This is the first St. Patrick’s Day in years that Pádraig (and us) have been in Ireland.

So what do you do on St. Patrick’s Day? What do you do?

We had thought about going into town to watch the parade and then decided for various reasons not to. So we watched the parade on the telly. I remember much less sophisticated floats – in my memory half the floats were always sponsored by car dealerships – then what was on show today. What caught my attention were the incredibly large number of marching bands from the USA.

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Having watched the parade we went down to Dollymount Strand. It was the first really nice, sunny, not-so-windy afternoon in a long time. It was bliss. (The man in the picture is not walking on water, he is going into the water for a swim. And he’s probably been doing it every day of his life.)

I thought today that if you are busy living your life, busy earning a living, busy getting by every day, you start blocking out the rest of the world. Voices, pictures, people from outside are difficult to hear, see, communicate with. Your world to you seems to be the only world.

Which is why we have to continuously push the boundaries of our world, challenge our view of the world, peel of the layers of familiarity, security, custom and whatever else — to see and experience that alternatives are possible, and sometimes better.