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Irish Equality

Irish Equality

‘Standing up for what is right will allow others to stand with us and to bask in the sunshine of Happiness.’ – Me, just now

You may read this, you may gleam over it or maybe you won’t see it at all because you’ve chosen to ignore me on your newsfeed.  In some ways I don’t blame you, especially over the last few weeks with the litany of posts/reposts (on facebook) relating to Marriage Equality and the Yes side.

It’s 2 days to the Marriage Equality Referendum in Ireland.  And I’m voting Yes.  Without a shadow of doubt, I’m voting yes.  I’ve a chance here to describe my childhood.  But right now who cares about the wonderfully happy times and equally miserable ones.  I have my own story, as do you.  You don’t need to know it.

Right now we need to focus on Our Story.  We have chance to make history and mold the future for the happiness of all.  Read the information, don’t go on my post.  Don’t go by anyone’s article or opinion on TV debates.  Go and get the information you need yourself and know the facts.  Then and only then can you be safe to know you’re making the right decision for all, not just for you. (though the link at the end is a good place to start).  Go out and vote.  Deep in my heart I want you to vote Yes.   I need you to vote Yes.  But it will rest in your hands on the day.

Our great nation have spread ourselves across the world and contributed remarkably to the success of other countries.  It’s time to take that greatness back to our own land once more.    We may be a small island but the referendum will be loud for all the world to hear.   And we should be heard for doing what is right and good for all us.

It will be a Monumental Moment in Irish history alone, the first country to have Marriage Equality voted by the people into our Constitution.  That is something profound and something to marvel at and most of all to be proud of.  A strong and empowering message will be echoed around this planet and will have originated with us.  And we can stand nobly, ‘We did this’.

When results are announced this Saturday, you may not cry a little.  I think I will however.  I’m not ashamed to admit that.  Whatever way it swings, I’m just hoping the tear will be for joy. Change the future and see the world not as it is but as it should be.

PS It’s my birthday on 22nd May also and I’m off work.  I’m offering lifts to and from Polling stations if anyone needs one or wants to have a car pool poll party.  Especially in my locale #votermotor

#marref #yesequality

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/marriage-referendum-q-a-what-you-need-to-know-1.2212840

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1 Day, 20 Photos

I saw this on another site once and thought I’d give it a go. I was going to put descriptions in each photo to better explain but I’m leaving them as is for you to like or dislike. What I will tell you is, that’s this is what I saw from morning to night on a random day and as you’ll see the weather is ever changeable in Ireland. Almost all the seasons in one day. And one final note. The one of the fire was included in a Gizmodo.com shooting challenge. To say I was delighted, was an understatement.

Please feel to free to comment. Would love your feedback.

Apologies for the odd blurry one. I was I a hurry at the time and didn’t review the image properly after the shot.

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It’s Gay Pride Week in Dublin this week, so we thought we’d add our touch to the festivities and bring a bit of pride to Woodhaven.

Richie took this first. He thought the tree would frame the photo better. Isn’t he getting an eye for detail?

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The week culminates in the Gay Pride Parade this coming saturday, which has a new route and destination in Merrion Square. Should be good day for all, as usual. For more info go to Dublin Pride

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Over the past few nights we’ve been hearing a strange noise coming from the adjacent cemetery. We assumed it was a fox or fox cubs or possibly a weasel and our immediate thoughts were to the safety of our ducks. But since installing the electric fence, they’ve been as happy as ever and after receiving the punch like impact to my index finger, I knew the fence was doing its job.

Last night we decided to do some more investigation. There seemed to be two animals making the same sound, as if calling to each other. It sounded like a whistling screech. A quick search on google and youtube pin pointed what it was for us. It definitely wasn’t a mammal. I recorded the racket for compassion to any youtube clips. Turns out we have two young Long Eared Owls, hungrily calling out in the night sky for their next meal.

Long Eared Owls are one of few owl species in Ireland. They don’t actually have long ears, just tufts of feathers that look like them. I don’t know why we didn’t even think of an owl initially, especially since a night last week. We were sitting outside as it turned twilight and something caught our eyes flying through the trees and rapidly swung away into the back field. If we hadn’t of seen it, we wouldn’t have heard it! It was an adult owl and it stealthily swooped over our heads like an F-117 Nighthawk, ready to drop its payload. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen an owl out in the wild, and it’s beyond me why we didn’t think that it would have nearby chicks. The internet tells me they like to nest in large conifers. Well that’s what the graveyard has plenty of. I must say, I’m delighted we have another unique visitor to Woodhaven. Our list of wild animals is increasing all the time. I should probably mention that we have bats too. At dusk they take flight and zip, zig and zag across the navy blue sky, snatching at insects they’ve echoed on.

As an aside, my boss reported a strange noise in her back yard last night. It sounded like sawing wood and continued for an hour. I could tell you the whole story, but she never found out what it was and it didn’t seem as though a neighbour was doing some very late night carpentry. Google told us both that it was a Leopard or Panther. I wonder???

Image courtesy of Bird Watch Ireland
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Some of my regular readers will know that I’m very fond of where I live. Mullingar is a town with heaps of character and a beauty. Its charm is not always seen from its long term residents and I sometimes wish I could lend them my eyes. I see the town in very different light, maybe because I’m a newcomer. I’ll post about the best qualities of the town and surrounding areas another time but right now I want to talk about the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. At first, I wasn’t too sure if it was a good parade or not. I think it could’ve done better. Overall, it turned out quite entertaining.

