NewsCommunityVal’s wonderful windows are a Limerick traditionBy Bernie English – December 3, 2018 3107 Val Holmes checking his handiwork at Brown Thomas.Photo: Cian ReinhardtIF THERE is an opposite to the Grinch who stole Christmas, it is Val Holmes.For 44 years, Val has been creating whimsical worlds of wonder to delight generations of children who have stood at the windows of Todds and now Brown Thomas, their eyes aglow, all words lost in a tumble of teddies, lights, fairies and snow scenes.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Val took up work as the store window dresser on December 16, 1974 and that has been his job ever since, the Christmas windows the highlight of his – and his team’s – year.This year will be his last window as he is retiring with every intention of travelling the world.“The year we did all the windows fully animated is the one I remember best,” Val tells the Limerick Post. “That was Christmas, ’79, the Year Of the Child. We usually had one animated window but people thought we were doing especially for that year but that was luck.“There was a great buzz about those windows. People come night and day to look at the Christmas windows because there’s something very special about the windows after dark and they just stand and look for ages”.Working in retail wasn’t originally his idea of an easy life, Val admits.“When I got the job and I was told that I would work Monday to Friday I thought all my birthdays had come together – no Saturdays. I was delighted. And I’ve loved every minute since – you couldn’t do this and not love it”.Val and the team are also responsible for all the other window displays during the year and the in-store displays. In the early days, planning for Christmas and the retail year started in April with a trip to London with the manager and merchandising manager to check out the big stores there for inspiration.Then it was on to Warrington, where many of the props for the coming year are bought, no doubt raising a few eyebrows at customs over hammer-wielding ailing and prancing reindeer.More lately, the travelling salespeople come to Dublin where Val and key members of staff from all of the Brown Thomas stores gather to lay plans for the year’s displays.Currently, the themes for the windows travel between the BT stores each year, with each store pulling their individual fashions and merchandise together in a Winter wonderland on the common theme.With no formal training whatever, Val’s eagle eye misses nothing.“You have to go outside and see what the public are seeing. There might be a mannequin posed the wrong way or something that isn’t quite in the right spot and needs to be moved. You just know when it’s right and when it’s not and you keep at it until it’s right”.Do things ever go wrong?Val admits there have been some bumps in the night.“You might come in and find a load of stuff has fallen down but the public never get to see that. The first job in the morning is to check the windows and the last job at night is to do a sweep and make sure everything is okay”.Another of Val’s favourite times are the sales.“At one stage, when it was Todds, the slogan was to wait for the real sale. And we would pile every window high with sale goods – household, fashion, you name it. They would queue from early morning for the 9am specials – it was like Black Friday in America long before that ever came here”.The father of two sons and a daughter and grandad to four boys and a girl is originally from Hyde Road in Prospect and has delighted in bringing his own family to see his handiwork at Christmas over the years.A spot of ill-health has seen Val off work in recent months but as well as being the man who puts Christmas front and centre in BTs he is is also the store ambassador, meeting and greeting customers during the Christmas period with a tilt of his top hat.“I’m looking forward to coming back for Christmas to do that – everyone knows me from the windows because at one time, there weren’t any blinds and people would wave to you when you were in the window getting a new display ready.“Now, being the ambassador as well is great. One woman asked me ‘are you the real Mr Brown Thomas?’Val is the longest-serving member of staff to hold the same position in the store. “Both my sisters worked here before me and we’re like a big family here in BTs,” he says.“I don’t think of myself as being in charge of windows – I’m part of a great team”.Val clearly has passion for his job, but does he have another passion, the Limerick Post wonders?