If a footballer who earns a somewhere north of a quarter of a million pounds a week can get into a complete strop over his employer’s failure to wish him a happy 31st birthday, imagine the damage such an insult could do to a mere mortal.
Yaya Toure was so upset by Manchester City’s snubbing of his special day that he was weighing up his footballing future – admittedly a slight overreaction, but it shows how important birthdays can be to some people.
For the first half of your life, it’s an excuse to get out with the lads and give it a good lash – but for the second half, it’s a day you’d prefer to forget on the basis that it’s another page torn from an ever dwindling book.
When you’re ten, you cannot sleep with the excitement of wondering if the postman will bring birthday cards – a euphemism, of course, for money – to mark your special day.
Then there’s turning 18 and perhaps 21 – the only difference between the two is that all your little old aunties turn up at your coming of age and you have to entertain them for an hour before you can get stuck into it with your mates.
But after that, as you grow older – and in this scenario, 31 qualifies as old – you tend to settle for a cup of tea and a smile; perhaps a hand-drawn card on a folded A4 sheet, with a picture that depicts you as a stick insect super hero.
You certainly won’t quit your job over it – although some companies, unlike Manchester City, won’t take that chance.
I once worked for a newspaper that automatically sent every employee a birthday card on their special day – and while it was nice that accounts remembered, this often proved more hassle than it was worth.
Because despite what Yaya might feel, there are many who’d prefer their birthday passed by quietly and without public attention – but when a card is left on your desk before you come in, your cover is well and truly blown.
And the knock-on from this is also bad news – your colleagues have a good excuse for buying you nothing because they only just found out when they saw the card….but they’d be delighted to join you for a drink later, once you’re the one paying for it.
So the card that you know was signed in advance ended up costing you money on a day when you might have had a reasonable expectation of being the recipient of goodwill and Guinness.
Yaya, of course, could buy the bar and still have change from his week’s wages – but that doesn’t seem to be the point.
It was a matter of principle that annoyed him – his Arab bosses didn’t care enough to wish their superstar midfielder all the best for his big day, which fell during City’s post-season tour of Abu Dhabi.
Just what he was talking about soon because something of a mystery in itself after a video surfaced of Toure being presented with a birthday cake by the club, which also tweeted a birthday message at the time.
But it would appear that the multi-millionaire wasn’t angling for a mere card and a cake at his work station – he’d seen other clubs do so much more than that.
“He got a cake but when it was (Brazilian full-back) Roberto Carlos’ birthday, the president of Anzhi (Makhachkala) gave him a Bugatti,” said Toure’s representative Dimitry Seluk.
“It’s not a question of money or contract, believe me. He has everything he needs. For Yaya what is the most important thing is human relationships,” explained Dimitry. “We’ve not asked any money, we don’t ask any presents. We’re only talking about attention.”
And clearly he’d personally ensured plenty of that in what must be the most petulant reaction to a missed birthday of all time.
Indeed so upset was Toure that he was thinking of quitting the club altogether, sparking something of a mini-riot among the world’s richest clubs – and presumably the dispatching of several staff to buy up all the birthday cards they could find.
Certainly no one in his entourage will ever forget his big day again, because clearly this is a man who might appear to have everything – except a Happy Birthday.
And maybe that’s where the gifted midfielder got his name – someone asked him if he’d like a big birthday party when he was a young fellow.
And jumping up and down with excitement, he clapped and shouted: “Yaya, yaya – gimme, gimme, gimme some cake.”
Galway passengers are all smiles at Shannon!
The smiles on the faces at Shannon Airport very much told its own story this week – with passengers taking to skies as the easing of restrictions and the first day of the European Digital COVID Certificates took effect.
And it wasn’t just the joy of travel starting to resume that lifted spirits at the airport but also the announcement by Ryanair of a new once-weekly service to Gran Canaria (Las Palmas) to commence on August 7 – the third new service announcement for Shannon Airport over recent weeks.
There was a real sense of excitement as passengers of all ages became very much at ease with the heightened public safety measures in a ‘back-to-the-future’ day for the West of Ireland gateway airport.
There were reunions as inbound flights arrived but also a palpable degree of anticipation as others got set to depart on the earliest flight out of the airport today, the 7:10am flight to Gatwick.
Among those boarding was Clarenbridge native Claire Tomlin and her husband Jake, together with their three children, including their twins who turn a year old next week.
