Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde and welcome to my report.
You hate to say it but time really is flying and we can only hope that we are making full use of it. The tell-tale signs of a year moving on are all around us. Even the little broken shells on the ground is proof that the birds have already done their job of procreation and are busy feeding their chirpy garcucs (Baby birds) who never seem to stop asking for more. It’s silage time another reminder of the passage of time and the onset of exam time. Up to now the pressure has been piling on the students who are about to sit them. It gives me the pip every year when for months beforehand, the papers and the media and word of mouth are telling our students how awful it’s going to be and woe betide them if they don’t get tops. Often making those involved believe that if they’re not worried out of their wits, then they mustn’t be trying hard enough. Sadly most students today go for an academic career leaving a wide vacuum of trades people. In my time it was always tradesmen, because the work of the carpenter, or the plumber, electrician or mason were men only. But is as open to the girls now as it is to the lads. And very often a trade is a less stressful way of life.
The pictures, which Geraldine Dennehy ,the Web of the daisy trail on the long boreen leading to my old home and beyond, was a classic. In my youth it was the favourite place for town people to go for their daily walk and indeed the place where more than a few love tales began. This year the thick ridge of daisies seemed to go on forever, up hill and up again, as Ger, said. Again with the passage of time, even that ridge has changed, brought on by the demise of the four-legged friend and iron banded wheels. That time the present day ridge was divided in two by the beast of burden walking in the centre and the iron clad wheels outside on both sides. Horses were always very respected animals, highly regarded for the great work on the land. On the other hand the humble ass was very much the poor relation. Never appreciated for the amount of work they did. From the public road, the boreen goes up and up past the entrance to my own old home and on past others up and up and up finally reaching the last farmyard and in my young days a married couple were caretakers there. Neily Butler and his wife Nonie. They worked in tandem, he did the farm work, they shared the milking of the cows and Nonie took the milk to the creamery with the donkey and cart. I’m sure that most people not connected to the farming trade think that when the milk went to the creamery and was deposited into the large tank and tested and weighted, that that was it. But no, around at the other side of the building you drew close to a down pipe and were allotted a supply of what we called ‘creamery milk’ in other words milk with the cream removed. So that the load coming home was almost the same volume of what you took in. This was highly valued as milk for baking our bread and also fed to pigs. There was always a barrel or tank to receive it on arrival and the churns emptied as fast as possible and washed and made ready for the evening milking. Having done at the creamery, Nonie would sometimes bring home a bag of flour or perhaps a bag of ration for the hens from Connie Cronin’s shop in the Main Street which sold everything from flour & meal to snuff and tobacco as well as pens & pencils and mouth watering rashers which he would cut with a large knife from a golden, smoked half half o’ a pig which was placed flat on the counter. In the morning we bought the nib for our pen, reaching over the meat while others bought the Cork Examiner or a plug of tobacco etc and more waited for their pound of rashers, expertly sliced by the ageing gentle Connie. Everything was weighed on the balanced scales ,which I’m glad to say are still there to this day. Lovingly cared for by the new owners Tommy & Breda Sheehan. Having loaded up, Nonie and her trusty donkey would head off for the long haul. Covering the ground where I and my five brothers and one sister travelled to Mass and school and funerals and weddings and dances and carnivals and shows during our growing years. Neily & Nonie are gone as are all my parents and siblings and now there’s only me to pay tribute to them all. But I am not sad. Far from it. The lessons that I have learned from life have told me that we have to be prepared to take the good with the bad. Learn to lose as well as to win and while not becoming a doormat, to forgive those who hurt you, because then you become the winner. The pain of hurt and bitterness locked up inside is sharp and burning whereas the ability to forgive and forget is truly God Given. My trek to the very top end of the boreen with it’s continuous ridge of daisies filled me with so many feelings, not least among them pity for the poor little ass who hauled his load there every day.
Don’t leave your mobile phone exposed to the hot sun for too long while you tend to your flowers or nod off. I did and it didn’t respond for the rest of the day.
Cois Slanan, (pronounced Slaanan )is a new name in town. Should anybody ask you where is Cois Slanan point them in the direction of what was the Drishane Nuns retirement house in the Killarney Road. Slanan meaning health is taken from the centuries old Holy Well off the Macroom Road near Kilmeedy and where according the Fr. Sean Tucker’s book was the seat of the Catholic Religion in this area. St. Ide built her temple/church there and that’s where Kilmeedy got it’s name. The water from the well eventually flows near the new development in the Killarney Rd. Hence the new name in town, Cois Slanan.
Here are the results of this weeks lotto draw which was held on Sunday night. Numbers drawn were 3,11,13,26 and the Jackpot was not won. €100 went to Denny O’Connell, Cullen. The seller was Jerry Lehane and he got €50 sellers prize. €50 went to Ann Kelleher, Rylane, €20 each to Olaf, Edch, Tobin, Castlemagner, Joseph and Maureen Lawlor, Lackabawn, Martina Kelleher, Macroom, Sheila Healy, Crinaloo, Breda Cronin, Priests Cross, Christy Tarrant, Tanyard,Siobhan ORiordan and Nora Mae, c/o Michelle Whelan. & Eileen & Tim O’Sullivan.
Next Draw is on Bank Holiday Monday June 6th. Jackpot €20,000.
Check out what you’re paying for your tv coverage these times. With the comfort of Direct Debit it’s easy to lose track of what you are paying and if you even need what you are paying for. I’m very bad at doing such things, however during a lucid moment recently I was able to wipe almost €50 off my monthly bill for Sky which I make little use of and change to another system which apart from the front the first days cost will give many channels more suited to my needs free of charge. From what I’m told many folks of our ilk are paying far too much.
All through the Month of May, many extra prayers were said in honour of our Blessed Lady at crossroads grottos and so on. The last public one was said at Tubrid Well last weekend. But it doesn’t mean that we can should stop the prayers, they are needed all the time. So please keep them up, for all our sakes. Mass will be said at St. Mary’s Cemetery this Friday evening at 7.30. This ceremony always draws great crowds when people make the effort to attend and adorn the resting places of their loved ones and meet up with lots of others doing likewise. P.G. the weather will be kind. Eucharistic Adoration in our Church every Tuesday from 10.30 to 7.30, please support it well. Some of those who go there may like to sit on the soft chairs in the choir section and now that the world around us is getting busier with the onset of the silage season and the tourist season we may do well to keep in my mind the little prayer that we all learned as children ‘,Oh angel of God My guardian dear to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side to light and guard to rule and guide.’
Don’t forget to admire the countryside at the moment. Everywhere you go it’s ablaze with colour and freshness. The white thorn is outdoing itself this year. And makes you wonder how it puts on such a wonderful show, from its bed on dry ditches without any sort of care such as the pruning and feeding that we lavish on our garden acers with far less result. God is Good.
Sinn a bfuil a cairde, have a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend. Be safe. Slán.