Wintry Listowel in December 2019
Mike the Pies Rebranding
Mike the Pies has been painted green for as long as I can remember. All that’s changed in December 2019. This popular music venue, where half of Listowel would rather be, is now a sophisticated black.
There I was walking on Upper William Street when I spotted the sea change.
Returning later I saw Mr. Signs himself, Martin Chute, painting the new sign.
Doesn’t his I look a bit like a glass at this stage?
Spotting his friend, Eileen Worths, Martin stopped for a chat.
I was anxious not to distract the master at work. But the ever affable signwriter took a minute to greet me.
Mattie’s Letter takes a Tongue in Cheek Swipe
Uh! oh! The Mistletoe
( from Raymond O’Sullivan on Facebook)
When the kissing has to stop!
Mistletoe is a symbol of love, affection and friendship. It is also considered lucky and a protection from evil spirits and the devil, The origin of these associations goes back to Norse mythology and the legend of the goddess Frigg, wife of Odin, and their son Baldur – too long for a FB post. Google it! Suffice to say that Frigg’s tears transformed into the berries on the mistletoe, and, on the resurrection of her son from the dead, she was so overjoyed that she blessed the plant and vowed to kiss everyone who passed beneath it.
So the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe goes back a long way, though nowadays it is confined to the Christmas period. Some accounts say the proper procedure is that a berry is plucked from the plant each time a couple kisses and when all the berries are gone, the kissing has to stop. Ah, the bashful days of youth!
In the light of the almost daily charges of unwelcome and inappropriate sexual approaches in the workplace and elsewhere, this long-established tradition of kissing under the mistletoe must be in grave danger of being discarded. We can only hope that the coarse conduct and boorish behaviour of some, including those in high places, does not jeopardize this age-old, innocent Christmas custom and consign the blameless mistletoe to the compost heap of history.
Spotted In Macroom
Like Listowel, Macroom has retained much of its old character. When I stopped there for a spot of lunch lately (I highly recommend The Castle Hotel) I took a stroll around and spotted these gems.
A veritable old curiosity shop
Next door was a draper’s shop which still hangs the merchandise outside the door.
Next year, 2020 Listowel Writers Week will celebrate its 50th birthday. I’m planning to post some photos of memories of the festival down through the years. So I’m appealing to my Listowel Connection family to help me out.
If you have a memory or a photo you would be willing to share please drop me an email.