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.

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

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.

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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.

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Eily’s Report – 22nd September

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

The Autumn sun shone bright and warm on Saturday for the First Holy Communion of 14 boys and 17 girls from the town schools. Like so many other things it was a ceremony with a difference which allowed parents only to accompany  them to the church. The little boys went first at 10 am and the little girls at 12.30. It was indeed a strange sight, so different from the large number of parents, siblings, grandparents, great grand parents and cousins who filled up the church in the rear in former years. But on returning home, to the wide open spaces, where social distancing wasn’t a problem, lots of pictures taken and they were able to enjoy a wonderful celebration, the memory of which will remain with them forever. Family photos were taken to record the great occasion and the story of their 2020 Holy Communion Day will be recalled in many the year to come, every time they look at them again. We wish them God’s Blessing for the future and say heartfelt thanks to Canon John, the teachers and all those who helped in any way to bring this very difficult situation to such meaningful and happy conclusion. Míle Buíochas

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

Eily’s Report – 15th September

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

Animal lovers will be glad to hear that the little kitten that I mentioned last week, lived to be claimed back by it’s owner. His nine lives saw him through countless trips to the shops as well as long journeys out into the country, safely curled up in the engine of a family car.

The death of Dame Diana Rigg during the week, awoke some wonderful memories . It was a great boost for Millstreet back in the sleepy 70’s to have a Hollywood film made in Drishane. The excitement when they looked for extras, to fill in the background was electrifying. There was no internet or computers and very few phones, even house phones at the time. So news depended on word of mouth  and rumours were rampant. We were delighted of course that our daughter Geraldine got a place so we had first hand account of the daily happenings. The money was great, more than the normal wage of the day and the food beyond compare. But they saw for themselves the price that film stars have to pay for their beautiful figures  while they gorged on roast beef dinners and succulent desserts, Diana Rigg nibbled on a dry biscuit. Life long friends were made and the House of Brede faded into history and that’s why it was so great to see the memory resurrected again this week.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 15th September”

Eily’s Report – 8th September

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

When you see a third crop of silage being harvested from a field, you tell yourself that maybe it’s not a bad year after all and because it’s early September still, a fourth crop may come.  An old man of the roads used to go around here one time and in spite of his poor station in life, he always said that hope was a grand thing and who are we to argue with that.

I must tell  you the tale of the cat. About two weeks ago a beautiful black kitten arrived into my daughter’s house in Cork City. It was raining at the time but the little lad was dry as a bone and pleading for food and shelter. So she gave him some bread and milk which he cherished and because she had no facilities for him indoors, he bedded down in the garden on the warm sunny evening. Now because he was dry when he arrived on a wet evening, it could only be imagined that he came on the engine of a car or some vehicle. Next morning before driving to the shop, she checked to see where was the elusive feline ,nd when she couldn’t find him she went about her business,only to find that when she returned into her own drive, the little black beauty calmly stepped out from the body of the car. They didn’t want a cat,but the cat had other ideas. He was perfectly behaved asked for food when he wanted it and lovingly coiled himself around any leg that stayed long enough in one place. Even the most anti-cat member of the family softened to him. Some of the family went on holiday two hours drive away and a couple of days later, some others went on a day trip to join them. Before they left there was the now usual search for the cat, but again without success. So on arriving home from their half day tour guess what the little black beauty once again popped out of the engine. Nobody can understand how he survives on these trips both long or short but I imagine his nine lives must be running rather thin by now, though I hope not.  It’s the accepted  thing now that anywhere they are going with the car they have an extra passenger. To the shops, anywhere. You hear a new one every day.

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

Eily’s Report – 1st September

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

And welcome to the month of September, but with it comes a sting of cold that we didn’t expect,which sent us reaching for our warm fleeces, boots and socks. But every cloud has a silver lining ,they say that a heatwave is on it’s way. So we live in hope.  During this cool spell, it isn’t easy to refrain from  checking the wardrobe and go through all the lovely clothes that we never wore this year. The catchy little two-piece that you bought at the right price for that wedding that was coming up in June, or the few changes for that four-day outing in July.  The strappy sandals that went with everything, still in the box. It all goes to prove that we only dress to impress other people. We went through the past four or five months, with only a few changes of clothes and the plainest ones we had, the reason being that nobody would be seeing them only ourselves.  Well now at least we’ll have to change a little anyway, if we are to get out the warmer things of many colours. Another legacy that we have inherited from Covid19 is that we can no longer lick our fingers, pick a seed from between our teeth or so, because the vile taste of the much used sanitizer prevents us from relishing such simple pleasures. Even the last bite of food into the mouth doesn’t go down without it’s trade mark. Let the assurance that we are doing our bit to keep safe, be our consolation.

