Author Archives: Frilly Keane

Week 4 Star Baker Kate

Episode 4 of the Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 contained a naughty centre last night.

The brand new Caramel Week.

Frilly Keane tucked in:

Caramel week is a Bake Off first, but throwing in a different theme among the standard fixtures; Cake, Patisserie, Bread etc is not. So I was looking forward to it myself, in particular the voyeur’ing over the making of 40 shades of Caramel from scratch; sur’ the rest of us just take it out’ve a can.

But here, I was all but gagging on the buttery molten sugar before they even got to the Show-Stopper. I could feel the fumes from that dark muscovado smouldering up my own nostrils.

For a Bread, Pie and Pud man The Hollywood has some sweet tooth and obviously a gut that can cope with a plantation of sugar.

What I did appreciate in particular last night was that the makings of the Signature, Millionaires Shortbread, is pretty much in every home baker’s kit and skill level. There are loadsa of ways to get started with Millionaires Shortbread. So give them a go. All the kit you need is a bowl, a whisk, a tray, a pot and a can opener.

Interestingly, the Technical brought its own first as well, they all made a Mickie of it. Actually, this is a good spot to get the stickie bits out’ve the way.

It must be an’ Irish thing but Prue’s “Go Low & Slow” over that very segment got a knowing sur is there any other way Girl, yet it didn’t feature in the on-line post-mortems hash tagging around. Lots of “Dip me Nuts” and Stacey’s “not as much as an erection as I would like” tho.

Again, with Stacey, and her Show-stopper; forget the erection section, sur it’ll only wilt anyway, her Chocolate & Coffee Carmel Cake is definitely one for me so I’ll be looking for that recipe. All the hoo-haa was for Kate’s Sticky Toffee Apple Cake and deservedly so.

But tis all that buttercream lads, not a fan meself and its messy enough over the day or two after (if you manage to get that out’ve it) and there’s loads of ingredients involved, and some you may not be able to pick up on the way home.

Whereas a good coffee sponge does do well in a tin – add in Chocolate & Caramel and you’ll be winning everything from Tinahely to Tullamore.

Shurt watching now appears to be a thing on Bake Off. And it all started here on the Late Late Broadsheet on the Telly show.

Finally, despite the Twitter meltdown about Star Baker, Kate who can now longer be snuck in as my ‘Dahk Hoarse’ was worthy and has served her time being there and thereabouts consistently.

While Liam did get the only Hollywood handshake last night, readers and watchers need to be reminded he barely survived Bread Week. I also sensed some sense of entitlement off him in the final stages of last night’s show; and its put me right off.

Next week is Pud week. They’re a bit like biscuits for me, too much hassle for a short-lived experience; despite the steamy atmosphere. And I’m a bit funny about suet; I even make my own Mince-Meat at Christmas without it. But looking forward to it anyway.

Pic: Channel 4

Bake Off’s Julia kneads her bread ‘snail’

Can you ever get enough of oven ready sexual  innuendo?

Episode three of the Great British Bake Off on Channel 4.

Reviewed by Frilly Keane, who writes:

The Season 8 Bread Week will be remembered for many things, and most of them nothing to do with Bread.

Bake Off always came with the ‘oo’er vicar’ innuendo; but we’ve gone well beyond that now. And it’s no longer Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith; its Prue’Paul. Thank you Sandi and Noel. If there is a doubter left among the Tent-Watchers, then they need their medications checked.

My moment of the night had nothing to do Prue interrogating the Hollywood on whether he flours the finger before inserting. It came when Julia admitted to not being able to make her snail without it looking “inappropriate”.

I dunno whether it was the Siberian demeanour combined with the Russian accent or the state the Bake-Off Tent leaves them in, but Christ a quality actor with a name that starts with Dame wouldn’t manage it. I’d say the camera and sound crew are still talking about it.

It fell apart for Steven in the Signature when his tea cakes flopped and spread like double DDs in a bad bikini, so nobody watching expected his Showstopper to take the Hollywood by such a surprise that he skitted with a swapping places thing; is that a GBBO first?

No handshakes last night that I remember (‘cept for Noel but that means nothing in Bake Off-life.) Besides I’m not that much of an anorak to go and check if the Hollywood is particularly stingy with the handshakes on Bread Week.

The Recipe of the week to try and follow up on is Kate’s Kraken Bread (the octopus in the Showstopper.)

[Interestingly, the signature was a good one for the home baker to give a go, but allow 24 hours, make the dough the night before or even 1st thing and let it prove away on its own for a good 5 hours. Enriched dough doesn’t need all your attention; just your respect.]

