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A time when common sense and rules make for uneasy bedfellows

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Cold comforts for those hardy souls trying to enjoy their pint of plain.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

The other evening as I made the decision to chance having a couple of pints in the great outdoors, the thought struck me that there comes a time when that most invaluable asset for a decent existence — namely common-sense — gets thrown to the wolves. When sets of rules, laws and restrictions are brought in for the so-called greater good, there are casualties along the way, and many of them are ones that can be avoided.

That evening, there were two men in the corner of ‘the garden’ who should have been enjoying their usual chat over a pint of plain, in relative comfort and warmth. Surely one of life’s little pleasures, as the passing years slip by into decades and if we’re all lucky enough to live into what Big Tom called in his song, ‘The Sunset Years of Life’.

Between them, those two customers have enjoyed at least 150 summers but instead of being able to enjoy their couple of pints and chat inside a very warm, cheerful and most importantly of all spacious bar or lounge, they had to endure a biting wind from the north-west. They were ‘white with the cold’.

Now, there may be greater problems out there in the big bad world and the worrying Winter that we’re now facing into, but I would just love if Mr. Micheál, Mr. Leo and Mr. Eamon could explain very simply to me why it would not be eminently more sensible to let those two old-timers enjoy their chat and couple of pints indoors without risking getting a bad cold or a severe dose of pneumonia.

Alas, I fear, we’re now seemingly all doomed to suffocate in a Winter of doom and gloom. Last Sunday morning, as I viewed the newspapers from the stands, one publication was trying to outdo the other in terms of telling us how bad things were going to be over the coming weeks or months. Only, after some deliberation, did I grudgingly decide to buy one of them. There is after all, only so much bad news that any sane mind can absorb.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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.

 

Country Living

Avoid the supreme fallacy and eke out some lighter moments

Francis Farragher

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Trying to eke out some brighter moments.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

LAST Thursday night about half-way through the nine-o-clock, I just had enough. It could just have been fatigue from that word that I will refrain from mentioning in this column but it’s the one which has dominated our lives since we had to call off our plans for a few pints on St. Patrick’s Day.

The first alternative on the RTE Player, now loaded onto my iPhone (haven’t we really gotten modern over recent years) was an episode of Fr. Ted on RTE 2, and for the best part of 20 minutes it transported me into a little cocoon of mirth and laughter.

Three Bishops had made the visit to Craggy Island to upgrade the Holy Stone of Clonrichert to a ‘Class Two Relic’ with Fr. Ted on tenterhooks to ensure that Dougal and Jack behaved themselves in an impeccable manner during the visit.

Needless to say, as in all things Fr. Ted, the strategy did not go according to plan. Fr. Jack, despite being on a drip-feed of whiskey and told to repeat the famous line of: “That would be an ecumenical matter,” gets fed up of being poked enthusiastically by Bishop Facks and stuffs the Holy Stone up the rear end of his guest.

Fr. Dougal, aka Ardal O’Hanlon, convinces Bishop O’Neill that the whole religion racket is a fake prompting the second visitor to Craggy Island to join a hippy cult while an even worse fate awaits the most elderly of the visiting clerics, Bishop Jordan. When Fr. Ted flushes the faulty toilets; the waste water erupts into a gulley underneath the Bishop; and he dies of a heart attack.

In the end the three Bishops depart the island: one of them in a box carried out by the local undertaker; the second in an ambulance to have the Holy Stone removed from his rear end; and the third in a colourful VW minibus with a gang of hippies.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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

Coming to terms with the new normal of our daily workplaces

Francis Farragher

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The pros and cons of working from home!

Country Living with Francis Farragher

ON the greater scale of problems that we all have to face, it should never be too high up on the list, but yet when one moves house or workplace, there does tend to be little tinges of sadness with the transition, regardless of how hard-hearted we can all pretend to be.

Putting the bits and pieces of mostly materially worthless trivia into boxes for the move to the next home can still evoke memories of times good and bad; happy and sad; serious and comic — but all of which do evoke some little tug of the heartstrings.

We all age so gradually that at times we think haven’t changed at all over the past 30 years but then as a picture is resurrected from an old drawer, the realisation dawns that the world of youth has long passed us by.

Of course, there is absolutely no point in getting melancholic about what is, after all, the natural way of the world, and the overarching philosophy has to be, to live one day at a time and give it our best shot.

Whatever about a workplace shift, there are countless surveys and psychological studies that puts moving house high up there in the stress graph of life.

Buying or selling a house is, by all accounts, an absolute cesspit of traumas and is rated by most psychologists as well up there in the top-10 of ‘times in your life’ when you really feel under pressure.

Last year, UK property website Real Homes cited a survey of 2,000 homeowners, 40% of whom voted moving house as the ‘most nerve-wracking’ life-changing assignment that they had ever experienced . . .  even ahead of divorce, having a baby, or starting a new job.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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 step back in time to a day of unmitigated joy on Jones’ Road

Francis Farragher

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HIGH STEPPERS: Grown men in suits . . . women in high-heels . . . young lads with maroon hats . . . all seemingly floating on air after Galway's famous All-Ireland hurling victory in September, 1980.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Like three people I spoke to last week – Cyril Farrell, Joe Connolly and Mike Conneely – I too was taken aback somewhat by the fact that it was 40 years ago last weekend, since Galway made their massive hurling breakthrough in the first Sunday of September, 1980.

There’s no point living in the past or fretting about how quickly the flywheel of time is passing but it’s only when you glance back, the realisation dawns that decades have passed by almost in the blink of an eye.

Those were very different times in Ireland and for someone just armed with a BA and the ‘H. Dip’ – eked out after four years of less than hard toil at the then UCG – there was another recession upon us and there was a lot scratching about to be done to get a bit of work.

The papal visit of John Paul II was still fresh in everyone’s memory, and in more superstitious minds, his trip to Galway Racecourse on September’s last day in 1979 was credited with eventually banishing the curse that had prevented the men in maroon from winning an All-Ireland title. (Folklore attributed the curse to a group of Galway players leaving Mass early many decades before that!).

For the previous eight years, Galway hurling had been knocking on the recovery door, winning All-Ireland under-21 titles in 1972 and 1978, before making an historic National League breakthrough in 1975 when defeating Tipperary in the final.

Everyone knew in Galway though that one final bridge had to be crossed before the county would be back as a hurling force – the winning of a second All-Ireland senior title, to eventually make that link between ‘the present’ and that year of 1923. 57 years was an awful long time to wait.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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