Date Published: 20-Apr-2011
The only time I could ever have claimed to have green fingers was the time I painted a bedroom in a shade that was somewhere between emerald and lime.
Other than having to mow the lawn so I can get out to the wheelie bin, I’m not a gardener – to me, the garden is something I quite enjoy looking at it without ever feeling the need to actually get involved in that sort of stuff myself.
But trees are a different matter altogether; they just do it for me every time. The best thing is that our few trees were in the back garden for decades before we moved into our house and they’re likely to be there for many years after we’ve gone.
They’re even beautiful when they’re bare in winter time, when their gnarled branches are like the veins on the back of an old man’s hand – or a supermodel’s for that matter – and I could watch them for hours.
I scarcely have a clue which type of trees they are – and the garden is about the size of a championship-size snooker table to so it’s not like we’re talking Powerscourt or Coole Park here.
There’s definitely an apple tree or two, a smallish pear tree and a large cherry blossom which is currently a rich shade of red before shortly transforming into a sea of white that will eventually fall and look to the shortsighted like a fall of snow in April.
Such is the importance of the cherry blossom in Japan that people time the short holidays they get to coincide with their flowering.
Cherry blossom viewing is known as Hanami in Japanese, and it usually involves sitting under a cherry blossom tree and relaxing, while enjoying a picnic food, and beer.
The arrival of the cherry blossom in full flower also signifies the start of spring and marks the start of the new school year for students, it is also the start of new financial year for business – not something we’d celebrate any longer in this country.
But even without any of that symbolism, there is something about these trees – in flower or in winter – that has a strange calming effect.
Through the bare branches in winter, the lights from UHG over our back wall shine through like a low bright (admittedly orange) moon which might remind me of Lord of the Rings or Narnia if I’d ever seen any of the movies.
But most of all, the presence of trees brings home the fact that you may someday own your house – if you can hold onto your job and the banks don’t come after you – but these trees are only yours to look at.
Somebody planted ours half a century ago and, barring disease or freak lightning, they’ll be there long after we’re pushing up daisies.
I may never have green fingers or a desire to dig deep into the clay – but then you don’t have to play in Croke Park to enjoy watching the All-Ireland Final.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.