Irish Blood, English Heart

Irish Blood, English Heart

In a taxi in Dublin quite some years ago, I was chatting with the driver when I decided to try to 'form a bond' with him by telling him that I have Irish roots. It is possible that he was sick of people who are not Irish laying some claim to his nationality, it is possible that he had had a long day and didn't fancy indulging some excitable tourist. It's possible he was just a rude man as when I explained my father's family was originally from Limerick he was less than complimentary.

In truth I'm personally about as Irish as a baguette but the presence of the Irish part of my family was writ large throughout my childhood and continues to this day. Surnames of Walsh and Daly, first names of Maime and Cornelious, Margaret and Mary and accents that would become impenetrable after a gin or three at the local Labour club. We didn't spend much time with them at all but when we did, it was memorable. The one person we did spend almost every Sunday morning with throughout my childhood though was my dad's mum: Nanny Walsh.

I can still picture her house today

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House number nine

La Tarte Tropézienne - the star of St Tropez