Countries, Cruising, Europe

France, somme-nous déjà-la?

And it is the question every English Francophile child in Dover is asking: France, somme-nous déjà-la?

Only we doubt whether improving their French is top of the prep just now.

And for those who do have any French they’re more likely to shout: bâtards Francais.

Because nothing turns you against a country more than waiting hours and hours to get into it.

Do the English hate the French?

Francophobe: Rees-Mogg

 

Of course the Francophobia is there already… in spades.

With Dickens character Jacob Rees-Mogg weighing in.

Even suggesting that the French want to make life difficult for British tourists?

Pourquoi?

Now where once the favourite car game was I Spy now it’s phoning in your radio station to Bash the French.

This is a quintessentially English obsession, a neighbourly dispute which sustains both but which disrupts the hood.

Good neighbours

Tres bien Monsieur Bean: Franglais

My own wee country of birth, Scotland, has a historical alliance with the French, the Auld Alliance.

Born out of mutual interest, to be fair, and a suspicion of the neighbour.

As is the case with those across the road, the Irish, who have often let the French in, to try to oust the English from their plot.

The mad thing though is that if the English dislike the French so much why are so many flocking to get over there.

Walking on water: In France

There are, of course, a multitude of reasons why there’s such gridlock in the English ports.

And no one party is to blame.

Maybe though if it’s possible not everyone head for the coast at the same time.

And if it’s because of school holidays, well, you don’t have to go in the first week.

Camp brand new

Plain sailing: And at least the boat is moving

The good news is that when you get there.

And your Stena or Brittany Ferries crossing will be smooth, comfy and good value, you’ll get a fab break.

France, particularly Nord, Normandy and Brittany are all about La Famille.

And their campsites are a long way from the basic scrub land we tried to pitch a tent in back on that post-school break to Saint-Raphael.

So the kids may ask France, somme-nous déjà-la?

But it will be worth it when you can say Enfin.

 

 

 

Canada, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

The Queen’s platinum destinations

When you’ve already visited 120 countries (there are 195) then it’s difficult to choose your best… but here to mark her 70th anniversary of her coronation today, are the Queen’s platinum destinations.

But some stats before we go travelling…

Her Maj has sailed over one million miles on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Now docked along the road from Murty Palace in Leith.

And she has travelled the equivalent of 42 times around the globe (and to think My Queen has only been round once!)

All of this too without the need for a passport.

African queen

Her Majestree: Kenya

 

Princess Elizabeth was on her travels, naturally, when she succeeded her Dad, King George VI in 1952, in Kenya.

The 70 years actually starts from this year as that was when she was crowned.

The story goes that she was up a tree at the time with her husband, Prince Philip.

Although this was no shinnying up the bark, or a kiddies’ treehouse.

It was the three-room hotel, Treetops, built into the top of a large tree.

And only closed last October because of Covid.

And in one of the other rooms, hunter Jim Corbett stayed awake to make sure no wildlife got near.

Queen of Scots

Armoured and dangerous: Funtime Jimmy

No such problems in Aberdeenshire in the north-east of Scotland.

It is said to be the Queen’s favourite place in the whole wide world.

It was in the Balmoral Estate (a favourite too of Queen Victoria’s) that she took refuge from the storm after Princess Diana’s death in 1997.

Of course the 54 countries of the Commonwealth have taken up most of the Queen’s time.

Canadian HRH

Loyal subjects: Canadians love the Queen

And Canada most of all where she has visited 27 times.

A favourite too of her parents.

There were in fact contingency plans in place for the Royal Family to take refuge there from the Nazis in Britain’s darkest hour.

It’s hard to imagine, of course, now but the most famous woman on the planet was once a navy officer’s wife.

Albeit that officer being a prince, Philip.

Malta monarch

The Queen was here: Malta

And she lived on base with Philip in Malta, the jewel of the Mediterranean.

Where she is said to have loved the easier pace of life than back home.

Among other aspects of her life which are less known is that the Queen is a Francophile, a fluent Gallic speaker, and that she also likes German.

No Teuton gags here or it will be oaf with der head!

Friend of Ireland

Her Maj has naturally been a regular visitor to Northern Ireland.

But it was only in 2011 that she set foot in the south of the island.

Where she was an instant hit, not least when she blethered with a stall holder in the English Market in Cork.

