Eily’s Report – 11th August

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

The Month of August is inching along and we are still wondering what has hit us. It’s a good job that we didn’t hear about it beforehand, we’d say that we could never cope with a global virus but we are showing that we can and le cúnamh Dé we will. I’m just back from a few days break and it was wonderful. One of the days saw me at the lovely seaside in Garryvoe which is only about a thirty minute drive from Cork City. The weather was delightful and having a lively little four year old with us we joined with a friend who has a house down there and who also had a couple of youngsters of around the same age it was a joy to see them  splashing and falling in the tide while I did what I do best on such occasions, take a long walk on the beach. Looking out at the sea and the sun dancing on the waves, it was easy to forget about Covid 19. I’m always fascinated by the colours of the stones on  beaches. All different sizes, different colours, all rounded and smooth. And as I make my way along, I have to pinch myself now and then to bring  myself back as it were to the real world and take in the sights instead of going along with my head down looking at the ground the whole time. Needless to say I never leave the beach without a few special stones, well, the ones that I thought special anyway. Every beach seems to have it’s own variety of coloured pebbles, some green, others blueish but the ones at Garryvoe were different to any I’ve ever seen. They looked pinkish with blood red veins running through them. So I couldn’t stop myself from bringing a couple away with me. Oh dear, already I can hear people saying that’s against the law, you’re not supposed to do that. So I stand accused, but if that’s my greatest sin, then we’ll leave it to God. There is a story in every little pebble on the beach. All so roundy and polished. You can’t help wondering ,what was it like to begin with. It never started out like this, did it break off of a mighty rock during the Ice Age in the other side of the world and was it kicked, tossed and grounded among the rest of the stones of the world until it was washed up on Garyvoe beach and retire there till the end of time. Not unlike the story of our own lives really.  No wonder I love the beach, it seems to talk to me ,and pose questions for me to ponder on.

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

Eily’s Report – 4th August

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

The Holiday Season is in full swing and not a trace of a plane in the sky. You can’t help wondering what is happening instead of the criss-cross lines up in the blue carrying thousands of people from one crowded airport to the other right across the world. Where did it all go and what have we got instead?  You’d think the world would grind to a halt if the likes happened but it hasn’t.  No it hasn’t because T.G. people refuse to be downed. In spite of all the knocks they find the grit to keep going the strong helping the weak  and everybody learning from the next.  Every day we read of people making determined efforts to get back up again, carry the day and survive.  That is why it is so important that we support home industry, shop at home, bring your support to those who will stand us in good stead for the future. It is truly amazing what a town like Millstreet has to offer.  Last week alone I got my Laptop serviced and my car smartened up without ever leaving the area and at very reasonable rates. There is a host of other services in the  area, all depending on our support. It’s great to see so many places being done up and painted and so many businesses getting back to work. Everything  forward-looking and no sign of giving up.  Long may the trend  continue.

What can we say about the response to Sean Radley’s Go-Fund-Me plea for the Museum. Needless to say like everybody else,I’m overjoyed but sad at the same time. Sad because it took so long for the museum complex at the Carnegie Hall to get it’s true recognition. Our museum and website are the heart and soul of what we are.  It’s our link with the entire world. It deserves a lot more space to allow it to reach it’s full potential and sadly when the Carnegie Hall  was being refurbished some years ago what used to be a two roomed facility  for the museum etc.was reduced to one, forcing massive amounts of its artifacts to be boxed and put into storage at Sean Radley’s  own expense. Since then he has literally worked miracles  in  limited space  to make today’s wonderful service a reality and talk of good coming out of bad. It took the worldwide Corona Virus plague to wake us up to this great need  on our own doorstep. One of Sean’s dreams was to put a book on every shelf and he did when he gave Picture Millstreet to us and to the world, I know he has big ambitions for our museum and website, we help him to achieve it. Shame on us if we don’t.  Sean’s work is so very important. When we see the value that is placed in images of the past  such as of late with the Centenary of the Fight for Freedom 1900/1920s. The way old photos were tracked down and treasured  his store of pictures must run into hundreds of thousands and all are kept in pristine condition and dated and named for generations to come to enjoy and by which family records can be traced. But his pictures are only one aspect of what he has in store for the future. Long may our dear Sean continue to do what Sean loves best. To enhance his community ,in so many ways. Thank God for HIM.                       And Thank You Sean.

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

Eily’s Report – 28th July

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

August Bank Holiday, the very mention of the word gives us  a great feeling, fills you with excitement and the promise of annual holidays and a much needed break from the norm. Yes, that is what it used to be like, but alas not this time and it only took one small bug to put an end to it, change the world forever. For a long time now the media has wasted no time or energy in telling us about terrible things that threaten our very existence. Super powers stockpiling bigger and more powerful weapons of war and mass distruction, most of which never comes to fruition. T.G.  But there wasn’t a word about a little bug that was hatching away in China which put us all hiding behind masks for our own protection and that of those around us.        The whole world  is at bursting point and the annual holiday season only makes it worse. People can’t be blamed for casting their minds on the might-have –been.  Holidays both at home and abroad booked for months, having to be cancelled. To Holiday at home at short notice requiring careful planning , with many new aspects to be considered.  With very little hotel or B&B accommodation to be had they may be lucky enough to get a vacancy at a campsite, but even then the customary trip to the cafe or diner  could also be a no no. Already I’m hearing of towns in scenic places that are full of people and no pub or restaurant open. People with little children are to be pitied. Adults may curse their luck and settle for an alternative, but try telling the little ones that we’re not  going to France after all, or indeed to the seaside, because we’d have no place to stay. For years planning a holiday anywhere in the world  was done by pressing a few buttons and your every need was met. But it’s not like this year. This time people will have to do it all themselves, take the knocks and try again. To make it good for the August Bank Holiday this year is going to take some new thinking, more effort,  but I’ll bet that when it’s over, we will  hear  some wonderful stories from people who thought outside the box and had a wonderful time, in spite of Covid 19.

