March 17th is always a big day at our school. We’re not called St Patrick’s, but St Patrick’s day is always a big event, due mainly to the enthusiasm of our Canteen Manager, who just happens to be Irish. The children dress in green, donating a gold coin, which goes to charity. The Canteen puts on ‘green’ food* and there is an assembly where the Canteen Manager and her volunteers get dressed up in Irish outfits and give food vouchers to children who have really got into the spirit of things. We even had two Irish dancers this morning, which really added to the fun.
Today was especially special for my kids. They knew their dad was ‘on canteen’. Little did they realise that he would walk out to assembly dressed as St Patrick himself, complete with snakes (plastic ones, of course). In fact, even he didn’t know what was planned for him until he got there! Then to add to his discomfort, they visited two old people’s homes, and a hotel (which, of course, they didn't go into because they were working) and then walked down the main street, still dressed in their outfits. Quite an adventure for my rather retiring husband, but he really did look the part. I think he enjoyed it, though I’m not sure he’ll ever volunteer for canteen on St Patrick’s day again.
* The green food always goes down well – green marshmallows, green jelly and icecream, spinach quiches - you get the picture. The secondary campus advertised ‘green hamburgers with green buns’. That was a student effort, rather than the canteen. When I asked the teacher in charge of them, how they had got green buns, he said, “Easy, we just kept some buns from last year and now they’re well and truly green.” Needless to say, I didn’t order one of those.
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