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Calling a halt in that mad rush to go nowhere fast

Francis Farragher

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

WHILE it doesn’t happen all the time, one of the few consolations of getting older, is that the tendency to start rushing into everything, eases considerably as the ‘what’s the point’ red light starts to flash.

There are though many mornings when I’m rather starkly reminded of the impetuosity of youth, most notably in the guise of young lads driving Golfs, who seem preoccupied with touching my back bumper before darting out in a right-angled over-taking manoeuvre.

Maybe, in a past existence of more youthful years, there might have been a vestige of the overtaking bug in me, but experience has taught me that on carriageways like the Headford and Tuam roads, the time gain is negligible – a gain of car spaces is the only very dubious dividend.

I do accept that for example telling a working mother with two young kids to take it easy and not rush around is, to put it mildly, slightly presumptuous, but most of us can decide that there are a lot of very tangible gains from standing back, enjoying the moment, and not being involved in any permanent chase of a tail that you’ll never catch.

Over the years, I’ve often read up on articles that outline the basics in avoiding the ‘rush trap’ and the simplest one of all is a little, two lettered word entitled: no. Most of us have grown up in a work ethic environment where we think our status is measured by our willingness to take on a multitude of diverse tasks at any one time.

We are inclined to believe that in some way we are inferior beings if we have to look someone in the eye and say to them: “No, I can’t to that – I’ll have to pass on that one.” As we get older though, the mellowing mind does tend to be a bit choosier on how we allocate our time, given that we are gradually developing greater insights into its finite nature and that impending gong of the final bell.

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.

 

Country Living

Seeking out little solaces from gloom of November

Francis Farragher

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Advent is on the way in what has turned out to be a full year of penance!

Country Living with Francis Farragher

NOVEMBER is probably one of those months that’s akin to Patrick Kavanagh’s famous line on dandelions ‘growing on headlands, showing their unloved hearts to everyone’.  I’ve yet to meet someone who told me that November was their favourite month of the year, but like the dandelions, it won’t go away and despite the efforts of rugby people to give in an autumn status in terms of titling their international games, for me it will always be that time of darkest Winter.

Mind you, it’s not so bad once you accept your lot with the month. The sunrises, whenever we’re lucky enough to see them under clearer skies, have now slunk back to after 8 o’clock, while each evening the sun’s indecent haste to retreat often ushers in darkness shortly after 4pm.

Our current predicament hasn’t been helped by what’s going around us and by the greyness of the weather, so overall it is a bit of a battle to ease the gloom of November. However, in the midst of all those dark clouds, for those of us who are fortunate enough to have shelter from the elements and who can sit in front of a glowing turf fire, the month does have its little consolations.

Gone are the long evenings when the ‘to do list’ of outdoor chores stretched all the way up to double digits; and now at least there’s the consolation of not feeling one ounce of guilt at getting comfy on an armchair, opening a bottle of Peroni, and listening to the Atlantic tempests belting against the windows.

For those of us lucky (or unlucky) enough to have an interest in sport, there are some real television treats like the hurling and football championships (admittedly not much of a consolation last weekend if you’re of maroon extraction); the Masters’ golf from Augusta; and the rather less-attractive sight of our Irish soccer team getting a mauling from the ‘Auld Enemy’ at Wembley.

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

Picking out 10 ‘kinda good things’ from our misfortunes

Francis Farragher

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I’VE tried and it’s not been easy – to come up with ten ‘good things’ (the term is used very loosely) – about our current coronavirus predicament.  We are being avalanched with a barrage of rules, regulations, lectures and dire predictions for our future welfare, but in the midst of all the debris, here is my Top 10, of ‘kinda good things’ that I’ve managed to scratch out of Pandemic 2020.

  1. Time seems to have slowed down: Maybe it’s the combination of the long evenings; the gates being padlocked on the local watering holes; the swimming pools and gyms being closed, but now there seems to be a three-hour period between 7pm and 10pm, when the night goes on forever. (Oops, careful, a possible slip into negativity). Okay, so November has arrived and the year is nearly out, but now during every long night, I believe that time has slowed down.
  2. I have also slowed down: There is of course the physical aspect of all this brought about by too many birthdays, dodgy knees and an occasionally creaking back, but it just seems pointless to be rushing around anymore. We have no holidays to look forward to; no meals to enjoy out; no couple of pints in the local; not even a mass on Saturday evening; and no weekends away. So, time to take it steady, ease off on the car accelerator too, and get more miles to the gallon out of the ‘old diesel’.
  3. Not riches, but less overdraft problems: I’m not sure what it says about our overall economic future – that’s a matter for greater minds than mine – but I do notice on a month by month basis, there’s less fret in case the overdraft limit is breached. The reasons are quite obvious – fewer and fewer places to spend my filthy lucre. It’s as close I’ve come to saving in this lifetime but I fear that the trend will only be for the duration of the pandemic.
  4. An effort being made to read a bit more: Admittedly so far, it’s been confined to books like ‘Getting Things Done’, ‘The 12 Rules of Life’, ‘Mindfulness’, a faith adventure with Ellen Coyne, and a good stab at a selection of newspapers, but at long last the time seems to be there to sit down and do a little word exploration while at the same trying to break the bedtime habit of scanning through the mobile for all the latest news. Print is best! (I might even get a bonus for that).

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

Time to shout stop when we’re told clothes are ‘not essential’

Francis Farragher

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Back to the days of the Flintstones . . . according to one of our Minister of State, shoes, clothes and socks are not essential items.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

There mightn’t be many . . . but there are a few consolations of growing older such as not being worried as much of what people think of you. Another is in the area of a few simple eureka moments when you realise that if you drink too much you tend to feel unwell; if you eat too much you feel bloated; and if you can exercise a bit more than you generally feel better.

Many moons ago when a persistent back problem called a halt to footballing ambitions, I learned how to swim, very gingerly for the first couple of years, but then gradually got comfortable with it, and realised that this was really one of those exercises that was good for body, mind and spirit.

Of late, I even got into the habit of doing a 7am session in the swimming pool in Tuam, and after getting over the initial shock of an earlier rise from the scratcher, the overall impact of the strategy was quite positive: suppler knees and hips; looser muscles; and a clearer mind for the day’s work ahead.

On the Tuesday morning of October 20 last – the eve of the Level 5 COVID restrictions – as I left the water, I had a conversation with a man of French origin, obviously working local, who I had never spoken to before in my life.

Like myself, even though of a younger vintage, he had a dodgy knee and lower back, that benefited greatly from a daily swim, but we were like kindred spirits in the closing down of a facility, ran by a company called Coral Leisure, who had bent over backwards to run the tightest of hygiene and best practice regimes since the start of the COVID crisis.

All sessions had to start on the hour and finish on the button 40 minutes later; all the normal hygiene rules had to be adhered to; the same changing cubicle had to be used in and out; while afterwards the place was scrubbed out and disinfected thoroughly. There had been no case of COVID there.

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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