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When I was 17 I worked at Gillingham Football Club. It was a good first job, fairly easy and I got to watch all of the home games. Over the summer I worked on the functions as one of a handful of regular staff who set-up the halls during the day (the hospitality areas at Gillingham are actually very nice). One day I’m talking to John. He was in the year above me at school, one of those kids you don’t mess with, a bit rough and ready, more mature than everyone else, more ‘experienced’, but a guy that opens up and softens when you get to know him. “I drink Guinness.” he tells me, “Can’t stand lager.” We’re making fans out of blue napkins and dressing the tables. “Did you know, if you drink eight pints of Guinness and then swallow some glitter, in the morning your shit will be black and glittery?”

I’ve never really done the St Patrick’s Day thing of going out, drinking lots of Guinness and wearing a novelty hat. It is quite appealing though... I wanted to post something for St Patrick’s Day. I was going to do some cooking right up until the moment, yesterday afternoon (the day before St Patrick’s Day), an email arrived from ‘Publicity Freelancer’ with a red exclamation mark of importance and started ‘Dear Blogger’. It asked, bluntly, if we might be able to post a recipe from a book about Guinness which they are promoting. Any cooking plans were abandoned right then.