Page 1

Issue 91 January - February 2018

NOW E3.00/£2.75

Times

The magazine for people who don’t act their age

And the loser is.. Aubrey Malone on the history of Oscar snubs, curses and scams

John Giles

Dylan Thomas

Legacies


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January - February 2018

Contents 6

62

16

News:

2

Visitor attractions:

58

And the winner is..:

6

An island in two halves :

62

Aubrey Malone on the history, snubs, scams and curses

Ethna Browne enjoyed the diversity of Tenerife

of the Oscar ceremonies An unfulfilled Welsh wizard:

16

Into the West:

65

In her latest journey around the literary locations of these

Maeve Edwards tackles the Western Greenway in Co Mayo

islands, Lorna Hogg visits the Taff Peninsula in Wales, for

Challenging the pensions minefield:

many years the home of Dylan Thomas

Maretta Dillon talks to former Pensions Ombudsman Paul Kenny,

Free health screening – what you need to know:

18

Una Doherty examines the various choices now available. Leaving a legacy:

22

Have you ever thought of leaving a gift to a charity in your will? Bristol and Brunel beckon:

30

Lorna Hogg guides you around Bristol What’s on in The Arts:

36

Creative writing:

42

Living with diabetic retinopathy:

46

Paul Holland talks to Irish soccer legend Johnnie Giles Publishing Directors: Brian McCabe, Des Duggan Editorial Director: John Low Editor At Large: Shay Healy Consultant Editor: Jim Collier Advertising: Willie Fallon - willie@slp.ie Design & Production: www.cornerhouse.ie Contributors: Lorna Hogg, Dermot Gilleece, Maretta Dillon, Jim Collier, Peter Power, Matthew Hughes, Mairead Robinson, Eileen Casey, Debbie Orme, Connie McEvoy Published by S& L Promotions Ltd.,

Wine World:

70

Some sparklers for the New Year 74

Mairead Robinson suggests a hair ‘make over’ for 2018 Northern Notes:

76

Meeting Place:

79

Golf -- Ace in the hole:

84

Dermot Gilleece on the ‘vulgarity’ of a hole in one

Maretta Dillon talks to sufferer Bill Donald Walking the talk:

now working for the Retirement Planning Council of Ireland

Beauty and Cosmetics: New Year, New You:

In this feature we look at some of the options available.

68

49

Crossword:

86

Crafts:

88

Unit 1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6 Tel: +353 (01) 4969028. Fax: +353 (01) 4068229 Editorial: John@slp.ie Advertising: willie@slp.ie Sign up to our newsletter and be in with a chance to win some great prizes at www.seniortimes.ie Follow us on Facebook and Twitter


News Now Six in ten people overweight in Ireland In Ireland, six out of every ten of our population is overweight or obese which means that Ireland faces a dramatic increase in chronic diseases. The World Health Organisation reports that 65% of the diabetes, 23% of the heart disease and 7-41% of cancers are due to being overweight and obesity. In one study conducted by the Department of Public Health and the National Cancer Control Programme, they found that excess body weight is responsible for 4.5% of all cancers in Ireland and that each year approximately 800 new cancers and 300 cancer deaths are attributable to excess body weight . Based on body mass index (BMI), a study from

the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing, Trinity College Dublin (TILDA) evaluating obesity in adults over 50 years of age, found that 36% are obese with a further 43% overweight. They identified that there is a strong connection between obesity and socioeconomic status for Irish women more than men with 39% of women in the lowest quintile of wealth are obese as compared to 24% of women in the highest wealth quintile. These figures indicate that Ireland’s prevalence of obesity is set to exceed that of almost all other European countries within the next decade. Obesity is a complex multifactorial condition and so the response to the obesity epidemic must too be multi-factorial (v). This presents a challenge to healthcare provid-

ers and facilities striving to plan and provide dignified, safe and effective care of people with obesity as well as prevent and treat the underlying causes of this condition. Prof John Reynolds, Professor of Clinical Surgery, St. James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin stated: ‘Obesity is a complex disease and often misunderstood. We now know that there are multiple variants involved. If we are to make progress in dealing with the obesity epidemic, we need to put in place treatment options as well as preventative measures. Solutions will not be found purely in prevention or by emphasising individual responsibility. Solutions are far more complex than this and require both science and policy to work together.’

Another successful 50 Plus Expo on the Costa del Sol

Another successful 50 Plus Expo recently took place in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol. The event, in the palatial IPV Hotel, featured many of the attractions of the shows in Ireland, and is aimed primarily at retired and Irish ex-pats, but also attracts many Spanish and other Europe-

an residents. Eric Knowles from the Antiques Roadshow was once again on hand to offer free antique valuations. Plans are in hand to run the show again next November as well as another event on the Costa Blanca.

2 Senior Times l January - February 2017 l www.seniortimes.ie

Eric Knowles hard at work


Retirement Solutions from Aviva

Aviva’s Open Market Annuity now comes with enhanced rates An enhanced annuity rate might be available if you or your spouse / civil partner are suffering (or have previously suffered) from medical conditions such as cancer, a heart attack or a stroke. If you’re nearing retirement and considering buying an annuity you should talk to a Financial Broker. They will advise if you or your spouse / civil partner can qualify for an enhanced annuity rate with our annuity product.

Find out more: see www.aviva.ie and speak to your Financial Broker Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland Limited. A private company limited by shares. Registered in Ireland No. 252737 Registered Office One Park Place, Hatch Street, Dublin 2. Member of Insurance Ireland. Aviva Life & Pensions Ireland Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Life & Pensions One Park Place, Hatch Street, Dublin 2. Phone (01) 898 7950 Fax (01) 898 7329 www.aviva.ie Telephone calls may be recorded for quality assurance purposes.


Dickie Rock’s tour dates

Association now boasts 400 sheds To mark the 400th shed milestone, Michael Ring TD, Minister for Community and Rural Development, visited Kilcock Men’s Shed in Co. Kildare. Kilcock is one of the best-resourced sheds in Ireland, boasting a large workshop, garden, social area and its own shed choir

Dickie Rock Visits The 50 Plus Expo

Irish music legend Dickie Rock is about to embark on another countrywide tour. Dec 30 Red Cow Hotel Dublin New Years Eve Lyrath Hotel Kilkenny January 6 Vienna Woods Hotel Cork January 7 Mullingar Park Hotel

In 2017, the Irish Men’s Sheds Association reached a notable milestone, with the registration of the 400th shed on the island. This landmark achievement is all the more significant given that the men’s sheds concept arrived in Ireland from Australia less than a decade ago. For those unfamiliar, a men’s shed is a shared community space where men of all ages and backgrounds can come together to work on voluntary projects, make new friends and connect with their communities. Men’s sheds are now present in every county on the island, with an estimated average of 12,000 men attending a shed each week. To mark the 400th shed milestone, Michael Ring TD, Minister for Community and Rural Development, visited Kilcock Men’s Shed in Co. Kildare. Kilcock is one of the best-resourced sheds in Ireland, boasting a large workshop, garden, social area and its own shed choir Although sheds attract men from all age-groups, the median age of a men’s shed member is around 55. Within the shed, men find an opportunity to use and pass on the skills and experience of a lifetime. Sheds produce an endlessly inventive array of items and projects, but their greatest strength lies in their voluntary and relaxed environment. A shed’s activities are agreed upon by members themselves, and every member is entitled to participate in his own way and at his own pace. For more information visit www.menssheds.ie or call (01) 8916150

April 13/14 Lifetime Achievement Weekend Breaffy House Hotel Castlebar

Sheils, an expert in sexuality and disabilities from the National Rehabilitation Hospital and Minister Naughten. It is based around a Facebook members group, LifeAfterStroke. Any working age stroke survivor can join the support network by joining the LifeAfterStroke group on Facebook

To book your seats at any of the shows contact the preferred hotel

Arsenic and lead detected in counterfeit cosmetics

New support network launched for younger stroke survivors

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and the Health Service Executive (HSE) are advising consumers to be vigilant for counterfeit ‘high-end’ beauty products on sale through certain outlets, markets and websites. Tests carried out by the HSE on a number of the 728 counterfeit and imitation products that the HPRA has detained, identifies some contain harmful substances, such as arsenic and lead, which can be potentially harmful to people’s health. Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner and Urban Decay were among some of the forged cosmetic brands which were found to contain these illegal substances.

February 3/4 Westlodge Hotel, Bantry

A new national support network for working age stroke survivors was recently launched. The Irish Heart Foundation has established the network after research revealed that the stroke rate among people of working age in Ireland soared by over a quarter in just seven years. Statistics from the National Stroke Audit published jointly by the Irish Heart Foundation and the HSE’s National Stroke Programme, showed a 26% increase in the proportion of strokes among under 65s to a total over 2,000 every year. The initiative was launched with a live Face book broadcast hosted by Newstalk presenter Dr Ciara Kelly and featuring stroke survivors Karen Donohue and Paul Keogan, Pauline

The counterfeit products detained by the HPRA include, Kylie Holiday-Burgundy and Bronze eyeshadow palettes, Kylie Matte liquid lipstick and lip liner, and Urban Decay eyeshadow palettes. The HPRA warns that the Christmas season is the peak time of year for rogue sellers of counterfeit products and shoppers are strongly urged to avoid these potentially harmful products.

4 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

The HPRA states that over the past few months significant quantities of counterfeit and imitation cosmetics have been seized on entry to the country by Revenue’s Customs Service. The majority of counterfeit cosmetic products seized have been eye-shadows and lip products. Some of these products can be purchased online from websites based outside of the EU and are being sold to Irish consumers online and through social media. They have also been found in some trade shows and at markets throughout the country.

Blackwater Distillery shortlisted as International Gin Producer of the Year Blackwater Distillery, based in West Waterford, was one of just five companies worldwide short-listed for the International Gin Producer of the Year Award at the International Wine and Spirits Competition (IWSC), held in London recently. The annual IWSC awards are judged by industry professionals and Blackwater is the first Irish distillery to rate so highly in the competition. This achievement was further endorsed by their Blackwater No.5 Gin being awarded a Gold Medal, as the only Irish gin to win an award, and one of only a handful from across the world. www.blackwaterdistillery.ie


Cinema

This year’s Oscar balls-up when Faye Dunaway read out the wrong name for last year’s Best Film Oscar after being handed the envelope with the misleading information on it by Warren Beatty: 89 years of Academy efficiency seemed to be wiped away in the blink of an eye.

And the loser is..

Aubrey Malone on the history of Oscar snubs, curses and scams

When Faye Dunaway read out the wrong name for last year’s Best Film Oscar after being handed the envelope with the misleading information on it by Warren Beatty, 89 years of Academy efficiency seemed to be wiped away in the blink of an eye. La La Land became Lapse Lapse Land. The sun shone on Moonlight. And red faces all around were the order of the day. The accountants behind the error took the main hit but some people felt that Beatty, with all his experience of such things, should have held back for a little longer before, as one writer put it, ‘throwing Dunaway under a bus.’ Even so, it wasn’t the first time something went amiss at the annual shindig. In 1970 George C. Scott embarrassed the Academy by refusing his Oscar for Patton, saying he didn’t want to be involved in a tussle with his colleagues that amounted to a ‘cattle mart.’ Two years later Marlon Brando followed suit by saying no to his statuette for The Godfather, citing Hollywood’s mistreatment of the American Indian as his reason. For many people this was less laudable than Scott’s stance because Brando had already accepted an Oscar many years before for On the Waterfront, thereby ratifying the Academy’s value system. (His reply to this charge was, ‘We’ve all made mistakes in our lives.’) More significantly, does the Oscar always go to the right person? Hardly. There have been more bad decisions than good ones in the event’s 89-year history. Will his years 90th anniversary of the annual beano continue the injustices? Probably. I picked out a selection of the more appalling presentations that have been made over the years, in no particular chronological order, for reasons that seemed to be about everything except the film – or star -in question. John Wayne Wayne won an Oscar in 1969 for a limp performance as the eye-patched desperado Rooster Coburn in True Grit, thereby denying the likes of Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight for scintillating performances in John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy – not to mention Peter O’Toole in Goodbye Mr Chips. Everyone knew it was a Life Achievement award in disguise for the ageing cowpoke but it dented the credibility of the ceremonies hugely. Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 5


Cinema

Elizabeth Taylor won Best Actress for a lacklustre performance in Butterfield 8 in 1960. Once again, the reason was nothing to do with the movie because Taylor had been at death’s door with pneumonia shortly beforehand.

Bogie got the gold for an avuncular turn in John Huston’s lightweight The African Queen. Brando had to wait three more years before standing on the Oscar podium for what was his rightful due. Elizabeth Taylor Taylor won Best Actress for an even more lacklustre performance than Wayne’s in Butterfield 8 in 1960. Once again, the reason was nothing to do with the movie because Taylor had been at death’s door with pneumonia shortly beforehand. She only pulled through due to her throat being cut open by a fast-thinking doctor. The actress that should really have won that year was Shirley MacLaine. She’d been irresistible as the unlucky-in-love elevator operator Fran Kubelik in Billy Wilder’s bittersweet comedy The Apartment. Taylor herself admitted Butterfield 8 was a terrible film and said she loathed it. In a line as acerbic as anything from The Apartment itself, MacLaine lamented the night’s injustice with a resigned, ‘I lost to a tracheotomy.’ Humphrey Bogart In 1951, after Marlon Brando burned up the screen in a sweat-stained T-shirt as Tennessee Williams’ boorish Polack Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, reprising the Broadway role that made him famous, his name seemed almost written on the Oscar. But Brando was a rebel and Hollywood didn’t take too kindly to rebels at that time. When Brando said he wouldn’t attend the ceremonies his goose was effectively cooked. Instead Bogie got the gold for an avuncular turn in John Huston’s lightweight The African Queen. Brando had to wait three more years before standing on the Oscar podium for what was his rightful due. Robert Redford Redford won Best Director for the very ‘ordinary’ Ordinary People in 1980. He almost me to have a minor coronary in the process as Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, also in the running, had electrified me to my seat when I saw it earlier that year. Thankfully it has retained its status as the mother and father of all boxing movies, as well as being Robert de Niro’s finest hour as Jake La Motta. But on that fateful night in 1980 genius lost out to mediocrity.

work. It was a fine performance by him but not in the De Niro league. Why did he win? Probably because he died shortly before the ceremonies took place. Death has always been a good career move in Hollywood. This was no exception. Taxi Driver was also denied the Best Picture award that year - by a children’s fairy-tale called Rocky, featuring that, um, pre-eminent Method actor Sylvester Stallone. Paul Newman Newman won Best Actor for The Colour of Money in 1986, reprising his role of pool shark Eddie Felson from 1961’s The Hustler, the film he really should have won it for. He should have got one for either Hud, Cool Hand Luke or The Left-Handed Gun, the 1986 award being a retrospective debt paid to him by a guilt-stricken Tinsel town. Newman knew this too. Every year before this when he was nominated and lost he used to throw a ‘No scar’ party at his Connecticut home to drown his sorrows. When success finally came his way, he threatened to boycott the ceremony in protest. It was, he said, like a man chasing a woman for twenty years. When she finally said yes to his overtures the man went, ‘Sorry, honey, but I’m too tired.’ Alan Ladd William Holden won Best Actor for Stalag 17 in 1953 but the rightful winner should have been Alan Ladd for Shane. Ladd wasn’t even nominated that year because of a row with Paramount, the studio he was leaving after being many decades there. They weren’t impressed with this and didn’t lobby for him in the Oscar preliminaries. Internecine squabbling, in effect, caused his elimination from the race. Neither did Shane win Best Film that year, as it should have, or Best Director for George Stevens. It departed the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion empty-handed that night apart from a Cinematography award for Loyal Griggs – and even this was shared jointly with the cinematographer from another film, From Here to Eternity, which scooped almost everything going that year.

Peter Finch Al Pacino De Niro wasn’t quite so fortunate four years previously when he was toppled for the Best Actor award for Taxi Driver in a powerhouse performance as the disaf fected Vietnam veteran Travis Bickle. Finch won instead for Sidney Lumet’s Net 6 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

By 1992, when Pacino won Best Actor for Scent of a Woman, he should already have had a brace of Oscars on his mantelpiece. His performance as a blind man


Seniors Alert Scheme Pobal, on behalf of the Minister for Rural and Community Development, is pleased to announce the launch of a new Seniors Alert Scheme. This scheme enables people aged 65 and older to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence and independence. The scheme is administered with the support of community and voluntary groups and involves the provision of a free personal alarm pendant, free personal monitoring of the alarm for the first 12 months and a broadening of other eligibility criteria. Further information on the new Seniors Alert Scheme and your local registered community group is available on www.pobal.ie or call 01 5117222.

S eniors A lert S cheme


Cinema

Al Pacino was actually better in Glengarry Glen Ross, seen here, than in The Scent of a Woman

here was adequate but not Oscar-worthy. Stars playing people with disabilities always do well on Oscar night and the Academy decided it was Pacino’s time to shine. He was actually better in Glengarry Glen Ross that year. He was also nominated for that role in the Supporting category but lost out to Gene Hackman for Unforgiven. The two awards should have been flipped over. In fact, I would nearly have given the whole cast of Glengarry Glen Ross Oscars for their performances. Sadly, the film wasn’t even nominated for Best Picture or Best Director. Richard Attenborough Attenborough won Best Director for Gandhi, one of the most boring films ever made, in 1982. Why wasn’t Steven Spielberg nominated for E.T.? Who remembers Gandhi today – I mean the film, not the man? Worthy people do not always make worthy film material. In fact, it often works the other way. Villains are usually more appealing than heroes. Gandhi also won Best Film over E.T. that year. The gala line-up of losers was compounded by the inclusion of Missing, Footsie and The Verdict – all of which knocked strips off Gandhi on the entertainment front.

Katherine Hepburn Can anyone honestly say Hepburn deserved the Best Actress award for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in 1967 over Faye Dunaway for Bonnie & Clyde? So why did she win? Because Hepburn’s co-star and live-long lover Spencer Tracy, whom she played opposite, was visibly dying on screen. (He only lasted a fortnight after the film wrapped.) Again, like Finch in Network or Wayne in True Grit – or even Bogart in The African Queen - she nabbed the sentimental vote. In the same year, Rod Steiger won Best Actor for In the Heat of the Night. Again, it was a sterling performance but was it as good as that of Warren Beatty in Bonnie & Clyde? Or Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate? 8 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Can anyone honestly say Katherine Hepburn deserved the Best Actress award for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in 1967 over Faye Dunaway for Bonnie & Clyde? So why did she win? Because Hepburn’s co-star and life-long lover Spencer Tracy, whom she played opposite, was visibly dying on screen.


Cinema

Barbara Stanwyck, seen here with her co-stars William Holden and Erich von Stroheim, was devastating as the ankle-braceleted Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity also lost out in the Best Actress race that year, to a predictable Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight. Stanwyck was another star to – criminally – never win an Oscar in her illustrious career. Lee Marvin Rod Steiger should have won an Oscar for The Pawnbroker. He was denied by Marvin’s eccentric comic turn in Cat Ballou. Wrong decision. Of course, The Pawnbroker, dealing with the theme of the Nazi holocaust, was too discomfiting for the conservative Academy. So, apparently, was Richard Burton’s career-best performance in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, also ignored that year. In fact, Burton was never to win an Oscar. In this he joins such luminaries as Montgomery Clift, Kirk Douglas, Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, Peter O’Toole and a host of other brilliant stars who somehow fell under the radar. Many of them were vouchsafed Life Achievement awards in lieu of ‘the thing itself’ to salve Hollywood’s conscience but this was small recompense. Usually it was a case of ‘too little too late.’ Leo McCarey McCarey won Best Director for Going My Way in 1944 in yet another example of Hollywood going soft. The outstanding movie of that year was Double Indemnity, the best film noir ever made in many people’s view, mine included. But McCarey got the nod over Billy Wilder, who helmed Double Indemnity, in one of the most outrageous injustices in Oscar history. Barbara Stanwyck, who was devastating as the ankle-braceleted Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity also lost out in the Best Actress race that year, to a predictable Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight. 10 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Stanwyck was another star to – criminally – never win an Oscar in her illustrious career. Joan Crawford They made amends to Wilder the following year when they gave him Best Director for The Lost Weekend but I don’t think they should have given Joan Crawford the Oscar for Mildred Pierce that year. Gene Tierney, another actress who would never win an Oscar, was incredible as the cold-blooded killer in Leave Her to Heaven. Crawford said she was too ill to attend the ceremonies but after she won she made a miraculous ‘recovery,’ as only Joanie could. In fact Michael Curtiz, who directed her in the film, ended up going to her home to present the award to her in person. It propped her spirits up even better than Lucozade. Judy Holliday Holliday won Best Actress in 1950 for a forgettable comedy called Born Yesterday, thereby denying Gloria Swanson, who’d given the performance of the century in Sunset Boulevard. It wasn’t Swanson that got small, it was the pictures. ‘Nuff said. Aubrey Malone’s book And the Loser Is.. will be published shortly by Vernon Press. It’s a history of Oscar snubs, curses and scams.


Health

What’s That Ringing in My Ears? A Beginner’s Guide to Tinnitus This article is a general introduction to tinnitus. It will give you a better understanding of the causes of tinnitus and what it is exactly. You will be advised of methods you can try to stop or suppress it. Please note that tinnitus can be incurable and, for some sufferers, an irritating but irreversible, unfortunate fact of life. Tinnitus is not a disease. It is a symptom of underlying issues elsewhere within the body – for example, the ear, brain, blood vessels or the heart. The American Academy of Audiology refers to tinnitus as “the perception of sound in the ear that is not the result of an external sound”. It is commonly described as a “hissing, roaring, or ringing” in the ear. It can be high pitched or low pitched, tonal or noise-like, and constant, pulsed, or intermittent. You may experience tinnitus in one ear, both ears, or in your head. In layman’s terms, subjective tinnitus (the most common form) is a noise in your ear or in your head that you can hear but that is not coming from the outside. That doesn’t mean that it is in your mind or that you are imagining things! Tinnitus can last anywhere from a couple of seconds to a lifetime. Causes of Tinnitus There are two types of tinnitus: Subjective and Objective. There are different causes depending on the type you have. Subjective tinnitus is the more common of the two. It can only be heard by you and it is normally associated with hearing loss. It may be caused by some of the following: • • • • • • • •

Ear infections Impacted ear wax Hearing loss due to old age or noise exposure Ototoxic medication Meniere’s disease Head trauma Otosclerosis (abnormal remodelling of bone in the middle ear) Acoustic neuromas (benign brain tumour which grows on the hearing and balance nerve)

Objective tinnitus, on the other hand, can be heard by someone else but it is much rarer than subjective tinnitus. Your GP or Audiologist may be able to hear the tinnitus with the use of a stethoscope. These noises are produced by the workings of the body. Objective tinnitus is sometimes curable, whereas subjective tinnitus is often not. Objective tinnitus may be caused by some of the following sounds: • • • •

Blood flowing through vessels in or near the ear Jaw joint not working correctly Eustachian tube opening and closing when you yawn or swallow Joints in your neck creaking

Most causes of tinnitus are not harmful and the symptom is most commonly associated with old age. In older people, tinnitus is often caused by natural hearing loss (presbyacusis) which lessens the sensitivity of the hearing nerves. However, tinnitus is starting to affect a growing number of younger people as a result of the general increase in noise levels in today’s society. Who Can Help Me? If you are a tinnitus sufferer, you will have to visit your Doctor or Audiologist to get diagnosed. Depending on the onset, severity, and location of the tinnitus, your Doctor or Audiologist may refer you for further investigation.

