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From the kitchen table

From the kitchen table

What’s the name of the game, Britain? Break up and move on – or reverse Brexit?

 

 

So, the, er May-hem that should have seen the mother of all  economic earthquakes paying us a visit this Friday has been temporarily postponed – until April 12th. Theresa May? She’s a  woman whom I’ll admit I did once feel a little sorry for, but who I now realise, along with her crack team of muppets, sorry skilled negotiators, possesses zero political acumen when it comes to dealing with Brexit. Her only strategy to deliver a result has been to repeat “I’m going to get my vote through” – parrot fashion – and she has been effectively told by the EU to ‘sling yer hook, we’re sick of the sight of you!’

  Yes folks, appearing to grate on everyone’s nerves during what was last week’s high-stakes summit, May, whose sashaying on stage to ABBA’s Dancing Queen clearly (at one time) appeared to be the perfect moment in her dreams, is now proving to be a nightmare in reality as she approaches her dreaded Waterloo.

  I’d imagine last week that May’s quintessential stiff upper lipped British pride took a serious dive, when, consigned to eating humble pie and being left to stew as EU bigwigs chowed down on duck à l’orange, she was dismissed like a bold child and was, (like the rest of us plebs) forced to rely on a few social media updates and leaks regarding the latest sit-rep. And, as the grandees squabbled and hammered out their solution to her country’s crisis, Theresa must, in all honesty, have realised that she didn’t possess the biggest quality necessary in a good leader; which is, to respond to the democratic wishes of the electorate. And so, given the amount of increasing support the anti-Brexit campaigners are now gaining, (with apparently the likes of Annie Lennox and Hugh Grant signing petitions to ‘Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU’), it’s my opinion that only the most arrogant of prime ministers would blatantly continue to ignore the demographic changes and slides that have occurred, and which are now glaringly visible across her entire country.

  So, enough with your spin Britain, I’m gonna put this question into words your ABBA lovin’ leader will understand…What’s the Name of the Game? We know you ‘don’t wanna talk about things we’ve gone through’ and, while we’ve ‘played all (our) cards’, and you tell us ‘that’s what you’ve done too,’ quite frankly, we’re soooo over you, and, when we’re ‘the winner (who) takes it all,’ and you’re ‘the loser standing small,’ don’t bother whingin’ at our door for any ‘money, money, money,’ ‘cos there won’t be a ‘single penny left for (you)! Geddit?

 

Shout out to the mannerly men attending Transition Year at CBS Roscommon

 

Good manners, politeness and conducting oneself in a respectable fashion costs absolutely nothing; and yet, (in my experience anyway), it seems some parents (not all), fail to teach their children how to behave and how to say those simple words, please and thank you. 

  However, last week, when meeting a friend in Gleeson’s Townhouse in Roscommon town, I happened to be sitting at a table next to a group of teenage lads who not only impressed me with their impeccable manners and respectful attitude to the staff – the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ were being generously bandied about like snuff at a wake – but these lads were also immaculately turned out,  from their perfectly styled hair to their buffed and polished shoes, to their impressively laundered school uniforms; which, I immediately noticed displayed a crest confirming they were all students of CBS Roscommon. When I asked one of them why they were all sitting in Gleeson’s ordering breakfast from the menu like a group of gentlemen engaged in a business meeting, he told me they were promoting their school’s magazine.

  As it transpired, I was chatting with the entire TY year at CBS Roscommon, and I’d like to say a big an-mhaith agus comhghairdeas to their school principal, their year head and to their parents who should all not only be proud of these lads, but should be proud of themselves for raising and shaping a bunch of what I perceived to be genuinely well rounded, well-mannered individuals who were a pleasure to sit next to. If these lads, and their behaviour is indicative of what constitutes the youth of today, Roscommon’s future is in good hands. And er, sorry for being a nosey aul wagon and rocking up to wreck yer buzz lads…couldn’t help myself!

Danny’s got a solution to Deer-mageddon!

I’m one hundred per cent certain, (well, maybe just eighty per cent), that the lovely Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae is not an over-excitable gentleman. Nor, despite his previous inaccurate statements regarding climate change, as in ‘God above controls the weather,’ and his highly questionable hypothesis that consuming a big meal and getting behind the wheel of a car is as dangerous as drink-driving, etc. do I believe him to be, ahem, intellectually challenged in any way. In fact folks, I’d go so far as to say that Mr. Healy-Rae is likely a highly astute, sharp-minded individual; so I am at odds to know why it is that every time this man opens his mouth he appears to press Ctrl, Alt, Delete on his brain, leading to his sense of rationalisation slowly seeping from his mind like a tyre with a slow puncture?

  Let me explain. Last week, I read, with (what was once again) bewildered amusement, that Danny has allegedly, ‘called for the army to be deployed to make roads in Kerry safe again,’ and that the Kingdom was being reduced to a state of “turmoil and tears” because a few innocent, and, may I add what I’d imagine to be beautiful and majestic, wild deer, who are roaming around.

  Mind you, if one is to believe Healy-Rae’s claims, it would seem that poor little Bambi & Co. “have taken the place over”. Now, as an animal welfare supporter I’d only love the chance to get into a debate with Danny regarding his various views and opinions; (all of which he is entitled to) with my first question being to ask him why it is he feels it’s perfectly okay for God above to control certain aspects of nature, but when it suits him, or indeed interferes with him, he’d like to utilise and deploy the services of the Irish army to deal with such nuisances as, ahem, Deer-mageddon?

 

Alleged college scam makes my fake fairy cake hoax appear harmless

 

 

Last week it was reported that high profile US celebrities Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, right,  as well as other filthy-rich parents, were charged with committing fraud following an investigation into a so-called college admissions ‘scam’.  Apparently the ‘scam’ in this case was a highly successful and lucrative one, netting the ‘fixer’ – or, as the US media are calling him, the ‘mastermind’ – a staggering $24m between 2011 and 2018.

  These parents allegeded to have paid tens of thousands of dollars to a guy who arranged ‘for someone to take the SATs/ACTs’ for their children or to ‘set up fake profiles to have them recruited to college athletics teams’. Now, for those who’re scratching their heads, the SATs/ACTs are entrance exams used by almost all colleges/universities in the US to make their admissions decisions, and, the higher a student scores, the more options are open to them.

  While this train wreck is the type of scandal deserving of an entire episode of Desperate Housewives, (the show that catapulted Huffman to fame), it’s also an egregious example of the inequalities present between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ in today’s society, and I for one am glad these shady practices have been laid bare. Now don’t get me wrong folks, we all have a desire, (and a duty) to give our children as much of a leg up and as much help as we possibly can; however, unlike as it alleged in this scenario, the majority of us are aware of the ethical line that must never be crossed, and we would never, for example, consider offering examiners a bribe, or scandalously have others pose as our own kids and take their tests for them.

