After the storm

Posted on: 6th March, 2014

Category: A West Cork Life

Contributor: Tina Pisco

It stopped blowing a few days ago, but I still hadn’t really relaxed. It doesn’t help that everyone I meet seems to think that another big storm is on the way. Eight major storms in ten weeks has me sick of hearing the wind screeching around the house. We got off easy compared to many people in West Cork. We only lost a few old trees, and we were only without electricity for 24 hours after the last big one, for which I’m truly grateful. So many in the county got badly hit, with days of no power, flooding and fallen trees. I was particularly thankful for the crews that worked so hard to get the power back on. We lose our water pump during a power cut, and living without running water lost its ‘little house on the prairie’ charm years ago. A day or two is romantic. More than that is just a hard, cold slog. Mind you, thanks to my gym membership, at least I can still have a shower.

I haven’t been outside for a few weeks, preferring to look out the window at the debris flying around, but today was a beautiful, sunny, calm day. We cautiously ventured out, squinting at the unaccustomed sunshine, to survey the land. One thing is for sure — we won’t be needing kindling anytime soon. The place is covered in bits of branches, sticks and twigs, along with a dusting of shredded leaves. It looks like a giant green compost bin exploded above the property. We also seem to have acquired a new tree. There it was, straight as a rod, a 40-foot tree in the middle of a clearing. It took us a while to figure out that it was a giant branch that had been ripped off one of the big spruce that line the drive. It had somehow managed to drop vertically and get lodged in overhead branches. We’ll have to get some friends round to help us cut it down.

The sun had real warmth in it. The breeze smelled lovely. The dogs ran around like mad loons, and I felt myself slowly relax. My shoulders dropped. My head lifted. I realised that I’ve been hunched over for weeks, battling gusts and trying to avoid the freezing rain. I looked around and saw a lovely day. The daffodils are lining the drive and filling in the front field. They haven’t bloomed yet, but one more day should do it. The camellia is covered in fat pink flowers and the snowdrops are spectacular. The vegetable garden seems to have weathered the storm, with leeks and chard ready for picking. As I got some leeks for dinner and picked a big bouquet of camellias, I felt the burden of winter lift like a weight that I hadn’t realised I was carrying. My niece and nephew are over for a visit and the sound of children laughing as they climbed a tree just made the picture complete.

After holding my breath for so long, it’s time to exhale. We may still get snow, hail, winds and rain, but Spring is definitely here. Along with the sense of relief, however, is a new sense of purpose. Spring is the quickening. Time to begin. One walk around the property and I was making lists: clearing, chopping, planting, sowing. I love this time of year. The land starts to wake up and it rings some sort of alarm clock in me. I must have been a bear in a former life. In January and February I can barely get myself off the sofa, but in March I feel that engine revving and I know that in another month, I’ll be raring to go. Which is a good thing: there’ll be loads to be doing by then.

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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17th February, 2018  ·  

Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1jc2tlH75Q
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16th February, 2018  ·  

Vikings talk in Clonakilty!

“The Viking Gold and Silver Hoards from County Cork” is the topic of the next Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage lecture on Thursday 22nd at the Parish Centre starting at 8pm.

It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

In this talk the focus will be on the economy, looking at the gold and silver hoards that were buried in Co. Cork. It will also explore how these hoards were discovered, what happened to them, and where they are now!
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15th February, 2018  ·  

Bandon Toastmasters is a club that helps people overcome Glossophobia, a fear of public speaking. The club is holding a night of inspirational and motivational speakers on February 22 that is a must for anybody wishing to overcome this phobia.
Tickets can be purchased either on the club's facebook page or through eventbrite.

www.eventbrite.ie/e/bandon-toastmasters-presents-ignite-your-potential-tickets-41871052445?aff=es2
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