New Year New Day

Posted on: 15th January, 2014

Category: A West Cork Life

Contributor: Tina Pisco

I awoke this morning to an unaccustomed brightness. The sun was warming my back and filling the world with light. Everything is golden. The land is gently steaming, like a fragrant plate of dim sum. My ears are still ringing from the howling winds, and the unfamiliar calm feels a bit odd. It’s not raining but I’m sure the humidity is well over 80 per cent. Everything is wet. Every twig and leaf sparkles with drops. Every dip in the ground has become a paddling pool. The vegetable patch looks like a rice paddy. Ducks are happily floating around in fields where cows usually graze. Water has swollen every trickle, brook and river to bursting and beyond, creating little waterfalls and impromptu streams everywhere. There is a sense of reprieve in the air. Even the animals seem to feel it. The dogs and cats are rolling around on the drive as if it were high summer. It feels like Nature is heaving a huge sigh of relief.

After the battering we’ve had since Christmas, it’s good to hear the birds singing again. One has to wonder how they manage to sit out the storms? I expect that they just hunker down and hang on for dear life like the rest of us. I’ve rarely heard storms as fierce as what we’ve just been through. On St Stephen’s Day it sounded as if a battery of canon were positioned across the valley. Loud booming shook the house. The rain was so hard, it felt like the canon were shooting nails at the windows. The door handle has been tied to the Aga since the holidays and it is a delight to be able to leave the kitchen door open again. In fairness we didn’t have it too bad. We only lost one small tree and never lost power. Floods were small and short lived.

The change in weather, along with the month that it’s in, carries a feeling of new beginnings. I can see the tiny green shoots of the daffodils just peeking above the soaked ground. We still have a chunk of winter to weather, but soon it will be time to begin again. I think that’s why we are so obsessed with making resolutions at this time of year. There is a sense of possibility, without the pressing urgency of summer. You can sense the Spring ahead and yet feel that you still have the time to consider your options. It is a time when we can contemplate what we might do in the coming year from the comfort of our sofa, content in the knowledge that there’s no rush to actually do anything. Most of us will have mentioned a New Year’s resolution in passing. Some of you may have developed the idea and started taking steps to implement these fine new objectives. But unless you’re the type of person who keeps a record of your resolutions, you’ll have probably forgotten 12 months from now. I know I’d have, if it weren’t for the fact that I’m one of those people who have a record.

I’ve been writing a column for many years and the January column almost always has some mention of New Year’s resolutions. The last decade mainly reads like a litany of failure. I have resolved to go walking, learn the piano and stop smoking…As I started to write this column I realised that I don’t really have my 2014 wish list set yet. So, I checked out my 2013 New Year’s column to see what I had written about this time last year.  I couldn’t remember any of it except for the fact that I had made some mention of my New Year’s resolutions. As I read what I had written a year ago, I was gobsmacked. What devilry was this?  In January 2013, I clearly stated three New Year’s resolutions and here I was in January 2014 having pretty much accomplished them. I had resolved to join the gym again, take up archery and eat porridge for breakfast. I go to the gym regularly. Archery has become my new passion. I don’t eat porridge every morning, but I did twice this week and very nice it was too, thank you very much. I would be feeling rather smug if I wasn’t feeling so bewildered. What happened? Did I get older and wiser? Was my list any more achievable than other years? Is there some lesson I can learn about setting goals? I honestly have no idea. Not to worry — I still have a couple of weeks to think about it.

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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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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.
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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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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.
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