  Now readers, I’ll be the first to hold my hand up and say that I have, (on several occasions), been guilty of buying a few fairy cakes in the local supermarket, unpacked and, er, roughed them up a bit, before popping them onto a plate and wrapping them in tinfoil to be presented at the school’s annual fundraising bake-sale, passing them off as being ‘wholesome and home-made’ in order to impress the principal (and not embarrass my poor child). But that could hardly be construed as bribery or indeed as taking advantage of some corruptible middleman’s greed in order to engage in a dubious admissions strategy…could it?

  I mean, while I’m not a bad cook, (he-who-licks-the-pattern-off-his-plate will vouch for that), I do know my limits, and my baking skills, which don’t stretch to elaborate fairy cakes, cupcakes, sponge cakes, scones (you get my drift) would most certainly constitute a breach of any school’s health and safety regulations...meaning my motto is, if at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence you’ve ever tried in the first place and head to the shops! You see, despite the fact darling daughters’ notes home would clearly state that any simple offering would be gratefully received, the thing is readers, there was always some judgy, domestic goddess, Mary Berry wannabe type who was capable of concocting not one, but numerous batches of delectable masterpieces, all beautifully presented in packaging she’d crocheted from old crisp bags and bits of baby grows she’d recycled during the hours she hadn’t been out organising marches and designing banners for Greenpeace! Make ya sick! And, it’s not like I was jealous or anything, nooooo way; it’s just I hated show-offs who believed the way to the head nun’s heart was to turn up with a raspberry butter-layered creation displaying the image of the shroud of Turin when I can’t even follow a simple recipe!

  Look, I can fully understand the desperation felt by some parents when trying to secure a future for their kids. I can fully relate to that; sure it’s normal…but to allegedly bribe your child’s way into a college is wrong on so many levels. In my opinion readers, while it’s one thing to joke about your inadequacies as a parent and screwing up your kid’s future, it’s quite another to actually do it…allegedly! Kinda makes my ‘home-baked’ fairy cake hoax seem perfectly innocent!

 

Leo did fair to middlin’ on St Patrick’s Day junket

 

Our Leo, right, (whom, it must be said, historically tends to get a tad giddy when he goes foreign and represents Ireland on the world stage), seemed to be doin’ fair to middlin’ during the annual diddly-eye St. Patrick’s Day junket to the US. 

  Between the tin whistles, the shamrock, the bodhrans and the hornpipes, An Taoiseach not only became firm friends with The Donald, (God help us), he cleverly went on the charm offensive and totally won over so-called Christian conservative, vice-president Mike Pence, a macho man who (allegedly) has some very un-Christian like views on LGBT issues. 

  However, it was Leo’s dissing of MMA fighter Conor McGregor – who was invited to march alongside our country’s leader in the Chicago parade – that impressed me the most. I mean, why would organisers invite someone with so many anger management issues and legal troubles, (isn’t this latest incident McGregor’s second felony charge in under a year?), to walk alongside and effectively upstage our Taoiseach?! Now okay, I know McGregor, like a lot of us Dubliners, never had the advantages Leo had, nor did he receive an education at a posh prat college; and while I will always stand up for my fellow ‘how’er’ya’ Dubs, an arrogant individual, prone to, let’s say, thuggish behaviour, is not and never will be a suitable ambassador for our country, or indeed, a role model for her youth!

We must never allow embryonic hatred to win

Hate breeds hate, and this callous and brutal massacre of innocent people, no matter what their creed, colour or ethnicity, has got to stop. My heart is broken for the families, friends and loved ones of those murdered and injured in last week’s shocking Christchurch mosque terror attacks. However, having a broken heart and sending good thoughts is never going to be enough to soothe the unbearable horror that befell those Muslim families who innocently and peacefully went to meet, worship and pray together as a community.

  As a nation, sadly, we have first-hand experience of this type of embryonic hatred; we know what it’s like when some bitter and twisted terrorist goes on a homicidal rampage, hell-bent on carrying out acts of butchery and carnage. For this, and many more reasons, I know the good people of Roscommon will not only join nations around the world in sending our heartfelt condolences to all those who have been affected as they try to deal with what will be the traumatic aftermath – we will also stand side by side in solidarity with them.

 

 

 

We had 48 hours to bite the Big Apple…

 

 

 

 

 

From mild to wild, from food experiences that range from hot dog stands, artisan epicurean markets, and pizza and burger joints to fine dining that’s so outrageously expensive, I warn you readers, it will break the bank…New York has it all. From large department stores like Saks on Fifth Avenue, and of course that premier shopping emporium that is Macy’s – located right in the middle of a hyperactive Herald Square – to little pop-up stands; and, I have to be honest, a few seedy gift shops, peddling items more bedraggled than the rubbish I threw out during our house move, it’s fair to say the city that never sleeps is, quite possibly the most culturally diverse metropolis I’ve ever visited in my entire life.

  And, even though I only spent a short time there last week, during what was a surprise whirlwind trip with my beautiful youngest daughter, without doubt, I loved every single minute of it – and I will return. However, due to the minus four temperatures, next time I grace the Big Apple with my presence it’ll be during their summer months.

  Yes folks, a wonderful Mother’s Day trip to the city that never sleeps with my baby girl, (okay she’s 26, but she’s still my baby), was always on the cards. We’d chatted about it for years. However, noticing that mammy was in serious need of a pick-up, (due to a tough house move), taking matters into her own hands, Megan booked our flights, our hotel, acquired Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval for me, and, in her no-nonsense way, told me she was bringing my Mother’s Day surprise forward and advised me regarding what items of clothing to pack (warm, comfy clobber and runners). Yes, my take-charge, youngest deffo takes after d’mammy! I wasn’t able to come up with a valid excuse like, “I can’t leave hubby on his own with the dogs”…to which he-who-thought-he’d-never-get-rid-of-me insisted that oh yes I could! In fact, in order to make sure I left, not only the county, but also the country, he-who-yearned-for-bit-of-peace, drove me to my daughter’s city centre apartment the day before our trip…and legged it back to Roscommon!

  Flying with Aer Lingus was extremely pleasant, and with a choice of in-flight movies, (including new releases and old classics), delicious food, refreshments and alcoholic beverages on tap, as well as sweet treats, all served by what has got to be the nicest, most professional crew I’ve ever had the pleasure of taking care of me, my seven-hour trip passed in no time at all. 

