September songs

Posted on: 10th September, 2015

Category: A West Cork Life

Contributor: Tina Pisco

There’s something about September. Time seems to speed up as the Lyme trees in the front field turn brown, reminding me that Autumn is just around the corner. I no longer have school age children, so I don’t have the mad scramble (and expense!) that defined the change of season for over twenty years, but I still find that I start ‘getting busy’ with a sense of urgency that I haven’t felt since last May. This is the time to finalise plans, put those plans into action, assess what can still be achieved, and get stuck in before the winter. I know that I won’t get to it all, but I’ve always felt that if I plan to do ten things, I might get two or three done.

This year we’ve finally managed to redecorate the back halls, which we started last year. We prepped them late last Autumn, but by November they were too dark and gloomy to work in. The cold and damp make it impossible for paint to dry, so we lived with a half prepped back hall for a year. The ‘back-back’ hall (into the garage) had a bit of leak from the bathroom above, and it took all summer to dry out the wall. We also needed to put in a cat flap, so that the little window in the back hall does not need to remain open, blowing NE gales through the house in the winter. None are really big jobs, but all those fiddly details: scraping off old paint, filling the cracks, measuring the window, finding a cat flap etc, add up quickly. Not to mention the hassle of tracking dusty footsteps around the house, and piling everything that lives in the back halls into the front hall, blocking the stairs and adding to the general sense of mess. Now that they are done, I have high hopes of tackling the garage and repainting the kitchen before I start spinning my winter cocoon by the fire.

The land is also singing out for attention in September. It is not the strident symphony of Spring, proclaiming that every week counts. It’s more of a gentle folk ballad that croons: times a’wasting…There are tasks that need to be done… Living in West Cork has taught me that all tasks are weather dependent and should be tackled when the Weather Gods look favourably on our landscape. If you paint a room on a fine day, you can be sure that it will be raining the day that you planned to work in the garden. Strimming, which is a major task in the summer, is definitely weather dependant. Ideally you should have a succession of fine days, otherwise the strimmer gets blocked and the cuttings clump together and are impossible to rake. If you leave the clumps unraked, you will wake up one morning the next Spring to find that the garden has had a makeover, and is now dotted with tiny hills. Thankfully my weather forecast skills have been greatly improved this summer. The dryer broke down last June and we decided to delay the expense of buying a new one. This summer was so wet that I’ve become an expert at noticing the smallest change in the light, dropping whatever I’m doing, and rushing out to take the washing off the line. I learned the hard way, having washed a set of sheets three times during the gales in July.

Not to worry – another thing that I’ve learned is that it’s not the end of the world living with a half-prepped back hall, or not finishing the garden to Chelsea Show standards. As September turns into October, I know that my to-do list will dwindle, whether I accomplish my tasks or not, until the only thing on it will be: Buy a dryer.

On a different note: I am pleased to announce that I will be taking up the post of Artist in Residence at the Clonakilty Community Arts Centre. Please join me in celebrating ‘Culture Night’ on Friday September 18, with a free evening of music, poetry, theatre and songs; along with the launch of an exhibition of art created by the children of Just-One.org, a charity that helps children in Nepal and that is based in Clonakilty. See you there!

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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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7th September, 2017  ·  

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