Eily’s Report – 14th September

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

You’re never too old to see or learn something new. They say there is always a first for everything. The latest mini-heatwave came as a bit of a surprise, well I wasn’t expecting it anyway. I always take cover indoors when the sun is too hot. It’s another advantage of being on the non-working list. Those engaged in outdoor employment have the take the heat. God love them. Animals can also be affected in their own way and if they are free to do so can head for cooler terrains.  But one of our family canines wasn’t so smart recently. Not yet a fully grown Labrador with a satin furry coat, he basked in the noon-day heat for longer that was good for him and got violently sick. From both ends of his little body and couldn’t even stand up.  The concerned owners took him to the vet and were shocked to hear that their beloved pet had sunstroke. There wasn’t much to be done except wait until he cooled down, had plenty to drink and take cover from extreme heat for a while. It was our first time hearing of a dog getting sunstroke.

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

Eily’s Report – 7th September

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

Please be reminded that the weekly 45Drive resumes at the Canon O’Donovan Centre, Millstreet tonight Tuesday at 8.30.  Give it your best support. Proceeds go to the Centre.

Welcome to the month of September, the first week already gone. The time goes so fast, let’s not waste a minute of it. Time lost cannot be retrieved. How do I know that, I wonder. The passage of time has taught me that a missed opportunity could make all the difference between success or failure, joy or sadness, love or not, it doesn’t have to be a major thing. Just saying no to an offer of a day out, or a challenge which required your own endeavour to get something off the ground. Better to try and fail than never to try at all. Sometimes a small failure takes it’s toll in our pride but the lesson learned could be priceless.  No matter how old we get, we never stop learning, never too old to make a mistake nor to recover from it. So we venture on. Like the cream on the milk, the important things keep rising to the top and what could be more important than food. Each one of us have our own preference, be it the taste, or the price and so on. Almost every program on TV these days includes a section of food and cooking. I love watching them even though I never take them on board and for the most part continue what I always did.  I’m rarely without an opinion or gripe these days, this time I’m standing up for one of my favourite meats  Streaky Bacon. Bacon not pork.  I have a few friends who love it also, but can’t get the like in our town. Streaky rashers are quiet common in the local stores and sell very well, but not in a slab like other pieces of bacon. I have never seen streaky bacon used in any one of the cooking programs on TV. Eating out it is not on the menu. It goes under different titles, Belly cut, Side cut. To those of us who appreciate it, it is the most palatable and flavoursome part of the pig. The even  layers of fat and lean complimenting each other. It’s usually boiled with cabbage of turnip, or any veg for that matter. But to give the final result that extra oomph, put it under the grill to brown the top and further enhance to final result. When I asked about streaky bacon in our local stores I was told that they couldn’t sell it. People would not buy it and in places where it is sold in butcher shops in Cork City they have to sell it at half price to move it off the shelf. Maybe one of these days I will contact one of these experts on the box and ask them to do a meal of it to infuse new life into streaky bacon and tell the world how they’re missing out on the best part of the pig.

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

Eily’s Report – 31st August

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

The last day of yet another month of 2021 and what a lovely way it has chosen to end with beautiful warm/hot sunny days and pleasant balmy evenings giving everybody the chance to get out and do whatever they like to do. Our weekend was full of things to do with lots of outdoor pursuits to choose from. The International Horse Trials at the Green Glens, outdoor music in Carriganima and at Star Trax Studios in Knocknagree. At Family level there were some special birthdays to celebrate from the tiny age of two right up to the 80’s and even 90’s. Our heartiest congratulations go  out to them one and all.  In spite of the fact that attendance at the Horse Show was limited for obvious reasons, there was a brisk upsurge in the demand for accommodation and our food outlets were rushed off their feet. Many thanks to Sean Radley for giving us the spectacular  pictures of the Show.  Others took to the hills and the notice boards in the town were being scrutinised for information on what Millstreet has achieved in the past and what it has to offer from now on. As an upgrade on the Beara Way, some new signposting was put up in the Clara Road and in the to pointing out the Bridge Crossing over the Blackwater at Dooneen.  Our 11.30 Mass on Sunday was very special. There was a marked increase in the number of those in attendance and the ushers were kept busy escorting people to where seating was available. Their work had to be admired for their professionalism. Numbers checked at the door and as spaces became fewer, each one or family were led to places as far up as the alter and when it was over the  group of volunteers began their task of cleaning of all the seats etc as they have done since our church was opened to us many months ago. We are so grateful to them and to Canon John, Fr Paddy, Fr Billy, organist Deirdre and all of who make our church services so special. Alas a few people still remain at the end of seats thus depriving others who come after of a place to sit.

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

Eily’s Report – 24th August

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

We won’t talk about sport, but that doesn’t mean that we are losers all the way. Indeed we have great pleasure in congratulating Gillian and Raymond Gilburn on winning first prize of two tickets to Sundays Match for being the best dressed residence in the run-up to the match and he being from the Treaty town himself only went to double the joy for him. Their premises, representing both Cork and Limerick at the Killarney Road end of our town was a credit to them.  Once again they made us proud as they have done so many times in the past as they sweep the boards all over the country at Horse racing and other National events for being the Best Dressed people there.  Many congratulations to them and long may The Gilburn Family continue to be successful at what they do best. Credit also to all those who made the effort to brighten our town with flags and bunting not to mention Humphrey’s red car down at the dip of the town. Thanks  also to his artist supreme Brian O’Leary. Needless to say our commiserations go out to the Cork Team who didn’t make it on the day but will  sometime in the future.

