The Turning

Posted on: 5th September, 2016

Category: A West Cork Life

Contributor: Tina Pisco

We may have been in tank tops and shorts as the sun split the stones for the last few weeks, but one look at the garden and there’s no denying it. The message is clear: we’ve entered the season I like to call The Turning. The Lymes have been turning since July, but they always jump the gun before the other trees and rush into the next season. Now, as September rolls in, everything is at it; the front field is more russet than green, the Sycamores are going brown, and the Beech are having a last purple hurrah before they turn the drive into a golden wonderland. Sunsets have the melancholy sheen of burnished copper, and light up the sky earlier every evening. In the vegetable patch the bounty is wonderful: lettuces, green beans, courgettes, rhubarb, mange-tout, potatoes, chard, peas and the promise of sweet corn. We had a bit of a surprise this year. I was away in March when the seeds trays were sown. The seedlings that I found when I returned looked like courgettes to me. However, once I had put them out in the garden they started to trail along the ground, so I figured that they must be pumpkins. It turns out that they are gherkins…and that they grow very well in West Cork! In the hedgerows the blackberries are still ripening, though the Rowan and Hawthorn are already bursting with colour. This is it lads. Summer is over and Autumn is coming.

We can’t really complain. Summer 2016 wasn’t half bad, with some really spectacular, sunny, hot days. I almost went swimming…until I actually walked into the ocean! It was definitely an ice bucket challenge – so I applaud the many people who played in the surf all summer. You were delightful to watch, and far braver than I.

A shout out to parents as well. I no longer have school age children and I do not miss this time of year one little bit: the queues, the book covering, the tantrums, the uniforms, and above all, the expense of the Back-to-School rush was a shadow that loomed over the last weeks of summer for decades. I am delighted to see the back of it and extend commiserations for all of you who have just been through it.  Exhale and pat yerselves on the back for a job well done.

September always feels a bit frantic whether you have kids or not. That’s part of The Turning. These are the last weeks to get those DIY jobs done, or you will put them on the back burner until next Spring. It’s time for one last frenzied effort before giving up and getting cosy around the fire. We managed to get the roof and gutters done, but the ensuite shower is still a building site. A combination of visitors, family duties, and tradesmen’s availability has expanded this project from a few weeks to the entire summer. However, hope is in sight. The tiling is almost done. With a bit of luck I could be enjoying my ensuite by next month’s issue of the West Cork People.

All around me the countryside is alive with the sound of strimmers, diggers and hammers as the neighbours try to get jobs done. I’ve been watching with interest as one recently built house put the finishing touches on the frontage with a new entrance. It’s lovely and really pulls the whole property together (much like the Dude’s rug in the Big Lebowski). However, I fear that once the concrete has dried it may be adorned with an ornamental gate. They seem to be popping up all over the country: totally useless ornamental gates. A gate is ‘a hinged barrier to close an opening in a wall, or fence’. In other words, it is defined by its function. There is nothing ornamental about a gate. If it only opens and closes it is useless, not to mention an obstacle to driving up to your own house, unless you get one with a remote. Yet this totally useless feature seems to be very popular. Gates close walls or fences. Walls, fences and gates are built to either keep outsiders (like burglars, or marauding hordes) from getting in, or insiders (like cattle, dogs and small children) from getting out. I often drive past bungalows that have tiny stone ramparts and a fancy big gate. There is absolutely no use for a gate whose hinges are attached to an ornamental two foot wall that any determined toddler, or energetic terrier, could scale. It’s like having a drawbridge over a ditch.  I just don’t get it? I can only assume that people get a kick out of driving up to their gate and using a remote control to open it.

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West Cork Flag Day Collections
in aid of Cork ARC Cancer Support House

Cork ARC Cancer Support House’s annual West Cork Flag Day collections are set to take place in Bandon on Friday 21st April and in Castletownbere, Bantry, Ballylickey, Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Kinsale and Macroom on Thursday 27th April, 2017.

Hilary Sullivan, Head of Fundraising / Corporate Affairs at Cork ARC Cancer Support House says: “Please remember on our annual Flag Day collection that all our collectors are volunteers, giving their time freely to raise funds and increase awareness about our cancer support services at our West Cork centre.” Acknowledging the ethos of volunteering being the driving force behind the charity’s work in the community, Hilary also says, “As all of the services at Cork ARC Cancer Support House in West Cork are supported by a large volunteer base, we hope that our volunteer collectors’ generosity of spirit will be rewarded by a warm reception from the public despite the difficult financial conditions experienced by so many people.”
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19th April, 2017  ·  

ECCLES Hotel Glengarriff to host April 30th Wedding Showcase – Newly refurbished ballroom and bedrooms on show – Tasters of Chef Nick Davey’s delicious menus

ECCLES Hotel in Glengarriff has been helping guests to experience West Cork in all its serene beauty for over 250 years. And with the Eccles Team now being led by General Manager Aileen Hanley, that tradition is set to continue.

Aileen joins the historic West Cork Property from Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare where she held the position of Sales & Operations Manager. Firmly re-establishing the award-winning property, during her tenure, along with her husband Patrick (now Park Hotel Kenmare General Manager) Aileen plans to continue her success and work her magic at ECCLES Hotel, along with a dedicated team to bring it back to its former glory and re-establish its place in the local community.

Aileen and the team at ECCLES Hotel will host a wedding showcase on Sunday April 30th from 12 to 5pm. The showcase will present the refurbished Ilnacullin ballroom to couples. The ballroom which can comfortably host up to 320 guests, will be set up in all its splendour to help couples visualise their wedding reception at ECCLES Hotel. Some of the hotel’s newly refurbished bedrooms with stunning bay views will also be available to view on the day.

Rose O’Sullivan, wedding coordinator at ECCLES Hotel said, “As well as larger weddings ECCLES Hotel is a wonderful venue for more intimate wedding celebrations too as well as civil ceremonies and blessings. Couples can come and see all we have to offer and enjoy a prosecco and canape reception at the showcase, to give them a flavour of our delicious new wedding fare by Head Chef Nick Davey.”

For more information visit www.eccleshotel.com, call 027 63003 or email weddings@eccleshotel.com
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19th April, 2017  ·  

Clonakilty Cruinniú na Cásca event

As part of the “Cruinniú na Cásca” initiative, Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage has organised a complimentary guided historical walk of Clonakilty town starting at 12.00 noon at the Michael Collins statue on Easter Monday.

The event is totally free and the walk will be led by Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage committee member, Fachtna McCarthy.
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13th April, 2017  ·  

The Peninsula Players' stage their new play "The Cripple of Inishmaan" on April 28th & 29th in the Beara Bay Castletownbere. Tickets at the door. Unsuitable for younger audiences. Not for the faint-hearted! ... See MoreSee Less

10th April, 2017  ·  

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