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From the kitchen table

From the kitchen table

Maybe he’s just not that into you, Tinderella!

Not everyone engaging with Tinder and related ‘dating sites’ is in the line of our columnist’s fire this week, but she is strongly of the view that people should ‘put on their glad rags’ and go out and meet men and women the old-fashioned way…face to face!

Tinder has been in the news quite a bit lately, what with a disappointed 36-year-old separated mum ringing in to  Ryan Tubridy’s radio show last week to tell the world how her first experience of using the online dating app has left her feeling ‘naive and gullible,’ going on to further explain how she was ‘shocked after meeting a man on the app who abandoned contact with her after they slept together three weeks into their relationship,’ apparently saying how she was unaware of the so-called ‘sharks,’ that are currently circulating in dating waters and had, very helpfully, rung Tubs to let people know that she was peed off. You see, apparently her hero has dropped off her radar but is still on the prowl for women on Tinder. Oh he’s a right brat now, isn’t he!

  Now first of all let me say this to that irate caller, I feel for you Tinderella, I really do love, but the fact of the matter is…You’ve been Catfished, get a clue and move on…Romeo certainly has! Also, you’re right, you are definitely ‘naïve and gullible’ if you went out with a man you found on a dating app and then genuinely thought he wasn’t going to be interested in just having casual sex. 

  I mean, anyone who thinks that Tinder and other dating apps are going to be exclusively full of Prince and Princess Charmings looking for their happily ever after really need to have a good old reality check. In my understanding, (I could be wrong), dating apps are mainly useful for those who are looking for an always available, regret free, no strings attached booty call. Mind you, there could be a thousand reasons why this bloke heartlessly dumped this woman…so my advice to her is just pick one, any one, then move on and stop ringing radio shows to air your dirty laundry so publicly because it’s hardly good PR for attracting the next guy now is it? If you don’t I’m afraid I am getting a clear image of you ten years from now wallowing alone as a sad modern day Miss Havisham decaying in your raggy dress and pearls until the end of time.

  Personally I’ve never been on Tinder and have never had the need to use dating apps because, luckily, I’m married to my soul-mate and we met when he approached me in a garage forecourt…now if that doesn’t sound sleazy I don’t know what does but it was all above board I can assure you; he thought I looked like I needed assistance with my car and, being a gentleman, approached me. For the record; I didn’t…need assistance, that is.  

  However, I do know quite a few friends and one family member who uses the Tinder app and who have gone out on a few dates, some good; some leading to second dates and one or two disasters that brought us out in hysterics, however they tell me they all feel the same as Tubridy’s caller did, i.e. duped! So, my question is, why use these apps you lazy, crazy lot?  Why look for men and women on dating apps that appear to list the Who’s Who of Creepy Ville? Why depend on a site that pulls your personal information from your social media page to create your profile and then effectively tells you who ‘matches’ your particulars encouraging you to ‘swipe right’ if you find their selection pleasing and ‘swipe left’ if you think they’re Quasimodo?  Who does that? People who do not know and trust their own mind and their own judgement…that’s who!

  I mean, if a guy is sitting on his fat ass on the sofa all day long, or even sitting emotionless on the loo, because this is how impersonal some dating apps are, trying to sell himself like some cheap pimp patrolling the docks then there shouldn’t be enough bullsxxt, dinner dates, polite conversation or even copious amounts of lovey-dovey text messages in the whole world to make you his hoe dear. I’m sorry but someone needs to tell it to you like it is. If a person is making up a load of codswallop about themselves in order to make sure it fits with what you want to hear, then folks, it’s clear to me they don’t want a lasting relationship they just want to sit back and count their conquests; end of.

  So, get up off your asses folks, put on your glad rags and go out and meet people the old-fashioned way…face to face; and while you’re doing that, let me enlighten you about some (not all) of those loser trolls, stalkers and creepers who may hide behind dating sites.

  There is a massive difference between a person in real life and a person on Tinder. He/she has taken about a gazillion selfies before he/she’s Instagrammed or Photoshopped and finally posted the one that makes him look like Brad Pitt and her look like a Bond girl.

  So what if he/she ‘swiped right’ on your profile photo, get a grip and understand he/she’s ‘swiped right’ on fifty other profiles…he/she’s a shallow git who likes you ‘cos you’re arm candy material and I’ll bet he/she hasn’t read even one single line of your chat because, guess what, it’s not your brain or your dazzling personality that interests them!

  Some people only use Tinder or dating apps for validation or to relieve boredom. These are the ones whose insatiable egos constantly require massaging, meaning they engage with others and tot up their positive ‘swipes,’ as a way of measuring their personal ‘market value.’ It makes them feel popular to have such a range of potential eejits they can choose at will and of course when the mood takes them they’ll dial for a booty call and they’ll keep dialing until they snare some silly sap who is willing to drop over and become their ‘fun buddy’ to ease their boredom of a winter’s night… and nobody is any the wiser.

  However, if anyone is thinking of hoping a stint on a dating app will sort out their love life, it would be worth their while to note that, according to research firm GlobalWebIndex (GWI), it’s a worrying fact – well I’d find it worrying – that 30 per cent of Tinder users surveyed are actually married and 12 per cent surveyed are in a relationship. Now I am not for one second suggesting that those users who are ‘spoken for’ are looking for deep, unmeaningful sex, God no, they’re not big fat cheaters; I’d imagine they’re simply ‘browsing,’ doing research and, ahem, keeping abreast of their social skills through ‘interacting’ with other like-minded tech savvy individuals. How industrious of them.

  Look, I’m not saying that all those who participate on Tinder or other dating apps are merely only hooked on engaging in orgies; that is not the case, and I’m sure there are genuine users who want nothing more than to settle down to a life of bliss, creating the quintessential nuclear family; also I’m sure there are other users who just want to make friends and see dating apps as a bona fide social outlet to test the water when it comes to their dating skills. Nothing wrong with either of those reasons.

  Mind you, ya don’t have to go through the whole rigmarole of joining these sites and putting yourself through the emotional wringer to try and find out how to make a success of that first date! Not at all, I can sum it up for ya in one line…Just turn up naked; oh, and bring wine!

The WHO doesn’t want us to bite off more than we can chew!

In the wake of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) damning report on processed meats, such as bacon and sausages, our columnist defends meat-lovers – even though she is a vegan

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) when it comes to contracting cancer, there’s a list of hazards as long as my arm; i.e. smoking, indulging in the demon drink, some forms of oral contraceptives, outdoor pollution and going anywhere near asbestos being just a few of them.   

  However, last week, consuming processed meat, for example, chowing down on your traditional and ceremonial Irish rasher, sausage and pudding brekkie of a Sunday morning or heading out for your cheeky Friday night, after-the-pub-hot dog, batter burger, kebab or chicken nuggets have all now been added to what I would call their hysterical apocalyptic list of ‘carcinogenic’ items as being a ‘potential’ cancer risk, leading to lots of confusion and knee-jerk reactions from a lot of people. Not me! 

