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A Different View

Café cottons on to the notion that time really is money

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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 may well be the greatest gift of all

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

My mother-in-law is the greatest grandmother on earth, although she’s the only one who doesn’t know it. Not because she’s modest – although she always was – but because she has dementia and struggles to know her own family, never mind their children.

Yet she was there, every step of the way – not just for our two, but for every single one of her 19 grandchildren; minding them, nurturing, entertaining, caring for them, for well over three decades from oldest to youngest.

Kay wasn’t alone for the most of that journey, because Tom in turn was the best grandfather – doing all of those things too, and also instilling a love of simple things into another generation . . . birds, flowers, cats, songs about townlands.

He also embraced things unfamiliar to his world – Thomas the Tank Engine, the Teletubbies, even PlayStation although that remained largely a mystery, as did the fact that anyone would watch soccer when there was a chance to enjoy hurling.

“You’ve been watching this for hours and there isn’t even one score. If this was hurling, you’d have seen 50 of them,” he’d tell the Liverpool fans, enthralled by another scoreless classic.

The beauty of it was that the Kay and Tom got to meet, enjoy and educate every single one of those 17 grandchildren, and there will be no more – because even science can’t produce surprises like that at this stage.

They also got to know a few of their great-grandchildren, although dementia for one of them, followed too quickly by death for the other, didn’t really allow them to pass on the great gifts they had already imbued in their grandchildren.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

No great rush to mend the error of your ways!

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It was St Augustine who famously petitioned in prayer: ‘God, make me good – but just not yet’. It’s a sentiment that one Sister Mary Joseph took to whole new levels, because after spending her first 61 years as a high-living heiress, she spent the last three decades as a cloistered nun.

And she closed one chapter to open another one back in 1989 with a party for 800 of her closest friends at the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco – so many guests that the hostess carried a helium balloon all night, with the words “Here I Am” so that people could find her amid the throng.

The next day the former Ann Russell Miller flew to Chicago and joined the Sisters of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a novitiate, spending the rest of her life as Sister Mary Joseph of the Trinity.

Or as one of her 28 grandchildren put it: “It was like The Great Gatsby turned into The Sound of Music.”

Her recent obituary in the Times painted quite the colourful picture of a lover of the high life turned Holy Roller.

“She smoked, drank champagne, played cards, spent five hours a day on the telephone and, as an expert scuba diver and enthusiastic skier, travelled around the world.

“She had a season ticket to the opera, was a high-society patron of many charitable causes and drove her sports car at such reckless speeds that, according to her son Mark, ‘people got out of her car with a sore foot from slamming on an imaginary brake’.”

Because if ever a life could be described as a tale of two-thirds of high living and one-third of contemplation, this was it; the mother of ten who enjoyed the casual company of celebrity friends like Nancy Reagan and Bob Hope opted for an order which allowed her one visitor a month – and even then no touching given the two rows of iron bars between them.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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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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Connacht Tribune

Online games will always give way to world of pure imagination

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

When we were young and Wimbledon came on the telly for two weeks, we’d all rush out to hit a tennis ball off the wall and imagine for an hour that we were Jimmy Connors or Bjorn Borg.

On the odd occasion when we saw live football on TV – the World Cup, the FA Cup Final, or Jimmy Magee covering another false dawn for Ireland at Dalymount Park – we took to the footpath and pretended we were Johnny Giles or Georgie Best.

Jumpers for goalposts, games that went on for hours, fly-goalkeepers, next goal wins – a world of entertainment for the price of a plastic football.

Now when it’s half-time in Sky Sports’ fifth live match of the weekend, the kids still want to play their own version when it’s over. Except they do it on the PlayStation so they never have to leave the comfort of the couch.

Even if we re-enacted the World Cup indoors back in the day, we did it with Subbuteo – so we still got more action and exercise than today’s kids, even if it was just a flick of the fingers.

But in the absence of video games, we did all this with nothing more than our vivid imaginations on a field of dreams that was otherwise a concrete car park or a patch of grass.

We pretended we were Mick O’Connell or maybe Mikey Sheehy (but never Brian Mullins or Jimmy Keaveney) as we fielded balls majestically out of the clouds – even if reality would suggest we hardly left the ground.

It was a world of our imagination where we supplied our own running commentary; these days, FIFA 21 does it for you.

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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