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.


‘Nollaig Shona Duit’ Lonely magpie in the distance


Nollaig Shona Duit. Lonely Magpie in the distance. I only had to aim the camera in the far distance in order to capture a completely different mood to other photos that had been taken around the same time. See: link below. I can so feel for this image, as it depicts the type of darkness in my own nature. Note how the white part of the bird is illuminated against the grey/black background. There is a glimmer of hope there. The photo has not been retouched at all. When I take images of this calibre, I see perfect material patterns. The images are prominent, without being in one’s face, thus ideal for withstanding in one’s midst over a long period. The camera is not a professional one, but it still does not a bad job.

Nollaig Shona Duit

P1200691I took this photo outside the front balcony this Xmas day. It looks like the bird is lapping up the yellow berries. I had wondered if they were edible feed, as they’ve been on the branches all summer long. Perhaps, they’re left till very late when food is scarce. All sorts of birds have been fluctuating to the branches when the weather had permitted. The recent storms denuded some of the branches, but they’re still plentiful. I was told by a neighbour that the trees don’t bear berries every year. Apparently, the last time there were berries was three years go. I must look at photos of last year and see what the situation was indeed.


One has to be on the ball to get very focussed photos of birds, as they can fly off in a split second. However, if one is patient, and keeps flashing away there is bound to be luck. Can’t help thinking if these birds are young blackbirds, as there were definitely blackbirds hanging out as well. What makes me think that is the yellow on the side of the beak. Perhaps, the yellow could be from the berries. I shall have to find out.


This too is a beauty of a bird. I noticed that a lot of birds of this kind are very frequently nearby another tree. I think there could be a nest. Maybe a blackbirds’ nest. There was a lot of working going on with an extension to a house just underneath a tree that had a nest there last year.  The gardener told me that there has been a very large strange bird in the vicinity lately, that makes a very loud oink oink sound. I did hear it myself on one occasion. The magpies who had a stronghold in the area last year are keeping well into into the distance this year. They don’t even come to my balcony anymore. perhaps the resident pigeon and her mate have let it be known all around that this is their specific territory.


Here is a blackbird; there were a few of them feeding on the berries. Are they all one big happy family?

“Nollaig Shona Daoibh” (NO-Lihg HO-nuh JEEV) to Goldenbridge survivors


Photo taken by me during the end of summer 2012.

“Nollaig Shona Daoibh” to all survivors of Goldenbridge. This time of year is always the most toughest, as we are reminded of the emotional support we lacked in the past in the institution. To this day a lot of still stand stiff in the background watching the world embrace their families and friends. Always the bystanders and never the ones to be embraced, because we are indicative of utter neediness, which the world does not want to absorb or comprehend at the best of times. The world is at one with those who have families and friends, and not so with so many survivors of Goldenbridge.


Photo taken from balcony during early evening, approximately a week ago.

I would like to thank all those who have opened their doors to survivors of Goldenbridge and Industrial “Schools” in general in the past. The memories have lived with them forever. It can be a very cold world out there, and this time of year is especially tough, so all of you who come from loving families spare survivors of Goldenbridge a thought this Xmas-tide. Thanks. In the past survivors were dependent on newspaper adverts for kind host families to open up their homes to them for the the Xmas period.

The Butcher Boy – The Ludlow’s

This folk song also takes me back to my days in Goldenbridge. Again, I never became familiar with it, until I departed the institution.  The song, anyhow would have been banned in Goldenbridge, as were many other songs about LOVE. The Ludlow’s have got such brilliant harmonious voices. So soothing.

Tommy Mackem and the Clancy Brothers also sing a very rich version. http://youtu.be/ocw6rXrV91w

Frawley’s Thomas St. Dublin

Embedded image permalink

Dublin History ~ Frawley’s at Christmas on Thomas Street 1950s #Dublin @thomasstreetdub pic.twitter.com/PCQQ04Uo0M

Esther Boyne told me years ago that her mother and herself took me to Frawley’s to buy all my communion clothes. She said that I got a beautiful blue coat. I do remember my dress, as it had three dimensional bubbles on it, which reminded me evermore of sago, or rubber balls, as children called it, that we got for dessert in Goldenbridge. I have recollections of insisting that I get black patent horn-pipes, that were worn by children for Irish dancing, but also from old photos that I ‘ve seen were also worn by children at Holy Communion time.

I went into Frawley’s a couple of years ago to buy some items for old times sake. I was sad to see that the shop had changed hands. The shop front is still exactly the same – with the gates to boot.

Clothes for children at Goldenbridge were also purchased from Frawley’s.

 leap leg. I took a photo of the the entrance floor at Frawley’s  – but this one h/t leapleg – fits the theme better.