Living for the moment in the hope of getting a ‘good hand’

Country Living with Francis Farragher

It’s a common theme and especially so as the months seem to merge seamlessly into years and almost in the blink of an eye another 365 days have slipped by.                                         Sometimes, when putting dates on stories that are being filed for the paper, I nearly have to pinch myself and ask the question: “Is this really 2023”, but of course it is, and trying to slow down time is quite a fruitless mission.

Here and there, I do take a little consolation from Oliver Burkeman’s book entitled ‘Four Thousand Weeks: Time and How to Use It’, the first three words of which estimate our likely lifespans . . . and that’s if we’re lucky.

The strange thing about time is that I can remember long days in a CBS classroom in Tuam which seemed to never end – back then hours, classes and days, were all in slow-motion mode.

A small group of us were unlucky enough to opt for a mechanical drawing course with a male teacher who had a penchant for stretching your ‘plucs’ in a two-fingered manoeuvre as a punishment for paw marks on a pristine white page or a line drawn in the wrong place.

To compound our elongation of time as petrified 14-year-olds, we had the misfortune to have this individual for a double-class of around 80-minutes, and then time really did seem to stand still.

At the end of it all, the five of us in the class put in a pretty disastrous performance in mechanical drawing in the Inter Cert (now the Junior Cert) and there and then, the realisation dawned that a career in engineering would never be for me.

Most people up until around the age of 30, or a bit with it, are oblivious to the notion of finitude – the realisation that one day our own demise will come – but what can be quite disturbing through middle-age is the disappearance of years . . . nay even decades . . . without any brake being applied.



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