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Category Archives: Travel

Routine; Hedge; Paradigm; Gatwick

Thursday 30 May 2013.

Up c 05.30. Performed my usual routine making my bed, breakfast. Showered but did no exercises. I have been dilatory about my morning stretches now for over a week? Unusual breakfast of a sandwich made of 2 sliced tomatoes and the ends of some mature cheddar blocks + tea. Eamonn delayed his departure from Jenkinstown so as to reach Park Street around 09.00 so that he could shop for paint, tape; for the exhibition he is creating in DkIT. The exhibition opens on Wednesday and later on tonight when I met him in McGeough’s pub he invited me to attend the opening. “If you like?” Bought a pack of 4 butter croissants in Tesco this morning, milk, a sliced pan. Ate 3 generous croissants with coffee for lunch. Rang Óg at 10.30. He goes into the Bon Secours again this evening. “A few days,” he said. “A week,” Lisa mentioned later on in the day when she replied to my text of the other day suggesting a visit here from Gavin. She wants Óg to come down here with Gavin later on because she thinks Gavin would not come on his own. Anyway Óg sounded in good form on the phone. Played 6 with Alan Ratcliff starting at 11.00 in a strong N breeze beneath blue skies. Alan; 7, 8, 9, 10, 8, 7: 49. Me; 5, 5, 4, 8, 9, 4: 35. I left my Nike white golf cap draped over the umbrella in my golf bag so as to let the sun play on the skin of my bald head. “You could get sun-stroke that day?” I remarked to Alan as we walked through the hedge departing to the car park from the 18th green. “The medication I am on leaves me prone to that,” I informed him. That led to a discussion over coffee of drug treatment, the medicalisation of mental illness, cancer, old age. “You are ill; take a pill and you will be healed.” I conveyed as eloquently as I could to Alan my paranoid outlook that that paradigm which underlies all of modern medicine owes more to superstition than science. I was riding my favourite hobby horse. Somehow I think Alan shares my point of view. “I must be made of steel to have lasted so long!” I asserted paradoxically about my medication. Alan has his own problems with steroid medication for rheumatism which he has been taking for years. Alan travels to Gatwick on Monday for a scan on Wednesday in connection with his aneurism. Alan paid for coffee. It was my turn but I was tardy over changing my shoes in the locker room. Took a siesta 14.30 à 18.30. Chicken, gravy, roasted vegetables, 2 smallish boiled potatoes; cold. Lit the fire in the living room. Took a call from Dorie about the old snooker table and about Seán Óg. I took a call on my mobile from Dessie when I was having coffee in the club today in the early afternoon. Reply to my text re IMPERO meeting on 15 June. I paid €2.60 for a small bottle of coke in McGeough’s tonight when I went in to collect Eamonn. He refused my offer of a pint. “I would not be ready for work in the morning if I drank another,” he lamented. We did not reach Jenkinstown until a little after 23.00. “I am tired and I do not want to talk or anything,” Eamonn said addressing his mother when he carried his dinner in to The White Elephant Lounge. I kept my distance sitting in the corner by the fire in the living room. I wrote longhand my notes for today’s journal and yesterday’s before I retired to bed around mid-night, after the others.

Renew: The Last Lap

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Wednesday 20 March 2013.

Left Eamonn in to DkIT in the morning. Got to Dundalk Shopping Centre just in time to pass a motion. 10% haircut proposed on all deposits in Cyprus. Read some of No Bother. Took an early siesta after I came home from town. Picked Eamonn up from DkIT at 17.00 and returned after 19.00 to 19 Cherryvale to pick up Michael Farrelly for the last session of Renew for this Lent. Fr. Larkin, Dessie there as well. Catrióna Hughes and Catrióna Treanor ensconced in the vestibule when Michael and I entered the church. They were “teaching” a gaggle of subdued teenagers. Easter ceremonies? Paddy O’Toole turned up soon after Renew ended. To lock up and to “do a few things.” At the end of Renew I passed around cans of Coke Zero and took 3 or 4 snaps with my Canon. All participants in good mood. Everything went well. “A good team?” I remarked and Fr. Larkin commented, “ Well balanced!” He adverted to the fact that we had no women on the team. Eamonn went early to bed. I am not sure but I may have celebrated with a glass of wine. We sang, “Ceád Míle Fáilte Romhat, a Íosa,” at Renew tonight after the reflection. Micheal did the prayers, Dessie the lessons and the psalm from his missal. Fr. Larkin read the gospel and the “final thought.” I read the reflection. The gospel was the “triumphal entry into Jerusalem.” “A humble man riding a colt down the hill,” I pointed out before the hymn.