The Royal Bucket List

Flagging it up: Cuba

That leaves just 75 countries for Queenie to visit too (and she won’t let her 95 years put her off).

Among them Greece, where Philip had some unresolved issues, Madagascar, Cuba, Israel and Peru.

And that leaves the rest of us in the ha’penny place (her head was on that too) when it comes to the Queen’s platinum destinations.

And as the gratitudes are handed out over the course of the year, what most people will be glad of, is the four bank holidays Britons are getting this year.

 

 

 

 

Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Where is Ireland on this jigsaw?

And they’ve been a revival stories of Covid… but where is Ireland on this jigsaw?

You see it’s something that gets us out of ourselves and travel.

All when our leaders have us all shut down.

Only some manufacturers (let’s call them Gibsons) still seem to have a British empirical view of the world.

Despite Ireland having broken from the British yoke 100 years next year.

Although the new state of Northern Ireland remained (and still remains) loyal.

Jiggery-pokery

A different world: Gibsons jigsaw

I was stopped in my tracks this week when browsing the shelves in the retail park.

And I discovered that we we were back in 1921.

With the two words United Kingdom spanning these two islands.

For some, unfortunately too many, it’ll be pedantry on my part.

But it’s lazy, dismissive, erroneous and outdated.

And to project a hypothetical would it be as easily brushed over were there to be a jigsaw on sale with the UK still in Europe?

To be fair I’d probably buy that!

Where in the world?

Rule Britannia: The British map

Loose geography has long been a bone of contention.

Probably since my primary school days.

When we would be given a borderless map and tested on where countries and capitals should be.

Growing up in the UK’s northern country, Scotland, was a challenge too.

And not just because of the weather, religious regression and our misfiring football team.

No, because Britain, that’s Scotland,England and Wales, being abbreviated in conversation on TV to England.

The UK you ask? Well, that’s when Northern Ireland gets included.

Also while we’re here, can somebody look at scrapping the British Isles topographical misnomer?

A new world

Get the Braai on: Port Elizabeth township, South Africa

Because we have caught up with post-colonial name changes around the world.

Although we do appreciate that it is a constant updating exercise.

With my old favourite Port Elizabeth in South Africa now needing to be changed to Gqberha.

It wasn’t all bad on my shopping expedition though for a helium canister for balloons (party at ours!).

The great erections

Barcelona prayers: At La Sagrada Familia

Next to the world and a jigsaw of Britain was a collection of great 3-D erections (steady!) from Revell.

There was Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria.

And those of a certain age will remember it from the credits of Wonderful World of Disney.

Me, it was running up its hill to clear my boozy Oktoberfest head.

La Sagrada Familia I visited during the height of a European heatwave a couple of years ago.

And the joke would be that you would never be able to finish it!

The Tower of London sits alongside it on the shelf.

Although I can’t confirm whether they had intended to give us London Bridge but it kept falling down.

Last but not least is the Colosseum.

And yes, you’ll want to check that there are no missing pieces.

When Ireland was my world

Final piece of the jigsaw: With Laurie in Malahide

And so after collecting the photographic evidence and brazening it out as the stern-eyed shop assistant restocked…

In time-honoured fashion I made my excuses and left.

And on my return home I rummaged through the garage for an old jigsaw with a fond memory.

Where is Ireland on this jigsaw?

It was in fact our whole world then.

 

 

 

Deals, Ireland

Craic Friday

And my friends in Visit Northern Ireland and Tourism Ireland can have this one… Craic Friday. For the usual consultancy fee, of course.

As promised more Black Friday offers (and like all the best Fridays they stretch into the weekend).

It’s always nice to share your favourite hotels with your friends.

Dublin’s delights

in with the fixtures: At the InterCon

And I’m glad to have passed on the charms of my favourite Dublin hotel, the iconic InterContinental in Ballsbridge, with my old pal and multi-award winning Travel writer Yvonne Gordon.

Yvonne has been editing an international guide book and dropped in on Nicky and his staff at the D4 institution, just next to my old stomping ground.

You’ll save 25% off their best flexible rate and enjoy:

A spacious deluxe guest room or a choice of luxurious suites with many with balconies.

And a special recommendation here from my own mermaid who rave about their 14m heated indoor pool and relaxation area.

And their 10% off ESPA products.

There’s limited time to book through Friday, December 3.

And the offers are for stays between Monday, November 29 this year and September 4 next year. And book three days before arrival.

