Tuesday, May 28, 2019

So if pondering ´dead stuff´ is not your thing.... Perhaps this posting is not for you...

So as I am wont to do on occasion, I reviewed my will and other ´dead stuff´ last week.   WHAT DO YOU MEAN -- ´How do I make a will?´  If you have no clue, go find out NOW.  

Not that it will have an iota of a meaning for you.  But it sure as heck makes it easier for the people who love you and are still alive.  ..... 

But I digress.  

Anyway, see below an edit from some of my updates.  To be honest a fine but not overly fabulous read.  What is a really fun read is the response from the Executrix of my estate, see below on red.  But to enjoy that, you need to read my bit first.   

Roe´s dead stuff.  Edits from same. Updated April 26, 2019.
Funeral should be as cheap and as green and as ´natural’ as possible within the bounds of human decency and the comfort of the mourners.
A nice small headstone, the round top old fashion sort, like in the cowboy films..  Stone not marble etc.
No falsies and other stuff.
If I am in reality 90 plus – which I hope is the case and I look ´shook´,  I am happy if a little dolling up is done so that I look about 80 and not too shook.   Looking 80 and not too shook would be good, looking 23  ´and on the beat´not. - You get the idea. 
What to wear when I am being buried.
In whatever I will look good in, but nothing expensive.  Nothing of value to be buried with me.
If there is a few bob to spare in the kitty, let all who come have a bit of a bash on me after the funeral. 
I have asked that Romeo H  put a small announcement in the local paper.
And executrix Evelyn´s response  to these requests...
Jesus Rosaleen what cheerful reading on Saturday evening! Showing yourself to be a bit of a control freak in death. You will be dead you don’t appear to realize that. You will be no more, finito! It won’t make any difference what you want,  if Herbert feels in the mood he could bury you in the lake. (Not suggesting you would for one moment Herbert) 
I suggest you be buried in an expensive cashmere jumper. in a really fancy coffin covered in brass and Angels carved into front and back. 
If I am not there before you I will sob uncontrollably (just for effect) and go to throw myself on top of grave but make sure someone catches me. 
In fact just leave it all to me I will make sure you get a great send off. I will invite the world and his wife, put it in Irish Times, Independent, Kilkenny People and Bild. 
Trust you are feeling well and this is just you ruminating. 
Lots of love 
Your very much alive friend 
Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, April 28, 2019

New York on a Budget....

It is almost a year now since I posted something on this blog. 

Not because I had no time, but becasue I had nothing to say.  YES that is right: I, Hasufrau Róisín, had nothing to share with the world. 

But now I do. So I will!

Someone asked if I could put the following article together. I did, and enjoyed doing it.  I hope you, dear blog reader will enjoy reading the blog posting, as much as I writing it.  
New York on a budget

Accommodation:  New York is not cheap.  You have to budget that in. Sorry!
Check out this website.  Good luck!

Transport Options in NYC 
Personally I think it is worth buying unlimited Metro Card for seven days for subways and buses.  Costing $32.00 as of Jan. 2019.  More info. below.

Eating in N.Y.  See info. below.

My  favorite things to do/see in New York City.

As of January 2019 all my favorites mentioned here below are free or cheap unless otherwise stated.

A walk in the Botanic Gardens Brooklyn  (Free on Friday mornings-)

A walk in Central Park

A walk on the High Line. More info on all three below.

Watch the sun setting from Gantry Park in Long Island City. (Near my friends´ apartment.)

Just relaxing in Washington Square Park.

Take your time on the visits above; New Yorkers visit and enjoy these places too, so you are enjoying New York, just like the locals.

Metropolitan Art Museum.  Not free or cheap.  Suggested donation is $25.00 but you can pay any amount you wish or can afford.

Frick Gallery a small but super art gallery.  Like several other museums i.e. Museum of Modern Art  etc. The Frick is free on certain days and times. See more info. on same below.

Check out the Art Work at Subway stations.
Really lovely mosaics to be seen in many stations. My favorite are the subway stop  for Bloomingdales.   And the stop for the Metropolitan Opera House.

And while you are at it, check out Grand Central Station. Beautiful.  And walk about Times Square. The buzz in the early evening is just great. 

Enjoy free street entertainment.
New York does it right regarding street entertainment.   NYC´s policy is that they don´t mind what you do for entertainment, as long as what you do is legal and that you are good!  The entertainers receive a banner from NYC if they have been approved.   And they are all good.

Attend a concert, ballet opera, or Broadway show.
Not free, but read up on same in links below, you may be able to get tickets well below cost price.