EPF eHealth Seminar; Hotel Bloom, Brussels, 23 January 2013

The European Patients’ Forum seminar was subtitled “The way towards large-scale deployment of eHealth: where do patients stand?”  The final speaker at the forum who presented on the topic “Setting up a multi-stakeholder platform on eHealth” was Elena Bonfiglioli of Microsoft.  She is pictured below with Seán Crudden, secretary, Irish Mental Patients’ Educational and Representative Organisation (IMPERO).  The final session was chaired by Nicola Bedlington, Director, EPF.

Elena & Sean

Clinic; Creative Writing; Renew

Wednesday 12 December 2012.

Up soon after 07.00. Dropped Eamonn outside the restaurant in DkIT c 08.50. Piddled in Saint Oliver’s and then got in to the clinic, my second attempt. Collette opened the locked door. A tall statuesque dark student nurse emerged from within after a while and told me that Pakie would not be in until 09.45 and apologised. So I went back to Saint Oliver Plunkett’s Hospital and gave Mary Mag a small box of Cadbury’s Roses. Less coherent than usual she was happy enough. Her bed was neat and the nurses were coming in with porridge when I left. Mickey Lane blew me when I was walking in to the Clinic. 25 mg of Risperdal Consta in the left “side.” Pakie told me the joke about the woman with a duck under her arm. “What do you think of my pig?” I told him my story of Billy Hulme and the wife. Good humour all round. Pakie had slept it! Drove home and rang Jo Malone and John Finnegan. Could not “get” Eva. Kevin McGeough bought me tea and toast in Glenda’s. We talked about singing and the usual things. His sister, Sheila, in the final stages of illness at home from hospital at her request. €1 for 3 apples. “Have you nothing smaller?” Glenda. “I am looking for change,” I said handing her a €20 note and showing her my empty purse. €10 note + 4x€2 coins + €1 coin. Used the €1 coin to park in DkIT straddling a line between 2 cars alongside a shed in the car-park beside Carroll’s building. Took a few snaps outside before and 1 of Ferdia Mac Anna after the creative writing class. Enquired at reception about the protocol for taking photos. I wrote a brief story about my handball match in 1961 with Pat Kiernan. A little precipitation. Fried cold small microwaved potatoes and a piece of Salmon Wellington on the Tefal pan in butter; reheated carrots parsnips peas by microwave in the “circus” bowl; heated the coagulated gravy in the roasting dish on a ring of the cooker; put a few slices of cold silverside on my plate; laid out the salt and tomato sauce. A tasty repast. Washed it all down with a nice glass of McGuigan red. Rosanna golfed 12 holes with Pat Cluskey. Alan Ratcliff rang on my mobile when I was sitting at the window in the meeting room of Our Lady of The Wayside Church c 19.35 when I was waiting for Renew to start at 20.00 and warming the room up. Briege who has had teeth pulled unwell due partly at least to Wafarin in her system. So no Alan and no kettle! When Dessie turned up I drove home in the rain and took the kettle out of an empty house. Rosanna gone in to DkIT to collect Eamonn? Fr. Paddy Larkin, John “Feather” Finnegan, Jo Malone; also turned up. John, Dessie and I stayed on afterwards for tea in disposable cups that I had supplied along with 0.5l of cow’s milk. Nice, I thought, with Dessie’s Ginger Nut biscuits. Feather showed an interested Fr. Larkin Michael O’Hanlon’s history of Cooley while I was boiling the kettle. But Fr. Larkin left before we drank tea. Jo had already departed. Ate some cold chicken curry at home and searched the archive on indymedia.ie and Sean’s Space on the subject of love, for my “homework.” After supper washed teeth and got to bed around 23.10. Rang Áine this morning outside the clinic. She returned my call in the evening and I waxed on about Mental Health: Peers in Progress.

Trimmed: Snickers: Ash Bucket: Deadline

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Wednesday 28 November 2012.