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

Eily’s Report – 21st July

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

Say what you like, I pity the publicans. The Bar business is their livelihood  and no community is complete without them. A well run bar can be a wonderful thing, a place where to meet a friend or have a party, or run a fundraiser, the list goes on. But  their future has been dragged along, in an atmosphere of uncertainty for months. When they were told they could open on Monday July 20 they left no stone unturned to pave the way for their grand opening with public health a priority.  With only days to go they stocked up with all the drinks etc. and then the ax fell again. It’s nobody’s fault. The powers that be had no option but to call a halt because of the many new outbreaks of Covid19 in the country. We  look  to them to protect us and if they didn’t there would be uproar all over the place. It’s just that the publicans are in that sort of business that isn’t easy to lay down rules which will be right for everybody.

The pubs are part of what we are and I hope it won’t be long before we will see them back in business again.

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

Eily’s Report 7th July

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

Time marches on and Covid19 continues to be the main topic of discussion everywhere you go. It continues to call the shots and we must all adhere to it’s every demand. Ever so slowly life is inching  forward with nobody quite sure if they are doing the right thing  but  the need to get back to some form of normal life drives them on to at least try. Food and drink providers are the most affected and it’s interesting to see the many changes they have to make in order to start up again. Some of course will never come back again  but for those who will the challenges are immense. I went to the Wallis Arms Hotel for my dinner on Monday. I booked at one thirty and dined at two. As I was the only one there at that particular time I asked Nigel, the manager to show me around, show me the new changes and the ways that they have adopted to run their business. Needless to say they have sanatisers at the entrance and inside they have ample room to seat groups of up to eight guests in the dining lounge, while out in the function room at the back they can seat many more with ample social distancing . The days of copies of the menu on your table are gone. Gone also are  the jars of sachets of mayonnaise,ketchup, pepper/salt and so on.  Now they bring  a selection of them to your table in a small dish and reminded that if you want more of any you are welcome to ask. The customary glass of water remains the same.  The days menu is displayed on a notice board at the entrance and if you miss it like I did, the friendly waitress will read it for you. If you’re on your own, like I was, you can get a table for one.  All the staff were wearing masks. I didn’t. The name of every customer is entered in their book as is the norm everywhere you go now. I enjoyed my meal, it was superb.  By then other customers came in and sat at tables to suit their numbers. Now that I have made the break I’ll be more relaxed the next time and there will be a next time. The only other ‘eatery’ that I have been in, is the Lovely Aroma Cafe in Minor Row, where they have  Perspex dividers and their customers can enjoy their cuppa or full meal happy in the knowledge that they are safe in their own space. At the West End, the Lovely Cinnamon Cafe  provides takeaway meals for the moment. Their beautiful homemade brown bread is just one of the delicious  items that they have to offer. Our pubs are still waiting to get the go ahead from the powers that be. In the meantime they’re looking at how they can extend their space in order to comply with the you-know-what.  Looking at  ways that  they can move up or out so that they can make a decent living  in spite of all the odds that are stacked against them. We wish the all every success and again appeal to everyone to support them.  Please shop at home. Leave your money with your own people so that they can be there for use in to the future. Many congratulations to entrepreneurs Danny and Eileen Buckley,CloverHill on the launching of their new food products and on winning a weeks advertising on Virgin Media. It was great seeing them on the box at teatime every evening. No better man than Danny to drive the message home.

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

Eily’s Report – 30th June

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

The big news this week has to be that I was at Mass on Monday morning June 29.  Following a lapse of about three and a half months, it did seem strange. Our beautiful St. Patrick’s Church has the capacity to hold several hundred people in comfort, but this time there were just 50 souls in attendance. Sanitised going in and coming out. A great deal of hard work  went into arranging the seats in order to comply with the rules of social distancing and it was carried out to the letter.  We were met outside the chapel door by a team of ushers, all looking very officious with their masks and perspex face covers.    Their friendly and helpful attention made it easy for us to do the right thing. Having booked  in advance our places were marked out for us and each one was escorted to their  own particular place.  Only the centre isles of the church were used and only two people per seat one at each end . It was indeed a strange sight to see. At ten on the dot, Canon John came on the alter and started Mass, it was  the Feast Day of St. Peter and St. Paul. We all know that he has been saying Mass there all along and some people in the catchment area were lucky enough to be able to see him.  Others like myself were glad to listen in on Cork Music Station, thanks to Sean Radley.   At first it was a rather an alien experience, but as the weeks and months passed I got to love the clear words that were spoken  and in my own little cocoon I made the daily Mass, all my own. With the result that when I went to Mass in the Church I found it  very different. For months now I have been totally free to do the things I do. I didn’t have to be anywhere, attend anything, meet no one if I didn’t want to. Sit down, get up, job in the garden, cook a meal, etc. all in my own time, wander at will.  At Mass this morning ,the first discipline that I encountered was to stand up at Mass or sit  down at the right times join with the others in prayers. It wasn’t that I minded it but I was aware of it. Even at home before going I was  fretful. What if the time slips me and I’ll be late, or if the car won’t start and I having a precious place booked.  My seat would be empty and I after taking a seat that somebody else would be glad to have. But I needn’t have worried, it all went fine. TG.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 30th June”

