Christmas News 2007

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Vol 1 No. 12 Dec 2007

i Phone...You Tube ..My Facebook.....Nintendo Wii....Us What ???

Hello to one and all,

A very happy Christmas to everybody in New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Scotland, England, San Francisco and of course all our family and friends in Ireland.

To everyone who will not receive a Christmas card again this year please forgive me the intention is always there but time goes by so fast!!
The family are getting bigger and I should have more time but I have increased my hours at work. I'm still in the local hospital A/E dept. and as you can see Joe has moved with all the Fort William GPs to a lovely new surgery. It is no longer on the High Street and so the name change to Glen Mor . The big new building is out beside the High School so Joe now has all the 5 Tangney's plus 2 neighbour's children going to school each morning which makes for an even more frantic rush in the morning!! Every second counts as they all go out the door with James usually last. ( He is not a morning person to say the least!)

David is in 2nd year in PE in Edinburgh and still enjoying life far to much,this observation is purely based on his financial status, well into the red!! However he is back working in the local Grog and Gruel (pub) for Christmas. He will also be in the Highlands for his teaching placement after Christmas so his bank balance may improve??

James did really well in his Highers this year and wants to go to college in September but is not quite sure what he wants to do as yet. He is enjoying his 6th year and working in the local supermarket to pay for all the concerts he wants to go to this summer!

Ronan is on a school trip at the moment back in Alpe d'Heuz skiing with 40 other pupils from the High School The snow is the best there for over 10 years and when I finally spoke to him he was too busy to speak a good sign! He is quieter than the 2 older boys but only at home I suspect. He is also going to be the tallest of all the boys and has passed me out long ago. He sits his Standard Grades this year so will have to study after Christmas under duress I can here the groans already.

Ciaran became a teenager this year so I am surviving 4 teenage boys in the house just--- help---- He is enjoying High School and big into his squash on Saturday mornings. He has had lots of Christmas cards from his many girlfriends and enjoyed the school disco last night along with his friend Jordan and Sophie. If what they were saying was true on their way home in the car last night!!

Joseph is still just like his Dad and playing all the sports he can. He enjoyed his rugby match last Sunday. Joseph and his friend John act as ball boys for the local football team at their home matches on Saturdays. It is known for him to become quite exasperated with his sister at times but he's a great lad.

Aoife is the biggest rascal of them all and the only dress she has worn all year is her communion dress and that took some persuading. She has a new baby girl first cousin Ava was born to Jane and Damien in October and everyone was delighted with their new arrival.
Got to go now and the
the Tangney clan wish you all the very best for 2008 and have a great Christmas.


So out came the numbers in Joseph's sweaty little baby palm.....

were Moguls
Mini Munros!!!

