Eily’s Report – 27th July

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

It doesn’t take us long to look for rain after we’ve been pleading for fine weather a short time before. What a shame it is that most of us need to have rain more than others. Since time began those involved in making their living from the land  often come in for great criticism because they need to get rain pretty often to grow the food and other necessities of life for man and beast. They love  fine weather like everybody else. Long sunny days helping them to work long hours in pursuit of their goals. But dry land produces no crops and they have look heaven wards for God’s free blessings on their labour. Last week were promised a fine spell, this week we are                  promised rain. Already we were getting warnings about the scarcity of water and the importance of not wasting it. Power washing and dripping taps were already being frowned upon. But then the chart looks like we’re about to change all that. As for me, I’m cleaning up my tubs and tanks and placing them under every down pipe in the hope that they will  fill up again and see my plants through the next dry spell.

During the hot dry spell  our gardens were out of bounds for the likes of me, the noon-day sun far too extreme  but for those who rose early, there was a wonderful treat for their feet by walking barefoot in the morning dew. I’m never sure of where the dew comes from. I read it explained as condensation recently, but I’m more inclined to think that it comes from above. Sometimes in the late evenings if sitting outside you get a little drop of moisture on you. It would make you wonder, did you feel it or not? Until later you get another. In my childhood when older people were out in the heel of the evening talking about the affairs of the day, you’d hear one remaking, ‘the dew is falling’ and next morning the grass would be a wonderland of sparkling jewels.  Many things were written and told about this morning moisture. Pishogues abounded around it. Especially on the eve of the month of May, when the blessing of the crops was an all-important exercise in the battle against all the misfortunes which could be laid upon you by an enemy. I think that education put a stop to all those stories of witchcraft and pishogues. We would tremble near the fire at night when ‘pure true’ tales were told of strange lights appearing in the dead of night in bogs and derelict houses in the locality. The lights moving along the same route in the bog was a real nerve-jerker and going to bed in the dark afterwards was like entering the vault of death. However as the world became lit up by electricity an explanation was discovered for many of these blood-curling phenomena. The brightness alone took from the power of the teller to put fear into the hearts of   his victims. The setting was right for his prank, they  loved frightening to children. Picture the scene. The candle in the middle of the kitchen table, the only illumination. Anything beyond its range was jet black dark. No other sound only that of the wind outside, often making nearby branches rub off the glass of the window and make a moaning or screeching noise. Little ones moved closer to one another for assurance and safety as the gruesome tale unfolded.  These scary moments could not be enacted in a brightly lit dwelling . The creepy lights on the bogs were soon explained away when it was discovered that the phosphorus on the poor soil appeared to light up in a greenish/yellow glow at night. It clung to the feathers of many birds at night and their swift movement painted a very scary picture for those who didn’t know it’s meaning. Again education stepped in the dispel the myth of the ghostly illuminations in the marshes in the dead of night.

But to get back to the dew in the morning. The intense heat of the sun during our heatwave made the grass very dry but at dawn for those who were energetic enough to be up early  there was a treasure in store. The morning sun lit up every minute droplet turning an otherwise dull scene into an extravaganza of sparkling jewels. Long ago people with any foot ailments were advised to walk barefoot in the morning dew, give it time to be infused into the aching trotters . Athletes foot, foot itch, skin ailments, corns  and so on, it was deemed good for them all. The morning dew was different from walking on wet grass, they said it had a healing power all of it’s own and it was there for us all last week to soothe our feet and later take a nap to get away from the scorching mid-day sun.

