Home at last

Posted on: 9th May, 2016

Category: A West Cork Life

Contributor: Tina Pisco

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit (or to break one). No wonder I feel disconnected. Due to a family bereavement, I’ve been away from home for six weeks. That’s twice as long. Waking up in New Jersey had become routine. Now I’m back and am feeling slightly bewildered. Jet lag is partially to blame. My body falls asleep in the middle of the afternoon and is wide awake at 2am. My mind is even more muddled than usual. Sleep cycles are not the only reason I feel so strange, however. It’s the shock of cultures. Thankfully I don’t have to hit the ground running. I can take the weekend to transition from the surreal yet familiar life I had living in a luxury tower block, back to the very real beauty of the fields that surround me, along with the muck and damp that go with it.

New York City is probably as far as you can get from West Cork. I love the buzz and bling of it. I love its brashness. Everywhere you look is an iconic snapshot. Being raised on a steady diet of American film, television, videos and advertisements makes every street scene — from the sublime to the grotty — seem both exotic and familiar. That makes any stay in America a little surreal. It’s as if you are walking through a film set. The amount of concrete, stone and blacktop is overwhelming. The skyscrapers give me vertigo. The homeless give me vertigo. The number of people, and cars, and trains, and airplanes, and helicopters gives me vertigo. Even after six weeks, I was still gobsmacked by the ride across the George Washington Bridge and into Mahattan, as we drove to the airport to catch a flight home…

The disconnect with nature was the thing I felt most keenly. I missed the landscape. I missed the trees, and the cows, and the green. I missed my pets. I found myself gravitating towards any green leafy corner. I looked out for any birds. I’d walk to the end of the parking lot to check on the squirrels that frolicked in the rubbish bins.

The weather had me topsy-turvy as well. I flew in at the end of March and found myself at over 20C. It then froze for a few weeks, before settling into what everyone called Spring, but what for me felt like a lovely West Cork summer. Flying into a freezing Dublin was a definite shock. In fairness the sunshine has been out most days since I’ve been back, but I’m still lighting a fire; which, may I add, is delightful. I also missed the fire. I don’t like the recycled air and temperature controls one finds in modern America. It is both comfortable and stifling.

I find myself taking big lung-fulls of air every time I step outside. It is a lovely heady feeling (even with the faint sell of slurry!). We’re lucky enough to have our own well, and I also find myself drinking big gulps of water after weeks of the bottled stuff.

The garden has been well tended in my absence and it was such a delight to walk around and check on the progress. We have a fine crop of winter spinach, and the leeks are doing nicely. I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty again. I know that’s when I will have fully transitioned back to being home.

The world is a wonderful place and I think that we should see as much of it as we can during our short stay on this extraordinary planet. I’m lucky to have seen a fair bit of it. I’m even luckier to have found a place to call home, which is more beautiful, more charming, more welcoming and more craic than anywhere else I know. If there was somewhere better, I’d have moved. I was in the local shop when the owner asked me if I missed America. “It might sound crazy” I answered,” but I prefer Ballinascarthy to NYC.” It’s given me loads of food for thought to try and figure out why…

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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 schulldramagroup@gmail.com

For more information please contact hilary.mccarthy6@gmail.com
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9th April, 2018  ·  

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