Paddy’s day this year 17th March 2020 will be one I will never forget. Self-isolating as I was, myself and Jim Monks. We kinda went back to basics. Nurturing each other and staying close. Keeping it upbeat I requested pancakes for breakfast and as is the norm in these current times I took a pic and posted it on Facebook. Making a heart shape in the centre with strawberry coulis. Taking two rubbishy foals, adopted because they were abandoned on the farm for a reluctant walk on lead ropes filled another hour what with getting them ready, coaxing them to walk with us and explore their surroundings, both of them are only about 8 months old. They are just as co-dependant as us in our selective ways. Ratszer and Mouse Jim has christened them. Cookies and Cream my granddaughters call them. By now you have probably guessed they are piebald, white and brown, scruffy because they refuse to be groomed and cute in their own ugly duckling ways. The outing of the day was a trip to the bottle bank. We picked up a bottle of Sauvignon Blanche to compliment the fish. Easy simple pleasures to full a day confined to barracks.

Taking a 20 minute constitutional before dinner down to the river my mind wandered to two other Paddys days and the memories flooded back

When Simon was 3 and a half about 40 years ago maybe 41 We got married and took off to Australia to live in Sydney for 7 months with his dad. I remember way back then The Aussies were different. They didn’t get babysitter, no they took their kids with them when they went out. Restaurants Pubs, Barbies anywhere really. That year remember being the centre of attention, people asking me to say something in Irish, people fawning over my accent and Simons mop of curly red hair. I remember the heat and drinking green beer. Everyone loved us.

The other memory was of stomping my feet on the footpath in O’Collell street in Dublin’s fair city waiting for the Parade to start. Crunching the particles of ice and “freezing my nuts off” as they say even if I don’t actually have nuts because as the slave to fashion I was back then and there being more meat on a butchers apron than on my bones so I had no coverage to keep me warm, I distinctly remember wearing a pale yellow dungarees and the father of my child was wearing a blue one. We couldn’t cover them up now, could we? No coats. Young and foolish and in Love we were, in love with life each other and the apple of both our eyes, baby Simon.