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

Eily’s Report – 17th August

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

According to the books the months of Autumn are September, October and November but the changes of our climate disagrees in part at least with that as the season of autumn is well on it’s way even though we are only in the middle on August.  August as we knew it was a month full of promise, the time when we looked forward to reaping the fruits of our labour. A time to wonder through the fields and admire the crops now coming into harvest time. Some have the hay already safely tucked away in sheds or reeks, acres of grain not ready just yet. I would follow my Dad around the headlands in the evening after milking time, being the youngest, he would take me with him to keep me out of trouble or danger and as we would amble along he would run his hand with pride along  the long laces take a grain of oats  from a stalk, remove the outer covering and put it between his teeth, this was the  test it to see if  it  was solid and ripe enough to be cut. The same went for the barley or wheat. Any evidence of a milky residue, proved  it wasn’t ready  yet. By this time to whole seen would have changed from a mass glossy green to a rich golden hue the barley especially standing out in the gentle breezes with its whiskers giving a sleek velvety appearance to the scene. As with most things of the land it was a very worrying time. Grain being a very vulnerable crop. There was little choice or opportunity to get it saved  from the elements. Sometimes it became victim to high winds and heavy rains and where perhaps a field of hay would get a second chance, it was not so with grain. Lodged corn was the nightmare of every grain grower. Once down it was a free for all in the bird world. Crows, pigeons, seagulls seemed to send out the word that it was feeding time in the grain world. It was up to the farmer to apply his art to try a fend them off in order to salvage some degree of  his precious crop from their hungry jaws/beaks. Some were fortunate to have a licenced gun and spared no effort in letting them have pellets in full blast to either kill of ward them off. To capture a dead crow, was to have a prize possession. Their remains hung up in the troubled area to let others crows know they were entering a danger zone  and kept other members of the species at bay. Not being armed with gun-power the farmer had to resort to his own artful talent to save his property. Enter the scarecrow. For those who had nothing to lose to the bird invasion, the scarecrow provided a prolonged exhibition of rural talent as they drove the highways and byways of the countryside at that time of year. All manner of ensemble(s) was used. Colour was paramount or at least the variety of. Himself frustrated by the threat to his livelihood would storm into the kitchen, demanding castoffs from the wife while he went outside to make a strong framework to place in his field, and the sooner the better. All this time while his plan was in the making, the crows were enjoying his grain.  Joining him in the yard, the longsuffering wife arrived with a multicoloured supply of the oldest drapery that she could find. Her most gaudy dresses that she had on at countless weddings and funerals and Holy Communions and Confirmations for longer than she care to recall. Then his own well worn colourful handknit gansies and that old Sunday coat that no longer fits. He wouldn’t let it go if it did. But to top it all there was Granda’s battered old hat and scarf. Out on the  lodged patch the combined effort of man and wife busied themselves to construct a never-before seen sculp, impressive enough to set the marauding insurgents to ask themselves if it was alive or not.  Many of these inventions did work admirably but alas others became utter disappointments when despite all their scariness the offending rooks were seen to land atop of them for a better view of the place around.  At least it provided many a good picture of rural Ireland for tourists to send to their folks at home. But thanks to Mother Nature the crops did ripen eventually and the hard manual work to save them began. In the pre-tractor days it was done by horse and man/woman power. The old Pierse mowing machine which was still in the corner of some field since the cutting of the hay was once again brought into action. This time a special crib was fitted to the cutting bar for making sheaves and a second seat was fitted for a driver. From an early age this was my job, to drive the pair of horses while my Dad armed with a hand rake used the crib to divide the falling corn into matching bundles. It was the case of all hands on deck then when these bundles were gathered up a bound into neat sheaves and put aside until all was done. At the completion of the task these sheaves were collected and every six or eight of them were stood up against each other to form a stook and left for a week or more to further dry in the sun. There was no spraying of any kind for weeds or thistles or docks so the presence of them was quiet common  and they posed a painful problem for workers.  At the end of the day there was often a few thorns to be  picked.  It was such a common problem that most people came prepared.  Most men kept a headpin stuck in at the point of the lapel of their  coat where it was at the ready to remove and painful thorn or splinter. Some thorns were regarded as being quiet dangerous causing blood poisoning and even death in some cases. I’m not sure if I’m right but I think that the thorn of a whitethorn bush in Springtime when it’s starting to green up after the winter was supposed to be one of the greatest offenders and led to the demise of some unlucky people when treatment for blood poisoning  wasn’t still discovered.  When conditions were right the months of July and August were good ones for wild mushrooms. But we didn’t call them wild mushrooms back then. They were the only ones we had. The clammy mild weather at that time of year seemed right for them. And what a novelty it was to find some their creamy white heads bursting up through the grass. Some years were better than others, and when there was a bumper crop I heard of people making mushroom ketchup. Above all not any were wasted. There was something magical about  mushrooms back then. You could search without luck at a certain time, come back an hour or so later and be lucky. They seemed to spring up and open like an umbrella. Some fields were better than others and how we combed the best places in the dear hope of arriving home with even a few. Sometimes the snail or crow, beat you to it ,but not always. There was never enough to make a meal of them, just shake a little salt and stand it on the hot range, until  it changed colour and filled  up with succulent juice, then in one go, into the mouth for a God-given treat. The flavour was unique. With the development of a thriving mushroom industry, we can all enjoy them today in many forms. I have never lost my respect or admiration for them and even though they don’t taste the same, the look of them alone, takes me back.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 17th August”

Eily’s Report – 10th August

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

We are heading into the middle of the month of August, the countryside is taking on the look of a year having done with it’s growing season and steering us into that time when we are about to reap or harvest the fruits of our labour in the hope that the Good Lord has been kind to us one more time. Goodness knows, people of my calibre have looked back on many an August. Some good but not all and yet we have survived and always looked to the future with hope in God and hope in ourselves. With my Roman Catholic hat on I can cast my thoughts back to times when all seemed lost  but buoyed up by our faith in God, we soldiered on. Our favourite requests were not always granted but we somehow were given to see things another way, often a better way and finished up alright in the end. Sometimes I felt that God had a sense of humour a funny side, if you know what I mean.

