Tuesday writing conversation: a conversation in Dublin

April 17, 2018

Michael Lane talks with Catharine McKenty about her book ‘Polly of Bridgewater Farm’ in the gardens at Trinity College, Dublin.

IRISH FOLKTALE

April 11, 2018

 

The Three Daughters Of King O’Hara

 

There was a king in Desmond whose name was Coluath O’Hara, and he had three daughters. On a time when the king was away from home, the eldest daughter took a thought that she’d like to be married. So she went up in the castle, put on the cloak of darkness which her father had, and wished for the most beautiful man under the sun as a husband for herself.

She got her wish; for scarcely had she put off the cloak of darkness, when there came, in a golden coach with four horses, two black and two white, the finest man she had ever laid eyes on, and took her away.

When the second daughter saw what had happened to her sister, she put on the cloak of darkness, and wished for the next best man in the world as a husband.

She put off the cloak; and straightway there came, in a golden coach with four black horses, a man nearly as good as the first, and took her away.

The third sister put on the cloak, and wished for the best white dog in the world.

Presently he came, with one man attending, in a golden coach and four snow-white horses, and took the youngest sister away.

When the king came home, the stable-boy told him what had happened while he was gone. He was enraged beyond measure when he heard that his youngest daughter had wished for a white dog, and gone off with him.

When the first man brought his wife home he asked: “In what form will you have me in the daytime,—as I am now in the daytime, or as I am now at night?”

“As you are now in the daytime.”

So the first sister had her husband as a man in the daytime; but at night he was a seal.

The second man put the same question to the middle sister, and got the same answer; so the second sister had her husband in the same form as the first.

When the third sister came to where the white dog lived, he asked her: “How will you have me to be in the daytime,—as I am now in the day, or as I am now at night?”

“As you are now in the day.”

So the white dog was a dog in the daytime, but the most beautiful of men at night.

After a time the third sister had a son; and one day, when her husband was going out to hunt, he warned her that if anything should happen the child, not to shed a tear on that account.

While he was gone, a great gray crow that used to haunt the place came and carried the child away when it was a week old.

Remembering the warning, she shed not a tear for the loss.

All went on as before till another son was born. The husband used to go hunting every day, and again he said she must not shed a tear if anything happened.

When the child was a week old a great gray crow came and bore him away; but the mother did not cry or drop a tear.

All went well till a daughter was born. When she was a week old a great gray crow came and swept her away. This time the mother dropped one tear on a handkerchief, which she took out of her pocket, and then put back again.

When the husband came home from hunting and heard what the crow had done, he asked the wife, “Have you shed tears this time?”

“I have dropped one tear,” said she.

Then he was very angry; for he knew what harm she had done by dropping that one tear.

Soon after their father invited the three sisters to visit him and be present at a great feast in their honor. They sent messages, each from her own place, that they would come.

The king was very glad at the prospect of seeing his children; but the queen was grieved, and thought it a great disgrace that her youngest daughter had no one to come home with her but a white dog.

The white dog was in dread that the king wouldn’t leave him inside with the company, but would drive him from the castle to the yard, and that the dogs outside wouldn’t leave a patch of skin on his back, but would tear the life out of him.

The youngest daughter comforted him. “There is no danger to you,” said she, “for wherever I am, you’ll be, and wherever you go, I’ll follow and take care of you.”

When all was ready for the feast at the castle, and the company were assembled, the king was for banishing the white dog; but the youngest daughter would not listen to her father,—would not let the white dog out of her sight, but kept him near her at the feast, and divided with him the food that came to herself.

When the feast was over, and all the guests had gone, the three sisters went to their own rooms in the castle.

Late in the evening the queen took the cook with her, and stole in to see what was in her daughters’ rooms. They were all asleep at the time. What should she see by the side of her youngest daughter but the most beautiful man she had ever laid eyes on.

Then she went to where the other two daughters were sleeping; and there, instead of the two men who brought them to the feast, were two seals, fast asleep.

The queen was greatly troubled at the sight of the seals. When she and the cook were returning, they came upon the skin of the white dog. She caught it up as she went, and threw it into the kitchen fire.

