Christmas Greetings: 2010 the McDermott year

So our country is in a mess, because bankers got greedy, aided and abetted by incompetent politicians. Building speculators created land values that were simply obscene, and we the tax payers will foot the bill. In the words of comrade Lenin, “we need a few [show] trials” but will we get even one person in front of a judge? It remains to be seen.

The McDermott’s are surviving the worst that fate can throw at them!!! Joe is retired now for 3 years and developing other ideas. Included is some part time work for The Retirement Planning Council of Ireland. His other activities include preparing digital heritage guides, “apps” for smart phones, a departure from writing guide books, yet he continues to prepare a new guide, one that will describe an ancient Celtic route from the high king’s seat in mid Connacht to Croagh Patrick. Hiking n biking are still his favourite activities. And he looks forward to each year’s Sierra trip. An old Sierra colleague, Paddy Colgan passed away this year, Pauline and Joe had visited him just last year, at La Honda CA.

Pauline has just retired and is taking a break. She will be missed as an innovator in Mayo Community Education circles. Now for that fiddle and accordion!!! Thanks to our new cycle track, The Great Western Greenway, she too is back on the bike. Lots of reading, philosophy and new thinking are on her present menu. She recently gave the Sunday address to our Unitarian Church; in fact the McDermott’s conducted the entire service, except for the choir.

Alastair continues to work alone, as with all businesses times are tough, but if he makes it through this recession, well who knows how successful things will be. Rugby and cycling are high on his agenda, still playing social rugby, giving and taking hits!!!

Sinead just finished her Master’s Degree in Community Education. However for some time she has been planning to pursue her interests in complementary healing, counselling and all that goes with that life style. By all accounts she is gifted, and is developing a client base that includes many professionals, medical and otherwise. Spiritwise is the name of her project.

The last year has seen us develop the house; making many changes to layout etc. this is nearly at an end now. Pauline and Joe visited Crete this past summer, with Pauline’s Greek and Roman studies all those years ago at University; it was so much more interesting. Finally we went to Massachusetts in The Fall. This was a great trip, visiting Boston and the early Unitarian Churches there, talking about people like Ralph Waldo Emerson, the Alcott’s, Hawthorne, and Thoreau. Walking around Walden Pond, reflecting on the ideas of Thoreau was a truly good experience. We were stood on the Bridge at Concorde and Lexington Common too, where the first shots of the American Revolution were fired.

So despite our countries plight at the hands of our incompetents, we had a good 2010. We wish next year to be as good for us and for all our friends and acquaintances.

Slan is Beannacht [good health and blessings be upon you]


About the Author:

Joe is an author, poet, historian, and guided walks consultant. He lives in Newport, Co. Mayo. Scriptwriter and presenter of “Old Port to Newport”, Joe McDermott is the author of a number of fiction and non-fiction books including Sheegorey (historical fiction), the History of St. Mary’s Hospital, Castlebar, as well as hiking guide books such as The Western Way, The Bangor Trail, and The Foxford Way.