Happy St Patrick’s Day to all you Patrick’s and Saints out there. More importantly to all Irish folks and all those people around the world who use today to pretend to be a bit Irish. I know I’m doing such a thing right now. Somewhere in my ancestry, roughly my great grandma on my mum’s side, there is inherent Irish. Its so inherent that it probably doesn’t remotely play a part in my DNA whatsoever, and no one would ever guess at it, but its so bloody there right now today. My great grandma was sent over to the UK during the potato famine as an orphan. The English folks that took her in brought her up in Derbyshire and she blended in seamlessly, with only the occasional person wondering why everything she said was much funnier than anyone else’s words and why she had extreme amounts of luck. So, many many generations later, I honor that Irishness by only ever having been to Galway, having an Irishish name, hating Guiness (yes I’ve drunk it in Ireland, I still hate it) and setting my sat nav voice to Irish lady. The latter is most entertaining as I have discovered that whatever language you set my sat nav too, the voice has an inability to pronounce ’roundabout’. The English lady pronounces it like a bad impression of Schwarzenegger and the Irish lady seems to pronounce it like she has trapped wind. I’ve heard Irish and English people say the word ’roundabout’ and they both seem to be able to handle it. I’m not sure why Tom Tom have had such issues getting people to say it for them. I assume that there was some sort of in joke at the recording studio where they would make each voiceover artist complete a challenge while saying it, including mimicking 80s action heroes and drinking a lot of fizzy pop very quickly beforehand.
With a lack of stereo on route to the gig last night (Layla had left it in her handbag, and yes, this was nearly grounds for a break up. So it should be too) the ’roundabout’ pronunciation kept the journey entertaining. The gig itself, at Surrey University, was a lot of fun as well, but its hard to be as fun as a machine that pronounces general road junctions incorrectly. Its that good old comedy barometer that also means you can spend several days crafting a brilliant gag but a loud three tone fart will still make most people laugh longer and louder. It has taken many years to know that whatever I do, this is generally just how life works and should it all go wrong for me, I’ll resort to only eating baked beans and saying ‘T-Junction’ as though I’m yawning at the same time. All the acts at the gig were awesome, with much lovely stuff from Henry Widdicombe, Luke Benson and Matt Green and the student crowd were also particularly ace too. One, who was studying French and Spanish, told me of the French words meaning the verb ‘to Garlic’, and ‘to put your finger inside a chicken’s bum to see if there is an egg there’. Lovely. He also let us know the Spanish sentence to say ‘to throw oranges at’. I don’t remember any of these words, but I wish I did for all of these are things I never learnt from the Tricoloure books and I can forsee many a time in Spain when I will want to check if I can throw oranges at something. The student explained it is useful during the festival in Spain where people throw tomatoes at each other, as if you tried to throw oranges, you would be told, using that word, that you shouldn’t. I feel this is a huge misuse of the term and I would hope there is a similar festival where you can throw oranges at things but not tomatoes. Then perhaps a third festival where you can throw watermelons and people generally just get injured.
Today I am celebrating St Patrick’s Day by going to the very Irish British Library to do some work. Yes, that’s right, nothing really remotely Irish. Maybe a little Northern Irish but I won’t go into that just incase I’m wrong and I get blamed for things. I’ve already mentioned oranges in this blog. Lets just leave it there. I have very boring things to do so shall resign myself to doing them in a place full of knowledge and quietness. I’ve never been before and I hope the bits I can’t go into include all the old comics or today will be a huge waste of everyone’s time and I will just have a look at the first ever Beano’s. Irish Beano’s of course. Then tonight I’m going to see Irish Ghost Stories at the Irish Lyric Hammersmith. It will no doubt make me hugely scared and possibly incontinent, with the following few days involving me being fairly sure I’m surrounded by ghosts and not really sleeping till April. Hooray for fun times!