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.

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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. 

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

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.

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

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”

Eily’s Report 2nd February

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

 The first of Spring, St. Bridget’s day, birds  building their nests, people building their houses, flowers forcing their way up through the ground, my goodness, life is taking off at a fierce  rate. I’m tempted to say stop, slow down, all of these things deserve their own space in the normal scheme  of things. February the first dawned mild and soft with the sun emerging out through the hazy clouds. It was everything that the first day of Spring should be and how lovely it was to take a stroll in the garden, get the feel of Spring, then go around and  throw out a searching eye in an effort to see what is coming to life. The little crocus as always is plainly seen in its vivid purple coat, I have a tub of bluebells, why they’re in a tub I’ll never know, but they are and judging by their strong green leeks it won’t be long before they carry out their annual duty to please the passing eye. Do birds miss our presence in the out of doors. I’m sure they do. At least the little robin seems to anyway because whenever I go and spend some time outside he lands himself on the nearest  branch and turns up the volume on his sweet voice. So so lovely to listen to and when I’m coming in I get an almost guilty feeling to be deserting him. The saddest thing for me in Spring is that I don’t have many places for birds to build their nests. They come and search  but alas  they don’t seem to like the places that I can give them and I can’t give them the places where they would like to set up home. Last year I gave them free reign and wound up having to cover the lawnmower etc in the closed shed. This time I’ll have to keep that place closed. But maybe I’ll still be able to find them another roosting place before their building season takes off in earnest.    There is a doubt if the first of February ,is in fact the first day of Spring. Everybody is saying it but I’m not a bit sure. I think that this year ,we are all so anxious to get on with the year, and leave Winter  far behind, that we’re willing  to give February away to spring. It’s being widely debated at the moment, and who am I to set the record straight.

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Eily’s Report – 26th January

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

There was no work done last Wednesday, or as the old people used to say, there wasn’t a stroke done.  On account of the times that are, there isn’t a whole lot doing anyway. But even the bare necessities were neglected on January 21st 2021

The whole world waited not so much to see Joe Biden being inaugurated the next  President of the USA as to see Donald Trump stepping down or being forced to do so. Gone were his adoring  followers, they eventually cottoned on to his lies and arrogance which eventually led to the deaths of five people. It was almost pathetic to see him walking alone, except for his long suffering wife out of the White House to his helicopter, a place where he said he’d never leave and on boarding his plane for his  flight home there was little more than his own family to see him off. A narcissist to the end, his way or no way.  He was living proof, that it doesn’t work.

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

Eily’s Report – 19th January

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

We live in historic times, tomorrow 20.1.2021  Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the new President of the United States of America. Never in the history of that mighty state or indeed of the world did this event attract some much interest or publicity. Every eye in the World is on the Big Smoke at these tense times.  I suppose there isn’t one place in the world that is not affected one way or another by what goes on the  United States. We are inclined to look on America  as a Big Brother, a force that is there standing between us and the big bad world and when something significant or threatening happens there, who can blame us if we get worried. We think of the many thousands of our people who are living there and how the various happenings affect them, and goodness knows we have seen enough of strange happenings  in the past five years which keep us the edge of our seats all the time. They say that power is a very dangerous thing if it gets into the wrong hands. Need I say more.  Five years ago the world could see that Donald Trump was not a suitable man to rule the USA. It showed right throughout his campaign. His lack of respect for people, especially women, his overbearing attitude towards the rule of law, climate change and so on and to think that this crazy monster had his finger on the button that had the power to sink the world into all out war and destruction. I asked my American friends that time, if they voted for Trump and they said they did and in view of the ways that he portrayed himself  I asked them why. The answer was that the hated Hillary Clinton was that enough to plunge their homeland into ruin.  These are highly religious people. They think differently today. All attention will focus on the media until Mr Biden is safely in the chair . Narcissism is a terrible ailment which gives no caring thought for anybody else and with a narcissist  like Donal Trump at the helm anything could happen. It’s curable but the person involved has to agree to be treated, I can’t see Donald Trump agreeing any time soon or maybe one day he will see the light and allow himself to be transformed into a nice man. We won’t hold our breadth.             Pray that Joe Biden’s inauguration  will all go according to plan.         le cúnamh Dé

