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Issue 92 March - April 2018

NOW E3.00/ÂŁ2.75

Times

The magazine for people who don’t act their age

From camera to canvas: A portrait of Thelma Mansfield

Living with diabetic retinopathy

Mysteries of the afterlife Belfast rocks!

Guess The Year


March - April 2018

Contents 6

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News: Thelma Mansfield: Camera to canvas: Lorna Hogg talks to the hugely popular former TV presenter who is now making a name for herself in the world of art. What next?: Eamonn Lynskey speculates on the Afterlife Cosmetics and beauty: Mairead Robinson suggest some products for Spring Living with Diabetic Retinopathy: Sufferer Bill Donald tells Maretta Dillon he is philosophical about the outcome: ‘the lights are just not going to come on one day when you wake up’. Great days out: In this latest selection of destinations we feature a cemetery, gardens, historic sites and museums. Listowel Writers Week: The line-up for this ever-popular literary gathering Walking Sheeps Head Peninsula: Conor O’Hagan tackles one our most interesting and demanding walks Guess the year quiz: All you ever wanted to know about using an Ipad: Joyce Kelly advises Creative writing: Eileen Casey meets debit novelist Norma MacMaster What’s on in the arts: Happening around the country in the next few months Publishing Directors: Brian McCabe, Des Duggan Editorial Director: John Low Editor At Large: Shay Healy Consultant Editor: Jim Collier Advertising: Willie Fallon 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.,

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When you don’t want or cannot afford to retire: 54 Maretta Dillon finds out about the Working On programme from the Retirement Planning Council of Ireland An Iranian Odyssey: 56 Joe Keane and his wife went on a fascinating trip to Iran Falls prevention: 58 Kitchens get smart: 60 Pat Keenan learns about the ‘intelligent kitchen’ from De Deitrich On the Goldsmith trail: 62 Lorna Hogg visits Midlands locations synonomous with Oliver Goldsmith Senior Times readers survey: 64 Belfast rocks: 66 Mairead Robinson enjoys food, fun and culture on her Belfast city break Wine World: 72 Mairead Robinson tries some wines from The Cape Living through the snow drifts: 74 Connie McEvoy has childhood memories of The Big Freeze of 1947 Northern Notes: 76 Meeting Place: 79 One of golf’s true gentlemen: 84 Dermot Gilleece recalls his encounters with the legendary Gene Sarazen Crossword: 86 ‘Local Hero’ comes to Dublin: 88 Maretta Dillon profiles actor Denis Lawson one of the start of Art at the Gaiety

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 Register gives polio survivors a stronger voice While polio is eradicated in Ireland , it is thought that around 7,000 people who had polio are still living in Ireland with the impact of the original illness. ‘We are looking for people who contracted polio as babies or young children, to sign up to our new National Polio Register,’ says Fran Brennan, CEO, Polio Survivors Ireland. ‘With more evidence of the need for tailored supports and services for polio survivors, we can advocate and campaign for what is needed now and in the future.’ Before it was eradicated in the early 1960s, polio struck down many people in Ireland. Many were partially and some completely paralysed for life. Decades after, many survivors are now experiencing new symptoms, known as Late

Paul Kimmage and daughter Evelyn’s epic challenge across three countries for The Irish Hospice Foundation

Effects of Polio or Post-Polio Syndrome, which often require medical advice and treatment. The Polio Register will help create a clearer picture of the number of people affected. This will help Polio Survivors Ireland to advise statutory services of the supports needed to help survivors. Anyone who had polio - whether they require support now or not - should register to give a stronger voice to all polio survivors in Ireland. ‘The Register is very important, so that our needs are understood,’ says Barbara McDonagh, polio survivor, Co. Galway. ‘I know that I can go to Polio Survivors Ireland if I need help, but survivors need much more support from the state to live their lives with dignity. We’re still here and signing the Register will show that, which is why it’s so vital.’

The duo will lead the way, covering 600km across the stunning landscapes of Croatia, Slovenia and Italy in just 5 days. They will be pedalling for the IHF’s Nurses for Night Care service, which provides care to people in their own homes at the end of life right around the country. The Kingspan-sponsored cycle, which has raised€1.7m for the IHF since it started in 2009, takes place from June 24th to June 30th. Over 3,000 families have been cared for by the Nurses for Night Care service with over 9,000 nights of care delivered since it was established. Demand for the service has doubled over the past five years and continues to grow. About €800,000 is needed to fund the service in 2018. Flights, accommodation and full board are included and full details can be found at www. hospicefoundation.ie or by calling 01 6793188. Registration closes Friday 16 March.

Paul Kimmage and daughter Evelyn

Journalist and former professional cyclist Paul Kimmage is calling on cycling enthusiasts nationwide to join him and his daughter Evelyn on the CSI: Cycle for Care in aid of the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) this June. 2 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Dublinia Viking Fest Viking Long Ships on the River Liffey, Arms and Armour demonstrations, Viking leather working and tablet weaving, coin minting displays

From left, Susan Dowling, Barbara McDonagh and Joan Bradley, polio survivors, with Professor Gareth Willams, author of ‘Paralysed with Fear –the story of polio’, launching the Polio Register.

and lots more await this Easter Week-end at Dublinia for the inaugural Dublinia Viking Fest (30th March - 2nd April). This festival of Viking heritage culminates in a live outdoor spectacle with the international Follow the Vikings Roadshow at Wood Quay celebrating the cultural and historic impact of the Vikings on Saturday 31st March. www.dublinia.ie.

South / South West Hospital Group board appointed Speaking after the first board meeting Professor Geraldine McCarthy, Chair of the SSWHG Board said: ‘The Board is committed to working constructively with the CEO and the staff within the Group to deliver performance improvement and measurement against best comparators in all areas of care delivered. Other areas such as quality, safety and timelines of the services delivered and the robustness of the financial and clinical risk management in the Group will be a priority for the Board. The Board has a key role in advising on the development and implementation of effective corporate and


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News clinical governance structures for the Group and intends to establish processes to guide the development of relationships with all key stakeholders including: Local Patient Representative Groups, Primary, Community and Social Care Providers, Political Representatives both local and National and the Group’s Academic Partner (UCC).’ The SSWHG provides acute hospital care across nine hospital sites for a population of approximately 1.2 million people in Cork, Kerry, Waterford and South Tipperary. The SSWHG includes the following hospitals: • Cork University Hospital/Cork University Maternity Hospital; • University Hospital Waterford • University Hospital Kerry • Mercy University Hospital • South Tipperary General Hospital • South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital • Bantry General Hospital • Mallow General Hospital • Lourdes Orthopaedic Hospital Kilcreene

Advocate Kathy Ryan and TV presenter Deric Ó hArtagáin will lead The Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s Camino Adventure Advocate Kathy Ryan and TV3 presenter Deric Ó hArtagáin will be tackling The Alzheimer Society of Ireland’s Camino Adventure to raise funds and public awareness for people with dementia in Ireland during World Alzheimer’s Month in September. Kathy, who was diagnosed with younger on-set Alzheimer in January 2014 and is Vice-Chair of the ASI’s Irish Dementia Working Group (IDWG), is looking forward to the challenge with Deric and a team of like-minded walkers in Spain from September 8th-15th. This will be the first time that a person with dementia has taken part in The ASI’s Camino Adventure, which is a 115km trek from Sarria to Compostela. Kathy and Deric are now spreading the ‘can do’ attitude and are hoping that others will follow in their footsteps by signing up to this unique experience along the Camino de Santiago. The ASI provides supports and services in local communities around Ireland and provides a range of services including day care, home care, family carer training, social clubs and Alzheimer Cafes. For more information contact The Alzheimer Society of Ireland Communications Manager Cormac Cahill on 086 044 1214 or cormac. cahill@alzheimer.ie 4 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Walkers sought for three-day charity trek in the Dingle Peninsula Walkers are being sought for a three-day adventure in the Dingle Peninsula, where the fun will help raise vital funds for butterfly skin charity Debra Ireland.

Debra Ireland’s Sarah Clancy and Liz Collins at the launch of the walk

Running from May 18th to 20th Debra’s Kerry Challenge includes three days of trekking though the beautiful Dingle Peninsula (up to 25km per day) followed by nights of craic in Dingle pubs while staying in a four-star luxury hotel. Debra’s 75km three-day trek, is suitable for everyone from seasoned runners to firsttime ramblers. The event costs €300 per person, which includes two nights’ accommodation in the four-star Dingle Skelligs Hotel, all meals and snacks, transport to and from the route each day, on-site physiotherapy and thea celebratory dinner and prize giving.

Participants are also asked to raise a further €350 for the charity, which provides support services for those living with EB. To register or find out more about Debra’s Kerry Challenge, May 18-20, visit www.debraireland.org, email kerrychallenge@debraireland.org or call (01) 412 6924.

Munster vales: a new tourism destination Munster Vales is a new tourism destination incorporating the Comeraghs, Knockmealdowns, Galtees, Ballyhouras and Nagles mountain ranges. It is a holiday experience offering visitors 1,100km of way-marked walking routes, 96 activities and attractions, nine historic heritage sites and an array of accommodation, festivals and locally produced food. Munster Vales has been established by a team of communities, tourism providers, and agency stakeholders to promote, market and develop this region as Ireland’s key inland visitor destination in both the domestic and overseas markets. To encourage sustainability through the improvement and addition of product offering, up skilling of providers and extending visitor lengths of stay and increasing spend within the region. Munster Vales crosses the counties of Tipperary, Limerick, Cork and Waterford and offers visitors the opportunity to experience activities and varied sightseeing. Major tourism attractions within the region include Doneraile Wildlife Park, the Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle, Ormond Castle, the Waterford Greenway, Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Park, Glen of Aherlow, Lough Gur, Lismore to mention but a few. For more information visit www.munstervales. com

NHI urges ‘engagement’ between hospitals and nursing homes to alleviate overcrowding Nursing Homes Ireland has urged close, ongoing engagement between acute hospital management and nursing homes to alleviate overcrowding within our acute hospitals. A survey undertaken by NHI in the lead-up to Christmas found 1,400 beds available within private and voluntary nursing homes in communities across Ireland. 183 nursing homes participated in the survey, informing of 610 beds being available to meet not just longterm but also short-term, respite, rehabilitative, and transitional care requirements of persons being discharged from hospitals. Replicated across the 430 private and voluntary nursing homes operating across the country, this would entail over 1,400 beds being available. Nursing homes are primarily positioned to support the HSE in addressing the high numbers of persons delayed discharged within our hospitals. Beds are available across the country, with teams of specialist personnel positioned to provide 24/7 care on a transitional or long-stay basis.


Profile

From camera to canvas Thelma in her studio. In recent years she has become a very successful painter.

‘Environment is so important..’ Thelma Mansfield’s dogs clearly agree. Her pug Puffin, seated on her lap, is trying to eat her make-up. Alongside her, Jack Russell Sally, snuggled against Thelma’s husband Johnny, clearly appreciates their urban nest in South Dublin. By any standards, it’s a lovely period home, dating to 1802, and set back from the hum of busy road traffic. Thelma’s choice of soft, muted colours perfectly sets off the receptions rooms’ high ceilings and walls filled with paintings, photographs and tapestries. At the rear is a walled garden, a perfect setting for her studio.

Lorna Hogg talks to former TV star Thelma Mansfield who is now carving out a successful career as a painter. Gloup_advert 160mm H X 126mmH FA.pdf

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She is just as busy now as during that Live at 3 decade, and clearly relishes challenges just as much now as did the youthful sixteen year old who applied for an RTE continuity announcer job back in 1965. From 1986-97, alongside Derek Davis, she became an even more familiar face, for the flagship afternoon show. So, when it was cancelled, just how did she cope? ‘It’s quite hard to remember.’ she chuckles. ‘I had started evening lessons at a refreshment art course in UCD. Remember also, before I left RTE, I had already changed into into another routine, another style, doing promos and voice-overs, but it wasn’t the same as presenting. I just decided that art was for me. It was also a good time at home to do this – the children were the right age. Had they been younger it would have been too difficult, being out of the house, a studio and all that.’

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She took at short course at UCD ‘ a gang of us – we became great friends.’Thelma decided that oils was her preferred choice. ‘We took pages out of international art catalogues, and attempted to paint them – right outside my comfort zone.’

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Her husband Johnny had ‘always encouraged and pressured me to paint landscapes and portraits of the children.’ Yet whilst Thelma had always wanted to become a professional painter, she needed a lot of encouragement to put her work into the public domain. ‘So those six little visits to UCD really helped. I wasn’t afraid to face a blank canvas.’ There was also the challenge faced by all who move from organised work to self-employment. ‘In RTE, I had a set routine. At 9.am. I went into hairstyling. Make-up at 10am, wardrobe at 10.20. Then down to the studio floor, and rehearsals and recordings. All that interaction – and then I chose a solitary career!’ Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 5


Profile

Starting out..Thelma as an RTE continuity announcer in 1976

She soon found, however, that she ‘was totally absorbed – you don’t even hear the radio. For the first few years, the only reason I stopped painting was when I was cold, or hungry – I was unaware of the time, I was so absorbed.’ Her first professional commission came about through a picture (encouraged by Johnny) she had done of a view of a beautiful old window in the gate house at their Spiddal home. He sent it as a Christmas card to friends at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. In the New Year, an invitation came to Thelma from the hotel, requesting six paintings, to be auctioned to raise funds for two local old churches. ‘That was pressure!’ However, all six were sold, and Thelma the professional artist was on her way. 6 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie


Profile

Thelma with the late Derek Davis in a sketch on the hugely popular RTE TV Live at 3

She has become well known for her appearances with the artistic community, at the Merrion Square railings. Her artist sister and brother helped her with the routine, and Thelma also enjoyed meeting the public ‘and the lovely atmosphere .’ She has displayed there with her son Michael, and is delighted with the careers of both her sons - Roderic is her elder one. Michael went to art college, was in a band, made records. He worked as a bar man in the Alps, to fund skiing, and stayed in Madrid and Barcelona. A natural painter, he has however, discovered that it can be hard to make a living from it. ‘Rod is a sound designer. They compose, are involved in sound engineering, performance, and produce music for film documentaries, ads, cartoons and he now has his own business with Mark Murphy’. Thelma now has two grandsons, Ricky, aged six, and three year old Louis, and the family has clearly struck ‘a good blend between being close, really very close’ without living in each other’s pockets. It would be wrong, however, to assume that Thelma’s life has been without some serious challenges. ‘When I retired, I thought that we would have a magical time, travelling, visiting friends...’ However, Johnny, whom she married in 1972, after ‘love at first sight, really’ has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He suffers from movement problems and getting medication just right was a challenge ‘Honestly, we were so busy with our lives, and we put so much into this house – Johnny did a great deal of work on it, and now we have to realise that down the road, that it may not

Thelma with her sons Michael, left, and Rod

be suitable to stay in that home..’ She has also discovered that ‘it is much easier to look after someone, to exist easily, from home. Travel abroad became imposssible. A night away is fine, but there is a lot involved. I think that I am a good organiser, maybe a little bit of a controller, but many aspects are concerning. Johnny has to take a lot of tablets and, no matter how good people are, it’s better if one person is hands on and keeps an eye over things.’ Thelma does all this and has some home help as well. However, she does much of the care work herself, with the help of a carer who comes for one hour in the mornings, several times each week. She also does ads for Home Instead. ‘I think that it is a good cause – keeping loved ones at home for as long as possible. Most of us would try to do that – the nursing home is really the last resort..’ So how does she manage it all – and paint as well? ‘Lists. But I think that I’m getting forgetful sometimes! I do have an exceedingly busy life.’ She is not joking. Earlier, the painter had arrived to work on her orangery style studio in the garden. Johnny’s breakfast - plus his 10 a.m pill had to be organised. She is also working on a ‘Jack and Jill’ charity card, and some materials have not arrived. So, three paintings have to be done this afternoon, dried and sent off, with a dash to deliver them. Yet she remains cheery, warm, friendly and welcoming – in short, still the Thelma known over the years to millions of television viewers.

Thelma on being ‘older and bolder’ ‘I keep busy. I have so much to do, and I don’t have time to think about all the problems and worries associated with old age..’ ‘I firmly believe that when you neeed strength, you can find inner strength inside you– it is there, in everyone, to draw on’. ‘Take on every challenge. You never know what you can do, what you can deal with. I’m an optimist. I always look on the bright side. You never know – with an illness, for example, what can be done, what results you can get’. ‘I love my home to look beautiful. I put in every effort. It’s not necessarily about putting flowers everywhere, but using what you’ve got, 8 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

even if it’s old. I like `Olde Worlde’ styles. Our kitchen has a stone floor, Aga, Shaker furniture but is filled with colour, warmth, beauty, and is welcoming – that’s what matters’. ‘Nature. Our garden is so important to me. We’re so lucky to have a walled garden – we have an old spiral yew tree, a fig tree, greenery, magnolia, olive trees.. I love watching the seasons, and the birds. Johnny is exactly the same.’ ‘I’ve always been creative. I’m so lucky that I’ve been exposed to beauty in the places, houses and gardens we’ve visited - they’re so inspiring. I don’t know what I would do without that creative element in my life..’ www.thelmamansfield.ie


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Essay

What Next? Eamonn Lynskey speculates on the Afterlife

Now please do not get any wrong ideas. It has to be declared at the outset that this writer has absolutely no inside knowledge of the next world. He has not been there yet and it is his fervent hope that he won’t be making the journey any time soon, although he realises that arrangements will be made and tickets provided without reference to him or his wishes. His lack of enthusiasm for departure stems from the fact that Hamlet, among others, has warned us that it is a country from whose bourn no traveller returns. To complicate matters, he finds opinion divided as to the very existence of an afterlife. Many people hold it as a certainty that there is a continuation of some kind after life on earth, citing the authority of the Bible (‘we have not here a lasting city but seek for one that is to come’) and the words of The Good Lord Himself who has assured us that His Kingdom has ‘many mansions’. 10 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie


Essay

Dante himself, try as he might, does not make his Paradiso at all comparable in impact as he does his Inferno, and we know that in many musical compositions the devil has all the best tunes.

The Koran also envisages an afterlife and there are many other sacred texts that have much to say on the subject. Even those Vikings, who did such terrible things to our monks of old, had their Valhalla. And many holy and men and women have recounted mystical visions they received from ’beyond’. It is also an inescapable fact that civilisations, old and new, have always testified to a reverence for their ancestors and a belief that there is a region in which these loved ones live on forever and to which the living may also aspire when old greybeard Time decides the game is up. Nor should we discount our own innate feeling that there must be something more to our earthly existence than just the allotted biblical threescore and ten. Does not Nature herself provide evidence of continual rebirth and renewal? Human life, we feel,

appears rather pointless if this short sojourn on earth is all there is to it. Most people are prepared to take all these assurances in good faith. However, it would be a brave man or woman who would assert that at some point in life he/she never had a touch of doubt knocking around in the back of the mind and waiting to elbow its way into even the most sacred of certainties. And then again, for the many who do believe in an afterlife, there arises a curiosity as to what sort of afterlife it might be. And here is where some major complications arise, perhaps especially for modern minds. I was not acquainted with Dante’s Divine Comedy during the time I received those various details and exact descriptions of Hell which were provided by my Christian Brother teachers all those

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years ago in (the now vanished) St. James’s CBS in Dublin, but I now believe that many of those descriptions came directly out of that great Italian poet’s Inferno and other similar creative works. Indeed, it seems to me that the Evil Chieftain and his demons that we see in the works of medieval writers and renaissance painters owe much to Dante’s fertile and lurid imaginings, though it must be admitted that he himself was indebted to an accumulation of satanic imagery inherited from previous centuries. These descriptions and depictions always centred on the awful fate that awaits sinners in the next life and the terrible fires they must endure for their sinfulness. James Joyce in his Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man catches something of this forbidding prospect in the passage where the preacher challenges Stephen and his classmates to place a finger in a candle flame, assuring them that the pain they will


Essay

Even those Vikings, who did such terrible things to our monks of old, had their Valhalla.

experience will be as nothing as compared to the flames of hell. Man a sinful creature The view that Man is a sinful creature meant that our teachers and preachers of old often spent an inordinate amount of time on the tortures of hell rather than extolling the rewards of heaven. The prevailing view during my early years at school was that the best way to get people into paradise was to frighten the life out of them with descriptions of the other place. Terror, it was believed, always has a stronger effect on the human mind than has pleasure, as Dr Johnson reminded us when he said that when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight it concentrates his mind wonderfully. Our Christian elders of former days agreed and were therefore more interested in using the stick rather than the carrot to ensure good behaviour in this world in order to earn safe passage to the next. The idea of proclaiming the gospel as The Good News is after all a relatively recent approach (and much to be welcomed).

