Bray People

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Leo in the headlines, panto bliss and parental faux pas

Saturday: Pantomime Day arrived with great excitement for the Whirlwind Princess who couldn't wait to get down to St Michael's Theatre, New Ross for Cinderella.

Such was the excitement that the previous days were marked by a seemingly endless mantra of 'Cinderella!', 'Cinderella', 'Cinderella' and trips to the shop or crèche were punctuated by a disappointed, 'This isn't Cinderella'.

So the big day arrived of course the Frozen dress had be worn and as we took to our seats at the front corner of the balcony she couldn't contain her excitement. I was a newbie to the pantomime scene, but it wasn't long before I started to enjoy all the jokes and the polished performances and high jinks.

Across the county pantomime season has been underway for several weeks, providing quality social outings at an otherwise quiet and dark time of the year. The voluntary and community element of these productions, which involve hundreds of people and a huge amount of planning, is heartwarming to behold in all its glory.

The first site to greet us was a large picture of the late Jimmy Furness who passed away last year and who contributed greatly to New Ross Pantomime Society down through the years.

Included among the excellent cast were one of the wicked sisters, Marigold, played by Dame Terry Brennan, who has been dressing up in finery for 25 years entertaining audiences. The crowd participation was great and the Little Princess was dancing in the aisles for the final few songs and was enraptured by the Let It Go song.

SUNDAY: With breakfast served to me in bed, followed by a cup of tea, and blue skies outside my window, Sunday morning was one of the most relaxing I've had in years.

The children were on their best behaviour and having taken over the bed for half an hour they disappeared downstairs with The Good Woman and I caught up on some rest and relaxation.

After a fry brunch I brought the children upstairs to jump on the mattress for a while before bringing The Little Fella downstairs for a break and to enable me to call a friend. The Good Woman was concerned about the Whirlwind Princess so having finished the call I went upstairs.

There's a sinking feeling that engulfs a man at times and as I went to open the door only to find that it had been locked, that feeling washed over me. The Whirlwind Princess had locked herself into the bedroom and it was all my fault. Keeping my terrible lapse in parenting to myself I initially tried to get her to turn the key but as the seconds thudded by I knew I'd have to give myself up.

'Oh yes it is your fault' was the clamorous response of The Good Woman who proceeded to charge the door with her shoulder.

As the cost of my mistake was totting up exponentially in my mind, I ran frantically about trying to calm the situation while coming up with a better idea than 'throw the feckin' key out the window and I'll get a ladder up to get it'.

By a sublime piece of luck the key become dislodged and fell to the ground and The Whirlwind Princess pushed it through the finger thin space under the door.

Suddenly the heavy feeling lifted as she emerged with a Cheshire proud grin into the hallway light. Phew!

Later Sunday: As I made the tea and fetched the emergency biscuits, The Infinitely Patient Woman started making excited sounds about something on the radio. It was Leo Varadkar droning on about something.

'Listen! Listen!' she exclaimed and as I learnt what all the fuss was about I started seeing headlines the following day. Sadly someone 'coming out' is still major news in Ireland but then, when someone in such a public and important position as Mr Vardkar comes out it can only be a positive development for Irish society where gay people are afforded scant rights.

The Little Fella was all legs on Sunday as his confidence starts to grow step by step towards walking.

Monday: Charlie was the name of the day on Monday when former editor Geraldine Kennedy caused consternation in the Morning Ireland studios when she uttered the 'f' word as she appeared on the programme to give her take on the third part of RTÉ's Charlie Haughey drama. For a nation which uses expletives at every occasion, from breakfast to dinner, wedding to mass, it's somewhat baffling that Ms Kennedy was the first to claim the 'f' word accolade.

The old politically correct walls of Irish society are crumbling at an alarming rate now, but then Charlie could claim a role in that, couldn't he.

Bray People