Eily’s Report – 16th May

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

The unpredictable wafts of cold breezes go a long way to cool the lovely May sunshine but it doesn’t prevent us from hoping for more settled weather in the near future. For those of us who can choose our time and the right spot  can still find little nooks and crannies where we can sit and enjoy a warm spell. On the other hand younger folks can speed up their pace of life, move a little faster and beat the cold breeze at it’s own game. I spent most of last week with a friend enjoying the hospitality of other family friends in Youghal. The name of their place in Rathmore House, a magnificent edifice which was built by a Rathmore man by the name of Walsh in 1929. It commands a clear view of the sea but a safe distance from the wild ocean waves which bombard the rows of other stately ones nearer the sea.   Recent development of the promenade have been extended by a modern board walk, inviting you to go further. Plans are afoot to continue the board walk all the way to Midleton, surely every walkers dream.

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Eily’s Report – 9th May

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

The scene from my window is getting more dense day by day but I’m well compensated by the leaves as they flourish and grow and swell blocking my view. The multicoloured wide expanse always gives food for the eyes and the mind. The wind and the sun and the rain, each having it’s own say in the look of things. The couple of sunny days that we got were a strong temptation to run off to the nearest garden centre and buy bedding plants to wake up our world from it’s long winter sleep, but we have to brace ourselves for as long as I can recall there is danger of frost until the end of May. So we must be patient. Find something else to shake off the winter’s unrest for just another little while. A dry hour now and then gives us the chance the wander around the garden and take stock. As well as admiring the lovely lilac and the laburnum starting to send out its show of tendrils and the Rowan already in flower, there is the chance of hearing the cock pheasant in the near by meadow giving off his well-known call as he searches for a mate.  Butterflies and bees and nesting birds are well worth a moment of your time and nowadays they are much more interesting because of all the Nature programs that we see on tv. Their antics and movements are more meaningful and enjoyable.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 9th May”

Eily’s Report – 2nd May

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

Fondest greetings and welcome to the merry month of May. The Month of Our Blessed Lady herself. The very sound of the name gives you a lift at the  thought of sunny days ahead and the world around full of light and promise. Did you think to bless your bounds ditches on Sunday night on May Eve? For as long as we can remember this ritual has been kept up and strictly adhered to in order to ward off the ghouls and makers of pishogues,who were reputed to be able to bring misfortune down on you and yours.  Some people back in the day believed that those who came round on May Eve with their evil charms  had the power to bring bad luck. The Holy Water blessed at Easter which always seemed clearer and purer than some you had in for some time was the favourite fluid which was used at this special time. Stories were told around the fires at night of some local crafty being who was seen early on the morning of the first day of May furtively crouching around where waters met and working their evil intent before the sun burned away the May Morning Dew.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 2nd May”

Eily’s Report – 24th April

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

This is the Day, this is The Day that I’ve reached my 90th birthday. It was a long haul by any standards but also with a long list of reasons to be thankful. My eldest brother, Denis,(RIP) always told me that on that fateful day April 24th in 1933, at evening time he was told to go down to town (on foot) and tell Bridgy Reardon to come up. Bridgy Reardon lived in with Maggie Long and her son Jerome who had a  shop in lower Pound Hill. It had a fire place at the off end and the counter and shop at the other of the same room. There was always a nice fire burning in the grate and people would sit there and talk to Maggie while she got their purchase for them. Sometimes on our way home from school, we’d drop in if they’d asked us at home to bring something. A loaf of bread or a box of matches or so. Bridgy could often be there resting by the fire as we came and went. Middle aged, comfortable looking . My brother had no idea why he was to tell her to come to our house for but just did as he was told. She went on foot with her bag at least I never her saw her having a bike like other nurses as I can recall. Anyway it seems that I arrived at sundown on that day 90 years ago.  I want to continue thanking all the kind people who are sending well wishes and I want to wish the popular Joanne O’Riordan a very Happy Birthday today, also Johnnie Mc Avoy who share this day with me.

Here are the results of this week’s lotto draw which was held on Sunday night. Numbers drawn were 1,18.25,27 and the Jackpot was not won. €100 went to John Twohig Castlecor, Mallow, the seller was Colemans and they got €50 sellers prize. €50 went to Denise Smyth c/o Michelle Whelan. €20 each to Kevin Murphy, c/o The Bush Bar, Joan Corkery c/o Mary O’Connor, Mary Lynch, Kilcorney, Martina O’Donoghue, c/o Colemans, Breda Sheehan  c/o Tom Carroll, Tim Healy Murphy’s Terrace, Linda & Mary Coleman c/o Colemans, Catherine Cleary c/o Healy’s Bar.

Next Draw Bank Holiday Monday May 1st. Jackpot €8,000.

In closing I want to wish you all a very Happy and enjoyable Bank Holiday  Weekend. Please drive with extreme care.

Agus sinn abfuil a cairde Slán is Beannacht Dé libh go léir.