But it’s not all the fault of our old-time teachers, writers and painters that the realms of Hades were so much to the fore in the past. We have always been, for whatever reason, creatures more interested in horror stories than we are in hearing about happy ones. Ask any newsman which sort of headline sells the more papers or commands the most viewers. This, and the desire of our mentors to keep us on ‘the primrose path’, would seem to account for the abundance of ‘infernal’, as opposed to ‘paradisiacal’, imagery in the religious instruction I grew up with or, should I say, ‘endured’. It has also to be said that it is easier to paint, write or imagine the outlines of The Infernal Regions than it is to conceive of happier environs. It is certainly the case that a painting by, say, Raphael which depicts the Virgin on her throne, surrounded by ministering angels and attentive cherubs and bathed in the glorious light of heaven, is very beautiful, moving and uplifting. But does it grab the interest as much as a Bosch, with his depictions of extraordinary tortures, outlandish cruelties and

incredible sadisms? This is a problem that has pursued many writers over the centuries. Milton’s Satan, for instance, has always come through as the most appealing character in Paradise Lost (even to the extent of garnering our reluctant sympathy for his downfall). Dante himself, try as he might, does not make his Paradiso at all comparable in impact as he does his Inferno, and we know that in many musical compositions the devil has all the best tunes. Doesn’t Lional Bart’s plaintive ‘Where is Love?’ not appear a little insipid beside Fagan’s ‘You’ve got to pick a Pocket or Two’? Certainly, it is a good deal less memorable. And so it is that when it comes to gaining our attention, fire and brimstone and devilish torments in a region populated by elaborately designed evil creatures has always gained more interest than has those quiet, cloudy regions where uninterrupted peace and tranquillity prevail 24/7. It is really difficult to describe the regions of ineffable peace that passeth understanding. We want to end up there of course, but it’s all rather vague as

Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 13


Essay

Milton’s Satan, for instance, has always come through as the most appealing character in Paradise Lost (even to the extent of garnering our reluctant sympathy for his downfall)

to what we will find. Nice walks? Long conversations with Thomas Aquinas? Theological disquisitions with Augustine? It seems to be the case that we find devils and devilry much more to our taste than we do angels and angelry. We often feel guilty about this of course, but that doesn’t stop us picking Night of the Living Dead off the DVD shelves, rather than Born Free or National Velvet. It’s our way. Who was it said he would prefer to go to Hell because that’s where all the interesting people are? As to the question of its existence, it has to be said that when all is said and done belief in a Next Life is a personal matter. Given the tsunami of literature on the subject and the often trenchant and opposing arguments therein, a person must in the final analysis trust to his/her own instincts. When the chips are down, our convictions must rest on that old fashioned, but very enduring concept: Faith. But what if after a lifetime of disbelief and, perhaps, after years of constantly attacking the faith of true believers, one finally fetches up at the Pearly Gates and is met by a rather disapproving twelve apostles? Given such an embarrassing contingency there would be nothing for it but to do what the sceptical American writer and humourist H. L. Mencken said he would do: extend one’s hand and say: ‘Gentlemen, I was wrong.’ 14 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie


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Cosmetics and beauty

Spring skin cleaning Mairead Robinson suggests some ways to prepare yourself ready for the brighter days ahead.

With the worst of winter behind us, we can now get out walking and gardening and absorbing some badly wanted vitamin D from the spring sunshine. It is important to prepare our skin for this exposure and ensure that we hydrate thoroughly after months of central heating and fire-side sitting. Always start with thorough cleaning, and if you don’t like harsh exfoliates, then a mask is gentle way to really moisturise the skin. Some of the best products for revitalizing mature skin at this time of year are from the Clarins Super Restorative range. The Age Replenish Instant Lift serum Mask is a spa treatment in itself, which you can do in the privacy of your own home at a fraction of the cost of an in-salon treatment. At a cost of just €18 per mask, the Anti-Aging sheet with replenishing Harungana extract, visibly lifts, plumps and minimizes the appearance of lines and wrinkles for radiant, younger-looking skin in 15 minutes. The synergy between the powerful, age-defying serum and stretchy, face-hugging sheet mask promotes optimal ingredient delivery. Skin is velvety-smooth, perfectly prepped for make-up application. It is ideal for skin weakened by the natural aging process, and particularly suited to this time of year. To further hydrate mature skin, try using Clarins Super Restorative Treatment Essence This youthfulness-promoting lotion with an active, refreshing and rich texture is applied after make-up removal/cleansing. It absorbs perfectly into the skin and conditions it to be

better prepared for the application of skin care products. This can be used on a daily basis, while the mask can be used once a week. Don’t forget to check your hair condition and colour at this time of year also. A hydrating hair mask will help here also, and if you are feeling cash-strapped you can make your own by mixing coconut oil with caster oil, and applying it to your hair for half an hour before shampooing. If you had your colour done for Christmas,

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you will undoubtedly be seeing those grey roots appearing by now. Rather than return to the salon, you can buy yourself quite a bit of time by applying L’Oreal Magic Retouch – a fabulous new product which comes in a variety of shades from light blonde to black. You simply spray on to dry styled hair along the parting, and wherever the roots are showing. It provides instant coverage and blends perfectly with your own hair colour. The handy spray cans can be carried in your handbag and cost


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product that does exactly what it says on the can! just €13.99, and even less where it is on special offer. Magic Retouch conceals greys and roots in just one quick spray - when, where and how you need it. It takes just three seconds to give you flawless roots, and so you can spray on just before you leave the house. The colour lasts until it is washed out, and each can gives you up to thirty uses. I found it much easier to use and more effective than compact and brush root concealing treatments. An essential

The problem of sensitive skin is one that affects many of us nowadays, even those who did not have a sensitivity issue previously. It is said that seven out of ten people now claim to have sensitive skin. Most cosmetic brands are now taking this on board and are developing products without parabens, colorants or perfume. Pampering Spa range Yon-Ka have just expanded their Specifics collection with the SENSITIVE range designed for hyper-reactive sensitive skin and kin prone to redness. They

18 Senior Times March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

have developed a blend of pre and probiotics together with Sea mayweed which is exceptionally calming and soothing for sensitive skin. It boosts the skin’s natural defences to combat aggressions. They have also developed a colour correcting anti-redness formula which visibly reduces capillaries, skin re-activeness and redness – be it sudden or permanent, diffuse or localized. This is a wonderful product for those afflicted with redness prone skin, and will help to restore confidence and improve quality of life. Both creams cost €55 for a 50 ml tube and should be applied in the morning after cleansing, the calming comforting cream can be applied at night also. For people with severe redness it is worth noting that April 2018 is RosaceaAwareness


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Month, and for those suffering from it, this is a condition that can really deplete your confidence. Rosacea presents as a rash usually affecting the face, occurring predominantly in middle aged, fair skinned people. It presents more frequently in women but is more severe when it occurs in men. Areas commonly affected are the forehead, cheeks, chin and nose. Affected areas are reddened with dilated blood vessels, red bumps and pus filled spots. Inflammation of the eyes or eyelids may be present. It is vital to use active ingredients in products that are fragrance free, which will help to smooth, moisturise, protect and treat Rosacea. Vitamin B and C are very important as Vitamin B protects skin from external irritants by fortifying the skin and Vitamin C will strengthen the wall of delicate vessels. Using Ginseng and Red Algae Extract will help to reinforce your blood vessels, whilst Uriage Roséliane Anti-Redness Cream helps fight against Kallikrein 5 Activity, which causes inflammation and vascular problems. Uriage Roséliane Anti-Redness Cream uses its SK5R complex to provide a highly effective soothing action against Kallikrein 5 Activity. Another cream recently launched on the Irish market for those suffering from Rosacea is Sensifine AR which is an anti-redness cream with a ‘firewall’ effect, lastingly soothing sensations of overheating and redness while preventing their reappearance. Sensifine AR Anti-Récidive

is highly concentrated in licorice extract and Endothelyol to soothe, decongest, and lower the temperature of the skin. This cream-gel provides a gradual, long-lasting cooling effect that soothes the skin. Its high tolerance means it is suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive. Available at pharmacies nationwide priced at €19 I am a great fan of oils for both body and face, and a little vitamin C oil mixed with your moisturiser can help hydrate dry skin on a deeper level. Eminence Organic Skin Care brand have just launched a luxury Facial Recovery oil in time for Mother’s Day this year. If somebody does not give you a gift of this beautiful oil, I recommend buying one for yourself! You can also pick up one of their Chocolate Mousse Hydration Masks if you really want to spoil yourself. I am also a great fan of their Hibiscus Ultra Lift Neck Cream – an award winning product that visibly lifts the skin around the neck and décolletage area. If you find like many of us, that your legs often feel tired and swollen, there is a great new product to put a ‘pep in your step’ and relieve those aching legs. The Payot Fresh Ultra Performance is a relaxing leg and foot cream with centella asiatica extracts. It soothes the skin leaving it feeling refreshed and it delivers a long-lasting sense of wellbeing and lightness

to heavy legs, swollen ankles and tired feet. It is ultra-light and is great for massaging as it is absorbed quickly. Legs are left feeling comfortable and soft. Available in pharmacies nationwide, €35 And finally when getting in spring shape this year, don’t forget that it is often how we are on the inside that effects how we look on the outside. The benefits of taking probiotics are well proven and highly effective in balancing the gut microflora. Conditions that benefit include irritable bowel, traveller’s stomach, lactose intolerance and inflammatory bowel. Bio-Kult produce a range of supplements specifically formulated for digestive and immune systems to restore balance in the gut ecosystem. As a probiotic it delivers more ‘good’ bacteria back into the gut which has a direct effect on the immune system. Basically, by taking a probiotic daily, you are strengthening your immune system and trusting your gut to promote general health. Available at pharmacies nationwide, there is a range for the whole family, Infantis for children, Candea specifically for the candida fungus and pro-cyan, an advanced formula for healthy urinary tracts. Finally Bio-Kult Advanced multi-strain formula with 14 probiotic strains which taken daily promotes general good gut health. Step into Spring 2018 with a healthy smile.


Case study

Living with Diabetic Retinopathy

Sufferer Bill Donald tells Maretta Dillon he is philosophical about the outcome: ‘The lights are just not going to come on one day when you wake up’.

Bill Donald got a diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy in his mid-50s and admits that he was, ’completely unaware of any symptoms’. Bill is philosophical about the outcome, ‘The lights are just not going to come on one day when you wake up’.

The effect of diabetes on the eye is called diabetic retinopathy. It is a common complication of diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy may not have any symptoms or may not affect sight in the early stages but, as the condition progresses; eventually the sight will be affected.

Now, he realises that some of the symptoms were actually there but he dismissed them as simply being about getting old. He says that he always felt thirsty, was often tired and that small scratches took longer than normal to heal. But in 2005, ‘his wife noticed when I was driving; I seemed to be struggling a bit reading road signs. So a visit to Specsavers uncovered bleeding from both retinas and a quick trip to the Eye and Ear and, of course, it was completely symptomatic of diabetes’. A test of his blood sugar revealed sky high readings. Bill had full blown diabetes and unfortunately it had affected his eyesight.

Diabetic related sight loss is the most common form of blindness in people of working age in Ireland. The good news is that regular and effective retina screening means the disease can be caught early and effectively treated. The national diabetic retina screening programme for diabetic retinopathy (Diabetic RetinaScreen) is rolled out nationwide for everyone over the age of 12 who is affected by diabetes in Ireland. In Bill’s case, he immediately underwent treatment at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Clinic in Dublin. ‘The first priority was to stop the bleeding Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 21


Health

from the retina, from both retinas, that was caused really by excessive blood vessels growth from beneath the retina’. And at the same time, to get to grips with the diabetes which was the underlying condition affecting his eyesight. With medication and diet, this was brought under control, ‘but sadly the damage had been done to the visuals and they continued to worsen in the sense of various treatments tried’.

Today, Bill can’t read anymore, ‘I cannot see the faces; I can’t see expressions on the faces or anything like that. So it is, you can feel a sense of it all closing in’.

Bill continued with treatment for about eight years until he and the doctors agreed that there was nothing more to be done. Today, Bill can’t read anymore, ‘I cannot see the faces; I can’t see expressions on the faces or anything like that. So it is, you can feel a sense of it all closing in’. Despite all this, Bill remains upbeat. As far as he’s concerned, ‘I’d had a bloody good run in front of the medics there. It took them 55 years to catch up to me, to get their hands on me’. He knows that awareness of diabetes is better than it used to be and says, ‘one of the things I’d certainly advocate now is the availability of simple blood sugar tests in chemist shops’. He agrees that men are traditionally worse at looking after their own health, ‘you’re conditioned to soldier on’. Bill’s attitude to what has happened to him is very interesting, ‘I’ve always had the philosophy really of trying to turn a negative to a positive. I don’t feel sorry for myself or I don’t allow myself to feel sorry because when you go to the Eye and Ear which is a general hospital you go in and you know you see the young kids there and you think, well at least I travelled the world and saw things ….and you think God for the parents it must be heart breaking’.

For more information about Diabetic Retinopathy see website fightingblindness.ie. If you are concerned about any issues relating to your eyes, make an appointment with an ophthalmologist.

Still, Bill does agree that his loss of sight was devastating in terms of what he did for a living. ‘I worked in I.T. for many years and I was a freelance technical writer so I spent a lot of time reading and sitting in front of the keyboard and screen. So the removal of that from your life has become a big blow but on the other hand you find ways around that, there’s audio books’. He is also lucky in that his wife, Audrey, is happy to read to him. Bill takes the opportunity to raise awareness about diabetes and the devastating effect it can have on eyesight if not properly treated as early as possible. ‘Well, it’s all a part of - the technical writing thing, it’s all about communication. And certainly letting people know that - just because someone’s sight is gone or their hearing is gone - it doesn’t mean that the brain has gone’. New technological innovations are already helping those with sight loss and low vision to get on with their everyday lives. Exciting developments in assistive technology designed to help people with vision loss are on the way: robotic gloves that can ‘find door handles’ or co-robotic canes that can ‘see’ using a 3D camera are in the not so distant future. Bill continues to work, ‘I still have PCs and I use a screen magnification software so that now zooms things right up for me. So I’m still active in the sense of writing material and research and historical research. And again as far as I’m concerned it’ll all keep going until, you know, the eyes have gone’. He wants other blind people not to be afraid of the technology. ‘It is there to help you; it’s not there to intimidate you. And also, you know, just because your eyesight is gone, it doesn’t mean that your mind, your imagination, your creativity, all of these things is gone. I still play to play the trumpet and things like that even though, I can’t read the music anymore. I have to remember it’. He remains a railway steam engine enthusiast. 22 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie DentalImplantsSeniorTimes.indd 1

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Days out

Museums, a cemetery, an island, heritage sites and award-winning gardens await you! In this latest Senior Times feature offering suggestions for varied, interesting days out destinations are Foynes |Museum, OPW heritage sites, Glasnevin Museum and tours, Spike Island and Woodstock Gardens

Hara was the patron of the museum and officially opened the museum in 1989. She was married to Captain Charles Blair, who flew flying boats into Foynes. Check out Maureen O Hara’s Oscar in reception! Foynes is nestled along the banks of the Estuary, a recommended Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Point. www.flyingboatmuseum.com

A unique heritage experience with over 70 OPW sites

Visitors have an opportunity to board the world’s only full- size Boeing 314 flying boat

Foynes Museum captures the spirit of the great flying boats There was a time when the great flying boats crisscrossed the globe and the picturesque village of Foynes became the centre of the aviation world for aircraft. This award-winning Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum excitingly captures this unique story with lots of exhibits and interactive displays suitable for all ages to enjoy. Visitors have a once in a lifetime opportunity to board the world’s only full- size Boeing 314 flying boat replica and you can test your pilot skills by trying your hand at flying the new Boeing 314 flight simulators. The museum is located in the original terminal building and this romantic era is told by way of original film in a 1940’s style cinema, showcases on the war years, airline and aircraft memorabilia, stories about famous pilots and uniforms from that era. Foynes and the flying boats will be forever connected with the invention of Irish Coffee and you can learn all about this historic creation by watching a wonderful 3D holographic show re-enacting the night back in 1943 where chef Joe Sheridan invented the original world famous ‘Irish Coffee’. The Maritime Museum located on the 2nd floor allows you to relive the history and personality of the River Shannon, read the stories of transportation and emigration on the river during famine times, see how American Confederate uniforms were made in Limerick and shipped from Foynes, uncover the tragic story of the Colleen Bawn and the tale of the ‘Windsor Castle Ghost Ship’. Enter the original Control Tower from the 1940’s on the 4th floor and view the spectacular views of the majestic Shannon Estuary. Shop in the newly expanded gift store where you will find a wide selection of bespoke items including clothing and aviation gifts, chocolates and souvenirs. Dine in our Museum restaurant O’ Regan’s, in a beautiful 1940’s style setting, where you can choose from the many home-baked delights and delicious treats and afterward sample an original Irish Coffee in the newly built Irish Coffee Lounge. A new exciting edition coming soon to the museum is the Maureen O Hara exhibit, show-casing her life in music, film, and fashion. Maureen O 24 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Ormonde Castle one of the 70-plus OPW sites around the country

Ireland presents the visitor with a unique heritage experience no matter what area you choose to visit. A vast range of over 70 heritage sites consisting of abbeys, castles and gaols fall under the care of the Office of Public Works. An annual visitors pass at just €40 for an adult or €30 for a senior (age sixty or over) opens the door to an array of heritage experiences at a very low cost. Dublin is home to some of the country’s finest architectural examples spanning two millennia, some of which are now used as museums, state apartments and state residences. Boasting the largest public city park in all of Europe, Dublin also has many fine examples of civic parks and gardens and it is home to the National Botanic Gardens. Compare these elegant buildings with the more elaborate ecclesiastical setting of the Rock of Cashel in Co Tipperary. The grandeur of the parks and castles contrasts with the remains of a 5,000 years old civilization found at the Céide Fields in Co Mayo or the spectacular prehistoric stone fort at Dún Aonghasa on Galway’s Aran Islands, both framed by the wild Atlantic Ocean. A diversity of landscapes can be enjoyed by nature lovers in the richness of our natural heritage. On the north west coast, lies Glenveagh National Park and Castle (pictured above) with over 16,000 hectares of mountains, lakes glens and woods. Off the southern coast is a world famous island garden of rare beauty, Ilnacullin or Garinish Island. On the south east coast, the John F Kennedy Arboretum in Wexford has a plant collection of international standing containing 4,500 varieties of trees and shrubs from all temperate regions of the world, while Emo Court in Co Laois combines beautiful gardens and parkland with a Gandon designed neo-classical mansion. Towards the east, in December, the morning sun of the Winter Solstice


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Days out

On the general history tour of Glasnevin you can vist the graves of the renowned figures that shaped Ireland including, Daniel O’Connell, Roger Casement, Charles Stewart Parnell, Jim Larkin, Eamon De Valera, Michael Collins, and Constance Markievicz,

awakens another unique World Heritage Site at Newgrange, Co Meath and lights the path of history to the seat of the ancient High Kings of Ireland at Tara. Or visit the wooded glens and ancient monastery of Glendalough which hosted US first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters in June, 2013. Full details of the many heritage sites that can be visited are available on www.heritageireland.ie

Beauty, intrigue and passion at Belvedere House and Gardens

Whether you are part of a gardening group, historical society, active retirement association, family gathering or group of friends, a visit to Belvedere is a must. Tel: 044-9349060 Fax 044-9349002. Email: info@belvedere-house.ie Web: www.belvedere-house.ie Facebook: www.facebook.com/Belvedere-House-Gardens-Park

A wealth of discovery at Glasnevin Cemetery Museum and guided Tours Glasnevin Cemetery is truly both the guardian and storyteller for over 1.5 million people. Glasnevin’s mission strives to showcase the fascinating stories from the ordinary to the extraordinary, of those laid to rest in the cemetery. Beautiful to stroll around or engage on a guided tour, there is an enviable collection of statues, headstones and Celtic Crosses from the simplest to the magnificently ornate, including the crypt of founder Daniel O’Connell.

The Gothic Arch, one of the follies at Belvedere House and Gardens

Located within Ireland’s Ancient East with many layers of life and history in the big house, Belvedere House Gardens & Park demonstrates beauty, intrigue and passion that makes for an enchanting visitor experience and an excellent day out with a difference. The magnificent 160 acre Lakeside Estate of Belvedere House, Gardens & Park boasts a fully restored Georgian Villa, built in 1740 by the famous Architect Richard Castles for Robert Rochfort, later Lord Belvedere (“The Wicked Earl”). The estate has a fascinating Victorian Walled Garden, with one of Ireland’s finest collections of rare and special plants. The naturalistic designed 18th century parkland, punctuated with Romantic Follies includes the largest in Ireland; ‘The Jealous Wall’. Within the welcoming Visitor Services Centre is a licensed restaurant and gift shop and there are also four outdoor children’s play areas and many picnic areas on the estate. 26 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Located just 2.5 km from Dublin’s city centre Glasnevin covers 124 acres of glorious parkland with plenty to appreciate perfect for those interested in exploring the legacies of Ireland’s heroes. The natural beauty of the grounds merges with a who’s who of Irish history through which experienced, knowledgeable, and entertaining guides take visitors on a memorable journey through the impeccably preserved Victorian cemetery. Each guide is passionate about sharing their love of heritage and history, telling the stories of Ireland’s fascinating past. Choice of Guided Tours: The General History tour Visit the graves of the renowned figures that shaped Ireland including, Daniel O’Connell, Roger Casement, Charles Stewart Parnell, Eamon De Valera, Michael Collins, Constance Markievicz, Maud Gonne, to name a few. This is a unique opportunity to gain an understanding of Ireland’s complex and fascinating history. The ‘Dead Interesting’ Tour ‘Dead Interesting’ gives an alternative view of the varied heritage that Ireland’s largest cemetery holds within its walls, visitors learn of its sculpture, symbolism, architecture and hear the quirky stories of Dublin’s lesser known personalities.


Belvedere House, Gardens & Park Contact: Belvedere House Gardens & Park, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. Tel: 044-9349060 info@belvedere-house.ie www.belvedere-house.ie www.facebook.com/Belvedere-House-Gardens-Park

Location: 5km south of Mullingar on N52 1hour from Dublin, M4/N4 Exit 15 Sat Nav: Latitude/Longitude 53.4761, - 7.3552

A Fascinating Estate to Visit This magnificent 160 acre Lakeside estate boasts a fully restored Georgian Villa built in 1740 by the famous Architect Richard Castles for Robert Rochfort – later Lord Belvedere. The estate has a fascinating Victorian Walled Garden, with one of Ireland's finest collections of rare and special plants. The naturalistic designed 18th century parkland, punctuated with Romantic Follies includes the largest in Ireland; “The Jealous Wall”. Within the welcoming Visitor Services Centre is a Licensed Restaurant and Gift Shop and there are also 4 outdoor children’s play areas & many picnic areas on the estate. Whether you are part of a gardening group, historical society, school tour, active retirement association, family gathering or group of friends, a visit to Belvedere is a superb day out with a difference.

The unique story of the Flying Boats is captured in this award-winning Museum H Board the World’s only Boeing 314 Flying Boat replica H Learn how Irish Coffee was invented here in 1943 & taste the original recipe H New flight simulators and much more...

