My Weekend: I need a lot of sleep because my job in Santa's workshop is very busy

Elfen the Elf will be working hard at Glow, which opens at Grand Parade and Bishop Lucey Park tonight.
My Weekend: I need a lot of sleep because my job in Santa's workshop is very busy
Elfen the Elf and fellow Elfs at GLOW

Elfen the Elf will be working hard at Glow, which opens on the Grand Parade and Bishop Lucey Park, tonight. Here the special elf talks about the most magical time of the year

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m a very special elf, my mother was a Swiss Mountain Glacial elf a very rare breed, known for their skills in long distance travel over tricky terrain. My father a common bog elf who worked hard and earned himself the humble position of Locations Manager’s Assistant met my mother at Route Planning conference in Newgrange, Co. Meath. It’s usual for elves to intermarry but my father was a smooth talker and they ended up living a happy life in a dolmen in West Kerry where they had one son, Elfen, that’s me. 

When I finished my schooling, my father got me his old job and I moved into a small but tasteful tree in Fitzgerald park in Cork city where I have a beautiful view of the river and have made very good friends with the local otter.

With a lot of work and a bit of luck I finally worked my way up to Head Route Planner for the whole of Ireland, I have a direct line to Santa and over 70 elves working for me, it’s a lot of responsibility but I love it and it all pays off on Christmas Eve when the children of Ireland open their presents.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

On Friday nights I’ll usually unwind with a swim in the river or with good book and brush up on my passive interest in beekeeping.

Lie ins or up with the lark... which is it for you?

I need a lot of sleep because my job is so important and busy so I get at least  two  hours of sleep a night, the other elves say that’s too much but if I don’t sleep in till at least 4am I just can’t function properly.

The Ferris wheel and Christmas lights on Grand Parade Cork, beside the River Lee, as part of the Cork Christmas Celebration.Pic; Larry Cummins
The Ferris wheel and Christmas lights on Grand Parade Cork, beside the River Lee, as part of the Cork Christmas Celebration.Pic; Larry Cummins

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Look you don’t get to where I am by lazing about, work doesn’t creep into my weekend, it stampedes like a herd of elephants wearing colourful bells and blowing trumpets. But I don’t mind, I like my work and I welcome it into my weekend as I would welcome the singing birds to my windowsill.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

Money isn’t an object, thank you very much. My pay matches my rank and I could have traveling the world twice over if I felt it necessary. I suppose it’d be nice to get up to the head office in the north pole and take some notes on their management systems but really, I’m in no rush, I’m quite happy here in my tree in Fitzgerald park. 

Who would I take with me? Ah I suppose I’d take the otter; he hasn’t aged well and he getting out of his burrow less and less so it’d be nice for him to get out and see a few things, it might give him a new lease of life.

Closer to home, is there some place you lie to head to recharge the batteries? 

Oh yes of courses I do like to get back over to west Kerry when I can, my parents sold the dolmen and bought a beautiful old oak tree off a squirrel. It’s in beautiful location and it’s great to see my parents and get a good home cooked dinner if cabbage and pickled butterflies.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Well as I say I do like to visit my parents when I can but I’ve also got some good friends in the city.

Udelfous from accounts is one of my best friends and we often sit up on one of the roofs that overlook the Peace Park to watch the pigeons pooing on people. We find it very funny and the pigeons appreciate having an audience, they often shoot and sly glance and a wink through the branches to make sure we’re watching and then they take a little bow when they hit their mark.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

Oh yes, my beekeeping of course, though I don’t own any bees myself I do love to read up on them and observe then as they go about their business in the park.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

Oh yes, I do love to entertain, I do a fantastic goose hoof stew with a marinated fairy’s tails garnish.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal? 

I like to keep a low profile so I wouldn’t be one for showing my face in restaurants. The river at low tide is great though, Udelfous and I throw on our little waders and splash around in the slimy mud looking for periwinkles and if we’re very lucky we sometimes get a meal out of a stranded jellyfish.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

Sunday nights are uneventful, I’m usually quite tired from running around outside all weekend so usually just like to sit in by a warm fire and head to bed early.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

4am usually but maybe 5am if I really need a lie in.


Meet Elfen at GLOW, A Cork Christmas Celebration where he will be practicing his tree decorating skills, sack packing skills and making sure Santa's sleigh is ready to go. 

Presented by Cork City Council, GLOW - A Cork Christmas Celebration runs each weekend from today (November 29) to December 22. Visit Bishop Lucey Park, which is magically transformed by Cork Puppet Specialists Dowtcha Puppets into the National Elf Test (NET), which all elves must pass to be part of the Christmas team. On entering the park, children and their families will be greeted by the elf puppet receptionist who will direct them to see some of the challenges and tests that all elves must go through to make sure they are ready to be chosen by Santa for the big jobs especially on Christmas Eve!

Enjoy festive entertainment and cuisine at the Christmas Market on the Grand Parade. Soar high above Cork on a 30 metre Ferris wheel and enjoy amazing views of the city.


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