It’s not surprising that Guinness has come to represent the darkly enigmatic country that is Ireland. And, no I’m not sidestepping the interestingly frothy top, through which you have to delve to get the true sense of all that rich darkness. The Irish have a gloriously irreverent sense of self and a normality that is often wonderfully eccentric.

“Stop being so English and wave.” My other half being irrevocably Irish, though he was born in Stafford, told me as I sat in the car ignoring the waved greeting of passing pedestrian locals.

I soon formed the opinion that it doesn’t matter how much of a stranger you are, you can never be beyond the open armed welcome of the locals. Sit in a corner of a pub nursing a drink and it won’t be long before you’re shaking hands and discussing shared interests with someone you didn’t know from Adam when you walked in.