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

Eily’s Report – 3rd August

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

Fondest greetings everyone and welcome to the Month of August. I’m feeling tired today following a busy bank holiday weekend. The beauty of Beara never fails to draw my away at the least excuse and the past weekend was no exception. I know that Ireland is full of similar beautiful attractions, but I have no  family connection with them and I know that if people who go there were to give a written account of their travels then mine would be only  just another item on the list. Since the opening up of the Wild Atlantic Way some of the hidden gems which were inaccessible in the past are  now being presented in their best light to the visitor. Winding little boreens which were just sheep paths initially were upgraded to allow tour buses campers and cars to reach  the outer limits and they didn’t take all the turns away either but left them there to further enhance to journey. Travelling those bends ,opens up new scenery all the time , the sea, the rocks ,the sky providing an ever changing view as you go. Scenic cross country walks have also been established for the more energetic. It didn’t take enterprising people long to recognise the potential of meeting this new development head-on by opening up hospitality services  in places never before even considered for the purpose.

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

Eily’s Report – 27th July

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

It doesn’t take us long to look for rain after we’ve been pleading for fine weather a short time before. What a shame it is that most of us need to have rain more than others. Since time began those involved in making their living from the land  often come in for great criticism because they need to get rain pretty often to grow the food and other necessities of life for man and beast. They love  fine weather like everybody else. Long sunny days helping them to work long hours in pursuit of their goals. But dry land produces no crops and they have look heaven wards for God’s free blessings on their labour. Last week were promised a fine spell, this week we are                  promised rain. Already we were getting warnings about the scarcity of water and the importance of not wasting it. Power washing and dripping taps were already being frowned upon. But then the chart looks like we’re about to change all that. As for me, I’m cleaning up my tubs and tanks and placing them under every down pipe in the hope that they will  fill up again and see my plants through the next dry spell.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 27th July”

Eily’s Report – 20th July

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

Here comes the sun, we can hardly believe that we have our very own heatwave. They say be careful of what you long for, in case you should get it, and I suppose that about conjures up how we are feeling right now. Goodness knows we love the sun and the fine weather but as we were always told that too much of anything is good for nothing  we would like our fine spell to be a little less h o t .  However it’s here and we have only to find ways to cope and work our way around it. A heatwave affects different age groups in different ways, the oldest and the youngest surely being the most vulnerable, I imagine, but of course there are exceptions to every rule. But it’s not just the humans who are affected, all manner of life feels the heat  and have to be protected .and with all the regulations about hedge cutting  and fencing kept a distance from fences in the interest of wild life it can’t be easy for stock to fine shade from the midday sun. Water, God Bless it, is a great cooler and there is nothing better to placate a few young children on a hot day than to give them access to it. Dressed in their oldest garb, n o need for a dangerous tubs or pools, just pans and perhaps a dripping tap where they can douce one another to screams of laughter and fun. It is something which is sure to turn over-heated tears into high jinks making everybody happy, including parents.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 20th July”

Eily’s Report – 13th July

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

How is it possible for me to continue to walk the line which started for me in the early thirties when life was so primitive to the world of today where the great Richard Branson was able to fly into space and be back on time to watch the match on Sunday. I think that we should start to look at ourselves in a different light. Well, we were always led to believe that we were not very bright and indeed told that we’d never do any good. I think it’s time that we gave ourselves a bit of credit in fact give ourselves a pat in the back for the way that we have coped with all the changes that we have endured over the years.  I’m thinking again of the old man that I mentioned last week, who herded his cow on the long acre. A humble person in every respect, yet his contribution to the life of his surroundings was immeasurable. He was there every day, he met everybody as they came and went and interacted with them all. He met those going to the creamery and met them again on their way back. They’d have a word each time perhaps there would be some unfinished dialogue, where either were at a loss to know the end but on the return journey the creamery goer would have solved the mystery when he talked to his counterparts as they awaited their turn to dispose of their milk and that would be relayed to the man-with-the-cow,  while the beast of burden availed of a quick mouthful of grass off the ditch or a slug of water from the roadside streamlet. Very often the Angelus Bell would ring out across the valley from a distant church and each would remove his headgear and silently pray. Mind you at such times they’d say the short version to get back to the chat. He met the little children as they walked to school. Maybe not in the mornings, because he wouldn’t be up that early, but sure as anything, he’d be there in the evening when they were coming home. They didn’t all come at once but in dribs and drabs, which gave him a better chance to talk to them all. The first question without fail always was of course, “How many slaps did you get today” and each of them related their tales of woe but woe didn’t last long when he went on to enquire about their young lives in his own light hearted way very often leading to some funny incident or happening from his own past. From their daily encounters he knew them all by name and who their parents were, what class they were in  (he didn’t say it like that but ”what Book are you in?” how many were in the family where did their father work.  Did your mother hear from her sister/brother in America lately and of course the big news would be if an immigrant was planning to come home for a holiday. As time went on children grew up and took on some of the chores that went with the time. Boys and girls took on more grown –up roles and all went on under the gaze of the lovely old man on the ditch. As well as knowing the people, he knew everybody’s animal. The story goes that one day a young girl passed along with a donkey and cart, he said “are you such a man’s daughter?”  “I am,  Sir, says she and how did you know me Sir?” “ah” says he, “I knew you out of the donkey” All the stories of the day were related by the old man at his fireplace that night from whence they were taken to other fireplaces on the wider area  welcomed and relished and shared, better than any six o ‘clock news of today.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 13th July”

