The Freebird Times - Issue 3

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we talk to Dawson

Stelfox, the first Irish

man to reach the

summit of Mount























Come and join us! 3

Welcome to the third edition of the Freebird Times.

Beautiful Bordeaux 4

Moira Allan discovers the delights of Southwest France.

GoGoDermo 6

Dermot Higgins cycles into the Guinness Book of Records.







we talk to Dawson

Stelfox, the first Irish

man to reach the

summit of Mount

















freebirdclub.com 1

View from the top 7

We talk to mountaineer Dawson Stelfox, the first Irish man

to reach the summit of Mount Everest.



Summer reads 10

Freebird Club members let us in on their favourite authors

and current reads.

Let’s Cook 13

Niav Halpin shares her grandmother’s recipe for a

“pick me up” dessert.

High flyer 14

Captain Bob Holly is still flying choppers for a living at 73.

Tips for healthy eating 16

A good diet boosts health and wellbeing in older age.

Love art! 17

Volunteer gallery guide, Maureen Dunne, shares some of

her favourite artworks.

Hitting the high notes 19

Why singing is good for you.

Boston has it all! 20

Boston-born Julie Colby tells us about her native city and

Jackie Keady gives us the low-down on the Pioneer Valley.

Tech savvy 22

Top tech tips to improve memory and travel.

Take a look at our easy-to-follow

video to learn how to read the

magazine online.

While most people know intuitively

how to turn pages in a printed

publication, the techniques for reading

a digital publication are a little bit

different. We want to make your read

as easy as possible and have made a

short video to help you navigate the

magazine with a few simple clicks.

If you still prefer to read a paper version,

you can simply download and print it.

See the video below to learn more.

Picture this! 23

How to upload photos to your PC or Apple device.

Club news 24

We have a special discount offer for new members.



Come and join us!

We are delighted to present the third

edition of the Freebird Times, the

digital magazine specially designed

for Freebird Club members, friends

and fans around the world.

As you may already know, the Freebird Club is a

travel-based social network for the over 50s which

allows members to travel and stay with each other as

part of a trusted community of peers.

For Freebird travellers it’s a sociable way to see

the world, for Freebird hosts it’s a new source of

income, and for all it is a fun and accessible way

to meet new people and enjoy social and cultural

interaction in later life. If you are aged 50+ and

haven’t joined already, there’s no better time to get

on board. We have a special discounted membership

offer on the last page and there is lots of great

reading to be done on the way there.

In this edition we have some fascinating and

inspiring features. Who could not but be inspired

by our very own Freebird Club member Dermot

Higgins from Dublin who cycled his way around

the globe and into the Guinness Book of Records.

He is not the only high achiever here, however,

as we also feature the exploits of helicopter pilot

Captain Bob Holly and mountaineer Dawson

Stelfox. For those looking to up-skill with

computers and technology we have some great tips

and tools. Food features strongly in this issue – both

for nutritional value and sheer taste, while art and

music lovers (especially singers) are in for a treat.

There are, of course, also interesting travel articles

sure to give you itchy feet all the way from Boston

to Bordeaux.

We continue to benefit from some great press and

media coverage, and even had a video produced by

US media company, ATTN, which went viral on

social media with over seven million views. See it

here http://bit.ly/2K4evOo

We were honoured to be invited to present at two

major international conferences; the Social Economy

Forum in Lisbon, Portugal, and the Innov-Aging

Expo in Ancona Italy. This followed our selection as

a finalist in the global Silver Economy and Ageing

Well Awards. We have also just started re-developing

our website, which will make for a much more userfriendly

online experience for our users.

We are particularly pleased to announce a new

partnership with Australian over 50s digital media

company WYZA who will be promoting Freebird

throughout their extensive network in Australia and

New Zealand. WYZA provides a digital platform

for people over 50, delivering age relevant content

and products to their 50+ audience (www.wyza.

com.au). We look forward to collaborating with the

WYZA team and availing of their industry experience

and expertise to bring the Freebird homestay travel

movement to our friends ‘down under’. Staying with

that part of the world, we are on our way to Malaysia,

as a finalist in the World Tourism Forum Lucerne

Start-up Innovation Awards. We have been selected as

one of the world’s 15 most innovative travel, tourism

and hospitality start-ups, and get to pitch with the best

for the grand prize on September 12th. Wish us luck!

Finally, be sure to check out our own website: www.

freebirdclub.com There you will find warm welcoming

hosts in great destinations around the world. As the

Club is driven by our members, we are always open to

suggestions about what content and features to include

in the magazine. If you are not yet a member we would

love to have you join us. Furthermore why not tell

your friends and family over 50 about us? There’s never

been a better time to spread their wings!

In other news, we have been busy growing and

promoting the Freebird Club internationally. In

the Spring we completed a very successful diaspora

engagement project with our friends in the London

Irish Centre, whereby a group of their members

came to stay with Freebird hosts in Kerry, Ireland.

Suffice to say the “craic was mighty.”


Best wishes,

Peter Mangan

Freebird Club Founder



Beautiful Bordeaux

Moira Allan, positive ageing advocate,

explorer, writer and speaker supposedly

moved to France for just two years.

Several decades later she’s still there!

Here she shares some of the delights of

Southwest France, one of her favourite

regions. Moira’s complete Southwest

France travelogue is on our website


and aluminum inaugurated in 2016, in honour of

the wines of the world. The eighth story belvedere

offers an unparalleled 360-degree panoramic view of

the city, the river and way beyond to the vineyards.

From Bordeaux, move onto Saint Emilion, also

a UNESCO world heritage site, steeped in 2000

years’ history between man and the grape. The

climb to the top of the main square will reward you

with a magnificent panoramic view of the region

stretching all the way to Castillon La Bataille, your

next stop 13 km further east.

Cité du Vin

Bordeaux is a good place to start

discovering the southwest. The river capital

is France’s 9th largest city. Founded in

300 BCE by the Celts it sprawls along the

banks of the majestic Garonne as it swoops

through the city, and clearly manifests its

merit in earning UNESCO World Heritage

Site status for its centuries old Port of the

Moon, the old Bordeaux, a hub for the

wine industry since time immemorial.