Special offers for groups Entry to the Flying Boat Museum, Maritime Museum & Control Tower €8.00pp Include Irish Coffees with the above package for just €13.00pp Or homemade scones plus teas/ coffees for just €12.00pp

Aviation Museum Maritime Museum l Control Tower, Gift Shop & Visit our new Irish Coffee Lounge l Enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in O’Regan’s Restaurant l l

Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum Aras Ide, Foynes, Co Limerick T:069-65416 www.flyingboatmuseum.com info@flyingboatmuseum.com

Opening Times 7days a week all year round from 9.30am Seasonal closing times apply Admission Rates Adult €8. Student/Senior €6. Child €4. Family Ticket (2 adults + 2 children) €23. Each additional child €3. Catoca Fine Food and Giftware Great food, great service, great location. Catering for all your special occasions and corporate events. www.catocafinefood.com Parking Free car parking available on site

Come visit Woodstock Gardens this summer

• Beautiful, recently restored Victorian gardens • Located overlooking the River Nore in picturesque Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny • Walk through our arboretum which is home to a collection of rare and exotic trees • Visit the walled garden where fruits and vegetables are once again grown in abundance • Take time out for tea in a beautiful conservatory overlooking the flower gardens • Open all year round, daylight hours • Facilities:- Tea Rooms, Car Parking, Toilets, Children’s Playground, Mobility buggy available for less able bodied persons, please phone ahead if you wish to avail of this service (free of charge) • Guided tours available by appointment • Admission fee - €4 per car includes admission for all car occupants to the gardens • Buses and coaches strictly by prior booking. • Price available upon request.

Contact: John Delaney - Head gardener at Woodstock on 087 8549785 or Claire Goodwin in Kilkenny County Council Parks Department on 056 7794373 or email woodstock@kilkennycoco.ie Kilkenny County Council, Parks Section, John Street, Kilkenny. T + 353 56 7794373 F + 353 56 7794069


Days out The Tower Tour Over 200 steps to spectacular views of Dublin Bay and surrounding countryside, daily tours are available from Mar 2018 with exhibits on the life of Daniel O’Connell and information on the history of the tower and the story of its construction. The tower is 168 Ft (55m) high and its staircase has been reconstructed using the original plans and traditional methods that were employed by the carpenters and skilled tradesmen who first constructed it. Self-Guide App Why not try out Glasnevin’s self-guide app? The easy-to-use app features the 21 most popular graves. Listen in English, French, German or Spanish at your own pace. The app features iBeacon technology and GPS mapping. Available to download on both Apple Store & Google Play on Android Accolades • 1st prize winner of Ireland’s Best Cultural Experience at the Irish Tourism Industry Awards • Winner of TripAdvisors Traveller’s Choice Award • Winner of TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2015, ’16, ’17 and listed at number 2 of ‘Best Things to do in Dublin’ highlighting this a cemetery of historic importance. Glasnevin Cemetery Museum Finglas Road, Glasnevin, Dublin 11 00 353 1 8826500 www.glasnevinmuseum.ie museum@glasnevintrust.ie Open Daily 10am - 5pm – see website for tour times

the public in 2016, after 1300 years of private use. The island was used as a Monastery in the 6th century before a 24 acre star shaped Fortress was built in the late 1700’s, which still stands today. But the island is most famous for the prison that opened in 1847, and soon grew to become the largest prison in the world, with 2300 inmates. There has never been a larger prison in Britain or Ireland before or since, and it is no wonder the island is known as ‘Ireland’s Alcatraz’! The prison would close in 1883 and the island was used by both the British and Irish army and navy for the next 100 years, before it became a prison again from 1985 to 2004. Today the island can be visited by a short and scenic ferry ride from Cobh town. Once on the island visitors can take the guided tour, use an audioguide or self guide the island’s beautiful 104 acres, with its prison cells, military Fortress, exhibitions and museums and scenic island walks. There is a 100 seater cafe on site for tea, coffee and snacks, and a mini bus to carry passengers from the pier to the Fortress if needed. Suitable for all age ranges and interests, a visit can be as short as 2 hours or you could easily spend all day wandering the island! It’s your day, your way, at Fortress Spike Island. www.spikeislandcork.ie

Wide variety of attractions at Woodstock Gardens

Dublin’s famous Gravediggers pub, is run by the same family of Kavanagh’s since its opening in 1832 and is located at the original cemetery gate at Prospect Sq. Lonely Planet describe it: “this pub is one of the best in Ireland and virtually unchanged in 150 years”. Rustic authenticity combined with a dash of local pride will set you up for a day of discovery in a cemetery packed with stories and anecdotes delivered by extremely personable guides. The National Botanic Gardens is adjacent to Glasnevin and accessible via pedestrian gate. There you will find and enviable collection of rare and indigenous plants in a most beautiful and tranquil setting. Glasnevin’s full time genealogist is on hand to help trace your ancestry and locate the graves of your loved ones. All 1.5 million + records are digitised. Tours, Re-enactments, Genealogy, Café, Gift Shop, Museum, Exhibitions.

Discover sinners and saints at Ireland’s heritage island!

Spike Island can be visited by a short and scenic ferry ride from Cobh town.

Discover Captains and Convicts, Monks and Madmen and Sinners and Saints at Ireland’s heritage island! Spike Island Cork opened its doors to 28 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

The celebrated glasshouse at Woodstock Gardens, Co Kilkenny

Woodstock Gardens are located in the south east of Kilkenny just outside the picturesque village of Inistioge. The gardens, overlooking the River Nore Valley, offer the visitor a wide variety of attractions and are a most relaxing and beautiful environment in which to spend a day. The gardens are currently undergoing restoration by Kilkenny County Council and further features and planting are being added all the time. The main development of Woodstock Gardens occurred in the Victorian Period with the works being overseen by Lady Louisa Tighe nee Lennox and head gardeners, Pierce Butler and later Charles McDonald. The gardens are being restored to the period 1840 -1890 with every effort being made to use plants and materials typical of the era. The gardens are home to a mix of formal and informal gardens with an arboretum, walled garden, terraced garden, yew walk and rose garden providing the main interest. Also of significance are two stunning avenues, the Monkey Puzzle Avenue and Noble Fir Avenue. Also of interest is a rustic summer house, constructed from materials from the gardens and a fountain to replace the original which was sold from the gardens c.1930. The arboretum is home to many fine specimen trees from Asia and South America in particular. A number of these trees are recognised as champion trees due to their size. Nearby to the Arboretum is the Walled Garden laid out with fruit trees, a vegetable garden and a beautiful herbaceous border. Just outside the Walled garden is our stunning cast iron conservatory which houses the tea shop. Enjoy your visit.


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11/10/2017 13:20:49


Thelma Mansfield is the New Face and Voice of Home Instead Senior Care

Ireland’s leading home care provider, Home Instead Senior Care, has teamed up with Thelma Mansfield, former television presenter and artist, to inform older people and their families about the availability of private home care services, helping more people to live a happy, healthy and independent life at home.

In the advert, Thelma reminds viewers of Ireland’s ageing population and how it is a priority for families across the country to select the right care partner. She recommends families contact Home Instead Senior Care which has “a reputation for experience” and “CAREGivers who really care”.

Starting in September 2017, Thelma became the voice of Home Instead Senior Care on national radio and in December 2017, she became the new face of Home Instead Senior Care with a brand new advert featuring her during popular programmes such as the Oireachtas Report, Six One News, Winning Streak, Fair City and the Late Late Show.

“We see many families looking for senior care help and advice. Many adult children have been home to visit their older parents for Christmas and realise a helping hand could go a long way. It is important for Home Instead to have a heightened presence and awareness so families know who to contact for help and advice during what may be a stressful time”, said Ed Murphy, Founder of Home Instead Senior Care in Ireland.

By promoting the home care service on the nation’s leading TV channel, there has been increased awareness of private home care as well as the quality of home care services provided by Home Instead Senior Care. Thelma Mansfield is now working as an artist and the TV advert was recorded in her Dublin home. Thelma is also a family carer for her husband which gives her credibility and trust when it comes to discussing private home care services.

Most importantly, Thelma lets people know Home Instead Senior Care does not take a one size fits all approach to home care. The organisation works with families on a care plan tailored to their care needs. For more information on home care services call your local Home Instead Senior Care office on 1890 989 755 or visit HomeInstead.ie.


Meetings

First impressions count Anne Hennessy* advises a smart outfit, or for those who just wish to have a trendy outfit selected for them ready to just try on and purchase knowing it looks good and suitable for the special occasion. All done within an hour and without spending hours, days or longer mulling over which items to buy. When a person presents themselves well dressed, this sets the tone of the meeting whatever this occasion is for. With this well -groomed presence and a delighted- to- meet- you attitude, plus an accompanying, irresistible happy smile immediately gives off a warm feeling to the person being greeted. This happens automatically when one feels good about themselves, they feel confident which leads them to being happy on the inside and it comes to the surface in our outer happy smile we show on the outside to those around us, which transfers on to the other person who then feels good also. And all because of that extra effort made earlier prior to this encounter. These encounters with others are experiences that ought to be for us to enhance each other’s lives, if this is not the case then why bother to meet at all? At this stage in our lives we all have a lot to share and enjoy as well as many memories and experiences we bring with us due to having lived our lives up to the present time, we are all unique individuals with much to offer each other. For this reason, presenting oneself well-groomed head to toe, each party being in the best version of their best positive selves presented to the other, (as well as being trusting, honest respectful and true to themselves) is the foundation to all good and positive relationships. Having organised to meet someone from the Meeting Place, here’s some advice to help for that first time encounter. (Or rather can be used for all encounters with others) This is for those of us who have forgotten how to look after ourselves... First impressions we give off to the world are so important, they can ‘make or break’ the encounter, because these are the visions that will most likely be instilled in the mind for when we wish to recall the person or detail in the future.

Grab Her By The

I believe that for that important first meeting especially (and the following meetings also) one ought to dress with a sense of respect for one’s self first of all, and secondly put that extra effort in dress and in grooming for the person that you are about to meet. If we do not show respect for ourselves then we cannot expect others to have respect for us, and this tends to be how it works in life. For a first meeting please do not wear clothes with previous stains on them or without a fresh just washed scent (from the washer or drier). Have a neat and clean appearance as this says that the person look after themselves, if they don’t take good care of themselves then how can they have respect for anyone else? Being unsure about how to dress is not a reason not to dress well, the answer - there are ‘fashion consultants’ or ‘stylists’ available who can organise and put outfits etc. together, free of charge for an hour usually, and who are longing to put their talents and style to work For example in the Athlone shopping centre, and the Blanchardstown shopping centre, to name a few. Just call and ask for an appointment with the fashion stylist, who is available for both women and men, and an appointment time will be set up, and the customer can decide on the amount they wish to spend. This is an excellent service for those who don’t have the know- how or the patience to shop for 32 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

So we all want and look forward to meeting that True, Honest, Open and Respectful human being that continually strives to better themselves at all levels, and the good news is that we all can be that person, let’s start for 2017 or right now to bring joy and happiness to all we meet, by showing the world the best version of ourselves. Watch out world, here we come! What have we got to loose. *Not her real name Cartoons by Paule Steel


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Fit The indoor & outdoor activities supplement Walking

Edited by Conor O’Hagan

Walking the Sheep’s Head Peninsula, West Cork

Conor O’Hagan walks the Sheep’s Head Peninsula, West Cork, a rewarding 88km - long trail which follows old tracks and roads around the peninsula from Bantry to the headland and back.

Few experiences illustrate the glorious compactness of Ireland as well as a walking break on the Sheep’s Head. With the wild beauty of the Atlantic Ocean to three sides, and over a hundred miles of walking trails beneath your feet, you’re within a day’s drive of anywhere in the country. They travel from the far corners of the earth for this, but to us it’s just a turn off the road from Bantry to Ballydehob. The Sheep’s Head is the headland at the end of the Sheep’s Head peninsula situated between Bantry Bay and Dunmanus Bay in West Cork. It’s made for tough but rewarding walking; the Sheep’s Head Way is an 88 km long-distance trail which follows old tracks and roads around the peninsula from Bantry to the headland and back. It’s easily accessible, well signposted and combines low and rugged hills with coastline and cliffs. The village of Ahakista – 12 miles from Bantry and one of three villages on the peninsula (with Kilcrohane and Durrus, all offering refreshments and accommodation) – hosts a trailhead for a network of Looped Walks

34 34 Senior SeniorTimes Timesl March l March- April - April2018 2018l www.seniortimes.ie l www.seniortimes.ie

around the Sheep’s Head. You’re never far from the Atlantic, and as long as you’re suitably equipped (good waterproofs, spare warm clothing, walking boots, food, fluids and a mobile phone), you’ll enjoy superb views and wonderfully stimulating walks with a vast range of human and natural sights, including the iconic Sheep’s Head lighthouse. Ahakista is on the coast road between Durrus and Kilcrohane on the Sheep’s Head. Starting from Bantry (on the N71 in West Cork) follow the N71 towards Cork. After 1km turn right onto the R591 (signposted Durrus). After 4km pass through Durrus and continue along the coast road for 5km to reach Ahakista. The trailhead is at Arundel’s Pub on the right entering the village. Baran Loop A-B. From Arundel’s Pub, turn right and follow green arrows along the road for just 100m to the road junction to turn right then left onto a minor roadway. Follow this roadway to Gorteanish. At a junction of laneways in Gorteanish turn left and cross a stone stile – following the green arrows.


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Walking

Baran Loop

Seefin Loop

B-C. Now the loop starts the ascent of Ardanenig – easy along an old laneway at first and then a fairly steep climb on a mountain track for 400m to reach a point near Rosskerrig Mountain where you turn left.

D-E. Just before the trig stone the loop turns sharp left and descends to the townland of Derrucluvane. Joining a farm roadway turn right through a farmyard, and through a stile which takes you into farmland. Descending still the loop follows an old ‘mass path’ to reach an old roadway where you turn left and rejoin the Sheep’s Head Way.

C-D. Follow the green arrows as the loop crosses Rosskerrig Mountain and descends to join the Sheep’s Head Way on an old roadway where you turn left. D-A. Follow green arrows along a surfaced roadway for over 1km before the Sheep’s Head Way turns left at a memorial to Tom Whitty. Continue straight here and shortly afterwards join the main road for the peninsula. Continue straight at the junction, pass ‘the pub with the tin roof’ on your right and reach the 3-way junction at A above. Turn right here – it’s only 100m back to the trailhead. Ascent : 320m/300m Distance : 9km Grade : Moderate-Hard Terrain : Minor roadways, laneways, and mountain paths

E-F. Now you follow blue arrows along the old roadway for almost 2km. Here the Barán Loop (green arrows) rejoins from the left. Continue straight. F-A. Joining a surfaced roadway follow the blue, green and yellow arrows for over 1km before the Sheep’s Head Way turns left at a memorial to Tom Whitty. Continue straight here and shortly afterwards join the main road for the peninsula. Continue straight at the junction, pass ‘the pub with the tin roof’ on your right and reach the 3-way junction at A above. Turn right here – it’s only 100m back to the trailhead. Ascent : 440m/345m Distance : 13km/4hrs – 4hr30mins Grade : Hard Terrain : Minor roadways, laneways, and mountain paths

Seefin Loop A-B. From Arundel’s Pub, follow the blue arrows for 100m to the road junction where you turn right and thenleft onto a minor roadway. Follow this roadway to Gorteanish. At a junction of laneways in Gorteanish where the Glanlough Loop continues straight, turn left and cross a stone stile – following the blue arrows. B-C. The loop starts the ascent of Ardanenig – easy along an old laneway at first and then a fairly steep climb on a mountain track for 400m to reach a point near Rosskerrig Mountain where you turn right. C-D. Follow the blue arrows north for 500m and then west (left) onto a ridge. Follow the ridge for over 1km to reach a trig stone on the summit of Seefin Mountain (318m).

36 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Glanlough Loop A-B. From Arundel’s Pub, follow the purple arrows along the road for 100m to the road junction where you turn right and then left onto a minor roadway. Continue to Gorteanish. At a junction of laneways in Gorteanish where the Barán Loop and Seefin Loops turn left, continue straight following the purple arrow. B-C. Follow the laneway for 500m to reach a surfaced road and turn right. After 500m the loop turns left on a right bend and ascends to a ridge at Doonour to rejoin the Sheep’s Head Way. Turn right. C-D. Follow the purple arrows for 7km along the ridge to pass Glanlough Lake and join a surfaced roadway. After 500m reach a T-junction where


Mediterranean tours with Riviera Travel

Managing Type 2 Diabetes with plant- based nutrition

From the largest of Italy’s great lakes to the seductive island of Sicily, to the dramatic landscapes of Andalusia, Riviera Travel’s award-winning tours uncover the best of the sun-kissed Mediterranean.

Greg Xavier explains

Smouldering Sicily The breathtaking scenery of this large island off the ‘toe’ of Italy casts a spell that’s hard to break. Rugged mountains that reach for the sky are interspersed with meadows adorned with wildflowers. Sicily has a spectacular coastline with sweeping bays and volcanic rocks plunging into the sea, and Mount Etna acts as a suitably dramatic backdrop. The tour starts in Agrigento, founded by the Greeks, and journeys through Palermo, the vibrant capital, and the pretty town of Piazza Armerina. The highlights continue with Taormina, famed for its Greek theatre and views of Mount Etna. Fittingly, Sicily’s iconic volcano is the destination on the final day. Explore Sicily in 8 days from the 1st of May from only €1309 per person. Price includes return flights, accommodation with breakfast and dinner, private coach transfers and the services of a dedicated tour manager. Lake Garda Italy’s largest and perhaps most beautiful lake is a fine base for exploring the area. To the east are two of the Veneto’s most famous cities, Venice and Verona. Further north are the Dolomite Mountains with some of the most superb alpine scenery anywhere. Stay in one of two delightful lakeside resorts – either Malcesine or Riva del Garda, both of which are located at the more scenic northern end of Lake Garda. The tour passes through some lovely Italian villages, including Salò, where Mussolini was set up by the Germans during the Second World War, and captivating Sirmione with its historic fortress. Visit Lake Garda, Venice & Verona in 8 days from the 16th of April from only €959 per person. Price includes return flights, accommodation with breakfast and dinner, private coach transfers and the services of a dedicated tour manager. Classical Spain Andalusia is one of the most beautiful corners of Europe yet for many it remains relatively undiscovered. Immortalised by the writings of Hemingway, Spain’s southernmost region is a tapestry of rugged countryside, delicious tapas, ruined castles and flamenco dances. The tour takes you through vibrant Seville, home of Carmen and Figaro, as well as the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. Included in the price of the tour is a tapas tasting, so you can sample Spain’s delectable gift to the world. Explore two of Andalusia’s most fascinating cities with marvellous Moorish landmarks: Granada is famous for the magnificent Alhambra, while Córdoba has the Mezquita mosque. You’ll also visit medieval Ronda, spectacularly situated atop a deep gorge. Discover Classical Spain: Seville, Córdoba & Granada in 7 days on the 17th of April from only €919 per person. Price includes return flights, accommodation with breakfast, private coach transfers and the services of a dedicated tour manager. For further details, visit rivieratravel.ie or call Riviera Travel on 01 905 6300. 38 Senior Times l March - April 2018 2017 l www.seniortimes.ie

Diabetes is a global epidemic. World Health Organisation statistics state that 422 million people worldwide live with the condition. A Healthy Ireland survey showed that 854,165 adults over 40 in the Republic of Ireland are at increased risk of developing (or have) Type 2 diabetes. Dietary and lifestyle choices have a large impact on insulin resistance, and new research suggests that a plant-based diet is particularly potent in in preventing and managing type 2 diabetes The area of plant-based nutrition has grown in popularity in recent years among both consumers and the medical community. Plant-based eating emphasises a diet comprised of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and wholegrains, while minimising the consumption of animal products in the form of meat, eggs and dairy. A well-planned plant-based diet is rich in fibre, macro and micronutrients, and by design contains minimal saturated and trans fats. Saturated and trans fats have been proven to drive blood cholesterol up when consumed frequently, and are only found in animal products such as red meat. A study of 96,000 Adventists in the US and Canada showed that the community had significantly lower levels of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, compared to that of the wider U.S. and Canadian population. Adventists are a religious community known for their adherence to a strictly plant based diet, with little or no meat consumption. The same study noted a significant 78% lower prevalence of diabetes for those following the diet. A plant-based diet is centred around fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains, and is therefore naturally high in fibre. Regular consumption of each of these elements has been linked to lower diabetes risk. Whole grain consumption, which refers to whole grain bread and brown rice, is associated with reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Conversely, refined grains such as white bread, white rice and white flour, have been shown to have the opposite effect. A 2002 US study on daily legume consumption (beans and lentils), showed a positive effect on insulin resistance in subjects taking part in the study. Legumes are particularly beneficial as they are low on the glycaemic index and cause a lower rise in blood glucose and insulin levels. Interestingly, the exclusion of meat in a plant based diet is also beneficial for those suffering from or at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Red meat, both processed and unprocessed, has been shown to raise insulin resistance, a key factor in developing type 2 diabetes. Given the scientifically proven benefits of plant based eating, Type 2 diabetics should consider substituting beans or lentils for meat in their regular dishes. Whole grain bread and brown rice should also be eaten over their white counterparts. Greg Xavier is the founder of the website plantbased.ie; the views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Senior Times


Feel Young at Heart....at any Age!

A

s you get older, the risks of serious conditions like heart disease, cognitive decline and osteoarthritis grow. We all want to keep well as we age, so you will be happy to hear that there are certain nutrients you can consume through diet or supplementation to safeguard your health into the future.