Eily’s Report 6th July

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

News varies, sometimes drab and uninteresting, other times eye catching and interesting and very stirring. Few things have grasped our interest in recent times as the article on our web-site this week, telling of the dreadful death/murder on one of our near neighbours Creedon, Adrivale in 1921 as he carried out his work as a member of the Royal Irish Constablery (RIC). Michael Cashman is the expert behind these wonderful articles which never fail to be highly interesting thus creating a lot of local interaction as people contact one another to find out more. The old method of passing the stories on is gone from the scene but TG due to the power on the internet etc they can be told to us again and because they are in print we can go over them anytime we need to. Already people are making contacts across the world about this article. People beyond the waves wondering were they the folk that they lived near, or were related to and wondering why they had never heard the story before. So well done Michael, please keep up your wonderful work .

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

Eily’s Report – 29th June

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

I hope the end of another month  finds you safe and well,  ready to take on the lovely month of July. Our new lifestyle doesn’t make it easy for us to be aware nor fully awake to the passage of time. In the past we had a calendar of events to keep us in touch with the passing weeks and months. Each month had it’s own attractions, it’s own list of things which that month was special for. But with mass cancellations  the milestones disappeared and we are left mid-air and waiting for the next month in the hope that there will be ample easing of restrictions to allow some form of our previous life to return. Promises were never made so often and  broken. The powers that be do all they can to give people hope especially those in the hospitality sector who  make changes and they stock up and prepare for their big break, only to be told, not yet, you must hold on a little longer. All of those blockades have left us all in a sort of false world.  For example, only last week on June 24th, St. John’s Day, the day when we all crowded on to the slopes of Mushera for the annual Mass.  Beforehand we’d have a dot on the calendar in case we’d forget, look for a lift or maybe offer a lift to someone.  Following the lovely Mass coupled with the parish choir and music, there was a great meeting of people, some who only meet at St. John’s Well every year. Because it was widely presumed that it wouldn’t be held this year, there was no need to watch for the date, no need to seek or give a lift and sadly no meeting of friends. Multiply that by all the other events which had to be cancelled since early 2020 including funerals and weddings. I met a lady recently and she told me that talking makes her tired now. Whatever muscles she was using to communicate have gone lax and  she has to cut her conversations short as a result. We are on the brink of the Month of July  and every year around this time the name Milltown Malbay in County Clare was on everybody’s lips. Lovers of traditional music and dance from all over the world prepared to go on their annual pilgrimage of friendship good company and the love of our native entertainment. Like everything else the axe has fallen on this great International event again, it was cancelled last year also. We went  there for over thirty years and saw that small village grow to a mighty town complete with every service to meet the needs of the vast crowds. All thanks to one man, Willie Clancy, box player.   The Cork Agricultural Show was another event which brought everything to a stop on the land when it was held in the Cork Show Grounds for a week every year on June. Other things were pinpointed by it. Something would be either before the show or after it.  The new spuds were judged by it, if they were fit for eating by the 21st of June then it was a good year and everybody was happy. How we loved to see them coming up out the ground before the fork, or spade, the rich earth falling away but leaving a fine coat which was washed away in a bucket of cool water from the stream. Side by side with them the drills of cabbage and turnips, enough for both man and beast and other lesser crops such as peas, carrots, which gave a wide range of choice for the family table.  With all these crops in a healthy state, it was a sort of a celebration to take a few hours off and go the Cork Summer  Show. It always drew great crowds and people met a talked about farming things. The cattle, the price of milk. The remedies for certain ailments in the cattle or fowl. Of course it was the Show case for the best livestock in the land, also pigs, sheep, all kinds of fowl. It was exciting to be there and when time came to come home to milk the cows etc.  We felt enlightened and full of new ideas and information about things that we could adapt to our way of life  at home.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 29th June”

