It’s a mad mad world.

I heard today from a young woman thrilled that her family had made it out from Iraq and arrived in Turkey. They hope to make it to the UK or USA.    She misses her parents as she hasn’t seen them for a number of years, not since she moved to safety.

She spent her teenage years in Iraq during the downfall of Saddam but said the ‘freeing’ of her people had made them more afraid, frightened to raise their heads, voice what they were experiencing.  Her friend, 17, and her friend’s family were killed in an explosion.

Occasionally an email would come through from her, brief one line messages, and then for several years, nothing – no contact at all.

I believed she had been killed and pushed the painful thoughts from my mind.

Then early one morning a message on fb.   Was I the Carol she had met ten years ago?  She had tracked me down and since then I have shared her sorrows, her fears and her painful losses but also her hopes and her delight at joys.

I hope and pray she will be reunited with her parents soon.  She has blossomed from a shy awkward teenager into a beautiful confident young woman.

Next I heard from a young couple who have added a gorgeous baby boy to their family. They already have a daughter so I am thrilled for them.

The Irish water meter protesters have been released from prison.

An Irish county council has withdrawn its case against a man who believed there was no legal basis for the household tax and refused to pay.

Like many hundreds of thousands, I have paid my household / property tax.  Was I wrong to do so?  I had no choice as I had to be tax compliant to continue to run the Made In West Cork business – log on to

The court did not find in favour of the man who refused to pay.  The county council who took him to court, withdrew their case – so who wins and who loses?

Wouldn’t the girl’s parents, who are leaving everything behind them as they attempt to flee to the West and safety, love to be in a position to pay a property tax.

It’s a mad mad world.