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July 2014



    July 2014



    Never too old toskydive!

    Everyday tips forgreat skin

    Inspired Plantingat Bloom

    Births to mums over 50 soaring

  • THE countryside is emblazoned inbeautiful sunshine as we go to pressfor our July edition of Mature Living.With so many FIFA World Cup enthusiastsglued to TV screens countrywide somewould wish the heat wave could be bottleduntil mid-July at the latest. For those ofyou who can enjoy it we encourage you toget out and savour the beauty of thecountryside its healthy and good for the

    economy, too.Our One-on-One personality, renowned Irish soprano/harpist

    Mary OHara, is somebody who appreciates beauty and natureand she spoke to our Catherine Gilmartin from her home onthe Aran Islands where she lives with her husband, Patrick.Achieving national recognition at an early age Mary went onto make an influential contribution to Irish music, but manyaspect of her private life make for interesting reading as well.Throughout her life her strong faith has been central and shethanks God for her excellent health at 78.

    When it comes to health we could all look to the Royalfamily for guidance on longevity and readers will beinterested to learn some secrets from the oldest reigningBritish monarch, Elizabeth, and her husband, Prince Philip. Inthe same vein we reveal that the number of women over theage of 50 having babies has doubled in the UK in the past fiveyears. We also talk about how to retain flexibility as we getolder.

    As its summer we give some timely advice on how to enjoyyourself while protecting against some of hazards out there like sun stroke, dehydration, bug bites and the like, whileproviding complementary tips to achieving great skin.

    Its gardening time, of course, and our award-winninggarden designer Leonie Cornelius features some of the latestplanting trends inspired by Irelands top designers andfeatured at this years Bloom in the Park. If you live a moresedentary life and have trouble sleeping you might beinterested in looking at our advice to achieve better sleepand brain health.

    In our features we highlight some of the attractions ofWaterford and Wicklow ideal holiday destinations in thebeautiful south-east, with a wide range of accommodationand activity options. For the more ambitious we feature someof UNESCOs World Heritage Sites which are of major culturaland architectural interest.

    We have many other articles and features of interest in ourJuly edition. The deadline for our August edition will be 18thJuly and we hope all our readers and advertisers have apleasant and enjoyable summer.

    NewsOne to One with Mary OHaraFocus on Wicklow7 Summer health hazards10 people whose livesbegan after 60The royal secrets oflongevityBirths to mums over 50soaringInspired planting @BLOOMThe Bands of ourShowband era Smart Sleeping: Top tipsfor better sleepA functional definition offlexibilitySix styles of lace to love10 Everyday tips toachieving great skinPets CornerTake the troubles awayfrom adventure travellingFocus on WaterfordAlternative TherapiesPuzzle PageCompetitionA taste of FranceAngelscopesTechnologyCard MakingServices Directory














    Seamus Casey - Editor

    July 2014


    Editorial: Seamus [email protected]: Stephen [email protected] Sales: Lisa [email protected]

    The information in Mature Living is carefully researched and believed to be accurate, but the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions. Statements or opinions expressed herein are notnecessary those of the editor or publisher. Advertisements within the publication are not endorsed by the publisher. Neither are any claims made within the advertisements. Before consuming any products mentioned in the

    publication readers are advised to consult with their general practitioner or equivalent professional for opinion or advice.

    Published by: Benbulben Publishing LimitedPO Box 41, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

    Tel/Fax: 053-9270857Web: Email: [email protected]

    LAST MONTHS COMPETITION WINNERSCongratulations to last months competition winners. The breakaway to the Ashdown hotel in Gorey was won by LucyMcEvoy, Enfield Co Meath and the breakaway to Mount Falcon inBallina was won by Tommy Daly from Elm park, Lucan.

  • News

    Page 4 Mature Living July 2014


    Get in touch with us today for more informationCall: 01-4945993 / [email protected]

    Trying to find that someone special, particularly as we get a bitolder can be a daunting experience. The unknown of on-linedating and some of the more traditional methods aren't for

    everyone. We established Unclaimed Treasures to specificallycater for the needs of the over 40s to active retired in Ireland

    Here at Unclaimed Treasures we want to bring the excitementof meeting new people back to our members.

    Belleek Castle: Best HotelRestaurant in Connaught

    George Hook, was joined on thegolf course by his son Georgeand grandson George to helpBreakthrough Cancer Research launchtheir Drive for Dads campaign, tofundraise for research into cancersaffecting men.

    The campaign is twofold, withmembers of the public beingencouraged to text GOLF to 50300 tomake a 4 donation to BreakthroughCancer Research to support theirdads, granddads, uncles, brothers,husbands and friends. While thesecond element of the campaign willsee participating golf courses andclubs throughout Ireland add 4 tomembers and non-members greenfees over the summer months. Wehave once again teamed up withTitleist #1 ball in golf, to offer golfersthe chance to win 1 of 5 prizes of a

    years supply of Titleist golf balls.All monies raised through the Drive

    for Dads campaign will specifically gotowards research into lung, testicular,prostate, and stomach cancers.Currently Ireland has the higheststatistics of prostate cancer in Europewith the disease affecting one inevery 13 men in the country. Over90% of those diagnosed withtesticular cancer are younger than50, and lung cancer is the cause of20% of all cancer deaths in Ireland.Breakthrough Cancer Research iscurrently working to fund researchthat will reduce these startlingstatistics.

    Commenting on the appeal, GeorgeHook Snr said, As a proud father,golfing fanatic and supporter ofBreakthrough Cancer Research, Icannot think of a better gift a dad

    could receive on Fathers Day thanthe opportunity to help save the livesof men throughout Ireland in theirfight against cancer. Ill mostcertainly be joining the Drive forDads campaign this Fathers Day andurging everyone to text GOLF to50300 to make a 4 donation toBreakthrough Cancer Research inhonour of their dad, granddad, uncle,brother or husband. We men arenotorious for not taking the correct,if any, action when it comes to ourhealth. I am delighted to see theDrive for Dads initiative makingmoves to increase awareness andcarry out important research inIreland into new treatments forcancers affecting men.

    Eoghan O'Sullivan, campaignmanager at Breakthrough CancerResearch, said, We are really lookingforward to getting the ball rolling onthis years Drive for Dads campaign.35,000 people will be diagnosed withcancer in Ireland this year, 8,500 willdie because the cures to save theirlives have not been developed, yet!Our Drive for Dads campaign letspeople donate to our ongoingresearch in as easy a way as possible,by text! All people have to do is textGOLF to 50300 to make a 4 donationto cancer research. We are delightedto once again have the support ofTitleist as we drive a wedge intomens cancers. The Drive for Dadscampaign will not only help to spreadawareness but it will raise vital fundsto bring new treatments to fruition sowe can dramatically reduce thesefrightening statistics. We areappealing to everyone to help us inour drive for a future free of cancerthis Fathers Day. So if you want toscore a hole in one this Fathers Day,text GOLF to 50300 or bring your dadalong to one of the participating golfcourses or clubs, or play a round inmemory of your loved one.Participating clubs can be viewed onthe event page www.drivefordads.ieor by calling 1890 998 998.

    Three generations of George Hook's support Breakthrough Cancer Research's Drive for Dads Campaign


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    Great news for Belleek Castle, Ballina this week.Belleek Castle took home the prestigious prize of BestHotel Restaurant in Connaught at the Irish RestaurantAwards 2014. Also, our Restaurant Manager Daniel Mayrwas awarded the Best Restaurant Manager inConnaught! The Food Oscar crowns the TopRestaurants in Ireland. Over 900 restaurateurs andindustry players came to attend Irelands biggestRestaurant awards where Regional and All-IrelandWinners were announced. Hence, the Restaurant at Belleek Castle is the onlyplace in town that has won an RAI Award this year, andwe are very proud to say we are flying the flag forBallina! A lot of hard work has gone into thisfantastic result! The lead into 2014 has been excellentfor us, also winning the Georgina Campbell's 'JUST ASK'Bord Ba Restaurant of the Year. says Head ChefStephen Lenahan. It shows us that we are going in theright direction. Ballina is a great place to dine withseveral excellent restaurants, and Belleek Castle issetting new standards in the area.

    Phone line for former residents of mother andbaby homes set up

    Charlie Flanagan the minister frochildren has set-up a dedicatedphone line and counsellingservice for former residents ofmother and baby homes.The move follows the establishmentof a Commission of Investigation intothe high-rate of infant mortality inCatholic Church run mother andbaby homes.There are a number of servicesavailable to those affected by thematters being considered in the con-text of mother and baby homes,the minister said.In particular, I am conscious thatthere is a demand for informationand my Department has worked with

    the HSE in relation to arrange-ments for the provision of informa-tion, he added.An update on the inquiry announcedby the Minister includes: An information & counselling serv-ice for former residents. New email address for submissionson Terms of Reference of Commis-sion of Investigation ([email protected]). Dedicated telephone informationline for people seeking informationor details of support available.The Department is seeking submis-sions from the public which could berelevant to the scooping exercisewhich will form the terms of refer-

    ence.It is specifically looking for details ofmother and baby homes which couldpotentially be included in the in-quiry.Those seeking information on the in-quiry should low call the HSE Na-tional Information Line on: 1850 241850 during Monday to Friday 9am to5 pm.Those directly affected can also con-tact the CONNECT free telephoneout-of-hours professional counsellingand support service to speak with atrained counsellor: Freephone 1800477 477 from the Republic of Irelandand 00800 477 477 77 from NorthernIreland and the UK.

