Sunday 25 February 2018

Objects of Desire: Ray Foley

Ray Foley
Ray Foley
Artificial lawn from Sanctuary Synthetics (prices from €13.50-€32 per square metre)
MacBook Pro.
Spin Bike.
WD TV Live.
UPC 240mb package (€45 per month)
Borgo Magredo Pinot Grigio (€15.99)
Carrera TDF Men's Road Bike.
Mega Bloks 123 Learning Train.
Acer C730 Chromebook
Pinot Grigio Provincia di Pavia Blush 2010

The TV and radio presenter tells Andrea Smith about his favourite purchases

Spin Bike

I've been trying to lose weight, so I recently bought a Professional spin bike second-hand from a gym on Buy & Sell for €300. I started using it last month and I've lost a stone. I cycle for half an hour every morning before work at 5am, and I hate it, to tell the truth, but it seems to be working. I use a pair of Sennheiser MM100 bluetooth headphones (€129, to listen to podcasts and not wake the kids while I'm at it.


I'm a gadget freak, and my 13-inch MacBook Pro from a few years ago is worth its weight in gold. I do everything on it, such as preparation and research for work, new music and recording projects for the show.


What do you give a man who has everything? Wine! I like wine a lot and I like a lot of wine. I don't know anything about it, except how to open the bottle. My current favourite is Borgo Magredo Pinot Grigio (€15.99) on Gary at's recommendation. If you want wines you'll like at affordable prices, he's your man.

Kids' Toys

One of the thrills of having boys is the opportunity to live vicariously through their toys. I've bought Transformers (from €8.49) and Scalextric (from €13.49, both Smyth's Toys) for them already - neither of which they're into yet. Our eldest is just getting into Lego, so we're doing a lot of building. I bought a load of second-hand stuff on Buy & Sell, and found a deal on Groupon a few weeks ago for what they call Lego-compatible blocks, which basically do a similar job.

Superfast Broadband

Every time UPC upgrades its speeds, I'm the first customer to call and sign up for an upgrade. Just when you think they can't get any faster, they add on another few megabytes per second. I have the UPC 240mb package (€45 per month) as most of the stuff I use (phone, laptop, Netflix) needs internet, so without it, all the other junk is useless. I get my TV from Sky because I think their box is better.

Media Player

I'm always asked my advice on media players, and the WD TV Live box (€99) does everything. Just hook it up to your TV and network, and it'll play mp3s, Netflix, Spotify and, most importantly, practically every video format out there.

Artificial lawn

This is my pride and joy and our biggest extravagance this year. Our two little boys Matthew, 3, and Andrew, 1, love playing outside, but our back garden was in bits between our dog Izzy and patchy grass. I also hate gardening. We have quite a small garden so our Artificial lawn from Sanctuary Synthetics (prices from €13.50-€32 per square metre) was reasonably affordable. It's very soft, durable and dries quickly after the rain, and it's really clean and tidy. I could look at it all day long.

How to get Ray's favourite things on a smaller budget

Our Ray is pretty savvy when it comes to his kids' toys, and while they're Lego fans, their dad is also a fan of Lego-compatible toys. His little guys would love Mega Bloks 123 Learning Train, which costs €14.99 from Smyth's Toys.  Just remember to  play nicely and let them have a turn, eh Ray?

While a stationary gym bike is great, nothing beats getting out on a bike in the fresh air - when the weather is good, of course. This Carrera TDF Men's Ltd Road Bike from is €329, and the women's one is the same price if Ray's wife Kate fancied joining him for a spin.

The MacBook Pro deserves all the accolades it gets, but for a budget computer with excellent performance, this Acer C730 Chromebook from starts in seconds (a bonus for speed-loving Ray) and is only €262.51 with free delivery. Its battery lasts for hours and it's really lightweight for toting around.

Liking a particular wine comes down to personal taste, but Ray might like to try Lidl's Pinot Grigio Provincia di Pavia Blush 2010, which comes in at €5.49 and won a prize at the International Wine and Spirits Competition 2012.

Irish Independent

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