Exercised, showered, trimmed my neck and upper lip. Attended Ferdia MacAnna’s class at 12.30. Not the boardroom this time. His office a long narrow rectangular room. A guy beside me wrote nothing. He was “thinking.” Seán Wiseman. I made a big impression with my description of M I O’Flynn. “I never heard anything like that before,” Ferdia remarked. But I think it was my voice rather than my writing. Bought milk and apples in Lidl. Filled my white Toyota iQ with computer, camera, scissors, ash bucket, brush, shovel, poker, tongs, towel, handwash cream, a drinking glass, James Kilbane CD. Bought briquettes and a Snickers Duo in the shop. Decided not to light the fire. Put on the central heating in the old schoolhouse, lit all the lights, hung about for nearly 2 hours listening to the CD on the computer which displayed a photo of last Advent’s Renew Group in Patsy Treanor’s. Scoffed both parts of the Snickers Duo. My stomach a little acid, the effect of eating a lot of bread today. But the Snickers cured that. Eventually Dessie rolled up around 19.40, Alan Ratcliff around 19.45 and in quick succession near the deadline of 20.00 Fr. Paddy Larkin, Breege and Patsy Treanor, Brian Glynn . John Finnegan came in a little late and I vacated my chair to let him sit down and went and got another chair for myself from the store on the way in to the kitchen. I had set out 7 chairs around the brown bull on which I cast the envelope containing the booklets and the brown case containing my glasses. Anyway I am not going to give a blow by blow account but the session went well, I thought, including an alternative gospel from Dessie which he had downloaded from the Catholic Priests’ Association site. I finished up the session singing a verse and chorus of “O, Little Town of Bethlehem,” and then “Ubi Caritas” x 2. Rosanna home from golf in tolerant mood when I reached my own fireside. The radiators made little impression on the cold. 2 of them not functioning. Posted grant application in Jenkinstown on my way in to DkIT and also the reply card to Claire’s invitation.

Apricot; Armed; Dividend; Motto

Tuesday 30 October 2012.

Up 09.00 +. 2 different kinds of brown bread + butter with marmalade and also apricot jam (the last of it) for breakfast; with a mug of tea. Brushed teeth: made bed: dressed in black “legal” slacks freshly laundered, black FootJoy socks, patent black Clarks, vest, Corrupt T-shirt, Everlast fleece. No exercise: washed but no shower. Paid 40c to park in Crowe Street. Armed soldiers guarding Ulster Bank in Clanbrassil Street. I could not get in. Bypass blocked. Drove by St. Alphonsus Road to the Retail Park. Hedge in Oaklawns did not need to be trimmed. Bought size 12 soccer boots in Elvery’s. Green with blue and red trim. ~ €13. Parked in Long Walk Shopping Centre. Walked to Ulster Bank. Placed in box a fast lodgement envelope containing 2 small Fyffes’ dividend cheques. Shopped in Lidl. Bread, milk, frikadellen, bananas, apples, tea. On my way from UB to LWSC car-park I had purchased 2 haddock fillets in Johnnie Morgan’s. 2 x 1.50 = €2.50. Chuffed. Rashers, 2 boneless pork chops, 1 ½ microwaved Roosters peeled + butter, an apple; for lunch. Brought in bin. Brought in coal. The Wolfgang Holzmair CD’s came in the post (x4). Listened to Die Schone Mullerin. Drank a mug of tea and ate a Tuscan roll in the afternoon with butter and mature white cheddar. Later fried 2 fillets of haddock and 2 longitudinally halved cold microwaved Roosters; the fish on the big pan in margarine, the potatoes in the small pan in butter. Ate all with salt and lemon juice; drank a generous glass of vin de pays, white wine, the last remnant from the bottle in the fridge. Cleaned up the kitchen and washed up. The first item I dried, the wine glass, crashed in smithereens on the flags of the kitchen floor when I was attempting to put it in the lower shelf of the press. Checked e-mail, stumbled, etc., on the Dell in the sitting room. Deposited €100 in the Cooley Environmental and Health Group account in the PO in Jenkinstown this morning on my way in to town. Conversation in the shop with John Finnegan who told me that the mega storm had already claimed 17 lives in New Jersey and thereabouts. New York affected too. 23.55. Going to eat weetabix, sliced banana, milk: wash 5 ½ remaining teeth: retire. Rosanna who lay on the couch in the White Elephant Lounge for a few hours under a blanket opposite the fire roused herself around 23.00 and went to bed. “To what extent?” was my motto this morning, “Am I going to be annoyed today?” Ironed 1 pair of fawn Robbie cotton stretch trousers, 1 blue Pierre Cardin cotton shirt with thin red stripe, 1 burgundy and navy striped 100% cotton Melka shirt; in the early evening after dark. Rosanna sewed on 2 buttons on my Robbie trousers and another on a pair of black Bruhl slacks; for me.

Irish Seniors’ Amateur Open Championship 2012; Clostohen

Thursday 31 May 2012.

