Kiss Halloween

Living on the hill we don’t get trick or treaters wandering past our door on Halloween night so I very much enjoyed this little story sent to me by a friend who is living in Toronto, Canada –

We had one gang of trick-or-treaters tonight, a bunch of girls (I think), aged about eleven or twelve. They were costumed very impressively as a scarier version of Kiss, with the full-blown face makeup, very well done. No instruments or giant platform boots, but the face makeup must have taken ages to apply.

There was a fifth one bringing up the rear, dressed in a startlingly incongruous manner. She looked like a mummified hag draped in seaweed. I said, “Wow – you don’t look like part of the band!”

She said, “No, I’m the groupie…”

Hilarious!!! Extra candy for her!

In The Clouds

Today we are fog bound, we can only see about 100 metres. It’s a dense, wet fog, the kind that stills sounds and feels really cold. We even lit a fire this morning and that very rarely needs to happen, especially in October.

This week  we had a beautiful, hot, sunny day. Right from sun-rise we had a lovely hot and summery day. We were outside working on our house, putting up rafters with tee-shirts on and a water bottle up on the scaffolding with us to stay hydrated. I even had on a hat to prevent my face from sun-burn.

However we couldn’t see the valley below us because of a low lying cloud of fog that was really thick. The previous day had been foggy in the lowlands however the fog  lifted by mid-morning and we could see really far into the distance.

I went down to the nearest big town for some groceries and cat food sometime before lunch on the really hot sunny day and I put on a shirt over my tee thinking that I would be warm enough. As I drove down the hill I started to chill and regretted not having grabbed a jacket, the temperature really dropped quickly.

Town was really cold and everyone that I met and talked to in the shops (because we talk to each other in small towns, even if we don’t really know each other) was in a downcast mood.  It was as though the fog was clouding everyone’s joy.  I did the shopping as quickly as possible to get back up the hill to the sunshine.

As I put the messages (that’s what we call the groceries here) away in the van I was thinking, once again, how lucky we are to live up on the hills. The radio was on and I was listening to Today FM, a channel that has friendly morning chat and music, nothing too political.

The dj had been interviewing someone and took a break for the “good news” which was a little strange. As I listened to the news I realised why he had called it the “good news”, the newsreader spoke about a little girl who lived in Cork who had the stabilisers removed from her bike and was doing really well. There was mention of a couple who had just moved into their first house together and a beloved school teacher who had been ill and was back in the classroom. All of the stories were good news stories!

The person being interviewed was really impressed and asked if all Irish radio stations did the same thing, unfortunately they don’t – yet. The “normal” news was on ten minutes later and wasn’t nearly as much fun.

When I got home, back up the hill into the hot sunshine, I told my husband about the “goodnews” broadcast and we wondered when was it decided, and by whom, that news broadcasts should be predominantly bad/sad news. Who decided that? Why was the decision made? Who benefits from broadcasting bad/sad news to the nation, every hour on the hour?

I know that it is important to know what is going on around us however I think that it is important to know both the good and the bad news. We don’t have the balance right at all.

Most of my friends don’t buy or read daily newspapers or watch the tv news, most also try to avoid the radio news however that is lots of work as they broadcast it every hour. Thank you to Today FM and the Ray D’Arcy show for the good news! I must listen more often and find out if the good-news is a daily event.

I thought that it was quite fitting that I had driven above the fog to the sunny heights of our hill to have this chat about listening to the mass media version of news and what we are supposed to be concerned about.

Sometimes I wonder about people who listen to the media version of events every day, who read all the papers, broadsheet or tabloid, who watch the tv news – are they living in a fog?

A fog induced by a daily diet of overwhelmingly bad news, fear inducing, power-sapping news that makes them think that they cannot possible change the world, their world, our world?

If you think that there is nothing that you can do to influence change do you give up trying?

I sure hope not ‘cos a lot of people do watch the daily power-sap commonly known as The News. I know that I had to stop watching it every day as it was certainly overwhelming for me. I can only speak for myself of course.

How do you feel about The News?

Please add a comment and let me know……..

Making Choices, Setting Priorities

It can be difficult to make choices sometimes.

There are times when I really want to do two things and I simply can’t, then it comes down to setting priorities. I need to decide which choice to make based on what is important right now rather than what I would really rather do. Sometimes I need to decide what it is that I really need to do.

I have some strong spiritual interests/practises and for some of these practises I have Teachers. My spiritual interests are not church based at all, despite having being raised in a church going family. In fact, like many Irish people of my generation, I have no interest whatsoever in church or it’s dogma however I fully respect the choices of anyone who does.

My spiritual interests are more nature based, spirit based, a little like a “Pick ‘n’ Mix”. I do believe in the power of prayer, I meditate when I am disciplined enough, I ask for help from various sources, I give gratitude for what I have received in my life, I try to live in the moment and to practise self-awareness. I am a strong believer in the power of letting your light shine so that others may be encouraged to do the same.

Recently the opportunity has arisen to attend a workshop being presented by both my teacher and his teacher. This is a wonderful opportunity as the man is held in very high regard and it is the last time that he will travel to Ireland to give one of his five day workshops.

My teacher has gone out of his way to make this workshop available and affordable for me for which I am very grateful and I did think that I would be able to take the time needed.

However I really need to be at home to help put a roof on our house. The house building has already been postponed for a few weeks to allow us both to earn some money and we are ready now to get back to building work.

The winter is coming, Equinox has passed and the nights are getting colder, we have even lit a fire in the last three evenings. We really need to put a roof on the house before the weather deteriorates any further.

The wall frames are already in place so in order to be prepared for winter we need to put on the roof first, then weather-proof the walls. Half of the rafters are in place and we are now getting ready to put up the other half, put a roof decking in place, put on the vapour barrier, battens and the roofing material which in our case is corrugated tin.

I am grateful that we have all the materials that we need to do this next bit of work and we even have offers of help from two good friends, one of whom has experience in roofing his own house.

Does anyone want to volunteer to make soup and sandwiches for us? I think we will have a few days of one-pot dinners cooking away on the stove whilst we are outside hammering away.

Now, I just need to remember to pray for a dry spell of weather….