  You see,  I’d like to draw readers’ attention to the word ‘potential’ here, meaning ‘possible’ ‘probable,’ or ‘prospective,’ and say that despite this warning, I still went out and bought hubby’s favourite smoked bacon rashers, grilled them to a crisp,  just as he likes and popped them on his crusty bread rolls along with lettuce and tomato and generously slathered on his ‘must have’ cholesterol hiking butter and preservative-laden red sauce to make him his beloved BLT work lunch.  And yes, I do love this man, and no I am not trying to shorten his life. I just don’t buy into scare-mongering of any kind and firmly believe that a little bit of what you fancy in measurable proportions will do you no harm – and I do mean measurable proportions here. Hubby doesn’t eat this type of lunch every day!  It’s a once a week treat.

  Also,  I make this comment, not as a doctor and not as a nutritionist because I’m neither and I am sure health professionals will probably disagree with me, and that is their right – they are the experts here, not me.

  However, folks, I make this comment as someone who believes there are far, far worse things in the world that can potentially kill us – things like the stress that accompanies the release of such reports would be just one example or the panic due to the possible job losses suffered as a direct result of the financial fallout being another…you get my drift, so I believe, like most decent and sensible Roscommon people that I have more important things to do with my life than pay too much attention to the torrent of negativity these latest findings have raised.

  However, being vegan myself; I haven’t consumed any animal products, as in, no meat, fish, poultry or dairy etc., since my teens because I’m committed to animal welfare and want to save all animals, believing and understanding that they are sentient beings; meaning in my opinion, animals feel hurt, fear, pain, sadness, happiness, love and joy etc., just like we humans do. In short, I love animals and believe their lives matter… end of.

  But that’s just me and when the WHO issued its latest hazardous warning, I didn’t smugly smile to myself and wag my sickly, bony, calcium deficient finger in a gleeful ‘na, na, na, na, na’ cackle. Instead, like others, I shared the link on my Facebook page and advised people to read it and make up their own minds as I do with any other newsworthy item I happen across.

  I also asked myself if these boffins were the same nerds who appear totally confused as to how much red wine is good/bad for us to consume.

  However, when I cook for hubby or we have visitors round, or when my meat loving granddaughter comes to stay, I don’t turn into a weird, posturing, tree--hugging, boring brittle-boned dictator, insisting on a flesh free environment…not in the slightest. In fact I provide for everyone’s diet and tastes and make a meat-free…and no, not taste-free, but a yummy, alternative pour moi. And for the record I do not agree with how certain animal rights organisations/groups spread their message, which can often be quite aggressive, so I tend to march to the beat of my own drum, which is once again, for me, animals, and their welfare matter, and I feel an uncontrollable compassion towards them and believe in educating people in so much that if they ask me for information I give it to them…but only if asked.

  I believe that when someone has evidence and facts, it is only then, as adults, that they are fully equipped to make their own, unbiased, impartial and informed decisions.  That said, I will stress that choosing a vegan lifestyle is not easy – nooooo, not by any stretch of the imagination folks.  In fact, it can often prove stressful as some restaurateurs (not all) tend to hate people like me and panic when I walk into their establishment and enquire as to their vegan option…normally a plate of diced sweet potato (which I detest) or a plate of stir fried onions and peppers, which is not really a choice now, is it? It’s more of a punishment and evidence of their unimaginative fayre du jour. 

  When I enquire if the proffered, limp stirfry has been cooked separately or doused in the same fat as, say, the rare, blood-dripping burgers, the audible sigh of impatience from the waiting staff makes me worry if, when the monotonous offering does return, freshly fried in vegan friendly oil, it may well also contain the chef’s odd sneezer or three. Hence, due to this lack of choice and understanding,  we don’t eat out too often; nor are we usually asked round to worried friends’ houses due to the host/hostess’s panicked enquiries of “Jesus, what do you feed a woman who eats nothing?”

  Look, folks, you continue to eat and enjoy your food. Life is too short to stop looking forward to that plate of cabbage, mash and bacon smothered in thick gravy. Besides, despite my refusal to eat anything with a face or that once had a pulse, or consume dairy products, I do know fresh, unprocessed meat is full of important dietary requirements like iron, various vitamins and proteins, but I would just state the bleedin’ obvious here and say that modified, shrink-wrapped, salt, preservative and nitrate laden processed products of any kind, including meat, cannot be very healthy for anyone to consume or depend upon as their staple daily diet, now can they? But, again, check this out with your doctor and make your own choices.

  I would however advise that if you are going to cook and consume meat, do as I do when carnivores arrive at my door and visit your local organic butcher and shop local and support local Roscommon farmers.

  You see by doing this you’re helping to sustain local enterprise and keep funds in our county, and God knows we need it badly. Shopping local also means we get to make a connection and form a relationship with our local suppliers who’ve abstained from poisoning their produce with additives and preservatives because they don’t need to as the food comes fresh from their nearby farms and fields.

  So I suppose it’s up to you, the consumer, to decide. Do you want to sustain local enterprise, support local farmers/butchers/food suppliers/markets/jobs, i.e. humanbeings who are your neighbours and buy your meat and veg locally or do you want to support multinational conglomerates who peddle GMO laden pulp as suitable, sustainable and now, questionably healthy food?  Again, the choice is yours.

  For this happy cow however, it always has and always will be that as long as there is breath in my body, I’ll only consume  plant-based foods, including veggies, fruit, grains, beans, seeds and nuts…or is that just that I am nuts? Bon appetite.

The latest bond girl is woman in her fifties…Get over it!

As the 24th James Bond movie, Spectre, hits the screens, our columnist Miriam voices her outrage over the hype surrounding the fact the Bond girl, Monica Belucci, is 51 years old and urges people to embrace their fifties

This week, as the much-anticipated Bond movie Spectre hit the cinemas in a flurry of publicity, it appears more hype is being made regarding the age and looks of the franchise’s latest Bond girl, or rather Bond woman, than the actual plot of the movie itself. You see, readers, stunning Italian screen siren Monica Belucci, who at 51, is being dubbed as ‘the oldest Bond girl’ since Honor Blackman played Pussy Galore (best Bond girl name ever), in Goldfinger at the ripe old age of 38, way back in 1964, must be sick to her back teeth (if she still has them) from fielding questions relating to her mature years! I mean, shock, horror, the woman is practically menopausal; shouldn’t she be at home knitting herself a bubble perm or at the very least, trying to conceal her hot flushes instead of prancing around half naked and looking – as is her right – jaw droppingly gorgeous and, might I add, sexier and classier than most of her former, much younger, female counterparts; except for Honor Blackman of course.