Eily’s Report – 18th April

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

Heavy  rain and high winds, normal enough for the sort of weather that we are accustomed to in these modern times. But of late we’ve been getting a mixture of hail, which leaves lots of people very surprised, worried even, Well what next. But in my young days ,hailstones were a common occurrence in April. It sticks in my memory because April being the time of year when fowl of all kinds were put down hatching. Hens mostly because they were capable of bringing out many other species as well as their own. Hatching hen eggs of course was natural for a hen, and took three weeks to mature, while duck eggs took a month, meaning that the unfortunate bird would be stuck in the nest for a week longer. Geese and turkey eggs the same. Usually the hatching was done in an empty and peaceful loft ,away from the other distractions of the farmyard. They were roofed with galvanised sheeting and when the hailstones came hard and fast as they often did in April. it was a cause of great worry. The danger was that the pounding noise would kill the young life as it formed in the eggs under the hens. As the weeks progressed the worried bean-a-tighe would take out an egg here and there and hold it up to her ear longing for the faintest sound of life. To check if they were fertile she’d hold the egg up to the light ,and look through the shell,  if there was a little sack of light showing at the top then it was good. But if not it was sure to be a glugger and a glugger was bad news, the contents rotting away in the shell with the passage of time. The woman would take it away as soon as she was sure that there was no chick growing away inside. As children we’d be given the glugger to discard it. How we loved to take it away and throw it at some distant stone or ditch, thus filling the air with the most foul smell in all the world. People ask us today, what we did for fun in our young days, now there’s one example. There was nothing as cranky as a hatching hen or indeed any brooding bird, they fought to the death to protect their clutch. A few times a week each would have to be forceably taken out of the nest to have some exercise, toilet, food and drink and to dust themselves. Dusting to a hatching hen or any bird would be comparable to any of us having a bath. The heap of ashes after the fire, or a heap of dry earth or sand was heaven to them.  Crouched down, they wallowed in it using their sharp claws to throw up the dust and mix it into their feathers and flap their  wings in a wild frenzy. Then just as fast they were on their feet a quick shake of the body and wasted no time in returning to the nest as soon as possible, plumage askew and clucking, clucking loudly as she went and anything that stood in her way got the vent of the loud screech or a dig of her claws. Back in the nest she gently nudged her clutch of eggs into the right position and carefully sat down on them. Not everything went to plan of course there were losses and disappointments but never sure if was human error or the dreaded hailstones in April.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 18th April”

Eily’s Report – 11th April

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

Greetings all and I wish you  the very best as we head out on to the rest of the year. Religiously we are well prepared with the newly blessed palm hanging up beside the picture of the Sacred Heart where it replaced the withered specimen of last year.  Withered or not the piece of Blessed Palm  never fails to give us that feeling of  security against fires and other calamities for the whole year. Our Easter ceremonies were beautiful very meaningful and very well attended. Easter brings Lent to a close and a time when Trocaire Boxes are filled and handed in where the proceeds will go to help the needy.  It all helps to give us that ‘feel good’ when Lent is over.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 11th April”

Eily’s Report – 4th April

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

Is there anything nicer than to see a herd of milch cows going out on a lush green field of grass for the first time in the season. There is something noble and tranquil about a milch cow. Dry stock are like teenagers all their life, for one thing they never lose their youth because they are bred to produce beef and it has to be tender so they are never allowed get old. On the other hand the milking cow lives on, the young buzz goes out of her. She has a calf every year, which develops a maternal instinct in her and because she lives on the farmer and herself get acquainted. They don’t all age in the same way. Like ourselves they differ in their temperament and ways. Some like to have you near them in the hope of getting a nice pat on the rump as they make their way to or from the pasture, others never trust you and will stay well inside the body of the herd where they obviously enjoy the safety of numbers. In our time there was no other way but to open the gap after milking and release the herd out on to the field where they often showed their glee but galloping off, especially if the field was sloped, how they loved to take advantage of it to enjoy a moment of freedom before starting to graze. Thus ruining a lot of the fine green grass. Thanks to modern methods and modern thinking, that is all changed now. Pastures are divided up into manageable paddocks and roads built where the animals will walk in formation, until they reach their goal. Even then a large paddock can be sectioned off by electric fencing , which is moved on as required, so that the precious feed is  not soiled or wasted. When they first reach the pasture ,it’s as though their eyes are bigger than their bellies and they feed voraciously  for a short while  and then as if by some unknown order they all lie down and contently chew the cud and after a brief sojourn they’re up a feeding again. This goes on all day, with the milk building up in their udders, until they answer the call to return to the milking parlour to shed their load.  But I still miss the sight of the herd galloping off into a field of fresh grass and throwing their tails in the air showing to all a sundry, their obvious relief at being relieved of many gallons of  heavy, creamy milk. God is Good.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 4th April”

Eily’s Report – 28th March

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

The hour we lost at the weekend when we moved our clocks forward is already giving us brighter evenings, or as we used to say long ago more lightsome. It’s a long time since we heard that word and in other words also such as lonesome, troublesome, tiresome and others as well which don’t come to mind just now. Instead we now say lonely, troubled, weary etc. Funny how we change without even knowing it.  In the past they had a word or phrase for everything. Arising out of some simple statement that somebody let fall off the tip of their tongue on some occasion. For example, ‘Too Late says Puller’, the horse is dead, is a statement that was used over and over when it didn’t even apply to a horse being dead. I never heard of the true origin of it, but I can barely recall a man of that name who lived in the town. Apparently the help or vet didn’t make it on time to save the horse’s life and it died but the words of its owner lived on and on. It was applied to just about every situation after that.   In a case of perhaps someone not making up the hay before the rain came, “Too late says puller” said it all. The list goes on, it rolled off the tongue so easily when the occasion arose. “Too late says Puller”.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 28th March”