Lusty helpings

Lusty Beggers… can be choosers

And you’ll have lusty helpings all right with the famous hospitality in Northern Ireland.

The deliciously named Lusty Beg Island Resort in Fermanagh is giving you 40% off a B&B courtyard stay for two for £105 per night.

Or book two nights B&B courtyard for two for £265 and receive. £70 voucher to use during your stay.

The offer is open from January 1 to March 31 and is open through tomorrow.

Donegal Mammy

Search and replace: That couple could be you

And, yes, no dip into Ireland can be complete without a namecheck for its northernmost county… my Donegal Mammy would never forgive me.

The scenic Harvey’s Point, set in the idyllic surroundings of Lough Eske and with the Bluestack Mountains as a backdrop, is just where you want to be at this time of year.

Or any time, to be fair.

Now if you book your gift voucher online before midnight on Monday you will get a 10% discount.

That’s towards the stay offers or can be used to enjoy an Afternoon Tea or a meal in the Lakeside Restaurant or Harvey’s Bar and Terrace.

So, even though it’s Saturday, I make no apologies for giving you Craic Friday.

That’s  Irish logic for you.

 

 

 

Adventure, Countries, Ireland

A walk through old Ireland

My Dear Old Mum was always at her freest when she was in her beloved Donegal taking a walk through old Ireland.

And, of course, being a popular native of Ireland’s northernmost county she would be noticed even in the wilds of the Monian Road, Glenfin.

Mary Huoney (and forgive the spelling as I never did get to grips with all those fadas) revelled in spotting Mum skipping on the stony path.

Donegal life

One-horse town: Glenfin

It is the uninhibited nature of Donegal life which marks it out as special.

If you are lucky enough to have spent childhood days in the Irish valley of the River Finn you will have rich memories of…

Ned and his donkey, old Eddie (my grandpa) with the twinkling eye, the racing paper and the pipe filled with spearmint tobacco.

And Johnny and Cundie Nora and their horse and cart.

The best folk

Next stop America

You could (and should) experience it all on a four-night walking and hiking holiday in Donegal with TD Active Holidays.

Glencolmkille Folk Village will take you back to an Ireland of the history books and themed Irish pubs.

But this is not Oirish but authentic and worth walking through.

Mount Errigal rises like an ancient Celtic sentinel from the Finn Valley inviting you on to climb it.

Park life

Take it all in: Glenveagh National Park

Glenveagh National Park is 16,000 hectares of walking harmony with nature, the Derryveagh Mountains, the Poisoned Glen (intriguing) and Errigal.

And if it’s a range of cliffs you like then it’s the old pilgrims trek to Slieve League you’ll be wanting.

And you know how much I love an oul’ pilgrims walk… be it Santiago or Rome.

Last port

Adventurous: St Brendan

Reflect too on being at the very edge of Europe.

And imagine St Brendan the Navigator setting out to discover America.

TD active Holidays (that’s our pals Travel Department) is offering a four-day break, departing August 19, from €659pp.

With Donegal Town as your base..

Department shopping

Green shoots: From a trek

You’ll get three guided walking days in Donegal with packed lunches thrown in.

Trust me you’ll be glad you’ve taken your walk through old Ireland.

And if you see an old Irish woman skipping along the road tell her I say: ‘Hi’.

 

Countries, Culture, Ireland, Music, UK

Song for Ulster

The 12th of July means something in Northern Ireland and its hinterland so today it’s Rainy Days and Songdays Song for Ulster.

No, not the songs you would hear on the marches and matches but the best of Ulster from the charts.

Alternative

SLF: Belfast bravado. http://www.imdb.com

Stiff Little Fingers (Alternative Ulster): And first up is the pride of Ulster punk.

Belfast boys SLF used the backdrop of The Troubles for material and recorded the first single Suspect Device disguised as a suspect bomb.

The producer thought it was real and contacted the band for a real one. Instead we give you the brilliant Alternative Ulster.

Get your kicks

Call them up on the telephone: The Undertones

The Undertones (Teenage Kicks): It is the stuff of punk legend that SLF and Derry’s finest The Undertones did not get on.

The Undertones accused SLF of sensationalising The Troubles and the violence.

Teenage Kicks famously initially had the line: ‘I wanna hold it, hold it tight’.