  Seriously readers, when it comes to us women, why is it that everyone, mainly other women, are so bloody obsessed with age and body shape? Why is everyone so surprised that a 50-year-old woman can look fabulous and, might I add, why do some people, again mostly other women, tend to treat us as if we are great old dears altogether, what with managing to survive beyond our useful and reproductive years! Why isn’t anyone bothering to make a big deal of the fact that Daniel Craig is 47, meaning at only four years younger than Belucci, he’s playing the world’s favourite, sexy, super spy? Why indeed. It’s because Craig is a man and apparently it’s OK for a man to grow older and still be regarded as vital and handsome.

  I know I’ll probably be labelled a grumpy old woman – and for the record I was a grumpy young woman too, so age hasn’t altered me – but for those readers who are on the cusp of turning 50, my advice to you is to cop on and celebrate; embrace the flirty fifties, your glory days are not behind you, nay, they’re ahead of you because they can start at any age. The worst thing any luscious lady can do is  listen to the begrudgers who want us to use 50 as an excuse to ditch our fashionable, glamorous wardrobes, lower our heels and start engaging in ‘age appropriate’ hobbies like bingo, preserving fruit and jam-making – not that there’s anything wrong with either of those activities; they’re just not for me.

  The reason I’m so prickly this morning is that last Saturday night I went to a friend’s party up in the Big Smoke, and, as I queued for the buffet and enquired if there was any ‘vegan friendly’ food available, a rather robust lady of my acquaintance standing behind me scoffed: “Vegan…ah righ’ no wonder ders not a pick on ye, Jaysus you’d want ta put a bish of meash on those bones. Wimmen our age can’t afford to get too skinny; makes ya look old.”

  Now I only mention this lady’s robustness because she made a big, and very public deal out of the fact I am slightly built, to everyone waiting in the buffet queue. She also made much of the fact I do not eat junk food and pointed out I was wearing a tight bodycon dress, six-inch heels, had a pixie haircut that, in her rather loud mouthed manner, she declared was “brave love, given yer a granny an all dat,” asking if I wasn’t “terrified yer wrinkles are on public display, ha, ha, ha, ha.” Well, bless her obvious concern for my welfare.

  Now, girls, I am not saying for one minute that I looked like I’d been sculpted from a mould of casual perfection; in fact the opposite is true. Like a lot of people, I have to work very hard to try and keep myself fit and healthy, and it did take me quite a while to get my fake tan just that right shade of bronze and pencil in the aul eyebrows into a flattering peak, but when I compared myself to this other lady…the motor mouth, whom, by the way is actually six years younger than me, and had to listen to  her cigarette induced cackle, observe the pints of cider queued up on her table, took in her large plate of greasy sausages, chicken wings and a rather hefty chunk  of cake, I refused to judge her because I feel she has an absolute right to eat and look how she wishes, she has a right to do what makes her happy. In short it is none of my business, so why did she feel the need to make my looks, age and body shape hers?

  You see, I don’t do the body-shaming thing; even if it’s clear that she does. Instead, as I made my way to the dance floor, I drew  my bony body up to its full height (five feet nothing), sucked in my stomach, pushed out my boobs, threw my shoulders back, (just to annoy her)  and, pulling on my cloak of sarcasm, snaked my way past the helmet haired motor-mouth as she sat perched on a massive faux leopard print throne of a sofa, holding court with her coven and hoovering up her food, whilst  ignorantly pointing out the so-called  ‘mutton dressed as lamb,’ ladies enjoying their time on the dance floor, saying they should be “conscious they aren’t teenagers anymore and start acting their age,” and told her that the only difference between me, those other dancing queens and her was that when it came to getting a bit of action later on, for her, sadly, it wouldn’t be a case of having shame-filled sex with our proud hubbies; no, sadly for her, getting any action would only come when her glass of prune juice started to kick in, but hey, on a more positive note, it might cleanse her of her aggressive and rude ‘body-shaming’ attitude.

  Reflecting on my own personal experience of being judged and the fact that at last, the world of cinema is finally embracing and recognising the more mature woman, I realised I am proud of myself and my accomplishments; I am also proud of all those women who strive to be fun and fearless at 50,  despite being criticised for it. Why? You see, for those ‘body-shamers,’ out there, I want to say that, as we ladies of a certain age have been marinated in life for so long, we have now become the game-changers, committed to living our lives fully and fabulously. Reaching our 50th year should mean following our hearts and our truths; it should mean embracing our wisdom and using it to show respect for each other, and if we want to wear that tight, body-clinging dress or low slung hipster jeans, then we should wear them with panache and to hell with what anyone else thinks.

  Being 50 should mean despite the fact we’ve had a few false starts and frightening failures in our lives, we’re still here and we’re still vital and full of fabulousness. Get over it!

When a relationship crumbles, there’s bound to be ‘Days Like This!’

Our columnist, impressed by the way former Miss Ireland Michelle Rocca has dealt with renewed publicity about her life with Van Morrison, has no doubt that Ms. Rocca will emerge from this recent public setback smelling of roses…

Nothing kills a relationship quicker than the bilious odour of betrayal. Nothing shakes your confidence more than the realisation that you can no longer trust the person you once most admired, cherished, protected and loved in this world…believe me readers, it was nearly a decade ago but I’ve been there; and so that is why this week my heart went out to former Miss Ireland, former model, former TV presenter and now it appears, former wife of singer Van Morrison, Michelle Rocca.

  You see, Michelle had been embroiled in a very public court battle involving the alleged sea view at her beautiful Dalkey home; apparently neighbours had redeveloped, blocking her vista and her ‘family’s right to privacy,’ with Michelle even going so far as to allegedly maintain – according to the Sunday Independent – that when Van the Man, ‘gets out of his car he wants to be able to walk to the hall door without feeling he was being overlooked.’ So far, so reasonable, one might assume. We all have a right to privacy.   

  However this is where the story takes an ironic twist because the notoriously discreet, reserved and, according to some hacks, ‘grumpy and dour’ Van, whom by the way has claimed his famous prickly demeanour is all a ‘myth,’ reportedly adding that journalists who brand him in this way are ‘lazy’ and ‘need a sense of humour,’ – ooh, really, so, is this your fun side Van? – poured cold water on his missus’ claims by issuing a press release stating that not only did he ‘not live’ at the house, but that in fact, ‘he and Michelle have been legally separated since 2013,’ Ouch! As we say on the not so salubrious but equally fabulous or ‘fablis’ Northside of Dublin, ‘Morto for ya Michelle.’

  However, and despite reports this week that Michelle ‘felt betrayed,’ and rightly so, this strong woman maintained her dignity and, in a swift operation in damage control, immediately withdrew the case; a case, which I might add had somehow morphed from a private affair into a public three-ringed extravaganza about the over-indulged rich folk living life in the unspoilt urban oasis that is the mythological, matchless and often fabled seaside town of Dalkey.

  Look, I don’t know about you readers, but I would find it impossible to swallow when someone whom you have loved and stood by for many years, someone whose life and privacy you’ve feverishly protected would allegedly embarrass you and make such a shocking and public statement apparently without prior warning; but that’s just me and I know that it can happen, but, regarding the Rocca-Morrisons, I’m sure all parties involved have their own reasons for their alleged actions. Remember, we are not playing the blame game here; a family’s life is under the spotlight.

