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The Pleasure List: Rynhart gets ready for her Crossings


Sue Rynhart

Sue Rynhart

Feck it, shure it’s grand!

Feck it, shure it’s grand!

Taking the guesswork out of choosing a gift

Taking the guesswork out of choosing a gift

The New Tefal OptiGrill

The New Tefal OptiGrill

Chocolate for the many football fanatics

Chocolate for the many football fanatics


Sue Rynhart

With an angelic voice and delicate jazz sensibility that moves seamlessly into the experimental, Sue Rynhart is hard to classify, but very easy to listen to.

Crossings is an album, written by her, that features Sue’s voice along with the double bass of Dan Bodwell, in a series of songs united by a common theme; the crossings referenced can be from fear to courage, dreaming to waking, physical to spiritual.

Steadily racking up praise, airplay and reviews, this is an intriguing, uplifting piece of work. Sue’s career as a composer, singer and producer began with studying music at NUI Maynooth, where she did a BA and MA. She has since worked with Rick Peckham, Tom Arthurs and Florian Ross, and performed at the Bray, Dublin, Galway and Cork Jazz festivals. She co-founded the improvising vocal trio Voices, and has performed on BBC Radio with the Christchurch Choir.

Tonight, Sue will be appearing at St Finian’s Church, Adelaide Road, Dublin 2, from 7.30pm-8.30, where she, Dan Bodwell and Shane Latimer (who just released an album with OKO) will be performing Crossings.

And if you miss that, there is another chance to see them as part of the Listen at Lilliput series, on July 27th.

See: www.suerynhart.com

Take guesswork out of picking gift

“Fatherhood is … pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.”

So said Bill Crosby, and while we entirely applaud the generous nature of the sentiment, it is time to revise the actual content. Frankly, soap, socks or a dull tie simply don’t cut it as Father’s Day trinkets any more.

 Luckily, for those of us left floundering by the raising of the stakes, help is at hand. Brown Thomas have taken some of the more nerve-wracking guess-work out of present-buying by highlighting a selection of gorgeous gifts guaranteed to make dads happy.

From John Smedley v-neck knits, to the Mulberry Scotchgrain wash bag and Tom Ford Callum sunglasses, these are all things you may find it difficult to hand over. (A Paul Smith polka dot hankie is a splash of summer sky in a pocket, while the Crème de la Mer moisturising gel cream could quite happily do double-duty for you and Him.)

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And as a bonus gift, let’s all try to remember Mark Twain’s words: “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”


Feck it, shure it’s grand!

Grand Grand are an Irish company producing remarkably attractive t-shirts, aprons, screen prints, cards and mugs, with retro-tastic designs and funny-in-an-unreconstructed-Irish-male-way motifs.

We particularly like the tea towels, printed with messages such as Come To Ireland, The Country Shaped Like A Teddy Bear’ or Feck It, Sure It’s Grand’ in appealing colour-combos such as slate grey and orange, or green and tomato-red.

Made from 100% unbleached natural cotton, apparently this is the only tea towel in the world with its own website. We don’t doubt it. Apparently, too, ladies can also use the device... if supervised closely by a man.’ The site also lists 101 things a man can do with a tea towel, including making a nappy, a matador’s cape for a tiny bull, a sail for a small boat and railway signalling device.

Anything, in short, except the dishes. Clearly, this is less functional than decorative. And why not? Most of our domestic lives could do with a bit of irreverent jazzing up.


Put the boot in beautifully 
and say it with chocolate

Irish chocolate has moved from the province of kids with sticky hands many years ago, to a growing, thriving area of innovation and ambition. So, if chocolate is your Dad’s thing — and increasingly in this world of growing gourmet interest it is — then it’s a great Fathers’ Day gift.

Just make sure to cover a few key bases first. Skelligs Chocolate Company are artisan producers of handmade chocolates, based in County Kerry close to and inspired by the spiritual and natural beauty of the Skellig islands.

As well as making truffles, brittle, hot chocolate, and the more usual boxed chocolates, Skelligs Chocolates are now making the very thing the big kid in every man secretly longs for - a handmade chocolate football boot. 
For the many football fanatics, the boot can be customised with name, team name, or hero’s jersey number, for an extra personal touch. It may not be the gold-dipped boot of his childhood dreams, but it’s pretty close.


How to completely drown out the ‘Dad jokes’

Once a man becomes a father it seems imperative that he make ridiculously bad jokes after the delivery. This is what we call the Dad Joke.

It is a phenomenon that children have suffered through for centuries and a good-natured child will usually muster a faint laugh for the Dad Joke (though this will only serve to perpetuate the cycle of Dad Humour). According to William Makepeace Thackeray “good humour may be said to be one of the very best articles of dress one can wear in society”.

However Dad Humour is not to everyone’s taste, so  with Father’s Day approaching, we  feel that Dad may be in need of some help in the dressing department. A quick browse around Dublin’s Alias Tom is bound to throw up some great gift ideas for Dad. We’re loving the quirky colours and unusual prints of their beautiful Caliban shirts — yet  loud enough to drown out the corniest Dad Joke. Alias Tom, Duke Lane, Dublin 2.

Visit www.aliastom.com 

A grill that makes hay of Irish weather

There are a couple of sure things in this world: One, the Irish summer is a deeply uncertain prospect, and two, men increasingly want an element of control over their cooking destiny.

The New Tefal OptiGrill cannot do much about the first, but stands to make a major contribution to mitigating the latter. Now, not so long ago the idea of an Irishman cooking at all was pretty niche, but these days, those same men can talk knowledgeably about sous vide, marinades and resting times.

What they can’t do is predict the weather, which is where the OptiGrill comes in. This is the first appliance to automatically measure the thickness of meat and adjust cooking time to suit, meaning perfect steak cooked to order every single time. Easy to use, the grill sears at high temperatures, locking in flavour and juices and leaving the meat with the all-important grill pan markings, all with no oil necessary.

So give the father-in-your-life the gift of perfect grilled steak, without the usual seasonal agony of scanning the sky for rain clouds.


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