What Can I Do To Rid Myself Of My Tinnitus or Suppress It? In most cases, tinnitus cannot be cured. However, it can be managed. There are treatments that are found to help to suppress tinnitus depending on the patient. Four of these treatments are outlined below. 1. Hearing Aids Some patients use hearing aids to reduce the severity of their tinnitus. Hearing loss is very common in tinnitus sufferers and, as such, hearing aids are effective because they can be used to mask the various different types of tinnitus sounds while simultaneously helping to counter act your hearing loss (if a loss is present). 2. Sound Therapy Tinnitus is much more noticeable in quiet environments due to the lack of background noise. Sound therapy masks the tinnitus with another sound source (eg: sound generators or certain types of hearing aids) which can distract you from your tinnitus. 3. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) CBT is a one on one counselling session or talking type therapy. It will help you to change your negative perceptions about your tinnitus into positive and realistic perceptions allowing you to function well and go about your life. This method reduces your stress levels which subsequently can lessen the severity of your tinnitus as tinnitus itself can also be caused by stress and not rooted in a hearing loss. 4. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) TRT is one of the newer forms of tinnitus therapy. It can be described as a process that teaches you how to cope with your tinnitus on both a conscious and sub conscious level. It combines all three of the methods outlined above to help ease your suffering. Today, tinnitus is a highly topical area of conversation due to the sheer volume of people whose lives it effects. If you think you are a tinnitus sufferer and have not sought medical advice I would recommend that you do so as soon as possible. The Walker Hearing Clinic office number is 021-494-1375 and we would be happy to help you. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any tinnitus or hearing related queries, questions or concerns. Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 11


SUNSET BEACH CLUB

Celebrating 30 years

A home from home for Irish holidaymakers

S

ince opening in 1987, Sunset Beach Club has earned the reputation as being one of Ireland’s favourite resort destinations, and indeed is now the much loved choice for many second generations, who once came with their parents, and now come along with their spouses and children.

online at sunsetbeachclub.com opens access to a range of standards from interior apartments to prime sea views and junior suites. A limited number of 2 bedroom units are also available.

Open-plan Deluxe Junior Suites

LOCATION, LOCATION

Few properties in Benalmádena, let alone the Costa del Sol, can compare with the hotel’s enviable seafront location, with most rooms looking over the Mediterranean, and direct access to two beautiful beaches.

A CHOICE OF ACCOMMODATION The accommodation at Sunset is mostly one bedroom apartment category, which is ideal for two adults and two children. Booking

Fantastic seafront location

On behalf of the team at Sunset Beach Club, we would like to thank all our loyal Irish guests for their fantastic custom over the last 30 years. Mark Wardell, General Manager

and existing ones upgraded. Launched as a 3 star property, Sunset is now unquestionably a quality 4 star establishment.

PLENTY OF FOOD FOR THOUGHT

With an abundance of hotels now offering “same same all inclusive”, Sunset Beach stands out by offering an abundance of mouth-watering choices from its fabulous “Luna Beach Club” with a modern BBQ menu, literally at the water’s edge, to its ever popular Oasis Bar & Grill restaurant and terrace, with an extensive a la carte menu, and great value Early Bird and set lunch menus … and of course its extensive in-house supermarket and bakery is always an option to “stay in” and watch one of several international/ Irish T.V. stations.

NEVER STANDING STILL

In many respects, the key to Sunset’s sustained popularity is its commitment to improve. Over 20 Million Euros have been reinvested in the property since the millennium. All 553 apartments have been totally refurbished, new facilities introduced,

12 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Delicious desserts from our Oasis restaurant


ROOM TO SOCIALIZE

The popular Panorama Bar is open all year round, with its daily happy hour, and is very definitely the social hub of the hotel. In Summer the fun goes on into the early hours at Salitos Beach Bar, serving tempting cocktails in a decidedly chillout setting on the hotels promenade.

WINTER SUN ESCAPES FROM JUST 60€ PER NIGHT! 1 Bedroom Exterior Apartment • Twin Bedroom (separated from the lounge by sliding doors) • Lounge/diner with sofa bed for 2 • Exterior apartments have sea or mountain views

NEVER A DULL MOMENT

For adults and children alike there is never a dull moment at Sunset Beach! Live entertainment is offered 365 days a year in its Oasis restaurant and in Summer spectacular shows are on offer every night in the Moonlight showrooms. The year-round animation team, which grows to 15 in summer, also provides a wide range of activities to all age groups. Furthermore, Sunset’s Golf & Leisure Desk is open 6 days a week, where you can pick up maps and local information, book Green Fees, Golf Packages, Excursions, and Transfers or buy tickets to many Costa del Sol attractions.

JANUARY

€60

from

per night

FEBRUARY

€65

from

per night

1 Bedroom Prime Sea Views

Jan 18

€75

per night

Feb 18

from

€82

per night

€70

LONG STAY 21 nights or more

-10%

per night

Deluxe Junior Suites

Similar to 1 bedroom Exterior apartments, but with Guaranteed Sea Views, twin sofa bed, re-modelled bathroom with walk-in shower, and 42” plasma TV.

from

MARCH from

Open-plan suites with kingsize bed (can be separated into twins beds on request), Guaranteed Sea Views, twin sofa bed, remodelled bathroom with walk-in shower, and 42” plasma TV.

Mar 18

from

€87

per night

Jan 18

from

€79

per night

Feb 18

from

€90

per night

Mar 18

from

€97

per night

A Fantastic Winter Experience Moonlight Bar

A WINTER GETAWAY

Best known as a popular summer destination loved by parents and children alike the hotel is also a popular winter getaway for many other travellers who often stay a number of weeks “to escape the cold”. The hotel offers daily live entertainment and activities and its comfortable 1 bedroom apartments with all creature comforts make it an ideal place to “hang out on the Med”.

As well as excellent 4* accommodation at a reasonable price, Sunset Beach Club also provides outstanding facilities, including 24h reception & security, free organized activities, on-site supermarket and bakery, Golf & Leisure Desk, Panorama Bar with daily Happy Hour, Oasis Restaurant with Early Bird and a la carte menus, and live entertainment every night.

Add Buffet Breakfast 8€ pppn | Daily Happy Hour 2x1 | Early Bird Menu from 15€ For full resort information, descriptions of all room types, or to book your Winter Escape: Visit www.sunsetbeachclub.com Email booking@sunsetbeachclub.com | Tel: +34 952 579 400

THAT HIDDEN INGREDIENT

Asked what was Sunsets hidden ingredient to its success, General Manager, Mark Wardell, sets it down as the perfect recipe… of value, location, security, comfort, relaxation, fun, cleanliness & unrivalled friendly service.

“These all combine to generate great memories and that’s what we are here for, creating lasting memories.”

FAST FACTS

• 4* Hotel Apartments, Seafront Location • 20 Minutes Malaga airport, Costa del Sol a part of Farmers Business Development plc Sunset Beach Club Avda. del Sol 5, Benalmádena-Costa Málaga (Spain) Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 13


Literary Travels

His highly individualistic writing and delivery in a lilting Welsh accent, plus his lifestyle, ensured plenty of interviews. His fame increased, but money was spent as fast as made.

An unfulfilled Welsh wizard.. In her latest literary journey around these islands, Lorna Hogg visits the places and buildings associated with the life and works of Dylan Thomas.

He is known worldwide as an iconic poet and Welsh hell-raiser, who had a ‘seismic effect’ on English language and poetry. Dylan Thomas’s death at the age of 39 added to his fame, and his native Swansea provides plenty of Dylan related attractions for fans of his works. They allow visitors to understand something of the background and inspirations for the creator of works such as Under Milk Wood, And Death Shall Have No Dominion and A Child’s Christmas In Wales. Thomas was born on October 27th 1914, at 5, Cwmdonkin Drive, in a comfortable and pleasant Swansea suburb with views out over the Bay. His father was an ambitious ex-miner, who had achieved a university degree, and was a schoolmaster at Swansea Grammmer School. His mother was of Irish descent, relaxed and fun loving rather than academic. Dylan joined an elder sister, and as the younger

a strong effect on the boy, as recalled in A Child’s Christmas in Wales. At 16, Thomas left school, and joined the South Wales Daily Post for a spell. A series of jobs

Dylan and and Caitlin in familiar pose at Brown’s Hotel

child and son in the family, he was somewhat spoiled by his mother. He attended Swansea Grammar School, and showed an early mischievous streak. During his childhood, there were regular holiday trips to Llansteffan where his mother’s relatives lived. School holidays with aunty Rachel, the countryside and rhythms of nature had

14 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

followed, plus a bohemian life with a local group of artists and writers, `The Kardomah Boys’, named after a local cafe. On a trip to London, he met beautiful young Irish model Caitlin, who bore a resemblance to his mother, and the pair’s passionate and stormy relationship immediately started. They married in July 1937 and their first child, Llewe


Literary Travels

His iconic residence, was The Boathouse, acquired for him by a friend in 1949. Perched on the cliff edge it has splendid views out over the Taf Estuary.

lyn Edouard was born in 1939. A daughter, Aeronwy, and second son, Colin Garan,would complete the family. Thomas’s work had drawn interest in 1934, when his work Light Breaks where No Sun Shines appeared in The Listener. However, he found it difficult to support his young family, and initially moved them to Laugharne on the nearby Gower Peninsula in 1938. His iconic residence there, however, was The Boathouse, acquired for him by a friend in 1949. Perched on the cliff edge it has splendid views out over the Taf Estuary. Thomas developed an old garage into a work space, looking out over the tidal flows, feeding birds and the sweep of the Bay. It was an ideal inspiration for Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night, and Llareggub in Under Milk Wood is said to be based on Laugharne The word read backwards gives insight into Thomas’s creative style! ‘wood limping invisible down to the sloeback, slow, black, crowblack, fishing-boat-bobbing sea..’ His Bohemian life continued, and he developed a routine, working in the mornings, and often spent afternoons drinking in Brown’s Hotel, sometimes joined by Caitlin. It has been said that he was not at heart a serious drinker –

The parlour of the family home which is now a museum andin fact, he had a low tolerance of alcohol. Rather, he liked the role and life of the bohemian writer, and was often encouraged by this by hangers on. Thomas wrote scripts for the Ministry of Information during the war years. During the 1940s,

he did some work with the BBC, and produced poems, stories and essays. However, money and American recognition had eluded him so far.To change this, he made a series of American tours, doing readings at art centres and university campuses. His highly individualistic writing and delivery in a lilting Welsh accent,

Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 15


Literary Travels

During the 1940s, Dylan Thomas did some work with the BBC, and produced poems, stories and essays.

plus his lifestyle, ensured plenty of interviews. His fame increased, but money was spent as fast as made. During his third American tour, in 1953, his health was so poor that he was scarecely able to fulfil his commitments. He developed a bronchial infection, and a doctor had to be called. Whether Thomas had a bad reaction to the injections he received, or the years of drinking had finally caught up with him, he died on 3rd November 1953 at St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York. His body was returned home, and he was buried in the graveyard at Laugharne. A plain white cross marks his grave, under the shady trees, and Caitlin was later buried alongside him. The myth and iconic status of the hard-drinking hell raiser continued to spread after his death. However, like many other writers who were to some extent, outsiders, his recognition with a place in Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey took time, encouraged by American ex-Presi dent Carter. Portrait of the artist.. Dylan Thomas’s old home, at 5, Cwmdonkin Place, was bought and saved by a Swansea businessman. This is the place where Dylan wrote some two thirds of his published work. Restored with great care and attention to detail, a visit there is similar to popping in whilst the family is out for the day. You can see where Dylan was born, his father’s study where he did his homework and learned his Shakespeare, and hosted meetings with his creative set. Be warned however – it is a steep climb up the hill!

The parlour was the place where his uncles famously ‘loosened all buttons, put their large moist hands over their watch chains, groaned a little and slept’ after Christmas celebrations. The highlight is, of course, Dylan’s bedroom – untidy, full of books, scattered papers, sweet wrappings and cigarettes. You can also stay in the house – it is available for overnights and dinners, as well as visits. Uplands, the surrouding neighbourhood, remains a ‘wonderful, safe place, where the imagination of a young boy was allowed to run wild’ and Cwmdonkin Park is also been beautifully maintained. In Swansea’s Maritime Quarter, the Dylan Thomas Centre has a detailed exhibition on his life plus many literary events during the year, including the annual Dylan Thomas Festival. Make time for a bus ride down to the Mumbles, on the sea edge, with splendid views of Swansea and its coastline – and the famed Verdi’s ice cream! Laugharne is a must-visit for all Dylan followers. This beautiful village, with its estuary panoramas over the Gower Penisula is worth plenty of time, with a visit to the Boathouse – and churchyard. If time allows, it is also well worth taking in Llansteffan, where his mother’s family came from, and a second home for the young boy. www.dylanthomasbirthplace.com T. 01792 472555 www.visitswanseabay.com www.dylanthomas.com www.dylanthomasboathouse.com dylanthomas.lit@swansea.gov.uk

16 16 Senior Senior Times Times l lNovember January - February - December 20182017 l www.seniortimes.ie l www.seniortimes.ie

Dylan’s grave in Laugharne Churchyard


INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

DELICIOUSLY AUTHENTIC DINING

TRAVEL AND STAY IN STYLE

SMALLER GROUP CAMARADERIE

SEAMLESS, STRESS-FREE TRAVEL

THE MAGIC OF AN INSIGHT EXPERIENCE

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Country Roads of Croatia: Ston, Croatia

Save 10% on select European journeys when you book and pay in full by 26 January 2018. AMAZING SPAIN & PORTUGAL 14 JULY 2018 | 9 DAYS WAS: €1,895 PPS NOW: €1,706 PPS*

THE BOHEMIAN 30 JUNE 2018 | 9 DAYS WAS: €2,050 PPS NOW: €1,845 PPS*

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COUNTRY ROADS OF CROATIA 29 SEPT 2018 | 14 DAYS WAS: €3,225 PPS NOW: €2,903 PPS*

To book or for more information, contact an Insight Expert on 1800 98 98 98 or visit your local Travel Agent. Senior Times l November - December 2017 l www.seniortimes.ie 17 INSIGHTVACATIONS.COM #INSIGHTMOMENTS

*Offer applies to new bookings only. Flights not included. Prices of applicable trips include 10% Early Payment Discount. Offer expires on 26 January 2018. Land only. Prices are per person sharing and single supplements apply. Savings apply only to select journeys. Payment in full is required at the time of booking. The offer is not combinable with other brochure discounts and promotions. The offer is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Full Insight Vacations terms and conditions apply.


Health

Free health screening programmes - what you need to know

Una Doherty reports As retirement approaches health issues are often of concern, be they current or potential ones. It’s a time to take stock and review some of our long-held habits, such as our diet or exercise regimes. Many make an effort with healthy eating, increasing activity levels with new hobbies or sports, or visit their doctor in an effort to address their health and Well-being.

men and women, with approximately 2,500 new cases in Ireland each year. BowelScreen - The National Bowel Screening Programme - aims to find pre-cancerous changes in the bowel, reducing the number of deaths from bowel cancer. Chances of surviving bowel cancer are much higher if it is found at an early stage – before symptoms. Symptoms include: a change in your bowel habit – either diarrhoea or constipation, blood in your stool, losing weight, a lump or swelling in your abdomen or persisting abdominal pain.

The word ‘screening’ is often used by various providers to talk about general check-ups, which may include a plethora of tests, not all of which may be required or relevant at a particular time.

At present, men and women aged 60 to 69 are eligible for this service. Eventually, everyone aged 55 to 74 will be included in the screening programme; this will be done on a phased basis. You may check online at www.bowelscreen.ie to ensure that you are on the register for bowel screening.

The national health screening programmes are based on the best available medical evidence. These government-funded screening programmes aim to catch disease at an early stage, to achieve the best possible outcome for participants. The National Screening Service oversees the screening programmes for bowel, breast and cervical cancer, as well as the screening for diabetic retinopathy.

Home testing kits are posted to participants, who then return a small stool sample for analysis. The stool test itself doesn’t diagnose a cancer; the test finds tiny specks of blood invisible to the naked eye that, if present, warrant further investigation. Results are available within four weeks. The majority of people will have a normal result and will be re-called for repeat screening in two years.

Bowel cancer screening

However, 5-6% of people will have blood detected and will be asked to attend for a colonoscopy, or camera test, of their bowel. This procedure looks at the lining of the bowel for suspicious changes. According to

Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in both 18 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie


Health

BowelScreen, half of those attending for a colonoscopy will have a normal result; 40% will have a polyp (usually removed as some polyps may undergo cancerous changes) and one in ten will have a cancer. The report on the first round of screening (from 2012 to 2015) showed that only 4 in 10 of those invited took the test. Cost is not a barrier to testing as it’s free, so there must be other reasons why people don’t engage with the screening programme. It is always a challenge to be proactive about our health when we feel well. Nevertheless, the process of ‘screening’ is aimed at those who are indeed feeling well, but may have an early stage cancer. Cervical cancer screening Cervical cancer kills about 90 women in Ireland each year. Symptoms of cervical cancer include unexpected vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain. Women aged from 25 to 60 are invited to participate in screening, which involves having a smear test, usually done by the local GP or practice nurse. The smear test itself takes minutes and will detect precancerous and cancerous changes. Having a smear test will pick up changes in the cervix before symptoms develop. What happens next depends on the specific result. As it is treatable if diagnosed early, going for a smear test is your best chance of reducing your risk of a poor outcome. A press release from CervicalCheck (29 September 2017) stated that the screening numbers for 2015-2016 were the highest ever since the programme began in 2008, with almost 80% of the target 1.2 million women screened. A closer look at the figures shows that women are less likely to attend for a smear test the older they get. Professor Flannelly, the Clinical Director of CervicalCheck, stated ‘We have identified that over one in four women in the 50 to 60 year old cohort have not participated in the programme in the last five years. There might be a perception that this is a young woman’s issue, but women over 50 are still very much at risk.’ Find further information at www.cervicalcheck.ie, where you may also register/update your details. Breast cancer screening BreastCheck (www.breastcheck.ie) is probably the best known of the screening programmes. According to the Irish Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, after non-mela20 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

noma skin cancer. At present, women aged 50 to 64 are called for a mammogram every two years. By 2021 all women aged 50-69 will have a two-yearly mammogram. The programme report for 2015-2016 showed that almost three quarters of eligible women attended for their screening mammogram. However younger women, those aged 50-54 years, were more likely to attend than older women. Breast cancer symptoms include finding a lump in either breast; skin changes, including puckering or dimpling of the skin; inversion of a nipple. There are other symptoms – nipple discharge, change in the size or consistency of a breast, changes to the skin of the nipple and breast pain. If you are concerned about any changes to your breast it’s best to get checked out, even if you’ve recently had a mammogram. Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the tiny blood vessels at the back of the eye are damaged by having diabetes. There are different stages of retinopathy - the early stages may cause no eye symptoms, while late stage disease may cause blindness. Luckily, early disease can be picked up by having an examination of the back of the eye (retina) using specialist photography. Diabetic RetinaScreen is the national programme for diabetic retinopathy screening and was launched in 2013. There are approximately 145,000 people in Ireland with diabetes, all of whom will be called for screening. The aim is to have annual screening for all individuals with diabetes over 12 years of age. Diabetic retinopathy can be treated by laser; this treatment is free. If you have diabetes you may Freephone 1800 454555 to check you are on the register for screening. You may register for screening on the website www.diabeticretinascreen.ie. Regular participation in health screening programmes is part of a comprehensive approach to maintaining our health. Someone with a family history of bowel or breast cancer may need earlier than usual screening, which is usually arranged through their GP. Many more men and women could avail of free bowel cancer screening. It’s important to keep breast and cervical cancer screening in mind as we age. As no screening test is 100% perfect, even the best of the screening tests will miss some cancers. Therefore it’s vital that any new symptoms are checked out.


Travel

Iberostar Royal Andalus

No Bridge too far Iberostar Beach

Tour leader Teresa Ryan

Sherry Park Hotel

Cadiz, Spain is situated on a narrow slice of land surrounded by the sea Cádiz is, in most respects, is a typically Andalusian city with a wealth of attractive vistas and well-preserved historical landmarks Cádiz, the oldest continuously inhabited city in Spain and one of the oldest in western Europe, Cádiz is sometimes counted as the most ancient city still standing in Western Europe.   Jerez is located 12 km from the Atlantic Ocean, in the Campiña de Jerez, region appropriate to cultivate the vineyards that produce the famous sherry. Since 1987 the Grand Prix motorcycle racing has been held at the Circuito de Jerez in early May. On this weekend, the city welcomes tens of thousands of bikers from around the world.   Killester Travel will be organising 2 Outstand-

ing Bridge Events in 2018 in the most superb surroundings. 5th June in Jerez Beautiful Sherry Park Hotel. The home of Sherry and a magnificent city. Enjoy world famous display of Andalucian Horses. 6th November in Playa Barrosa IBEROSTAR Royal Andalus. Superior 4 Star Hotel overlooking 7 Kilometres of most magnificent golden beach.   Both Events E895. Include 5 Nights Bridge, Breakfast and Dinner. Lunch is also included on our Barossa Trip. Contact our Bridge Consultant and tour leader Teresa Ryan on 085 1868847 or Orla Mongey in Killester Travel on 01 8336935 www.killestertravel.com

Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 21


Leaving A Legacy

Have you considered when making your will to leave a legacy gift to a cause you care about? Everyone should have a will Only three in ten Irish adults have made a will, yet making a will is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make. As a legal document, it ensures that proper arrangements are made for family and friends, and that your assets will distributed in the way you wish after you die, subject to certain rights and conditions. With so many benefits associated with this important process, the decision to make a will should be straightforward. If your wishes are not expressed in a will, then the law (called Succession Law) determines how your estate is distributed according to strict legal rules. It can also mean that your estate might not be divided in accordance with your wishes. Why make a will? There are a number of important reasons why a person should make a will but the most important reason is that you decide what happens to your estate when you are gone. Your will should be prepared by a solicitor who will advise you of the tax and legal implications of your decisions and who will use your outlined instructions to draft your will. Before making an appointment with your solicitor, it is helpful to take note of the following: · · · ·

Your assets, their value and their location. Your nearest relatives. Your executor(s) – this is the person(s) that will administer the estate in accordance with the directions set out in the will. This person should be someone that you trust and who is responsible. The proposed division of your estate – which refers to all of the money, property, assets, interests and things of value controlled by a person while alive.