April 6 th 2007
The annual ski trip is here again….doesn't seem like a year ago since the last expedition!! This time the discussions /disputes begin the night before with the seating arrangements top of the agenda surprises there !! Joseph decided we should have a draw for the seating, 1,2,3 middle row 4,5,6 back row. The tension was palpable as we all got ready for this democratic system , a new concept in our house where seniority is based purely on chronological basis…for everything…seating on the couch, TV remote control, hovering, breakfast cereal choice, bedtime, etc etc … I said earlier absolutely everything is decided on a strict pecking order!!!
So the draw went ahead with the pre draw agreement that the numbers chosen were non negotiable for that person. The results of the draw were legally binding and approved by the European Court of Human Justice.
So out came the numbers in Joseph's sweaty little baby palm, the numbers were written on a tiny piece of paper , then scrunched up in a small ball, deliberate to prolong the agony as the boys all closed their eyes as they chose the numbers. David had first pick and so on until Aoife. So the rush was on to open the tightly squeezed little bits of paper….. time just stood still and complete silence ....
The news broke in a flash, Joseph shouts out 1, Ciaran 3, James 6, Ronan 4 ….so far so good… All was well until the draw did not go the way one small person wanted ie little miss Aoife !! Aoife drew number 5 and David drew number 2. Aoife got herself into a state and immediately wanted the draw to be declared null and void…on the basis that “ I always sit in the middle row “. This was said with a near crying whinging voice and all the boys laughed …then Aoife started some major serious crying…an age old trick…. But ...stalled the jubilations ..... Eventually Aoife negotiated a “swap” with big brother David !!! None of the other brothers were prepared to even enter into negotiations as they knew this was one long journey ahead and having a good seat was vital for the 25 hour journey !!!
Next morning car loaded to the hilt and the crew now in place and some heated exchanges in the back as we wait in the driveway for Liz to arrive (in the car) as she runs around the house doing some last minute cleaning, washing, etc etc So off we go at 10am ……..600 miles later and over 13hrs on a hot sunny day must be covered in the Geneva Convention ??? remind me to never ever travel on the Easter holiday weekend. It is a torture beyond belief and I am too shocked to even describe the detail….counselling might help reduce the flashbacks which I am still having from last years trip….however it could be worse as we only had one major delay for almost an hour on the M74. Further on in the M1 there was a tailback of at least 10 miles and that looked miserable to say the least !!!
We arrived wrecked in Ashford , Kent about 11.15 and all the troops wearily climbed out of the car and hit the deck immediately. Joe made a bee line for the bar and had a few quick scoops to retain the last molecules of sanity. The next day Good Friday was spent loitering around Ashford and the boys went to a movie. Then 7pm off to the Eurotunnel and we travelled through the night on the empty French motorways. Another 626 miles to reach Alp D'Huez, not much to see as we went along the motorways and the final 5 miles are all uphill with 21 hairpin bends … time for sightseeing or …dead…but absolutely beautiful scenery as we climbed into the mountains. A scorching day awaited us as we waited for our apartment to be ready, we arrived about 9am , breakfast outdoors and the gang go for crepes and thankfully we got into the rooms at 2.30pm . A big sports centre in the town so a game of indoor tennis before the week is out, or squash . Everybody shattered and an early night for all, even David and James were in bed by 10pm . A new record for a Sat night for the young energetic men !!

We finally arrive and the boys are full of energy !!
The Girls !!
21 Hairpin bends await our arrival
"It's easy peasy Dad" she said in her little angelic voice.

Is there a French word for Queue ??? Le goforit or Le tohellwithu ??
Can somebody please tell me now !!! It is a free for all as one goes into the funnel for the tows. It's a March of the Penguins type scene as all the adults and millions of kids all shuffle and march with their big feet towards the narrow entrance . It's a jungle out there with the kids being the biggest or smallest offenders depending on which way one looks at it !! They will cut in front of you followed by at least ten of their friends ….and their parents …then the uncles and aunties…and even the grannies are up in these high altitude low oxygen killer slopes….but I'm not going to warn them of an impending heart attack as the have just left me standing freezing cold trampled on my lovely shiny Ellis Bingham Fort William brand new,designer,automatic , systematic, hydromatic skiis !!! If only they had a secret little tranquillising built in gun …..Bond…….Joe Bond at your service …..dream on for next years unlucky schmucks !!!
David takes Aoife and myself for a lesson in the afternoon. The main message is don't lift one foot when turning, also bend the knees as one begins to turn. Easy to talk about but it takes some practice !! Aoife runs into trouble as some “old man “ gives her a shoulder barge as they approach the tow funnel…..he obviously did not realise Aoife was the wrong woman to tangle with !!! She mentioned her five older brothers …and he was last seen heading for Asia with a look of sheer terror on his face!! Then she had a “tete au tete “ with an instructor (the severely facially tanned men with the red suits who think they own the place and act like they are in charge!!) He said to Aoife again in a queue “When I say stop, you STOP” Aoife got him with her ski pole and he left her alone …brave man picking on our Aoife !!!
For apres ski David and James ask me to go out for a game of pool with them. The only reason they want me along is to pay for the beer !! At 5 euro a bottle of Heineken it's a rip off. So I had to beat the two of them together at pool and that took the smile off their faces ….for a few seconds as my sublime skill became a reality with a series of difficult pots left them gob smacked !! The word “fluke” was repeatedly mentioned by the two boys as the tried to come to terms with loss which can best be described in the sporting world as a “total whitewash "
So next day the boys plot their revenge on the slopes !! First it was the" half pipe" which was great and followed by the "bobsleigh" which was scary to say the least. This was a new challenge which Aoife suggested or should I say insisted on this one and I had no idea of what lay ahead. "It's easy peasy Dad" she said in her little angelic voice. I could not resist her recommendation or I would be seen as a complete wimp by this little kid !!.It was a set up no doubt and the boys put her up to it !!

