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A Different View

Café cottons on to the notion that time really is money

Dave O'Connell

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A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There’s a new café which has recently opened its door in London, attracting an unprecedented amount of publicity in the process – because this facility make you pay for how long you stay there, not what you drink.

Ziferblat, which already has a chain of ten cafés in its native Russia, has opened in east London, where it provides tea, coffee and Wi-Fi for nothing – but it’s 3p a minute to sit there.

So those who linger all day over a cold cup of coffee which end up incurring the cost of a slap-up dinner – while those who speed through their mid-morning cuppa will suffer nothing more upsetting than a scalded palette.

Ziferblat translates as clock face, and the whole thing works on the basis that, on entry, you pick up a clock from the cupboard, noting what time it is and then paying truppence for every minute you’ve been there on your way out.

You could be in and out in a minute if you’re really quick at drinking coffee and you’d even have enjoyed the free snacks as well. But even if you waited for an hour, that’s only £1.80 – a fraction of the price you’d pay in a more traditional coffee shop.

The difference is that you have to make your own coffee, using the in-house expresso machine but equally you’re welcome to bring your own food and heat in and eat it….all while the clock ticks up another 3p a minute.

It’s an idea that you’d love to see catching on here – ‘everything is free, except the time you spend there’ – and not just within the burgeoning café culture, but right across the board.

You could, for example, charge people who paw through the papers in a shop and then leave them back in a heap having half-read them for free, so that no one in their right mind would ever actually buy them.

Ditto, book shops – no more free browsing. If you want to rifle through a book you’ve no intention of buying, then at least you can offer up a few cent for the joy of holding someone else’s novel in your grubby hands.

People who got to pubs and order pints of tap water could now have all the uisce their bladder will bear – but in future they’d be paying a few bob for just standing there.

Those who just want to use the loo can now do so without the barman staring them out of it like they’d actually destroyed their own trousers – but they’ll have to pay the price for the number of minutes it has taken them to complete their ablutions.

A welcome side-effect of all this would be that pub bores would become a thing of the past because it would be too expensive to hang around – and we’d all get a barstool for the duration of our stay because the turnover of drinkers would be like a well-greased engine.

And it goes on – shoppers who go into clothes stores and try on items to be sure they fit, and then go home and purchase them on the internet, could be charged for the time they’ve taken up in the fitting room.

It wouldn’t make up the price of the garment, but it might level up the playing pitch – and at the very least make the internet generation value the face-to-face service they have on their own doorstep.

You could also see the growth of a whole new range of new shops – places to charge your mobile for a few minutes, for example – where you’ll find that time is, literally, money.

But the biggest positive about this concept is that it stops people vegetating in the one spot all day – all of a sudden wasting time comes at a price.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Grandparents are the glue that became unstuck during Covid

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

IT goes without saying that lockdown has been hard for everyone – with the possible exception of hermits – but few have felt it more than grandparents, confined to barracks and deprived of those hugs from the grandchildren.

Looking at them through windows may only have made it worse, because little kids don’t understand why nana and granddad won’t come out; they don’t realise they want to, more than anything in the whole world.

This pandemic has given us plenty of time to reflect; a chance to remember what is truly important and what we should cherish instead of taking for granted.

And arguably, grandparents should be on top of that list.

You’ll have heard it said that being a grandparent is like you’ve been given a second chance; an opportunity to spend time in retirement with the next generation that work deprived you of when it came to your own.

There’s also a notion espoused by some of those grandparents that you love them more than your own kids, because this time, when you’re finished playing with them, you can give them back.

I never knew any of my four grandparents, because they were all dead before I was born. My own sons never knew my parents because they too had long departed before the next generation arrived.

But thankfully they did grow up with two grandparents as an integral part of their lives – and not just minding them, which they did with a commitment for which we will be ever grateful.

The measure of success in this department is that your children see your parents as just a part of the family; there’s an easy familiarity every time they meet, just like picking up the pieces without a second thought.

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.

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

Home is still full of memories even when it’s an empty nest

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

We’ve all heard the phrase – and perhaps dread the concept; the empty nest, after the fledglings take flight and you’re left rattling around in a quiet house with just memories of those days of pandemonium and noise.

The social policy-makers would tell you that this is the time to downsize; save yourself the steps of the stairs and the cleaning, and cut down on the heating bills to enjoy your autumn days in accommodation more appropriate to your reduced needs.

And from a purely economic perspective, there’s merit in that. You have a house that’s now too big for you, and others can’t find a home of any size, let alone one sufficient for a full family – but that’s only one side of the argument.

The other is that your house is your home, and not because of its size – it’s because of its location, and your familiarity with its every nook and cranny. It’s also where those fly-away chicks still see as home, even if they’re now no more than occasional visitors.

As you grow older, familiarity is more important than ever; without the beautiful distraction of children, you grow even more dependent on neighbours and your community and the facilities you know on your old doorstep.

You know how long it takes to get to the shops or to the pub; you know you to give a spare key to in case you’re out when a delivery is due – or later on, if there’s a fear you might have a fall.

Your lifetime’s treasures – except for the children – are in your home; the sort of stuff others might see as clutter, but to you they are memories of holidays or graduations or births or marriages…those glory days that marked the chapters of your family life.

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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Connacht Tribune

Authors’ pot luck – or insight into predicting a terrible future

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s eerie how some people can appear to have an ability to see into the future; forecasting an event or a phenomenon, years – sometimes even centuries – before it comes to pass.

Much was made this year of a number of books and movies that anticipated what we now know as the Coronavirus pandemic; predictions that even led to renewed interest in publications like Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year that goes back to 1722.

Edgar Allan Poe described a fictional epidemic at the centre of his short story, the Masque of the Red Death.

“No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its avatar and its seal—the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains and sudden dizziness and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution.”

More recently, Albert Camus’ the Plague explored the human toll of epidemics back in 1947 – and of course, the end of the world has been the subject of more movies than almost anything else.

But that’s not really suggesting they have some incredible insight into the future; Dystopian plots or backdrops are almost standard fare, and the spread of some toxin or virus is the easiest vehicle for writer’s to plot.

That doesn’t mean the reader or viewer isn’t stopped in their tracks when they come across a piece or a film that appears to have predicted the future.

One such slim volume that fulfils that brief is really just a long essay, entitled Here is New York.

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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