September 18 is National Culture Day. It’s that day set aside every year when everybody, or community , or team etc. are invited to put their best foot forward in an effort to portray their own place to the best advantage. Not to be outdone our own Marie Twomey is up there among the best of them with her Community Singers. She never fails to encourage the not-so-young to take an important place in the life of her Community. So she has entered the popular CD which she made with the group some years ago. They asked for more,  so at midday last Saturday she gathered her flock and dressed in smart black/white outfits they performed a rousing version of Glory Glory  at Tubrid well in brilliant sunshine while being expertly filmed by the trusty Sean Radley.  So roll on Culture Day on September 18th, and wish them the best of luck.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 1st September”

Eily’s Report – 25th August

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

I ate some of my very own potatoes today. The little spud that I took from the bottom of the bag in March grew up between the flowers and shrubs on the bed and produced some lovely tubers for me to enjoy. I have some more scattered around the garden amongst the flowers that I will call on whenever I need some lovely flowery spuds for my dinner. It was a beautiful day, warm, calm  and so inviting to sit out with a friend and admire the flowers and the greenness of the lawn and the fields beyond to watch the birds swirling high and low and playing bird games with one another. I don’t feed the birds in summer but I like to give them any leftover breadcrumbs and it’s great to watch them gobble them up. The weather forecast is for another  storm this time called Francis and that made me all the more determined to make the best possible use of the present. There was no use in I dwelling on the peril to come  maybe I’ll sleep through it and my worry would have been a waste of something lovely. Having taken a tip from TV gardening expert Diarmuid Gavin I planted a couple of potatoes in a bed of compost in a bucket and if all he says is true I’ll have a new tubers for Christmas. Even if I don’t  the anticipation will keep me going over the weeks ahead. I finished the last of my peas today and took down the wire and stakes that kept tall and unbending against wind and rain while I relished their product  when passing their way. None of them reached the pot they are so sweet and wholesome when eaten  fresh off the mother  plant.  Most fruits  have done whatever  they were going to do  by now. The yields were good, but the weather not so kind, but still those who caught the ball on the hop and picked lots of blackberries, raspberries,  strawberries and gooseberries  I’m not a jam maker myself and there’s no nicer gift  than a jar of succulent new seasons jam. The strong winds over the past week put many a plant to the test, especially tall plants. I found it a wonderful season for roses. The blossoms just kept coming on after deadheading.  Sunflowers which can reach over six feet succumbed miserably to the force of the elements. But the smaller more compact little varieties lived to fight another day and are there in full colour to prove it. Buíochas le Dia.   It’s better to light a candle than curse the dark, so instead of moaning about the floods swilling through my yard I bought a large box of cheap detergent and spread around and left the torrents to do the rest. And now I have a lovely clean yard instead of a slippery slimy  dangerous one.

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

Eily’s Report 18th August

 

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

The month of August is certainly living up to it’s name as being a season of floods and change with many places in the County paying the price with their homes and places of business destroyed by flash floods. But it is not all doom and gloom, there is always something to be cheerful about and the recent past being no exception. We have to put all sob stories aside and think of  happy things.  Take the two young men who saved young lives at sea  during the week. One lad in Dublin threw his own safety to the wind and jumped in and saved two youngsters from being drowned. Meanwhile off the West Coast a young lad out on the fishing boat with his Dad, was the first to spot the two ladies as they clung to a lobster pot for 15 long hours  and what young lad of his age wouldn’t change places with him  for being the knight in shining armor to rescue two damsels in distress from a watery grave in the deep. All night the country held it’s breath and prayed that the cousins would be found safe.  The pulse of the nation took a leap next morning  at the wonderful news that they were found safe and well . No doubt the two heroic lads will have a great story to tell for the rest of their lives. bBuíochas le Dia.

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

Eily’s Report – 11th August

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

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

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

Eily’s Report – 4th August

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

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

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

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

Eily’s Report – 28th July

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

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

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

Eily’s Report – 21st July

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

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

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

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

Eily’s Report 7th July

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

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

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

Eily’s Report – 30th June

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

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

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

Eily’s Report 23rd June

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

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

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

Eily’s Report – 16th June

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

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

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Eily’s Report – 9th June

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

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

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Eily’s Report – 2nd June

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

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

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

Eily’s Report – 26th May

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

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

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

Eily’s Report – 19th May

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

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

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

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

Eily’s Report – 12th May

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

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

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

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

Eily’s Report – 5th May

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

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

Eily’s Report – 28th April

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

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

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

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Eily’s Report – 21st April

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

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

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

Eily’s Report – 14th April

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

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

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

Eily’s Report – 7th April

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

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

Eily’s Report – 31st March

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

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

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

Eily’s Report – 24th March

 

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

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

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

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