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Country Living

Forlorn search for that first jogger wearing a big smile

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Country Matters with Francis Farragher

FOR starters, I have nothing against joggers, walkers, cyclists or swimmers, and I’m still managing to tick about three of those boxes myself, but I am a little perplexed, at never through the course of my lifetime, having witnessed a jogger ever wearing a smile on their faces.

Come to think of it, in a time when I used to take on the Saturday morning Park Runs at Rinville, there was never even the remotest inclination on my part to attempt a grin, as one grim effort after another was made to beat the 30 minute ‘Berlin Wall’ barrier for the five kilometre trek.

Joggers don’t really smile because during the course of their five, eight- or ten-kilometre circuits, they tend to be consumed with absorbing that rather harsh meeting of feet with a hard surface that seems to apply a rigorous test of endurance to ankle, knee and hip joints – and particularly so if the birthdays are beginning to mount up.

A number of years back, a very competent but quietly spoken surgeon at the Bons, who, to use to his own words, ‘cleaned out’ one of my knee cartilages, said that his general advice was for over-50s not to jog or run regularly on hard surfaces. “Walk, swim and cycle – at least one of them every day if you can,” was his advice, and I’m inclined to think that those were solid enough words.

Everywhere I go though, I can’t seem to escape those addicts of the road who boast about how fast they can complete a 10k or on how they plan to run in one of the national marathon events.

The last time, I had to walk the 2.5km from the local tavern, every step seemed pained and ponderously slow. By the time, I had reached home the warmth and mirth of the inn, had been completely obliterated by a cantankerous knee, little armpits of sweat, and the inevitable West of Ireland rain shower. And I didn’t feel even the remotest inclination to smile either.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Country Living

Tricks, trials and traps of nurturing our memories

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

Memory is a strange old business and sometimes quite an uncomfortable investigative process with the passing of years. We all tend to get a bit worried when a name of someone reasonably familiar to us, just simply won’t come into our heads.

One of the little consolations I nurture, more in hope than in empirical logic, is that even when I was a ‘garsún’ attending national school, I had the habit of leaving things behind me for no good reason.

Even a decade or so after that, forgetting to get the Sweet Afton cigarettes for my mother after a few pints in the local – which in those days doubled up as a grocery outlet and public house – drew a fair measure of maternal wrath upon my young shoulders.

Then there’s the recurring daily problem of trying to figure out what some of the least used keys are for, on a ridiculously overcrowded keyring, while all the time vowing to eliminate at least 25% of the out-of-date ‘door openers’ from the collection.

A few years back, I remember some guy on the radio who knew about all things related to memory and good mental agility, saying that there wasn’t really a serious problem in trying to regularly sort out key IDs. However, he did point out – rather chillingly – that if you looked at your bunch of keys and wondered what they were for, then you were in trouble.

As we get older and want to forget issues about our own finitude (a fancy word for ‘the end’) the annoying search for mobile phones, car keys, wallets, glasses, scarves, caps and even jackets sends little worries through our dwindling brain reserves that things aren’t really getting any better.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Country Living

Decision made never to come ‘under the influence’ again

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

Expectations, are I suppose, determined to a large extent by the times we live in. Growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s, the job priorities could range from aspiring to being a lorry driver or the more grandiose life of a teacher that is if the door to third level education could be prised open.

Then, of course, there were always those practical guys who were good at putting pieces of timber together; or at laying blocks in perfect alignment; or at being able to join copper pipes with just a couple of spanners and a few shiny nuts.

They turned out to be the tradesmen (oops, in the world of political correctness should that be tradespeople) who for the rest of their days were never to be short of work or a few bob in their pockets. A combination of good hands and a good head was really a pretty unbeatable combination to ensure that the dole queue would never be part of their lot in life.

Some of us along the way got sucked into a ‘bit of writing’ and in our own tinpot way managed to make a living for us, but of late I’ve managed to note a couple of occupation titles that would have been unimaginable a few decades back.

First off, all there were the ‘socialites’ a great term of the Sunday Independent newspaper at the height of the Celtic Tiger when glamourous men and women – rich on style but poor on substance – could always make their way into the gossip pages of that weekly organ.

I often wondered what did these people do for real jobs as they jollied their way around such night spots as Copper Face Jacks, Renards and the Voodoo Lounge at all hours of the day and night before taking the best part of a week to recover until the next round of socialising.

Now, move it all forward a couple of decades and into the peak of the social media age when the ‘big number’ across the world is the position of ‘influencer’.

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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Country Living

Striving in vain for that perfect world of Utopia

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That vain search for Utopia. Cartoon: New Yorker.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

In the second half of the alphabetical guide to all things past and present, the realities of the New Year are beginning to dawn on us. The war in Ukraine; escalating energy cost; and fears of a global recession seem to dominate the headline but maybe there are just a few silver linings here and there.

M is for a word called meditation and the benefits it can deliver from just a few minutes. I got ‘hooked’ after reading a book called Mind Full from comedian and radio presenter, Dermot Whelan. Initially, I thought all pie in the sky, but just a few minutes cordoned off every day for a bit of ‘me time’ can be reward.

N is for our New Year and our hopes and wishes that peace might descend on the people of Ukraine. If ever there was a stupid, pointless and savage war, this has to be it. Either Mr Putin might see the light – just a hope – or those close to him could jostle him off the seat of power. The world would be a far safer place without him.

O is for an important two words – the Oxford Vaccine – that gave us all some hope during the height of the Covid plague over two years and which we all know now as the Astra Zeneca vaccine. Like its sibling vaccines, it saved many thousands of life all over the world.

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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