Objects of Desire with Mary Black
The popular singer tells Andrea Smith about her favourite purchases
My sister Frances recommended the Fitbit Flex (€96, LittlewoodsIreland.ie) to me, and I think it's great. I wouldn't be a slave to it, but if I'm near 10,000 steps, I'd do something to bring it up a notch. I found it funny when I was on stage recently, and it buzzed in the middle of the gig to say I'd reached the target.
With our old sofas, every time you sat down, the cushions came forward and you'd fall into a hole at the back, which used to drive me insane. We got two lovely Skill 3-seater sofas (€1,158 each, DFS.ie) and I had a lovely winter snuggling into them.
I wouldn't be one for following trends and don't spend a huge amount on make-up, but I like to look after my skin. I can really see the difference since I started using Charlotte Tilbury creams (Magic cream, €90, night rescue cream, €120, BrownThomas.com) as I feel they have given my skin a lovely, fresh glow.
When my mother Patty died in 2003, she left us a few bob each, and I wanted to buy something with it that would be like a gift from her to me. She loved music and singing, so I bought a Yamaha piano in Jeffers of Bandon in Cork (€2,500 second-hand, Piano.ie). The joy it has given me is something else, because any time Danny or Róisín or anyone else sits down to play it, I think of her and say, "Thanks Mam," because it feels like she's still with us in a funny kind of way.
I was on tour in Australia for four weeks recently and brought one scarf (€7, Penneys) with me. I never got such great value out of anything. Everyone admired it, and I rolled it up into a pillow on flights, it doubled as a shawl in the evenings if I got a bit chilly, and I put it over my head if it started to rain in place of an umbrella. I was even able to lie on it when we came across a beach on a day off in Manly.
I have problems with my knees, as I played a lot of basketball when I was younger, and there's wear and tear there too. Since I started taking Solgar Full Spectrum Curcumin (€36.16, Solgar.ie) which has a high dose of turmeric, I've felt much better.
Thank God for Peppa Pig is all I can say. We have two beautiful grandchildren, Bonnie, 3, and Fia, almost 2, that we're mad about, and when we were coming back from Australia, we brought them back Peppa Pig swing and slide sets (€14.99 each SmythsToys.com). They were delighted and we were the best Mamo and Papa Joe in the world. I don't let them watch a lot of TV, but when I'm babysitting and in dire need of a cup of tea and a breather, I put Peppa on, so she's my hero.
How to get Mary's favourite things on a smaller budget
So given that Mary got an absolute bargain with her all-singing-and-dancing €7 Penneys' scarf, we can't really top that one. So we're going to suggest a nice glam scarf, the Nine by Savannah Miller pink scarf, as it has a designer label but not an outrageous price (€35, Debenhams.ie).
If her skincare range is a little beyond your budget, why not try the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation (€40, BrownThomas.com)? Charlotte claims that whether you suffer from acne, redness, discolouration or a dull, tired complexion, this foundation will give you perfect-looking skin.
Does anyone think Mary's beloved grandchildren might like this Peppa Pig Musical Band set (€17.99. SmythsToys.com)? Somehow we suspect that if the small girls were to get their hands on the drum, trumpet, tambourine, castanets, cymbals and maracas, Mary wouldn't remain a fan of the cute pink pig much longer!
Mary loves her lovely new grey sofas, but we feel that this Brent 2.5 seater sofa (€899, EZLivingFurniture.ie) would definitely brighten up any house. No woman's heart could possibly be low looking at that cheery raspberry colour.
Mary Black plays Vicar Street on Saturday; Millennium Forum, Derry, on Saturday 23rd; and Headfirst Arms Hotel, Kells, on June 24th