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

Eily’s Report – 12th January

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

It was a very nice surprise to see the ground covered in a blanket of snow when we got up one morning last week. For various reasons  not everybody likes the snow but nobody can deny that it adds a mighty swell to the mood  with it’s all over cover of the land making everything look bright and beautiful. The overhead images taken by drone over the hills and dales of our rural areas painted a very special picture. The light fall of snow pointing out the details of the various features of mountains and valleys. The loop walks which have been so lovingly carved out on the mountains in recent years for our pleasure are plain to see with the naked eye. They are there for everybody to enjoy, either in the heart of cold  winter or the height of a warm summers day.  The  aerial view is a great help to those who are planning to take to the hills. Thanks to those who share their findings via the drone with everybody.   A young family got the thrill of a lifetime last week when on a visit to Coomatrush lake to find that the recent frost had turned the mighty waterfall into a fairyland of icicles, all glistening in the midday sun.  We are urged to stay in at all costs, not an easy thing to do. So we each have to work out a plan of our own to deal with the Covid problem. T.G we have phones and we can talk all day and night if we like without endangering anyone, we can even see one another . I thought I’d heard it all this week when two of my great grand children played games together, one in Cork and the other in Perth, Australia and my daughter in Cork was able to let me see them playing on her phone.  Their laughter had to be heard/seen to be  believed.

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

Eily’s Report 5th January

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

Welcome to the year of 2021. In the past couple of weeks we have come through some very unusual and strange events we had to do without many of the age-old customs and rituals which have been part of our Christmases since the Birth of Christ. To say it was challenging would be an understatement but at the end of the day we can pat ourselves in the back and say I did it, I did it my way and came out stronger as a result. Full of new determination to take 2021 by the scruff of the neck, take it on with all our might and the help of God.

One of the main highlights of our Christmas was the return of our beloved parish priest Canon John FitzGerald to our alter following some heartfelt weeks without him and while we are deeply grateful to the other clerics who looked after us so well in his absence, there was something special about having ‘the Boss’ the Father figure home.  We wish Canon John all the best for the future. The streaming service in our Church made a huge difference to us over the Festive Season. There was a great attendance of those who were fortunate enough to be among the limited few who were allowed into the church on Christmas night, but for those of us who tuned in from home it was so special to be able to see the alter in all it’s splendour all lit up and the celebrant in full view, his words coming through as clear as crystal. Speaking for myself and I’m sure many more of my vintage I found it great to sit in the comfort of my own home for Mass and still feel a part of it all, joined by our people from all over the globe in one big celebration of the birth of Christ. The Christmas Crib all newly painted and surrounded by lush branches of green ivy was placed as usual at the bottom of the church where it is still intact and where people can pay homage any time as the church is open every day.   Hand sanitisers available the whole time.  There is a collection box at the Crib and the money raised there goes to good causes every year.  In ways I suppose we are seeing our Alter for the first time in many ways. Never before has it been held in our full gaze for so long and it looks so beautiful. The mosaic walls, the marble pulpit, altar and steps, the brass candle sticks and flower vases filled with a profusion of fresh flowers and the overhead lighting casting lustre on it all, the huge picture window at the back. Whenever you hear something praised to the hilt, there is nearly always a BUT. I suppose it’s an age thing with me and with all health and safety regulations being  drummed into us every day, I can’t but notice the absence of handrails on the steps of the altar to see the Padres negotiating them in their flowing robes makes me nervous. Every place we know that has steps even a couple has handrails. Our beloved clergy is going through very difficult times at the moment. It can’t be easy for them to come on the altar and minister to an empty house. We’ve heard of a flock without a shepherd, but a shepherd without a flock, can’t be easy .

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

Eily’s Report – 22nd December

Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my last report for 2020.

