Eily’s Report – 29th June

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

I hope the end of another month  finds you safe and well,  ready to take on the lovely month of July. Our new lifestyle doesn’t make it easy for us to be aware nor fully awake to the passage of time. In the past we had a calendar of events to keep us in touch with the passing weeks and months. Each month had it’s own attractions, it’s own list of things which that month was special for. But with mass cancellations  the milestones disappeared and we are left mid-air and waiting for the next month in the hope that there will be ample easing of restrictions to allow some form of our previous life to return. Promises were never made so often and  broken. The powers that be do all they can to give people hope especially those in the hospitality sector who  make changes and they stock up and prepare for their big break, only to be told, not yet, you must hold on a little longer. All of those blockades have left us all in a sort of false world.  For example, only last week on June 24th, St. John’s Day, the day when we all crowded on to the slopes of Mushera for the annual Mass.  Beforehand we’d have a dot on the calendar in case we’d forget, look for a lift or maybe offer a lift to someone.  Following the lovely Mass coupled with the parish choir and music, there was a great meeting of people, some who only meet at St. John’s Well every year. Because it was widely presumed that it wouldn’t be held this year, there was no need to watch for the date, no need to seek or give a lift and sadly no meeting of friends. Multiply that by all the other events which had to be cancelled since early 2020 including funerals and weddings. I met a lady recently and she told me that talking makes her tired now. Whatever muscles she was using to communicate have gone lax and  she has to cut her conversations short as a result. We are on the brink of the Month of July  and every year around this time the name Milltown Malbay in County Clare was on everybody’s lips. Lovers of traditional music and dance from all over the world prepared to go on their annual pilgrimage of friendship good company and the love of our native entertainment. Like everything else the axe has fallen on this great International event again, it was cancelled last year also. We went  there for over thirty years and saw that small village grow to a mighty town complete with every service to meet the needs of the vast crowds. All thanks to one man, Willie Clancy, box player.   The Cork Agricultural Show was another event which brought everything to a stop on the land when it was held in the Cork Show Grounds for a week every year on June. Other things were pinpointed by it. Something would be either before the show or after it.  The new spuds were judged by it, if they were fit for eating by the 21st of June then it was a good year and everybody was happy. How we loved to see them coming up out the ground before the fork, or spade, the rich earth falling away but leaving a fine coat which was washed away in a bucket of cool water from the stream. Side by side with them the drills of cabbage and turnips, enough for both man and beast and other lesser crops such as peas, carrots, which gave a wide range of choice for the family table.  With all these crops in a healthy state, it was a sort of a celebration to take a few hours off and go the Cork Summer  Show. It always drew great crowds and people met a talked about farming things. The cattle, the price of milk. The remedies for certain ailments in the cattle or fowl. Of course it was the Show case for the best livestock in the land, also pigs, sheep, all kinds of fowl. It was exciting to be there and when time came to come home to milk the cows etc.  We felt enlightened and full of new ideas and information about things that we could adapt to our way of life  at home.

                                                                                                                                                                     Gone are all those lovely days of old  but we mustn’t be despondent, Please God Covid19 will pass into history, there are some definite signs for hope already and when all doors are flung open again it is up to each of us to give our best support to those who have suffered for so long. Please shop at home, leave your money where it can be put to good use for all our sakes.

We love the warm spell, it makes everything seem so much better , hedgerows and gardens are flush with greenery and colour,and people dressed in Summer style ,are out and about and filled with the joy of a fine spell. Our Town Park is a haven for those who like a walk, and the children’s playground is  the ideal place for children ,especially now that the schools are closed. The Pitch ‘n Putt course is never without people, of every age.  And it’s great to see that the committee are ad hearing to the plea, as we are all asked to do, to let wild areas  develop at every opportunity, which encourages the return of the birds and bees and other wild life.

 Lots of people are getting away to book places by the sea, some finding very good value for money, while others are lucky enough to have friends in other parts of the country and decided to swop houses for a week. The Beara Way as well as all the other mountain treks are enjoying a bumper year. Staycation seems to be working very well. Not everybody gets it right first time but we learn by our mistakes, they will get it right in the end. Good Luck to all those who are seeking breaks of their choice.We wish them the very best.

