Christmas News 2016

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Vol 1 No. 22 Dec 2016

The year of the Big Brexit shock result !

Hello to everyone.

It has been an amazing year really with that "empty nest" feeling not yet having a chance in our house. So despite Aoife heading off to Aberdeen to start Physiotherapy James is still at home and we had Ciaran until mid November. He is now in the South island of New Zealand and having a great time having bought a van with Callum who joined him in December. He is off to the Franz Joseph glacier in January and then will have to find some work I hope.

James will find out about work soon but the company has been bought over with the promise of the retention and further creation of some new jobs all of vital importance for Fort William. Also James won "player of the year" in shinty for the second consecutive year.

Ronan finished his probation year in Gryffe High School and then went off to Bali and other exotic spots in Indonesia for 4 weeks. Ronan managed to join us for Ciaran's graduation dinner and now has a job for a year in Aberdeen which he is enjoying. Aoife will keep an eye on him!!

Joseph is now in 3rd year in Dundee and is still playing rugby making the most of the after match shenangians. He enjoys the Uni life but hopefully he is also studying!!

David still lives and works in Dubai as does his girlfriend Catherine he really seems to have settled into the lifestyle there but will be home for a few days this Christmas and a chance to catch up with the Tangney clan together.

Aoife passed her driving test first attempt in July unlike the boys and she likes to repeatedly remind them of this fact. She has settled in well into Robert Gordon Uni and Aberdeen.The course is busy and she is working hard. We had a chance to all get all our family together in France for Shane and |Mike's wedding in August.

It was an amazing wedding and lovely get together which happens only rarely these days. We did manage to get home to Ireland for Simon and Sarahs wedding in March which was just lovely. Half the Tangneys coming with us for that.

We hope to all go to Ireland this year except for those in New Zealand and visit Nana and Ballymara. We wish you all a lovely Christmas and a very happy New Year.
All the best for 2017


Our Big French Summer Wedding

The full Tangney Clan all dressed up.


The peloton was getting tired and hungry but then ......

Off to France for a week for Shane and Mike's much awaited and anticipated wedding. Bordeaux airport on a hot Sat night in August at 10pm is not much fun, everybody was tired and cranky as it had been a long day. Still had the car hire to sort out and thankfully we decided to hire two cars for the week. Liz and myself don't car travel very well together and we asked for volunteers to accompany the drivers ....So 5 Tangneys with me.... and 1 with Liz ...After a mini protest Liz had two more "volunteers" to go with her.....I have to admit it is not easy to adjust to driving on the other side of the road late at night and trying to figure out the new sat navs but we finally got going. We arrived in the Chateau about an hour later which was very spacious and ideal for a family. It was situated in a vinyard and had a swimming pool,volleyball court and more importantly a ping pong table.

So the ping pong battle began on Sun with a whole series of matches. David (Wing Wong) was knocked out in the semifinal by Aoife. Ciaran was in top form and narrowly beat Aoife in the final. the prize fund of 60 euros definitely seemed to spurn Ciaran on and Aoife was gutted missing out on this unexpected euro wedding fund boost !

Next came the volleyball series over the week and my debut was not a happy one . I was deliberately targeted by certain memebers of the opposition namely David ,Aoife and Ronan who showed no mercy .....but I will not forget !

The day before the wedding we drove about 10km to Creon in search of the bike rental shop. The two car convoy was not without its problems as we had lost each other on arrival in the small town square.After about 30min we eventually found the shop but not Liz and in the meantimes had a close encounter with the gendarmes as we were going up a one way street. We put our hands in the air and reversed sheepishly. They were not amused and waved us on. Joseph was now sent on sent on foot to track down Liz and her crew.

Finally we are all at bike shop and ready to go to Dignac for lunch. The cycle track was an old railway track and very scenic with vineyards everywhere. We were truly out in the country and begining to wonder if we were lost.

