Monday 27 January 2020

Emma off to Tenerife with family for hols

After several treatments of chemotherapy, author Emma Hannigan feels this bout is finally kicking in
After several treatments of chemotherapy, author Emma Hannigan feels this bout is finally kicking in
Alison Canavan
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

It is not a secret - but it is senselessly cruel - that Emma Hannigan's cancer has come back 10 times since she was first diagnosed in 2007.

The Gwyneth Paltrow look-alike and bestselling author of, among others, The Secrets We Share, has been, she tells me, in "a bunker having chemotherapy at Blackrock Clinic.

"Not the most social-sounding stuff really!" she laughed.

"I've had three consecutive types of chemotherapy and they haven't worked.

''But this one seems to be kicking in. Fingers and toes crossed!"

Notwithstanding her numerous sleep-overs at Blackrock Clinic for ongoing cancer treatment, Emma will not be able to rest on her laurels, or any part of her anatomy for that matter, unfortunately.

This, I say, because her new novel, The Wedding Promise, is out this week.

Once she has dealt with all the PR palaver that comes with releasing a bestselling tome, Emma is jetting off at the end of the month en famille (husband Cian and teenage kids, Sacha and Kim) to Tenerife.

"We're just going to an all-inclusive resort to live like slugs - ie sitting and doing nothing and being handed cocktails," she explained.

"The most difficult part of the day will be trying to decide what to wear for dinner. Can't wait!"

Upon her return, Emma will be straight into work mode again, with the release of her updated memoir in August.

"It's been a rough year for me health wise," Emma added, "but I'm really looking forward to a fun summer with family and friends.

"Cian has just finished making new decking. The barbecue is ready. The tables and chairs have been power hosed.

"Bring on the summer!"

Christian stokes the fires of love in Manhattan

Onward Christian soldiers... to New York. Christian Stokes did the Manhattan transfer for a mini-break last week with his beautiful wife, Louise.

It is ironic that he was in the City That Never Sleeps, because Christian and his twin Simon gave their creditors - and, on occasion, their staff at Residence - the odd sleepless night, too.

During the Celtic Tiger, they were the toast of the town, with zeitgeist-defining establishments like Residence - the private members' club on St Stephen's Green - Bang Café and the Clarendon Inn.

That all changed, as it did for many, with the economic crash, when the brothers were bankrupted, leaving an estimated debt of €14.7m. Worse than the money owed to creditors, perhaps, was when Justice Peter Kelly referred to Christian and Simon as "delinquent directors", as they had used their staff in Residence's tax money to trade.

But back to Manhattan last weekend. Christian and Louise (jewellery designer and owner of Loulerie) were celebrating their 12th wedding anniversary.

"Having dinner in our first restaurant in NYC. 12 years on and I adore you more than ever," he posted on social media beneath a picture of lovely Louise, in a black leather jacket, enjoying a glass of Champagne and some Japanese food with chopsticks.

I hope Christian didn't find the chopsticks too taxing.

Canavan gets ready for northern Spain wedding

Alison Canavan

Alison Canavan is going up the aisle next month. No, sillies, it is not the model-turned-author's wedding, but that of her cousin Melanie Derakshan in northern Spain.

Melanie lives in London, where Castleknock creative Alison is visiting next week for the FashionWorked awards, as she is nominated for her blog.

In September, Alison will jet to Arizona to speak at mindbodygreen's influencer-only wellness event, Revitalize.

In the meantime, she will head for Vipassana retreat, in Drogheda, in three weeks for a 10-day silent retreat including "10 hours of meditation a day".

What about her six-year-old son James? "I will make daily videos for him as I am not allowed a phone," she said.

A fine bromance begins at the races

One way to stop a runaway horse is to bet on him. So it proved for this fool-cum-diarist last Sunday at the Tattersalls Irish Guineas Festival at The Curragh.

The only thing that softened the blow of losing money on the nags was the splendid company of my new VBFs - Newstalk star and Irish Independent uber-columnist Paul Williams and his lovely wife Ann (to say nothing of my own lovely, and long-suffering, wife Aoife); PR deities Mari O'Leary and Rhona Blake, and Rhona's debonair husband Charlie Murless, and the entrepreneur Norah Casey.

No wonder they call horse racing animated roulette.

I was there ostensibly not to lose money on horses but to watch Jane Mulrooney and Stuart Montgomery announced as the Killashee Irish Tatler Style Icons.

Two of the judges on the day were 2fm mainstay Eoghan McDermott and actress Aoibhin Garrihy.

My fine bromance with Paul Williams continued that night with dinner (accompanied by our wives) at the fabulous Killashee Hotel and again the following day over lunch (ditto the wives) at L'Officina by Dunne & Crescenzi at Kildare Village.

Loved-up Daithi darts across the Atlantic

Outside, it's America. Well, it is for Daithi O Se. Kerry's favourite son is just back from a few weeks' well-earned hols in the States. And he is going back in two weeks for yet more America.

This is actually testament to how profoundly he loves his wife Rita Talty rather than any deep love of the US of A.

The co-host of RTE's Today Show, with Maura Derrane, was in New Jersey two weeks ago with his other half - one-time New Jersey Rose of Tralee -and their son Micheal Og. They stayed in New Jersey, while Daithi flew back to Ireland for work.

But as he told me when I met him in Dublin, he is jetting back to New Jersey in a few weeks for another holiday because he misses - nay, loves - Rita so much. Daithi and Rita will, he told me, dine in their favourite spot, Augustino's on Washington Street in Hoboken.

"We always go there. It's great to be in America, because the grandparents haven't seen Micheal Og in ages. So Rita and I get to spend time together alone, which never happens at home. I eat more dinner out with Maura than with Rita. TV wife versus real wife!" he laughed - a booming laugh that could be heard all the way to Hoboken.

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