Friday 28 October 2016

Mid-life crisis: Kimye are just like the rest of us

Published 02/06/2014 | 02:30

Kim Kardashian and rapper Kanye West
Kim Kardashian and rapper Kanye West

Hearing that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West honeymooned in Castlemartyr, if indeed they did, was somewhat of a turning point for me in my envy of the rich and famous.

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As it happens, we have gone to Castlemartyr for the last few summers for our annual visit to Cork and family gathering. It is near enough to my family but far enough from them. It's actually not that dear to book one of the houses there, and you can enjoy all the facilities of the hotel.

I can concur with the international media's portrayal of the place. It is a lovely environment, particularly for the kids. There are little patios behind the houses that merge into a huge walled lawn where there are usually other kids to get stuck into. (My children have not inherited my allergy to getting involved with other people on holidays).

If Kimye had asked me if I would recommend Castlemartyr, I would have said yes. I would have told them that the houses are perfectly nice, there's a nice playground area, a good pool, horses and dogs and chickens of all sizes, and there is a sense of freedom around the grounds. There's a grand little foodie shop in the village across from the gate, and you have your own kitchen in the house. We have various little outings we can take between family engagements – like Ballymaloe where you get a nice bite at the cafe during the day and an amazing dinner of an evening, the hotel in Garryvoe where they do a lovely scampi in the bar. We might even make it over to see Marog O'Brien in the Farmgate in Midleton, which is one of the nicest restaurants in the country.

And we might hook up with the sister and her kids to go to Fota Wildlife Park, which is a fantastic stop. We might go for a potter around Stephen Pearce's for a cup of tea and to buy a bowl. And then, of course, you're within striking distance of Cork for visiting people. We can even have the odd guests down to stay in the house.

Which is all fine and lovely for us. But we, I needn't point out, are not Kimye. I don't imagine they did any of those things.

The day that it was reported that they were supposed to be there, my wife said to me she felt sorry for them because it was raining. "They won't be able to do much there on a day like today," she said. She said it as if she was talking about some friends or family members who were down there, as if she was talking about ordinary people. And it freaked me out. Because I suddenly realised that at the end of the day, behind all the circus, Kim and Kanye are just people. Mad people, I'll give you that. But still just people. And if it was raining, they wouldn't have anything better to do on an Irish holiday than any of the rest of us.

Now in fairness, I'd imagine Kim and Kanye didn't hire one of the houses if they were in Castlemartyr. I'm assuming they stayed up in the hotel itself, budget permitting. (They had spent rather a lot on the wedding, but we assume that they had money put aside for the honeymoon). But apart from that, they were just like the rest of us really. In fact, I know way more people in Cork than they do, so I probably would have a better holiday there than they would.

And in fairness, what were they going to do? I suppose I have some idea in my head that these people glide around leading a gilded life. But there's no VIP section in the Fota Wildlife Park. And it can be a bit grim anywhere in the Irish countryside on a rainy day. So even if they went over to the hotel in Garryvoe for scampi in the bar, what were they going to do then? Sitting around looking out at the rain is sitting around looking out at the rain, whoever you are. And at least I can call up to my mother's house if it's raining.

And even if Kim and Kanye and North West did go to the Fota Wildlife Park, there would be some class of a riot anyway. Did it strike you at all that the only reason no pictures of them were emerging while they were in Ireland was because they had to hide the whole time?

You'd have to feel vaguely sorry for these bizarre jaded creatures in their gilded cage, hopping from one posh hotel to the next instead of just relaxing somewhere for the week.

When it comes down to it, their lives are just like ours. Apparently they even ended up in a cinema in Laois one day. Even look at the wedding – the best man didn't turn up and the bride had a difficult brother who wouldn't come because he felt too fat and thought the wedding was tacky. It's all just like real life. But much, much worse.

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