Bicycle Stand on Market Street

At Opening Night Listowel Writers’ Week 2024

Local poets, Matt Mooney and Mary MacElligott

Local blogger, me, with writer, Pat Sheedy

Update to my Facts on British Coins

Kathy Reynolds sent us the full story.

Hi Mary

I hope you are well and enjoying better weather than we are in cold wet England. Your blog always gives me my early morning read alongside the Times. Although no expert on coinage and tap & pay is now nearly standard a few outlets still prefer “real money” so I feel I must add a little to today’s fact.

King Charles III became King in September 2022 immediately on his mother’s death but he was crowned on 6 May 2023. 

The first completely redesigned set of coins were issued December 2023 and the flora and fauna design took me back to the Irish coinage of my childhood, particularly the Atlantic salmon on the 50p reminding me of the florin. However a Memorial 50p entered circulation in December 2022, marking the transition from Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III. Also a special 50p coin marking King Charles III’s coronation went into circulation on Thursday, 10th August. Notes entered circulation in June 2024.


Kathy Reynolds


I think they got the message. Breda and Margaret tell me that there has been no postering of litter bins since we highlighted the issue here.


An American wine connoisseur made the mistake of reviewing Buckfast… Here’s their tasting notes:

Buckfast Tonic Wine (No Vintage)

Screw cap, took it off about 30 minutes before to bring in some air. Apparently made by monks in England. Decided to try while cooking dinner. Poured into a glass, first glance has a very inky almost brownish color that you see in older wines. Very syrupy, liquid clings to the side of the glass when swirled. Almost 15% ABV.

Stuck my nose in and was hit with something I’ve never experienced before. Barnyardy funk (in a bad way) almost like a dead animal in a bird’s nest. A mix of flat Coca Cola and caramel with a whiff of gun metal.

On the palate, overwhelming sweetness and sugar. Cherry Cola mixed with Benadryl. Unlike anything I’ve tasted. I’m not sure what this liquid is but it is not wine, I’m actually not sure what it is but it tastes like something a doctor would prescribe. A chemical concoction of the highest degree. Can only compare it to a Four Loko.

Managed to make it through a couple small glasses but not much more. Has absolutely ruined the evening drinking-wise for me as I tried to drink a nice Bordeaux after but the iron-like metallic sweet aftertaste I just couldn’t get out of my mouth even after a few glasses of water. I don’t drink a lot of coffee regularly so I also have mild heart palpitations from the caffeine after just drinking a bit of this and feel a slight migraine.

An ungodly concoction made by seemingly godly men. I believe the Vatican needs to send an exorcist over to Buckfast Abbey as the devil’s works are cleary present there. After tasting this “wine,” the way I feel can only be described as akin to being under a bridge on one’s knees orally pleasing a vagrant while simultaneously drinking liquified meth through a dirty rag.

I’ve drank a lot of wines in my life and will never forget this one.

(I don’t think he liked it!)

Commemorative Seat

On our Friday walk at Writers’ Week we passed by Paddy Fitzgibbon’s memorial.

Fascinating Fact

The words of the nursery rhyme, Mary had a Little Lamb, were the first replayed words in human history through Edison’s playback on June 22 1878.