“Rugby. What else?” Advertisement Print Population of Mid West region increased by more than 3,000 in past year Twitter Unstoppable Sean shows that all things are possible Previous articleWATCH: Andrew Conway believes there is plenty more to comeNext articleWATCH: Dreams snippet – reaction to Nickie’s save against Cork Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. TAGSCommunityFestiveInterviewLimerick City Housing 37 Compulsory Purchase Orders issued as council takes action on derelict sites Facebook Vicky calls for right to die with dignity New parklet changes Catherine Street dining experience RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Linkedin Thefts of catalytic converters on the rise #crimeprevention Email WhatsApp
A DOPEY soccer fan has been the butt of a tirade of abuse – and jokes – after wondering why Seamus Coleman hasn’t been picked….for ENGLAND.Shivam Manghnani tweeted his question after Coleman’s starring roles in recent games against Man United and Arsenal.One fan even joked: “Because he’s Scottish!” Killybegs man Seamus has been enjoying a revival under Everton boss Roberto Martinez.But he won’t be going to Brazil next June. DOPEY SOCCER FAN TWEETS: ‘SO WHY HASN’T SEAMUS COLEMAN BEEN PICKED FOR ENGLAND?’ was last modified: December 11th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Brazil 2014EnglandevertonIrelandseamus coleman
Garry Monk believes Chris Wood’s last-minute equaliser against Fulham proved his Leeds team does have spirit.Whites boss Monk praised his side’s late comeback to earn a first point of the season after two opening Championship defeats.He said: “I’m delighted for Woody. That goal and his mentality epitomised the spirit in the group and what we did in those last 10 minutes.“After losing on Saturday we could have felt sorry for ourselves, and Woody missed a chance just before and could have felt sorry for himself.“But we spoke about desire and spirit right until the end and I’m very pleased for my players.“It can be a big boost for everyone and it will give Woody a lift as well – strikers love to score goals.”Monk felt his side were worthy of the draw, Wood’s goal cancelling out Tom Cairney’s opener for the Whites earlier in the second half.““I thought it was an even game, both teams had periods,” the Leeds boss said.“You could see they were confident from the start they’d had and we had to adjust to them, which we did.“We’ve probably had a season’s worth of ups and downs in the first three games but it’s experience for this young group and you could see their spirit in the changing room afterwards.“That last 10 minutes on the pitch was what I was looking for.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
20 July 2009 Some of the world’s top musical talent gathered in New York on Saturday night, 18 July 2009, to put on a three-hour spectacle celebrating Nelson Mandela’s 91st birthday and life as well as the launch of the Mandela Day initiative. Putting on a string of incredible performances at New York’s Radio City Music Hall to officially launch the Mandela Day initiative were Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Chris Chameleon, Will.i.am, Jesse Clegg, Gloria Gaynor, Dave Stewart, Aretha Franklin, the Soweto Gospel Choir, Wyclef Jean, Cyndi Lauper, Queen Latifah, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Josh Groban, Angelique Kidjo, Freshlyground, Baaba Maal, Jesse McCartney, Loyiso, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Vusi Mahlasela, Thandiswa Mazwai, Lil’ Kim, and Suzanna Owiyo The campaign is supported by the Nelson Mandela charities as well as a number of other philanthropists and charitable organisations, and encourages people to continue Mandela’s legacy by “making an imprint” and getting involved in their own communities – ultimately creating a better world for all. In short, Mandela Day celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an imprint. Presented by Paul Gambaccini, assisted by a host of Hollywood stars, the inaugural Mandela Day concert played to a sold-out and enthusiastic audience at Radio City Music Hall.New Yorkers turn out for Mandela “I really like Jesse McCartney,” said concert-goer Natasha Levy, “and we really support Nelson Mandela. We don’t like discrimination. All people are equal irrespective of their skin colour or religion.” “I just came to support Nelson Mandela,” said Steven McMillan. “He’s done so much.” “He’s a great humanitarian,” added BJ Frazier. “We saw the adverts in the paper and we thought it looked really interesting,” said Rainer Nurnberger and his wife, Chantel. “We really like what Nelson Mandela stands for, and we’re very excited to be here. It’s wonderful to be participating in this.”