Happy new year Crossers!
The Gods are certainly providing a test in the early days. Storms blowing Ireland all over the place. There’s a real danger the country could literally move across the Irish sea and join physically with Great Britain. Would be lots of head scratching on all sides of the political spectrum if that ever came to pass. Read somewhere in recent days – man struggles because he takes seriously what the Gods only made for fun. So attaching Ireland to Wales and the East coast of England would provide much hilarity, if the Gods are up for some more mischief.
All the Saudis wrapped up in woolly jackets and beanie caps upon MB’s return, to protect from the winter chill. The Yankee dogs are suffering coldest ever spell and even Niagara Falls is iced over as MB types in the cosy warmth of his Riyadh hotel lobby. The Gods are having a large laugh at the mo.
Speaking of Gods, it seemed that every photo MB shot over the holiday had some God in it. Or some religious theme. Christmas carol service, Christmas eve midnight mass, the nativity play on Christmas morning, a Christening of MB latest niece born November last, a commemoration service for some deceased IRA volunteers from the 1920s (shot by better armed and numerically advantaged Brit troops), and probably one or two more episodes that escape MB’s brain. Today’s pics reflect.
Watched a TV tribute programme to an incredible 16 year old Irish kid who came to national & international prominence last year when he appeared on live TV with only a few months to live, imploring those considering suicide to reconsider their decision. His name was Donal Walsh and his TV appearance had a dramatic impact. There were no further deaths by suicide in his home region for many months right up to the end of the year. Experts on the topic put this phenomenon down exclusively to DW and the force of his personality and message during that appearance. If you care to take some time to watch his now famous TV appearance you can take a look – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q076my5KCOI Powerful stuff. A foundation is now formed since his death called Donal Walsh Live Life to continue spreading the DW gospel. Long may it continue.
Just before MB returned home the local HX Cliona’s Foundation had an attempt at breaking the Guinness Book of World Records for most carol singers singing as a group. They needed to hit approx 15,500 numbers but came up just short. But the CF gang are not ones for lying down and have already booked the same venue for 12 December at end this year to have another crack at it. All Crossers welcome! MB has mentioned Cliona in the past. Died when she was 15 years old following failure to recover from brain surgery. Had a magical presence and could light up a room by just entering. MB had many a joke with her and she will always live in the memory.
The foundation started by parents B & T assists families of critically ill children and many in the HX locality are heavily involved with the efforts. Info available at http://clionasfoundation.com/
Had a very memorable New Years Day when MB & a host of HX locals climbed the hill next to the HX lake. All organised by AQ & her merry men & women so big thanks to all. On a miserable wet morning over 60 HXers showed up, and the Gods banished the rains just as all reached the pinnacle of the hill. The climbers smiled, the Gods smiled, and all was well with the world. The walk continued around the lake and ended up back at the local Heritage Center where hot teas, coffees and chocolate were wolfed back. Great positive vibe and no better start to the new year. http://loughgur.com/ if you want to see more.
And congrats to the same group at the Heritage Center for their 2014 calendar which features pics from local (mainly amateur) photographers. When news hit the HX streets that one of MB’s legendary pics was included copies started flying off HX shelves. Think you can order the calendar online through the above website, if Crossers want more of MB in their lives. Many Crosser females will no doubt be thinking along those lines!
MB is in training for 10km race in two weeks from now in Dubai. ‘Race’ is maybe bit of an exaggeration but what the heck. Did some training at home over the holiday and can now cope with 6 or 7km in one hit. Still not sure if MB can hit 10K without stopping. No great opportunities for running here in Saudi so MB will just have to watch the diet, exercise in clever MB type ways and sprint the entire 10km, leaving all the Abdullas and Mohammads trailing in his wake. Not! Hopefully MB can just get around without passing out, without requesting medical assistance and without having to stop. That’s the only goal. If MB managed to break 1 hour he would be the happiest camel in the desert. So hopefully the Gods are smiling on MB on 25th. Will give you all full report when the time comes. Run Forest run!
So will leave it at that for this week Crossers. Get out and about. Walk. Run. Smile. Help others. Don’t speak badly of people. Look out for family & friends. Help an old lady across the road. Give something to the guy begging on the street. Donate to your local kids sports club or charity.