Eily’s Report 23rd June

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

Every week has it’s highs and lows and last week brought more of the same. We must congratulate our beloved Fr.Paddy O’Byrne on the Diamond Jubilee of his  ordination and last week we learnt with horror of the death of Detective Garda Colm Horkan. To hear that a member of our Garda force has been murdered fills us with disdain and fear.   We look upon them as a body set apart, as something precious, vital, protect life. A sort of invisible shield that stands between us and the ‘big bad world’ and then to see something awful to happen to one of their members ,hits us where it hurts. Our local Gardai have placed a condolence book at the barrack ,where people can put down their names and  show solidarity with our National Garda Siochana.   Please support it well.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report 23rd June”

Eily’s Report – 16th June

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

Hopefully a date will be fixed for the biggest break in the Covid19 regulations, the ban on hairdressing. No other section of the entire pandemic regulations gets more coverage. It went to the point of panic as people of both genders, but mostly the women, looked to the future in despair as tresses grew longer and white roots got whiter. The signs were everywhere. Social distancing brought us into every home right across the world as reporters gave us their news from their own sitting rooms. Devoid of make-up and hair grooming. Hair was full topic on every phone call or meeting and friends who normally turned on Skype refrained from doing so because they were reluctant to let anybody see how they looked, unkempt. It was easy to get hair colour and family members turned stylists with a mixture of perfect or disastrous results. Not everybody was lucky enough to have someone  to trim their locks or even have a pair of scissors suited to the task, so the next best thing was D.I.Y. Again the need for a professional touch was plain to see.  They say that after this pandemic, things will never again be the same and I think it will apply to the locks as well. Some say they’ll never dye their hair again, others when they’ve seen it in a different line will want to change their style.  Hairdressers will be over-run because everybody will want to be in first.   The discarded tresses will fill volumes. It will level out in time but for now we mustn’t let the hair problem , go to our heads.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 16th June”

Eily’s Report – 9th June

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

Here we go, here we go, here we go. The shackles are off and we’re free to go. I saw a picture in the paper a few days ago of hundreds of pigeons being released from a pigeon carrier which was obviously a long distance from base giving them the freedom to fly back home. That was the kind of scene that  hit my mind as I listened to the account of the latest phase of the Covid19 pandemic.  Yes we too got our freedom and it was great to feel it, even for a little while until reality kicked in which prompted us to go back and read that again.   I know it must be very disappointing  for people like hairdressers and their customers, playgrounds, The Sunday Mass to mention but a few but the amount of permission that has been given is after putting a new face on our  world. The Town of Millstreet is after coming alive. Builders tearing into projects that have lain idle for months and people meeting people, some for the first time in months and glorying in having the chat.   As I said in the past people showing more interest and goodwill than ever before.  Absence does make the heart grow fonder. For my own part of it and for those like me it was a joy to go into a shop be it the super store or the chemist or book shop or whatever, needless to say it was a strange feeling, almost apologetic, Should I be here.?. and then to go around the stands and view the display but with our strict training  of don’t touch anything top of our minds. Some customers diving for the sweet stuff, but me being a savoury person, made a beeline for the meat counter. Where the lambs liver was a sight for sore eyes, coupled  with streaky rashers and a fried egg with brown bread, I was in raptures at tea time that evening.

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

Eily’s Report – 2nd June

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

Already the first day of June is gone and can the next 29 be far behind? The hardest thing is to know what day of the week you’d have. Since the fabric of our daily lives has been I suppose torn to shreds. In normal times we had certain days for certain things. Mass for Sunday and Friday for the pension. Days for meeting friends for coffee, nights for meetings. But with the way things are now all the days are the same and we miss the routine more and more as the months go on. Still it is a small price to pay for the way that we are keeping the dreaded virus from our door. The weather still is playing it’s part by turning on the lovely sun early every morning and going on late into the evenings. They always say that the best part of the day is the early morning and I thoroughly agree. The early morning dew is worth getting up to see. Even in this dry spell, the dew falls heavy and wet at night to give everything a refreshing drink before the hot day starts.  To watch the early birds, scoffing up the spoils, packing their beaks to full capacity before heading off the feed their young and coming back for more.  Already some have their young on the wing and their noisy twittering gives great life to the scene. The gardens are coming along very well, now that Jack has put his Frost on the back burner but watch out for the green fly, they are back.  Garden Centres are doing a roaring trade in spite of all the precautions and the planting is giving great enjoyment to both parents and children.   They are making great use of this quality time during this emergency to engage in some relaxing hobbies. Children are experiencing new things all the time. I know a few who put their phones etc aside the other day and headed for a local stream and at day’s end they said they had the best time ever, messing around in the cooling water. We have seen some wonderful creations and great family closeness since the lockdown. Parents and children really getting to know each other, having time to listen to each other and plan things together.  We hope it will help form  friendships and understanding that they will never lose. Many people are very grateful for the experience.

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

Eily’s Report – 26th May

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

Buíochas le Dia, no death to report from Covid 19 yesterday, for the first time since it all began back in March.  The first person died of the Covid 19 in Ireland on March 21st.  It is indeed great news. But it didn’t just happen. It was made to happen  by the efforts of every one in the country. Those at the top took on a parent role  and guided us through troubled waters, the likes we have never seen before. But we mustn’t forget that the battle still goes on and the hand washing, the social distancing, the staying at home as much as possible still goes on. Easy enough for me and my equals, but the young people are like greyhounds at the track, snapping at the gate to get out, it will take all the strength they have to keep a lid on it as they are slowly inched out to freedom. They have our prayers as we longingly await the first hug from loving grand/great grand children, other family members and friends.  But it will come,  le cúnamh Dé.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 26th May”

Eily’s Report – 19th May

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

I hope you are all doing well and are ready for the next step up in our global battle against Corona Virus.  It doesn’t make much difference to people of my age but it’s great to see so many businesses opening up and more people returning to work. Restrictions of course will be severe and I’m wishing all those who have got their freedom the best of luck and God’s blessing as they venture out into what can be called a new world. The world of social distancing and face masks and total dedication in their efforts to return to some sort of normal life. A life where queuing is the norm. Busy people having to stand  for up to two hours to get into a supply store. Being ever thoughtful to sanitise and in lots of cases wear a mask. It won’t be easy but at least there is movement and the air of freedom will give everybody the gusto to meet the new challenges, head on.