Segway, cycle or stroll through the

Esplanade des Quinconces, Europe’s

largest square, and admire the neoclassical

architecture. You will enjoy your selfguided

tour of the Cité du Vin – it’s a flair

of a building swirling up on the banks of the

Garonne, a contemporary monument in glass

Being inducted into the Ordre des Vins de Castillon is a

serious business and requires a signed commitment to honor the

traditional values.



This is a must, especially if you are there in the July/

August holiday period because if you are, you are in

for a medieval treat. It was at Castillon-la-Bataille that

the French defeated the British and ended the 100-year

war and 300 years of English possession of Aquitaine.

I first discovered this town and its exciting historical

pageant in 2003 when I was with friends who were

house hunting. (Theirs is a fairytale. They found their

dream house and are still living happily ever after in the

Dordogne). Every year, more than 600 local citizens reenact

the Battle of Castillon with an infectious joy and

enthusiasm and keep their audiences enthralled as the

spectacle unfolds over the 7 hectares surrounding the

Castegens Castle within cannon range of the original

battlefield. This intense 90-minute outdoor spectacle

with amazing pyrotechnic effects plunges the audience

into the middle ages with gusto.

Plan to arrive early and enjoy the medieval

exhibitions and excellent local fare at the modestly

priced restaurant. There are 18 performances over

summer and it’s best to book in advance.

Our hosts





Fabienne’s place


Loves: Cooking, walking,

swimming, biking, relaxing

in a deckchair in the garden.

Philosophy of life: If you

can not do what you love,

try to love what you do.

Caroline’s place



Loves: Pilates, reading,

knitting, sewing.

Philosophy of life: Enjoy

and make the most of

every moment.

Bordeaux describes itself as “the world wine

capital,” and the Gironde region produces

more wine than any other area in France.

Many of the estates are now involved in wine

tourism and it has become very easy to visit

their vineyards and wine cellars and sample

their production. They’ve been growing

wine in Bordeaux for over 2,000 years so

they’re pretty good at it…..

If wine isn’t your thing, there is no shortage

of other things to do. Bordeaux is a port city

so there are seaside walks and boat tours to

enjoy and it is also a World Heritage Site

with impressive examples of neo-classic and

French civil architecture.

Planning a trip to France? To see our full list of

hosts, visit our website www.freebirdclub.com






Freebird Club member, Dermot

Higgins, battled rough weather and

even rougher terrain to cycle into the

Guinness Book of Records!

Earlier this year Dermot Higgins became the oldest

man to cycle around the globe. Dermot, and his

trusty bicycle, Karolina, started their epic journey

in June last year and arrived back in his hometown

of Rush, Co. Dublin in April 2018 after 29,000

kilometres of tough cycling over all sorts of terrain

in all sorts of weather.

A retired schoolteacher, Dermot undertook this

journey to raise awareness of the UN Global

Goals for sustainability and to raise funds for the

charity, Trocaire. An avid environmental activist,

he is passionate about educating people on ways to

protect our planet.

The Freebird Club was a proud supporter of

Dermot’s “GoGoDermo” odyssey and its founder,

Peter Mangan, said “we are immensely proud to

have sponsored such an inspirational member

and are thrilled with his outstanding achievement

in becoming the oldest man to cycle around the

world. As he travelled the world our supportive

hosts provided a warm welcome, allowing him

to rest, refresh and recuperate in their great


Dermot’s adventure took him across Europe, into

Asia via Russia, Kazakhstan and then on to India.

He cycled the length of New Zealand, then went to

Australia and from there to the United States. The

final leg of his journey brought him back across the

Atlantic to Portugal and Spain.

Along the way he encountered many challenges,

life changing moments and colourful characters,

including his Freebird Club hosts! From homecooked

meals with Lyudmila in Kazakhstan,

meeting his musician heroes in Los Angeles with

host Gaili, relaxing poolside with Kelly in France,

to a final stop off in Washington - where he enjoyed

lively chats with environmental scientist, host Dean

– Dermot truly lived the ethos of the Freebird Club

which encourages those over 50 to get on their bikes

or into trains, planes and automobiles to explore the

big wide world that awaits them






Dawson Stelfox approaching

the 2nd step on Everest’s

North Ridge, 27th May 1993.

Photo by Frank Nugent.

When you’ve made your mark as the

first Irish person to reach the summit of

Mount Everest it must be all downhill

after that? Not at all! Now 60,

Dawson Stelfox looks forward to new

adventures in the hills in an exclusive

interview with John Stanley for the

Freebird Times.

Dawson Stelfox’s paternal grandparents were one

of the earliest influences on the man who would

become the first person from the island of Ireland to

climb Mount Everest and, as a dual passport holder,


the first British person to complete its challenging

North Ridge route. They were both botanists and

when his grandfather, Arthur, retired as a curator in

Dublin’s Natural History Museum they moved to

Newcastle in Northern Ireland.

As a regular summer visitor the young Dawson was

brought out walking and plant hunting. “That was

probably my earliest introduction to the outdoors

and I loved it,” he recalls. His mountaineering

career began around age 10 and when he tried rock

climbing at 15 he was hooked.

One of the motivations for mountaineering is

escape from normal, every day life, but Dawson

says he had an added stimulus. “I was one of the



generation that grew up during

the troubles in Belfast. I was

at school in the centre of the

city at the height of the IRA

bombing campaign. Getting

away from it at the weekends

was also part of the motivation

for me, both as a teenager and

as a young adult.”

The mountaineering club at

Queens University Belfast introduced Stelfox to

climbs across Ireland, Scotland, the Alps and further

afield. Like a few other sports, mountaineering

has always been an “all island” activity that unites

climbers beyond the boundaries of nationalism

or sectarianism. On the successful 1993 Everest

expedition, for example, it was neither an Irish

Tricolour nor a British Union Jack that Dawson

planted on the summit but simply the pennant of

the “First Irish Everest Expedition.”