  My super-savvy daughter had booked us into a beautiful over-sized double room at one of New York’s finest hotels; spoiling me with what is arguably the most breathtaking views of Manhattan’s iconic skyline. And, even though we had a full day’s travel under our belts, we checked in, did a rapid make-up top-up, followed by a quick change of shoes, but wearing the same travel outfit, (my jeans were now more wrinkled than my face), off we went, into the cutting cold, to catch the 158 bus to downtown Manhattan for pre-show cocktails and to indulge in some of the most diverse gourmet vegan food either of us have ever experienced. Yes, No. 2 is also vegan, and sure with New York being home to some of the best vegan-friendly restaurants showcasing vegan menus galore, and, given the amount and the sheer quality of choice available, the pair of us could barely contain our unbridled enthusiasm. (Note to self: Have jaws wired shut for a month). If I was pushed on my favourite eatery, it’d have to be Le Pain Quotidien whose menu is packed with simple, yet elegant organic fare; I’ll tell you readers,  their breakfast avocado toast followed by granola with bananas and coconut yogurt is, quite literally, to die for!

  Having tried to get tickets for Jersey Boys, which, by strange coincidence had departed Broadway for Dublin that very day, we opted for Phantom of the Opera at The Majestic in Times Square; an area that is as insane as it looks on d’telly! This, anything-goes ‘crossroads of the world’ with its commuters, tourists, construction workers, street performers, (no Naked Cowboy, apparently it was too cold for him that day), and scammers, attracts over 50 million tourists annually; every one of whom seemed to be visiting on the same day as me.

  But I digress. Now in its 30th year, Phantom, which officially opened at The Majestic on Broadway where it remains to this day, is a timeless story of obsession, winning both Olivier and Tony awards, and was, for both of us, an exquisitely crafted piece of musical theatre rendering us perched on the edge of our fifth row seats. Ben Crawford and Eryn LeCroy were mesmerising as the Phantom and Christine. This show was definitely the highlight of a trip which took in the Empire State Building, the heartbreaking Ground Zero where, visitors were so respectful, (and rightly so), you could have heard a pin drop; the New York Public Library, Grand Central Station, the art deco skyscraper that is the Chrysler Building and one of the city’s oldest and most historic buildings, the Flatiron. Sadly, due to time constraints we didn’t get to see the Brooklyn Bridge or take a bike ride through Central Park, meaning we’ve got a perfect excuse to return to the ever-changing fabulous fairytale that is New York City. Thank you baby girl; I had an amazing time.

 

Kerry, for the sake of the kids, tone it down a tad!

 

Due to what I can only describe as severe jetlag, I tuned into the Ray D’Arcy show to watch Kerry Katona’s (a stunningly beautiful woman, it must be said), brash, distasteful, car-crash behaviour during what was, for me, a highly uncomfortable interview. Now, as someone who has, in the past, interviewed Kerry for both print and broadcast media, I had hoped, that, given, (in her words) she’s nearly 40 and the mother of five kiddies, she’d matured a bit over the years.  However, the queen of reality TV’s brash cringe-worthy technique of  “I just marry ‘em, get pregnant, sell it to ‘OK’ magazine, and then get divorced,” and the way she threw shade at her first husband’s exes left me with a sour taste in my mouth. Look Kerry, no matter how much you may dislike your ex-husband’s former partners, no matter how draining or demanding you feel they may have been on your relationship with him, (and believe me I know all about the stressful tsunami that is a divorce), when speaking publicly love, it’d be wise for you to set a good example and remember that children learn about relationships through studying the models in their lives. And as you say you’re a “single mother”, that model is you!

  Therefore, if you come across like a bitter, cold harpie, then it’s possible your beautiful kids may follow by example and use this type of conduct as a definition for their own adult behaviour; and that can’t be healthy hon, now can it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have foolish Brexiteers unwittingly threatened to demolish this State?

 

 

 

Well folks, as the release date of Brexit…The Final Season is looming, the Brits still appear to think they’re both an empire and a force to be reckoned with. This element became clear to me when, last week, the British Government attempted to do what it believes it does best…issue idle threats to the Irish by playing dirty, announcing they’d favour Brazillian beef over ours. The nerve! Eh, let me know how that works out for yas! G’wan, flood your UK market with what is highly likely to be a food product riddled with not only traceability and sanitary issues, but that also raises questions around the way in which the animals were slaughtered.

  I mean, have the British Government become so obtuse they’ve totally forgotten the litany of concerns highlighted in a report documented by a delegation of MEPs who visited Brazil’s main beef-producing regions last year, where they declared ‘it became clear that Brazil does not have the same standards as EU producers’.  

  So, as each day is being ticked off the Brexit calendar, and the rhetoric surrounding the initial vote whereby our lovely neighbours declared they ‘never, never, never, shall be slaves,’ to either the EU or anyone else has now long since subsided, it seems the big dog that is the UK – i.e. the fifth biggest national economy in the world – has, I’d imagine now realised it may well have made a massive fizz-up of the whole untangling bit, and, as is usual in acrimonious divorces, resorted to playing hardball. However, I’d have to ask why they’d want to pull such a stunt on us? I mean, hasn’t history taught them that throwing intimidating ultimatums at the Irish, a nation that never has been, nor never will be, frightened of them proved fruitless? A nation which, even when our back is up against the wall – and the Brexiteers have become a massive thorn in our sides – will not, under any circumstances, bow to their pathetic threats.

  Irish farmers, (including Roscommon farmers) are synonymous with producing and providing top quality beef. Even as a vegan – I never have and never will consume it or any other animal product – I do fully understand that with prices reaching an all-time low, the industry here is not only under severe threat; it’s in crisis. And, even though Simon Coveney is doing his best ‘spin’ exercise in a bid to insist both the government and the EU will support our farmers following the Brits’ ‘we’ll buy Brazillian on a tariff-free quota basis’ bluff; the situation is indeed perilous and I hope his strategies will, as he pledges, protect both vulnerable citizens and vulnerable sectors. Time, which is running short, will tell.

  Something else which is under threat from a no-deal Brexit in our little country is our stability and our peace. You see, nobody, except of course for those who thrive on violence, will want to see the reestablishment of a hard border with the North. Therefore, while it gives me no pleasure to say this, (and I mean no insult to our wonderful UK residents living among us), it seems that the Brexiteers, through their unbelievable lack of judgement, and, dare I say, folly, have, once again, due to an ill-thought out referendum and their follow-up irrational behaviour of deciding to leave the EU without even a hint of a plan, may have unwittingly threatened to demolish this State. 

  Theresa May needs to stop pandering to those self-destructive extremists in her party, grow a set of liathróidí and strike a middle ground as a matter of extreme urgency. The diplomatic pressure is on, we’ve reached our limit of compromise, and our government cannot, and absolutely must not, take a risk with Ireland’s peace, its people, both north and south, its stability and its economy! Let’s hope common sense will prevail!