Eily’s Report – 22nd June

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

I’m putting pen to paper on the longest day of 2021, June 21st.  A choppy breeze is blowing outside but the bright sunshine makes it feel and look like a real mid-summers day. I got my lawn fed at the weekend and the welcome showers have made it look greener already  or has it, maybe I’m imagining it.  I suppose we can make ourselves believe what we want to believe and maybe that’s the attitude that has kept us going all our lives. Nobody of advanced years, has come through all those years without experiencing some make-believe along the way. The world stands still for no-one and if we are to be part of it we have to stay abreast of it’s many changes and challenges. We learn this lesson from childhood. The smallest child playing with her dolly really believes that dolly can be put to sleep and wants everybody to be quiet in case they’d wake her. The same with a little boy with his toy gun when he makes it go bang bang his pal has to fall down or the game of make believe doesn’t work. It starts there and goes on all through life. Good times are great but it’s the bad ones that teaches us and lets us know where our true strength lies. How many times when thinking of some major stumbling block have we said “oh, I could never do that,  I’d die” but when confronted with it and left with no choice but to go forward, then we find the grit that we need to deal with it after all.  Very often telling ourselves that yes we can. Needless to say the power of God has a lot to do with it as we move on. For people who believe in his infinite power and goodness there is always a plan B to call on when everything else fails. I think that our religion is the best and most important aspect of our entire lives. I don’t know what it’s like for those who do not Believe. I suppose we had the advantage of it being drilled into us since day one and anything that came our way to try and make us stray from it never succeeded. Believe me it wasn’t always easy, when faced with some obstacle be it sickness or failure in business or in love and the Good Lord was in no hurry answering or plea, how we often swore that we’d never talk to him again or go to Mass but in the end we always got our answer and held on. Maybe not what we were asking for but definitely another angle which fulfilled our needs and how often we agreed that His Way was the best Way after all. When you grow old you can’t be blamed for thinking that you know it all.  All the bridges that you’ve crossed must surely count for something. We’ve come so far and managed youth, marriage, childrearing, retirement and surely the rest is plain sailing as we reach the stage where we can watch the world around us with some degree of ease and comfort. But then along came Corona Virus, Covid19, the pandemic, call it what you like  but it hit us where we’d never been hit before, utter confusion and our learning was only starting. It was always said that you’re never too old to learn and we became proof of that in a very short time. Looking back on the past 18 months, I think we’ve been bloody marvellous. To put it in lay-man’s language. Life had never been so good for the aged, foreign holidays, coach tours, group parties ,trips to the shops were all part of our daily lives and we took them all for granted like there was no tomorrow. Then wham, something very mysterious came creeping up but of course ‘someone’ will look after that and we can motor on regardless. But but, but, what is this we hear, there is NO ‘someone’ out there, so we must start learning again and teaching ourselves to play our part in our very own survival and that of those around us. So we cancelled our way of life and took up another one , and we  beat the bug at it’s own game , repeating once again ,as we have said so many times in the past, that you’re never too old to learn. But it ain’t over yet, having spent so long in captivity ,we must teach ourselves now, how to re join the outside world. Some are finding it difficult to get a footing on it If the local cafes were open they would provide a great launching pad where we could meet up with old acquaintances and plan some more social events. Already some have joined friends for cards etc. while our Pitch ‘n Putt course is extremely busy.  We all need a fresh start and in danger of sounding a bore, it’s up to ourselves to make the start. If driving out  for the first time following  a long non driving term, please take extra care.  Roads have become very busy and our judgment is not the same  until we get familiar with the traffic again.                The world is waiting for us again  and if we believe in ourselves, that will take us a long way.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 22nd June”

Eily’s Report – 15th June

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

We’re still reeling from the heat of the hottest day.  The experts said that Sunday would be a roaster and it was. Some people handled it well by planning it well, not an easy thing to do when we’ve been starved of fine weather for most of the year. The mention of a hot sunny day sends us searching for the togs and towels and all the others gear which would make a day on the beach a dream day come true. But alas it wasn’t to be for many who did just that and headed off only to find that along the way there were a few  traffic delays, which soon turned the car into an oven like experience, multiply that by a few over excited little children and your own back yard and a paddling pool soon became a very desirable option. I know of some who did a  U-turn and salvaged some very happy hours sipping a cool drink while the little ones wallowed in the plastic pool or busy garden stream. Outdoor food providers did very well and gave us the feeling that we were in some foreign clime. Looking at the new changes that people have made because of Covid19 is  non-stop and only goes to show how much we have learned and how adaptable we are to change. Any bit of ground out the back be it your handy dump or holding place for things that maybe you’d use someday have been given a new lease of life. All cleaned out surrounding walls  repaired painted, decorated and well distanced dining furniture complete with huge umbrellas put in instead. Other places have made full use of spaces out the front where we can have our refreshments in a public place and greet the passers-by giving us the opportunity to meet acquaintances who who have been hidden away by the Corona Virus and only starting to emerge from it’s clutches. If we were all to tell our own story of how we beat the bug it would make very interesting reading indeed. How gratifying it is to see two Irish people being highly awarded in England for their great work in developing the Vaccine. Be careful when handling things with sanitised hands. A couple I know sat outside their local watering hole all set to enjoy their first pint when alas her slippery hand failed to hold  the glass and it slid to the ground splashing everybody around.

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Eily’s Report – 8th June

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

The first week of June is already over, in little over another week we will have the longest day of the year on June 21st.  Some years ago accompanied by  two family members we were delighted to be invited to Finland by a guest of my B&B to come and spend that mysterious night with him and his family. They set up the party on their island which was a short boat ride from the mainland. We didn’t go to bed, we wanted to experience the phenomenon first hand. It being so far North, nights can be cold in Finland  but our hosts made sure that we were fully supplied with padded zip up body suits to make sure that nothing was going to spoil the  occasion that we came so far from to see. There was no dawn. The previous day just continued on into the next. Days were brighter but nights were far from being dark and I found it hard to go to sleep but a couple on nights awake soon took care of it and we slept sound after that. During our stay we learned a lot about how they live in Finland and especially on an island. There is never a shortage of fresh fish, they use nets to keep them alive in the sea until they need them but only a few days supply at the time. No need to stock up, the sea is at hand all the time. The sea at that point was dotted with lots of similar islands and at midnight they all lit their fires and waved and greeted one another because of the night that was in it.

