Wednesday 11 December 2019

People are talking: Clooney's get washed away

Flood alert: George and Amal Clooney should be worried about the Thames bursting its banks near their new home.
Flood alert: George and Amal Clooney should be worried about the Thames bursting its banks near their new home.
Starman: David Bowie

Julia Molony

Somebody grab a bucket! The good ship Clooney is in danger of sinking.

No, we're not talking about the love-match of George and his beautiful lady Amal, but of their recently renovated £10 million mansion.

Hollywood's most glamorous couple have, for some time now, been elbow-deep in a project to turn the hamlet of Sonning, Berkshire into Malibu-on-Thames. They've been carrying out extensive renovations on a Grade II listed mansion for over a year, much to the chagrin, it's been reported of many of their Berkshire neighbours, who have objected to the constant development work.

But any celebrity who sets up camp in Blighty will soon discover the value of a good pair of galoshes.

As Britain and Ireland grapple with severe flooding, even the Clooney's are not immune from the weather, it seems.

The Thames has broken it's banks in Sonning and, aerial pictures show that the water has been steadily flowing into the Clooneys carefully manicured garden. At the time of writing, a tide of brown flood water was creeping up their plush green lawn towards the house, uncomfortably close to the boundaries of their back step, causing havoc no doubt, with the landscaping.

And where the neighbours failed to halt the building work, perhaps an act of God can succeed in halting the gallop of a determined celebrity. Maybe the builders will have to down tools to deal with the problem.

We're unlikely to catch sight of George out on his lawn with his wellies and his sandbags however. Though there is a risk of further flooding as the rain is forecast to continue, the couple themselves are not in residence, presumably hiding out somewhere high and dry instead.

Parties are poles apart as poll nears

This looks set to be the dirtiest General Election campaign since . . . well, the last one.

Labour was first out of the traps with that picture of Gerry Adams and Micheal Martin getting married. Now Fianna Fail has followed suit with a poster attacking Fine Gael for prioritising tax cuts over health. This from a party which also cut taxes and left patients on trolleys. Go figure.

What’s weird is that FF’s name only appears in tiny letters on the poster, whilst half of it is taken up with a huge picture of Enda Kenny. If I was the Taoiseach, I’d call that a definite result. FF is effectively paying to plaster his face on poles across the country.

Amusingly, they also deny this is negative campaigning. Any strategy which concentrates on dissing your opponent rather than bigging up your own party is, by definition, negative. Stop apologising for it. That’s politics.

Trust me, they’re going to be a lot more negative about you than you are about them. 

Eilis O'Hanlon

The Mogul and the Model

So here’s the dilemma. You’ve already been partnered with two famous men, two rock stars, who in their day were renowned for their style, their fashion and their utter cool.

But for a third act, what is a leggy Texan blonde supposed to do?

Well it’s obvious — fall for the nearest publishing billionaire and marry him. At least with Mr Murdoch, Ms Hall can be guaranteed that what you see is what you get and he’s not going to go to seed anytime soon — which can’t be said of her previous partners.

Ex number 1 has faded into near oblivion, while ex number 2 has become a prancing parody of himself.

Oh how the cynics have rubbed their hands in glee at the ‘hasty’ union of Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corporation. 

He’s 84, she’s 60 and after a ‘whirlwind romance’ of a mere four months they’ve announced their intention to marry. 

It’s doubtful that the bride is in the family way so jaded commentators have implied that Murdoch’s great age is the reason.  Time, as Jagger didn’t say, is not on his side.

Cynics! It could be true love — when you know, you know so why wait? 

Besides, having a full to bursting bank account is something that never, ever, goes out of fashion. 

Anne Marie Scanlon

Candid Kennedy

Last week wasn’t the first time Lucy Kennedy went public with her working-mother guilt. The TV3 presenter has talked about it before, but she kept it specific. It was about her, as a mother of two, feeling bad about having to go out to work and leave her kids. Grand. That’s allowed.

This week, however, she dragged the dads into it. Oh dear. You can’t do that. Lucy dared to say that working fathers feel less guilty than working mothers and she was instantly attacked as some sort of equal-rights dinosaur.

One dare not distinguish between mums and dads, despite the fact that statistics show that mothers still do the lion’s share of night-time feeds, kids’ nightmares, housework, school homework, school lunches and on and on. Statistics also show that most working mothers would ideally opt for a part-time job, while any research into paternity leave the world over shows that men need more of an incentive than women to actually avail of it. And god knows that modern Irish men are more present and more involved with their kids than the generation before, but that doesn’t make them mothers. It just makes them better dads. With different guilts.

Sarah Caden

Ground Control to CBB

It is fairly inarguable that Celebrity Big Brother - aka 'people you've slightly heard of who have some bills to pay and don't care how that happens' - is tasteless, tacky and borderline exploitative. But we can't help feel that it's getting a slightly bad rap this week for the situation that occurred around the disclosure of David Bowie's death to Angie Bowie and the Chinese whispers (aka unhinged screaming) that lead some of the housemates to think that it was David Gest who had died.

Firstly literally everyone in the Western world made David Bowie's death about themselves. Madonna hashtagged it with the name of her new album. Every sycophant who'd ever met him for two minutes wrote an article on it. The music industry reaction was probably best summed up in Morrissey's line: "at the record company meeting on their hands at last a dead star." In the midst of all this can we really condemn the bottom feeder producers at CBB for catching a little manna falling from heaven and making use of the one thing Angie Bowie might be able to provide. Or for giving the world the momentary glimmer of hope that it wasn't Bowie who died after all (not that we wouldn't be equally grief stricken at the thought of losing Mr Liza Minnelli). 

Donal Lynch

Sunday Indo Living

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