Eily’s Report – 21st March

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

It was indeed an action packed weekend starting with St. Patrick’s Day on Friday, Six Nations Championship on Saturday and Mothers Day on Sunday coupled with the wonderful Parade in Carriganima in honour of our Patron Saint. The bad weather forecast on the previous days left the organisers on tender hooks in many places, but the Luck of the Irish was on us and there wasn’t an umbrella in sight as our parade made it’s way through the town. It was indeed a multiracial event, with a variety of nationalities taking part. There was a large representation of Ukrainian people of many ages, they stood before the reviewing stand, sang a song of their own country and despite the language barrier expressed their gratitude in the best way they could  as they passed along. Many other nationalities also took part. There was a very good attendance and as always the food outlets, bars and other services did a lively trade. Our Pipe Band played us into the church for 11.30 Mass. The lovely Choir sang very appropriate hymns, the priest blessed the shamrock, Band member Michael McCarthy read the lesson beautifully as Gaeilge and as a finale, their rousing recital of Highland Cathedral filled our huge church with music. On my way down the church I met an elderly lady who came to live in Millstreet in her retirement, she was overawed by it all as everybody was and said to me “haven’t we everything here, oh, the lovely uplifting band”. Needless to say I smiled in agreement. Following the Mass the band  had to beat a hasty retreat to play in Killarney before making it home for our own parade at five. Yes we are blessed.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 21st March”

Eily’s Report – 14th March

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

St. Patrick’s Week, or should I say the week with St. Patrick’s Day in it. We are already half way through the season of Lent and St. Patricks Day always gives us a little break. A day when we feel that we can partake of some of the things we’ve given up for Lent. Here in town our Community Council and all their helpers are going to pull out all the stops to make this years Fest a good one. We know now what it was like during the long years of Covid when we were not allowed out to vent our feelings for our National Patron. Time to make up for lost time now. Also out in the  picturesque village of Carriganima they will do it and on the following Sunday March 19th.v They come to us and we go to them, well in keeping with the wonderful relationship that has existed between our two places since time began. So it will be all systems go in Millstreet on Friday afternoon for our 4.45/5 o’clock start. Once again the sprawling car/truck park at the Green Glens will be the preparing and starting point .The ever popular Peter Lane on Blackwater Sound Fame will entertain the crowds at the reviewing stand in the Town Square and will herald in the items for our grand parade 2023. Fine prizes are there for the best of each category and the Hotel and all the our other food outlets will guarantee that no one goes home hungry or thirsty. For application forms for the Parade contact any Community Council Member.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 14th March”

Eily’s Report – 7th March

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

Heart warming scenes on our website this morning of the great celebrations by our GAA enthusiasts as they laud their stars and our historic Wallis Arms Hotel accommodating them in style. Many congratulations to all involved.

A beautiful Monday with the sun shining and the washing waving in the breeze and a yellow warning of snow and cold winds in the forecast. It’s a recipe for making the most of the remaining hours of this lovely day. It was a race against time last week when Clara Mountain above us was set alight, just days before the end of season. The huge inferno made a great impression on all who saw it. Controlled burning has been part of life for those  who own sections of Mountains and rough land. From experience they know when the time is right, taking  into consideration the direction of the wind and the proximity to local forests. Over the years we always loved to watch once we knew that nothing was in danger. The scene never failed to get us all excited at the wonder of it all. Sometimes it happened at night when the dark skies were lit up for miles around. In our young days local  farmers with rushy land with patches of furze growing on it would put a match to it and we’d all enjoy the bonfire-like occasion. The heat of it and the smell of burning furze stays with you all your life.  In the days before handy chainsaws and other mechanical trimmers, people made much more use of fire. This time of year when cows would be eating their way through the new fresh grass, fences had to be opened to let them into new pasture. Gates were scarce and gaps were often over grown with briers and weeds.  My Dad being a pipe smoker was never without a box of matches in his pocket and one flick made short work of opening a gap as the flaming vegetation filled the valley with a gentle wave of smoke and gave off a beautiful smell  that filled the evening air.  One you’d never forget.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 7th March”

Eily’s Report – 28th February

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

The last day of the second month of 2023, the cold winds of last week gave way to a beautiful mild sunny start to this week.  Having woken early, well early for the likes of me, just before 8 am,  I decided that’s enough of that  for now, I’ll get up. On drawing the curtains I was blinded by to strong morning sun shining in. Donned my dressing gown and in a short while I was out in the garden. The beauty and peace all around me was there to be enjoyed. I think that the birds like it when we go outside and spend some time in their world. The little robin flitted from one branch to the other and twitted his lovely song for me while many more fed greedily on the peanuts. In the morning sun the buds on my Camelias were  plain to see, daffodils springing up all over the place and also wild garlic and coming into flower, the old fashioned shrub, the flowering current which has followed me  through the years, from the place  where I was born  at Liscahane to where I  spent so many happy years in the shadow of Kilmeedy Castle to my present abode in peaceful Geararoe. It’s funny how we like to bring the past with us when we have to move. We made no wonder of these  at the time. It’s only when we see them after we leave that we want to have them in our own place and share them with the family when they too move on. It forms a sort of an invisible thread which binds us all together.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 28th February”

Eily’s Report – 21st February 2023

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

I love Pancake Day, it gives us an opportunity to have a party. There were few sweet things when I was a child, my Dad was a savoury person, always sticking to the plain unsweetened foods. Except at Christmas when he would make a huge cake, put a few currents in it and loads of margarine to make crumbly and delicious. But that was it then until shrove Tuesday and pancakes. Our cook, Pete had very few culinary gifts, but he would try. In summer if we could steal a few apples from the neighbours orchard, we’d bring them home and he would cut the up and put them into the mix of the everyday soda bread as a treat when the Da wasn’t around. No sugar added in case it would be missed. But sour and all as it was we’d eat with relish. The thought of having an ‘apple tart’ gave us a great sense of pride. The mix for the pancakes was easily got. Eggs, of which there was plenty and the same went for the flour and the milk. We never heard of lemons, at pancake time, but the good blessing of sugar made it all go down well and that was it. Pancake day over. But when my Father married again our step mother came, she would continue to make pancakes for my Dad for a few more days after Shrove. Never a lady for the open countryside, she’d still make her way to the tillage field where he would be ploughing the land in readiness for the Spring sewing. Plate in hand and a gallon of hot tea, she spared no effort to please her new man. The horses taking advantage of the break would as it were, switch off close their eyes and dip the head their lower lip flapping slightly up and down as if in prayer, until tea time was over and then it was back to the task in hand. It really was a beautiful time of year back then. So full of promise and the program was the very same year in and year out. Same horses, same plough, same harrow, same everything that was handed down from Father to Son to continue the same work and methods of work that their forefathers did for generations in the past  right up through  the 40’s.  They say that many new inventions come after a war and looking back I think that it was in the late 40’s and early 50’s that we saw the first signs of change. New methods began to appear and since then nothing seems to stay the same.  Primitive and all as they were, we still remember the old times and customs  with love, they never fail to bring a smile.   Enjoy the  pancakes.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 21st February 2023”

Eily’s Report 14th February

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

I’ll mention it first in case you forgot to get a gift for the one you love and you may be able to save yourself at the last minute by going off and grabbing a life-saver for yourself at the last minute. St. Valentines Day surely puts a stir on things in February when all around us is looking out for a little bit of escapism. There was very little talk about St. Val’s Day in our youth,  a wink or a nod would go a long way to send the message . It’s a long way from the commercialiasion of today when online shopping can deliver the most exotic creations to your door at a price that anybody can afford. Or a quick phone call could get flowers delivered hey presto. So I wish you all the joys of the day that’s in it.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report 14th February”

Eily’s Report – 7th February

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

We mustn’t drag our feet, he first week of Spring in already gone and I wonder what have we got to show for it. Since covid, I think we’re still trying to find ourselves.  It’s amazing how those couple of years disturbed our focus on/of things and it is not easy to get them back in line, but there is no place better to start than at the Spring time of another year.  Having a new Bank Holiday to coincide with the feast day of St. Bridget is already a great bonus. With new St. Bridget Crosses in place in the home and a day off on the Monday is enough to kick start anybody who is looking to the future with hope and determination. We have no further to go than the garden to find just that. I often wonder, how do they do it, how do the little daffodils and the blue bells force their way up through the unyielding sod at the same time every year. In spite of all the unfriendly months that we have come through they are standing  up proud and tall and ready to bloom and brighten our lives for many months ahead, until all the Spring flowers follow in their lead. Already the people who write  about gardening in magazines and papers are advising the those who are more adventurous than me to put their seed potatoes in boxes now where they will send out strong sprouts and be ready for planting out when the time is right. We all have little bags and tins full of seeds of flowers and shrubs which we either saved ourselves or got them from friends last Autumn and it will fill our fine days to prepare receptacles for them in the hope that they will grow and flourish with the passage of time.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 7th February”

Eily’s Report – 31st January

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

It looks like January is going out like a lamb.  You never appreciate the good day until you’ve had  bad ones and as we have come through a long period of rain, storms, snow, plus thunder and lightening, these few fine days never tasted so sweet. The fine dry bright day fills you energy and leaves you rearing to go, regardless of how old or young you are. People who have homes of their own are blessed moreover these days because having your own space you are free to wander out on the nice day and find something to do. A lick of paint can turn an eye sore into a thing of beauty in a very short time. Perhaps nobody will see or notice it but you and if it brightens your day then the whole world is a better place. There is nothing as handy as having some paint left from before, paint rollers are a Godsend so that you can start the job as soon as the notion takes you. If you have to go through the rigours of going to town for your supplies, you’re sure to meet someone, get delayed and the job at home is put back for another day. Meeting up with people is the nicest thing ever, but not on the day when weather and mood are in tandem. Sometimes I think we recycle almost too much because if you want old clothes to wear in the garden or maybe a cardboard box or a plastic bag etc. you won’t have the likes because they’ve all been binned. As long as they are neatly kept I think it wise to hold on to a few. Paints are great today, they are mostly water based and they dry very fast, also brushes, rollers etc can be cleansed under a running tap. Another throwback from the war comes to mind when we talk about paint. The paint we got back then was very poor quality and was a nightmare at the time of the Stations. Out in the country only farmers were compelled to have Stations. They were held twice a year. Townlands were brought together to form a group of maybe twelve houses, in such a case  a person would have the Station every six years.  Needless to say in that length of time the house didn’t get much attention. Bare floors, damp walls, all the importance was in the out of doors where the money was made. Everybody knew when it was their time to have the Stations, there was a rota and it was followed to the letter. If right was right people should or could be all prepared well on time, but that never happened. Well in advance the Bean ‘a Tighe would be asking himself to do some work indoors, the parlour nearly always needed a new floor, or a wall to plaster, all  rotten with the damp. But he always had some more pressing things to do outside.  Eventually it did get done, and it was time to paint. The tins of distemper arrived, a different colour for every room and white for the ceiling. It was slapped on with little time to spare and the people filled in on the day. Everybody including nonfarmers were entitled to attend. They sat around on long seats, usually borrowed among other things for the Stations. The Parish Priest would arrive accompanied by his Curate and the parish Clark called Jack the Clark.  In my youth he was a rather weird looking man ,with matted hair always dressed in black and I thought he was a priest even though he lived just across the street from the Church with his wife and family. The entrance gates and walls would be whitewashed at the last minute and the sow roaming free around the yard rubbed herself off it and some of the white came away on her, and the Canon was heard to say to his Curate, look, they painted even the sow. There would be confessions before and during the Mass and when it was over the Canon would put his ledger on the raised (Alter) table and call the names of the Farmers to come and pay their dues. So much per cow and there was often a rather heated debate as to how many cows he had. The dues settled, the men often went out in the yard  to smoke and chat and I can always remember one man who always asked for a sip of water in case he hadn’t swallowed the host properly. The Clergy always had breakfast in the parlour with a nice fire burning in the grate and it was always the big worry in case everything wasn’t right or to their liking. Once they were finished and gone the feeling of relief was palpable and the house filled with friendly relaxed chatter. But for those who sat by the wall there was the shock on being told on leaving that their ‘good coat’ was destroyed with paint and even though it came easy off the wall it wasn’t so with their Sunday best. TG the paints today are so much better.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 31st January”

