Wednesday, June 30, 2010
It was mainly the same old legends, you know the ones about ramming a sliotar own a dog's throat, killing him and then having to take his place! Or where the evil stepmother turns kids into swans and that is why it is still illegal to kill a swan in Ireland today. All the nice bedtime stories we tell to our children!
However I did encounter this fascinating legend which I hadn't heard before. In the mythological history of Ireland Ceasair was the leader of the first people to come to the country and of the first ever settlement. She is portrayed as a land goddess and her name would mean "shower of hail". It is claimed that she was the granddaughter of Noah and came to Ireland to escape the flood.
She obviously never listened to the weather forecast for here then!
She was looking for a place where no people had been before, where no evil had been committed and that was free of snakes and monsters.
Just as well she wasn't thinking of coming today!
Ceasair arrived in the Dingle peninsula in Kerry with 50 women and three men!
What????? Don't like those odds!
She then went and married one of the men, the shamen Fiontainn.
Now I'm really curious. Did the 51 women continue to share the 3 men equally....17 women to one man? Or did Ceasair get greedy and keep Fiontainn to herself and let the other 50 women make do with the two men?
I think it must have been the latter because didn't the two men up and die! It may have been due to
a) sexual exhaustion
b) nagged to death
Whatever the reason Fiontainn was now on his own. I think that if this was a story from another culture, if for example, our hero was Italian, French or Greek, he would have given it his best shot to satisfy everyone. But not our Fiontainn! He did what every Irish man does when faced with a dilemma involving women...he fled!!
Oops am I being controversial here? Tee hee!
Poor Ceasair was heart-broken and died.
It doesn't tell us how 50 lone women went on to populate this island of ours.
I like to think that there was a passing ship filled with lusty sailors who had been at sea for a year. They got shipwrecked off our coast, swam ashore, were met by the sex starved women and Bob's your uncle! The rest, as they say, is History.
However I don't think I could teach my version of how the Irish race came into being. Drat!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
1. It is a lovely opportunity for families to gather together and remember their loved ones.
2. It is a devious way to make sure that people look after their family plots and prevent the graveyard becoming unkempt and overgrown. This is good old Ireland. The neighbours will talk if your family plot is not up to scratch!
Ah, you can't beat peer pressure to get a job done!
I particularly liked Cemetery Sunday when I was living in Abu Dhabi. It is held the last weekend in June and that was always the week when I returned home for my summer holidays. The one thing everyone in the village has in common is a dead relative and so everyone goes. It was the perfect opportunity for me to meet up with my friends!
Now, a good friend on mine Mohammad, could not get his head around this concept at all.
"Sha'adah! You go to the cemetery to meet your friends???"
I tried to explain that this was not a regular occurrence. It just happened that the first time I met my friends when I went home, was in the local graveyard! We didn't make a habit of it. It's not like we said every week.
"Well, what will we do tonight? Oh I know. Let's meet in the cemetery."
And when I told him this story he nearly lost the plot altogether...
Everyone from the village goes to Cemetery Sunday. The cemetery itself is in a nearby village on the other end of the parish. This means that the village is empty for a few hours. A few years ago some quick thinking individuals took advantage of this and the whole village was robbed during this time. Cleaned out! There was no one left to protect it!
So now, Cemetery Sunday is the only day of the year when there is a visible garda presence in our sleepy little village!!!
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The staffroom is a mine of information about the grooming process of the female race. We have endless discussions about the best means of plucking, waxing and tweezing oneself onto a semblence of a supermodel.
I wonder why the only two male members of staff have taken to spending their lunch breaks in the schoolyard discussing something called...the World Cup.
The weirdest piece of advice I got was about fake tanning. It seems to get the very best overall tan, you should turn your back to your beautician.....and bend over! It then gets into every nook and cranny and you have no white areas, absolutely none.
Is it just me or is that taking things too far???
Got my tan done this evening and I bet Angela, my beautician is glad that I'm prudish!!!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Their little beady eyes make my skin crawl. Their pointy beaks make my blood run cold. Their feathers make me queasy. They don't even have to be real birds. My mother loves to recount the story (usually at the most inopportune moment) about how she had to remove the robin figures fron the Christmas wreaths when I was a child.
Yesterday evening I was driving home when I espied a brown feathered object flying in the direction of my windscreen. It was only when I heard the thud and opened my eyes that I realised...
I HAD CLOSED MY EYES IN THE FIRST PLACE AND I WAS DRIVING!
How could I have been so stupid? But it was a completely reflex reaction. Luckily I was driving on a country road so there was no other traffic. I was unhurt, which is more than I can say for the bird. When I looked in my rear view mirror I could see a solitary feather floating in the breeze.
I am a caring person, honest. I once cried when I caught a mouse in a trap.
Actually I apologised to the poor little critter!
But I can't feel sorry for a bird, no matter how hard I try. I bet Alfred Hitchcock could have made a pretty good sequel based on my phobia.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
After many heart stopping moments the final whistle blew and we were the winners!!! Huge excitement and celebrations.
