Seeking peace and goodwill

Posted on: 1st December, 2014

Category: A West Cork Life

Contributor: Tina Pisco

It’s been going around. Many in West Cork have been stopped in their tracks. The city has not been spared and if Facebook is anything to go by, neither has the rest of the world. Even my sister in Belgium got it. I’m talking about the seasonal flu. This year’s flu seems to be particularly nasty, as it often combines the misery of the vomiting bug with the regular aches, pains, sniffles and coughing.

I was feeling pretty smug. Though the flu had hit our home twice, I had escaped unscathed. Not that it didn’t try to get me too, but I had beaten it. Ever since I ran my last school run, I have taken a vow to take to the bed at the first sign of a cold and it works. When I was still a sleep-deprived working mother, a bad cold in November could linger all the way to Christmas. Now one or two days in bed, and I’m back to full health. It’s worked a treat until last week. Then again I only took to the bed for a day and then launched myself into an early Thanksgiving celebration. Two days later and I was back in sick bay. Which is why I’m writing this wrapped in blanket, a cup of Lemsip by my side.

The older I get, the more my body wants to live in the sunshine and heat of my birth country, rather than the rain and grey clouds of my adopted home. You’d think that over twenty years in West Cork would have cured me, but it only gets worse every year. I cling to the summer like a heroine in a Victorian novel, who refuses to accept that the love of her life has married someone else. This year, the Autumn was so lovely that is was easy to be in denial. Dire warnings of arctic winter weather did not deflect me. It’s my way of coping. If I pretend that winter is not on its way, I won’t really notice until it’s too late. If I’m lucky, like this year, by the time I fully accept that the summer has gone, it’s time for the holiday season.

It starts with Halloween. Though we do not go crazy with the spider web decorations anymore, the sight of glowing Jack-O-Lanterns is the first major step to acceptance that winter is guaranteed. Carving pumpkins and drinking mulled cider forces me to stop dreading the winter and start enjoying the beauty of the dying season. The landscape gives us one last blast of red and orange before its long sleep. The lovely smell of fallen leaves and wood smoke, the warmth of a second duvet, and the cosy huddle around a blazing fire all cushion the blow of short days and cold hallways.

Because of my American heritage, we also celebrate Thanksgiving. There is something wonderful about a holiday that only involves good food in good company. We don’t adhere to the exact date, but have it when it suits the family instead. Sometime around the fourth Thursday in November (the official date), we get cooking. Thanksgiving is said to have originated when the Pilgrims first arrived in the New World, but it didn’t become an official national holiday until October 3, 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation setting aside a national day of thanks, right in the middle of the Civil War. The idea came from a woman called Sarah Josepha Hale, a prominent writer and editor (she also wrote the children’s poem ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’) who campaigned for a national holiday to heal ‘the nation’s wounds’. For me Thanksgiving is like a pre-cursor to the big event in December. While Halloween helps me accept that all things will one day wither and die (including summer!), Thanksgiving is a time of reflection on all the good things that have happened in the past year and to be truly grateful for them. It works its magic every year. We often run around with reams of complaints running through our heads: from water charges, to women’s rights, from small disappointments to major sorrows. To sit at a table with family and friends, and voice out loud all the things you’re thankful for is like a feel-good spell that truly heals. Thanksgiving gives me the peace and goodwill I need to say goodbye to another year. I’m ready to embrace all the tacky tinsel, holly and ivy of Christmas, despite the sniffles.

May your Christmas be merry, may your heart be filled with goodwill to all men, and may your soul be at peace with the world. Let the festivities begin!

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Visiting restrictions in place at Bantry General Hospital due to Flu Presentations

Strict visitor restrictions have been put in place with immediate effect at Bantry General Hospital due to the number of patients who have presented with flu like symptoms.

