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A Different View

We are elevating the humble sandwich to new heights

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The Leaving Cert class of 1964, celebrating the Golden Jubilee of their graduation from Scoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe, on Saturday night in Hayden’s Hotel (back from left) Kitty Molloy, Mary Kelly, Mhuire McLoughlin, Noreen Connaire, Margaret McDonnell, Josephine Cahill, Heather Carr, Nancy Connell and Kathleen Donnellan, with (front) Mary B Kelly, Mary Madden, Ursulla Comertey, Margaret Kelly, Carmel Jennings, Úna Burke, Maura Cleary and Kathleen Cahill.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There was a time when a sandwich was a simple affair….a slice of ham between two pieces of buttered bread – and the height of sophistication was to cut them diagonally instead of just folding them over. Indeed you might argue that ham turned an ordinary sandwich into a posh snack – most of the time, bread and jam was more the order of the day than Denny’s.

But now a sandwich is a work of art – you can win awards and national acclaim for putting things with clashing or complimentary tastes between slices of bread, pieces of toast, or embedded into a big roll.

We’ve lionised the sandwich with hit songs about the joys of the heart disease-inducing breakfast roll – an entire meal, including soft fried egg, in a bap.

We even adopted other nation’s notions of sandwiches…like the kebab, a meal specifically designed to get more grease and sauce on your shirt and trousers than you could ever possibly get down your throat.

The only impediment to the contents of your ideal sandwich is your own imagination – that, and the powers of your digestive system.

So when did the humble sandwich become an object d’art?

The first time we noticed that there could be more to this figarie than mere bread, butter and a piece of meat was when the Yanks came home for their holidays, looking for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – we’d heard of peanut butter, of course, although we’d never had it.

But how were we to know that what they called jelly, we called jam?

On the other hand, they must have thought we were Neanderthals with our crisp butties or scallion sandwiches.

Perhaps this was the origin of the fusion sandwich – although jam and peanut butter didn’t quite gel on this side of the Atlantic and pastrami on rye was really just something Woody Allen ate in movies around Manhattan.

New York is normally ahead of the posses on most cultural fronts, so it’s no surprise that the city that never sleeps has also come up with some of the more bizarre sandwiches to keep its population wide awake.

Options like baguettes blobbed with sea-urchin roe and smeared with Korean-mustard-oil butter, milk-braised turkey leg on Pullman, or oak-smoked salami squished into an onion roll.

It’s a long way from Tayto or brown banana in your school lunchbox.

There’s a blog called Three Hundred Sandwiches, the work of Stephanie Smith, a thirty-something writer living in Brooklyn who tracks her journey through love with her boyfriend, Eric Schulte – simply known as ‘E’ – in terms of the 300 different sandwiches she will make for him along the way.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

Fall in home ownership leaves renters with uncertain future

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Life used to be simple, if predictable; you went to school, got a job – or first did a degree to get a job – bought a house, had a family, paid off the mortgage over 20 years, and accumulated a small nest egg to allow for a fairly comfortable retirement.

Now you’re likely to be paying off your mortgage into those golden years – and that’s if you’re one of the lucky ones. Because you might also be one those who never quite managed to buy, still paying exorbitant rent on a fraction of your former income.

And yet when you read about the rental crisis, it’s just about the here and now – when the real nuclear explosion won’t blow until Generation Rent become pensioners.

But they manage it in other countries, you say – and they do. Because they have rents that are fixed for a lifetime (in some cases even beyond that, so that a family can stay in their home for another generation) and they can’t be evicted just because there’s more to be made as an Airbnb.

Simple economics show that, if your rent is a couple of grand a month and your pension is a fifth or a quarter of your former salary, you won’t be able to keep up the monthly payments.

And then what happens?

Will pensioner tenants be turfed out, forced to live on the streets – or to huddle down in the spare room of their children’s rented accommodation?

If people buy homes now – if they can afford to – it’s already likely to be ten or more years later than their parents did.

And given the more transitory nature of employment these days, they may also move home more than once – unlike the vast majority of their parents, who bought their home after they got married and stayed there for the rest of their lives.

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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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

Things we used to do – and habits we never had before

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

One of the realities of getting older is that there are things we used to be able to do that we can’t do now – and things we do now that we never used to do before.

We used to know phone numbers by heart; we used to be able to do basic addition, subtraction, division and multiplication in our heads; we used to tell the time by looking at the big hand and the little hand on a clock.

And if we had a watch it told us the time or if it was very posh, it also told us the date – although very often only if you remembered to push it forward when the month didn’t have 31 days in it.

Now your watch will tell you how many steps you’ve taken in the last 24 hours, what your heart rate is and if there are any emails in your in-box.

We had records or CDs or cassette tapes to store our favourite music; sometimes we still do, but the notion that we could have every song ever recorded on a telephone that wasn’t even plugged into the wall would have been too much to even contemplate.

We went to call boxes to ring home, if we could find one with a phone that wasn’t pulled off its axis – and we kept a supply of two-pence pieces because you needed a pair of them to make the call.

We used to be able to play on a quieter road, even if we had to stop the game and move aside for the occasional car; we used to write letters and wait a week for a reply.

Lego came in a big packet with just a random collection of different sized plastic bricks – and from that you made a house or a car.

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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Connacht Tribune

Flying to the moon – because billionaires go the extra mile

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There was a story told of a rich Irish businessman who found a way to demonstrate the size of his wealth – and it may be apocryphal, and therefore defamatory, so we won’t mention the billionaire by name.

Suffice to say that said billionaire was generous to a fault when it came to entertaining his friends, always treating them to the finest of food and the best wine – only he restricted his guess to the second-best bottles of wine.

Because he, and he alone, had the dearest one. And he would encourage the wine waiter to make no secret of that fact.

So even if the rest of the table were enjoying a €5,000 bottle of something from before World War II, our friend would top that with one of the ones fashioned out of water by Jesus at the wedding feast in Cana.

It was just to demonstrate that, even in the world of the mega-rich, there was still a line between the haves and those who have even more of it.

Two other wealthy Irishmen, Tony O’Reilly and Denis O’Brien – neither of whom was involved in the wine story – once met to try and sort out their differences over Independent Newspapers.

But according to Matt Cooper’s brilliant biography of O’Reilly, it didn’t get off to the best of starts – because Denis accused Tony of deliberately offering him a chair that was lower down than his host’s . . . therefore putting him at a disadvantage from the get-go.

In the end, chairs of equal height were found so that these titans of industry could look each other in the eye.

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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