“Back in the 1980s it was an exciting time with a

strong pioneering element to it. Opening up new

crags and putting up new routes was a big element

of the motivation and even at the height of the

troubles you would find climbers coming up from

the south to climb in the Mournes or at Fair Head

in Antrim,” he recalls.

There was an important

social aspect to the

sport too. Dawson met

his wife, Margaret, at

the university climbing

club. “Luckily, she is

also a mountaineer

and we’ve done a lot

of travelling together.

We’ve two boys, so there

was a period when she

was doing less because

she took the brunt of

raising them, but we’ve

had lots of good trips


Shortly after university

Dawson discovered

another passion -

conservation. “I trained

It’s whatever

you plan to

do next that’s


as an architect but fairly

quickly became interested in

the conservation of heritage

buildings. That’s been my

specialisation, and my passion

really. I find it enormously

satisfying to bring historic

buildings back to life.”

Over many years Dawson has

been one of the leading lights

in Ireland’s climbing world. He is Chair of the

Mountain Training Board and a past chairman and

current board member of Mountaineering Ireland.

And although he is a qualified mountain guide

and instructor, his personal preference has been

to remain an amateur climber. He now considers

that the Everest expedition of 25 years ago was

one of the last of the amateur big peak expeditions

“before commercialisation took hold.”

Everest is the obvious pinnacle of his climbing

career. Requiring “three months of unrelenting

hard work and lots of suffering,” it was the

culmination of “a huge amount of effort and

teamwork.” However, he readily admits that many

other expeditions were more personally satisfying

including one to a remote area in Greenland, where

Dawson and Margaret

Stelfox at Phuelli Bal Vatika

School, built by the Irish

Nepalese Education Trust.



Dawson and

Margaret on their

way up Mera Peak,

Nepal 2013.

only one expedition had been before and only one

mountain climbed. “Seven of us were dropped

off by a ski-plane and picked up three weeks later.

In that period we’d climbed 16 peaks for the first

time.” Another personal highlight was a long,

complicated Alpine route, the Peuterey Integral

done with, a long time friend and fellow member of

the Everest expedition, Robbie Fenlon.

Dawson is a great believer in looking forward. “Really,

it’s whatever you plan to do next that’s important,” he

says. Now in his 61st year, he will be going to the Alps

this year with another Everest expedition member,

67 year-old Frank Nugent. It’s a special climb of the

Eiger to mark the 160th anniversary of its first ascent,

which was led by an Irishman from County Wicklow,

Charles Barrington. The 2018 team includes two of

his great grand nephews, young climbers Joshua and

Mathew Barrington.

“I think one of the fantastic things about

mountaineering is that even though you get a bit older,

a bit weaker and a bit more unsteady you can always

pick challenges to have a new adventure,” Dawson says.

The whole trick is to pick something which is difficult,

so you get a sense of achievement, but not too difficult;

there’s a fine line between easy and impossible. And that

to me is at the heart of what mountaineering is. There

always has to be an uncertainty about the outcome to

give it that edge of excitement.”

Earlier this year Dawson stepped down as the lead

partner in his architectural practice to become a


consultant, which gives him more time to go into

the mountains. “ I’m looking forward to the next

10 years of a bit less architecture and a bit more

mountains and travelling. But I still see myself as

working in conservation for some years to come.”

Typically modest about his lifetime commitment

of “giving back” to the sport and to his community,

Dawson still has strong connections with Northern

Ireland’s Tollymore National Outdoor Centre, which

introduced him to rock climbing 45 years ago. He is also

the chairman of Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland,

an organisation established to improve access to the

countryside. He and Margaret continue to be involved

with the Irish Nepalese Education Trust, a charity that

had its origins in the Irish Everest Expedition.

Dawson is a great believer in the benefits of the

outdoors. “Everybody benefits from being able

to get outdoors, to take exercise and enjoy the

countryside, to appreciate nature,” he says. “ You

don’t need to be climbing mountains to get out,

there’s lots of good low level and medium level

walks and treks. And I think electric bikes are a

fantastic invention in terms of getting people out

cycling, they take a lot of the sting out initially,

at least. “There are huge opportunities and huge

rewards from getting outdoors and it doesn’t have to

be at the extreme level. There is so much potential

at whatever level you want. People find that once

they get a bit of fitness they want to see new places

and start to meet other people – and before they

know it they’re doing treks across Europe!”




for the


There is nothing like settling down with

a good book so we asked Freebird Club

members to let us in on their favourite

authors and current reads.

Daphne Dhimitri,

Perth, Western Australia

I like to read all sorts except horror. I am currently

reading Inspector Pitt e-books by the author Anne

Perry, (published by Headline Publishing UK) a crime

novelist writing in the 1800s onward. Basically about

crime in that era and how Inspector Pitt conducts

the case, at times with the help of his wife and her

sister (though he does not ask for their help). They

are interesting as they give an insight into how things

may have been in that period. One of things I do

find distasteful is reading

about how men conducted

themselves then. I doubt

I would have survived

five minutes! My other

recommended reads are

The Seven Sisters, a series of

books by Lucinda Riley. I

love to read Clive Cussler,

Matthew Reilly and Oliver

Bowden and I can keep


Kay Davis, Cuenca, Ecuador

My greatest joy in retirement is being able to read

as much as I want for as long as I want. I not

infrequently read an entire book in a day. I read

historical novels, historical romances and mysteries

based in the past as well as those by living author,

James Lee Burke. My favourite current author

is E.A. Allen, a man with an amazing personal

history. Allen’s series of Edwardian mysteries

feature detective Gerard de Montclaire, the French

equivalent of Sherlock Holmes. In fact, the two

meet in one book! Both are deeply flawed (as

we all are), but Montclaire has an even darker

side than Holmes. I’ve read so many mysteries, I

usually figure out ‘who did it’, but Allen can keep

me guessing far longer than

most writers.

