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A Different View

Love may not last forever – but your tattoo surely will

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A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There are few things to turn the stomach more effectively than the sight of an ancient tattoo on some part of an old age pensioner’s crinkled anatomy.

That’s not to suggest I have any predilection for oogling old people – it’s just a fact of life that there comes a time when one’s skin is best kept under wraps. And, begging the pardon of veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby who had his first tattoo this week, if there’s one extra reason for keeping it hidden, it’s the presence of a mistake from your youth.

Tattoos might seem like a really good idea when you’re 22 and off your face in Ibiza – but the problem is that these inky escapades don’t disappear with your hangover.

And fifty years on, after you’ve forgotten your own name – never mind Ibiza – ‘I love Mum’ will still be there to haunt you. The best you can hope for is that you had it drawn in such a secure place that the only one who will ever get to see it now is your geriatric nurse.

Obviously tattoos are a matter of taste and there are serious aficionados who can cover every inch of skin with ink if they so desire. And there are some tasteful tats that won’t cause you to swerve onto the footpath in shock and horror.

But then there’s overkill – the enthusiast who’d shave the top of their head just to make space for another work of art.

Take professional footballers – not the brightest race on the planet in the first place – who now feel that it’s important to completely cover your body in draws of everything from the Virgin Mary to Sci-Fi and the names of their children….or at least the ones they’re paying maintenance for.

Maybe there were tattoos before David Beckham, but it would be hard to see Bobby Charlton or Denis Law or Johnny Giles with love heart on their backs and massive wings on their shoulder blades.

And of course you don’t have to be a sports star to be addicted to tattoos – Sinead O’Connor is a veritable pin cushion at this stage, such is the amount of art on her anatomy. There are, quite conceivably, housing estates in Dublin’s north inner city with less graffiti.

The former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has something on the side of his head that looks like he walked into a concrete wall and had stitches applied by someone whose previous experience was in the world of patchwork quilting.

But what he has actually done is managed to inflict greater destruction on his own face than his opponents ever managed in the ring.   

Iron Mike is in the happy position that he knows it would take a brave man to poke fun at his body art – but someday Mike will be an old man, and the side of his face will look like an alien.

Because while tats on a toned body are one thing, crumpled drawings on a body that now has skin with the texture of the peel of an old orange left too long in direct sunlight is a different matter entirely.

You wouldn’t want your granddad going around with Love and Hate tattooed on his knuckles any more than you’d want to discover your granny had nipple rings.

And we’ve all committed indiscretions in own younger days that we’d prefer to forget in the fullness of time – but if you’ve had it emblazoned in permanent ink, you’re stuck with either a permanent reminder or a big bill for laser removal.

What started out as a drunken dare – or sometimes a last shot at holding back the onset of middle age – will stay with you forever.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Betting on the thrill of the chase can come at a cost

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

I’ve never understood betting but, just as I’ve never understood astrophysics either, I’ve plenty of time for those who do. Just because I don’t or can’t do it doesn’t make it an unusual pursuit.

But betting to me was always just a few quid on a fancied horse or backing your county to win the All-Ireland or your favourite football team to win the Premiership.

You might be a proud new parent who believes that the new arrival will one day go on to play for Ireland or Galway – and unless you’re perhaps Joe Canning, you will easily find a bookie who will lay you odds of 500/1 that it will never happen.

Nearly two decades ago now, Rory McIlroy’s dad Gerry placed a £200 bet on his 15-year-old son winning a Major – and ten years later, he walked away with a £100,000 windfall when Rory won the British Open at Hoylake in 2014.

In 2006, the family of Chris Kirkland won close to £10,000 when the then-Liverpool goalkeeper played for England in a friendly against Greece. Twelve years earlier, Kirkland’s father Eddie had placed a bet, as part of a syndicate, that his son would win an England cap before turning 30.

Perhaps even more optimistically, the grandfather of Fulham winger and former Liverpool star Harry Wilson pocketed £125,000 after placing a bet that his then-infant grandson would go on to play for Wales – which he duly did well before he’d left his teens.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Caught by online fraudsters – and rescued by the bank

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Somewhere in a supermarket in Australia last week, a person or persons spent €57.88 of my money on food or drink and charged it to my Visa card. Hours later they then repeated the exercise at another branch of Coles, the Melbourne-based multiple – but then their mini-spree came to a shuddering halt.

In truth perhaps, they probably didn’t leave home at all; they may not even have been anywhere near Australia, instead carrying out their shopping online around midday local time – and again for around the same amount an hour or two later.

But then the fraud department of Allied Irish Banks put a halt to their gallop and during the wee small hours inquired if I had somehow made it from conducting an evening online transaction in Galway to buying things from a supermarket in Melbourne, in the process inadvertently breaking the sound barrier while I slept.

And when I replied that indeed I had not, my Visa card was shut down and the prospects of the intrepid Australians buying some serious kit from my pocket disappeared quicker than snow on the outback.

Not alone that but AIB refunded the money these people had spent without my knowledge, allowed me to take a few bob out of the bank without a card – but with ID – and then sent on a brand new card this week.

The embarrassing part was having to confirm that online purchases in the run-up to the Aussie shopping spree were legit; it’s like having a list of misdemeanours read out in court.

There was nothing accusatory in the tone of the nice woman from the bank, who merely inquired if indeed it was me who had gone twice to Mace the previous day; if I’d also bought an album online and paid a monthly subscription for a digital newspaper.

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

What your taste in music says about your own state of mind

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

As Elton John once said, sad songs say so much. But now it turns out so do Adele songs or classics by the Beatles – because surprise, surprise, the music you listen to reflects your state of mind.

That’s what a group of psychologists in Toronto spent their time discovering recently – a reality most of us could have told them for free.

The psychologists divided people into four groups with different approaches to relationships – the rejection-feeling ‘anxious’’ group; the negative and cold ‘avoidant group; the confident ‘secure’ group, and a mixed group.

The boffins then assessed the lyrics to 7,000 different songs based on their variously secure, anxious, or avoidant content, then asked a test group to pick out their favourite tracks.

And they came up with the bleedin’ obvious – song lyrics are a window into your state of mind; they discovered that people who are insecure in their relationship listen to a lot of Adele. Perhaps because you may remember she had her biggest hit, Someone Like You, about a break-up.

Other songs that inspire strong feelings, often sadness, include Joni Mitchell’s Blue; Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine; Neil Young’s Philadelphia, and Ray Charles’ Georgia on My Mind – just in case you’re looking to take it down a notch this New Year.

On the other hand, those who prefer the Beatles’ upbeat Love Me Do are more than likely to be very secure in their relationships, according to the University of Toronto study.

And just for the record, here are some of the songs for happy people, who are secure in themselves and in their loved ones around them.

At Last by Etta James – which sounds more like entrapment than true love, as does I Got You Babe by Sonny & Cher – and Wouldn’t it be Nice by the Beach Boys, not to mention Whitney Houston’s 1999 hit I Will Always Love You, which is actually a Dolly Parton song from the early 1970’s. It’s just that Dolly doesn’t give off that same sense of security.

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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