‘The world’s classiest man’ Actress Whoopi Goldberg introduced the concert, thanking the audience for attending such an important event. “You turned out to support the world’s classiest man. Happy 91st birthday, Mr Mandela,” Goldberg said, before explaining what 46664 does and the significance of Mandela Day. “46664 is a charity to continue Nelson Mandela’s work, in particular, his fight against HIV/Aids,” she said. If Mandela could tackle the world’s problems, so could we, she pointed out, explaining the message behind Mandela Day, which is for each and every person to contribute to the creation of a just society. “Make Mandela Day an annual part of your life and your country’s life,” she said. Following performances by the African artists performing Eddy Grant’s “Give Me Hope Joanna”, Gloria Gaynor and Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who was joined onstage by her son Themba, US President Barack Obama spoke to the audience.Message from Obama Speaking via video, Obama spoke about how he had been inspired by Nelson Mandela and how it was time for people to take up the challenges the world still faces. “This,” Obama said, “is the greatest gift that we can give this great man.” After performances from Will.i.am, Lil’ Kim and Cyndi Lauper performing a version of “Time After Time”, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse and Suzanna Owiyo introduced actor Forest Whitaker, who in turn introduced Dave Stewart. Whitaker thanked Stewart for all his hard work in helping the 46664 charity before Stewart and Cala Bruni-Sarkozy performed together. The show’s next act, Jesse McCartney, spoke about the impact that Mandela had not only on his own generation, but on every generation. “He hasn’t only inspired his contemporaries,” McCartney said, “he’s a multi-generational inspiration. Sixty-seven years he’s put in, let’s put in 67 minutes and see what we can do.”Message from Mandela Actor Morgan Freeman was next on stage. Freeman spoke about Mandela’s life in prison, and how Mandela had not sought revenge for his incarceration, before introducing a the surprise of the evening – a video message to the audience from Mandela. “We are humbled by the call to create a Mandela Day,” Mandela said. “It is not a holiday, instead it is a day dedicated to service. We thank you for participating in Mandela Day,” he said to rapturous applause. “I honour to honour Mandela Day every year,” said Freeman, “and I hope you will too.” After performances by actor and singer Queen Latifah, Chris Chameleon, and Baaba Maal performing the Mandela Day theme tune “With My Own Two Hands”, Zucchero introduced Billie Jean King, who in turn introduced Josh Groban, telling the audience how Groban’s meeting with Madiba had inspired him to raise over US$2-million for needy children.‘You Raise Me Up’ Groban performed a track on his own before Vusi Mahlasela joined him on stage to perform “Weeping”. Mahlasela then performed “When You Come Back”, before Loyiso and then Thandiswa Mazwai graced the stage. Actor Tim Robbins introduced Wyclef Jean, hailing him as someone who had adopted the selfless attitude and commitment to helping his community that was the message of Mandela Day. Jean was followed by Jesse Clegg, who together with Freshlyground performed “Asimbonanga”. Radio host Tom Joynor introduced Aretha Franklin, who was joined on stage by Groban to perform “You Raise Me Up”. Actor Susan Sarandon introduced Alicia Keys and Angelique Kidjo, who were followed by the Soweto Gospel Choir, before Stevie Wonder became the last artist to be part of the inaugural Mandela Day concert. Wonder was joined on stage by the entire cast, who sang Happy Birthday, bringing down the curtain on what was described by 46664’s head of content, Cosmo Caddy, as a “fantastic success”. Source: 46664.com