Your solicitor can then take you through any legal restrictions (if applicable), special circumstances, inheritance tax and types of will. It is usually a much more straightforward and cost effective process 22 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

than you might think and your solicitor will discuss what is necessary for drawing up this important personal document when you make your appointment. Once family and friends have been looked after and all other important personal decisions have been made, deciding to leave a legacy gift to a charity is a wonderful way to support a favourite cause in the future. Large or small, every legacy is a generous gift of hope and trust for the future.

Steps to Making a Will 1. Make An Appointment Avail of expert advice and support. Take the first step to discuss your wishes and decisions for the future 2. Look After Loved Ones First Why a will is important. A will provides for loved ones, assigns guardians, protects your assets and helps reduce inheritance tax 3. Consider A Legacy To Charity Your gift may be big or small and is tax free. If you have a cause close to your heart, please consider leaving a gift to that charity in your will


Your legacy could be a future without cancer By leaving a legacy gift to the Irish Cancer Society now, no matter how big or small, you can help save the lives of people with cancer in the future. For more information about remembering the Irish Cancer Society in your will, speak to your solicitor or call Aoife McDarby on 01-2316629 or email amcdarby@irishcancer.ie

Irish Cancer Society

244227_2L_Irish Cancer Society_JM_Senior Citizen.indd 1

See selfhelpafrica.org/ie/legacy or call Louise on 01 6778880

24/11/2017 15:22


Leaving A Legacy

Self Helping in Africa

Pictured are David McCullagh, RTE journalist, Sharon Foley, CEO, Irish Hospice Foundation, Professor Jenny Kitzinger, University of Cardiff and Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness, at the launch of ‘The People’s Charter on Dying, Death and Bereavement in Ireland’ at Forum 2017, Dublin Castle.

Irish Hospice Foundation – Have Your Say People want to live and die in an Ireland where they can prepare for what lies ahead. People want to live and die in an Ireland where they are treated as an individual and their wishes, choices and beliefs are respected. This is the resounding voice of 2,600 people across the country who responded to The Irish Hospice Foundation’s ‘Have Your Say’ survey. Citizens were asked what they feel is needed for a good death and in bereavement and the findings are emotive and inspirational. The strong response shows people want the opportunity to express their end-of-life choices and talk about making a plan. From this captured information, The Irish Hospice Foundation(IHF) crafted ‘The People’s Charter on Dying, Death and Bereavement in Ireland’ which was launched by the IHF at the biennial ‘Forum on End of Life’ in Dublin Castle. It’s never too early to ‘Think Ahead’. The IHF’s ‘Think Ahead’ form urges people to Think, Talk and Tell about all aspects of end of life. The form makes it easy for you to record your preferences for emergency or end-of-life care, funeral services, and more. You’ll also record key information about your legal and financial affairs. This can give the gift of peace of mind to you and your loved ones.” The form is available online at www.thinkahead.ie or in hard copy by phoning 01 679 3188 or via our online shop at www.hospicefoundation.ie. A copy of the charter is also available from our offices or online. Once family and friends have been looked after and all other important personal decisions have been made, leaving a legacy gift to a charity like The Irish Hospice Foundation is a wonderful way to support your favourite cause in the future. Large or small, every legacy is a generous gift of hope and trust for the future 24 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Self Help Africa is Ireland’s leading international development charity working through agriculture to end hunger and poverty amongst some of the poorest communities on earth. Self Help Africa supports rural poor households to grow more, diversify their farming activities, and earn more from their land. In a region where up to 80% of people rely on farming for their survival, and where most farms have the potential to produce much more than they do at present, the charity provides training and other practical support to small-scale farming families across Africa. According to the World Bank, support for farming communities is 11 times more effective than other activities at ending extreme hunger and poverty. By providing better quality seed, promoting better farming techniques and assisting households to produce better quality food, for both household consumption and for sale, Self Help Africa is transforming the lives of millions of people, each year. Self Help Africa organises farmers into cooperatives and producer groups, so that production, storage and transport costs can be reduced, and new and profitable markets sourced for surpluses. Resources are also invested in African women, who do much of the work on small farms, yet traditionally receive only a fraction of the available support. Women are assisted with training so that they can grow more and better quality food on their land, while thousands of small loans are provided each year, to support women with income generating small businesses. Research shows that income that is invested in women is most likely to be invested in the education, health and welfare of children and the family. Self Help Africa is a part of The Gorta Group, which was formed following a merger between Self Help Africa and Gorta, Ireland’s longest established international agricultural development charity, in 2014. In 2017 the organisation supported more than 3.5 million people across nine African countries. To find out more visit: www.selfhelpafrica.org


Saint Joseph's Shankill Dedicated to Dementia Care

You can change the world Idomeni, Greece 2016 Š N.Marton/Red Cross

Leaving a Gift in your Will Leaving a legacy in your Will to the Irish Red Cross will bring emergency relief to people suffering hunger, violence and other international crisis. And it will help people who need rescue and care here in Ireland.

When you change the world for one person you change the world for everyone

If you’d like to know more, please contact Emma on 01 642 4645 or email edoyle@redcross.ie

www.redcross.ie


Leaving A Legacy

‘Its About Normalising The Process’ Emma Doyle - Major Gifts Executive for the Irish Red Cross reflects on a busy year It’s a particularly busy time for Emma Doyle and the Irish Red Cross with their Christmas fundraising appeal well underway. ‘It’s the most important appeal of the year, as it brings unrestricted income into the organisation which can be used across a variety of projects both in Ireland and further afield, in places such as Donegal, Myanmar and Yemen, to name but a few. The same campaign last year raised E180,000.

Apart from looking for monetary donations this Christmas, they have placed a Christmas tree outside Irish Red Cross HQ in Merrion Square and over the festive period and are asking members of the general public to drop by and write messages of encouragement (which can be hung as decorations on the tree) to people in crisis - both at home and abroad’. But as with all Charities leaving a legacy, whoever small is an essential part of her work. ‘We are very involved in the My Legacy week which is run every Autumn (www. mylegacy.ie) and is an umbrella group of over

Irish Cancer Society – Caring for Generations to Come More people are getting cancer in Ireland and worldwide. It is expected that the number of cancer cases in Ireland will double by 2040. Thankfully, though, cancer is no longer a death sentence – six in ten patients will survive the disease for at least five years. Survival rates are improving and patients are living well with cancer and living for longer thanks to research, including the research carried out by the Irish Cancer Society. Cancer research can span from cancer prevention to laboratory research, from clinical trials to quality-of-life research for survivors. While research is extremely important for cancer patients being treated in Ireland today, much of our cancer research will benefit the next generation of cancer patients. This wouldn’t happen without the support of the Irish public, and much of this support comes in the form of legacy gifts. Many people leave a legacy gift to the Irish Cancer Society as their way of improving cancer treatment and care for generations to come. Irish Cancer Society research ensures that patients diagnosed with cancer in Ireland will have access to the most cutting edge treatments and the best possible care. “Research is everything. It has made a difference to me and hundreds like me; I wouldn’t have survived five years without research into

50 charities who work together to promote the importance of making a will and ask people to consider leaving a legacy gift to charity. Only 1 in 3 people in Ireland have a will and we want to play our part in normalising the whole process – in that once people have make a will and looked after their loved ones they consider leaving a legacy’. ‘ We are also always looking for volunteers to help out in our 130 branches nationwide and a lifetime membership costs just E30 plus our First Aid courses are hugely popular’. If you would like to make a financial contribution this Christmas you can donate at this link; www.redcross.ie/christmas. Tel: 01 642 4600 16 Merrion Square, Dublin 2 Email: info@redcross.ie www.redcross.ie Our vision is to lead the way in dementia care in Ireland creating a community where anyone living with dementia can thrive and enjoy the remainder of their life, and is cared for in a way that focuses on the person they are and what matters to them.

new and better treatments. Even if we don’t have a cure in my lifetime, there is hope that in the future people won’t have to go through this”. Stephanie, breast cancer survivor. When it comes to deciding on a Will, many people, after they have provided for their friends and family also choose to leave a gift to a cause close to their hearts. A gift to the Irish Cancer Society, while costing nothing now, will make a real and meaningful difference to the lives of cancer patients in the future. Irish Cancer Society, 43-45 Northumberland Road, Dublin 4 Tel: 01 2316 629 www.cancer.ie

Saint Joseph’s Shankill – Ireland’s first Dementia Village Saint Joseph’s Shankill, the only care home in Ireland solely dedicated to dementia care. We are very proud to be the country’s first ever dementia village, home to 60 people living in 1 of our 6 lodges.

26 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

11 people every day are being diagnosed with dementia in Ireland and this number is set to triple over the next 20! Unfortunately, we all know someone living with this devastating illness which is indiscriminate in its onset and as I am sure you are aware, the effects on people and their families can often be overwhelming. We want to provide as much support as we can, not only in our dementia village but to those people who need assistance in our community. Ultimately, we want to be looked upon as leaders in the field of dementia care in Ireland, through the care we deliver, and the education, support and empowerment we provide. But we need your help to realise our vision. With your support we can engage a dementia specialist nurse to assist our residents and those in the community with their expertise and knowledge. You can make a real difference, by donating onlinewww.saintjosephsshankill.ie/donate, or send a cheque to Saint Joseph’s Shankill, Crinken Lane, Shankill, Co Dublin or call Siobhan on 01 282 3000. You can also impact the care we provide long into the future, by leaving a lasting legacy – (and it doesn’t have to be a huge amount to make a difference) to Saint Joseph’s Shankill. Thank you for believing in us and our vision. CHY18282


You can help create a brighter future for Ireland’s sickest children.

By leaving a gift in your will to CMRF Crumlin. By leaving a legacy in your will to CMRF Crumlin you can help ensure sick children receive the best care, and access to the latest treatments and potential cures. You will be supporting Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and the National Children’s Research Centre. But more importantly you will be helping to save and improve the lives of children for generations to come.

Every sick child deserves every chance. www.cmrf.org

When writing your will, your family and loved ones come first. But perhaps you would also consider leaving a lasting legacy to CMRF Crumlin that will provide life-saving treatment to children in the future.

For further information call Siobhan on 01 709 1700 or email hello@cmrf.org

Charity Number: CHY4483A


Leaving A Legacy

A Legacy Story from CMRF Crumlin

Have you ever thought of leaving a gift to a charity in your Will? Once you’ve looked after your family and loved ones you may think about leaving a gift to a worthy cause. What better way to add to your legacy than by supporting sick children all over Ireland.

funds, gifts can be put to use quickly in the areas of greatest need with the greatest promise of impact for sick children.

Here at CMRF Crumlin our priority is give sick children the best possible care and the best possible outcomes. Through supporting vital research and championing patient experience we are making this a reality, but with your support we can do so much more. You too can be part of something truly great. Through supporting sick children you can be part of a brighter future.

You can help ensure brighter days for sick children

Leaving a lasting legacy Long-term donor Brendan McGonnell was born in 1944 in Dublin and was a pupil of CBS Synge Street. He had an inventive mind and was renowned for his sense of humour and his most excellent imitation of Elvis songs will fondly be remembered by his siblings and many friends. His kindness and thoughtfulness for sick children and the disadvantaged of our society perhaps characterised him most throughout his life. At 69 years he left this world, however, he also left a very significant gift to help those sick children and the disadvantaged that were always on his mind. May Brendan rest in peace.

Brendan McGonnell legacy to support finding cures for childhood cancers

Child and young adolescent haematological cancers account for approximately 40% of all cancers in children up to the age of 16. The CMRF in partnership with the National Children’s Research Centre and University College Dublin will appoint a Professor of Paediatric Molecular Haemato-Oncology, with the ultimate goal of curing every child and adolescent with a blood cancer allowing them to lead happy, productive lives. This is an innovative partnership, made possible by a wonderful and lasting legacy for sick children from the late Brendan McGonnell. CMRF would like to thank all donors who have pledged to leave a lasting legacy by including CMRF in their Wills for sick children.

Less Restrictions, More Impact Where donors place no restriction on how CMRF Crumlin allocates 28 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

We thank you for trusting us to make the greatest impact for children.

At our core is the belief that every sick child deserves every chance. We want little patients to have the best possible outcomes through access to world class research, equipment and treatments when they become ill. We can only do this with your help. You can help change, and even save the future for children who face serious illness, by leaving a gift in your Will to CMRF Crumlin. After you’ve looked after your family, you may consider remembering CMRF Crumlin with a lasting gift. Please call Siobhan on 01-7091743 or email sbroughan@cmrf.org to talk about how a gift in your Will can help a sick child in the future.

About Us CMRF Crumlin (the Children’s Medical Research Foundation) was established in 1965 and is the principal fundraising body for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and The National Children’s Research Centre. We drive fundraising to allow for research into the cause, treatment, care and prevention of children’s illness and disease and to actively support excellence in the care and treatment of sick children by providing additional equipment, facilities and assistance to patients and their families within Children’s Hospital at Crumlin. To find out more visit our website at www.cmrf.org CMRF Crumlin, 14-18 Drimnagh Road, Crumlin, Dublin 12 Tel: 01 709 1700 Registered Charity: CHY 4483A CRA No. 20005849


MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A CHILD’S LIFE…LEAVE A LEGACY Make-A-Wish® Ireland has a vision – to ensure that every child living with a life-threatening medical condition receives their one true wish. You could make a difference by simply thinking of Make-A-Wish when making or amending your will and thus leave a lasting memory. “Make-A- Wish Ireland is a fantastic organisation and does wonderful work to enrich the lives of children living with a life-threatening medical condition. The impact of a wish is immense – it can empower a child and increase the emotional strength to enable the child to fight their illness. It creates a very special moment for both the child and the family, which is cherished by all.” ~Dr. Basil Elnazir, Consultant Respiratory Paediatrician & Medical Advisor to Make-A-Wish If you would like more information on how to leave a legacy to the charity, please contact Susan O’Dwyer, CEO of Make-A-Wish on 01 2052012 or visit www.makeawish.ie

Make-A-Wish Ireland

Make-A-Wish Ireland has one simple aim – we grant the wishes of children aged between 3 and 17 years living with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Since arriving in Ireland in 1992, Make-A-Wish has granted wishes for more than 2,000 brave children. A wish granted is true magic for the child, providing respite from their normal routines of hospitals, doctors and treatment. In all possible cases Make-A-Wish ensures that all immediate family members can participate in the child’s wish. In doing so we provide long-lasting and happy memories for those relatives, whatever the future may hold. As a well-respected and popular children’s charity, we are fully committed to providing the maximum level of care and enjoyment for our children and their families. We achieve this through a combination of professionalism, attention to detail and sensitivity. Nothing is too much trouble for our children.

We receive no government funding, and rely overwhelmingly on the kindness of people like you to continue with our work and succeed in our aims. With your generosity we can make a real difference to a child’s life.

How it all began During a long night-time stakeout kneeling in some desert weeds in the spring of 1980, U.S. Customs Agent Tommy Austin tells Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Ron Cox his problem. His wife’s friend Linda has a small son named Chris Greicius who is probably going to die of leukemia. The seven-year-old boy yearns to be a police officer “to catch bad guys” with Austin. Running into bureaucratic hesitation at Customs, Austin asks Cox if maybe DPS can do something. “I’ll rent a helicopter myself if I have to,” Austin says. Cox takes the request to DPS spokesman Allan Schmidt and he gives Schmidt carte blanche to grant Chris’ wish. Soon Austin receives a call from Chris’ mom saying that she doesn’t think he can hang on much longer. “None of us had any idea what we were getting into at the time,” Schmidt will recall 30 years later. On April 29, Chris comes from Scottsdale Memorial Hospital to the empty lot by DPS. There he and his parents are given a tour. That’s when Lt. Col. Dick Schaefer gives the boy a “Smokey Bear” hat and one of his own old badges, and Chris becomes Arizona’s first and only honorary DPS officer. Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 29


Travel

Bristol and Brunel beckons.. Lorna Hogg guides you round a West Country jewel

As the sun sets behind the passing harbour ferries, evening revellers are silhouetted against the brightly lit moored restaurants and quayside pubs. A scene from Stockholm? Venice? Much nearer to home - it’s Bristol. This ancient maritime city, with its stories of pirates, merchant venturers and inventors, its breadth of attractions, tours, food and pubs, is perfect for weekend breaks for all ages. They’re certainly welcoming and laid back in Bristol – but also resourceful, hard working and creative. Brunel designed ships, bridges and railways from here. Artist Banksy turned graffiti into street art in these streets, and Concorde

was created here. As a major port city for centuries, Bristol suffered heavy bomb damage in the Second World War. These days, however, the old wharves and bonded warehouses house galleries and cool restaurants around the old Floating Harbour, and the city bustles with new activities. Freedom of the city Bristol is particularly generous with its free access to attractions. There is a good hop on- off bus service, and also a tourist favourite – an excellent ferry service. With a ferry ticket( all-day is the best value), you can travel around the city by water, hopping on and off

30 Senior Times January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

within walking distance of most of the main attractions. Start your travels in the city centre, its oldest part. The cobbled streets and alleyways are home to historical buildings, craft beer pubs, shopping area and concert halls. The Guildhall is here, plus the Bristol Old Vic, the country’s oldest continuously working theatre. The ancient St. Nicholas Markets, with international cuisines, are an ideal spot for lunch. One of the city’s top restaurants is also here, The Bistro at the splendid Hotel Du Vin, once an old sugar house, and now a top hotel. See the old brass stands, the `Nails’ , in Corn


Travel

Brunel’s magnificent Clifton Suspension Bridge. Sadly, he did not live to see it completed.

Climb the Cabot Tower for its spectacular views

Street, where merchants ‘paid on the nail.’ Go through Queen Square, once home to the wealthy merchant venturers, past the Almshouses, essentially a sixteenth century retirement homes for old sailors. Bristol also is home to a wide range of religious views. Its thousand year old cathedral (which appeared in Wolfhall and The White Princess) is nearby. The ancient St. James Priory, the city’s oldest church, is near to John Wesley’s New Room/ Chapel, dating from 1739, and the oldest Methodist building in the world.

Tudor interiors, ic close at hand. Climb the Cabot Tower for its spectacular views, and take in famous pubs, such as Landoger Trow and Hole in the Wall, said to have inspired pubs in the book `Treasure Island.’

Climb Park Street, taking in the splendid Georgian House, once home to a merchant venturer. The Red House, with its magnificent

Bristol’s Floating Harbour was created in 1809, to meet the challenge of the high tidal ranges. Regular stops mean that art lovers can enjoy

Several top shopping areas are also found here, from Park Street, to Broadmead to The Arcade and Cabot Circus. On the waterfront..

the Arnolfini, Bristol’s contempory art gallery, whilst sail enthusiasts can board the Matthew, Cabot’s vessel dating back to the fifteenth century. M Shed, the Museum of Bristol Life, allows visitors to see its achievements, with interactive exhibits and displays. One good lunch spot is nearby Cargo, where cool eateries have been created from re-purposed old containers. Don’t miss Spike Island, a working art and design studio, en route to Underfall Yard, a working boatyard – with an excellent cafe. The Ferry turns here, and crosses the harbour to the Pump House stop, where you can make the (very steep) climb up to the pretty Clifton

Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 31


Travel

John Wesley’s New Room/Chapel, dating from 1739, is the oldest Methodist building in the world.

The Bristol Old Vic, Britain’s oldest continuously working theatre.

Bristol’s Floating Harbour was created in 1809, to meet the challenge of the high tidal ranges. It is dominated by Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the world’s first ocean going iron hulled ship.

village. Glorious Regency and Georgian terraces, views over the Avon Gorge, plus top rated independent cafes and shops make this an all day destination. Try the top rated Primrose Cafe, the Boston Tea Party or the Clifton Sausage. Visit the viewing spot over the gorge and cross the famous Suspension Bridge to the Visitor Centre which tells its story. Complete the day by stopping off on the ferry back to the city, to enjoy a pint on the Grain Barge. Have a meal with a view on the romantic Glassboat, or at the River Grille. Other top eateries incude The Pump House Gastro pub, No.1 Harbourside, and the buffet style Za Za Bazaar.

Brunel’s Bristol

Temple Meads and Paddington London.

Brunel may not be a familiar name to Irish ears, but there is a good chance that you’re already familiar with his work. He was engineer for the Cork and Waterford railway, and if you’ve ever travelled on the train or DART from Dublin to Greystones, you’ll have passed through four of his tunnels at Bray Head.

In 1843 Brunel changed sea travel forever, when his design, the world’s first ocean going iron hulled ship, the SS Great Britain, was launched. The latter is justifiably the city’s top tourist attraction – and best approached by water.

At the age of 24, after winning the competition to design the Clifton Suspension Bridge, he began work on the design. Sadly, he did not live to see completed. In 1833, he became Chief Engineer for the new Great Western Railway, and designed the `bookend’ stations at Bristol

32 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Brought back to Bristol in a sorry state after a lifetime of work , she is now resored to her full glory. You can go below the water level to see the hull, and children can climb the rigging under instruction. The ship’s tour – from first class comfort and style, down to the seasickness and squalour of steerage, gives a superb


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Travel

The old brass stands, the `Nails’ , in Corn Street, where merchants ‘paid on the nail.’

representation of life on board. Irish connections are here also, with a number of Irish names on passenger lists for the many voyages, from Liverpool to the States, quite possibly carrying emigrants. The facility also has excellent museum and research centre, with help and advice on hand for those interested in ancestry. You can choose from several well researched guided walking tours , but you can als create your your own, especially on a Banksy tour. Armed with a map, view some works from the the man who turned 1980s graffiti into street art. `The Girl with a Pierced Eardrum’ can be seen at Albion Docks, Hanover Place. View the `Well Hung Lover’ at the bottom of Park Street, and `You Don’t Need Planning Permission to build Castles in the Sky’ at Lower Lamb street. Some of Banksy’s work is now under cover, such as The Grim Reaper at M Shed. Bristol also has a range of very popular bookable tours. Take a BBC Tour, booked in advance, at Whiteladies Road. You’ll have a chance to view the newsroom, present the weather, start in your own radio drama or in the place where Antiques Roadshow Coun-

tryfile and natural history programmes such as Springwatch are made.

Another of Bristol’s icons has returned home, and you can board one of the original Concordes on the airfield where they were created, Bristol Aerospace at Filton. Visit the galleries to get an idea of the history of Concorde, and finally board one of the planes which flew royals, jet setters, rock stars and celebrities. www.visitbristol.co.uk wwwbristolferry.com www.stnicholasmarkets.co.uk www.glassboat.co.uk ssgreatbritain.org www.bristolinsight.co.uk www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/ www.aerospacebristol.org Aer Lingus flies from Dublin and Cork to Bristol Ryanair flies from Dublin to Bristol

34 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie


JANUARY SALE!

Buy a pair of ReSound LiNX 3D 9 hearing aids for €3795* *Offer ends 31st January 2018.