  However, what I do know is how you deal with these matters says an awful lot about your self-control and your strength of character and while I admire Michelle Morrison for stopping proceedings, opting instead to put up and shut up, I do equally admire her for  giving her unswerving loyalty to her former husband and totally understand that she would have the right to expect the same consideration in return; all wives do; and I fully sympathise with her if she may be feeling the sting of betrayal. However, I would add here that Van – whom I have never interviewed nor am I a fan of his music but whose talent I respect, stood by his wife – then his girlfriend – when she went to the High Court in order to seek damages arising from a failed relationship with Cathal Ryan, whereby an alleged assault took place at a birthday party…yes, yes, it reads  like a plot from ‘Desperate Housewives’ – but the point is at one time there was clearly a lot of love, loyalty and mutual respect between this couple; which leads to the question, at which point did it all go so horribly and publicly wrong?

  Was it when, according to the Sunday Independent – ‘Van told her (Michelle) that it would be a conflict of interest if she continued writing for the newspaper so she stopped.’  Or was it when the couple were engaged to be married and Michelle ‘had a few glasses of champagne with a friend in his hotel room and Van got annoyed, so she didn’t touch a drop of alcohol after that. She became sensible and stopped going to parties and withdrew from the social scene and dedicated her life to Van.’ Who knows?

  The fact is that there are lot of people in relationships where one or the other has a massive ego, so huge in fact, it can constantly require validation; and while most of us would find it exhausting, draining and painfully boring to be continuously on our guard around someone who professes to love us yet demands we live our lives existing like a retired nun, some people actually manage to fulfil their life’s purpose by gaining a kind of high, or a euphoria of sorts from being or from indeed, serving,  in that special position. And, while I cannot for the life of me find anything about the portly so-called ‘rock star’ aesthetically pleasing in any way, it’s clear that at one stage (and possibly even now, who knows?) he sent a tingle up a young and impressionable Michelle’s thigh that went straight to her, ahem, own personal home entertainment centre rendering her powerless under his commanding spell and possibly leading to her almost reclusive lifestyle.

  I have no doubt Michelle will emerge from this recent public setback smelling of roses. After all she is clearly still a beautiful woman, she is, at 54, still very much in her prime, she’s a motivational teacher with a strong interest in Psychology and a Masters in Philosophy and History; meaning she’s an intelligent individual, thus leading me to ask why is it then that it seems the more we women accomplish on a personal level, the more some of us have to sacrifice in order to please those we love?

  Bear this in mind girls; sometimes certain relationships that seem right at the beginning, only serve to poison and enslave us years later. Remember marriage is an agreement to ‘love’ each other and not to constantly be ‘in love’ with each other. Marriage is a structure of security and support and when that’s threatened there’s a major danger to our sanctuary and, when this happens, there comes a time in life when we have to ask ourselves – as I once did many years ago – are we actually living the dream or just doing time in the nightmare?

  Remember girls, we no longer live in a time where we have to lay down in the marital bed, throw back our heads and shake and shiver with spurious expressions of Grammy award winning orgasmic joy! Take a leaf out of Michelle’s and all those other strong women’s  books, go educate yourselves, be your own woman and walk that difficult line out of that stifling relationship with your head held high and your dignity firmly intact.

I wish the Rocca-Morrison family the very best for the future.

It is unusual: Sir Tom so hurtful about the woman he loves

He may be a superstar and an icon to millions of fans, but notorious womaniser Tom Jones, on the eve of the launch of his autobiography, has made undignified comments about his ill wife in public which have drawn the ire of our columnist…

Last week, as Irish mental health charities and the World Health Organisation (WHO) publicised a range of activities and hosted events around the country promoting Mental Health Week, with this year’s theme being ‘Dignity in Mental Health’, I was glad nobody asked old fogey and 60’s icon Tom Jones to be their inspirational spokesperson; especially given his alleged negative, and in my opinion, extremely undignified, comments about his wife of nearly sixty years, Linda Jones.

  You see Linda, according to quotes attributed to her aging and definitely not so sexy bomb of a hubby, “has had a depression since she was young,” and has “let herself go,” and “lost her spark,”, with Jones allegedly adding “she doesn’t look like she did, I don’t look like I did either, but I try my best.” Wow, bless your efforts Tom, and what a gleeful little pensioner you are; quick, someone hand him his mirth control pills please.

  Now look readers, if these comments attributed to Jones are true, this pair may well be suited to each other; aesthetically speaking of course; I mean, after all, he has a fortune and she, ahem…has four chins; something which I might add, she is perfectly entitled to have instead of resorting to the extent of lifting, pulling and tucking of the kind undertaken by her plastic-fantastic hubby who has spoken openly in the past about his eyes, nose and chin jobs, leading me to think that perhaps now it’s time to have his motor mouth altered, because these days, when it comes to criticising his darling wife, his gigantic gob appears to be so rarely shut, planes could mistake it for a landing strip.

  Mrs Jones, now reportedly living her life as ‘a virtual recluse,’ appears to have put up with quite a lot of her husband’s inexcusable and incredibly disloyal behaviour when he headed for the bright lights while she stayed behind to keep the home fires burning and raise their only son during his glory days. If the knicker magnet’s admission of having slept with “250 women a year,” at the height of his fame is to believed, I have to ask, is it any wonder the poor woman is unhappy?

  What a crass, insensitive and horrible thing for any husband to say that his wife had “let  herself go” –even in a private conversation – a comment which, by the way, could be construed as emotionally abusive behaviour. However, for a man to utter such tripe on such a public platform, as in to effectively ‘ugly shame’ the mother of their child, the woman they profess to love, is both brutish and savage behaviour.

  I’ll be honest and say that, until I read reports about the boyo’s alleged verbal attack on his ill wife, I was in fact a minor fan. In my opinion the Welsh crooner has managed to constantly, ahem, swing the lead and  reinvent himself, always staying hip and relevant; however for anyone to use their fame to emotionally throttle a loved one, to, in some way, manipulate their depressive illness, and, it appears in his opinion, their waning attractiveness, as an apparent attempt to promote an autobiography, (Jones’ latest tome, ‘Over The Top and Back Again,’ ghost written by Giles Smith and which Jones reportedly admits he has only ‘read fifty per cent,’ of), as a smokescreen for their appalling infidelity is, wounding at best, repulsive in the least.

  Last week’s reported vile statements made me wonder if this Knight of the Realm, Sir Tom, has tricked himself into believing that his bad behaviour and infidelity had played absolutely no part in his poor wife’s decline down through the decades; the very same woman who seems to have sacrificed so much, including her positive mental state, on the altar of her husband’s phenomenal success.