    George Hook, Jnr, Mnr and Snr help Breakthrough Cancer Research to launchtheir Drive for Dads appeal. The Drive for Dads campaign focuses on thedevelopment of new treatments for the cancers affecting men, BCR areencouraging people to Text GOLF to 50300 to make a 4 to BCR and enter thedraw to win one of 5 fantastic prizes of a years supply of Titleist golf balls. Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

  • Google and Age Actionhave joined forcesonce again to searchfor Irelands top SilverSurfers. The Awardscelebrate and showcaseolder peoples use of theinternet and technology.Winners of each award willreceive a Chrome Book.

    This year we are lookingfor enthusiastic people overthe age of 50 who have aninteresting story to shareabout how they use theircomputer and the internet

    and who will become a rolemodel to inspire more olderpeople to embracetechnology.

    We are calling on peopleacross Ireland to nominatea friend, neighbour orrelative who usestechnology for pleasure oras a way to enhance thequality of their life.

    The public can nominatesomeone for an award byfilling in an online formhere or by phoning Anne-Marie on 01 475 6989. The

    closing date for nominationsis Sunday 5th October.

    This is the sixth year ofthe awards and there arefive award categories asfollows:

    New to IT Award A personover the age of 50 who isnew to technology and hasovercome challenges tobecome an IT user Hobbieson the Net Award An olderperson who uses theInternet to pursue theirpassion or hobby or whouses IT for communication

    and social networkingIT Tutor(s) of the Year An

    individual or group of anyage who provides voluntarysupport to older learners

    Google Silver SurferAward An older person whoembraces the Internet ortechnology with a sense offun and adventure

    Golden IT Award Anindividual over the age of80 who uses technology toenhance their life

    Conditions: Those whoentered in previous yearscan enter again this year.Winners may need toengage in promotional workfor the awards.

    Photographs of winnersand nominees together withtheir names and ages maybe used in publicitycampaigns. The awards areopen to all in the

    island of Ireland. An olderperson is defined as beingover the age of 50.

    The winners of theGoogle Silver Surfer Awardswith Age Action will beannounced at an awardsceremony on Monday 20thOctober at GoogleHeadquarters in Dublin.The Judging Panel isresponsible for theallocation of awards andthe decision of theChairman of the JudgingPanel is final. Nocorrespondence will beentered into regarding thatdecision.

    Page 6 Mature Living July 2014


    One of Wicklowsmost iconic touristattractions hasundergone a tremendous240,000 transformation,which sees the ancientprison become one of thecountrys most high techvirtual reality historicattractions.

    The project funded byFilte Ireland and WicklowEnterprise Park is designedto engage the senses andbring to life two of themost turbulent centuriesof Irish history.

    Holographic projectionsof cruel prison guards,lifelike mannequins ofmajor historic figures andstate of the art audio-visual systems recreatethe sounds of the defiantcries of the 1798 rebels,the famine era the War ofIndependence and CivilWar.

    The replica two-decktransportation ship now

    features holographicinteraction with the shipsCaptain as visitors climbaboard the torturous 200-day journey to VanDiemens land.

    Iconic historic figuresincluding Robert ErskineChilders (father ofPresident Childers)Wicklow United IrishmanBilly Byrne, the tragicfemale transportee ElizaDavis, Fr. Eoin McPhee thefirst ever prisoner listed inthe Gaol (arrested forsaying a Rock Mass) andmany other unforgettablecharacters have entirecells dedicated to tellingtheir story, with imposinglife-size figures andcaptivating audio-visualinterpretation.

    The Red Coats ominouslyoccupy the main floor ofthe prison and GovernorEdward Storey is broughtto life via holographicaudio visual projections.

    Designed to engage allthe senses, visitors willstep back in time as theyjourney through theoriginal prison cells andexperience a new era oflife in Gaol as they movethrough the building.

    Descend into thedungeon and see thetorture methods; climbaboard the replicatransportation ship for anagonizing journey to VanDiemens Land; wanderthrough the cells and meetthe notorious protagonistsof the 1798 rebellion andexperience theovercrowding of thefamine era, ascend intothe Irish War ofIndependence and CivilWar when Wicklow Gaolfinally closed its doors as aprison for good.

    But not all of theprisoners left! Learn whyWicklow Gaol is world-renowned as Irelands

    most haunted buildingThe new experience also

    includes audio handsets infour languages, interactivepoints for children and agenealogy room whereIrish and overseas visitorscan research theirancestry.

    The new multimediatransformation at the Gaolcoincides with the launchof some unique eventsincluding new teams ofovernight paranormalinvestigators, sleepovers inthe cells, Birthday parties,anniversaries and eventsfor other specialoccasions.

    For further informationsee: or call 0404 61599.

    Emily Cox, CoxCommunications,[email protected]

    240,000 transformation sees Wicklow Gaolbecome premier multi-sensory tourism hub

    Google Silver Surfer Awards 2014

    By Patricia Conboy

    The bank bailout in2008 imposed aheavy burden on Irishpeople. The cost has beenestimated at 8,956 forevery man, woman andchild in the country. Inaddition, the effects ofausterity measures haveprobably been felt by

    every family in terms of new taxes and cuts to healthand social protection budgets. Inevitably, asgovernment budgets have tightened, there has beena public debate on the impact of austerity ondifferent sections of the population. When it comesto older people, the debate has often been skewedby an assumption that older people form a uniformgroup and have not suffered as badly as others. Inthis context, there are some points worthhighlighting.

    Older people are not all the same. As readersknow, this is a group that differs by age, socio-economic, health and family status. The impact ofausterity measures on older people is influenced bythese factors, and their experience over the life-course. In reality, peoples circumstances changesignificantly as they move from being youngold(65+) to being old old(80+).

    There are older people who are poor; older peoplewho are on modest incomes; and older people whoare well-off. According to the CSO, in 2011 peopleaged 65 and over had an average gross income of407.28 per week. However, if we look at howincome is distributed among the over 65s, we seesignificant differences. Those in the lowest 20 percent of income (or quintile) had a gross income of185.45 per week. The source of 85.6% of theirincome was social transfers (i.e. State Pension &related benefits). No more than 3% of income forpeople in this group came from occupationalpensions. Those in the highest 20 per cent of income(or quintile) had a gross income of 842.14 per week.Social transfers accounted for 37.3% of income in thisgroup and 27% came from occupational pensions.

    Inequality in early life carries into old age. Forexample, pension coverage in the working agepopulation is inadequate at roughly 54%. Peoplewithout pension provision will be poorer in later life.Those with inadequate pension provision includelarge numbers of women, low-paid, part-time andcasual workers. People need to have sufficientincome to save for their pension and many cannotafford to do so; or cannot afford to save enough tosecure a decent income. Government promotespension saving through a system of tax reliefs.However these reliefs have consistently favouredhigher income earners (See Adam Larragy (2013), AUniversal Pension for Ireland, Social Justice Irelandfor an analysis of this and other pension issues).

    We need to situate people in the context of theirlife-course. When people are younger, typicalchallenges are to get on a career ladder, access amortgage, start a family. As people move into olderold age, they face challenges such as the potentialloss of independence, acquired disability, need forsocial, hospice or nursing home care, loss of largernumbers of family and friends to death.

    If we see people in context, recognise andacknowledge the challenges that arise at differentpoints of the life-course, our discussion of the effectsof austerity will be more humane, balanced andnuanced. We may have to wear an economicstraitjacket but we dont have to ration ourcompassion for each other.

    Twitter : @PatriciaConboy1 ;

    Older People donot form a uniform group

  • News

    Page 8 Mature Living July 2014

    Never too old to jumpfrom a helicopter One of the biggest concerns of theelderly is being able to afford theirhealth cover policy with about

    300,000 people having cancelled due to theannual prices increases from all 4 healthinsurance companies people are fallingback on the already under pressure publicsystem. Recent figures from the National TreatmentPurchase Fund show that there areapproximately 50,000 people awaiting

    inpatient and day case procedures so going public isnt an option forpeople who cant afford to wait for procedures. Also you have to bearin mind going the public route isnt exactly free unless youre amedical card holder you will have to pay the public hospital levy of75 per night up to a maximum stay of 10 days in any 12 monthsperiod, so thats 750 to stay in hospital for a short to medium term.So what can people and in particular the elderly do to help try andkeep a hold of their medical insurance having paid into it for yearswithout claim and just when they need it most they are being pricedout of the market?1- Be prepared to take a small excess on your policy, the excess is theamount you will pay for any claim it can be as little as 75 on beingadmitted to a private hospital or as large as 500 depending which planand company you are with and it can bring down the cost of yourannual premium. There is no excess for public hospital and check withyour insurer that the excess isnt a daily excess as that will work outvery expensive.2- Get rid of the extras, most people want to be covered for the bigmedical emergencies in public hospitals with access to privatehospitals if needs, if your plan covers day to day expenses and youarent claiming them best move to a hospital only plan, day to dayexpenses would include getting money back for GP visits consultantsetc.3- Ask your health insurance company for the corporate planequivalent (plans that are offered to large companies) dont be put offby the names of the plans Company Plan etc. these plans are availableto all and in a lot of cases have better benefits and cheaper premiumthan the plans offered to the general public. Most of the older clients Ispeak to are in the traditional old Plan B space that most were coveredon at one stage moving from that to a Corporate Plan can mean bigsavings without reducing your cover. 4- Look to the newer plans that may limit your access to the high techhospitals Blackrock, Maher etc. but still cover you for all public and alot of other private hospitals. Depending on where you are in thecountry you may never end up using one of the high tech hospitals butyou are paying for them with your annual premium.5- Dont be afraid to split cover when renewing a family plan or a planfor a couple if one member of the couple is more likely to be using aprivate hospital in the coming year they need to be on the correctlevel of cover but the other person may consider a reduced plan ortaking on an increased excess to keep costs down.

