Monday, 27 September 2010

the wee heritage shop buncrana

The wee heritage shop free information day 

Have you ever thought about tracing your family history or wanted to know where key archaeological sites are located in Inishowen? If you have then ‘the wee heritage shop’ conveniently situated next door to the post office on the High Street in Buncrana is just the place for you to start an exciting journey of discovery.
Information day this weekend (2nd 0ctober)

This Saturday, (2nd October) two genealogists from the Heritage Society will be getting things moving in the new shop by providing advice on starting to research family trees. “They are on hand to let you know what census records are available, where to start and how to continue your research if you have become stuck,” Adam Porter from the Local Heritage Group tells us. “Experts in the wee shop will be providing advice free of charge on a regular basis at the weekends; it’s an organic process so if anyone has ideas on how to improve the service we would love to hear them. A small donation towards the running cost is all we ask for.”

More information

Adam tells us a bit more about this new non profit making information centre and shop. “Inishowen has a rich cultural heritage,” he begins. “Members of the West Inishowen History and Heritage Society felt there was a need for information on Inishowen landmarks and family history and thought that the shop would be a great resource for both local families and tourists. Everything just seemed to fit into place and happen really quickly.” As well as the two qualified genealogists in the group, there is wealth of local knowledge from other group members who are only too pleased the share their knowledge. Everyone involved in staffing the shop are volunteers and giving their time and knowledge at no cost. “This is a community project, run by the community and covers the Inishowen area from Manor to Malin” Adam explains.
Other organisations around the peninsula are involved in the project. “We are working closely with the tourist offices in Inishowen. The team there are extremely helpful and if anyone visits them looking for more detailed information about families and local places of interest they will refer them to us.”

Local crafts
The wee heritage shop also has an emphasis on highlighting local craftspeople around the peninsula. The shop is also providing an outlet for local craftspeople to sell their products. There is a range of old photo’s, landscape paintings, postcard images of local places of interest, homemade cards as well as glass products and jewellery. Adam would like to see more people come forward with their local crafts. “This is a community project and we would love other artists to come on board.” Adam says. “There are so many top quality artists living locally and the shop will be able to showcase their products to a wide audience. “
Adam concludes by telling us what their motivation is for the shop. “Our goal is to promote our Inishowen heritage locally and internationally. Inishowen has the most fantastic heritage on the island of Ireland; this includes our history, our historical sites, our art, our crafts, our music, our literature and most of all our

Check out the shop’s popular Facebook site ‘the wee heritage shop’

If you would like to be involved in this interesting project and volunteer to help run the shop and give help and advice to visitors or if you have an interest in local history, genealogy or arts and crafts then Adam would love to hear from you.

The shop will be open 7days a week
Contact Adam on 0863940704 for more information

Moville Handmade Workshops

Hand Made weekend of workshops is an Inishowen Summer Gathering Initiative. Last weekend people gathered in the beautiful outdoor setting at Gulladuff House beside Moville Hostel to learn a variety of
hand skills such as blacksmithing and green woodwork like charcoal making and rustic furniture making. Guest teacher, Joe Gowran from the Coppice Association, Muintir na Coille Co-op, said "Every
community in Ireland will need people with these skills as we face a future of more self reliance and less certainty." Brendan Farren, event organiser and basket making teacher added, "We are delighted
with the standard of the teaching and the enthusiasm and commitment of the students" The next Hand Made workshop is planned for March next year.

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Thanks to Penny for the pic......

Moral Endings

A teacher told her young class to ask their parents for a family story with a moral at the end of it, and to return the next day to tell their stories.
In the classroom the next day, Joe gave his example first, "My dad is a farmer and we have chickens. One day we were taking lots of eggs to market in a basket on the front seat of the truck when we hit a big bump in the road; the basket fell off the seat and all the eggs broke. The moral of the story is not to put all your eggs in one basket.."
"Very good," said the teacher.
Next, Mary said, "We are farmers too. We had twenty eggs waiting to hatch, but when they did we only got ten chicks. The moral of this story is not to count your chickens before they're hatched.."
"Very good," said the teacher again, very pleased with the response so far.
Next it was Barney's turn to tell his story: "My dad told me this story about my Aunt Karen.... Aunt Karen was a flight engineer in the war and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whisky, a machine gun and a machete."
"Go on," said the teacher, intrigued.
"Aunt Karen drank the whisky on the way down to prepare herself; then she landed right in the middle of a hundred enemy soldiers. She killed seventy of them with the machine gun until she ran out of bullets. Then she killed twenty more with the machete till the blade broke. And then she killed the last ten with her bare hands."
"Good heavens," said the horrified teacher, "What did your father say was the moral of that frightening story?"
"Stay away from Aunt Karen when she's been drinking..."

Monday, 20 September 2010

Hand Made Workshops in Moville

Basket-making teacher, Brendan Farren
sharing his skills earlier in the summer at Paddy McCartney's Open
Garden event.

