I don’t think giving up wine for Lent is doing me any good as I’ve been in a right old funk all week, with news that coffee may have disappeared from shelves by 2050 tipping me right over the edge.
• YOU know how I’m not exactly what you’d call controversial? A bit odd, and sometimes completely bonkers but generally you’ll find me perched (precariously) on the fence about most things. Well I’m going to put myself right out there this week and I’m going to respectfully suggest that we dial down all the talk about the menopause. We’ve gone from not talking about it at all, to talking about it non-stop. Or that’s what it seems to me anyway, and I’ll admit to being the target audience for this topic. Everywhere I look there’s a new menopause ‘summit’ being organised, a new book on the big ‘M’, or yet another celebrity telling their story … and more likely selling some related product (most of which seem to be mushroom-related for some reason or another). Enough already! Joe Duffy what have you done to us?!
• Yeah, what with the brain fog and all, the avalanche of information is too much for me and I’m in a constant muddle over the oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone. What I really need is for someone to cut through all the ‘noise’ and tell me what to do to successfully navigate this journey (ideally in 200 words or less). Specifically I just want to know how to be less angry, how to make the hair on my head grow more, the hair on my chin grow less (the horror of it), and yeah, help with the inner (and not so inner) anger. Anyone? Do I need to talk to Joe?
• I’ve found myself a bit disgruntled this week generally, and in particular over the ageing process. My own. What got me started was the six-year-old turning seven. I was going to indulgently do what lots of people do on their kid’s birthday and share cute photos of them on Instagram, and hopefully get me some Insta love. Well, it never actually happened as I ended up going down a rabbit hole of photos and being completely blindsided at how rapidly time is passing, and how it’s not being particularly kind to me. I have aged a lot in the past few years. The photographic evidence is there to prove it, and while I’m not remotely vain, it knocked me a bit, even if I’m embarrassed to admit it as we’ve marked International Women’s Day this week. Am I not supposed to be above all this? Am I letting down the sisterhood?
• I was still stuck in that sort of a self-indulgent funk when I suffered a further ‘setback.’ I was at physio for my ankle and had to do these hopping exercises in front of a large full length mirror. It was hard. The hopping (the ankle is still tender) but more so the ungainly sight of myself in the act of hopping. Amateur dramatics aside, I didn’t quite recognise myself and it didn’t help, either, that my physio is more than 10 years younger than me and extremely attractive. It takes a while to accept that bodies change, faces change and chins change (they double). I’m also convinced my nose has changed, and my teeth have definitely changed. It’s hard, and it’s not helped by the unrealistic images of other so-called middle aged women being held up as examples for us all to aspire to. Yes, J Lo, I’m talking about you. I sort of get it now why supermodel Linda Evangelista had cosmetic surgery, even if we all know how that went for her. If you made your living from your looks the passing of time must be cruel. I’m just a mere mortal and even I’m doing my best to avoid photos these days, and have to strongly resist the urge to turn off the camera on Zoom meetings (it’s my nose, it’s too distracting).
• I’m totally just having a moment and need someone to tell me to cop the flip on and fast! I know if you’re not getting older, that means you’re dead, so I’ll happily take whatever Mother Nature has in store for me (while lashing on the factor 50 if there’s even a glimmer of sunlight). I’ve also stocked up on bee pollen (meant to promote youthful skin) and got myself a pretty pricey multi vitamin which is meant to help regulate all the hormones that I can’t get a handle on, so we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, I went outside (after lathering on the SPF) and picked myself a nice bunch of daffodils, took some deep breaths and I felt a way better. And do you know what? I’m not sure giving up the wine for Lent is doing me that much good after all – maybe that’s the problem?
• Anyway, for now I’ve got more important things to think about, mainly potential shortages of tomatoes and coffee, two of my most favourite things in life! I’m a stockpiler, and I get great joy from having all my available cash tied up in things like spare loo roll, toothpaste and breakfast cereal (also pasta, flour and crackers). And, yes I was that nutter at the start of the pandemic who spent the equivalent of a holiday on anti-bacterial sprays and teabags (if you call over for a cuppa I’ll send you home with a stash and yes of course it’s Barrys). So while there’s nothing I can do about the tomatoes as I don’t have a greenhouse, I’m buying up coffee to beat the band. I won’t have a bean left at this rate!
• Finally, if anyone is looking for some light entertainment check out Fleishman Is in Trouble on Disney. Get past the first episode (which is terrible), but the other seven are very watchable. Clare Danes is especially great.
IN THIS WEEKS SOUTHERN STAR: 48-page Farming magazine; bumper ODonovan Rossa All-Ireland anniversary special; Goleen resident’s shock at bill to save home from gorse fire; Chef Dede savours two-star Michelin success; Spearline sold to US AI specialist; Graham Norton to speak at Bantry Literary Festival; Irish Water hits back at councillors; The West Cork playschool where stars are ‘born’; Bantry Bay U18s celebrate Munster cup win; St James up and running in league; Drinagh stretch lead in Premier Division
Good odds on a Corkman to replace Tubridy!
In this weeks Southern Star: FREE 48-page West Cork Farming magazine; Eight-page special on ODonovan Rossas 1993 All-Ireland club final triumph; Baltimores Dede wins two Michelin stars more