Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to over 1300 readers all over the world. You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it - God Bless you! If you'd like to read past issues, they are archived at: http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/pubarchive.php?Herself
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Greetings and blessings to all,
We hope this edition finds you and yours on the pig's back. As for ourselves, it was wonderful to note that we now have over 1300 subscribers! A warm welcome to all who signed up this past week and we hope you'll forward our meanderings to your family and friends.
Hard to believe that some of our children are already back in school. Where did the summer go? We watched 5-year olds commenting on their first day ..."I was the coolest kid" one little girl said. Was it the backpack? The outfit? We like to think it was neither.
The garden continues to bless us with an abundance - none of it edible. Herself ponders on that. We used to grow vegetables and there's nothing to compare with eating a tomato fresh from the vine and still warm from the sun.
On a bit of a worrisome note, we haven't heard from our dear friends, the Dowds, in over a week; they live in British Columbia and we're very concerned about the forest fires that have caused thousands to be evacuated. So, please keep Helen and Hartson in your prayers, as well as our other Canadian readers who live in that region.
In news from Ireland:
Thanks for the memory. The legendary Bob Hope, RIP, will be fondly remembered by residents in Oughterard, where he was a popular visitor in his later years. His daughter Linda has a home in the area, and spends several months of the year there. Subscriber John Kennedy brought to our attention a site where you can submit a tribute:
Optimism is high that the £15m Jeanie Johnston replica famine ship will be sailing up the River Foyle this October. Sean Finan, of Border Horizons, who has been involved with the project since it set sail, said that it is now likely the boat will dock in Belfast.
500 tons of chewing gum end up on Irish streets every year and the litter louts responsible will soon be forced to pay for cleaning up their mess. The Irish government plans to introduce a levy on chewing gum, polystyrene fast-food wrappers and ATM receipts. The charge will mirror the highly successful 15c levy on plastic bags that is credited with removing 1 billion bags in its first year of operation.
Seattle's Sister City of Galway is the second most expensive city in Ireland when it comes to house prices. The average house in the city now costing about 242,950 euros compared to 215,000 in December 2002
In other news:
The Magdalene Sisters opened in NYC this weekend - if you live there and go see it, please let us know what you think. Here's one of several stories about a film that has been vehemently denounced by the Vatican, yet acclaimed by others: http://www.filmstew.com/Content/Features/Details.asp?Pg=1&ContentID=6428
The San Francisco Labor Council of the AFL-CIO, has unanimously adopted a resolution supporting Ciaran Ferry in his fight for asylum in the United States. The same resolution calls for Mr. Ferry's immediate release from jail. If you'd like to learn more, please click http://www.freeciaranferry.com/
A film dramatising the Holy Cross dispute has begun production & but instead of being on location on the streets of North Belfast, the cast of Irish actors are filming in England.
As always, the mailbox had interesting messages:
The poem is found! Remember the line...pick the primroses, sister Kate (or Sue)? Well, it turns out that the name is Anne and the line is from a poem called Foresight by William Wordsworth. Here's the message we received from Maire after we sent her what Debi discovered:
"Dear Bridget - you cannot imagine how happy my Mom is - she left me a message on our phone and she was crying with joy - she said she could hear her Dad's voice reciting the words, and of course it all came back to her - I called her back and we've nary a clue how she got the name 'Sue' nor I, 'Kate' - and she said her father had a sister named Anne, but she had forgotten, and I would have never thought of it - but she is just so overwhelmed and happy. It is like her father reaching out from heaven one more time, and he's been gone more than fifty years now. God bless you, Bridget, and your reader - may he or she have so many blessings in the days to come for their effort. And all of you, indeed. Thank you so very much! There just aren't words for it."
It's a turn of event like this that may seem small to us, but it's huge to Maire and her mother - and it's just the sort of sweet treat that makes doing this newsletter immensely rewarding. So, go raibh maith agat, Debi!