    Health cover is a huge concern for the elderly but if you know theright questions to ask your provider will be able to help you maintain adecent level of cover by trimming off some of the fat i.e. benefits,hospitals you may not be currently using. But as always let the buyerbeware there are pitfalls when changing cover and you mustunderstand the up-grade rule if you reduce your cover and want to goback to a higher level plan you may have to wait 2 years if you areunder 65 and 5 years if you are over 65 for the higher benefits to kickin.In my experience a lot of mature people are still on the old legacyplans and are paying for the private room in the private hospital and byswitching plans you may give your policy the health check that it islong overdue. Seek out independent advice speak to your healthinsurance company and use the Health Authority website www.hia.iewhich is a very useful guide to comparing plans.

    Mark Gilmore is a QualifiedFinancial Adviser who ownsMoney Tree Financial Servicesand can be contacted on 087-6788975 or by email [email protected] Gilmore trading asmoney tree financial servicesis regulated by the CentralBank of Ireland

    Is your Health InsurancePlan Due a Health Check?

    FORMER US president George Bush celebrated his 90th birthday bymaking a tandem parachute jump near his summer home in Maine.The 41st president jumped out of a helicopter while harnessed to aretired member of the army's parachute team. Mr Bush, who can no longeruse his legs, could be seen floating to the ground using a red, white andblue parachute. RIGHT: ormer first lady Barbara Bush greets her husbandand former U.S. President George H.W. Bush with a kiss after hissuccessful skydive

    Dementia A Legal PerspectiveHome Instead Senior Care inBallsbridge recently hosted atalk on the legal aspectsassociated with caring for personwith dementia. With an increasingnumber of people being diagnosedwith dementia the importance ofgaining relevant and practicalinformation can not be overemphasised. Providing thisinformation to health careprofessionals and personalcaregivers is important to HomeInstead. Presented by BernadetteParte, a solicitor with an expertisein Mental Health Law and Elder Lawthe Ballsbridge office welcomedhealth care professionals from eightprimary care teams. Topicscovered included:

    The importance of making a will -including when a person has or hasnot capacity to make a will.

    Establishing an Enduring Power ofAttorney positive and negativeconsiderations

    Advanced care directives advantages and limitations

    Protecting and supportingvulnerable people in the communityand the legislation that supportsthem.

    Disclosure and reporting responsibility and protection for all

    Following the talk there was avery lively and interactive questionand answer session.

    Pictured above is Karl Schutte, Managing Director of HomeInstead Senior Care in Ballsbridge with Bernadette Parte,with Parte & Associates

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  • Page 10 Mature Living July 2014

    Feature by Catherine Gilmartin

    Sligonative,Mary,who nowlives in InisMor, AranIslands, wasborn in1935 into aprivilegedfamily. TheOHaras go

    back several generations; hermother is from another ancientGalway family, Kirwan, one ofthe twelve tribes of Galway.Her mother and father metwhen they were at GalwayUniversity.

    In her autobiography Mary,the youngest of four children,felt that her mother had apreference for the eldestdaughter, Joan. They had acompanionship between themthat was not shared by the rest

    of the children. Joan and hermother would spend a lot oftime together and would go outleaving Mary and her brotherbehind with the maid. Marythinks her mother was not verymaternal. She always felt aplain Jane as her mother alwaystold her she was pale and it didnot help that she was given hersisters cast offs to wear, whichdid not suit her; because Joanwas a dark beauty she lookedgood in dark colours so herdresses were mainly black orother dark colours which did notsuit Mary who was fair andalways looked pale in them. InMarys opinion her motherregarded Joan as an extensionof herself. Apart from all thisMary had a very happychildhood and had a closerelationship with her father andbrother Dermot, who was justover a year older than her.

    During Marys early years, herfather joined the British Army;he became a British Officer inthe Indian Army and was postedto the North West frontier forfive years; his letters, full ofaffection were really lookedforward to.

    In her autobiography Marywrites that from an early ageshe knew there was somethingradically wrong with her

    parents marriage. In her mindit was a disaster and she used topray that they would separate;her mother was very difficult toget on with. Everyone knewthat Mary sided with her fatherin their interminable conflict,and that if they separated shewould stay with him and Joanwith her mother.

    When her father returnedfrom the war the disagreements

    began again. Her mother drankheavily for a long time and diedwhen Mary was just seventeen.As she had been at boardingschool she never experienced anadult relationship with hermother, so never got to knowwhat the reasons were behindher becoming an alcoholic andher black depression.

    Mary was thirteen when shewas sent to boarding school,

    Mary OHaraThe Voice of an angel

    Catherine Gilmartin spoke to Mary OHara, an Irish Soprano and Harpist from County Sligo, who has made a groundbreaking contribution to Irish music. Mary hasplayed an influential role in shaping and promoting Irish music throughout the world for decades to come through her recordings, radio, worldwide concert toursand TV appearances.

  • Page 11 Mature Living July 2014

    Sion Hill, next door toBlackrock College in Dublin,where Dermot went. As Joanwas also in Dublin, at the AbbeySchool of Acting, her parentsdecided to move to Dublin, soMary left Sligo.

    By this time Mary had won herfirst competition at eight yearsold - Sligo's annual Music andDrama singing competition. Atthe age of 16 she had a radiobroadcast under her belt. Shewent on to perform at EdinburghInternational Fringe Festivalwith the Dublin UniversityPlayers, and appeared on BBCsQuite Contrary and The EdSullivan Show before starring inher own BBC television series.

    At the age of 20, Mary wasintroduced to American poet,Richard Selig, in July, 1955; shefell in love and married him in1956. They moved to theUnited States but sadly Seligdied of Hodgkins disease 15months after their marriage,and Mary continued to tour andrecord for four years.

    In 1962, she became aBenedictine nun at StanbrookAbbey in England, where shestayed for 12 years. I asked herif it was loneliness thatprompted her to join the nunsbut she said: No, I never feltlonely in my life, I love being onmy own, I love the silence, it isone of my biggest loves. Thereason I became a nun wasbecause I wanted to get toHeaven quicker to be with myhusband. If I had not been aChristian I would havecommitted suicide. It wasalso a way of saying thank youto God for 15 wonderful monthsof happiness.

    For health reasons Mary hadto leave the monastery in 1974and found that her musicalreputation had grown. Shereturned to performing and in amatter of months, she becomeone of the biggest internationalrecording stars Ireland has everproduced.

    Former African missionarypriest Pat OToole became hermanager and close friend. Tenyears after Pat left thepriesthood they got married in

    1985 and have been very happilymarried for the last twenty nineyears. They both have a verystrong faith after havingdevoted much of their lives toGod.

    Mary OHara thinks highly ofPope Francis and believes hewill make radical changes in theCatholic Church. Her faith is ofthe utmost importance to herand she says that the recentrevelations about the CatholicChurch have not impacted herat all. She went on to say, Yesthere are sinners in the Church,but look not on our sins but onthe Faith of our Church. Godhas an infinitely loving plan foreach and every one of us. Weall have free will, he just leavesit to us. She believes inmiracles and quotes StAugustine, 5th Century, A

    miracle is contrary not to naturebut to what is known of nature

    We moved on to the subjectof the harp and her career as amusician, The harp has alwaysbeen a symbol of Ireland and ofIrish music and is still played bymany prominent artistes. WhenMary was interviewed by RussellHarty on TV, (a famous Britishpresenter who has now died),the public response wasoverwhelming and led to apublishers bidding war callingfor her to do an autobiography.The title of her first book, anautobiography, The Scent of theRoses, is taken from one of herfavourite songs; her other booksinclude A Celebration of Love,and A Song for Ireland, followedby Travels with my Harp in May2012. Mary retired from singingin 1994, and went on to say:

    Nothing would induce me to goback performing again; that wasmy decision when my voice wasstill at its best. Since thencircumstances have intervenedand I began to transcribe thesongs and theiraccompaniments. Pat, myhusband, has been printing themon the Sibelius programme. Sofar, we have produced sixvolumes with twelve songs ineach. Each song is accompaniedby a CD, not just of traditionalbut Irish art songs and songsfrom other parts of the world,including France, so it has avery wide range. There is an11th Century French song andother beautiful ones that weresung on television so we wereable to retrieve them.Unfortunately, everything had tostop when Pat got sick. He wasstruck down with a very rareform of cancer that only twopeople in a billion suffer with.We may very well revive ourplans though because I have gotso many songs that people saythey would love to have writtendown.

    Mary says her health isexcellent and she puts this downto a well balanced diet. Sheeats a bit of everything but nottoo much and does not drinkalcohol, I might have one glassof white wine once in a while!she laughs, an infectious clearand beautiful sounding laugh like a young girl, a sound that isa pleasure to listen to and itmakes me laugh too.

