameras.

No, I didn’t take the picture myself I am not Rebecca

34 thoughts on “March Hare

  1. Nick

    I was hardly aware of St Pat’s Day until I moved to Belfast. Like you, I avoid the parades because of all the political overtones. And why all the politicians have to jet over to New York at fabulous expense I’ve never understood.

    Reply
  2. elly parker

    Weirdly, for the first time I think I see something of myself in that pic – I’ve always thought (possibly incorrectly) that I took more after Dad’s side of the family, but maybe I see more of myself in you as I’m aging.

    That could make another post or two – you have a load of scanned photos from Dad’s side, including some very old ones, right?

    Reply
  3. Grannymar Post author

    @Nick – The parades in Dublin last year and the year before seemed great events and very popular.

    @Sneezy – I think I have more hair now!

    @Elly – I don’t see you in that photo at all. You were always like your Dad and your Granny Clara.

    Reply
  4. Daniel

    Thanks for sharing your experiences of Lent’s gone by – we’ve lost not only the bad aspects of it, but perhaps the good too. Thanks also for the info. on the photo comp., I’ll have to try and get a few pictures to enter.

    Reply
  5. Grannymar Post author

    Daniel,

    Life has changed in so many ways, sometimes I think we have forgotten what austerity was.

    From reading your blog and seeing your photos, I think you should give the competition a go!

    Reply
  6. Lorna

    When I asked my kids what would they like to give up for Lent (3 days into it as had forgotten about it – busy week!) they decided we would all help each more rather than give up anything – works for me!

    Reply
  7. Annb

    You’re tempting us with treacle tart on Mon and reminding us of lent on Tues – sounds like life in our house, where the will is strong but the body is weak!

    Reply
  8. Grannymar Post author

    Phil,

    I’m living in hope!

    You should see me before that anyway, I have my name down for the Belfast Flickr visit to the Ulster Hall.

    Reply
  9. kenju

    We have a big parade here in Raleigh on St. Patrick’s Day, Grannymar. And every year, it gets bigger. I love your photo; such big eyes you had!! and a pretty bow in your hair.

    Reply
  10. Magpie11

    I have mixed feelings about this post….I remember being told that “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” on the one hand and my father saying that he believed in his country “right or wrong”. Yet, even after having so many National Days thrust down our throats by the likes of Ken Livingstone but no St George’s Day, I envy the Irish their celebrations and, to a lesser degree, the Scots their Burns Night….. A child by the name of Mahon (which he insisted should be pronounced Marn) in my first ever class once gave me a bunch of Shamrock…a piece was stuck somewhere between the pages of a book on the bookshelves, until we had a fire at school. The book was a really broken edition of Moore’s Irish Melodies with iwords and music… I thought it a suitable place. I took it to school to fill the part of ‘an old book’ in an Assembly.

    Enjoy 17th …

    Reply
  11. Nick

    Magpie – I’m having trouble with your blog at the moment. I can see the header and the sidebar but not the text. No idea what the problem is. I’ll try again later.

    Reply
  12. Grannymar Post author

    @Judy – I can just imagine Raleigh in Green! I always had a bow on my hair as a child. With each year mammy became more expert at tying them until they were almost as big as the one on Aretha Franklin’s hat!

    @Marcus – I am looking forward to joining in.

    @Magpie – Try Book Mooch for a copy of Moore’s Irish Melodies.

    @Nick – Magpie’s blog is fine for me. His last post was on 1st March. I bet you use Internet explorer – try a proper browser 😉 like Firefox 😆

    Reply
  13. Laura

    Nice Pic love the bow. Lovely post too … as for March bringing better weather -6 here and snow even in central Manhattan

    Reply
  14. Magpie11

    Oops…trying to multi task…computer, house work and cooking a chicken soup and I forgot to say

    I’ve never come across Book Mooch..lovely name. Thanks, I’ll try it.

    Reply
  15. Val

    Great post. I hope you get to celebrate your birthdays in better style these days.
    I remember my mum always dressing me up with a massive green bow in my hair.
    The photo competition looks great…good luck.

    Reply
  16. Baino

    What a fantastic idea although being a Thursday, I’ll have to work and being an Australian, I don’t qualify . There is a parade and a big booze up here as well. It’s agreat prize mind you! I have a Canon EOS and it’s fantstic! Look forward to the photos.

    Reply
  17. Nick

    I tried installing Firefox but I still couldn’t get into Magpie. Also the screen quality isn’t as sharp as Explorer. There’s a Blogger help group discussing this problem so I may get an answer soon!

    Reply
  18. Grannymar Post author

    @Hi Laura – We heard about the snow. We normally get the tail-end of it this side of the pond. Right now it is 3°C here and in Dublin.

    @Magpie – You are ahead of Steph and I we were both making chicken stock today. Elly uses Book Mooch all the time and the other 3/4 she gets from Amazon.

    @Val – I am far too old to have birthdays and the brother I shared the day with lives over 100 miles away from me.

    @Baino – Up against the big boys & girls here I have no chance what so ever. I would enter for the fun and the inclusive element of the Festival

    @ Nick – I hope you get the problem solved soon. My laptop was set up with Chrome?? I think and I didn’t like it so went back to Firefox. I have no problem with it.

    Reply
  19. Grannymar Post author

    Magpie,

    I told you I was stealing it! I really like it and the adaptation suited today.

    Reply
  20. Darlene

    You were a real cutie with your big green bow. I think you still are, even though you no longer have bows in your hair.

    Boy, I wish I could win some of those Canon prizes. I need another SLR camera so I won’t have another disaster like I did in Colorado when my camera failed to work.

    Every St. Patrick’s day some wags paint a giant shamrock in the middle of one of our busiest intersections. I don’t know when they do it without getting run over, but it would have to be around 3 am. Soon there will not be a time of day or night that doesn’t look like rush hour.

    Reply
  21. Grannymar Post author

    Darlene,

    You say the sweetest things.

    The Irish wags turn up in the most unexpected places. Spray painting at a busy intersection is not something I would recommend.

    In Elly’s old house the guest bedroom backed onto a motorway, the traffic never stopped either day or night.

    Reply
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