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A hit-and-miss A to Z guide for what 2021 might have in store

Francis Farragher

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

As I try and prepare an alphabetical wish list for 2021, the onus is on all of us to embark on what will probably be a vain search for shafts of hope through any remaining reserves of positivity and light humour that might still be surviving within us. We’ve been blitzed, fatigued and knocked over with bad news and restrictions, so from the midst of this cesspit of pessimism and hopelessness, let’s take a slightly brighter look (well kind of) at what we might aspire to in 2021. The caveat though has to be added that it’s written more in hope than in expectation.

A is for always realising that there’s a life to be lived out there even when everything seems to be going wrong. Always keep in mind that there will be time – somewhere into the future – when those of us lucky enough to be still around will say: “How many years ago was it since the country was closed down with the COVID?”

B is for ballistic and all the times in the last nine months that you said: “I’ll go ballistic if I hear another news bulletin bringing us more bad news about our plight.” There are only so many times you can go ballistic within a given time-span and at this stage we’ve all exhausted our quotas.

C is for all us Catholics and Christians who have had to get used to doing without our usual measure of formal worship at the weekends. The upshot of this is that most of us have had to ‘deal directly’ with The Boss, and that in its own peculiar way might be no bad thing.

D is for all the devious little distractions we’ve had to come up with to pass those endless hours that otherwise might be spent in sorting out the affairs of Church, State and The World in ‘The Parliament of the Local’, where critical decisions are made before gleefully being washed down with some light ale and then forgotten about.

E is for enjoying the great outdoors, if for no other reason, than there’s nothing else for doing these days. In the same vein, E is also for the effort required to leave the warm fire and go for a walk or a cycle on a cold December’s evening.

F is for forlorn, in the context of having a good ‘knees up’ on Paddy’s Day when we’ll all be parading again and toasting each other with green beer. The forlorn bit though clicks in as regards what year this will be – maybe 2022?

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Country Living

Oh, what would life be like, without a good agony aunt?

Francis Farragher

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Probably the most famous agony aunt of them all . . . Angela McNamara, a 'problem solver' for years in the now defunct Sunday Press newspaper.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of the ‘funny’ things about comedy is how some things that aren’t really funny at all, can make you burst into convulsions of laughter time after time.

After all, seeing someone slip on a banana skin and fall over can end up with the victim suffering a broken arm or wrist, and yet every time we see in in a sketch, we laugh.

For some reason of late, when I look up the death notices on RIP.ie, the name Farragher, flashes up before me automatically on the screen, and I’m inclined to have a little snigger and say: “Not just yet.”

We laugh when someone walks into a glass door that’s cleaned so well that it looks like it’s not there at all, but again it ain’t funny for the victim; while the rear view of a slightly obese male without a belt on his sagging trousers at least will draw an ‘oops’ if not a laugh.

Last Saturday, as I was flicking through the Irish Independent, a piece caught my eye on the problem page of the magazine section. I’d say, for all the world, it was a serious letter, but I have to admit I’m still laughing.

A woman was pouring out her heart to agony aunt, Mary O’Connor, about the third party that had entered into her relationship with her boyfriend. A touch of the Camilla Parker Bowles situation with Charles (well the other way around), one might think at first.

This third party had wreaked havoc with what had been apparently a pretty stable and loving relationship – the destruction list being quite a long and dramatic one. This third party – probably something of a ‘looker’ into the bargain – had caused fights between the previously happy couple; had wandered into the neighbour’s yard; and had injured the woman involved; as well as being involved in a number of road accidents; not to mention the cat being mauled.

Yes, you’ve probably guessed it by now, but the third party in the relationship was none other than a German shepherd dog, who had not been trained in the domestic ways of the world, by his new guardians.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Country Living

A January that can’t be cured alas just has to be endured

Francis Farragher

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January: Seeking a small shaft of light at the end of a dark tunnel.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Probably, like the vast majority of the population in the Northern Hemisphere, I’ve never been a fan of January. For all the talk of it being the start of a New Year, it’s still the depths of mid-winter and January, unlike December, does not have the saving grace of a Christmas festival to distract us from the harsh reality of darkness, cold and storms.

While out the country we always consoled ourselves with the fact that January was a time when there was some light gain, often referred to as ‘the cock step in the dunghill’, it is a month that only grudgingly concedes a bit of darkness in its sunrises.

Even by Epiphany Day, January 6, our sunrises here in Galway are still only occurring around the 8.50am mark although there is some appreciable gain in the sunsets, now coming within 10 minutes of five o clock, as this weekend approaches.

While I’m always an advocate of not wishing our time away, I have to concede that in any year, I’m never felt any bit ‘brónach’ about seeing the back of January. According to US website legacy.com – their equivalent of RIP.ie – the death rate across the States for January is, on average, the highest of any month in the year

Even in latter years, it’s also credited with being the host month for the most depressing day of the year – the third Monday of the first month of the year.

A psychologist called Cliff Arnall, back in 2004, devised a formula (maybe rather frivolously) which factored in so many of the January ‘downers’ into the equation such as debt, monthly salary, time since Christmas, broken New Year resolutions, and low motivation.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Country Living

A letter from Santa just to say that ‘he’s on the way’

Francis Farragher

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

Just as I was thinking about what I could write about on Christmas Week, didn’t a letter arrive from a dear old friend who I hadn’t been in contact with for the past 50 years or so. He asked if there would be any space in the paper this week for a letter this week that he had wanted to write for some time, so being the season of goodwill and all that – and given who was making the request – I presented him with an open page, to ramble on about his trials and tribulations down through the centuries.  So, Santa Claus, welcome back into my life, and say what you have to say!

Dear boys and girls (and Mummies and Daddies, Aunties, Uncles and friends),

Well, for a start – and I don’t mean to sound flippant about this – I’ve seen it all before in terms of plagues that have afflicted us down through the centuries. I really don’t have a clue how old I am, but I’m told by our Grand Master that I’ve been around since nearly the beginning of time. He has assured me too that while I’m not going to get any younger, the plus side of this is that I’m not going to get any older either. I’m stuck in a bit of a time warp and although I have the odd creaky knee and dodgy back, my long sleep and hibernation through the first three months of the year, normally loosens me out again. Now, what was I trying to say? I do need another dash of that mind freshener again. Oh yes, those plagues I’ve seen before.

Even when I was nearly young, and just a couple of hundred years old, I heard of plagues in places like Athens and Rome, and to tell the truth, these were pretty horrible times for those people too. Not any talk at all about vaccines in those days, just that the well-off people would leave the city and head off into the country. Did I hear lately that’s what some people are doing this again? Anyway, I never forgot those who were left behind and brought presents to the children. It was kind of easier then: no gadgets or electronic stuff but they were glad to see me coming.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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