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Country Living

A search for solace as we bid farewell to our season of light

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Country Living with Francis Farragher There is always something mildly melancholic about the second half of September with its series of hints that we have at last bade farewell to summer days. The GAA championship season draws to an end . . . the autumnal equinox falls around the 21st or 22nd day of the month . . . the corn has been harvested . . . out the country the turf sheds are loaded up for the Winter season . . . and the dreaded Christmas word tends to get mentioned in the same breath as parties and hangovers. John Keat’s opening lines in his ode To Autumn, about ‘the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, and ‘close bosom friend of the maturing sun’ seem to capture the atmosphere of the month, with September always delivering a rich crop of apples and wild fruits. It is the month of farewells too, as the swallows who have flown in and out of sheds within a millimetre of our temples all summer long, start to assemble on the telephone wires with plump bellies ready for their trip to the warmer climes of South Africa. Their arrival last April heralded the start of the summer and there’s a long tradition in rural Ireland of never disturbing a swallow’s nest as their lodging periods in our sheds and barns is regarded as a sign of good luck. True, they do deposit their marks behind them, and through this summer in my own neck of the woods, they were even bolder than normal, winging their way in through half-open bedroom windows before leaving a little reminder behind them that they had called. Those small irritations apart though, they are the most wonderful of creatures and their loyalty in flying back to us every Spring from the southern hemisphere is a truly awesome gift of nature. This week the National Ploughing Championships will have come and gone and their location on the calendar through the third week of September is no coincidence. They are timed to coincide with the end of the harvesting season when the labours of the long days have been completed and the feed supplies have been stored safely away for the Winter season to come. For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

There is always something mildly melancholic about the second half of September with its series of hints that we have at last bade farewell to summer days. The GAA championship season draws to an end . . . the autumnal equinox falls around the 21st or 22nd day of the month . . . the corn has been harvested . . . out the country the turf sheds are loaded up for the Winter season . . . and the dreaded Christmas word tends to get mentioned in the same breath as parties and hangovers.

John Keat’s opening lines in his ode To Autumn, about ‘the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, and ‘close bosom friend of the maturing sun’ seem to capture the atmosphere of the month, with September always delivering a rich crop of apples and wild fruits.

It is the month of farewells too, as the swallows who have flown in and out of sheds within a millimetre of our temples all summer long, start to assemble on the telephone wires with plump bellies ready for their trip to the warmer climes of South Africa.

Their arrival last April heralded the start of the summer and there’s a long tradition in rural Ireland of never disturbing a swallow’s nest as their lodging periods in our sheds and barns is regarded as a sign of good luck.

True, they do deposit their marks behind them, and through this summer in my own neck of the woods, they were even bolder than normal, winging their way in through half-open bedroom windows before leaving a little reminder behind them that they had called.

Those small irritations apart though, they are the most wonderful of creatures and their loyalty in flying back to us every Spring from the southern hemisphere is a truly awesome gift of nature.

This week the National Ploughing Championships will have come and gone and their location on the calendar through the third week of September is no coincidence.

They are timed to coincide with the end of the harvesting season when the labours of the long days have been completed and the feed supplies have been stored safely away for the Winter season to come.

For more, read this week’s Connacht  Tribune.

Country Living

Little by way of ready relief from hypochondria ailment

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

Not all the time, but here and there, I get occasional nominations for being the number one hypochondriac in my immediate circle, an ‘accolade’ I hotly dispute but often to no avail. There is always that tendency when a sudden headache arrives or a twinge in the back comes like a lightning strike or a cough starts out of the blue to straight away harbour thoughts of impending doom.

With the passing of years – even decades – you get subtle hints of your finitude (a fancy way of saying that you’re going to die sometime) and you begin to check out medical terms like floaters (little black spots that appear in your line of vision), cataracts, osteoarthritis, diabetes, depression and of course the dreaded dementia.

If you can tick off more than two of those boxes then you know that you’re in a bit of bother and the only hope is that if you tick them all, you’re probably just in a state of chronic hypochondria rather than being on your last legs.

Luckily many years ago after a brief flirtation with cigarettes while at school (secondary), some kind of a spirit descended upon me and prompted me to turn my back on the dreaded weed, which has now become horrendously expensive as well as killing you off before your time.

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

Learning to accept that we’re going to live in a perfect world

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

So, we’ve gotten over the hullabaloo about cutting a bit of turf and selling a few bags here and there to a neighbour or relative . . . or have we? It is kind of hard to figure out, but in the Irish political world of nods and winks, apparently there’ll be ‘no notice taken’ of people cutting a bit of turf for their own use and putting a trailer or two on the market.

What a fuss about nothing. In the great world of Google, I looked up how much fuel a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet burns on one of its journeys.

The figures are quite astonishing. Ever hour that The Jumbo is in the air, she burns 10 or 11 tonnes of fuel. So, over a seven-hour spin that equates to roughly 75 tonnes of aeronautic fuel. To put it another way, during every second of flying, one gallon of fuel is burned up.

When I sit back and think about this, it just puts a sense of perspective on what’s being going on in our little ‘cabbage garden’ (borrowed from Lord Haw Haw) over recent weeks.

I’m not for a minute suggesting either that we start banning 747s from our skies, but it just shows the scale of what fuel is being burnt off on our planet every second of every minute of every hour that passes.

While Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary mightn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, at times he just says things as they are. Of course, he has a massive, vested interest in the travel business, but a couple of weeks back on radio, he asked the simple question of how as an island nation we could survive without our network of air links. The simple answer is of course that we couldn’t.

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

Accepting that ‘fairly okay’ is as good as it’s going to get

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Trying to solve the unresolvable riddle of life.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

I seem to have spent a lifetime in that in-between land of being too busy for comfort and spells of abject laziness when the thought of leaving the bed for an early-morning sunrise can feel like a decision to climb Mount Everest. Of late, I seem to be hit by a range of publications and learned observations from people who seem to know things about life, espousing the virtues of learning to take it a bit easier; to switch off from the daily tribulations of life if only for a few minutes . . . meditation really does seem to be in the in-word.

Back around the mid-1980s, I remember going on a sun holiday to Cyprus for two weeks duration which I thought in my innocence should equate to a fortnight of heavenly bliss. The reality though was somewhat different.

Being a child of the sixties in rural Ireland the word holiday only meant one thing namely being off school for the Summer . . . . and for Christmas and Easter too as our classroom taskmasters needed their breaks too, not that it seemed to improve the demeanour of many of them to any great extent.

The nearest any of us ever came to a foreign holiday was in the form of a sponsored programme on Radio One, pretty much the only station we ever listened to, which for 15 minutes one morning a week, outlined all the available options for trips to places like Spain and far-away islands like the Canaries.

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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