An Ode to Derry

Star composer: Phil Coulter

Phil Coulter (The Town I Loved So Well): When a composer speaks with honesty and experience about his world (Derry)then the results are memorable.

Phil, of course, had musical pedigree before this, his signature song, having written Eurovision classics Congratulations and Puppet On A String.

Comedy classic

Harmon harmonies: Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy (National Express): And you’ve got to love a band with a lyric: ‘And it’s hard to get by/when your arse is the size of a small country.

Derry’s Neil Harmon also penned an album The Duckworth Lewis Method. Geinius.

Van the Belfast Man

Hat’s the boy: Van the Man

Van Morrison (Madame George): The poet laureate of Belfast, Van may be a grumpy old sod but he’s never forgotten his roots.

You can still see him at one of his legendary cabarets at the Europa Hotel although, alas, characters like Madame George are long gone,

And a special mention too to the three Ulster counties in the Republic of Ireland

The Republic Counties

Name of the game: Clannad

Donegal and Clannad and Harry’s Game over Daniel O’Donnell.

Hipsters Cavan and The Strypes and Blue Collar Jane.

And Monaghan with their history of Country music and ‘Big Tom’ McBride and his Gentle Mother. And my Country Roads.

Raff, you handsome prince

Can I be in your band: Michael and Travel set

But the last word goes to the North’s finest… my pal Michael Rafferty who has been playing covers of our favourites every night through lockdown.

And Michael is locking it down, deservedly at 500.

Check out his Handsome Princes and Michael tells me he’s the handsomest of them all.

It’s my Rainy Days and Songdays Song for Ulster.

America, Countries, Europe, Ireland, Music, UK

Green Lighting megamix around the world

It’s one of those annoying Government buzzwords so let’s claim it back with a Rainy Days and Songdays Green Lighting megamix around the world. Our favourite songs with ‘green’ in the title and the countries where they transport us.

Wales boyo

Green, Green Grass of Home, Tom Jones, Wales: Down the road I look and there runs Mary, hair of gold and lips like cherries.

Now I dare say most homes have green, green grass unless you live in a very hot country and the land is baked brown. But this just feels Welsh.

That is until you get to the rest of the song and realise that it’s a man on Death Row dreaming of home.

Maybe, Mary had a narrow escape after all. We, though will just imagine it as the beautiful Welsh valleys.

Green Cash

Forty Shades of Green, Johnny Cash: Arkansas and Ireland: The legend is that Johnny was inspired to write this County classic when he looked down from the plane at the patchwork fields of green of Ireland.

As a recruiting call for Ireland our pals at Tourism Ireland would have been proud as in true singer style Johnny namechecks everywhere on the Emerald Island.

Quite who the girl from Tipperary town with the lips like eiderdown is Johnny would never say, perhaps because June would have killed him.

Green Burns Country

Burns Cottage, Alloway,Scotland. https://www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/robert-burns-birthplace-museum

Green Grow The Rashes O, Eddi Reader: Burns and Ayrshire: The sweetest hours that e’er the old poet and ploughman prowler spent were spent among the lasses O.

The old rogue Burns was pure rock’n’roll and could pen a lyric and a tune which is probably why he is held in such high regard by the greatest singer-songwriters of the latter half of the 20th century.

With Bob Dylan, no less, crediting the Scot as his greatest inspiration.

And Henry VIII I am

Greeensleeves, King Henry VIII/Ralph Vaughan Williams, Berkshire: And another old lothario here with King Henry VIII said to have written this for Anne Boleyn.

What better tune then for an English rose to walk up the aisle to in her home county of Berkshire.

My Scary One has lost her head plenty of times since… but that’s been with me.

Vini Verde

Night at the opera: In Prague

La Boheme, Giuseppe Verdi: Prague: No, a non-green tune didn’t slip through. Giuseppe Verdi would actually be Joe Green in English.

The Milanese Verdi had the support of Gaetano Donizetti from nearby Bergamo whom he visited in Vienna which, of course, was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

And that included Bohemia, or the current-day Czech Republic where the thing to do when you’re in Prague is take in a production at the opera house.

Poppies and Green Fields

No Man’s Land

The Green Fields of France, The Fureys and Davey Arthur, The Somme: And in the mud of the Somme the soldiers’ minds would drift off to some verdant pasture and memories of precious moments with a loved one.