God love the little children. They still can’t go to school and meet their friends. I’m sure when they get going they will never again be heard to say, “Mommy why do I have to go to school?” Parents are playing a blinder as they take on a teachers role every day to supervise the lessons which come online to every child.    That’s only one section of the community. Some of  the parents of young people with special needs are finding it extremely difficult. In many cases, because they miss their friends and their routine, and they can’t understand why.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 19th May”

Eily’s Report – 12th May

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

I must say a special thanks to all those who contacted us during and after the radio program that Sean Radley and myself did on Cork Music Station last week. It was indeed a great honour for me to be invited by Sean . We are so glad that people enjoyed it. People from all over the world got in touch, to say they were with us. The power of the media knows no bounds and it is such a privilege for us to be able to draw our people from near and far under the umbrella of Cork Music Station for even a couple of hours.  At the risk of leaving somebody out I’d better not mention any names, but it was great hearing from you. Sean does this wonderful program every Tuesday night and it never fails to bring a taste of home to Millstreet people wherever they may be.

Thank God we all survived the dreadful thunderstorm that came to visit us on Saturday afternoon. It’s a long time since we got one as severe or as prolonged and coupled with the heavy rain it was dramatic to say the least. It caused power cuts in some areas and the  lightening caused fiery sparks to fly off many overhead wires while a house in another area was set alight. Dogs ran amuck as dogs always do when there’s thunder.  Owners have to pay special attention to their pets, because they need lots of comforting at such times.  Personally I have to say thanks to the thunder I was having an afternoon nap after doing a big clean up, removing garments  to another press of many that are now out of season and indeed out of use for the unforeseeable future. Having hung them out in brilliant sunshine I decided to leave the rest to God  and take a break until I was woken up with a bang  as the place shook around me, flashes of lighting lit up the world. Loud bangs of thunder and big drops of rain just starting to fall. In no time I had them all in the basket dry as a cork, and gave thanks that I caught them in time.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 12th May”

Eily’s Report – 5th May

May 5th And we’re off,  the lockdown is lifted. Well a little anyway for people of my own vintage. We are now allowed to go 5 km  from base. What will it mean. For one thing it means that we are stepping into another phase of our lives. Will it be called our life after the cocoon in our history books. We are on lockdown since before St. Patrick’s Day.  Like most others, I never went outside my own gate since then, never drove my car, didn’t go to a shop, or church or the Town Park.  Didn’t meet a friend for coffee, or buy any new style, any of the everyday things that we have taken for granted all our lives. It was the rule and we adhered to it.  What will our lives be like as a result. We will have to exercise great care, being off the road for such a long time will surely have played on our ability to drive safely again. It is so important that we don’t spoil  our newfound freedom by having a mishap.  The world knows it has been a strange and abnormal happening, but necessary of course.  I passed from the age of 86 to 87 during that time and in all my years have never thought that I and the whole world around me would become part of history at this part of my life for all the wrong reasons. History has taught us that there have been plagues in the past and they make sensational reading but they were long gone destined to the history books for anybody who would take the trouble to read about them. We are the history makers now and  up to now we are fortunate to have a government and medical crew who are guiding us through it as best they can keeping in mind that the Corona Virus is as new to them as it is to us.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 5th May”

Eily’s Report – 28th April

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

We have to start today by wishing the lovely Julia Murphy, Gortavehy a sparkling great 106th birthday, still hale and hearty, enabling her to enjoy every moment.  Julia has told her story over the years to Sean Radley, and it’s great to have it stored away for others to learn from as they make their own way up the ladder of life. Fondest love, and best wishes, dear Julia from our Community.

We are into the last few days of the month of April, the 5th of May can be far away as we anxiously await the verdict of the powers that be to let us know if we are to be released from our cocoon. Will we emerge as beautiful butterflies or caterpillars, I wonder. Seriously, though are we hoping to be told that we are free to go and  if we are , would we?  The stakes are high and after toeing the line so dutifully for the past five or six weeks would we break out now and run the risk of picking up the bug at the last hurdle. I doubt it.  The lockdown is by no means six wasted weeks. They can be seen as a gift, that has seen people from all walks of life, using them to catch up with some of the finer things of life, quality time with family and children, going for walks exploring new places in the locality that were always there but never had the time to stop and admire or learn about. In many cases telling others and letting them in on it as well. We  thank God for the continued fine weather. There isn’t a house in the country and maybe the whole world that hasn’t got a new coat of paint, a new garden fence  or long awaited repairs indoors. It  was great to see the roads almost devoid of traffic and see families  out cycling their bikes with gay abandon. Who could fault it.