    Mary goes on to tell me thatshe and her husband used to

    split their time between a 17th-century thatched cottage inBerkshire, England and the AranIslands but now live full time onAran which makes her husbandPat extremely happy as he wasborn and raised on the Islandand loves it. They both speakfluent Irish, Pat was brought upon the Island and spoke Irish ashis first language having to learnEnglish when he went to school.Mary is currently writing her 5thbook which is going to be aboutAran and the outsiders whocome here and why they love it.

    Marys nephew, SebastianBarry, son of her sister, Joan,the actress, who played the roleof Eunice Dunstan in Fair City(she died in 2007), is a wellknown novelist and his currentnovel is based loosely on Marysparents, A TemporaryGentleman. His other novel,The Secret Scripture, is beingfilmed this year and is set inSligo. It was based on an Auntand Uncle of Mary in Enniscrone.

    Finally, Mary offers this adviceto any young person withambitions for a career in theArts: I would say that I neverset out to be a professional butonce I agree to do something,whether its polishing the tableor giving a concert, I give it 100plus per cent; I commit myselftotally to it, so if I say yes, I aimfor perfection. We never reachperfection but it is only rightthat we should try. If you aregoing to do something aim forperfection, practice, practice,practice . . . . and I hear thelovely musical laugh once more.

    Mary with her husband, Patrick OToole.

    Marys sister, Joan OHara playing the much loved character Eunice in Fair City

  • On the east coast of Ireland lies avast mountainous area where youwill find the county of Wicklowand the Wicklow Mountains NationalPark, which covers approximately 20,000hectares of the mountain range. The keygoal of the Wicklow Mountains NationalPark is to conserve and protect the locallandscape, wildlife and the localecosystems. Every year close to onemillion visitors pass through the Park andit is an extremely important source ofrecreation for both visitors and locals.Streams run freely into the deep calmlakes of the wood covered valleys andrun into the adjoining lowlands. Theforestry area and the meanderingmountain roads are the only things tointerrupt the gaping scenes. Heather andbog covered floors drape the roundpeaks and the top mountain slopes. Theblanket bog areas include the LiffeyHead Bog and the Lugnaquila complexes.

    Glendalough is a remarkable placethat will still your mind, inspire yourheart and fill your soul. The stunningGlendalough Valley is one the mostpopular tourist areas in the WicklowMountains and it is here that you willdiscover the antiquated monasticsettlement of St. Kevin. Exploring theuplands on foot requires properequipment and a sense of adventure in asetting where you will readily findisolation and wilderness. People havebeen coming to the valley of the twolakes for hundreds of years to soak upits intense history, archaeology,sumptuous scenery and its copiouswildlife. The world famous Monastic sitewith its round tower is just one of itsamazing attractions along with itsluscious lakes and valleys. The selectionof trails and walkways include TheWicklow Way and the area has a lot tooffer every discerning visitor.Glendalough is an incredible place thatwill stir the heart, fulfil the soul andcalm the mind.

    There are some spectacular walkingtrails in the Wicklow Mountains and youwill find the majority of these in theGlendalough valley. You can choose froma stroll that lasts half an hour to avigorous hill walk that will take youabout four hours. There are wideselections of exciting and impressivewalks to choose from the hardest partwill be picking one that suits your moodand ability on the day! Some of the trailsventure to the crumbling miners village,

    others to the Poulanass Waterfall, thecave of St. Kevins Bed while a visit toReefert Church is also on the cards.

    The visitor centre displays maps of thewalks and the walking trails are allflagged with colour-coded arrows.Accompanying some of the walking trailsare nature trails which highlight andexplore bugs, birds, flora and trees thatreside in and around the WicklowMountains which will delight both adultsand children. For the more daring andexperienced adventurer, you can partakein some rock climbing on the crags ofMiners Road. The information centrewill be able to offer you any help thatyou need on rock climbing. You will alsofind that angling is allowed in some ofthe rivers and lakes within the park.Brown trout are the most common fishcaught, fishing is allowed from mid-March to the end of September.

    Such is the special charm of theWicklow Mountains nestled in theGarden County that you will want tokeep coming back. Theres always moreto explore!

    The must-see Lake in PowerscourtGardens: The walkway that surroundsTriton Lake lets you enjoy a 360 degreeview of Powerscourt at it's best. Fromthe Winged Horses that watch over theLake, to the sounds of the fountainbeyond, this is one of the most majesticparts of Powerscourt Gardens. Don't missa visit to the boathouse, hidden to oneside of Lake where you can explorePowerscourt from a different angle!


    Page 12 Mature Living July 2014

    Telephone us on 086 446 0784

    A treasure trove of maritime memorabilia and seafaring history waiting to be explored.

    Open Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 5pm Adults 5. Children and Senior Citizens 2.

    Group rates on request.

    The Glendasan river in the WicklowMountains, County Wicklow, Ireland.In the background is Tonelagee, thethird highest mountain in the range.

    Wicklow Mountainsaka Garden County

    We Provide: Guided day walks (For all experience levels)

    Day Tours from Dublin Wicklow Boyne Valley. Short Walking Breaks Walking Holidays

    Full Moon Walks Landscape Photography Workshops. Join our social Walking Club.

    Guided walks & toursA great way to socialise, get fit and

    enjoy the amazing Wicklow Hills.

    For more informa!on about these walks and others Visit

    email: [email protected] Or Phone 087-7849599


    80km The Braveheart Drive iscentred around the west of theWicklow Mountains and coversapproximately 80km. The routestarts in Hollywood, film set ofDancing a Lughnasa whichbrought Meryl Streep andMichael Gambon to the localpub and sets off in the directionof the Wicklow Gap. Hollywood Glen was also the

    location of the ice valley sceneKing Arthur. After a couple ofmiles the Braveheart Driveveers off left to Ballyknockan,Lacken, film set for PS I LoveYou and Manor Kilbride, with apossible whistle stop bustlingBlessington, set on the spectac-ular Blessington LAKES. From Manor Kilbride the drivebrings you right through theWest Wicklow Mountains pastthe peat bogs of the Sally Gapand Kippure Estate, which wasused extensively for Braveheart.The Sally Gap road features inmany Irish made films like TheGeneral, PS I Love You, Reign ofFire, Veronica Guerin and con-tinues past spectacular Glen-

    macnass Waterfall on the vil-lages of Laragh and Glendaloughand then returns to Hollywoodby the Wicklow Gap, used as lo-cation for Reign of Fire and KingArthur

    EXCALIBUR DRIVE 68km Thisdrive starts and finishes in thepicturesque mountain village ofRoundwood and brings youthrough some of the most spec-tacular and varied landscape inCounty Wicklow. The IsolatedWicklow Mountains with theirdomed granite peaks reachheights of over 2,500 feet, andform the largest undisturbeduplands blanket of bog in Ire-land. There is an abundance offlora and fauna to be foundhere amongst the hidden lakesrivers and numerous waterfalls.Look out for deer, foxes, badg-ers, falcons and merlins. Lough Tay and Lough Dan havebeen used as film location bymany of the period films anddramas such as Becoming Jane,The Tudors, Camelot, KingArthur and many more. Nowonder this area is so popularwith filmmakers as the sceneryshows the very best of the Irishlandscape. How-ever, the moun-tains, towns,woods, lakes andbeaches in CountyWicklow Have alsoserved as back-drop for places incountries as di-verse as France,America, Russia,Italy and Ger-many. The Excal-ibur Drive alsobrings you pastthe impressive

    Powerscourt Estate and Water-fall, famous for some Excaliburscenes and in Bray past Killrud-dery House and Gardens whichis used as a film location somuch that its a living set.

    MICHAEL COLLINS DRIVE 72km The Michael Collins Drivestarts in Wicklow Town and cov-ers 72km while it brings youthrough a landscape of rollinghills and lush valleys dottedwith picturesque villages. TheMichael Collins Drive starts inFitzwilliam Square in WicklowTown, film location for theGuard with Brendan Gleesonand Don Cheadle and brisgs youthrough Rathnew and Glenealyto Rathdrum, the film capital ofIreland. Some famous scenesfrom the film Michael Collinswith Liam Neeson and JuliaRobersts were shot here. Nexton the drive is the now worldfamous Avoca, the living televi-sion set for the BBC series Bal-lykissangel. The beautiful lush Vale of Avocabrings you downs to historicWoodendbridge and next to Ark-low, a seaside resort exuding awarm welcome to visitors look-

    ing for entertainment and activ-ities and location for AngelasAshes. After the buzz of Arklow thedrive returns to the peacefulcountryside and rolling hills ofRedcross, film set for Cracks, aBoarding School drama with EvaGreen, and further on the mile

    long golden beach of Brittas Bayused for the Count of MonteCristo, The Tudors and Camelot.The Michael Collins Drive bringsyou past Wicklow Gaol which isworld famous for being one ofthe most haunted prisons andhas been featured on countlesstelevision documentaries.


    Page 13 Mature Living July 2014

    Afternoon Tea for two on arrival (scone, sandwich, pastry, tea/coffee) Two nights B&B and 2 course dinner on one evening of your choice Bottle of House Wine with Dinner Complimentary morning newspaper Full use of The Merrill Leisure Club facilities Concessions for Royal Bingo (one evening) Bring the grandchildren, up to two children (u12years)

    share complimentary accommodation.Complimentary Merrills Activity Camp starts July 1st

    The Royal Hotel, set in seasideresort of Bray, offers gueststhe best of both worlds, onlya short distance to the heart ofDublin city (30 minutes by DART)and on the border of WicklowCounty guests are spoilt for choicewith a range of activities, walksand places to visit.