David started to cry chicken and said we should go back ......we had now cycled about 10km. The peloton was getting weary with the heat. We all stopped and had a quick "pow wow" and decided to go around the next bend and there it was the elusive wee village.


So we cycled into the village about 1pm which looked totally deserted apart from two more cyclists. Our peloton pulled over and a very unlikley place to eat called Chez Marie was approached with caution. Aoife our chief scout declared it open as she pointed to the sign saying "overt". In we all rush now starving and it was like a step back in time. We were greeted by an elderly lady who was the owner with her husband. It was busy with lots of locals which is always a good sign. The Olympics was on TV up in the corner. It looked as though nothing had changed there for the last 50 years.

As we had rushed in the front door so delighted that it was actually open we didn't spot the blackboard menu outside. We were all seated together at a long table and within a minute two large jugs of wine were in front of us. One red and one rose which Joseph naively thought the rose was juice ! Then bread ,soup, ham,then beef tomato eggs,then fois gras,then steak,then potato,then a large cheese board,then ice cream , then coffee.....

Then to crown off a wonderful true French countryside lunch when we went to pay it was only 13 euro each. I was nearly speechless as we had a seven course lunch !! It was simply fantastic and we gave a generous tip to Marie for all her delicious cuisine.

We could have been there all day except we had to have the bikes back by 3pm and collect James from the airport at 4.30pm. So all out the door some half cut and ready for the cycle back to Creon. Then unexpectedly Aoife discovered she had a puncture so all those years of fixing punctures in my not so distant youth came in very handy. We had a tiny amount of half dried glue and one patch so the pressure was on to fix it quick. Alas nothing simple we could not find the puncture despite everybody almost staying quiet for a few seconds ! Liz saved the day as she went back to Chez marie and somehow with a few french words from secondary school to get a bowel of water. Desparation was setting in as we still struggled to find the tiny puncture. Then a few bubbles were spotted by the now large onlooking crowd and we collectively experienced unparalleled joy as we now knew Aoife would not have to walk the 10 km home on her own !

So yet again the peloton was on it's way but slowly this time as heavily laden down by the massive lunch.The way back was much tougher not just due to 29C but many gentle long uphill climbs. We eventually arrive back at the bike hire shop almost 2 hours late and the kind lady did not charge us a late fee.

Then Uber Joe gets to work as I had to collect Michael,Mary eanna,Cormac at the train station and James at the airport.

It was hectic from then on as all the wedding guests were arriving and hitting the drink.It was a three day event and guests came from far and wide. The wedding venue was spectacular and in a beautiful country chateau. Shane had put in a huge effort organising the wedding for over a year and we all enjoyed the great occcasion.


Ciaran struggles to stay awake after the meal.
Looks very quiet on the outside of Chez Marie

Where is Liz with the (Holy)water ??

David thinks "I am now ready for the Tour de France"


Shane,Keith,Dave,Justine ,Mike
Looking good ladies ,Justine ,Kerry,Liz ,Jane,Mary

The volleyball competition is in full swing
David is trying to beat Aoife

Simon and Sarah tie the knot last !
Team Slattery in Galway

Catherine,David and Martina
Shane and Mike join the Slattery family

Chateau La Gorce
The adorned tables await the guests
The celebrant looks to the heavens for inspiration ?
Saint Emillion

Ciaran's Graduation July 2016

Brothers are handy at times as Joseph sorts out Ciaran's laces
Nice new handbag Ciaran

So the big day for Ciaran our eco warrior arrives finally and an end to his four years in Edinburgh University.

Ciaran graduates with his degree in Environmental Geoscience which he has really enjoyed. Getting a job is the next challenge but I am sure Ciaran will find some work in New Zealand.

A late arrival on Fri night in Glasgow for visiting nana Tangney,aunty Annemarie and cousin Ailbhe getting home to Fort William by 2am. On Sat off to Glenfinnan in sunshine then heavy rain. A quiet day Sun then off to Edinburgh Mon morning in two cars ..much safer for us all.

