Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

A Different View

Chatterboxes on the train can throw you right off track

Published

on

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

When the woman sitting behind you on the 7.30 from Galway to Heuston starts her mobile conversion with: “I hate talking on the train” and then carrying on like it was her life’s work, you know you’re in for a bumpy ride.

At least I was half awake – which was more than could be said for the unfortunate woman at the other end.

“I didn’t realise how early it was – I don’t wear a watch,” she said – neglecting to look at the massive clock on the front of her bloody phone.

There was a glimmer of hope when she encountered a poor signal, leading to renewed hopes she’d either hang up or move – but no, there’s a better solution than that.

You simply raised your voice several decibels to a level where, if she opened the train window, the dog-tired woman at the other end could probably have heard her for free.

Who knew, but apparently shouting down your mobile jumps you onto the next nearest mast, this overcoming signal problems that force lesser mortals to hang up.

The conversion wasn’t even about a lift from Heuston Station – and even if it was, a text would surely do – but it was a one-sided run-through of arrangements for the New Year, which was then fully four weeks away.

That said, clearly 8am on a Friday morning was the perfect time to discuss it in the sort of detail that would do justice to a professional party planner.

And now they’re opening up the air to these mobile warriors – first class fliers can use their own mobiles or the ones provided for the price of a small continent while floating over clouds and sea.

And in fairness, who could resist the temptation to make a call at forty thousand feet.

“Guess where I’m ringing you from?”

“Ah, go on – you’ll never guess; you won’t believe it.”

And so it would continue, disturbing the calm of the business class customers who may think twice in future about all of this luxury even if they can claim it back against tax.

Those of us who were around when the mobile – and I use the word loosely because it was actually more like a brick – first came onto the market will remember the yuppie roaring into it at the bar, just to show the world he had one.

Chances are there wasn’t even anyone at the other end, but that scarcely mattered because our friend always had plenty to say. And arguably he was talking to his only friend….himself.

One of the nice things about flying is that you get a break from mobile phones; it almost compensates for the knees driven into your back and the reclined customer in front of you who wouldn’t be any closer to you if they sat on your lap.

It’s fair enough to have access to the outside world on a train – I’ve made the odd quick call myself – but is it really necessary to discuss New Year’s Eve at before eight o’clock of a morning when the dammed day is still a month away?

Trains sometimes have quiet carriages, where phones – and perhaps children – might be unwelcome visitors. But a little bit of common courtesy might also go a long way.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

How to win elections with the promises you can keep

Published

on

Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The man who was already the world’s oldest prime minister stood for election again last weekend at the tender age of 97 – arguing quite legitimately that he was fully fit for high office on the basis that he was ‘still standing and talking’.

Mahathir Mohamad was already a Guinness World Record holder for being the world’s oldest current prime minister since he became premier of Malaysia for a second time in 2018.

Proving that age is no impediment to ambition, he put himself forward again last weekend – only this time he fulfilled that age-old observation of Enoch Powell, that most unctuous of Tories from times past, who once said that all political lives end in failure…even if it’s a relative thing and you could hardly be said to have been cut down early, at the age of 97.

Adding insult to injury, not alone did he finish fourth of five candidates in Langkawi, a resort island in Malaysia’s northwest, which he had won with a large majority in the previous poll in 2018 – he also lost his deposit.

It wasn’t even an ageist thing; his entire party failed to win a single seat.

And for comfort in his hour of need, he can still look to Laos where the Prime Minister Khamtai Siphandone is still going strong at just short of 99 – although the fact that he is the chairman of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party means you don’t have to actually come up with an election manifesto because, more specifically, you don’t have to stand for election.

But if you do – and accepting Mahathir Mohamad’s weekend disappointment – going before the electorate on a platform of boasting the ability to walk and talk is at least an honest one.

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.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Getting locked away from all the rest can be no bad thing

Published

on

Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

We all got used to a level of confinement during Covid, and if we were honest, occasionally, it was as much of a blessing than a curse; nobody calling unexpectedly to bother you, no journeys you’d prefer to avoid – even if ultimately we were happy to emerge from our pandemic hibernation.

But imagine if you were trapped for days in a pub during a storm – or in Disneyland during a snap lockdown.

Because for the very lucky few, that happened too.

Visitors to Shanghai’s Disney Resort recently found themselves barred from leaving until they produced a negative Covid test after a snap lockdown.

And we can all remember last November with envy, when customers who went to see an Oasis tribute band called Noasis found themselves trapped for days in a pub in the Yorkshire Dales as a result of heavy snowfall during Storm Arwen.

In both cases, quite honestly, it must have been like a dream come true.

The Disney Resort shut its doors all of a sudden after ten cases of coronavirus were discovered in Shanghai itself, with all visitors locked in the theme park until they were given the all-clear.

And while you’d think the reaction would be to kick back and literally enjoy the ride, online videos showed many of the visitors rushing to the gate trying to avoid being stuck in the park.

Perhaps the Chinese have had enough of snap lockdowns and feared they’d literally be on the swings and roundabouts for days on end – because a day earlier, workers at Foxconn, the biggest iPhone maker in Zhengzhou city, were videoed climbing over fences to avoid a similar snap lockdown.

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.

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Accent survey shows Brits still love the oul’ Blarney

Published

on

Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Those of a certain vintage here will remember the phenomenon of the Dagenham Yank – a fella who left Ireland to work, in this case at the Ford plant in Dagenham, and on his first visit home six months later, he would be chirruping like a native Cockney.

It was often the same process for those who moved to the land of actual Yanks, coming back after a short spell away talking like a native New Yorker.

Footballers who moved to play in the English League had their own hybrid accent – a sort of mix of Estuary English with whatever remained of their native Cork or Dublin. Think Dave O’Leary or Ronnie Whelan for reference points.

And yet they need never have worried a jot, because it turns out that there are few accents the Brits love more than what they diplomatically call the accent of ‘southern Ireland’.

Research, published by the Sutton Trust education charity had a serious point to make in that it established what it called an ‘accent bias’ against people from the North of England, which was proving a barrier to social mobility.

But part of Speaking Up: Accents and Social Mobility also ranks different accents in order of prestige – and we’re right up there towards the top.

It found that French-accented English, Scottish, American and southern Irish accents ranked highly in terms of prestige.

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.

 

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending