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Trials and tribulations of the winter season

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

Just in case it might have passed you by, we have slipped into the season of Advent since Sunday last and we should all be in a mildly penitential state in the run-up to the Christmas season.

There has always been a strong tradition across the religious rainbow that before there’s to be any great feasting and supping, a period of penance and want must be endured.

Ramadan in the Muslim world involves a month of really serious sacrifice with no food consumption allowed during the daylight hours while in the Christian faiths, the period of Lenten sacrifice is ingrained in most of our minds.

The word Advent takes in a root from the Latin word of Adventus which means ‘coming’ and it always begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which has to fall between November 27 and December 3.

This year, we are moving very gently into the period of Mid-Winter, the transition being made a lot more tolerable by our dry period of weather and days of low November sunshine.

Coming up to the end of November last year, we had endured a nasty period of heavy rainfall with over 2016mms. (well over 8 inches) at the Met. Éireann station in Athenry, setting up December to deliver the coup de grace with its series of storm deluges.

This year, we are likely to have less than one third of that rainfall through the month of November, which will help to keep most of us in a relatively benign mood as we prepared for the celebration of one of the two great Christian feasts of the year.

The build-up to the season of goodwill already seems to have started in earnest over the past fortnight and unless memory is playing tricks with me, I remember one of Galway city’s big city centre shops having the fir trees in place before October’s end.

Years back the traditional start to Christmas didn’t even coincide with the start of Advent, but rather the eighth day of December, when the feast of the Immaculate Conception was celebrated.

It is the season of the big spend – the greatest of the year – and it’s not surprising that shops and retailers try to get us in the buying mood as early as possible. Most of the big bills of the retailers – well the small ones anyway – are paid from the largesse of the Christmas season.

Back the years, there was never too much attention paid in country households to periods of penitence before Christmas, although in reality, money was often ‘spared’ and left aside for the seasonal spend from mid-December onwards.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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1922

Scabs warning

An exciting incident in connection with the postal strike occurred at Mary-st., Galway, at four o’clock last Saturday afternoon.

An official of the Galway Electric Lighting Company, Ltd., accompanied by another official, had gone to the central post office at Eglinton-street to collect the letters of the company. Shortly after he had left, it was alleged that he had taken other letters for delivery in Mary-street on his way back to the works.

The strike picket immediately gave chase, and an exciting scene, which was witnessed by a number of people in the street, followed.

The officials of the company were chased into the licensed premises of Mr. J. S. Young, but it could not be found that they had delivered any letters.

“We did not see them delivering any letters,” said one of the strikers. “Anyhow, an undertaking has been signed now not to attempt to deliver any to other people.”

A few national soldiers in uniform were standing at the Eglinton-street end of Mary-street during the incident. Four lady members of the staff at the Galway central office returned to work on Saturday and were understood to be engaged upon sorting of letters recently delivered by road.

It is stated that letters are also being posted at the central boxes. Meanwhile the picket remains almost continuously “on duty” outside the office, in front of which two boards have been place, one stating, “Don’t take letters from scabs”; and another “Restricted Services – Four do the work of forty-two”.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Country Living

Good to be young again even for only two hours

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Blue skies . . . 80,000 fans . . . and one Garth Brooks 'belting it out' on stage.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

OKAY, so I must admit to being one of the approximately 400,000 ‘Paddies’ who made the trek or pilgrimage to Croke Park a couple of weeks back to see one Garth Brookes, even if there was an element of chance to the escapade.   Tickets rather unexpectedly happened to come my way and a family gang of us set off to the North Circular Road on a Saturday afternoon hit-and-run mission with no overnight stay on the agenda due to a combination of late enquiries and high prices.

It wasn’t the first time that I’ve listened to the man from Oklahoma – the last occasion being in the then Point Theatre in Dublin – which I thought only felt like yesterday, that is of course until I looked it up, to discover that it was 1994.

Most things these days seem like the line from the Rod McKuen song, Love’s Been Good To Me of: ‘It seems like only yesterday, as down the road I go’, but I was quite taken aback that 28 Summers had passed since that trip to The Point.

Garth Brooks is a hard phenomenon to figure out and while I didn’t venture to Croke Park bubbling with youthful enthusiasm (come to think about, quite an impossibility), all the reports coming back from the Jones’ Road venue on the concerts had been positive.

This grandfather of 60-years-of-age, who is now married to second wife Trisha Yearwood, really seems to have a kind of spell on the Irish. He does all the right things like wrapping the tricolour around him as he traipses around the stage, but yet there’s something more to him than that.

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

Be good to your heart and keep stress at bay

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Suzanne Ennis, clinical manager with the mental health charity Turn2Me.

Health, Beauty and Lifestyle with Denise McNamara

So, how are your stress levels these days?  I’ve been told I’ve turned into a maniac by my resident psychotherapists. I think it’s worst on the days I have to face into that Galway City traffic morning and evening.

And when I’m told that two Leap cards with money on both have simply disappeared into thin air. And that was just this morning before we left the house.

I’m blaming my hormones now I’ve hit 50. A HRT patch and a progesterone tablet at night time is not cutting it on those days when 24 hours is just not long enough to fit everything in.

Thursday is World Heart Day, which is a good time to pause and think about reducing stress levels due to the strong link between stress and heart conditions.

Suzanne Ennis, clinical manager at the mental health charity, Turn2Me, has highlighted how chronic stress can lead to a stroke or heart attack because it disrupts nearly every system in your body.

Turn2Me was founded in 2009 after Oisin and Diarmuid Scollard lost their brother to suicide in 2003. The charity, which is partly funded by the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention, has several free weekly support groups and one-to-one counselling sessions available to assist with managing stress for adults and young people aged 12 and up.

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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