Eily’s Report – 26th January

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

There was no work done last Wednesday, or as the old people used to say, there wasn’t a stroke done.  On account of the times that are, there isn’t a whole lot doing anyway. But even the bare necessities were neglected on January 21st 2021

The whole world waited not so much to see Joe Biden being inaugurated the next  President of the USA as to see Donald Trump stepping down or being forced to do so. Gone were his adoring  followers, they eventually cottoned on to his lies and arrogance which eventually led to the deaths of five people. It was almost pathetic to see him walking alone, except for his long suffering wife out of the White House to his helicopter, a place where he said he’d never leave and on boarding his plane for his  flight home there was little more than his own family to see him off. A narcissist to the end, his way or no way.  He was living proof, that it doesn’t work.

The rest of the day took on a carnival atmosphere and even though the business in hand was profound and intense, it had joyful undertones all the way. Social distancing made it different to any other and the added security in the wake of the dreadful insurrection two weeks before made it the stuff of nightmares for those in security but we didn’t see that. We feasted our eyes on the colour, the style and the efforts of spotting the people we knew. At times it felt like you’d be at a wedding it was amazing how many people we recognised.  Some of course showing  the signs of ageing, others not. The wearing of masks made a statements all of  its own, first to prevent the spread of Covid and then show the World that Mr Trump’s  ruling on the subject was just another one of his fopaux.

 The weather was great, it was bright and sunny but cold and when the real business of the day started it was serious and dignified and highly respectful and thanks to modern methods we were able to view it as if we were really there. It was so symbolic, they thought of everything, a coloured or black lady vice president, thus bringing off a two in one.  She was black and she was a lady, the first lady Vice President. I loved the link which President Biden pointed out in his speech. A hundred and fifty years before black women were marching to get the vote and today we have we have a black woman Vice President of the United States. So touching, so meaningful. When she was sworn in it was plain to see the joy in the crowd. Further to that all cameras were on herself and her husband as they escorted the previous vice President Mr. Pence and his wife, halfway down the steps in front of the building ,in a historic gesture  of one leaving and the other taking up the task. They engaged in friendly banter before parting. Once again it exposed the non-compliance of Donald Trump who refused to come the ceremony and Mr. Pence came in for great acclaim  for  attending because it was the right thing to do, as did Hillary Clinton for attending Trump’s inauguration five years before even though it was widely believed that she was cheated out of the race.  The songs during the ceremony were perfectly suited to the occasion, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Garth Brooks did the world proud with their fitting words and not a hint of irony  or derision. But the best was still to come when the tiny black 22year old Amanda Gorman took the stand and recited  “The Hill we Climb” to the World.   The words came crystal clear from that  little person and held the crowds in awe. History will prove if her life’s dream will come true, that she will be President of the USA in 2032. Bet she will. I couldn’t wait to get her poem on my phone ,so that I could read  it over and over. It was a magic moment never to be erased. All lovers of words should get her poem, so full of meaning and advice and hope. I’ll read it again and again.

Apart from the beautiful outfits adorning  The Presidents wife Dr. Biden and the new Vice President Kamala  Harris, I wonder who do other people was the best dressed lady in the crowd. My money would go on Michelle Obama. Her long wine coloured  three three piece just flowed down on her tall strong body ,the coat opened and the pants suit belted with a daring buckle , oh I thought she looked amazing, both she and her husband Barack were the finest pair there too bad we couldn.t have joined with friends for the program, the comments and opinions would have been great. Another legacy of the pandemic. I think that what made the day so joyous and uplifting, was, the promise of change and better days ahead. Leadership not ashamed  to let the World know that he loves God ,and will use his office to reach out to every race and colour ,and to those who didn’t even vote for him. Our Catholic Faith makes us all at one with him and gives us the opportunity to pray with him that the world will be a better, fairer, safer place because of his reign.

The frosty nights and days have us reaching for our Winter woollies, but more importantly, watching our step once we go outside the door. Frost can be such deceiving thing, and great  care has to be taken in order to avoid accidents. It would be advisable  for people of my vintage  to wear our personal alarms at all times. The little birds are feeling the pinch  and make no excuse of coming up close in the hope of getting some food. We are only in the month of January yet, but I’ve seen some stairs and others already looking for suitable places to start building their nests. Spring must be coming early because a lusty cock pheasant makes himself very well heard in the nearby fields ,flying from place to place with his loud call letting every lady   pheasant  know that he’s available. The days are lovely and sunny and bright during this frosty spell and it’s a good time, during the mid-day thaw, to empty  some of last years pots give them a wash and have them ready to fill again as soon as the time is right. We are all asked to use and reuse instead of buying new all the time and filling the recycling depots to overflowing  with things that could be used again. I’m forever singing the praises of the humble little viola, at present I have some in a window box outside the door, flowering away  in the ice and snow and their  lovely  vivid colours ,of purple and blue and white brighten up my day.

A very special Mass was concelebrated by Canon John and Fr. James McSweeney on Saturday night in memory of all those who passed away in 2020. Because of the present situation ,instead of families bringing their own token of remembrance a candle representing each one was place in from of the alter for this solemn ceremony and on this Thursday there will be a special Mass for all the schools at ten am.  This Mass was one of the highlights every year when the children  came and their singing and music filled the church. Parents, grandparents and great grandparents would never miss it. This time we must pray at this Mass that by next year we’ll be able to come to our beloved church again and enjoy the sweet voices of the children.

 It’s great to see that  a set of  hand rails have been  fitted on our alter rails , for the safety of our beloved  Padres and the lectern beside the marble chair has been removed. Many thanks for this welcome  improvement. From now on we can rest at ease that all who use them will be safe.

The long lockdown goes on and as we can do nothing about it so we may as well keep on finding ways to work around it. Behind the scenes some wonderful work is going on with  lots people helping others. It’s weeks since I ventured out and like everybody else I miss the great social life that I had but mustn’t let it get me down. There is always something new to try. My jigsaw is getting a great rest at the moment while I fumble among my scrapbooks and read the many items that a threw into them over the years but didn’t have the time to read them. The contents can be quiet fascinating and the hours  just float by. More and more of us are using Facetime to chat with a friend and maybe share a bedtime glass to keep the spirits up. Others play on line Bridge the list goes on. My Creative writing course finishes this week. The last thing we must do is to allow ourselves to get bogged down .We all know its a strange and awful situation but  that aside we have our prayers and a million other things that we haven’t even tried yet. On last Saturday I got Mass in Co. Cavan on my phone sitting in the sun outside my door. Let us never take this kind of thing for granted, the world of technology moves so fast now that we flit from one thing to another but let us stop and think and wallow in the wonder of it all and we’ll surely find something to be happy about.

Go into YouTube and get any one of the concerts that were put on for the Tops of the Town contests back in the 8o’s. Thanks to Paddy Murphy and last week one of his treasures (which he made only a few months ago)awakened us all as his recording of Breda Tarrant (rip) singing ’When the Leaves Begin to Fall’, was played as the coffin was moved down the church at her funeral, I’m sure it brought a tear to the eye of her son Jamie out in Dubai and couldn’t come home for her funeral.

Our dear Sean Radley brightens our Tuesday nights from 9.30 to 11,and again after 11.30 Mass on Sundays. Join him on Cork Music Station for the best of homely entertainment.

Our sincere sympathy goes to those who have lost loved ones in the recent past, may the Good Lord console them in their loss and give their loved ones Eternal Rest.

Take Care, Slán.

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