In this May 3, 2017, file photo, San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol (16) dunks the ball in front of Houston Rockets’ Clint Capela, right, during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in San Antonio. A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Gasol has agreed to terms on a three-year contract with the Spurs. The 7-foot Spaniard and the team came to agreement on Friday, July 21, 2017, on a deal that is partially guaranteed for the third season. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)MILWAUKEE — Pau Gasol signed with the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, two days after the 38-year-old Spanish center reached a buyout agreement with the San Antonio Spurs.The two-time NBA champion and six-time All-Star averaged 4.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 12.2 minutes in 27 games for the Spurs this season, his 18th in the NBA.ADVERTISEMENT In 1,223 career games with Memphis, the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago and San Antonio, he has averaged 17.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.59 blocks and 33.5 minutes.He is one of four players with over 20,000 points, 11,000 rebounds, 3,500 assists and 1,500 blocks in his career, along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesThe 7-footer helped the Lakers win titles in 2009 and 2010. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Jon Jones covets Brock Lesnar fight, but plans future at light heavy Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte View comments
Federer stunned by German teenager in Halle semifinalsRoger Federer’s bid for a ninth title at the Gerry Weber Open came to an end when he was beaten in the semifinals by Alexander Zverev, a rising German prospect who notched the biggest win of his young career.Misbah-ul-Haq defers decision on future, leaves for England tourMisbah-ul-Haq is yet to take a decision on his Test future and as of now wants to focus on Pakistan’s crucial tour of England.Messi scores as Argentina storm into Copa America semis Lionel Messi starred as Argentina drubbed Venezuela 4-1 to setup semifinal clash against the US in Copa America.Vargas nets four as Chile rout Mexico 7-0 in Copa quarters Eduardo Vargas scored four goals, Edson Puch added two, as defending champion Chile thoroughly dismantled Mexico 7-0 in Copa America quarterfinal.Croatia, Turkey face UEFA action over crowd troubleUEFA said it had opened disciplinary proceedings against the soccer federations of Croatia and Turkey for crowd trouble during two games at the Euro 2016 tournament in France this week.
What would you say are the strengths of your team? I’d say our strengths are the combination of young players and experienced players, as well as having coaches who are current players and extremely knowledgeable. It has allowed us to share ideas and experiences and I think this really makes us strong. Who do you expect to be your toughest opponents? Every team is going to be our toughest competitor. Every game and every team poses a different threat and so I think that this, as well as the nature of the Elite Eight series, makes it impossible to say which team will be our toughest competitor. What would it mean to you to win the Elite Eight series? It would be so awesome to win the Elite Eight series and it would be a credit to all of the hard work the girls and our coaches have done in the lead-up to the series. Also to say that we have won the first Elite Eight series would be incredible! To overcome all of the talent that will be on display would be a great achievement.Stay tuned to the website for the upcoming editions of In The Spotlight, which will feature every team in the Elite Eight series. To keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information in the lead up to and during the 2011 X-Blades National Touch League, go to www.ntl.mytouchfooty.com and don’t forget to become a fan of Touch Football Australia on Facebook by clicking on the following link:http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384 How is your team’s preparation going in the lead up to the event? The Scorps girls have been training really well and we’ve had a lot of fun. Tash (coach – Tony El Takchi) is teaching us a lot and keeping us all together so it will be interesting to see how we go in a proper game. In the eleventh edition of In The Spotlight, the New South Wales Scorpions’ Sarah Peattie speaks about her team’s preparation in the lead up to the Elite Eight. How does it feel to be a part of the 2011 Elite Eight series? It feels so great to be a part of a new tournament and concept for elite Touch. It is going to be really competitive and a real challenge for every team.