Mon 27 June the same day that I graduated 31 years ago Ciaran graduates …

Ciaran's graduation was attended by Prince Albert of Monaco who was awarded an hononary degree and Princess Anne was also there so nana enjoyed seeing the royalty.

The ceremony was great and nana Tangney really enjoyed it. photos, then off to the Salisbury Arms hotel for dinner which was a good craic.We had a great day night out in Edinburgh

Iceland beat England 2-1 while we had dinner. Tues off to airport again and flat cleaning duties yet again ..Collected James from Glasgow airport and he looked a bit shook ! no surprises there…

Ciaran has a farewell dinner at home before going off to New Zealand.

It was just ourselves and Liz who is overwhelmed with emotion and seen above clinging on to Ciaran who does not look at all fearful Ciaran has not yet finished painting all the rooms in the house which he was paid to do before leaving for New Zealand ! Liz withholds his passport until the painting contract is fully completed .
It could be a few years before he is back to finish the job. Liz has asked him for a refund but strangely no reply from Ciaran yet!

Ciaran and Neil


Ciaran made a big effort to get all dressed up for his final farewell dinner !
Ciaran and Jordan
Neil Macgillivray bakes a great kiwi cake for Ciaran

Prince Albert receives an honary degree

Cheers Ciaran !!


Aoife's High School Graduation
Aoife and Donnie High School Graduation

Thurs 9 June

Aoife's graduation arrives at last and she gets her dress sorted not without it's moments as alterations etc Then over to the High School at 4.30 and the crowds were already arriving. Liz , Ciaran Joseph and Joe all arrived on time I hasten to add at 5.15 for a 5.30 start. There was an air of excitement in the hall as all the students were buzzing about all glammed up. The hall was packed and 82 of the 6th years made their way into the hall after the two pipers. There was a slideshow of old primary school photos on first and the year book was also released that day. One by one they all went up on stage and Aoife looked great. Being one of three students to get 5 A's was mentioned and Liz's almost perfect PTA attendance 35/36 was given a big applause.This must be a record and Liz is relieved. This was the end of a long era (22years) and now we no longer have a child in any Fort William school …. After we met some of the other proud parents including Donnie's parents Kiki and Anna. Donnie was off to Rwanda next day with Kiki for 10 days. All the students went to the Ben Nevis Hotel for a meal then Aoife was back home for a quick change before going down town until late ! A party next nights….the first of many late nights.

Our "Baby" Aoife is 18


Aoife leaves home in Sept .
Yes,we all knew it was going to happen some day as our Aoife was now leaving home and the nest was now empty well nearly empty or almost empty (except James had returned to the nest after his Australian tour ). Liz was cleaning aroung the house the whole week before in what can only be a mother's stress response as I have never had that inclination myself despite multiple stressful situations. Our house was absolutely shinning and we were all afraid to even put a cup down in case it caught Liz's attention and then run as fast as you can for as long as you can .....or die !! Aoife seemed happy to be released from our custody and Liz has just carried on cleaning ..........


The car is fully packed and off to Aberdeen.
Fergus Glynn gets married ....I can hear the gasps over here !



7 th July Fergus gets married in San Francisco to Abbie

I had to write to Fergus

Dear Fergus,

I am in a state of complete shock to hear the news of your wedding . What a week of chaos here…..,shock  BREXIT result ( we are all up the creek)   David Cameron resigns as leader Tories, civil war in Corbyn's Labour, Boris Johnson stabbed in the back by Gove, Chris Evans leaves Top Gear, Wales beat Belgium, Djokovic beaten by Querry, James comes back from the Euros broke and hungover ,another Scottish independence referendum looms large …..then , then….. Fergus getting married……  Jesus what's next  I give up…… and need to lie down for a while !!!

