Monday, April 09, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad!

On Easter Sunday some of the O'Loughlin clan gathered at my sister Kathleen's house in Kilkenny to mark my Dad Joe's 81st birthday. As always, he was in great form and enjoyed the day with family around him. My Mum Phil is visiting my brother Brian in England, so we missed them. Kayo had enough food to feed to feed a large army - delicious roast lamb and a selection of super vegetable dishes followed by a fantastic Toblerone cheesecake that was both sinful and holy!

L-to-R: Joe, Kayo, me.
For his birthday I gave Dad a copy of Anthony Kearns' new book "Ireland's Arctic Siege: The Big Freeze of 1947" - I'd like to read this after he is done with it! I asked him did he remember the 1947 winter - he did, though he was a boarder in Cistercian College Roscrea at the time when he recalls that a foot of snow fell and that he remembers throwing snowballs at the other lads. He also remembers the country almost coming to a halt, with very little happening for a long time. His Dad had to deliver milk to Carnew on a horse, with milk churns strapped to either side of the beast, as vehicles could not drive up the Soldier's Bench on the Coollattin Road. Amazon's "Product Description" of the book describes this vicious winter as follows: 

From shortly after Christmas to almost Easter, the country was gripped by snow and ice; transport ground to a halt. The normal supply of goods and services was suspended.... There was no central heating, and the distribution systems for coal and turf broke down. Even in relatively affluent middle class suburbs, people were reduced to breaking up furniture for kindling in an attempt to keep warm.

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