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Eily’s Report 1st June

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

Canon John got our month of June off to a good start this morning by blessing Holy Water at the beginning of ten o’clock Mass. The June month is starting off on a very encouraging note with a  few lovely sunny days behind us and hopefully lots more to come. The fine days set the whole world around us up a gear or two, with farmers delving into silage making at every waking hour and families doing everything they could to make the most of the sun. Bar-b-cues were going  full belt in many gardens, the sound of children playing, filling the air, while others took to travelling out a bit, relishing their new found extended limits. We were fortunate enough to take on the Shrone  Lake District where a glorified goat path inches you along the craggy terrain and where the slow pace gives you time to study the rocks and streams in detail and the calm lake almost hidden at the foot of the mighty Paps. For the driver it takes full concentration but for the lucky passenger, sheer joy. There are places where you can stop, converse with other brave people like yourself ,or young couples doing it all on foot. Our final pitch took us all the way to the top of the  down hill  and the descent into the renowned Claydagh Valley and the exit into the busy main Killarney to Macroom Road. How great it is that due to modern ways that those of us in advanced years can enjoy the beauty of these remote gems as well as those who can do it all on shanks mare.

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Eily’s Report – 18th May

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

Many thanks to all those who reacted to my report last week. It’s great to feel that you are all out there. Joseph Booth all the way from WA, to our own  Mick O Connor and lots of others in between. Mick’s contribution to my story about the dandelions did a lot to jog my memory even further of it’s uses and the other ingredients that the women used in order to keep the life in the young chicks in the springtime of the year. As he said the mix comprised of  dandelions, young  nettles and hardboiled eggs, all finely chopped and fed to the baby fowl as a cure for the pip. The pip was the enemy of all young chicks and a nightmare for those hoping to rear them. But what was the Pip? It was some sort of worm that settled in the throat or windpipe of baby chicks and baby turkeys. It was easy to spot because it caused them to force open their little beaks in a sort of yawning or vomiting movement and the continuous action prevented them from taking any food or drink, needless to say they soon weakened away and died. Losing hen chicks was bad enough  but  losing turkey chicks was a disaster. Hens lay and hatch the whole year round and there was an all year market for their produce but not so with the precious turkeys they produced eggs in the Spring and  hatched their young and had only one time of year for there product to be sold, which of course the Christmas trade.  So the efforts to save the turkey chicks was paramount. Everywhere that women met in the Springtime of the year, sooner or later the pip came up in the conversation. Another method they used was to stand  the affected little bird into the top of a bag of white lime and  gently shake it so that it would inhale the lime dust which would  kill the offending grub  in it’s airways.  Some women even tried to snare the grub with a strand of horsehair bent into a loop and ever so gently fishing it out and often with average success. When these measures worked there was a real atmosphere of success and a sharing among others but alas when it didn’t, that was a different story.  It’s a long time now since I left the farmyard and I wonder is the Pip ever heard of today.

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

Eily’s Report – 11th May

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

It may be raining and windy outside, but the sun is shining in our hearts. To get the word Go after four months of semi-lockdown is surely a reason for us to be glad. We went to Mass in our beloved Church first thing on Monday morning, what better way to kick –start our new found freedom. There was a fine attendance and the joy of meeting our friends again having the friendly word and long-overdue greeting.  There was no shaking of hands, and no hugs, everybody wore a mask, but  there was nothing to dampen our spirits. I read somewhere that May 17th is all hugs day, barely a week away.  My goodness there will be a stampede. I wonder when will  be allowed the lovely custom of the friendly handshake. It will all take time because having refrained from it for so long and the fear of God hammered into us about the danger of it take a while for us to un train ourselves again and feel both safe and entitled to resume our friendly gestures. Little children will find it very different to touch rather than use the elbow to relate their loving greetings. I imagine they will make a big thing of it and share many a belly laugh in the process.

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Eily’s Report – 04th May

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

Well now that’s the May Bank Holiday Weekend over and done with. To get two fine days out of the three wasn’t  bad  and Monday, wet and wild forcing people to take things easy whether they  want to  or not. In spite of all the places which are still not opened, there was plenty to see and do  over the weekend. Mountain climbing and hill Walking were among the most popular and the clear fresh air gave views of far off places and the yen to travel on and see more. Roads have been improved in many out of the way beauty spots which gives the motorist full access to hidden gems which were only for the tourist on foot up until now. The new Macroom bypass motorway pops up  here and there and makes interesting viewing . To see it in the making leaves the mind boggling at the enormity of it all, thanks to the equally enormous machinery which makes small work of the changes that present day living demands  and it’s nice  for us to know  when we’ll be travelling over this new development in the years to come ,that we saw it  in  it’s infancy.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 04th May”