Over the last few episodes I mentioned how I would be watching how the Paul and Prue relationship proved.  I’m now confident enough to commit to an opinion on it.

Since, and undeniably, it’s the Hollywood that Bake Off principally relies upon to be viable, his Judging partner has to work. And how the Producers got is so right first time by casting Prue must surely be worthy of the kind of award that Graham Norton presents.

Mary Berry was like his much older sister who doted upon him, you know the family type – a surprise baby 10 years after the last kinda thing, and the whole house has him destroyed.

Whereas Prue is like one of the lads. The mature student he knocked around with in College. I know Prue has a few racy books, a bit like my own as it happens, out there, so I fully expect the innuendo’ing to escalate into Showstopper stuff as we continue, so ye have been warned.

And we now know like her predecessor she likes a drink, Christ she hammered that Vodka like I would have.

Finally, no dispute about Star Baker, and while Julia is definitely a contender, Kate is still my ‘Dahk Hoarse’

Next week is Caramel week. And my prediction is you’ll have a new Star baker again. Yan might come good, she is a scientist and caramel concoctions and heat and timing etc would be just the stuff to put her in her element.

Previously: Taking The Biscuit

And How Was It For You?

Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith and presenter Sandi Toksvig chat to Stacey Hart about her bakes

Frilly Keane continues her analysis of the new season of the Great British Bake Off

Week 2; Bikkie Week; a few crumbs for ye

This is one of those weeks ye could normally have missed in previous seasons; simply because most bakers won’t do biscuits.

I’ll do shortbread and the odd tray bake, and that’s about the height of it for stuff you’d carry in your mouth on route from the Kitchen to the Front room.

Biscuits are quick but can mess up too easily; and, well the main reason for me anyway, and I suspect many others might recognise this, is they use up too much kit and take over the place – there’s too much faffing about with baking trays and timers and 8 minute bakes; and you never have enough cooling trays.

And they’re can be an’awful lot of piping if like me you’ve no patience for sizing and straight lines. And they’re gone before bedtime.

So last night was a pleasant surprise. If you are one of those that would have given Biscuit week a miss, make sure you pick it up. The Technical was something I never would have expected on GBBO, and it introduced us to a technique we never would have put our own thoughts to.

The Recipe of the week to follow up on is Stacy’s Signature Bake especially the Marshmallow Fluff filling which could be handy for a load of stuff.

I’m not afraid of saying now that I don’t miss Mary Berry, yet I don’t feel disloyal or that I’ve cheated on her because she hasn’t actually been replaced. Prue Leith has established her own role in the Bake-Off tent and with the Bake Off itself.

Instead of replacing Mary Berry, Prue now has her own individual partnership and relationship with the Hollywood and the viewers that is totally independent of Mary.

I’m actually really looking forward to seeing how she accompanies Paul on Bread week (next week btw) Mary had a tendency to let Paul be her teacher on Bread and Pie stuff; so will Prue be as willing to let Paul lecture her and the remaining Bakers?

If anyone still had any doubts about Sandi and Noel; they must be well steamed off by now. They own that gig. In fact, I think the process of developing a whole new audience and market for themselves outside their usual genres is well underway.

Because they are so unique themselves they are creating a string of new dynamics for Bake Off. With the Bakers, with the Viewers, with Paul and Prue, with themselves; whereas Mel and Sue were, despite being a Double Act, one blonde one brunette etc, one straight one not, were actually just a single and same role to cast; same lines, same wardrobe, same gags.

Totally unlike what Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig are filling the tent up with.

Finally, no dispute about who went home; but I would have challenged Star Baker meself. Having said that the Liverbirds won’t have worried anyone last night; but then again it was just bikkies; however, the Scouse Girls are still the ones to watch.

Previously: And How Was It For You?

Meanwhile…

The year flew didn’t it

I bet some of the young wans here didn’t realise how fast time is capable of actually travelling when they see this is exactly 51 weeks on from this column

So here’s the annual return.

In terms of the promises I put out there; here’s some achievements.

Coffee is pretty much gone save for the odd stop off at the Costa or Topaz when I’m on the road. And on that the Sweet Treats for a yoyo deal are gone too. They don’t even get a look in and its Americanos only. The hot beverages consist of Puerh Tay mostly with Rooibus in the evenings.