Basket-making teacher, Brendan Farren
helping Liam Moyne to make a creel. This weekend Brendan is being
joined in Moville Hostel, by a team of top craftsmen each offering us
opportunities for 'hands on' experience. Info call 9381000

A new and innovative training opportunity is happening this weekend in
Moville called "Hand Made - Work with your Hands". If woodland crafts
and blacksmithing interests you, then you
might consider attending this 'first of it's type' in Inishowen. Top
craftsmen are coming to join local basketmaker Brendan Farren to offer
(beginners and experienced) workshops in black-smithing, charcoal
making, green woodland crafts like besom broom making and hand made
pole-lathe wood turning. The classes take place under canvas cover,
in the woodlands of Gulladuff House (Moville Hostel). If you attend
you bring home a finished
piece or two.

"We are now offering a 'one day option' at half the
advertised cost" explains Brendan Farren, workshop organiser. He
continues, "Do phone if you have any questions.
Also booking is necessary, in particular to help us
prepare the lunches." This is an Inishowen Summer
Gathering Initiative supported by IDP. "The visiting craftsmen were a
big attraction at the Inishowen Summer Gatherings over the years. I am happy to
welcome them back and am delighted that they are sharing their skills
with us here in Inishowen" said Brendan. Call 074 9381000.

Full details:
Work with your Hands
on a weekend of workshops
Learn from professional craftsmen the arts of basketmaking,
blacksmithing, and traditional woodland skills like greenwood work,
charcoal making, besom making and much more.
Take home your finished piece
in wood or metal.

These workshops will take place on the weekend of
25th & 26th September, 2010
They will be held in a covered outdoor woodland setting at
Gulladuff House (Moville Hostel),
Moville, Inishowen, Co. Donegal
The costs for each weekend workshop will be:-
€100 for the weekend (€60 concession)
All workshops will be from 10am-5pm both days, with lunch included in
the price, and tea/ coffee available all day. Hostel beds available.
Dress for outdoors, with steel-toed boots and gloves.
Places are limited, especially for Blacksmithing, so early booking is
advisable. Beginners welcome. For further information & bookings:-
Brendan Farren Tel: (00353) +74 93 81000 or
This is a new initiative of the Inishowen Summer Gathering, supported by IDP

Saturday, 18 September 2010


 Thanks to Penny for use of the image

The Two Merchants
One day, two flower merchants set up shop next to one another. They opened for business on the same day, had the same beautiful flowers at similar price. Both took great care raising their plants and both were kind and courteous to their customers. In fact, their shops appeared to be equal in every way.

At first, the merchants even received equal traffic through their shops, but–as time went on–the first merchant’s shop became more popular among the people. The second merchant noticed this and became concerned. One particularly slow day, he decided to look into the matter. As he stepped out his door to visit his neighbour, he passed one of his regular customers leaving the first merchant’s shop carrying their weekly purchase of flowers. In disbelief, the second merchant hurried next door.

The shop was teeming with customers. The second merchant noticed his competitor wasn’t taking the money himself, as he always did. No, he was out among the aisles, talking with his customers. He would chat at great length with the customers and even would occasionally talk to the flowers themselves! The second merchant prided himself on being a serious store owner and could not understand this leisurely approach to running a shop.

He could stand it no longer. He approached his rival and politely asked to interrupt the conversation. The first merchant smiled, handed his customers to one of his clerks, and turned his attention to his exasperated neighbour.

The second merchant asked, “Brother, I am your humble student. Our stores are nearly the same in all ways, yet your results are doubling while mine are halving. I do not understand.”

“Brother,” the first merchant said, “We are the same in most ways, this is true. The difference lies in what we see with our hearts. You see your shop as a shop, your plants as plants, and your customers as customers. I see my store as a beloved home and my cherished friends are my customers, clerks and plants, all present to be adored. In that we are very different.

Sunday, 12 September 2010


What if there isn't "anymore"?

One day a woman's husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't "anymore".
No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more "just one minute."
Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say good-bye, say "I love you."
So while we have it, it's best we love it, care for it, fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick.
This is true for marriage.....And old cars... And children with bad report cards, and dogs with bad hips, and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.
Some things we keep -- like a best friend who moved away or a sister-in-law after divorce. There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what.
Life is important, like people we know who are special.. And so, we keep them close!
Suppose one morning you never wake up, do all your friends know you love them?
Live today because tomorrow is not promised.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Wisdom of the World - week 118

A grandfather and granddaughter travelled and made their living performing balancing acts. They asked a wise man what was the best way to safeguard and care for each other. The grandfather suggested that each should care for the other, that he should care for his granddaughter in the balancing and she should take care of him. That way they would protect each other. The granddaughter asked the wise man if this was not backward. “Would it not be better for each of us to care for ourselves, and in that way we best safeguard each other, and our acrobatics will prosper?” After listening to the little girl, the wise man replied, “Though she is young, she is wise. If you as a grandfather guard yourself with care and pay attention to what you do, you will also guard the safety of your grandchild; and if you as a child guard yourself with awareness, with care, with respect, then you both guard both yourself and those around you.

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