In the interest of patient care and in order to restrict the spread of the flu virus within the hospital, it is necessary with immediate effect to ban all visitors to Bantry General Hospital, with the exception of following: critically ill patients are restricted to one visitor per critically ill patient and confined to visiting times only, and attendance at the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) and Local Injury Unit (LIU) should only take place if absolutely necessary, only one relative per patient attending these areas.

The elderly, children, pregnant women or young adults, those with chronic illnesses or vulnerable others are advised not to visit. Outpatient, Day care services and routine hospital admissions are not affected.

All infection control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of the flu virus.

People with flu like symptoms are advised to contact their GP by phone in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at Bantry General Hospital.

Bantry hospital staff are asking people to think about all their care and treatment options and keep ED services for the patients who need them most. Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required.
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8th January, 2018  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Cope Foundation's Happy Christmas from Cope Foundation. ... See MoreSee Less

What makes Christmas special? Children and adults we support, our incredible staff, families and supporters - these are the people who make our organisation so special every single day, but especially at Christmas! Meet some of them here... Thank you to the wonderful team at AV3 Media who kindly produced this video for us as a Christmas gift! To make a Christmas donation today, go to We believe that together we can do great things and with your support we can do so much more! Please SHARE our video so that more people can learn about the amazing things that happen at Cope Foundation! Evening Echo; Irish Examiner; The Southern Star; The Avondhu; Cork Independent; West Cork Times; West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork; Bandon Opinion/The Opinion; Vale Star; East Cork Journal; Cork Chamber - Faces of Cork Business; Cork City FC; Cork Institute of Technology - CIT; University College Cork; Corks RedFM 104-106; The KC Show Corks 96 FM; Cork's 96FM; Cork's Best; C103 Cork; Cork Airport; Cork Opera House: The Everyman; Cork County Council; County Cork; Cork City Council; CorkLike; CCCahoots; Cork On Ice; Glow Cork; CIT Cork School of Music; RTÉ Today; Ciaran Bermingham - Actor; Rob & Marian Heffernan; John Spillane; Ger Wolfe; Eimear O'Brien PR; Jack O Rourke; Theo Dorgan; Mahon Point Shopping Centre; Blackpool Shopping Centre & Retail Park

18th December, 2017  ·  

This is the real spirit of Christmas at Caseys of Clonakilty. ... See MoreSee Less

Are you alone or do you know someone who will be alone this Christmas? If so, then we here at Casey’s would like to make your day that little bit easier. We are offering a full Christmas dinner on us! Christmas dinners can be collected Christmas Eve from 12:30pm - 8:30pm. Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas from everyone at Casey’s

15th December, 2017  ·  

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s has just announced its Christmas schedule and it features several programmes of interest to listeners in West Cork.

On New Year’s Day at 12.08 pm we’ll hear highlights from the Éigse Dhiarmuidín Festival that took place in West Cork in early December, remembering musician and broadcaster Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. An Nollaig ar Oileán Chléire is an archive show presented by Mícheál Ó Sé on Wednesday 27 December at 5.30 pm about Christmas on Cape Clear and on Friday 29 December and 5 January at 7 pm, Peadar Ó Riada will bring us very special editions of his Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme from Múscraí. Keep an ear out!
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15th December, 2017  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Garda Síochána - Cork, Kerry & Limerick - Southern Region's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

REMINDER: An Garda Siochana are hosting a Retail Crime Prevention Meeting, to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017. This meeting will be held in the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon. This meeting is one of a series being held across the West Cork Garda Division, in association with Operation Thor, the Garda National Anti-Crime Strategy. The purpose of the meeting is to increase the cooperation between Gardai and the retail sector, ensuring that the current low levels of crime in the locality extends past the busy approaching Christmas season. The meeting will be addressed by the local Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Ian O’ Callaghan, who will discuss burglary prevention, shoplifting, fraud, and cybercrime. There will be a particular focus on cash handling and cash exposure of businesses in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. All aspects of commercial crime will be discussed, and we would strongly urge all businesses to make a special effort to attend on the evening.

28th November, 2017  ·  

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