Kildare, Cill Dara means the church of the oak. This oak-shaped light is in Kildare Town Square. They were erecting the Christmas tree on the day I arrived.

Another O’Connor/ MacMahon Christmas card

A John B. Keane Christmas Story

Today’s story comes from this lovely Christmas anthology.


Everywhere in Kildare Town there are references to St. Brigid, Horse racing, sheep, bogs and history.

I stayed in this lovely olde worlde hotel.. I got a real key for my room door!

Here is where my granddaughter will have her Santa experience with real reindeer who are old and getting some TLC here.

Decorated boxes are dotted all over the town.

Their football heyday is behind them but Kildare still celebrate this hero, Bill Squires Gannon.

A Winter Poem

Winter Walk in Courtown Harbour   by Mick O Callaghan

I strolled down the south pier in Courtown.

On a cool and windy December evening.

I see a white teddy bear hanging from the railing

Lit by its own solar powered lighting

With accompanying white notice

I stroll across to read its contents. 

It’s the Samaritans messaging. 

Spreading A light in the darkness 

Reminding people who might be troubled.

To remember 

That their family and friends love them

Writ in striking emboldened green lettering

With their text hello 50808 number in stark red

And Samaritans on 116123 writ underneath also in red

It’s a message of hope and love here at water’s edge.

Meanwhile the waves coming in off the Irish sea.

Are all thunderously rolling on to the sandy shore

 And powering their waters up the canal. 

Where the huge swell makes navigation impossible.

There is no inward or outward shipping traffic.

Along the pier the empty fish boxes

Lie piled up, neatly caged away.

The few boats in the harbour bob up and down.

In the choppy waters of the inner harbour.

It is a bleak scene with an icy wintry breeze.

Blowing its chilly breath across the waters.

All walkers are feeling the Baltic blast.

Though well wrapped up, Michelin person style,

Heavy coats, gloves, hats, and snoods

Were all the rage in the harbour fashion stakes

With people treading the quay wall walk.

Across the bay the lifeboat house is open

Yellow light flickers across the water

Reflecting and flickering on a white boat in the bay

I walk around to the North pier.

The area is awash with festive lights.

The summer cone machines lie dormant.

Safely wrapped up in the locked-up kiosk.

The Christmas crib is now in place. 

With its protective vandal proof Perspex front

While the Christmas tree is delivered

Waiting to be dressed up in all its finery.

With its lights and decorations

To show off its festive fashion regalia.

The amusement arcade looks bright and cheery.

Now transformed into a winter wonderland.

The Taravie Hotel is all aglow with Christmas lights.

Hanging like icicles looking so bright

A well-lit tree highlights the corner.

As I walk down towards the lifeboat house

Where the volunteers are busily engaged 

Stringing lights along the roof

To give their base it’s festive glow.

Courtown has entered the festive season.

With its welcoming well-lit Christmas environment

Bringing lots of festive bonhomie

Conviviality, geniality, and cheer to you and me.

A Fact

I told you about my new fact book but I haven’t completely abandoned my old reliable wacky fact source. So here;

Our eyes are always the same size from birth to death, but our ears and nose never stop growing.