Reclaiming the magic

Posted on: 3rd August, 2017

Category: A West Cork Life

Contributor: Tina Pisco

Everyone has been so busy this year. Whether employed or unemployed, married with kids or  single, a bohemian artist or one of Leo’s people who get up in the morning – everyone is extremely busy. Meetings with friends and neighbours are, more often than not, quick chats about how rushed we are. There is always something to be getting on with. Even our leisure time seems fraught with timing. It’s as if setting a frantic pace for ourselves as we go through our frenzied, frazzled day is the only way we can cope with the myriad things we try and squeeze into too little time.

A woman once told me about her mother, who had reared 12 children on a dairy farm. She shook her head in disbelief, but swore that she had never seen her mother rushing. How could that be possible, we both marvelled?

I find this very troubling. After thirty years of child-rearing, I am finally Master of my time. No more school runs, birthday parties to get to, babysitting to arrange, or back-to-school financial chasms to navigate. And yet I too seem to have less time. I can remember taking a rake of children to the beach, or on some adventure, while also writing a novel, working part-time, and keeping the house from falling apart and the land from growing over the house and swallowing us whole. I also baked bread and cupcakes. And yet now that my time is all mine, I find it difficult to take a whole day and just go to the beach on my own. Is my memory playing tricks on me? Did I really have more time, or does it just seem that way in retrospect?

Another thing that I find troubling is that this sense of fleeting time is familiar. It’s why I moved to West Cork n the first place. I wanted to stop being frantically busy. Time was slower in West Cork. That was the real magic of living here. To see it speed up on my doorstep is disconcerting to say the least.

I had been pondering this dilemma in the back of my mind for most of the summer. It simmered away as I agonised over why I couldn’t find the time to go for a swim, or have a picnic on the beach any more. Had I changed, or was it Time itself that had changed? More importantly, how could I slow down?

The answer hit me a few Sundays ago. I was rushing to get us to a friend’s house for a BBQ. I was late because I had decided to bake a banana bread to bring and had to wait for it to be done. I herded my companion, and our American visitor into the car muttering about how I should have baked yesterday. The friend’s house is only a few miles away. There is an excellent back road that winds its way in an almost straight line east from my house to theirs. As I took off across country I saw that I needed petrol, but knew that I’d be fine, as I wasn’t going very far. I can manage at least 20 miles with the light on. Though I had not taken the road for several years, it seemed pretty straightforward. I wasn’t really paying attention as I drove. My mind was occupied with being late and needing petrol. It didn’t see the landscape. It didn’t see the sky, or the cows, or the smudged outline of the mountains in the distance. I took a wrong turn, tried to correct for it, turned again and found myself lost. What should have been a ten-minute journey was stretching to 45 minutes. Our visitor was ecstatic about the magical fairyland surrounding us and took pictures, as I grumbled about my petrol tank. Her mention of fairies reminded me of the Miscean Mara, which is said to be caused by the faeries playing tricks and getting travellers lost. I told our visitor about the pesky fairies and how they had not played tricks on me for years. Before I got any further in fairy lore, my companion took his jacket off, turned it inside out and put it back on. I barely had enough time to explain to our American visitor that it was a way to break the fairy spell by making them laugh, when looking up I saw a standing stone on a hill. I could almost hear them giggling. A few dozen yards down a winding boreen and I was back on the main road not far from my friend’s house. I was delighted. The magic is still out there. You just have to let yourself get lost in 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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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.
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