Sunday, March 1, 2009

What the weather

Last year has possibly given us the worst of weather in years. We returned from a lovely sun holiday to find a mini tornado had hit the garden centre, causing damage to trees and tunnels. The next morning we spent our first day back at work up to our elbows in muck and floods while sporting lovely tans. Last week our water pipes froze due to abnormal, low temperatures. More fun and games. It seems that we are very susceptible to weather. Plants however, soldier on through all and return every spring to bring us joy.

So now is the time to ready the garden for the coming growth:
1. Kill as many weeds as you can, it will greatly reduce labour later in the year.
2. Prune any roses you didn’t get around to yet.
3. Mulch your garden with well rotten manure. It looks great and feeds the garden for the season.
4. Plant bare root hedges, trees, fruit bushes, fruit trees, rhubarb and strawberries. Bare root is cheap, and beat the recession with your own fruit.
5. Prune climbers away from windows and gutters. Prune woody climbers that got out of control. Prune a wisteria by shortening all the whippy stems to pencil length.
6. Transplant any shrubs or small trees before the end of February.
7. Tidy up any herbaceous plants and herbs, cutting off their dead or strangly growth.
8. Start preparing for early sowings of peas, beans and indoor seeds. More on this in our next issue.
9. Keep feeding those beautiful wild birds, and remember to leave some fresh water out on frosty mornings.

Remember; a little work now will save loads later. Enjoy the outdoors when you can.
Catriona Taylor

Matt’s Memories
The Jacksons
I cannot say I knew Margie Jackson but I did know her parents, brothers and sisters. In 1972, when Adam trained Patricia’s Hope to win the English, Scottish and Welsh Greyhound Derbies we all rejoiced at his successes. Sadly, Adam was the first of the Jacksons, which I knew, to die. Adam had the same Christian name as his late father.
Following the deaths of my parents, Hubert did great work for me at my late parents’ home in Ballymore Eustace. Like Myles Lawlor, Hubert was a great fisherman. Hubert I believe was also a good man at darts. When May died recently, I recalled our visits to the Dennisons to see the Grand National on their TV. May ran a Bed and Breakfast at her home at Liffeyview beside the Liffey Bridge. Like my father, May was fond of her cigarettes.
The death of her sister, Kathleen Cowley, came as a surprise to me. When Kathleen, or Kay as she probable preferred to be called, died on November 7 she was the last of the Jackson family to die. I followed the activities of her and her late husband Andy through the pages of the Bugle and its predecessors. A nice photo of Andy and Kay appears in the October 2001 Bugle along with their son, Noel, his wife Virginia and children Joseph and Glynnis. In the Bugle of July 2003 Rose B. O’Donoghue paid tribute to the late Andy and the tribute had photos of both Andy and Kay.
Míchael Murphy
With the passing of Míchael Murphy of Whiteleas, Ballymore Eustace lost one of its most charismatic figures. The Church for Míchael’s funeral Mass was full to capacity as was the case the night before when Monsignor Conway was one of the celebrants. There was so many present at his funeral Mass that I had difficulty in recalling who was there. The main celebrant on both occasions was Fr Dempsey who was related to Eileen. Fr Prenderville of Hollywood was also present on both occasions
People I remember seeing were: - his brothers John Murphy and Joe Murphy; and, his sisters - Maureen Burke, Kitty Murray and Teresa Flood. The beautiful singing of hymns was by Míchael’s relation, Áine O’Neill, accompanied on guitar by retired teacher, Liam Lawler.
Míchael played on the successful Ballymore Eustace team of 1953 and the captain of that team, Kevin Burke, gave a lovely oration in honour of Míchael at the end of the funeral Mass.
Míchael’s racing friends that I saw included: Johnny Browne; Mick McGrath; his brother John; and, his son Michael. I suppose I would fall into that category too. Míchael was a shrewd backer of horses and he often got up the Jackpot with a small investment in it.
When my late father got his first VW in the early fifties, I recall him proudly demonstrating to the Murphy Clan at Liffeydale how his car with its new central heating could get rid of frost from the windscreen in a matter of minutes. In those days that was a major achievement. Míchael was present on that occasion. He was a young man then and fully appreciated the significance of the car’s central heating. A beautiful photo of Eileen and Míchael celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary appeared on the front page of the September 2006 Bugle. In the Bugle of December 2001 another photo of Míchael appears. In it, Míchael had his usual hat on and dark glasses. Rose B. O’Donoghue, Ann Lawlor and Kay Kavanagh also appeared in that photo.
My brother James also attended Míchael’s funeral Mass and gave me a lift to it.
On November 28 I came down to Ballymore Eustace by the 65 Bus. My brother James offered to bring me to Ballymore Eustace but I settled for a lift to Templeogue, which he kindly gave me. At Tallaght, Marian Harney got on and joined me. Marian was coming from a cookery course she is doing in the DIT in Tallaght. I gather her husband Anthony’s mother now lives at Hillside. In times past, I often visited the Harneys. Years ago, the late Míchael Murphy suggested Anthony might be able to help me with a particular problem I had then and Anthony did not disappoint me.
Buglers Get Together
On November 28 the Bugle had its first annual dinner at the Thatch. All our Bugle contributors were present and a number of others as well. The man next to me was Mike Byrne who is involved in promoting juvenile football. I gather Mike lives in Tipperkevin. During the night, Tim H. Ryan, on behalf of the Bugle, presented a cheque to Kathleen Lawlor on behalf of the Senior Citizens Fund. Patricia Donnelly was there but for a while I had difficulty placing her. Eventually, as the late Paddy Monaghan might say, the penny dropped!
Kildare Archaeological Society
On November 29 I had a lovely dinner at the Thatch with Michael (Jim) Mullally of Newbridge and formerly of Bolabeg and Assumpta Terrace. Afterwards Michael and I went to the AGM of the Kildare Archaeological Society held in the Conference Room of Kildare County Council in Naas. Michael was a member of that Society and also knew Eileen Connelly, the President of the Society.
Afterwards, Adrian Muldowney, who was in the Irish Army, showed some shots taken about the time of the Civil war and afterwards. I suspected I knew Adrian and I got talking to him. It turned out we had been in school together in Naas. I also knew Adrian’s wife Phyllis who was also there. In the course of the proceedings, I got acquainted with Mario Corrigan who works with the Kildare County Council and like me is interested in genealogy. Over the years, Mario has done, and continues to do, great work in regard to genealogy.
When the AGM was over, we had tea and buns. Michael gave me a lift back to Dublin.
© Matt Purcell (December 2008)

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