James Lee Burke remains

one of my favourite living

authors. His writing is more

poetry than prose. Some of

my early years were spent in

South Louisiana USA, and

he evokes memories of the

sights, sounds and smells

of that special part of the


Judit Bujdoso, Eastleigh, UK

I enjoy all kinds of mystery books and often read

late into the night, as the suspense grows in the


I am currently reading The Goldfinch, by Donna

Tartt, an American author. I love the plot and how

it weaves a lot of art-related facts into a story of loss,

love and mystery. It won the Pulitzer award in 2014.

(Published by Little Brown & Co.) Gone Girl by

Gillian Flynn is another great read (published by

Crown Publishing Group). Amy goes missing on her

wedding anniversary and the “gone girl” brought me



on a journey through her marriage and her life. It was

slow to get started, but worth the wait.

I also recommend “Before I wake” by Robert

Wiersema. (Published by Random House.) A

shocking accident leaves a young girl in a coma

with apparent miraculous

healing powers. This brings

many problems for her

parents and those who visit

her bedside, hoping for

cures. Different, exciting,

lots of twists and turns and

a very enjoyable read. So

many different personalities

and problems we all meet

in daily living. I couldn’t

put it down for long!

Jan Hively, “Age Friendly” Yarmouth,

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA.

(Jan is a social entrepreneur and activist for

positive ageing. Read more about Jan’s work here


I’m a “big picture” issues person seeking fresh ideas

about how people can share their strengths and

create community. I am currently reading Sharing

Cities: Activating the Urban Commons, 2018, edited

and published by shareable, www.shareable.net. Here

is a brand new, optimistic guide about Sharing with

100+ case studies and model policies from 80 cities

in 35 countries.

The Gifts of Caregiving, and Wisdom from Those in

Care, by Connie Goldman, published by the Society

of Certified Senior Advisors. This pair of books tells

the stories of caregivers and those who are being cared

for and asks questions

for readers to mull over

in relation to their own

experiences with caregiving.

My “must read” book for

older adults is The Mature

Mind: The Positive Power

of the Aging Brain, by Gene

Cohen, published by Basic

Books. It’s an easy read

that transforms our ageist


assumptions and shows how our personalities, creativity,

and psychological “selves” continue to develop in later

life through four developmental stages: midlife reevaluation,

liberation, summing up, and encore.

Sue Baxter, Steyning,

West Sussex, UK

Having spent my working life trying to teach the

classics of English Literature, I now, in blissful

retirement, prefer well written and translated, “scandi

noir” murder mysteries. Having begun with Henning

Mankel and Wallander I now devour as many scandi

crime writers as I can find. Favourites are anything by

Anne Holt or Jo Nesbo. Currently I’m just starting

on another novel by Clare Mackintosh. The first one

I read was “I See You..” The book is a slow burner,

but the final scenes have a terrifying twist. Women

are being followed on the

tube after a website posts

details of their commute.

It’s the ordinary made

frightening, as in all good

murder mysteries. (I See

You by Clare Mackintosh

published by Sphere and

available on Kindle). I

would recommend any book

by Anne Holt, but Modus,

featuring the police profiler

Johanne Vik, is a good start.

Sean Lawlor, Belfast,

Northern Ireland

I enjoy books about real life stories and in particular,

where people overcome obstacles. I also have a

deep interest in books that explore the spiritual

aspect of life and again

offer a perspective that is

positive. I am currently

reading “On Tuesdays I’m

a Buddhist” by Michael

Harding - expeditions in

and in-between worlds

where therapy ends and

stories begin. This book is

such a personal story of the

everyday stuff of the author’s

life and I particularly enjoy

this story as he combines



wit with very real life experience.

There is also a lightness and a

non-serious look at just how

life is. Definitely worth a read. I

particularly liked the story about

him and the Russian man climbing

the monastic site. Makes me want

to travel more myself and meet

interesting people.

Conal Hegarty, Dublin,


I enjoy both fiction and nonfiction

plus documentary style

books. Currently reading Swimsuit

by James Patterson (Random

House). Fictional detective story

about a serial killer. It has a

different twist to it as the killer

is identified at the beginning of

the book and continues the nasty

deeds as the story unfolds.

I recommend any Clive Cussler

book if you like an adventure

story, Andrew York is great for

a detective read and both Bill

Bryson and the Ross O’ Carroll-

Kelly series by Paul Howard

make me laugh out loud. Ross

O’ Carroll Kelly’s “Game of

throw-ins” is a must read for

those of us who dreamed of

playing rugby during our midlife

crisis. Great fun, lots of

laughter and family members we

can all identify with

Current reads

Rula Atalla, Jordan:

The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness, by Arundhati Roy.

Peter Mangan, Dublin (founder of The Freebird Club):

Gather Together in My Name by Maya Angelou.

Page turners

Ask an Astronaut, Tim Peake.

If you’ve ever wondered how an astronaut prepares

to go into space, what kind of food they eat when

they’re there or what all the different parts of the

Space Station are, this is the book for you. It’s also

a handy one to have to hand if the small people

in your life start asking tough questions like “is it

noisy in space?’ or “does space smell?” Tim Peake is

a European Space Agency astronaut and a test pilot

who served in the British Army Air Corps. He is also

the author of Hello, is this Planet Earth?” – a book of photographs taken

from the International Space Station which won the British Non-fiction

Lifestyle Book of the Year award in 2017.

Elon Musk, Ashlee Vance

Outspoken and volatile, South African-born

entrepreneur, Elon Musk, is rarely out of the

headlines. But whether you approve of Musk’s

unorthodox style or not, there’s no denying he’s a

visionary thinker, a highly resilient and determined

businessman and a force to be reckoned with

in the transport and space industries. Journalist

Ashley Vance’s biography of Musk is a pacey read

that gives an insight into Musk’s manic energy

and charts his rise from his early days with PayPal

to the launch of his electric car company, Tesla, to his grand plan

for space travel and ultimately colonising Mars through SpaceX

exploration which he founded in 2002.