Kayaking:  Can you believe that! Very reasonable too. I mean free or $5.00 reasonable!

Attend Mass in St. Francis Church on Broadway   St. Francis of Assisi Church (Manhattan)
I am not trying to convert.  This is a church you have likely never heard of, except I told you about it, because they ´do Christianity right´ in my opinion, and that generally does not make news.
Millionaires, bad people, mad people and paupers attend Mass in this church, and we all are welcomed. Always.  That´s why I love it.

( I once visited the church for a moment one Saturday afternoon  There was a wedding ceremony taking place... it was clearly a Mafia wedding.. just like in the films.  I spoke to one of the priests afterwards about it.  Yes, he explained, it was likely a Mafia family.  But if they see no badness, they don´t  make judgments on any people who come in to the church.)

More Detailed Info. on New York.

Eating in New York City.

Eat Street Food.
To many good ones to mention: I suggest you see where locals are lining up for breakfast or lunch, and then go back a few hours later when the queue is gone. 
Same tip for restaurants  and bakeries where you see lines at lunch time on work days.
Visit a Coffee House. There are 100´s of them. My favorite is Café Reggio near Washington Square. 
See link below to suggestions  for  good and cheap places to eat in N.Y. C. https://www.tripsavvy.com/best-cheap-eats-in-new-york-city-1612861
Cheap and free things to see and do in New York City.
From Time Out Magazine Cheap things to do in NYC
Top Museums in New York. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A little bit of heaven in a little corner of the Bodensee - that´s Lake Konstanz to the rest of you!

Mainau Island is, as I  have said, a  little bit of heaven in a little corner of the Bodensee.

To our great good fortune in this region, this beautiful island is open to the public - at a hefty price I must add.

But when you see the pictures below, you can understand the entry fee of €21.00 during the day - half the price from 5.00 p.m. until sun down.

There is nothing I can say to improve on the beautiful photos below. - So I won´t.  Do enjoy.

Well I did not lie did I when I said the island was beautiful!

Each season and time of year has a vast array of different flowers and plants. The tulip walk  in the spring, above, is one of my favorite places on the island.

If you want to find out more about the island check out:

Friday, March 23, 2018

A report on the Great St. Patrick´s Day Wellie Race up the Alps.

This report is ´somewhat less than timely´ - and is written with a nod to journalists who write good articles in a timely fashion and who do this every day! ´Hut ab´ as they say in this neck of the woods!

So dear blog readers (all 3 million of you - give or take 2,900010 or so), finally to satisfy  your curiosity  about the wellie race, see here now, for your  perusal and joy: 
A report on the Great St. Patrick´s Day Wellie Race up the Alps.

Well as the boys in Powely Vale can tell you, wellie races don´t take off on their own.  Much prep work was done by the Kretz family themselves in the days leading up to der big day..

A downstairs room was cleared sorted and cleaned by Ann and daughters Mary and Martina....

Someone seems to be taking care of the family crystal.    She looks like she´s done this before too!

On account of the Wellie Race up the Alps being a more elegant class of a wellie race that some others we know - the workers were treated to some classical music as they washed and prepped their wellies.

It did not look too good the day before, but we prayed and were optimistic that the weather would improve;  that the clouds would clear, and the wind would subside.

... Well it did n´t.  They did n´t. And it did n´t

See below; this is what we woke up to the morning of der Big Gummistiefel Race.

And then it got worse...  Visibility was down to two lengths - of a baby´s wellie.

Above is sign that greeted the few hardy runners that braved the weather.  Indeed we found out later some people just walked on by thinking it was all a big joke.  As if anyone could joke about a wellie race!  I ask you!  The flags were hoisted (right) - and to everyone´s amazement, stayed hoisted! 
Mary Kretz, hardy girl that she is, bravely faced the weather and dug out a way to the race starting point for all runners.

The farm tabby took advantage of the free way.

But as cats are wont to, she  assumed the way was cleared just for her.  And just toddled away paying no heed to the freezing humans about her.

And so to the race itself: 
Well the St. Patrick´s Day Wellie Race up the Swiss Alps was no Swiss Role let me tell you! (As reporter Jimmy Rhatigen from the Kilkenny Journal was the first to say.  And in so doing making journalistic history be offering a quotable quote for decades to come.)

It happened again -5 degrees.  Blizzards.  Low to very low visibility.  But we ran.  And, we all made it home.  Alive.   Neither did we have an incident of frostbite, lung problems (well at least no permanent or life threatening lung problems that I was informed about anyway), or other annoying effects of running around in wellies in temperatures of less than – 5 degrees.