The skin was not five minutes in the fire when it gave a crack that woke not only all in the castle, but all in the country for miles around.

The husband of the youngest daughter sprang up. He was very angry and very sorry, and said: “If I had been able to spend three nights with you under your father’s roof, I should have got back my own form again for good, and could have been a man both in the day and the night; but now I must go.”

He rose from the bed, ran out of the castle, and away he went as fast as ever his two legs could carry him, overtaking the one before him, and leaving the one behind. He was this way all that night and the next day; but he couldn’t leave the wife, for she followed from the castle, was after him in the night and the day too, and never lost sight of him. In the afternoon he turned, and told her to go back to her father; but she would not listen to him. At nightfall they came to the first house they had seen since leaving the castle. He turned and said: “Do you go inside and stay in this house till morning; I’ll pass the night outside where I am.”

The wife went in. The woman of the house rose up, gave her a pleasant welcome, and put a good supper before her. She was not long in the house when a little boy came to her knee and called her “Mother.”

The woman of the house told the child to go back to his place, and not to come out again.

“Here are a pair of scissors,” said the woman of the house to the king’s daughter, “and they will serve you well. Whatever ragged people you see, if you cut a piece off their rags, that moment they will have new clothes of cloth of gold.”

She stayed that night, for she had good welcome. Next morning when she went out, her husband said: “You’d better go home now to your father.”

“I’ll not go to my father if I have to leave you,” said she.

So he went on, and she followed. It was that way all the day till night came; and at nightfall they saw another house at the foot of a hill, and again the husband stopped and said: “You go in; I’ll stop outside till morning.”

The woman of the house gave her a good welcome. After she had eaten and drunk, a little boy came out of another room, ran to her knee, and said, “Mother.” The woman of the house sent the boy back to where he had come from, and told him to stay there.

Next morning, when the princess was going out to her husband, the woman of the house gave her a comb, and said: “If you meet any person with a diseased and a sore head, and draw this comb over it three times, the head will be well, and covered with the most beautiful golden hair ever seen.”

She took the comb, and went out to her husband.

“Leave me now,” said he, “and go back to your own father.”

“I will not,” said she, “but I will follow you while I have the power.” So they went forward that day, as on the other two.

At nightfall they came to a third house, at the foot of a hill, where the princess received a good welcome. After she had eaten supper, a little girl with only one eye came to her knee and said, “Mother.”

The princess began to cry at sight of the child, thinking that she herself was the cause that it had but one eye. Then she put her hand into her pocket where she kept the handkerchief on which she had dropped the tear when the gray crow carried her infant away. She had never used the handkerchief since that day, for there was an eye on it.

She opened the handkerchief, and put the eye in the girl’s head. It grew into the socket that minute, and the child saw out of it as well as out of the other eye; and then the woman of the house sent the little one to bed.

Next morning, as the king’s daughter was going out, the woman of the house gave her a whistle, and said: “Whenever you put this whistle to your mouth and blow on it, all the birds of the air will come to you from every quarter under the sun. Be careful of the whistle, as it may serve you greatly.”

“Go back to your father’s castle,” said the husband when she came to him, “for I must leave you to-day.”

They went on together a few hundred yards, and then sat on a green hillock, and he told the wife: “Your mother has come between us; but for her we might have lived together all our days. If I had been allowed to pass three nights with you in your father’s house, I should have got back my form of a man both in the daytime and the night. The Queen of Tir na n-Og [the land of youth] enchanted and put on me a spell, that unless I could spend three nights with a wife under her father’s roof in Erin, I should bear the form of a white dog one half of my time; but if the skin of the dog should be burned before the three nights were over, I must go down to her kingdom and marry the queen herself. And ’tis to her I am going to-day. I have no power to stay, and I must leave you; so farewell, you’ll never see me again on the upper earth.”

He left her sitting on the mound, went a few steps forward to some bulrushes, pulled up one, and disappeared in the opening where the rush had been.

She stopped there, sitting on the mound lamenting, till evening, not knowing what to do. At last she bethought herself, and going to the rushes, pulled up a stalk, went down, followed her husband, and never stopped till she came to the lower land.

