Time for a rant

Posted on: 4th June, 2014

Category: A West Cork Life

Contributor: Tina Pisco

I had a look at my columns so far this year and I realised that I’ve yet to have a good rant. Having a rant is like a spring cleaning. Open the windows and clear all that leftover winter angst with a big, loud yell. A really good rant isn’t about anything really important like the environment or human rights. A proper rant isn’t going to change the world. It’s about letting off steam, and nothing gets a good head of steam going than a tiny, little niggle that you know shouldn’t matter, but which bugs the beejasus out of you.

I found myself having a lovely little rant in the pub yesterday. The return of the fine weather has made me very frustrated. I’m not a big ice cream eater, but I believe that one can’t properly celebrate the summer without an ice-lolly. This is not a planned pleasure. In fact, part of the joy is the spontaneity of stopping for petrol on a hot, sunny day and treating yourself to a cold, orange ice-lolly. My favorite used to be ‘Sparkles’, a skinny orange lolly that cost 10cents. There were also ‘Robin Hoods’, ‘Flintstones’, along with other now forgotten brands in various fruit flavours of dubious origin. ‘Fat Frogs’ may be a cocktail these days, but it started out as an ice-lolly. A fat frog was of such dubious fruit origin that it became a distinct flavour. Like all ice-lollies it came wrapped in a wonderfully cold, icicle covered, sticky wax paper that you had to peel off carefully, or your frozen fingers would be glued with little bits of wrapper. Eating an ice-lolly was a simple pleasure, but one which I cherished from the frozen fingers to the sticky chin. They were also incredibly cheap. A car load of children could all be treated to an ice-lolly without going without dinner that night.

Yet in service stations up and down the breath of this Fair Island there is not an ice-lolly to be found anymore. This trend started a few years ago as the cheaper ice-lolly slowly disappeared from the ice cream freezer. All that was left were the overpriced ice-lollies made with real orange juice (making it one of your five-a-day!). Now they too are gone. I buy the occasional ice-cream sandwich, but it’s not the same. What happened? When did the ice lolly market collapse? Why is everything in the ice cream freezer over-priced chocolate covered, gooey confections? I mourn the simplicity of a straightforward ice-lolly. My friends pointed out that ice-lollies are still available in supermarkets, but they are missing the point. I don’t want a box of them. I only want the one, and I don’t want to eat it at home. I want to eat it as I drive down a country road with sunroof open and the radio blaring classic golden oldies. Is that too much to ask?

Another pet peeve is the Yellow Box. It should be pretty obvious: “You must not enter the yellow box junction unless you can clear it without stopping”. Yet every time I approach one, my anxiety levels sky rocket. Will I have time to clear the yellow box? Should I stop before the box? If I chose the former and get stuck, I’ll look like an eejit and block the cross traffic. But if I choose the former, some eejit will beep his horn, or over take me. There is a new yellow box just after the Wilton roundabout on the road into the city centre. If you stop before the yellow box some eejit will invariably come speeding down the bus lane and beep for you to move alone. Make up your minds people!

Finally, I understand that politicians feel the need for election posters. Frankly, I’m not sure that they sway voting one little bit. They might be more effective if they were designed with the motorist in mind. After all, most posters are put up along roads. Yet I found many posters difficult to decipher when zipping by at 80km/hr. I kept trying to figure out if the grinning face was going for European or local elections. Can we have some sort of standard, please? Or scrap them all together, and use a 21rst century technology for engaging with the electorate that doesn’t result in a mountain of paper? On that note I would like to point out to the candidate, who will not be named, but who nailed his election poster to a tree on my property that his effort will not end up on the scrap heap. Election posters make great target practice for archery.

There. I feel better already.

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17th October, 2018  ·  

SuperValu and AsIAm host unique exhibition in Clonakilty

SuperValu and AsIAm.ie will host a unique exhibition which will enable the entire town of Clonakilty to experience what it is like for people with autism to deal with the world around them. The exhibition, which is free to visit, will be hosted in the Clonakilty Parish Hall from 10am to 4pm on Thursday 27th September. The exhibition represents the final part of the four month journey the town has been on to becoming Ireland’s first ever fully accredited Autism Friendly Town and guests are invited to join on a ‘pop-in’ basis.

The exhibition uses an engaging “questions and answers” format as well as a series of activities to answer people’s questions and enable visitors to step into the shoes of those with the condition. This includes using sound, smells, touch and sight experiments to bring neurotypical (those without Autism) people into the world of those with the condition.

“People with autism often experience a sense of being overwhelmed and confused by what others see as normal life, and this exhibition will allow those attending to understand this more than they have done before,” according to the CEO of AsIAm Adam Harris. “Through visiting this exhibition we believe people will be much better equipped to engage with people with autism who they meet regularly in their day-to-day lives.”

Visitors are given an MP3 player which gives them an audio guide through 15 stages which allow them experience different aspects of life with autism.

Under SuperValu and AsIAm’s guidance, the town of Clonakilty has undertaken a commitment to become fully Autism Friendly – a first for anywhere in Ireland. Over the last four months Adam Harris, founder of AsIAm, and his team have been working with the entire community to receive official Autism Friendly Accreditation.

To do this the town as a whole must deliver:

Engagement and training 25% of businesses and voluntary organisations
Engagement and training of 50% of public services
Engagement and training of 50% of school communities
Engagement and training of 50% of healthcare professionals
Engagement of 3 employers
Reaching 25% of the town’s population
The town has almost reached these targets with this exhibition representing the last piece of the journey reaching and educating as many of the community as possible.

The exhibition was developed by the AsIAm Youth Leadership Team, a group of young people with Autism who act as advocates for the organisation. It is part of a larger campaign to engage young people in Autism issues which includes a social media campaign and a website, youthhub.asiam.ie

Around 1 in 65 people in Ireland live with Autism and are to be found in every community and school in the country. They apply for every type of job but are often misunderstood, excluded or left behind due to a lack of understanding in society.
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25th September, 2018  ·  

Schull Regatta have made some changes to the schedule due to adverse weather. Still lots of fun to be had... ... See MoreSee Less

10th August, 2018  ·  

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