Charting the course ahead for the challenges of 2019

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Well, it’s that time of year again, when the fool’s alphabetical guide to help you tiptoe your way through 2019 is presented, and I can guarantee that it’s not ‘cut and pasted’ from last year’s edition. All tips are copyright of the author!

A is for anger management, especially when it comes to such complex little dilemmas as the search for lost keys, mobile phones, glasses, wallets and screwdrivers. The acid test for good anger management is being able to refrain from spewing out a series of expletives when you realise that the missing mobile has been left on silent.

B is for trying to box clever in tight financial situations when you know that the money being spent is greater than what’s being earned, with little prospect of any change to the situation. Mr Micawber’s recipe in Dickens’ David Copperfield for happiness just ‘ain’t no good’ in those type of situations: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

C is for all the clichés that us journalists tend to use when we’re too lazy to come up with some original wordage. So straight from the horse’s mouth, and in a nutshell, we will ask the powers that be in the world of journalism to think outside the box. At the end of the day, there’s no point locking the stable door after the horse has bolted. Phew . . . downright awful . . . oh sorry, I meant the bottom of the barrel!

D is for all those moments of daftness that we are prone to, like putting diesel into a petrol car; or trying to out-sprint a Limousin heifer in an open field; or in breaking the back tail-light of the car when backing into a low-lying bollard on  city streets. Trying to take a mobile phone out of a trouser pocket while driving also comes under this heading.

E is for the easing of our life’s worries and realising at long last that we are purely finite creatures who really shouldn’t look that far ahead. As Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” So, to assuage our long-term concerns, maybe just a matter of taking things one day at a time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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