Tuesday, 18th September 2018
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Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

“They think it"s all over?”

This time next week, it will all be over for another year. Depending on when you are reading my wee column, there will be 5, 4 or 3 sleeps left, until that big man, dressed in his Coca Cola red costume, drops down the chimney to deliver your presents. That"s assuming you have made it on to his “Nice list!”

There will be more than a few people on Waterford"s “Naughty list” and we hope that Santa deals with them appropriately!

Like so many others, I"ve written to Santa. I let him know about the dozens of promises made to us and how, time after time, we have been repeatedly let down. So many have guaranteed, well almost, to bring X, Y and Z, as well as A, B and C to the Déise. Yet we never seem to get the very presents that we deserve. It is like we are little Tiny Tim, from

Dickens" “A Christmas Carol” and the Government is Scrooge. We just need someone brave enough to show the party in power, those three life changing ghosts. Alas, I fear that it will take a few more Christmases to get our Scrooge to change his mind.

Anyway, I am sure that a week from now, we will all be deciding just what to do, with our three day old leftover turkey and ham. We"ve had copious quantities of sandwiches, with the two fillings and despite handing out mountains of these to our visitors, there is still enough left, for one more dish. What if we make a curry or a stew? Maybe the easier option would be soup? Or better still, the brown bin"s mouth is calling, ready to swallow all things leftover. So the bin it is, as we have to move on to thoughts of how to cook and prepare the ham, for New Year"s Day.

It"s a time to get together and share in the joy of giving. Put a wee bit of thought into those presents for loved ones. Vouchers are fine for birthdays and anniversaries, but from Santa? Nothing says I"ve thought of you more than the small token present that will mean so much to your nearest and dearest. When you get it right, their reaction says it all.

I"ll share a Christmas past with you. Men tend to be very, very, very, practical when it comes to presents. That"s the way our minds are hard wired and programmed. It goes back to the days of us being the hunter gatherers. We just can"t help it, so ladies, cut us a wee bit of slack.

With this in mind, I once wrapped and delivered to Mrs Garland, a lovely wood affect mahogany toilet seat, a set of stainless steel mixing bowls (which are still in use), an electric tooth brush (now long gone) and a plethora of other wonderfully, sensible (in my eyes), no-nonsense gifts. I had put an awful lot of thought into my shopping that year.

Did I get any credit for this? No! As the saying goes in the North East of Scotland, “It was just one sheep!”, you can work out the rest yourself. Tainted for the rest of my life, I am afraid! Lesson learned.

At Christmas time, I would advocate that the males of the species, never ever provide your wonderful other halves with the Jigsaw (the electric type for wood cutting). A vacuum cleaner (of any make), a combined microwave oven, a blender or, God forbid, a Slendertone....what is that suggesting!?!? It may well be the season to be jolly, but it is not the season, time or place to be giving sensible gifts.

2017 will soon be leaving us. We can start looking forward to the New Year and what 2018 might bring Waterford.

Can we really look forward to better times ahead? I do hope so. Unfortunately, those who rub the magic lamp, to loosen Exchequer funds, don"t have Waterford on their Christmas card list. Unwilling to spend the €1 on a stamped card, wishing us some much needed, festive cheer.


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  • A Wonderful Harvest

    Even though the weather Gods didn’t exactly play ball over the weekend it doesn’t take away from the fact that this years Waterford Harvest Festival was yet again another wonderful success. It was great to see the streets of the centre of the city so beautifully and thoughtfully decked out. The various food stalls offering tastes from all over were great to wander around. The information and background that each of the stall holders were able to give on the provenance of their food was really interesting an …

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