Introducing ReSound LiNX 3D

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With ReSound LiNX 3D you will be able to do more and be more than you ever thought possible. Because ReSound LiNX 3D is up to 50% better at identifying speech in various environments* you can: • Hear 80% more of the sounds around you** • Understand 40% more speech in noise**

All while enjoying best-in-class streaming and control with the ReSound Smart 3D app. Compared with other premium hearing aids. Sources: *Groth (2016), **Jespersen et al. (2016)

• A hearing test must be performed in a sound proof room or booth. • A pair of hearing aids should not cost you more than €1600 at entry level up to a maximum of €4600 for the high end premium aids. • Insist on written documentation confirming the Make and Model of your aids. • Most hearing aid providers offer between a 30 to 60 day trial period and guarantee a full refund during that period.


Culture Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba in Molly’s Game

Craig Connolly (Oskar) and Jamie Hallahan (Jonny) in Let the Right One In at the Abbey Theatre. Photography by Ros Kavanagh

Paintings and panto Maretta Dillon reports on happenings in the Maretta Dillon previews happenings in the arts around the country in the next few months There’s more to the pre-Christmas season than just panto but do take the opportunity if it comes your way! Meantime, the visual arts offers up some cool choices. The new exhibition, Eithne Jordan:Tableau, at the Hugh Lane Gallery sees the respected painter focus on depictions of interiors, particularly those of museums and historical buildings. This is all the more apt for an exhibition in this gallery which was once a domestic house and is now a much loved institution. OUTPOSTS: Global borders and national boundaries is the new exhibition from the Glucksman Gallery in Cork. Artists explore points of conflict around old, new or shifting borders. Sculptural work from Katharina Cibulka’s re-purposes wooden roofing shingles from South Tyrol, an area that hosts a vocal separatist movement. Hrair Sarkissian’s photographic series Front Line depicts a similarly contested region: the self-proclaimed independent Republic of Nagorny Karabakh, situated between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Filmmaker Jun Yang’s piece, Phantom Island, follows the artist’s installation of a bright green, artificial island in the waters off Taiwan, alluding to his own homeland’s status as a disputed nation as well as to the Chinese government’s

current creation of such islands in contested waters. More from glucksman.org

byroads in January – more from musicnetwork.ie

This time of year is particularly good for group artists shows in your local gallery or arts venue so check these out over the season.

Molly’s Game – the Oscar talk has already started – sees Jessica Chastain as the eponymous Molly, a beautiful, young, Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents. From Jan 1 everywhere.

There is also plenty happening on the music front with the Yurodny Ensemble premiering their new suite of music, WAVE. This muses on the significance of the port in the making of journeys, but also asks wider social questions around the movements of peoples around the world. See paviliontheatre.ie.

Finally, the Abbey Theatre’s seasonal production is Let the Right One In, described as a supernatural thriller and coming-of-age love story which boasts a new Irish cast.

Button accordionist Sharon Shannon is back on tour from December 27 with a mix of old Irish tunes but also some new material and influences while Frances Black and Kieron Goss renew their musical acquaintance some 25 years on.

Events around the Country / Dec 2017 – Jan 2018

A quartet of Irish trad stalwarts: Arcady’s Niamh Parsons, a peerless balladeer with one of the most distinctive voices in Irish music; Ciarán Tourish, Donegal fiddle maestro and long-time member of Altan; flautist Liam Kelly, a founding member of Dervish are aided and abetted by the signature sound of guitarist John Doyle when they hit the high roads and

EITHNE JORDAN: TABLEAU Visual Arts Invites us to look closely at the multi-layered histories woven through the spaces of institutions and public buildings. Until Jan 14 / Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, Dublin 1. Information: hughlane.ie

36 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie


A quartet of Irish trad stalwarts: Arcady’s Niamh Parsons, a peerless balladeer with one of the most distinctive voices in Irish music; Ciarán Tourish, Donegal fiddle maestro and long-time member of Altan; flautist Liam Kelly, a founding member of Dervish are aided and abetted by the signature sound of guitarist John Doyle when they hit the high roads and byroads in January – more from musicnetwork.ie

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN Theatre A supernatural thriller and coming-of-age love story from the makers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Nov 18 – Jan 6 / Abbey Theatre, Dublin 1 Information and booking: (01) 87 87 222 / email: boxoffice@abbeytheatre.ie / abbeytheatre.ie OUTPOSTS Visual Arts Explores the tension between a more interconnected world even as nationalist politicians draw up new borders. Dec 1-Mar 18 / Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork. Information and booking: glucksman.org THE NUTCRACKER WITH THE WHISTLEBLAST QUARTET Music, Choral and Opera An energy-fuelled rendition of The Nutcracker by the WhistleBlast Quartet will charm every member of the family. Dec 9 / National Concert Hall, Dublin 2 Information: nch.ie CHRISTMAS CAROL Theatre Follow Scrooge’s ghostly journey to redemption, with Victorian songs, carols and a rich musical score. Dec 11-23 / Viking Theatre, The Sheds, Clontarf, Dublin 3 Information: 087 1129970 / email: vikingtheatre@dublin.com / vikingtheatredublin.com

YURODNY ENSEMBLE – WAVE Music Contemporary interpretations of traditional music alongside new work by composers inspired by these traditions. Dec 13 / Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin Information: 01 231 2929 / paviliontheatre.ie SHARON SHANNON Music World renowned musician takes to the road showcasing traditional Irish tunes but also new influences. Dec 27 – Apr 7, 2018 / island wide Information and booking: sharonshannon.com / dates and venues MOLLY’S GAME Film Jessica Chastain stars in a true story about an Olympic skier, high-stakes poker and why the FBI got interested. Jan 1 island wide. ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD Film Christopher Plummer heads this thriller about the kidnapping of JP Getty’s grandson by an organized crime gang. Jan 5 island wide FRANCES BLACK AND KIERAN GOSS REUNION TOUR Music The musical due are embarking on a nationwide Reunion Tour - 25 years after it all began! Jan 5 – 28 / nationwide. Information: kierangoss.com / dates and venues

FIRST FORTNIGHT Festival Ireland’s Mental Health Festival- challenges mental health prejudice through arts and cultural action. January 2018 / nationwide Information: firstfortnight.ie SAVE + QUIT Theatre Four young people in Dublin and London: Brexit, the 1916 centenary and the refugee crisis. Jan 8-20 / The New Theatre, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 Information: thenewtheatre.com   NIAMH PARSONS, CIARÁN TOURISH, LIAM KELLY & JOHN DOYLE Music Four leading lights of Irish trad join forces in this enticing January tour. Jan 9-20 / various venues Information / booking: musicnetwork.ie TEMPLE BAR TRADFEST 2018 Festival Experience the true essence of Irish life, soundtracked by great music right in the heart of Temple Bar. Jan 24 - 28 / various venues in Temple Bar, Dublin 2. Information: templebartrad.com Finally, if you would like your event to feature in our list of What’s On please email: events.country@gmail.com


Travel

Athena Beach, Paphos, Cyprus venue for the March programme

Killester Travel announce extensive bridge Programme for 2018 Killester Travel are launching a bridge programme in 2018 inviting you to four different carefully chosen and different locations. Tour Leader Teresa Ryan and Bridge Director Huey Daly will be on hand to ensure you have an enjoyable holiday.

Bridge Director Huey Daly

Juan Montiel, Aguilas, Spain

Lido de Jesolo, Italy

Athena Beach, Paphos, Cyprus March in Cyprus, weather should be extremely pleasant. Cyprus is a lot further south than Spain and you can look forward to a really enjoyable time. Our Hotel, as its name suggests, is directly on the beach and really is a lovely property. We have decided that on this occasion we will only have 5 nights Bridge which will give you the opportunity to get out after enjoying lunch in the hotel and have a look at the really superb selection of restaurants along the seafront where you can have a nice dinner. (Please note that this is one trip where carriage of luggage is included. In all other trips luggage is optional for a supplement) E845 half board. Juan Montiel, Aguilas, Spain We know you probably never have heard of this destination. It is situated in the very south East corner of Spain just on the edges of Almeria which of course enjoys the best climate in Spain. As distinct from any of our other venues this is an extremely warm friendly family-run hotel. The owner is present every day and is an absolutely charming person to work with. You’ll find yourself in a very distinctively Spanish town, a really beautiful and pretty one and you will be pleasantly surprised at the very cheap cost of everything, it is almost like getting back to the old days! A bottle of wine for example costs E9 and is very nice too. Beer is about E3 a pint and things like gin & tonics (liberal measures) are also good value. In

38 Senior Times l January - February 2018 2017 l www.seniortimes.ie

other words it is a very good value holiday and this is also reflected in the price which is E725 to include breakfast and lunch or dinner. We certainly will have one night off because one of the features of the town is that they organise a really wonderful tapas tour where we do a tour of Aguilas and enjoy a drink and a tapa in 5 different locations, a really super night. We also have a fantastic rate for people travelling alone as the single room supplement is only E35 for the entire week! Lido di Jesolo, Italy A favourite destination of ours for many years for golf has been Lido di Jesolo and we are delighted to return with a bridge group and again we feel this is probably a destination where you have not had the opportunity to enjoy the country and the bridge facilities at the same time. We stay in 2 sister hotels the Cesare augustus and the Monaco quisasana. Depending on the size of the group we may all stay in one hotel but they are literally joined by a walkway and share their facilities. Food here is absolutely super and a major distinction here is while you have the sea on one side when you walk out of the front door of the hotel you have about 7km of pedestrian walkway and of course a huge variety of shops all within walking distance. A feature of our holiday here is always going to be, on one of the days, an optional day trip to Venice which we think will really be a memorable trip for everybody. Cost of trip E795 half board. Killester Travel Group 169 Howth Road, Killester, Dublin 3 Tel 01 8336935 www.killestertravel.com


Health

Dry mouth Dry mouth or Xerostomeria is a condition affecting the salivary glands ability to produce saliva.

and waking up in the middle of the night with a feeling of dryness. If you are suffering from dry mouth you may also experience discomfort in your dentures or regularly suffer from ulcers or other oral infections. I

There are several causes of dry mouth. Patients undergoing head and neck radiotherapy, patients with diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis can all experience dry mouth. A large number of commonly prescribed drugs can also lead to dry mouth. People affected by the condition often display some of the following symptoms; constantly thirsty, difficulty swallowing certain foods, persistent bad breath

The BioXtra range of mouth care products offers a complete solution to dry mouth that works throughout the day and night.

f you suffer from any of these symptoms don’t worry there is help at hand. Bioxtra has a range of products targeted specifically at relieving the symptoms of Dry Mouth. The Dry Mouth Oral Gel and the Gel Mouthspray mimic the action and feel of saliva as well as forming a moisturizing layer over dry gums, tongue and palate. The Anti-plaque mouth rinse and the non-foaming toothpaste also mimic the action of saliva helping to reduce plague causing bacteria. All of these products are readily available from your local pharmacy without prescription.

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The Range Includes: Toothpaste and Mouthrinse for oral hygiene. Foam free toothpaste reduces dryness and doesn’t need rinsing from the mouth. The mouthrinse has NO alcohol and leaves the mouth fresh and clean. Spraygel and Moisturising Gel for instant and long term relief from the effects of dry mouth, perfect for all night comfort - prevents waking to drink water at night. Containing enzymes and proteins similar to those present in natural saliva. The BioXtra products reinforce the natural defences of saliva, which can be deficient in the case of dry mouth. Prescribed and recommended by doctors and dentists

www.bioxtra.info

Available in your local pharmacy.


Health

Vaccination is the only protection Influenza (flu) is a highly infectious acute respiratory illness caused by the flu virus. Flu affects people of all ages, with outbreaks occurring almost every year. Flu symptoms come on suddenly with a fever, muscle aches, headache and fatigue. Most people recover from flu in 2-7 days. This is different from a cold which is a much less severe illness compared to flu. A cold usually starts gradually with a sore throat and a blocked or runny nose. Symptoms of a cold are generally mild compared to flu. In some instances, flu can be severe and can cause serious illness and death. Serious breathing complications can develop, including pneumonia and bronchitis, to which older people and those with certain chronic medical conditions are particularly susceptible. Some people may need hospital treatment and a number of people die from flu each winter. Flu is spread by coughing and sneezing. Anyone with flu can be infectious from 1 day before to 3-5 days after onset of symptoms. This means that you can pass on flu or the flu virus to somebody even before you know that you are sick. Each year the seasonal (annual) flu vaccine contains three common flu virus strains. The flu virus changes each year this is why a new flu vaccine has to be given each year. The best way to prevent flu is to get the flu vaccine. The vaccine is recommended for all those 65 years of age and over those with long term medical conditions e.g. heart or lung disease

Pneumococcal vaccine If you are over 65 or have a long term medical condition you should also ask your doctor about the pneumococcal vaccine which protects against pneumonia, if you have not previously received it. You can get the flu vaccine at the same time as your pneumococcal vaccine.

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) is recommended for those aged 65 years and older and those over 2 years with long term medical conditions. This vaccine protects against 23 types of pneumococcal disease including those most likely to cause severe disease. Pneumococcal disease is a bacterial infection. The bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease live in the nose and throat. A person who carries the bacteria can spread the disease by coughing, sneezing or even breathing. Pneumococcal disease can cause serious illness including Pneumonia, Meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain) or Septicaemia (blood poisoning). You only need to get pneumococcal vaccine ONCE after you reach 65. If you received your first dose of this vaccine before you reached 65 years of age you should receive a second dose at least 5 years after the first dose. If you are under 65 you may need a second dose if

all frontline healthcare workers including carers

You have no spleen or your spleen is not working properly,

Vaccination should ideally be undertaken in late September or October each year. Flu vaccines have been used for more than 60 years worldwide and are very safe. Flu vaccine contains killed or inactivated viruses and therefore cannot cause flu. It does, however, take 10-14 days for the vaccine to start protecting you against flu. The vaccine and consultation are free to those within the recommended groups who have a ‘Medical Card’ or ‘GP Visit Card’.

You have a medical condition causing a weakened immune system.

GPs charge a consultation fee for seasonal flu vaccine to those who do not have a ‘Medical Card’ or ‘GP Visit Card’. More information is available GP, Public Health Nurse or pharmacist. www.immunisation.ie provides details about flu vaccination, along with answers to any questions you may have about flu.

You cannot get pneumococcal disease from the vaccine as it does not contain live bacteria. The vaccine and consultation are free to those within the recommended groups who have a ‘Medical Card’ or ‘GP Visit Card’. GPs charge a consultation fee for seasonal flu vaccine to those who do not have a ‘Medical Card’ or ‘GP Visit Card’. More information is available from your GP or Public Health Nurse. www.immunisation.ie provides details about flu vaccination, along with answers to any questions you may have.


“We’ll be our own lifesavers. We’ll get the flu vaccine.”

The flu vaccine is a lifesaver for older people and those with long term health conditions.

www.immunisation.ie


Creative Writing Eileen Casey

A Northerner looking East Eileen Casey talks to Lynda Tavakoli a Northerner with a passion for writing

Lynda Tavakoli: like all writers worth their salt, she carries a notebook everywhere, writing down ideas as they come.

Photography Society, Luas Transdev, The Square Shopping Centre Management Team. A bird certainly never flew on one wing and Circle & Square is proof of that truism. One of the writers featured in this anthology is Lynda Tavakoli, currently living in County Down. Formerly a Special Needs Teacher, she is now retired, devoting much of her time to writing. To date she’s broadcast work on radio, in leading newspapers and is a regular contributor to literary magazines and journals. Author of two novels (Attachment and Of Broken Things), her most recent publication is a short story collection Under a Cold White Moon (David James Publisher). She also regularly facilitates a writing group and in the recent past has edited a number of publications, one of which, Linen, is available at Lisburn’s Linen Museum. I love everything about books. Writing them, reading them. So, the next logical step is to publish them! When I established Fiery Arrow Publishing Press in 2006, my intentions were to bring to print local writers here in South Dublin. The cut and thrust of editing, structuring right down to finding suitable cover images all of these elements prove challenging and enjoyable. This year, Fiery Arrow entered The CAP Awards with an anthology I edited and devised, Circle & Square. The CAP Awards (Carousel / Aware Prize for Independent Authors) were set up in 2016 by Carolann Copland (herself an Indie writer and a fine one at that). All proceeds from entry fees go to a very worthy organisation, AWARE. Carolann Copland’s energies are tireless. She has done a sterling job in ensuring the awards are at the highest standard. Since the outset, she remains ‘committed to acknowledging and promoting excellence in Irish Independent book publishing.’ The primary aim of CAP is to offer readers a guarantee of quality in production and content, offering fresh, new voices and visions. Sponsored by Dubray Books, Easons, Books Ireland, Emu Ink Publishing, The Dublin Writers’ Conference and In Tallaght magazine, generosity from all concerned is a key factor in creating such a successful platform for independent authors. Dubray sponsor the beautiful trophies for each category. Together with Easons, Dubray offer shelf space for the winning books. Circle & Square owes gratitude to a host of contributors (both established and emerging writers), Platform One Writers Group, Tallaght 42 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

‘I sometimes wonder how it is I’ve ended up being so involved in the literary world,’ she tells me, ‘given my disinterest in anything bookish when I was younger’. Although she was a late starter (in her forties), it was inevitable that someone with so much talent as this Northerner should eventually commit pen to paper. However, that first writing came from her contracting breast cancer, a diagnosis which affected her life ten years earlier and from which she made a full recovery. Her account of overcoming this life threatening disease made its way into The Belfast Telegraph. Her human interest stories were well received but eventually, she looked to fiction and poetry to satisfy her creative needs. Tavakoli divides her time between Northern Ireland and the Middle East. This gives her a ‘rarefied space to write in that’s been constructive.’ Meeting her Iranian husband Sam in the US in 1980, she was initially ignorant of the geography and culture of The Middle East. She laughs at the memory and her green eyes gleam with merriment. Her husband to be soon enlightened her that the language he spoke was Arabic and that Persians are a separate race of people who speak a different language (Farsi) from their Arab neighbours. The couple have two adult children, Ben and Farah. I ask about writing rituals and writing process. Silence seems to be a factor in her creative process. She is envious of anyone who can write with bustle and noise going on in the background. ‘For a long time,’ she explains, ‘I could only write once my children were tucked up in bed and t he house was quiet.’ Poetry is written the old fashioned way, pen and


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Creative Writing

Members of Platform One, from left Tony Shields, Mae Newman, Marie Gahan, Bridget Flynn, Eileen Casey (with trophy), Annette Bryan, Trish Nugent, Doreen Duffy

paper but ‘when I’m writing prose, it’s a case of writing straight onto the computer so my process changes depending on what I’m writing at the time.’ She admits that it’s often a relief to have written anything down at all! However, like all writers worth their salt, she carries a notebook everywhere, writing down ideas as they come. Sometimes, she’ll flick back the pages to something she’d written down some years before and find inspiration there. When it comes to writing poetry, she admits to being ‘a splurge writer’. Her writing space is the sunroom adjoining her home (a misnomer perhaps she says, considering our weather!). Nature itself, the passing seasons, are all very important to her. Working with her hands in the garden allows her thoughts to work through ideas, the physical and the mental have that perfect symbiotic relationship. Apart from having a strong connection with gardening, she represented Ulster and Ireland in Masters’ Squash on several occasions. I wondered if ideas came freely to her, if she was a people watcher, observing others with a writerly eye (and ear). The question certainly sparked her interest because only recently, while standing in a queue at the bank she heard something which ignited an entire fictional scenario. The cashier asked an elderly lady where her husband was. The lady answered in a most unexpected way: ‘Oh, I only take him out on a Monday,’ she replied. This simple sentence caused Tavakoli to speculate on its quirky implications, concluding that ‘everyone has a story and many’s a great novel, I’m sure, evolved from the simplest of beginnings.’ Flannery 0’Connor once said that ‘anyone who has survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his/her own life.’ I put it to Tavakoli that perhaps there’s too much delving into childhood and where in her life’s experiences would she consider her own timeline incisions when it comes to writing. Mining from childhood experience is ‘Plausible’ she agrees, ‘but that’s if you can remember a lot about it. My own daughter amazes me at times by remembering events that happened to her when she was only two whereas I can’t remember much before I was the age of about eight.’ She takes a philosophical view of memory/timeline; ‘If I’m honest, I’d say that there is no definitive answer to that question apart from writing what makes you feel good regardless of timeframe.’ Having published prose, fiction and non-fiction, Tavakoli also writes poetry. She considers herself fortunate to have friends who supply her with poetry collections to read. She reads poetry, first and foremost to enjoy and connect with it but thinks that some poets can be obscure, which in turn can be off-putting for much of the general public. Her own poetry is ‘written from the heart and although it may not be to everyone’s taste, it comes from a sincere place inside of me and it gives me pleasure when somebody stays they connect with it.’ When asked to name a poet she’d recommend, she has no hesitation in praising fellow Northerner Mel McMahon’s Out of Breath (‘I loved it’.) Because of her marriage to an Iranian man, Tavakoli has enjoyed many trips to The Middle East. That country was a bit of an enigma initially but as she began to visit on a regular basis, to enable her children to learn about both their parents’ back-grounds, she made trips to Shiraz, Tabriz and Esfahan. ‘One of my proudest moments,’ she says, is when she read a piece entitled Esfahan, Half the World, for Sunday Miscellany’s Outside Broadcast at Listowel Writers Festival, a few years ago.’Colm Tobin, who was sitting next to her, whispered in her ear how beautiful her piece was, high compliment indeed: 44 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Under the emerging glow of a rising sun Esfahân appeared ahead of us, its great domed mosques shimmering turquoise, white and gold above the flat rooftops like some magical constellation reflecting across a Persian sky. From slender minarets came the call for Morning Prayer echoing mournfully through the open windows of our taxi. Hypnotic. Potent. ‘Maw receedeem,’ I heard my husband whisper in Farsi. ‘We have arrived.’ Into the myriad of tiny streets we tramped, through the majestic portal of the bazaar and down to where the river hugged its way through the thirty-three arches of the Si-o Se Pol Bridge. Curious eyes followed us everywhere. Respectful - interested in our diversity. And wherever we went they implored us, ‘Tell the people in your country to come. Tell them that Iran is not what they believe it to be. ’ (Excerpt from ‘Half the World,’ Sunday Miscellany) As well as writing about cancer, Tavakoli is a writer who tends to be drawn towards subject matter that can be a little ‘uncomfortable.’ She’s written about euthanasia, dementia, cultural divides, among other challenging subjects. ‘One of the absolutely best things about writing fiction is the opportunity to give your characters choices that may not necessarily be the ones you would make yourself.’ When I asked her if there was any subject she would steer clear of, she swiftly replies, ‘Politics!’. Obviously, as is the case with all writers, reading is important. Tavakoli lists as her favourite books: Plainsong by Kent Haruf, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor. She’s just finished reading The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, a truly wonderful book that will ‘henceforth make me view trees in a completely different way.’ She’s convinced that there’s a blossoming of female writers in Northern Ireland at the moment and assumes it’s because ‘there’s been good solid support from the Arts Council for bursaries, local creative writing groups and general encouragement for latent talent here in the North.’ She cites Belfast as a cultural city, hosting many literary events in venues such as The Crescent Arts Centre. In Armagh, The John Hewitt Society run a ‘fantastic Literary Festival’ each summer. What advice would she give young writers starting out, based on the benefits of her own experience? She considers the question with care before wisely replying: ‘Write for the love of it and learn to take rejections on the chin’. Because of her close connection to a local writing group, she considers these writers to be friends as well as students. Over the years she has facilitated a number of different groups, each with their own ‘individual quirkiness and vulnerabilities.’ One thing she’s found to be true, however, is the need for “connection. In my opinion it overrides even the writing that’s produced. That’s way I allow a little time for anyone who wants to, to share a piece of news out of their week.’ A good, solid, philosophical approach. At this point it seems appropriate to ask this very talented writer if she has any philosophy about growing older. She didn’t have a favourite quote to offer but a poem she wrote for The CAP Seamus Heaney Anthology conveys her reverence for the simplicities of life:

Petrichor When the sky cries Open up your face to it And smell the rain. Growing older doesn’t worry her at all. She hopes that in her sixty-two years on this planet, ‘I’ve learned to become more tolerant, more forgiving and more open to criticism than I was in my youth. I’m happy with that.’ And of course, her readers hope that she will publish (and soon) the poetry collection she is currently working on. Happy Christmas to all Senior Times Readers, I hope 2018 brings you all you could wish for.


