The Edge: So many parties, so little time for pressie shopping
Parties, parties, old parties, new parties. Where, I ask you, is a guy supposed to find time to do his Christmas shopping?
First there was Kian Egan, winner of ITV's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here in the new downstairs club in House last weekend with his mate, pop singer Matt Cardle. They were joined by Robbie and Claudine Keane and Claudine's mother Joan.
That same Saturday night (where do I get the energy?) in 1900, the new restaurant on Harcourt Street, Rosanna Davison celebrated her Miss World 10th anniversary with a small soiree-cum-designer bridal party.
There was no dampers on the champers as her VBFs Brendan Rogers, Katie Jane Goldin, Dawn Fitzgerald, Gillian Fitzpatrick and the recently married Hayley Rock Elliott discussed Rosanna's upcoming nuptials, dress, venue, honeymoon, hen night... the lot. After dinner, it was in next door to piano bar, The Black Door.
For the Irish models it was Opium. Sarah Morrissey was in on Saturday night and Daniella Moyles on the Sunday.
Nadia Forde -- who is amazeballs in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Tivoli Theatre as the singing Cupid Fairy -- was in 37 on Dawson Street for dinner on Sunday night. She is flying to London on January 12 to start recording her new album.
Ali Hewson was in Pasta Fresca on Chatham Street on Wednesday evening with a small group of friends. The same night Mary Harney was in House with a gang of girlfriends until 10pm.
Next week, I have to combine parties with pressies. So, Lisa Murphy and Gerald Kean are having a long lunch at Marco Pierre White's restaurant on Christmas Eve but I am going to Pauric Sweeney's pop-up shop in the Georgian Society on South William Street to do what every man should do for his loved one (buy a bag, you fools). And after that it's on to studio 54. No, not that studio 54 sillies, I mean Roisin Gartyand's stunning leather design studio on the Design Tower on Pearse Street Dublin, which is open until six today, tomorrow and Christmas Eve, and which is the best kept secret of the fashion cognoscenti in Ireland. See you there.
Wonder what's in Vogue's stocking...
I don't like spoiling the surprise at this time of year, so I'm not going to tell you what Brian McFadden and his wife Vogue are getting each other for Christmas.
Last year, the ex-Westlife pop star gave his wife black Christian Louboutin boots and leather pants, while she got him a guitar. What for, says you? Be nice, it's Crimbo.
The golden couple, who live in London, went to friend Lynn's birthday party last weekend in Dublin (Brian played Birmingham the previous night, the Friday, while Vogue went to the Haim concert at the Academy in Dublin with her sister Amber).
The next morning the happy pair were spotted at the market in Howth and walking the beach with their dog Winston. "We are very boring," the model-turned-TV star told me last Tuesday in town. She was wearing a black witch's hat ("It's a Fedora!") and thigh-high boots that made her look like she was going angling with Jack Charlton.
In fact, this morning Vogue is actually going away with Brian. They're heading out at the crack of dawn for Malaga -- and then on to to her mother Sandra and stepdad Neil's place in Sotogrande -- for five days.
Fiona's latest arrival a sign Christmas can officially begin
When does Christmas begin? This is one of the major philosophical debates of the age -- in case you didn't know.
The commercial sector says when Halloween is over. The Crimbophiles say December 1 (when they break out of abstinence) and the culchies say December 8 (when they come to Dublin to shop). For me, it's December 18. Officially Christmas week -- oh joy!
And what more beautiful sign of the start of Christmas than the birth of a beautiful baby?
Fiona Foy Holland, the inspirational fashionista who has put on charity event after charity event during these glum times, gave birth to Robyn, a beautiful baby girl in Holles St at 9.52am on Wednesday December 18 .
"She arrived on our wedding anniversary," the proud mother told me. "We were married at the Hibernian Club on December 18th, 2010."
Fiona and husband Conor's second child will be a sister to five-year-old Abigail .
"She is a beautiful baby. Conor and I are thrilled. It'll be a quiet Christmas at home."