Do dial down on the whining Meghan love!

If Meghan Markle aka the Duchess of Sussex doesn’t want to be, according to her pal George Clooney ‘pursued and vilified,’ or indeed, get ‘a raw deal’ from the public,’ then I’d advise she refrains from jetting across the globe to attend high profile celebrity packed events, i.e. a lavish baby shower, held at a £57,600-a-night penthouse, (€66,294) that she knew was guaranteed to attract the interest of the paparazzi! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she should toe the line drawn by her in-laws…no way. I didn’t toe the line for my former in-laws, nor do I do it for my current ones, (and hubby wouldn’t dream of expecting me to). However, if, like privileged Meghan, someone manages to nab a job where they earn oodles of money, (funded by the public), for doing very little other than keeping a tight grip on their baby bump…(eh, we know you’re pregnant love, and we wish you well); and while everyone understands that royal life is debilitating, it’d be prudent not to whine because, unlike Meghan’s  deceased mother-in-law Diana, she’s no innocent teenager; rather she lived in the spotlight and she  knew what she was getting into before she signed her employment contract with the Queen. Just sayin’.

The Church didn’t want to act…it had to act!

Well readers, it appears the ‘alleged’ cover-ups regarding the sexual abuse and exploitation of children within the Catholic Church are now no longer allegations. And, I’ll bet when Pope Francis opened a landmark Vatican summit to tackle child sex abuse he didn’t expect Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s candid confirmation that ‘Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed, or not even created’.

  Now while locals commented to me last week they were delighted the Church had decided to “act to address the issue,” my answer was, “they didn’t choose to act, they didn’t want to act…they had to act!” I mean, when you look at this summit and see that level of high-ranking prelate gathered in the same room, you know the Church has realised the game’s up! They’ve been sussed and the sex abuse crisis, which will only escalate, now needs to be urgently addressed. It’s classic PR crisis management…take responsibility, be proactive, be transparent, be human, apologise and promise to take action! So, while Pope Francis has issued ‘guidelines’ suggesting ‘mandatory codes of conduct for priests, training people to spot abuse and informing police,’ etc., I for one am not buying it and I’d question if His Holiness has got what it takes to see his ‘guidelines’ and his ‘concrete measures,’ are put in place. I remain sceptical because for me, there’s a huge difference between what this Pope says and what this Pope does.

 

Yoga’s a great stress-reliever – but it’s just not for me!

 

 

As I mentioned last week, we’re currently undergoing the painful process of moving house. As you can imagine readers, things are pretty stressful. Friends and family have been a great help, (offering advice, not offering to assist with the actual moving of our precious items, but that’s probably down to me being a pedantic aul bint). And while I know everyone has my best interests at heart – or maybe they’re just sick of listening to me moaning and whinging, (you’re feeling hubby’s pain aren’t you?) – if one more person suggests I take up yoga “ta help with all d’ stress an’ dat,” I’m going to get them a hugger mugger yoga mat and stick it where the sun don’t shine! And breathe.

  Many years ago, because my former work colleagues were shocked, horrified and bewildered I’d managed to avoid ever taking a class, I tried yoga. It was when I lived in Dublin, working five days a week on live TV; and, during a demanding six-week fitness strand I was producing, (in the interest of research), I dragged on my non-slip socks and headed for the RTE gym. Well, believe it or not folks, attending those yoga classes and exercising at such a snail’s pace actually stressed me out! Yes, I hated it; especially when the Yogi (teacher), who was clearly on a macho ego trip the day he informed me he wouldn’t take “I can’t” for an answer, smirked and instructed his spray tanned little pet, (a set of bones in a pair of impossibly skin tight yoga shorts and sports bra) to annoyingly demonstrate an Adho Mukha Vrksasana, before ordering me to do it in front of the entire class. It’s a handstand, or as those in the know might describe it, a downward facing tree pose; (I think). Either way, pulling myself up to my full 5’ height, I raised my head and looked Yogi straight in the eye and refused to do it. I mean, nobody has ever Instagrammed themselves wearing faded leggings and their husband’s old t-shirt while trying to stretch like a graceful kitty-cat but instead ending up looking as awkward and sweaty as Donald Trump attending a Miss Universe pageant, now have they? So, following a stand-off, myself  and the frustrated Yogi mutually agreed I was way too rigid – and incessantly irritating (well, my primary school teacher didn’t brand me ‘extremely vocal’ for nothing) for the rest of his students, and, when my fee was refunded, I colourfully Namaste’d myself out of his course and, I’d say, to his relief,  out of his life.

  Look, I’m certainly not slagging off yoga…I’ve got the greatest respect for it, because I believe it’s a wonderful exercise, and I understand it provides amazing health benefits for those who truly embrace and enjoy it. But, alas for me, a woman who is both time and patience poor, and who accepts that my true life’s calling is never to remain silent for an entire hour, petrified to sneeze for fear I’ll interrupt a dedicated fitness follower’s concentration as they search for their path to enlightenment, my de-stressing tool is to  meet with friends and have a loud laugh. I mean, is it so wrong that I prefer to realign my spiritual self by the only means that makes any sense to me whatsoever, and in the only language I fully understand, which is, to sit on a high barstool and order a few G&Ts from an understanding Roscommon bartender whilst having the craic with friends?

  So, to those readers who enjoy yoga, and to those who teach it, I doff my cap to you. To my well-meaning friends and family, thank you for having my welfare in mind, but while I know every yoga experience is different, and, while I did desperately (once, last week) try to clear my mind and focus on my breathing, it’s crystal clear to me that I’m just a woman who can’t sit still nor, sadly for you all, who won’t shut up. Namaste.

Rooskey is not racist!

Let me state here and now folks that Roscommon, and (as it has the misfortune to be profiled in the news for all the wrong reasons lately), Rooskey, is full to the brim of decent, hard-working, genuinely good people. As one unnamed resident rightly pointed out, and I believe her, the people who live in Rooskey are not racist. I’ll say that again, I believe Rooskey is not racist. And, while I’m no Miss Marple, I’d have to suggest that whatever calibre of individual is behind the attempts to allegedly sabotage the Shannon Key West Hotel, which, we all know, has been earmarked as a location for a direct provision centre, is not from the area, rather it’s some pathetic pyromaniac outsider(s) hell-bent on causing damage to both a building and to the good people of Rooskey’s reputation, and the rest of Ireland and the world needs to realise this.