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Health

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

The Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO), the training and professional body for eye doctors in Ireland, explain diabetic retinopathy, the symptoms and treatment options.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

What causes Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes which affects the small blood vessels in the lining at the back of the eye. It is estimated that there are approx. 225,000 people living with diabetes in Ireland and 10% of those are at risk of developing sight threatening retinopathy. The condition causes damage to the blood vessels in the retina, the tissue lining the back of the eye that allows us to see, and affects up to eight out of 10 patients who have had diabetes for 10 years or more.

Diabetes is a condition where the body can’t use and store sugar properly and this can cause many health problems. Too much sugar in the blood can cause damage to blood vessels throughout the body, including the blood vessels in the eye. When someone has diabetes, over time the blood vessels in the retina become thicker and the blood flowing in the blood vessels slows down. These eye changes are called diabetic retinopathy.

The retina helps to change what you see into messages that travel along the sight nerve to the brain. A healthy retina is necessary for good eyesight. Diabetic retinopathy can cause the blood vessels in the retina to leak or become blocked and damage your sight. In the early stages, diabetic retinopathy will not affect the sight, but if the changes get worse, eventually the sight will be affected. When the condition is caught early, treatment is effective at reducing or preventing damage to sight. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the five main causes of sight loss in Ireland and the leading cause of blindness among the working age population. This is despite the fact that 70-75% of blindness is preventable with early diagnosis and treatment. Anybody with diabetes, either Type 1 or Type 2, is at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop diabetic retinopathy. 46 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Diabetic retinopathy is the name for two different changes in the retina which can affect the sight: Diabetic macular oedema is where leaky blood vessels affect the part of the retina called the macula. If fluid leaks from these vessels and affects the centre of the macula, the sight will be affected. This is the more common eye change. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is where fragile new blood vessels form on the surface of the retina over time. These abnormal vessels can bleed or develop scar tissue causing severe loss of sight. Both diabetic macular oedema and proliferative diabetic retinopathy can be treated and managed if they are detected early enough. If they are left untreated, sight problems will develop. What are the risk factors for diabetic retinopathy? • Poor blood glucose control


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Health High blood pressure • Raised fats (triglycerides) in the blood • Pregnancy (not gestational diabetes). During pregnancy, diabetes can worsen diabetic retinopathy. What can I do to take care of my eye health if I have diabetes? The best protection against the progression of Diabetic Retinopathy is good diabetic control, awareness of the risks of developing sight disturbances and participating in the National Diabetic Retina Screening Programme or having regular eye examinations by an eye doctor. If left untreated a person with diabetic retinopathy could lose vision or find they develop other eye complications including cataracts or glaucoma so regular monitoring of your eyes is crucial if you are diabetic. The following measures can help prevent or slow the development of diabetic retinopathy: • • • • • • •

taking your prescribed medication sticking to your recommended diet as best you can exercising regularly and sensibly controlling high blood pressure – this keeps your eye’s blood vessels healthy. limiting your alcohol intake avoiding smoking Having regular eye examinations

Diabetic RetinaScreen - The National Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme Diabetic RetinaScreen is the National Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme which was introduced in 2013. It is a government-funded screening programme that offers free, regular diabetic retinopathy screening to people with diabetes aged 12 years and older. Diabetic RetinaScreen uses specialised digital photography to look for changes that could affect sight. All people in this country who have been diagnosed with diabetes should be on the register for screening. If a patient is diabetic, they need to check if they are on the national diabetic register. If not, they can self-register on the website www.diabeticretinascreen.ie or by calling 1800 454 555 or they can ask their GP or diabetic nurse to register them. This is very important as it is the people who are on the register who will receive the invitation to be screened for free in this national HSE service. Diabetic retinopathy may not have any symptoms or may not affect sight in the early stages. The national screening programme will reduce sight loss among people with diabetes as a result of early detection and effective treatment. Eye doctors urge people to make the follow up call when they receive their letter of invitation so an appointment for screening can be arranged. Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy Medical control Controlling blood sugar and blood pressure can help prevent vision loss. Carefully follow the diet your doctor or nutritionist has recommended. Take the medicine your diabetes doctor prescribed for you. Sometimes, good sugar control can even bring some of your vision back. Controlling your blood pressure keeps your eye’s blood vessels healthy. Anti-VEGF Injections Anti-VEGF injections help to reduce swelling of the macula, slowing vision loss and perhaps improving vision. This drug is given by injections (shots) in the eye by an Ophthalmologist. Steroid medicine is another option to reduce macular swelling. This is also given as injections in the eye. Your ophthalmologist will recommend how many medication injections you will need over time. 48 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Laser Surgery Laser surgery might be used to help seal off leaking blood vessels. This can reduce swelling of the retina. Laser surgery can also help shrink blood vessels and prevent them from growing again. Sometimes more than one treatment is needed.

Vitrectomy If you have advanced Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) your ophthalmologist may recommend surgery called vitrectomy. This is where the eye doctor removes vitreous gel and blood from leaking vessels in the back of your eye. This allows light rays to focus properly on the retina again. Scar tissue also might be removed from the retina. How to make an appointment with an eye doctor For an appointment to see any medical specialist working in the HSE, including eye doctors, you need to get a referral from your General Practitioner (GP). A GP has knowledge of the specialists in his/her area and can ensure that any important information relating to your medical history is passed to the eye doctor. Can I make an appointment directly with an eye doctor? While it is advisable to seek a referral from your GP many eye doctors working in the community will give you an appointment directly - you can find contact details for eye doctors on the ICO website at www.eyedoctors.ie How to take care of your eye health The ICO places a priority on raising the public’s awareness of eye health and the significance of eye health as an indicator of general health and wellbeing. The eye is not an isolated unit and has complicated relationships with numerous other bodily functions including that of the brain and nervous system. Often when an eye problem presents, it can be an indicator of another underlying medical condition. Many eye diseases are associated with general medical conditions and many general systemic conditions affect eye health (diabetes, sleep apnoea, various tumour’s, hypertension, sickle cell disease, lupus, and many others can affect the eyes and threaten vision). It is important for people to be aware of the positive impact of a healthy lifestyle on eye health and the importance of reacting to any change they notice to their sight. After ageing, smoking is the biggest risk factor for developing Age related-Macular Degeneration and also increases your risk of developing cataracts. Simple lifestyle changes can have a big impact and help to slow the progression or onset of eye conditions, like giving up smoking, eating a healthy diet rich in leafy greens, exercise, sensible use of sunglasses and having regular eye exams. It is important to make an appointment to see an eye doctor or a health care professional if you notice a change, however slight in your vision.

For more information on eye health, visit the ICO website at www.eyedoctors.ie


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Profile

Walking the talk Dalymount Park 1974, with Liam Brady, who was making his Irish debut, and Steve Heighway, before the European Championship match against the Soviet Union

Paul Holland profiles Irish soccer legend Johnnie Giles Johnnie Giles at his old stamping ground, Old Trafford.

If anyone thought that John Giles was ready to slip away into the shadows after decades as the senior analyst at the heart of RTE’s football coverage, a quick glance at the viewer numbers for his atmospheric and beautifully shot documentary Giles which recently aired. Broadcast well after the watershed late on a Monday evening in high summer, RTE cannot have expected the response, which topped out just short of 400,000. These days, the Late Late Show averages about

600,000 in the prime entertainment Friday slot so there can be no doubt that Giles remains box office gold, as he has been throughout a long career as player, manager and a pundit. Men of a certain age who were turning into their teens while Giles was establishing himself as one of the most accomplished midfielders to ever grace a football pitch fastened onto the sense of time and place captured by the footage in the programme. Giles tapped into memories created by crackling radio coverage or later, the doyen of football commentators, Brian Moore. It’s an era, which

50 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

could be mined for many more gems and should be given the huge response. At 75, Giles himself shows no inclination to step back from his work for The Herald and Newstalk and he’s been busy helping Eamon Dunphy launch his own new podcast show, The Stand. ‘It’s great. I never feel any of it is a chore and I never have. I’ve been very lucky all my life that I’ve always ended up doing what I like doing,’ said Giles. ‘I’ve never had to do anything that people would consider work,’ he said laughing. ‘I had a job for a


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Profile

52 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie


Home help

short time in a shop in Dublin and I had to do a bit in Manchester in an engineering works because my father wanted me to get a trade but I wasn’t cut out for it. I knew that straight away. ‘We always used to talk about how we would have to get a real job after the football and retirement came at the end of a short enough career. That’s the biggest retirement for professional footballers and it comes at some point in their 30s. That’s a landmark which comes very early in a lifetime.’ ‘Because I’ve been so lucky with the talent I was given and to have the understanding that I had to work hard at it, things fell naturally for me. I got to play until I was 39 and at that point, there was even a small sense of relief when I finally hung up the boots.’ After that came punditry and an approach to football analysis, which had never, been done before. An antidote to the fluff which passed for critical debate in England, Giles, Dunphy and Liam Brady educated a nation in the finer points of the game until RTE decided to break the unit up 14 months ago. ‘When I retired from the RTE panel, or RTE retired me depending on what way you look at it, it never crossed my mind that I had to reach for the slippers and stop doing what I have always enjoyed doing.’ ‘I’ve always been wary of the idea of retiring because you hit a certain age. With football, the legs called time eventually, not the calendar.’ ‘I also had a memory of when I was a lad at Old Trafford, playing for an old pro, turned coach, called Bob Inglis. He was a character, loved by all and he clearly lived for the game and the day-today rhythm of training and playing. ‘He was given a great send-off by everyone when he reached his retirement age but I’m sure he would have stayed if he could have. Within a year, he was gone and his death made an impression on me. It seemed very unfair and taught me to grab what was in front of me with both hands while I was able to.’ Such insights for one so young were to serve Giles well as a footballer. He quickly realised that behind the glory he had pursued since he first kicked a ball in Ormond Square was a cruel game, which treated its stars poorly.

(Starting out at Manchester United in 1960)

He knew that to survive and most importantly, to provide for his wife Anne and their growing family, he had to extract every ounce from his talent. He instinctively understood the core values of the game and how to separate them from the whirlpool of opinions which football generates. He knew how to separate his craft from the hype, which journalists insist on attaching to the most popular field sport on the planet, and this was to serve as the foundation for his work as a football analyst. Despite recent accusations that he has lost touch with the game, there is still nobody as incisive and knowledgeable in football punditry. Arguably, there never has been. ‘Look, I get it when I hear someone say I’m old fashioned but what else am I supposed to be. It’s my age,’he says with a chuckle. ‘I have an old fashioned view of football, sure but the fundamentals do not and will never change. If they do, it won’t be football anymore.’ ‘I played in a time when nobody was paid much and the clubs owned you. Now, young lads have enough in the bank to be comfortable for life by the time they leave their teenage years and financially, it’s a very different landscape.’ ‘I don’t envy them a penny of it as long as they are smart with the money and look after it but

Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 53


Profile

Training with some of his Leeds team mates

there are obvious dangers when you mix young lads with a lot of disposable income and there will always be problems with that. ‘I don’t see any sign that the wage inflation we’ve been seeing will stop until the flow of broadcast cash stops and it’s hard to see how that will happen.’ The current hot topic in football surrounds Pep Guardiola’s interpretation of John Giles’ two pillars of the game. There are many hollow voices offering opinions these days but Giles will never stray from core beliefs. ‘When you have the ball, you do your best to score and when you don’t have it, you do your best to get it back. That’s football in a sentence and Pep Guardiola is not reinventing the wheel. ‘He’s a brave manager, willing to try things but I feel he went too far with Manchester City last season and tried to make things work which have never worked – like playing full-backs in midfield or picking a goalkeeper because of his skills with the ball at his feet.” ‘That simply defies common sense and I think Guardiola has adjusted accordingly. City look very good at the moment and I believe he has the right mix to win the title. I expect his team to improve.’

Johnnie with his fellow RTE pundits Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady

Ask Giles any question about the game or his career and if you have the time, he will take you down all sorts of boreens and byways, football yarns laced with social commentary and always humour, always a belly laugh somewhere along the way to make sure everyone knows that he recognises how fortunate he has been. When his mind wanders, he can see no other path, which would have been better for him. Regret is not a word he uses much. ‘I would have been no good as a businessman. I would have been no good in an office so let’s face it, it was football or nothing. I never wanted to do anything else anyway. ‘But I don’t miss the playing and never did. Eamon

54 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Dunphy says he still misses it but I had no regrets at all when I stopped.” So what does the future hold for a man who, it can safely be said, has justifiably been afforded status as an Irish national icon? ‘I never look too far forward. It’s a habit I picked up from the game and I think it has served me well. I’ve got plenty to keep me busy and I like it that way. ‘As long as people out there want to hear what I have to say about the game, as long as I feel I have something valid to ay and as long as I still enjoy doing it, I’ll keep talking.’


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Short story

The blanket war

A modern day parable by Mary Shiel

I am part of a patchwork blanket which a woman knitted for an orphanage in Albania. She used many different yarns for the patches. She used wool from black plastic sacks hidden under people’s stairs for years, from charity shops or Two Euro stores, and even from recycled jumpers or cardigans. When asked how she picked her materials, the knitter could only reply that her choice was random, governed by her eye and her feel for the finished appearance of the blanket. She could not explain why she chose this colour over that, or one particular yarn over another, but she knew instinctively that the end result would be pleasing and harmonious to look at. If only this woman had known the turmoil she created by her decision to put certain colours or yarns next to one another! The turmoil came from within the squares themselves, and threatened to break out into open warfare on the shelf where the work was laid during periods of inactivity. Insults were hurled from patch to patch, and exchanges such as the following created an increasingly poisonous atmosphere: ‘I object most strongly to being put next to you, you common ball of charity shop rubbish! You don’t even know where you came from, or whether you’re real wool or synthetic trash. My label said I was finest botany three-ply and I know I once belonged to the Countess of Ashgrove. If only my poor lady hadn’t died so suddenly, I would have been knitted into one of her exquisite twin sets. Now look at where I’ve ended up. I can’t bear the shame!’ ‘Charity shop rubbish is it? At least my owner cared enough to take me to where I could be sold and do some good. Not like you, you snobbish old has-been. Don’t pretend you’ve forgotten what happened to you when your fine lady died. Left mouldering in a knitting basket for

years while her heirs fought over her estate, then packed off to the nearest convent. If one of the nuns hadn’t been our knitter’s aunt, you could still be lying in their dusty old attic. And another thing, you had to be doubled up to do any good, you poor thin, puny little thing!’ ‘It’s the stitch she’s used on me that I can’t bear,’ moaned a bright red square of cotton knit. ‘Plain boring old stocking stitch, no imagination whatsoever. What would have been wrong with something stronger, more masculine? Say a fisherman’s rib or a good firm cable? Now she’s probably going to embroider flowers all over me. How could she do it? I was meant for better things I’ll have you know. After all, I am one hundred percent pure cotton, and that should count for something.’ ‘Stop! You’re giving me a pounding headache. So you all think you have problems, do you? What about me? I know for a fact that this square I’m stuck next to came from the ripped sleeve of a boy’s school jumper. Ugh! I don’t want to think of where that’s been. Probably used for wiping snotty noses, or trampled into the ground by muddy football boots while acting as a goal post. Even though I’m Courtelle, I did come straight from a wool shop and I deserve better company than a scruffy old recycled school jumper.’ That’s the sort of thing I had to listen to as I was crocheted round and round the finished article, six times in all. I’m a perfectly ordinary wool and synthetic mixture, and delighted to be given the honour of forming the border. As far as I could see, I was the only happy part of this poor blanket, and as such, I felt I should do something to improve matters. How could I let us go off to an Albanian orphanage in this state of inner chaos?

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‘Calm down everyone,’ I said, quietly.

‘Just listen to yourselves for a minute. Every one of you thinks he’s better than his neighbour. Talk about €5 looking down on €4.99! We don’t want to start World War Three here, do we? It’s obvious that you’re all different, but doesn’t that make the combined effect much more colourful and interesting? I’ve been round and round you all six times now, and I can tell you that from what I’ve seen, you’re a gorgeous bunch when put together as our knitter has done. Another thing – what would you tiny balls have done if you hadn’t been turned into those single perfect squares which compliment the whole? Most likely you’d have ended up in the rubbish bin! We’ve all had a reprieve, if you ask me, and been given a second chance. Think of some poor little boy in Albania, Mother Teresa’s birthplace, who will now have a beautiful blanket to keep him warm during the long winters there. Think of how he’ll love the bright colours and the different designs, and even the embroidered flowers. Let’s be grateful to our knitter instead of resenting her, and let’s make our journey to Albania as ambassadors of peace and harmony instead of quarrelsome ill feeling.” There was total silence for some minutes after I’d finished, then a collective sigh of release seemed to waft from all these odd-fellow neighbours. Tentative smiles were exchanged and a new feeling of tolerance filled the air. What a complete change of attitudes in so short a time, and what a joy to be part of it! We are now a blanket united in mutual respect and at peace with each other, looking forward with keen anticipation to our flight to Albania, and to meeting our new owner. We will do our utmost to bring a touch of love into his lonely little heart, and to keep him warm and snug at night during those long bitterly cold Albanian winters.


Meet the Irish Who Influenced The World

The Irish are known for travelling far and wide. Over the centuries, 10 million people have left Ireland. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin tells that story, and is an essential place to visit for those with an interest in Irish history, culture and people. It is the world’s first fully digital museum and is suitable for all ages visitors often find EPIC a novel experience compared with more traditional museums.

Kid, and Ned Kelly, the bushranger and bank robber written into Australian folklore.

EPIC looks at the reasons why people left and explores how the Irish shaped the world they found. The interactive galleries tell the fascinating stories of over 300 Irish people, past and present, and relive some of the greatest achievements in the world of music, sport, art, culture, politics, food, fashion, and science.

The museum is in the vaults of the beautifully-restored CHQ building on Custom House Quay, originally a wine and tobacco warehouse dating from 1820. Close to parking and public transport, CHQ has many cafés and restaurants and visitors can re-enter the museum if they wish to take a break.

In music, long before the Clancy Brothers conquered America, there was Chief O’Neill, the head of the Chicago police force who had a life-long passion for playing, collecting and publishing traditional Irish music. From legendary pop stars like John Lennon to modern chart-topper Rihanna, also in the spotlight at EPIC are entertainers like Terry Wogan and Dave Allen, up to today’s crop of familiar faces like Liam Neeson, Graham Norton and Dara Ó Briain.

The newest major visitor attraction in Dublin, since opening its doors in 2016, EPIC has established itself as a popular destination for Irish people and tourists alike. National Geographic Traveller and TripAdvisor have both selected EPIC in their Top 10 Things to Do in Dublin, and it was recently nominated for European Museum of the Year 2018. With audio guides and guided tours available, the friendly and knowledgeable EPIC staff are on hand to help.

Sporting figures include athlete and Olympic gold medal winner Ronnie Delany, and Jim Stynes, the GAA player who became a legend of Australian Rules football. In the library gallery, Irish writers such as Jonathan Swift, Maeve Binchy and Seamus Heaney are highlighted and you can even listen to extracts from famous Irish novels. Memorable stories and characters wait around every corner and there are also a few villains including Wild West outlaw Billy the

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum would like to invite the secretary/social organiser of senior groups/associations to visit free of charge on Monday the 12th of February 2018! Experience EPIC for yourself along with some light refreshments. With limited availability, please contact Donna on info@epicchq.com or +353 (0)1 906 0861 to reserve a place.

EPIC houses a state-of-the-art genealogy centre, the Irish Family History Centre. During his visit, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau discovered his Irish roots stretch back to Bandon, County Cork in the 17th century.

Web address: www.epicchq.com Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 57


Visitor Attractions

Sparking the imagination Senior Times takes a look at 2 new visitor attractions in Mid Ulster Seamus Heaney Home Place, Your journey begins here Celebrating the life, literature and legacy of one of Ireland’s greatest writers, Seamus Heaney HomePlace is an arts and literary centre in Bellaghy, Co Derry, which stands at the heart of the area where the poet, scholar and Nobel Laureate spent his formative years and to which he returned time and time again, both physically and as a rich source of inspiration for his poetry. His deep connections with the place and its people are explored in an exhibition across two floors, featuring dozens of personal stories, photographs and artefacts – from his school desk to his school satchel - as well as the voice of the poet himself reading his own work. A representation of his attic study, which includes items from the original room in Dublin and original manuscripts, transports visitors back to 1995 when Seamus Heaney on holiday in Greece remained unaware that he had been awarded the highest of all literary accolades – the Nobel Prize in Literature – while messages of congratulations flooded in from around the world. In this space, a film of reactions to the award, including from the man himself, his wife and children and leading cultural figures, recalls the significance of the announcement and the ceremony. Learn about the words, rhythm and rhyme which have made Seamus Heaney the most widely published poet in the English language – and a literary phenomenon translated into multiple languages from Spanish to Japanese. Visit the library, now home to hundreds of books from Seamus Heaney’s own collection, donated by his family. As visitors make their journey through his life and literature, they’ll encounter the objects, events, people, words, landscapes which sparked his imagination, and receive an insight into the building blocks, tools and methods Heaney employed as he embarked on the poetic process. There’s also the opportunity to get creative whether you’re young or 58 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

old. Make a paper kite, play with words, pick up a pen and write, draw or colour. Dress up like a blacksmith or a Boston Fireman. Or simply sit down with a book. Our creative zone, has a dedicated creative team on hand to help visitors release their inner artists! Check out our events programme and enjoy theatre, music, song, poetry, readings, talks and workshops, all inspired by the life and literature of Seamus Heaney. For more information about the exhibition and the events programme visit www.seamusheaneyhome.com or call 048 7938 7444.