One last item before we get on with the update: We were invited to join a new group on yahoo - Irish Trees. Serendipity at work, perhaps, since this is also the week we introduce a new sponsor - Tree of Life - in Co. Sligo. We remember on our last trip to Ireland, noting the lack of forests. This was once a land where the oak, the mountain ash, the rowan and the silver birch flourished. So, it's gratifying to note that there's avid interest in reforestation. Anyway, we joined the group and if you're interested in becoming a member as well, please click:
We also hope you will contact Tree of Life - see ads below.
Enough of the blither and blather....
Please support our efforts by contacting our newest sponsor:
TREE OF LIFE, Balfe House, Co. Sligo
Imagine a gift that will grow and flourish for 500 years! As part of a reforestation program, Balfe House is pleased to offer you the opportunity to plant a native Irish oak tree as a memorial to a loved one or to mark an important occasion - a birthday or anniversary, for example. Our saplings are planted in a site of outstanding beauty, directly overlooking the Atlantic and under the protection of Ben Bulben. A weather-proofed inscribed plaque, firmly embedded, will ensure that many future generations will witness its growth and remember its dedication. After planting, you will receive a certificate of authenticity, photographs of the planting, and a leaf of your oak tree, forever preserved in an Irish wood and glass frame. And now for a limited time, we are pleased to offer two for the price of one! For complete details, please write to Ciaran at firstname.lastname@example.org
IN THIS ISSUE:
A Bit of The Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know?
Quotes & Quips
Know Your Irish Writers & Books?
New This Week
The Week Ahead
A BIT O' THE WIT
In honor of Peter O'Toole's birthday (he was 71 on August 2):
Rose McGowan remembers asking him if there were millions of girls chasing him around the planet after he did Lawrence of Arabia, and he said, "My dear girl, I didn't need movies to do that."
OUR FAVORITE JOKE OF THE WEEK
Charlie was a regular visitor at the Galway Races. One afternoon he noticed an unusual sight. Right before the first race, a Catholic priest visited one of the horses in the stable area and gave it a blessing. Charlie watched the race very carefully, and sure enough the blessed horse came in first! Charlie followed the priest before the next race, and again he went to the stables and performed a similar procedure. Thinking there might be something to it, Charlie put a couple of euros on the blessed horse. Sure enough it came in by two lengths and Charlie won close to fifty euros! The priest continued the same procedure through the next few races and Charlie won each time. He was now ahead a thousand, so between races Charlie left the track, went to the bank and withdrew his life's savings. The biggest race of the day was the last one. Charlie followed the priest and watched which horse he blessed. He then went to the betting window and put every euro he owned on that horse to win. The race began. Down the stretch they came, and as they crossed the finish line, Charlie's pick was last! Devastated, he found the priest and told him that he had been watching him bless the horses all day, and they all became winners except the last horse on which he had bet his life savings. Charlie then asked, "What happened to the last horse which you blessed? Why didn't it win like the others?" "Ye must be a Protestant," sighed the priest. "The trouble is you can't tell the difference between a blessing and the last rites."
DID YOU KNOW...
1. John Tyndall, a physicist who was born in Leighlin Bridge, Co. Carlow, was first to discover why the sky is blue? Don't you just love it that it was an Irishman?
2. The Devil's Bit mountain near Thurles, County Tipperary, is so called because Satan, furious at finding no wicked souls in Ireland as he flew over it, supposedly bit a chunk out of the rock in his rage?
3. A monkey appears on the FitzGerald coat of arms in tribute to the family pet which rescued the infant 1st Earl of Kildare from a fire at Kilkea castle in the 14th century?
QUIPS, QUOTES & ANECDOTES - PROVERBS & TOASTS, TOO
"I am married to Beatrice Salkeld, a painter. We have no children, except me." Brendan Behan
KNOW YOUR IRISH WRITERS & IRISH-RELATED BOOKS?
