Saturday, December 20, 2014

Lions Christmas Appeal

The Kilcullen Lions Christmas Appeal is in full swing today, carol singing and all.

Please stop and help to wish somebody a merry Christmas.

Badminton update

In this week's article we concentrate on the Dublin and District League and Cups, writes Enda O'Neill, PRO of Kilcullen Badminton Club.

We start with the DDL games where KBC had some mixed fortune and out first was the Division 2 Mix 1 team captained by Dave Mc Clean. The lads and ladies travelled to Kilmessan in this league match and came away with a fantastic 4-2 win. Another great win for Dave, Lynsey, Norrie and Gareth.

Helen's Ladies 3 had no luck this week in both their DD League and Cup matches, their first outing was an away match to ESB on Tuesday 16 December where the girls had no luck and were beaten 4-0. In the cup match on Thursday 18 December the ladies 3 travelled to Rathfarnham for the Quarter Finals of the Division 5 cup and again lady luck failed to smile on them in this away fixture. Helen and the girls were beaten 5-1 in a hard match. Hard luck to Helen, Chelsey, Nicole and Sarah who Im sure will pick themselves up in the next match.

KBC’s Mixed 2 Division 2 team captained by Sinead who had a great start to their week when they hosted Boyne on Tuesday 16 December. Sinead, Murt, Rachel and Dave J beat their opponents comprehensivley 5-1. Thursday 18 December Sinead and her gang visited Ailsberry and unfortunately could not build on their great win earlier in the week crashing out of the cup with a 4-1 defeat. Hard luck to Sinead and her Mixed 2 team.

In the final match we cover this week, Caroline's Mixed 3 team travelled to Whitehall Road to play Old School in this DDL Division 3 Clash. Caroline's team have had a great start to the league and continued their march to the league finals with a fantastic 5-1 win. This win puts Mixed 3 top of the table, well done Caroline, Annette, Niall and Martin on a great win.

Camphill Christmas regulars

Two nice Christmas events upcoming, courtesy of the Bridge Camphill, writes Brian Byrne.

Both are regulars, with Santa and his Sleigh coming to Kilcullen town at An Tearmann, 4.30pm Monday 22 December — a regular traffic stopper. The other is the wonderful Bell-ringing in An Tearmann, 10am on Christmas Eve.

Be warned about that last, though, the place fills up quickly, so get there early. Mince pies and mulled wine too, if I remember right.

Friday, December 19, 2014

On yer bike, Santa

Yep, there's really a sense of Christmas slipping in on the cooling air ... Paul O'Neill is reflecting it already with a Santa Suit that looks just the thing for keeping warm on a bike.

First of the wild geese ...

The wild geese are flying in for Christmas already, and just two hours off the plane from Taiwan, via Amsterdam, we spotted Sean Landers in Supervalu stocking up on some Barrys Tea, writes Brian Byrne.

"You can get tea in Taiwan, but it's Liptons, not the same at all," he murmured as he tried to decide between special and classic blends. "Ah, I'll take both ..."

Christmas shopping in Kilcullen

The Christmas spirit has well and truly taken hold writes Brian Byrne. As usual, we encourage everybody to keep as much of their business as is possible in town during the festive season, with the view of keeping the town in business.

Here's a really good idea for a present that will last and last in any family. Conor Williams Photography at Photos can be for any occasion, portraits, family, weddings, portfolios, other events. Conor's contact nnumber is 086 8721707, and he's operating a pop-up studio and gallery between now and Christmas (open all day this Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday morning), beside the Vincents shop on Main Street. He's also stocking a range of individual prints that would grace the walls of any home. Also, if you're giving, or getting, a camera for Christmas, booking a session in learning how to use it could well be worth while. Apart from one-hour one-to-one instruction, Conor will also be conducting classes in 2015, and vouchers are also available for these. Just as an icing on the cake, some beautiful ceramics by artist Lesley Kelly are also on display in the gallery, and can be bought.