There was at the begining, a slow convoluted way to get to it which lulled one into a false sense of security (this was the possibly the "easy peasy" bit and once I found myself rapidly speeding up in this carved narrow half pipe type run I knew this was going to be hairy to say the least. Make sure you have a living will before you ever go near it !!
Huge Pylons with a frugal layer of foam around the base, much like the rugby posts have but the rugby players are not accelerating down the death trap at a horrendous speed !!

As one enters this bobsleigh there is no return,no exits, live or die …as simple as that !!
The boys are in stitches laughing..
After the first turn at breakneck speed I said to myself “wait until I get that little Aoife” ….. assuming I am not on a ventilator !!

The narrow pathway with high sides means there is no room to do the usual S shaped turns to control speed…'s a death chute with ever increasing speed as you come out of one turn ....just find another waiting …at a much higher speed ..if I fell there was a certain injury as the speed was awesome !!! One emerges eventually out of the tunnel of death after what seems like a lifetime …(brief in my case needless to say) ….then awaiting is the final 500m, a straight run which is a series of one metre bumps …at least 50 !! I almost made it to the end but fell at about bump 35 as I leaned back on landing on the top of a bump…never lean back a golden rule in skiing!!!.
It was a relief to finally stop and avoid a serious injury I stagggered to my feet and began roaring "Aoife , Dad wants to talk to you , Now " while chasing the fleeing Tangney team who were still laughing as they knew I would never catch them on the snow !!!
Fear must have given them a little burst of adrenaline and they were out of sight before I knew it !!! (Alas , I just needed to wait a few minutes and one of them was bound to need a mobile phone Top Up!!)

Ciaran shows off his "grab"

The French Alps in all their splendour.

The dreaded mini skiers get ready for another attack


June's the time for the First Communion

The full Tangney Liz shrinking??
( Liz will be in the front row next year )

Aoife is enjoying all the attention ..for a change !!
Cheer up boys ...I promise this is the last photo!!
Big Pay day for James and his 5th metacarpal!!!