Essential to Good Health

The really important fatty acids are the “Essential fatty acids”, termed “essential” as the body cannot make them and therefore they must be obtained through the diet. The best source of omega-3 is oily fish (sardines, salmon, anchovies, fresh tuna and mackerel). Oily fish provides the most beneficial and active fatty acids, commonly referred to as EPA and DHA. Surprisingly, a massive 89% of Irish people are not consuming sufficient oily fish in their diet, so often there is a need to take a good quality omega-3 fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are the building blocks of every living cell in the human body. They are absolutely necessary for normal health and development. Without them, cells can’t function, renew, or maintain themselves properly. Omega 3s supports brain, eye, and heart health throughout life.

Love your Heart, Everyday!

There is more scientific evidence behind the cardiovascular health benefits of fish oil than any other nutritional supplement. A new study has found that a massive 45% of deaths related to heart disease could be prevented by implementing some dietary changes such as lowering sodium levels and increasing omega-3 in your diet. Omega-3s have been found to improve numerous heart disease risk factors. They help to reduce blood pressure, reduce triglycerides and improve blood circulation. Omega-3 has also been shown to increase HDL (“good” cholesterol), thereby helping to reduce

cholesterol levels, as HDL removes bad cholesterol from the body. Omega-3s also play an important role in thinning the blood and reducing inflammation throughout the body – in the blood vessels, the joints, skin and elsewhere.

Award Winning

Cognitive Function

Eskimo Brain was voted the Rude Health Tried & Tested product of the year in 2016, and again in 2017, - proving Eskimo products are loved and trusted by consumers nationwide.

Omega-3 brain benefits are derived mostly from DHA and, to a lesser degree,

“We are delighted Eskimo Brain 3.6.9 has won the Rude Health Tried and Tested Award. Eskimo Brain 3.6.9 is loved by health stores and consumers alike. The fact that it has won two years in a row is a testament to the quality and efficacy of the product. As an Irish company, we take great pride in our brand and we love to spread the word about all its benefits. Thank you to all the readers that took time out to vote Eskimo Brain 3.6.9 as their favourite natural health product. We love it too!” Olive Curran,

It’s no surprise that omega-3 is so beneficial to brain health. The importance of these fatty acids becomes most obvious when they’re lacking. People who don’t get enough omega-3s in their diet can become demotivated, disinterested, forgetful and may experience low mood, while serious deficiency can lead to an increased risk of developing conditions such as ADD, dyslexia, depression and Alzheimer’s.

Great Customer Feedback “I’ve been using Eskimo Brain 369 for the last 3 years. I find it fantastic for my memory. I used to forget where I left things all the time but now my memory is excellent. I’m 85 years of age and have no aches or pains whatsoever, my skin has a healthy glow and I feel great and love life! I have no hesitation in recommending this product because I want to help others feel as well as I do!” Mary Conway, Castlebar. EPA. DHA is a primary structural component of the brain and specifically of the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain responsible for memory, language, abstraction, creativity, judgment, emotion and attention. DHA shields against agerelated mental decline, improving both learning and memory in older adults. Scientific studies found that people with a higher level of DHA are significantly less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s than people with a lower level of DHA.

A Brand you can Trust: On the market for more than 20 years and with over 120 scientific studies, the Eskimo range represents probably the finest quality fish oil on the market, providing Omega-3 rich oil of legendary purity, freshness & stability You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old. Omega-3 is essential at every age.. offering many heart and brain benefits, so make sure to take Eskimo-3 daily to help safeguard your health. Available in Health Stores, Pharmacies and online! eskimo3.ie

Available in Health Food Stores, Pharmacies and Online eskimo3.ie


Looking back in time

?

Guess the year Guess the year with the aid of Gerry Perkins reminders...

For IRELAND, it was a year of change and notable firsts. The first bus lane was introduced by CIE on Dublin’s Parliament Street; contraceptives were allowed to be sold for the first time, albeit by prescription; the Wickow Way was designated Ireland’s first official long distance walking trail and WB Yeats graced the newly-designed £20 note. The first ATMs also appeared with Bank of Ireland launching its Pass card. Margaret Thatcher’s visit to then Taoiseach Charles Haughey amongst deteriorating relations between Ireland and Britain was also the first official visit by a British Prime Minister to the Republic since the foundation of the State. Her visit came coincided with the start fo the IRA hunger strikes at the Maze Prison. The Dublin Marathon was run for the first time in this year. 40 Senior Times l March - April 2018 2017 l www.seniortimes.ie

The year also saw 18 people die in the Buttevant rail crash in Cork. One year after the historic visit of Pope John Paul II current pontiff Pope Francis arrived in Dublin to study English at Milltown’s Jesuit College. Former Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader Jack Lynch gained the freedom of Cork in this year, with the Irish Film Board also being established. The Derrynaflan Chalice was discovered in a bog near the Tipperary town.


Spice up your Joints... Get Moving, Start Living!

O

steoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in Ireland, affecting more than 400,000 people. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear of cartilage in the joints. There has been an increase in the number of people with osteoarthritis in Ireland for two reasons; our ageing population and more obese people putting an increased strain on their joints. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but it most commonly affects the knees, hips, neck and back, big toe and fingers. Inflammation of the joints can occur, which can cause cartilage to erode, leaving the joint with pain, swelling and stiffness. ZinCuFlex is an innovative food supplement containing Ginger, Curcumin and vitamin C. Ginger and Curcumin (the active part of Turmeric) are well known for their benefits for Joint Health.

Ginger – Hot Benefits

A scientific study found that among 247 patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee with moderate-to-severe pain, those taking ginger extract for 6 weeks experienced significant reduction in knee pain on standing, compared with those taking a placebo. Ginger extract helps to maintain joint mobility and reduces the feeling of morning stiffness.

The Power of Curcumin

Curcumin is the active component of the yellow spice tumeric, with numerous health benefits. Curcumin may help to reduce inflammation, maintain joint mobility, flexibility and comfort of the joints. In one randomised control study, curcumin was found to be as effective as ibuprofen for reducing inflammation. While Curcumin offers amazing benefits, absorption has always been an issue. ZinCuflexTM uses a patented process

“NPT501TM” that combines curcumin with liquefied ginger to achieve 100 x better absorption compared to ordinary curcumin, making it more bioavailable and therefore more effective.

Vitamin C for Bones and Cartilage: Cartilage is a special type of connective tissue whose main role is to reduce friction between moving joints. Vitamin C plays an essential role as it is recognised as helping to contribute to normal collagen formation and function of bones and cartilage.

Positive Feedback

Evergreen health food store has been selling ZinCuFlex for a couple of years now and the staff believe strongly in the product. ZinCuFlex is recommended for joint problems, joint mobility and sports injuries. It also helps to reduce

with many feeling the difference within 14 days. ZinCuflex Features: A unique combination of Ginger, Curcumin and Vitamin C Curcumin is the active component of Turmeric, with numerous health benefits. Curcumin and ginger may help protect joints and maintain joint mobility. Ginger may help reduce joint stiffness and inflammation. Highly bioavailable so that greater levels of active curcumin can be released to support joint, brain and immune health.

Great Customer Feedback “I’ve been using ZinCuFlex for the last 2 years. I was sceptical in the beginning but I have to admit, it works brilliantly. Being an avid runner, I was disappointed when I was told to stop running in order to mind my joints. Working in the natural health industry, I knew there was a solution out there. I tried Curcumin, Turmeric and many other different complex formulas. While getting some relief, none of them gave me complete relief. I would recommend ZinCuFlex to anyone with any joint problems, knee issues or sports injuries. It works and you can feel the difference quickly” Alison Murphy, Nourish Health Stores, Dublin.

inflammation in the digestive system and boosts the immune system against colds and fevers. Scientific Research The positive feedback we have been receiving by customers is backed up by research as a study of 200 ZinCuFlex users in Denmark found that 90% reported a significant improvement in joint mobility,

Award Winning We are delighted that Zincuflex won Rude Health Magazine Award “Highly Commended Natural Product of 2016”! With a unique blend of ginger, curcumin and vitamin C, Zincuflex offers powerful support for Joints. Thanks so much to all who voted for us, we are so grateful! Available in Health Stores, Pharmacies and online. www.zincuflex.ie

Available in Health Food Stores, Pharmacies and Online zincuflex.ie


On the WORLD stage...it was the year of the US embassy siege in Iran, and Ronald Reagan being elected the 40th President of the US; when Israel and Egypt opened diplomatic relations and when Robert Mugabe became president of Zimbabwe. James Callaghan resigned as UK Labour Party leader and Margaret Thatcher coined her famous “the lady’s not for turning!” speech. Yugoslavia’s President Tito died; Spain and Britain agreed to re-open the Spain-Gibraltar border in 1985. US news channel CNN was launched and gaming phenomenon’s Pac-Man and the Rubik’s Cube debuted. Henry Hill – later made famous by Ray Liotta in the film ‘Goodfellas’ – was arrested in the US for drug possession. A watershed year for MUSIC saw Johnny Logan clinch Ireland’s second Eurovision Song Contest victory with the Shay Healy-penned song ‘What’s Another Year’. It also saw the assassination of John Lennon and rock behemoths Led Zeppelin split up following the accidental death of drummer John Bonham. Album releases included AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ and ‘Boy’ by four Dubs going by the name of U2. 1980 also saw the birth of three-fifths of Westlife – Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, Brian McFadden A stellar year for FILM saw the likes of serious releases ‘Raging Bull’, ‘The Elephant Man’, ‘The Shining’ and ‘Kramer vs Kramer’ (which saw Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep pick up best actor Oscars) rub shoulders with 42 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

equally classic comedies such as ‘Airplane’, ‘9-to-5’, ‘The Blues Brothers’ and ‘Caddyshack’. It was also the year of the second Star Wars adventure via ‘The Empire Strikes Back’. In SPORT Kerry were crowned All-Ireland football champions for the 26th time, while Galway won their second hurling title. It was an Olympic year and a return to a controversial games, with the US team boycotting Moscow’s hosting. In soccer, Arsenal lost two finals in five days – following up a loss in the FA Cup to underdogs West Ham United with a penalty shoot-out defeat to Valencia in the European Cup Winners Cup, which marked Liam Brady’s last game for the Gunners. That year’s European Championships in Italy saw the return of England to a major football tournament for the first time since 1970, but with it came the rise of English football hooliganism. The year also marked Bjorn Borg’s last of five Wimbledon title wins. Did you guess the year? 1980


Did you have Polio?

Polio Register - now launching in Cork and Kildare. Sign up to give ALL polio survivors a stronger voice. Polio Survivors Ireland is the new name for the Post Polio Support Group charity. Our new National Polio Register will help ensure that everyone who had polio will be included in planning for medical care and other supports.

If you had polio you can help safeguard your future by registering. To register call 01 889 89 20, email info@ppsg.ie or see www.polio.ie

Come and see us at the Cork 50 Plus Expo, City Hall, Cork 3-4 March


Technology

All you ever want to know about using an iPad

Joyce Kelly explains

While the iPad tablet is a very user-friendly device and opens up a new world, giving access to the Internet, TV, radio, E-readers, music libraries, Podcasts etc., there are a number of basic principles for use, that need to be explained. The fact that there is no keyboard, is one example of touchscreen technology, that some participants find a really hard concept to grasp. My experience was that students unfortunately felt that technology has left them behind. One lady turned up to a course I was giving with her beautiful new Samsung Galaxy tablet and asked ‘do you like my ornament’, (I had a vision of it standing on the mantelpiece), which is truthfully the way many see the tablet, shiny, new, modern; but a decoration. So we need to outline how to navigate both the device and touchscreen technology. Turn on the device After opening your iPad using the sleep / wake button, (see below) you then typically enter your passcode. You are then presented with the Homescreen. You can swipe left and right allowing you to move through numerous screens, showing all the App Icons that you

have access to. For example you will see the Camera App, Photos app (flower motive), also Settings (cog) it is important to get used to Settings and where to find it. Settings opens us access to Wifi, display settings, where you have the option to turn features on/off, or change where needed. We will go through a number of important Apps to optimise the iPads usage later on, but first the device itself. While there are some subtle differences between the generations (or versions) of iPad since 2010. With iPad Air and iPad mini included these Buttons are mostly standard with most Apple devices. Device buttons The port for charging the device can be found at the bottom of the iPad. Home button This the only physical button on the front face of your iPad, wherever you are, if you’ve gotten lost browsing through the internet or you are finished in your Mail App. Press this Home button once to return to the Home screen page and get your bearings. Home Screen (with Apps) The Home screen has all your Apps that you can access and is the first point where you tap on any App to gain access and open it up.

44 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Sleep / wake button - (top right-hand button) Using this puts the iPad into sleep mode. Press once for on /off, if you are turning it on it requests a passcode which is recommended. (Find Passcode in Settings) this is important to set up, in case of loss or theft. Holding down this button for a second will turn off or on completely with a request to swipe to confirm action. Volume The two buttons on the side of the device, set one on top of the other, to denote increase and decrease of the volume. Apps Mobile Applications, are pieces of software that perform specific tasks. You are given a number of default Apps on buying your device, giving access to the Internet via the Safari App, Mail App, Camera App. For all the photos you take or were sent, you will find them in the Photos App. If you want to download a Free App or one you are willing to pay for, check out the full selection within the App Store, this contains around 2.2 million Apps (March 2017) that Apple are recommending for use. This is a blue Icon with a white ‘A’ symbol on it. On opening you will see a menu at the bottom,


Technology go into Top charts and find most popular Free and priced Apps. Look out for ‘In app purchases’ for example you will find in a game, where initially it is free but then to get past a certain level you will be required to pay for it. You will also need your Apple Id and password, for any App you want to download. For the Apple Id it is usually set up before first use, and can be found in Settings, then itunes and App Store on your device or it can also be set it up here. In terms of your password any problems go to www. iforgot.ie and the Apple website should walk you through it. Find Duolingo here, a fantastic and free way to learn a language and see how a good user-friendly app should look. RTE Player, Radio Player, Netflix, allow access to great Television shows, favourite presenters, topics you may have missed and you can see a show that you missed from either a week or a number of weeks ago. iPad owners with grandchildren living abroad or elsewhere, have joined Whatsapp to a hugely successful degree. Offering a real life-line to people where they can access free message and find free video Calls on the FaceTime App. IBooks is a portable Library storing millions of book titles and texts inside allowing you to buy or read free material. Newsstand offers access newspapers and magazines. If you don’t own an Amazon Kindle, you can download the Kindle App for iPad. Touchscreen technology This is very user friendly when one considers the complicated technology behind it. But first off I do advise, to Tap using the index finger on the screen, with a light touch to get a productive response. You will need patience, as with all technology, so tap and pause to see any action implemented.

Tap once: where you need cursor for typing an email, or in a search bar in Safari. This will then bring up your keyboard. Tap & Hold: Like a right-click option on a mousepad. It brings up a menu over text for example this will give you options for cutting pasting words or sentences. Double Tap: produces a zoom in effect on a screen, looking at a photo, or when you’re online. Pinch: This movement allows you to zoom in and out, of text, photos, your index finger and thumb together and move them slowly apart or together. Going forwards I hope this gives some insights, into how to make the most of the technology at your fingertips.

When you write a will, you can look after your family and loved ones even after you’re gone. And if you also include The Irish Hospice Foundation, you can reach out to another family you’ve never met too. Help us enable people to live well to the end with dignity and respect, in a care setting of their choice, surrounded by their loved ones.

contact Clare Martin at 01 679 3188 or clare.martin@hospicefoundation.ie www.hospicefoundation.ie


Creative Writing Eileen Casey

Beauty from the attic.. Eileen Casey meets debut novelist Norma MacMaster Publishers, of necessity, give much praise to their writers. Sometimes, we find this is true, other times, disappointingly not true. However, in the case of Norma MacMaster’s debut novel Silence Under a Stone, the publishers have got it so very right. Written in ‘startlingly beautiful prose’ is the claim in the press release and having read this book (unable to put it down actually), I agree whole-heartedly. So, let’s meet the writer herself. MacMaster was born and reared in County Cavan, continuing her studies in Derry, Dublin, Beflast and Montreal. She lived in Canada in the 60s during the time of flower-power, teaching English in a ‘beat-up school in a steamy little town in Southern Ontario.’ She was also writing poetry at this time, down by the lake on sultry evenings. She remembers how that part of her life was tracked by singers such as Tom Jones and Joan Baez and of course, The Beatles. When she came back to Ireland, she suddenly felt old, due to ‘starchy correctness, preachings, bannings and forbiddings. All the usual meek-eyed bowing down.’ She was a secondary school teacher and counsellor in Ireland (and Canada) and was ordained a minister of the Church of Ireland in 2004 at the age of 68.

MacMaster on the drafting process: ‘Noone has been there before, not you either. It’s like a dark cave you enter into – it’s exciting, thrilling, once you begin to see the way’ 46 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

On the whole business of travel, MacMaster realizes that she never once travelled to see sights or to lie in the sun,that she travelled ‘only to live with other people’. In the words of Cicero, ‘He who flees across the ocean, changes the sky, not his mind’. Like it or not however, she is a citizen of the world, having bedded down in many places outside Ireland, little known places in Ontario like Blind River, Sparta (Ontario) and Espanola where she lived in a hotel owned by a ‘pulp and paper’ mill which ‘stank to high heaven.’ Peculiarly enough, she also lived for a while in a funeral parlour in Blind River. Now that’s a tale for telling. She doesn’t move around much anymore – the only holiday being a week in Donegal at a writers’ retreat in the last four years.


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Creative Writing

MacMaster lives by the sea in North County Dublin and was almost a full-time carer at home when she began her debut novel. ‘All my writing was done in an enormous and very cluttered, untidy attic,’ she says, an achievement in itself, considering the physical and emotional demands on her time. Plus, she’s not a whiz with typing skills either, ‘I wrote the book with two fingers (literally), sometimes engaging a third’. It’s interesting to note that she wrote all her life in long-hand but found that, slow as it was, typing suited some parts of the novel, as if because ‘my thought processes had slowed down, my fingers kept time with them.’ The process of writing Silence Under a Stone began in 2013 and then ended in 2016. The novel is set in the 1920s, in counties south of the Border. The novel focuses on Harriet and her husband, Thomas and their son James, respected members of a strict Presbyterian congregation. However, the novel charts a changing Ireland when the Roman Catholic Church is at its height and the Presbyterian community are becoming increasingly isolated. The main theme of the novel is that Harriet via her son James, will be forced to choose between her family and her faith. It’s a story which not only deserves to be told but needs to be told, a narrative which, up until now, has had little light cast upon it. I ask the novelist who she herself likes to read and writers she admires. She’s currently immersed in a novel by Donal Ryan who she credits as being ‘a wonderful writer.’ She also likes Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Margaret Atwood, George Eliot, it’s an extensive list. She’s also getting into a book by Margaret Daly-Denton called Supposing Him to be the Gardener – an Earth Bible Commentary. However, she admits that she can read this only ‘when my mind is rested in the mornings.’

But returning to that attic where Silence Under a Stone slowly came to life. ‘In winter, that attic was sometimes so cold that as I wrote, I usually wore three coats, a hat and fingerless gloves – and a rug over my knees. In summer, it was so hot I had to open all skylights and suffer visits from wasps.’ The story of an artist then, suffering for her art! However, while drafting out the manuscript, MacMaster had no thought of ever publishing, it was a labour of love, a story she carried within her that needed to be told, ‘meant that I was totally free from pressure and anxiety about my work; I just wrote for the sheer delight in setting down the story.’ A tremendous source of encouragement and a lifeline for this busy lady is her writing group, which meets each Saturday (‘come rain or shine, except for Christmas Day and Easter’). Writing groups come and go, enthusiasm waxes and wanes but in this particular writing group, ‘membership is fluid – the group keeps changing which is very good – so there’s new water in the river always – it’s a wonderful place to be – great constructive critique and support.’ However, writing is not a full twenty four occupation and writers too need time out, to develop other passions. For Norma, being passionate about Evolution and Evolution ary Christianity, fills those gaps. ‘I long for our churches to yield themselves up to the glory of the Divine Source which they have tried to capture, pin down and name ‘God’ complete with a rule-book.’ Norma MacMaster has three quotes about life which are not only inspirational and wise, but really relevant not just to her but to ourselves.

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To date, they have certainly served her well: ‘years of listening to people has taught her that if she just kept quiet and sipped or sewed and never looked shocked, there was literally no limit – no limit at all – to what people would tell her’ (Stella Gibbons, Cold Comfort Farm). The second one, like the first, seems to be tailor made for the writing life: ‘Do not let your fire go out – spark by irreplaceable spark- in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at all. Do not let the hero in your own soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours,’ (Ayn Rand). Her final quote comes from Teilhard de Chardin: ‘Give our Lord the benefit of believing/ that his hand is leading you,/ and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself /in suspense and incomplete. Above all, trust in the slow work of God, /our loving vine-dresser.’


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Creative Writing

I ask her about the drafting process. Most beginning writers feel that once they’ve written something down, then there’s no need to edit. She’s quick to say that the drafting process is a “delightful place to be in. It’s secret and almost holy. No-one has been there before, not you either. It’s like a dark cave you enter into- it’s exciting, thrilling, once you begin to see the way.”

head and laughs.’Alas! when I looked at my page, it was blank.’ She’d forgotten to place the cursor! Ah well, we all make mistakes. She recommends that writers always carry a notebook ‘because the most wonderful ideas can pop up in the most banal of places.’ She writes mostly in the mornings because after that, her creativity can flag.

At present, Norma is currently working on a memoir. I ask her what she thinks about writing about childhood and in particular, the quote from Flannery 0’Connor which says so much happens to us from the age of seven, that we have enough to write about for the rest of our lives. Norma agrees. ‘Yes, my childhood gives me enough material to write for the rest of my life – but ‘childhood writing ‘can grow very tedious unless its informed by the adult mind. I can never write from the place of my childhood since I am no longer there. I can visit my childhood only from this present place I inhabit – with all its hopes and fears and joys and hurts.’

