Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Birthday wishes to Marie Barrett, who celebrated her 18th birthday around the same time as brother Gerard celebrated his 21st!

Congratulations to Siobhan Brady, Boleybeg and Karl Rice, Portlaoise who were married recently and to Tara Gale, Tipperkevin and Jason Lynam, Blessington on their marriage

Baby news – welcome to “Ali”, baby daughter of Sinead (McLoughlin) and Kenny Conroy who weighed in at 4lb 7ozs but is said to be thriving and no doubt will be ruling the roost by the time she makes 5lbs!
Congats also to Jackie Cremins and Robbie Allen on the birth of a baby daughter – sorry, don’t have name at time of going to press, Baby Allen only arrived a few hours ago!

IN boxed advert Mother & Toddler Group with graphic:
We meet from 10.30am to 12 noon every Tuesday at The Resource Centre excludingthe first Tuesday of the month when we go to The Playbarn in Blessington for 10am.Arrive at any time, leave at any time and come as often or as seldom as you like. New Members always welcome! Contact Fiona at 087 995 6085________________________________________________________________________Table Quiz raised €3,300
€3,300 was raised at a table quiz in Paddy’s last month in aid of Oblates Lourdes Fund, a group of nursing and medical staff at Naas Hospital who take 130 people with physical disability to Lourdes every year. Finola O’Brien – and not Lorraine as I wrote last month - was delighted with the generous response. Special thanks to Grainne, Pat and staff who hosted the event; MC Tom O’Rourke who, like a vintage wine, gets better with age; to all who donated auction items and spot prizes and to all who turned out on the night to support. Well done, Finola and friends, great night, great cause, good work!
The Late Alice Flood
Alice Flood, aged 92, passed away several months age at Naas Hospital after a brief illness. Alice was predeceased by her brother Peter who died at a young age of eighteen in 1926 and her two sisters, Kathy and Mary who returned to Ballymore in 1985 and both died soon afterwards. The remaining girls, Nan and Alice worked the family farm at Donode, cycled everywhere and were both in excellent health until Nan’s death in 1991. Alice stayed on at Donode where she loved Coronation Street and the weekly TV soaps. Indeed Alice kept up to date with current affairs, the world of politics and yet loved to read the gossip of the celebrity world in glossy magazines!. She loved her annual outing to Punchestown Races and even the occasional trip to The Curragh. Neighbours say the Flood sisters were extremely kind and generous; others recall working at the Flood farm as seasonal labourers and say it was the best house to get a feed served up and decent pay. The late Alice Flood, ‘a decent skin’, the last of the Flood sisters of Donode, may she rest in peace, amen.
I saw Mummy kissing Santa Claus . . .

It was a cold winter’s night, chestnut’s roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, and there I was standing in my living room, dressed up in my Santa costume.
I had decided that this year I was going to deliver my Christmas Sermon dressed as Santa Claus – if Santa wasn’t confusing enough for children to understand, I was about to confuse them even more by appearing as a brown-faced Santa! So there I was stood in front of the open fire dressed in my Santa’s outfit and Catherine (my wife) leant over and kissed me. Unbeknown to us both, our eldest child, Joshua, at that very moment, had popped his head round the living room door to see his mummy snogging (did I say snogging? I meant kissing – uhhmm!) Santa Claus!
The next evening as I was putting Joshua to bed and just after I had finished reading a story to him, he said, “Dad is it alright for Mummies to kiss other people?” Where was this leading, I thought – had he seen Catherine kissing another man??? “Sometimes, I said, it depends who it is. Why are you asking?” “Well, last night I couldn’t sleep so I came downstairs to get a glass of water and as I peeped round the living room door I saw Mummy kissing Father Christmas in front of the fire and she kissed him like she kisses you, Daddy!” Phew! I told him, ‘it was okay to kiss Santa because he’s very special’ and then looked up to heaven and thanked God that that was all that Joshua had seen – because had he continued to stare he would have been shocked at what he would have seen next – Yes! You guessed it! I put on my Elf costume and not what your naughty minds were thinking!!!
When I first came to Rocester, where I now live and work, I met a young woman down the Main Street who asked me, ‘Was I new in the village’. “Yes, I replied.” “Do you work at the Curry House? She said. Being the person I am, I replied, “Yes, I do! But I’m also your new Vicar. So I can christen your child or perform your wedding and cook you a lovely curry buffet as well. The girl not seeing the joke replied, “Oh, how lovely – I love curry Vicar!”
Thinking about these two stories made me think about mistaken identities. When God sent his son Jesus into our world the people mistook him for someone else. Some wanted a King to rule over them so they wanted Jesus to behave like a great King. Some wanted a mighty warrior to fight for them to make Israel great again and so they wanted Jesus to take up the sword. But God sent his son as a baby, as a King born not in some fancy palace but born into the hearts and souls of mankind. He sent his son Jesus as a mighty warrior not to kill his people but to stand-up and fight against evil in the world.
Well gotta go – Catherine’s just got home – the fire’s lit and it’s time to put that Santa costume on again!!!