  When I moved to Roscommon, the transition was extremely tough. I missed Dublin. I pined for it; and I’ve never made a secret of this. I was so upset by the whole move from my family in Dublin; I temporarily retreated from life here, while, on the other hand, my happy-go-lucky, used-to-uprooting-and-living-around-the-world hubby, thrived. However, it was through making friends with the warm, friendly Roscommon locals, and through writing for this family-friendly, and family-owned, community publication that softened me and made me realise that yes, I can not only live here, I can thrive too.

  Now, according to reports, last weekend’s protest saw a number of unsettling confrontations spring up between different, let’s say ‘factions’ among the protesters, which included unsavoury verbal insults being bandied about. However, even though I have absolutely zero links to Rooskey, I have full confidence that those who’re set to seek asylum there will not only be welcomed, they’ll also be safe and secure.

  Why? Because the locals are decent people who’ll show both sympathy and support to their visitors, receiving them and treating them as guests. However, in order to allow them do this, I’d suggest that so-called ‘outsiders’ and indeed those who have no links to the area… (yes Christy Moore I’m talking to you…you’re from Kildare, as far as I know), desist from adding their tuppence worth. Just don’t bother. I’d imagine the fair-minded, hard-working genuine people of Rooskey neither want, nor do they need, outside interference.

 

 

Yes, Liam Neeson was wrong – but politically correct culture is like an out of control weed

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are millions of reasons in the world for people to get offended. Now they can range from silly, insignificant little things, to big things…and, in some instances, I’ll bet many of us have had the misfortune to be in the company of some joyless, depressing individual who is so angry, they manage to suck the life out of you by being aggrieved by absolutely everything – with nothing, not even a humour transplant, being capable of saving them.

  It’s vitally important to be considerate and respectful of differences in this world. However, having witnessed the backlash visited upon actor Liam Neeson, right, last week, I’d have to worry we’re now living in a time where the politically correct culture has become so widespread, it’s almost like an out of control weed (you know, the kind of one the lovely garden designer Diarmuid Gavin would tell you to cut out because it’s infesting your entire rose garden). Or, to put it another way, we’re living in the presence of (some) irrational, angry and easily offended people who in my view are contaminating our society.

  But back to big Liam (by the way, a lovely human being, who in 2011 became the first Irish Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF) and what has become his publicist’s nightmare.

  Last week, the Ballymena man sparked a major scandal by publicly recalling what would be construed to be a ‘racist’ incident from his past, (it happened 40 years ago), while chatting to a journalist at a celebrity press junket to promote his latest movie (Cold Pursuit) – which is a revenge movie. This week, he is suffering the damaging effects of the fall-out. The highly respected journo in question, (Clémence Michallon), who is reported to be ‘a (US) culture writer with The Independent,’ (the UK one, not the Irish Indo), says she felt a “strong responsibility” to share Liam’s comments (and she had every right to do this), while the much-loved actor is now fighting to save his career and his reputation. Me? I’m wondering if perhaps, (and I’m not apportioning any blame here on the publication involved, they were, as the journo says, ‘telling the story as fully as possible’), given the obvious outrage that would ensue, maybe, just maybe, a teeny bit of extra professional and ethical practice could have been employed here?

  Of course nobody prompted Neeson to disclose this highly personal experience. (Motivated by desire for revenge after a close friend had “been raped by a black man,” Neeson roamed the streets, cosh in hand, in search of a “black b***ard,” so that he “could kill him”). As a journalist myself, who has been to many a celebrity junket in the past, I’d have exercised both my professional and my personal judgement, and in this instance I really do wonder if I would have taken the decision to disclose the actor’s controversial and hurtful comments. Again, they had every right to do so.

  But I raise this, because many years ago, in the course of an interview I was conducting, a high-ranking minister, (now former minister), made an incredibly controversial and shockingly discriminatory comment to me. I wrestled with my conscience at the time. The minister was an odious creep and his comments were repulsive, but, given he’d downed a few lemonades, (of the alcoholic variety), I decided that it would serve nobody any good – neither himself nor his voters – to make public his pathetic schoolboy remarks. He clearly regretted his words, later sending me a text…I told him never to contact me again and blocked his number from my phone.

  So, while we know Liam is human, and he was rightly enraged by his friend’s violation, and while the majority of us can understand the strong urge for revenge he had burning inside him when his loved one had been attacked, I’d comment that, given he’s an influential figure and a father, what he said was pretty much nauseating and worrying. It was also very stupid, and due to this I’m wondering if perhaps Liam was playing up to his ‘tough guy actor’ persona, deciding to get into character and drive home his movie’s point? Maybe? Maybe not? In any event, the only ones who have the right to act in a law enforcement capacity are the police authorities, who should be contacted in order that justice, (and not revenge) is carried out.

 

On the road again…

 

Myself and himself would like to wish all you fabulous romantic Rossies a wonderful Valentine’s weekend. As we’re currently undergoing the stressful process of moving house, (again), and living out of boxes, I’d imagine, for us, given this week we’ve spent more time hissing insults at each other, than we did holding hands, the entire process of writing down that loving gesture on a card will be put on hold for a week or two. I mean, there is absolutely nothing in the entire universe guaranteed to create conflict, and, in addition, test a relationship between what is normally a very close-knit couple to its very limits, than a home move.

  You see, as a no-clutter-allowed freak, I have scant time for anyone who keeps, and has attachments to, what I would deem to be meaningless objects, so, as you can imagine, the pre-move arguments, and the currently-moving arguments are, let’s just say, not pretty. Especially given that, as I write, hubby is actually retrieving items from the bin!!! Add to that, I’m unable to locate my toothbrush…and the TV, which I like to listen to in the background as I work, was accidentally totalled last night, yep, it’s technically fecked, and needs to be urgently replaced before the Sky engineer arrives to re-connect us. I tell you readers, right now I want to sit in a corner, coiled in the fetal position and howl at the top of my voice while my darling, desperate-to-stay-out-of-my-line-of-fire hubby, calm as ever, seems to take it all in his stride!

  Look, we’ll survive this move. We’ve been through worse, as my step-mother keeps reminding me, and, next week, hopefully when things are a bit easier, we’ll get into the Valentine’s mood with a nice celebratory ‘new home’ toast to ourselves. Have a great one folks.

 

 

 

No blanket defence for this carry-on…

 

If someone tells me they’ve developed a deep attachment to a certain object, such as a piece of jewellery, an old photograph, a treasured ornament/keepsake, or even a poem or a book, etc., I can fully understand, and empathise with them. In fact, I have several objects that are so dear to me, I find it extremely comforting just to hold them. However, if someone tells me they have an emotional attachment so intense, running to a fixation so powerful their commitment to an object spirals into a scenario where they plan to marry it, then I’d certainly, and very gently, suggest they seek expert help.