Eily’s Report – 24th January

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

What a difference a day makes, moreover what a difference a fine day makes.  The air is lighter, the skies are brighter and never fails to put spring in your step. Having come through so many dark wet and dismal days, who could be blamed for being prepared to face more of the same on rising in the morning. The plan ahead comprising of more things to do indoors and keep abreast of danger of getting the ‘downs’. But the first day of this week changed all that, notions of doing anything inside were quickly cast aside  as the warm sun beckoned. An early wash and to see the washing waving in the soft breeze on the line for the first time in ages was a thrill in itself. I firmly believe that even the birds love to see us out. The little robin who has been begging for grub month after month on the window sill, conveyed me  going from bush to bush with it’s cheerful song while I scanned the flower beds to see how my poor garden looked after all that rain. Never ones to disappoint, the daffodils are up strong. As well as the wild garlic and I even spotted a little primrose doing it’s best  to push up through the rotting leaves. A few more days of this could see us making some real improvements in the garden. Moving some of last seasons pots out of view never fails to improve the look and soon we may even probe down through the rotting leaves etc to see if the little seeds and nuts that we put down in the Fall are making their own battle with the elements to surprise us with some new growths for the coming season. While the morning fog may be the detriment of road users especially early risers, it can weave a spell for those like me who have time to look out and study it’s comings and goings in the neighbourhood. It comes and goes in the still air, turning woods and hedges into a fairyland all of their own sometimes it comes right up close and as it were pulls down the curtains all around and then it lifts off and goes away again.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 24th January”

Eily’s Report – 17th January

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

Tuesday January 17th, the page on my calendar, one of those that you get from filling stations or oil suppliers which have a new message for every day, well today it says that its the birthday of Muhammed  =Ali. Born in Louisville in 1942, and the caption at the bottom says, ‘Effort only fully releases it’s reward  after a person refuses to quit’.  As good as any way to start off my report today. Weather wise it’s not looking good, with the snowflakes which have been hanging over us for days are dropping down outside just now. Regardless of weather, children have to go to school and parents have to ferry them, the builder must build and the shopkeeper open the shop. But for people like me who have no real agenda, what do we do?  Why go out if it’s too cold or even dangerous in case we fall and get hurt, make more work for our already overcrowded health services. That would be all wrong. But equally the last thing we must do is to sit inside and be bored. Funny how the sayings of old keep coming back and still make sense today. One of our neighbours who worked in America and came home and bought a farm near us before getting married and settling down.  He always said that if the day isn’t fit for hay, don’t spend the day in the meadow, meaning of course that no matter what you’re doing if it isn’t right just now, then go do something else.  Today it strikes me as a good time to take a leaf out of that old wise ,man’s book. Spring cleaning is on the way, but perish the thought in this weather, but maybe it’s a good time to go through the wardrobes and hanging places and see what can be done about the overcrowding which we all experience.  Keep warm by perhaps by putting some hot water in a hot water bottle and keeping it near you or turn on the electric blanket in you bed and it will warm both you and the stuff you’re working on. Be prepared to be distracted, Because no matter what your rush, you will find some items that will trigger you memory. We all have things which have been with us for years and which we are reluctant to part with, even if we no longer wear them or indeed if they no longer fit. Some can take us back to places and events that we’d love to dwell on again, holding it near and recalling the way we looked that day the friends we shared it with and the photos to show for it. While still surrounded by loads of things yet to go through, we can just allow the moment to linger and smile again at the thought. We have things that we bought and never wore. A teeney, teeny  bit too tight, but it’s no bother to lose a pound  so you pay up and take it home feeling all aglow at your purchase. But alas it never happens, that pound or even an ounce won’t move and  by then it’s too late to return it, so it stays put and will continue to be nice to look at. Then what about the lovely thing that you got renovated, left down or up or whatever, but it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it, so in disgust you consign it to the back of the wardrobe for now. Famous last words, you never look at it again. A flimsy number suitable for a holiday in the sun could bring you back to thoughts of a dreadful flight or a smooth one, recall hours basking on silver sands and sipping  tequila sunrise, etc. far into the balmy night surrounded by fellow revellers. Even a pin or broach on a garment can give you hours of reminissing as you think back of when it became yours for the first time. Could be one passed on to you by a caring grandparent or beautifully enclosed in a presentation box with a bow by a hopeful beau. Shoes, OMG, When I think of all the space we’d have if we only kept what we needed, or were currently using. Shoes ,boots ,slippers ,high heels, flats, peep toe, fur lined, runners. As your age goes up the heels of your shoes go down if you are to maintain the art of walking with any degree of comfort or safety, and it’s a sobering thought when you go through the press and see the punishing models that we wore in the not too distant past. Again going through them ahead of the Spring Clean, minutes grow into hours as you claw back the memories of how we put the final touch to any outfit, with a matching pair of footwear. Maybe they put blisters on our toes and ruined our posture ,as long as the completed the set ,then on they went. Well for a while anyway, a second pain in the bag at a wedding or so, very often made a hasty appearance as the wearer took on a relaxed and pleasant look of relief. A mere distraction can take you away from your task, and in a moment you could leave it all for another day. But at least you were not bored.

