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A Different View

Stark reality of ageing process is in the jeans

Dave O'Connell

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Galway native, Senator Billy Lawless, was among the honourees at the Irish Echo’s eighth annual Golden Bridges Conference in Boston, where he accepted his award from Anna Ní Ghallchóir, Chairperson of Údarás na Gaeltachta, one of the sponsors of the awards which were also attended by Minister for the Diaspora Joe McHugh and the Mayor of Boston Martin Walsh.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Apparently, some international survey decided that the maximum age for a man wearing jeans is 53 – which gives me almost exactly a year to break the habit.

Beyond the magic age of 53, according to this survey carried out by the parcel delivery service CollectPlus, denim just suggests an old man trying to cling onto his youth.

The female equivalent is apparently leather trousers – where the age for a man wearing leather trousers is arguably 22, unless he’s in a rock band or is a member of a secret club that meets in a dark dungeon.

It’s true that jeans don’t so much cling to the curves in your fifties, as emphasise the onset of furniture disease, that phenomenon when your chest slips into your drawers.

Part of the problem with wearing jeans at any age is that lack of fit – because for every pair that cling to Carol Vorderman like a TD to their expenses, there’s a thousand that fit like a rat in an empty sack.

But this is true across the generations – because almost a quarter of the participants in this survey admitted they have yet to find their perfect pair, and another 29 percent gave up the quest completely.

Not surprisingly then, once someone finds themselves the perfect pair, they hang onto them forever . . . or at least for up to five years — and five per cent won’t shop for a new pair for up to ten years.

By which stage there are probably people steering well clear of them in a social setting.

And even though a pair of denims are often a multiple in price of a pair of dress pants, two-thirds of respondents feel it’s still unacceptable to wear them to social events like a night at the theatre or a dinner party.

And just five per cent said they would wear jeans to a job interview – presumably if they plan to work for Levis.

But then again, when did your jeans show you in a positive light? Weren’t they always worn for comfort?

For those who wear suits or even smart casual during the week, jeans denote the weekend. It doesn’t matter than they don’t flatter you; they just mean that you don’t have to go to work.

And if they hang a little loose around the nether regions, isn’t that all the rage these days anyway?

After all, you see teenagers with more of their backsides above the waistline than below – there’s enough room to fit a small kitchen into the crotch.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

How will we acclimatise as we ease out of Covid?

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Back in the world before Covid, a mention of Corona either brought to mind a beer or a rock band – but, as we ease our way out of dire straits (another rock band, as luck would have it), we might require a different kind of acclimatisation.

Because what will the evening be like when no more deaths are flashed up as a statistic on the Six-One News?

Who will the world turn to if we have no more Fergal or George or Zara giving out the daily update in a funereal tone?

What will happen to all the people who used to go to the Department of Health press conference at tea-time in the same way the rest of us once headed for the pub?

Like Pavlov’s Dog, we’ve come to expect an evening illness update, taking consolation in it being two less than yesterday or taking fright if it’s two more.

Nobody told us who these poor people were, unless the local paper carried a tribute a week later – for the number crunchers and bean counters and prophets of doom, they were today’s statistics, to be flashed up for a few seconds every night.

And we took these figures as we got them, never questioning if a person died from Covid or with Covid; if they were described as having ‘underlying conditions’, we seemed to accept that as a very broad church.

We listened intently as Fergal or George or Zara told us what the mean age was, breathing a small sigh of relief if it remained a good distance into the future from our own age now.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Home ownership should be a prerogative – not a pipedream

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Half of our 18 to 34-year-olds fear they won’t be able to buy a home in next ten years, according to a new survey. That’s not the shock – it’s the fact that half of them think they actually will.

Because the truth is that owning your own home hasn’t been as much of a pipedream since the days of feudal landlords; indeed many of them will find it a job and a half to even come up with the rent.

And that’s a sign of just how critical our housing crisis has become in the space of a single generation.

We thought that things were bad in the eighties when unemployment levels were way ahead of our pre-Covid figures; when the boat and the plane were the best 0or maybe only – chance for many to secure a job far from home.

But for those who were working, owning a home wasn’t a farfetched concept at all, because there were plenty of starter homes being built and the cost of them still bore some relation to your income.

There was a time before that, when the bank had a simple equation to decide the size of the mortgage they’d give you. It was two and a half times the combined salary for those buying the house – in other words, yours alone if you were a sole purchaser, or double that if it was yourself and your partner.

On top of that, there was no point turning up in the first place unless you had a ten per cent deposit – so it was a straight-forward calculation to find out what you could afford. And house prices, for the most part, kept within that equation.

Of course there were always homes you coveted and couldn’t afford, but you could still buy a roof over your head for a price that only took 20 years to pay back.

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

Giving it all away can bring you the greatest wealth of all

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It must be the nicest thing that anyone could say about a friend on their passing, and the novelist Jilly Cooper wrote it about the former Sunday Times editor Harold Evans on his death last year.

“Harry died on Thursday at 5am (UK time), his heart perhaps only failing because he gave so much of it away.”

Because when all is said and done, your list of achievements – academic, sporting or stellar career – should pale into insignificance beside the way you treated your family, friends and colleagues.

We too often judge a person’s success or failure by the jobs they’ve held, the money they’ve made, the titles they hold – when the truth is none of that should determine your achievements as a person.

Even billionaires can grow to realise that eventually; just look at Bill and Melinda Gates – although recent events might make this a different picture in the future.

The former Apple golden couple have given close to $50 billion to charitable causes, including the eponymously named Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, since 1994.

In 2019 alone, the couple donated $589 million to charity, making them the seventh most philanthropic people that year. Whether they now give separately or collectively might be the question – but it seems most unlikely that they won’t give at all.

They’re alone in this world of billionaire philanthropists either; Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and one of the richest people in the world, has pledged $100m in prize money for technology that would best capture planet-heating carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

And Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder who tops the global rich list, has vowed to give out $10bn to worthy climate initiatives.

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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