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A Different View

When it comes to dressing, best to let it all hang loose

Dave O'Connell

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Sagging trousers and underwear on show is not part of Dave O'Connell's dress sense

Is it a father thing to always tuck your shirt inside your trousers?” was the question from one of the teenage sons recently – as though I thought I was Superman and was actually wearing my underpants outside my pants.

The truth is that sometimes it’s just the only way to ensure the public is spared an unsightly glimpse of an ever-expanding waistline – although it can also be seen as yet another indication of the different approach to sartorial style among the generations.

Because you’d sooner find a Poor Clare downing pints in a public house than a teenager with their shirt neatly tucked inside their pants – and that even goes for when they’re wearing their school uniform.

It’s as though the world would spontaneously combust if top and bottom were even to touch off off each other, never mind sticking to the original reason for wearing clothes – keeping the cold out.

So shirts today are invariably worn loosely outside trousers – if indeed shirts are worn at all. And just in case the shirt would accidentally sneak inside the trousers, jeans are worn at half mast to leave seriously branded underpants exposed for all to see.

Back in the day the only reason to worry about the state of your underwear was the chance that medics would have to cut through your outer garments if you were unlucky enough to be hit by a bus. But today your choice of pants is apparently a fashion statement – so elasticated waistbands now carry more branding that Lansdowne Road.

Shoes may have shoelaces but that doesn’t mean you have to acknowledge their existence by actually tying them – and if you did tie them, you must never loosen them again because it’s much more rewarding to spend ten minutes wriggling into them with the laces still closed.

You must also ensure that you never take the weather into account when choosing your clothing for any particular day. Chief crime in this area is wearing a coat in the rain – you must never wear something that serves as practical a purpose as keeping you dry when you’d look much hipper with a tee-shirt and hoodie permeating the water through to your skin.

One area that we oldies have to give ground on, however, is the predilection for dark clothing in summer time. It used to be that we were told to wear white in summer, since white clothing is supposed to keep us cool — but it doesn’t.

In fact, black clothing is the best way to keep cool in the heat. Apparently it’s just basic physics. It is true that white clothing does reflect the sun’s rays back, instead of letting them cook us – but the problem is that heat comes from two directions….because it’s trying to get out of you as well. When all that sweaty, body heat hits the white clothing, it is reflected right back towards the body. So when we wear white, we effectively cook ourselves.

Thus for once the kids and the Goths are right – because black may absorb everything coming in from the sun, but it also absorbs energy from the body instead of reflecting it back.

But winning one battle does not guarantee success in the war – and anyway they really only choose their fashion sense by watching what we do….and then doing exactly the opposite.

Thus we wear shirts tucked into trousers with no sign of underwear – unless you include the odd string vest – and they let it all hang loose. But in our own way, we too once were rebels too because when our fathers wore their neat shirts and ties; remember those three-button bottle green bellbottoms or flared jeans and open-neck shirts that had round bits at either end of the collar?

So each generation to its own it seems – and by and large we should stick to the script. Because there’s nothing worse that some middle-aged bloke who still thinks he’s eighteen and dresses in a way that would only be appropriate if you actually were a teenager.

Think how embarrassed you’d have been if your own father turned up at the school gate to greet you, wearing flared bellbottoms and a Lynyrd Skynyrd tie-dye tee-shirt.

Remember that next time you think it might be cool to let the waistband of your jockeys be seen by the great unwashed.

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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