Anyway Fergus I am now coming to terms with all the above news and working my way through the 4 stages of grief  slowly …..We are of course delighted to hear the good news Fergus as I had even told my mother to stop praying for you 5 years ago, of course apart from the odd Hail Holy Queen( just so she did not forget the words !)  Liz was stunned and went silent for a half an hour , she did manage to resume the ironing later but no words just the big whishing sound and purring noise from our big industrial steam iron and the occasional deep sigh in between the change of the large laundry baskets. Alas no words can explain the shock and look of disbelief in her beautiful emerald green honest west of Ireland eyes. Liz's vacant look into the distance still haunts me and when I click my fingers she won't snap out of it …I may need counselling fairly soon !  All the boys were laughing when they heard the news but that was their way of showing their true affection for you Fergus and I dared them to laugh your face when you come over to sort them out ….then we will see how brave they are !

Aoife has remained the calmest in our house probably as she cannot remember you sitting around our kitchen table as she was too young. It will most likely hit her later and she is off to Aberdeen in Sept so we will look out for her then.

So Fergus we are all stunned over here and Liz was talking to her brother Michael who lives in San Francisco but as we did not know you now new wife's name I could not ask him to go and warn her before it was too late ….

You will be a married man by the time you read this email and Fergus we are all delighted to hear the good news …at long last your poor mother and father can sleep the night as they now know you have a full time live in carer . Every parent is relieved when the last bachelor walks down the aisle …….it's all ahead of me !!

Fergus you must come over to see us and we would love to meet the new Mrs Glynn ,  every best wish for a long and happy life together and have a great honeymoon!!

Best wishes

All the Tangney Clan

PS Send me a photo , just as evidence that this is not a hoax wedding !!  


Fergus did indeed send me a photo of himself and beautiful Abbie.What a lucky man



Joseph goes on a Rugby Tour to South Africa

The "Potholes"
The Tour Convoy

So I went off to South Africa in July 2016 for two weeks with the Dundee University Medical School(DUMS) rugby team. As you can imagine the travel time from Scotland to South Africa was almost as bad as trying to get to Shetland (refer to previous newletter about that rugby trip). This was made a little more exciting with the fact we travelled through Istanbul between the terroist attack and the coup, I think we nailed the timing.
Once arriving in Johannesburg we were straight to the hostel, brown sugar, to ditch our bags and then straight to the university to play the WITS medics team in our first friendly of the holiday. We started the game well taking the lead but sadly were beaten in the second half as the heat, jet lag, altitude and lack of mositure started to get to us. Can't remember the score. Don't ask. Afterward we were well treated to some fantastic hospitality in the form of beers and a braai (their verison of a BBQ). We certainly made up for our lack of mositure earlier with all the beers and fair to say we won the drinking games. I had two whole beers. At that altitude that's pretty hardcore.

On we went on our not so merry way to Pretoria the following day not before stopping off and collecting what we referred to as the DUMS convoy - seen above - fitted with all we needed for our safari. But first we made a few stops; the first being the apartheid museum. This was a strong experience and I had no idea the extend or depth the apartheid went to and the lengths people made to abolish it. Then we went onto a fantastic zoo where we not only got up close with tigers, lions and jaguars but we were actually allowed in with the tiger cubs. I can honestly say I was happy to stay in that cage for days on end. During this once in a lifetime oppurtunity one fellow tourist wasn't as pleased as myself reffering to the cubs as "aw they are wet and minging!".
On we went to our accommodation which was kindly offered to us by the organisers friends of the family. I would like to take this moment to extend a huge thank you to the organiser of the trip: Rory Gibson, who has now since quailifed, although I think pulling off the tour of a lifetime - including all the stresses - was his biggest achievement that year. Can't thank you enough Rory! The hospitatily we received in South Africa was continued again as we were treated to another fantastic braii along with biltong - lovely beef jerky like treat which we all took to like a mum does to giving out. Brandy wasn't served by the bottle but by the crate this was more than most could handle, once again I abstained.

