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Riversdale House: 18 June 1952

Monday, 18 June, 2018

On this day in 1952, Michael Fitzgerald and Catherine O’Donnell were married in the village of Lisvernane, County Tipperary. The ceremony was followed by a meal at the famed Riversdale House in the Glen of Aherlow in County Tipperary. Built by the Massy family in the early 19th century, Riversdale House was bought from the Massy Dawsons by John Noonan in 1922, who ran it as a hotel.

Riversdale House

Transport for the bride and her family was via a Ford V8 driven by Jack Fraser, grocer/publican/undertaker. Cars were scarce in the Ireland of the early 1950s so some of the guests cycled. The wedding cake was prepared by the bride, baked by Mrs Ryan-Russell, who had a Stanley Range cooker, and the icing was added by the confectionery specialists of Kiely’s Bread Company in Tipperary town. The sun shone and the couple went on to spend 59 years together, during which time they earned love and respect from those who loved and respected them.

Mammy and Daddy

Scaffolding is one of the first poems Seamus Heaney wrote. It’s a metaphor about marriage and the measures needed to keep it firm in the face of the shocks. Walls of “sure and solid stone” will be strong enough to stand on their own, says Heaney. “Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall / Confident that we have built our wall.”

Scaffolding

Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

Seamus Heaney (1939 — 2013)


Tweet of the World Cup… so far

Sunday, 17 June, 2018

And the award goes to football commentator @MatthewStanger for this gem about that remarkable 1-1 draw between Argentina and Iceland yesterday:

Iceland


The look: When you score a hat trick against Spain

Saturday, 16 June, 2018

“Vamos família!” is what @Cristiano tweeted following his extraordinary hat-trick performance against Spain in last night’s World Cup thriller in Sochi.

CR7


The philosophy of John Anthony

Friday, 15 June, 2018

“Any day you can get up, dress yourself and remember your name is a good day.” — John Anthony

John Anthony


World-class World Cup trolling by @qatar

Thursday, 14 June, 2018

Background: Saudi Arabia claims Qatar is a sponsor of extremist political movements in the Middle East, including Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Qatar denies the charges and accuses the Saudis of attempting to curtail its sovereignty. It’s a nasty feud and the pot is simmering, as they say.

Today’s World Cup opener between Russia and Saudi Arabia offered Qatar Airways a golden opportunity to indulge in some world-class trolling of the neighbors and the state-owned carrier didn’t miss the open goal in Moscow.

World Cup


History: The Singapore Summit

Tuesday, 12 June, 2018

The foreign policy elites have hated Donald Trump ever since he announced his candidacy for the White House. And that simmering hatred reached boiling point at the weekend when the US President slapped down the Canadian boy-band frontman Justin Trudeau at the G7 Summit in Quebec. But as Michael Mandelbaum documented in Mission Failure, the same elites that adore Trudeau and despise Trump have failed totally since the end of the Cold War in their efforts to prevent North Korea and Iran from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

Irony of history: What neither Clinton, nor Bush nor Obama could do, Trump can do and that’s why the potential success of the Singapore Summit is especially feared by those who should welcome it. Their Juju is in danger of being exposed for what it is.

The Singapore Summit


Into the Mystic

Monday, 11 June, 2018

“Hark, now hear the sailors cry,
Smell the sea, and feel the sky,
Let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic.”

— Van Morrison, Into the Mystic

The team behind BBC Earth, which produced Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II, offers this 10-hour video of calming oceanscapes with swim-on roles for singing whales, swarming fish, circling sharks, vibrating jellyfish and diving rays. Ten hours!


The Galtees and the Irish apostrophe

Sunday, 10 June, 2018

Today’s climb of the Galtees, the Munster mountain range that encompasses Tipperary and Limerick, is in aid of the Mercy University Hospital Foundation, which does good work for the people of Cork and neighbouring places.

The Galtees

Punctuation note: When referring to the Galtees, there is no need for an apostrophe. In Ireland, though, the fact that the apostrophe is seldom used to form a plural noun in English, is ignored, generally, and the general punctuation rule that the possessive of a singular noun is formed by adding an apostrophe and s, whether the singular noun ends in s or not, is applied arbitrarily.


Cooper: Trustworthy laptop security system

Saturday, 9 June, 2018

The Cooper 1.0 will always bark at intruders or when it sees a potential threat to your laptop. While some Cooper versions may be welcoming to strangers, it has high territorial instincts and is very protective of family members and their digital devices.

Cooper


Spade & Bourdain: Humans are complex

Friday, 8 June, 2018

Earlier this week, the fashion designer Kate Spade hanged herself in New York. This morning, we learned that the celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain had killed himself earlier today in France. Each expressed creativity and ingenuity during their lifetimes and both enriched the lives of others during their time among us. May they Rest in Peace.

Every human life is unique and every death, especially death by suicide, is different. We are complex creatures. Bye, Kate. Bye, Anthony.

Farewell