A lifetime of writing –

British author Penelope Lively

is still writing at 85 and her

novel, Moon Tiger, has just

been nominated for the 50th

anniversary Golden Man Booker

award. Lively started out writing

for children and didn’t publish her first adult novel,

The Road to Lichfield, until her mid 40s. One of her

great passions is gardening and she has written a

wonderful book that is part personal and part history

that is sure to appeal to literary garden lovers everywhere. Life in the

Garden is published by Penguin.



Just like Grandma used to make

Grandmother’s Orange Cream

Niav Halpin

writes about

the pick-me-up

pudding her


taught her how to


OK, so you are feeling

under the weather, not

sure what you want

to eat but know you

should eat something.

What you need is my

Grandmother’s Orange

Cream. This recipe has

been handed down

through generations

in our family and is

the ‘go to’ dish for

anyone who is just not

themselves. It is a tasty,

nourishing, refreshing

jelly that goes down

easily and you will feel

just a little bit better

and a little bit loved

after eating it. Of

course, you don’t need

to be feeling under the

weather to make it, this

is delicious any day of

the week. In fact, it is

my daughter’s favourite

dessert! You can make

it in one large bowl or

in smaller individual

bowls or glasses just like

you would with jelly.

6 servings

Preparation Time:

10 /15 mins to make plus chilling time in

the fridge -5/6 hours or overnight


• 1 x 12g sachet or 3 teaspoons of

powdered gelatine*

• 500mls / 1 pint / 2 Cups of freshly

squeezed orange juice

• 2 free range egg yolks (beaten)

• 70g / 2½ oz caster sugar (quantity

optional depending on how sweet the

oranges are)

*(For vegetarians use 2 tablespoons agar flakes

or 2 teaspoons of agar powder & follow the

instructions on the packet although it may not set

quite as well as with gelatine)

Nutition Facts

Servings: 6

Amount per serving

Calories 108

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 1.6g 2%

Saturated Fat 0.5g 2%

• Dissolve the gelatine according to the

instructions on the packet remembering

not to use boiling water to dissolve it.

• Stir vigorously until clear. (If it doesn’t

dissolve fully, sit the container in a bowl of

hot water and stir until the liquid is clear)

• Put approx 100ml of the orange juice into

a saucepan with the sugar (if using) and

heat gently until the sugar is dissolved

i.e. grains of sugar no longer visible at the

bottom of the saucepan.

• Add the dissolved gelatine mixture into the

saucepan, then add the rest of the orange

juice and whisk in the beaten egg yolks.

• Bring the mixture almost to the boil (until

bubbles appear around the side of the


• Pour into the dish or dishes and leave aside

to cool.

• In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites to

a froth and fold into the orange mixture

gently - they will form a white fluffy layer

on top.

• Leave to cool for 5 or 6 hours in the fridge

to set.

Cholesterol 55mg 18%

Sodium 24mg 1%

Total Carbohydrate 20.9g 8%

Dietary Fiber 0.2g 1%

Total Sugars 19.1g

Protein 3.5g




High Flyer

International correspondent, Karin

Holly, writes about her father, the

high-flying Captain Bob.

Meet Capt. Robert F. Holly. He’s 73 years old and

works as a helicopter pilot on contract for the U.S.

Navy. He’s currently stationed in the Middle East

on a supply ship. From there, Capt. Holly launches

his Puma SA330 helicopter to make deliveries to

other military vessels. Quite often the ships are far

out at sea and have no way to obtain supplies of

food, fuel and spare parts in a safe harbour.

Capt. Holly and his colleagues deliver everything

ordered by the men and women living on board

these ships at sea. Most appreciated are deliveries of

mail and ice cream. The pilots pick up sling loads

of the supplies to fly them to the vessels and have

to contend with tremendous heat, sand storms and

strong winds. His job also includes the occasional

medical emergency airlift where an injured crew

member is flown to a land-based hospital for help.

The work requires a lot of training and my Dad

spends several hours each year in a flight simulator.

Here he practices worst case-scenarios. He also

had to train to become a fireman, as well as be

submerged in a pool to practice freeing himself if

an aircraft goes down. The U.S. Federal Aviation

Administration also demands regular written tests as

well as a medical exam every six months.

Robert Holly was born and raised in Connecticut.

He started flying helicopters during the Vietnam

War. After his tour there he was transferred to

Germany where he met his wife. Dad then decided

to continue his flying career in the private sector

and took a job in Iran. Since then his adventurous

career that has taken him around the globe and he

has spent many years working in Chile, Borneo,

Trinidad, Afghanistan and Nigeria.



Among one of his favorite

assignments was flying geologists

in Greenland where they were

conducting mineral surveys. At the

time, he and his crew lived on an

ancient wooden boat which early

explorers used.

“I also flew geologists in Nigeria.

They were doing survey work to

design and plan the new capital

city in the Federal Territory. The

new capital is called Abuja, which is

located in the geographical center of

the country, uniting the different

tribes that make up the area’s

population,” he says.

Off and on Robert Holly spent

nearly 30 years working in

Nigeria. At 65, local laws forced

him to retire. However, he wasn’t

ready to hang up his flying suit.

“When I started my career, many

pilots had to retire at 55. But we

all get medically evaluated every

six months. As long as you’re

healthy and still enjoy what you

do, I don’t think you should be

forced out of your job,” he says.

As long as

you’re healthy and

still enjoy what

you do, I don’t

think you should

be forced out of

your job

The U.S. Navy was searching

for contractors and signed my

Dad. With more than 22,000

hours in the air, high security

clearance and experience

in flying this type of Puma

helicopter, he was a perfect fit.

The work is hard. The hours

are long and yet Dad calls it

his perfect retirement job.

“It’s great to be needed and

challenged,” he says.

At the same time my Dad

is aware that he is truly

fortunate to be healthy

enough to work at such a

demanding job. He has a

lot of support from his wife

and family during the long

months he’s out at sea.

But a lot comes down to good

genes as well.

Dad feels that retirement is a

very individual choice.