How we have longed for this Christmas to come in order  that we could put all our ability into making it a good one, so as to make up for all that we have endured during the year. They say be careful of what you wish for. Little did we know that our plans would be skewed at the eleventh hour. But like everything else in life, we’ll have to grin and bear it. As we’ve said so many times, we’re all in it together, when we have digested the situation and find that there is no way out of it.  We will move up another gear and make the best we can of it. The scary accounts they are giving us about how rapidly it can spread will drive us into a state of determination and self-survival that will give us new strengths that we never knew we had.  We will make sacrifices because we know we must. Being flippant or blaze about it will not do. So our last few days in the run up to Christmas Day on Friday, will be different in every sense of the word. How I can recall those heady days when my own children were small. It was not the same world then. Winter time on the farm was very demanding  cattle being housed during the long winter months had to be tended every day. Tended only by man power and indeed helped by woman power. There was no press button solution to anything  then. But the trip to Cork on Christmas Eve or maybe the day before it was a must, an annual day out .That morning the cows were left out to water earlier than usual and were given their daily supply of hay .Pigs ,Hens , and any other livestock all got an early breakfast while the children ,fussed around indoors ,getting their own things done ,by way of dressing and invading their piggy banks and their lists of   ‘Must Haves’ , from the big city. The last thing anybody wanted to hear was that there was a cow due to calve, or a sow due to farrow.  Devastation ,   utter devastation, panic, tears , tantrums. Disappointment if there was. In such case there was the inevitable delay, the waiting for the new life to make its way into the world, prayers, curses anything to hurry the process up. But eventually we’d all pack into the little Anglia and head off. Parking didn’t seem to be a problem in the 60s. And in a little over an hour our off springs were released to the wild which was Cork City on Christmas Eve. I find it hard to believe how primitive it all was ,compared to today. It was the early days of toys having movements, How we marvelled at them ourselves ,and gloried at the joy that the little children got out of staring at them. It was easy to impress ,children then, and indeed parents also. Sore feet were ignored as we traipsed from shop to shop, street to street, looking at all the wonders of the big city ,as the world prepared for the birth of Christ. We’d go into any chapel along the way, where the massive crib would be all at the ready . The children all amazed ,and asking countless questions about this and that. Finally after having some food on the hoof ,and seen all the lovely things, it was time to make our purchases, it was often hard to make a secret purchase , to have as a surprise ,or Santa Gift  for the stockings by the fire on Christmas morning. And then the spending of ‘their own’ money. The little something that made it for them . We never missed the trip down the Coal Quay, with its numerous bright stands ,and sales women shouting out the lists of their wares. How we loved their funny use of words, two-and –sixpence all the dolls. The last few boxes of train sets, give this free with it, holding up a rag doll or an orange–. The place would be packed ,and people in festive mood , saluting one another , shouting out bits of news and Christmas cheer. As night fell, a heavenly atmosphere fell down and gave  the Coal Quay an out of this world    feeling ,the darkness ,brightening every lamp and bulb ,reflecting   off  the shiny wrappings and toys  and boxes strewn around the place. As we all chewed on the wonderful goodies that were to be had in abundance in the stalls and the children drank their lemonade from the bottle which they held firmly by the neck , it was time to bid our annual Christmas Eve Day in Cork to a close. Children tired and maybe cranky with fatigue ,we once again piled into the reliable Anglia and headed out the Carrigrohane Straight. We all sang together, our Christmas songs with all ours hearts, Dan driving R.I.P.  me holding the youngest, John D, on my lap and the Girls Geraldine & Nora in the back.  No seatbelts .  In no time our tired little charges  were fast asleep, still clutching the favourite purchases.

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Eily’s Report – 15th December

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

Oh what a joy it was at the weekend to actually see our Masses being celebrated before our very eyes. It was the third Sunday of Advent so the pink Advent candle was lighting and Fr. Billy Radley the celebrant.

How we have longed for the day, when we could see our priest and to know that our people all over the world could join in with us for Mass. What a difference it will make to our Christmas ceremonies. When I think of all the people who would be home if they could, seeing them in the chapel for midnight Mass often finding it hard to get a seat with the crowds, the beautiful choir softly singing Silent Night, the crib all aglow awaiting the birth of Jesus. These are scenes which cannot be matched but thanks to the wonder of streaming, for now, we can all be together in spirit and the warmth of our St. Patricks magnificent church will reach out to them wherever they are.  We are by no means belittling the efforts made by all the neighbouring priests and churches and indeed of the whole world who kept us connected to our Holy Masses, for the past number of months, they were great, but we have to admit there is nothing like your own. The snippets of news, little changes local deaths and anniversaries to name but a few, the little things which knit a community together, they are important.

