Thursday, March 6, 2014
Help, I started baking scones!
But judging by my offspring, I have changed my view slightly. You are never Irish until you have been to Irish secondary school, or are you?
My two eldest sons, proud bearers of a Belgian passport, say that they feel Irish. They speak the lingo, have the perfect accent,have Irish friends. Although Fintan looks very Flemish like me, all his friends are Irish, they take him out to drinking sessions and unfortunately he has come home with a black eye a couple of times. They were those unprovoked attacks, by little guys who want to bring the big ones down, He is a great athlete and is doing very well in long jump. but he also watches rugby and supports the Irish team.
Sipke is a perfect mixture of his dad's Celtic genes ( skin that burns in the sun) and my Flemish ones. He goes to college in England and his accent alone makes him the Irish man, which he happily accepts. He even organised an Irish party with Irish rebel songs and the ' pin the donkey's tale on the Queen' game.
Milo, the first one born in Cork, is the one who drinks Barry's tea, wears a track suit with pride, finds it normal to have friends who come to school in a tractor and has the 'shift' competitions in the teenage disco.
Angharad is a citizen of the world. Her friends are a mixture of nationalities, Nigerian, South African, Irish and English. she has only just started secondary school, so I'll report back on her in a couple of years.
And then there is me.
After 16 years in Ireland I always thought I am as Flemish as they come. But when I started baking scones last week, I was shocked. Is this really me? Could I be changing into an Irish mam?
I did the 'how Irish are you?' test online and I got 100%. According to the results, I am a Celtic warrior.
To make sure this was right, I did another one. The result: You are as Irish as the Late Late Toy Show. Oh dear. Could I really be losing my identity?
I say 'How Are ya', on the road, I greet everyone while driving, I say 'grand altogether' and 'tis'.
My Dutch is becoming a litteral translation of English, which can be embarrassing when you're blogging in Dutch. I have become an English apostrophe nazi, but don't remember the Dutch apostrophe rules.
This morning though, Milo reassured me. He said mum, you say all those things, but you say them with a Flemish accent. You will never lose that. And then he immitated me, and I knew he was right.
I am still a Fleming in Ireland, a little more Irish but still not completely.
And although I bake scones, sing in pubs and even have the odd tea, I also bake waffles, as my mother did, I sing mostly songs from the continent and don't drink alcohol in the pubs. The saying'you are a waste of space in the pub' because I don't drink much, still counts.
Buíochas le Dia! And now it's time to bake my soda bread.