  You see, while I’m no professional psychologist, I do know that the expression of love, commitment, (and sometimes a sexual preference) for certain inanimate objects has become so common, the condition has now been given the label ‘objectophile’.  

  Now I’ll bet everyone reading this column knew at least one kid in school who had a weird rock collection, (am I right?), but did that kid marry an entire wall? No, of course they didn’t. However, for Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer, the woman who not only married the Berlin Wall, she took her ‘husband’s’ name, (Berliner-Mauer is German for Berlin Wall), and went on to coin the term ‘Objectum Sexuality’ (OS) – setting up a support network called ‘OS Internationale – it was a match made in heaven.    

  However, before I go on, let me set the record straight, because I don’t want anyone panicking here. You see, being married to someone who never gets out of the leaba, or who never moves from in front of the sports channel, doesn’t make you an ‘objectophile,’ rather it makes you saddled with a lazy fecker; so don’t go running off to the doctor, you’re fine; hubby’s got the problem.

  Nevertheless, while Mrs. Berliner-Mauer, (or should I say the widow, because they tore down her hubby, sorry the wall, may he RIP), married her one true love decades ago, making her old news, last week, Exeter artist, Pascale Sellick, (now known as Duvet Lady), decided to reveal to the world that she, despite having a human partner, is planning to marry her duvet cover. Yes, according to the delightfully eccentric Ms. Sellick, when she and duvet met, it was, “love at first sight,” with their overwhelming ‘whirlwind’ romance now stretching to a public exchanging of their vows with the nation being invited along for the big party. Seriously folks, forget ‘say yes to the dress,’ this is ‘say yes to the duvet’. 

  Look peeps, we know that both Brexit and Valentine’s Day are looming and, let’s just say a select few are getting stressed out, (I know I get the shakes every time I hear the term backstop), and understandably, some are acting the eejit by making questionable commitments, and while I’ve personally known some extremely mis-matched, odd couples in my time, marrying an inanimate object such as a dividing wall, a duvet, (who said he was previously in a steady relationship with a pillow case for years…only jokin’), the Eiffel Tower, or a rollercoaster, because they can apparently offer you something nobody else on earth can, or because it is an item you want to cross off your ‘to-do’ list, is, in my view, just plain bonkers. Of course I’m sure a mental health expert would disagree with me, and would certainly have a more sensitive and politically correct term for the condition; as well as, ahem, a long list of prescribed medications.

Editor’s note: I am imposing a blanket ban on columnists’ commentary on this issue – Frank Brandon was moved to write about it last week too. Dan Dooner and Seamus Duke have been notified!

 

Why I liked ‘First Dates’ James from Roscommon

 

I really liked Roscommon man, (now living in Galway), James Kilmartin on last week’s First Dates Ireland. What a well-mannered, handsome bloke he is. He has obviously been raised in a loving home, by honest-to-goodness decent people. As for his mother, once he’d officially ‘come out’, James revealed she immediately took down the picture of the Pope, due to him being ‘anti-gay’. Love this Roscommon mammy…fair play to you Mrs. Kilmartin; you’re a legend.

  However, while cutie James made me smile, (I mean how is this gorgeous man still single?), it was his date Serdzan’s (pronounced Sir-John) revelation that he was “homoflexible,” that made me realise that, finally, RTE, instead of manipulating the licence fee paying public by skirting round certain ‘issues’ and ‘topics’ they once believed to be taboo, are now, in 2019, prepared to allow producers make ‘fly-on-the-wall’ reality shows where participants can openly voice their sexual orientations. To be honest, I wasn’t a bit surprised when this lovely, and what was in my opinion, a well-matched pair, said “yes” in unison to a second date.

  And for those of you who are now scratching your heads screaming…what is she talking about? What is homoflexible? Let me try to explain. Homoflexible is when a person is emotionally and physically attracted to the same sex, but can, at some point, on occasion, be attracted to the opposite sex. Now personally, I think that’s very equal opportunities of them!

 

 

Cancer survivors had me crying tears of joy and admiration

 

We’re practically a reality TV free household; in so much as we only tend to watch a select few shows. Mind you, I’ll personally give up that badge of honour the day someone produces a reality show that sees the entire Irish and British Governments, without prior warning or preparation, being dropped into a remote desert, along with their pathetic excuses for failing to sort out this whole Brexit c**p and attempt survival; while, at all times, being placed under the scrutiny of the voting public’s eyes! Now that I’d watch.

  So, last weekend, due to not being able to locate the TV remote control, and being too tired to go searching for it, I tuned into Ireland’s Got Talent. Yes…I tuned into what is probably the most over-hyped, home-produced, manipulated-for-drama TV show of them all. Mind you, when the inspirational ladies from Sea of Change, a choir made up of cancer-surviving heroines from across Ireland – who looked spectacular in black sparkly dresses – came on stage and sang This Is Me from the movie The Greatest Showman, their body-positive message had me crying tears of joy and well as admiration. Well done girls. Respect!

 

Ring the cliché police – there’s a ‘cougar’ on the loose!

 

 

I’m always surprised that, in this era of so-called gender equality, (unless of course you’re a woman being paid 14 per cent less than your male colleague…but hey, aren’t the government working to address this imbalance?), it appears to have become a legitimate form of entertainment to slag off any woman who is dating a younger man. Now call me cynical, but for me, this b**chy stereotyping, which sadly, not only raises the issue of societal inequality, has, this week, generated a shed-load of condemnation from those who’re clearly jealous of any woman who dares to step outside of her conventional gender norms!

  Let’s take UK TV presenter Caroline Flack (39), as an example. Flack’s alleged ‘clinch,’ (yes clinch! Wow, was she snogging him back in 1975? Far out man!) with Strictly star AJ Pritchard (24), during the National Television Awards (NTAs) has some judgmental columnists surfing on a wave of self-justification salaciously labelling the poor woman ‘a serial cougar’ – and that’s a disgrace. I mean, isn’t a mature woman entitled to develop an erotic portfolio consisting only of eye candy young enough to be classed as himbos if she wants to? Or is this younger-partner trend still a pleasure reserved only for mature men? Quick…ring the cliché police!

  Look, as someone who is quite bossy and who likes to be in control, from a young age my own dating (and later my matrimonial) mantra was never to have a partner who is younger than me, for the simple reason despite the fact I have kids, and I adore them, I never actually  wanted to marry one! Besides, if I had, my vows would probably have had to include ‘till homicide do us part,’ because a younger partner would have irritated me to such an extent I’d probably have harbored felonious thoughts. But that’s just my personal choice and each to their own, and if a mature woman is attracted to a younger man, she shouldn’t be demonised for it; she should be congratulated on her new relationship. You see, I’m sick of those dour nitpickers, (you know the sort, they’re cursed with that recently sucked-on-a-lemon look),  who criticise any woman who does enjoy the company of a younger man, and whom, due to their resentful nature, see the whole cougar phenomenon as being ‘unnatural’. 

