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Country Living

An ode of sorts to horn honkers and undertakers

Francis Farragher

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

As we move through second week of January and at last there’s an extra chink of light returning to the mornings and the evenings, it’s time to Part 2 of my alphabetical guide to the year ahead. Terms and conditions apply while any advice taken is solely at the reader’s risk.

N is for the no word, when here and there, despite your normally obliging nature, you are not in a position to provide the service that’s required. The no word can be delivered politely, and quietly but assertively. An early ‘no’ can often be the best answer in the end.

O is for all the obstreperous people on the planet whether it be Donal Trump throwing another of this temper tantrums or the local know-all in the hostelry down the road who can solve the woes of village and country after a few pints of plain.

P is for presidents, prime ministers and politicians who promise to change the ways of the world overnight even though they know in their heart and souls, that the old order will inevitably prevail and the civil servants will tell them what to do.

Q is for all of us members of the public and proletariat to question people when we’re unsure as to whether we’ve been overcharged in a shop, hotel or restaurant. It’s never any harm to ask and if the mistake is yours, well then so be it. But don’t be saying a day later: “Gee, I should have questioned that.”

R is for all our lovely rainy days that we normally get in Ireland (apart that is from the Summer gone by) that keep our fields and gardens so green and full of fertility. Without this regular supply of the ‘wet stuff’ we’d be living in a parched and barren land. But well still ‘take’ another good Summer!

S is for the seagulls of this world and more especially for the colony that inhabit the chimney pots of the inner city chattering away at a rate of knots day-in and day-out. It’s like an annual reunion of a clan except that it takes place every day. Their ‘bombing’ expeditions can also do a lot of damage but yet their cacophonous cackles are an intrinsic part of Galway.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Nothing like a good storm to focus the minds of a country

Francis Farragher

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Eyre Square, Galway city, in the aftermath of Hurricane Debbie (Sept. 16, 1961).

Country Living with Francis Farragher

There is probably nothing to compare with a major weather event when it comes to focusing the minds of a nation on a single topic. Up until two weeks ago, the name Lorenzo wouldn’t have meant much to the vast majority of the Irish population but within a matter of days, it was the most uttered word on the lips of the country’s population. And then it blew off in the middle of the night with barely a whimper when most of us were solidly in the world of nod!

Great storms are nothing to new of course but ironically one of the reasons that they stick in our minds so much is that broadly speaking they are a relatively infrequent event, which is not the case with our friends in the Caribbean or along the east coast of the USA. Thankfully we do tend to avoid the extremes in terms of weather events, and only very infrequently, do we find ourselves on the hurricane trail. Winter storms are of course a different matter but on the whole, they lack the punch of the hurricanes, who have souped-up engines due to their high energy origins in warm sea water off the West African coastline.

The hurricane path during the early Autumn season in the Northern Hemisphere is determined by the trade winds that blow east to west across the Atlantic, sweeping the tropical storms with them until they tend to blow out over land when reaching the Caribbean islands or the south-eastern coast of the USA. Here and there – but thankfully not too often – the hurricanes do something of a U-turn in the mid-Atlantic and instead of proceeding westward, take aim for our shores. This is exactly what happened with Lorenzo last week and probably the most famous – or should that be infamous – U-turn of all, was Hurricane Debbie, which hit our shores on the Saturday of September 16, 1961.

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

Out of tune with listeners who want value for money

Francis Farragher

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Marty in the morning . . . A welcome escape from the drudgery of the morning commute.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

RADIO has always been something close to my heart going back many moons when I bought a Playmate transistor radio after receiving my first pay cheque from DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) in Ballybrit.

There was – and still is – a great thrill from tuning into different stations and many’s the late hour between tiredness and the arrival of The Sandman was spent in listening to Radio 1 and the BBC World Service that broadcast through the night.

The melody of Terry Wogan’s Floral Dance on his BBC Radio morning slot still floats around in a little memory cavern of my brain while there’s a lovely nugget of innocence in memories of Din Joe (Take the Floor), who introduced dancing to radio listeners. Mad yes . . . but funny to the point of laughter convulsions.

I remember also, as a young boy, being put on housekeeping duties on the last Saturday of July in 1966, and tuning in the old Philips radio to the famous BBC commentary of England’s 4-2 World Cup success and that famous line from commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme as England hung onto a 3-2 lead in the dying seconds. “Some people are on the pitch. They think it’s all over. It is now,” he quipped as Geoff Hurst completed his hat-trick.

During teenage years there was also a great thrill to listening to Radio Luxembourg and I have a memory too of Radio Caroline, broadcast from a ship on the high seas, in order to avoid the legal clutches of Governments not keen on the idea of unregulated radio stations.

The great ‘gift’ of radio is that you go about your business and still keep in touch with your music and local news. Over recent decades, the licensing of local stations has also revolutionised the whole business of radio, giving air time to the local club or community on a regular basis.

There’s a diversity now in radio that’s huge from the State broadcaster to independent national channels, and of course the local stations, whose niche in the market lies with their ability to tune into the goings-on of little towns and parishes all over their own county.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

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Country Living

A short list and the odd nap could ease our daily woes

Francis Farragher

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

At this stage of my existence on this earth, I suppose that it’s a bit late now to try and work out a personal conundrum as to whether I slip into the lazy or hard-working category.   It probably all goes back to childhood days when I’d make a song and dance about bringing in a bag of turf for my mother and then maybe the next day receive the height of praise for cutting a half-field of thistles with the scythe.

The old pendulum between doing too little and too much never seemed to stop oscillating in my younger days but probably like the vast majority of ‘country stock’ we all knew that we’d be treated as a lower class, if we didn’t pull our weight.

I often feel the dose, of what I’ll categorise as ‘laziness guilt’, when friends of mine tell me how many books they read every month; or how many yards of turf they footed in one evening; or maybe closer to the bone, how they managed to write far more newspaper stories in one day than I did.

What sparked my interest in this was a Psychology Today column that I happened to speed read (too lazy to read it all diligently) in which the author, Daniel Marston (Ph. D. if you don’t mind), posed the simple question: “Are some people just lazy?” His conclusions are worth a bit of scrutiny.

He points out that while many people have very genuine medical and psychiatric disabilities that prevent them from participating in the workforce, there is another very distinct cohort of people with no such legitimate excuse, but who just seemingly can’t be bothered to do anything much.

Dr. Martson contends that there is such a state of ‘true laziness’ which has a relationship with our friends in the animal kingdom, but the root cause of it, is the motivation or the need to spring into action.

He points out that the dog who sits lazily on the rug for hours can spring into the most vigorous action when there’s a knock at the door, so his theory in summary is, that motivation is the only real antidote for that section of the population suffering from ‘true laziness’.

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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