Prodl admits Watford desperate for points boostby Freddie Taylor18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford defender Sebastian Prodl admits the club needs points soon or they risk relegation.The Hornets have two points from eight games heading into the international break.Prodl said: “We need to step forward, we need to get positive results in and we can’t waste any more time.”We want to maintain our status as a Premier League club and the sooner we face reality, the better it is to get out and the easier it will become to get out [of the relegation zone]. We face another tough opponent away next (Tottenham) — that’s the Premier League. It doesn’t matter if it is Sheffield or Tottenham, we need points.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Companies in this story: (TSX:RY, TSX:TD, TSX:BMO)Armina Ligaya, The Canadian Press TORONTO — Royal Bank of Canada has rolled out its robo-adviser platform across the country as demand grows for lower-cost, digital investing options.After launching RBC InvestEase late last year on a trial basis, the Toronto-based lender has now officially opened up the service to new and existing customers across Canada.The platform was developed in response to the “growing middle” segment of clients who want investment advice but do it all online, said Rebecca Peacock, senior director of strategy for RBC InvestEase.“With all of these digital channels invading our lives, more and more people want to do their investing online,” she said. “Up until a few years ago, the only option to do everything online is to do it yourself. And not everyone is comfortable doing that.”The national rollout comes as competition in the robo-adviser space between both incumbent banks and fintechs heats up.Toronto-Dominion Bank recently partnered with U.S. firm Hydrogen to launch its own “robo-guidance” product, and the Bank of Montreal was the first of its peers to launch its digital investing platform, dubbed SmartFolio, in 2016.Meanwhile, robo-adviser Wealthsimple now has roughly 100,000 clients in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., and manages more than $2.5 billion in assets.Prior to the national launch, RBC’s InvestEase was limited on a pilot basis to residents in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan.Customers who use the digitally automated investment adviser will pay 0.5 per cent per year in management fees on investment balances, on top of any management expense ratios (MER) embedded in particular funds.The required minimum balance is $1,000, and RBC says it is waiving its management fee until next October for new clients who sign on within a certain timeframe.
After creating a niche in the film industry with her versatility, passion, and love for acting, Isha Koppikar is now working to leave her impression on the web space. The actor says she is always in search of good content and that’s all that matters to her. “My focus has always been ‘good content’. I want to do roles that are substantial, roles that one can reckon with. I want to play characters that will allow me to experiment and grow as an actor. The idea is, whatever you do, make sure you choose good content. When you work on a good project, you experience a high. I want to be in that high all the time,” says Koppikar. Also Read – The Puja carnivalOn how star power doesn’t really matter in the web business, Isha says, “In web, we care more about good actors who can justify the role. Content is the sole king here. This is because unlike movies, numbers are not an aspect to be concerned of.” The actress is currently working for ALT Balaji’s upcoming web series Fixers. She will be seen playing the character of Sub-Inspector Jayanti Javdekar, a typical Marathi woman who lives in a modest house with her young son and husband. Also Read – Wave City brings special offers this NavratraFixer tells the thrilling story of a tainted ATS officer from Delhi who is drawn into the murky underbelly of Mumbai movie mafia and industrialists and becomes a fixer. Exuding immeasurable power and strength, Jayanti is the one who Malik relies on for any information or arrangements. Besides, Hindi cinema and web space, the actress has proven her acting potential in Kannada, Telugu and Tamil movies including ‘O Nanna Nalle’, ‘Jodi, Surya Vamsha’, ‘Prematho Raa’ to name a few. Being a part of this industry for more than two decades now, she has seen how the audience and their demands have evolved over the years. Isha feels, today, the audience is much smarter and it is difficult to cater to their demands and match to the level of their expectations. “This new generation has got immense exposure because of technology, as a result of which their thought process is changed. They are glued to information and are constantly looking for something meaningful. This is one of the reasons why reality-based web shows and movies are doing well,” says Koppikar who wishes to play a character like a warrior queen Wonder Woman in her career. However, in the real world, she is indeed a wonder-woman balancing a hundred things on her plate. She is not just an actor, but a wife, mother, an entrepreneur, a politician and a lot more. Sharing her mantra of managing everything so well, Isha says, “We all have to balance for better. It is all about how much you value your time as well as the time of others who are important to you. Also, it is important how you utilise that time. Like, I have a 4-year-old daughter. I can be with her all day but if I am not participating in her day-to-day activities, how am I adding value to her life as a mother,” “I believe, we all have time… we make time for what is important,” she concludes.