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Eily’s Report – 8th December

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

December 8th.  A  Magic day, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Lady.  A Holy Day of Obligation. It was a day when schools were closed and after early Mass, everybody headed off the  cities and towns to do the all important Christmas shopping, not for food, but for all the little surprises, that would go as stocking fillers  for Christmas morning. That important list filled in utter secrecy, (or their wouldn’t be a surprise from Santa on Christmas morning.) The  young adults of the family needed to buy things of their own choice  with the  pennies and pounds which they had saved during the year. The mind boggles at the thought of some of the ensembles   which  were  brought  home. It’s a hard time in life when parents have to give in to the fact that little Jimmy or Mary is growing up. Up ‘til then their minds are fully taken up with meeting the  every day costs and trying to make ends meet.  Then all of a sudden, the little offspring  has a mind of its own and cash enough of its own to put you out of the business of choosing for them and joined by a sibling or school friend they will sally forth to the shops while you go and get yourself and himself something nice to wear for Christmas. At the appointed time everybody meets up at the car or bus or train, weighed down with bags and head for home, all broke and tired but full of stories of the events of the day. Those were the days when Dad drove the car, mom in the passenger seat with the youngest on her lap and all the others squeezed into the back. Long before the birth of seatbelts. Everybody joined in the singing which  shortened  the journey.  It’s only when you get home ,and all the purchases  were put on view, that you realise that your little ones have moved up a gear.   Words like, ’Oh my God, surely you’re not going to go out in that’, comes out of you before you can help it.  But no amount of objections will work, you have to give in and next time when they’re all dressed up  for the dance, ready to go out you find yourself  even if a bit ice tone, saying That’s Nice. Mind ye’re  selves.

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

Eily’s Report – 1st December

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

The first day of the last month of the year and what a year has been.  It’s a good thing that we don’t know what is coming. The veil that shields us from the future was woven by an angel of mercy.  Can any one of us imagine what it would be like if we were told last Spring what was ahead of us in the coming months. Ignorance is bliss surely, because the “not knowing” kept us geared up in the hope that each day or week or month would be the last. So we soldiered on, kept the rules as best we could and prayed for the best.  Now that some vaccines  have  been found we are all the more hopeful that the future will be good as long as we still keep the rules until the coronavirus is stamped out completely  and  we can all relax again. It’s beyond our comprehension what kind of world it will be, but the Good Lord who brought us thus far will be still there to guide us into our new future.

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Eily’s Report – 24th November

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

The November wind is howling outside but still the little birds come and feast on the peanuts that I hang out for them at if it was calm and pleasant. It’s a well known saying that we are all built to meet our task in life and the little birds are a sure proof of that. Talking of meeting our challenges, with the end of the lockdown another week away, patience is wearing thin in a lot of people. Tempers are fraying and like the long distance runner  the finishing  line was never so much sought after. But there is always light at the end of the tunnel and the hope of a successful vaccine is enough to make us all try a little harder and make sure that we don’t lose the trophy for the want of that final push.   So keep on praying and keep on trying.

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

Eily’s Report 17th November

 

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

Fondest greetings everybody as we embark on a new week, with the hope of a vaccine for Covid19 filling us with new hope and a new determination to keep the spread of the killer disease  as low as possible until that magic formula arrives.  The weeks of our lockdown are passing slowly by, a little over two weeks to go, I think, the light at the end of any tunnel tells us that there is a way out and that’s what we want to hear. le cúnamh Dé

Christmas remains in the balance as far as travel is concerned, but it hasn’t stopped our  business people from setting up their shops and stores and displaying their wares giving us ample time to get to work on our gift list. Christmas decorations are going up in all the shops and their choices of gift ideas has to be seen to be believed. The well known plea to shop at home was never so important. Since last Christmas businesses have been literally shell shocked by  what has hit them in one short year and we must all play our part in helping them to stay afloat  and not only that but to build themselves up to a confidant future.  Thanks to our business ladies we will have Christmas lights in the town  in spite of all the negativity they are forging ahead and asking people to fund them on a voluntary basis rather than asking business people to foot the bill in light of all that they have been through since Covid19  began. Donations are still being accepted and can be handed in to Niamh at Wordsworth bookshop. To Noirin’s Boutique or Catherine at her auctioneering business office, West End. They deserve our support so please give generously.