    Boasting 128 bedrooms , thehotel offers a choice of standardrooms, the recent addition of over30 deluxe rooms which are con-temporary and spacious in theirdesign & we also have severalfamily rooms to accommodate afamily of up to five complimentthe make up of our rooms.

    The Quinns Bar with its oldeworld meeting modern day in itsdcor offers a sumptuous diningwith our bar menu and live musicevery weekend with locallyrenowned musicians, the QuinnsBar is the perfect place to meetold friends and new.

    The Heritage Restaurant servesa selection of carefully chosenMenus to suit all appetites usingthe finest locally produced ingre-dients. The Heritage Restaurant isthe perfect venue for all occasionsfrom an intimate meal for two toa family celebration.

    Our recently refurbished andextended Merrill Leisure Club, ex-clusive to guests and memberscomprises of a 14 metre swimmingpool, Childrens Pool, Sauna,Jacuzzi. Steam-Room, a fullyequipped Gymnasium. The MerrillBeauty Rooms offers special dis-counts on massage and beautytreatments exclusive to ourguests. Merrills Activity Camp,which is a complimentary serviceoffers a wide range of activities tochildren aged 4 years and above.The camp takes place daily from10am 1pm and 6.00pm 9.00pmeach evening, during all schoolholidays.

    Explore Wicklow, Experience Dublin

    Wicklow Films Drives

    WICKLOW SCENIC WALKSLeisurely Guided

    Walks on Dublins Doorstep

    Telephone: [email protected]

    Delight in breathtaking scenery, walking throughforests and moorlands - From rolling hills to wildseashores, experience natures peace and quiet. Walks from just 20 (Group rates available)

  • Sonas Nursing Homes are leadingproviders of care to a grown elderlypopulation and at Sonas we developimpactful relationships with people whouse our service. Since opening our firsthome at Cloverhill Roscommon in 2001we have built homes with the rightphysical environments to ensure thatpeople continue to live their lives to the

    absolute fullest. Sonas Nursing Homesare modern, purpose built, bright andclose to the local community.

    Sonas Nursing Homes are well thoughtof in their communities, have a goodtrack record and leaving a goodexperience with people who connectwith Sonas. People who engage withSonas experience a sense of family and

    belonging. Our experienced and expertcare has built the enduring trust withthe communities we serve, withresidents and their families. Sonaspromotes the creation of truepartnerships between staff and residentsresulting in a homely and familyatmosphere in all our homes. All this isachieved by listening, understanding andresponding to concern, needs and desiresof all parties.

    At Sonas we believe in what we do andour reputation is built on how we think,everything we say and everything we do.We strive to reassure our residents andtheir families that what we say and whatwe do is true to life and reflects all lifestages of residents in our care.

    Our key strengths are our, staffreflected in low turnover, well trainedand personable. Our staff areempathetic and understanding and taketime with families giving them all theinformation they need in an open fashionto enable them to make difficultdecisions with confidence.

    Sonas Nursing Homes provide evidencebased nursing care and a variety ofservices including physiotherapy,activities, hairdresser and GP visits.

    Sonas Nursing Homes are ownermanaged by a team with extensiveexperience in the care profession, trulyunderstanding the nature of thechallenge and giving staff the permissionto be pro-active and innovative. TheSonas care team is deeply personable,understanding and compassionate, theyare conscious of the difficult decisions offamilies and that they have real fears fortheir loved ones, real guilt and realdoubts.

    When you enter a Sonas Nursing Homeyou will meet welcoming and friendlystaff, your initial meeting may be withthe administrator, nurse or healthcareassistants or you may be greeted byhousekeeping staff or maintenanceperson. All are trusting and competentand will guide you to the most relevantstaff member ton deal with your inquiry.Our caring team are down to earth,accessible and supportive. As you walkaround Sonas Nursing Home you willnotice resident involved in a variety ofactivities, staff going about their work ina professional but relaxed manner, youmay observe our physiotherapist treating

    residents and our catering staff minglingwith staff in the dining rooms. Residentwill be interacting or chatting to visitorsin their own room or in a quiet visitingarea, visitors may be making tea andenjoying light refreshments with theirloved ones. On certain days residentsmay be attending religious service orenjoying a music and singing sessions .While our laundry staff deliver residentsclothes to their bedrooms they will chatwith the residents and as many of ourstaff are familiar to resident they willrelate to residents news and storiesfrom the local community.

    Residents with dementia are cared forby specially trained staff making dailylife as close as possible to what theseresidents experienced prior to living inSonas Nursing Home.

    When visiting Sonas Nursing Homes youare welcome to chat to residents andtalk to them about their experience ofliving in the nursing home, you may alsowant to discuss with staff our staffingarrangements, daily routines forresidents, choices that residents mayhave in relation to times they wouldchoose to get up or go to bed and havetheir meals, or if residents are free to goout for walks or visit local town.

    Sonas Nursing Home Athlon is locatedin Cloghanboy off the Ballymahon Roadand within a short distance from thecentre of Athlone. For all details onSonas Nursing Homes and Assisted LivingAccommodation please visit our or email [email protected]

    Page 14 Mature Living July 2014

    Nursing Homes

    Mill Lane ManorSallins Road, Naas, Co Kildare

    Mill Lane Manor is seekingStaff Nurses to become part of adedicated team of HealthProfessionals delivering PersonCentred Care. Mill Lane Manoris a 70 bed nursing home.Positions are available for fulltime and part time. Candidatesmust be Registered Nurses withAn Bord Altranais and committed to providing the highest standards of nursing, care and supportwhich meets the individual needs of each resident. Applications welcome from Registered General Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses, RegisteredIntellectual Disability Nurse and Newly Qualified Nurses.

    Call: 087- 9181100 Email: [email protected] www.brindleyhealthcare.ieOr Post CVs to: HR Department, Brindley Healthcare, Letterkenny Rd, Convoy, Co Donegal

    Staff Nurses Required (Full Time/Part Time)

    Sonas Nursing Home Athlone To arrange a visit call us now on : 090 6479568 or visit

    Sonas Nursing Homes

  • Oakdale Nursing HomeOakdale Nursing Home is a purposebuilt, state of the art, 58 bed NursingHome which opened in February2009. Oakdale was built to the higheststandards and consists of 40 single and 9twin rooms all with en-suite facilities.

    Oakdale is owned and managed by agroup of local people. Valerie Moore RGN,the Director of Nursing is a native ofPortarlington and had extensive experiencein the care of the elderly prior to hercurrent position having worked for 11 yearsin the Care of the Elderly Unit at St.Vincents Hospital, Mountmellick. MaryDunne, another local, is Valeries assistantand also worked in St. Vincents. Dr. AdrianHonan, the Medical Director at Oakdale, isthe principal of a busy General Practice inPortarlington and has resided and practicedin the town for over 30 years. Oakdale

    provides a much needed facility in the townof Portarlington and is a supportive homefrom home environment for those in needof long term care. Respite care andconvalescence care is also availableproviding short term relief to families byproviding care for their loved ones. Forlocal families the availability of a facility soclose to home is ideal and they can easilydrop in for a visit at any time. Chiropody,Dental Care, Optical Care, Speech Therapyand Occupational Therapy are all availableas required. There is a fully equippedhairdressing salon on the first floor and twolocal hairdressers visit each week to attendto the residents needs. A physiotherapistalso visits weekly. Weekly activities includekeep fit, art classes, community bingo, andmovie night to mention a few. Music anddancing take place regularly

    Mill Lane Manor PrivateNursing Home is a 70bedded, purpose builtNursing Home, opened in June2005 and is set in beautifullylandscaped gardens withinwalking distance of Naas towncentre, Co Kildare.

    We can provide care foradults who are over the age of18 years, however primarily wecare for those who are over 65.Admissions are based on pre-admission assessments usingaccredited tools, formulating a

    person centred care plan, toensure that residents will becared for in a holistic manner.Care can be provided to indi-viduals over 18 years with ac-quired brain injury, regardlessof cause, cognitive impair-ment, learning disabilities,persons who experience mentalhealth problems, those experi-encing chronic illness, and indi-viduals requiring respite,convalescence or palliativecare. Our dedicated team en-sure that all residents receive

    the highest standard of qualitycare based on best practiceguidelines.

    We have 52 single and 9 dou-ble bedrooms. All have adjoin-ing en-suite toilet and showerfacilities. All rooms are com-fortably furnished and each isequipped with a television,personal telephone and a NurseCall System. There are fourspacious lounges for residentsto relax and enjoy the many inhouse social activities and aBlessed Sacrament Chapel. Our

    Kitchen serves a large brightdining room, where meals areserved. Wireless Broadband isavailable in the centre.

    Outdoors we have largegrounds, two internal furnishedcourtyards, one at the centreof the building and the otherextending from the main sittingroom. There is a path circlingthe building which allows ac-cess to all areas of the gardenand grounds.

    We extend a welcome tomembers of the community

    who would like to call and visitwith us. Currently, we are re-cruiting for nursing staff andoffer great opportunities tonurses who would like talk withus about their career.We can be contacted by call-ing: 00 353 45 874700By emailing:[email protected] By visiting our andclicking the link to Mill LaneManor

    Mill Lane Manor Private Nursing Home

    40 single and 9 double rooms all with en-suite facilities. Each bedroom is furnished to the highest standard with

    phone line, computer data point and cable TV.Large Activation Room and Hair Dressing Salon

    Two Separate Sitting RoomsInternal & External Gardens

    Meditation Room

    Tullamore Rd. Portarlington, Co. Laois Ph: 057 - 86 45282Web:

    Fully approved by HSE, Hibernian Aviva & Quinn Healthcare



    Approved by

    Operating on a home !omhome basis where Residents

    feel at home in an oldyworldy environment.