The Hill of the O’Neill Step inside the old Belfast Bank in Dungannon, now transformed into Ranfurly Arts and Visitor Centre, and you stand not just in a beautifully renovated Victorian centrepiece at the heart of the town, but also at the threshold of one of the most ancient sites in Ulster – The Hill of The O’Neill. Ranfurly House has a multi-media exhibition narrating the Hill’s importance in Irish and European history, its links to the O’Neill clan and the subsequent Flight of the Earls and Plantation of Ulster. You can take a tour of the exhibition space on your own or with an experienced guide when you’ll hear tales of the skeletons found on the Hill during a major excavation in 2010, the escape tunnels leading from the O’Neill castle which snake underneath Dungannon town, and the well which served as a hiding place for the inhabitants of the Hill during many sieges. A walk to the top of the Hill brings stunning views across 7 Ulster counties, all the more impressive when seen from the height of a new glass viewing tower, making it all the more clear why this site was chosen by the famous O’Neill dynasty to rule Gaelic Ireland for over 300 years and by Sir Arthur Chichester as the Plantation Capital of Ulster after the Flight of The Earls in 1607 For more information visit: www.dungannon.info or call 028 87728600


Step into Seamus Heaney HomePlace and be inspired! Our stunning interactive exhibition is packed with hundreds of personal stories, photographs and artefacts, and filled with the voice of the poet himself.

Discover the people who inspired him: his mother, his father, his brother Hugh, his neighbour at The Forge, Barney Devlin, his wife, Marie, his children, Michael, Christopher and Catherine, his grandchildren and even Carlo, the family dog! Explore the places of his childhood and formative years - Anahorish, Moss Bawn, Broagh, Toomebridge, Lagan’s Road and through words and images, share the emotion of poetry - from the joy of Blackberry Picking to the sorrow of Mid Term Break. See and hear for yourself on our video walls and touch screens how Seamus Heaney is remembered by his family and friends, as well as by global and cultural figures. Experience the reaction to the award of his Nobel Prize in 1995 in a specially created film which is screened in a tucked-away attic study – reminiscent of Seamus Heaney’s own Dublin study and complete with some of the personal items which surrounded him while he worked there. And at the end of your journey, sit back and relax in our café with its locally-produced food or browse through some of the bespoke range of gifts in our shop.

For more information and to book visit

www.SeamusHeaneyHome.com or call +44 (0)28 7938 7444


KYLEMORE ABBEY & VICTORIAN WALLED GARDEN Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden is just one hour from Galway city and one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions. Situated in the heart of beautiful Connemara Kylemore Abbey is rightly known as one of Irelands best loved- and most iconic country estates. Built in 1868 as an elaborate gift for Margaret the wife of the fabulously wealthy Mitchell Henry, Kylemore has had a rich and varied history. Kylemore’s story encompasses romance, politics, tragedy, and excess but also spirituality education and innovation. Owned by the Benedictine order of nuns since 1920, over the years Kylemore has evolved into a place of welcome

and hospitality. Experience woodland and lake shore walks, magnificent buildings and Ireland’s largest Walled Garden! Enjoy wholesome food and delicious home-baking in our Café or Garden Tea House. History talks take place three times a day in the Abbey and tours of the Walled Garden take place throughout the summer. Browse our Craft and Design Shop for unique gifts including Kylemore Abbey Pottery and award winning chocolate handmade by the Benedictine nuns .The estate is open all year and great value accommodation is available locally,

choose from luxurious hotels, gracious guest houses and cosy B+Bs. Other nearby visitor attractions include Connemara National Park, the Derrygimlagh Alcock and Brown landing site and the endless beauty of Connemara’s’ lakes, mountains and beaches. Make Kylemore Abbey a part of your Connemara Experience! Senior rates available for over 65s. To find our more visit: www.kylemoreabbey.com or call 095 41146

KYLEMORE ABBEY

& VICTORIAN WA L L E D G A R D E N

KYLEMORE ABBEY

& VICTORIAN WA L L E D G A R D E N

Visit beautiful Kylemore Abbey in the heart of Connemara, home to the Benedictine community since 1920. History, nature, exploration, relaxation, shopping and dining combine to create the perfect day out at any time of year.

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+353 (0) 95 52001 info@kylemoreabbey.com www.kylemoreabbey.com /KylemoreAbbeyandGarden /Kylemoretoday @Kylemoreabbey


GUIDED TOURS One of the most important sites in Gaelic Ireland - headquarters of the famous O’Neill Dynasty until the Flight of the Earls and the Plantation of Ulster in the early seventeenth century. TOUR TIMES MONDAY - FRIDAY SATURDAY & SUNDAY

11.30am & 2.30pm (daily) Must be booked in advance

Adult £3.50 | Children ( under 16 Free ) | Concession £2.50 Group bookings (10 people or more) £2.50 each

To book a guided tour call +44 (0) 28 8772 8600

www.dungannon.info | e: ranfurly@midulstercouncil.org 26 Market Square, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone BT70 1AB


Travel

Tenerife, an island in two parts Ethna Browne enjoyed the diversity of this popular Canary island

Garachio, regarded as the most attractive town in Tenerife

Mount Teide is the highest mountain in Spain, the third largest volcano in the world, and the most visited tourist site in Tenerife.

My visit to Lanzarote which I wrote about in the April /May issue was a trip of two parts. A 50-minute domestic flight with Binter Airlines from Arrecife in Lanzarote and we arrive in Tenerife North for three action packed days. We are in time for dinner at Dula y Pipa Restaurant at la Granja Verde (Green Farm Project). Chef Erteban dished up mouth watering traditional and modern cuisine with quality products sourced from their farm. It caters for groups only by reservation. Tenerife could be described as an island of two parts - the developed tourist destinations of Los Cristianos, Las Americas, and Costa Adeje and takes up a small part of the south of the island and attracts the sunseeking tourists and nightlife enthusiasts; and then there is the rest of the island which offers great diversity in its lush fertile farmlands, rural life and its many cultural cities, colonial towns and villages. Teide National Park and Mount Teide’s lunar landscapes dominate the centre part. Next morning, we set out from our hotel (Hotel Botanico and Oriental Spa in Puerto de la Cruz) in pleasant sunshine with our tour guide, climbing the winding roads through the pine forests to reach the cool altitude of 2000m in Teide National Park with Mount Teide’s in our sights. El Teide is the highest mountain in Spain, the third largest volcano in the world, and the most visited tourist site in Tenerife. A further ten-minute cable car journey at the cost of E27 takes one to a colder if not freezing altitude of 3550m on this lunar volcanic landscape with its impressive array of shapes and colours. This is the location where Planet of the Apes and Clash of the Titans were filmed. From here you can climb the remaining 150-odd metres to the summit accompanied by a guide if you hold a permit. Teide is alive at night where you can join like-minded stargazers 62 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

for the Teide By Night experience. You can also experience sunrise from the summit. Back on the bus and we are driving through the fertile Orotava Valley with its banana plantations, tropical plants, vineyards, olives, and canary potatoes being cultivated in abundance. We are on route to a typical Canary Island lunch at Sabor Canario restaurant in the colonial town of La Orotava. After we strolled around its old cobblestone streets with its typical historical buildings and manor houses with their original wooden balconies dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries and now promoting the island’s culture and canary crafts. La Orotava celebrates cultural island events and all feast days such as Corpus Christi in traditional Carnival. I experienced the current festivities on the eve of Fiesta de San Andrés (Festival of St Andrew) on 30th November for the tradition of preparing for the opening of the new wines. Historically they rolled the old wooden wine barrels through the cobbled streets to the sea to clean them and noisily alerted all to the opening the new wines. Today the noise custom continues and is done by dragging tin cans and pots and pans on strings through the streets. That afternoon was a chance to explore my surroundings back at the 5 Star Hotel Botanico & Oriental Spa Garden and check out its pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, child-free spa and a range of facial and body treatments. It was impressive to see that some big names have stayed here over the years. King and Queen of Spain, Bill Clinton, Michael Jackson, Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin and many more. One of the suites situated on the top floor has been named solely after Bill Clinton.


escape to the west THIS SPRING Enjoy Active Retirement Breaks at Salthill Hotel Join us for 3, 4 & 5 night breaks at Salthill Hotel and enjoy some local activities in the beautiful surroundings of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Your Breakaway Includes:

- Overnight accommodation in our classic double or twin rooms - 4 course evening meal daily - Full Irish breakfast daily - Use of Ocean Fitness Leisure Club November March

April

May

5 nights

€259.00

€279.00

€299.00

4 nights

€219.00

€239.00

€259.00

3 nights

€179.00

€199.00

€219.00

Aqua aerobics class and Wine & Cheese tasting available for groups of 10+ people. Prices based on per person sharing. No Single Supplement November to February. Rates available midweek only (Sunday to Thursday). Group Discounts available.

Discover Galway’s Finest Four Star Hotel Call: +353 (0)91 522711 Email: reservations@salthillhotel.com Visit: www.salthillhotel.com Salthill Hotel, Promenade, Galway.

Keeping the blues at bay! People tend to feel lonely immediately following Christmas. It seems that everywhere people went over the Christmas holidays was full of couples shopping or enjoying meals out together or walking hand in hand enjoying each other’s company.

Being a member of social group such as Active Retirement Ireland also gives you several opportunities to meet new people and keep the blues at bay! Speak to a trusted friend or to your GP if you’re worried about your mental health - A problem shared is a problem halved!

‘We find that January and February are our busiest months because of this’ according to Eithne Buckley from Two Hearts Meet Dating Agency.

Another option is to get yourself a dog and that will ensure that you will go out walking every day, which is a great form of exercise as well as being a wonderful way to meet new people in the form of other dog walkers. Not to mention the unconditional love and constant companionship that a dog will give you! The key is to keep the body and mind active thereby keeping isolation and depression at bay.

Eithne would advise people in this situation to get out as much as possible, whether it is to meet friends for coffee or to join social clubs such as www.meetup.com or you could sign up for keep ­fit, swimming or dance classes, join card playing groups, take up an evening class in your local school, join a book club or a hill walking or meditation group. There are several options out there and sure to be one that’s for you!

For more information visit your local library to see what is available in your area. www.twoheartsmeet.ie 085-77-42-444


Travel

Puerto de la Cruz has been an attractive and bustling resort popular with tourists for years. The Old Town is very pretty with a distinct Canarian character. Its old fishing port is full of narrow cobbled streets with traditional colonial-style cafés and bars. We ate a wonderful lunch of fresh fish and seafood at La Cofradla De Pescadores – the Fishermen’s Association restaurant overlooking the old port. I also recommend Restaurante Regulo for its great food and ambiance located in a traditional Canarian house with its wooden balconies. At Brunelli’s Steak House meat lovers can choose from its exclusive selection of cuts.

ing on the island, a restaurant and tasting hall with a catalogue of over 300 wines. Close by we stop at Bodegas Monje a family run winery now in its fifth generation for a tour, wine tasting and learn how to make the famous canary ‘mojo’ sauce. So what attracts 5 million tourists annually to this ever popular island? Tenerife has lots to offer – great natural attractions, sandy beaches, water and animal parks, lovely weather and much more. More information:

Here you can take advantage of tax free shopping in the high-end shops and visit some of the resorts’ many attractions such as the Botanical Gardens or visit Loro Parque animal adventure park famous for its largest collection of parrots in the world with over 4000 parrots and watch the orca and dolphin shows. The many tourist attractions worth seeing in this area are the picturesque town of Garachio where you can swim in the natural volcanic coves, the 16-metre-high drago tree in Icod Los Vinos, and the stunning village of Masca. The journey up to Masca is breathtaking along narrow winding roads with hairpin bends and the little village with its narrow cobblestone paths depicts how remote rural life was in Tenerife before tourism. The ladies were working on their crafts under the shade of the pine trees in the square. On our last day we visited Casa del Vino de Tenerife in El Sauzal, a former 17th century farmhouse, now a museum on the history of winemak64 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Spanish Tourism Office, Callaghan House, 13-16 Dame Street, Dublin D02 HX67 Tel: (01) 635 0281 sara.rivero@tourspain.es www.spain.info Aer lingus and Ryan Air fly daily to Tenerife South www.webtenerifeuk.co.uk www.spain.info www.siampark.net www.loroparque.com www.hotelbotanico.com


Travel

Along the route

Into the West.. In a recent issue of Senior Times Maeve Edwards recounted her bicycle trip along the Waterford to Dungarven Greenway. Now she tackles the Western Greenway in Co Mayo.. The Western Greenway is an off road 43.5 km cycle and walking path that stretches from Westport to Achill Sound in Co. Mayo. It follows part of the great Western Railway route, which shut down in 1937 but now has a new lease of life as cyclists and walkers take to it with a gusto I’ve rarely seen. Well, I have actually! A similar miracle has occurred on the newly opened Waterford to Dungarvan Greenway and readers of Senior Times will remember when I cycled that latter route earlier this year. Armed with confidence (and bravado) from that successful achievement, my friend Deirdre and I took off to try this new route in Mayo. I, as usual, was armed with my free travel pass, taking the 11.45 am Heuston to Wesport train, and uttering Thank you Charlie under my breath when I was handed my free ticket at the desk! Deirdre met me in Westport and our adventure began.

The bridge at Newport

Because we only had two days, we made the decision to do the Newport to Achill leg of this route, a distance of 31 km. Would we be able to cycle 31 km in one day? And cycle back the same distance the following day? Would our sixty-seven year old legs hold up? Newport itself is a beautiful town. It is dominated by the wide Newport River which was in full tide that first evening of our arrival. It was swarming

with children from the local swimming and kayak club who were out in force, leaping into the river in their wet suits. Their laughter was a cheerful sound as we set out to find the local St. Patrick’s church which boasts a Harry Clark window. The following morning after staying overnight in a local Bed & Breakfast, we donned our

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Travel

One of the quirky artworks along the route

padded shorts (a must-have) and turned up at Newport Bike Hire at 9 am. We’d been warned that it’s chockablock by 10 o’clock so we thought we’d get in first. We had reserved two bicycles and because we had to carry our luggage with us, they provided panniers which fit neatly onto the back carrier. We donned our helmets, checked our saddle height and were off! If one was to compare the two routes, then the Waterford Greenway could be called a piece of cake compared to the Western! While the staff in Newport Bike Hire insisted that the terrain is flat from Newport to Achill, we seemed all the time to be pedalling at a slight incline with hardly any freewheeling! The scenery is so spectacularly wild and rugged that if you needed an excuse to get off the bike and stop for a rest and a photoshoot, then that was it. The bicycle path itself is wonderfully constructed, and passes through farm land, beside lakes, through forests, and everywhere there are picnic tables and seats to rest beside. But it does have more challenging hills and hallows to manoeuvre.

Maeve takes a breather 66 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

We had already agreed to stop in Mulranny as we had heard that the chowder in the Park Hotel was not to be missed. It is a truth universally acknowledged that physical exercise brings on huge hunger, and thus it was that two weary


Travel

cyclists tumbled off their bicycles in search of this renowned dish. We couldn’t have been better advised. They treated us royally at the Park Hotel, ushering us to take our seats, and they’d bring over our lunch. Five minutes later, the most sumptuous bowl of chowder and homemade brown bread appeared in front of us! We almost licked our bowls our hunger was so great. Mulranny itself has benefitted greatly from the Greenway, and the town is abuzz with bicyclists and walkers. Refreshed and rejuvenated, we got back on our bicycles for the final 13 kilometre cycle to Achill Sound. A hearty welcome awaited us at Murrayville Bed & Breakfast at Achill Sound where Brendan and Eileen welcomed us with a pot of tea and slices of fruit cake. We parked our bicycles out front of their B & B and shuffled in, a question looming large in both our minds!! Would we be able for the 31 km cycle back tomorrow? Would we succumb and ring New-

port Bicycle Hire and tell them we had decided to catch the shuttle bus back. The way we felt after all those miles was that we never wanted to see another bicycle again. But as often happens in life, a shower, some dinner, a couple of gin and tonics and we were right as rein again. How could we possibly even have considered not cycling back? Of course we would. We would not be making any defeatist phone calls! A breakfast feast of scrambled egg and smoked salmon in Murrayville and we were back on our bikes on the return journey to Newport. And even though, as I mentioned before, the terrain is supposed to be flat, it was our turn to freewheel past the puffing and panting cyclists coming towards us on their outward journey. Anytime I hear that old Irish expression may the wind be always at your back I will smile remembering the pleasure of

sitting back on the saddle as we sailed past those wild Mayo mountains and lakes. A lovely camaraderie too grows between your fellow cyclists. Each time anyone stopped for a rest, a lively conversation would follow, as we compared our experiences. All too soon, we were back in Newport and this particular adventure was at an end. Dare I say it that once you get the hang of being back in the saddle, after a break of many years, that it seems to me to be easier than walking! There is such an unacknowledged reward in cycling a bike. If one has a hill to travel up, then the reward is in the downhill stretch. A bit like real life really. Murrayville Bed & Breakfast Achill Sound, Achill Island, Co. Mayo. Newport Bike Hire: www.greenwaybicyclehire.com maevelucia@gmail.com

Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 67


Pensions

Challenging the pensions minefield

Maretta Dillon talks to Paul Kenny, former Pensions Ombudsman, now working with the Retirement Planning Council of Ireland. Paul Kenny, former Pensions Ombudsman now working with the Retirement Planning Council of Ireland, jokes that the Irish public pension system is, ‘a classic example of, if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here’. A system that has grown up over many decades in a piecemeal fashion is often a victim of the law of unintended consequences. This is amply demonstrated by the recent controversy over pension entitlements, particularly as it relates to women. First, though, we need to understand the basic rules – how to qualify for a State Pension (Contributory). You need to have paid a minimum number of contributions at one of the qualifying PRSI classes, and you need to satisfy an ‘averaging’ test, which dictates how much your pension will be. If you don’t have an annual average of 48 contributions, between those paid and credited, from 1979 onwards, then the average is computed over your whole lifetime of contributions.

from 260 to 520 at Class A or Class S (for the self-employed). However, this couldn’t happen overnight so a future date of fifteen years hence was set – 2012 – for implementation. And then the Financial Crisis of 2008/2009 happened. The country was in severe financial straits with government looking for blocks of savings everywhere – a reduction in pension payments was an obvious candidate. The requirement for 520 paid contributions instead of 260 kicked in in 2012.

Paul Kenny: ‘The Irish public pension system is a classic example of, “if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here” ’. To track one’s way through all this, it’s helpful to take a step back to 1997 when the decision was taken to make access to pensions more difficult. It was agreed that the minimum number of paid contributions would increase

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A second development was the introduction of new bands of payment. Previous to 2012 there were only four bands of payment so there was little difference in the rate between the top and bottom band. The increase to six bands meant those who had small averages of payments got much smaller pensions. The maximum pension is paid if your average is 48 or over. Between 40 and 47 it only goes down by 2%. If your average is less than 30 it begins to fall quite steeply, and those in the lowest band with


Pensions

Those who might have entered the system early but for whatever reasons came out, could struggle to make the 520 contributions over their working life, and certainly would have lower averages, thus reducing any entitlement they might have. Women are disproportionately affected since they are the ones most likely to opt out of the workforce to raise children or act as carers.

an average of 10-14 , only receive 40% of the maximum pension. An average of less than 10 gives no entitlement. The upshot of these changes meant that some people were then deprived of a pension since they found they didn’t make the minimum of 520 paid contributions. The effects of averaging means that, for example, if you had a summer job at 18 and entered the PRSI system but then came out of the system because you went to university or left the country or, in the case of many women, left employment for long periods to raise families, it was difficult to build up your average. Such anomalies happen when practical cases throw up outcomes that were not immediately visible and certainly not intended. For example, under the averaging system, it is possible for people to enter the system very late in the day, at say 55 years (you must make paid contributions before the age of 56), work consistently for 10 years, achieve an average of 48 payments per year and then qualify for a full pension. However, those who might have entered the system early but for whatever reasons came out, could struggle to make the 520 contributions over their working life, and certainly would have lower averages, thus reducing any entitlement they might have. Women are disproportionately affected since they are the ones most likely to opt out of the workforce to raise children or act as carers. It is estimated that 62% of women as opposed to 38% of men have been negatively affected in this regard. Indeed until 1973, the marriage bar within the Public Service (an imitated by many private sector employers) compelled women

to leave their jobs. The question of time out for childcare was addressed somewhat when a system of disregards was introduced after 1994. If you – usually a woman – were raising children under age 12 after April 1994, that period (maximum 20 years) is disregarded when calculating the average. This had the effect of increasing your average, thus possibly increasing the amount of your pension entitlement. Issues around equality and discrimination in relation to women make this a very sensitive area. That is not to say that a new system based on total contributions is in itself perfect. A first look already suggests anomalies could arise whereby a person out of the workforce raising children could actually get a smaller pension than in the current system. It is likely that credits for those absent for legitimate reasons from the workforce, i.e. providing childcare for the nation’s children, would need to be introduced. Nonetheless, a total contributions system is regarded as inherently fairer if any anomalies can be adequately addressed. Politically the move to a new system had been off the agenda as it was regarded as too expensive. However, Regina Doherty, Minister for Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, in an Oireachtas exchange with Deputy Willie O’Dea from Fianna Fáil, stated that, ‘it is my intention to bring forward the total contributions model for the calculation of pensions from 2020 onwards’ (https:// beta.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/ dail/2017-11-07/11/). Moving to such a system and addressing the

legacy issues around averaging contributions has financial implications. For the Government to underwrite this move, it will need to find a new income source to fund this expenditure. All in all, as Paul Kenny, comments, ‘we are where we are, what we have got to do now is to examine the present system, and any proposed system, minutely and deal with any practical examples that it will throw up’. Those who have already retired and may be suffering and those who are to retire shortly should continue to raise this issue with their local politicians. Too many people are being affected – and women disproportionately to allow it to disappear. RPCI discusses State pensions as a key component of their pre-retirement courses. Something to bear in mind is that attendance at a course means that afterwards the attendee can consult RPCI on any retirement related issue including pensions at any time, free of charge.

Established in 1974, the RPCI is a Registered Charity, a not for profit organisation, wholly independent of all financial institutions and with a voluntary board of directors. RPCI is based at 14/15 Lower Camden Street, Dublin 2 Ph: 01 478 9471 / www.rpc.ie Courses are held in Dublin and around the country on a very regular basis. Please check the website for more details.

Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 69


Wine World

Into the New World for the New Year Mairead Robinson recommends some tipples to enjoy to welcome 2018

The good news is that very acceptable Champagne can now be purchased and enjoyed at a very reasonable price without breaking the bank. I suggest you take a trip to your local Lidl and seek out Comte De Senneval which you can pick up for a little over E20.