  You see girls, despite the fact it’s 2019, there are those who still believe ‘cougars’ are violating some sort of basic doctrine of evolution whereby it’s fine for a big strong financially secure male to be attracted to a beautiful younger woman because, in his eyes, she’s clearly fertile eye candy who is desperately in need of him providing for her every whim. On the other hand, it appears that older women are expected to ditch their ‘She-agra,’ allow their libido to sink to Titanic depths, swap high-rise heels for sensible comfy flats and sit at home of a weekend tweezing stray facial hairs whilst reading Pulitzer prize winning novels so at least they’ll look intelligent and fulfilled if they happen to die alone in the middle of one!

  So watch out ladies, it’s a judgmental jungle out there! However, for those of you who enjoy the company of a younger man, (providing he’s above the age of consent), my advice is to ignore the insensitivity of the begrudgers, they’re only jealous, and allow your own self-confidence to rise to the top.

 

Suffering from centre-of-the-universe syndrome, Azealia?

 

Well readers, if you’re to believe rapper Azealia Banks, we’re “a bunch of prideful inbred leprechauns” and the rest of the world’s white folk don’t want to associate with us at all “and it’s because you are barbarians”. Classy or wha?

  Well, as Ms. Banks is clearly the type of prat who skips the queue at the supermarket, overtakes you on dangerous bends and refuses to give up their seat to someone who needs it more than them on the bus, I’m going to guess she’s suffering from a serious case of ‘centre of the universe’ syndrome and suggest she gets some help…perhaps a personality transplant would suffice!

  Look, I hate to poke holes in your little ego-bucket Azealia, but, as a ‘rapper’ you’re hardly the next Nicki Minaj now are ya love? You see, prior to her foot-stamping tantrum on an Aer Lingus flight last week, I have to say I’d never heard of this brash, disrespectful, opinionated little madam, and furthermore, I won’t be disappointed if I never hear about her again. After all, readers, when an enfant terrible (with only one decent album to her name) is experiencing such disturbing lapses in judgement, the humane and adult part of me immediately morphs into generous mode, and, instead of denigrating her, I’m going to sympathetically label her as some sort of ‘tortured artiste,’ who knows no better! Bless her!

 

Jail low-life who posted graphic fatal crash images

 

I must have missed the memo informing me that society has became so brutally uncivilised and disrespectful that it’s okay to post (what I’m led to believe because I haven’t viewed them, nor do I wish to), were graphic images/video of a recently deceased person on social media sites.

  Then again, as this was allegedly the actions of one remorseless, merciless low-life degenerate voyeur who felt it was newsworthy to make public the tragic fate of a young Dublin woman who lost her life in a multi-vehicle collision on a stretch of the M50, (which I’ve travelled multiple times), we can sincerely hope it was an isolated incident.

  Now while I agree that social media platforms should block and prevent the uploading/sharing of a fellow human being’s, (who is, let’s remember, a beloved family member, a cherished partner, a friend, and a colleague, etc.,) horrific circumstances, I believe that those sick cretins who stopped to take footage, and who didn’t try to assist, are clearly defective in the socially accepted norms department. Anyone who is toxic enough to do this, should not only be fined for using their mobile phone when behind the wheel, they, and those who share such material, should be jailed for being a menace to society. My deepest and my most sincere sympathies go out to everyone who loved and cared for the young lady who lost her life in last week’s tragic incident. I also extend my deepest condolences to the family of the deceased Ballinagare gentleman who passed away last weekend. May both their souls rest in peace.

I’m no lazy, listless vegan, Danny!

 

 

 

I’d imagine the Dunkirk evacuation was easier to organise than Danny Healy-Rae, pictured right, collecting his thoughts together and getting himself into the Dáil of a morning! Look readers, I’m sorry to have to say this, but, while I’m sure the aforementioned Danny is really a lovely man, it does seem to me that every time he opens his mouth to air his convoluted ideas regarding, well, almost everything, the sound of his voice not only cleaves through my cranium like an axe, rather his view of life in general appears to be so skewed I’m now wondering why David Attenborough hasn’t made a documentary about him…half-man, half-eejit! Only jokin’, Danny!

  Last week, straight from scaling the cliff-face of denouncing climate change, the man who never misses a perfectly good opportunity to keep his gob shut accused us non-meat eaters of being lazy! Can you believe it? Standing tall on his soapbox, head up, chin stuck into, well another chin, and, with all the depth of a car park puddle, the Kerry TD declared in what appeared to be every ounce of sincerity he could muster, that those of us who don’t eat meat have ‘never worked hard,’ before helpfully providing us with some much-needed dietary advice, by adding that a hearty helping of ‘bacon and cabbage,’ or a ‘beef or mutton stew,’ is likely all us weak vegans need to help us face the rigors of daily life.

  Now, while some dairy-deprived, non-bikini-waxing, non-parmesan shaving religious vegan zealots out there may have got their sensible hemp knickers into a twist over Healy Rae’s comments, I have to say, as someone who has refused to eat meat, fish or poultry since I was a small child, then choosing to convert to veganism, (no eggs or dairy either), 12 years ago, I think the man, (who is, by the way, a democratically elected TD) has a right to his views. Mind you, I would like to question the IQ of those who elected him, but sin scéal eile.

  Look, as someone who adores all animals and who believes, with all of my heart, that they are sentient beings who feel fear, feel pain, feel love and are self-aware, etc., and, as someone who rescues animals, I cannot, and I will not consume them…end of. I’m also someone who works very hard. In fact, I’ve been grafting since I was 15 years old, earning my professional degrees while working by day, raising a family and attending college by night. So there, Danny; we’re not all listless, work-shy sloths!

  Now, to be honest, as a vegan, I’m sick of being apologetic to people, mainly some restaurant staff who seem to panic when they realise my food choices are beyond their capacity to offer a meat free/dairy free option on their menu. But I get round that by, well,  smiling sweetly and mollycoddling them a little by offering simple tips around how they could quickly adapt their set menu to accommodate me without going to too much trouble. I do this because I do not, and never will, buy into those insufferable whack job archetypes adopted by many uncompromising, butt-clenching vegans who, quite frankly are joyless cranks whose only purpose in life is to serve as a warning sign to others. Look folks, I believe that as humans, we all have a right to decide what life choices we make and that means I will never judge anyone for eating meat; in fact my family consumes meat and I cook it for them.   

