I had one meal and two collations and I was starving all day. I would not have made a good medieval christian. Though I was quite looking forward to hearing them say “Dust you are and to dust you shall return” when they daubed my forehead with ashes. I was to be disappointed though, they went for the very post-Vatican II “Repent and believe in the Lord” which really doesn’t have the same ring to it at all.
I felt a bit self-conscious trotting about my business with my ashes. The catholic church in Ireland has taken a serious hammering of late and it seems to me that there were far fewer people about sporting ashes. That evening Barack Obama was on the news and there was Joe Biden standing beside him with his ashes on. I got very excited, I said to my loving husband “Look, look, he has ashes, I was beginning to think that I was the only person in Ireland with ashes.” He coughed and said “Well, technically, he isn’t in Ireland, of course…”