16 June 2011


It's that time of year again - June 16 is Bloomsday.  If you live in Philadelphia, you can spend all or part of the day on Delancey Street, in the street in front of the Rosenbach Museum, listening to various readers, well-known and not, read through Ulysses, by James Joyce, which is the story of a day (June 16) in the life of Leopold Bloom, a resident of Dublin.  The thing I think is most extraordinary - and extremely romantic - about the book is that the day it takes place - June 16, 1904 - is the same day that James Joyce and Nora Barnacle (who was to become his wife) went on a date for the first time.

We usually spend at least a few minutes at the reading, which is interspersed with music, and draws a really diverse crowd throughout the day.  Our Bloomsday started this year with The Tim working during the day, and me with a day off.  My Bloomsday started with a trip to the vet with Jetsam for a checkup, which went well (as far as the results.  I don't think he thinks it went well at all).  When we first moved here, and had our original cat, who was named Molly Bloom ("the original and still the best"), and whose birthday was today, I would put her in her carrier, and we would go and listen for a while.  She didn't really like being in the carrier, but she liked people and attention, so she would have a very pleasant time of it.  You would probably not be surprised to learn that Jetsam had absolutely No. Interest. in any of it.  So we came directly home ...

But I walked up a little while later and even though it was still pretty early in the day, there was a good crowd.

I missed hearing who the reader below is, but he gave it his all.  Hearing the different people is as entertaining as the rest of it - some are clearly hoping to be memorable and dramatic, and others you can tell are wondering why in the name of God they agreed to do this!

This year was a beautiful day, with perfect weather, which makes the entire setting just a nice
place to be.

When The Tim came home, we had gorgonzola cheese with mustard on rye bread, and a glass of wine (red for The Tim, white for me), as we always do, and as Leopold Bloom does in the book.  And then with dinner, we each had a pint of Guinness, to top the whole day off.  (We will actively pursue reasons to enjoy a pint ...)

Another lovely Bloomsday. 

I hope yours was as well, whether or not you had the chance (or desire) to celebrate.


Kathleen said...

Happy Bloomsday, dearie! We celebrated with Penelope's year-end preschool picnic - not quite the same. But these Irish eyes are smiling ;)

SissySees said...

No wonder yesterday was a lovely day!! Happy belated Bloomsday to you too!

KSD said...

Sounds lovely.

Lorraine said...

Bridget- Can you imagine having the last name of "Barnacle"-

Hello, I'm Lorraine Barnacle.