Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my report.
I must say a special thanks to all those who contacted us during and after the radio program that Sean Radley and myself did on Cork Music Station last week. It was indeed a great honour for me to be invited by Sean . We are so glad that people enjoyed it. People from all over the world got in touch, to say they were with us. The power of the media knows no bounds and it is such a privilege for us to be able to draw our people from near and far under the umbrella of Cork Music Station for even a couple of hours. At the risk of leaving somebody out I’d better not mention any names, but it was great hearing from you. Sean does this wonderful program every Tuesday night and it never fails to bring a taste of home to Millstreet people wherever they may be.
Thank God we all survived the dreadful thunderstorm that came to visit us on Saturday afternoon. It’s a long time since we got one as severe or as prolonged and coupled with the heavy rain it was dramatic to say the least. It caused power cuts in some areas and the lightening caused fiery sparks to fly off many overhead wires while a house in another area was set alight. Dogs ran amuck as dogs always do when there’s thunder. Owners have to pay special attention to their pets, because they need lots of comforting at such times. Personally I have to say thanks to the thunder I was having an afternoon nap after doing a big clean up, removing garments to another press of many that are now out of season and indeed out of use for the unforeseeable future. Having hung them out in brilliant sunshine I decided to leave the rest to God and take a break until I was woken up with a bang as the place shook around me, flashes of lighting lit up the world. Loud bangs of thunder and big drops of rain just starting to fall. In no time I had them all in the basket dry as a cork, and gave thanks that I caught them in time.
The Moon drew our attention also during the week. It was bigger and brighter than usual which prompted many of us to venture out late before going to bed to view the feature that won’t be seen again for a long, long time.
The extension of our limits is allowing us to venture a little further afield. A walk in the Park is a pleasure that we can enjoy once again. The rule that we all walk anti-clockwise is a great idea as stops people from meeting each other. There is merit due to those who maintain the Park. It is a picture to look at. Beautifully mowed grass and recent rains give it a lush green appearance. People in general have learned how to cope with the situation that we have found ourselves in and will keep their distance every time which makes it easy for everyone and enables them to make the best use of their limitations. Since we are not allowed to go to the shops, we are blessed with all the good people who never tire of bringing us our many needs. But oh, how we’d love to go to the shop ourselves, browse around and pick up things that we forgot to put on the list. Further to that how nice it would be to join a friend for a coffee and a chat. Dream on Eily. But one day it will be a reality again and not a dream.
It’s becoming the norm now to see people on TV without make-up and even hair grooming. I think it presents a more relaxed atmosphere. Nobody cares anymore if the newsreader has a shiny face, or hair with a mind of its own, many speaking from their own homes and they do their job with the same amount of efficiency. It will surely lead to a better set of values in the long run. It was always said that clothes don’t make the man /woman and neither does the make-up or hair.
Sitting out in the garden one evening last week enjoying a cup with my daughter, she suddenly said look up, and says” An Aeroplane” The first time I ever saw an aeroplane was in the early forties. The war was on and it was the full topic of conversation. Every morning the Cork Examiner was brought from the creamery and the big headlines were read out, all about the war. I remember that day when we heard the drone of an aeroplane passing overhead, and we ran into the house, terrified that we were going to be bombed. People were asked that time not to have many lights on at night, in case they attracted the notice of the bombers passing overhead. T.G. we were not. Last week wasn’t as dramatic, but it brought home to us once again,the strange times that we are living in. The white lines crisscrossing the sky had become the norm, it grew on us until we no longer looked up at them. But it was when they stopped that we saw the other side of the coin. It was on the paper that somebody made an inquiry as to why there was a plane but was told that it was a supply aircraft. There were two that evening and none since. Again a moment to reflect on.
I ate my first radish today, grown in my own little patch. There is something magical about putting a little seed into the ground and watching it grow into an item of food. All my other efforts are obeying the rules of Mother Nature and soon I’ll have lovely peas, onions, lettuce, carrots ,and later in the year a few dinners of spuds. Flowers are doing well and their colours are adding great luster to the scene. My garden is far from being perfect but it never fails to bring me pleasure and satisfaction. The great thing about people of my vintage, is that we have time. Time to sit for ages if something grabs your attention. A little bird, gathering worms and it doesn’t go with one worm but continues to cram the little beak until she has a full supply. I watched a donkey lying in a field and a crow came along and took a supply of the animal’s winter coat to line his nest. Somewhere in the hay field beyond the cock pheasant gives a call and I suppose its because of the lack of traffic on the roads, that the cuckoo was heard this year. I couldn’t understand the doings of a snail when I saw him he was about ten feet up the rowan tree, box and all. Needless to say I pushed him off. Next morning he was up there again and before I got round to dislodge him, he had made his own way back down to Terra Firma again. Haven’t seen him since. I very rarely kill anything in my garden now. I believe that everything is entitled to its place, but if its in my way or doing damage then I move it. There is a marked increase in the honey bee world this year which is very welcome.
The Month of May is moving on and it never fails to keep us reminded us that it’s the Month of Our Blessed Lady. We always had a little May Alter at home with wild flowers in a jam pot. We picked fresh ones every day, Bluebells, primroses, daisies and others that we had no name for and said a little prayer to Our Lady. In our youth we as pupils of the Presentation Convent School were always asked to bring wild flowers for the Alter of Our Blessed Lady in the School. As well as that there was the annual May Procession which was held around the beautiful grounds at the back of the convent. It was like a trip to Heaven. The flowers and flowering shrubs, the apple blossoms and seating along the way. We felt very privileged to be allowed into this hidden sanctum of a strictly confined order. We’d sing our little hearts out, The Queen of the May, Our Lady of Lourdes etc. We thought the grounds were huge, not that we minded because we were out from school. But when I see it now, it seems to have shrunk.
We are getting very accustomed to hearing Mass etc.online. I’m finding it very acceptable. I can hear every word the priest is saying and being on my own there is no distraction. The system is widely used with many churches being streamed and we can see the celebrant but even though my situation is not visual, I still like to hear the familiar voice of our own Canon John. Many thanks to Sean Radley who makes it all possible through Cork Music Station. And each morning he plays some lovely music after the Mass has ended until eleven. Needless to say Sean will be greeting the world again tonight (Tuesday) on his weekly program from 9.30 to 11.
Our tremendous Day Centre continues to supply fresh cooked meals every day. And a team of volunteers to deliver them right to your door, They have a different menu for every day, Monday to Friday. If you need their service give them a ring at 029 70926. Let others know that this great service is there for all who wants to avail of it.
Well done to Eileen O Sullivan, who is making face masks at her popular Sewing Room at Keale. Face masks are not compulsory here now but it may be a good thing to have one in reserve.
Oh dear me, disaster has struck, and I suppose it was bound to because we are still only in the month of May. We had a heavy frost last night. I first became aware of it by the look of my beautiful bright orange Azelea just outside my window. It’s blossoms hanging limp from its branches. The hot morning sun burning the ice into its soft petals. On further inspection I found the soil in my potting tubs hard with ice, but because they’re in the shade I’m hoping that my little plants will survive. Even if they don’t we can always plant again, the year is young. But that’s it for my lovely Azalea for this season. We had an old saying at home long ago. ‘What will we do if the kettle boils over what will we do only fill it again’. We were always brought up to be hopeful and determined.
And on that positive note I will leave you till we meet again next week, le cúnamh Dé