    All Rooms EnsuiteRespite Long and Shor" Ter#.

    Catering for Retired, Convelescent and Geriat$ic Residents.

    St. Annes Nursing home, CharlestownSt. Annes Nursing Home inCharlestown aims to provide afulfilling experience for all itsresidents. We recognise the varyingcapabilities that each individual residentmay have and we strive to assist eachand every one of them in realising theirown potential. The needs of each resident is carefullyassessed and continually monitoredthrough Individual Care Programmes,designed to meet their specific needsand accommodate the changes thatnaturally occur with the passage of time.St. Annes provides security and peace ofmind to its residents and strives tocreate an environment that honours theirbasic rights of independence and privacy.We operate in a caring, safe andprofessional manner which strictlyadheres to the Code of Practise forNursing Homes outlined by theDepartment of Health. Some of the manybenefits offered at St. Anne's are: 24 hour Nursing Care En Suite facility in all rooms Nurse call system in all rooms Fresh Irish home cooking Unrestricted visiting Private car park Large lawn and garden Regular visits by Chiropodist Regular visits by Hairdresser Spacious Reception and Dining Room VHI Health Insurance approved Close to all local amenities Chapel where religious services are

    held regularly

    Sonnagh, Charlestown, Co. Mayo Tel: 094-9254269 [email protected]

    Come and see St. Annes foryourself, call us today toar$ange a viewing - you willnot be disappointed!

  • Page 16 Mature Living July 2014


    Make your garden andyour libido bloom withthese four aphrodisiacfoods.Sure, weve all heard thatoysters are a turn on, but whatabout the things that makeyour garden and your appetitegrow? We consulted with theauthor Helen Yoests new book,Plants with Benefits. Hercriteria? A plant had to haveone or more of three qualitiesthat could affect our pleasurecentres, such as a suggestive

    shape or aroma; stirring brainchemistry by increasing bloodflow to all the right places;and a close connection inhormone makeup to our own.But I couldnt ignore thefourth, says Yoest. A plantthat promotes health andvigour with an aphrodisiachistory.Heres what will turn you on.

    AvocadoThe Aztecs dubbed the treehuacatl (pronounced ah-hoo-ah-cattle), which translates totesticle probably due to thefruits tendency to grow andhang in pairs. A single avocado

    contains 23 per cent of therecommended daily allowanceof folate (B9), and folatestimulates semen production.Also rich in zinc, B6, potassiumand omega-3 fatty acids,among an impressively longlist, the avocado is one of themost nutritious fruits.

    PomegranateThis fruit is packed withmicronutrients such aspolyphenols (specifically,tannins and flavonoids, whichare known to increase femalelibido), and zinc (critical for amans sexual performance).

    VanillaThe aphrodisiac qualities arebelieved to come from the

    scent and flavour of the vanillaseedpod with particularbenefit arising when pairedwith chocolate ancientAztecs mixed vanilla withchocolate to make a potentaphrodisiac drink.

    Garlichas a long reputation forincreasing sexual drive. InIndia, the ancient Laws ofManu forbade the eating ofgarlic by Brahmins because itstirred the passions. Today,many Eastern celibate orders,including Tibetan Buddhistmonks, abstain from garlic forthe same reason. Just makesure you pack a breath mint.

    Garden Goods with Bedroom Benefits

  • Page 17 Mature Living July 2014


    When summer fun be-comes unhealthy. Here,what to look out for andhow to protect yourself.

    Skin cancerIf caught early, skin cancer isusually treated easily. Exposureto ultraviolet radiation from thesun (or from artificial UV lightsuch as tanning beds) increasesthe risk for developing skin can-cer. Other risk factors include: Light skin, eyes or hair Skinthat burns or freckles easily Unusual moles that are irregularin shape or larger or darkerthan normal moles A familyhistory of melanomaProtect yourself by having regu-lar skin screenings and wearingthe appropriate sunscreen. Forextra protection, wear a sunhatif you plan to be outdoors for anextended period of time, andkeep in mind the suns peakhours are between 10:00 amand 4:00pm.While some experts advocatefor short periods of unprotectedsunlight to help with Vitamin Ddeficiency, the key here is mod-eration: most experts agree youshould not be unprotected formore than 10 or 15 minutes.

    Eye damageSunlight can damage not onlyskin, but also your eyes. Long-

    term exposure to UV rays cancontribute to eye disease suchas cataracts and age-relatedmacular degeneration. Brightlight can damage your retinaand even cause your eyes to be-come sunburned, a temporarybut often painful conditionknown as photokeratitis. To pro-tect your eyes, be sure to wearsunglasses that filter out 100per cent of UV light, especiallyaround water, which can reflecta tremendous amount of light toyour eyes.

    Food poisoningOne of the great traditions ofthe season is cooking and eatingoutdoors, whether on your patioor on a picnic or camping trip.Unfortunately, this can alsomean an increase in food-borneillnesses. The most common cul-prit: letting the food sit outsidein warm temperatures for toolong. For more tips on summerfood safety

    Bug bitesNot only are they annoying anditchy, but mosquito bites can beserious if they infect you with adisease like West Nile ormalaria. While the risk of get-ting diseases from mosquitobites is low, the annoyance fac-tor is high indeed. Prevent bitesby avoiding buggy areas when

    ever possible and using a goodinsect repellent on your skinand clothing. Choose a productwith about a 10 per cent to 30per cent concentration of DEET,depending on how many hoursof protection you need.For extra protection, wear longpants and sleeves as well assocks, especially during dawnand dusk when mosquitoes areat their peak. To reduce thenumber of mosquitoes aroundyour home, eliminate any stand-ing water that may have col-lected in places such as usedflowerpots. For more informa-tion, visit the Mayo Clinicswebpage

    DehydrationDehydration happens when youlose more fluid than you take in and as a result, your bodydoesnt have enough water andother fluids to carry out its nor-mal functions. The summer heatcan cause excessive sweating especially when being physicallyactive or while exercising which in turn can lead to dehy-dration.If lost fluids arent replenished,the consequences can be seri-ous. While you can usually re-verse mild dehydration byincreasing your intake of fluids,more severe dehydration re-quires immediate medical treat-ment. To prevent dehydration,drink additional water in hot orhumid weather to help loweryour body temperature and re-place lost fluids. Remember:thirst is not always an accurateindicator of dehydration, sodrink plenty even if youre notfeeling thirsty.

    HeatstrokeThe most serious of heat-re-lated problems, heatstrokeoften results from exercise orheavy work in hot environmentscombined with inadequate fluidintake. Because the bodys nor-

    mal mechanisms for dealingwith heat (such as sweating andtemperature control) are lost,heatstroke is potentially lifethreatening.The main symptom of heat-stroke is a significantly elevatedbody temperature generallygreater than 104 F (40 C) withchanges in mental status rang-ing from personality changes toconfusion and coma. If you sus-pect heatstroke, call 9-1-1 forimmediate medical attention.Other things you can do: Move the person out of the sunto a cool or air-conditioned spot Cover the person with dampsheets or by spraying with coolwater Use a fan or newspaper or in-deed your copy of Mature Livingto direct air onto the person

    Poor air qualityThe hazy days of summer maypose health risks, and not onlyfor people with serious condi-tions such as asthma, heart dis-

    ease orchronic obstructive pulmonarydisease (COPD). Smog is actu-ally a toxic mix of pollutantsthat, after long-term exposure,can damage lung cells, impairthe immune system and in-crease risk for respiratory infec-tion. Even short-term exposurecan trigger symptoms in healthypeople such as headaches,breathing difficulties, and ex-haustion.So what should you do? Stay in-formed on the air quality inyour area through your localnews or online resources. It isgenerally better to plan outdooractivities early in the morningor later in the evening, sincethe level of pollutants generallyrises with the temperature.Also, if possible, avoid trafficand heavily congested areas, es-pecially during rush hour. Ondays when pollutants are high,its better to turn on the airconditioner and close your win-dows.

    7 Summer HealthHazards

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  • Page 20 Mature Living July 2014


    Her Majesty QueenElizabeth II, bornElizabeth Alexandra Maryon April 21, 1926, recentlycelebrated her 88th birthday.The oldest reigning Britishmonarch, along with herhusband Prince Phillip (whoturned 93 on June 10, 2014),have both exceeded the lifeexpectancy for Irish women andmen which is 83.3 and 78.8respectively, according to thelatest report from StatisticsIreland.

    But Dr. Michael Gordon,program director of palliativecare who trained in Scotlandand met the Queens mother,feels that nowadays, being inyour 80s is not so old. Im ageriatrician and, in my practice,thats like late adolescence.Shes not 100 yet. Her mother,the Queen Mother, lived to 101,and theres a pretty goodchance, barring theunexpected, that Elizabeth canget there herself.

    Yet even the best geneticmakeup can be destroyed byexternal environmental factors.

    Researchers say we acceleratethe aging process if we smoke,eat poorly, drink heavily, dontexercise and are overstressed.Successful aging, says Gordon,is measured in both quantity ofyears and quality of life notsimply breathing but retainingvitality and enthusiasm, enoughto make life well worth living.

