First fall of snow on the Kerry mountains.
Preparing for Christmas in a small country church in the West of Ireland.
Well, Christmas has arrived in Ireland and the celebrations are underway. It is with mixed feelings that i mention the celebrations being underway because this particular year must be a hard one for many people.The recession is not helping, eventhough there is no doubt that a recovery is underway. One of our big problems this year has been the fall away in contributions to charities. This has happened because of the recession, but even moreso because of the revelations recently that certain charities employed highly paid executives, a fact unknown to contributors, who thought that their money was being passed on to those in need, and not to those on fat salaries who got large pension top-ups from these donations. I have to be careful here because there are many charities out there who do not have paid staff, or just staff who work for bare expenses, and no more than that. The damage done by the few charities that exploited the funds raised in donations has been catastrophic. This is going to leave those people who always depended on help at Christmas being left with nobody to come to their aid. We should just try to do a little research into the charities that we would like to assist, and then if we find that they are ok, contribute to them. It may be too late for Christmas now, but even if they get the help they need a little later, it is better than not getting it at all. What we give away comes back to us with a lot more benefit that that which we hide away in a bank or under a bed. The same applies to any clothing items we may have, or shoes, or anything at all that somebody else might find invaluable. We will all have stuff after Christmas that we do not need, or want. The weather is hard at this time of the year, and there are people out there who are hungry and cold. My electricity went last night due to the storm we had. I felt annoyed, and a little sorry for myself, as i could not watch the match on the telly that i had been looking forward to. Then i thought of the hundreds of thousands of starving and freezing people in refugee camps in the Middle East. I suddenly felt bad, that i had failed to see, even if only for a short while, just how fortunate i am.. In my whole life i have never had one night of discomfort such as those people will have tonight.
I want to extend my thanks to all of those wonderful people who have toured with me down through the years, going back to my early days in this touring business, and right up to today. This year once again, i met many new friends, and already i have bookings from new friends that i have yet to meet in 2014. I am indeed fortunate to be in a business that i like, and a business that gives me the opportunity to take people around this wonderul country of mine. I love to show people the Ireland i love, the rural areas that you will not find yourself, the areas you will not find in guide books, the areas where buses cannot travel because the roads are not made for buses. Yes, with me you can spend time in the cities also, and i do allow, and plan for that also, but my real Ireland is rural Ireland, the bogs, the lakes and valleys, the rugged mountains on the west coast, the wild Atlantic with its many rocky islands, the small villages and towns, the wonderful country people, the great Irish music in the old style pubs, the wonderful food, all free range meat and fresh fish and seafood. If that is the Ireland you want, then maybe you should drop me a line and we will see what we can do for you. You just might find that you can afford the holiday/vacation of a lifetime.
Have a wonderful Christmas, and a great New Year, and maybe i might even get to meet you in 2014.
Happy Christmas from all at Dove Chauffeurdrive in Ireland.