  And I do understand that life on the road must have been difficult for poor, put-upon Tom, what with the girlos sniffing around him like they were ravenous dogs and he was an open tin of puppy chow. However, on the other hand, you see readers, it’s my belief that very often those who become intoxicated by their own importance tend to forget that one special person who will still remain by their side as a constant, loyal presence once their dubious spark begins to dim.

  We all bear responsibilities in life, one of those being that we should cherish the people we love and in turn, feel cherished by them. Now I’m not saying you should enjoy every single second you spend in their company; God no, that would be weird and slightly abnormal; but for a successful man who has literally gone from the Valleys to Vegas, Jones appears to have learned very little about gentlemanly behaviour along the way; and, despite the fact he has said he “still loves Linda,” (well big whoop!), his alleged remarks are disrespectful and undignified not just to his wife, but to women in general.

  Mind you Jones does credit Linda as being “strong,” and if what he is quoted as saying about her looks is true, she’d not only need to be a strong person, she’d also need to have a strong stomach in order to swallow all that boorish bull he’s laying on, when, in an attempt to recover from the media backlash, he told the Daily Mail his affairs were just “Part of life. Everything I’ve done is a part of life. You can’t cry over spilt milk and nobody got hurt. And my wife is still with me.” Wow, somebody always gets hurt when cheating occurs and while we’re at it, can I ask, where do you get your misshapen take on fidelity Sir Tom…Adultery Barn?

  Here’s a thought, when your singing career comes to an end, why don’t you type up all those cock-a-hoop little insights for us laydeez; you know, the ones who’ve lost our spark and email them to The Smart Ass Digest; I’m sure we’d all love advice from a skilled seducer like your good self…NOT!

Why it’s important to both empower and educate ourselves about breast cancer

Recalling her own past health concern experiences and moved just now by the courage of a best-selling author, our columnist has a timely reminder to readers during Breast Cancer Awareness Month of the importance of being breast aware…

When I heard best-selling author Emma Hannigan, or as I like to call her, ‘the matron saint of modern women,’ had been diagnosed with cancer for the tenth time this week…yes, you read it correctly, the tenth time, I immediately contacted her to show my solidarity and offer her any support that I could possibly give. However, this tough lady, who, despite her ordeal down through the years, still continues to ooze positivity, beauty and strength as well as display the most amazing, mind-blowing resilience that I have ever witnessed. She actually tut-tutted her recent diagnosis with a “sure I’ve had this type of stuff before.” You’ve guessed it, Emma doesn’t do self-pity.

  While I’ve never actually met Emma face to face, we have chatted extensively over the ‘phone, swapped war stories and exchanged emails; but it has to be said, following each encounter, this woman’s courage renders me speechless, awestruck and feeling incredibly humbled by the way she refuses to allow the big ‘C’ define her.

  You see for Emma, a talented best-selling author, wife and mother of two teenagers, cancer just seems to hang around like an unwanted memory that stubbornly refuses to die. A haunting presence, that, every so often, just as she gets the ‘all clear,’ identical to the enveloping fog we’ve all experienced over the past week in Roscommon. Cancer raises its ugly head, and, unfelt, unseen, undetected, save for a routine scan, like some dastardly evil manifestation, storms back to enshroud its casualty like a menacing spectre.

  As is the case for many Irish women, Emma carries the BRCA1 gene, meaning she is predisposed to cancer and, as she told me,  rather than live in fear, in 2006, she decided to take evasive action and underwent a bi-lateral mastectomy (both breasts removed) and a bi-lateral oophorectomy (both ovaries removed). Incredibly, this woman did everything she could possibly do to prevent cancer from striking. However, just four months following her ‘preventative’ surgery, she contracted cancer, telling me, “it’s been in my head, my neck and across my chest.” Now this scared the bejaysus out of me because, as I’ve shared previously, both sides of my family are affected by cancer; and of course I went through a particularly scary time in 2012 when, one Thursday, following a routine cervical smear and an ovarian scan, my surgeon sat me down to tell me I needed a total abdominal radical hysterectomy…”like, next Tuesday.” I was shocked, but having the surgery was a no-brainer; I had a ticking time bomb inside me and I wanted rid. ASAP!

  However, two weeks post-surgery, a routine mammogram – been having them annually since my 30’s due to the family’s dodgy genes – found ‘breast abnormalities,’ and so, before my hysterectomy stitches had time to dissolve, I was sent to another hospital for a breast scan and a biopsy and, so convinced was the surgeon she’d have to operate, a titanium clip was shot into my right boob in an ‘X’ marks the spot type of thingy.

  I can tell you all sorts of emotions went through my head and I was not nearly as brave as Emma. Besides, as I told her, no way could I have pulled off the Right Said Fred look as fabulously as she had. Also I felt the support network was non-existent at the hospital I attended, and, if I hadn’t been someone who researches, asks questions and had the wherewithal to ring the breast cancer helpline and contact a journalist friend who’d survived breast cancer while I waited for an inexcusable ten whole days for my results, then I believe I could possibly have dropped dead with the fear and the dread.

  You see the hospital in question –a major Dublin one – treated me like a statistic rather than an individual. In short, their consideration of me was definitely not person-centred, rather one size fits all – and that’s just not good enough for any fearful patient. I will add that my fabulous, at that time new doctor here in Roscommon, Barry Cosgrove, was a great support.

  Thank God, and the angels who answered my prayers, my ‘abnormalities’ were benign; nothing to worry about, and I’ve been discharged into the breast check programme for monitoring. Also, only last month, having undergone gruelling six-monthly, then annual, vault smears to detect any possible residual cells, I received the ‘all clear’ following my hysterectomy. Elation does not even come close to describing my feelings.

  You see readers, when faced with the possibility of a life-threatening situation, it’s important to harness your emotions and to try and remain positive. Easier said than done, I know, because I was not only anxious, I was absolutely petrified, and, bloody big drama queen that I am, became convinced I was going to die. I was nowhere as brave or as calm as Emma, and I feel now, part of that was because the hospital didn’t take the time to counsel me or discuss with me what may, or indeed, to put a positive spin on things, what may not, happen; they just fobbed me off with “We’ll discuss it in 10 days’ time when your results come back,” leaving me shocked, vulnerable and responsible for sourcing my own support. Wholly unacceptable!

  So ladies (and gents) October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, please log onto www.breastcancerireland.com – they’re an amazing charity – and download their free app to find out how to check your breasts and help them aim to transform breast cancer into a treatable illness; and if you’re worried or have questions, call them on PH: 1800 940 025. Remember, breast cancer will affect one in every twelve women in Ireland, and even though it’s important to keep in mind that not all ‘abnormalities’ are cancerous, women and their families need understanding and support while waiting on those results.  

  There’s also a wonderful Roscommon Cancer Care Service in Vita House beside this newspaper’s office, so give them a call if you need help and reassurance on PH: 090-6625898.

  I know that the unstoppable Emma Hannigan is going to be okay; she’s an amazingly strong, positive, talented woman who has all the essentials for a vibrant, full and wonderful life bubbling within her and she will never allow anything to extinguish that light. I wish her every happiness, health and success and I respect her enormously. Check Emma out at www.emmahannigan.com

On the road to nowhere: Why I’m not happy with this version of ‘Murphy’s Law’!

