Monday 19 February 2018

Vicki at large: How I've adored 'Tiddles' Euro vacation

Inspiration: Roz Purcell scooped the 'Inspiration of the Year' award.
Inspiration: Roz Purcell scooped the 'Inspiration of the Year' award.
Politically motivaged: Lily Allen
Vicki Notaro

Vicki Notaro

There's nothing like a new A-list power couple to whet one's appetite for gossip, and this week the tabloid press has been thrilled by singer Taylor Swift's European vacation with her new man, British actor Tom Hiddleston.

Their romance of mere weeks has already been well-documented thanks to front-page pictures of them smooching on the beach - what a lucky paparazzo that caught that moment on camera, eh? - but this week, they were the gift that kept on giving as they took in the sights and sounds of England and Italy.

First, Swift popped up in Suffolk with her new beau's parents, and was even snapped cuddling his mum, Diana.

Done up like English countryside Barbie in a Barbour-esque coat and wellies, she walked the beach with The Night Manager star Tom for what seemed like hours, judging by the sheer amount of photos the agencies got.

Then they took their lovefest to The Eternal City, where they visited the Colosseum, Vatican City and had dinner gazing into one another's eyes in full view of the paps. While this might indeed be a couple madly in love and uncaring of who witnesses it, the entire thing does have an awful whiff of publicity about it all - and the more it continues, it seems the less we're convinced of the relationship's veracity.

I, for one, have never particularly liked either of them, sensing an inherent thirst in both to be adored. Together, I find them fascinating. Long live the union of Hiddleswift!

Celebrating the 30 very best and brightest Irish women under 30

Inspiration: Roz Purcell scooped the 'Inspiration of the Year' award.

Inspiration: Roz Purcell scooped the 'Inspiration of the Year' award

As someone who is (barely) a member of the demographic, it might be churlish of me to complain about millennials getting a bad rap. But, in my opinion they (we?) really do - often accused of being entitled, lazy and self-obsessed by our elders. Yet, has there ever been a group that's gone through so much rapid change than our current flock of young ones?

Thus, it was nice to attend an event on Wednesday evening that was all about supporting and celebrating Irish ladies under the age of 30. I must have just missed the cut-off point for nomination. Ahem...

The U Magazine 30 Under 30 awards took place in Dublin's Smock Alley Theatre. Sponsored by Cointreau, a fact that was made apparent through every medium possible, it celebrated the best and brightest of Irish women in 30 categories from literature, art and fashion right through to STEM, technology and sport. Winners were decided by a panel that included Tropical Popical's Andrea Horan and jewellery designer Chupi Sweetman.

Nowadays, you'd be forgiven for thinking it would be all "best blogger" this and "social influencer" that, but there truly was something for everyone, from politics and business to innovation.

Hosting proceedings was 2fm's Tracy Clifford alongside the editor Aisling O'Toole, who was thrilled to be involved.

"I love that it's an event all about women in every field. The judges all sat down one night for dinner, went through reams of Irish girls and their achievements, and my mind was blown. I think that this is a generation that just think 'I have to get up and do this for myself'."

On the night, it felt a little like everyone I follow on Twitter was lauded - either that's a testament to the community, or an example of just how small this country actually is. Still, the age limit did seem to be a bit of an issue; author Louise O'Neill had tweeted the magazine thanks for her nomination several weeks back, despite being 31 and ineligible, and chef Danni Barry turned 31 five days ago, but I was assured that she was 30 during the judging process. Feeling more and more left out here now, guys.

It's nice to see celebs talking politics

As the fallout from the Brexit referendum result continues, some of the most vocal anti-Leave protesters on social media have in fact been celebrities, including Jamie Oliver and Ellie Goulding.

Yet among the politically-motivated stars of our time, Lily Allen (below) is the stand-out; all has been quiet enough for her on the music front of late, but she was making headlines thanks to her fervent opposition to Boris Johnson.

Politically motivaged: Lily Allen

A Remain supporter initially, Allen then tweeted she was quite excited about the final result and the impending political reshuffle.

However, she's also a firm Jeremy Corbyn supporter, deeming the put-upon politician "the only dignified person in Westminster", and has the hashtag #STOPBORIS in her bio on the site alongside #INVOKEARTICLE50.

It seems that Lily, like many, is eager to get this show on the road - and pronto.

She also called for Spitting Image to be recommissioned immediately, a rallying cry I can certainly get behind. Puppets make everything better.

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