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A Different View

New necks aren’t all they are cracked up to be

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A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Get a younger looking neck in four weeks’ proclaimed the press release – and you instantly thought … wouldn’t that just be the perfect present for the politician in your life this Christmas?

After all, if they’ve been in the game for a while, their old neck must be due for the knacker’s yard. And even if it still has a little mileage left on the clock, surely a competitor with new neck would hold a distinct advantage with the electorate?

A good hard neck is a prerequisite for a successful political career; indeed some of the most successful politicians could rely on nothing else.

A bit of neck will allow you to blame the problems of the economy on the other fellas; it will allow you to make the most outrageous promises at election time and then deny you’d ever even thought of such a proposal, and it will facilitate a selective memory when it comes to accountability.

Of course a new neck doesn’t just work for politicians – bankers can also use them, although they probably have to come in a much bigger size, given the dinners they enjoyed as Rome burned all around them.

At the very least – and in practical terms – a new unlined neck would allow you to wear open-necked shirts instead of polo necks. So the rejuvenating powers of a new neck should never be underestimated.

But the press release – like many of its genre – doesn’t deliver exactly what it suggests at first glance; this breakthrough product doesn’t give you a new neck at all … it’s a sort of Pollyfilla of the cosmetic industry that might just iron out the creases in your old one.

They’ve called it a triple firming neck cream, whatever that might be when it’s at home.

Still, by reading on, you’ll always learn something – and in this case it was that one’s neck seems to age faster than any other part of the body.

And while there are some definite reasons for this, one of the biggest causes is neglect. Although it’s only fair to point out that neglect of the neck isn’t as yet an acknowledged medical phenomenon.

Apparently the skin on our necks is more prone to sun damage, pigmentation and premature ageing. Which probably explains the origin of the term red neck.

We’re not going to mention the brand name of the new triple firming neck cream – mainly because we wouldn’t want to cause a stampede of people with chicken’s necks or very red ones, fighting over the tubes in their local chemist.

But it’s still worth explaining how this product actually irons out those creases, reduces that redness and leaves you with the sort of neck you last had in the days of wide collared shirts.

The manufacturers have a couple of secret formulae that ‘stimulate a healthy collagen network’, which appear to be mixed with citric acid and some component of skin’s natural filler, all of which are ‘clinically proven to rebuild and strengthen the underlying support structure, plumping and lifting slack, lined skin for a toned, tighter look, and smoothing neck creases from the inside’.

The problem with having a new neck is a bit like painting the ceilings in your house – the ceilings look great and brilliantly white, but then the walls look like they’ve been left to rot since the dark ages.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Grandparents may well be the greatest gift of all

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

My mother-in-law is the greatest grandmother on earth, although she’s the only one who doesn’t know it. Not because she’s modest – although she always was – but because she has dementia and struggles to know her own family, never mind their children.

Yet she was there, every step of the way – not just for our two, but for every single one of her 19 grandchildren; minding them, nurturing, entertaining, caring for them, for well over three decades from oldest to youngest.

Kay wasn’t alone for the most of that journey, because Tom in turn was the best grandfather – doing all of those things too, and also instilling a love of simple things into another generation . . . birds, flowers, cats, songs about townlands.

He also embraced things unfamiliar to his world – Thomas the Tank Engine, the Teletubbies, even PlayStation although that remained largely a mystery, as did the fact that anyone would watch soccer when there was a chance to enjoy hurling.

“You’ve been watching this for hours and there isn’t even one score. If this was hurling, you’d have seen 50 of them,” he’d tell the Liverpool fans, enthralled by another scoreless classic.

The beauty of it was that the Kay and Tom got to meet, enjoy and educate every single one of those 17 grandchildren, and there will be no more – because even science can’t produce surprises like that at this stage.

They also got to know a few of their great-grandchildren, although dementia for one of them, followed too quickly by death for the other, didn’t really allow them to pass on the great gifts they had already imbued in their grandchildren.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

No great rush to mend the error of your ways!

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It was St Augustine who famously petitioned in prayer: ‘God, make me good – but just not yet’. It’s a sentiment that one Sister Mary Joseph took to whole new levels, because after spending her first 61 years as a high-living heiress, she spent the last three decades as a cloistered nun.

And she closed one chapter to open another one back in 1989 with a party for 800 of her closest friends at the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco – so many guests that the hostess carried a helium balloon all night, with the words “Here I Am” so that people could find her amid the throng.

The next day the former Ann Russell Miller flew to Chicago and joined the Sisters of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a novitiate, spending the rest of her life as Sister Mary Joseph of the Trinity.

Or as one of her 28 grandchildren put it: “It was like The Great Gatsby turned into The Sound of Music.”

Her recent obituary in the Times painted quite the colourful picture of a lover of the high life turned Holy Roller.

“She smoked, drank champagne, played cards, spent five hours a day on the telephone and, as an expert scuba diver and enthusiastic skier, travelled around the world.

“She had a season ticket to the opera, was a high-society patron of many charitable causes and drove her sports car at such reckless speeds that, according to her son Mark, ‘people got out of her car with a sore foot from slamming on an imaginary brake’.”

Because if ever a life could be described as a tale of two-thirds of high living and one-third of contemplation, this was it; the mother of ten who enjoyed the casual company of celebrity friends like Nancy Reagan and Bob Hope opted for an order which allowed her one visitor a month – and even then no touching given the two rows of iron bars between them.

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

Online games will always give way to world of pure imagination

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

When we were young and Wimbledon came on the telly for two weeks, we’d all rush out to hit a tennis ball off the wall and imagine for an hour that we were Jimmy Connors or Bjorn Borg.

On the odd occasion when we saw live football on TV – the World Cup, the FA Cup Final, or Jimmy Magee covering another false dawn for Ireland at Dalymount Park – we took to the footpath and pretended we were Johnny Giles or Georgie Best.

Jumpers for goalposts, games that went on for hours, fly-goalkeepers, next goal wins – a world of entertainment for the price of a plastic football.

Now when it’s half-time in Sky Sports’ fifth live match of the weekend, the kids still want to play their own version when it’s over. Except they do it on the PlayStation so they never have to leave the comfort of the couch.

Even if we re-enacted the World Cup indoors back in the day, we did it with Subbuteo – so we still got more action and exercise than today’s kids, even if it was just a flick of the fingers.

But in the absence of video games, we did all this with nothing more than our vivid imaginations on a field of dreams that was otherwise a concrete car park or a patch of grass.

We pretended we were Mick O’Connell or maybe Mikey Sheehy (but never Brian Mullins or Jimmy Keaveney) as we fielded balls majestically out of the clouds – even if reality would suggest we hardly left the ground.

It was a world of our imagination where we supplied our own running commentary; these days, FIFA 21 does it for you.

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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