My advice to Junior Minister Murphy is next time he has a job vacancy, why not opt to employ a ‘failed PR guru;’ he certainly appears to need someone to attach a bit of common sense, decency and spin to his skewed air of entitlement…

Another week, another scandal; this time fresh and disgraceful allegations regarding one of our Government Ministers’ outrageous abuse of privilege and power came to light.   

  Well readers, I’m sure you’ve heard the reports that ‘on duty’ members of An Garda Síochána drove Junior Minister Dara Murphy 200km from Cork to Dublin Airport so he could catch a flight for a meeting he had in Brussels after his chauffeur-driven car broke down. Er, just wondering Minister, was this ‘chauffeur,’ the very same ‘failed politician,’ you reportedly employed as ‘a €630 per week’ taxpayer-paid driver, by any chance? Surely for that amount you could have got someone with enough basic mechanical knowledge to get the car serviced?

  Also readers, earlier in the year, you may remember reports emerged that Mr Murphy had, in grand style, requested the use of the government jet, at a cost of €30,000, to fly home from Latvia so he could vote in the marriage equality referendum. Aah, bless his patriotic little soul.

  Now there are conflicting reports surrounding this incident, as, according to the Irish Independent, ‘The Star reports comments from the Minister’s spokesperson that the help was offered – however the Irish Examiner reports the Minister as telling the paper he asked Fermoy garda station to send help as it was an ‘emergency’.’

  However, personally I don’t give a rat’s whotsit whether this exclusive and free taxi service, on behalf of taxpayers and provided by our hard-working boys and girls in blue, was ‘offered’ or ‘requested,’ I just care that it happened at all.

  In fact I was incandescent with disbelief given the current climate of closed garda stations with the onset being the incredible rise in rural crime where vulnerable Irish citizens, nay, taxpayers, are being threatened, robbed and in some cases beaten to a pulp in their own homes…and why? Because, due to this Government’s closure of 140 Garda stations, rural Ireland is going virtually unprotected and unpoliced while our lovely and highly professional under-staffed and over-stressed Gardaí are being forced to work as taxi hacks for a man who is acting like he is some manner of a Demi God but who clearly cannot manage his finances if, on a Junior Minister’s salary, he was unable to cough up the fee for a private taxi service.

  I raise this point given the reported claim made by taxi man Gerdy Murphy that “the Minister turned down the offer (of a taxi to the airport) because he was concerned that he was facing a taxi bill of €300-€350.” A claim which, I must add was denied by the Minister, however Gerdy did insist, “there was a taxi available and it was turned down when the cost was mentioned.” A case of he says/he says…I’ll let readers arrive at their own conclusions.

  Now while I do know there is a Government protocol in place, as does Mr Demi God Junior Minister, whereby he could have ‘contacted the Gardaí for assistance’ – and here is the clincher folks – ‘as a last resort,’ i.e. an emergency – the breaking down of a chauffeur driven car is not, in my opinion, one of those times.

  So, in the event that Junior Minister Dara Murphy doesn’t understand exactly what does constitute an emergency, let me outline it for you Sir…an emergency is a situation whereby there is an immediate risk to your health or your life, to your property or to your environment. Kinda like, oh, let’s just say for example, you’re a genteel, frail, vulnerable,  petrified elderly lady, a precious voter, living alone in rural Ireland, you’ve locked up for the night, popped your teeth into a glass of Steradent and you’re slipping into your flannelette nightie when suddenly you hear an unexpected noise; terrifyingly, you realise that the last remnants of your safety, security and dignity are about to be violated, stolen from you; snatched in the echoing sound of your bedroom door  being viciously kicked in; suddenly forcing you, in your autumn years, to shed any dreams you had of living out a quiet, safe and peaceful life in your own home like a serpent’s skin. You know instinctively that dialling 999 is futile, firstly because the signal in your area is sxxte, secondly, who the hell is going to come to your aid because the local cop shop with the friendly and caring Gardaí has long since lain deserted, their excellent, reassuring presence phased out and finally shut down altogether by those in charge of your welfare. That Minister, for your information, constitutes an EMERGENCY!

  The fact that this able-bodied Minister and Cork North Central TD, when questioned by reporters, and, I suppose, sensing that blood was in the water, still defiantly claims he was left ‘stranded’ on the side of the road, and blindly insists he “ had to make the call on the night,” makes me think he is possibly a deluded man who needs to be told that just because he has been democratically elected to office, he cannot smugly waltz through his privileged  life on pedestals specifically set for his own purpose. He also needs to be told that rural dwellers in his Cork constituency (and this goes for those politicians representing County Roscommon who expect a vote from constituents in isolated areas) cannot and will not be forced to simply get on with it and bear the brunt of the loss of their properties and dreams with a certain dignified grace and stoicism because it is just not good enough.

  Rural Ireland and its people will not just curl in on itself like startled snails and yield to the scum of the earth who feel it is their right to invade homes and take what they want, when they want, and to hell with the human and financial cost. Rural Ireland and its people will not be abandoned on society’s doorstep; and most certainly we will not bow down to a Government who has, in effect, ignored its citizens’ basic needs by closing down essential Garda services and instead taken to effectively shooting its wounded.

  My advice to Junior Minister Murphy is next time he has a job vacancy, why not opt to employ a ‘failed PR guru;’ he certainly appears to need someone to attach a bit of common sense, decency and spin to his skewed air of entitlement and sorry ass excuses.

 

Get Shorty; I did! But beware, my hair-raising exploits are not for everyone!

Having only recently ‘moved over to Blondesville,’ our columnist has now changed her hair dramatically by taking a ‘short cut’ – after much soul-searching, she finally told her stylist to sharpen her scissors and get cropping, while ordering a coffee with a side order of valium (for our columnist, not the stylist)….read on…

May I take this timely opportunity to apologise to all you lovely, luscious blondes for abandoning you and reverting back to my natural brunette barnet? Thanks; appreciate it. Now I know I only moved over to Blondesville a short while ago, but I was beginning to look like a cross between an aging cheerleader-in-chief and Satan’s Mistress, and so it just had to go.

  I don’t know readers, maybe it’s my hormones;  my fiery mood swings are legendary in the People’s Republic of the Kerins’ gaff – and recently I decided a blonde, flowing mane just didn’t quite tone in with the aul hot flushes – and made a decision to have it all chopped off.

  Eh, now, relax the kacks there, I didn’t quite emulate screw-up fairy Twitney Spears and take a razor to it; it’s not military short but it is Pixie short. Mind you, I did do endless amounts of research before I took the plunge. In fact, it’s probably fair to say, more examination, scrutiny, exploration, in-depth analysis, soul-searching and polling of pi%&ed off friends through texts and Facebook messages and stalking family members through ‘phone calls went into my decision to have my long locks cropped into a more fashionable Pixie style than actually went into the wording of the marriage equality referendum. I kid you not!