James gets 5 A's in his Highers ..Maths,Physics, Chemistry, English and PE. He is delighted and especially with the A in English. 7 Lochaber students gets 5 As and 30 pupils get 5 Highers fantastic results all round for Lochaber High School.. Dad forks out the promised £25 per Higher so James has a big smile on payday. He heads off to Inverness to spend it as soon as possible. New mobile phone for starters !! The rest on sweeties (drink, drugs and RocK Ness ) ......
He is still shinty mad and went down to the National Shinty Camp in Perth again. Also James has written a brief account of his trip to Dublin 2007with the Scotland U-17 development squad.
" This summer I got the great privilege of representing Scotland at under 17 level in our national sport shinty during a tour of Dublin . I wasn't the only lucky one from this area as seven other players from the surrounding area got the chance to represent our nation in Dublin . Kyle Grant and myself from Fort William Shinty Club, Michael Rodgers and Kenny Wilson from Kilmallie Shinty Club, Craig Matheson and Shaun Oliver from Lochaber Shinty club and Grant Mckenzie and Lorne Brown from Ballachullish Shinty Club all got this special opportunity. This just shows the strength of juvenile shinty in this area that we could supply eight players of a thirty two man squad. To get selected for this squad we had to go through a rigorous five day training camp, at Kilgraston Prep School Perth, run by a beast of a man that liked to call himself the “widow-maker”. It was worth it however when we received the letter of notification saying we had been chosen to represent Scotland . The whole team met on the eighth of July in Stirling at the William Wallace youth hostel and from there we had a five am start by coach to the ferry. That journey had to be the worst part of the whole trip as we stayed up until four that morning for fear of losing an eyebrow and Scott from Oban bloody prank calls to everyone in his phonebook. It took a whole day of travelling but we finally arrived at the Whitehall Colmcille GAA club were we met our host parents. We had our first game the next day against a local side that we convincingly destroyed but we knew this game was just a warm up till we played Dublin in two days.
We played Carlow the following afternoon after a training session in the morning which didn't go well for the B team who lost but the A team redeemed a bad performance by beating their A team easily. The following morning we had a trip to Dublin city centre which was a great experience made even better by the fact we all were wearing kilts which brought a lot of wanted attention from many young Irish women! That afternoon we played Dublin in Parnell Park which is an amazing stadium with a capacity of a few thousand and a picture perfect pitch. The type of setup we in shinty long for. The two games themselves were an unbelievable showcase of talent with the B team nipping a last minute goal to win but the A team narrowly losing out by just a few points. Overall it was a great joy and privledge to represent my country and the experience was made better by the setup and everyone that was part of the squad.
Now for the sad ending......
In November James breaks a metacarpal at shinty ...hit by a ball..lucky it was not his eye !!! Volar backslab and a disappointed look on his face as he will miss some football and shinty matches.

Scotland U-17 Development Squad.


James is front row second from the right ...before you hit the screen No shortage of coaching tips from the adoring fans !!


The Mountain Bike World Championships in Fort William

Joseph is the Irish team's flagbearer and Ciaran goes to Brazil

Fort William has had a busy year with the mountain bike World Championships in early Sept. Thousands of visitors from all over the world attended. There was a big opening parade with the local children as flag bearers and the boys enjoyed it. A new cycle path has been built which means you can cycle from Fort William to the Nevis Range where the races were held. It is now a rapidly growing sport which is good for the local tourist industry as the snow is getting less reliable.

Aoife and her friend Rachael were Bill and Ben the Flower Pot Men at the Halloween disco. Rachael's Granny and Rachael's Mum were the artistic duo who made these lovely costumes and they had a great night. Ciaran, Joseph and Aoife have a busy sporting schedule with gymnastics, swimming, netball,football, rugby, shinty,mountain biking, athletics and hopefully some skiing soon if the global warming decides takes a break for a while !!


Bill and Ben the Flower Pot Men ... Halloween Disco Joseph our new visitor...from another galaxy !!


Slattery Clan July Gathering

Off to Galway in July for a big Slattery clan gathering

A beautiful sunny afternoon in Jane's garden for the big family barbeque and all the Slatterys there except Martin who is chasing the twins around the sitting room over in san Francisco. A bouncy castle for all the kids which tired them out eventually. Kathy in a wheel chair due to broken ankle but making progress....slowly ...... Liz's niece Emily and Brian got engaged and have a fantastic new house built. Wedding Sept 2008 …. Michael, Mary and the boys from San Francisco were there so lots of kids !!! Visited their new house which is getting there with floors going in as we left.
Joe and all the "outlaws" had a quick AGM and compared notes on how to survive the Slattery family reunions !! We ended up having a game of football in the back garden and it was a "take no prisoners" game with multiple disputed tackles and goals !! However after a few beers ..and a few more beers ......we were friends again !!!

Ice cream time out
The New Alpine Slatery (Sound of Music) Team !!
Health and safety advise you to stand well back Now !!
Cousins Car boot sale now on !!

Our New Glen Mor Surgery Premises

Glen Mor reception

A selection of just some of our many visitors 2007


Kiwi Liam Beatty meets Ben Nevis
Miriam says "Talk to the Hand" !!!
Katie the cutie visits the Highlands!!
Billy the Viking Kid turns into a Spaghetti Yetti
Karen gets in the swing of things in the new premises.
Keith ...stay awake while Joe talks to you !!