Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Pat Trick

The Irish connections in my mother's family are numerous but murky. It is Kellys and Harringtons and Bricks, and they appear in London shortly after the Great Hunger, from origins yet untraced, showing no disposition ever to return. By the time I was born, my last kinswoman with personal memories of Ireland was long dead, and subsequent generations had thoroughly intermarried with and acculturated to their London English neighbours. In my day, we became acquainted with Ireland and Irishness wholly through friends outside the family. So my own excuse for celebrating St Patrick's Day is pretty minimal. Luckily, (hefts pint of militantly undyed Guinness and regards it fondly), a minimal excuse is just exactly what it takes. In the day's honour, therefore, three related diversions.

St Patrick's Cross, or Would Be

In a spirit of continued Villony from yesterday, here is that brilliant musician and raging bacchanal Shane MacGowan, letting the demons out of the bottle with The Sick Bed of Cúchulainn. Warning: significantly NSFW.

Here's a link to the eponymous Irish legend.

Patrick in His Pride

Hector and Patrick were not just made up for yesterday's song. They're out of Hector the Hold-Fast, my Kateverse's junior relation of our Iliad. It is massively less popular because, er, tragic love polygon hinging on two guys' rivalry for another guy, and the chief hero an anti-authoritarian vagabond? Thanks, minstrel, my lord's steward will get back to you! I have a version of it about one-third finished at present, knocked off in lunch hours at work to stop me going stale on the main story. Minor milestone for me: first yarn I've ever felt called to spin with a gay male romantic lead. I'm having fun with the nerdily heroic Andromache character, too.

Patricia in Her Pomp

Fellow-scribblers, don't miss Patricia Wrede's latest string of excellent articles about the art and trade of writing. If my recommendation doesn't close the deal for you, here's another from Lois McMaster Bujold, whose endorsement ought to mean... Miles more than mine. Insert groans here. Imbibe Black Bush until feeling better.


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