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Country Living

Trying to avoid the lament as darker days start to call

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Shades of Autumn as October nudges us all into the darker days.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

The arrival of October days normally sends me into a period of temporary lamentation. It’s a month that emits a series of grey and dreary messages that our season of light and heat is drawing to a close.

Searches have to be undertaken to locate that high-powered Winter torch that cost a small fortune a few years back on Amazon, its recovery normally coinciding with the realisation that the charger either cannot be found or has been badly chewed up by the dog.

The signs of our impending Winter season have been rearing their heads over recent weeks with advertisements for evening education courses ringing in my ears, leaving me with something of a Hobson’s Choice between trying to smarten myself up over the coming months or resigning myself to a sulky viewing of Coronation Street, Eastenders (do they ever stop crying?) or Fair City.

Already the usual words have been exchanged between family members as to whether it’s too early to start turning the oil on, while on one of the recent frostier nights, the grim discovery was made that the ageing electric blanker had finally decided that it had nothing more to give in terms of easing Winter chills.

So far, I haven’t seen the swallows gathering in their hundreds along the telephone wires for their annual exodus to the warmer climes of South Africa: it does only seem like yesterday when they arrived and built their usual Summer houses in quaint little corners of my sheds. But, I know in my heart of hearts, that they’re already hatching plans for their departure dates as the first of the autumnal frosts begin to arrive.

The strange thing about Winter, is that when it arrives, in its essence of darkness, cold and gloom, I can seem to reconcile myself to the comforts of a warm fire, whether that be at the home hearth or at a local hostelry where a friendly barmaid can deliver a pint close to a table beside the flaming sods.

There’s a realisation too, through the first days of October, that if an extra hour or so is worked on in the city, then the time is just too short to get the lawns cut or to get the cattle moved across the road without darkness calling a halt to proceedings.

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.

 

Country Living

Tricks, trials and traps of nurturing our memories

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

Memory is a strange old business and sometimes quite an uncomfortable investigative process with the passing of years. We all tend to get a bit worried when a name of someone reasonably familiar to us, just simply won’t come into our heads.

One of the little consolations I nurture, more in hope than in empirical logic, is that even when I was a ‘garsún’ attending national school, I had the habit of leaving things behind me for no good reason.

Even a decade or so after that, forgetting to get the Sweet Afton cigarettes for my mother after a few pints in the local – which in those days doubled up as a grocery outlet and public house – drew a fair measure of maternal wrath upon my young shoulders.

Then there’s the recurring daily problem of trying to figure out what some of the least used keys are for, on a ridiculously overcrowded keyring, while all the time vowing to eliminate at least 25% of the out-of-date ‘door openers’ from the collection.

A few years back, I remember some guy on the radio who knew about all things related to memory and good mental agility, saying that there wasn’t really a serious problem in trying to regularly sort out key IDs. However, he did point out – rather chillingly – that if you looked at your bunch of keys and wondered what they were for, then you were in trouble.

As we get older and want to forget issues about our own finitude (a fancy word for ‘the end’) the annoying search for mobile phones, car keys, wallets, glasses, scarves, caps and even jackets sends little worries through our dwindling brain reserves that things aren’t really getting any better.

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

Decision made never to come ‘under the influence’ again

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

Expectations, are I suppose, determined to a large extent by the times we live in. Growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s, the job priorities could range from aspiring to being a lorry driver or the more grandiose life of a teacher that is if the door to third level education could be prised open.

Then, of course, there were always those practical guys who were good at putting pieces of timber together; or at laying blocks in perfect alignment; or at being able to join copper pipes with just a couple of spanners and a few shiny nuts.

They turned out to be the tradesmen (oops, in the world of political correctness should that be tradespeople) who for the rest of their days were never to be short of work or a few bob in their pockets. A combination of good hands and a good head was really a pretty unbeatable combination to ensure that the dole queue would never be part of their lot in life.

Some of us along the way got sucked into a ‘bit of writing’ and in our own tinpot way managed to make a living for us, but of late I’ve managed to note a couple of occupation titles that would have been unimaginable a few decades back.

First off, all there were the ‘socialites’ a great term of the Sunday Independent newspaper at the height of the Celtic Tiger when glamourous men and women – rich on style but poor on substance – could always make their way into the gossip pages of that weekly organ.

I often wondered what did these people do for real jobs as they jollied their way around such night spots as Copper Face Jacks, Renards and the Voodoo Lounge at all hours of the day and night before taking the best part of a week to recover until the next round of socialising.

Now, move it all forward a couple of decades and into the peak of the social media age when the ‘big number’ across the world is the position of ‘influencer’.

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

Striving in vain for that perfect world of Utopia

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That vain search for Utopia. Cartoon: New Yorker.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

In the second half of the alphabetical guide to all things past and present, the realities of the New Year are beginning to dawn on us. The war in Ukraine; escalating energy cost; and fears of a global recession seem to dominate the headline but maybe there are just a few silver linings here and there.

M is for a word called meditation and the benefits it can deliver from just a few minutes. I got ‘hooked’ after reading a book called Mind Full from comedian and radio presenter, Dermot Whelan. Initially, I thought all pie in the sky, but just a few minutes cordoned off every day for a bit of ‘me time’ can be reward.

N is for our New Year and our hopes and wishes that peace might descend on the people of Ukraine. If ever there was a stupid, pointless and savage war, this has to be it. Either Mr Putin might see the light – just a hope – or those close to him could jostle him off the seat of power. The world would be a far safer place without him.

O is for an important two words – the Oxford Vaccine – that gave us all some hope during the height of the Covid plague over two years and which we all know now as the Astra Zeneca vaccine. Like its sibling vaccines, it saved many thousands of life all over the world.

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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