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

Eily’s Report – 21st April

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

Fondest greetings, as we settle down to yet another week of total lockdown. The mind boggles at the enormity of it all. We are still trying to grasp the fact that people in the minutest corners of the world are restricted like we are and toeing the line accordingly. The One World Together global concert on Sunday night  on RTE2 brought it home to us again as if we needed reminding. With singing stars from every corner of the world saying the very same as we are here. We dare not ask  when will it all end or what is the world going to be like by then. I started a jigsaw of a thousand pieces a few days ago and its going to take me months and months to put it all together again. I think that is the way I feel about the world today, it is broken up  by sickness, by massive closures and mass unemployment. Some businesses will never open again.  But there will always be a need for people, perhaps they wont be doing what they did before but they will be needed when the world picks up again and with the Corona virus experience behind them I think it’s going to be a better place.

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

Eily’s Report – 14th April

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

The morning sun on the dewy grass turns the lawn into a carpet bejewelled with millions of diamonds and the (hated), moss is beautiful to walk on, maybe it wets my shoes but I’m sure I have another pair.  The lovely scene will be gone very soon and it would be a pity to miss it. With the power of Skype I showed some local scenes to my friends in the faraway Wild West of Nebraska last week where the prairie stands brown still in the tail end of winter and they were amazed at how green everyplace is here. The red camellias and yellow daffodils and multi coloured primroses painting a beautiful picture for me to show to my friends.  Sometimes  it’s only when you hear others saying how lovely some thing is that you stop a say to yourself, yes it is.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I always leave a seat or chair in different places in my garden where I can sit down at any time and enjoy it and maybe say a little prayer.

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

Eily’s Report – 7th April

Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my report.
I hope you are all doing well following the first week of our more intensive isolating and social distancing. For people of my vintage the order was clear cut, stay at home. For others it wasn’t so plain. It’s easier to be something, rather than to be a borderline case. For those who were given a certain amount of freedom, there was always the concern when going to the shops or Post office etc.  Bringing  stuff to people, as to whether they were observing the rules to the full degree of safety, but in the three weeks since our isolation, be it partial or full, we are grateful that no case of the dreaded Virus has broken out amongst us. So we face the future with determination and hope. Even in total isolation we can still learn a lot. Things we miss, things we can do something about, and things we can’t.  I am a great believer in doing  something about the things we can changed and improved. For three weeks now lots of those in total isolation have spent most of their time sitting inside the window looking out. The weather was great and there was lots to see. So it is of vital importance that  that window should be kept perfectly clean. The dry windy weather blew a lot of dust on to the panes and bit by bit the vision became dull. It is amazing the difference it makes when a window is cleaned. The whole house looks cleaner and the views  outside become suddenly clearer. The moral being, if you love your Mom/Dad, clean their windows. There is no need to make a big deal of it, most windows have fine big panes now and the long handled  model, combining a mop and blade can brighten the view in minutes. Another important thing  is their specs. Few people get them done right. A Specsavers expert told me once  that specs cannot be properly cleaned without the use of a good lens spray with an alcohol content. Forget the rub of a towel, or toilet paper, or the tail of your gown. Alcohol content is the answer, so if you don’t  have some a dip into your bottle of Paddy or Powers will suffice.

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

Eily’s Report – 31st March

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

And so ends our two weeks of self isolation,  only to be followed by two more. Looking back it hasn’t been so bad. I heard an old man saying one time that  “to look ahead, forty years is a very long long stint, but believe me when I tell you that it’s nothing when its spent”. I think we can say the same but at a much lower scale about the past two weeks.  Looking back I can’t help wondering  where did they go?  What have I got to show for it. A lot of what we do in life, is determined by the way we handle it.  It’s really down to our attitude. A long time ago I came across the following piece  never read it more than once but put it into my scrapbook to be taken out and read again  “When I’d Have Time”Now I have weeks of time and if I share with you, you have weeks of time to read it. I  quote. “The longer I live the more I realise the impact of Attitude on Life.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes,than what other people think or say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness  or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that other people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one thing we have and that’s our Attitude. The writer is convinced that life is ten percent what happens to us and ninety percent how we react to it .We are all in charge of our own Attitudes’. Unquote. Sound advice.

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

Eily’s Report – 24th March

 

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

Another week on and we are still to the good, Buíochas le Dia. If there is anything good  to say about this present crisis, it has to be the weather. As they say  it is like the doctor ordered it. The whole world is in turmoil and new needs come on stream by the minute and new methods have to be found to try and meet them. For instance  test centres. They are popping up all over the place, in football pitches and other open areas.  The mild weather is playing it’s part. If we were getting wind and rain the temporary structures wouldn’t stand up to the pressure of elements and the important work of testing could not be held in such large numbers and by all accounts early detection is vital.

It is regrettable that we still have some people who  haven’t grasped the importance of isolation  and personal cleansing. You’d wish they would spare a thought for all our doctors, nurses, medical staff and volunteers who put their own lives in danger to save the rest of us. My heart goes out to them and to our medical people who are working abroad  and can’t ignore the call of home and come to help. They surely must be inspired by some super power that motivates them to turn a blind eye on their own safety to look after others. The whole world is in   their debt.                                                   At local level we are still trying to get used to the life-changing situation that we have found ourselves in. But we are getting there. Did we ever think that we would confine ourselves to a space of four feet in every direction. St. Patrick’s Day was different from anything that we have ever seen before. But to keep the custom alive in our hearts, families, who had no public parade to dress up for or watch, held their own ritual at home. Thanks to modern media the little  home-made parades were whisked off  to family and friends, on line where they could be watched over and over. Tri-colours were hung out and shamrock worn with pride. Letting the world know,            ‘that we shall overcome’.

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

Eily’s Report – 16th March

The Virus.

Cancelled, cancelled, cancelled, is all we ever see and hear at the moment. We are indeed living in strange times. Did we ever think we’d see a time when we are all told to keep three feet away from each other.  Everything around us closed down and wash our hands umpteen times every day. Well it has happened and we are on a two week lockdown as a result of this world-wide virus called Corona. A new word in our vocabulary  and as there is no way backwards, we will have to go forward and find ways to cope.