Eily’s Report – 27th April

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

Our spell of glorious weather is still with us, what a wonderful thing to raise our spirits up as we head off into the merry month of May. It was always considered the to be the end of the cold and blustery weather and the start of long sunny days of Summer  to come. Mind you it didn’t always happen that way . In our young days we donned our little T-strap sandals, with the buckle  and colourful ankle socks, pastel cotton frocks and skipped off to school with school bags swinging. Off to meet our friends and admire their summer style as they admired ours. For a little while at least, going to school didn’t seem too bad and we would plan the picnics and walks that we would go on  later when the summer holidays came round. We’d even start saving for our picnic treats. A weekly amount would be fixed and one capable pal appointed to handle the cash. Usually it would be about a penny a week .I can still recall how it worked for a couple of us. Four of us got together and made our plan. One was from the town and she was deemed to be better at this kind of thing than the rest of us, so she was put in charge of the money and the shopping.  She also knew of a nice place, not far from town where we could indulge in our goodies. Someone brought a rug and we all sat round.  Our burser was able to afford lemonade, biscuits, a bun each and a bag of our favourite sweets, acid drops. After our feast we played hide and go seek, races, and others children’s games until it was time to head for home.  The memory of the fun and enjoyment of our first very own picnic is as fresh in my memory today as it was almost 80 years ago. Children could do that kind of thing that time. There was no danger from man or beast, also we were well aware of any peril around us. We wouldn’t go into a field of cattle especially if there was a bull on the loose and parents were happy in the knowledge that we would come home when we were good and ready.

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Eily’s Report – 20th April

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

The weather is pleasant and there is a good feeling  in the air.

The vice-like grip of Covid19 is beginning to loosen a little and we are only waiting for the moment when it’s shackles can be put away for good. The people at the top who have herded us for the past year and a half must be feeling that it was all worthwhile. No doubt they came in for a lot of slack, and when you think of it their task was enormous, almost impossible. It was their job to put a stop to a world gone mad. We had reached heights that surpassed anything the world had ever seen before and yet were we happy. No not really. There was pressure on everybody to be even  better, the less well-off spent all their time trying to catch up with the  ones who got rich quick. In spite of all the affluence, we still had poor people but their plight could hardy be seen. There was no-one to say, stop you have enough. A rise in pay or status, meant that you had to have a bigger and better house, a more expensive car yet another foreign holiday every year, all of which landed you down even worse off than you were before getting that well paid career which was going to tick all your boxes. The humble wage-earner was better off in the end because every penny had to be watched ,big expenses had to be avoided and the simple life turned out to be the right one after all.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 20th April”

Eily’s Report – 13th April

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

Apologies for my absence last week. My laptop decided that it needed a little attention and don’t we all from time to time. Lucky for us that we have an expert in the town who makes short work of our modern day elect problems. His premises at the Bridge is the place to go for repairs, for parts or to buy a new appliance as well as much more.

It’s hard not to get excited, the very mention of freedom get minds into overdrive following all the months of Lockdown and regulations. Monday morning of this week dawned bright and sunny just the kind of weather to put everybody in a good mood add to that the euphoria of little children as they return to school for the first time in a very long time. Some since Christmas. Home schooling did a wonderful job, Teachers and pupils have to be commended for the way they kept the lid on things. Children in the main never like going to school but covid19 has changed all that. They never thought they’d miss their friends and indeed their teachers so much. The importance of routine, interaction  and discipline came home to them when they were apart from it And now that the long wait is over, we have to offer them God’s Blessing and all the good luck in the world that their young lives will be free from disruption from now on.  No doubt the lessons learned in covid19 will live with them for the rest of their lives.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 13th April”

Eily’s Report – 30th March

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

This is Holy Week, the clocks are gone one hour ahead and I got my second Jab last Thursday. Lots of new developments to take in, in one week. But changes keep us on the alert and that’s a good thing at any time, moreover in these historic times. I know a few people who didn’t even realise that the clocks had changed and anyway what difference did it make. An hour up or down doesn’t really matter when you have no important engagements  to meet. Mass would be the most important one but if you miss it in our own church,  the  flick of a button will have you attending your weekly obligations in  places as far apart as Boherbue or the Vatican. Those who are fortunate to be working or have children going to school would want to be in the know about the change of time, obviously.

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Eily’s Report – 16th March

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

I tore me ould breeches going over the ditches St. Patrick’s Day in the morning. As a child this was the first thing that we were likely to hear every St. Patrick’s morning. It sounds like a line from something a lot longer, but I never heard  anymore. It sent us off out into the fields in search of shamrock. Bunches to wear on our coats for going to Mass. Mind you a lot of the men wore it on their hat of cap depending on which they were wearing. Great care had to be taken when in search of the National Emblem, to make sure that it had the necessary three leaves and not four. God forbid if you were seen wearing a four leaf plant, you were the butt of every joke for not knowing the difference between Shamrock and Clover. Clover was  a big favourite among the cattle and very beneficial for milking cows, so the wearer of clover was reduced to ridicule when others started calling the cows at the sight of the four leaf greenery on his lapel. One experience of such humiliation made you choose more closely the next time.

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Eily’s Report 9th March

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

International Women’s Day dawned bright and beautiful, as if in salute of all the women of the World. The role of women have changed dramatically over the years and now that they have proved themselves worthy the whole world wants them to get even more involved. Perhaps those who were born in the past thirty or forty years it is no great surprise but to the likes of me who are here much longer than that the change in the status of women is indeed something bordering on earthmoving.  It is great to see that the fairer sex is making waves at global level in order to create a healthy balance in the running of things. So now its only right and proper that a day in the year has been allotted to them. All over Ireland on this day women have been representing the rest of us as they give talks and presentations telling of the obstacles that they had to overcome in order to get where they are today in their own lives. Some relating to their battles with education, children, home life and the way that they achieved success through it. Thanks to modern methods one person telling her story can give hope and encouragement to hundreds more. Even the scourge of covid didn’t stop them from thanks to streaming. I’m speaking from experience because I know of at least one such lady who told her story of her  particular struggles and judging by the response she got, her gospel was welcomed by many. Women love to help one another and long may that trend continue. But they still need more help help to successfully combine home and children with education and a career. It’s all beyond my remit now, but I will be forever  interested because having been witness to so many changes for the better I believe that nothing is impossible and my prayers will go more for good and better things in the future. 