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Eily’s Report – 10th January

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

Here we go, here we go, here we go, bang into another New Year. I hope your Christmas went well and your batteries all charged as we all proceed together to take on the challenges of the months ahead. The arrival of January 7th  always sees me taking down the Christmas decorations. Having lovingly put them up in good time for the Festive season, it’s equally pleasing to take them all down again when the time is right and is there anything worse than when you have them all carefully packed away in the farthest end of the attic to find one or two items that you missed. Maybe it was an age thing, but I must admit that I didn’t go over board with my glitzy pieces this time. But I did stick to the age-old custom of the single candle (electric of course) lighting continuously on the window from start to finish, even times when I was away. The Crib in very important to me also and it took it’s place of honour gaily bedecked in berry holly and streams of fresh ivy  and a couple of lights to brighten up the Holy Family. In all the weeks leading up to December 25th there was an endless array of cooking programs on TV. The poor turkey was bisected and trisected and deboned and stuffed with mountains of butter shoved in under the skin, before it was banished into the oven flat on its back. It mystifies me why is it always placed on it’s back.  Thus ensuring that all the juices of the breast will drain away down to the pan. I always place any bird on it’s breast for most of the time letting any juices from the rest of the body seep down into the breast and for the last half hour or 45 minutes turn it over to brown the breast. Never any need for all this basting every fifteen minutes. But then we’re all different, aren’t we? My favourite will always be the turkey stuffed with lots of bread stuffing smothered with spices and onions and even the pick of the carcass is all the more tasteful next day because of it. Pate is a must at Christmas, made from liver and spices and cream. It comes from all kinds of bird or animal. Spread on a slice of toast or a cracker it never fails to thrill the palate. But this year for some reason the makers decided to add lots of cranberries to the mix, spoiling it entirely. A sweetener in a savoury dish does not go down well with me. Christmas changes with the passage of time. Young married couples like nothing better than coming home to parents for the occasion and in some cases the bride likes to go home to Mom and Dad and the groom to his parents not wanting to miss the tastes that they loved so well. But as time moves on and they have children of their own they want to remain in the home which they have created ,where they build their own tastes and customs that will rub off on the youngsters as time goes by. As I’m on the subject of food, a little word of warning. We all love sticky, crusty chicken wings for a quick snack now and then, but lately I have noticed that the bones are very broken and could pose a danger for children or indeed grown ups. So keep an eye out for them.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 10th January”

Eily’s Report – 20th December

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

Our Christmas week got off to a great start at 10 on Monday morning with a wonderful Carol Service in our Church given by the boys of our local National School. The variety of voices of many nationalities and of musical instruments added lustre to the performance, some pieces enough to draw a tear, others to induce toes tapping. Some parents recording it on their phones to enjoy it again later.

Well done to all involved.

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Eily’s Report – 13th December

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

You just never know what will greet you when you get up in the morning. Weather wise it could be anything in the present climate. Sometimes it can look all calm and serene giving you a false image of what the night was like, until someone asks did you hear the rain and thunder during the night which obviously you didn’t.  Well when pulled back the curtains on Sunday morning, I could see that it was frosty but the  scene that  met my gaze in the corner, down at the end of my yard was to say the least surprising and mysterious. Everything looked so grey and different from the rest around it. Forgetting the cold I drew on my dressing gown and slippers and went off the investigate. In the corner there was a cascade of ice and icicles.  A small pipe on the garden hose had burst and was sending a thin spray of water gushing into a leafless shrub in the corner and because the spray was so fine it was freezing as it landed resulting in a fairyland of beautiful icicles of many shapes and sizes every little limb sporting one of a different shape and size. The ground beneath  was like a copple on glass.  Luckily the stop cork was right there and I was able to turn off the flow And in no time it was frozen too. But you know’ in hindsight I think I’m sorry now that I didn’t  let the water on and allow it to  continue with it’s beautiful work of art. But at least for as long as the big freeze continues I have my very own glass/ice décor in my garden in good time for Christmas. How we loved the icicles in the cold winters when we were young. Back then there were lots of little streams flowing through the land. As drinking places in every field for the cattle. They were our cooling off and play areas in Summer but in winter they took on a wonderland all of their own. The busy water as it flowed along turned into ice on the overhanging briers and long grasses and how we loved finding the different ones. Some like a cows horn others a walking stick or a frog or snail in our young imaginative minds. But like everything else today they’re long gone from the scene. But I couldn’t help being excited all over again at the beautiful cascade of frozen ice of many shapes and sizes that was in my yard on Sunday morning.