Every nation sacrificed its most promising generation in No Man’s Land but for those from the furthest outposts of Empire… well, it just seems to be all the more pointless to modern sensibilities.

Eric Bogle, a Scots-born Australian, explores the pyschological cost to one survivor ‘young Willie McBride’. And it was all the more poignant after I’d seen the statue of the Scots soldier in northern France.

And another one to make you cry

Memphis Blues

Green Onions, Booker T. & the MGs: Memphis: In the home of the Blues, Memphis, Booker T & the MGs came up with their signature instrumental tune.

The story goes that the Stax house band were waiting around for the Sun artist and rockabilly singer Billy Lee Riley to turn up and developed the song.

And why Green Onions? Well Booker T. Jones self-deprecatingly said it was because green onions were the nastiest thing he could think of and something you could throw away. We never would.

Ol’ Green Eyes… well, Blue, but!

Little Green Apples, Frank Sinatra: New Jersey and New York: And a lot more digestible with this old standard covered by all the crooners.

But of all the crooners, none compare with the Boy from Hoboken, New Jersey who made it there in New York, and elsewhere.

And just like Johnny Cash from another song, Frank does his best to include the whole country, in this case America.

So a shout-out to Disneyland, Doctor Seuss in Springfield Massachussetts.

And Indianapolis where it don’t rain in the summertime and Minneapolis where it doesn’t snow when the winter comes. All of which it does to

Beret good

Ballad of the Green Beret, Sgt Barry Sadler/Dolly Parton: Take your pick, the clean-shaven All-American Boy, soldier turned actyor Barry Sadler or Miss American PIe herself, Tennessee’s Dolly.

Either way it’s flag-waving, Americana. And even if you don’t know the song you’ll recognise the tune.

Particularly if you’re a fan of Celtic FC who famously play in green and white hoops and who have adapted the song and lyrics into a favourite fans’ song With a Four-leaf Clover on My Breast.

The evergreen Cliff

Green Light, Cliff Richard, India, England, Portugal and Barbados: And there are few more wholesome and clean-cut than Our Cliff.

The evergreen Cliff belts this one out from the Seventies.

The Peter Pan of Pop who was born in India, grew up in England, and has had homes in Portugal and Barbados, though he is selling up in Bim (and yes I’m interested).

When it gets the Green Light.

 

 

 

 

 

Countries, Culture, Europe, Food & Wine, Ireland

Paddy’s Day Snaps Pt1 – Johnnie Fox hooley

Sláinte… sure aren’t we all Irish today anyway, St Paddy’s Day, Ireland’s national day?

Paddy’s Day, of course, will be different this year with the streets of Ireland (and the world) empty.

But that just allows the whole world to link arms and party.

Fantastic Johnnie Fox

Old foxes: La Famille at Johnnie Fox’s

It’s something of a tradition to take relatives and friends up to Johnnie Fox’sin the Dublin Mountains.

At any given time but particularly on St Paddy’s Day.

 

This year one of Ireland’s fieriest firecrackers, Bláithnaid Ní Chofaigh will be throwing the hooley.

It will be livestreamed from Johnnie’s and also Dick Mack’s in Dingle and The Duke of York in Belfast.

And she’d be up dancing too

And there will even be some Riverdance thrown in.

There’s also a Guinness demo on how to pour the perfect pint which I know how to do from Vegas of all places. And to drink it.

And someone has greened up for today: At the Duke of York

The party which Tourism Ireland are putting on will be on your screens from 7pm-8.30pm here in Europe and 9.30pm-11pm in North America.

Go to the Facebook page, YouTube or Ireland.com. I know what I’ll be watching.

America, Canada, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Some mothers… travels with mine

I’ve got a husband, five brothers and three sons and James (my Sunday name) is the most selfish of them all.

Never mind that I’d driven her and her sister up from my home in Co. Wicklow to her homestead of Co. Donegal.

Or that I was standing just feet away from my cousin when she was giving out.

On this Mothering Weekend these are our travails.

God’s (and her) Own Country

La Famille: In Donegal

Ireland: And for my Dear Old Mum that’s Donegal where she grew up in a hotel in a rural hamlet, and holds court every time she goes back.

At Powerscourt Waterfalls in Co. Wicklow

Of course the Donegal natives go along with her Diva-like behaviour and indulge her.

Green, green Ireland

It gets us a free pot of tea every time we go back to the now renamed Ramblers Inn.