Numbers were down this year as it was too dangerous to drive to the Kretz Dairy farm in Moos, near St. Gallen for DER Wellie Race.   – God bless sur´ wasn´t it too dangerous to be out in that weather running in wellie boots, but we did it anyway!

And their off!.....

Eldest participant 70 plus whatever you are having yourself.


The youngest 2 yrs.

Participants this year were of Irish, Italian, German and Swiss stock.  And fair dues, the most not having been at all familiar with wellie racing before our first race in 2012, the gusto to which they took to this ancient (?)  and noble(???)  sport is truly commendable.   – 5 degrees or no.

There was discussions that the over 70´s and under 5´s should be able to run in warm boots for medical reasons.  

But of course that was ´verboten´.  I mean a wellie race is not a wellie race if you are not wearing wellies – right!  I regret to say we did have one boy-o who got to the starting line in footwear other than wellies, and worse he reached the finishing line before his suspect footwear was discovered.    Let me just say ´the matter´ was dealt with in a way that I suspect Mr. Warm Boots won´t be doing that again!

The pictures above are the best record we have of the 2018 Great St. Patrick´s Day Wellie Race up the Alps.  Not for want of trying, but visibility was as already said, only twice the length of a baby´s wellie, so the runners were there and gone before someone could click the camera.  In addition, due to the harsh weather conditions, some cameras did not´click´at all.

After the Gummisteifelrennen:  
We (quickly) retired indoors, where thanks to Ann and her daughters Mary and Martina, hot soup, wienerli (sausages), tea and lovely buns and cakes awaited participants and their groupies.   And let me tell you, that great fare was eaten heartily.    

At the behest of one of the participants; in view of the on-going thawing out of the racers and groupies alike, that Irish coffee should replace Irish dancing.  That was agreed upon – At least for those who were legally allowed to imbibe.

Prizes were then presented ´liberally´; the reason being  one young teenager, Celine, suggested that she wanted to collect the prize with all the other runners in her category, because,  she felt everyone won that day just for running.  We all agreed with her.  … The wisdom of youth.  


All the young participants won a board game and sweets - AND of course a balloon.  

The over 18´s won an elegant Irish coffee glass with sweeties too – and let me say they all enthusiastically tried out their new Irish coffee glasses for same on the day!

For the rest of the afternoon, laughter and chat could be heard, no doubt even by those precious cows across the yard in the barn.  - We are not sure how much of that was to do with the aforementioned imbibed Irish coffee e.t.c. however.

Your fellah in the photograph below getting a prize from Ann Broggy-Kretz - he was the first man home, asked me what was the political or religious background of the wellie race.  I explained it all started in Powley, Castlecomer by accident some 40 years ago when a few lads set off to run off the ´Christmas  excess´  as they say.  They not being lads to wear fancy running shoes, and it not being the kind of weather for same anyway, they set off in their wellies.   And so began this great and noble tradition.   He was fierce disappointed to learn that wellies in Ireland were neither a religious nor a political issue.

Every participant was presented with the coveted 2018 wellie race badge.  

In view of the treacherous weather, just for turning up, the groupies got a wellie race badge too.  -  See here one groupie proudly showing off her coveted wellie race badge.

And while we cannot claim the ´buckets of Euros´ collected for good causes that the Wellie Race in Castlecomer can claim every New Year´s Day; here in the Alps  ´a few Swiss Francs´ over and above the costs was donated to Concern.

Other folks having fun on the day.

All Swiss wellie racers have a particular affinity with the little princess above; this sweet three year old completed her first wellie race before she was born!  And her Mammy, now mother of four under four won the Woman´s Group this year too.  Alas no photo of this bionic Mammy, she had to go before the prizes were given out.

Check out this photo above of the children´s table.   (Where it must be said, there was much less ´noise and din to be heard´ than there was from other tables.  - Enough said - with them and their Irish coffees instead of Irish dancing!) But I digress.  Take note of Rafael on the extreme right in the picture, well he is a wellie racer to watch.  In the under 12´s he was as quick as the adult males. Including Mr. Warm Boots himself!

Before signing off, I personally offer my thanks to Guido and Ann Kretz for inviting us to their farm to run our wellie race.  No invite from Guido and Ann, no wellie race. That simple.   

And then my thanks again to Ann and daughters Mary and Martina who did a fine job setting up the race course, the party space, AND  providing the nice hot soup, wienerli (sausages), tea and lovely buns and cakes.   So, Swiss Wellie Racing has a lot to be thankful to the Kretz´s family for.  

And Guido´s cows too naturally.  No happy cows, no wellie race either!