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A Different View

Now every dog can truly have its day

Dave O'Connell

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A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Dogs used to be the only ones guaranteed to have their day, but no longer – because there’s an American website that chronicles that fact that there really is a day out there for almost everyone.

This Saturday – as every Scotsman with a kilt will be only too happy to tell you – is Robert Burns Day, but you may not know that this Friday offers you a choice of celebrations between National Compliment Day, National Peanut Butter Day or Beer Can Appreciation Day.

National Compliment Day was created in 1998 by two New Hampshire women Kathy Chamberlin and Debby Hoffman, with the intention of seeing how many sincere compliments you can give throughout the day. Compliments are kind of like smiles, when you give one you are almost sure to receive one in return.

It’s fair to say you’ll smile a lot more if you fully embrace Beer Can Appreciation Day, which might also give you an early start in advance of Sunday’s celebration, which is Spouse’s Day.

There are those who might argue that, given the way some people wreck the joint on our one national day of celebration on March 17, the last thing we need is another reason to kick off a party, but some of these annual events are rather sedate affairs.

Take next week, for example, when you can look forward to Data Privacy Day on Tuesday, National Puzzle Day on Wednesday and Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, which falls on the Friday.

All of this – and a calendar for the rest of the year – is documented on the National Whatever Day website, which also points out that we’ve just missed Peculiar People Day which fell last Friday.

This, however, is not quite what it seems because the Peculiar People Society is an offshoot of the Methodists whose members preached a particularly puritanical former of Christianity back in nineteenth century Britain.

The Peculiar People did not seek immediate medical care in cases of sickness, instead relying on prayer as an act of faith.

But refusing medical care led to some parents being imprisoned after a 1910 diphtheria outbreak in Essex, and like all good sects there was a split between the ‘Old Peculiars’, who still rebuffed medicine, and the ‘New Peculiars’, who somewhat reluctantly condoned it.

The split healed in the 1930s, when in general the New Peculiar position prevailed. During the two World Wars, some Peculiar People were conscientious objectors, believing as they still do that war is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Church membership had peaked in the 1850s with 43 chapels, but it declined until 1956, when the Peculiar People changed their name to the less conspicuous Union of Evangelical Churches. The movement continues with regular worship at 16 remaining chapels in Essex and London.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

Grandparents are the glue that became unstuck during Covid

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

IT goes without saying that lockdown has been hard for everyone – with the possible exception of hermits – but few have felt it more than grandparents, confined to barracks and deprived of those hugs from the grandchildren.

Looking at them through windows may only have made it worse, because little kids don’t understand why nana and granddad won’t come out; they don’t realise they want to, more than anything in the whole world.

This pandemic has given us plenty of time to reflect; a chance to remember what is truly important and what we should cherish instead of taking for granted.

And arguably, grandparents should be on top of that list.

You’ll have heard it said that being a grandparent is like you’ve been given a second chance; an opportunity to spend time in retirement with the next generation that work deprived you of when it came to your own.

There’s also a notion espoused by some of those grandparents that you love them more than your own kids, because this time, when you’re finished playing with them, you can give them back.

I never knew any of my four grandparents, because they were all dead before I was born. My own sons never knew my parents because they too had long departed before the next generation arrived.

But thankfully they did grow up with two grandparents as an integral part of their lives – and not just minding them, which they did with a commitment for which we will be ever grateful.

The measure of success in this department is that your children see your parents as just a part of the family; there’s an easy familiarity every time they meet, just like picking up the pieces without a second thought.

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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Connacht Tribune

Home is still full of memories even when it’s an empty nest

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

We’ve all heard the phrase – and perhaps dread the concept; the empty nest, after the fledglings take flight and you’re left rattling around in a quiet house with just memories of those days of pandemonium and noise.

The social policy-makers would tell you that this is the time to downsize; save yourself the steps of the stairs and the cleaning, and cut down on the heating bills to enjoy your autumn days in accommodation more appropriate to your reduced needs.

And from a purely economic perspective, there’s merit in that. You have a house that’s now too big for you, and others can’t find a home of any size, let alone one sufficient for a full family – but that’s only one side of the argument.

The other is that your house is your home, and not because of its size – it’s because of its location, and your familiarity with its every nook and cranny. It’s also where those fly-away chicks still see as home, even if they’re now no more than occasional visitors.

As you grow older, familiarity is more important than ever; without the beautiful distraction of children, you grow even more dependent on neighbours and your community and the facilities you know on your old doorstep.

You know how long it takes to get to the shops or to the pub; you know you to give a spare key to in case you’re out when a delivery is due – or later on, if there’s a fear you might have a fall.

Your lifetime’s treasures – except for the children – are in your home; the sort of stuff others might see as clutter, but to you they are memories of holidays or graduations or births or marriages…those glory days that marked the chapters of your family life.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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

Authors’ pot luck – or insight into predicting a terrible future

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s eerie how some people can appear to have an ability to see into the future; forecasting an event or a phenomenon, years – sometimes even centuries – before it comes to pass.

Much was made this year of a number of books and movies that anticipated what we now know as the Coronavirus pandemic; predictions that even led to renewed interest in publications like Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year that goes back to 1722.

Edgar Allan Poe described a fictional epidemic at the centre of his short story, the Masque of the Red Death.

“No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its avatar and its seal—the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains and sudden dizziness and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution.”

More recently, Albert Camus’ the Plague explored the human toll of epidemics back in 1947 – and of course, the end of the world has been the subject of more movies than almost anything else.

But that’s not really suggesting they have some incredible insight into the future; Dystopian plots or backdrops are almost standard fare, and the spread of some toxin or virus is the easiest vehicle for writer’s to plot.

That doesn’t mean the reader or viewer isn’t stopped in their tracks when they come across a piece or a film that appears to have predicted the future.

One such slim volume that fulfils that brief is really just a long essay, entitled Here is New York.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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