One redeeming feature has to be that it is not a danger to the young for which we are all deeply grateful. But as the finger points at those of us in the senior bracket  we will have to find ways to mind ourselves and pass the time.  Two weeks seems a long time to be more or less  confined to barracks, most of us on our own .Thank God for our phones and laptops, they will keep us in touch with family and friends from near and far. But there is need for more. Used right, the time can be both enjoyable and time consuming. Personally it will give me an opportunity to look again at all the lovely videos that are waiting year after year to get another spin, The Student Prince, The Sound of Music, videos from EuroVision  to mention just a few, as well as  family weddings and local happenings.   All the time in the world to watch them. No checking the clock to see if I should be somewhere else, and am I already late. There will be time to take a leisurely stroll in the garden, if there is a fine day and even if there isn’t. I can plant some seeds in boxes in the shed and have them ready to place outside when the time is right. D.V. Then there is that jigsaw of a thousand pieces that I got as a present and is still in the box. I can spill it out on the counter and take all the space  I like, because I won’t be having anybody to tea. That of course is the upside. Aside of that there will be times when time will hang heavy, times when I’d love to hop into the car and visit family of friend but  have to put down the keys again and ask myself is it safe for these people if I go.  A chance not worth taking.

  St. Patrick’s Day will be very different, no parade, no meeting of friends and supporters that we only see once a year. Personally I’m determined to hang out my tri-colour and wear a sprig of Shamrock ,not that anybody will see it, but it will make me feel that I am at one with all the other St. Patrick lovers all over the world and  we will all ask him to protect his Emerald Isle.

Thanks to the  modern media  which will enable us to attend Mass on the telly, and our mobile phones etc will keep us talking and talking . Those of us who have gardens and a yen for pottering in them can busy ourselves gathering up all of last seasons pots and emptying them and washing them, planting them up again, giving us faith in the future. But do what you like, I know we’ll never get through this without the Help of God. The days of looking or treating prayer as a joke are gone, gone.  It’s going on for a long time now and it hasn’t  worked, so let us go forward to the past if we want to succeed. My generation in the main never gave up the faith. All our lives, through our belief in God we prayed for everything, and never forgot to say thanks, and even when the world around us found that it was no longer fashionable to believe, we soldiered on. Still asking God to help a world that no longer believed in him.  But we can’t do it alone anymore, and now  we need help. Corona Virus seems to be a threat to the elderly. By no means do we look upon it as though God has deserted us, but as a wake up call to the unbelieving multitudes that we need them to pray for us and  with us now.   Masses on TV might be a good place to start, for those who are too shy or embarrassed to be seen going to Mass or prayers again.   Who knows by the time this crisis is over, they will be as proud as we are to be called soldiers of Christ.

Its not all bad, some days are bright and sunny, so we can get out and about.   The price of oil has plummeted and we can fill our tanks for less than ever. Always look on the bright side.

Please keep up your spirits, greet everybody  with a smile and a word of encouragement.   Honey gathers than vinegar.

 Happy St. Patrick’s Day.    And wash your hands.

Eily’s Report – 10th March

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

Fondest greetings everybody and I hope you are all well. It isn’t easy to open any conversation now without mentioning the Corona Virus so how can I be any different. The power of the media today is making the whole world  feel as small and as intimate as any parish or even a town land of old. In olden times, the spread of bad news should wait till after the morning trip to the creamery or on arriving at work, passing it on to people who would waste no time in bringing it out to the fields and scrioctering houses of rural areas. And the Cork Examiner was a must, bought at the local shop and taken home, from the creamery to where the whole family gathered around the boss of the house and listened with the utmost attention as he revealed the latest scoop. Reading done the paper put down and then a detailed discussion took place  weighing the pros and cons of the matter  before returning to the work of the day. If the subject was tragic or scary and worrying, there was time to tease it all out and find another angle and find strength and support in one another.  On the other hand if it was something lighthearted and funny the whole clan enjoyed the moment and had a wholesome laugh together.

Today if there is some incident be it good or bad in many cases the first place you’ll hear it from is Australia. There is always someone faster than you on the button and before you have time to press yours  the message will hit your screen from down under with maybe more on the story than you had. There is no doubt, it’s great but there is always a BUT, the family unit, as we knew it is gone and with it is the wonderful family support. Lots of people live on their own now. Every door is locked.  Bad news and upsetting messages are not easy to take  when there is no one to share it with, no one  to lean on, or thrash it out with.  The Corona virus is a case in point. Once the first account of it hit the media, it went viral. Having digested to initial shock, the fear of scarcities set in, sending the multitudes off to stock-pile. Emptying shelves  of whatever it was that they thought, they couldn’t live without, leaving others frustrated. People are creatures of habit and as such they’re frightened they’ll run out of something. It happens at Christmas, at Easter or any time we have a Bank Holiday weekend. I’ve seen it happen over and over and every time I see these wagons of food stuff leaving the Supermarket, I can’t help telling myself that they’ll never eat all that in two or three days.  The thought of wasting food scares me.  [read more …] “Eily’s Report – 10th March”

Eily’s Report – 3rd March

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

We have come through some of the most varied and powerful weather in recent times. And even though we didn’t suffer any major damage around here it did give everything and every one had a sense of uncertainty. Planned events having to be cancelled or going ahead and being badly attended. And our March Fair was no different on Sunday. Nobody fixes it but it’s a traditional thing that it goes ahead on the Sunday nearest to the first of the month and this year it struck it head on. The weather was exceptionally bad for the last few days of February which cast a doubt over the annual Fair. Every other year the vendors would come into town the previous evening and mark their territory by putting the iron frames for their tents lying by the curb and guard them jealously till time to get everything ship shape and open for business next morning. None of that happened this year.

