I'll start with one of my favourite quotations on the subject of success and which has nothing to do with the acquisition of money.
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have been enjoying listening to Irish radio a lot recently and it is great to get a feel of what is going on in my spiritual home even though I can't actually live there. Living in the wild hills of Wales as I do, I find that I can get a better reception for Irish radio than for British and it is very easy just to switch over the wavelengths from Radio 4 so that it will go straight onto RTE. I love Radio 4 of course, couldn't live without it to be honest - but if I fancy a change or there is a programme I don't enjoy I switch over. I do enjoy the laid back Irish way of broadcasting. Nothing and no-one is rushed, conversations seem to go on for ever but are never boring, there is no sense of urgency or clock-watching, all is intelligent and covered in depth and there is of course much attention to all things literary, political, local, personal, sporting etc. As a broadcaster on Radio 4 said recently (she also admitted listening to Irish radio at home! - people always sound as if they have just wandered into a pub or something and it is all so relaxed. I listen to the Today programme on Radio 4 every morning but lately it is driving me mad the way everything is so much more 'rushed' (especially the weather!) and the way the interviewers interrupt so much (not John Humphreys but Sara someoneorother does this a lot.
Continuing the Irish theme here is a poem from the wonderful Irish poetry publisher Salmon, the book is A Journey in Poetry 1981-2007 and the poem is about a border collie (the poet is American).
There is a photo of my border collie above; her name is Kitty not Kilty Sue but I have to admit that when she was young she did have a very slight tendency to behave a bit like Kilty Sue. She is a reformed character now though and perfectly well-behaved though I sometimes think she too has the look of of a slightly retarded devil-dog (or as I say probably an inbred one!).
Instincts jammed by lack of sheep
in this region, she attends to babies, ducklings-
anything small and in need of care.
A border collie whose eyes, opposite
shades of brown, offer the look
of a slightly retarded devil-dog. And
if you must know, she bites people:
my brother presumably because he was mean
to me at a younger age; the UPS man
because he carried a package too quickly towards
my pregnant sister; my mother-in-law, I suppose,
to keep in shape. And various relatives
and strangers – Kilty Sue reminds them
of the precise location of the Achilles tendon.
Mind you, she never actually rips it out,
but merely offers a sharp touch. Like a pin-prick,
only deeper, her bites spring out
from a sudden vortex of silence. When Kilty Sue howls –
in a voice high and piercing as a drunken soprano,
and you wish your ears would just drop off and die –
you are safe. She is protecting you.
Marck L Beggs
Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,