So you’re 18 weeks old and you’ve just had your first taste of Guinness. Strictly speaking you should have waited until you were 18 years old but your mum decided to join me in a wee glass tonight and it seems you really enjoyed it – doing somersaults once the sweet taste flowed through the umbilical cord straight into your tummy.
It’s just as well really. You’re Irish and a Hughes and Guinness is already a very important part of your heritage. For 250 remarkable years they’ve been making this stuff in Ireland. That may end soon as the modern brewery seeks to manage costs – like the rest of us – but regardless of where it is actually made it will always be an Irish thing. No matter where you end up in this changing world we live in, the Guinness emblem will remind you of where you’ve come from.
More than that however it is a Hughes thing. Your father, uncles, grandfather and probably their forefathers have all have found many reasons and excuses to indulge themselves in delicious pints (and formerly bottles) of the black stuff. It has been an integral part of our family occasions; marking births, birthdays, weddings and deaths. We don’t need it to make an occasion but our conversations around it bring a familiarity that roots us and reflects back to us a part of who we are.
It may be another 18 years before you have your own first pint of Guinness. Hopefully that will be a very special pint and I might even be the one to buy it for you.