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Eily’s Report – 6th December

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

Yes. yes, and thanks for asking, I passed my NCT. My little Renault Clio sailed through it and the nice man in charge even conveyed me to my car to present me with my papers. So wish me safe motoring, till the next time.

The joy of seeing our town all lit up for Christmas is so uplifting. They were plagued by doubt as the months went on but old traditions are hard to kill and God Bless our people they forged ahead in spite of all. The crowd was bigger than ever, many from foreign soil as Liam Flynn addressed them and introduced Sean Radley pressed the switch following a slow count down from ten. It turned our Town Square into a wonderland of lights and colour, while a clear moon played it’s own part as it shone down from a clear night sky on a calm cold night. Then there was a flurry of excitement when Liam said that Santa would be coming on any moment. Next up was our Millstreet Pipe Band, (including Padraig O Driscoll) followed by a brightly decorated  convoy drawn from our Vintage Club and ending with a surprise of surprises, Santa himself arriving by Air Ambulance.  (A replica mounted on a trailer may I add). The wonder in the faces of the little children and indeed grown–ups was a joy to behold. Friendly Sergeant Paul Lynch and his colleagues were on full alert to see that nothing marred the joy of the occasion.  No words of mine could do justice to the event. Following three years of a break our Mná na hÉireann did us proud. Needless to say they got great help from many men, but they were the ring leaders who put all the wheels in motion. This year we missed the one and only Noel Buckley, who is temporarely incapacitated and wish him well.  Following  his  hip  replacement he will be back with us again DV. Now that our town lights are in full bloom it’s up to us all to add our own sparkle to the grand return of Christmas cheer following all the woes of the awful Corona Virus.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 6th December”

Eily’s Report – 29th November

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

The month of November is on the way out and again we ask ourselves where did it go?  How did it go so fast?  If I asked Tade and Mary Lane the same question, they would say the same thing I’m sure about the sixty happy years that they’ve been married. God spared them to provide a home and bring up a wonderful family and pass on to them the wonderful cultures such as songs and lore that was handed down to themselves. Starting off by buying a humble cottage on the mountain road leading to Gneeves Bog and turning it into a birds- nest-like dwelling where they grew their food and kept hens, ducks etc. In time there was room in the acre to build a beautiful home for one of their two sons, for him and his wife to take on the same contract in life as his parents. How things have changed for the better for the people who lived in what used to be very remote areas. Where modern windfarms have brought wonderful prosperity to those who have turbines built on the boggy planes. Motor cars and other modern methods in time turned Tade and Mary’s remote beginnings into a thing of beauty and a joy for them for as long as they need. What a lesson their story would be for young people starting off today. To achieve so much from humble beginnings by adding on  according as they could afford to. They brought new life back into a little deserted place. I have always admired their progress and now it gives us all great joy to see them celebrating sixty years of a great life together. Well done Tade and Mary. We wish you many more years of wedded bliss.

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Eily’s Report – 22nd November

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

What a lovely start to any week, the sound of children singing. Monday November 21 was Presentation Day and all the pupils from our Presentation Convent  National School along with their many teachers and minders crowded into the church for the special Mass which is said every year to celebrate the important occasion and because of the association with the Community School some students from there also attended accompanied by the Principle Pól Ó Síodhcháin and religion teacher John Magee. The readings and the music and singing were all done by the children and after Mass bouquets of flowers were laid at the Nuns Graveyard representing both schools. Big changes from my day when we would go around the treelined ‘walks’  at the back of the school/convent singing the praises of the Lord and afraid that we’d put any leg wrong.

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Eily’s Report – 15th November

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

Our Church Choir outdid themselves on Sunday at 11.30 Mass. Our own choir were in great voice and they were joined by a number of Eukrainian people who  sang a hymn in their own language. The sounds were so melodious.  Canon John complimented them and the congregation showed their appreciation with a huge round of applause. Something we’d love to hear more of in the future. The readings on Sunday were deep rooted as they dealt with things that we’ve been learning since childhood about the end of the world and are more believable today than ever before. Down the years we have experienced signs and warnings that seemed to be true but never came to pass. I will never forget 1960. For years before it according to one of Our Lady’s Secrets in Fatima we were told that there was going to be three dark days that year. It was said in papers and magazines well in advance.  Needless to say we were very worried and wondered if this was going to be the End. Unfortunately I fell pregnant that year with my second baby, which added to our own worries and that time you’d have a weeklong stay in hospital for your confinement and here I was with my lovely new baby away from the others at home.  Consumed with worry I spent hours every night looking out of the hospital window, wondering if the sun would come up and it did. TG. The three dark days never came, not sunless ones anyway, but maybe there was some other explanation for it which escaped me. Other signs and prophesies came to light over the years and people who were stirred by them in various ways. So the bottom line is that we don’t know the day nor the hour, but always be at the ready.