Woke with a start at 07.00 almost too late for my 07.50 tee time. Rushed but returned from my car when I found no blue bag in the boot and packed the bag with a change of clothes. I wasted no time and got to Athenry golf club on the stroke of 07.20 in plenty of time. Incessant rain throughout the round. I wore my European Tour jacket of the wet suit I bought off Pat Hoey years ago over my white Ralph Lauren semi-polo white golf shirt with long sleeves. Black 42” slacks with turnups, fawn Ralph Lauren golf socks, tan and white Icon shoes, white Nike golf cap, glasses. The rain was of the soft variety and falling straight down with very little breeze and although I was wet to the arse all the way round I did not feel cold and I struck the ball brilliantly on many shots, with irons, 3-metal, rescue club and last but not least, the Mizuno driver. However my putter let me down. I used the BullsEye putter today instead of the “Richie Blackmore” mallet headed putter I used yesterday. Same difference. I was extremely thankful for a pair of all-weather gloves I bought off Robert Giles months ago. “Keep them in your bag. You would never know when they might come in useful,” he advised then. The first time I ever used them. I was also thankful for my brown braces especially when I saw my saturated playing partner Raymond Smith trying dolefully to hitch up his slacks in the trees by the 18th tee. Towards the end of the round he could not cope with the conditions and registered an NR. I signed for 92. Raymond had allowed my card to disintegrate in the wet but the teller cheerfully filled my score into a fresh dry card in the scorer’s office. I had kept note of the scores on an old Craddockstown card I found in my bag at the start. I struck a fine drive on 16 and a brilliant quiet 3-metal to within yards of the green. However chipped and 3-putted for a 6. The story of my life. I hit a brilliant 6-iron slightly short onto the right of the 17th, par 3, and 3 putted. Knocked down my second shot with the rescue club on 18, my only miscue of the day. Recovered with a high 6-iron dead straight over the flag at the back of the green. My shortish downhiller wandered to the right but I converted for a 5. Mission accomplished. Stripped in the locker room, took a hot shower in the cubicle Raymond had occupied before me, put on my blue Pierre Cardin shirt, clean underpants and socks, grey Robbie slacks, brown two-tone zipped soft boots. Felt I was playing well all along and when I was worried I generally hit a good shot. The lesson Robert Giles gave me a week or two ago pointed me in the right direction. I drank solo a pint of iced water in the bar and a mug of coffee (€1.50). Chat with Tom Tyrrell and his wife Mary. They were passing me in the bar on their way out to the course. Tom seemed in very happy mood despite the weather and I complimented him on how well he looked. Checked my score on the board 90 + 92 = 184. At that stage my total was the worst in the clubhouse. However there were 7 or 8 “Withdrawn” and “No Return.” It turned out that mine was the worst overall score in the end bar 1. But there were 11 competitors who did not complete the 2 qualifying rounds. In the end Seamus McParland finished second last of the qualifiers. Garth McGimpsey was 6th. Adrian Morrow won. The 2 Rossmore men acquitted themselves well and Tom Tyrrell had 3 good rounds. Frank helped me to put my clubs in the basement room to dry, I hung drapery around my room, spread my green bath towel on a bar in the bathroom; took my Canon, Powakaddy umbrella, white FootJoy golf jacket and set out towards Loughrea to find Tom Daly’s grave in Clostohen. The sat nav was not much help to me getting there. Found the grave exactly where the undertaker had helpfully explained to me it was when I phoned earlier. Took a few snaps with the Canon from underneath the umbrella in the drizzle. Struggled a little because the camera was on a delayed release setting and I had to correct that. The sat nav got me back to Raheen Woods Hotel without any delay. I had spoken to a couple sitting at table in a house opposite a graveyard and church I encountered a few kilometres before I reached Clostohen. They were friendly, gracious, took pains to explain the way to Clostohen. Satiated myself on chowder, pasta carboneri, a pot of tea. Ate so much I was uncomfortable the rest of the evening. Exchanged texts with Rosanna who plays with Emily in Greenore tomorrow evening against Banbridge in The Miele Cup. Sent a text to Dessie who rang tomorrow evening. Met Bryan Malone in the bar again this evening. He had come down from his room for a glass of ice and not long in was still wearing the (wet) clothes he had been playing in. Like me he was cheerful although his score was high. Exercised, with difficulty and a full stomach, took a shower, retired to bed; not long after 22.00. Raymond and I were the first out this morning. I told the personable young pro before setting out on the course this morning that the shower was cold yesterday. I thanked him afterwards. “Was the shower ok?” he asked. “It was red hot,” I replied gratefully.