  You see, I view veganism as my personal dietary/life choice, and, even though I would question how our country treats our animals, and, in particular the livestock raised for human consumption – because, let’s face it, we all have a moral as well as a legal obligation to provide the highest standards of humane and compassionate care and conditions for our animals – but while veganism is growing, and I support that, I do acknowledge that meat/fish/poultry/dairy are a fundamental part of the majority of people’s diets, and that’s that! At this point I want to say, that, in general, (and going only on what I’ve personally experienced), Roscommon farmers do, to their credit, go that extra mile in taking care of their animals, with welfare being their priority, and well done to them.

 

Celtic Cru…bringing ballads back to life

 

Last Saturday, following what has been an extremely upsetting start to our New Year, myself and himself decided we needed a bit of a distraction and took ourselves off to The Forge in Castlerea to see Roscommon sensations Celtic Cru.

  The lads, who’re all so friendly and great craic, expertly performed an impressive ensemble of the best of Irish ballads and other hits, and, punctuated by their good old-fashioned Roscommon charm, charisma and electrifying stage presence, they not only dedicated a song to me, they also thought it’d be a good idea to invite me up on stage to sing with them. Of course I obliged, much to poor hubby’s mortification. Well done lads, we had a great night.

 

Make up your mind Josepha

 

Some politicians are so boring they can’t even entertain a thought, never mind a tweet, so perhaps that’s why our Culture Minister Josepha Madigan has reportedly decided to hire a social media expert to manage her online image. Now, as we – taxpayers – are apparently paying this ‘expert’s’ salary, I’d like to request they advise their boss that she’s being a little naïve if she thinks that one week she can lecture us women, telling us that if we wish to get ahead we must first “get a good husband,” and then the following week, while speaking at the Fem Fest, declare she’s really a “dedicated feminist”. So, which is it Josepha? Honestly love, before you open your mouth again, do some soul-searching…you never know, you may find one!

 

Are we facing a health crisis Armageddon?

 

 

 

 

Up until last week, I’d have considered meningitis to be one of those rare infections you come across. However, the HSE has revealed that 11 cases of this condition, which affects the delicate membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, were reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), since the last week of December, resulting in three patients losing their lives. Now, while I hate to catastrophise, these stats clearly indicate a major and worrying spike, leading me to be concerned that, along with a possible Brexit ruination, we’re also set to become victims of some kind of health crisis Armageddon.

  And so readers, as this is a family-run newspaper with community very much at its heart, (and, as several parents and some senior readers have told me they are somewhat confused regarding the signs and symptoms of meningitis, especially as some can resemble the flu), even though I’m no medical expert, I thought I’d touch upon this emotive subject. But before I go any further, do bear in mind that the best person to address all medical concerns is your local family doctor; and, if you feel that something is not right with either yourself, your child or any family member, seek his/her advice without delay because the HSE’s data is indicating that different strains of the disease are circulating with all age groups being affected.

  My own personal encounter with meningitis occurred when, while at work, I got a call from my then 10-month-old granddaughter’s crèche to say her mammy, (my eldest) uncharacteristically hadn’t turned up to collect her and was uncontactable by phone. I dropped everything, and, while myself and hubby rushed across the city to get our granddaughter, my ex-hubby and our youngest went searching for her mother. Long story short; unbeknownst to us, two hours earlier, my eldest had collapsed at work and had been rushed to Beaumont Hospital suffering from what was eventually diagnosed as being viral meningitis. None of her colleagues had thought to ring us when she’d collapsed, (they got a right earful from me, and my daughter later said she was mortified returning to work following her recovery). Understandably, as she was unconscious, hospital personnel, quite rightly, were more concerned with saving my child’s life than they were of going through her handbag/phone to find her ‘in case of emergency’ contact, or ICE, which were myself and her dad.

  Now, while my daughter’s diagnosis struck fear into the very heart of me as we stood outside of her isolation unit speaking with her medical team, I also breathed a huge sigh of relief because I knew that the viral strain of this disease, although very serious, and requiring swift intervention, is, thank God, rarely ever life-threatening, and we are forever grateful she pulled through without suffering any after-affects. We were lucky. I remember praying to every saint I could think of; at one stage going so far as promising my soul to Satan if only he’d allow her to survive.

  Now, as there is, (and it seems always has been), a health crisis when it comes to our A&E departments, it’s understandable that if a child, an adult or a senior relative is feeling unwell with what appears to be flu-like symptoms, that bed rest with a hot water bottle and an over-the-counter remedy would likely be the sensible thing to do in order to avoid making things worse by presenting at overcrowded A&Es. However, while it has been reported that the HSE has ‘declined to say what counties are affected on the grounds of patient confidentiality,’ and, as we don’t have an A&E facility in Roscommon, a call to your doctor, even though he/she God love them, are probably inundated at this stage, is absolutely vital. In addition, readers could also contact the charity ACT for Meningitis and speak with a family support officer. Their number is Ph: 091 380058. Or ring the Meningitis Research Foundation whose helpline is Ph: 1800 41 33 44.

  In the meantime parents, I’d urge you to check your kids’ schedule of vaccinations and make sure they’re up to date. Remember readers, while viral meningitis is rarely life threatening, urgent medical attention is essential. As for bacterial meningitis, well, if untreated, this is almost always fatal, so, if you’re concerned, don’t delay and consult your doctor for professional, medical advice.

 

Love a woman over 50? Quelle horreur!

 

Well ladies, it seems we’ve been sexually gazumped by a younger, firmer, thinner and more interesting new model, i.e. the under 50 year old nymphet!

  It’s true. Last week,  as if dissecting us mature girlies with a scalpel and holding us aloft like some medical experiment gone horribly wrong; French author and TV presenter Yann Moix publicly declared that women ‘over 50 are too old to love’. And, what has prompted the misogynist monsieur to make this statement? Well, presumably the creepy lothario perceives our age-related lack of pliability has resulted in our bodies becoming ‘not extraordinary at all’. His words, not mine!

  Now while I’m no Kendall Jenner, and, at no time in my life have any of my body-parts been as taut as Angelina Jolie’s inner thigh, however, as a woman who falls into the smart-assed chauvinist’s too-old-to-love category, I’d say that, along with every other fabulous mature Roscommon woman,  I’m defo not ready to sit in a corner covered in a shawl crocheting doilies just because some homme horrible who doesn’t even possess the IQ to become a contestant on Big Brother thinks I’m past it!

  Then again, let’s not be too harsh on Moix, who is, by the way ladies, himself a 51 year old; and assume that, despite the fact he’s balding and his visage resembles an unmade bed, (I mean, he’s hardly a knight in shining Armani now is he mes chers?), that he is, like some egotistical men, experiencing a mid-life crisis. Mind you, I could be wrong, but personally, I don’t think this imbécile has even left puberty yet!

 

 

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