Horses are not allowed on the streets of the town anymore. They are confined to what used to be our Fair Field, but now a modern car park. So our Garda did what they always do on March Fair Day. They put up lots of traffic signs and barricades, letting all and sundry know where to go and where not to go.  Anyway the first day of March dawned  and with it came bright sunshine and blue skies, heavenly calm, which continued all day long. There were only a few horses, few standings and very few people on the finest March Day Fair that we had seen for years. Oh dear.

International Women’s Day is on our doorstep. The experts say that women hold up half of the sky and I suppose having said that we’ll have to say that the men hold up the other half. That’s a nice rounded statement. Very fair and very balanced. Half for them and half for us. I just wonder when did it happen? At what stage did women begin to take another look at themselves and say  “I’m better than this”. God knows that and many others like me, have seen some mega changes in our time. Some you forget, others stand out. But the one that sticks with me is that women were always seen as the underdog and not just grown women. Girls of the family had to polish their brothers boots, iron their shirts, etc. Saturday night would find them doing these menial tasks while the lads played ball or some other boyhood games. There was a definite line between men’s work and women’s work. A man wouldn’t be seen hanging out the washing, cooking ,baking, making the beds, brushing the floor. Even in name she was Mrs Paddy Smith, not Mrs Mary Smith. A man was free to treat his wife  in any way he liked, he was The Boss and there was no law in the land nor the Church to protect her. Women rarely,very rarely had their names  included in any  property and if her husband happened to die, she could be put out in the road along her children. In the early part of the Century, women couldn’t vote, they had no say in the running of church  or state.                                                                              This paints a very sad and morbid picture of the life of women back then. The truth of the matter is that they were very happy and content and they shared their lives and difficulties with the other women around them. But that in itself was not a good thing. Thinking as they did like their mothers before them and coping with the same old problems, being prepared to go that same old  road again stopped them from taking another look at themselves and asking, ‘Is there another way’?        And as soon as they became aware of their own strengths and dreams and self worth, there was no stopping them. They came out of the shadows, built themselves up and proved to the World that  they had the power. In the early days of the 1900’s they made history by forming  one of the first Women’s wartime bodies which they called Cumann na mBan and helped the men to gain freedom for our country. They did it for us all and that’s why we can hold up Half of the Sky Today.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 3rd March”

Eily’s Report – 25th February

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

Shrove Tuesday and don’t we all love the pancakes. The custom is as old as the hill behind the house and is greeted with glee every time. Like everything else in the kitchen the job of making them gets easier all the time and the pancake today can be so varied. Gone are the days when you shook a bit of sugar on them and rolled them up. First of all, the mix. The old ritual of making the batter by beating  flour, eggs and milk is gone. The mix can now be bought in powder form, mix with milk and pour. Or they can even be bought made, stacks of them ready to be warmed and add your own flavouring, sweet or savory. Either way the humble crepe was always with us and is here to stay.

In a way I suppose it acts as the last laugh before we immerse ourselves in the penance of Lent. Tomorrow Ash Wednesday is one of the only two days of Fast and Abstinence that we have left in the Church Calendar year, the other is Good Friday. I have often wondered how having fish instead of meat could  be called a penance. I love fish  and  with the variety of it that is available today it’s a treat. In ways it has passed out meat, even in name. All the best places refer to it now as seafood, which elevates it to a very lofty status. It wasn’t like that long ago when the choice of fish for Lent was confined to salted hake or ling. It came to town heavily salted, dried and in the shape of the whole fish flattened out, like you’d see a sheepskin . Shops displayed it hanging outside the  door, regardless of wind or weather and cut it to the required amount for the customer.  Wednesday and Fridays were the fast days all through Lent so hake was in great demand  with some people buying the whole piece  rather than bit by bit. But even then  many people relished this fish, because it was cheap, portions were big and there was a great feeling of reiche (plenty) about it. It had to be steeped in water  overnight, sometimes changing the water a few times to get the extra salt removed.  Then into the pot and boiled. It was turned into a feast when dressed with oceans of creamy buttery white sauce with loads of onions, and flowery spuds to crown it.

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

Eily’s Report – 18th February

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

In Millstreet, St. Valentine’s Day was widely celebrated starting off on Friday and continuing right through the weekend. Our flower and chocolate outlets did a roaring trade  as did our jewelry and perfume shops, the food outlets and the all-important cards that  say the tender words that any lad or lass would be loathe to utter. The business people of the Town have to be commended for their efforts in dressings their premises in a wide range of brightly coloured decorations which didn’t go unnoticed.  It all helped to distract our minds away from the approach of the demon “Denis”  the Hurricane. All things considered, I think that we didn’t fare too badly around here.No flooded homes or power cuts and no road blocks due to fallen trees. By and large our people are good at listening to the warnings and obeying the rules which is vitally important. We did have a few claps of thunder and when I hear that I of course reach for the Holy Water and sprinkle it around and pray that all will be safe. But the very next thing  for me at any rate is to think of the dogs. I don’t own a dog, much as I’d love to, but dogs are terrified of thunder and if at all possible, should never be left unattended during a thunder storm. I think that the bold “Denis” is staying around for a little while longer,so remain on your guard.

