Thursday, December 31, 2009

Festival of Light, Let it Shine!

New Years Eve, temperatures plummeting, the fire flickers in the grate and a full moon outside about to be eclipsed, partially.A decade is dying and 2010 is upon us, a futuristic date for the present, how lucky are we? (Wasn't Sharon Doherty in Beverly Hills 2010? hee hee) Anyway, a happy, healthy, peaceful New Year to one and all, I raise my glass to each and every one of ye. Pip pip!

Talking of which [the pip pip bit, I mean] my maternal grandfather, Frank, wilder than a bush and as kind as you could meet, used to say, Pip, pip! and also, ' We'll rise again' (him being an old soldier from Sligo) every time he raised a glass, and he raised one often.

He fought as a teenager in the first world war and The Battle of The Somme as an Irish guard, ate dog in the trenches, saw many horrors and survived (physically) without a scratch, apart from one-eared deafness from a shell burst.He came home and fought for Ireland in the war of Independence against the very people he had fought with in the trenches, again without a scratch. Then he fought for De Valera in the Irish Civil War against the very people he had fought with in The War Of Independence, against even his very own brother.He was shot twice, one bullet in each leg.

By the age of 21 he had fought in three wars, been an athlete, won a gold medal in the Olympic trials for the triple jump[alledgedly], played soccer for St.Mary's, Sligo and had his left leg amputated, married his nurse, was destined to spend the rest of his young life drunk on crutches an athlete no more, his later life drunk in a wheelchair, and eventually to die a sane man in the horrors of St. Colman's lunatic asylum in Mullingar. He outlived the wars but the wars outlived him.

To him and all those gone before me I raise a glass tonight and light a candle tomorrow. Pip pip!

Here's a list of other people lighting candles.
Hilary Wakeman
The Watercats
Granny Sue
Dominic Rivron
Susan at Stony River
Susan Sonnen
Sandra Leigh
Jayne Harnett Hargrove
NanU, Moira , ArtSparker ,Mrs Niamh ,Femminismo ,Junk Thief, Rachel Fox , Poetikat Phoenix C and Jeanne have written posts ...




Mrs Niamh


Junk Thief

Rachel Fox



Phoenix C



Elisabeth said...

My candle is ablaze now on the other side of the world, half way into New Years day.

Your maternal grandfather's sad story is harrowing, so much potential lost through war. And all we can do is remember.

I will include my list of those I want to remember soon, but for now I must rise to the day and get out of my dressing gown.

I must not spend my life blogging. this is not a resolution, just a statement of fact.

Enjoy your new year's eve.

ArtSparker said...

Wars are made by old men to sacrifice young men, or so it seems to me.

Sandra Leigh said...

I think I'm late for the party, but I've lit a candle. Best wishes for a happy new year, TFE.

NanU said...

There you go:

Glass is full of champagne with a touch of my own crème de cassis. Candle on the table. Lunch preparations in the kitchen. Cats all on the bed.

Happy 2010!

Niamh B said...

pip pip TFE, thanks for sharing these all intriguing histories.

Tess Kincaid said...

Warm, woolly wishes for a wonderful 2010, Eej! Lovely tribute to your grandfather.

Heather said...

Oh TFE, what troubles your grandad had to overcome, and some of them were probably caused by my own countrymen. He must have been a very strong character to have endured all that. I will post my lit candle this evening.

Karen said...

Kat Mortensen said...

I lit mine 20 minutes ago, Peadar and I've penned an ode in honour.

This was a grand tribute to your grandfather. What a history! You Irish have so many great tales to tell. What have I got over here? Nothing to compare, but in a small way, I have some stories.

Ah, the drink has been the death of many a man, eh? The wars you can conquer, the bars are another story.

Happy New Year to you, Peadar. May 2010 be the best for you in terms of your creativity and satisfaction in all you do.
Best to your wife and your family,


Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

A great idea, and I just did my ceremony and posted it after learning about your suggestion from Susan at Artspark Theater.

Rachel Fox said...

Look into the light.
Happy New Year.

Karen said...

My candle shines upon the barest branch for all of those sweet and shining souls we remember.

Phoenix C. said...

Technically it's now the 2nd of January, but it's still New Year's Day to me - and I've just published my Light post!! (I confess I was still asleep at noon ...)

It's been a priviledge to read your posts about your family, thanks for sharing.

May 2010 be a wonderful year for you, and I look forward to your further posts!

Dr. Jeanne Iris said...

My dear TFE, such a sad story about your many wars! He must have been one major DUDE though because you're here.

I lit my candle, but for some reason, could not post a 'new post' today on my blog. My dedication included my dear parents, Stephen and Pearl, my Grannie Annie, my pastor's mother who died just 2 days before Christmas, and the thousands of soldiers and civilians who have lost their lives since 9/11.

May this new year bring you much health and happiness! xoxo

The Weaver of Grass said...

Loved that story TFE - it was as good a tale as I have ever heard showing up the sheer futility of war. I didn't catch this post in time for New Year's Eve but had I done so I would have lit my candle for a dear friend who died in February - these deaths leave gaps in our lives.
Incidentally - I am old enough to remember Devalera - used to hear my Dad talking about him when I was a nipper. These figures loom large in our memories, don't they. Have wonderful 2010

The Weaver of Grass said...

PS Have just read Art Sparker's comment. I read somewhere about two things which would improve the world.
One was if as dignitaries rose up in the hierarchy of the church they were paid less with each rise.
The other was that as it was usually old men who started wars it should be old men who fought them - they would be much more expendable.
Can't help feeling both ideas are good.

Batteson.Ind said...

things ended up getting a bit mad over here so haven't got round to lighting a candle yet.. we ended up having a new years ring in listening to a solitary, slow fiddle playing auldlangsyne.. the room silent, listening in a moment of deep thought stuff (will be posting about it soon). have been reading through your posts and am raising a glass to all your old souls... you've given them all a fine tribute, CHEERS!

Kevo said...

I only recently came across your blog and saw your post about your grandfather - my candle will only be a metaphysical one but I promise to burn it at both ends, like he did. Kevin

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks for all these lovely comments peeps.Yous am the best!