Thursday 14 November 2019

Sinead Ryan: 'Now we know where queen puts her lippy'

Notebook

Queen Elizabeth. Photo: PA
Queen Elizabeth. Photo: PA
Sinead Ryan

Sinead Ryan

A fabulous photograph of Queen Elizabeth, hands casually slung in pockets, one foot artfully behind the other, has appeared in a rare authorised book about the 93-year-old monarch, written by her long-time designer and dresser Angela Kelly.

The first thing that struck us women of a certain age was… pockets!

We do love a pocket, but they are so often missing from dresses these days that we are forced into finding a matching jacket, slinging a bag over the shoulder and standing in a gauche fashion, which, unless you've been professionally trained, always looks like you're waiting for the number 16 bus, about which there is nothing stylish.

Pockets create a natural posture, while also providing a receptacle for cash, lippy and phone, leaving the arms free (although with batwings flapping given the dearth of sleeves).

Sexy is ageless. Some young, thin and heavily made up girls can look deeply unsexy, while older women like Helen Mirren or Judi Dench can look incredibly sexy; self-assuredness and confidence being the key assets, rather than drawn on eyebrows or lip fillers.

But I am a little worried for Queen Liz. What next? Will they put her in a hoodie to get down with her subjects?

Apparently courtiers were so concerned at the release of a similar picture years ago they banned it, going so far as to believe such louche appearance might bring the monarchy into disrepute.

Some of the queen's children have done that all by themselves (we're looking at you Airmiles Andy) but I reckon she got it spot on.

Home truth about nuns and the housing crisis

They can't be accused of being sexy, but the Carmelite nuns of south Co Dublin are certainly smart.

Threatened with a vacant land tax on their prime real estate in the leafy environs of Stillorgan - an area crying out for affordable housing - the sisters objected to council plans to develop residential housing on the enormous site, citing it is used for "exercise".

Images of Nuns on the Run around the field can't have made council planners feel any better. The order said the large grounds were used for "tranquil reflection and passive thought" along with "regular exercise".

There's a lot of thinking to do, in fairness, while exercising. When engaged in jumping jacks or push- ups, they can contemplate the lot of young parishioners, unable to put a deposit down on a house because of the accommodation crisis.

They could wonder, in 'silence and solitude', where homeless people might spend the night given the lack of housing. Or they might ponder, during 'reflective prayer' and a bit of pilates-al-fresco, what Jesus would do?

When nod from Gaybo made my mother's day

I've been at the writing gig for a long time now. I couldn't calculate the number of articles written, radio segments recorded or stand-ins on telly sandwiched between politicians shouting at each other. It's what passes for a living.

In the early days, my mother cut out clippings, or tuned into whatever I was on; as the years (ahem, decades) passed, it was more of a benign interest, or, let's face it, none at all.

But one Sunday she rang me in a tizz. Gay Byrne, GAYBO himself, had referenced something I had written on his Lyric show. GAYBO!

It was a reasonably dull piece about housing policy, but it had been granted the imprimatur, the regal seal of approval by Himself, the Master.

Everyone rang her about it. She rang the ones who hadn't. She was delira and excira.

May he rest in peace; the broadcaster's broadcaster.

Irish Independent

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