Catherine, Joshua, Amelia, & Bethany join me in wishing all our friends in Ballymore Eustace a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

With love, Kesh x x

And indeed our best Christmas wishes go to Kesh, Catherine, Joshua, Amelia and Bethany. Nollag shona duit.

Christmas Recollections.

In this consumerist and secular age that we now live in, a trip to New York is a must; some people are asking the question, ‘have we lost the run of ourselves’. Spend till you drop is the new mantra. Church leaders of all persuasions are asking, ‘have we lost the real meaning of Christmas? But ordinary folk, especially those in the vintage class who remember when times were tough, are also querying this mad rush to spend, spend, spend. Is money going out of date? Go against the flow and you’ll earn the name Scrooge.
Way back in1993 Gay Brabazon, who was and is involved with St Brigid’s Cathedral Restoration Fund wrote to twenty people living in Co Kildare asking for their recollections of Christmas either in prose or poetry. I was one of the twenty. The concept was simple. A Carol service was held in the Cathedral, which usually consists of a carol sung, followed by a lesson from the bible. The format was changed and instead of a lesson either a piece of prose or a poem was read out alternatively by two actors, the late Donal McCann and Julie Byrne. The Cathedral was packed and the evening was considered a great success.
The following poem, some would call it ballad, some would call it doggerel, was contributed by yours truly, and the two events mentioned are indelibly printed on my memory for all time.

Christmas, --- I’ve seen more of ‘em than I’d care to mention,
But ther’s one or two that come to mind, and I’ll bring ‘em to your attention.
They’ve nothing to do with turkey and ham, bright lights, store music, an’ the usual scam.
No, but they’ve left fond memories of the human race,
When love an’ kindness, set the pace.

It’s Christmas week, an’ 20ยบ below, the Canadian woods lay deep in snow.
I’m skiddin’ logs an no great plan, - when my partner Joe, an Indian man
Says, “Hey, you doin antin for Christmas? - You come with me,
Ma’ll fix us sumptin, - you wait an see”.
A tin of beans was our Christmas fare, warmed up upon a heater,
Beat turkey dinner all t’hell, - an’ the washin’ up was neater!
For ‘twas Joe’s Ma, a big fat squaw, who opened up that tin,
An’ opened up her big warm heart, an’ welcomed me, -- right in.

The years roll on, - I’m a married man,
With a blond haired daughter, - my greatest fan.
It’s the school Christmas party; an’ I’m Santa Claus
Giving our presents mid great applause.
The scene is wild, the kids full of glee
An’ when her turn comes, she climbs up on my knee.
The moment is magic, - one I’ll always recall
Then full of excitement she runs down the hall …
Saying, “Mum oh Mum! I’m really so glad,
I’ve been talkin’ to Santa, -- and he’s just like - my Dad”

An so dear folk, as we approach the Festive Season, -
Be it Christian, Pagan, or for any other reason, -
Age, Creed, or Race, riches or squalor, ain’t nothin’ to do
With what we have to offer!

May I wish all readers a very Happy Christmas and luck in the New Year. Jeffers.

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