Hmm. Fiona is after all the head of the Stephens Green social club. Methinks Robyn will be a very sociable baby.
'Grow your wife kit' is on Valerie's wishlist...
VALERIE Roe expected The Leinster Rugby Team into Baroque in The Wright Venue last night in Swords. (They had booked out a VIP area.) Asked what she was expecting from Santa, the former boss of Lillies Bordello said she wanted a "grow your own wife kit -- they do the laundry, shopping, housework, cooking".
Morah Ryan told me in Yamamori Noodles on Georges St that she has asked Mr Claus "for a Bugatti Veyron but I'm not holding out much hope". Cork pop star Carol Anthony said she requested "a puppy. And a weekend away in Dubai. Which I think I'm getting".
Fine Gael's magnificent Mary Mitchell O'Connor asked the bearded boulevardier -- that's Santa, not Johnny Ronan -- for the boxset of Borgen, the Danish TV drama. "This follows a formidable woman politician, Birgitte Nyborg, through the ups and downs of her political career," Mary informed me, adding: "She's very impressive. I want to be like her."
Remember me when you're Taoiseach, Mary.
Simon parties on... without Bono
THE Simon Carmody Community had their Christmas party of sorts last weekend in Bellucci's in Ballsbridge. Simon, the former lead singer of The Golden Horde, must have been weeping into his vodkatini because his spiritual leader wasn't able to make it. Alas, Bono had just flown in from South Africa earlier that day after attending the funeral of another spiritual leader.
Bono's absence notwithstanding, those who did attend the annual bash on the Friday were an illustrious bunch: artist Guggi, photographer Perry Odgen, fashion-designer-turned-antiques-dealer Michael Mortell, U2 videographer Ned O'Hanlon, hairdresser Mark McCaule, optician Reggie Manuel (aka Reggie The Dog, back in the days of that other U2 sub-cult Lipton Village), and someone called Scallo, among others. The glam if garrulous group, which numbered 12 on the night -- if Bono had been there would that have made him Jesus?-- had wine and main courses and stayed until late in Robbie Fox's restaurant. They later decamped to Bagots Hutton on South William Street until closing time. Guggi et al were joined by their old mucker Gavin Friday in the chic basement bar.
(Mr Friday was in London all week, recording his long-awaited album, but is due in Dublin today.)
Yule not be in Ireland then, Colin
Bad news for hot-blooded Mna na hEireann on these cold nights. Colin Farrell will be spending the Christmas in Los Angeles.
He spent it in Ireland last year, but alas for the mna, the Irish movie star will be enjoying the yuletide with his family ... most of whom, with the exception of his brother, Eamon, who lives in Los Angeles.
His mother Rita, who married Hollywood producer Joel B Michaels during the summer in Colin's house in LA, lives on Sunset Boulevard. Colin's two other sisters Catherine and Claudine also live in LA, while Colin himself beds down in the Hollywood Hills.
Rita, 70, won't be getting all hot and bothered with a turkey. Instead it will be a Californian Christmas with a chic dinner at a five-star hotel for all the Farrells.
Colin's godmother Martina Fox, meanwhile, tells me that next Wednesday at home in Bray in Co Dublin her husband Robbie will be cooking a yuletide breakfast for her.
"He's giving me the Full Irish," she told me. I bet he is.
Johnny's back on party circuit
HE hasn't gone away, you know. Johnny Ronan, I mean. Who did you think I meant? James Reilly?
The bearded boulevardier-cum-property magnate who once brought joy to the nation seemed to vanish for a time. But he's back on the circuit and was spotted at a smart party in Wellington Road with his lovely sister Gillian last Friday week.
Meanwhile, I can report that Johnny's pal and mine Michael Colgan is flying to Los Angeles on January 6 to put on Beckett's I'll Go On with Barry McGovern at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.
He will stay at The Marriot on Venice Beach and expects to use his time in La La Land to perhaps land someone big for The Gate Theatre next year. Madonna? Sean Penn? Gabriel Byrne?
All will be revealed when Michael flies back to Dublin on January 13.