Well into the swing of the season is the Christmas Shop upstairs at Berneys Chemists. Apart from the expected, there's a very nice upmarket range of Christmas table and window decorations, the kind that never go out of date and are always nice to be seen when this time comes around every year. Best to browse for the ideas yourself, but take a look at the very safe kiddies' microwavable bed warmers.

Kilcullen Art Group also have a display of members' work for sale upstairs in An Tearmann, another excellent opportunity to browse for presents that definitely have a local flavour.

A nice idea for a youngster is to open a Credit Union Savings Account in their name, possibly a lifetime gift if it starts them on the regular savings route that will help them in many situations down life's sometimes financially precarious road. Call in to Pat and she'll sort you out.

All the Christmas menus are operating in Kilcullen's various eateries, with really good value offers for small or larger groups who want to hold their pre-Christmas get-togethers. For the size of the town we have an amazing selection of bistros, food pubs and restaurants. Think Fallons (045 481063), Bardons (045 482286), Joey's Hideout (045 482761), and Walls of the Priory at Kilgowan (045 403355). Also our coffee shops for those less formal meet-ups, Cafe Coulan, An Tearmann, and the River Cafe. And don't forget that a voucher towards dinner at any of the restaurants makes a very acceptable Christmas present.

The Valu€ Zone is another one of those places where you'll find not just what you're looking for, but also things that you might not be expecting. Meantime, though, seasonal needs like Christmas decorations, cribs, cards, and stocking fillers are just a small part of the good value stacked on the shop's shelves. Think of it too for a wide selection of photo frames, stationery, and those all important batteries. Lots more, go in and browse before you try outside of town.

Nobody familiar with Kilcullen needs reminding that Ger's Fruit & Veg is arguably the best source of fresh stuff in the mid-Kildare area. And the shop will be offering all sorts of suitable produce through the Christmas season. But there are other goodies there too, including a wide range of traditional sweets, fruit hampers, and some excellent preserves. Lots to pick up for the table and as gifts.

Nancy Poulain won't sell you pets for Christmas if she doesn't think you have the long-term commitment to look after them, but she does have absolutely every pet accessory imaginable in her Petits Pets Boutique at Lower Main Street. It's a really colourful place to visit at any time, but there are also extras for the festive season, with Christmas stockings for pets, festive wrapping for any of the things you might think of buying for the pet, or the pet-owner, in your circle. There's also grooming, and a voucher for a pet pamper would be very acceptable, especially to a dog owner. There are ideas online too, on her Facebook page, Petits Pets Boutique.

Though his Clarkes Menswear shop isn't actually in Kilcullen, Vivian Clarke is a Kilcullen man through and through, and for a gift for the man in your life there's no better place to go. A Gift Voucher might well be the idea for those hard to buy for. Even if they're not in to buy on any given day, customers from over the years will always stop for a chat with Vivian when on their way up or down the street in Newbridge. It's a social centre as much as a retail mens clothing emporium, and whether the subject is amateur drama, football, or whatever ... even, or especially, clothing ... there's always an excuse to do what now seems so difficult in a frenetic world, pass the time of day with a friend.

For that special gift you can purchase a Fallon & Byrne Hamper at Fallons of Kilcullen. Check out the Brochure on line. The hamper can be delivered for you. Phone 045/481063

Rose Doherty's Cottonwood Tree has established itself as a Mecca for everybody interested in sewing, knitting and allied crafts. An Aladdin's Cave of trimmings, buttons, and cloth which brings people, women mostly, from all parts of the county. Rose also stocks a range of items that would make good presents, including novelty mugs, practical but pretty aprons and oven gloves are also available, as well as natty wooden sewing boxes. And don't forget to leave your name in for reminding of a range of workshops.

Nichola Kennedy is our popular and knowledgable optometrist, but she can also be consulted for some really useful Christmas present ideas. Gift vouchers to any value required are available, and with no expiry date on them. Also sunglasses, prescription or fashion non-prescription are a popular pressie (especially from the hubbies!) They also stock a range of spectacle care items such as sprays, cloths, cases, chains and cords — all great stocking fillers. Also, don't forget that Nichola will gladly take in those old spectacles lying around at home, which will be distributed by the Lions Clubs to people in developing countries who need them.

