Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bits ‘n Bobs with Rose
Barretstown Gig Guide! – place this across the top of the page, please and prioratise the events and dates, particularly The Chieftains gig…….
Buy a Bandana for Barretstown- available for only €2 at participating Topaz, Superquinn and Xtra-vision outlets until the end of Oct. Our aim is to raise €200,000 to bring more than 50 kids to camp at Barretstown next year!

Christmas Concert with The Chieftains- tickets now available for our Christmas concert on Tuesday, November 24th with the Chieftains supported by local group ARC. Tickets are €40 and available from Elaine at Barretstown “Run for a Good Claus!”- come to the ‘Barretstown Santa Dash’ – Sunday 13th Dec, entry €25 (including your Santa costume) 5K or 10K runs around the castle, again, more details on .

A massive thanks to everyone who supported our Join the Stars Family Fun Day, we’re still busy counting the cash! Total to follow soon – Ruth Craig, Barretstown.

Please put photo of Mona on the Left Hand side of the page with the caption as follows

Farewell Mona – photo from December issue 2007, page 1
Well, God Bless to the late Mona Nugent pictured above with Brendan Grace at the senior citizen’s party in 2007.
Another character gone. Quick with the Bingo numbers, light on the feet and sharp with the tongue – Mona, we will miss you – your 80th birthday party was one of the jolliest parties I was ever at. May Pat and Mona be re-united and rest in peace, amen. (I think, Mona, you’d prefer a quickstep followed by a steady waltz…)

Dynamic Duo in aid of Spina Bifida
Where on earth do Janet and Steve Deegan get their energy? What with both of them working and raising their own family, how on earth do they find time to support everything local…….. Isn’t Janet only back from South Africa where she partook of the Niall Mellon Housing Initiative and Steve is up at the GAA pitch with the Juveniles several evenings a week….
Well, now they are preparing for the Dublin City Marathon in aid of The Irish Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus at the end of October (it’s probably the only time they get to see one another….).

Middle Aged Student
Well Readers, when the rest of the country is worried about their job being secure, Mad Rosie here woke up one morning and said; “I’ve enough of this crack (work), it’s time I experienced the traumas of the student world…”
Truth be told, I’ve probably woken up every morning for the last three years telling myself I need to make dramatic changes to my life….I may have mentioned in a previous article how shocked I was when discussing age and the ominous onset of the “Big 50” with former school pals recently. There I was bragging how I couldn’t see what the big deal was when a young person replied: “Yeah, but it’s kinda worrying when at fifty, you know your life is two thirds over…..”
So, before I need a zimmer frame, I decided with all the wisdom and forward planning of an earwig, to resign and head to college. And Lord knows, the government are encouraging as many as possible to return to education, there’s grants everywhere or so we are told………My ass, there is; there are grants for anyone who has been unemployed for nine months (I believe they may make exceptions after six) but for a person who has twenty years of paying PRSI, there is sweet friggin’ nothing. Actually, I lie – I am holding out for the Back To Education Grant from the VEC which is €325 per month.
Now I didn’t expect to qualify for the dole immediately but I did think that I would sign on in September and be eligible after a certain length of time but no, can’t sign on until the end of college next year. Mmmh, I don’t get that one; I’ve paid stamps, raised a family and paid my own way through life for the past two decades. Now I’m trying to attain a recognised qualification in Journalism/Media Studies but I’m entitled to nothing. Yet if I had lived off the state for the past months or even years, they would supplement me through college.

I’ve read the Student Notebook on how to save money - “Buy pastas and rice” – nothing in the manual as to how mature students are to pay their bills on €325 a month………. And despite all the waffle about eating apples, fish and a balanced diet, there’s nothing about preparing for midlife or the menopause either….

So, Readers – for the next two years, don’t ask me to buy anything over €5 in support of charities. If anyone wants to start a Mad Rosie Fund, fine. Rita Garvey or ‘Cinta, do you reckon you could walk next year’s marathon in aid of my third level learning – I could get De Perfectos to design a tee-shirt for you. And that’s another thing, when the younger students come in talking about their debs or feeling hung over, I don’t hear any of them saying they were up early to hang out the washin’……. (And before you say, I left a ‘good’ job, the gloom of expected lay-offs hung heavily over my fellow staff).