“It’s been amazing to get back. The kids saw their grandparents for the first time and their cousins and aunties and uncles, so it was fantastic,” said Claire.
“Shannon is just so convenient for us because it’s only about 40 minutes’ drive. So, it just makes everything a lot easier in terms of getting to and from places with little ones. So, yeah, Shannon is a great resource for us. Really, really good. We hope to be able to go back more and more.”
It was smiles all around for Shannon Airport staff as they got back to doing what they do best. “Well, today is a great day because you can see the atmosphere around the place, people are at ease here and they’re glad to be back, they’re glad to get up in the sky again,” said Shannon Duty Free Sales Associate Helen Quinlivan.
“It’s great to see the excitement. People are really looking forward to going back and seeing their loved ones and they’re very at ease.”
Galway In Days Gone By
Silence is golden
Leaders on both sides have stated that the best assistance the country can give in the making of peace is to keep silence.
During the past week there has been a great deal of speculation, most of it harmless enough, as, for instance, the enterprising American journalist’s “exclusive” on the first meeting of the British Premier and the President of the Irish Republic; much of it positively mischievous, as the case of the efforts of a certain journal, which has grown hoary in the reputation for throwing in the apple of discord, to anticipate failure in advance.
Our American colleague was on surer and on safer ground when he told of how de Valera and Lloyd George met.
“Mr. Lloyd George,” he cabled, “was sitting at his desk when the Irish President entered. For just a minute these two gazed fixedly at one another. Then the British Premier walked across the intervening space and shook de Valera by the hand. He led him to a seat where they sat side by side. The atmosphere was tense. They faced one another. Then Lloyd George reached down for a box of cigars. But the Irish President is of Spartan mould. He neither permits himself to drink nor smoke. He politely but firmly waved the box away. Mr. Lloyd George, however, selected and lighted a Havana, and as the smoke curled upwards the atmosphere became decidedly easier!”
The wise and practical man always lays by a store against the time when supplies will be scarce. One of the most serious effects of the prolonged drought is the scarcity of supplies of fodder for cattle-feeding during the coming winter and spring.
The hay crop is not more than half the average yield. The corn crop is far below normal. Turnips in many districts are a partial failure. We have frequently emphasised the importance of growing catch-crops to supplement other feeding stuffs raised on the farm, but it is only under circumstances such as the present that their utility is brought home to farmers. Owing to the early harvest, a larger area than is usual can and should be put down this season. This would make good, to some extent, at least, the shortage of hay and other feeding-stuffs.
The demonstration plots laid down by the County Committee of Agriculture have shown that catch-crops, such as vetches and rye as well as other mixtures, can be successfully grown in all parts of County Galway.
We would urge on farmers the desirability – nay, the necessity – of procuring seed and making early preparation for the sowing of an increased area of catch-crops this season.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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A home that can generate rent!
New to the market is this lovely, extremely deceptive and impressive home situated only 450 metres from Clarinbridge village.
Stonebridge House is located on a fine site with a tarmacadam driveway, mature shrubs and trees, water feature, decked area and stables to the rear all adding to the many delightful features of this well-built home.
It was built in 1982 and extended in 1993, creating a bright, spacious home which is perfect for today’s busy, modern family lifestyle.
The main house is a six-bed residence with a two-bedroomed basement apartment offering 3,000 sq ft of family living accommodation.
This makes this property perfect for multi-generational living or should you wish to rent out the basement apartment, can provide you with extra income.
The welcoming half front door takes you into the hallway where there is a ground floor bedroom to your left and to your right. Further down the hallway to your right leads you into the spacious kitchen/dining area perfect for family life and entertaining, with plenty of storage space, a Stanley range cooker set into a gorgeous cream brick inglenook with an added feature of a back boiler that heats the water and radiators.
There is an office/media room off the kitchen which every house needs nowadays, as today’s family spends more and more time on the web.
Double doors open to the large tastefully decorated sitting room with a feature fireplace and a solid fuel stove. The den area is filled with natural light with plenty of windows and patio doors opening onto the garden and patio area. Also on this floor is a guest toilet.
Upstairs on the first floor is the spacious landing with built-in storage cupboards and leading to four fine bedrooms and the main bathroom. Another bonus to this beautiful home is the installation of a convenient central vacuum system which is known for its removal of allergens and dust when cleaning and not having to drag a vacuum from room to room!
The asking price is €495,000. For further information or to arrange a viewing, contact DNG Brian MacMahon on 091 638638.