Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde and welcome to my first Report of 2022.
I’ll start the year anyway, don’t know if I’ll finish it but will go as far as I can. As far as the Good Lord allows and judging by the wonderful feedback that I got over the Christmas I am encouraged to continue. Many thanks to all those who took the trouble to contact me.
Greetings everybody and I wish you all a very happy New Year. When I began writing these weekly Reports, in earnest at the start of the Covid pandemic the world was a very frightening place. The future looked bleak with every country in the world reporting widespread cases and no hope of curbing it’s travels. But now more than a year later things have changed. Thanks to modern medicines vaccines soon came on the market which makes the future look a lot brighter. Being a pandemic of global dimensions meant that all countries despite former disagreements had to club together to find a solution, so many lessons were learned at top level. Today though still a serious threat, Covid19 is not regarded as being the sure killer that it was, and for that we are truly grateful to God and to science. My own family didn’t escape but those who were affected some months ago have fully recovered and those going through it at the moment have our prayers that they will likewise come through Covid 19 unaffected.
Christmas Cards. There was an all out cry against Christmas cards this Festive Season. Never sure if you will send one or not because of all those who said they were opting out of the age old custom this time. Not wanting to put the onus on anybody I adopted the idea of sending a card to anyone who sent one to me first and then gladly replied. All went well before the post closed and I was well up there with my plan, used up all the cards and stamps I’d purchased but low and behold when the post opened up again, an influx of mail arrived, leaving me with no option but to get back to my desk again, before the 6th of January. But when all is said and done, we do love getting them.
January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany is a very special day for me. I had my first Baby on that day, 63 years ago. Geraldine, like Noreen and John D were all born in Millstreet hospital, where retired army medic was Dr. Cribben. There was a lovely two bed maternity unit there at the time. Plus a ward for men at one end and for women at the other. It was a lovely homely place, the nurses were local farmers wives or girls that I went to school with. As I walked the corridor painfully waiting for my firstborn to arrive, the residents in the women’s ward kept on praying for me that my ordeal would soon be over. After the baby was born you were given v.i.p. treatment for a whole week, they cared for your baby the whole time and you were well and strong when it was time to go home. We had no car of our own at the time and as we were bringing our first baby home in a borrowed van, there was a thick blanket of snow on the ground and more falling. To bring a new born out of a cosy warm place into a house with no form of heating except for the turf burning green Stanley range, in the kitchen, doesn’t seem believable in todays world of centrally heated dwellings. There were lots of sleepless nights. January 6th will always be special to me.
We must say a sincere word of thanks to our Priests for giving us so many Masses over the Christmas period. They were all very well attended and once again we must spare a thought for the people who have to cleanse the church following each one. Thanks also to our choir who have to abide by the rules and still fill us with true joy at our Festive Masses. And the lovely Deirdre who plays the organ at our morning masses giving the start of our day a new meaning.
You may think that the garden is still sound asleep, but on closer inspection, you will find the daffodils and snowdrops are well up hiding away in the midst of other plants and ready to make their grand appearance in early Spring. The fox seems to have deserted me, sadly I never see him now. But the Blackbirds and thrushes are relative newcomers to my patch. When I throw a few seeds their way close to my window, I’m getting a detailed view of them for the first time.
Thanks to the nimble fingers of Brian O’Leary my little Grotto of Our Lady looks resplendent at the far-off wall of my garden where I can view it every time I’m at the sink . Most other things in the garden are looking rather sorry for themselves following the howling winds and rain, except for the phormiums, their ribbon-like foliage is almost indestructible, no matter what the weather, they will emerge undamaged, still waving away regardless.
Our World isn’t opened up yet following the Christmas break. Many people are down with Covid19 and will miss the return to work for a little while but it’s not all bad at least now there is hope. I love looking at the Antique Road Show on Telly and others like it. You see things from the past, things you’d love to buy if you were there. Always amazing to see the prices paid for things that we couldn’t get rid of fast enough over the years. But last week I saw this writing on a board, which touched me enough to grab my phone and take a picture of it. It was written during or just after the first world war, when the world was in turmoil.
There’s a Good time coming, as sure as you’re born,
There’s A Good thing coming so don’t get forlorn,
When there’s no more battles to fight,
No more Blackout, everything bright,
New world singing, it’s gonna be fine,
New clothes swinging on everyone’s line,
Joy bells ringing for your folks and mine,
There’s a Good time coming soon.
It was written all those years ago, but the massage may be a good one to adopt at the start of another New Year.
Stay Safe. Slan agus beannacht.