After a while she reached a small house near a splendid castle. She went into the house and asked, could she stay there till morning. “You can,” said the woman of the house, “and welcome.”

Next day the woman of the house was washing clothes, for that was how she made a living. The princess fell to and helped her with the work. In the course of that day the Queen of Tir na n-Og and the husband of the princess were married.

Near the castle, and not far from the washerwoman’s, lived a henwife with two ragged little daughters. One of them came around the washerwoman’s house to play. The child looked so poor and her clothes were so torn and dirty that the princess took pity on her, and cut the clothes with the scissors which she had.

That moment the most beautiful dress of cloth of gold ever seen on woman or child in that kingdom was on the henwife’s daughter.

When she saw what she had on, the child ran home to her mother as fast as ever she could go.

“Who gave you that dress?” asked the henwife.

“A strange woman that is in that house beyond,” said the little girl, pointing to the washerwoman’s house.

The henwife went straight to the Queen of Tir na n-Og and said: “There is a strange woman in the place, who will be likely to take your husband from you, unless you banish her away or do something to her; for she has a pair of scissors different from anything ever seen or heard of in this country.”

When the queen heard this she sent word to the princess that, unless the scissors were given up to her without delay, she would have the head off her.

The princess said she would give up the scissors if the queen would let her pass one night with her husband.

The queen answered that she was willing to give her the one night. The princess came and gave up the scissors, and went to her own husband; but the queen had given him a drink, and he fell asleep, and never woke till after the princess had gone in the morning.

Next day another daughter of the henwife went to the washerwoman’s house to play. She was wretched-looking, her head being covered with scabs and sores.

The princess drew the comb three times over the child’s head, cured it, and covered it with beautiful golden hair. The little girl ran home and told her mother how the strange woman had drawn the comb over her head, cured it, and given her beautiful golden hair.

The henwife hurried off to the queen and said: “That strange woman has a comb with wonderful power to cure, and give golden hair; and she’ll take your husband from you unless you banish her or take her life.”

The queen sent word to the princess that unless she gave up the comb, she would have her life.

The princess returned as answer that she would give up the comb if she might pass one night with the queen’s husband.

The queen was willing, and gave her husband a draught as before. When the princess came, he was fast asleep, and did not waken till after she had gone in the morning.

On the third day the washerwoman and the princess went out to walk, and the first daughter of the henwife with them. When they were outside the town, the princess put the whistle to her mouth and blew. That moment the birds of the air flew to her from every direction in flocks. Among them was a bird of song and new tales. The princess went to one side with the bird. “What means can I take,” asked she, “against the queen to get back my husband? Is it best to kill her, and can I do it?”

“It is very hard,” said the bird, “to kill her. There is no one in all Tir na n-Og who is able to take her life but her own husband. Inside a holly-tree in front of the castle is a wether, in the wether a duck, in the duck an egg, and in that egg is her heart and life. No man in Tir na n-Og can cut that holly-tree but her husband.”

The princess blew the whistle again. A fox and a hawk came to her. She caught and put them into two boxes, which the washerwoman had with her, and took them to her new home.

When the henwife’s daughter went home, she told her mother about the whistle. Away ran the henwife to the queen, and said: “That strange woman has a whistle that brings together all the birds of the air, and she’ll have your husband yet, unless you take her head.”

“I’ll take the whistle from her, anyhow,” said the queen. So she sent for the whistle.

The princess gave answer that she would give up the whistle if she might pass one night with the queen’s husband.

The queen agreed, and gave him a draught as on the other nights. He was asleep when the princess came and when she went away.

Before going, the princess left a letter with his servant for the queen’s husband, in which she told how she had followed him to Tir na n-Og, and had given the scissors, the comb, and the whistle, to pass three nights in his company, but had not spoken to him because the queen had given him sleeping draughts; that the life of the queen was in an egg, the egg in a duck, the duck in a wether, the wether in a holly-tree in front of the castle, and that no man could split the tree but himself.

