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Country Living

Accepting that ‘fairly okay’ is as good as it’s going to get

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Trying to solve the unresolvable riddle of life.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

I seem to have spent a lifetime in that in-between land of being too busy for comfort and spells of abject laziness when the thought of leaving the bed for an early-morning sunrise can feel like a decision to climb Mount Everest. Of late, I seem to be hit by a range of publications and learned observations from people who seem to know things about life, espousing the virtues of learning to take it a bit easier; to switch off from the daily tribulations of life if only for a few minutes . . . meditation really does seem to be in the in-word.

Back around the mid-1980s, I remember going on a sun holiday to Cyprus for two weeks duration which I thought in my innocence should equate to a fortnight of heavenly bliss. The reality though was somewhat different.

Being a child of the sixties in rural Ireland the word holiday only meant one thing namely being off school for the Summer . . . . and for Christmas and Easter too as our classroom taskmasters needed their breaks too, not that it seemed to improve the demeanour of many of them to any great extent.

The nearest any of us ever came to a foreign holiday was in the form of a sponsored programme on Radio One, pretty much the only station we ever listened to, which for 15 minutes one morning a week, outlined all the available options for trips to places like Spain and far-away islands like the Canaries.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Country Living

Little by way of ready relief from hypochondria ailment

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

Not all the time, but here and there, I get occasional nominations for being the number one hypochondriac in my immediate circle, an ‘accolade’ I hotly dispute but often to no avail. There is always that tendency when a sudden headache arrives or a twinge in the back comes like a lightning strike or a cough starts out of the blue to straight away harbour thoughts of impending doom.

With the passing of years – even decades – you get subtle hints of your finitude (a fancy way of saying that you’re going to die sometime) and you begin to check out medical terms like floaters (little black spots that appear in your line of vision), cataracts, osteoarthritis, diabetes, depression and of course the dreaded dementia.

If you can tick off more than two of those boxes then you know that you’re in a bit of bother and the only hope is that if you tick them all, you’re probably just in a state of chronic hypochondria rather than being on your last legs.

Luckily many years ago after a brief flirtation with cigarettes while at school (secondary), some kind of a spirit descended upon me and prompted me to turn my back on the dreaded weed, which has now become horrendously expensive as well as killing you off before your time.

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

Learning to accept that we’re going to live in a perfect world

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

So, we’ve gotten over the hullabaloo about cutting a bit of turf and selling a few bags here and there to a neighbour or relative . . . or have we? It is kind of hard to figure out, but in the Irish political world of nods and winks, apparently there’ll be ‘no notice taken’ of people cutting a bit of turf for their own use and putting a trailer or two on the market.

What a fuss about nothing. In the great world of Google, I looked up how much fuel a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet burns on one of its journeys.

The figures are quite astonishing. Ever hour that The Jumbo is in the air, she burns 10 or 11 tonnes of fuel. So, over a seven-hour spin that equates to roughly 75 tonnes of aeronautic fuel. To put it another way, during every second of flying, one gallon of fuel is burned up.

When I sit back and think about this, it just puts a sense of perspective on what’s being going on in our little ‘cabbage garden’ (borrowed from Lord Haw Haw) over recent weeks.

I’m not for a minute suggesting either that we start banning 747s from our skies, but it just shows the scale of what fuel is being burnt off on our planet every second of every minute of every hour that passes.

While Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary mightn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, at times he just says things as they are. Of course, he has a massive, vested interest in the travel business, but a couple of weeks back on radio, he asked the simple question of how as an island nation we could survive without our network of air links. The simple answer is of course that we couldn’t.

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

Mysterious teenage trip into world of electronics and life

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Busy times on the assembly and testing lines at Digital in the early 1970s. Photo: Compliments of the NUI Galway Computer Museum.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Jobs and cash were hard commodities to come by in the mid-1970s apart from occasional seasonal rural pursuits such as ‘the bog’, thinnowing beet or occasional forays into picking stones on fields being prepared for summer hay cutting.

Even with a Leaving Cert of reasonable merit safely under the belt, employment prospects weren’t exactly hitting you in the face, although there was always the chance of ‘the start’ on the buildings if that industry was going well.

A day-trip to Galway on a late Summer’s day based on a tip-off that a ‘new company’ was hiring in the city led me to a short-cut off the Tuam Road close to Castlegar Church and into the front office of the Digital Equipment Corporation.

There was a kind of refreshing naivety about the mission: no curriculum vitae prepared; no letters of reference in the back pocket; and no clue whatsoever about what sort of job I was applying for.

A friendly receptionist handed me an application form which was duly filled out with all my modest qualifications in life, and straight away I noticed one stumbling block – the 18-years minimum age stipulation.

Honesty had to be the sacrifice, as my date-of-birth slipped back by one year in the hope that a birth certificate would not be sought . . . and as things transpired, it wasn’t.

The day-trip to Galway had nearly gone out of my head about a week later when a letter arrived in the post offering me the post of – wait for it – a trainee test technician with a starting-off-weekly pay-packet of £26 which translated into a take-home sum of £19 and seven pence.

It was far too good an offer to be spurned and seemed light years away from the days of weeding beet, pulling out ewes for shearing, or spending long days in the bog for a daily return of £3 or £4 (maximum).

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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