  I even pestered and harassed he-who-nearly-lost-the-will-to-live as to what he thought about my tonsorial plight; ya know, just to pretend he actually had a say in the matter and got the poor man’s stock reply when discussing the thorny subject that had become my ‘will I, won’t I, dilemma?’ which is always a cautious, “what answer would you like me to give you darling?” But the deed is now done and he says he loves it…perhaps he’s too afraid to say otherwise? Naah.

  You see – and female readers will agree with me here, I hope – life is an endless struggle for us girlies; full of frustrations and challenges. Life not only begins at 40, ok 50; it also begins to show at 50 but eventually you manage to find a hairstylist you can trust. Mine is a wonderful local girl who cannot only whip up a colour to complement those dark roots and liver spots; she can also do a snazzy, stylish, uber-chic Pixie cut to boot.

  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I loved the long blonde do; I did. However the heavy bleaching with the visible root growth, the twenty  minutes of tedium it took to work the shampoo and conditioner followed by the intense hot oil treatments through it; the knots, Oh God the knots, the hour it took to section and blow dry it, the heated rollers, the GHD, the smell of burning hair and, having done all of that, the resorting to tying it up into a ponytail or an old-fashioned Gibson Girl bun with the finished result making me look like an aging, peroxide-dependent, power puff canary; a fact that occurred to me one day when I took a long, hard look at myself and my over-processed hair in the mirror and agreed that the hooker hairdo, dragged through a weed whacker finesse I’d been sporting for too long, had now  passed its glory days and the cost of maintaining it was, like my former waist-length lank locks, growing by the month. 

  “Why don’t you go for a nice bob,” texted my hair stylist No 1 daughter. “Yes mam, a nice bob,” echoed No 2 adding, unnecessarily I thought, “sure you’re too small for such a big mad head of hair and the blonde is just aging you.” The ‘too small’ I could understand, I’m merely 5” to her 5’ 10” frame, but I could have done without the catty ‘aging’ remark.

  And so, armed with all my courage, I took myself off to the salon and told my stylist to chop it off! Now please don’t think I’m vain or suffering from delusions of adequacy here, because I’m not. Like most women of a certain age, I often tend to feel decidedly the opposite,  inadequate, and my hair had become my security blanket, and as I felt my stylist, who’d asked me several times if I was “absolutely sure?’ cut off more than a foot of hair with a heavy plop and hold it up for me to see, even popping it into a paper bag for me to take home as a trophy, I went deathly pale, gasped out loud, put my hand over my mouth, and nearly had a panic attack.

  “Get a bob, you’ve enough left for a nice bob,” she hurriedly advised and that advice is what made me stop dead in my tracks. Why did everyone want me to get a ‘nice bob?’ I mean, I know I’m no spring chicken girls, but I’m hardly sitting in God’s waiting room now am I, so why would I opt for the ‘safe, sensible mammy bob option,’ as I call it. 

  Now that is no disrespect to those lovely ladies (and men) who wear their hair in a bob, I’m sure it’s fab on you and you rock it, but you see, it’s not for me. I’m an all or nothing loony; besides, a bob would just make me look like a forehead with teeth and so I decided not to have the ‘official’ haircut of the menopausal matriarch and instead told my stylist to sharpen her scissors and get cropping, and yes, I’d have that coffee now please with a side order of Valium if she had any because if I ended up looking like a little dude I’d need something to numb the pain.

  However, I love my dramatic physical change and so does my adorable hubby, who excitedly declared, “you should never let your hair grow again, it’s much sexier short, I love it;” and I agree. However, even though I polled and pestered everyone, I did make the decision to channel my inner Pixie to please ME and only ME, meaning I’m thrilled with my new do. It makes me feel good and that’s what counts! I did offer to donate my hair to charity in the hope it could be used by a wig maker for those experiencing hair loss due to medical treatment or alopecia; sadly, as it had been chemically treated, as in it was toxic at this stage, it was deemed to be unsuitable.

  If any readers wish to follow my hairspiration and get the chop and want to donate their hair to charity, log onto www.rapunzelfoundation.com for more information.

 

Sexualisation of 10-year-olds: of course it is the fault of irresponsible parents

Shocked by ISPCC claims that some 10-year-old children are being put under pressure to have sex, our columnist says parents need to act responsibly or it could be their innocent baby who is called Childline in the future…

A whole lot of things greatly upset me last week and made me weep. I’m still not the better for seeing that heart-wrenching image of what must surely be today’s equivalent of the horrific and disturbing  Vietnamese ‘napalm girl,’ picture taken of a then 9-year-old Kim Phuc back in 1972.

  This iconic image was that of tragic, innocent little baby Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach on the holiday resort of Bodrum; a beach I have visited many times while on holiday. The image of that infant was so visceral it makes my stomach lurch every time I think of it.

  However, meanwhile back on the good aul land of saints and scholars, another ‘innocent’ child-related subject has raised its ugly head and helped crystalize the whole sad and sorry sex education (or lack thereof) issue our country has been playing ping pong with since, oh, since way before I was a small child – and that is the ISPCC’s revelations that ‘children as young as 10 are being pressured into sex.’ No, I am not under medication, that’s what I read. In fact, over 30,000 youngsters contacted Childline last year looking for help with ‘sexual matters.’ 

  One 10-year-old little girl (a mere two years’ older than my beautiful, precious, innocent little granddaughter) even rang in and said she ‘felt pressured to give in and have sex with her boyfriend.’ Apparently this little one, who is someone’s daughter, someone’s granddaughter, someone’s baby girl, was ‘told by her friends to have sex or lose him,’ according to ISPCC CEO Grainia Long.

  Seriously? What the X%&!? I mean, surely this is the stuff of dark, sleazy trashy porn we’d expect to see in a smutty film noir, not something that happens behind the spotless lace curtains of good old Catholic Ireland? Well apparently it is and the wonderful, put-upon Childline charity is trying hard to deal with it.

  So, in light of those shocking revelations, can I ask where are these kids’ parents? You see, I blame you, not your sons and not your daughters. YOU!!! In my opinion these parents are complicit in this loss of innocence by allowing their babies to grow up too quickly, by allowing them free, unsupervised access to social media, by dressing them provocatively as babies in clothing emblazoned with explicit sexual slogans – yes I do mean you; the mother I saw pushing a baby in a pram recently where the poor infant was wearing a pink t-shirt that said ‘The Condom Broke,’ and skinny jeans over her nappy!  

