Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my report.
Buíochas le Dia, no death to report from Covid 19 yesterday, for the first time since it all began back in March. The first person died of the Covid 19 in Ireland on March 21st. It is indeed great news. But it didn’t just happen. It was made to happen by the efforts of every one in the country. Those at the top took on a parent role and guided us through troubled waters, the likes we have never seen before. But we mustn’t forget that the battle still goes on and the hand washing, the social distancing, the staying at home as much as possible still goes on. Easy enough for me and my equals, but the young people are like greyhounds at the track, snapping at the gate to get out, it will take all the strength they have to keep a lid on it as they are slowly inched out to freedom. They have our prayers as we longingly await the first hug from loving grand/great grand children, other family members and friends. But it will come, le cúnamh Dé.
The return of our choir was a very uplifting sound at the eleven thirty Mass on Sunday, it being Ascension Day made their recital all the more significant. Well done to the Fraser Family, Edel, Barry and Ciaran, who masterminded the whole thing and made history in our beloved St. Patrick’s Church. Well done to the members of our Church Choir, who stuck with it from their own homes to produce this new breakthrough for our community. Their final hymn, Hail Queen of Heaven, made the hairs at the back of my neck stand up as I sat alone in silence to let it sink in. That beautiful hymn that has been our constant companion in the Holy Month of May since we sang it at the May Procession along the Nuns Walks over eighty years ago. Since then at Tubrid Well and so many other holy places down the years. We look forward to our choir being a regular feature at our Sunday Masses from now on.
Sean Radley never fails to bring us our local Masses on the wonderful Cork Music Station and goes on to bring us a wide variety of entertainment right through the week. Before Mass begins each morning we get the Dawn Chorus. His recording of birdsong , which gives us that great feeling of the out-of –doors. After Mass he continues to entertain us with a variety of mostly local music and song as well as any snippets of news to interest us. His own program on Tuesday nights from 9.30 to 11, is heard both near and far. With Millstreet people from any part of the world contacting him to let him know how the link makes them feel so much a part of home. Following the 11.30 on Sundays he conducts his request program again something not to be missed. Please let your folks out there know that they too can be part of his show if they log into Cork Music Station which can be found in our website.
The month of May is almost over and we won’t have one again until 2021. The Month of Our Blessed Lady always brings out the best in people, with their May Alters, and Daily Rosaries. Our Canon John says the Rosary every morning during the month before ten am Mass. And I’m hoping that people themselves, will keep up the practice now that the month is nearly over. We still need a great deal of help from God to see us through this pandemic, and through prayer is one of the surest ways. The way it is with God is, if you don’t get what you ask for, you’ll get the grace to manage without it. That’s according to my long, experience anyway. It is indeed merciful that we don’t know what is coming our way. I heard an old man to say one time that, The Veil that Shields use from the Future, was Woven by an Angel of Mercy. How true.
The opening of our Church is great and has brought a great sense of comfort and reassurance to us all. We can’t kneel down or touch anything. All the seats are strapped together in case we sit. But just to be in it is a consolation, everybody I see treats it with the utmost respect. The fine weather continues to bring lots of people out and social distancing doesn’t prevent them from talking. Everybody you meet wants to talk. Ask how you’re doing, tell you about themselves. In a way that wasn’t there before Covid 19. It’s as though we have discovered the value of one another, what we mean to each other, hoping beyond hope that everybody will be alright. It’s a great feeling, and never let it fade away.
Some people are welcoming the opportunity to work from home. It has enhanced family life beyond their wildest dreams. Where they no longer have to rise at the latter end of the night, while the little ones are still asleep, leaving them in the care of the babysitter who also had to get up at an ungodly hour to arrive before she leaves to take on the madness of an hours journey ,with the worry of not being able to get a parking place, a spot which would give the chance of the best take off at the end of the working day to beat the rush journey home to let the babysitter go and then see the little ones for an hour before getting the dinner. Where was the LIFE. Now the same person gets up at seven, does two hours work before to little ones wake.Have a few precious moments with them as the babysitter arrives in at nine to take over until four pm when parents are finished their work and will enjoy hours of quality family time until the end of the day. It took a global pandemic to show that to the world. Working from home isn’t for everyone for those who can, it’s great.