Re-building ENUSP: Strengthening the network of users and survivors of psychiatry across Europe. Budapest 20 – 23 January 2012.

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Pension; Strawberry Jam; Pyjamas; Plied

Monday 5 December 2011.

Robert Giles told me yesterday morning that Rory McIlroy holed a bunker shot at the last for birdie to win the Hong Kong Open by 2 from his playing partner who parred the last. Last night I opened the PGA site just in time to see Tiger record 2 birdies on the last 2 holes in The Chevron World Challenge for a 1 shot victory over his playing partner Zach Johnston who parred the final 2. Got 25 mg Risperdal Consta injection in the right “side” from Áine who told me she is to retire soon. Her wages reduced by €150 p.w. in the recent cuts. If she retires now her pension will be calculated on the basis of her 2009 salary. A little snow and ice on my windscreen at the front of the house a.m. Icy roads and car parks. Drove from The Louth to GreenLife driving range. “They will be here at 10.00,” the accountant opening the front door from the outside told me. Paid €4 for a scone with butter and strawberry jam and a pot of coffee which I relished in The Fairways while I was waiting. Returned to GreenLife and struck 50 balls (€4) mostly with the 3 metal; some with the 8-iron. Bought milk in Tesco. Chat with Marie Duffy in the car-park of Dundalk Shopping Centre before I went in. Spotted her father Paul making his way out of the shopping centre. Bought a pair of pyjamas for Eamonn. Tom Brennan called me over and said he read in the paper that I was doing something “on the internet.” He does not own a computer and declared he does not know anything about them. Called in to Sinn Féin. Jane took down the details about the winter workshop. Mahla has left Jane told me. Davina in SOSAD across the street resolved my difficulty about Gareth Phelan’s number. Walked to Leavy’s with my glasses. Piddled in the bar beside Ulster Bank on the way. Refurbishment of The Square in the final stages. Got my white Toyota iQ 2010 washed out the Lisdoo road. €6. Met Brian McSloy twice earlier on Clanbrassil Street. Sporting a neat Trilby shaded red he asked with a touch of mockery in his voice, “Are you just walking about for exercise?” “No,” I replied, “I’m busy. I’m doing things!” Returned from Lisdoo and parked at Bank of Ireland, Clanbrassil Street. Collected my glasses from Leavy’s. €4. Piddled in McKeown’s across the street. Did a U-turn and drove home in the cold sunlight. Had parked first opposite The Adelphi and then at BOI using the same ticket. €0.80 total. Concession. On-street parking half price for Christmas shopping season. Tea, Vienna bread, butter, honey: for lunch. Rosanna gone in to turn the heat on in No. 13 Oaklawns. She took the pyjamas in for Eamonn. I took a siesta. Denise Belton rang this morning, Rosanna said, to confirm that the grant for the winter workshop had been approved. Fried potato, boiled bacon cold, cold roast chicken, brown sauce, a little salad; when I got up. Followed that with some baked beans from a bowl which had languished in the microwave for a few days; a glass of milk and a banana. Journalled. E-mailed Gareth Phelan. I discovered a day or two later that the e-mail “bounced.” Gabriela Tanasan invited me to Budapest 20 – 23 January. Rosanna assembled a new 6’ Christmas tree she bought for €50, half-price, in Tesco. I left out both bins in my pyjamas, slippers, black robe, navy Rival monkey cap. Rosanna plied me with a glass of Pinot Grigio. She went to bed before 23.00. I stayed up to scribble these notes (23.00). Brushed my dentures and 5 ½ remaining teeth in the late evening. Never even washed my face today. Muesli, milk, sliced banana; for breakfast. Weetabix, milk, sliced banana; for supper. Peeled and ate 2 Mandarin oranges after lunch before my siesta. Noticed the gap in Michael Farrelly’s bottom teeth the same as me when he was walking in around the front corner of The Louth as I was driving out this morning. Michael and I have age and medical history in common too? Gum sore in the gap front bottom. 13.07 on Áine’s scales in my shirt sleeves this morning. Wore red gansy, brown Robbie woollen small-check slacks, black FootJoy socks, tan 2-tone zipped leather boots, grey Lacrosse zipped jacket, glasses, green Greenore “woollen” cap, cream shirt, no tie, vest, T-shirt, white boxers.

Lordship Parish Christmas Party Sunday 27 November 2011

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