Norma MacMaster is one of those people who possess inner calm and exude it. There’s a glow about her which comes not just from having written an extraordinary story, but from being at one with herself and the world around her. I ask her about her health and the whole business of keeping in good spirits: ‘I am blessed with good health (touch wood) but old age is a giddy place to be in. It’s uncertain and can be fear filled.’ Whoa I hadn’t seen that coming but then I remember, light and shade and how well they mix. She agrees. ‘I remind myself that I have always been ‘growing older’, it’s part of life’s journey. Still, now that I know there’s a certain end I can see it coming up ahead and that feels strange.’ But an adventure I remind her, who knows what lies ahead? ‘Yes, but it’s stunning to think that I won’t be around when all these new cures have been found, these new highways built or when Ireland is united again’(obviously, a dear wish).

Regarding her writing process, she claims to ‘scribble a lot’ in one of her dozen or so notebooks, then sometime ‘spring cleaning them all onto the P.C.’ She sits down at the keyboard to write only when she has something definite to say. ‘I am totally undisciplined which probably accounts for my scant input into the writing world.” She also has to have total silence, never looking at the printed page as she types. ‘I got carried away however, and using my two trusty fingers, I wrote a beautiful passionate piece – it was a long piece – and I felt excited at the thought of rereading it.” I was just about to ask her could I read it when she shakes her

If my time with Norma MacMaster begins with a quote about the ability to listen from Cold Comfort Farm, it ends with a Shakespearean quote: ‘The only thing I fear would be a Care Home at the end of my days but then I remember Hamlet and what he said to Guildenstern: “O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a King of infinite space.’

50 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Four copies of Silence Under A Stone to be won!

Senior Times, in association of the publishers T Doubleday , are offering four copies of Silence Under A Stone as prizes in this competition. To enter, simply answer this question: Where was Norma MacMaster reared? Send your answers to: Silence Competition, Senior Times, Unit 1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Or email to: john@slp.ie Deadline for receipt of entries is 5th April 2018 The first four correct entires drawn are the winners.


Culture

Guernsey principals from left, Lilly Jones, Tom Courtney, Penelope Wilton and Kathleen Parkinson

Conflict at the white art Maretta Dillon reports on happenings in the arts around the country in the next few months ART, Yasmina’s Reza’s multi award winning comedy has been entertaining audiences for 20 years. A new production translated by Christopher Hampton sees UK veterans Nigel Havers, Denis Lawson and Stephen Tompkinson as Serge, Marc and Ivan respectively take to the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin from March 19-24. Marc is horrified when his friend Serge buys a piece of art- an expensive white canvas. Their relationship soon becomes strained because of their differing opinions about what constitutes ‘art’. A third friend, Yvan is caught in the middle of the conflict as he tries to please and mollify them both. Much verbal dexterity and some sly knowingness is on display. Closer to home but with a lot in common is a new production of Isobel Mahon’s comedy BOOM? Set at the height of Ireland’s now mythical economic boom, it is led by an all-female cast including Claudia Carroll (Fair City), Rose Henderson (Fair City, Father Ted) Isobel Mahon (Glenroe, The Clinic), Maria McDermottroe (Glenroe, Killinaskully) and Clelia Murphy (Fair City). From March 26 at the Gaiety Theatre. Music Network continues to bring the new and exciting in music to Ireland with the arrival of thrilling new duo, Franco-Spanish guitarist Thibaut Garcia and German cellist Isang Enders,

both young artists with rapidly-growing international reputations. Info from musicnetwork.ie Director Frank Berry’s first film, I Used to Live Here, was noticed and admired. His second film, Michael Inside, heads into cinemas on April 5. After agreeing to hold a bag of drugs for his friend’s older brother, Michael Healy is sentenced to three months in prison. Berry again took an unconventional approach to developing his story, working with former prisoners on the Pathways education programme to give the film a strong sense of authenticity. It’s been winning prizes all over with a wonderful central performance from Dafhyd Flynn. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was a popular read and is now a film (renamed as the more pronounceable Guernsey) with British sweetheart Lily James as a young writer on the island in the aftermath of World War II looking for stories and making friends. From April 20 everywhere. Cúirt, the long running international festival of poetry and literature, reveals itself in Galway from April 23-29. The full list of contributors has yet to be announced but already confirmed are: Bernard MacLaverty, whose book Midwinter Break recently won the Novel of the Year award at the 2017 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards; Belfast’s inaugural Poet Laureate, Sinead Morrissey, reading from

52 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

her new collection On Balance; acclaimed American novelist and short story writer, Daniel Woodrell, whose earlier work including Winter’s Bone have all been adapted for the screen. Under new programme director, Emily Cullen, it’s looks like a very exciting and vibrant couple of days. More from cuirt.ie

Events around the Country / March – April 2018 HEDDA GABLER Theatre Lizzy Watts heads the cast in The National Theatre’s new version by Patrick Marber, directed by Ivo Van Hove. Mar 6-10 / Gaiety Theatre, Dublin 2 Information and booking: 0818 719388/ ticketmaster.ie PUCCINI’S TOSCA Opera Celine Byrne stars in this tale of love, lust and murder. Presented by Mikhailovsky Opera, St Petersburg, Russia. Mar 14-18 / Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin 2. Information and booking: balletandirelandopera.com


Guitarist Thibaut Garcia and cellist Isany Enders head up the Music Network tour

Cúirt contributor Bernard MacLaverty

PHILLIP TOLEDANO Visual Arts Two key works by New York based artist Phillip Toledano, Days with my Father (2010) and Maybe (2015). Mar 16-June 24 / Crawford Art Gallery, Cork City. Information: crawfordartgallery.ie ART Theatre Yasmin Reza’s acclaimed play about art and male friendship in a translation by Christopher Hampton lands in Dublin. March 19-24 / Gaiety Theatre, Dublin 2 Information and booking: 0818 719388 / ticketmaster.ie BOOM? Theatre Isobel Mahon’s comedy set at the height of the mythical economic boom has an all-female cast. Mar 26-31 / Gaiety Theatre, Dublin 2 Information: 0818 719388/ ticketmaster.ie ALICE MAHER: VOX MATERIA Visual Arts Vox Materia exploits the tactile, contingent qualities of woodcut and watercolour. Mar 29 -May 5 / Source Arts Centre, Thurles, Co. Tipperary Information: sourceartscentre.ie

CHAMBER PHILHARMONIC EUROPE Music Talented young musicians from 18 European countries in a programme that mixes Vivaldi, Bach, Fauré and Mozart. Apr 3- 15 / island wide Information: kammerphilharmonie-europa. de / local arts centres north and south. MICHAEL INSIDE Film Director Frank Berry’s acclaimed film about an impressionable teenager sentenced to three months in prison. April 5 island wide THE IMPORTANCE OF NOTHING Theatre Pan Pan Theatre present a comedy about a drama therapy class in an imaginary prison. Apr 7-28 / nationwide tour Information: panpantheatre.com MUSICTOWN Music 10 days of concerts, masterclasses, collaborations and workshops exploring Dublin’s diverse musical culture. April 13-22 / Dublin city Information: musictown.ie GUERNSEY Film Lily James plays a free-spirited writer on Guernsey exploring about the island’s WW2 war time experience. April 20 island wide.

GUITARIST THIBAUT GARCIA AND CELLIST ISANG ENDERS Music Two of classical music’s brightest stars give a masterclass in understated beauty. Apr 22-May 1 / various venues nationwide Information and booking: musicnetwork.ie CÚIRT Literature Festival Programme includes poetry and prose readings, discussion events, spoken word, poetry slams, theatre, visual art. Apr 23-29 / Galway Information: cuirt.ie THE PLOUGH AND THE STARS Theatre The Abbey Theatre and the Lyric Hammersmith present Sean O’Casey’s masterpiece in a joint production. Apr 24 – May 5 / Gaiety Theatre, Dublin 2 Information and booking: 0818 719388/ ticketmaster.ie

Finally, if you would like your event to feature in our list of What’s On please email: events.country@gmail.com

Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 53


Retirement

When you don’t want or cannot afford to retire..

Maretta Dillon talks to Derek Bell, Chief Operations Officer with the Retirement Planning Council of Ireland about their new programme, Working On. What is Working On about and who is it aimed at? It‘s designed for people who must retire because they’ve reached the age of retirement in their contract of employment but don’t want or can’t afford to stop working. How will the course work in practice? The participants will have a daylong session with lots of info and content about staying at work. Then as part of the fee, they have an hour long one to one session within a month of completing the course. If they want, for an extra cost they can book some more one to one sessions. What type of people might attend such a course? There will be people who want to set up their own business, people who want to work part time, people who want to work term time, people who want to work in the winter and not in the summer. All sorts of combinations in there. It’s really saying to people what do you want? Because if you don’t know what you want, you’ll never find suitable work. Is knowing what you want the important factor? Really that’s the start of the workshop. Most people think, this job has stopped so I’d better find another job. The new job will pay me money and then I can live a lifestyle. If we flip that sequence around and say what lifestyle do you want to lead? What work can you find that matches that lifestyle? And that pays you appropriately.

recruitment agency; you can approach a company directly; or you can work with your contacts. What are the advantages and disadvantages between the various methods? Ads and recruitment agencies are working in the open space. Direct approach and networking is in the hidden space. Only about 30% of vacancies are in the open space and about 70% are in the hidden space. Most people who’ve been working for a long time and who begin looking for a job think, I’ll watch the ads, I’ll put my CV with a couple of agencies and I’ll be grand. They’re working where there is most competition because everybody looking for work sees those opportunities. And they’re much more likely to encounter age discrimination. Are people sometimes too shy about using their personal contacts to find a job? The secret with approaching people is never to ask them for a job. If somebody comes up to you and says are there any jobs going? You’re probably going to say no. However, if instead I was to approach you and say I’d love to know what it’s like to be doing the job that you’re doing, I’m looking for information. What I’ve done is appeal to your ego. You’re approaching your contacts in a different way, opening a conversation but not asking for a job. It is like a chain: information; advice; introduction. And in that chain, there’s work.

What areas are you going to concentrate on?

Do you think ageism is a big factor when it comes to older people looking for jobs?

There will be three main areas of input: CVs and how you market yourself; what to do before, during and after the interview and how to answer the awkward questions; job searching. Really, there are only four ways that you can find a job: you can answer an ad; you can work with a

Recruiters may think, this person is older than me, could I manage him or her? And one of the things that we’ll be emphasising is that anybody of any age can be hired provided they sell what they have to offer as a solution to the employer’s problem. So instead of thinking that job would

54 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie


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Retirement suit me great. They need to think I would suit that job because... The biggest issue about ageism is often between people’s own ears, they think they are too old.

Working On is particularly relevant to freelance workers who have no formal contracts

What is the benefit for employers? When pension schemes were defined benefit, employers didn’t want older workers because they wouldn’t be paying into the pension scheme long enough before they were drawing out a pension. When defined benefits change to defined contributions that problem disappeared overnight because you were only getting back what you paid in. The other big thing that employers think about older workers is: this person has plenty of experience. I won’t have to be minding them, they will follow instructions, they know what to do. They’re used to the world of work.

How many courses will you run per year and how much does it cost?

Why are people even considering working in older age? This whole idea came from the fact that a lot of organisations still have a retirement age of 65. But the state pension isn’t paid until age 66, is moving to 67 and will ultimately move to 70. People are thinking how am I going to bridge that gap?

We hope to do maybe four or five courses per year. It depends what the demand is. The cost is €325.00 for one day and one follow up session. There are extra sessions if wanted and these can be added on as an additional cost.

Would you advise people to take a gap once their old employment ends? You need to be very mindful. You are very employable for the first six months after you leave your employment. You’re employable for the next six months provided you do something, like for example upskilling, volunteering. It’s very difficult to get back to into work if you’ve been out of work for more than twelve months. Employers feel you’ve lost the habit.

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 March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 55


Travel

An Iranian Odyssey

‘Friends tried to discourage us, warning of the possible perils that lay head. The red flags posted by the UK and American embassies were downright discouraging. But once the die was cast there was no turning back..’ Joe Keane reports on an Iranian adventure

We found Tehran, not the environmentally unfriendly and smog- laden sprawl it is sometimes described, but vibrant and pulsating. It is a city of 12 million citizens, and this reflects in the traffic jams that are often prevalent.

‘We are victims of our respective societies. Our minds are constantly influenced by the propaganda machines that are beamed at us from the media networks’ The debonair, well - spoken Iranian, had received his engineering degree in England, and afterwards he lived in the United States for a number of years. Now retired, he was employed in an up-market store in Central Tehran. His excellent English was a decided asset in a city where the dominant language is Persian or Farsi as it is traditionally referred to. A few months before, my wife Cora and I had toyed with the notion of visiting this mysterious land that seduces the eager adventurer, but also exudes an aura of curious intrigues, our friends, some of whom were seasoned travellers, tried to discourage us, warning of the possible perils that lay head. The red flags posted by the UK and American embassies were downright discouraging. But once the die was cast there was no turning back. Citizens of the EU can obtain a visa upon arrival. However, it is much safer to apply for a visa here, and avoid delays and possible confusion at the airport. We attended the Iranian Consulate in Dublin by appointment, and were treated most courteously by the officials. They armed us with maps and brochures and were clearly impressed that people of our vintage, were interested in their country. In a little over a week, we had our visa stamped in to our passports. We were already halfway there! In early October we set out for Abu Dhabi, spending a restful few days in the delightful vista of Yas Island. We even sandwiched in a brief visit to Muscat, the capital of Oman. Our

mode of travel was not for the faint hearted. One morning at 5 a.m. we took a taxi to Dubai and from there went by bus to the neighbouring State. The journey can take up to seven, and as in our case eight hours, because of delays at the border. The level of security is higher than many airport standards. We only remained two days in Muscat, where the temperature was over 40 degrees. The scenery is stunning along the harbour of the old city. While we were there, the Sultan’s ship was in mooring, the signs of opulence apparent in the blistering heat. Someday, we would like to explore this amazing country in greater detail. Our return back to the Emirates was as long drawn out as the outward trip. This was largely due to the fact that a number of ruck – sacked travellers, their tattoos visible in the security lit compound, were hauled from the bus and subjected to lengthy interrogations. At one stage my wife and I were the only passengers left on board. The Immigration Officers apologised for the delay. We found the experience extremely tiring, and it almost scuttled our plans for the trip to Iran. The following week we flew in to Tehran in the middle of the night. The immigration procedures were surprisingly straightforward. A word of caution at this point about currency issues. Iran is a cash society as far as tourists are concerned. The Iranian’s have a modified credit card system but it is for indigenous use only. Do not convert your Euros at the airport, except for minimum purchases like taxi’s etc. There are much better exchange rates in the cash exchanges in downtown Iran. Some of the larger stores and hotels take Dollars and Euro.

56 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Nightmare currency Iranian currency is a nightmare. As an example, 100 Euro converts to an amazing 35,000 Iranian Rials approx. You need to be a good calculator, but large denominations are issued, which simplifies matters. To add to the confusion, locals often refer to prices in Toman (an older currency system), which is a tenth of a Rial. The aftermath can be very alarming when the true value of the item is revealed. To avoid a nasty shock, ask for the amount to be written down. The written figure must always be in Rials.

The atmosphere in the Ferdowski hotel is exhilarating and the lobby has an out of the world ambience that intoxicates the soul. The staff seem to actually enjoy pampering their guests. The perfect hub for exploring the enchanting hinterland with its array of theme parks and architectural surprises.

We stayed at the Ferdowsi Hotel, in the centre of the Financial District. This is one of the better hotels in the city and caters for diplomats and Western business people. The atmosphere is exhilarating and the lobby has an out of the world ambience that intoxicates the soul. The staff seem to actually enjoy pampering their guests. The perfect hub for exploring the enchanting hinterland with its array of theme parks and architectural surprises.


Travel

View of the Alborz Mountains

In front of the Acadia Tower, one of the most celebrated landmarks in Tehran

We found Tehran, not the environmentally unfriendly and smog laden sprawl it is sometimes described, but vibrant and pulsating. It is a city of 12 million citizens, and this reflects in the traffic jams that are often prevalent. Everyday pedestrians face the inevitable challenge of crossing its perilous streets, with snarling traffic approaching from every conceivable direction. I have seen parallel situations in Saigon and Cairo, but nothing as bad as this. The mighty Alborz mountain range exerts a formidable, but imposing presence in the background. Our visit coincided with the anniversary of Al Hussein, grandson of Mohammed, who was martyred in the seventh century. This sparked off a number of mini demonstrations. There is only one English speaking television channel, and it is state controlled. The passionate displays of grief were manifest, as many older people recoiled in emotional collapse. In our blissful ignorance, we at first thought that their beloved leader had died suddenly. At least on this occasion there were no bloodcurdling chants outside Western embassies. The stores are virtual Aladdin Caves of home crafted Objet’s D’Art in copper and aluminium. Persian rugs are a speciality as are silver ornaments. I set my heart on an intricately ornamented chess board. I had beaten the vendor down to 80 dollars. The trouble was I only had Euro and he wasn’t for changing. In sign language I told him I would get dollars and I bolted in the direction of the nearest currency exchange.

Fellow travellers on the train going through the Alborz Mountains

Outside the now-closed American Embassy in Tehran

I made the exchange and then promptly banged in to the plate glass window, like a disorientated pigeon. Very embarrassed and slightly shaken, I braved the dangerous street crossing. When I was half way across, I felt a hand plucking at my elbow and saw one of the cashiers urging me to the drink the carton of water he held in his hand. Apparently, this is a traditional cure for concussion in Iran. The spectacle of the two us standing in this busy and dangerous thoroughfare, whilst I partook of the water, must have been unique even by Iranian standards. Suffice to say we both survived and I got my coveted chessboard in the end.

time and then informed us that we were free to go. A taxi driver took us to our hotel, in the heart of a forest close to the Caspian shores. Probably; because of our encounter with the Police, I confused the Rials with Dirhams, and thought the taxi driver was grossly overcharging. I insisted that the unfortunate man accompany us in to the hotel. You can imagine my embarrassment when I discovered that the fare was perfectly normal.

For me no visit to a foreign country is complete without a train journey. One sees a cross section of the country and sometimes meets interesting people. Iran has upgraded its railroad system to a standard that is second to none. Purchasing tickets in Iran is almost impossible for tourists. Iran Rail does not have a satisfactory on-line facility. I discovered a compromise. An Austrian gentleman married to an Iranian, obtained our tickets and delivered them on line. We chose a seven-hour trip to the city of Sari close to the Caspian Sea. The scenery was breath – taking as the train cork screwed its way through the Alborz Mountains. Cora who is more extrovert than I, soon befriended Iranian Kurds and exchanged pictures. At the train station we had a Policewoman await our arrival. We were the only Europeans on board and she was obviously alerted to this fact. She questioned us for some

We remained a delightful couple of days in this orange dotted oasis with bird song permeating the surroundings. The staff could not have been friendlier. There was a minor glitch when we discovered that our return rail ticket was invalid. They sometimes change the schedules without prior notice. We had to employ a translator (modest charge) who overcome the bureaucratic anomaly. It had a serendipitous outcome. We were upgraded to sleeping berths on the night train, after they were assured that we were not Americans. We have many singular memories of this extraordinary land. We found that there is a delicate balancing act between the traditional and the modern in progress. The wearing of headscarf’s or roosari for ladies is mandatory. On two occasions, the Religious Police politely ‘readjusted’ Cora’s head covering which had slipped. But, many of the younger generation are in the cusp of change and are drawn to a Westernised lifestyle. Transformation will not happen overnight, but it will come – eventually.

Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 57


Health

Fall prevention: Simple tips to prevent falls Fall prevention: Simple tips to prevent falls

Prevent falls with these simple fall-prevention measures, from reviewing your medications, getting active and hazard-proofing your home. Prevent falls with these simple fall-prevention measures, from At this clinic you will be asked to:

reviewing your medications, getting active and hazard-proofing • Discuss your falls history your home. • Your mobility strength and balance will be assessed. Fall- prevention may not seem like a cheerful topic, but it's important. As you get older, • Assess your risk of osteoporosis and medication management. physical changes and health conditions — and sometimes the medications used to treat Fall- prevention may not seem like a cheerful topic, but it’s important. As • Identify how you feel you carry out everyday tasks such as cooking those conditions — make falls more likely. In fact, falls are a leading cause of injury you get older, physical changes and health conditions — and sometimes and house work. among older adults. Still, fear of falling doesn't need to rule your life. Instead, consider the medications used to treat those conditions — make falls more likely. • Discuss any problems you have with eyesight, bladder and nutrition. these simple fall-prevention strategies. In fact, falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. Still, fear • Assess home hazards if needed. of falling doesn’t need to rule your life. Instead, consider these simple • Offer intervention to help you reduce your risk of falling Make an appointment with your doctor fall-prevention strategies. Keep moving Make an appointment with your doctor If you avoid physical activity because you’re afraid it will make a fall more Have your medications reviewed and discuss the possible cause or risk factors for Have your medications reviewed and discuss thefalling. Some medications make you more likely to have a fall. possible cause or risk likely. factors for falling. Some medications make you more likely to have a fall. Make a list of your prescription and over-the-counter medications and Following assessment, it may be recommended you attend carefully Make a list of your prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements, or supplements, or bring them with you to the appointment. Your doctor monitored exercise programmes or refer you to a registered Physical bring them with you to the appointment. Your doctor can review your medications for can review your medications for side effects and interactions that may Therapist / Physiotherapist who can prescribe a customised exercise side effects and interactions that may increase your risk of falling. increase your risk of falling. programme aimed at improving your balance, flexibility, muscle strength and gait. He or she may also refer you to Cork Falls Prevention for an assessment with your local He or she may also refer you to Cork Falls Prevention for an assessment Multi-disciplinary Team which includes a Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and with your local Multi-disciplinary Team which includes a Physiotherapist, Alternatively you may also attend Staying Fit for the Future with “Better Public Health Nurse. If needed you may also be referred to specialist clinics provided by Occupational Therapist and Public Health Nurse. If needed you may also Balance Better Bones’’ programme created by the Cork Falls Predoctors who work in falls prevention to assess any other specific reason for your falls. be referred to specialist clinics provided by doctors who work in falls vention in conjunction with Cork Sports Partnership. This programme is prevention to assess any other specific reason for your falls. suitable for adults who walk independently and want to stay strong on The HSE run a number of fall prevention clinics to assess and help people over the age their feet and falls free for life. The HSE run a number of fall prevention clinics to of 65 who have fallen or have a fear of falling. assess and help people over the age of 65 who have fallen or have a fear of falling. The Better Balance Better Bones programme includes an aerobic warm These clinics are called Falls Risk Assessment Clinics and are based in different up and a series of exercises to challenge and improve your balance, locations in Cork City and environs with the Cork Falls Prevention being based in the These clinics are called Falls Risk Assessment Clinics and are based in joint and muscle range of movement, flexibility, bone strength and different locations in Cork City and environs with the Cork Falls muscle power .These exercises have been researched and proven to Assessment and Treatment Centre in St Finbarr’s Hospital, email Fallsclinic.sfh@hse.ie Prevention being based in the Assessment and Treatment Centre in St improve participant’s ability to stay strong and steady on their feet. or telephone 021- 4923352. Finbarr’s Hospital, email Fallsclinic.sfh@hse.ie or telephone These weekly classes will be delivered by exercise professionals who 021- 4923352. have been trained by HSE Physiotherapists in the Better Balance Better

At this clinic you will be asked to:

58 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Discuss your falls history


Health

2. Repair or remove tripping hazards. Sometimes home fixtures can contribute to falls; examine every room and hallway, looking for items such as loose carpet, rugs, or wooden floorboards that stick up. Then repair, remove, or replace those items. 3. Install grab bars and handrails. These safety devices are crucial for going up and down stairs, getting on and off the toilet, and stepping in and out of the bath without injuring yourself. 4. Avoid wearing loose clothing. baggy clothes can sometimes make you more likely to fall. Opt for better-fitting properly hemmed clothing that doesn’t bunch up or drag on the ground. 5. Light it right. Inadequate lighting is another major hazard. Install brighter light bulbs where needed, particularly in stairways and narrow hallways. Bones programme. The duration of the course is 8 weeks and costs ₏40 which is payable at the first session. To book a place on one of the programmes listed or to find out more, please contact Kieran O’Byrne at Cork Sports Partnership on 021-4347096 or email admin@corksports.ie Ways to Prevent Falling at Home A few simple improvements at home can make all the difference in keeping you safe from falling. Whether it is a slippery floors, or electrical cords, some of the most common causes of falls are in the home. You can make your home safe from falls with just a few basic changes. 1. Clean up clutter. The easiest method for preventing falls is to remove all clutter, such as stacks of old newspapers and magazines, especially from hallways and staircases.

