Kirsty at large: Kate's visits are right royal escapism
As a nation, our attitudes to the Brits are ambiguous to say the least. And some of us harbour a distrust of Protestants.
But there is one woman who seems to defy this national animosity. I'm talking, of course, about Kate Middleton. She of the big bouncy hair, toothy grin and hideously shiny nude tights.
This week, Kate and William touched down in Canada to take in the sights. Photographs of royal visits to former colonies are my crack; the costume changes, the awkward cultural activities they have to partake in, the bizarre 1930s clothes they make George wear. It's all golden.
So you can imagine my excitement as Kate journeyed around Canada. We had shots of her meeting Mounties, visiting forests filled with bears, and painting totem poles. What fun!
The couple also went to lots of formal state dinners, but no one cares about these. We just want pictures of Kate wearing a cowboy hat at a jaunty angle.
I know lots of people roll their eyes when they see Kate's staged photoshoots on news sites, but I love them. I think part of the appeal is that they are so old-fashioned, and out of touch. There is a naïvety embedded in every snap but this adds to the wholesomeness.
The pictures, and Will and Kate, are familiar and charming - like Werther's Originals or sweater vests. The couple also seem genuinely in love - which is a rarity in royal marriages (Charlene and Albert?) And I also like how happy Kate looks - she smiles so much I worry her face will crack in two.
That level of positivity has got to be infectious and may explain why I will gleefully waste a Tuesday afternoon flicking through picture galleries of her posing beside a Montana mountain range. It's right royal escapism.
It's mattress madness as Mick and Richie team-up
Taking the Mick: Mattress king
Was there ever, in the history of mankind, a more perfect union than this - Mattress Mick is teaming up with dungaree-clad man-child Richie Kavanagh to release a new song all about, you guessed it, mattresses.
Mick was in flying form this week at a screening of his documentary Mattress Men which reveals the cut-throat nature of the mattress trade.
In 2008, as the Celtic Tiger began to whimper, Mick saw business flag. So he did what any good mattress-selling huckster would do - he fashioned himself into a social-media star to bolster trade.
He released the video Back with a Bang in which he drove around Dublin in a DeLorean singing about mattress deals. It was a hit, and now Mick and his business partner Paul Kelly are planning their next video set in the Emerald city of Oz. "It's called the Wizard of Beds," Mick said.
Asked what is the secret to his success, Mick cites his friendly sales demeanour. "I get customers to lie down on the mattress with me and give them lollipops. You wouldn't get that at Arnotts."
Can Roddy upstage Wallace whipping Christ in front of Mel Gibson?
Summer dreaming: Oberon in a cape
Only in Ireland would a Hollywood superstar watch a TD flagellate someone wearing a cling-film mankini, all in the name of entertainment.
The Dublin Theatre Festival raised its curtain this week, but it has a hard act to follow after the shenanigans at the Tiger Fringe.
ThisIsPopBaby's show Riot, which was MCed by Panti Bliss, set the bar high.
Hollywood's persona non grata, Mel Gibson, was in the Spiegeltent when Limerick dance team The Lords of Strut performed their own rendition of The Passion.
Swathed in cling-film loin-cloths, brothers 'Sean-tastic' and 'Famous Seamus' encouraged members of the audience to recreate the flagellation of Christ using foam pool noodles.
The scene was made all the more bizarre as one of those whipping the son of God was Independent TD/tax cheat Mick Wallace - who, I'm told, threw himself into the part with particular gusto.
Wallace was in the crowd that night to support his BFF and political bedfellow Clare Daly, who was making a cameo in the show.
According to Famous Seamus, Gibson seemed to enjoyed the show, "although he did grind his teeth a lot".
Director of the Dublin Theatre Festival Willie White promises his festival will have just as many thrills.
"Although I can't promise Mel," he said.
To mark the 59th year of the festival - there were not one, but two openings nights.
In the Bord Gáis, the curtain lifted on Shakespeare's classic romcom A Midsummer Night's Dream.
While on the other side of town, Roddy Doyle's much-anticipated translation of Don Giovanni hit the stage.
Outside the Gaiety, everyone guessed at the various Roddy Doyle-isms that would litter the opera.
Down at the Bord Gáis, Shakespeare's comedy turned out to be more of a rock gig than a classical staging. "They played The Ramones and Oberon wore a leotard and a silver cape," theatre-maker Jose Jimenez said.
Sounds promising but I'm not convinced it beats Wallace, Gibson and oodles of pool noodles.
‘How do you use your ghee?’
Newstalk’s Pat Kenny had listeners blushing when he interviewed author and cook Susan Jane White about the state of her ghee. Double entendres abound.
US burger joint opening in Dundrum. Salty, greasy goodness.
Still going strong after all these years.
Red-carpet ‘prankster’ (above) who grabbed Gigi Hadid and tried to kiss Kim Kardashian’s behind. Then claimed it was part of a manifesto. Jog on.
Ruining your socks, mood and walk to work.