Christmas News 2008

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Vol 1 No. 13 Dec 2008

The year of the X Box 360 live !!!

Hello to one and all,

It has been a busy year but we're all well and ready to go for another year. Dr Chris Robinson retired in July and his retiral party was great with bagpipes, speeches and a powerpoint presentation by Joe that even I had to admit was pretty awesome. It meant Joe became senior partner after that and work life is certainly busier for him.

David continues to enjoy Edinburgh far too much and is away skiing in France this week with a group from the college. A very busy few months ahead so maybe our bank account might survive 2009.

However James has settled into Glasgow far to well especially after he turned 18 in October. He will take over from where David left off I suspect and require an input of extra cash on a regular basis. He has arrived home today for Christmas and is totally unsympathetic to the plight of his sister whose goldfish has just passed away. (He was called AJ)

It had a long and comfortable life for a goldfish almost 4 years old and lovingly fed every day by the kids !! Ha !! Ha !!

Ronan is now the big boy in the house and he will be the biggest of all the boys I'm sure. He is in 5th year and studying for Highers in May or rather his Mum wishes he was studying more regularly !! He wore a suit for the first time for the school Christmas Disco this week and after I told him he looked quite smart he told me I needn't worry there wasn't a girl in a white dress waiting for him !!! I am not sure how reassured I am at that response. He also broke his elbow in September allegedly running for a bus being the ever vigilant parents that we are we left it until the next morning to take him down to the A/E. His elbow is just fine.

Ciaran is now 14 and plays squash and basketball and very much his own man. He enjoys school except for the boring subjects

He also can't wait for the skiing season to start which hopefully will be a good one with lots of snow. At the moment strong winds are causing havoc and blowing away all the

snow. He is also the biggest culprit when it comes to the Xbox live .

Joseph has started High School and seems to be settling in just fine. He is involved in lots of after school activities including rugby and athletics and still has time for the girls.

Aoife turned 10 on Halloween and finally got her own bedroom as David and James are away. She still runs rings around all the boys including her Dad.

A big thank you also to Martina who came and babysat while Joe myself and Mary (Joe's Mum) headed off to Rome for a Joe's cousin's wedding. We also had a great time at Emily's wedding and are looking forward to Danielle's next April.

Nana spent a few days with us on her return and no mishaps this time with flights other than the strictness of Ryanair on baggage allowance.
There should be a big Slattery get together in August 2009 with Teresa finally tying the knot so we're all looking forward to that.

We wish you all a lovely Christmas and all the best for 2009.
Best wishes Liz


Ben goes missing....

The party came to an abrupt end....when the news broke.....

Yes, it was one of those moments in life when we all remember where we were as the news broke. I hear you ask who is Ben ? Is he a new brother for Aoife ?? Ben Nevis ? Ben Hur ? Ben Ladin ? Big Ben?

The New Years Eve party was by now in full swing and as luck would have it in the Tangneys house. The venue for the New Years eve party is a closedly guarded secret and even a surprise to the hosts !! You find out if you are the host when at 12.05 a crowd arrive at your door and shout surprise !! It's best to prepare at about 8pm with several large generous brandies ..then you are ready for anything. But I must warn you not to overstock mince pies as they can cause confusion in the party crowd. There will be a least one guest often male, who will not be able to resist the mince pies and then develop an intense desire to burp....there in lies the problem .. the big burp ....the afore mentioned middle aged male mince pie affectionado will then usually stand with their back arched back and mouth gapping open, lips slightly blue while holding a clenched fist to the centre of their chest...

So not surprisingly the "medics" in the house ie Liz and Joe get ready for action thinking this could be a man about to (...ruin a good party ) or "pop his clogs " ....or have a heart attack before he knows it Liz is belting him on the chest and Joe is getting ready for the "ventilation" or in lay mans language..the "mouth to mouth " ....thankfully our guest did manage to get his burp away before Joe and the cardiac arrest team got to him !! But don't say I did not warn you.. to take it easy on the mince pies !!

Suddenly the phone rang .....and rang ...and rang ...and after about 10 minutes somebody finally answered it and rushed into the room to hand it to Liz T our neighbour .. She was visibly shocked ...mouth wide open , eyes staring into another galaxy, a monosyllabic gasp was heard ...suddenly everybody was quiet......the mood was transformed in an instant ...Liz held the phone so close to her ear ....that we could not hear....her eyes filled with tears ...she was now pale and wobbly (not a huge surprise I have to say after 7 bacardi breezers) word just utterances ....incomprenhensible ... we all knew this had to be bad news ....then as we all leaned forward urging her to speak ...and put us all out of our what seemed like an eternal misery......the mood in the house had become expectant but still mainly sombre.....Liz said ...".it's Ben ".......we all gasped ...BEN one of the girls shrieked and began to cry uncontrollably in fact wailing might be a better term. Liz T started again .... yes it's Ben ......I can't believe it ....MY BEN an emotional voice that only a mother can understand .....Ben... Ben.... Ben.......she repeated his name sobbing ....the words struggling to come out with the intense emotion...... WHY....Why...why as her voice faded to a halt.