It is that time of the year again, and there is no reason not to enjoy and celebrate the season with friends and family, and of course with a glass or two of something special.

duced down to E12 some months ago, and many of us took advantage of the opportunity to stock up on a couple of cases. I am pleased to say that some bottles are still here to toast the festive season!

When it comes to bubbles, there is a lot of it consumed at this time of year, and when the economy took a downturn some years back, many people turned to Prosecco as a cheaper alternative to Champagne.

With our ridiculously high government taxes on wine in this country, it can be difficult to find a good bottle which is affordable. This is true for both ‘everyday’ wines, and a bottle for a special occasion, such as family birthday or indeed Christmas dinner. I do recommend that you check out your local German supermarkets, both Aldi and Lidl, because the quality of the wines they stock has improved dramatically in the past couple of years. And the prices are excellent value. My choice for a festive wine this year comes from California. It is a zingy Zinfandel from Parducci in Mendocino County, California. They are the most organic / biodynamic wine company in the world – www.parducci.com

Well I am delighted to learn that the dreaded cheap sweet Prosecco is now out of favour with many Irish people, having enjoyed what I consider an unworthy popularity for far too long. News that the sweet bubbles have a very detrimental effect on the teeth, have not helped its reputation! However, the good news is that very acceptable Champagne can now be purchased and enjoyed at a very reasonable price without breaking the bank. I suggest you take a trip to your local Lidl and seek out Comte De Senneval which you can pick up for a little over E20. This is a delightful buttery Champagne Brut which will very acceptable to your guests and makes an excellent aperitif. They actually had it re70 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

While considered California’s ‘native’ variety, DNA testing has revealed Zinfandel to be the Primitivo grape from Italy’s Puglia region. In the past


Saucy! Zin-Phomanic from Lodi

For the person who is particularly fond of gin, you could check out Wexford Home Preserves – www.wexfordpreserves.ie – for some seriously good hand made jams and marmalades.

it was made into relatively dark, lush, generous reds with ‘blackberryish’ fruits. Lately however using very ripe old-vine fruit, excellent wines are being produced with the sweet richness from Zinfandel. They tend to be high in alcohol, so remember that when sipping the lush flavours. I have selected Zin-Phomanic from Lodi, a wine created by and for Zinfandel lovers who crave the ‘arousing aromas, warm embrace and climactic finish of a fleshy, voluptuously-styled Zinfandel.’ If that description did not catch your interest, the label certainly will, and the information on the back of the bottle continues in the same vein:‘The scantily clad bottle tempts you, its secrets yet to be revealed. You remove the cork carefully, slowly, your desire building with every twist’. There is more, but I am sure you get the gist already. And if you would like to find out what else it says, and more importantly how this incredible wine actually tastes, we have a few bottles to give away! Just email info@hotelreviewsireland.com and if your name gets picked out of the hat, a bottle will be winging its way to you. There is no getting away from it at this stage, and a bottle of wine or craft

Irish wine sales are booming

Irish wine sales are booming again – now if that is not a sign of an upturn, I don’t know what is! Nine million cases of wine were sold last year, according to a report from the Irish Wine Association. This pick-up in sales has been linked to increased levels of disposable

gin is a most acceptable gift to give and to receive. In fact self-gifting is the new thing, so why not treat yourself as well this year? For the person who is particularly fond of gin, you could check out Wexford Home Preserves – www.wexfordpreserves.ie – for some seriously good hand made jams and marmalades. I came across them when I was given a present of their Orange & Strawberry Gin marmalade – I can honestly say it is the best marmalade I have ever tasted! Up until this I always thought my mother’s handmade marmalade was tops, but I must admit that this truly is the best I have had in decades. Tom Sinnot’s Aunt Ellen O’Leary started Wexford Home Preserves in 1988 in Wexford and built up a great reputation for the quality of her jams, marmalades and other preserves. Tom and his wife Laura then took over and brought the products to even greater heights – the addition of gin was a winner! They are a multi-award winning company, a great Irish success story of a small family business making artisan sweet and savoury preserves by hand. A most acceptable gift, and definitely buy some for yourself too.

income, shifting consumer preferences and the emergence of more competitively priced wines, particularly in the €8 to €9 category. The report showed that Chile remains the number one country of origin for Irish wine drinkers, accounting for 25.6 per cent of all wine sales

here, followed by Australia at 17.7%, France at 12.9%. Spain at 12.3% and Italy at 9.7% What is not fair is that Irish consumers continue to pay the highest rate of excise on wine in the EU. While 14 EU countries pay no excise on wine at all, the rate in Ireland equates to €3.19 for a €9 bottle. While that is annoying, it does make the case for buying a bottle costing €10+, to get the best value quality wine. Meanwhile, on holidays in Spain and Portugal we really get to enjoy good quality for less. And who would have thought that Holland and Belgium would be producing wine that has protected designation status? After Napoleon ripped up Belgium’s vineyards some 150 years ago, Dutch and Belgian wine is now competing with wine from French and German regions. Global warming is the reason! Happy New Year to all!


Health

Visionary Super Foods It’s a brand new year and time to reassess, regroup and refresh for the time ahead. All of us are eager to feel better, get fit and get healthy. The NCBI lists the top ten super healthy foods which will help to benefit your eyes

www.ncbi.ie

1. Avocados Avocados are one of the most nutrient-dense foods that exist, so it’s no wonder they’re great for your eyes. They contain more lutein than any other fruit. Lutein is important in the prevention of age related macular degeneration, the biggest cause of sight loss in the over 50’s. Lutein also protects against cataracts.

5. Spinach Another great source of vitamin A, spinach also contains other important eye nutrients including lutein and zeaxathin. 6. Kale Like spinach, kale is a good source of vitamin A, lutein and zeaxathin.

Avocados are also a great source of other important eye nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin E, which is an excellent lubricant .

7. Tomatoes Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and lycopene, two vitally important eye nutrients.

2. Carrots Carrots have long been recognised as an excellent eye food due to their high levels of vitamin A.

8. Sunflower Seeds Sunflower seeds contain selenium, a nutrient that may prevent cataracts and promote overall eye health.

3. Broccoli Broccoli is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, lutein, zeaxanthin and sulforaphane. 4. Eggs Eggs are an excellent source of eye nutrients like vitamin A, zinc, lutein, lecithin, B12, vitamin D and cysteine. 72 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

9. Garlic Garlic contains selenium and other eye nutrients such as vitamin C and quercetin. 10. Salmon Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for maintaining overall eye health. It also contains folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and vitamin A.


MEMBERSHIP FEELS GOOD Together our members make up a vibrant community of like-minded individuals, with a shared love of music and culture. Their collective enthusiasm and engagement enhances the work of NCH. We invite you to become a part of this remarkable group of music lovers. Become a Friend from €115* Friends enjoy exclusive membership benefits, such as: • • •

ticket discounts priority booking on selected concerts a dedicated booking line

• •

special events access to bespoke cultural tours at home and abroad.

Join as a Friend today by calling the NCH Box Office on 01 417 0000. Email friends@nch.ie or visit nch.ie for more information. *€115 direct debit; or €125 cash, cheque or credit card

If you love music, consider enhancing your experience by becoming a Friend of the National Concert Hall. Membership benefits include discounts and priority booking on selected concerts, invitations to special events, access to exclusive events and tours, partner discounts as well as a welcome pack and gift. With NCH Friends membership, not only do you get a substantial array of benefits, you are also supporting the arts. Membership costs E125 for and E115 for direct debit customers and is also the perfect gift, even to yourself! Contact the NCH Box Office on 01 4170000 or www.nch.ie for more information or to become a member.


Cosmetics and beauty

R A E Y NEW YOU! NEW

74 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie


Cosmetics and beauty

Mairead Robinson suggests a ‘hair make-over’ to celebrate the season and welcome in 2018

There are some women I know who have gone with the same hairstyle and colour for decades, and I think that generally this is not a good idea. What suits your twenty or thirty something complexion may not work so well when you are fifty or sixty years old as our skin colour and texture changes with the years. That is certainly not to say that you need to join the “blue rinse brigade” but by considering your hair colour and style and getting a good cut can indeed take years off your appearance. The first step in considering what is going to work for you is to have a consultation with a good colourist and stylist. I have changed my hair around quite a bit over the years, but I do love to get some professional tips and advice, so I took myself off to Ireland’s top hairdressing brand, Peter Mark recently to see what they would recommend. I remember their original salon in Grafton Street which was founded by brothers Peter and Mark Keaveney in 1961. They now have an incredible seventy one salons nationwide and they train all their staff at their centres in Dublin and Belfast. I chose the Mahon Point salon in Cork, where manager Mary Kate had a lot to say about how women 50+ are investing more in their hair these days and are looking at “going grey gracefully”. “Lilac is very on trend at the moment, and we have a lot of clients who would go for the lilac tones which soften the usual white/grey look. We can do the tone treatment in twenty minutes, and many women will choose to have this before an evening out or special occasion”. Of course the right colour can warm up the complexion naturally, and we need to match our skin complexion which changes as we age. That is why it is always a good idea to have a consultation with a good colourist regularly, as you would review your skin care needs over the years. There is no better time to check out your image and get some good professional advice and suggestions than at this time of year. We all need a boost in the middle of winter, and it is good to feel we are facing the year ahead looking as good as ever. We often leave a salon after a new style and colour, and feel great but find it impossible to replicate this at home. That is why I always go for an easy-maintenance style, which I can manage myself. I do like to be able

to recreate the look at home, and so finding the products that suit your hair is very important, and of course knowing how to use them too. I put myself in the expert hands of Edel, who suggest a warm base colour with some “Balayage” – an alternative to highlights. She also gave my hair an intensive conditioning treatment called Smartbond, which really improved the quality of my hair. As Edel confirmed “the healthier the hair the better the colour will work”. She gave me some top tips for ensuring that the colour and condition would last. And these include proper rinsing of the hair, equal distribution of all products throughout the hair, and mixing a little serum or oil with any gel you use, so that it will distribute more evenly through your hair. There is no doubt that with the intensive training that all colourists and stylists get with Peter Mark salons – it takes three to four years to qualify – that their advice is well worth taking on board. Added to that the quality products from L’Oreal that they use, including INOA colours, you are guaranteed great results. So, remember choose your new style with care. Make sure you really like it and feel it suits you. You bring your hair with you everywhere you go, and you wear your hair every day, so wear it well. As the lady says – ‘Because you are worth it”! Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 75


Northern

By Debbie Orme

Notes Stark images of The Troubles by celebrated local sculptor

A provocative new exhibition by a world-renowned local sculptor has been creating a bit of a storm since it opened in October. The stunning exhibition ‘Something is Not Quite Right’ was created by Belfast-born Tim Shaw, who now lives and works in Cornwall. Although he moved to the south-western region of England some twenty years ago, Tim has never forgotten his roots – nor the fact that he lived in Belfast during some of the province’s most turbulent year - ‘The Troubles’. Tim’s latest exhibition has been informed by accounts of tarring and feathering which took place in Northern Ireland during ‘The Troubles’. Tarring and feathering was a form of public humiliation which was used to enforce unofficial justice or revenge at the time. Many of the victims were women from nationalist areas who were accused of conducting sexual relations with members of the RUC or British soldiers. During a tarring and feathering session, the victims’ clothes were torn off and they would be beaten and have their hair shaved. Such acts were carried out by groups of both men and women within the community.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the stories hit the headlines at the time. One story that remains particularly in the mind was that of the wife of a British soldier serving in Northern Ireland, who described the disturbing scene of a woman being paraded around the square of a small country town in NI on the back of a vehicle trailer, clothes torn, tarred and feathered. In preparation for this exhibition, Tim carried out several preliminary studies in wax, including one shaped by a widely-publicised account of a male drug dealer who was tied to a lamp post then tarred and feathered in Belfast in 2007. Tim’s work sheds light on the issue of complicity within a Northern Irish community and questions what it is that makes this particular form of punishment so abhorrent. ‘Growing up in Northern Ireland,’ he told Senior Times, ‘everyone was affected by violence. We knew about kneecapping, about the shootings and bombings. Somehow the punishment of tarring and feathering occupies a more dreadful place in the collective mind. My exhibition explores the poignancy of this.’

76 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Tim, who was one of Northern Ireland’s 18 new entries to the 2016 edition of Who’s Who, is no stranger to the province’s ‘Troubles’. As a seven year old, the Ballysillan native was caught up in one of Belfast’s most appalling massacres, Bloody Friday, which occurred in July 1972. Although the day’s horrific events took place 45 years ago, Tim’s recollection of the day is still vivid. ‘I remember that, after feeling the vibrations of explosions nearby, I saw this electric blue air and I thought that this was a dangerous situation to be in. It seemed that there was a silence, which was quickly followed by a clattering of trays going through the air. I can still see in my mind the people, who were trying to get out. They were like shadow-like figures and I actually used such figures in one of my exhibitions a couple of years ago.’ Over the last couple of decades, Tim’s work has received great acclaim globally, culminating in his admission to the Royal Academy in 2013. One of his main inspirations was the work of F E McWilliam, the Banbridge-born sculptor,


Northern Notes

Tim Shaw preparing the structure for Alternative Justice in his studio in Penryn, Cornwall and two of the works in the show

whose eponymous gallery lies on the outskirts of the County Down town. While he was studying at Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, Tim’s mother encouraged him to write to McWilliam, who not only replied quickly to him, but also introduced him to a gallery owner, who agreed to stage an exhibition of his work. The rest, as they say, was history. Although his most recent exhibitions have centred on the theme of war and violence, Tim’s works have been many and varied. He was, for example, commissioned to make the Rites of Dionysius, one of the best-known works of art housed at the Eden Project visitor attraction in Cornwall, while, a couple of years ago, Queen drummer, Roger Taylor, unveiled one of his statues – a bronze drummer - in the centre of Truro. Tim works across a range of mediums: from stand-alone sculptures to multisensory installations which incorporate sound, smell and VFX to describe the turbulent, destructive and brutal effects of the human condition. A lot of the time he takes his inspiration from documentary images and media reports. Over the last few years, he has developed a more political side to his work, which is evident from a number of his sculptures, which respond to the issues of terrorism and events such as the Iraq War. Tim’s exhibition ‘Tank on Fire’ was awarded the selectors’ choice at The Threadneedle

prize in 2008 and the installation ‘Casting a Dark Democracy’ was reviewed in 2008 by Jackie Wullschlager of The Financial Times as ‘the most politically charged, yet poetically resonant new work on show in London’. Tim has had a number of significant solo shows throughout the UK, Ireland and internationally. During 2014, his work featured in ‘Reflections of War’ at Flowers Gallery, London, and ‘Back from the Front presents: Shock and Awe – Contemporary Artists at War and Peace’ at the Royal West of England Academy. His ‘Something Is Not Quite Right’ exhibition consists of two seven foot figures made from old clothes stitched onto steel framework. The figures stand on rockers which are animated so that they move back and forth. The mouths of the figures are stuffed with cash and gagged with stocking. The work sheds light on how compliance can be bought; proposing that silence often has a price to it.

Part one of the exhibition premieres work based on tarring and feathering, while part two will be presented by The Exchange in Penzance from February 2018. The largerthan-life, looming figures from ‘Soul Snatcher Possession’ will be exhibited within the confines of an enclosed space alongside Tim’s immersive installation ‘Mother The Air Is Blue, The Air Is Dangerous’, which was first produced and exhibited by the Kappatos Gallery Athens and subsequently shown at the F E McWilliam Gallery, Northern Ireland. The installation is a deeply personal work which offers a fascinating and visceral insight into Shaw’s traumatic experience as a child growing up in Belfast when he and his mother were caught in an IRA bombing. In Tim’s words, ‘it recalls that what happened then is all too familiar now in today’s terrorised world’.

Following these exhibitions in Cornwall, Tim’s work will be on display in the autumn of 2018 at the San Diego Museum of Art in the USA.

Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 77


Northern Notes

Getting a ‘flavour’ of the Causeway Coast Locals enjoying the culinary delights of The Shack restaurant during Restaurant Week

Northern Ireland is increasingly being recognised for its culinary delights, and there was a great display of local produce on display recently during Causeway Coast and Glens Restaurant Week. From food with a Caribbean twist, to a paella cookery lesson, to an innovative Game of Thrones-inspired eating experience, both locals and tourists were able to celebrate the area’s foodie repertoire at a variety of venues

encompassing both fine dining and artisan markets. ‘Restaurant Week has been a fantastic event for our food and drink providers,’ said Councillor Joan Baird OBE, Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, ‘and we were delighted to work in such close partnership with them. I would like to thank all of our partners for sharing our enthusiasm and helping to showcase our rich and diverse foodie sector. With world renowned visitor attractions,

an unrivalled coastline and a reputation for the very best hospitality, our Borough offers a complete visitor experience.’ A series of foodie films are available to view online. Just check Causeway Coast and Glens on You Tube. Alternatively, to find out more about what’s happening across the region, go to www.visitcausewaycoastandglens. com, follow them on Twitter @VisitCauseway or find them on Facebook at Visit Causeway Coast and Glens.

Blooming success in Belfast The annual Belfast in Bloom event aspires to make Belfast a City of flowers and create a warm, friendly welcome for everyone. Now in its twenty-third year, the initiative aims to get people of all ages and backgrounds involved. This year, Phillip Adams from west Belfast won the prestigious Isobel Bennett Award after brightening Colinpark Street with his displays of varying colours of begonia, lilies and ferns. Phillip used hanging baskets, mangers and tall pots to create the colourful displays with judges unanimous in their decision to present him with the award for his efforts. Allotments weren’t forgotten either in the competition, with Blythefield being named Best Allotment site. Commercial winners included Ten Square Hotel, the Errigle Inn, the Kitchen Bar Limelight and Commercial Court. 78 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

This year, Phillip Adams from west Belfast won the prestigious Isobel Bennett Award after brightening Colinpark Street with his displays of varying colours of begonia, lilies and ferns.


Meeting Place NOTICE To Anne from Midlands: your reply to box number E15 did not include a contact address or phone number. Among your interests are history and travel. Why not contact me again at BOX E15? BLONDE KILDARE LADY, 50, SINGLE, no children, never married, GSOH, NS, SD, kind, caring, medium build. Interests include meals in/out, romance, music, travel. Seeking large build, solvent, refined professional gent for friendship and possible relationship. Must be NS. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T1 LATE 60s DUBLIN WIDOWER, kind and caring, good listener and GSOH. Enjoys walking, music, bridge, reading, cinema and theatre. WLTM lady for friendship/relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T2 KERRY LADY, 50, TALL, SLIM, no children, travelled and sincere. Interests include walking, reading, theatre, concerts, museums, history, pets, gardening, Sunday drives and lazy coffee mornings. GSOH. WLTM kind-hearted, warm, sincere gentleman to share and enjoy life with. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T3 CO DUBLIN MAIL, EARLY 60s, outgoing personality, good appearance, NS, SD, enjoys reading, walking, travelling, theatre dining out, current affairs, WLTM lady for friendship/relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T4 GALWAY FEMALE EARLY 60s loves a non-hurried pace of life, lives mindfully and spiritually. Likes walking, golf, cinema, theatre, good food and dance. WLTM my female soul mate that I have searched for all my life. Where are you? I’m honest, kind, sincere and loyal. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T5 ROMANTIC DUBLIN GENT, 69, separated ND, light smoker, medium height and build. Enjoy reading, cinema, reading, music. WLTM female Dublin area with a view to a relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T6 ATTRACTIVE YOUNG 60s LEINSTER LADY, unattached, WLTM a man to have a laugh, dance to Van, curl up with a film or dine on words that say we are on the same page. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T7 FORE! LADY GOLFER, 60 Dublin area, seeking gentleman course companion 55-65. Other interests include walking, theatre, cinema, meals out and travelling. NS, SD, GSOH. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T8 SOUTH DUBLIN WOMAN, WIDOW, late

60s, WLTM interesting, well-travelled man with broad outlook on life for conversation one day a week in a city centre coffee shop. No meetings in pubs please. No baggage. Interests include reading, theatre, classical music, walking and general socializing. Sense of humour essential. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T9 KILDARE WOMAN, SINGLE 50s, looking to meet nice people of either sex for occasional socializing. NS, SD. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T10 RETIRED PROFESSIONAL WOMAN, widow, 60s, NS, WLTM classy, caring gentleman for friendship. Interests include walking, reading, gardening, meditation, cinema etc. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T11 DUBLIN PROFESSIONAL MALE, LATE 60s, divorced, NS, semi-retired. Easy going, considerate. Interests include cinema, the arts, weekends away, and sport. WLTM affectionate, genuine, young at heart, positive, kind, experienced woman who wants to live life to the fullest. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T12 SINGLE PROFESSIONAL SOUTH DUBLIN LADY, late 50s, 160cm, good looking, enthusiastic, caring university degree, interested in walking, ballroom dancing, ballet, theatre, yoga, healthy lifestyle, music. WLTM single, professional caring man with similar interests, ideally a ballroom partner advanced level 55-65. NS, SD, GSOH. For companionship leading to possible relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T13 ATTRACTIVE, LIVELY, style conscious Galway lady, interested in walking, dancing, bridge and a bit of golf. WLTM gent with some of these interests and others. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T14 TRAVEL BUDDIES: Interested in travel at home and abroad? Let’s create a group of solo travelers (with or without supplement). Ideally Munster or South Connacht based for ease of contact. Time to socialise and explore? REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T15 MUNSTER LADY, retired professional, widowed, sincere, outgoing, emphatic with positive outlooks. GSOH and varied interests. WLTM a NS personable, caring, interesting gent in late 60s with GSOH. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T16 MIDLANDS LADY, 80, BUT LOOKS YOUNGER. Long time widow, retired teacher, slim build, outgoing personality, NS/SD. Interests include current affairs, reading, walking,

theatre. WLTM educated gentleman of similar age to share coffee and conversation once or twice a week. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T17 ATLANTIC COAST LADY, ACTIVE, positive outlook, kind trustworthy, NS, WLTM females for socialising and travel companions. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T18 CARE TO SHARE the enjoyment of retirement years with genuine, caring and sociable professional Limerick widow? I have very varied interests including current affairs, theatre, art, reading and travel. I would welcome the opportunity to share the pleasure of some of these hobbies and other new ones with a good humoured, kind and sincere gentleman age 66-72. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER J1 I WILL ADORE YOU FOREVER. Gentleman, 60s, Dublin, never married. Romantic, active, happy, supportive, caring, emphatic, respectful. WLTM a never-married lady. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER J2 ATTRACTIVE ROSCOMMON LADY 60s with no ties, NS, SD, active with outgoing personality. Enjoys walking, restaurants, travel and bridge. WLTM tall, honest, interesting professional man, 60s, to share interests. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER J3 DUBLIN WIDOW, 70s, GSOH, enjoys walking, reading, travel, the pleasure of good food, wildlife, current affairs etc. Easy going. WLTM others for friendship, winter breaks to sunny places in Europe, sharing self-catering accommodation for leisure, enjoyment and new places, culture etc. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER J4 ATTRACTIVE LEINSTER LADY unattached, young 60s, WLTM a man who can enjoy the elements, have a laugh, dance to Van, curl up with a film or dine out on words that say we are on the same page. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER J5 OFFALY LADY LATE 60s, widowed, no ties, self-employed, semi-retired professional, NS, SD, outgoing personality, sincere, caring and trustworthy. Interests include music, social dancing, sport, especially GAA, travel, dining in/out, a glass of wine and good conversation. WLTM a sincere, caring, romantic man with outgoing personality and a GSOH to share good times together. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER J6 KILLARNEY MAN, LATE 50S, interests include gardening, dancing, music of all types, driving in the country, cinema, animals. WLTM woman with similar interests. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER H1

Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 79


NORTH WICKLOW LADY, MID 60s, retired professional, interested in reading and good wine. Interested in meeting people of either sex for social friendship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER H2

ties, well travelled, honest, caring and loyal. WLTM a refined gent, single or widowed for companionship and travel partner and happy times 68-75 age group. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER K1

GALWAY BASED MALE, 60s, single with no ties, GSOH with many interests. Wish to meet a sincere single woman to share a nice future with. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER H3

HEALTHY, ACTIVE CO WATERFORD MALE, 77, NS, some ties, no relationship, WLTM female companion for a few times a month. Interests include country dancing, eating out, weekends away, photography etc.. GSOH. Travel no problem. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER K2

SOUTH DUBLIN LADY WRITER, 66, widow for many years, WLTM a sincere non-smoking man to share coffee and conversation once a week. Age unimportant. Interests include reading, walking, theatre, travelling, life-long learning and current affairs. Not looking for a deep, meaningful relationship – just plain, old-friendship will do! REPLY TO BOX NUMBER H4 ‘YOUNG’ DUBLIN MAN, 60, broad-minded, tolerant. Good fun. Interests include reading, music, walking, theatre, good conversation, dining out. WLTM a woman with similar interests for friendship and possible relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER H5 WEST OF IRELAND MAN, 72, living alone, seeks lady for friendship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER H6 PETITE, ATTRACTIVE MIDLANDS LADY, early 70s, outgoing and sincere WLTM man with GSOH interested in ballrooms dancing, trips away etc. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER H7 CO CORK LADY SEEKS PENFRIEND. Interests include natural history, early music, rugby, pets, hurling, reading and ‘putting the world to rights’. Would like to hear from men and women in their 60s and 70s who share some of these interests. NS, SD. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER H8 SINGLE TRAVELLER HOLIDAYS! Midlands based lady would like to form a group of ‘travel aloners’ for short and long haul breaks, with or without supplement. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER H9 RESPECTFUL DUBLIN GENT, 60s, never married, many interests. Seeks female soulmate to share the joy of living, the wonders of the world etc. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER H10 OFFALY LADY, 60s, WIDOWED, NO TIES, self-employed, semi-retired, NS, SD, outgoing, sincere, and caring. WLTM romantic man, NS, with GSOH and a fun loving personality to share good times together. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER H11 OFFALY MAN LATE 60s, GSOH, NS, SD, no ties, interested in dancing, sport, eating out, walking, reading, art and heritage, WLTM a lady with some or all of these interests. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER H12 SINGLE TIPP LADY, never married and no

RETIRED MALE PUBLIC SERVANT, 60s, midlands based, WLTM an interesting female for travelling and country activities. Interests include fishing, canoeing, current affairs and politics, and weekends away in the West. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER K3 DUBLIN-BASED MALE, EARLY 70s, seeks active female at least 5ft 6in in height, who wants to learn ballroom dancing to a very high level. Preliminary discussion welcomed. But lessons, practice and social dancing would be involved. Could be hard work, time consuming, but great fun. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER F1 MATURE CO WICKLOW LADY WLTM nice gent to share this coming summer. Usual interests. REPLY TO BOX F2

travel. Independent and only love needed! REPLY TO BOX NUMBER F8 MAYO MALE EARLY 60s, NS, SD, broad range of interests, including sports, reading, current affairs. Solvent, recently retired, professional. WLTM lady early-late fifties, sincere, honest, GSOH. Ideally from Mayo/Galway but not a necessity, for friendship/relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER F9 EARLY 60S MUNSTER LADY SEEKS TRAVELLING FEMALE companion. Interests many and varied and include walking, good food, music, drama, cinema, NS, SD. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER F10   DUBLIN LADY LATE 50s loves the outdoors, walking, swimming, chats and laughs. Love life – its now or never. Are you the special person to share all the things we should have done but were too young, too broke or too scared. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER F11   TO PLACE AN ADVERTISEMENT If you are interested in meeting someone of the opposite or same sex, send your advertisement, with four stamps (which is the average reply rate) enclosed in the envelope, to: Meeting Place, Senior Times, Unit 1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6.

CO MEATH, KIND, SINCERE, ACTIVE, slim outgoing lady, 62, NS, SD, good appearance, enjoys current affairs, reading, walking/hiking, golf, travelling, theatre, concerts, dining out etc., WLTM sincere, NS gentleman of similar age and interests for friendship/relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER F3 RETIRED NORTH LEINSTER MALE TEACHER, MID 60s, single and unattached. Interests include music, cinema, rugby and GAA, travelling (especially by train), Living in the country and also like walking, cycling, fishing. WLTM interesting lady for friendship and travelling. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER F4

Or email: john@slp.ie

KILLARNEY LADY LOOKING FOR A TRAVELLING COMPANION to spend a few weeks this Christmas in a warm climate such as Tenerife/Lanzarote. Interests include reading, cooking, dancing, gardening and walking. NS, SD. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER F6

TO REPLY TO AN ADVERTISEMENT Each reply to an advertisement should be enclosed in a plain, stamped envelope, with the box number marked in pencil so that it can be erased before being forwarded to the advertiser. Send these envelopes in a covering envelope to the address , above, so that we can forward them to the advertiser. There is no limit to the amount of advertisements to which you can reply, provided each one is contained in a plain, stamped envelope. Ensure you give your approximate age and the area you live. For those submitting their advertisements by email ensure that you also supply Senior Times with  your postal address so that we can post replies from those  who have replied by post. (Only Senior Times will have your postal address).

SINGLE DUBLIN MAN, LATE SIXTIES, sincere, GSOH, good character, honest, considered interesting. Well-travelled, adventurous. Interests include music, singing, foreign travel, art, photography. WLTM lady 45-70 living in Dublin flor friendship and relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER F7 VERY NICE   LADY   EARLY 60s LIMERICK/ KERRY AREA WLTM a nice, honest gentleman same age who is loving, affectionate and romantic, with good personality and sense of humour.  Interests include music and dancing,

80 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

IMPORTANT Ensure you give your approximate age and the area you live, noting your interests. The advertisement should not be more than 60 words. If you are replying to the advertisement via Senior Time’s email, ensure you include your postal address for those not on the Net. (Only Senior Times will have these details). Deadline for receipt of advertisements for the next issue is 31st January 2018.


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Issue 87

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SeniorLine

We’re here to listen.. It is our pleasure to be part of the Senior Times Christmas issue, celebrating all the fun at this festive time of year. Shared meals, decking the halls, Midnight Mass, visiting the neighbours, family panto trips, seeing in the New Year with loved ones – Christmas can be a time of real togetherness. But not for everyone. SeniorLine, Ireland’s only national confidential listening service for older people will be open every day over Christmas and the New Year, ready to take calls from the very many older people who have nobody to talk to, and few people to wish them a Happy Christmas. Many older people are lonely because they are bereaved, isolated, or housebound. Others may be ill, depressed, anxious or fearful. Many older people find Christmas to be a particularly difficult time as it recalls happier days now gone forever, and remind them poignantly of family members, friends and neighbours they have lost. You may know someone in this situation. You may have an older neighbour who can’t get out much, who has few visitors, or who has grown frailer over the years. You may have family members of your own who like someone to call. SeniorLine can help. We are open every day from 10am to 10pm, and we love to hear from people over Christmas. We will give each caller the time they need, we are interested in their lives and stories, and we will support them if there is problem they want to discuss. The line is completely confidential, and our Freefone number 1800 80 45 91 means that the call costs the caller nothing. All SeniorLine volunteers are older people too so they have an innate understanding of how bittersweet Christmas can be for many older people. Callers phoning us will feel heard and understood, and can contact regularly over the holiday season if they need. Will you tell someone you know about SeniorLine? Freefone 1800 80 45 91. Open from ten till ten. It could be one of the kindest things you do for another person this Christmas.

Mairead is a SeniorLine volunteer


Win tickets for Golden Competition Voices of Hollywood winners from at the NCH! last issue

Two night stay, with two dinners at The Ambassador Hotel, Cork Times Crossword No.Wicklow 90 Solution NessaSenior Byrne, Kilcoole, Co 1

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Senior Times, in association with the producers Sheldon Nulty Music, are offering three pairs of tickets for this celebration of Hollywood musicals, featuring legends Gordon MacRae, Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson and Shirley Jones. Once again, Sandra Oman soprano and Simon Morgan baritone star, with actress Ruth McGill (Abbey Theatre, Gate Theatre) compering as legendary Hollywood gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. Pianist Niall Kinsella completes the line up. The event takes place on February 10th 2018. To enter simply answering this question. Who will be the pianist at this event? Send your entries to: Golden Voice Competition, Senior Times, Unit 1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Deadline for receipt of entries is 30th January 2018. The first three correct winners drawn are the winners. If you are not among the lucky winners but are interested in attending, you can get information on this event by contacting the NCH at (01) 4170000. Email: info@nch.ie

wwww.nch.ie

Four copies of Alice Taylor’s Home for Christmas Noreen Moynihan, Berrings, Co Cork Anne Gillick, Dublin 5 Mary Cunningham, Galway Jack McGuinness, Skerries, Co Dublin Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 83


Golf Ace in the hole.. Sandy Jones, who resigned last May as chief executive of the Professional Golfers’ Association at The Belfry, had an unfortunate experience when he did the great deed..

Dermot Gilleece on the ‘vulgarity’ of a hole-in-one As someone who has never had a hole-in-one, I can honestly say, entirely without prejudice, that I think such exploits are dreadfully vulgar and totally out of keeping with the ethos of the Royal and Ancient game. All this jumping up and down and sloshing of drink at the 19th is certainly not what the Honourable Company of Edinburgh golfers had in mind, when they framed the rules more than 200 years ago. But unfortunately, the things happen with monotonous frequency. And to make matters worse, insidious cash inducements are now fully acceptable under the rules of the game, based on the R and A’s altered view that such happenings are indeed flukes, which don’t threaten the fabric of the game. So, we need no longer fear the possibility of an ordinary member of our club, driving into the car-park in a spanking new Porsche courtesy of having been named by their legal partner, as a chosen charity for a holein-one prize. The only proviso is: “The hole-in-one must be made during a round of golf and be incidental to that round. Separate multiple-entry contests, contests conducted other than on a golf course (e.g. on a driving range or golf simulator) and putting contests do not qualify under this provision and are subject to the restrictions and limits in Rules 3-1 and 3-2a.” So there. Given that the change of rule is unlikely to enhance my prospects of making the great breakthrough, I will continue to identify with the late, lamented Seve Ballesteros who, on being asked how he four-putted a certain green, replied: “I miss. I miss. I miss. I make.” So, whenever the urge comes upon me to qualify for the Hole-in-One Society, I allow the clubface to turn fractionally at impact with the result that I miss, I miss, I miss. At the same time, I will gladly acknowledge that the prized ace has added significantly to the rich history of golf. For instance, we’re informed that 49 amateurs and professionals assembled at the Wanderers Club, 84 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Johannesburg in January 1951 and each played three balls at a 146-yard par-three. Of the 147 balls hit, the nearest was by professional, Koos de Beer, whose ball finished 10 1/2 inches from the hole. Among the group was none other than the bold Harry Bradshaw, who was touring South Africa with a British PGA team at the time. In the event, The Brad’s second shot hit the pin but the ball rolled on a stopped three feet two inches from the cup. In the same year, a competition on similar lines was held in New York where 1,409 players who had already achieved a hole-in-one, hit balls over several days at short holes on three local courses. Each player was permitted a total of five shots, giving an aggregate of 7,045 in all. Nobody holed in one, though one ball happened to finish three and a half inches from the target. A further illustration of the element of luck in achieving aces, is the experience of Harry Gonder, an American professional who, in 1940, stood for 16 hours 25 minutes and hit 1,817 balls at a hole measuring 160 yards. He had two official witnesses and caddies to tee and retrieve the balls and count the strokes. In the event, his 1,756th shot struck the hole but stopped an inch away. Which was the closest he came to success. Based on this and similar information, an estimate of the odds against holing in one at any particular hole within the range of one shot, was set at somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 to one, by a proficient player. Later, however, statistical analysis in the US produced the following odds: a male professional or top amateur _ 3,708:1; a woman professional or top amateur _ 4,648:1; an average golfer _ 42,594:1. Lest we forget it, aces can be quite embarrassing. And one of the most unwelcome ones was achieved by Ray Evans, a Chicago policeman. Taking a half-day off work to pursue his favourite pastime, Evans left a message for his wife that he was doing some overtime. Unfortunately for him, he scored a hole-in-one that afternoon which made consider-


Golf

able mileage in the local newspaper the following morning. His wife was not amused. Indeed there are other instances of aces being unhappy occurrences. Like in the case of the good Doctor C Tucker, who signed up for a holein-one tournament in New Orleans, took out his trusty iron and proceeded to hit his first shot into the hole. On delightedly bringing the shot to the attention of the tournament director, however, he was gently advised that the tournament didn’t start until the following week. Sandy Jones, who resigned last May as chief executive of the Professional Golfers’ Association at The Belfry, also had an unfortunate experience when he did the great deed. While playing in Israel about 20 years ago, he won a BMW car for a hole-in-one and turned it down because he didn’t want to relinquish his amateur status. Instead, he asked for the money to be donated to a children’s charity. However, Jones was later to pay a high price for his admirable philanthropy. The organisers never delivered a penny to the charity and he ended up having to sue them for the money, while paying his own legal bills. A particularly remarkable hole-in-one happened in Edinburgh way back in 1870. While playing the last hole of a match in rapidly gathering dusk, Robert Clarke was unable to see where his ball had finished after hitting his tee-shot towards the target. So he conceded the match. On returning to the course the following morning, he discovered his ball in the hole. As I’ve attempted to make clear, I have deliberately avoided holes in one purely on aesthetic grounds. Other wretches, however, have done it out of downright parsimony. Like a certain un-named golfer from Long Island

during the 1990s. It was the Fourth of July and surveying the crowded Engineers Club, our friend was horrified when he happened to have a hole-in-one in the company of some friends, realising that his bar bill would be in the region of $2,500. Admirably quick-thinking, however, he promptly declared his ball unplayable. He then hit another ball off the tee and scored a three on the hole instead. Despite the protests of his pals, he wouldn’t be budged. Either way, it wouldn’t have been a problem had the incident occurred at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, which holds the distinction of having had the most spectacular launch in the history of golf. The honour of hitting the opening shot in 1926, went to the club secretary, Claude Wayne. As it happened, the first hole was a 115-yard par-three, which later become the 165-yard fifth in a major re-routing of the course. In the event, Wayne proceeded to hole out with the opening shot, which led to the formation of a hole-in-one club within Bel-Air. And by way of commemorating the opening shot, anybody who has since had an ace there, is toasted with drinks by the members and their guests, on the house. Which sounds like an absolutely splendid idea. They say that nothing quite matches the thrill of watching a well-hit tee-shot of between 140 and 240 yards, fly as true as a smart bomb and make a direct hit on the target. They say that it can be described as a numbing ecstasy which only a gifted poet could adequately describe. Don’t believe a word of it. If you ask me, them things is the work of the devil.

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Crossword Crossword Number 91 by Zoë Devlin

ACROSS 1 4 7 11 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 25 26 28 29 33 34 35 36 41 42 43 46 49 50 51 54 55 57 58 62 63 64 69 70 71 72 76 78 79 80 84 85 86 88 91 92 93 94 95 96 97

Odour or aroma (5) Metal used in coins and tableware (6) Theatrical representation by trained dancers (6) Large arena for sports (7) Maternity hospital in Dublin (7) Began or set in motion (7) One such as Kim Jong-un (5,6) U.S. state settled by Mormons in 1847 (4) Remorse or sincere regret (10) Chap, lad or colleague in one’s profession (6) Hollywood’s debonair leading man, ___ Grant (4) Upper house of the Oireachtas ___Éireann (6) Cloth associated with Scottish kilts (6) They are young domestic cattle (6) Bent the head as affirmative (6) Tarts led to this state of sudden surprise (8) Neither yesterday nor tomorrow (5) White fish - often with chips (3) J M Barrie’s ___ ___. He wouldn’t grow up (5,3) Change - or a late ration? (10) Virginia is in this border county (5) Can a ram torment in this artists’ district of Paris? (10) On the Q.T. .. not openly. (2,6) Rock which issues from volcanos (4) Scrutinise or check carefully (7) Emit a steady light (4) Footwear that covers the lower leg (4) Could this pop group really be geese? (3,4) Inter or entomb (4) Food of the gods - could make Maria sob! (8) George Orwell wrote this satire ‘ ___ ___‘ (6,4) Creator of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan ___ (5) Using rhino - can be nutritious! (10) Island to northwest of Wales (8) Teeny-weeny (3) Capital of Afghanistan (5) Sweetened beverage of diluted lemon juice (8) Film actor ___ Hoffman or ___ the Turkey? (6) Could I hit at this Pacific island? (6) Small tower extending above a building (6) Joining together by stitching (6) Finish of match where score is tied (4) Do aliens like this salty solution? (6) Steinbeck novel or film starring James Dean (4,2,4) Precipitation of small ice particles (4) Ordinary members of an army or inland freak? (4,3,4) Bathroom adjoining a bedroom (2,5) Hairdo for a swarm of bees? (7) Genuine, honest and open (7) Be present at meetings (6) Small beard trimmed to a point (6) Long-running children’s comic .. or dude! (5)

86 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

DOWN 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 23 24 27 30 31 32 33 37 38 39 40 44 45 47 48 52 53 55 56 57 59 60 61 65 66 67 68 73 74 75 77 81 82 83 84 87 89 90

Composers, Richard and two Johanns (7) Lacking restraint in spending money (11) Short-tailed wildcat with tufted ears (4) Explicitly declared as a fact (6) Famous gambling city in Nevada (3,5) State of overwhelming emotion or a lean-to taxi? (10) Gathering of spectators at performance (8) US poet, wrote ‘Song of Hiawatha’ (10) Suspenseful story, play or movie (8) Educational institution (6) Shakespeare AKA ‘The Bard of ___‘ (4) Island republic in North Atlantic (7) Surreal comedy group ‘___ Python’ (5) Oliver Hardy’s partner, ___ Laurel (4) Cream of ___ as used in baking (6) Fictional Western character, friend of Tonto (4,6) Boundary river, flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario (7) O’Connell, O’Donnell or Day-Lewis? (6) Taoiseach from ’97-2008, familiarly known as ___ (6) Plant with stinging hairs (6) Crackling noise - heard in attics? (6) Regular customers (7) Solemn pledge (3) An undulation in one’s hair (4) Auguste ___, French sculptor of ‘The Thinker’ (5) Shelter serving as sanctuary (5) Sebastian ___, author of ‘The Secret Scripture’ (5) Displaying or exhibiting (7) Dish of minced meat topped with mashed potatoes (7,3) Stripy African equine (5) Collective word for geese (6) Meal where one helps oneself (6) Study intensively before an exam (4) Largest city in Ulster (7) River which flows into Liverpool Bay (6) Danger or peril (6) Menagerie (3) Did Dracula’s creator, Bram ___ have a stroke? (6) Ability to form mental images of things (11) State which follows a working life (10) Uproot rice in the smallest of the Greater Antilles (6,4) In the ICA, Basil knows this type of church! (8) In Ancient Rome, they wrote it as XIX (8) Run-down apartment house (8) Ireland’s longest river (7) Used for exhibiting works of art - largely (7) Walk like a duck (6) Small, round stone - often on a beach (6) Sir..do remember blonde film star, ___ Day (5) Girdle or band of material around waist (4) Small restaurant where coffee is sold (4) Small glass ball with hole in the middle (4)


Four copies of John Lowe’s 2018 personal finance guide to be won! Senior Times, in association with the publishers, Gill, are offering four copies of John Lowe’s 2018 Personal Finance Guide, which includes an analysis of the recent budget, as prizes in this issue. This invaluable guide by ‘The Money Doctor’ is packed with countless money-saving tips and recommendations. Name: ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Address: ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Phone: ................................................................................................................................................................................................ Email:......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Send your entries to: Crossword Competition, Senior Times, Unit 1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. The first four correct entries drawn are the winners. Deadline for receipt of entries is 25th January 2018.

Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 87


Crafts

A heart of stone.. A chance find, imaginatively mounted, has made an interesting addition to Connie McEvoy’s collection Some family members may think that I have an overactive imagination or that I have started ‘to see things’ but there is a perfect bust and face of a man who seems friendly sporting a beard and a Russian fur hat with his arms raised and a clenched fist held aloft in the centre of this heart. Furthermore there is another small heart outline running from the man’s left shoulder towards his chin and emerging at the right top section of his fur hat, the left outline of this wee heart runs across the bottom right outline of the large heart. Other faces are visible in the khaki marbled patterns underneath. Hopefully this stone can be photographed successfully, so as others can see what I can see every day as it is on display on a mantelpiece. A black heart shaped cooking mould was used in order to create a suitable display stand. My grandson Matthew cut a heart shape from stainless steel and welded the black mould stem to it for me, this was then secured to a wooden heart shaped base. Three lengths of narrow black and white cotton ribbon were plaited and looped onto the centre of the cooking mould and secured at the base then as the stone is quite heavy super glue was used when fixing it onto the plaited ribbon.

This stone has to be the most unusual, interesting and amusing find that is in my collection to date. As a few years have passed since it was discovered I am not too sure whether it was found on the strand close to our land while strolling there or while I was trying to tidy the new spindle and holly hedge on Tubbertoby lane. At first I noticed the sun shining on a black polished object but when I picked it up some embossed ivory entwined hearts were clearly obvious as well as an overall khaki marble effect, so it was taken to be washed in warm suds with a tooth brush in order to establish exactly what was depicted on it. On closer scrutiny of the top left section three heart outlines were clearly visible, the centre heart being the largest and at bottom left of it a small incomplete heart extending towards the edge of the stone. At the right bottom edge of the large heart another medium sized heart was visible although it seemed that the right slant towards the centre was missing, but goodness me was I surprised at what was depicted within the outline of this heart. 88 Senior Times l January - February 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

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