16 June 2020 – Bloomsday

Today I’ve just eaten myself into a near food coma and it’s not even 10am. It’s Bloomsday, the day when all things James Joyce is celebrated. Bloomsday is named after Leopold Bloom, the central character in Joyce’s novel, Ulysses. And 16 June is celebrated for two reasons. The first is literary, it’s the date on which the novel is set, and the second is romantic as it’s the date marking the first date between Joyce and Nora Barnacle, who later became his wife. 

There are plenty of ways to celebrated Bloomsday (many in the Resources below). I have to say I was quite taken with staying in bed all day like Molly, Bloom’s wife, wearing nowt but a floaty nightie, but I have much to do today and quite a lot of it on Zoom. So I settled on eating a traditional Bloomsday Breakfast as today’s activity.

It’s safe to say that Bloom was not a huge fan of vegetarianism given:

Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods’ roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine. Kidneys were in his mind as he moved about the kitchen softly, righting her breakfast things on the humpy tray.

So rather than try mock up a veggie version of a slightly burnt kidney in butter sauce, complete with the taste of wee, I went for a full vegetarian Irish breakfast instead. Which was lovely. Except all I want to do now is curl up on the sofa and go to sleep. 

No doubt I shall continue to dip into the celebrations throughout the day – I would have loved to have joined the boater making workshop but it clashes with Other Life. Meanwhile I shall have to make do with a pear and a deck of tarot cards perched on my desk to get me into the spirit.

Happy Bloomsday!


Resources

Joyce, J. (1922) Ulysses, Paris, Shakespeare and Company

http://www.bloomsdayfestival.ie/fringe-programme-2020/2020/6/16/the-bloomsday-breakfast

http://www.bloomsdayfestival.ie

https://www.symphonyspace.org/events/virtual-bloomsday-on-broadway

http://www.theoldfoodie.com/2006/06/bloomsday-breakfast.html

https://www.youtube.com/user/JamesJoyceCentre

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/jun/15/bloomsday-james-joyce-celebration-goes-online-ulysses

https://chesterbeatty.ie/whats-on/bloomsday-hats-live-workshop/

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