Friday 15 December 2017

Katie Byrne: 'Tis the season for divorce

Splitsville: Thomas Haden Church and Sarah Jessica Parker in TV show 'Divorce'
Splitsville: Thomas Haden Church and Sarah Jessica Parker in TV show 'Divorce'
Izabel Goulart

The first week of January is all about counterpoints. Hedonism is replaced with asceticism, binges give way to purges and mistletoe turns into poison ivy.

According to family solicitors Irwin Mitchell, one in five married couples are currently contemplating a split.

While Christmas is considered to be the most romantic time of the year, 'divorce week' - the first few working days after the festive season - is the busiest week of the year for family lawyers. Could one of these triggers be to blame?

Religion, politics and the wearing of onesies are critical marriage compatibility questions. Some people get a nasty shock when their partner steps into a rabbit onesie - complete with ears - on Christmas Eve, and doesn't take it off until Stephen's Day. As the saying goes, you never really know someone...

'Your place or mine?' is a question that every couple has to contend with at Christmastime. Whose in-laws should you spend the day with and how exactly do you tell your parents that there'll be two less people around their table this year? This yearly flashpoint should really be dealt with during pre-marriage courses as it's often the mother (and father) of all arguments.

One partner spends the better part of Christmas stacking the dishwasher, visiting the recycling bank and sweeping up pine needles. The other one only gets off the couch to make another turkey sandwich. World War III kicks off when the bins aren't left out.

He's suited in five minutes. She needs him to apply fake tan to her back - and still has no idea what to wear. An argument erupts when he's an hour late for his work do because she glued her left eye shut with false eyelash adhesive.

A month-long alcohol binge takes its toll on the nervous system and minor squabbles become civil wars. Neither party can actually remember what the fight was about the next morning, but that's not the point. It was obviously something Very Serious and it would be rude not to sulk with one another for the next 24 hours.

You think the house should be as snug as a Finnish sauna during winter. Your partner thinks household heating is a rare commodity that should only be used for two hours a day, if even. Tempers, and temperatures, rise when it is discovered that the boost button has been pressed yet again.

Irish Mammy's famous trifle is a Christmas staple. Conflict arises when one party suggests that they buck tradition and make a banoffee instead. Irish Mammy declares that she knows where she's not wanted and Triflegate descends into a family feud of biblical proportions.

You managed to muster a faint smile when you discovered that the huge box under the tree was a steam cooker - he prudently included the receipt in case you wanted to exchange it for another kitchen appliance. In an ideal world, you could exchange the €500 watch you bought him for a new husband.

Monday's Last Supper was served with a generous dollop of self-disgust. Top buttons were undone and the words "diet starts tomorrow" were recited with the consecration of the Rosary. Tempers begin to fray when one partner embarks on the Military Diet and the other one continues to eat Celebrations with wild abandon...

Rise of the beach bums

2017-01-04_sty_27543891_I1.JPG
Izabel Goulart
 

They say summer bodies are made in the winter. For A-listers, summer bodies are showcased in the winter.

While civilians are signing up for 14-day free trials in the local gym, celebrities are making their annual exodus to Barbados, St Barts and the Bahamas to show off their sun-kissed, Pilates-honed splendour.

And this year they've upped the ante. Where once we were subjected to Victoria's Secret models paddleboarding through azure waters and performing perfect head stands on white sand beaches, we are now entering the era of the unashamed bum shot.

Check out the Instagram profiles of the likes of Lottie Moss, Izabel Goulart (pictured) and Candice Swanepoel and you'll discover a series of shots that are more 'wish you were me' than 'wish you were here'.

It's unclear who actually takes the photos - their partners, their PAs, the hotel maid? - but there is a tried-and-tested strategy for the perfect bottoms-up photo.

Stand on tippy toes (but crop out the legs from mid-calf), keep legs slightly apart to maximise thigh gap, tilt spine into lordosis and add at least three filters. Mere mortals could try lunges and donkey kicks.

Irish Independent

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