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Trying to lighten up in the months of darkness

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"Oh God, it's hard to wake up these mornings."

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Being of country stock, where there were always ‘jobeens’ to be done on the farm in the early morning period, getting up in fairly good time was always considered the norm in the earlier years.

Then along the journey to manhood, of course there were blips as we started to grow up and thought it was the most wonderful thing in the world to be up half the night carousing, safe in the knowledge that we could sleep it off the following day.

However as with all things in life, the circle normally tends to be completed, and now there’s a certain silent satisfaction in heading for the slumber chamber as the clock strikes 11 bells, and again looking forward to an early morning start.

Here though a little difficulty arises as in common with most of the populace, it is just that bit harder to leave the warmth of the duvet when the outside is pitch black at 6.30am and often with the accompaniment of wind and rain.

There is an acquaintance of mine who casually remarks about his regular 5am starts followed by an hour’s vigorous exercise and occasionally, through the course of the second pint in ‘the local’, I vow to give this some consideration but when morning time arrives, that ambitions seems to have completely lost its substance and gloss.

For my sins, I did a little non-scientific perusal of the difficulties in getting up early through the winter period but the biggest consolation in this scan of the dos and don’ts of sleep was the fact that at least it’s a conditions that’s quite common across the planet.

There’s a Professor Angela Clow in the University of Westminster who spends most of her waking hours studying this ‘getting up early in the morning’ stuff, who outlines the roll of a stress hormone called CAR (cortisol awakening response) in our daily lives.

Apparently back the years CAR was regarded as a type of negative hormone in terms of our moods, probably related to that feeling of: “God is it that time again,” but now it’s rated as a very positive influence, and the earlier we awaken the more daily ‘fuel’ we can get from this message to our nervous system.

According to Professor Clow, it’s much better to be an early riser than a night owl and one of the critical things we need to function with reasonable efficiency through the day is regularity in the time we go to bed and the time we get up. [That good intention is of course likely to go out the window with the onset of the Christmas party season].

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

 

Connacht Tribune

Can Coalition hitch its wagon to the post-pandemic boom?

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Timing...Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.

World of Politics with Harry McGee

It’s one of those things that happens after prolonged and seismic events – like wars or pandemics – when the end triggers an understandable celebration, ahead of readjustment and some chaos … all followed by a relatively prolonged period of growth.

In America after World War 2 it was spectacular and lasted for three decades, helped by the advent of the Cold War and the creation of that terrible Dr Strangelove phrase – the military industrial complex.

Britain had been devastated by the war and many families returning to cities after being abroad fighting, or having been evacuated to the country, found they had no homes.

But within a relatively short period, rebuilding was underway in a massive way, giving rise to marked increases in consumer spending and a long uninterrupted period of growth.

Its debt was enormous after the war but as the economy grew – on the back of Keynesian ideas – it did not become the burden that some predicted it would.

The nearest analogous event to this pandemic is the one that happened almost a century ago, the Spanish Flu between 1918 and 1920.

Economies – especially that of the US – bounced back strongly with the US experiencing a decade of growth and the so-called Roaring Twenties.

The bounce was not attributable solely to the flu but to the end of World War 1 also. As the decade wore on growth increasingly became a bubble that was pricked in 1929.

So what can we expect during 2022? With society fully reopened there is no doubt that Ireland (and most of Europe) will experience a consumer boom.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

St Thomas’ hearts left shattered by player who is one of hurling’s greats

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DESPAIR: St Thomas' team manager Kenneth Burke is consoled by his wife Emer and son Freddie after the Galway champions' agonising defeat to Ballyhale Shamrocks in the All-Ireland Club Hurling Semi-Final in Thurles on Sunday. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile.

Inside Track with John McIntyre

There’s a new respect and appreciation out there for just how good St Thomas’ hurlers are despite losing Sunday’s thrilling All-Ireland Club semi-final in the most heart-breaking of circumstances to Ballyhale Shamrocks at Semple Stadium.

Rank outsiders at odds of 100/30 – their price having drifted when news emerged that county player Shane Cooney and attacker Damien McGlynn would be injury absentees – St Thomas’ made a mockery of their pre-match standing by coming desperately close to pulling off their greatest-ever victory.

People will say it was only a semi-final, but apart from their injury woes, St Thomas’ were also still carrying scars from their only previous encounter with the reigning All-Ireland champions – a final thumping by 17 points at Croke Park in the Spring of 2019.

Furthermore, it wasn’t as if the Shamrocks were going to be caught off guard after their early experiences in the provincial championship – getting out of jail against St Rynagh’s of Offaly and surviving a fright from Carlow’s Mount Leinster Rangers. Any complacency in the Kilkenny team’s ranks had been well and truly knocked out of their system ahead of facing St Thomas’.

They knew what was coming from the Galway champions, but struggled to cope with the challengers’ snappy stickwork, fervour, sheer heart, and overall quality. Ballyhale were knocked off their stride and never really looked like winning the game until TJ Reid drove a second dagger through St Thomas’ hearts in injury time.

Of course, questions will be asked of the vanquished that after putting so many bodies between their net and Reid – maybe they had too many! – the Shamrocks’ sharpshooter still managed to hit the bullseye. But we have seen this kind of late drama in hurling matches before, especially when teams are defending a two-point lead.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

It’s hard to imagine a world without sport to lift the soul

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s not meant as a judgement, but I’ve never understood people who just don’t get sport. I don’t mean people who don’t like sport because that’s entirely their prerogative – but people for whom sport might as well be astral physics, such is their utter indifference to it.

And yet, clearly, there is a whole section of the population out there for whom sport is an all-encompassing word to describe what appears to be on the television from morning through noon and onto night.

Nothing infuriates them more than when they ask what’s on, and the reply is succinct.

“It’s the match.”

As though there’s either only one match – which is clearly not the case – or the world should know what this precise match is to the point that it requires no further clarification.

It was the same with ‘the darts’ over the Christmas, or ‘the tennis’ as opposed to Wimbledon or ‘racing’ as opposed to Cheltenham.

Because one half of the world knows exactly what they’re the shorthand for – and the other half is utterly exasperated and infuriated at the presumption that they should too.

I worked side-by-side with a colleague once who had absolutely no interest in sport; he didn’t hate it or rail against it, he just couldn’t care less whether Ireland won, lost or drew.

The great thing for me – and the worst thing for him – was that our desks were directly in front of the newsroom telly.

So when the Boys in Green were in action or the All-Ireland was in full swing, back in this era before tablets or streaming, this telly was the only show in town.

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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