I work alongside the events management staff of Fingal County Council and had to calm down some of my colleagues frazzled nerves yesterday. They were (of all things) worried about the weather for today's parade - the one thing they cannot control! So I assured them that by the sheer force of my will I would ensure that no rain fell in Swords between 10am and I.30pm! I was right! Mammy is always right.....
I had volunteered the Story Queen to tootle up and down Main Street talking to lots and lots of boys and girls ably assisted by my wonderful little pal Rachel Barker, who took the role of Princess Semolina. We had a basket full of St Patrick's Day lollipops which we distributed regally to all. Molly, my badly home-shorn bichon freise accompanied me with a lovely spray of bright green hair colour on the back. She was sumptuous and proud and a huge hit with the spectators. The Story Queen told the children that when she woke up that morning Molly had all this green spray on her and Ihe Queen got a frightful shock!
But Princess Semolina immediately knew what was wrong - 'Mama' she cried 'We must travel to Ireland - the green is a sign telling us to go!'' Well. I was terribly tired, I am 437 years old after all but Semolina was right and we hopped onto the next Space Shuttle (which is the second planet after the North Pole). We popped into Santa on the way and asked him to have a word with the clouds so that they might keep the rain away, Mrs Clause has just about recovered from the exhaustion she felt after Christmas and they are going to take a nice relaxing holiday next month.
So Princess Semolina, Molly and I chatted to beautifully decorated children up and down Swords Main Street, everyone there had made so much effort on their appearance. Everyone was happy and smiling and waving and clapping. I even got one or two little girls out to dance with me! A very nice Garda Siochana linked me for a few steps of little jig and I had my picture taken as I handed out lollipops to the wonderful Civil Defence people - who were petrified I might make them dance too!
The Parade proper started the with the Lord Mayor waving regally from an open top vintage car (my regal wave is of course the correct one - he was just imitating me) - there were football clubs, athletics clubs, dancing schools, all manner of wonderful floats and entertainment. Colleagues Caroline Bradley (who shaved her head last week and raised 1400 euro for cancer research) and Christine Mullen were exhibiting their wonderful photographs on the railings of County Hall - the staff of Fingal County Council are bursting with creativity and dedication to their community. I felt very very proud to say I worked for the Council today. And you will rarely hear me say that!
No staff member who partook today was paid overtime for their work. Some will be given time in lieu at some later date, others at higher levels regard it as part of their roles. We do take our jobs seriously citizens, we make mistakes but for the most part your public service is just that - there to serve you. And I'm your Queen!
It's St Patrick's Day - a day to dream and philosophize and we Irish do that so well! Maith Sinn.