More of me student experiences next month……..

Vincent de Paul Shop
Our local Vincent de Paul outlet is appealing for donations of all good quality clothes, bric-a-brac, toys, books etc
Opening times : 9.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday with new opening time on Saturday from 10am till 12pm.
Great time to do some early pre-Christmas de-cluttering whilst also supporting a worthy charity.

Bits ‘n Bobs with Rose
FAIR DEAL – and about time too!
I can’t say I am looking forward to the next Budget at all but I was heartened to hear Minister for Health, Mary Harney confirm recently that the government/HSE will introduce the “Fair Deal” scheme at the end of October. (The scheme was initially to have been introduced in September). Currently, the cost of care for an elderly person in a private nursing home is an average of €900-€1,000 per week – and that, in many cases, doesn’t include laundry services.

We are fortunate in Co Kildare to have a superb state-run home for the elderly in St Vincent’s of Athy but the list for same is longer than the dole queue. So what does a family do when they are faced with accepting their parent or loved one is no longer fit to live alone or even within the family group, when they nessecitate round-the-clock assistance.

Subvention is the scheme to date available to our senior citizens. That takes the value of your savings, your family home if you have one and any other assets you have. The maximum any one person can receive is €300 a week – and it’s usually less for most applicants as the value of your assets will negate against you. With a state pension, that’s a hell of a balance to make up per week – your savings wouldn’t be long about disappearing with over €4,000 a month to be paid!
The Fair Deal system works around the value of your assets also but fees to be paid from your estate after your death.
Five percent of a person’s estate will be reclaimed by the HSE per annum but only a maximum of three years is allowed so therefore a person in long term care would have fifteen percent of their estate owed to the health services.

At least that’s the information I’ve been given. It is certainly much fairer than what’s available now. Currently, the system favours those with wealth who can choose the nursing centre of their choice whereas another elderly person may have to remain in hospital long term until a bed becomes available in a state-run home or take a bed in a facility which is not close to home, therefore alienating them from their familiar townsland, friends and family.

I hope the Fair Deal scheme is implemented quickly and with ease; it’s hard enough for a person to accept their independence and quality of life is changed forever without loading them with tonnes of red tape and paperwork.
Definitely, a fairer deal for all.

Ballymore Eustace Art Group Exhibition & Sale– Frances, can you use an art graphic here, please
Ballymore Inn, Wednesday 25th November
Aileen Murphy tells us our very talented local art group are hosting an exhibition of their work in the Ballymore Inn on Wednesday 25th November with the official opening performed by racing personality, Tracy Piggott at 8pm. This year, the group are generously the vital services of Breast Cancer Research. There’s been tremendous talent on display in previous exhibitions so please do come along on the night – you will be sure to enjoy the art and ambience.
There will also be a silent auction and a raffle on the night – what’s a silent auction? That rules me out………

Car Boot SaleCar boot sale will be held at the main car park, Cross & Passion College, Kilcullen on Sunday, November 8th. Gates open at 9am with sale ongoing to 3pm. One car space - €10::one van space €15. Many students from Ballymore Eustace and surrounding townslands attend CPC so all support appreciated.

Painting, Drawing & Calligraphy
With Josephine Hardiman

Jospehine Hardiman, continues her One Day Workshops at her studio near Punchestown over the Winter months. Why not brighten up those long dark days of Winter and learn some new skills. Josephine teaches both beginners and improvers and with a maximum of 6 persons per class, you are assured of individual tuition and demonstration.
October 24th Watercolour, Landscape Painting
November 14th Drawing with Pastels/ Flower Studies
November 24th Drawing with Pastels/Landscapes
December 6th Graphite & Charcoal Drawings
Classes are held on Saturdays from 10.30am to 3.30pm. all materials supplied with lightl lunch

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