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Country Living

Resign yourselves to enjoy those pockets of lazy cheer

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

There are few of us country boys who could field any insult bar that of laziness. Yet, the more I browse through studies about taking things a bit easier, the more I realise that if we could all work  a measure of lazy time into our lives, it would probably help us all to relax a bit more.

We all love to have the regular moan about hard we work . . . how we cannot keep it all done . . . and what’s all this rushing and racing about. The lazy lobby do have a point, mind you, in that if you cannot box off an hour or two each day, or a couple of days in each week, for your own time, then the balance on the scales of life is not quite correct.

Being from a generation where the word holidays only related to being off from school and being available for all types of farm and bog work, it was something of a shock to the systems over three decades ago when the first sun holiday was embarked upon.

A fortnight of sun and sand in far away Cyprus in the heart of the Mediterranean, seemed at face value, to offer an unbridled two weeks of bliss with nothing to do only stretching out in the sun like a lazy Labrador on a July day.

Alas the reality after about the second or third day of this holiday was that being in an unfamiliar place with absolutely nothing to do, did not add up to anything barely resembling happiness. In a strange environment of heat, dust and a parched landscape, the reality of perpetual idlenesss was not a state-of-mind that brought me any modicum of contentment.

Anyway, that first holiday was probably saved from a severe dose of vacation depression by a three-day trip to Israel where at least there was mind activity and a trip back into history. After that though, so called sun holidays were to be treated with a bit of caution with some activity diary always having to be prepared in advance of the vacation.

A synonym for laziness is sloth and of course that latter word pops in the list of The Seven Deadly Sins from early Christian teachings, taking its dishonourable place beside pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony and wrath. Is it then really any wonder given our Catholic upbringings that we can start to feel pangs of remorse on a Winter’s evening if one pans out on the recliner and slips into the world of dreams for an hour or so.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Country Living

We should never have doubted Orwell in his ‘1984’ predictions

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

AS old fogeys go, I am, up to a certain point, reasonably comfortable with the basics (well the ‘very basics’) of technology. I work on a Dell computer, I have an iPhone, I like looking up weather charts on the different sites, but I’m still a little perplexed with the notion that almost every move I make can be watched by someone out there in the ether.

A friend of mine, who changed his phone relatively recently, could show me his movements on a particular day from a couple of years back, and I have always wondered why some advertisements which might be of special interest to me keep appearing on my screen when I’m looking up something.

I also remember being quite ashamed back the years to admitting that I was the owner of a mobile phone. Somehow, it seemed to indicate that I had risen above my station in life, so it was only used on very limited occasions, and hardly at all in public.

That old Fordson Major of a phone that I first owned did though, here and there, have its uses. There was a day down by the river when I needed someone to plug out the electric fence at the home base, and there was just unbounded joy at being able to ring from the waterside, get through, and be able to work away without having to walk back to complete that chore.

In fairness to the old Nokia (or was it a Motorola?), she was quite a trusted friend. On one occasion, it fell from the tractor, split into a number of different pieces, but still worked again when all the bits were put together. It didn’t really matter that in half the places I went to, there was either zero coverage or the feeling that the person at the other end of the line was millions of miles away, which I think has led to a habit that I’ve never quite kicked, namely that of shouting into the phone.

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

Sixty years on and Debbie is still a very fresh memory

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The Connacht Tribune edition of Saturday, September 23, 1961, reporting on the damage caused by Hurricane Debbie across Galway on the previous weekend (Sept.16). The photo shows the trees in Eyre Square that were felled by the winds.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

On this very date, September 16, 60 long (or maybe that should be very short) years ago, one of the biggest ever weather events struck our shores in the form of Hurricane Debbie, wreaking destruction on large stretches of our island but particularly so along the counties of the west and north-west.

It was a September Saturday like no other across the country, as Debbie ripped up trees, moved cocks of hay and stacks of oats from one field to another, blew roofs off buildings, and caused 18 fatalities across the island of Ireland.

Those were of course very different days in terms of weather forecasting both in Ireland and across the world. There was no national television service with RTE television only launched on December 31 of 1961, so in terms of weather information, the only source was one daily forecast broadcast on Radio One.

There were no yellow or red warning triangles to let people know of what lay in store for them that day, and given the limitations of forecasting at the time, it probably is fairly safe to assume that preparation or precautionary measures in the run-up to Debbie were pretty minimal.

Debbie was a deceptive piece of work. She started off as your typical storm pulse off the west coast of Africa around September 6 of that year, taking the usual westward track towards the Caribbean and eastern USA, but in a portent of things to come, her high winds caused a plane to crash  near the Cape Verde islands, claiming the lives of 60 people.

After that, she continued to track westwards but five days later on September 11, Debbie made the most unusual of moves, doing a U-turn in the middle of the Atlantic, and heading towards our shores. Why this happened, no one is quite sure about, although author and meteorologist, Dr. Kieran Hickey, has given one possible reason for the change. Possibly, according to Dr. Hickey, Debbie got subsumed by our old friend the jet stream (the high flying ribbon of air that tends to blow in depressions and bad weather), and carried her along towards Ireland.

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

Realising that you can get far too much of a bad thing

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

I’m probably the last person in the world that should be dishing out any advice or tips on the amount of news we have to absorb on a daily basis. After all, I have been gainfully employed for many decades at this stage in playing my small part in checking out stories of a local interest that hopefully play their part in the public forking out a few euro each week to keep in touch.

An overdose of news though has to come with a health warning. A few weeks back, as the Taliban/Afghanistan story started to dominate all headlines and TV/radio space, I listened for the first half-hour of the one o clock RTE news.

Now, don’t get me wrong, RTE provide a comprehensive and reliable news network that’s always good to get a solid line in what’s happening in the world around us.

But after a 25-minute, non-stop barrage of analysis from Afghanistan, I just had enough. All I wanted to hear about then was maybe something of a more local or lighter vein.

Maybe the bull that got lost in the fields of Westmeath; or the gardener from Offaly who grew giant-sized turnips; or a pensioner from Sligo who ran a marathon backways. Anything of a more local or lighter interest . . . but 25 minutes without a break of the Taliban and Afghanistan had nearly left me in a state of slightly disturbing mental anguish.

It probably has been the same with the Covid-19 coverage, which none of us can afford to ignore, but yet we don’t have to fill our every waking moment with the latest statistics, the up-to-date dire warnings of impending disaster, and the feeling that we’re all doomed.

Incrementally, one can slip into a pessimistic mental gait, and during that lunchtime news bulletin as I drove out the Tuam Road, I kind of said to myself what can I do to stop the Taliban taking control in Afghanistan. Okay, so I should have a conscience about these things but if all the US billions and military might couldn’t solve this thing, what’s the point in a two-bit journalist and small farmer worrying about the situation.

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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