As soon as he got the letter the husband took an axe, and went to the holly-tree. When he came to the tree he found the princess there before him, having the two boxes with the fox and the hawk in them.

He struck the tree a few blows; it split open, and out sprang the wether. He ran scarce twenty perches before the fox caught him. The fox tore him open; then the duck flew out. The duck had not flown fifteen perches when the hawk caught and killed her, smashing the egg. That instant the Queen of Tir na n-Og died.

The husband kissed and embraced his faithful wife. He gave a great feast; and when the feast was over, he burned the henwife with her house, built a palace for the washerwoman, and made his servant secretary.

They never left Tir na n-Og, and are living there happily now; and so may we live here.

 

 

Source: http://www.worldoftales.com

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

April 3, 2018

 

 

Musical Instruments

 

The wind sings songs among the trees.

Andante when boughs groan weighed down by snow

Allegro as the branches, brown but lighter now

Can wave more freely, shake the nests of squirrels or of crow

 

Then the springtime gift of green is given,

First buds, then leaves begin to show

The sound of breeze is richer now, a softer music

when leaves, not branches touch and dance.

The trees breath in the carbon particles,

Breath out the oxygen we from the animal kingdom need.

 

The music of the spheres surrounds us,

Let us open wide our hearts, our eyes, our ears.

All sings to us of beauty if we listen

As music gathers volume through the years.

 

The orchestra gathers all its many voices — each one is needed.

each can indeed be heeded as they add their special sounds.

To bring cacophony to harmony needs skill and love …

Love for the miraculously rich melody of life, the singing wind, the

words of sages — the chattering people all around — the music of all

life resounds and echoes through the ages.  Let us pay heed.

 

Clare Hallward

 

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

March 27, 2018

 

The Greedy Fox.

 

 

There was a woman in Connemara, the wife of a fisherman; as he had always good luck, she had plenty of fish at all times stored away in the house ready for market. But, to her great annoyance, she found that a great fox used to come in at night and devour all the best and finest fish. So she kept a big stick by her, and determined to watch.

One day, as she and a woman were spinning together, the house suddenly became quite dark; and the door was burst open as if by the blast of the tempest, when in walked a huge red fox, who went straight up to the fire, then turned round and growled at them.

“Why, surely this is foxy,” said a young girl, who was by, sorting fish.

“I will teach you reverence,” said the fox; and, jumping at her, he scratched her arm till the blood came. “There, now,” he said, “you will be more civil another time when a gentleman comes to see you.” And with that he walked over to the door and shut it close, to prevent any of them going out, for the poor young girl, while crying loudly from fright and pain, had made a desperate rush to get away.

Just then a man was going by, and hearing the cries, he pushed open the door and tried to get in; but the fox stood on the threshold, and would let no one pass. On this the man attacked him with his stick, and gave him a sound blow. The fox, however, was more than a match in the fight, for it flew at him and tore his face and hands so badly that the man at last took to his heels and ran away as fast as he could.

“Now, it’s time for my dinner,” said the fox, going up to examine the fish that was laid out on the tables. “I hope the fish is good today. Now, don’t disturb me, nor make a fuss; I can help myself.”

With that he jumped up, and began to devour all the best fish, while he growled at the woman.

“Away, out of this, you furry beast,” she cried, giving it a blow with the tongs.

But the fox only grinned, and went on tearing and spoiling and devouring the fish, evidently not a bit the worse for the blow. On this, both the women attacked it with sticks, and struck hard blow, they thought. But the fox glared at them and, making a leap, tore their heads and arms till the blood came, and the frightened women rushed shrieking from the house.

But the mistress returned, carrying with her a bottle of druid water. Looking in, she saw the fox still devouring the fish, and not minding. So she crept over quietly and threw druid water on it without a word. No sooner was this done than a dense black smoke filled the place. Nothing was seen but the two eyes of the fox, and they were burning like coals of fire. But when the smoke gradually cleared and disappeared, the fox had run away.

From that time the fish remained untouched and safe from harm, and the greedy fox was seen no more.

