Friday 20 September 2019

Sinead Ryan: 'Don’t go breaking my heart, Elton'

 

Handout image issued by John Lewis & Partners of their 2018 Christmas advert, The Boy & The Piano, which stars Sir Elton John and his first hit Your Song. Photo: John Lewis & Partners/PA Wire
Handout image issued by John Lewis & Partners of their 2018 Christmas advert, The Boy & The Piano, which stars Sir Elton John and his first hit Your Song. Photo: John Lewis & Partners/PA Wire
Sinead Ryan

Sinead Ryan

Like everyone else, I've been watching the nostalgic John Lewis Christmas ad featuring Elton John. It's even rumoured the star's massive fee went to charity, which is all very nice.

If you haven't seen it, the ad reverses Elton (and his hair) through the years until we see him as a five-year-old getting his first piano for Christmas. We're to believe this was the start of a superstar career.

I've been to see Elton live - he's super, a really cracking show - so I was delighted to see a massive promo in the paper (no timing coincidence, eh?) for his forthcoming concert; a farewell tour, although I'm sure nobody really believes that, in the 3Arena.

Excited, I went online, despite the eye-watering billing of €181 for the best seats and all the usual extremely irritating extras, bringing it up to nearly €200. Elton won't be going on social welfare in retirement. But the price wasn't my only shock. The concert, to my astonishment, isn't actually on until December 2020 - a whole two years away!

Now listen, I'm as optimistic as the next girl, but Reggie Dwight (for it is he) will be hitting 73. I won't be a sprightly young thing myself. Am I willing to pledge this not inconsiderable troth for an event so far in the distance? And why the inexplicably early start in flogging seats? This is one gig that's sure to sell out if everyone's still standing in 25 months' time.

I clicked out without buying. If anything, I'll need the time to save up.

So do you like hospital food then, Simon?

It seems neither the trolley crisis nor the surgery waiting lists can be tackled effectively, so Health Minister Simon Harris is doing the only thing he can - improving the food for those lingering longer in our hospitals.

Improved menu choices - indeed any menu choices that don't involve stodgy frozen chips and cold gravy with a sticky film on them - are to be welcomed.

The policy, which like most things in the health service is still under review, promises meals even if you are not admitted to the right bed at the exact time lunch is served, and 'high-quality and nutritious food'.

Social media has played its part in the change, as people had taken to posting images of the unappetising sludge that passes for meal time in some hospital wards. One woman tweeted the greasy fry-up her father was served as he was recovering in coronary care after a heart attack.

Celebrity chefs including Gary O'Hanlon and Oliver Dunne have taken a public swipe over the slop.

Still, knowing Mr Harris, this won't be the end of it. Given his own penchant for all forms of social media, I dare say he won't stop until the food is Instagram-worthy with #nofilter.

In a tight(s) spot? Science to the rescue

I give out about technology and the pace of change, but it's the application of science that interests me most.

I turned up at a glitzy function on Monday (the 'Image' Businesswomen of the Year Awards) after work, quickly changing from civvies to glam in the loo, and laddering my tights in the process. Disaster.

With no time to buy another pair and no clear nail varnish, I had no choice but to pretend it's the AW18 season 'look'. Now a US manufacturer has created a pair of tights (pantyhose) from the same fabric used to make bulletproof vests, which is 10 times stronger than steel.

'Sheerly Genius' aren't shipping until spring and cost $99 (€87), so obviously I can't afford them, but I'm hopeful it's a springboard for engineers to do something useful once they're done with rocket-science.

Irish Independent

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