Objects of Desire with Colin Murphy
The popular comedian and writer tells Andrea Smith about his favourite purchases
I can't live without my Barry's tea gold blend (€3.49 for 80, Tesco.ie). I'm obsessed with it, but it's hard to get here in the north, so every time I cross the border I stock up and buy loads of it. There's a very fancy delicatessen at the end of my street that sells it, but they stick an extra quid on the price so I refuse to buy it there.
I write every little notion down in Moleskine notebooks (large, soft notebook €17.99, Paperweight.ie). I'm constantly writing and rewriting lists of things that I should be doing and jotting down ideas for material.
I have two bikes and they're not very fancy. One is an old Ridgeback Hybrid (Ridgeback Metro Nova gent's bike, new, €375, MyCycle.ie), which I use to scoot around town getting the messages. The other one is an old 1985 Raleigh Road Ace, and I use that when out on the road demonstrating my MAMIL (middle-aged man in lycra) behaviour.
I have a beige 1979 Volkswagen Campervan T2 and while it's completely impractical, it's fantastic. I bought it about eight years ago for around €13,000, and it was shipped over from San Diego. It gets used on a regular basis for family holidays, but the furthest we've been to is Devon - it costs too much in petrol to go anywhere else! I'm the designated driver, because my wife doesn't want to drive it as it's a left-hand drive and doesn't have power steering.
My 40th birthday present to myself was a 1978 Gibson Les Paul deluxe electric guitar. It was €1,200, so I got it for a song as someone needed to sell it to pay a tax bill. I have a mid-life crisis band called The 123Fours with Dermot Whelan from Today FM on drums, and John Colleary from Savage Eye on guitar. We do cover versions of punk and new age songs, and we play all over the place.
My eyesight went crap all of a sudden so I have reading glasses and magnifying glasses (€2, Tiger-Stores.ie) in every room. Apart from two pairs of proper glasses, I have all sorts of frames, including 1970s' ones and Deirdre Barlow and John Lennon types.
This one goes hand-in-glove with the campervan. When my wife Patricia and I go off camping with the two kids, we bring our Blue Mountain Fold Up BBQ (€33, CotswoldOutdoor.com) and it's the best thing ever. It folds down completely flat and when we're camping, we have a barbecue on it in the evenings and then sit around it like a fire, drinking wine and looking at the stars. My eldest lad is 15 now, so I don't know how much longer we'll get out of him coming along with us on family holidays.
How to get Colin's favourite things on a smaller budget
If you fancy the idea of hanging out in the great outdoors but your budget doesn't stretch to a campervan, this Royal Atlanta 8 Man Family Tent (€499, 0MearaCamping.com) might be the answer. With four bedrooms, even tetchy teens can have their privacy if the family togetherness gets too much.
Colin is a vintage fan, particularly when it comes to transport, but sometimes you just need to have a modern take on a good idea. He's going to fly, while looking fly, on this Reid Men's Roadster (€599, CycleBike,ie) which combines timeless style with a modern design to create the ultimate man's vintage bike.
Ever had a brainwave during the night and completely forgot what it was the next morning? With this Pukka A6 Metallic Jotta pad (€6.11 for 3, OfficeCentre.ie) by the bed, you'll never wrack your brains again for that brilliant idea that's going to change the world and make you a fortune.
If, like Colin, you're musical, why not channel your inner Jimi Hendrix and midlife crisis with this ESP LTD Cherry Viper 10 Electric Guitar (€359, Gear4Music.ie). Who knows - you and that band from school might finally make it to the big time!
Catch Colin Murphy, Al Porter, Deirdre O'Kane and many more at the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival in Kilkenny from June 2nd-6th. www.thecatlaughs.com