  I’m not a violent person (no, really, I’m not), but I’m kinda sorry I didn’t go over and slap that mother because by trying to be ‘fun’ and ‘ironic,’ she needs to know that effectively, by dressing her innocent baby in that t-shirt with the demeaning message, she is promoting her in a provocative manner that will have an accumulative effect culminating in her child one day being a panicked 10-year-old needing to ring a responsible adult at Childline for help, advice and support with a crisis pregnancy or a serious, devastating, sexual assault because her cretinous parents have, from babyhood, conditioned her into thinking she is a sex object who really needs to focus all her attentions on pleasing her boyfriend. And while I’m at it…who allows their 10-year-old child to have a boy/girlfriend anyway? If you do, you’re simply failing to do your duty to protect your child. Do I sound harsh? Yes? Tough!

  Look, by all means allow your kids to have boy/girl friends; ‘friends’ being the key word here, friends who play innocent games together, who walk to the park, who enjoy playing sports and laughing and joking together, who swap CDs and listen to ID, not grope, abuse and pressure each other to engage in adult activities. It’s their middle childhood years; nurture them through this new growing sense of self and let them enjoy who they are, for God’s sake.

  Look readers, I’m no expert at all; just a mother, just a grandmother (oh and just a stepmother too) who believes strongly that parents/guardians must understand they have responsibilities to educate and protect their children; to equip them with information; age and ability appropriate of course; regarding these serious issues because it is clear to anyone with an IQ higher than room temperature that these 10-year-old kids, (the boys who put the pressure on and girls who feel pressured) do not know, nor do they understand, the clear implications of their actions.

  Let me say it loud and clear kids because someone needs to tell you…you are NOT competing in a marathon to lose your virginity!!!

  We must strike a healthy balance with our kids whom, I have to say, are maturing much more quickly these days, meaning at age ten, they should have a balance of what is clearly right and what is clearly wrong, and as our parental role changes (not diminishes) during this stage, these 10-year-olds will start to form their own opinions about the world and their immediate surroundings. So this is my suggestion to those parents whose young sons are allegedly putting pressure on these little girls…act now; when teaching your son about sex and sexuality, why not impress upon him the clear advantages of respecting, not pressurising, little girls into having sexual intercourse? Just a thought!

  And, for those parents who think it’s ‘cute’ to pop an unhealthy, provocative slogan on their infant daughter or who dress them in padded bikinis; get a clue. Teach them self-respect and, er, also, to play hard to get; and substitute that sleazy slogan with an image of Wonder Woman or Super Girl, or some other strong female character they can look up to and emulate, and imbue in them a sense of self-esteem, self-identity, self-importance and self-control, because to do otherwise is simply poor parenting on your part.

* If you need support/advice then Freephone ISPCC on 1800 666666 or text ‘talk’ to 50101.

 

There’s a Louis-shaped void in this season’s X Factor as the Foulsome Foursome fail to impress

Having worked with Louis Walsh in the past, our columnist missed him from the X Factor panel of judges on Saturday, and, “even though his feedback was getting a bit tired”, she wants the genial Mayo man brought back!

It’s series 12; (and while every year I promise the luckiest husband alive that I won’t tune in), last Saturday, as I perched myself in front of the box, armed with a bottle of wine and a curry to watch the caustic crew, i.e. the worthless lifeforms, the most irritating bimbos, and the obsessive compulsive, mindless pieces of fluff who look like they’ve all undergone brain bypasses…call them what you will – I do –  throttle their way through the X Factor’s debut show, I have to say, I really do miss our lovely Louis.

  You see, I adore Louis; he’s a gent. I have worked with him several times in the past, and, even though his feedback to previous ‘performers’ was getting a bit tired, unimaginative and repetitive – come on, how many times can we listen to Louis telling auditionees  “you can sing, you can dance, you’re a little popstar,” or, my favourite, “you’re a van driver from Croydon,” to Ben Haenow – er, I’d say it was a safe bet he knew that; did Syco Simon have to replace our favourite judge with DJ Grim Rickshaw – or whatever his name is?

  Who the hell is he? Am I the only one who’s never heard of this ‘celebrity’ judge with the hair that looks like a toilet brush? At least our Louis has nice hair, a personality, a heart of gold and a few, (if somewhat dubious) little sayings; and he also always championed the Irish performers who now have nobody in their corner. 

  As for Rita Ora; is the enfant terrible a bit of a Billy-No-Mates?

I only ask ‘cos she did say “I want to be your friend,” to auditionee Lauren Murray; and is she lacking in sibling support, ‘cos again, she told girl band from the Philippines, The Fourth Power, “I want to be your sister.” Wow, after those declarations of desperation, I thought poor Rita would surely be seen scattering the ashes of her street cred down the Thames.

  I particularly felt sorry for pretty little Mullingar student Kellie Kiernan who looked fabulous and who did herself, her family and the Irish proud but who unfortunately fell foul of the judges when nerves got the better of her, bless her, leading the sun-tanned one to irritatingly call her “babe,” and mediocre male Grimshaw to shoulder shrug and unsympathetically tell her, “I know it’s terrifying in here but that’s kind of the deal.”

  Really Grimmy? Cut her a bit of slack; it’s a daunting task for such a young girl. Why don’t you call me if you ever hit puberty Rick because I’d hardly consider that a reputable critique from someone who probably feasts on his ego whilst worshipping his massive supply of hair products and who thinks it was ok to put ‘Techno Susan,’ the twerking 60-year-old granny from Brighton through with four yeses for her repulsive mauling of ‘No Limit’ by 2 Unlimited despite the fact she failed to hit one single note!!! Yes judges, ya really hitched your wagon to that one didn’t ya! Hold on there a minute while I get my night vision goggles and go looking for your grip on reality, ‘cos I think you’ve all seriously lost it!

  And it’s not just me; take a look at the reported massive drop of almost two million viewers if you don’t believe me! I’m no expert talent-spotter like former judge Louis, who has, by the way, managed some of Ireland’s most successful acts, but in my opinion last Saturday’s opening episode, showcasing screeching, fifth rate karaoke fodder, was probably the naffest, daftest, most mawkish ‘singing’ contest on the planet. (Oh ok, hold on, second naffest, we do have The Voice of Ireland).

  I have to say, and in the words of Louis, “the performance of the night” for me was Olly Murs’ (proof that disguising the fact you can’t sing by wearing a pair of tight-fitting trousers does work), ‘devastation’ as he whinged on co-conspirator, sorry co-presenter, Caroline Flack’s shoulder when his former ‘Small Town Blaggers,’ bandmate Jon Goodey, who looked like a nice guy, but who failed to even hold his own attention, neglected to make an impact. Seriously, readers, Olly’s lickle pinched up face was a picture, bless. Carlsberg don’t do ‘devastation,’ but if they did…

  As for Kellie from Mullingar, not to worry love, there’s always The Voice of Ireland, God love you, and at least you won’t ever have the dubious pleasure of making it through X Factor’s so-called ‘singing’ contest, because let’s face it, past winners do seem to have faded into obscurity. I’d say you had a lucky escape hon.

  As for Grim Rickshaw…well it appears his real talent so far lies in his ability to keep his silly hair upright, and for the record, pretty boy, I’ve got turnips rotting in my vegetable drawer with prettier hair; so there! Just sayin’.

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