Dye dye diddle ey dye ... and potatoesALANA DIXON
I don't want your day to get off to a bad start or anything.
But, after just a couple of weeks of being back in the for-the- moment Motherland, I'm away travelling again: this time, to Ireland.
(Don't feel too jealous of me. Mark and I had to fork out hundreds of pounds in rent just a few days after saying goodbye to Mr and Mrs Mark, which meant for several days we subsisted on toast, for roughage; broccoli, to prevent scurvy; and cardboard-flavoured Sainsbury's pizza, for cheese.) So, yeah. Ireland.
As would be obvious to anyone who has spent more than five minutes in the sun with either Mark or me, each of us has a dollop of Irish heritage - his family from the north, mine from further downwind: neither of us, however, has been there before.
The plan is to rent a car - I will be in charge of the stereo - and start at the top before working our way down, taking in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Unlike most of the other holidays I've been on, I'm deliberately not researching things to see and do (an excited tic I tend to have) beforehand.
It's been tough, but I have managed to resist the urge to key the phrase "TripAdvisor Ireland" into my internet browser.
Pop culture has already done its best to mar my expectations of the Emerald Isle and what it might be like: I hold Ben Affleck at least 87 per cent responsible for this.
My mind is full of (admittedly ridiculous) preconceptions, ranging from lush green hillsides to a woeful economy to pubs full of fiddly folk music to being among my people, ie, a sea of gingers, to Riverdance to Rose of Tralee to James Joyce to Gerard Butler.
Clearly, Ireland has more to offer its guests - there are potatoes too! And probably people with brown hair, maybe. Just tricks, ya'll - but I've decided I'd quite like to surprise myself.
Pleasantly, I'm sure.
There are some things I have my heart set on experiencing.
In my defence, I've had an unhealthy fascination with kissing the Blarney stone because a wee song about doing just that was my jam during syndicate singing at primary school.
Whenever someone slipped the lyrics to that on the overhead projector, look out! (I now have the chorus - literally "dye dye diddle ey dye, dye dye diddle ey dye", etc - on loop in my head. That's going to be fun at 2am tonight.) Our visit to Ireland is, funnily enough, strategically structured around the Giant's Causeway, the Ring of Kerry, Temple Bar in Dublin . . .
But beyond picking up a car at Belfast International - despite it being significantly cheaper than the next model up, a certain 6-foot-4 someone refused to opt for the Ford Ka, which I think would have been wildly amusing - and making my way to an O'Connell family reunion, my plans are wide open.
I.CAN'T.WAIT to see a leprechaun.