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May 27, 2016
05:17 PM


Missatango (500x332).jpg

Síle's choir perform the Missatango by Palmieri in front of the altar in Beziers cathedral on Friday 13th- they were superb.

Pyrenees at Sea
May 12, 2016
06:59 AM

Pyrenees at Sea

Pyrenees at sea (500x190).jpg

Enchanting view from the terrace this morning after five solid days of (most uncharictaristic ) rain.
The mist over the Orb makes it look like we are at sea and the Pyrenees, covered still with snow, are just visable above the mist- right down to Andorra to the naked eye (if not the camera).
So glad that Eileen and Phil will see some sun before heading back to Dublin.

Wonderful meal last evening in Damian and Flo's La Maison in Tourbes (rapidly becoming one of my favourite restaurants) Riz-de-Vaux with tiny Feve, and a Chocolate Praline with Basil Icecream, plus a starter of Veal Carpaccio were all superb.

Jon Buckley's Mistake (from 2005)
06:55 AM

Jon Buckley's Mistake (from 2005)

This is a repeat of a blog I posted in December 2005

About four years ago Sile and I were in Cork and I noticed a glass in the window of an antique shop in Fenns Quay.
On one side was engraved the name
Rev. J Buckley
on the other
Cork Exhibition 1902
I was keen to buy it but it turned out to be above my limit.
The next time in Cork I decided to take the plunge anyway but found it gone, obviously sold.

I discovered on my next birthday that Sile instructed Deirdre, then a student in Cork, to try and get it for me and she found that it hadn't been sold merely brought home by the antiquarian for his own mantlepiece.
He was persuaded to sell it, and I had a surprise birthday present .
I was inspired to fiction by it and wrote a very short story called
"Jon Buckley's Mistake"
This was heavily derived from a verse in a great folk song of Cork
"The Bould Thady Quill "
which my brother-in-law Milo Lynch has been known to sing from time to time.
Here is the relevant verse, (and the chorus):

At the Cork exhibition there was a young lady,
Whose fortune exceeded a million or more,
But a poor constitution had ruined her completely,
And medical treatment had failed o'er and o'er,
"Oh Doctor", said she, "I know what tis ails me
And will cure this disease that is threatening to kill
Give over your doctors, your medical treatment,
I'd rather one squeeze from the Bold Thady Quill."

For ramblin', for rovin', for football or courtin',
For drinkin' black porter as fast as you'd fill,
In all your days rovin, you'd find none so jovial,
As the Muskerry sportsman the Bould Thady Quill.

And here is the piece of fiction:

Jon Buckley's Mistake

Jon Buckley was always careful to spell his christian name without the h. It showed his distance from the common or garden John.
Not that this distance was of any great importance to anybody other than Jon.
It wasn't as if the Buckleys had any claims to grandeur, the appearance of money maybe, but even that from trade, from the shop his Father ran in North Main Street. It was however a very respectable drapery shop, frequented even by Protestents for his Mothers fine eye for silks and muslins. She it was who had christened him Jonathan and she it was who had her heart set on him going to Maynooth and becoming a priest.
This was his dilemma at the moment as he made his way down the Mardyke to the showgrounds of Corks great Exhibition.
There was a lot to be said for the priesthood, the respectful glances from his peers,the satisfaction of a sermon well delivered to a captive audience and even the hope of a spiritual reward at the end of life. But then there was the ladies.
Jon had done enough time in the shop to be aware of the great looks of the young fashionable ladies from Sundays Well and Montenotte who came to buy materials from his Mother. His eye had particularly been caught by the interesting pale looks of young Miss Daly who's father was a wealthy tea merchant with a warehouse on the quay,M.D. Daly and Sons .
Miss Daly (or Mary as he heard her Mother call her in the shop) was indeed a beauty, her glossy brown hair and velvet brown eyes set off by a very pale complexion, (she was said to be delicate and her adoring father Maurice had brought her to many doctors and even as far as Baden searching for a cure.) Miss Daly was also known to be quite an heiress, set to inherit a million or more it was rumoured.
Miss Daly was very much on Jon's mind as he browsed through the huge displays of every modern machine in the stalls in the exhibition building and as he climbed to the top of the enormous slide by the river.
It was while he was on the top of this that he caught a glimpse of her.
All in brown velvet to match her eyes (Jon remembered her Mother buying the stuff in their shop) she looked her most pale and interesting best. She was looking with some pleasure at the glass engraver who was etching peoples name on glasses on a little stand by the main building. Then Jon got his great idea. He would get a glass engraved with her name and present it to her.This would surely impress her.
He slid down the slide at breakneck speed and ran to the stand.
"Please just put down Miss Mary Daly" he said.
"Would you like some decoration "
"A Heart" said Jon, suddenly inspired.
Clutching his prize Jon chased after Miss Daly.
He glimpsed her in the distance, then got nearer and his heart stopped in his chest. She was strolling now arm in arm with a young man. Even from this distance Jon could recognise him as young Thaddeus Quill, the hurler.
Saddened but admitting defeat from such a rival Jon made his way to the river and on impulse hurled the now useless glass into the middle of the stream.
But then he thought that seeing Thaddeus with Miss Daly had made his mind up for him,without Miss Daly the road to Maynooth was clear.
He made his way again to the glass engraver.
"I want you to do another for me " he said
"This time put Rev J Buckley on it, but no heart "

Rain on the Vines
May 10, 2016
03:57 PM

Rain on the Vines

My daughter Eileen and her boy-friend Phil are visiting us this week and, of course, one of our very rare wet weeks is coinciding with their visit.
They had been anxiously studying forecasts before their trip and Phil had predicted, at work, that they were due a wet week in the Herault.
Knowing that the area is almost completely covered with vines one of his colleagues had asked him if the rain wouldn't dilute the strength of the wine.

Phil passed the question on to me and my reply (I apologise in advance) was:

" Not if you cover the glass with your hand"

Sheelah O Kennedy Ronayne
May 06, 2016
08:10 AM

Sheelah O Kennedy Ronayne


Remembering Síle's Mum who died seven years ago today. Sheelah O Kennedy Ronayne was born in 1916.

  Martin Dwyer
Consultant Chef