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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13th April, 2018  ·  

An evening on the 'Balance of Feeling Good' by Clonakilty Gaa Club Health and Wellbeing Committee followed by Guest Speaker, Cork GAA Chairperson, Tracey Kennedy.

Paddy Duggan, former Principal of Clonakilty Community College, will be MC on the night, facilitating a discussion on getting the balance of feeling good.
Contributors on the night are Colm Sheehy, Conor Murray, David Lowney, Denis Murphy, Eoghan Deasy, Sean McEvoy, Thomas Clancy and Treasa O'Brien.
Topics covered will range from awareness and responsibility to yourself and others to the benefits of exercise and nutrition.
The evening is suitable for everyone aged 16 and over from players, members of the community, parents of young and adolescent children, etc.

This is a public event, free of charge and everyone is invited and very welcome to attend.
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12th April, 2018  ·  

The Cast of Harold Pinter’s ‘No Man’s Land’ are on their way to the All-Ireland finals, having won 26 awards, including five best of Festivals, at the Amateur Drama League of Ireland annual three act festivals. The play ‘No Man’s Land, by Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize Winning Author is directed by Jennifer Williams.

One last opportunity to view this multi award winning play at Skibbereen Town Hall, on Saturday 14th of April, before the finals.

Having met by chance in a pub, two aging writers continue a long night of drinking and reminiscing in a stately London home. As the night wears on, their conversation wanders through memories long forgotten or invented. Is their encounter real or a delusion? Are they strangers or do they share a past history? When unexpected guests intrude upon an increasingly surreal evening, the atmosphere quickly changes from friendly to threatening, and the encounter becomes a game of survival.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing

For more information please contact
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