Getting Personal (Getting Personal/Mixed Blessings)
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We eat more chocolate than the Belgians — in fact, we are third in Europe for chocolate munching. And, remarkably, we spend more on snacks than prescribed medicines.
And for a nation that proudly claims to read more newspapers than any other, we actually spend more in the bookies than we do on newspapers. Horse racing is the fastest growing sport in the country and its handmaiden, gambling, is booming. We are betting, squaring, laying, accumulating, forecasting, spread betting, calculating, winning and losing fortunes every day.
Shares in Paddy Power the bookmaker are trading at 20 times earnings, which implies that even the stock market sees massive growth in this business over the coming years. Any objective chronicler would deduce that if we are being so hedonistic, we must also be indolent, lazy, and work-shy.
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Nothing could be further from the truth. Miraculously, the Irish are the most productive workforce in the world. A recent survey by O2 of the Irish self-employed found that we are workaholics: 60 percent of the bosses are working more than 40 hours a week and 13 percent of them work more than 63 hours a week. Just under half miss special family occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, or communions because of work. Four out of five work weekends, and 43 percent do not take their full annual leave entitlement.
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Half of Irish bosses claim that their way of relaxing is the healthy activity of vegging in front of the TV, while one in three go drinking in the pub and a quarter go shopping. Irish workers are also slaving. The average worker puts in more hours per week than any other Europeans apart from the Brits. One in 12 has at least two jobs, which is well above the EU average, and because we spend twice as long commuting, the work experience, particularly for commuters, is typically eating up about 10 to 12 hours of our day.
Many workers leave before seven and get home after seven. Credit: Ronan Fox When we are not working, we are changing jobs. Over , of us will sell ourselves, doctor our CVs, inflate our past experience, and lie about our achievements next year. This is because one in every 20 of us will change jobs, and practically all of us will be moving upwards. Our papers bulge with ads luring us to other challenges that always offer breadth, depth, complexity, always demand high performance, and always promise substantial rewards for the right candidate who is always accomplished, a good team player, and flexible.
These recruitment ads sound more like a lonely hearts column than a job spec. Interestingly, after property ads, they generate more money for newspapers than any other category. Although we are working harder in the full-on nation, it is the Irish women who are working much harder than ever. Since the late s the number of women working has more than doubled percent , while the number of men has gone up, but only by 43 percent. Women are obsessively front-loading their careers, which means they are working extremely hard in their twenties to try and scurry up the corporate ladder and are postponing having children until much later.
The average age of an Irish mother giving birth this year is 30 and seven months — the oldest in the EU. And when we are not actually out elbowing competitors aside in superstores or boutiques, we are talking about shopping, reading about shopping, and thinking about shopping. The range of what tickles our fancy is quite astonishing. We spent more on our mobile phones in the first three months of the year than the entire annual budget for overseas development aid.
We spend more on the rather adolescently pungent Lynx than we donate to Trocaire! The face of Ireland is changing with immigrants from the new Eastern European member states of the EU numbering 10 percent of the total population. And we are spending when we are traveling. As recently as , Ireland had a healthy surplus when it came to tourist spending.
Tourists here spent much more than we did when we went on our holliers.
By , that had reversed. We are spending more in total, even though we are traveling to countries that are much cheaper than Ireland — some achievement!
And how are we financing this? Through debt, of course. And it is rising rapidly.
By the end of , it will be in the region of percent. In the 10 years to , credit card use doubled to 33 percent and cash card use has increased from 40 percent to 60 percent of the population. And, as a recent central bank report noted, using credit cards allows us to juggle bills, paying a bit off here and a bit off there. Bill juggling is a new development. When you think that the older population will not be using credit cards as much, you can see that our most productive generation — those between 20 and 40 — are moving rapidly into levels of debt that would concern outsiders looking in.
So borrowing continues apace. We borrowed 25 percent more in than we did in And we are spending this cash on flashy items. In the past four years, the market share of BMWs and Mercs has doubled, from 3.
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Baby Elizabeth was then brought up in the care of Catholic nuns until she was reunited with her parents, and Irish family, aged nine. The storyline of how she tracked down and met her father is as riveting as the tone of the whole book. The book charts the fascinating story of her journey through a great number of childhood adversities, including severe beatings at the hands of her stepfather, racism and exclusion, and how she overcame it to become a nurse, health visitor, educator and PhD, and Emeritus Professor of Nursing at the University of West London.
Yes, although the provisions that cover them do not go into effect until August.
After that, gift cards will have to remain valid for five years. Inactivity fees will be forbidden unless the card has not been used for 12 months. Yes, it will show how much you're really paying in principal and interest if you make only the minimum payment, as well as how long it will take to pay off your entire balance at that rate. Plus, the statement must conspicuously display the payment due date, any late-payment fees and the late-payment penalty rate. Toggle navigation Menu Subscribers Log In. Search Close. Store Podcasts Log in Search Close.
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Table of contents A Mixed Blessing? Affiliate Marketing Step by Step? Memorias de la Casa de los Muertos Spanish Edition? A Mixed Blessing? Get A Copy Desserts: probably the pick of the 3 courses sampled. What does it mean to be mixed race in Britain? Who are you, growing up as a child in care for nine years and without knowing your father?
This incredible story charts a roller coaster journey from the English Midlands to Nigeria, and from suburban health visiting to political activism and radical nursing. This is a heart-warming and inspiring book about childhood, searching for identity, family, friendship, hope and what makes us who we are. They include:. Utterly inspiring.