    Here are some of the factorsthat are quite possibly thereasons Queen Elizabethcontinues to enjoy good health.Adopt them to improve yourchances for longevity andhealth. Go ahead live like theQueen.

    Get regular medicalscreenings The Queen has regular medicalscreenings and access tomedical care that keeps her ingood health. Preventivescreenings for both men andwomen should includemeasurements for bloodpressure, cholesterol and sugar.The results can catch deadly yetavoidable diseases such as heartattacks, stroke and diabetes.

    Men may also be advised tohave an annual prostate check,and women, a regular breastexamination, mammogram,pelvic exam and pap test.

    Get regular exercise The Brits are big walkers, andso is the Royal Family. Theyreknown for their enjoyment oflong walks on the grounds ofBalmoral, where they stayedduring their summer vacations.The Queen Mother and theQueen both were always avidwalkers. The Queen is alsoknown for her love of horses she breeds horses and ponies and horseback riding hasexcellent health benefits.Longevity specialist Dr. VincentDeMarco says that after a gooddiet, exercise offers the mosthealth benefits. It improvesalmost every measure of healthwe can devise, and there is alot of evidence supporting therelationship between exerciseand longevity. How muchexercise you need variesaccording to your medical andfitness history and current test

    results. Even mild exercise,such as a 30-minute walk a day,can help lower blood pressureand stress levels.

    Stay mentally sharp Queen Elizabeth is still afunctioning head of stateinvolved with high-levelmeetings that would keep hermentally acute. Former BritishPrime Minister MargaretThatcher said in her memoirs,Ministers take their regularmeetings with the Queen veryseriously they are quietlybusiness-like, and Her Majestybrings to bear a formidablegrasp of current issues andbreadth of experience. She is ina position of leadership and notjust a figurehead for many ofthe foundations shes involvedwith. There are residences indifferent parts of the country,which allow her to change herenvironments and be [mentally]stimulated by change. TheQueen has also visited theGoogle headquarters in London,indicating an interest in theInternet, and is said to e-mailher grandchildren, too. Anythingthat challenges your mind staying engaged at work,puzzles, strategy games,reading, dance or music classes,debate and conversation willkeep you mentally in shape asthe years go by. Use it or loseit.

    Manage stress By no means has the Queen hada stress-free reign or an easytime as a parent. Three of herfour children Charles, Anneand Andrew had failedmarriages ending in scandal-plagued divorces thatthreatened the very existenceof the Monarchy itself. 1992 wasa year the Queen would dubAnnus horribilis, capped by adevastating fire at WindsorCastle, destroying pricelessartifacts and reaping a repairbill to the tune of a reported 40million pounds.As the monarch, even thoughshe is not a policy-maker, shehas had more than her share ofissues to deal with her father,George VI, was not meant to beking and, when her uncle,Edward VIII, abdicated for the

    love of Wallis Simpson, herfamily was thrust into thepressure cooker. Aside fromlosing her father, whosuccumbed to lung cancer atwhat wed now consider arelatively young 56, andconsequently having to take thethrone at 26, she has facedwars from surviving the Blitz,her family falling victim to theIRA, her son Andrew fighting inthe Falklands, her grandsonHarry serving in Afghanistan andher troops in the much-opposedwar in Iraq to London being aconstant target linked to theWar on Terror and socialapprobation, perhaps most

    notably her countrysoutpouring of emotion inresponse to the death of Diana,Princess of Wales, and thesubsequent criticism of whatwas perceived as the Queensunfeeling reaction.Its not just a job where she sitsaround being nice to people.She does live in a stressfulenvironment, but the stressesmay not all be negative, saysGordon. He explains thatongoing stress in life giveshuman beings creativity,tenacity and interest in life, aslong as its not destructivestress.

    The Royal Secretsof LongevityHere are some of the factors that are quite possibly the reasons Queen Elizabeth continues to enjoy good health. Adopt them to improve your chances for longevity and health. Go ahead live like the Queen.

    By no means hasthe Queen had a

    stress-free reign oran easy time as aparent. Three of

    her four children Charles, Anne and

    Andrew hadfailed marriages

    ending in scandal-plagued divorcesthat threatened

    the very existenceof the Monarchy


  • Feature

    Page 21 Mature Living July 2014

    Destructive stress leaves youfeeling constantly, personallythreatened. Chronic destructive stressincreases the risk for stroke andheart disease. Researchsuggests that meditation, deepbreathing and chanting arehelpful in reducing stress levels.

    Maintain a constant bodyweightThough not known for wearingrevealing fashions, the Queenhas never appeared overweight.According to Dr. Walter Willett,chair of the department ofnutrition at the Harvard Schoolof Public Health, next to notsmoking, staying lean isprobably the most importantthing we can do to stay healthyand live longer. This could alsobe the secret to the slim andtrim Prince Philips turning 93while still carrying oneffortlessly. Leanness mattersbecause fat cells producehormones that raise the risk oftype 2 diabetes.

    Study after study confirms thatextra weight, especially aroundthe belly, cuts years off yourlife.

    Eat a variety of healthy foods The typical British diet, by andlarge, has not been a healthyone because its heavy on fatsand carbohydrates but this hascertainly changed There is abetter range of fresh fruits,vegetables and grains moretypical of a Mediterranean dietavailable. This kind of anti-inflammatory diet has beenlinked with promoting longevityand, as noted in To Set Before aQueen, the cookbook edited byMaureen Owen based on thecookery of Alma McKee, cook tothe Royal Family during the1950s, Queen Elizabethbenefited from meals preparedwith fresh vegetables, game andpoultry provided by the royalestates, long before thebenefits of this kind of dietcame to light. Fish, too, is astaple on the royal menu, withit being served, during McKeestime, nearly every day. And withher son Charles, Prince ofWales, a long-time leader in theorganic farming movement, theQueen is tapped into eatingwell.Im willing to assume that,because of her status, thechoice of foods for her isprobably pretty balanced andwell-prepared, says Gordon.

    Drink a cuppa tea and barleywater High tea, taken precisely at 5p.m., is a British ritual enjoyedby Her Majesty. Tea hasnumerous health benefits:antioxidant, anti-inflammatory,anti-cancer, antiheart disease,says DeMarco. Various teashave various benefits. Green teais the most widely studied and

    probably the most beneficial.The longest-living persons inFirst World countries come fromJapan. This may be due to twofactors: green tea and fish.Barley water, usually flavouredwith lemon or other fruit, is apopular British drink and afavourite of the royalhousehold. Owen includedMcKees recipe for barley water 1/2 cup pearl barley, 2 1/2quarts boiling water, twolemons, six oranges and brownsugar to taste to which theRoyal Family were apparentlyall addicted.The Queen has been quoted ascrediting it for her peaches-and-cream complexion. Barley is arich source of soluble and

    insoluble fibre; barley water issaid to help support thekidneys, especially in times ofstress, and may be therapeuticfor those who have kidney andbladder ailments. A royalwarrant has been bestowed onthe British soft drink brandRobinsons, makers of barleywater.

    Alcohol in moderation The Queen Mother was oftenthe subject of comedic parodyclaiming she was tipsy fromdrinking whisky. There is noquestion that in this family,alcohol is part of their normalactivities, and small amounts ofalcohol, unless there is anillness or contraindication withmedication, appear to have abeneficial effect on the heartand brain, says Gordon.Anecdotally, he recalls a patientwho attributed his longevity he lived to be 105 to having anightly shot of Canadian Clubwhisky. Studies show evidencethat having red wine rich inthe antioxidant resveratrol inmoderation is good for us.Thats one of the benefits ofthe Mediterranean diet. Not justfruits and vegetables, but wineas well.

    Keep a pet Queen Elizabeth has a speciallove for dogs, especially thePembroke Welsh corgi. In astudy at State University of NewYork, Buffalo, stockbrokers withhigh blood pressure whoadopted a pet showed a 50 percent decrease in blood pressurecompared with their

    counterparts without a pet.Getting a positive responsefrom an animal may make onefeel better and likely has aneffect on the metabolic systemto produce higher levels ofpositive hormones, improvingfeelings of well-being.

    Stay connected People who areconnected to those aroundthem through marriage,friends, a spiritual communityor other networks tend to livelonger than those without strongties. The Queen has a rich sociallife. She and Prince Philipreached their 60th year ofmarriage in 2007, makingElizabeth the first monarch tocelebrate a diamond weddinganniversary. Theyve had a longlife together, engaged in raisinga family of four children andnow eight grandchildren. The

    fact that shes been with thesame person for all these yearshas provided a very stablerelationship for her. Protect orimprove your emotional healthby staying in touch with friends,family and the greatercommunity.

    Help others help yourself Volunteering and sharing withothers can be gratifying andmeaningful. Charity work isquite important to QueenElizabeth, patron of more than600 organizations. During herGolden Jubilee in 2002, sheasked that people wishing tocommemorate the occasionmake a donation to one of herfavourite charities: Barnardos,Cruse Bereavement Care, I CAN(which helps children withspeech and languagedifficulties), the RoyalAgricultural BenevolentInstitution or the Soldiers,Sailors, Airmen and FamiliesAssociation. The Queen isdoing it [as much] for herselfbecause its really good forher, says Gordon. The look onthe faces of the recipients canthelp but make her feel good andfeeling good is a good thing.

