Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Xmas, North Kerry Harriers, The Catechism, more Enterprise photos and Christmas in Ballylongford


Gurtinard Wood in Winter 2017

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A Modern Christmas Poem

Xmas by Wes Magee

Not a twig stirs. The frost bitten garden
Huddles under a heaped duvet of snow.
Pond, tree, sky and street are granite with cold.

In the house electronic games warble;
Holly awaits the advent of balloons
And the TV set glows tipsy with joy.


This is a great poem about the secularization of Christmas. Christ is taken out and the Xbox takes his place centre stage.

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It's That Time of Year

North Kerry Harriers met in the grounds of Glin castle on December 3 2017. Local Limerick photographers, Liam Downes and Estelle O'Donoghue, took some  photos to record the occasion.



Estelle O'Donoghue  took this fabulous photo.




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A Relic left behind from our Youth


Call it brainwashing if you like, but I and my school fellows had the answers to the questions set out in this green book so dinned into us in school that most of us could, to this day, with just a little prompting, reel off all those answers.

This copy turned up among the National Treasures collected recently. I'm sure the very sight of it will send shivers down a few spines.

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Some More People at BOI Enterprise Town Evening















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Christmas Long Ago


Christmas for us Small Lads    by Eamon Kelly

Christmas for us small lads growing up in the 1920s was a pool of light in the inky darkness of the winter. A soft amber pool of light which came from three sources- the big log and turf fire, the oil lamp with the hairpin straddling the glass chimney and the stately white candles, one in every window, spreading their light out into the yard and road and showing the way, the old people told us, to Mary and Joseph should they be passing in search of shelter on Christmas night. Although my father used to say that if they happened to be passing our house the blessed pair would have strayed a tiny step on the road to Bethlehem.


In the month of December there was no road darker than the road outside our house, for we were living in the depths of the country, and as yet the ESB poles had not come marching down the valley bringing a brighter but a harsher light. And it cuts me to the quick today when I hear that instead of the old tallow candle there is a new garish electric imitation lighting in many of the windows I looked on as a lad.

(Continued tomorrow)

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Ballylongford at Christmas 2017

They switched on their Christmas tree lights in Bally on Saturday December 9 2017 and Ballylongford Snaps took lots of great photos. Here are a few and there are lots more HERE





Tuesday, 12 December 2017

A Poem or Two, a snap or three and an extraordinary crowd in Cork in 1932


Little Drummer Boy



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Switching on the Christmas lights, November 26 2017

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We had one of these


This pump is in a lawn outside the Tinteán Theatre in Ballybunion. I remember a pump just like this in what we called the pump field at home. It used to take a lot of elbow grease to get water out of it.

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I try to include this poem/song every Christmas as I know it means a lot to Listowel people

Kerry Candlelight by Bryan MacMahon


I am standing here at Euston, and my heart is light and gay,
For ‘tis soon I’ll see the moonlight all a- dance on Dingle Bay,
So behind me, then, is London, with the magic of its night,
And before me is a window filled with Kerry Candlelight.

CHORUS
‘Tis the lovely light of glory that came down from heav’n on high,
And, whenever I recall it, there’s a teardrop in my eye,
By the mountainside at twilight, in a cottage gleaming white,
There my true love sits a dreaming in the Kerry Candlelight.

She’ll be waiting by the turf fire; soon our arms will be entwined,
And the loneliness of exile will be lost or cast behind,
As we hear the Christmas greetings of the neighbours in the night,
Then our hearts will beat together in the blessed Candlelight.

Now the train is moving westwards, so God speed its racing wheels,
And God speed its whistle ringing o’er the sleeping English fields,
For I’m dreaming of an altar where, beside my Breda bright,
I will whisper vows of true love in the Kerry Candlelight.

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Walking the Kerry Way




David Breen took this photo as he was walking The Kerry Way

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Home in Asdee


Liam OHainnín found this one and posted it on Facebook



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A Few More Photos from Enterprise Evening


The special guest on the night was Rachel Allen. She was interviewed by Billy Keane.























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Would you believe it?


Tony Leen shared this photo on Twitter with this caption:
An extraordinary picture of the crowds outside the office in 1932 awaiting news of the Jack Doyle-Jack Peterson world heavyweight title fight at White City in London.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Our Christmas Tree ,a sad Christmas poem, BOI Enterprise Town event, some brave women and a change at Scribes




Listowel Town Square
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A Christmas Poem (This is a heartbreaking one)

Christmas at Sea by Robert Louis Stevenson

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor'wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.
They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
But 'twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops'l, and stood by to go about.
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All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.
We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard:
So's we saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.
The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every 'long-shore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.
The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it's just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessèd Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard's was the house where I was born.
O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother's silver spectacles, my father's silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
Go dancing round the china plates that stand upon the shelves.
And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessèd Christmas Day.
They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
'All hands to loose top gallant sails,' I heard the captain call.
'By the Lord, she'll never stand it,' our first mate, Jackson, cried.
… 'It's the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson,' he replied.
She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood.
As the winter's day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.
And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.

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Some photos from Listowel Enterprise Town evening








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Life in Cork in 1836 was tough

This story comes from the Durrus History Society. Durrus ia a small town in west Cork

1836 Evidence of Father John Kelleher, Early Statistician, to Poor Laws (Ireland), Enquiry.
 Muintir Bháire There are in these parishes about 50 and at least that number of individuals who endeavour to make out a livelihood by buying eggs here and taking them to Cork where they are bought for the English market.  These individuals are generally young women of blameless morals and great industry the distance they have to travel barefooted with such a load as 300 eggs in a basket on their backs is to many no less than 50 miles.  Some will take so many as 350 of these eggs others not more than 200 they generally bring as heavy a load back from the city. And make ten or a dozen such journeys each year.  The time devoted to such a journey is generally a week, their profits are inconsiderable perhaps about £3 in the year.

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Where Age is no Barrier


Friends, Lilly and Maureen knitting with Knitwits in Scribes

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Here is the link to the Girl Guides Camp in Dromin in 1992 as recorded by Michael Guerin

Listowel Girl Guides 1992

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Scribes is changing hands



Brigita, on the left is taking over from Namir in Scribes in Church Street. We will miss Namir's genial presence and invariable good humour and wit.

Brigita will be very different but a good different. She is a lovely genial lady, a great cook and immensely talented. I wish her the best of luck and I look forward to many more happy hours in Scribes.

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Winner Alright

You all know Chris Grayson from his beautiful Nature photographs which I love to share with you. Chris is not a native Kerryman but he is the next best thing, an adopted one. He loves his Kerry home and he celebrates it often in stunning photos.
Chris has another string to his bow. He is a dedicated runner. Last weekend he won the Clonakilty marathon. Congratulations to a great friend of Listowel connection. May you go on to many more such successes.