However the dry spell means that we have to water our plants and gardens more often. I’m glad to say that my stock of rainwater is still to the good, evenings are bright up to eleven at night . Some birds are still singing at that time and their voices go further when the traffic has calmed down. The ones who built in my shed are busier than ever, skimming in and skimming out at such a fast rate you’d wonder how they escape. But is lovely to watch.  The dry spell means that plants in our local graveyards need more watering, and it makes hard work to draw it from the single tap just inside the gate of St.Mary’s to the resting place of loved ones further up the hill.

We are still being warned almost continuously about scam phone calls, needless to say I got some myself. According to Garda warning there are people who still give their bank details to a caller on the phone. It seems incredible. But these thugs can make such a convincing story ,I suppose they believe them , it should never ever happen. such a shame how they can still con  innocent people out of their money.

But still we trust, we must if we are to live happy lives. No better girl to trust than the lovely Michelle OKeeffe, Dooneen who has placed her supply of fresh-laid eggs at her gate with a help yourself notice and put the money in the box. I love it.

Our Air Ambulance is kept very busy and we are blessed to have it on our door-step, The expenses are immense and we are all asked to contribute to it as often as we can. Well done to Catherine Buicke of the Lovely Capabu Foods who placed a box in her shop  at  the Town Square and raised in excess of €1,000 for the great cause.

The regulations in our church seem to be going very well, we haven’t had any set-back since the rules were set, and we are delighted that we can go to Mass as often as we like. And there is a notice from Canon John on the Mass Leaflet to say that if anybody wants confession ,it can be arranged. Needless to say not in the confession box, but a suitable and discreet area of the church will be arranged, and he goes on to say that he hopes that all his parishioners are keeping well, as we reach the end of another school year. In September he looks forward to celebrating the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion with the children. His Thought for the day says, May God give us shelter when inner storms threaten our Peace of Mind and Heart.

Here are the results of this weeks Lotto Draw which was held on Sunday night. Numbers drawn were,22,23, 26, 31 and the jackpot was not won. €100 went to Katie Hickey, Mount Leader. The seller was Jackie O’Riordan and he got €50 sellers prize. €50 went to Packie Linehan, Buttavent ,€20 each to Pat & Mary O’Callaghan c/o Colemans. Pat Joe & Joan Creedon, Cloghoula, Mags O’Callaghanm Clara Rd, Thomas O’Connor, C/o Mary O’Connor, Bridget King, Church St, Richard & Manivan Burke,  Mount Leader. Tommy & Nigel, c/o Tom Carroll, John Top Creedon, C/o Sheila Lane, Jackpot for next week, €13, 400 the draw on Sunday night. Tickets at €2 each are on sale at many shops and outlets in the town and at Guerins Shop in Ballydaly.

What do you do when you’ve nothing to do, a spare moment or more while waiting for something else.  It was never as important as it is now that we fill our time and not give ourselves time to worry about things that may never happen.  I believe that if you have your faculties you should rarely or ever do nothing, too much thinking is not always a good thing. There is always something to do, no matter how unimportant or how useless it may be. If it passes time then do it. A woman told me one time that when she gets the paper she can’t stand the sight of the  scantily clad  ladies flaunting  their  bodies, so she  draws  or paints outfits on them. Loves designing different clothes for different girls, it passes the time for her and she then finds it easier to read the rest of her paper. Not everybody is into drawing or doodling, some like to do other things when they have a few moments to kill.  I’m a doodler and it is my ‘fix’ ,and my daily paper or my shopping list or just a scrap of waste card often ends up a little work of art in MY OWN mind. In the past lots of people took something to read in the toilet. Maybe not so many now since mobile phones took over. It’s still the only place where you’re sure to be on your own and can be the place to catch up on  that one page story in a magazine or whatever. The main thing is to find a nice way of using up that odd moment while waiting for the kettle to boil or waiting for a friend to arrive you know what I mean. A minute can seem like an hour if you stand and wait but if you have an absorbing hobby or task it’s over before you know it.

Slán agus Beannacht libh go léir.

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