6. Wear shoes. Socks may be comfortable, but they present a slipping risk. Preventing falls at home can be as simple as wearing shoes. You can also purchase non-slip socks that have grips on the soles of the feet if shoes are too uncomfortable. 7. Make it nonslip. Bathtubs and showers, as well as floors in kitchens, bathrooms, and porches, can become extremely dangerous when wet. To prevent falls on slick surfaces, recommend nonslip mats. 8. Move more carefully. Preventing falls like this is as easy as taking your time. All you have to do is pause after going from lying down to sitting and from sitting to standing. If you require any further information do not hesitate to contact Cork Falls Prevention or on www.hse.ie and search for Cork falls prevention.


Food

Kevin Thornton demonstrates new intelligent range of De Dietrich ovens at KAL Citywest Dublin.

Kitchens get ‘smart’

Pat Keenan discovers the intelligent kitchen and learns how to sauté the perfect scallop from a Michelin Star chef. Food with quick-cooking properties can be a little intimidating. Scallops are most definitely in this category. Mess up and the dish is spoiled and scallops are not exactly cheap to buy. Here’s the dilemma: we know that seafood raw or under-cooked can be dangerous, over-cooked they lose their delicate sweetness - even an experienced chef can deliver chewy scallops. Recently we watched as Michelin Star chef Kevin Thornton served scallops perfectly made in less than 5 minutes. We were at the showrooms of De Dietrich at the KAL Advisory Centre, Citywest, Dublin where chef Kevin Thornton demonstrated his acknowledged cooking skills, swapping the professional restaurant kitchen for the new domestic range of intelligent cookers from De Dietrich. Yes, intelligent cookers, whatever next. So what do intelligent ovens do and how smart are they ?They can cook different types of food that need different cooking results. With this new De Dietrich range you can set a 100% automatic cooking mode that sets all the cooking parameters from time to the temperature, no preheating required. Or you can choose a semi-automatic cooking mode - choose from up to 50 recipes, input the weight and the oven does the rest. They have drying functions that remove moisture from foodstuffs without cooking them - they will dry fruits, vegetables, sliced oranges or lemon and extend their shelf life, to store for future

Delicious..king scallops with lemon in a Noilly Prat sauce use, to make powders to add to and spice up your cooking or impress your guests with trendy fruit or veg tuiles. Another 100% automatic function is for slow cooking which allows food to be cooked over a long period of time to maintain more flavour and tenderness.

suitable pan is placed on the cooking zone. There’s even a setting that takes away the guess work for boiling certain foods. Simply set the volume of water to be brought to the boil and once food is added just set the desired cooking time.

For pastry the system delivers 14 automatic pastry cooking methods or create your own recipe and let the oven do the rest.

It was sort of encouraging for us home cooking amateurs to watch a renowned chef prepare a wild mushroom risotto topped with a Parmesan tuile, sautéed scallops with a Noilly Prat sauce and more or less allow the oven take the strain. The latest De Dietrich collection has a variety of hobs, microwaves, extractor fans, dishwashers, washing machines, fridge freezers - and that ‘intelligent multifunction pyrolytic oven’ which was recently awarded the Red Dot Award for product design. Kevin talked about the new ovens, saying: ‘I partic-

I once left a pot of jam on a not-in-use cooking zone and accidentally switched on that very zone - needless to say this did not end happily. The new De Dietrich hob would recognised that jar as a non-suitable object and refuse to cook, so eliminating that mishap. These smart hobs will only activate when a

60 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie


cess uc€52.50 Overnight Sfrom HOTEL, H OTEL, LEISURE CL C CLUB LUB & SPA SPA SP

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with Tea, Coffee & Scone on arrival

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ularly love the recipes feature as their accuracy is excellent. You can set the oven and let it do its work safe in the knowledge the dish will be perfectly cooked.’ As Kevin expertly prepared his ingredients and gave us the benefit of his expert tips, we watched, at the same time, as a De Dietrich oven pulled out all the stops to puff-up two lumps of dough into two different deliciously crispy golden loafs. But back to the King Scallops that came to us all the way from the Atlantic fishing villages of the Beara Peninsula. Cleaned and washed, Kevin rubbed them with olive oil, then seasoned with salt and pepper. He heated a pan and sautéed the scallops; quickly browning them on both sides; placed in the oven at 170˚C for just two minutes; removed and gave them a good squeeze of lemon. They were served with a Noilly Prat sauce made with vermouth, stock, crème fraîche and seasoning. The sauce is named for the Noilly Prat Vermouth but you’ll be forgiven for using another dry white vermouth. To make the sauce: pour the 600ml. stock into a medium-sized saucepan. It is usually fish stock but Kevin thinks a chicken or vegetable stock is more suitable for the delicate taste of a scallop and in my humble opinion that makes good sense. Add 4tbsp crème fraîche or double cream and 4tbsp Noilly dry white vermouth, 85g butter cut into small pieces and a tsp of fresh thyme leafs and boil to reduced by three-quarters. Chef Kevin Thornton with his partner Muriel, managed the once iconic Thornton’s Restaurant on St.Stephen’s Green Dublin for 26 years. It became the only Irish restaurant ever to have featured in Taste magazine’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants - it was ranked number 25. It closed in 2016 and Kevin and Muriel decided to establish Kevin Thornton Kooks concentrating on cooking masterclasses and high-end corporate and private catering Kevin has become well known for his TV work including ‘No Experience Required’, ‘Guerrilla Gourmet’ and ‘Heat’ - all on RTE. Internationally too, on ‘Masterchef South Africa’ and ‘Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern’ on the Travel Channel. On radio he is co-presenting ‘Foodtalk’ on Newstalk. Bon appetit. For more information on the De Dietrich range, contact: Kal Kitchen Accessories, 4078 Kingswood Road, City West Business Campus, Dublin 24. Tel: (01) 4136400. Email: kalcsu@kal.ie

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Literary Travels

On the Goldsmith trail..!

Oliver Goldsmith, described as ‘unprepossessing’ in looks, shy and clumsy, and not helped by early smallpox scars, he was unable to laugh off childish teasing and banter.

In the latest in her series of travels around these islands to areas with literary connections, Lorna Hogg visits Counties Longford and Westmeath, closely associated with Oliver Goldsmith Many of us have regularly passed without a second glance, the two statues of graduates in front of Trinity College, Dublin. Orator and parliamentarian Edmund Burke confidently gazes outwards. His contemporary, writer Oliver Goldsmith, later one of Ireland’s most prolific and internationally best known writers, however, focuses on his book – neat reflections of the men’s styles, personalities and legacies. Oliver Goldsmith was born on November 10th 1728 (or 1730,) the fifth of seven children of a Church of Ireland clergyman and his wife. Opinion is divided on his birthplace – generally believed to have been Pallas, Co. Longford, but it could be near Elphin, Co. Roscommon. Goldsmith was christened at the church in Forgney – of which a later version, now St. Munis, remains, complete with a splendid commemorative window. When Goldsmith was just two, the family moved to nearby Lissoy, and an attractive old parsonage, set in seventy acres, near to his father’s new parish, Kilkenny West. Goldsmith’s family has been described as `unusual,’ possibly related to the fact that whilst his father believed that whilst education was infinitely more important than money – he still spent it freely. The young Oliver started at the local village school in 1734, under schoolmaster Thomas Byrne, and soon showed himself to be able and bright, with a fondness for the Classics. 62 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

Goldsmith’s statue outside the library in Ballymahon, Co Longford Main Street, Glasson, Co Westmeath. Goldsmith’s father’s parish church in the village was referred to as ‘the Decent Church’.

However, he was also what we would now call `socially challenged.’ Described as ‘unprepossessing’ in looks, shy and clumsy, and not helped by early smallpox scars, he was unable to laugh off childish teasing and banter. Lissoy influenced his fictional Auburn, his ‘village on the plains’. Other local and much loved landmarks include the `Busy Mill’ at Lissoy; the `Hawthorn Bush,’ which acted as a local signpost. His father’s parish church in nearby Glasson was referred to as ‘the Decent Church’, and the local pubs, especially the original `The Jolly Pigeons’ would also become inspirations. However, the present pub dates only to 1921. When Goldsmith was twelve, he was sent to school near Edgeworthstown. An able student, he did not however get on well with fellow pupils, who teased and baited him. However, those days did provide him with one experience which would later help to inspire his fame. When he left school at sixteen, his father sent him a sum of money for the journey home. On his coach’s arrival at Edgeworthstown, Goldsmith asked a local for the finest lodging in the area. The man took him literally,


Literary Travels and directed him to Ardagh House, the residence of the wealthy Fetherston family. On arrival, Goldsmith ordered that his horse be stabled, and strode into the house, demanding dinner. The owner, who recognised him from his youth, was amused, and played along. However, Goldsmith then insisted that the man and his daughters join him for dinner, and started to chat up the girls. His later embarrassment can only be imagined – but the incident provided the plot for his comedy She Stoops to Conquer. In 1774 Goldsmith followed his brother Henry into Trinity College, Dublin, to read law and theology. However, unlike Henry, he was a ‘sizar’, as were many impoverished student sons of clergy. He wore a `uniform’ of plain black gown, and red cap. He was expected to sweep the college courts each morning, and carry dishes to the Fellows’ table, and wait for food until they had finished. Goldsmith bitterly resented his role, not helped by the jeers of his fellow students. His father wanted him to have a Dr. Theaker Wilder as his tutor, but the pair had different specialities, clashed during lectures and over the young Goldsmith’s behaviour. Having developed a taste for gambling and drinking at college, Goldsmith quickly ran into difficulties. Following one serious row with Wilder, he stormed out of college. However, Henry persuaded him to return and take his degree in 1749. Goldsmith’s father had died whilst Oliver was at college, and it was swiftly clear that the new graduate would have make his own way in life. Following a rejection for religious orders, in 1752 he went to Edinburgh University to study medicine. After a spell of study in Leiden, in the Netherlands, he took his degree in medicine in 1755 at Louvain. He followed this with what we would now call at long gap year, traveling on foot on the European Grand Tour route. In 1756, he arrived in London and as well as casual jobs, began work as a writer, producing novels, poetry, and articles ranging from natural history to children’s books, drama, and also newspapers copy. Becoming known for his contributions to The Monthly Review, he would come to know literary luminaries such as Maria Edgeworth, Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens and Sir Walter Scott. Men such as famed actor David Garrick and artist Joshua Reynolds also became friends, and Goldsmith reconnected with Edmund Burke. It was all astonishing for a man who had arrived in London with no contacts. His success has been put down in part to his friendly and engaging personality, as well as his talent. However, his taste for drinking and gaming meant that his earnings were spent so quickly that was constantly short of funds. He moved around many homes in London, from the beautiful and secluded Middle Temple, where many Irish students stayed, to Kingsbury in northwest London, and Peckham, and streets and a school have been named for him. In 1764 The Traveller was published, a poem loosely based on his own travel experiences, whilst The Vicar of Wakefield drew on life in his father’s parish. However, it was 1770 when Goldsmith really achieved fame,with the publication of The Deserted Village, which displayed his love and sense of place in the countryside surrounding his old home, as well as some English villages. `Auburn, sweet Auburn, village of the plains,’ was mourned for desertion by its locals who went to the cities to seek work, as industrialisation grew. His schoolboy mistake at Ardagh House allowed him to create a plot which utilises the idea of a girl `stooping to conquer’ an the heart of an eligible young man.When the play opened 1773 to acclaim at Covent Garden, unlike his friends, he was not present. He did not expect a success – he was hard up as usual. Sadly, he did not have long to bask in his achievement. Confined to bed with an illness, he self-prescribed some fever powders, which may have hastened his death on April 4th 1774. He was buried in Temple Church, in Middle Temple, and is commemorated in Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey.

The Goldsmith trail.. Goldsmith countryside remains, but you will need to ask directions, as some of the sites are gone or in ruins, Ballymahon is a natural starting point, with its statue of the writer outside the Library – you can read up on some background material from their excellent Goldsmith collection. You might also print out the Oliver Goldsmith Trail, from the Longford Tourism website. The Longford Literary Trail map provides a useful map to the area - check the Edgeworth Heritage and Literary Trail leaflet You can still visit the remains of Lissoy Parsonage, and most of the sites can be reached from the N55, R393 and R392 – the Auburn crossroads is one landmark. The ruins of Kilkenny West Church, on the site of the original building, can also be visited, and ` The Jolly Pigeons Pub’ is nearby. The Old School House and the Busy Mill, also once in this area, have disappeared, but locals can direct you to the sites. You can also visit the 1810 Forgney Church, now St. Munis, whilst Ardagh House is now part of an educational establishment. Goldsmith inspirations.. Don’t miss The Corlea Trackway, near Kenagh. A pre-historic Old Bog Road, it has been beautifully restored, and.the surrounding landscapes would have been known to Goldsmith. The Annual Goldsmith Festival, in Ballymahon, offers talks, readings and tours. www.olivergoldsmithfestival.com www.visitlongford.ie. www.edgeworthstown.net Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 63


Help us to Help You – Senior Times Readers Survey All replies will be entered in a competition to win a midweek break for 2 in either Cork or Galway.

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18. On average how much would you spend on breaks in a year?

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Senior Times, 15 Oxford Lane Ranelagh, Dublin 6 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 65


Travel

Along the route

Belfast rocks!

The Botanic Gardens with the magnificent palm house

Mairead Robinson enjoys food, fun and culture on her Belfast city break. While there is a lot of talk about the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and its impact on this island, one thing that is certain is that there has never been a better time to visit the north, particularly the great city of Belfast. For those of us coming up from Dublin, it is an easy ninety minute drive from the M50, the city is very friendly and easy to get around, and the value with the Sterling/ Euro exchange is better than it has been for a long time. For those who do not want to drive, the Enterprise Train is excellent, and of course great value for those with a travel pass. In fact, Belfast is the perfect destination for some serious shopping right now!

Why not take in a show at the Grand Opera House?

On our recent trip we stayed at the famous – or is it infamous? – Europa Hotel which is located right in the city centre along side the Opera House. The Europa a popular choice for those of us from the South, as it also is with so many visitors from foreign shores, including Bill and Hilary Clinton. While it claims to be the

most bombed hotel in Europe, it certainly has not put anybody off staying these days In fact, this is the third time over the years that we have enjoyed this hotel’s friendly service and excellent location. Other great hotel choices are the Fitzwilliam Hotel just down from The Europa, the beautiful Merchant Hotel where we

66 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

enjoyed an exceptional afternoon tea – a must do treat when visiting the city – and of course there is the newly opened Titanic Hotel, in the former Harland & Wolfe offices. Besides the choice of accommodation – and indeed there are more hotels being built in the


STAY IN 5 STAR LUXURY IN THE HEART OF BELFAST CITY CENTRE At The Merchant Hotel EXCLUSIVE OFFER FOR MARCH AND APRIL

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PLUS GET £40 TO SPEND IN THE HOTEL BOOK DIRECT BY CALLING +44 (0) 28 9023 4888 AND QUOTE SENIOR TIMES T& C APPLY: FRO M £ 2 18 O FFER AVAI L AB LE S U N – TH U RS I N MARC H AN D APRI L . FRO M £ 24 8 AVAI L AB LE FRI DAY N I G HT S I N APRI L O N LY. M ERC HANT M O N E Y CAN N OT B E U S ED TO PAY FO R AC C O M M O DATI O N . £ 50 N O N - REFU N DAB LE B O O K I N G D EP O S IT PAYAB LE Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 67


Travel

A tour of Belfast City Hall is a ‘must’

city as we speak – there is a wonderful array of restaurants in Belfast these days, and we enjoyed some excellent meals during our stay. Having previously eaten at Michael Deane’s Michelin starred restaurant, we discovered the city’s other Michelin Restaurant, Stephen Toman and Alain Kerloc’s Ox – www.oxbelfast.com Our creative lunch there was a culinary delight, as was our wonderfully fishy dinner at Mourne Seafood Bar – www.mourneseafood.com Certainly the standard of food in the city is excellent, and each restaurant, if not within walking distance, was just a £5 taxi ride away. And if food is your thing, then you could take in a Taste of Belfast Food Tour, where you explore the city on foot and enjoy a number of stops to sample some local Northern Irish products. You should certainly make a visit to St. George’s market on Oxford Street on a Saturday morning, it is indoor and packed with interesting stands. For those of us who grew up during the sixties

and seventies, the history of ‘The Troubles’ is very real, and taking a Black Taxi tour with somebody who knows the political history of the city and has lived through it, is an extraordinary tourist experience. Within three minutes of leaving the hotel we were at the Divis Flats, driving by the colourful political murals and gardens, and the Peace Wall separating the Loyalist Shankill and Republican Falls road. Like the Dalai Lama and Bill Clinton before us, we added our message of peace on the wall. And if political history fascinates you, a visit to Crumlin Road Gaol is now open to the public with guided tours including a visit to the underground tunnel that used to connect the gaol to the Crumlin Road Courthouse. But when it comes to history, a visit to Titanic Belfast – www.titanticbelfast.com - on the Queens Road is a number one ‘must-do’ for visitors to the city. In fact, I hear it is now the number one tourist attraction in the world! Belfast’s historic and resurgent Titanic Quarter is one of the world’s largest urban-waterfront regeneration projects. As you approach the

68 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

area the two gigantic yellow cranes, Samson and Goliath dominate the skyline. Built by Harland & Wolff – the H and W on the side does not stand for ‘Hello and Welcome’as one visitor thought! Titanic Belfast is an iconic six-floor building featuring nine interpretive and interactive galleries that explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Titanic, as well as the city and people that made her. It is the world’s largest Titanic exhibition, and an extraordinarily moving visitor experience. We also visited SS Nomadic nearby, tender to the Titanic and the last remaining White Star Line ship in the world. To savour the area a Wee Tram ride around the Titanic Quarter is a lovely lazy way to learn all about the quarter, and we discovered a lot and really enjoyed the hop-on-hop-off little tram. The area is also home to a film studio where many movies have been made including scenes from the hugely popular Game of Thrones. There are a number of filming locations within an easy drive of the city, and certainly the international success of this series has really put Belfast on the movie map.


Travel

I have always wanted to visit the beautiful Grand Opera House, which is just alongside the Europa Hotel. We had the perfect opportunity on this trip when we took in a real rock and roll show – Halfway to Paradise – the Billy Fury Story. It was a spectacular two hour show telling the story of legendary Rock’n’Roller Billy Fury, featuring the original members of his band Fury’s Tornados and the voice of Colin Gold singing his many hits. These included Last Night Was Made for Love, Wondrous Place, Jealousy, Halfway to Paradise and many more. The band toured extensively with Billy throughout the 70’s until his untimely death in 1983. The audience loved it and knew the words of every song as the Grand Opera House was ‘hopping’ for two hours.