We were all astonished .....Ben was only just 13 ........what will we do ...... but nature has a strange way of dealing with a crisis especially in a New Years Eve party situation ..and every body put out their empty glass with an uncanny automaticity as they just wanted a large ....even diesel would have been welcome a crises such as this ... Human reflexes never cease to amaze me !!! The healing power of drink is so versatile !! So every body topped up their drinks and we were now ready to interogate oops I mean find out from Liz some more info on .....Ben.
Liz slowly revealed that her Ben ....her darling little Ben ....was in fact seen ....believe it or not .....hanging around the Grog !!! ( The Grog and Gruel to be more precise for non .a PUB down town)
She was gutted could he do this to her after all those years could he be so inconsiderate .......he was only 13 ......It was now 1am .....shocking ....Liz was incandescent with rage and .....drink .
The party was over least until he was safely back home .... was he alright ??? maybe he was hurt ??? All these questions raced through Liz' head as the rest of us decided to hit the drink !!
Then liz boldly announced "I'll go and get him myself ".... But ...But will have to get a taxi as you have had a drink....Yes no problem
Liz Tangney then said an emotional voice "let me go with you Liz ..we will get him together " The party crowd said to themselves "Poor Ben " ...somebody tell him run quick before the girls arrive at the "Grog ".....Mamma Mia it could get nasty !!!
Off they two Lizs went with a purposeful stride towards the door narrowly missing the jamb.....To be honest we all felt sorry for young Ben as he was about to meet .....perhaps .......his maker
Time was of the essence for all of us and we got back to the serious business of eating, drinking and talking nonsense as we knew the girls would be back soon. They meant business and if we were lucky Ben may have made a run for it...
Then in a triumphant return the two girls were back announcing that Ben was safe and sound ....a relief all round and we asked was he ok ?
" Yes" Liz said , he is Ok ...but wait until I speak to him in the morning ....he does worringly have a real barky cough..
It was a very cold night minus 12 C jacket .. teenagers...say no more ....Was he with friends? I asked ....yes a young one ... just one? I asked ...
He was lured down town by a beautiful young out of town could he resist could say ....he was simply led astray
Poor Ben how embarassing to stray down town for a quiet night and get dragged home by ones....( mother)..... ..owner !!!
Alas, Ben has unfortunately gone to the Great Big Kennel in the sky .... he is happy now... ..peace last ... plenty of Grog and Gruel !!

The couch seating has to be pre booked !!
Back to school Aug 2008
Joseph starts High School

James uses his charm on unsuspecting Cara !!

At last a new breed of Tourist for Fort William

We all know that Fort William is the outdoor capital of the world and has thousands of visitors each year. But there was an unexpected visitor in January this year when a member of staff in a local supermarket heard a strange accent coming from the fruit and veg department.
Initially she was not sure if her ipod had been tampered with and somebody had enrolled her for a new foreign language course ?? Maybe it was one of the lads playing games hiding behind the shelf ?? This was a strange accent ,definitely not French, not German, not Italian, possibly Spanish ??? She approached cautiously expecting to find the source of this mystery which led her to the large stock of bananas !! She could still hear the strange accent which by now was saying " Do you want to buy some cocaine??" She leaned forward closer to the bananas and now recognised the accent as being Colombian .....then in a daring move she lifted up a big bunch of bananas to reveal a ......yes a Scorpion believe it or not a Scorpion in Fort William.... After interrogation in a local take away he finally revealed his name as Sammy and said the cocaine had driven him bananas !!

I must warn all you parents out there.....listen carefully ...X Box 360 Live ....write it down .....If you succumb to the endless pestering and plea bargaining to buy X Box 360 Live ..your life will have changed for ever more !!!

You will never again have to wonder about where your kids are day or night , the endless chatter and shouting, the endless fighting over whose turn is next, the gaming addiction is contagious be warned !!!!

The boys play against people from all around the world and it is amazing technology !!! However, most of the time they are playing against local kids which is reasssuring . The boys have alocated times and rarely miss a turn . Liz goes ballistic as the boys are in a trance like state when playing these games and unresponsive to all calls such as "dinner is ready" !!

So think long and hard before you go X Box Live !!


Glasgow and Aberdeen say "No " then "Yes" to James.

January is a bleek month at the best of times and when the letter arrived from Glasgow Medical Faculty for James ....saying "No" to his application for medicine he was almost speechless .I emphasis the word almost as it is difficult to even imagine James speechless !! Rejection does not come easy for our super confident James and he pretended that he did not care !!! With a nonchelant shrug of his shoulders he said "No worries"

February brought good news from Glasgow and James was offered a place in Strathclyde University to study Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. This cheered up James and also there was news of an interview for Aberdeen Medical School in March.

Liz was as usual the transport manager and had to go over the previous evening as it was an early morning interview. It's a four hour journey to Aberdeen and difficult roads.

Liz and James had left Fort William when I got home. Then I saw James' suit hanging on the stairs!! Oh no I rang Liz and told them to stop and wait for me to bring the suit . An hours journey and a rendevous in Newtonmore to hand over the suit !!! Say no more !!!

