Ah but it is truly a wonderful day to be Irish, that's for sure. We avoided the crowds, the throngs that made up the city and decided to dig the garden. We made a small ''lazy bed'' for our dream of a meagre potato crop, maybe a couple of dinners out of the whole effort but worth it in the end. A type of homage to those who went before us. To all those people who starved in 1845/46 when the crop failed from potato blight and over one million of the Irish population died in the Great Famine and about the same number emigrated to the United States, many to die enroute, on the ''coffin'' ships, as they were called in those days. How easy it is to hop on a plane now and be there in no time at all, even have a gin and tonic on the way. I thought about those other people today as I dug the garden and rambled around outside in the midst of the yellow gorse and the glorious sunshine blowing in from the south and I marvelled at the the way the garden is slowly losing its winter greyness and is miraculously becoming a whole new personality, if you like. Suddenly, living here seems worthwhile. Today is our gift. We have endured yet another long,lonely, grey, rainsoaked season. Our reward is the vision beyond the window. I am Irish. I am proud of that but I don't like the ''myth'' of Ireland. The misconceptions of the leprechauns dancing at the crossroads, the Lucky Charms cereal box, the way we are portrayed as harp playing, guinness drinking louts. This was prevalent this evening as I watched the latest Simpsons offering on TV. Apparently this program has not been aired on American TV yet and as I never watch the Simpsons I was curious to see what the Simpsons ''did'' with Ireland. It was predictable as expected. There was the Guinness, the smokers. Thats about it really. The evil drink. There was nothing else..............it was funny, sort of but it did not get to any core about the true Irish. The real Irish. The people who really love this place. I don't know if that is even possible. I don't ever imagine anyone coming to film a couple in their garden digging out a lazy bed in honour of people who died from hunger. I do not imagine a camera crew walking along the bog road that I frequent securing on filming the wild flowers and the gorse and the heathers soft hush and sway in the breeze or even take this evening, the way the sky looked. It was an edible sky, a seductive apricot, it was soft and lush and the bushes and hedgerows stood out silhouetted against the horizon and believe me, there should have been a film crew in my kitchen filming this sky. Screw the Simpsons. Get real about Ireland. It can be too beautiful, it can be too cruel, it can be horrible and it can not fit the myth but there are times, believe me when it can be truly breath taking, when words fail, when all one can say is god damn it I'm here and I'm glad I am and leprechauns and lucky charms boxes and pints of guinness are only crude adornments that need to be swept away. Ireland is truly a beautiful place when if you strip away all the gaudy decorations and wipe the slate and look and see that it is blank and pure.....pure old Ireland. God help us. Happy St. Patricks Day.