    Have a spiritual focus Aside from her official religiousrole as supreme governor of theAnglican Church of England,Queen Elizabeth is said toregularly attend services. In her2000 Royal Christmas Message tothe Commonwealth, she said,To many of us, our beliefs areof fundamental importance. Forme, the teachings of Christ andmy own personal accountabilitybefore God provide a frameworkin which I try to lead my life.Organized religions are apositive influence when theyhelp give meaning to life, allowpeople to look at the world in apositive way and to forgive theweaknesses of their fellowman, adds Gordon, but thiscan also be done withoutorganized religion. If you look atspirituality as something thatdrives you to do good, right andmoral things, then thats also apositive influence.

    There is noquestion that in

    this family, alcoholis part of their

    normal activities,and small amountsof alcohol, unlessthere is an illness

    or contraindicationwith medication,appear to have abeneficial effecton the heart and


    Prince Philip, 93

    Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother lived to the age of 101

  • Feature

    The number of British womenover 50 who are havingbabies has more thandoubled in five years.

    Every week in the UK aroundthree children are born to amother in her fifties, the latestfigures show.

    The dramatic increase in birthsto older women will deepen fearsover the health of both themothers and their babies.

    Older women are more likelyto have miscarriages and ectopicpregnancies while their childrenare more likely to be born withgenetic abnormalities.

    Midwives also warn thatbecause older mothers and theiroffspring often require higherlevels of care, extra pressure isput on the NHS.

    Health ministers revealed thesharp rise in older mothers in aparliamentary question. In 2012,there were 154 babies born tomothers over the age of 50, upby a third in a year.

    The figure has more thandoubled since 2008 when therewere 69 births to women aged 50and over. In 2000 the number was44. The number of births tomothers aged 40 and over hasalso risen, up 13 per cent from26,419 in 2008 to 29,994 in 2012.It means one in 25 are to motherswho have turned 40.

    Even someone who has a childaged over the age 35 isconsidered an older mother bymedical professionals.

    Around 20 per cent of babiesare born to women aged 35 orolder, the highest proportionsince records began in 1938.

    At the same time, only 23 percent of births were to womenaged under 25 in 2012, downfrom almost half in the early1970s. In some areas of Britain,including Windsor andMaidenhead, Brighton and EastRenfrewshire, around one in

    three mothers was over 35.The trend is the result of

    women choosing to concentrateon their careers rather thansettling down to have a family.

    Changing medical advice andadvances in IVF treatment alsomean more are willing to riskdelaying having children.

    Other women are moving intonew relationships later in life andare choosing to have morechildren with their new partner.

    Earlier this year Shamelessactress Tina Malone gave birth todaughter Flame at the age of 50,after travelling to Cyprus for IVFtreatment. In 2007, DesperateHousewives star Marcia Cross had

    twin daughters in 2007 at the ageof 44. Louise Silverton, directorfor midwifery at the RoyalCollege of Midwives said: Thereare an increasing numbers ofolder women who are havingbabies and these women tend tohave more complications thanyounger women. This is morepronounced as women havebabies at increasingly greaterages. Older mothers are morelikely to have increased rates ofmiscarriage and ectopicpregnancies and geneticproblems in the child and otherissues such high blood pressure,diabetes and problems with theplacenta. Last March a surveyfound almost three-quarters ofpeople do not think womenshould receive IVF to help themconceive beyond their naturalchildbearing years. A quarterbelieve women should stop tryingto bring babies into the worldpast the age of 40. The survey ofmore than 2,000 people acrossthe UK found 31 per cent thinkthe current age limit of 42 for IVFon the NHS is too old. Otherresearch shows that children bornto mums over 40 are healthierand brighter than those ofyounger women.

    According to other research theoffspring of older women areless likely to have accidents orneed hospital care and morelikely to have been vaccinatedearly, a study found.

    They will also develop abroader vocabulary from a youngage and achieve higher scores inIQ tests in a range of measures upto the age of five. The research,which was presented recently atThe Royal College of Paediatricsand Child Health conference inGlasgow, is a rare piece of goodnews for the rising number ofwomen who are delayingmotherhood.

    Previous studies havehighlighted the growing infertilityrates for older women and thegreater risk of them developingdiabetes and pre-eclampsia.

    But the latest research appearsto show gains for older mothersonce they have given birth,possibly due to their greaterexperience and maturity.

    Researchers at the Institute ofChild Health, University CollegeLondon and Birkbeck College,London, said their findingsshowed older mothers can makebetter parents.

    Dr Alastair Sutcliffe, whoworked on the study, saidnegative publicity surroundingthe rise of older mothers wasbased on the physical risks ofpregnancy and childbirth.

    He said: We have clearevidence that there are moredesirable outcomes for childrenof older mothers compared withyounger ages. We can reassurethese older women that theirchildren are probably better off.

    The Wellcome Foundation-funded study looked at 1,100children born to womenaged 40 and over,compared with 38,000children born to youngerwomen in Britain. Thechildrens ages rangedfrom nine months to fiveyears.

    Children of oldermothers were less likelyto be in accidents orneed hospital admission,and were no more atrisk of obesity.

    Dr Sutcliffe saidolder mothersmight be morerisk-averse,possiblybecause theywere lessactive andunable to runafter theirchildren,but theymay alsobebetterat

    spotting and avoiding potentiallyrisky situations.

    The research also checked anumber of outcomes linked toparenting skills, including namingvocabulary, picture and shapesidentification and developmentalIQ using established Britishassessment scales.

    The findings showed greaterability among children born toolder mothers once social classwas taken into account.

    Previous research found threetimes more children born to oldermothers got five GCSEs comparedwith those born to youngerwomen.

    Dr Sutcliffe said: We found acontinuum which showed a linkbetween the older ages ofmothers and better outcomes. Itwas the effect of age per se.

    The big question is why. Oldermothers appear to have goodparenting skills, they may be lessimpulsive, calmer and have morelife experience that better equipsthem for the role. More womenare giving birth at older ages, thisisnt going to go away, they aredeferring motherhood for manyreasons. The evidence suggeststhat when the enormousdifficulties of pregnancy andbirth are over, they can makebetter mothers, he added.

    Births to mums over 50 soaring Two sides to the ongoing debate

    Below: Marcia Cross, pituredhere in Desperate Housewives,had twin daughters in 2007 atthe age of 44

    Shameless actress Tina Malone travelled to Cyprus for IVFtreatment and conceived her daughter, Flame, with donor eggs,giving birth aged 50

    Page 22 Mature Living July 2014

    Carole Hobson became Britains oldest mother of twins at 58 afterconceiving through IVF at an Indian clinic. After four failed IVFattempts in Ukraine and Cyprus, donor embryos were implanted at aclinic in Mumbai. The single mother, now 61, spent more than20,000 to have children and twins Frieda and Matthew were bornby emergency Caesarean on Christmas Eve 2010. Nine weekspremature and each weighing 3lb 3oz, they spent two months inneo-natal are. The qualified barrister from Kent, said: In Britain weneed to be better at providing for women who want to be motherslater in life. It is an indescribable joy, but its non-stop it is like afull-time job.

    Carole Hobson with her two-year-old twins Freida and Matthew

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  • Iadmit it. I have theShowgarden bug. As a gardendesigner here in Ireland,Bloom in the Park, the festival

    on the June Bank holidayweekend is the most prestigiousplace to exhibit your skills.Bloom, brought to you by Bord

    Bia, is Irelands answer to theChelsea Flower show and is awonderful celebration ofIrelands top Garden Design,delicious food and family fun.

    I have created showgardens atthe festival in both 2012 and2013 and the competition is atrue challenge with tightschedules, real budgets and allthe stress associated withbuilding a showgarden. Byexhibiting here you are not onlyshowcasing your skills to thepublic but the designer is alsoentering into a seriouscompetition which is judged by apanel of experts in the field,including some Chelsea judges.When the crowds start pouring inand you feel that you arecreating a little bit of heaven forpeople to enjoy and get inspiredby for their own spaces, youfinally know all the stress hasbeen worth it.

    Much like the Chelsea Flowersshow, Bloom visitors go to thefestival to get ideas and to seewhat trends are happening inthe garden world. Its amazinghow horticulturallyknowledgeable many visitors areat Bloom. Phrases such as I lovehow you have combined your Irischysographes with your Stipatenuissima are not uncommonat Bloom and shows that thepublic loving your design is morethan just a fancy.

    This year I took a year outfrom building a showgarden anddecided to visit Bloom in thePark to just enjoy it from aspectator and a writers point ofview. Though I did have slight

    withdrawal symptoms, for mecreating showgardens isaddictive, I did enjoy seeing theinspiring designs immensely.From urban rock star cool to thesubtle natural approach, everystyle and trend was represented.Bloom really has a wealth ofinspiration and design ideas.Here are some of the plantingcombinations and trends thatparticularly appealed to me.

    ColourColour was one of the maintrends this year and we had twovery distict schools of thought.Where Kevin Denniss best inlarge category gold garden hadlimes green acers juxtaposedwith the bright purples andturquoises of his graffiti andMarion Keoghs bold and happycolour splashes were trendingcolour choices.

    Page 20 Mature Living July 2014

    Inspired Planting @ BLOOMIs colour the trend of the season? Award winning garden designer Leonie Corneliusoutlines the latest planting trends inspired by Irelands top designers

    Leonie Corneliusis an award winning Garden Designer,Interior Architect and TV presenter.

    She is the Mentor for the 2014Supergarden showon RTE1

  • Feature ArticleGardening

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