About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I just read that the Chicago River is dyed green each year for the St. Patrick's Day celebration! Along with that, everywhere you go on March 17th you'll find green beer, Irish stew, and the famous shamrock.

The man we remember as St. Patrick was apparently born to a wealthy British family who owned a villa in what is now Wales in the 4th century AD. His name was Maewyn Succat and was kidnapped by pirates when he was 16 years old and sold into slavery in Ireland. After 6 years of hard labour, he escaped to France where he adopted the name Patrick. Eventually, he returned to Ireland where he began converting many of the Gaelic Irish to Christianity. He used a visual aid - the three-leaf shamrock - to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).

The old Irish word craic refers to a spirited affair, to the fun, enjoyment, abandonment and lighthearted mischief that is often, although not necessarily, associated with drinking. I can remember students sneaking into the school before 9:00 am and turning the desks upside down and backwards along with the garbage cans and writing all sorts of mischief on the boards. Lots of fun and all done in the innocence of youth.

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated in all corners of the world now. Canada's own province of Newfoundland/Labrador has made it an official holiday due to the huge Irish population. It's also celebrated in Russia, Germany, Argentina, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, and around the United States. The day provides people with an opportunity to hoist a mug of green beer and celebrate their Irish heritage.

As someone who has absolutely no Irish blood, I enjoy the festivities as much as the next person, and wear something green on the day to honour my Irish friends of the past (those who arrived in Scotland and helped to fight off the French and British).

The leprechaun is a type of male fairy said to inhabit Ireland. They usually take the form of old men who enjoy partaking in mischief. He's a craft specialist (shoemaking, tanning, or metalwork) and are considered to be very rich, but thrifty. According to legend, if anyone keeps an eye fixed upon one, he cannot escape, but the moment the gaze is withdrawn, he vanishes. If one captures a Leprechaun he must be truthful and honest and tell you where he has hidden his treasure. Isn't it at the end of the rainbow?
Have a happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone, whither ye have green blood or not.
And, as the Irish are known to say,
"As you slide down the banister of life,
May the splinters never point in the wrong direction! "


Josie said...

Leslie, I think I spotted a leprechaun once, but I looked away and he was gone. However, in his place was a four leaf clover, and I found it. I will never forget it.

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Casdok said...

Dye a river green!! Wow!

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Gledwood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gledwood said...

Hey I was wondering why British Google had greenery and shamrocks or clover or whatever it's called all over it today... now I know why!

And hey! Yet another excuse to sink loads of Guinness today ~ wahey!!

Gledwood said...

dur why it came out twice twice I've no no idea idea




Rosie said...

hurray, I have a few drops of Irish blood in the mixture flowing through my drinking arm, so I will lift it in celebration

Janice Thomson said...

I didn't know this either Leslie so thanks for the info. It was great seeing so many blogs celebrating this day.

Ginni Dee said...

Yes, they dye the river green! They only use about 40 lbs of powdered dye and it doesn't hurt anything in the river. They did it back in the early 60's to identify a leak in a drainage system and it looked so pretty they have done it ever since to commemorate St. Patrick's day! Lots of Irish people here in Illinois!! :)

Ginni, not Irish but wishin' she was!

Country Girl said...

Every St. Patrick's Day, one of our kindergarten teachers leaves a trail of clover for the children to follow. They come by the office, following their trail. I always tell them that I spotted a flash of green, but that I looked away and it was gone. They gasp and their eyes get very wide. Then they go outside and find the pot of gold. It's full of treats.

It's adorable, and one of the reasons I stay where I do. I have a million little reasons like this one.

leslie said...

Kate, that's marvelous! I can just picture their little eyes wide with astonishment. I used to sometimes do a few tricks in the classroom myself before the kids came and pretend to come in just as they were and be shocked! The kids were always worried that someone would be in trouble, but I'd tell them a leprechaun had been into mischief.

Lilli & Nevada said...

That is so cute with the leprechaun
Oh i saw photos of the that river from Madrez site she has some really cool photos over there.
Hope you had a good day.

jmb said...

A bit late now, but Happy St Patrick's day to you, not a drop of Irish blood in me either.

Interesting post. I discovered St Patrick was Welsh when I did the St David's Day concert post, although it's not absolutely certain.

I saw that you joined Wet Coast Women, I hope to meet you then at the get together if I can make it. I have the old cataract surgey on April 16th which Crunchy knows so hopefully it will be the next week.

kissa said...

I know that the whole of Ireland, both north and south, had a Bank Holiday yesterday as I had a guest from Belfast staying with me for the long weekend.
People still refer to the craic being good refering to the chat they had enjoyed.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hope you had ahappy one, Leslie. Love all the visuals!

Sonia said...

A Happy St. Patrick's Day as well (belated)

Wishing you and all your family a Happy Easter!