They started putting up the Christmas lights today, although through November we are just halfway. We look forward with a mixture of hope and fear. Not yet sure what will pass for Christmas this year. Can loved ones travel home? Or must they stay away; perhaps alone. If it transpires that they must, because of this virus with which the world is cursed, at least we can make calls on zoom, send cards or hampers or simply phone to try and lift the gloom. Mother's hairdresser phoned in tears, to say she is closing her business of many years. It is not that she has a choice. It is not fair. It is not nice. Lifting Lock-down now is too late, for her and many others who face a similar fate. While there are those that can't survive, there are others who not only can, but can thrive. Hand sanitisers and take-out coffee are among the winners. As are DIY supplies and click and collect dinners. For now safety depends on using simple tools. For now we follow these basic survival rules; isolate, distance, sanitise and mask up. Beyond that we await the scientists doing their stuff. We await the production of some new medicine. We await in hope a new vaccine.
As the summer amusements are taken down,
an unusual stillness pervades the town.
The winter months secure their hold,
as temperatures change from mild to cold.
As we survey the situation we find ourselves in,
the immediate future looks quite grim.
We are facing ever rising cost
in terms of lives and livelihoods lost.
While they are preparing us for Level 5
they debate priorities; keeping people or economy alive?
But oh! It makes me shudder
when I realise how much each affects the other.
Glad that I don’t have to choose,
which should win and which should lose.
The certainties that I had yesterday,
upon reflection no longer hold their sway.
I’ll just do what I can do,
and probably the same applies to you.
I will have to curtail my plans.
And after each interaction wash my hands.
I will wear my mask,
as I go about my task.
As best I can, I’ll stay apart,
especially from those close to my heart.
When all is quite I take a walk,
and use the phone when I want to talk.
Such simple things will keep me sane.
Beyond that, its just a waiting game
If you are a smoker, you are undoubtedly aware of the harmful impact smoking has on your health. The warnings on cigarette packages may be white noise to you, but you know they’re there, and you’re probably well aware that smoking can lead to heart disease, lung cancer, and other smoking-related illnesses.
And as damaging as smoking can be to your health, it also has a considerable negative effect on your financial health. Spending a few euros for a single pack of smokes may seem relatively harmless, but the cost of maintaining this habit long-term is anything but.
How Much Do You Spend?
If you’ve never calculated the cost of your smoking, you may be shocked to find out what it adds up to over an extended period of time. Figure out what you spend in a week, month, and year, as well as over 10-year and 20-year periods and longer. Here is a handy calculator you can use.
Taking the average cost of a pack of cigarettes to be €14, means a pack-a-day habit sets you back €420 per month or €5110 per year. Ten years of smoking comes with a €51,100 price tag if the price remained constant, but of course it does not. It tends to rise with every budget, so if we assume say an average 6% increase per annum the 10 year cost figure grows to €76,505 and over 20 years to €204,363. And if you are paying for these out of after tax income, some people will have to earn twice that amount to feed their habit. Think of all the things you could do if you had saved all that money.
Consider what you are sacrificing to support your smoking habit. Could the money you allocate to cigarettes be put to better use by saving it, funding college for your kids, putting it towards the purchase of a house, contributing to retirement, or spending it on some other needed purchase or a vacation?
Each time you make a cigarette purchase, you are deciding between funding your future or funding a habit that harms it.
The Cost Extends Beyond the Price of Cigarettes
Of course, the expense of smoking goes further than just the price of a pack of your favorite brand. Smokers have to deal with higher premiums for life insurance as well as other ancillary expenses like dental hygiene; increased cleaning costs of homes, cars, and clothing; and lower resale values of property. Add the costs associated with lost productivity while at work or smoking-related sick days, and the financial impact of this habit begins to amass greatly.
The grip of smoking is tough to break, but you have a lot to gain—both financially and otherwise—by kicking the habit. And help is available. Check out https://www.cancer.ie/cancer-information-and-support/cancer-prevention/smoking or https://smokefree.gov/build-your-quit-plan.
From Monday, September 14th, 2020, Salthill Post Office has moved to O’Connor’s Centra shop.
You have to go in through the shop towards the back to reach the post office.
The old location is now available to rent.
Galway City Council has granted planning permission for the erection of a communications tower behind the Salthill-Knocnacarra clubhouse on Dr. Mannix Road.
Three conditions were attached.
When your finding life full of trouble and toil,
that is the perfect time to crack a smile.
Whether you come first or last in the race,
don’t forget to wear a happy face.
At times when life denies you lucky breaks,
when all you seem to do is make mistakes,
when you are sad and feeling blue,
this one thing will help you through.
It takes little effort and is well worth while.
The thing to do is simply smile.
Not only does this work for you.
Amazingly, it works for others too.
What you send out gets reflected back.
Smile at them and they smile right back.
If you find you wear a frown,
remember it is just a smile upside down.
If you form the habit of turning it right way up,
You’ll suddenly find that life’s not quite as rough.
But for the times that are not that smooth,
a simply smile can lift the mood.
I wish that they would teach in school,
what I like to call the “happy rule”.
In order to be content a while,
all you got to do is smile.
The missing Horse-chestnut Tree
In front of a house, close by the sea,
there stood a beautiful horse-chestnut tree.
How long it stood exactly, I do not know.
But it must have been a hundred years or so.
For the two hours it took to cut it down,
I looked on in sadness and with a frown.
It was dangerously close to the house, I know.
Still, what a pity to see it go.
Now, when out my window I stare,
I takes a moment to realise its no longer there.
There’s something missing for me.
Its the beautiful horse-chestnut tree.
Lovely chestnut tree on Rockbarton Road.
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