I had absolutely no imput into their training. That was thanks to Mr Hennesy. But in hindsight I will take full credit for their win. I firmly believe that it was that session outside The Helix where they played hurling with an empty Pringles can that finely tuned their skills and was ultimately responsible for their win!! Thats my story and I'm sticking to it!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
A few weeks ago I got word back to say that one of my girl's poem had been chosen for inclusion in the book and we were invited to its launch. It was so long ago I couldn't remember the poem, but we were all thrilled.
She could choose two friends to go with her, so off we set yesterday to the Education Centre. It was a gloriously sunny day, so us four girlies (yes I include myself in that) donned sunglasses, put the roof down on the car and set off! I was quite jealous that she was a published author already while I have nothing in print yet!
The centre was thronged and we had trouble getting a seat. Not our week for attending events! The adjudicator/poet took each child up, read a bit of their poem and made nice comments about it. When she began to quote from E's poem I could feel the blood draining from my face! It sounded soooooo different when an adult was reading it. I looked around to see what reaction the rest of the audience was having
Please let me be the only one with a dirty mind!
So this poem is now published under our school's name. It is a beautiful poem. It is written by an innocent child. If you get any other meaning from it, then it is just your dirty mind!!!
Ode to a rubber.
for rubbing you so hard
On my page
it's just when I make a mistake
I get so enraged
I promise I'll be nice to you
all the time.
I hope you're not mad at me
I will now rub you gently.
All I can say is, we will use the term "eraser" next year!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
A family friend gave us the run of their holiday house. When I saw it I fell in love with it. I wish my fulltime house was like this, never mind my holiday one
Thursday, June 10, 2010
"Hello, we are from Baconstown school"
He looked at the list, and like Santa , he checked it twice! Nope we weren't there.
Noooo..it can't be a repeat of the Strictly Come Dancing disaster. I know it was today, as a lady actually rang us back to ask us if we could come on the afternoon of the 9th, instead of the morning. I have the right day, I know I have!
He searched again and again. I could see the sweat beginning to come out on his fervored brow. A teacher from another school came up, and encountered the same problem. It seems that "Sharon" had been in charge of the bookings but had left two weeks ago. Somehow our names had been lost in the transfer and now there where a total of 80 kids without seats. Our buses wouldn't be back for three hours....so sort us out Sonny.
After a delay of 45 mins the best they could do was give us fifteen seats each. The others could watch it via a live link in another room. It was better than nothing, just about. We put the names into a hat and I gave out the Golden tickets.
That left myself and Ms Student teacher with 30 kids who had nothing to do for three hours!. We went to the room with the live-link, but the tv was the size of an envelope. They couldn't see it or hear it, so we came out.
I managed to wrangle a free drink and small can of Pringles for everyone. And we waited......
When some of the kids got so bored they asked could they do some of their project (they had their schoolbags) I decided it was time for action.
How on earth could you do school work on a day trip????
I asked them for suggestions as to what they could do.
One redeeming fact was that the theatre is on a university campus. So it was pretty enclosed with no through traffic. A teacher's main concern is health and safety.
M thought and suggested
"Well if we had a sliotar, we could play hurling"
"What else could we use?"
When I saw them tearing after a Pringles can with hurley sticks, I thought.
An adult says " We don't have a hurling ball so we can't play hurling."
A child says " We don't have a hurling ball...so let's use a can of Pringles."
Luckily I got talking to a worker who told me there was a park and a playground just down the lane and around the corner. HAPPY DAYS. I wasn't sure how my 12 years olds would take to good old fashioned swings and slides. These were the kids who had wanted to bring their Wiis with them..
"What do you need them for?"
"What else will we do on the bus?"
"Eh, talk to each other or sing songs....."
Off we set for the playground. The kids took off once we reached the gates and proceeded to have the best hour and a half of the school year. I taught them every ancient playground game I could remember......Queenie-I-O; Hopscotch; Statues. We had relay games up and down the climbing frame, which I won. Well I did give myself a head start. It's a teacher's prerogative to cheat!
Several hours later we were on the bus home. I don't think I've ever been so exhausted. A mixture of physical exhaustion after the playground and mental stress after trying to keep 30 kids safe and entertained for so long. Kids were on high doh.
"Miss, that was brill. Can we do that again for our tour next week?"
Over my dead body!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Last week my class were performing in Baconsvision. It is our version of Eurovision. The kids can take the air of any song that they know, but they have to change the lyrics completely. This year some of them would have given the real Eurovision entrants a run for their money. Anyway, when Ms Student Teacher came into the hall with her class, my whole class of 12 year old boys hit puberty at the same time. They started nudging each other and giggling. My boys were giggling!
Get your hormones back in your pockets!
Today I had to have a chat with them.
"Boys, I have heard that some of you were wolf-whistling at the new teacher".
A few of them looked a bit sheepish...or rather they looked like little wolves in sheep's clothing.
"If you are not going to whistle at me, then you are not allowed whistle at anyone else!"
J looked at me and said
"In that case we won't be wolf-whistling again."
Success, but at a cost...my self esteem!