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Eily’s Report – 2nd March

Welcome to the month of March, they used to say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Time will tell and we shall see. The fierce flooding last week brought torrents the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long time. Fields were turned into oceans and roads into rivers but thankfully no lives were lost. As far as we can recall the year 1986 was the last time we’ve seen such extreme weather conditions, around here anyway. Heavy rainfalls don’t be the same everywhere and I believe that the latest  did not affect other parts of the country as they did here in the south. Nineteen eighty six stands out, for the memories that it left us of hoards of people being stranded in their cars, along the Macroom road for miles outside of  Millstreet. As floods often do it struck in late afternoon when people were making their way home, some from work, others from a day shopping in Cork City, or a Doctor’s appointment, others tourists visiting  the Green Isle to see the sights. Like most people in flash floods, some people tell themselves that they can make it through but it doesn’t always work, and while most people that evening yielded to the situation and accepted local hospitality on that mid summer evening, others forged ahead, to their peril. The area around the Grotto at Liscahane,was noted that time for flooding, but not to a dangerous degree however on that particular evening at nightfall, the ditch gave way to the power of water as an elderly couple were passing and their car was washed in. Luckily for them their car came to a halt with the front facing up to the edge of the road and the floods were torrential over it.  He was shouting to get his wife out, she had been at a specialist in Cork that day as she had cancer, but because his very modern car was electric it could not be opened as the engine was stopped. A tractor was soon brought on the scene, but the pumped wheels  enabled the volume of water to raise it off the ground and the attempt had to be abandoned. In due course the Macroom fire brigade arrived and rescued to terror stricken couple. Our two houses here took in over fifty people that night, many had food in the cars and they brought it in and shared it around .  John D was in the Chip business at the time, he started up and supplied the multitude with hot takeaway on the house. When all were safe and fed a rousing singsong broke out and friendships were forged that still last to this day.  So there was a happy ending after all.

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Eily’s Report – 23rd February

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

Once again the wind is howling down the chimney, coupled with torrential rain. It has pounded our world without a break for many weeks now, and then when we got some lovely sunny hours on Saturday and Sunday can anyone blame us for getting out and making the most of them. It’s a whole month since I ventured out and had no inclination to go because of the weather as well as the lockdown but the warmth of the sun and the smell of the freshness in the air,  was a God-given invitation to get my five k’s. Lots of others got the same notion, because the world outside had come to life since the last time I was out. It was a joy to see them heading up the mountains leaving the car parked for once and stretching the legs. For obvious reasons I travelled in my car, travelled the highroads towards Mushera where I encountered large numbers of people of all ages. Some on foot others like myself driving  plus a good number of elderly folk being taken out for the day by a caring friend or family member. It was all there to be enjoyed and savoured, before the next bout of storm and rain.     A gift from God to be grateful for.

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

Eily’s Report – 16th February

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

The first half of Monday was like a real touch of spring. I’m glad that I took advantage of it to out in the garden and indeed found plenty to do which I thoroughly enjoyed. Even in Summer I’m not a one to sit out, not for very long anyway until I see a weed or something that needs my attention. This time I was surprised to find the runners of the Virginian Creeper were gone way up the wall  and not a leaf on them. If left to their own devises they’d have the neighbours and all covered before long. Needless to say they had to be brought down to earth because their season doesn’t come until the autumn . All the other plants in the garden must get their chance before then. The little cheeky robin accompanied me all the whole time, almost striking into me now and then before landing on a nearby branch to sing it’s heart out for me. Lucky for me that I went out in the forenoon because later the heavens opened.

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

Eily’s Report – 8th February

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

Will it come or will it not. Is it going to snow?  The cold breeze would make you think it would, children are hoping that it will but only time will tell. The world knows there is nothing as nice to look at as a beautiful cover of virgin white snow making everything look so pure and clean and in times past it was always welcomed in time of colds and flu in the hope that the cold snap would kill the bugs. If only we could believe that it would wipe out Covid19, we would put up with a month of it. But alas there is little proof that it would. This time last year coronavirus, as it was called at the time, was little more than a rumour. Something that was happening in China or somewhere. So far away that it was not worth the trouble to get any details. We were still getting on with our everyday lives, the Community Council was getting ready for St.Patrick’s Day, rounding up to finance the parade. The sporting world was gearing up for the season ahead. Hotel’s were taking bookings for parties and family gatherings. The elderly meeting every week for their regular coffee at the hotel and catching up with the latest news and bits of gossip, but now and then there would be a faint mention of the ‘thing’ that was happening in China or ‘somewhere’. As the time went on there were little warnings going out in low tones, to say that we’d want to be careful, cut down our outings, our close mixing with others, which seemed at the time to be the most ridiculous thing we ever heard. After all , the world was just waking up to the importance of people opening up to people, not avoiding them. I can remember the discussion going on at one of our weekly coffee mornings. How about next week, will we come  and the unanimous response was, indeed we will, nothing’s going to stop us from our regular chinwag. But alas by the time the next week came, the penny , or should I say the clanger, had dropped. All of a sudden, China didn’t seem that far away  and it wasn’t the rumours that were spreading now, but a virus. Which they called Covod19 and the rest is history.   That was only one short year ago. How things have changed since then.

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