Emma O'Herlihy's Have Ewe Any Wool craft business specialises in knitted hats in a number of cheerful designs which are particularly suitable for children. She also has knitted seasonal decorations.

The Vincents shop has moved, but only a couple of doors down from where they were, and now with more space. Always a treasure chest worth rummaging in, with only the best of quality pre-owned goods.

Who doesn't love a few flowers at Christmas, and especially if they have been put together in a personal bouquet of just what the recipient wants? Well, for that very personal touch for a loved one this year, contact Catherine Mulrennan's Kildare Flowers. She has been designing floral arrangement for all occasions in Kilcullen and the wider area for a long time now. Based in Kinneagh, she'll take orders on 086 3275668, or 045 481092. If you don't know exactly what you need, she'll advise.

One of the newest retail businesses in town is J & A Shabby Chic on Hillcrest, which is nevertheless already a vast emporium of unique and crafty ideas in furniture, household fittings, table decoration and too many other things to mention. Just hike on up there and browse, and we can pretty well guarantee that you'll come out with a smile on your face and probably clutching a bag or two. And if you want to give something to that friend who always hankered after getting into furniture restoration and upcycling, how about a voucher for for them for a one-day course?

It's hardly necessary to mention Nolans at all, so widespread is their fame for providing the best poultry and meats, not to mention the seriously individual deli items. But there's a special emphasis on Christmas with free range turkeys that have people queuing right along the street every Christmas Even when it comes to collection. Don't forget either the spiced beef, oak smoked hams and — if you fancy something different on Christmas Day — free range chickens, geese, ducks, pheasants and mallard. For after Christmas, it's when the delicacies come into their own, the home-made sausages, the puddings, rashers, cheeses and smoked salmon. Hampers can also be made to order as presents.

Downtown in An Tearmann they carry a range of select gifts for all ages and both genders, as well as a small but nice range of Christmas cards. Wooden toys and ornaments are a speciality here, while the mobiles made of glass and wood and gentle textiles are always worth a browse. And don't forget the Manna organic shop at the back, where Pauline and Sheedhna will always provide a big welcome.

One of the nicer things about Christmas is sitting at home with family and friends, maybe in front of a real fire, with seasonal snacks and a convivial drink. All you need in wines, beers, sherries and spirits is to hand in CarryOut in Market Square, where Paddy Nugent and family have best value in town to help a quiet celebration of the season.

Kilcullen, of course, has its very own French bakery in Armelle's Kitchen where those with a sweet tooth can satisfy cravings with a unique range of cakes, pastries and other baked treats.

Operating as Purity Belle Cliona Kelliher offers a wide range of handmade perfumed candles in an extraordinary variety of containers. Always a welcome present for those who appreciate soothing candlelight and scents. The blog on her website offers useful suggestions on making your own decorations and wrapping paper.

A range of selected French wines are now stocked in the River Cafe, and there is a selection of wine and cheese hampers available which would make very acceptable Christmas presents. There are also presentation wrapped mincemeat, puddings, cakes and other Christmas fare. And have a cup of coffee while you choose, maybe even a seasonal pastry baked on the premises..

Fancy a wander around a really nice shop for Christmas presents and not have any parking problems? Well, Burkes Pharmacy on Hillcrest is just the place, with lots of good ideas. And with lots of room to stroll around. Really recommended.

(This post will be updated regularly up to Christmas. Any local business or service which wants to suggest a gifts opportunity is welcome to let us know. There's no charge.)

Home for Christmas a superb evening

Yet another splendid Christmas entertainment in Kilcullen's Town Hall Theatre last night. Our pictures here show just some of the action for the Maintain Hope 'Home for Christmas' fundraiser, which was as ever very well supported. Unfortunately, the Diary was only able to cover the first half, but there was as much again to enjoy afterwards.