We still miss our trips to the shops of course. Even though our loved ones bring us everything on our list and sometimes more. But a browse around the stands and maybe picking up something not on the list, would be great. But we’re nearly there and we’ll hold on like we’ve done for the past numbers weeks almost months by now. The first person in Ireland to die of Covid 19 died on March 21st and today there was no one, it’s is a great achievement. After steering us safely through, Leo Varadkar goes off to sun himself in the Park for an hour on Sunday afternoon and he is widely criticised for it. Why?
The heavy rain during the week was welcome for our gardens but not so much the high winds that came with it. My newly seeded lawn should show signs of greening up any day now. Also the many receptacles that I placed under down pipes etc are full of fine rainwater, lime free and chlorus free, for some plants that turn up their petals at such things I also use it in the iron when ironing the clothes to keep it lime free. I was born into the habit of putting a barrel under the ‘spout’,to collect the rain water in the days before kitchen sinks and the oh so welcome tap, to bring the supply indoors. I have seen a marked increase in the number of both honey bees and wasps in the garden this year. Great to hear them buzzing amid the plants.
I hope I won’t give the fainthearted a bad fright when I tell you about one lady near here who left her bedroom windows open till she was going to bed last week and when she went to her place of rest found a number of leather bats flying around the room. Not being of the fainthearted herself, she calmly turned off the light and after doing a few rounds more they found the window and flew back out to the wild.
My one thousand piece jigsaw is still to the good. I’m about half way there. It’s becoming like a relationship, sometimes I dislike it intensely, more times I love it, but I think I will never again be without one. It’s there when I need it and I can leave it when I’m busy with other things. Drives me mad when I can’t find a piece but all in forgiven when I succeed. I’ve a long way to go yet but when it’s done I’ll get another. Smaller maybe.
The June bank holiday weekend is coming up, oh, when you think of all the plans and the events and the excitement that it used to bring. Warnings to all road users to slow down. It remains to be told how this one will compare. It’s great that golf and pitch ‘n Putt have resumed. But every other social event cancelled, hotels closed, social distancing still in operation. I only hope that people will find some way to enjoy themselves against all the brocades that stand in their way. Time will tell.
It’s great to see that we have two food outlets opening in the town. Needless to say for Take Away. One for the first time and I want to wish Kall & Dyyne every success at the new venue at the town Square in the place where we used to have to the Chinese Restaurant. A big Welcome back to our beloved Wallis Arms Hotel which has stood the test of time for over a century in our Town Square. Both Christy and Pizza King continued to remain unaffected by the lockdown. We wish them all a very successful season ahead. Our dutiful Garda kept a caring vigil over everything that was happening. They had to see that everybody toed the line for the common good and gave personal aid here and there when it was needed. Which was much appreciated.
We also have many people doing wonderful work on a voluntary basis behind the lines. The Canon O Donovan Centre provides freshly cooked meals five days a week, meals on wheels and also meals by order. They have a team of volunteers who deliver right to your door. Further to that we have others who are on call to help anybody who needs help. Ring Jeremiah Keating , 087 7932736 or Liam Flynn, 087 6380053. St Vincent de Paul 086 0669243. Alone, 0818 222 024.
The book recently published by Carriginma/Clondrohid on the life of An tAthir Peadar OLaoghaire is on sale at various outlets in that area including the Post Office in Clondrohid. It’s a wonderful read and includes many compositions written by the school children of the area in 1938, giving accounts of things they learned from their grandparents. Make a lovely gift. Another upside to the lockdown is that I get my news paper delivered to me every morning by my trusty Postie John Twomey and on Tuesday mornings it’s is accompanied by my weekly copy of the greatest little book of all time, Ireland’s Own. I enjoyed it as a child and learned the words of many songs from it, and it continues to still bring me joy today .It’s never ending supply of stories etc never fail to loll me off to dreamland at the end of the day. Pick up a copy of the free magazine Discover Duhallow where you can see all the birds that come to your garden and get to know their names & so on.Very interesting.
That’s about it from me for this week. Please continue to keep safe, for your own sake and those around you. SLÁN.