Tuesday 1 February 2011: Spring is sprung!
Yes, it's official - it's the first day of spring,and it's St Bridget's Day. Spring seems to come early to Ireland, I think it's something to do with the Celtic New Year (Imbolc) which begins today. The ancient festival was hijacked by the Christians who re-named it in honour of St Bridget. St Bridget is very popular in Ireland, second only to St Patrick and children up and down the land will have been making versions of the St Bridget cross. Traditionally made from rushes, it's usually hung up in the kitchen and is ensured to bring good luck to the household. Apparently St Bridget herself would visit the sick and whilst whiling away time at bedsides made crosses from rushes on the floor. They are unbelievably difficult to make!! You start with two rushes and have to weave in and out and move the rushes around. I am embarrassingly terrible at it and watch in amazement as small children do it far better than I. This very handsome cross was purchased from a rather swanky craft shop in Dingle and is not one I made earlier.
It does feel springlike today, warm and sunny - fortunate as still no heating in school and tomorrow the water has to go off as well. The balloons (refer to yesterday!) were used to demonstrate the excitement of static electricity (rub your balloon on your tummy, hold near to your hair and watch what happens). Far too much excitement for one day.