No coal for Calvin this year


The missing bit


There may have been a bit missing from the Ferris Wheel on The Grand Parade yesterday, but I’m informed that all bits are accounted for now.


Christmas decorations sale


Ask yes, if we had any sense and were in the market for such a thing, now would be the perfect time to buy Christmas decorations…

Then again there are plenty of lights and tinsel on the tree still!


My Christmas Day Adventure

Today was a Christmas Day my family won’t forget for a long time! We had a great time today, heard some amazing news, and then had a bit of an adventure on the way home. The weather has been pretty cold for the last while, the county was covered in a sheet of ice but this afternoon temperatures rose slightly which was great because we were due to visit family for Christmas dinner.

My brother Donal and his wife had ice problems this morning when their car slid out of his estate. Two hours later they got underway when the roads thawed out a bit. That had worried me because there’s a hill into our estate too.

After a great day with family, a delicious dinner made by my brother-in-law Chris and a visit to my own family we returned home, sharing the road with nervous drivers and reckless drivers. The journey home was uneventful but the hill into our estate proved to be troublesome. The road was covered in ice and slush and as we rounded the bend a car slid down backwards and eventually braked and turned back down. I tried to drive us up there too but the car only got so far before wheels started to spin, the car shuddered and we weren’t going forward any more. Kinda scary!

I had to turn back of course, we parked further up the road where I spotted a break in the ditch. In the freezing dark I managed to get up there, and to make what is turning into a long story shorter enlisted the help of our neighbours who were in the same boat. Between us we managed to get the essential bags out of the car, I carried Adam up the road, and we took a short cut through Rosy and Con’s house knocking a good 100m off our journey.

I used the light of my Nokia 5800 in video mode to light the way so I have a record of all that happened, even if it’s more audio than anything else! Must have a listen tomorrow.

Anyway, I’m glad to be home, safe and sound. We’ll get the car tomorrow. Thanks neighbours for your help. Nollaig Shona dhaoibh go leir!


Christmas Day Ten Years Ago

I’ll always remember Christmas Day 1998. Ten years ago on the night of Christmas Eve we returned from the Regional Hospital without our mother and my father without his wife.
I was in Kerry 2 weeks before when my father rang with the news my mother had collapsed. A massive aneurysm in her brain had burst. She spent the next 15 days in hospital, sometimes awake and able to talk, but most of the time drowsy or asleep. The day before Christmas Eve she suffered another hemorrhage. An emergency operation was carried out to insert a stint in the blood vessel and stop the bleeding but unfortunately the operation was not a success and the stint failed. Machines whirred and beeped by her bedside. She had aged so much overnight. We all said our final goodbyes.

The last conversation I remember having with her was telling her that we had decided on the Christmas gift we were going to get her. Despite her drowsy questioning I didn’t tell her, because it would be a surprise for when she came home. I hold on to that memory of sitting by her bedside. I don’t want to forget it.

We’ll visit her grave later today. Today is a sad day for my family and I but it’s also a celebration and a chance for my family to get together. We have so much to be thankful for. I know my mother would have adored Adam. Have a great day today!

Donncha Ireland

Recession in Cork

The world is in recession, and it’s even affected Cork. The city was busy but it’s been much busier in previous years. Every second shop had a “Closing Down sale” or “50% off sale” sign. Usually you have to wait until the January sales. It’s great that prices are down, but depressing what it means for the economy. I heard that many stores on North Main Street have already closed their doors.


Construction work still continues in the center of the city though. I bet the developers of those sites are not looking forward to the job of selling floor space to retailers. The Elysian, tallest building in the country, is practically empty since it was opened officially a few months ago.
Besides the maddening crowds, collectors for Share and other charities were out in force. At least that’s one thing that hasn’t changed. The streets were packed with people, but the queues in the shops weren’t that long.

Bully’s on Paul Street was excellent as usual. Their ground floor tables were all taken but they have a first floor restaurant I never knew existed! We got a nice table away from everyone, it was a nice reprieve from the crowds and sounds outside. Their Bully Burger is well worth sampling too. Yum!
Continue reading “Recession in Cork”


Strawberries in December


It’s a sign of the times. We eat fresh strawberries in the middle of winter. They may have travelled thousands of miles and be overpriced but there’s a ready market here for fresh fruit all year round.

They are lovely in porridge first thing in the morning or even with Corn Flakes. They make the milk all creamy and delicious and in the mouth the taste and texture of the fruit just melts on your tongue!

We usually buy in M&S but there we were in Super Valu, and strawberrys are on display. It’s a cruel world when food that’s good for you is so nice too!

The point of this post and my interest in winter fruits is the origin of said produce. They come from Palestine. We hear so much bad news from that part of the world so something as mundane as strawberries is a reminder that life goes on no matter what.

Happy Christmas to you, may you have a nice day tomorrow, I hope with family or friends.

Movies Music

What song defines Christmas for you?

Which of the following songs says “Christmas” to you? Which song makes you think of Christmas as soon as you hear it? Ian Dempsey on Today FM this morning asked this question and the result surprised me.

Silent Night
Fairytale of New York

Continue reading “What song defines Christmas for you?”

Humour Movies When-in-Ireland

Langerland do the Nativity

Langerland bring their latest creation, a Christmas story, The Nativity to the big screen with all your favourite characters. Even if you don’t recognise the names there’s something in this story for everyone!


It goes without saying that if you have strong feelings about Christianity you probably don’t want to watch this! (via)

And just in case you missed it, their music through the ages will have you cringing, but at least they let Mary have the last err, word.


A Christmas Story

Take five minutes out of your busy day and read Mike’s short story about his visit to Santa. It’s a good read!

One of the great things about working on is that I come across brilliant posts like this one. Granted, his blog is in the top 10 most popular, but there are plenty of others.
That gives me a warm glow.