 

 

Source: oaks.nvg.org/irish-tales.html

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

March 20, 2018

 

 

 An Irish Folklore Story

 

Children Of Lir

 

 

The Children of Lir is a well known legend that can be recounted by ay Irish school child and most adults too. Lir was an ancient king and ruler of the sea, and was married to a beautiful and kind woman named Eva. Eva gave him four children; the eldest son Aodh, a daughter called Fionnula and twin boys, Fiachra and Conn. Sadly, she died while giving birth to the twins, so to ease his broken heart Lir eventually married Eva’s sister Aoife. Aoife, who had magical powers, became increasingly jealous of the time Lir was spending with his four children. The children were especially close to one another and to their father, and feeling more and more isolated from the family unit, she plotted to destroy the children. Knowing that if she killed them they would come back to haunt her forever, she instead took them down to the lake near their castle. She transformed them into swans and bound them to spend 300 years in Lake Derravaragh, 300 years on the Straits of Moyle and 300 years on the Isle of Inish Glora. Only when they heard a bell tolling for the new god would the spell be broken.

Aoife returned to Lir and told them his children had all drowned. Devastated, he went to the lake where Fionnuala in her swan form approached him and told him what happened (apparently Aoife’s magic was not so powerful that the children lost the ability to speak or sing). Naturally, Lir was appalled at what his wife had done and banished her, spending the rest of his days down by the lake with his children. The swans served their 300 years on each of the designated lakes, passing the time by singing and flying. Before long they were well known all across Ireland, with everyone wishing to see and hear them for themselves. One day they heard a bell toll and knew their time under the spell was coming to an end. They returned to the shore and met a priest there who blessed them, and they transformed back into their now withered and elderly human bodies. In some versions of the ending, they died immediately after their transformation, although in others they lived long enough to be baptised first.

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

March 13, 2018

 

 

Mid-Term Break

by Seamus Heaney

 

I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o’clock our neighbours drove me home.
In the porch I met my father crying—
He had always taken funerals in his stride—
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.
The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand
And tell me they were ‘sorry for my trouble’.
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand
In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.
At ten o’clock the ambulance arrived
With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.
Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops
And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him
For the first time in six weeks. Paler now,
Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four-foot box as in his cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.
A four-foot box, a foot for every year.

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

March 6, 2018

 

 

 

Catharine writes:

One third of Neil’s listeners were francophones. During that first referendum he kept everyone talking on his CJAD open-line show. He also interviewed Premier René Lévesque on the show more than once, with the last time being only a couple of week before Lévesque’s death.

A well-known Montreal lawyer later told me that without Neil’s efforts to keep people listening to each other there could have been violence on the streets of Montreal.

My question is: is there anyone out there in the United States in the midst of this divisive election keeping people listening to each other? The most divisive in US history. Is CNN doing that with its’ panels of commentators from both sides? My impression is they are trying hard – what do you think?

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

February 27, 2018

 

 

ELEGY WRITTIN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD

by Thomas Gray

 

 

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
       The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
         And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimm’ring landscape on the sight,
         And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
         And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
         The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow’r is born to blush unseen,
         And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
         The swallow twitt’ring from the straw-built shed,
The cock’s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
         No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
Apparently this is the first time the word twitt’ring was ever used in a poem.  Does this surprise you?
The Cock’s shrill clarion, or echoing horn is the most beautiful line in English poetry.
Do you agree?
I certainly do not.  The first two versus are much greater favourites of mine.
Catharine McKenty

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

February 20, 2018

Pit Stop By Neil McKenty

Time is ripe for a new political party in Quebec

Now that hunting season has begun, it behooves most Quebec politicians to head for the hills.

According to all the surveys, the popularity of the province’s politicians is dropping like a wounded duck. And this applies to both Ottawa and Quebec City.

A Léger poll shows the level of satisfaction with the federal Conservatives has dropped a full seven points. Only one in five Quebecers is happy with the political leadership in Ottawa.

The results were similarly dismal for the provincial Liberals. The level of dissatisfaction with Premier Jean Charest’s government is at a record-breaking 77 per cent, with only 28 per cent saying they would vote Liberal in the next provincial election. Support for the Parti Québécois stood at 34 per cent.

