The timeless unspoiled beauty of the Gap of Dunloe is captured in December 2017 by a man who appreciates the beauty of Kerry and captures it lovingly in photos….Chris Grayson.


Winter in Goa

It’s a long way from O’Connell’s Avenue to Goa. Maria Sham is a loyal follower of Listowel connection and she has already shared her memories of a happy childhood spent in her O’Connell’s Avenue home.

Maria Sham today

I don’t know if Maria is in this photo but these are the people she knew growing up.

Maria now lives in England and from there she recently took the holiday of a lifetime to Goa. Here the weather, the lifestyle, the economy, everything is a world away from our side of the world. Here are some of  Maria’s photos.

As you can see she spent much of her time on the beach.

This last photo is of a young man harvesting betel nut. Betel is the main ingredient in paan.

“If you’ve never
tried paan — a post-meal mainstay at social gatherings
and banquet halls in India — it can be a bit hard to explain to
the uninitiated. Part breath freshener, part digestive aid, paan is essentially a wad of dried fruits, spices
and seeds wrapped into a large green leaf from the betel nut plant. Think of
those little candied fennel seeds you spoon into your hand at Indian
restaurant, times 1,000. With paan, you pick up
the entire triangular-shaped package and stuff it into your cheek pocket,
chewing a few times to get the juices moving. The betel leaf, a mild stimulant,
turns brick red as it’s masticated and puts a slight pep in your step. After
all the juices have been released, you spit out the mushy bolus and toss it in
the trash — breath fresher, stomach lighter and head abuzz.” Source: Wikipedia.


New Business on Charles St.

Do you remember I posted this photo and I told you I’d tell you what shop was going in here? Well the answer is that it is not a shop at all but Slimming World.


My Favourite Shop

When I visited my favourite shop recently I saw some new faces. It’s great to see some lovely sympathetic women joining the welcoming friendly and invariably cheerful staff in this excellent shop. You’d never know what treasure you will find in Listowel’s Vincent de Paul shop and at a very affordable price.


Another Eamon Kelly description of Christmases in  the 1920s

The Season of
Light by Eamon Kelly from

The Rub of the
Relic 1978

No word of a lie
but Christmas was something to write home about when I was small. Oh, the way
we looked forward to twilight on Christmas Eve, for when darkness fell it was
Christmas Night, the greatest night of all the year. We youngsters would be up
at the crack of dawn that morning to have the house ready for the night.

Berry holly would
have to be cut and brought in to deck out the windows, the top of the dresser,
the back of the settle and the clevvy, We’d bring ivy too and put a sprig of
laurel behind the pictures, above the lintel of the door and around the
fireplace. But we wouldn’t overdo it for, if we did our mother would cut it
down a bit, reminding us that she’d like to feel she was in her own home for
Christmas and not in the middle of a wood!

Well The
transformation we would bring about in the kitchen with all the greenery! But
we weren’t finished yet The Christmas candles would have to be prepared; these
were of white tallow as thick as the handle of a spade and nearly as tall. In
some houses, they’d scoop out a hole in a turnip and put a candle sitting into
it.  A big crock we’d use. We’d put the
candle standing into that and pack it around with sand. If you hadn’t sand,
bran or pollard would do.

When the candle was firm in position we’d spike sprigs
of holly or laurel into the sand about the candle and we’d have coloured paper
too to put around the outside of the crock to take the bare look off it. With
that same coloured paper the girls in the family, if they were anyway handy,
could make paper flowers to decorate the holly. Then what would cap it all was
a length of young ivy to spiral up around the candle – it looked lovely. That
done, we would go through the same 
manoeuvre until
there was a candle in a crock for every window in the house.

(more tomorrow)


Christmas Jumper Day

Staff at Listowel Credit Union took part in Radio Kerry’s Christmas Jumper Day for St. Vincent de Paul and they posted this photo on Twitter.