After this we headed to off to Kruger national park to enjoy a 3 day sarafi. On the way we stopped off at a few of the the breathtaking scenary viewpoints including God's window and the pot holes. Once arriving at the park we got went straight into safari mode. Thinking it would take maybe 20/30mins to see an animal we were surpirsed when turning the second corner an elephant walked right across the road in front of us! By the end of the three days, between all the cars we managed to see a huge array of wildlife including the big 5!
Next stop for us was Cape town. Flying down took no time, and it took little or no time for the plane to run out of alcohol, we arrived safe and sound pulling up to our hostel right on the main party street. With our kilts we caught a lot of attention and not just from the lady's of the night wondering what was underneath not to mention trying quite enthusasticallty to take a look!
This took us up until our next game against UCT medics. A well fought game were we refused to give in to the relentless barrage of South Africans running at us again and again we managed to put ourselves in front. Eventually the injuries took their toll on our 17 man squad with most boys carrying some sort of niggle they eventually broke through our defense to go onto a solid win. Can't remember the final score again. Was close. I swear. I blame the astounding scenary that the pitch was situated in. I won't try and fail to describe it as the photo below does far more justice than I can.
We spent a fantastic week in Cape town spending a great day on the nearby wine vineyards tasting all they had to offer and buying a bottle or crate to take away with us. The wine and local beauty combined to bring a smiles to all faces and tears to a few eyes. I won't mention who cried. I may or may not have been one of them.

Looking back at Cape town on the boat to Robben Island
Standing at God's Window
DUMS Convoy on route to Kruger

We couldn't go to Cape town and not visit a stormers game so we managed to catch them playing the kings and it was some game! The stormers have the biggest home crowd of any rugby team the atmosphere at this Superrugby game was fantastic and we all hugely enjoyed it minus one member who managed to sleep through the entire game.
A fantastic day trip we undertook was to visit Robben island. A short boat trip out to the island meant we were able to view Cape town from afar and look back on the spectacular city. Robben island itself was an amazing experience being lead round by a previous prisoner added some moving emotions to tour. We visited both the yard where Nelson Mandela worked breaking rocks but also where his cell and the cells of other prisoners where their incredible stories were written on the walls.
We also did a bus/cycle trip around the Western Cape National Park that had some of the best views I have ever seen and standing at the most south western point of the African continent will not be something I forget anytime soon. On this trip we were able to cycle around parts of the cape and ended at a beautiful beach where in true rugby team fashion we all decided to strip off and skinny dip knowing that if we swam Antartica was the next stop. This was a great way to cool off the in immense heat we were experiencing during their winter and a great hangover cure. Would recommend!
Our final game was against Stellenbosch medics. They turned up with 300 supporters and we even sang the national athems before we played. It was the peak of the hospitality we received. Credit to the players on both sides as although we kept the game 0-0 the first twenty mins you could see in the rugby they played that it could only end one way.
And so ended our tour of South Africa we left having gained a few stories, cracking photos, some injuries, plenty of hangovers and memories I won't ever forget. From Johannesberg to Pretoria to Kruger to Cape Town to Stellenbosch to Scotland (via Dubai). It was incredible and Rory Gibson put in an unbelieveable amount of time and effort to make it happen. Thank you Rory! South Africa was the trip of a lifetime.

Team Photo in Stellenbosch


Liz and myself were treated to the World Tour Finals this year in the 02 arena London . One of my colleagues at work had spare tickets. This was a first World Tour Finals for us and we were excited to see the top 8 men in the world and also the doubles. So the two Murray brothers awaited our visit to London. Alas no Rafa this year but hopefully next year.

Living in Fort William has an advantage when travelling to London as the overnight sleeper train leaves here at 19.50 and arrives in Euston at 07.45 next morning. I won't go in the difficulties of trying to sleep in "sleeper" again and this time I must have squeezed in an hour or two sleep which is better than the last trip to Wimbledon.