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

Eily’s Report – 10th November

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

What a difference a goal can make. I’m sure you know by now that my knowledge of football or any competitive game is almost nil. My many interests are elsewhere. But I cannot fail to be  overjoyed, proud  and plain delighted at the lift which that winning shot scored by Mark Keane, for Cork at the  very last minute on Saturday  evening gave to every red blooded Cork person in every corner of the world. Where else would you get such a return for a kick of a ball that put Kerry out of the Munster Final. Most people were forced to watch it at home for obvious reasons, the loss of companionship  and banter meant that it was a fairly noiseless event as matches go, but when that ball went in all hell broke loose. Babies and other resting folk were roused out of their sleep, peaceful dogs and cats scrambled for shelter by the explosion of screaming cheers that went up in every house. It is still almost unbelievable that Kerry will not be in the Munster Final.  The importance of sport cannot be over rated. Win, lose or draw, sport of any kind brings people together, it’s great to see youngsters getting the chance to be part of it and better still to see girls making their presence felt. Even those who have no competitive skills have have a part to play. Looking back I can recall a some lads who did no more than mind the coats for the players, or the water and they were made part of the whole and  made just  as important as the players themselves. On winning day they were fitted into the group photo to go down in history with the rest.    As I said at the outset, I know very little about sport, I could never watch a match, if my side were losing it would be all too much for me.  But I’d always want to know who won when all was over. I had a friend like that, she would go off out during the play and on her return ask the husband who won. One day when she came back and asked him who won, he said he didn’t watch it at all and she said didn’t you know I’d want to know  who won, he said yes and if your side lost you’d give out to me.  When your side wins  you’re as happy as them all. Well done Cork.

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Eily’s Report – 3rd November

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

November never lost it. It had the name ever of coming in cold and blustery, the yellow flood and gale warnings of the past week helped it to live up to it’s old name.  When fairs were held in towns years ago the November Fair was always the one that few people looked forward to. Fair fields were open places and unprotected from wind and weather and the grassy surface was no match for galloping hooves and hobnailed boots.  So when stock owners had to remain beside their animals for long periods in the hope of making a sale there was nothing for it but stand your ground and put up with it. November Fair in Knocknagree stands out as the one most talked about and still is for all the wrong reasons. The Fairfield  is high and open and facing north  bordered at the back by the houses of the village. Sleety showers  in November drove cold into the hearts and souls of all  who traded there, the likes of which they never forgot. We don’t get many icy showers now but November still has the power to send us scuttling for last years warm woollies.

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

Eily’s Report – 27th October

 

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

This past week took us into another lockdown and on Saturday night our clocks went back one hour. In each case leading into no small number of changes that we will have to make. Neither of the two changes were very welcome, but as there is no way around them we may as well start by finding how we are going to plan our way forward. The first shock is always the worst, be when we give it time for the dust to settle then we can come up with plans. The first long evening is always terrible. The mind races to find some way of whiling away those long hours of darkness. Some people I know have resolved to get up an hour earlier in the morning and put in the hours so that by the time evening comes they are satisfied to call it a day, anytime from five o’clock on. Rising early of course is a wonderful thing regardless of any time change. Early risers have told us, over and over that we are missing the best part of the day and I couldn’t agree more. The world is a different place at the tail end of the night. It is then that all nocturnal creatures are retiring to their nests and burrows. You’d be forgiven for thinking that we haven’t much wildlife in our district but because they are night-time creatures we don’t see them.  We occupy the land at different times. The badger, the hedge hog, hares, foxes, rats, mice,minks, bats, they are all here but politely give us our shift without interruption until we retire.  So maybe our early morning people have the right idea and have the pleasure of  seeing little animals popping into their warm places of rest while we take over for the  day.