The interview went well and James said he "aced it "but alas two weeks later he got more bad news , rejected again , not enough practical experience !! It's a catch 22 situation.

There was still another twist to this when Aberdeen phoned a few weeks later to now offers a place to James!!! So James now had a choice Medicine or Chemical Engineering ...... After much deliberation James decided to study Chemical Engineering.....better job prospects.....according to James !!

James goes to last !!

Time for James to leave the "nest" and on Sat 20 Sept we loaded the car in a now familiar scene..bags all over the hallway, last minute checks, Liz emotional , James ecstatic, Joe relieved !!!

So off we went down to Glasgow to face the masses of parents droping off their little darlings into the real student world of drinking , parties,drinking, parties , parties, drinking, parties finetum

James took to the whole scene like a duck to water !!

In less than 10 minutes.... it was game over, Keys, flat, Dad go home ...... I have to say this being my second time doing this , I handed over all my money in the car to spare James the embarassement of me turning out my pockets in front of the other students !! The flat was so small that there was not enough oxygen for the two of us we left the door open and I made a run for it !!

Joseph in the pre match parade
James settles in to his new spacious cell.....home
James wins a Camanachd Cup medal age 17

February 2008 James wins the "Player of the Year" for the Fort William second team and this was just the beginning of a great shinty year !!! On Sat may 3rd James plays his first game for the Fort William first shinty team , which is like the Manchester United in the shinty world !! There is a very strong first and second team squad and to get the opportunity to play shinty with the first team is amazing. In July he is off to Ireland again with the Scottish U-17 development squad. They had a great time and enjoyed playing the Irish teams.

Then the big news came in Sept when James was named on the squad for the Camanachd Cup final on Sat 13 th. James was still only 17 and it was a dream come through as Fort William beat the old rivals Kingussie 2-1 in a thrilling match. There was a pre match parade through the town with Joseph and Aoife taking part.

This is the equivalent of an All Ireland medal and every shinty players dream.... So lots of celebrations for a while ... ..quite a while ........ Now James is playing with the Strathclyde University team and getting ready for next season .


Can you spot Liz ??

James holds the much coveted Camanachd Cup
The celebrations begin !!


Shane's 21st

David cannot bear to watch Shane strut his stuff ...again

It was March 29th 2008 and we had a great night in Milltown at Shane's 21st party.(Shane is Liz's nephew)

It was a full family gathering with all aunties, uncles, hundreds of cousins. Needless to say there was plenty of craic and drink !! Shane lapped up all the attention and presents with great gusto !! Of course the dancing was the highlight of the night and Shane gave us an exhibition of his unique creative dancing !!!

Justine also not to be out done by Shane took part in some more "creative dancing" but if I put any of her photos on the web she may kill me !!! In fact it's highly likely she will kill me. So if you e mail me I can send you copies!!

Joseph and St Mary's National Shinty Champions

On Sun 20th April we travelled down to Perth to support St Mary's RC School team in the National Shinty Championship. This was a competition between all the winning teams from all over Scotland. The games were fast and furious in the big indoor arena. It was looking good as we qualified from the group and now faced old rivals Park from Oban in the final.It was a tense match and both sides knew a goal might decide the game. It was a very close final and we were jubilant when St Mary's scored and held on to win 1-0. A famous victory for the Fort !!!
This was history in the making, a first for St Mary's now Scottish Champions in shinty P5-7. Joseph said they are the world champions as Scotland is the only country that plays shinty !!!!


David was away all summer in Camp America . Contact would have been easier had David been in Camp X-ray in Guantanamo bay as we struggled to get any response from email etc We are not sure if the lack of communication was due to technical difficulties or lack of engagement by a certain party !!

Camp America is a summer camp for children and good experience for David doing sporting activities etc. Hopefully it will help to have it on his CV when looking for work later.

He certainly had a great time as a group of fellow students hired a car and went touring at the end of the season. David stayed with Martin and Kerry in San Francisco.

When he arrived home we hardly recognised him , tanned , long hair but the giveaway sign was that he still constantly asking for money from his parents ....

David is now in third year and enjoying his course. His placements went well and just one more year to go !!

Aoife is reunited with her long lost oldest brother !!  


Wedding Bells in Italy and Mayo

Joe's first Cousin James and Carmelisa in Cortona
The Tangney Clan Line up !!
Cheer up boys ...only another 75 pictures to go !! Liz's niece Emily and Brian

The Commando Memorial

Emily supervises the Lyons dancing !!

A selection of just some of our many visitors 2008


Liz is kidnapped !!
Mull screams like a baby for Help !! We all run !!!
Difficult to find words for this one ! Nice shirtCharlie
Gerry stays focused ...on more trifle?
Fergus shares his first love letter !!  
Chris tickles Ann O Brien
The Coughlans Conquer Scotland !!  
Cousin Cara and Dean.... the honeymooners
Matthew, Ava, Joseph
Glen Nevis welcomes the Vermont tourists