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It was the first parade I’d been to in Mullingar. I don’t know what I was expecting really. Town parades, outside of the larger cities of Ireland, can be more about advertising local business. That’s a good thing but having a 4X4 towing a skip on a trailer to advertise Waste Collection, kind of takes away from the parade experience.

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Not that it was a total flop. I guess it was a traditional parade, from how I remember them to be in Dublin as a child. It just lacked a little in atmosphere and festivity.

There was some humour in it though. Guess what was dragging this float along?

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The iceberg, of course.

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Mullingar has recently lost the 200 year presence of Irish Defence forces. Columb Barracks is closing the end of this month, and all the soldiers are moving to the barracks in Athlone, so this might be the last time the Army attends the parade.

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Some of Artillery on display.

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I even managed to see Richie on one of the trucks.

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Here’s Father Bob (resident Defence Forces priest), along with St. Patrick himself!

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At one stage, I thought it was strange to see Riot Control. Were the celebrations turning nasty? Nope, just a display of the multitude of duties that the Irish Defence forces are involved in.

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There were more high points. Here are the men involved with the Festival of Fires. Their garb and steeds impressed me.

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I managed to get pics of the local Arts Centre participations but there was a lot of people in the way so didn’t deem the photos good enough to put here. I’m kicking myself I didn’t make a better effort. I can tell you that they did a fantastic job though. A lot of the kids are involved with a production of Grease and they attended in their costumes and performed many of the musical’s songs.

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I hope they can do better next year. I just felt in needed an injection of fun and more involvement with the crowds. The guys/gals on the float for Belvedere House, attempted this but kind of failed with cringing looks from the crowd. This just could’ve been where I stood. The street is wider at that point. Further along the route the street narrows and there seems to be more spectators down there.

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Reading back over this, it actually sounds like a great parade.

Before I left, I looked around. There were some smiling faces, mostly on children. If they enjoyed it, who am I to judge?

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I said before in this post how I was looking for sewing and specifically Quilting lessons. I finally got a beginners lessons from someone quite wonderful.

I’ve been searching google Ireland for lessons and places to source good quality fabric. I found one 20 minutes away from me and that’s Just Cotton. This is a home run fabric store with a huge amount of fabric, books and notions. But it’s more than that. The owner, Penny, also arranges for other sewing or Quilting enthusiasts to come together professionally and socially. And from the biggest teapot I’d seen there, it kinda confirms the social element of Just Cotton.

When I first went out to Just Cotton I was amazed how big a studio it was. My pictures don’t really show it but images on the Just Cotton website will show you that. After meeting Penny in person, she kindly suggested that she could help me with developing my skills further. So yesterday I went back out to Just Cotton and she thought some more of the basic skills I’d need for my future quilting projects. One of which is in full swing. I’ll post about that when it’s completed.

I arrived and relaxed in Penny’s company instantly and we got straight down to making some panels. I learned how to perfect the joins between fabrics. In that time other visitors and buyers arrived. They too seemed very comfortable, and relaxed with coffee or tea, while they pursued the fabrics and items they needed.

We stopped for a quick lunch and got straight back into binding for a beginner. My multi tasking skills were put to the test. I discovered that sewing on a machine and chatting at the same time is something a man needs to work on. It wasn’t all work though. We did manage to chat, mostly with me stopping and penny urging me to continue. And we got to know one another by exchanging stories. I’m much more at ease now with quilting than I was and I gained experience that YouTube just can’t teach you. Plus I made a new friend and Penny has suggested I come along to her Saturday morning sewing social club, whenever I like.

If you are looking for fabric, especially in the midlands. Check out Just Cotton and most importantly try to visit. Much better to see and feel the quality of the fabric than just buying it online.

Some of the quilts on display are more artwork than anything else.

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Some of the fabric selections available.

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Landscape quilting.

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The panels I made.

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I’ve mentioned before that my parents liked to bring us places so that we didn’t get too much cabin fever. One of the regular places we’d visit was the Phoenix Park. It wasn’t far from where we lived in Dublin so we became regular visitors. It’s the largest public park in Europe, or so I’ve been told. Its home to the Irish President, Dublin Zoo, numerous Fallow Deer and an obelisk called the Wellington Monument. Or the Money Mount since we found it hard to pronounce Monument as a child. This nickname stuck because every time we went there we’d pester our Dad to bring us looking for money! It grew on the grass surrounding the Monument or it was left there by Fairies, don’t you know? Myself, my sister Ann-Marie and brother Paul (the 3 youngest) would follow my Dad single file and always find money in the grass if we looked carefully enough.

In later years, my adult brain let me know why he changed our positions in the queue behind him. It was because he’d flick the money in front of himself as he walked ahead of us. That way we were guaranteed to get an even amount of findings. This didn’t put my Dad out of pocket, because either way we were getting Ice-Cream at the White Spot on the way home, whether he paid or we did.

I think that’s a family tradition unique to our family. Who knows, maybe I’m spreading that to other families now. The park has changed since then, for the better. Not much has altered physically but there are more things to do. Bike hire is available and sometimes needed since the park is 1752 acres. There’s less traffic in the park now since a one way system is currently in operation. There’s abundance of playing fields, catering from Cricket to Soccer. There are plenty of ponds, providing a habitat to a lot of ducks. Even the Zoo, in my opinion, is one of the best Zoos in the world. Years ago it was dreary and industrial, and animals didn’t look very happy at all. But today the Zoo has many thousands of visitors a year and environments that seems to keep the animals content and engaged. Loads of info here: www.phoenixpark.ie. Go there, bring your kids. You’ll love it, no matter the season.

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