Thursday, 31 October 2013

31st October HALLOWE'EN

Today the 31st October is known as Hallowe'en which is a religious festival that is celebrated differently by christians, wicca-folk and lots of young people.

For the christians Hallowe'en is properly known as All Hallows Day or All Saints Eve and tomorrow, 1st November, is All Saints Day. The wicca folk interpret it differently calling it a Witches' Sabbat and their activities are many and varied. 
For young people it is a night of bonfires, fireworks, dressing up in a variety of costumes and calling to neighbours in the hope of receiving a gift of sweets or money.

Among the things it is not the ancient festival of SAMHAIN,nor is it the end of summer or even the pagan new year. These misconceptions were brought about mainly by ignorance and the adjustment of the calendars.

So here is web site that shows the various dates for pagan rituals and explains how they are calculated.

The calendar in English and Irish

September....Meán Fómhair
October......Deireadh Fómhair

As can be seen above three of the four names of the cross quarter days are also months of the year and Imbolc is missing.  
Also, the current month names in Irish are a mixture of Irish and obviously Latin-derivations; there weren’t specific month names in Old Irish, more seasonal divisions.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013


I have just been reading of the tragedy that is facing people on our neighbouring island and of the cash strapped families that will be forced to turn to the British Red Cross for help this winter for the first time in nearly 70 years, as millions face crippling cuts to their household budgets.

The rises in basic food prices and soaring utility bills have helped push more than **Five Million People** in the UK into deep poverty.

The British Red Cross said it was about to launch a campaign in supermarket foyers asking shoppers to donate food to be distributed to the most needy through the charity FareShare; This in a country where for a variety of reasons ploughs back into the land 40% of what it grows!

Yet I recall that their Prime Minister Mister C was proposing to virtually go to war in Syria until his idea was voted down.

Strange is it not that they have enough funds to wage an army and yet not enough to cater for the welfare of their people ?

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A PARK - for All Ages

The other day, finding ourselves with time on our hands, we visited the newly opened park at Dún na Sí - The Heritage Centre and Amenity Park, Moate, Co. Westmeath.

It is a place where the fabulous sculptures and art pieces by our friend, community artist, Patsy Preston in conjunction with local Third Year students and their teacher James Hatton, have uniquely decorated a wonderful local amenity.
The sculptor Ann Meldon Hugh designed the impressive bronze and stainless steel statue of Grainne Óg which stands on a mound near the entrance and welcomes visitors. 

Despite some light rain we spent hours wandering the paths, discovering art and learning about turloughs and wildlife.
When summer arrives next year we hope to visit again when the 
fairy thorns will be covered in blossom and the bare earth will be green and lush.

Patsy Preston

Grainne Óg

The Triskle - a place for any age!

The Centre Piece of the Triskle

 At the edge of the turlough is an ornate observation screen
from which the bird life can be seen through viewing ports
of various heights and sizes.

One of the side screens.
A Turlough: is a vanishing lake that fills up in Winter
and then disappears over a few days or weeks in the Springtime.
Over the Summer, there remains only a small permanent wetland
and the rest of the lakes basin is grassland. The name 'turlough' comes
from the Irish 'tur loch' meaning 'dry lake'

I could not resist the Heron!
The black pole is an exercise toy
for aged people.

These plaques were made by the third level students, depicting various legends and myths,

Every bench end had a completely different
design on them and they are very attractive. 
(Would make an interesting feature in my 
front garden!)

A butterfly has landed!