By Ella Higgins

There’s only one thing nicer than a cup of tea, and that is a cup of tea from a china cup or mug. What is it about tea served in china that makes tea taste so much nicer? China cups of course are synonymous with fine dining or with being treated as the special guest/visitor and/or with a special occasion.

Well, it was a very special occasion, or felt like it to me, when my uncle presented me with a lovely china mug one St. Patrick’s Day. I loved and adored my uncle Dan, so anything he gave me had special import. So I was overjoyed that he gave me a lovely china mug on one St. Patrick’s Day many, many moons ago.

‘Beware the Ides of March’ is a well known phrase that is associated with Shakespeare, due to Julius Caesar having been murdered at that time, and having been forewarned of such by the above phrase.

The Ides of March existed long before Shakespeare’s time. On checking up on this it appears that the new year began on the first full moon in March, notably on the 13th or 15th, known as the Ides.(Interesting to note that Easter is celebrated at this time, the Christian Calender obviously cashing in on this long observed time of celebration.)
Shakespeare usurped the interpretation of this time with the warning to Caesar, who was in fact responsible for reforming the Roman calendar by adding ten days to the 355 day year, instituting January 1 as the first day of the new year (beginning in 45 BC) and introducing a leap year every four years.

Shortly thereafter, he was granted the title Dictator Perpetuus or “dictator for life”.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own