“It really depends on your

health. And by that I mean

both your physical and mental

health. Working longer isn’t

for everyone. But it was the

right thing for me,” he says




Tips for healthy eating

Eating properly can be a challenge

as we get older but don’t get ‘stuck’

eating the same things and cooking

the same meals every day says food

lover, cook and blogger, Niav Halpin.

Eating well as we get older is just as important as it

is when we are babies. It helps us feel good, gives us

energy to do things and should be enjoyable. Also,

unlike many aspects of our health and wellbeing,

what we eat is totally within our control. A good

diet can help decrease the risk of heart disease, high

blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol and

can help greatly with recovery from illness or injury.

Think of your food as medicine as well as one of

life’s great pleasures!

Top tips to keep eating well

• Plan your meals and don’t skip a meal.

• Pack in the protein. We all lose muscle mass

as we age and not getting enough protein can

be detrimental to your health. Try to include

some protein at each meal if you can. Eggs are

a great source of protein and are the original fast

food - scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and

wholegrain toast can be made in five minutes and

is the perfect way to start the day. Lean meat,

turkey, chicken, salmon, sardines, tuna, beans,

pulses or nuts are also great sources of protein.

• 5 a Day. Fruits and veggies are packed with

important nutrients. However, eating five a day

can be difficult. Remember these can be fresh

or frozen and eating a variety is important as

is colour. If you find this difficult try making

smoothies. Many fruits freeze well and can be used

straight from the freezer e.g. bananas, mangos,

raspberries, strawberries or blueberries. Spinach

added to a fruit smoothie is an excellent way to get

those super green leafy vegetables into your diet.

• Eat fibre-rich foods like 100% wholemeal or

wholegrain bread, porridge /oatmeal, brown rice

and brown pasta. A high-fibre diet can lower

the risk of developing many chronic conditions

including heart disease, obesity and some cancers.

• H2O - drink lots of water. Ideally you should

drink 8 glasses / 2 litres a day as getting

dehydrated can make you feel tired and

sometimes dizzy.

• Avoid empty calories. This means limiting or

avoiding processed foods like ready-made meals,

sausages, cold meats, biscuits, cakes, savoury

snacks (crisps, peanuts), sweets. These foods can

be high in calories, fat, sugar and salt and low in


• Fermented foods are super for digestion, gut

health, reducing inflammation and for boosting

the immune system. Many of these can be

made at home such as milk kefir, kimchi and

sauerkraut. You can find making instructions on

You Tube. They are also available to buy in many

health food shops and online.

• Bone broth is a great source of protein and is

good for joint and bone health. It can be drunk

on its own or used in soups, stews or casseroles.

You can make it at home if you can source the

bones from a good butcher or it is available to

buy in many good food stores and can be ordered


• Double up. If you are cooking something for

dinner today double the amount and it will

provide dinner or lunch tomorrow.

• Cook from scratch as this way you know what

you are eating with no hidden sugars, salt or bad

fats. It doesn’t have to be complicated. With good

ingredients the simpler the better.

• Spice it up - try adding more herbs and spices

such as turmeric, ginger and cinnamon to add

interest ad flavour.

• Running out of ideas? Check out cookery classes

or courses in your area or look online for new

recipes and great tips.



Love Art!

Maureen Dunne studied History of Art

and Architecture/Ancient History and

Archaeology at Trinity College Dublin as a

mature student and now thoroughly enjoys

working as a volunteer with the National

Gallery of Ireland.

Working on the information desk in the splendour

of the National Gallery of Ireland surrounded by

the paintings of the greatest masters in the world,

I am constantly reminded of just what is meant by

“art appreciation.” Not all art is contained in the

grandeur of such establishments. Art is everywhere

in plain sight.

So, what do we mean when we talk about art

appreciation? Well, just that. Appreciating art in

all its forms from its creation, composition and

space to the medium used, the colour palette and

the style, form, function and context. We are also

talking about its subject matter and what it says to

the viewer as he/she stands and studies it.

There is no “right” way to appreciate art. We should

just let a painting embrace us as we rejoice in the

storyline or the depiction unfolding before us. We

should envelop ourselves in the tones, hues and the

use of space within the canvas and if possible ‘enter’

the space and feel part of it.

When visiting a gallery it is easy to just walk along

and glance at the line of paintings as you pass. But

I would recommend taking it more slowly and to

dedicate a period of time to studying say three or

four paintings in an afternoon. Such focus can open

up a whole new world.

You don’t have to travel far to appreciate the art

around you. Start by getting familiar with your local

gallery and your local artists and wallow in what is

on offer. Appreciating art is a meandering and very

rewarding journey….bon voyage!

Three of my favourite artworks in Dublin

The Book of Kells

Dublin’s Trinity College is home to one of the earliest and most beautiful

artworks ever produced - The Book of Kells. Written by monks in

approximately 800AD, the delicacy and fineness of the iconography

depicted in the gospels is unequalled. It is adorned with lavish script,

decoration and paintings of the Evangelists – all for the glory of God.





The Taking of Christ’

Housed at the National Gallery of

Ireland in Clare Street, this is a story full

of sorrow. The sombre mood is depicted

by the chiaroscuro/darkness. However,

there are definite light sources that draw

the eye of the viewer to take a very

close look into the painting and study

everything surrounding Christ, whose

face is visible to us, as he is taken away

by the soldiers.

Vermeer ‘Woman Writing

a Letter with her Maid’

This painting is also part of the collection

at the National Gallery of Ireland.

Dutch painters of the 17th century

“Golden Age” thrilled us with depictions

of everyday life. In this painting the

maid is seen taking centre stage – most

unusual as normally maids and servants

were hidden. But from this painting

we can assume the maid was totally in

the confidence of her mistress as she

writes her letter. The maid looks out the

window awaiting her chore of delivering the letter. But to whom? What is the letter? A love letter to her

husband or a letter to a secret lover – let your imagination run riot …….

The Book of Kells can be found at Trinity

college Dublin, click below for details:

Carvaggio’s ‘The Taking of Christ’ and Vermeer’s ‘Woman

Writing a Letter with her Maid’ can be found at National

Gaery of Ireland, click below for details:



Singing is health enhancing at any age

In 2016 I did something I had been

considering for years - I joined a choral

society! It has proved a remarkable

experience and I’m only sorry I didn’t do

it a long time ago writes Des O’Neill.

