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A Different View

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

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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

Sense of belonging that brings it all back home

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It was a chat with a ‘Galwegian in exile’ that brought it all home to me; although now domiciled in the capital for more years than he’d lived in the west, he was delighted to bring his Dublin-born daughter to the All-Ireland Football Final wearing her maroon jersey.

To be honest, she’d probably have gone to Croke Park dressed as Elsa from Frozen because it was just a day out – but Daddy couldn’t have been prouder if his eleven-year-old came on for Damien Comer with five minutes to go.

The sense of place is understandable when it comes to ourselves as born-and-bred Galwegians, because while you can change where you live as often as you like, even if you wanted to, you can never change where you’re from.

But trying to impose your own geographical heritage on the next generation is alternatively seen as understandable and a little selfish at the same time.

It’s a topic for discussion in our own house on occasion because while the two lads grew up in Galway, they were in fact born in Dublin – and if they want to pull my chain, all they have to do is remind of that fact.

My reply is a tired and stock one, to the effect that although Jesus was born in a stable, nobody ever suggested that made him a horse.

The more serious point is that you are shaped by your formative years rather than the maternity hospital of your arrival – and those years were spent in Galway.

Galway is their point of reference for sport and music and school friends and nights out and pubs and college – and almost everything else that really matters.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Gaeltacht days – and a rite of passage to remember forever

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

A scholarship to Irish College wasn’t so much a backhanded compliment as an inverted acknowledgement of your grasp of the language – in other words you got one because you were bordering on useless, or to put it more diplomatically you’d benefit more than the rest from a couple of weeks of immersion in your native tongue.

Only it then transpired that the experience of three weeks in the Gaeltacht taught you that going there had a small bit to do with learning Irish for sure – but a whole lot to do with growing up, or at least beginning that blossoming process.

And you would do all this in an atmosphere as alien to your small teenage self as free elections are to the people of Russia; céilís, cispheil, comhra agus craic – as well as an Irish language version of the Streets of London written and taught to us by Art Ó Dufaigh that still lives in the memory bank, even longer than Ralph McTell’s original.

The truth, when you get there, is the realisation that three weeks in the Gaeltacht is a little like a week at the Galway Races or the Rose of Tralee; just as the horses or the Roses are ostensibly the reason for going, they’re really just the hook to get you there.

And so it is that you go to the Gaeltacht to learn the language but you come home having learned so much more.

My Gaeltacht summer was at the tail end of the seventies with three weeks in Beal a’ Dangan and céilís in Nestor’s Hall, brought there in a bus by a young man called Máirtín Tom Sheáinín who would go on to enjoy a stellar career as a broadcaster – particularly presenting Comhrá – but was back then a knacky driver with a dream, traversing windy roads in pitch darkness.

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

Hawkeye’s blind spot gives hope to humans everywhere

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Galway will have both eyes firmly fixed on Kerry this Sunday, but they’ll be keeping tabs as well on a device called after a bird or a character from M*A*S*H after it threatened to do more damage to them than Derry managed in their All-Ireland semi-final.

The realisation that Hawkeye was only human after all might have met with an angrier reaction if Shane Walsh’s point wasn’t restored during the half-time break.

It couldn’t save the Hawkmeister from a hammering of course – social media was created with just this type of fury in mind – but really there was a whole different way of looking at this.

Because Hawkeye’s fallibility was at least a consolation goal for the human race in the one-sided battle against artificial intelligence.

In other words, we know our days are numbers, thanks to technology that ironically was invented by humans to help humans in the first place.

But nothing, not even new technology, is perfect – and Hawkeye, who hadn’t enjoyed such a high profile since they stopped making M*A*S*H, can now become the poster bird for that.

For those who have no interest in Gaelic Games, Hawkeye perhaps requires some explanation. It’s the technology attached to the goalposts that indicates whether the ball is inside or outside them – and is thus a point or a wide ball….or a Tá or Níl as a nod to the language.

For those who don’t remember M*A*S*H, the sit-com about a Mobile American Surgical Hospital (hence the name), Hawkeye Pierce was the doctor played by Alan Alda.

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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