Now I like potatoes as much as the next individual. I have managed without them for 17 days and am hoping that it will have an affect upon my wasteline - otherwise it is a sad omission for no purpose. My history tells me of the devastation of the potato famine and approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland, causing the island's population to fall by between 20% and 25%.
Of course it was never a native crop there or here... (Thank you Sir Walter) The potato was introduced to Ireland as a garden crop of the gentry. By the late 17th century, it had become widespread as a supplementary rather than a principal food because the main diet still revolved around butter, milk, and grain products. Over the course of one day, men could eat 60 potatoes, women 40, and children 25 due to the exhausting work. The main potato was the Irish Lumper.
Although the potato crop failed, the country was still producing and exporting more than enough grain crops to feed the population. Records show during the period Ireland was exporting approximately thirty to fifty shiploads per day of food produce. As a consequence of these exports and a number of other factors such as land acquisition, absentee landlords and the effect of the 1690 penal laws, the Great Famine today is viewed by a number of historical academics as a form of either direct or indirect genocide.
All this in a country described by Benjamin Disraeli in 1844, "a starving population, an absentee aristocracy, and an alien Church, and in addition the weakest executive in the world."
But today - the desire to show allegiance to the Irish comes to the fore on a day like today - or certain Rugby International days, when they are playing the English.
And through it all I have my own mantra - "and a Green One" which has nothing at all to do with St Patrick or Ireland. I do not even have a version in Irish though Alba plays on the Television. Now reaching over 255 hits on the current version it is soon time to add the next episode - though could do with one more language to create version 4... In the meantime it is always worth watching the existing one...
And so I leave you with the comment
"It should be alright to pretend we are Irish on St Patrick's day - after all we pretend we are good at Christmas!"
I shall not say Slainte !!! I am still dry but will make up for it at the end of the month.....
I wonder if they make a Green Diet Coke??
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