The Queen of Queens

New York attitude

There’s an advert which the Irish are all too familiar with where two old ones batter the heck out of each other because each wants to pay the bill.

It is quintissentially Irish and it annoys the Scottish half of me to boiling point.

Of course when my Dear Old Mum is with her own siblings and relatives her need to show her largesse goes off the scale.

And so when we went to my cousin’s wedding in Queens in New York she berated me in front of my extended familly and insisted that she pay for the pre-wedding meal.

Before bossing me around Manhattan. Well, I didn’t ask her to wear high heels.

A wee break in Scotland

The Royal Wave

And I can’t even get that.

Anyone who has been to a major golf tournament (2000! Open, St Andrews) will tell you that the queue for the Portaloos is long.

And that when you eventually get in then you will make the most of it.

Of course, too long for my Dear Old Mum, who sent a random spectator to knock on the door and ask how long I was going to be.

She obviously wanted to see Tiger.

But of course I got my own back and outran her, and jumped the Swilcen Burn with the crowd to see him lift the trophy.

Piping up: In Glasgow

One of my favourite trips was when I took her into her adopted city and my homestead of Glasgow to see the World Bagpipes Championships.

Another particular quirk of the Irish is to be dumbfounded that you could ever by hosted by anyone else. She, of course, wanted to pay!

And one that got away

King of the wild frontier. Go West.

My brother, that is who emigrated to Canada after meeting a Torontonian.

I broke the habit of a lifetime by being responsible and putting my studies before a few days in Canada to see my brother get married.

But my Dear Old Mum didn’t forget me then and brought me back a Davy Crockett type hat which became my signature look from then on in my student town of Aberdeen.

 

Africa, America, Asia, Australasia, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Liam Neeson will find you, and he WILL green you

What I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career – Bryan Mills (aka Liam Neeson), Taken.

And make no mistake Liam Neeson will look for you, will find you, and WILL green you.

Irish eyes are smiling: Liam Neeson

Yes, Big Liam is fronting a new online video for St Patrick’s Day with footage shot around Ireland.

A Giant was here: The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland

At locations like Dingle, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Dunluce Castle, Kilkenny Castle, Derryclare Lough, Newgrange and Titanic Belfast.

Taken with a green filter

The Greening Tower of Pisa

The footage will be interwoven with images from Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative.

That will see famous landmarks and iconic sites illuminated in green each year on St Paddy’s Day, Wednesday, March 17.

The Taken actor waxed lyrical about his native country.

London calling

He said: ‘This year, more than ever, seeing the world turn green for St Patick’s Day will help to bring positivity and hope to millions on 17 March.

‘This is a reminder of the beautiful island that awaits when it is safe to travel again.’

The man himself

The announcement of the new landmarks to be greened around the world has always been a highlight of the year and this year is no exception.

And may even be more dramatic with the absence of us to spoil the view.

An Irish Opera: Sydney Opera House

The Tourism Ireland initiative began on March 17, 2010, when the Sydney Opera House was bathed in shades of green.

And it quickly caught on with The London Eye, Niagara Falls, the Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China...

Phew (pause for breath) Rio‘s Christ the Redeemer and the One World Trade Center in New York among the more than 300 around the world going green.

Viva Green Vegas

I’ll put it all on green: Vegas

While the Welcome sign in Las Vegas will be emerald too…

Hopefully in preparation for the delegation of Travel professionals from this island going out to their American Travel Fair in the Autumn.

Our friends at Tourism Ireland earlier this month announced details of those famous attractions and reminded us too of the debt we owe to Wales.

It is after all the birthplace of St Patrick, where the village of Portmeirion will green up.

The Mannekin Piss in Brussels

Over the coming week, Tourism Ireland will roll out its St Patrick’s film in 12 markets around the world.

Including Britain, the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Canada, the Nordic countries, the GCC (Gulf Cooperaton Council), the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.

Seth’s magnus opum

For a broader sense of Ireland’s Greening of the World, check out the beautiful book of that name by renowned Irish journalist Seth Linder.

And because every picture tells a story, here is a further selection from his book.

Rio de Greeneiro

Should it not be Moulin Verde?

I Greensterdam

Colossal: The Colosseum

Empire state of green mind

A little bit of Scotland

The Kelpies in Falkirk

Of course, there will be a corner of North Berwick, here in Scotland which will be Forever Green.