Eily’s Report – 8th December

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

December 8th.  A  Magic day, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Lady.  A Holy Day of Obligation. It was a day when schools were closed and after early Mass, everybody headed off the  cities and towns to do the all important Christmas shopping, not for food, but for all the little surprises, that would go as stocking fillers  for Christmas morning. That important list filled in utter secrecy, (or their wouldn’t be a surprise from Santa on Christmas morning.) The  young adults of the family needed to buy things of their own choice  with the  pennies and pounds which they had saved during the year. The mind boggles at the thought of some of the ensembles   which  were  brought  home. It’s a hard time in life when parents have to give in to the fact that little Jimmy or Mary is growing up. Up ‘til then their minds are fully taken up with meeting the  every day costs and trying to make ends meet.  Then all of a sudden, the little offspring  has a mind of its own and cash enough of its own to put you out of the business of choosing for them and joined by a sibling or school friend they will sally forth to the shops while you go and get yourself and himself something nice to wear for Christmas. At the appointed time everybody meets up at the car or bus or train, weighed down with bags and head for home, all broke and tired but full of stories of the events of the day. Those were the days when Dad drove the car, mom in the passenger seat with the youngest on her lap and all the others squeezed into the back. Long before the birth of seatbelts. Everybody joined in the singing which  shortened  the journey.  It’s only when you get home ,and all the purchases  were put on view, that you realise that your little ones have moved up a gear.   Words like, ’Oh my God, surely you’re not going to go out in that’, comes out of you before you can help it.  But no amount of objections will work, you have to give in and next time when they’re all dressed up  for the dance, ready to go out you find yourself  even if a bit ice tone, saying That’s Nice. Mind ye’re  selves.

Many thanks to the nice person who dropped in some lovely berry holly to me during the week. It’s all the more precious because somebody went to the trouble  of bringing it. A much appreciated  gesture.                                    December  8th,was also the day when many of us wrote our Christmas Cards. Making sure that we knew when the last days for posting  abroad  was.  Perish the thought  if  the greeting to your loved ones didn’t arrive on time for the Big Day. Many people even posted food one of Mom’s Christmas cakes, or plum puddings, even chicken to places like England, where they had a chance of getting there  while  still fresh. You’d wonder how many had to be binned on arrival but told the loving sender that it came in mint condition and relished by all on Christmas Day. Over the years I ceremoniously sent Shamrock to my Brother Jerry in Malaysia on good time for St. Patricks Day. Picked the best spray, enclosed  it in nice a damp in crepe paper and plastic, envisaging him proudly wearing it in the tropics on the Feast Day of his homeland’s Patriot Saint. I always got a sincere word of thanks. But following 62 years he finally built up the courage to tell me that every one of those years he received a little pack of black sodden decayed matter and dropped it to the nearest bin every time.   What a laugh we had over it.

Our lovely town is holding its own with the best of them. I looked at the Millstreet  website during the week and it  was so pleasing for someone like me to see how shopping has changed , taken to a much higher level the way that people can market their wares these days using  modern technology to the limit. Looking through the  pages was  like a bout of window shopping. All the places showing what they have to offer making it easy for the buyer to view  and pick and choose.  All that was left  to do was to press a button or call to the store in your local town and pick up the purchase.   Many places will deliver.  Millstreet was like fairyland last  last evening. The skies hidden by dense fog brought on the darkness very early and with all the Christmas lights ablaze and the brightly decorated shops  it was like a scene from Brigadoon. Almost mysterious looking. People and cars abounded and the Christmas feeling filled the air. On the web I was overjoyed to see that we have local suppliers of beef, eggs and vegs.  Features which are the strength of other places that we see on tv. Locally produced  foods are the key every time, quality and profit  and local support guaranteed. I read  somewhere lately that if we all spent €20 a week in small businesses for the next 3 months, it would boost our economy by millions. So please shop at home.

I have a jigsaw to give away. The friend who gave it to me does not want it back and she said to give it to someone who may like to take up the craft as a hobby. Start a new person off perhaps. It’s got 1,000 pieces and the first one to ask will get it. We all need pastimes now and having  spent many  happy hours battling with jigsaws since last spring I can vouch that they are a wonderful hobby, drive you mad at times when you can’t find a piece but joy of joys, when you can. Spread out on a surface, it is there all the time you will never feel that you have nothing to do or feel alone  again, the elusive little bits are waiting to be found. If the one who gets this lovey game will have as much pleasure with it as I’ve  had then that’s my reward.

When the phone rang last Friday evening at around 7 o’clock, I didn’t have to ask, who is it. The familiar voice of our dear  friend ,    Daniel O’ Donnell rang loud and clear from the other side. Daniel wanted to know how we all are and went on to recall in detail the lovely times we shared when himself and the lovely Majella came on St. Patrick’s Day 2018. Like ourselves they’re finding  it hard to tolerate the long months of uncertainty, the wearing of masks and missing the interaction with their friends. But we had to agree that we feel fortunate to have avoided being infected by the bug and the possibility of a vaccine is encouraging . He wished us all a very Happy Christmas.

Here are the results of our lotto draw which was held on Sunday night. Numbers drawn were 2,20, 23, 30 and the jackpot  was not won. €100 went to Melissa Corkery, c/o Zeal. And Zeal got €50 sellers prize, €50 went to Denis and Chris Hickey, Mount Leader. €20 each to Maria FitzGerald, Tullig, Joan O’Connor, c/o Joan Casey, Hickey and O’Mahony Families, Kilmeedy,Kevin Hickey, Kilmeedy, Jim Scriven, Macroom, Eileen Enright, Station Rd. Joan Wall Station Rd and Daragh O Reardon, c/o  Corkery’s. Jack pot next week €11,800 the draw on Sunday night. The final lotto draw before Christmas will be on December 20th.

Reconstruction work on the  parapets of the Millers Bridge on the Macroom road continues. The age old walls have been removed and are being replaced by much higher walls in beautiful stonework  at the touch of the masters hands. It’s not known what the work entails, by to the naked eye the roadway looks a little wider. This would be a very welcome development.  The final results will not be known until work is complete. At the moment traffic lights continue to control the traffic flow during working ,delays are only about 80 seconds at most.

  Please do your bit for the environment by carefully recycling all your rubbish and Christmas wrappings. Cut down as much as possible on what you have to recycle, carry a shopping bag ,so that already parcelled goods don’t have to be bagged again. Use smokeless coal and or oil as much as possible. Do all you can to help our wonderful Christmas Committee ,with their wonderful work in making Millstreet bright and cheerful

 Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Lady, a Holy Day of Obligation. Let us not forget to continue our prayers, first of all to thank the Good Lord for bringing us safely through the worrying  months of this year. We really have excelled ourselves in the way we dealt with the many changes that came our way. We wear a mask to keep ourselves safe and for the safety of those we meet. Which is far from being comfortable or pleasant. But we soldier on for the common good and its working. Do all you can to brighten your day, The radio is a wonderful thing .They give an account of what’s happening  out there and then turn to the most enjoyable music and songs. I left Cork Music Station on one day after Sean had finished his interlude after morning Mass and for the next three or four hours ,the station played no stop songs etc, without interruption ,and never repeated any one . What a great way for those on their own and the housebound to pass the time. There are many ways to cheer people up, please be on the lookout for someone who needs your cheerful company or help today. Get out as much as possible. The fine weather over the weekend allowed the more agile to go for long walks etc and on Sunday a group of friends were seen enjoying a picnic at the top of Clara mountain. How wonderful.

Sin a bhfuil, a chairde,please take good care. Have a good week. Slán.

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