Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhaoibh = Happy New Year 2014

P1200788Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhaoibh = Happy New Year 2014 /Ah-vleen fwee vosh-ah gheev/ to all survivors of Goldenbridge. I hope that those who spent Xmas alone were able to get by without too much difficulty. People tend to run away from survivors at this time of year, because they can’t fathom their pain, so the rejection of the past also becomes the rejection of the present. As inmates of Goldenbridge in the past we depended on the goodness of kind people to open up their homes to us during Xmas time, but now that we are at the other end of the age spectrum, and deemed part of the society, that sort of thing isn’t going to happen, unless there are survivors who have strong personalities, whom people can warm to, thus allowing the latter to open up their homes. I’ve been very lucky to have been invited to Switzerland, but I know there are countless counterparts who would not have been given that opportunity. Survivors, like elephants, never forget the kindness that is shown to them by kind-hearted people at this very vulnerable time of year. It can be painful reading endless Tweets by people referring survivors on their own to the Samaritans. Very sad indictment on their lives indeed.

Dollymount Strand

BcwmqLrIUAAGAfqI saw this photo of Dollymount Strand on Twitter. It reminded me of one of two beaches I had occasionally frequented as a child. The other one presently escapes me. I  had  been staying with the Boyne host family, as I was on licence from Goldenbridge. So, it would not have been terribly far away.

I remember there was a very pungent smell everywhere due to the seaweed. There were a lot of banks and rockeries to roam about. I think I may have slipped off with other children, or may have been accompanied by Irene and Valerie, who were the teenage daughters of Mrs. Boyne.

I distinctly remember finding out from somebody in later years, when I returned to Boyne St., that a boy by the surname of Earl had been drowned at one of the sea-sides. I don’t know which one it was at all.  Very sad. The Earls were very boisterous happy-go-lucky boys. I think there were a lot of Earl boys in the family that lived on a top verandah approximately three verandah’s away from the Boyne’s. I vaguely remember the mother being a very tall woman.

Photo: H/t Dublin Airport ‏@DublinAirport

Sunset this evening from Dollymount Strand. Via @phcostel #lovedublin pic.twitter.com/HVXFc40LiN

 

Two Xmas blackbirds

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I thought this photo that was taken today in trees yonder the orange berry trees  is very apt for this time of year. There are two blackbirds enjoying the peaceful surroundings. They appear fiercely independent. I think there could be a nest nearby, I’m not sure. There was a lot of house-extension going on just underneath the trees, earlier on in the year, so probably that could have deterred the birds setting up a nest in this tree. The area is a trifle open than it was before the renovations. Some trees nearby were cut down to make way for natural light to the new addition. Shame really.

Donnybrook denuded berry branches

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This photo was taken this afternoon. The ferocious storm experienced since Xmas day denuded the branches of the overflowing bunches of luscious orange berries. The birds are now having to resort to eating them off the grass ground. Ironically, it was hard getting photos of the birds when the berries were in full bloom, as they flitted off so quickly. However, the blackbird, as you can see, was happily resting on the bare branches after having a big feed down below. The birds are very cautious about feeding on low ground, but at this time of year they obviously have to take risks.

See: link below for same branch on Xmas day.

Bheir Mí Ó (Eriskay Love Lilt)

I learned this Scottish/Gaelic song in Goldenbridge. I was in Sr. Fabian’s choir.  She came from Donegal, so she would have been very much in touch with Scottish music when she was growing up. Sr. F. was a fluent Irish speaker. Whenever nuns from Carysfort College came into the classroom, she always reverted to speaking in Irish. One immediately got the impression that the pair were in discussion about one, whenever their eyes happened to gaze upon one at the time of their As Gaeilge tête-à-tête.

That sort of thing also frequently happened to me in Switzerland, when the head of the household spoke in French at the dining table when she discovered that I was picking up on the Swiss-German language.

The song is very haunting. Nana Mouskouri is very versatile in many languages. I think musical people, per se, find it very easy to sing in foreign languages.

Expectation

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This is very poignant, and appropriate to the way I feel about human nature at the best of times.

Survivors of Goldenbridge will understand all too clearly about not having any expectations from human beings. They were never there for us as children, and those of us who have not been lucky to have created families will also realise that things have never changed. I truly miss my belated uncle, who always thought of me at Xmas time. I had a wee bit of hope this year, though, when I got a beautiful photo from Switzerland, and an invitation to go there for a holiday. It touched me so much. Of all the countries in the world, Switzerland is one place I pine for at this time of year. Xmas is renewal time, when I think of where I stand with the human race, it can be an eye-opener. I just don’t have communication skills to deal with people.

Shakespeare nailed it 500 years ago. Nothing’s changed. pic.twitter.com/L97XJqS52x RT @RedRobina @RCdeWinter

Retweeted by Anne Hesnan

O Tannenbaum

The tune is an old folk tune attested in the 16th century. It is also known as the tune of Es lebe hoch der Zimmermannsgeselle and of Lauriger Horatius.

 

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
Nein, auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
Wie oft hat nicht zur Weihnachtszeit
Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
Dein Kleid will mich was lehren:
Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit
Gibt Mut und Kraft zu jeder Zeit!
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
Dein Kleid will mich was lehren!

A common variation replaces the word

“treu” (faithful)with “grün” (green). 

Or “Wie oft hat schon zur Winterzeit”

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us!
They are green when summer days are bright,
They are green when winter snow is white.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
You give us so much pleasure!
How oft at Christmas tide the sight,
O green fir tree, gives us delight!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
You give us so much pleasure!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Forever true your colour.
Your boughs so green in summertime
Stay bravely green in wintertime.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Forever true your colour.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
You fill my heart with music.
Reminding me on Christmas Day
To think of you and then be gay.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
You fill my heart with music.