The answers to last week's quiz:
1. Dancing at Lughnasa - Brian Friel
2. Bitter Harvest: An Anthology of Contemporary Irish Verse - John Montague
3. Faces at the Fair : a photographic essay on the "Ould Lammas Fair" at Ballycastle, Co Antrim - Stanley Matchett
A tip of the hat to this week's Irish bibliophiles:
Divine Self Existence. In principle it has nothing to do with Ireland, but I'm moving to Cork (from Spain) in September so I probably write about what's up there
According to Terry Flynn Tours of Ireland, who has the longest continuously running tour from the States to Ireland? The McKiernans of Irish Books &
Namely Gifts at http://namelygifts.com
Personalized Name Keepsakes and Gifts
Something for every name on your gift list!
Featuring Babies & Children and Our Everyday Heroes
I still read the online news from Fethard, Co. Tipperary, and enjoy Joe's photos.
Want to see your name and favorite site on our list? Try to find the following authors - we assure you, it's really easy! Who wrote:
1. The Galway Races
2. Loitering with Intent - The Child
3. Autumn Journal
1. Hint: All three titles can be found here:
Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. If you have a web site, send us your URL plus a short description and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. If you don't have a web site, please nominate a favorite. Also, please remember that we list our sleuths in the order of entries received.
2. Receive a correct entry into the current "So You Think You're Irish" trivia contest. (In fairness to those of you who go to the trouble of actually finding the answers to the trivia contest, you'll get a bonus entry!)
NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: email@example.com
THIS WEEK'S RIDDLE
The answer to last week's is:
How quickly can you find out what is unusual about this paragraph? It looks so ordinary that you would think that nothing is wrong with it at all - and, in fact, nothing is. But it is a bit odd. Why? If you study it and think about it, you may find out, but I am not going to assist you in any way. You must do it without any coaching. No doubt, if you work at it for long, it will dawn on you. Who knows?
There isn't a single e in the entire paragraph. Well done to everyone who figured it out - and beginning this week, with their permission, we'll be publishing the name of the person who is first with the correct answer. Congrats to Michael McLaughlin!
Now here's your new challenge:
A boy was at a carnival and went to a booth where a man said to the boy, "If I write your exact weight on this piece of paper then you have to give me $50, but if I cannot, I will pay you $50." The boy looked around and saw no scale so he agrees, thinking no matter what the man writes he'll just say he weighs more or less. In the end, the lad ended up paying the man $50. How did the man win the bet?
NEW OR REPUBLISHED FROM OUR INDEX THIS PAST WEEK:
1. Home Page - See what's new at a glance:
2. Article: Ladies' Day at the Galway Races
3. Article: God Between Us and All Harm - Irish Superstitions
4. Article - Emblems of Ireland - The Book of Kells
5. The Irish Kitchen - Mealy Greatchie - a traditional harvest sidedish. This will be published early next week
6. Kid's Ireland - we have a new "Culture Corner" posted - this time it's about Hedge Schools. Early next week, we'll also post the August story from Grainne
7. Culture Corner - Trinity College
8. Circle of Prayer. Our third Novena in this cycle begins August 3 and will continue through August 11. We received a request from Eileen who was the inspiration for our Circle of Prayer. Her brother's test results don't bode well and she asks for your prayers. Please also pray for Priscilla and her family who are struggling with many serious health problems; Therese Reilly who is battling cancer and pneumonia; Christopher - just a few months old with a brain tumor; five-year old Sam in California battling cancer; and Steven and Margaret in NY who desperately need our support and encouragement. As always, our Novenas are dedicated to the peaceful resolution of the many conflicts we face - especially in Iraq. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we hope you will join us in prayer or meditation each day. Knowing that we hold all of these people in our thoughts and hearts is, of itself, a great comfort to them.
9. Irish News: Headlines for the past week
10. This month in Irish History:
11. Trivia Contest. The quiz for August has been posted:
The winner for July is Ellen Parodi who proves that entering the newsletter Know Your Writers quiz as well as the Trivia Contest can really pay off! Well done, Ellen.