We had tickets for both sessions on two days in the O2 which is massive holding 20,000 fans and a great atmosphere.It is a huge arena and fully seated . Each session(2pm and 6pm) has a singles and doubles match .We saw all the top 8 men in action Novak vs Goffin, Raonic vs Thiem a great match Andy vs Wawrinka tight first set 7-5 but Stan lost hope, Nishikori vs Cilic . The doubles was equally good and we watched Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares.

To take full advantage of our rare visit to London we saw" Matilda" which was entertaining if I was 8 years old . Then Oxford Street to see John Lewis' and finally the Cutty Sark in Greenwich .

We stayed in the holiday inn which was ideal as only 10 min walking distance from the O2 so avoided the tube . The Pilot pub nearby is good for a meal or drink.

Andy beats Novak in the final 6-3 6-4 in a tight match but Andy holds on to his world number one title. Well deserved and he had a great year . This is a history as we will never again see a world number one singles and doubles player from Scotland .

Liz says "Thats my big tall boy Andy"


We used the "tube" to get around London as it cheap and fast. However the train is absolutely packed at rush hour and crowds everywhere. People squeezing in then trying to get out at stops .Its simply dog eat dog . Absolutely No eye contact and no chat what so ever.
Liz had a close one on Sat morning as we raced down the stairs to reach the waiting train. I was ahead of Liz due to my natural Usain Bolt fast twitch muscle sprint fibres . Liz was not so lucky as she was a yard behind me as but like an olympic sprinter threw her self forward in a last gasp desperate effort. Thankfully most of Liz got through the now rapidly closing door but her lovely Ness bag and left ankle got stuck in the doors.The other passengers looked on in amusment and some shook their heads in disbelief. Time stood still as I now had a split second decision to make , do I try and save the Ness Bag or Liz's ankle ?? Somehow with surge of adrenaline and fear of losing the lovely Ness bag I found the strength to become "the jaws of life" I prised open the doors and pulled in both the bag and Liz's left ankle ……she gave me a telling off saying why was I in such a hurry as we raced down 4 flights of stairs…I should have just saved the bag …. .....




James and The Euros started on Fri 10 June

James by fluke got 6 six tickets for the Euros he reports ,

As the tickets for the matches you received were randomly allocated I was lucky to manage to swap my Czech Vs Turkey tickets to the Ireland V Italy game which turned out to be a great game with Ireland nicking the win. The city of Lille was full of drunken Irish men swimming in the fountains and up to all sorts of good hearted mischief.

After this it was on to Lens for Portugal V Croatia which was by far the worst game of Football I have ever witness. Onward to Paris where again we struck lucky with the draw and managed to see Spain V Italy which was a great game and the Stade de France is a terrific venue. The fan zone basically underneath the Eiffel tower was terrific with massive screens, a 100,000 capacity and all the beer and drink you could ask for while watching the football. It was here amongst about 10'000 English fans that we watched them get beat by Iceland. Some took it in good spirits singing "were shit, and we know we are" while other fans showed why the travelling English support has such a bad reputation fighting amongst each other.

Overall it was a great trip and one I wish to experience in the future following Scotland to a major tournament. Well I am thankful we are rubbish as I doubt the world cup in Russia and Qatar after that would be a bundle of laughs.


The Euros and Heineken


Some of our Visitors 2016


Bria Gemma Ciaran
Pamela Ben Nevis

Ted the birthday boy and Mary

Fran Karleen and James

Callum Joseph Keir ready for Aonach Mor  
Phil Ciaran Neil in Glencoe
Glenoe in June  
Black Rock Cottage Glencoe
Below is a late addition to this years newsletter as we were worried about Ciaran being so far a way for his first Christmas in New Zealand    


Christmas day in St Claire's beach Dunedin ,Ciaran and Calum look so lonely and homesick already ......even the surfboard needed patching up . I begin to wonder if the 26 year old van the "babe magnet" the boys never had in Scotland ?

Ciaran starts surfing lessons on top of the van in New Zealand .

Calum is the supervisor .I am not a surfer but is the board the wrong way up Ciaran ?