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Eily’s Report – 20th October

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

Prayers were never so needed as we sink down further into the abyss that is Corona Virus. Prayer is a wonderful prop when there is nothing better to be had. From where I’m standing and looking back at the years that have gone, prayer was vitally important. If somebody, a family member, a neighbour, a friend’s friend was sick, perhaps waiting for an X-Ray result or facing an operation, then those close to her/him would engage in extra prayers, Novenas, Masses that the Good Lord would make them better. But this time it’s different, we are all in there. All in the same boat, needing so many different things for so many different people so the best thing for it is to have we all put our shoulders to the wheel, both for ourselves and for those around us. There is no need to be sad or morose about it.

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Eily’s Report – 13th October

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

The strange times continue and it looks like we are in it for  the long haul so we may as well make up our minds to the fact and each one of us must carve our own way through it. Find out what is working for us as it has done for the past seven or eight months and hope for the best. God knows we’ve been told often enough to wash our hands and wear a mask and stay one meter away from others at a social distance and we must keep on doing it. I suppose as rural dwellers we have an advantage over those who live in built up areas and more cramped conditions. So in that regard we can count ourselves more fortunate to some degree, but nothing is guaranteed.

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Eily’s Report – 6th October

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

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Oh where did it all go wrong, so wrong. We were doing so well even counting the days till we were back to normal and even though there were plenty of complaints about the way things were, we’d give a lot to have that old normal back again now. But since we have no choice we may as well knuckle down and bring on plan B. Plan B can mean different things to each one of us. We must all take a good look at where we are at and go on from there. The fact that we have escaped up to now must be proof that we are doing the right thing. Easy for me and my equals I suppose, because we have no commitments as such. Not so easy for those who have to go out to work, take children to school, look after others. Apart from minding ourselves, the only other thing we can do is to pray.  In all fairness, we are good at it. We like praying, we’ve been relying on God’s mercy some of us for well over eighty years and looking back, it brought us through some bad and sad and uncertain times but a lot of great ones too. We didn’t get everything that we asked God for and looking back it was a good job that we didn’t because it would have been all  wrong for us at that time. But it never stopped us from asking for divine help no more than we never stopped asking our parents for things that they couldn’t afford or that wouldn’t be proper for us to have. When we were at the stage where younger people are today, rearing children, making a living, struggling to make a living, we had very little time for prayer sometimes none at all. So now we count it as a priviledge to have been spared, to make up for lost time as it were. To have lots of time to spend in prayer every day and to pray for those who are caught up in the rat-race of their lives which allows little time for talking to God, but as long as they believe and do their best then our prayers for them are never lost. We are all in it together.

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

Eily’s Report – 29th September

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

Have you noticed how the evenings are starting to draw in a little. Not so much when it’s sunny and bright but if it’s cloudy and dull then you notice it. That spat of frost one night during the week was rather a surprise and left some of our tender blossoms looking a little less than their best.  In fact it wiped out some of my succulent bizzy lizzies.  Thankfully mydahlias escaped.  They are the late flowering kind and last year as they were all set to adorn my autumn garden, one night of frost sent them back to sleep for another whole year. The worst thing about this early frost is that it can creep up on you and for just one night only.  When the mild weather returns you are left with that  sad feeling as you gaze on  your would be  flowering  plants returning to the earth. Joy of joys my little spud in the bucket escaped.  Mind you for safety sake I had moved it nearer the hedge a few days earlier.  Lawns  are still flourishing and still have to get their regular nine day trim and the smell of a new mowed lawn never loses it’s charm. Leaves are beginning to fall, though the autumn colours haven’t come yet. The Virginian Creeper is almost at the ready to light up every wall and hedge even along the ground in so many places.   If the weather treats it right it will stay that way for ages. During the long summer months it creeps along in the background in a dull green fitting in almost unnoticed amid all it’s  neighbours as they show off their glowing colours and multi coloured foliage,  but come the autumn the Virginian Creeper takes  over as if to say it’s my turn now and gives us  days or weeks of blood red bliss.  The blanket of wild raspberry canes/briers are turning the ditches and roadsides red at the moment with their massive crop of small bright red fruit and it’s great to see the birds feasting  of them.  Most of the corn and hay is safely stored by now and as we have no commercial potato growers around here, I’m not sure if that crop is in. It was always considered a September task, so I’m sure they are all in by now.  These are the things which got priority in my young days. The winter feed for the animals and the food and firing for the people was all important . There was no other way to get the necessities of life, only to provide them yourself. They weren’t selling in the shops that time.

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