These figures must be seen in the context of a provincial scene where most of the news is negative. Whether it is the dirty linen on judge’s appointments being aired at the Bastarache commission, the ever-rising cost of health care, controversial language legislation or the government’s refusal to investigate the construction industry, there is not much for the ordinary voter to be happy about.

All this means that Charest, who must face an election within three years, is in dire straits politically. But the PQ leader, Pauline Marois, is right in there with him.

Let’s face it. Although Marois has been in public life for three decades, she has never really caught on, either with her own party or with the electorate generally. This could become more evident when she faces a leadership review next spring.

Unlike the Liberals who cherish their leaders so long as they are in power, the separatists seem to view their chieftans with considerable suspicion. As Don Macpherson writes in the Gazette: “Liberals are disciplined and remain loyal to a leader, especially when they are in power, until he loses an election. Péquistes, on the other hand, are impatient, nervous and suspicious of any leader not named Jacques Parizeau. Since they last held power in 2003, they’ve already had three leaders.”

What’s more, unlike the Charest Liberals, the PQ has a potential leader prowling around the precincts. That would be Gilles Duceppe, who is getting long in the tooth in federal politics. Duceppe threatened to run against Marois once before. This time, if she really stumbles, he might go through with it.

So what we have now in the province is a Liberal government that is dead in the water and a PQ opposition that is not exactly setting the heather afire. What better time to fly a trial balloon about a new party?

A group of former politicians (Péquistes François Legault and Joseph Facal) and business people think the time is ripe for a new party that would regroup federalists and sovereigntists around a centre-right agenda and leaving the “national question” aside.

A new poll shows that such a new party would win 30 per cent of the votes in a Quebec election, with the PQ at 27 per cent and the Liberals at 25 per cent. If nothing else, these results suggest there is a deep desire in the population to break through the federalist-separatist division to some third force that would concentrate on the economic and social well-being of Quebec.

Such a party would emphasize fiscal restraint and smaller government. But would the Quebec voter buy into such a program? Ironically, this is what Charest wanted to implement when he first took office eight years ago. Charest, a small-c conservative, hoped to cut back on Quebec’s bloated bureaucracy, reduce some services and cut taxes.

But Charest discovered to his chagrin that he could carry neither his cabinet nor his caucus on a program of serious fiscal restraint. The government was even afraid to raise the rates for electricity, something practically all economists urged them to do. Recently all it took was the prospect of a coming by-election for Finance Minister Raymond Bachand to shelve plans to impose user fees for medical visits.

So attractive as a new party might be, especially one that jettisoned the sovereignty question, it is not at all clear that it would be able to sell a policy of fiscal restraint, the very policy that Charest could not sell when he first came into office.

Furthermore, as Lysiane Gagnon has pointed out, the new Legault party looks much like the old Mario Dumont party. The Action démocratique du Quebec was also based on a centre-right agenda and a moderate nationalist approach (for most of its life it did not even take sides in the sovereignty debates). One difference is that Legault’s movement was born in Montreal and might eventually attract more high-profile personalties than the ADQ, whose scope was limited to eastern Quebec.

What this new party does right out of the gate is underline popular dissatisfaction with the two old parties. Another election is not required until 2013. That leaves plenty of time for the Liberals to replace Charest and for the PQ to do a makeover on Marois (or replace her with Duceppe.)

In the meantime, a group that has no leader and no name is more popular than the two other parties who have both. No wonder the politicians are heading for the hills.

Published on Nov.2010

The Senior Times

TUESDAY WRITING CONVERSATION

February 13, 2018

 

 

December

by Anonymous.

 

Overnight the frost moves in, spreading silver on the grass and copper in the trees.

You contemplate the world through chilly windowpanes, your breath making clouds upon the glass

You long to stay in all day.

If only you had been born a bear!

You’d sleep from now until the crocuses bloomed and the grass turned soft underfoot again.

But then, you’d miss the season’s riches: it’s warm golden feast and children’s laughter.

So throw back the covers and find your slippers.

Prepare a cup of hot, dark coffee.

Rub the sleep from your eyes, and hello to the new born winter.