The choir I joined was incredibly welcoming but also

had a fantastic forward impetus and work ethic. With

little previous experience, I found myself singing

a moving Beethoven oratorio, a sublime Schubert

Mass, three performances of the Messiah, and a

delightfully arranged Christmas concert over a period

of six months. Since then I have experienced Rossini,

Jenkins, Liszt, Gounod, more Handel, and have now

sung twice in the marvellous lunchtime ‘Handel in the

Street’ concert which takes place in Dublin’s Fishamble

Street on the 13th of April every year to celebrate the

world premiere of Messiah in Dublin back in 1742.

I have also discovered and joined a new ‘event’

choir, the Irish Doctors Choir. It rehearses for a

few weekends and then performs. To date we have

sung in Mahler’s mighty Second Symphony and

Rachmaninov’s deeply spiritual All-Night Vigil.

The rehearsals for both choirs are as important

as the concerts. I find myself looking forward to

Tuesday evenings when all else is cleared from my

mind as I concentrate on the score allied to the

pleasure of singing together.

In addition, there is the constant proximity to the

beauty of the music. As a race we are not given

to discourse on aesthetics in our personal lives,

but aesthetics feature in Maslow’s hierarchy of

needs as the penultimate step in self-actualisation,

a truer understanding of who we are. It is also

notable that many choirs focus on religious music

and in a secular/pluralist society we rarely dwell

on and articulate the hugely important themes of

suffering, love, death and redemption encountered

in these texts with their impact magnified by the

deeply moving and powerful music. The aesthetic

experience is unbelievably heightened when

performing in one of these masterpieces, almost as

if one becomes a living character in a great novel

or in a celebrated painting like Rembrandt’s The

Night Watch, moving from observer to embedded



There may

also be health

benefits to


Support for

this suggestion

comes in a

recent Irish

study from the

University of

Limerick which

examined the

topic with 1,779

choral singers

from around the globe. The results suggested an

overwhelmingly positive perception of the health

benefits of choral singing.

While the health aspects are undeniable, these may

be overplayed relative to the importance of how it

helps us to rethink and reshape our world, experience

pleasure and companionship, and connect to

something deep inside through text and music.

Most choirs make strenuous efforts to encourage

membership and provide support for novices,

including supportive recorded material, and there

are also online sites which provide similar help, so

you should not feel daunted by approaching a choir

for the first time. There are many avenues, and if

not through one of the mainstream choirs in your

area, consider also the tried and trusted route of the

local religious or community choir, often avid for

new members

Professor Desmond O’Neill is a consultant physician

in geriatric and stroke medicine

and co-chair of the Medical and Health

Humanities Initiative of Trinity College Dublin.

For a contemporary take on choral music,

the hauntingly beautiful compositions

of US composer Eric Whitacre are worth

a listen. For a classical experience try

the powerful Ode to Joy with words by

German poet Friedrich Schiller from

Beethoven’s 9th symphony.



Winter, Spring, Summer

or Fall – Boston has it all

Boston-born Julie Colby gives us

a whistle stop tour of her favourite

aspects of her native city.

With an abundance of historic sites, utterly

charming neighbourhoods, beautiful public parks,

a variety of museums, and delicious dining options,

there are plenty of things to do in Boston. It is one

of those cities where each season brings a variety of

new things to do and see.

Go on the Freedom Trail and get a glimpse into the

history of the USA. You can take a guided tour or

go on your own with map in hand. It’s a journey

that will take you through churches, graveyards,

meeting houses, a ship and if you follow the painted

red line every step gives you a glimpse into the past

and the beginning of the American Revolution. The

entire trail is 2.5 miles but you can decide what you

want to see and make it shorter.

If art is your thing then The Museum of Fine Arts

should be on your list of places to go but my top

recommendation – and make sure you leave a whole

morning or afternoon to go and see it - is The

Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum. This collection

of art, tapestries, furniture, and an old Roman

sarcophagus all housed in this palatial Venetian

designed palazzo complete with a great courtyard

is where the Gardners used to live and is now a

museum where you can get up close and personal

with the collection.

Perhaps you’ve heard about the great heist of

1990 when 13 works of art were stolen worth an

estimated 500 million? This happened at the Isabelle

Stewart Gardner Museum when the artworks were

cut out from their frames. These empty frames

are still hanging on the wall in the hope that they

will eventually be reunited with their paintings.

The guides here are incredibly passionate and very


If you are more into the great outdoors just strolling

through Boston Public Gardens is a pleasant way to

spend a bit of time and you can take a short Swan

Boat ride in the park. And of course, you are only

a stone’s throw away from the famous Cheers pub–

where everybody knows your name! A must do is to

eat dinner or just go and get some pizza and have

a cannoli for desert in the North End. The city is

really easy to get around by foot or on The T run by

the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority



Visit the Pioneer Valley

Amherst is a just a short hop from our host Christine’s

house in Belchertown and nearby resident, Jackie

Keady, gives us the low-down on her local area.

The Town of Amherst, located in the lovely Pioneer

Valley of Western Massachusetts, is a diverse,

inclusive community offering numerous outdoor,

educational and cultural opportunities. Host to

Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the

University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst

enjoys a tradition of quality education, support for

open space and agriculture, and respect for its history.

Nature enthusiasts, lovers of culture and the arts,

sports aficionados and foodies will all find plenty

to enjoy in the “happy valley” as it is affectionately

referred to by residents of western Massachusetts.

Nearby Northampton, MA (8 miles) is home to

Smith College and Mount Holyoke College with

additional parks, shops and restaurants. Amherst is

also two hours from Boston and an hour to southern

Vermont for those who wish to explore further.