St. George’s market on Oxford Street on a Saturday is well worth a visit

When you include the Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Queen’s University and a tour of City Hall, Belfast has so much to offer her visitors. A return visit for us will always be very much on the cards, not least for fabulous food, shows and shopping! www.visitbelfast.com

The Mourne Seafood Bar, one of the many fine restaurants in the city Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 69


Short Story

Irish Stew By Catherine Garahy This story is about cooking and the consequences, resulting from the inexperience of youth and disregard for detail. During my years in secondary school, we had annual visit from the dreaded Domestic Economy Inspector, her purpose was to judge our cooking capabilities. It was always a woman; the school being totally run by an order of nuns, the male species rarely entered the doors, with the exception of course of the parish priest at first communion and confirmation times. The day dawned for our cooking examination and we all assembled in the large kitchen where all our domestic economy classes were held. In truth it was more extravagence than economy at times as the nun was quick to remind us . We cooked in pairs and my fellow student was called Irene. The nuns took exception to her name. There is no Saint Irene, the nun would shout! You must be called after some film star. We were not allowed to answer back, so Irene swallowed the remark and continued, as was the order of the day. Before any cooking our job was to scrub the wooden tables, always going with the grain as the nun reminded us in a loud voice. We were really like the television series Upstairs and Downstairs, if any reader remembers it, and of course, we fell into the latter category. Our menu was Irish stew and all ingredients were brought from home .The list was; Stewing beef One Oxo Salt and pepper Two onions Two carrots Flour and Bisto

Should we admit our mistake and suffer the consequences, not a good lie was agreed on. Sister, I said, my mother had no carrots and the shop was not open when we were coming to school. When the nun turned her back an open window offered a solution, out the raw carrots went, no evidence to discriminate us. The posh inspector was not impressed, and our marks at the end of the day were not in double figures. The nun was very vocal and accused us of letting her and her class down, not to mention her embarrassment in front of the inspector. We cared little, for my part; I never had any aspirations in pursuing a career in cooking. We laughed on the way home from school, at deceiving the Nun felt well, but still hoping the birds in the yard had enjoyed the carrots and left no evidence of our lies. On reaching home, I sat down to a hearty dinner. Yes, you guessed it was Irish stew and it did have carrots.

The nun called time and we went ahead with our preparation, under the watchful eye of the Inspector. Forgot to mention she was from Dublin and had rather a posh accent, which we country girls found quite amusing! Firstly, we prepared the potatoes, which were served with the stew. Then the dreaded onions. We cut them in half hoping the cooking would reduce them and save us chopping and enduring the effect on our eyes; no tears now maybe later. Carrots were easy, cut in bite size pieces, job done with regard to vegetable preparation. Meat cut in chunks, Oxo broken in pieces, vegetable ready, salt and pepper at hand all ready for the saucepan. My friend Irene and myself were feeling pleased with ourselves as we tidied up , washed and put away all utensils , making sure at all times to be careful and not soil our snow white aprons . As we had a time limit, it was necessary to check our stew and stir occasionally, not forgetting the cooker temperature. The nun shouts, ‘Girls a stew boiled is a stew spoiled!’ On our last check of this gastronomic delight Irene made a terrifying discovery, we forgot to add the carrots! Quick thinking was required, before the nun was aware of our no carrot stew. 70 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie DentalImplantsSeniorTimes.indd 1

21/02/2018 14:18


Help make public services better by complaining ! - says Ombudsman Tyndall Ombudsman Peter Tyndall wants to see more people complain about services provided by public bodies such as government departments, local authorities and the HSE. The Ombudsman says that complaints can be used to improve the delivery of public services. “In most cases the delivery of public services goes well. However, if people don’t complain when things go wrong then people will experience the same problems over and over again. When people complain it gives service providers an opportunity to put things right and to stop the same mistakes happening again.” - Ombudsman Peter Tyndall If you are unhappy with the response you receive from your complaint then you can contact the Ombudsman. What does the Ombudsman do? The Ombudsman investigates complaints from members of the public who feel they have been unfairly treated by certain providers of public services such as: • Government Departments and Offices

• The Health Service Executive (HSE) • Public hospitals and health agencies providing services on behalf of the HSE • Nursing Homes (including private nursing homes) • Local Authorities • Third-level education bodies, such as Universities and Institutes of Technology The Ombudsman is impartial, independent and free to use. The Ombudsman cannot take complaints about private bodies such as banks, insurance companies, private pension schemes, An Garda Síochána, An Post, the Labour Court, Bord Gáis or the ESB. In addition you must have tried to resolve your complaint with the service provider before contacting the Ombudsman.

• By telephone: 01 639 5600 • By talking to Ombudsman staff at our monthly visits to Citizen Information Centres in Cork, Limerick and Galway (see www.ombudsman.ie for dates and times).

How do I make a complaint? You can complain to the Ombudsman: • By E mail: ombudsman@ombudsman.ie • Online: www.ombudsman.ie • In writing/in person: Office of the Ombudsman, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.

Use your wealth of experience and embrace a new challenge on an international volunteer placement with VSO Ireland. This is a fantastic opportunity to give something back later on in life and help marginalised people fight against poverty.

GIVE SOMETHING BACK AND VOLUNTEER OVERSEAS WITH VSO IRELAND

Right now, our international partners are looking for people with skills in the following areas: • Medical and healthcare

• Teaching and education

• Business, management and IT

• Community and social work

• Engineering and technical services

• Agriculture and natural resources

• Communications and fundraising

• Advocacy, policy and research

You shouldn’t need lots of savings to become an international volunteer. That’s why we cover all costs, including flights, accommodation and medical insurance, and provide a monthly allowance. Don’t worry if you’ve never volunteered overseas before – we make sure you get all the training you need. There is no age limit to volunteering with VSO Ireland, and we welcome applications from people who are working and retired. With exciting placements commencing throughout 2018 in countries like Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, now is the perfect time to get in touch and find out more.

Call 01 640 1060 or visit www.vso.ie now. You can also register your place at our next Meet VSO information evening by going to www.vso.ie/meetvso. /VSOIreland

@VSOIreland

@VSOIreland


Wine World

Quality from The Cape Mairead Robinson suggests some elegant wines from South Africa

Franschhoek Wine Valley

This issue we are returning to South Africa and looking at the wines from Leopard’s Leap whose wines are now exported to more than 40 countries around the world. Situated in South Africa’s prime wineland area, Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards boasts comprehensive, modern premises, neighbouring the town of Franschhoek, which is the gourmet capital of South Africa. Alongside its primary role as a wine producer, Leopard’s Leap has developed rapidly as a tourist destination. As a popular, family-orientated visitor attraction, Leopard’s Leap also boasts sociable tasting facilities, a versatile food offering, culinary tutoring and, of course, the charm of a beautiful landscape. With all of this, it is certainly a place to mark out if you plan to visit this unique part of the world. But meanwhile, most of us on these shores have to contend ourselves with enjoying their great exports, but the good news is that there are some excellent wines available in Ireland today thanks to importers Classic Drinks, and these include their Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinotage/Shiraz.

I am a great fan of Chenin Blanc, and I feel we do not appreciate it enough in this country. We seem to stick mainly to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio. While we enjoy varieties like Viognier and Semillion, these are mainly in blended wines. But how often do you hear people extolling the virtues of Chenin Blanc, a white wine grape that South Africa has really made its own. Grapes used for the production of this Loire-style wine are grown in the Voor-Paardeberg area of the Western Cape, an area well-known for growing excellent quality Chenin Blanc. Pinotage is a South African crossing of Pinot Noir and Cinsault, and is acknowledged as producing some of the country’s most exciting red wines – deep, dark and vibrantly fruity. Leopard’s Leap have produced a beautiful blend of this grape with Shiraz to produce an exceptional wine whose deep flavours make it a perfect wine for meaty rich meals. Pinot Noir in the hands of Leopard’s Leap is a delicate wine with light floral and fruit nuances,

72 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

subtle aromas of cranberry with earthy hints of tobacco. These wines can be found in select off-licences including Parting Glass – Enniskerry; Wine


And finally news that we all wanted to hear.. Great news for us wine lovers with recent research finding that low levels of wine can help the brain stay healthy, even clearing away toxins associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. The team from the University of Rochester Medical Center said that this is the first study to show that low doses of alcohol are potentially beneficial to brain health. They focused their research on the glymphatic system, which is the brain’s unique cleaning process. That system pumps cerebral spinal fluid into brain tissue and flushes away waste, including the proteins associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia. This research, conducted on mice, looked at the impact of both acute and chronic alcohol exposure. When the animals were exposed to high levels of alcohol, inflammation in this brain’s system was found while the animal’s cognitive and motor skills worsened.

Centre – Kilkenny and Blackrock Cellars – Blackrock. Recommended retail prices are E15 – 16 for Chenin Blanc and Pinotage/Shiraz and E22 – 23 for the Pinot Noir. But we have some to give away to a lucky reader, so if you would like to sample these fabulous South African wines, you can email me at mairead.seniorbeauty@gmail.com

When they were given low levels of alcohol, however – the equivalent of around 2 1/2 drinks a day – it shows less inflammation in the brain and the glymphatic system was more efficient in removing waste from the brain compared to mice not given alcohol at all. Lead author of the study, Dr Maiken Nedergaard, said that this study showed that “low doses of alcohol are beneficial, while excessive consumption is detrimental to overall health”. He added: “Studies have shown that low-to-moderate alcohol intake is associated with a lesser risk of dementia, while heavy drinking for many years confers an increased risk of cognitive decline. This study may help explain why this occurs.” Specifically, low doses of alcohol appear to improve overall brain health.

Win beara ocean gin! Some months ago I highlighted the rise of Irish craft gin and how popular it has become with great choice now available in bars and restaurants across the country. I have just sampled a gin from the Beara distillery that is exceptionally good and I even have a bottle of same to give away to one lucky reader! Beara Ocean Gin is infused with salt water and sugar kelp to capture the nature of the maritime surroundings of the Beara Peninsula. Besides this salty Atlantic water, botanicals include cardamom, angelica and orris root. It is a really fresh gin,

and you can drink it on its own, in a martini, or with a small amount of a quality tonic. You will love the juniper and citrus aromas, and those botanicals – not to forget that salty Atlantic water – will delight your palette. So if you would like to win that bottle I have to give away, just email me at mairead.seniorbeauty@gmail.com and tell me where in Ireland you will find the Beara Peninsula. If you are not sure of the answer, or would like some further information on this gin and where you can buy it, check out www.thebearadistillery.ie/stockists

Deadline for receipt of entries is 20th April 2018 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 73


Bygones

Living through the snow drifts Connie McEvoy has childhood memories of The Big Snow of 1947 During the winter/ spring of 1947 I was marooned on my grandparent’s farm in Kiltillly near Bunclody Co., Wexford from January 10th until March 19th due to the ‘Big Freeze’ as it was described then. I was four years old when grandma Kavanagh, her sister Nan Sally (grandaunt Sarah) and uncle Aidan brought me there for a few days. I was five years old by the time grand-da and grandma were able to travel safely to my parent’s farm ten miles away in Kilcarry Co., Carlow in order to reunite me with them and my younger brother. Although I was very well looked after and loved, I cried myself to sleep each night because I was the only child there and missed my brother’s company and the hours we spent playing with each day in a world of our own at home, so every single morning as soon as breakfast was over I would ask grandma when can I go home and her reply was usually ‘The next fine day, please God’. During my domicile on the farm in Kiltilly I was scared on the mornings when snowdrifts reached above windows and I was unable to see outside as breakfast was cooked on an open fire and eaten at the table that was by the kitchen window. As soon as all had good nourishment grand-da and my four uncles Jim, Jack, Pat and Aidan would get suitably dressed, take a shovel each from the entry (the space behind the only door before access to the kitchen) in order to dig pathways through the snow drifts so as cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, ferrets, dogs, cats and poultry could be fed, foddered and watered. Cows had to be milked, horses needed to be exercised and eggs collected daily also. There were three horses and even though I was sleeping in aunt Peg’s bed, every night I was terrified when they started to bang their hooves on the stone floor of the stable, she always told me to go back to sleep as they were only doing it out of boredom due to the fact that they couldn’t work during the day because of the snow. When the path to the barn was safe to travel aunt Peg would take me with her as she mixed the feed/ration for the poultry in a huge wooden tub and I was happy to go to the hen houses to help with egg collection bedding etc. until one morning when I discovered three sacks full of fabric remnants of all colours and textures tucked neatly away in a corner of the barn. All of a sudden my world changed then, it was like what I had always imagined Aladdin’s cave to be. These sacks had been left there for safe keeping by my aunt Mai who was a dressmaker and had married during the autumn of 1946. They contained a beautiful assortment of fancy and unusual buttons, buckles 74 Senior Times March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

The Kavanagh homestead (circa) 1930, this is where I stayed during the ‘big snow’L to R his father Jack, our aunt Kate, grandma Mary Mahon/Kavanagh, our uncle Jim and the little lad in petticoats our uncle Pat who is still with us and is now a great, great granduncle. I have recorded what I saw that happy day to the best of my ability using pencils and Aquarells

and tassels. There were spools of thread in every colour of the rainbow, ribbons and lace as well as the fabric remnants. There were pins and needles still pushed into beautiful pin cushions, also dressmaker scissors that were far too big for me to handle, measuring tapes and chalk stored in these sacks. From then on a very happy little girl spent many happy and creative day time hours in that barn. Frequently when grand-da got up after his afternoon nap he would ask where Connie was and grandma’s reply was always ‘don’t you know she’s out there in the barn stravaiging around in those old pieces ’. That is how she usually described fabric remnants. During those weeks of constant snowing, in spite of the fact that farming families were largely self- sufficient to an extent, the weekly shopping trip to Bunclody was out of the question,; and as dogs and ferrets found it difficult to locate rabbits in snow drifts, meat supplies dwindled. At the end of February grand-da and Uncle Jack reluctantly decided that be-


cause there were seven adults and a child to be catered for it would be necessary to kill and cure a pig. This was done and nothing was wasted. Grand-da made the most delicious black pudding from the blood, trotters and tripe were also utilised and grand-ma made brawn from the head. A sow farrowed one night and although she was being watched she killed ten of her litter, the remaining four boneens were reared in the kitchen on cow’s milk until they were hardy enough to be left in the sty. One of the Shorthorn cows calved early one morning and after she was milked the calf was fed and the remaining colostrum/beestings was brought to grand-da who made pancakes for us all in a pan on the open fire assuring us that we would be hardy for the rest of the year as he was treating us with a good dose of antibiotics!! Some cold evenings he would make supper for us, this was usually a concoction made from yellow Indian meal –He called it Yellow Buck but it was delicious served with lots of farmer’s butter and he assured me that it would put ‘the red head’ on me before I got home. Having experienced all of these events for the first and only time in a world of adults I can remember them with great clarity to this day.

Competition winners from last issue

Tickets for Golden Voices of Hollywood at National Concert Hall Dorothy Humphreys, Cork Winifred Smith, Dublin 4 Marge Kavanagh, Kildare

SENIOR TIMES No. 91 Solution

At last on the morning of March 19th when I asked grandma- when can I go home she answered it’s a ‘fine day’ today Thank God and grand-da heard on the wireless that it should be safe to travel now as it seems that the thaw has started so in the name of God we will take you home as soon as the pony is yoked in the trap. I was so happy to hear this news after being away from home for the first time and for so long a time that I danced and sang until I was lifted into the trap, seated between my grandparents, wrapped snugly in a blue, black and white Foxford wool travel rug bound for home sweet home. Some roads to be travelled during our journey were still quite dangerous and I still remember grand-da stepping down from the trap and asking grandma and I to walk in the snow as he led the pony down Brady’s hill and up and down Ballinastraw hill because he feared that the pony would slip and fall on hidden ice still frozen underneath the thawing snow. Normally our journey would have taken us through Gurteen, straight across Brady’s hill to Fleming’s lane where we crossed the main Bunclody to Carnew road to the bottom of Ballinstraw hill, but Fleming’s lane was still full of deep drifts and so impassable, going down Brady’s hill added an extra mile to our journey. At last we reached home safely and having turned off the lane and rounded the cow-house gable my heart was filled with happiness as I saw my father crossing the yard in front of our house which was almost unrecognisable due to the fact that snow drifts against the front wall made it look like it had been whitewashed. Daddy was walking a path that he had cleared earlier carrying two newly yeaned lambs on his arms having decided that they would be safer if taken from the rest of the flock, he was looking behind to see if the mother ewe was following or had stayed back with the flock. Satisfied that she was following he turned in order to proceed to the new shed and only then noticed that we had arrived. He seemed totally surprised by our arrival, looked me straight in the eye and uttered ‘oh be de man, I thought that I was never going to see you again!!’ Needless to say I have never forgotten that greeting and long ago I decided to record that moment, I still remember it vividly – it was worked on a white background as the area behind daddy was completely white because of the snow drift against the house and to me all outlines were exaggerated black lines against the white for some reason so I have recorded what I saw that happy day to the best of my ability using pencils and Aquarells. My cousin John G Kavanagh has given me this photo of The Kavanagh homestead (circa) 1930, this is where I stayed during the ‘big snow’- L to R his father Jack, our aunt Kate, grandma Mary Mahon/ Kavanagh, our uncle Jim and the little lad in petticoats our uncle Pat who is still with us and is now a great great granduncle.

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Crossword - Four copies of John Lowe’s 2018 personal finance guide Tom Shortall, Ashbourne, Co. Meath Audrey Johnston, Clogher, Co Tyrone Josephine McCarthy, Blackrock, Co Dublin Mary Warde, Tuam, Co Galway Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 75


Northern

By Debbie Orme

Notes

Belfast Boys is a painstaking military study of west Belfast in which Richard Grayson provides a striking, detailed picture of nearly 8500 men (around two thirds of those from Belfast who served and of whom 2000 died.)

Comrades in arms – when the divide united As the world prepares to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War, this month’s Northern Notes meets a historian, who shed new light on the role of those from the north of Ireland, who played their part in this horrific war. Richard S Grayson was always interested in family history and, as a child and young adult, loved to listen to his father’s stories about coming over to the family farm in Lurgan in the 1950s and about three of his great-uncles, who had served in the British army during the First World War. Although he was born and raised in Hemel Hempstead, Grayson’s grandparents, Edward Grayson and Maud Powell, lived in Lurgan in County Armagh at Kinnego House, which was one of the great buildings of the county from the mid-nineteenth century to around 1913, when it was then sold to the Ormeau Bakery.

It was while Grayson was working in politics – he was Director of Policy for the Liberal Democrats – that he decided to do his family tree and, as part of his research, he tracked down his great uncles’ graves and gradually became more immersed in the history of the First World War. Through his research, Grayson discovered that James was killed in September 1915 in the 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, while Charles and Joseph both served in the Ulster division and almost certainly served at Passchendaele (and more specifically during the Langemarck phase of the battle. Both survived, although Charles, serving in the 9th and later the 15th Royal Irish Rifles, was captured by the Germans in March 1918 and held prisoner for the rest of the war. It was while he was carrying out this research that Grayson came upon the fact that, while it had been mooted that there had been very high levels of fatalities from the Shankill Road

76 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

area in Belfast, many of the statistics actually turned out to be untrue. The area lost twelve per cent of its men in the first two days of the July 1916, but Grayson was more interested in the other 88 per cent who were killed at other times. He immediately thought that this subject would make a good book, but was too immersed in academia to do anything more comprehensive about this interest. Not long after, Grayson decided to switch from politics to history as he had gradually realised that he wasn’t a political scientist, but rather a historian. As a result, he got a job in the politics department at Goldsmiths, University of London and combined this with history, but gradually moved into inter-war politics and then into the history of the First World War. His first foray into writing was when he undertook a project on the battle of Messines and


Northern Notes

Broughshane’s Village of the Year success

The Broughshane Village of the year committee

In the last few issues of Northern Notes, we’ve featured some of the ‘Village in Bloom’ winners in local competitions, but no one County Antrim village has received a major accolade on the national stage! Nestled close to its larger neighbour, Ballymena, the picturesque village of Broughshane has taken the Village of the Year Award, having seen off hundreds of rivals from across the UK in the Channel 4 series finale.

munity for its incredible efforts. ‘This is an incredible achievement by all those in Broughshane,’ he said. ‘This success is the culmination of years of hard work, commitment and inspirational community spirit. The showcasing of Broughshane to a national audience, its brilliant residents and volunteers, and its excellent economic and tourism potential is superb news for our Borough.

producers are key to our recently launched food network and are among the many jewels in Broughshane’s crown.’ As part of its prize, Broughshane received a cash prize of £10,000 to fund community work, but Councillor Reid believes that the greatest prize will be the positive impact on tourism and the economy in Mid and East Antrim as a result of the village’s star television billing.

Mid and East Antrim Mayor, Councillor Paul Reid, has hailed the triumph for the ‘Garden Village of Ulster’ and congratulated the com-

‘Broughshane is also at the heart of our thriving agri-food sector and boasts some of our Borough’s finest producers. Our close ties with local businesses, including Raceview Mill, and

‘I have no doubt the Village of the Year success will lead to even greater interest in the area from across the UK and further afield,’ he said.

the role of the Connaught Rangers. Grayson gradually became more involved in the Connaught Rangers Research Group, spending hours researching 25,000 service records and IRA pension records, which are held in Dublin.

‘Belfast Boys’ is a painstaking military study of a street in west Belfast in which Grayson provides a striking, detailed picture of nearly 8500 men (around two thirds of those from Belfast who served) and of whom 2000 died.

many nationalists and republicans.

It was at this point that he began work on his best-known work, Belfast Boys, which looks at the story of men from either side of West Belfast’s sectarian divide during the war. The story tells the story of the 36th and 16th divisions on the Somme, who, despite being on opposing sides of the Home Rule issue at home, fought side by side in France. Up until this point, the focus had always been on the Loyalists, who fought at The Somme, but, in ‘Belfast Boys’, Grayson was the first historian to say that it wasn’t just Loyalists who took part in the First World War. As such, the book gave a voice to many – particularly nationalists - who had previously felt unable to speak out about their relatives’ role in it.

