I would like to wish all the readers of the website, a very Merry Christmas.  We have people browsing from such countries as Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, France, Holland, Italy, Asia, Canada, the USA, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. 

Thank you for all the messages, during the year, of kindness and support. I haven’t published as much this year as anticipated.  But, there is lots of original content worked on, and very close to publication. I don’t think you will be disappointed when you see the articles to come. I am behind in a few things and in some correspondence.  Please forgive me.

With a theme in mind, I was trying to find a poem from the local newspapers, for dad’s first Christmas, which would have been in 1929.  Unfortunately, I came up short, and had to make do with one written, and published locally, from 1928. It’s from a reader of the Mid-Ulster Mail.  The Mulhollands at Hill House, Eden, always got (from the bread van, which called a couple of times each week) several local newspapers.  The Mid-Ulster Mail was among their weekly reading material.

Additional member of the family. Lest I forget.  Lucy and Roxy now have a new friend.  A few miles away, there were nine young cats up for adoption.  On Thursday, I took one, and my friends took another.   As you can imagine, some fur has been put out of joint during these opening days.  But the point of maximus hiss has now been reached, and the newcomer is starting to settle in.  She is about 5 or 6 months old and is adorable.

All my very best wishes to you and your loved ones.  I hope you have a great Christmas and a wonderful new year.

Best regards,


PS – from the poem, I learned of a new local term, yule log (it may have sometimes been locally referred to as yuleog).  A yule log, is a large log of wood that traditionally formed the main back log of the fire at Christmas.  In some countries, it was referred to as a yule block, or yule clog.

Christmas cat

Christmas cat

Christmas Day

If in this year, so nearly past,
It be allowed us e’er to find
A time of peace, a day of joy
To cheer us in our struggling grind,
As through this weary world we toil,
Oppressed with care, with labour bowed,
‘Tis surely now, when all are here
In the old home, no stranger crowd.
The Yule log’s burning on the hearths,
The family all together meet,
There’s peace and joy o’er all the earth
‘Tis Christmas day, our joys complete.
Around the windows hollies green
By cunning hands are twined with care,
And berries red, enhance the scene,
In the the old home to cheer us there.
The wind is howling, trees are bare,
The snow beats ‘gainst the window pane;
For wind or snow we do not care,
In the old home all meet again.
All sit around the festive board,
And all partake the Christmas cheer;
The poor display their hard-earned hoard
The rich — I can’t describe it here.
‘Mong rich or poor no guile is shown;
There’s joy in Heaven this Christmas Day;
The Son’s descended from the throne
To not let Satan have his way.
If nearer Heaven today we’ve rose,
When peace on earth all men proclaim
Forgive, forget, make friends of foes,
This time of peace may’nt come again.
To you, to me, and who can say
“I’ll be alive next Christmas Day?”

John Coleman
Mullinahoe (near Ardboe)
Mid-Ulster Mail, Saturday 22 December 1928