I realized just yesterday that I should have done something for St. Patty’s day. Being of Irish descent. But since living in the UK for the last 10 years I realize it is no longer my most predominant background. And no, not because of the IRA, but because my more immediate past is now American.
In London, I am of American descent.
Like many Americans, when I lived in America, I wore my great grand-parents’ background proudly on my sleeve. It defined me. And like many Irish Americans we swaggered about with it, claiming Cuchulain as a direct ancestor and badmouthing the English for their contribution to the potato famine.
Until we realized sheepishly that actually the name Killham is originally English. Coming probably from the town of Kilham in east Yorkshire.
It was quite a psychological adjustment.
Turns out my family has made its way continuously west from England to Ireland to Canada and the US. Always, as my father noted, marrying bright sassy Irish or Irish-descent lasses along the way.
And now I have made my way back east to the mother country. And have realized that the English are not so bad after all.
photo by jonmatthew photography (flickr)