Some suggestions for every type of visitor would



The Seven Sisters

• Quabbin Reservoir

• Manhan Bicycle Trail

The Charlemont Gorge

• Look Park

• Mount Tom

• Bridge of Flowers


• Forbes Library

The Emily Dickinson Museum

• Mead Art Museum at Amherst College



• Blue Heron

• Bistro 63

• Judie’s

• Amherst Brewing Company

• Northampton Brewery

The Lone Wolf

• Black Sheep Bakery

• Atkins Market and Bakery

• Amherst Farmers Market - April thru November


• Yankee Candle Company

• Thorne’s Market

• Silverscape Jewellery

• Artisan Gallery

• Downtown Sounds

• Pinch Pottery

• Zanna Clothing

Our hosts in Massachusetts

Thomas’s place,

Roughly 3 hours North of



Lea’s place

Chestnut Hill

A suburb of Boston.

Christine’s place


Roughly an hour and a half

West of Boston.

Jeanine’s place



Nantucket Island

Roughly a four-hour road

trip followed by a ferry ride

but faster using the high-speed ferry from

Hyannis. Boston to Hyannis is roughly an

hour and a half by car.





Michael Redmond Jr. chooses his top

tech picks to improve your memory and

make your travel experience easier and

more enjoyable!

Our Top Three tech Tools

1. Elevate (available on both Android +

iOS): https://www.elevateapp.com/

Lumosity (available on both Android

+ iOS): https://www.lumosity.com/

I have tested both of these “train your

brain” applications. Both are easy to sign up for

and start using right away with no verification of

identity needed. Both have free and paid versions

available. The paid versions aren’t that expensive and

offer a lot more “in game” exercises. The prices vary

depending on the type of membership desired.

Personally, I liked Lumosity more than Elevate because

it gives you a score for how you performed relative to

others in the same age bracket. The user is limited to

three free games per day and I feel this a good balance

as you can have experience with the app but not become

addicted to it as the next set of games won’t be available

until the next day. Elevate doesn’t seem as challenging

and doesn’t feel like I’m exercising my mind as much.

Try both for yourself and see which you prefer.

2. Ever found yourself wondering how

you know if someone is visiting or

what’s coming up in your day? A free

app, Prompt by Memrica for iPhone

and iPad, combines a visual diary with

notes about your history with people and places. It’s

really straightforward to use and is a great reminder

service for those moments when you just need a

‘Prompt’ to remember! http://memricaprompt.com

3. How-To Resize Photos, a Step-by-

Step Guide is available at: https://



Handy Help for Travel

a. Travel Phrasebook | Translator

(available on both Android +

iOS): https://www.apple.com/

ie/ios/app-store/ https://play.


b. Travel Gadget:

Tile Mate is a bluetooth “finder

app.” Attach to your keys, wallet,

suitcase, etc. and download the

app. Can locate your missing

item! https://www.thetileapp.


c. Xiaomi Mi Power Bank Pro

(portable charger) – handy to

have if no socket is close by.


d. Universal Adapter - https://www.


e. Mini Portable

Phone Fan

(available for

Androids and

iPhones) – This

little gadget attaches

to your phone and

keeps you cool on

warm days.

Apple: https://


Android: https://amzn.to/29QPgA1



Picture this!

Michael Redmond Jr. explains how to upload

photos to your PC (Windows) or Apple devices.

Uploading to PC

1 Connect your device (e.g., phone, camera, tablet,

etc.) to your computer using the USB *cable it

came with. This is done by plugging the smaller

end of the cable (Micro-B or Lightning port) into

your device and by plugging the USB (bigger end)

into your computer.

*This will be the same cable used to charge your


2 Open your File Explorer from the start menu and

locate your device on the left hand side-bar. Double

click on your device’s name to open its files.

3 Now that you can see your devices files, Select

the folder you saved your picture under on your

device. For most devices, this can be seen in the

Photos folder already setup on your device.

4 Now that you’re in the folder where you saved your

photo, locate the picture you’d like to transfer.

5 Once you’ve located this picture, Left click and

Hold on the image’s icon. While still holding

the image, Drag the image over to the desired

destination *folder.

*to ensure you’re over the correct folder, the folder

will be highlighted and little note will appear

saying “→ Move to [folder name]”

After 2 seconds of hovering over a folder, this

message will disappear and the folder being

hovered over will open up so that you can place it

in a subsequent folder if desired.

6 Once you are sure you are over the desired

destination folder, Release the left click and this

will Drop the picture into that folder.

7 To ensure this was done successfully, left click

on the destination folder and locate your image

file. If you are able to see it, then this was done


Uploading to a Mac

from your iPhone or iPad

1 Connect your device (iPhone or iPad) to your

computer using the USB cable it came with. This is

done by plugging the Lightning port (smaller end of

the cable) into your device and by plugging the USB

(bigger end) into your computer.

*This will be the same cord used to charge your


2 Once your device has been connected follow the on

screen instructions to allow your Mac to access your

device. This usually involves agreeing to allow access

on the Mac and then typing in your password on your

device to allow it to Trust this computer.

3 Now locate and open your “Photos” application

on your Mac. It should be located on your dock

but if not, search for it using command + spacebar

button combo to open the spotlight feature and

search for it.

4 Locate your device on the left hand sidebar and

click on it to open it’s contents.

5 Click the checkbox next to Open Photos and

select the desired location where to upload in the

“Import to”: dropdown.

6 You should be prompted to Unlock your device,

but if not, still just unlock your device and leave it

unlocked. You will now be able to see your device’s

photos on your Mac.

7 Locate the photo(s) you wish to upload and click

on the desired one(s). You will now see the Import

# Selected button made available to you at the top

right hand corner of the screen. Click this button

and the photo(s) will be uploaded.

8 Your photo(s) will now be accessible for upload to The

Freebird Club website by navigating to this photos file

when you are choosing where to upload from.









Join The Freebird Club NOW for just €10.00 (Usual joining fee is €25.00)


Enjoy an additional 15% discount on all trips WORLDWIDE

booked before 31st December 2018.


Terms & conditions apply

Follow us on:

1) Offer valid until 31/12/2018 only.

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3) This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount code or special offer.


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