What a wonderful morning it was in Co. Meath ! Once a year, I lead a Birdwatch Ireland walk with a couple of friends to celebrate the “Dawn Chorus”, an outing starting at 4 am, welcoming the sunrise of what could be “our summer” ( every time we a get a couple of days of sunshine on a row in Ireland, that is what we call it), we listened to the first song birds while light pierces through the darkness of night, making it a fine communion with nature and history as our early Dominical procession made its way quietly, by the neighbouring passage graves of Knowth and Newgrange, overlooking the Boyne river’s meanders.
Before being catapulted into adult life, we were taught a couple of life saving skills. After lunch, wait at least two hours before you go swimming in the sea, never EVER drink white after red, it takes ten minutes to get a hardboiled egg from the boiling point, spaghettis are cooked when they stick to the wall, how to make a vinaigrette, and, what was going to separate the men from the boys, the sheep from the goats; how to make your own mayonnaise. In a region almost surrounded by water, it was only going to be a matter of time before a friend or a family member would ask nonchalantly while preparing the crab claws and meat: “You do the mayonnaise, yeah?” You knew then that the last task of your right of passage had come before you.