Remembering a Great Few Days

This is British children’s author, Andrew Cope at the entrance to Listowel Town Park during The National Children’s Literary Festival at Writers’ Week 2015.

U.S. children’s author, Emily Raabe, with Maria McGrath, children’s programme administrator, Irish author, Sarah Webb and committee member, Mairead Costelloe.

Local Xistance Youth volunteers painted faces all day long.

Philip Ardagh in full flight.

Kerry GAA star, James O’Donoghue posed for a photo with some young admirers.

Here I am with Will Collins, his wife, Karen and son, Luke and his parents, Willy and Peggy Collins, my good friends from Kanturk.

Still face painting.

Best selling author of the Darkmouth series, Shane Hegarty signing copies of his book.

Happy days for Cora: face painted, Scellig chocolate lolly in hand and the show about to begin!

Taking a rest after a whistle stop tour of the town

Sarah Webb signing her book for a young fan.

Still face painting…. these young face painting artists were tireless.


How to Behave at The Palace

Should you get an invitation to the queen’s garden party, The Telegraph has a handy guide to a few essential table manners;

If you are seated to the right of the queen, you are the guest of honour and will be spoken to during the first course.

If you are to her left you are of less importance and can expect to be spoken to during the second course.  Whether you are left or right, you never speak first. You speak only when spoken to.

Never touch the queen or any item of her placesetting or cutlery.

Replace your teacup on its saucer after every sip.

Hold your wine glass by the stem.

You may drink wine even if the queen declines. She usually drinks mineral water.

So now you know.


Meanwhile in Athea

I went to Athea on Saturday, June 27 to check in on progress on the forge mural. A little bird (named Jim Dunn) had told me that there were some new figures added recently.

This was the scene, high vis jackets and hard hats everywhere, cherrypickers at every pole and it looked like every ESB worker in Limerick had descended on the village for the day. I had struck town on the day of the big switch on of the new lights.


This is how the mural looks from across the road. The lovely peaceful olde worlde forge scene is now  behind a kind of modern maypole of wires and shiny silver aluminum. Shame!

I ignored the pole and inspected the additions to the work of art. It’s going to be a masterpiece! Even an ugly ESB pole fails to detract from the charming scene from a more slow moving era.

A sleepy yet vigilant dog is now lounging at the feet of the horseman.

The original horse man has been joined by another gentle country man, this time dressed up for a visit to town with collar and tie and good sports coat. He is standing like a man at ease with the world admiring the work of the farrier. This little tableau is just perfect.

Now we discover that our first man is killing two birds with one stone. He is on his way to or from the creamery with his two small churns in the body of his cart.

Meanwhile in the forge the farrier is shoeing the draught horse while the owner is reassuring his animal that it will be over soon. I love the attention to detail  in this horse’s tackling. Look at the winkers, the collar, the hames and belly band…all perfect.

My father died when I was seven and many of my memories of him are with working horses like this.

This man has brought a machine for repair. It looks like a seed drill to me but it could be an implement we called a scuffler.

One of these days I’ll hit Athea when Jim is actually working on this.


Great News for Family Researchers

“It is all good news to-day on the Church records.  Next Wednesday afternoon 8thJuly, the Catholic Church Parish records will be released on their website  by the National Library.”

This good news comes in a blogpost from Kay Caball of  Find My Kerry Ancestors

Click on the link to hear how compiling your family tree has just got a whole lot easier.