As most locals know by now or at least they should know, a monthly Sunday market takes place at the Ardkeen Stores car park, opposite the store itself. This has grown and grown since its inception a few years ago with a regular increase in the number of participating producers. There is the usual feast of fresh and local produce, be it wholesome brown and whole grain breads, organic lamb, yummy home-made jams, best of local veg, or hand-crafted toys and things.

Ardkeen Stores are more than happy to support these local enterprises as it helps to emphasise its own in-store policy of promoting and providing whenever possible locally grown or sourced produce. Such a policy must have been a key factor among others that enabled Ardkeen Stores to win yet another prestigious national retail award for excellence. Well done again.

With the advent of Christmas there will be an additional Market Morning following on last week on Sunday next, the 16th from 10 to 2, which should prove a bumper event, providing an ideal opportunity to source the best of fresh fruit, veg, cakes and pies as well as other seasonal goodies and hollies. To whet your appetite further there will be cookery demonstrations from Waterford Castle’s chef par excellence Michael Quinn, using the finest ingredients all of which will have been sourced from this very market. They will also be showcasing crafts from this region which should prove very attractive as ideal Christmas presents. Festive melodies will ring out to create a special Christmas market atmosphere. So check it out this coming Sunday.

Walking the Walk

Last summer I wrote a lengthy enough piece about the renewed campaign to open up the much mooted Riverside Walk all the way from Blenheim to Canada Street. I had met with the River Walk lobby group who had done a lot of work in researching this most desirable project. They had corresponded with the relevant Council people and were hopeful that a meeting would be held with them to further this objective.

This meeting has finally taken place, during which the Lobby Group, drawn from the greater Dunmore Road area, set out their case once again and pressed for early implementation of the plan, ASAP of course but certainly before the arrival of the Tall Ships in 2011. The response was that the project has indeed been an objective under the city development plan for a number of years but that no further proposals will go through without full consultation with local residents.

I’m pleased that this meeting took place but the response did not fill me with any sense that there was urgent enthusiasm for the project. The phrase ‘a number of years’ is a huge understatement as this proposal or similar has been mentioned in city development plans for the past 29 years – rendering that other euphemism ‘ objective’ as a mere pious platitude. For years, I saw this proposal trotted out as one of a number of desirable city environmental enhancements but it always quietly dropped out of sight.

We are told on this occasion that nothing can happen without full consultation with local residents – well that sounds very reasonable and indeed necessary, but the same line was trotted out almost three decades ago. The area needs this amenity big time as a counter-balance to the incessant traffic volumes of the main road. Of course, it will not be all plain sailing and there are issues to overcome but surely its time has come. Well done to the Lobby Group for persisting with this issue and I’m sure the majority of our citizenry fully support their good work. Come on the Council! Your days for procrastinating on this are surely numbered.

Litter of the law

I’ve read a number of articles recently on litter issues, one of which related to the amount of litter generated by the city’s secondary schools, especially at break and lunch times, which needed to be tackled. There may well be a problem here but when there’s ‘finger-wagging ‘ going on my tendency is to look at the role and responsibilities of the ‘finger-wagger’ as well. It has been a hobby-horse thingy of mine to point to our city being seriously ‘under-binned’ in many areas. I did my own survey one time and things have not improved much. Last week I did a quick tour of the entrance areas of half a dozen local secondary schools and also paths to local shops etc nearby. I speak of the provision of public litter bins in public areas outside of the school grounds themselves. There is little or nothing in most of them! So City Council people with responsibility for such matters, you too must play your part.

This week I read about that awful blight of gum litter – so distasteful! There’s an awareness campaign comin’ atcha with the theme: thanks for binning your gum when you’re done! I fully agree but please refer to the above as regards lack of bin provision. Maybe some day soon I will receive an official response to the effect of – Bin there, Done that! Perhaps there are appropriate night classes on the subject.

Classes for Men


1. How to Fill Ice Cube Trays.

2. The Toilet Paper Roll – Does it Change Itself? 

3. How to Lift the Seat before Urinating.

4. Fundamental differences between the Laundry Basket and the Floor.

5. Can Dinner Dishes Levitate and Fly into the Kitchen Sink?

6. Loss of Identity – Losing the Remote to your Significant Other.

7. How to Find Things by Looking in the Right Places.

8. Bringing her Flowers is not harmful to your Health.

9. Real Men ask for Directions when Lost.

10. Can you sit Quietly while she Parallel Parks?

11. Basic Differences between Mother and Wife.

12. The Ideal Shopping Companion – with the help of Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.

13. The Battle against Cerebral Atro phy – Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates.

14. How to Call when You’re going to be Late.

15. The Stove/Oven – What it is and How to Use It.