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

Eily’s Report – 11th February

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

The severe weather warnings at the weekend painted a pretty solemn picture of what  we were to expect and we were well advised to pay attention.  The elements didn’t make it easy for us to cast our votes on Saturday but the howling winds and heavy rains  did nothing to dampen the determination of the multitudes to come out and avail of their just right to have their say at the ballot box. The outcome was to say the least dramatic and you’d wonder if our elections were always held on a Saturday would the response be as great.  I was talking to two university students the other day. The first lad hardly knew what I was talking about and didn’t bother to register while the other  had secured his paperwork and was all set to cast his first ever  vote when he got home at the weekend. I don’t know what that proves but it’s nice to know what the young people think because they are our future.

I don’t know about you or what you thought of the Election. The winners and the losers and so on  but I’m going to tell you that I’m glad to see the back of Minister Shane Ross. His handling of the drink/driving laws was nothing short of a criminal act. With the stroke of a pen he penalised our elderly rural dwellers and subjected them to a life of loneliness that sent them to their graves.  Alright maybe to say you can’t drink and drive but give something instead. Provide a reliable rural transport system that they could avail of to bring them to town to meet their friends for a drink and chat. It was such a beautiful social thing, which kept them clean, tidy and happy. To go to town they should shave, change into clean clothes and in some cases just wash the wellingtons. I always thought they looked great.  They kept the stories and folklore of old alive but when the new laws came in, we lost all of that.    To see them growing lonely, unkempt and sad   before our very eyes was painful to see.   The trend is still there today which caused the closing down of so many rural pubs and they were important to rural Ireland.

Can you blame me for not being sorry to see the last of Shane Ross?

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

Eily’s Report – 4th February

 

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

The Month of February has dawned and Spring has sprung and  the countryside is taking on the look of Spring itself. La le Breeda, Candlemas Day and the Feast of St. Blaise with the Blessing of the Throats are all annual reminders.   We look forward to the lovely St. Bridget’s Crosses every time and make sure to secure a new one to replace the old rather tired looking model that has kept us safe from all harm during the past twelve months. At Masses on Sunday, which was Candlemas Day the Priest blessed the candles which will be used on the alter for the coming year and people were free to bring their own for the blessing  if they wanted them in their own homes. In Blessing the candles Canon John extended a special blessing to the entire congregation. The Feast of St. Blaise synonymous with the Blessing of the throats always draws a big crowd with many people saying they never suffer any throat problems because of it and last night was no exception in our parish church.  It’s sad to say that there isn’t much interest on holy things today, but in the past the Blessed Candle and the Holy Water were vital in every home. Especially in the Spring at calving time, the Holy Water was brought out to be sprinkled on any new born animal, on the crops in the fields and people were not ashamed to thank God for his blessings.  Worried mothers shook the Holy Water on their boys and girls going out to dances or on himself taking a cow to the Fair so that she’d make a good price. There was very little guarantee with anything that time. No fixed price for eggs, livestock or any farm produce, so the Blessed Candle and the Holy Water seemed to have given people the confidence that all will be well. And if it didn’t it gave them the strength to fight on and to cope anyway. That inner ingredient is missing in a lot of things now and it’s a pity. ‘It’s not what matters to you but how you react to what matters that counts.’(A borrowed quote)

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

Eily’s Report – 28th January

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

Not everybody likes the month of January so I suppose it is with a certain amount of relief that they see it coming close to an end. It’s a month that sees the effects of  many of  the over  indulgences of Christmas, not least among them the unpaid bills or indeed many extra pounds on the body that does no good for the mood. It’s a month that sees many loved ones returning to other places, some to the other end of the world and facing a long wait before they can spare up enough cash to come again. But January isn’t all bad. The evenings get longer and Mother Nature  begins to push up the daffodils and many other little plants from their winter bed and it never ceases to amaze me how a spud, forgotten in a bag, be it at the bottom of the press or in the shed, can send out strong healthy shoots as soon as the month of January dawns. Looking at it how can you say there is no God?  We all need to be reminded of things to do, but Mother Nature gets her work done unaided and moves in mysterious ways.

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

Eily’s Report – 21st January 2020

Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my report.
With the huge volume of traffic on our roads today there is danger lurking at every moment which I found out to my peril in the past few weeks. Travelling to Macroom for the NCT on my little 12C Renault Clio  which was fully serviced to give it every chance of passing. The morning was very wet with lots of surface water on the roads. About two miles from journey’s end I met a driver who swerved from the water on his side of the road and hit my wing mirror (never stopped) sending it flying out of its cosy nest. Luckily it held on by the wires at the back and I was able to pull in at a lay-by and press the mirror back into place, and continued on my way to the test which I passed. It was my lucky day, buíochas le Dia. Those who  rose early on Monday morning were met by a surprising blanket of snow in places. It was light and those who didn’t leave the warm valley between the sheets until ten missed the show. By then the snow was all gone but left some hidden danger spots in the way of unwary motorists. Sporadic snow and ice pose the greatest danger to road users, it can give them a false sense of security until they hit a bad patch and all of a sudden their plans for the day takes a sharp turn for the worse.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 21st January 2020”

Eily’s Report – 14th January

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my first report of 2020.

Not only have we a New Year, but we have a new decade. Going forward from today I feel ill- prepared to give an account of the happenings of past number of weeks  because of a long spell of flu, I missed out on Christmas completely. The lovely closing down parties before it where the many things I’m involved in around the parish, where everybody will recap on the past year, revamp friendships and plan for more of the same ‘after Christmas’. I missed all the lovely church services and the Women’s Little Christmas party etc.

Mind you I didn’t spend my time out, saying “why me”. It does us a lot of good sometimes to take a step back. Take time to think over  what you’re missing and how much we miss them. The involvement, the companionship and the support of such things become all the more important and  worthwhile when you are separated from them for a little while. Buíochas le Dia, all is well again.

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