Christmas!

Christmas and all it involves in the run up to it means I have been missing from this blog. Thankfully Made In West Cork was busy with website orders and regular customers – although be assured, we won’t be making any fortunes any time soon. But Made In West Cork is not about that – it’s about raising the profile of all the wonderful crafts men and women, and the artisan food producers in this most beautiful part of the world.

Another hospital stay was lined up earlier this month but I am back to normality, whatever that is, and hopefully will blog more regularly.

I can’t comment on the madness that is happening in the world. Don’t have the experience of these different cultures, or the expertise in politics.

A bit like an ostrich really, although it pains me that there is so much suffering, death and destruction, ebola, and humans harming humans. But there is only so much I can take on board.

So I do what I can within my little corner for others and change what is within my power to do so. It isn’t always self serving, but I confess to getting a buzz when something I have tried to help with comes right, or even partly right in the end. Makes raising your head above the parapet worthwhile.

The West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen, is the venue for our Burns Supper. It’s the fourth year it has been held in Skibbereen and will be a great night out hopefully for all the stalwarts who have supported the event.

I was at the Mercy Heights awards night on Friday night. A fabulously uplifting and inspiring evening with all these beautiful young women blossoming into the leaders and shakers and movers of tomorrow. They are doing so much good in and around their corners, I wish we could clone them and share their caring ways all around the world. But the good news stories don’t make the headlines.

David Puttnam was guest of honour and his speech as usual totally inspiring, honest, warning of dire times ahead, giving great advice and he honed in as he always does to what was important to his audience. He always says exactly what is needed. The only other person I have heard speak who has this talent for honing into exactly what their audience needs to hear is former president, Mary McAleese. I have heard her speak on several occasions.

But it was a personal experience which made me a fan of the dear lady for ever. My husband was dying and was in palliative care in Skibbereen Community Hospital. She was touring the hospital and spent a few minutes with him in his room. She asked how an Englishman had ended up in West Cork and when he explained she asked if they were looking after him properly. I spoke glowingly of the standard of care and said, ‘They even allow me to bring the dog into his room.’ She wanted to know what kind of dog and he explained we had a Springer Spaniel. She asked how old Cookie was and commented that at three she would still have the Springer madness. Her two Springer Spaniels were in their early teens and had lost that bounding crazy energy Springers are renowned for.

So Mary McAleese wove her magic around him that day. He had something in common with the President – their love of Springers and a wonderful story to tell the nurses and his visitors.

Dogs were so important to my late husband throughout his life. When he was in good health and come home from work he would walk through the door and call ‘Hello darling. How are you today?’ I always knew he was talking to whatever dog had greeted him. It was never me.

ENDS

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