Eily’s Report – 28th July

Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my report.

August Bank Holiday, the very mention of the word gives us  a great feeling, fills you with excitement and the promise of annual holidays and a much needed break from the norm. Yes, that is what it used to be like, but alas not this time and it only took one small bug to put an end to it, change the world forever. For a long time now the media has wasted no time or energy in telling us about terrible things that threaten our very existence. Super powers stockpiling bigger and more powerful weapons of war and mass distruction, most of which never comes to fruition. T.G.  But there wasn’t a word about a little bug that was hatching away in China which put us all hiding behind masks for our own protection and that of those around us.        The whole world  is at bursting point and the annual holiday season only makes it worse. People can’t be blamed for casting their minds on the might-have –been.  Holidays both at home and abroad booked for months, having to be cancelled. To Holiday at home at short notice requiring careful planning , with many new aspects to be considered.  With very little hotel or B&B accommodation to be had they may be lucky enough to get a vacancy at a campsite, but even then the customary trip to the cafe or diner  could also be a no no. Already I’m hearing of towns in scenic places that are full of people and no pub or restaurant open. People with little children are to be pitied. Adults may curse their luck and settle for an alternative, but try telling the little ones that we’re not  going to France after all, or indeed to the seaside, because we’d have no place to stay. For years planning a holiday anywhere in the world  was done by pressing a few buttons and your every need was met. But it’s not like this year. This time people will have to do it all themselves, take the knocks and try again. To make it good for the August Bank Holiday this year is going to take some new thinking, more effort,  but I’ll bet that when it’s over, we will  hear  some wonderful stories from people who thought outside the box and had a wonderful time, in spite of Covid 19.

Now that the wearing of masks is compulsory we never leave home without them. Up to now it was almost embarrassing to be seen in one but not now. It’s amazing what we have been trained to do in a matter of a few months. Fear can be a great thing, when you want to get through to people and when we were told in no uncertain terms what the consequences would be for all of us.  We soon knuckled down to obeying the rules. Masks come in many different shapes and are made of different materials. Many are locally made which is a great thing and should be supported. The cloth ones that go from under the chin to the top of the nose are very effective of course, but it takes you longer to recognise the wearer. It could be someone you know very well, but it does take a moment or two, by then they are gone past and there goes another opportunity for a few friendly words. Recognising people has been brought down to a fine art. You look deeply at someone, maybe recognise the hair or no hair as the case may be etc.  then study the eyes and you’ll know if they are smiling or not and you can take it from there.  Where does beauty and make up  stand with this new situation. The makers of modern make up tell us that it stays on all day.  If their boast is true, how long would it take to wash it off  your mask when you go home. Wearing of lipstick would be futile because the lips can’t be seen anyway. I imagine that many of our beauty products will be put on the top shelf for a while, our pastimes and holiday breaks will  be guesswork and  we live in hope for better days ahead  very soon. Keep up the prayers.

Children going back to school. Will it ever be known what effect this year will have in their young lives. Both themselves and their parents have  seen enough of each other by now after all these months and we sincerely hope that ways will be found for them to be children again and restart their lives from where they were cut off all those months ago.

  We had a wonderful Walking Club in Millstreet some years ago. They walked every Sunday mostly on different places. Many people from rural areas became members and they told of scenic places in their own area,so many hidden treasures were revealed. The club had 75 members  and they paid one Euro per walk and the money went towards insurance and drinks etc. along the way. We also took lots of photos and they were carefully put in an album, and they often brought back happy memories of special moments. I was asked recently about that album but we don’t know where it is. Perhaps someone reading this will be able to help us locate that special record of a very special Walking Club.

Please remember to support Sean Radley’s  “Go Fund Me” ,fundraiser in aid of our wonderful Museum. No words of mine could do justice to what the Museum in our Carnegie Hall does for Millstreet and Millstreet people all over the world. Because its also the base of our Millstreet website, it makes it all the more important that we all help financially and otherwise to help Sean and his team to do this great work  for us, year after year. You’ll find the details on the website. Please contribute now.

We still miss Sean’s Masses on Cork Music Station  and missing the Mass means that we also miss his wonderful  request show which he puts on afterwards. Tune in tonight for his weekly Radio Treasures from 9.30 to 11. Sean has made this program all his own and uses his time on air to tell  the world the interesting snippets of news which would otherwise go                      unnoticed .  He never leaves home without his cameras and tiny recorder.  He’s ever ready to grasp a special moment  for the website or his one of his radio shows..

This year’s hatch of little birds are filling the garden from early morning till dark every day. Their nimble antics means that they can land and pick on the limpest branch, its great to watch them picking things that I can’t see at all but hoping that they are green fly or caterpillars that I should be spraying with some organic matter. Sitting watching  last week the movements  of one  small little fellow brought me back to my young  days. There was a dusty patch and the little lad was dusting himself in it or trying to because there was so little. One very important need of a hatching hen of old was to let her out to dust herself. Hatching fowl get very itchy from sitting in the nest for weeks which would make them lose weight or worse. Their idea of a bath was to dust themselves  and people always left some dry earth or cold ashes where they could indulge while out on a short break and here was this tiny little feathered creature in my yard, doing what fowl have done since fowl came into being.  You can’t beat nature.  I get bogged down in things like that, because if I’m itchy and can’t scratch,it drives me mad. I can’t help studying cattle in fields today. All hedges are cut, trees that grew in the middle of fields and were always used as scratching posts by cattle are  taken out of the way of machinery. For hygiene reasons cows tails are cut short so they can’t whisk off the flies and  because of some EU regulations  all fences are put many  yards out from ditches,so where is an animal to scratch itself.  I hope I’m missing something here. That someone in the know will come and say Eily, you’re all wrong. There are such and such remedies for that now a days. Until that happens I’ll still pity the animal.

A million congratulations to our gallant Millstreet  Football team on a great win on the first day out.Beating St. Finbarr’s in the first round of the Championship. Even if the fans couldn’t be there.they can watch it on the Web. Not the same thing but le cúnamh Dé, it won’t be long till they can.

Our local Lotto committee are  preparing for a comeback, so they are holding a meeting of all members at the Wallis Arms Hotel on Friday night. July 31st starting at 8.30 . This meeting will be held in the function room  to allow for social distancing. All members please attend.

We welcome the lovely seat beside the cross on Clara Mountain. It will give a well earned rest to many a weary climber  in the years to come . And  time to admire the magnificent view.

Our wonderful Meals on Wheels service continues to provide fresh cooked dinners for many people five days a week and dinner for Saturday which can be reheated.  Give them a ring at 02970926 for details.

Our Masses in our Parish Church continue to be very structured with the team of ushers on duty to show everybody to their seats, ministers of the Eucharist have resumed and like everything else everybody knows the right thing to do by now.  My garden is quite over grown but with so many blossoms mingled with the branches I am slow in getting it trimmed. A kind neighbour trimmed around the gate to give me better view to get out. It’s a great time for taking cuttings and the dead heads that I took from my violas many weeks ago which I threw on the patio are coming up in  lovely new multi coloured plants.

So before I go I want to wish you all a very happy and safe August Bank Holiday and while nothing can be guaranteed, remember the best thing you can give is a little of your time and to quote from a leaf on my calendar.            “You give me your presents with your presence”

Slán agus Beannacht libh go léir

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