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Eily’s Report – 8th November

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

The weather held it’s fury for the blessing of the graves here on Sunday. Following 11.30 Mass large crowds went along in temporary sunshine for this annual event. We all go at different times throughout the year to pay our respects to our loved ones but when our priests lead us in prayer in November it makes it all very special. People pay extra attention to their family resting places and it makes a great meeting place when prayers are over where friends meet and talk about many things but mainly about the loved ones that they have lost. During the month of November special indulgences can be gained by visiting any graveyard and players for the Holy Souls and special Masses said throughout the month also for the souls of our dear departed. Many thanks to all those who erected a lovely Garden of Remembrance in our church. The Keel in the Clara Road is also a popular place where people stop to pray for the  poor souls who lie there without any sort of identification. May they all Rest in Peace.

The monthly meeting of the Community Council will be held tonight at the Adult Learning Centre starting at 8.30 sharp.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 8th November”

Eily’s Report – 1st November

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

November the first, The Feast of all Saints,A holiday of Obligation. Masses as for Sunday.

Oh my goodness how it brings back memories of freezing cold winds and chilblains. I’m not sure if that’s the proper spelling because I can never remember seeing it written down. But I can well recall the blistered fingers and toes which broke out when winter came. I have no idea of when they gave up coming and it’s not easy to explain to young people today what they were like and the pain they caused. Putting on the boots and stockings in the morning was the worst.  Sore crusty feet had to be packed into them and funny enough once installed and after the first couple of steps they seemed to soften and away you went to school or whatever until time came to remove them all again at bedtime when removing the footwear seemed to release the demon, soreness again. Then a rub of the unbeatable pink ointment for the night. Fingers didn’t escape either and even though the complaint affected mostly children all ages could get them. In fact we knew one man in the area who even lost fingers and toes to them and his winters were his dreaded time of year.

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Eily’s Report – 25th October

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

You look out and it’s raining, look again and the sun is blazing, decisions decisions, will I put out the washing or not. Well rather than put them in the dryer, I’ll put them out and see what God will send.

The 40th National Dairy Show was held at the Green Glens on Friday afternoon, all day on Saturday and there was a lot to celebrate, not just 40 years but the first in two years because of Covid. Many new challenges also had to be met because the comforts and securities of past years were now taken up by the Ukrainian people who had to flee from their own war-torn country. I was determined to go and see how the great Green Glens could accommodate it all. I arrived in brilliant sunshine on Saturday afternoon, when every where was fully crowded, well supervised car parks full and shuttles bus services in operation. I must say I found it hard to believe that I was standing in the Green Glens, the place that is so familiar to me since the day it was founded. The number of marquees and covered areas and passageways was baffling. Including the spacious covered diner. I  was told beforehand that there was a lot to do, to bring it up to standard, but it wasn’t until I saw with my own eyes, the magnitude of the whole undertaking. Trade stands abounded and seemed comfortable in their allotted sections with ample space to show off their wares. The Show Ring was a place apart, where the cream of all bovines inched their way  around under the sharp gaze of the team of judges. It being the 40th. presentations were made.  Every man who directed the National Dairy Show here over the years was called into the ring where they were lauded for their dedication to this important event in the life of farmers everywhere. Then the man who made it all possible, the one and only Noel C Duggan ,representing the Duggan family was called in and extolled for their outstanding co-operation over the past 40 years. Having received the special award comprising of a special clock, denoting ‘Time Given For Time Taken” and in his reply he lauded those wonderful  people who have kept the National Dairy alive and well at the Green Glens and looking to the future with more determination than ever. I have to congratulate all connected with the Dairy Show. The locals who put their shoulders to the wheel even on show day they were there fully alert to any problem that may arise. The National Dairy Show is important to Millstreet because a rising tide raises all craft it’s a boost to our community at many levels.

All concerned can justly take a bow.TG.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 25th October”

Eily’s Report – 18th October

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

The scene outside is a picture of tranquility with nothing to show for the record breaking wind and rain of the weekend. The sun is shining brightly on the lush green fields both near and afar as our parish rejoices in not just one but two successes in the playing field at the weekend.  The extreme elements failed to dampen the spirit of our gallant teams who brought an unbelievable double win to our town on Saturday evening.  Our U17 hurlers brought home the bacon while our lovely junior Camogie girls sanctioned a place for themselves in the final in the near future. Flags and bunting flew from every vantage point to support them on their way and they didn’t disappoint. The Pipe Band and supporters were there to celebrate with them all the way. Following a welcome meal at the Wallis Arms Hotel, they were paraded through the town and the  wind and rain did nothing to stop them. Our brilliant pipe Band members wore rainproof gear and played on. Two wins in one evening was indeed something to celebrate. Flags were sold out in many places, but people hung out whatever they had, just to show their  support for these young teams and their trainers and all those associated with them. They did us proud indeed and all that support will be there for the girls in the final as we wish them the best of luck when their day comes.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 18th October”

Eily’s Report – 11th October

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

Our Church choir got no less than two rounds of applause at the 11.30 Mass on Sunday. It was lively and melodious and the sort you’d like to sing along with. Young people took part, and a solo pipe music  by one at the after the Consecration brought a loud  applause from the congregation, further to that in closing the choir gave a rousing hymn to the air of the Goilla Mar and the people showed their appreciation with yet another full bodied round of clapping making it clear their feelings for this sort of upbeat atmosphere at their Sunday Mass. Well done to all concerned.

There’s more good news, the baskets will be back in the church before the end of the month. Perhaps it’s another sign that the virus, if not finished, is at least under control. T.G.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 11th October”