Sandmillers: Yeats in October; hopscotch in November!

At our October meeting we learned all we ever wanted to know about the early life and influences of W.B. Yeats. 2015 is the 150th anniversary of his birth. The guest speaker, Dr Billy O’Brien, spoke to us in his mellifluent Cork tones, of the impact of the occult and of Irish mythology on Yeats’ early writings. He tendered the notion that the loneliness of the poet’s childhood, with both parents either physically or emotionally distant, resulted in his seeking answers in the occult and left him vulnerable to sometimes suspect influences. An interesting morning.

Rev Gyles looked a bit bemused, one November morning, to see a half dozen of her mature congregation practising their hopscotch technique at the gates of Sandford Parish National School. This was in preparation for the Sandmillers’ ongoing history project with Fourth Class and Ms O’Loughlin – this year an exploration of games then and now. A joint skipping session preceded some well-planned research by the pupils on the games we, the Sandmillers, played back in the last century. Fourth class will in turn teach these games to the younger pupils in the school. Some of us were lucky enough to have had the opportunity to play the board games that the pupils had devised over the past few weeks. A very enjoyable and worthwhile morning.

Irene Barber

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