The pint-sized little lady Ruth O Riada, has completed her walk of the longest treck in Ireland from Beara to Breffni of 700 kms and did it in her own decided time of four weeks. Travelling alone, she camped and stayed in B&B’s on alternate nights. Her proud dad gave a daily account of her progress on Facebook  and it was wonderful to see what this petite little lady was able to achieve especially during the heatwave but Ruth is no stranger to a challenge. She endeared herself to many when she took part time work around Ballyvourney and Coolea while she fought an uphill battle to be accepted it to the Irish Army. But her perseverance paid off and following ten years of trying, she was eventually accepted.  She has returned from a peacekeeping stint in the Lebanon where she drove tanks and other mega vehicles of war. On her return she asked for five weeks off and walked the Beara Way in four. A huge welcome home reception awaited her as she arrived home to her native Coolea on Monday July 26th 2021. We were very glad and proud to have met her as she passed through Millstreet.  Sean Radley very kindly came out early on that Sunday morning a few weeks ago. He took some very historic photos and recorded an interview with Ruth which he included in one of his lovely programs on CMS. She then stocked up a supply for the day  ahead at the friendly Centra Store, West End. Got her card stamped at the Wallis Arms Hotel, so all in all we gave Ruth and real joyful Millstreet welcome. Following a rest full night at my B&B she set off that morning to cross the newly constructed Bridge over the Blackwater at Dooneen.

School Children are enjoying lots of Summer Camps at the moment and walking in the Park gives the adults  their daily walk can stop and see the wonderful work that these Summer Camps do, both for the youngsters and their parents. It’s a service which should not go unnoticed and even though they have to pay for each child the advantages are priceless. Well done to all involved.

Regulations are easing and more places are opening. The opening of the bars are I’m sure the most sought after. All going well the Pub in Carriganima will open this week. Needless to say their clientele are delighted. Not so much for the drink but for the opportunity of meeting each other again. Since it closed some  members of their community have passed away others have married, new houses built, new babies born, properties bought and sold cattle, Silage, the turf, weather and all this time the close knit Community had no chance to come together and enjoy good company and chat about these things. I sincerely hope that their opening will go unperturbed, into the future. The pub is the heart of that district the people need it and every effort made to keep it in business.   Needless to say my best wishes go to the many other places which are also about to resume. The need for the pub scene stands out more now than it ever did in the past. The importance of it can be seen in the many people who have no place to go to meet friends.  A place where everybody knows your name. Rules are rules and it is vital that in interest of the life of any business that they will be observed.

The August Bank Holiday is on our doorstep and the whole world is like a dog in the trap, waiting for the off.  The heatwave may be over but the real heat is on because people are boiling for excitement. Rumours abound as people of all ages have their ears cocked to see what is on and  where. The cost seems to be of no importance because with the ban on foreign travel many  have the money saved up and can’t go.  The “Staycation” won’t come cheap, with many places in the hospitality section upping their prices to strike while the iron is red.Which I think is a shame. A family  member of mine was up the midlands during the week where a nice hotel in Newbridge raised the price of a room by one hurdred in one day.

Safety is surely the most important thing at the end of the day. It was regrettable that so many lives were lost during the heatwave  I doubt if drowning will be the biggest threat this weekend but there are so many more pitfalls out there when the whole country is on holiday. I hope everybody gets a wonderful break but please take care. As we say goodbye to July and say hello August.

Here are the results of this weeks lotto draw which was held on Sunday night. Numbers drawn were 4,13,18,20 and the Jackpot was not won,€100 went to Teresa & Jack, c/o Tom Carroll. Tom was the seller and got €50 sellers prize, €50 each  went to Wonder Woman, c/o Michelle Whelan. €20 each to Barry Walsh, c/o Centra.West End, Guerins Shop, Ballydaly, John Angland,Macroom, Emily Nagle ,Cullen, Mary Naughton, Cullen, Ann Barry Lackabawn, Laura Buiche c/o Lehane, Eileen O’Riordan,Tullig, Next Draw will be on Bank Holiday Monday August 2nd.  Jackpot €14,200.

  Since lockdown we have a global choice for attending Mass.  A flick of the switch can take you to your own Millstreet Church or to any country or city in the world. Please continue to attend ,we have a long way to go yet before we can shed the last threat of Corona Virus and I’m sure that the Good Lord has the answer.

Happy August Bank Holiday. Slán agus Beannacht libh go léir

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