12. Music Review - Wall of Tears. It's still there because we feel it's that important. And besides, the CD is that good!
NEXT WEEK, GOD WILLING:
Bridget hasn't done anything on Irish dancing - time permitting, she hopes to make amends for that. We will also publish a new Irish lesson - this time it will be on words and phrases related to horse-racing. A new blessing has been posted and on Wednesday we'll have another quote. Toward the end of the week, we'll be posting a new recipe.
So that wraps it up for another week. Until next time, may you and yours be blessed with good health, good spirits and good company. We also hope that all of our readers in Ireland are enjoying the bank holiday weekend - and, if you're on the road, safe journey!
May God hold you in the palm of His hand - but not close his fist too tight on you.
All the best - and as they say in Ireland, mind yourself.
Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
Help us keep this newsletter free - please contact our newest sponsor:
TREE OF LIFE, Balfe House, Co. Sligo
There's no better way to remember a loved one than with an Irish oak tree planted in their honour. Overlooking the Atlantic ocean and in the shelter of Ben Bulben, a new forest is taking root. Each sapling bears a weather-proofed, inscribed plaque which ensures that future generations will witness its growth and remember its dedication. And now, by way of introduction, you can purchase two trees for the price of one! All purchases include a certificate of authenticity, photographs of the planting and inscription plaque, plus a leaf of your oak tree, forever preserved in an Irish wood and glass frame. For complete details, please write to Ciaran at firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you enjoy reading this edition of our newsletter? Voluntary donations to help keep us going are always welcome. Please send whatever you can to: 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH 45224. And many thanks for your kindness!
Events & Classifieds
Note: To avoid duplication, we list only those events not mentioned in the comprehensive listing put together by The Wild Geese. To check their Events Page, please click: http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/events.html
The Irish Heritage Newsletter also lists events - if you'd like to subscribe, just send a note to George at Steeler059@aol.com
The Voyage of the Jeanie Johnston
Portsmouth, New Hampshire - August 7 to Monday, August 11
For more details, please click: http://www.jeaniejohnston.ie/voyage.asp?id=3
Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Ireland
Festival of World Cultures - August 22-August 24
Arts festival celebrating cultural diversity through an extravaganza of internationally acclaimed acts including music, film, circus, theatre, dance performances, club nights, markets, exhibitions, workshops & children's activities.
Irish Writers Center, Dublin, Ireland
New Creative Writing Courses at IWC have been announced for the month of August. For more information, please contact Bernadette Larkin: email@example.com
Let Me Take You To the Island 2003
The Rathlin week-end will take place on the 5th -7th September
The Houston St. Patrick's Parade Commission Presents:
2003 St. Paddy's Irish Open - Monday, September 15, 2003
2PM Shotgun Start - Four Man Scramble & Green Ball Contest at Augusta Pines, 18 Augusta Pines Rd, Spring, Texas For more details, please write: Irishmkk@aol.com
Scriobh Literary Festival, Sligo 11 & 14 September 2003
Tel. +353 71 41405
Samhain International Poetry Festival Friday 31 October & Mon 3 November in Gort a'Choirce, Co. Donegal. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Celtic Pilgrimage to Sacred Ireland
Sept 30 - Oct 8 2003
Learn. Pray. Observe. Meditate. Eat. Explore. Experience the beauty and mystery of Ireland in a unique spiritual journey to the Emerald Isle's sacred sites. For more details, please click
6th Int'l McManus Clan Association Gathering May 25th through May 31st, 2004
For full details please visit our website at:
http://members.aol.com/manusclan/mcm2004.htm or contact Phil McManus at Manus@aol.com
Ancient Order of Hibernians Historical Tour of Ireland
January 27, 04- February 4, 04
In conjunction with Our Lady of Knock Division No. 2; Ancient Order of Hibernians, Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, please call James V. Magee, Jr., President (513) 621-9660
7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th 2004
For details, please write email@example.com
or click on the following link:
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