In addition to The Somme and Messines, Grayson also brings in forgotten West Belfast men from throughout the armed forces; from the retreat at Mons to the defeat of Germany and life post war, including some who became members of the IRA. In so doing, Grayson gives a clear explanation as to why remembrance of the First World War remains so controversial in Belfast today. The ‘controversial’ aspect of remembrance was clearly evident when, as part of his research for the book, Grayson became involved with the Clonard Local History Group and subsequently took part in the Belfast Feile, in which there was a lot of engagement from

At one point, nationalist historian Tom Hartley and Paul Maskey MLA held a meeting in West Belfast at which people were invited to talk about their history, ie, their families’ involvement in the 36th and 16th divisions - an idea that would previously have been unheard of. On the evening, many people actually came along with photos of their grandparents or great uncles in uniform or medals that they’d had hidden away for years! Following the success of ‘Belfast Boys’, Grayson turned his attention to Dublin. His next book, which is to be published at the end of 2018, has a working title of ‘Dublin’s Great Wars: Home Rule, World War I, Easter Rising’ and is an explanation of the actions of Dubliners during World War I and the Easter Rising. We certainly look forward to it!

Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 77


Northern Notes

Belfast celebrates Branagh’s Freedom award

Kenneth Branagh at City Hall to receive his Freedom award

One of Belfast’s most famous sons has officially become a Freeman of the City at a celebration event in the city’s iconic Ulster Hall. The special event, which was held on 30 January, celebrated Sir Kenneth Branagh’s long and productive artistic and charitable connection to Belfast, where he was born and lived until the age of nine. Oscar-nominated composer Patrick Doyle, who has written scores for a number of Branagh films, played alongside the Ulster Orchestra, and featured works by Graham Reid, Owen McCafferty, Sinead Morrissey, Emma Must and fellow Freeman of the City, Michael Longley. Among the readers was Julia Dearden, who played Kenneth Branagh’s girlfriend in the ‘Billy’ plays which first brought him to prominence, and actor Ian McElhinney, who is best known for his role in Game of Thrones and who is currently filming Krypton in Belfast.

‘It’s really exciting to welcome Ken to the city and to celebrate all he has achieved in what has been a remarkable career to date,’ said Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister. ‘Apart from his film and stage work for which he is so well known, Ken also has a very personal and enduring connection to his home city, reflected in the charity work he is involved in here. I trust it was a very enjoyable and memorable day for Ken. ‘Ken’s roots in north Belfast have given him a love for the city of his birth and an understanding of its potential so that, from the earliest moments of his career, promoting the arts in Belfast has been high on his agenda. I am particularly delighted, in my year championing a theme of Global Belfast, to celebrate a man who is a true global ambassador for this city.’

78 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

‘My Belfast childhood was characterised by Freedom,’ Sir Kenneth wrote in the evening’s programme. ‘Here was a city, a big city to my child’s eyes that always felt like a village. It seemed like you couldn’t get lost. Everyone knew you or someone who knew you. In the landscape, the Cavehill seemed to wrap itself around you protectively from one side, and the shipyard raised the strong arms of its cranes from the other. You could see and feel the limits of where you lived, and you knew exactly who you were – Belfast, working class, proud. To come back home, and receive the Freedom that so symbolises my experience of the city, is a humbling honour. I want to sincerely thank the Lord Mayor, the councillors who nominated me and all the city officers and supporters elsewhere who have made this generous occasion happen.’


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? RESPECTFUL GENTLEMAN, 60S, NEVER MARRIED, Dublin, country origins, house, car, seeking never married lady for permanent relationship. I’m inspirational, romantic, cheerful, caring, positive, supportive, tolerant, cultured, civilised, sharing, So welcome to my world. Wont you come in? REPLY TO BOX NUMBER W1 NORTH DUBLIN MAN, 61, SINGLE, romantic, broadminded, discreet. WLTM lady 59-62 age group from Dublin of from up to two hours away. NS, ND. Love weekends away, eating out, cinema, walking, Elvis, C&W, folk, brass bands. Want to meet me? REPLY TO BOX NUMBER W2 KERRY LADY, TALL, SLIM, 50, no children. Interests include walking, reading, theatre, concerts, museums, history, pets, gardening, Sunday drives and lazy coffee, mornings. NS, ND, GSOH. WLTM kind hearted, warm, sincere gentleman to share and enjoy life with. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER W3 ATTRACTIVE LEINSTER LADY YOUNG 60s WLTM man of similar vintage who can enjoy the elements, have a laugh, dance to Van, curl up with a film or dine out on words that say we’re on the same page. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER W4 CORK MAN EARLY 60s, 5ft 11in, active lifestyle. Interests include walking, dining out, cinema, concerts and travelling abroad and sampling other cultures. I would make a wonderful partner for a relaxed, happy woman over 5ft 5in who wants to share my life and interests. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER W5 TALL MIDLANDS, PROFESSIONAL LADY, 61, considered attractive, long time divorced. WLTM gentleman 55-65 to have a laugh and share my interests in travel, walking, dancing, rugby, athletics, culture, good food and wine and more. Bucket list includes frequent trips around Europe in a camper van with the off five-star hotel thrown in, and walking the Camino. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER W6 NORTHSIDE DUBLIN MALE, young 72, 6ft tall, average build. Like the simple things n life, a joke and the craic. Seeks a similar broadminded woman to spend time with and see how it goes. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER W7

KILDARE WOMAN, SINGLE 50s, looking to meet nice people of either sex for occasional socializing. NS, SD. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 79


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.

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

REPLY TO BOX NUMBER J6

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

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

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

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

SINGLE TIPP LADY, never married and no 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,

80 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

eating out, weekends away, photography etc.. GSOH. Travel no problem. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER K2 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 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. Or email: john@slp.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 20th April 2018. 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).


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Golf One of golf’s true gentlemen Dermot Gilleece recalls his encounters with the legendary Gene Sarazen It’s an age thing, which probably explains why the personal letters I receive these days are generally from senior citizens like myself, who clearly dislike the impersonal feel of an e-mail. And I have received some beautiful, hand-written letters from golfers of a certain age, most recently from Noel Cassidy, a PGA professional now living in Limerick. He may not know it but Noel is in esteemed company as a golfing letter-writer to yours truly. Dare I say it that I have been fortunate enough to receive not one but two letters from the first man who win all of golf four professional major championship, as in the US Open, Open Championship, US Masters and PGA Championship. The first letter arrived on my desk in The Irish Times in March 1993. Though I had no reason to recognise the writing on the hand-addressed envelope, there was no mistaking the sender. Towards the left-hand side was a simple drawing of a familiar, golfing figure in plusfours. And over the drawing was printed: Gene Sarazen, PO Box 667, Marco Island, Florida. Naturally, it was such a wonderful surprise I could not wait to read the contents, which began: ‘ Mr. Dermod (stet). Thank you for the nice article you wrote in the Irish Times. I have a good friend who keeps me posted on what goes on in golf. She used to write my script during the filming of the Shell [Wonderful World of Golf] shows. I expect to visit Ireland this year. Mr. Donald Panes, who has a home there invited me to visit him after the British Open. Also, I have been invited to be Honoree at the Prince’s Golf Club where I won the British Open in 1932. I am looking forward to it.’ ‘Mr. Panoz is in the drug business, pharmaceutical business. Most of his manufacturing is in Ireland [Elan Corporation, Athlone]. However, all these trips that I am about to make depend on how I feel at the time. At ninety-one, you never know until you wake up in the morning. As of this day, I feel I can make it. Thank you again. Gene. PS: Incidentally, Snead, Cathy Whitworth and myself consulted on the new Legends Course at his [Panoz] place in Braselton, Georgia, called Chateau Elan. We each had to select four great holes. I selected the seventh, 12, 13 and 15 from Augusta National.’ All I had done by way of earning such a generous response was to note Sarazen’s 91st birthday on February 2nd of that year, in my ‘Golfing Log’ in The Irish Times. His letter was a reminder of a gentler, more civilised age when people did such things simply as an exercise in common courtesy. As it happened, his trip was duly made, though it had a potentially disastrous first leg. Setting out from his daughter’s home in Naples, Florida, Gene was on a commuter, turbo-prop bound for Orlando when passengers were warned to take up crash positions: the brakes had failed. Arms were braced and heads bowed by all but one passenger: like a daredevil schoolboy, the oldest passenger mischievously lifted his elbow and peeked out the window. 82 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie


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Golf

Gene Sarazen with The Open trophy. He was the first man who win all of golf four professional major championship: the US Open, Open Championship, US Masters

Gene Sarazen on the way to winning the 1932 Open

Reflecting on that hair-raising Orlando incident, he gave one of his disarming smiles while saying gently: ‘I was ready.’ Then with a tinge of sadness he added: ‘At 91, you go to a tournament and you don’t see anybody you know. They’re all gone; all the old friends. And you think ‘Geez, what the hell am I doing here?’ It was a totally superfluous question to those of us who sat enthralled as this thoroughly charming man recounted wonderful stories about his golfing career; the great players who were both friends and rivals of his, and the personalities he encountered from all walks of life. Fortunately, the plane landed safely, so sparing this remarkable man for a sentimental journey back to Prince’s, scene of his lone, Open Championship triumph. And the trip allowed him to lend a delightful dimension to the climax of that year’s Open at neighbouring Royal St George’s, Sandwich, where he was treated, quite correctly, as golfing royalty. Before his return to the US, I had the pleasure of meeting this wonderful man at a small dinner party at The K Club where the guests included the then Tanaiste, Dick Spring, Golfing Union of Ireland president, Ian Bamford, PGA Irish Region secretary, Michael McCummiskey, and Sarazen’s close friend Panoz, chairman of the Elan Corporation in Athlone. 84 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

There was an obvious affection for contemporaries Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen but a considerably cooler assessment of Ben Hogan. And he spoke of his friendship with Sam Snead and his admiration for the skills of the more modern players, notably Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson. Listening to him was a pure delight. The scope of the man’s career was emphasised by a story he told of his meeting with the then US President, George Bush, in the Oval Office at the White House in 1992, on the occasion of his 90th birthday. Taking full advantage of the licence that comes with age, Sarazen said: ‘Mr. President, I’m delighted you invited me here: thank God you eventually recognized my accomplishments. The last time I was in this office, War-


Golf

Golfing royalty..Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus

ren G Harding was sat behind that desk. And I notice they haven’t even painted the place since then.’ For the record, Harding was President when Sarazen captured the US Open for the first time in 1922. Before we parted at The K Club in 1993, he asked me to be sure to send him a copy of the article I planned to write. Which I did. So it was that in early September that year, I received my second letter from the man beloved in golf as The Squire. This time, he got my name right. The letter read: ‘Dear Dermot. Received your letter along with your story. You sure recorded the conversation right from the mouth. It’s a very good story. I am forwarding it on to Mr. Panoz.’ ‘We had a delightful trip back [from Ireland], but two days later, I came down with bronchitis and was sick for over two weeks. I stayed at My daughter’s house for over three weeks but it left me in a weaken condition. Now I am back home. It’s very warm here, so this is what the doctor ordered. I enjoyed my trip to Ireland. Maybe the next time we will have more sunshine. Mr. Panes will open the Legends Course at Chateau Elan on October 4th next year. Sometime in October we will have the World Championship and no doubt he will invite you over. Thank you again for everything. Looking forward to seeing you in the Spring at Augusta, God willing. Sincerely, Gene.’ Though I later saw him fulfil his role as an honorary starter of the US Masters, the last time I spoke to him was over breakfast in October 1996 at Chateau Elan, outside Atlanta, where he was attending the Sarazen World Open as a guest of his great friend, Donald Panoz. It was my first overseas assignment after undergoing bypass surgery at the end of August. The invitation to the World Open had come, just

as Gene promised it would, and I went there with my wife, Kathy. My lasting memory of that occasion was the way the hotel staff delightedly fussed about him. And by way of response, he was charming, witty and generally endearing. When he died on May 13th, 1999, I thought of our meeting six years previously when he had talked about the departure of all the old friends and the feeling that the world was passing him by. But he was wrong. Those who had the privilege of meeting him in his grand old age, came away wonderfully enriched, especially your grateful scribe with those two remarkable letters. Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 85


Crossword Crossword Number 92 by Zoë Devlin

ACROSS 1 4 9 15 16 17 18 19 20 22 23 25 28 32 33 35 37 40 41 43 44 45 50 52 53 54 55 56 58 59 60 61 62 63 66 67 69 70 71 74 75 78 80 85 88 90 92 93 94 95 96 97

First name of Washington or 70 Across? (6) See 23 Across Patterned like a zebra (7) Empower or grant clearance (9) Anthology of articles or large vehicle (7) Hormone which responds to stress (9) Leotards or skintight hose (6) Musical note - almost cranky! (8) Insincerely emotional .. maudlin .. sloppy (11) US actor/director, Robert ____ ironed his own shirts! (2,4) & 4 Across. 34th president of US ___ D ___ (6,10) Story about mythical event .. or foot? (6) Young mammal such as wolf or lion (3) Secret plan or small patch of ground (4) Circular band of metal (4) One who is confined, captive (8) American-born dancer, ___ Duncan (7) Bird which never flew on one wing, or any! (3) Stingy hoarder (5) Water-filled channel around a castle for defence (4) 37th US President, ‘Tricky Dicky’, Richard ___ (5) Danish author of children’s stories, Hans Christian ___ (8) See 59 Across Playwright/co-founder of Abbey Theatre, J M ___ (5) Former Taoiseach, Charles J ___ (7) Somewhat unfashionable (5) Sir Michael ___, starred in ‘Alfie’ (5) Group following a funeral (7) Hairdressers and beauticians workplace (5) & 50 Across. US President, assassinated in 1865. (7,7) Small, hard, shiny type of ball used in snooker (8) English star of stage and screen, Dame Judi ___ (5) Tropical bird, many are found in Asia (4) Used to scoop up your cornflakes or pudding (5) The cup that cheers! (3) Make more attractive or give a hen acne! (7) Sci-fi TV series of Kirk and Spock fame (4,4) 41st & 43rd US Presidents.. or shrubby tree? (4) Pastime, sport or flesh of wild animals as food (4) Solution that circulates through plants (3) Mourn or feel sorrow (6) Favourite saying of political group (6) Hit or affected by something (6) Don’t let beasts smoke near this child’s crib (5,6) Raised horizontal surface for speakers (8) Box made of cardboard (6) Did a loser vote for this 32nd US President? (9) Erect, vertical or type of piano (7) One who is appointed to a position (9) In a straight-backed manner (7) One who studies a trade under a master (10) Lacking a sense of comfort or security (6)

86 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

DOWN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 21 24 26 27 29 30 31 34 36 38 39 42 46 47 48 49 51 56 57 58 59 63 64 65 68 72 73 76 77 79 81 82 83 84 86 87 89 91

Acknowledged, allowed. (7) Relating to an eight-sided shape (9) Tigers throw this person who writes for another (5-6) Arch of hair - sounds quite high brow! (7) Deficit ... less than required (8) Between the eighth and the tenth (5) Relating to a complete circle around an object (7) Lessens pain or alleviates discomfort (5) Narrow channel of sea joining 2 larger bodies of water (6) One who moves swiftly on foot (6) Chief executive of the Communist Party (9) & 87 Down. Current US President or Damp Lord Nut! (6,5) Energy .. vigour .. or fastener? (3) Involuntary intake of breath - from boredom? (4) Located below 4 Down (3) Meat loaf baked in earthenware casserole (7) Percussion instrument ... calls you to dinner? (4) Muse and wife of James Joyce, ___ Barnacle (4) 33rd US President, took a rum tan! (6) US film maker, creator of Mickey Mouse (6) List of events by month and year (8) Vessel where the animals entered in pairs (5,3) Laziness or slow-moving mammal (5) A.D. (4,6) Incapable of being calmed (10) Timepiece that uses shadow to tell the time (7) Trumpeter with a stomach? AKA Louis Armstrong (7) Mountain range in S. America (5) Type of bedding such as eiderdown or patchwork (5) Conversational expression of gratitude (5,3) Dutifully compliant (8) 39th US President, Jimmy ___ (6) Select by vote (5) Achievement or victory (7) Absence of emotion .. languor or indifference (6) Born between 21 Nov & 21 Dec, like a giant’s tiara! (11) Male monarch of Russian prior to 1917 (4) Cook by putting in hot oven (4) He donates to this grave marker (9) Inactive Sicilian volcano (5,4) Coloured paper thrown at wedding (8) Familiar name for 4 Across (3) Sovereign ruler or Beethoven’s piano concerto (7) Get into ace gear for this area of ground (7) John Fitzgerald ___, 35th US President (7) Come out of .. issue .. become apparent (6) Upward slope or climb (6) Refuge, state of being out of danger (6) Plaything which flies in the wind - or large bird (4) See 12 Down Don’t groan at this colourless, inert gas (5) Being pertinent or inclined to ... (3)


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73 74 82 85

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Five copies of Pirate Trails to be won! Des Ekin embarks on a road trip around the entire coast of Ireland, in search of our piratical heritage, uncovering an amazing history of swashbuckling bandits, both Irish-born and imported. Pirate Trails tells stories of freebooters and pirates from every corner of our coast over a thousand years, including famous pirates like Anne Bonny and William Lamport, who set off to ply their trade in the Caribbean. Ekin also debunks many myths about our most well-known sea warrior, Granuaile, the ‘Pirate Queen’ of Mayo. Thoroughly researched and beautifully told. Filled with exciting untold stories.

Senior Times, in association with publishers O’Brien Press, are offering five copies of Pirate Trails by Des Ekin as prizes in this issue’s crossword competition. Name: ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Address: ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

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

Send your entries to: Crossword Competition, Senior Times, Unit 1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. The first five correct entries drawn are the winners. Deadline for receipt of entries is 20th April 2018

Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie 87


Theatre

‘Local hero’ comes to Dublin Maretta Dillon talks to Denis Lawson Denis Lawson is best known for his roles as John Jarndyce in the BBC’s adaptation of Bleak House, for which he was nominated for an EMMY award, and as DI Steve McAndrew in BBC1’s hit series New Tricks. In film, he played Gordon Urquhart in Local Hero and Wedge Antilles in the original Star Wars trilogy. He won an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his stage performance as Jim Lancastar in Mr Cinders. ART is a very successful play which has been on stage for 20 years now and is constantly being revived. It’s about three men quarreling about the purchase of a painting. Why do you think audiences like it so much? I saw the original production and I liked it very much. But I’ve never read it until they asked me to do it. And it’s the most wonderful piece of work, it’s fantastic, it just knocked me out. It’s very funny but it’s also about something. The relationship between the three men and about how each of us perceive things and objects in different ways. And you play Mark who is a bit difficult? He’s quite neurotic and demanding. You know a bit of an intellectual or, so he thinks. He’s very tough on his friend. I was very pleased to be playing him. When I read it and started to work on it, he fell into place very quickly. Quite often as an actor, when you’re in rehearsals, certainly with me there are points, when I think I cannot get this person? As soon as I started to work on it, on my own, he just dropped into place which was great. No sense of stress or having to find something because it’s so well drawn. You don’t come from acting family or tradition. Well no. I’m from a small town called Crieff in Scotland, a little market town in Perthshire, a beautiful place. But my family were Glasgow. I was born there and my mother, who died 18 months ago was a dancer when she was a kid. She did teach us little routines and stuff. It’s certainly something that I’ve explored in my career. I’ve done a lot of musicals and dancing. What inspired me to go in to the business was that I wanted to be an entertainer, a song and dance man. What I saw when I was child was variety in Glasgow and then it was Hollywood. Musicals, those guys like Danny Kaye, Jerry Lewis. That’s what made me want to do it.

You have worked on both stage, screen and TV. Is there a favourite? No, what I like is variety and you know I direct as well. I’ve always felt the only way to control your career which is almost impossible to do is to say no. If it’s not the direction you want to go in at that point, then you just have to be brave and go no. Then eventually you have to eat. So, you have to compromise as you go along. You applied to RADA but got rejected first time around? Yes, that’s right. As I say, I was from Crieff. I had no connections. Nobody could advise me. I would say to teachers, I want to go on the stage and it was like blank. When I applied to RADA, I didn’t really know what I was doing. You know I went in a suit and tie, for God’s sake. What did I know?

Can you say something about the film Local Hero? When I was asked to do Local Hero, I had just been offered a season at Stratford. But the movie was so strong, I thought scripts like this don’t come up, well not that often. It was the chance to play and I think, you know being Irish, you’ll understand this. It was the chance to play a contemporary Scottish character who wasn’t any kind of cliché at all. He just happened to be Scots but he was smart and so it was a bit of a gift really. A beautiful script. We just had a wonderful time doing it. I remember it with great affection. You played Detective Steve McAndrew in New Tricks. How did you feel when it finished? It was about time. It felt about right for me. I’d done it for four years. I’d never done anything for that time before. I loved it but a lot of it was

88 Senior Times l March - April 2018 l www.seniortimes.ie

quite hard work because of the nature of the material. Summing up a case. Just remembering that stuff is hard work. Do you have any, given your experience, any advice for those contemplating an acting career? Your nephew is the actor Ewan McGregor. I would say to people who want to be actors, don’t do it. But if they go ahead and do it anyway it means they want to do it. Don’t do it because for the number of actors you see at this level, there’s a whole bunch there who just don’t quite make it. Because it’s a mad business, it’s anarchic and there are no rules really. Be prepared for rejection. There you go. What do you like doing when you are not working? One of my favorite things is to go to Ronnie Scott’s in London because I’m a jazz fan, I love jazz. To relax is to go and watch musicians play. Jazz particularly. I love pop music as well. Jazz musicians tend to have amazing techniques. And the way they play together in an ensemble. I don’t know how they do that. It’s extraordinary to watch. What are your plans post ART? We finish in June. I’m very glad to say that in July last year, I got married to a wonderful woman, Karen. We got married on the beach. Well, I’m going back to that beach for three weeks, that Italian beach. I’ve been going there for many years. It’s a very social place, in a very Italian way. It’s just really easy. And the café there has wonderful food and wine. And my favorite vodka. Yes, that’s the plan. ART is at The Gaiety Theatre, Dublin from March 19-24.


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Senior Times Magazine March-April 2018  

The magazine for people who don't act their age. Television personality and now artist, Thelma Mansfield, talks about her life. Mairead Rob...

Senior Times Magazine March-April 2018  

The magazine for people who don't act their age. Television personality and now artist, Thelma Mansfield, talks about her life. Mairead Rob...

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