My water intake is still not at the 3 – 4 litres a day but I am getting there and am working on it. In fairness the drinking was top loaded over the latter part of August, as ye well know it was my 50th so things went on a bit. But overall I’d say alcohol since probably

April is a quarter of what I would have supped this time last year. And I hope to drop that even further. Incidentally nights out are now only bottles of Coors Light. No top shelf or cocktails or pints.

And interestingly, I don’t need to pay attention to it anymore, I just stop automatically. Which is a standard I never would have envisioned this time last year.

No more Drive -Thrus either since say January; the only Maccy D’s since then was treating Fluffy to a Happy Meal a few weeks ago and of course I kept him company. Takeaways are so rare now that they are recognised as a treat and not the normal recourse for Dinner.

That Mezzanine level I talked about last year, well it is down a bit, but not enough. I am in the process of getting tested as my GP thinks I might have an intolerance. Which doesn’t surprise, as unlike what I set out to do this time last year, I haven’t managed to let go of the Spud.

In any form. Same with the bread and pasta n’ stuff. So there is still plenty to do there. And the Salt, I’m still a divil for the salt.

Now the bad stuff;

That bike I mentioned is still hanging on its hook in the garage, it never even got touched
And that 3 stone I wanted to shift. Well at Christmas I was asked about it, and I had to answer “only 4 more to go.”

That October and November was murder, and it was all my own doing. For days and sometimes whole weeks all my food intake was drive thru, take-aways, garage meal deals – you name it.

I got away with it largely because I’m tall and my work clothes were always a size up. And still are. So to be 3 stone lighter than I was this time last year, I have about 11lbs to go. And I am in a size 14 but as I said, I prefer looser fitting especially when I’m on the road, etc.

Over the last 5 months I did get back into the sea, but mainly kayaking. Which actually suits me better now. So hopefully I’ll keep it up over the winter and get canoeing again over in Strawberry Beds.

But I do aim to get back into deepwater swimming; so like the starchy carbs that too is a work-in-progress, and better again – its because I actually want to.

But these are some the physical outcomes of my 50th year. I also came upon some new outcomes for myself.

I made some new friends that I can’t bear to think about being without. Hopefully they know who they are when they read this.

I have also decided that I only want people in my life that I want to hang out with or work with. People that enhance my life or contribute to it. It wasn’t a decision I made, it was an organic conclusion about the rest of my life that came upon me naturally.

I am not wasting what time is left on matters and people I have no interest in or don’t add something. Simply put, if they aren’t going to feature when I’m 70 or 80 I’ve no room for them now.

I have also found my grá for writing again. So that book I started 10 years ago is finally going to resurface. I also think some possible writing partnerships have opened up; whether they materialise into an’ting daycent or not – it doesn’t matter. I’m there for it.

Also, I’ve discovered I am not afraid of being me. Since my early 20s I never allowed photos of myself save for the odd work one, and I was never pro-active in promoting myself professionally or talking myself up. I have been known to turn down opportunities and staying where I am.

In fact feedback from an Interview one time recorded that the panel could tell I was holding myself back. But that’ll never happen again. I am going to say yes to everything that fits me and go through every door that opens up in front of me.

Which is why I kinda gave my 50th a full go, a proper blow out that started on the 17th and came to end in the early hours of the 27th – and with one of our own too.

On a personal level, I am delighted with myself that I gave in to it and didn’t brush it off like any other day, which is what I would have done this time last year. So when it comes your way, and it will, I would absolutely recommend you do the same.

Going forward I want to live and work with who I want, and the way I want, there is no more making do, or putting up with things because its handier and easier, or towing the line, conceding for the easy way out, or staying in the rut because I know were the grooves and rough edges are.

I will live and work in a manner that I want, am proud of and hopefully love. And I will be exactly where I want to be.

So was it worth it? This 50th year Test Drive with myself? Absolutely. I’m not looking like a yoga instructor or an’ting. But that was never the point. But this paying attention to myself was worth it. And I know I will it keep it up.

One other thing that I have decided on, in fact there was no real decision to be made or thought put into it; I am retiring my Stars and Bars bikini. I could be glib about it and say it doesn’t fit me anymore, or the beany doesn’t go with the jersey, or the flags got mangled in a storm. I won’t.

It breaks my heart. I was always very proud of my reasons for the flag and I will always defend them and stand up for them.

But the Confederate Flag now flies to a very different and disgusting pride to mine, and I couldn’t possibly do that to my Grandparents and theirs before that, or to Cork.

Frilly keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 last night

The Great British Bake Off made its debut on Channel 4 last night.

Undercooked, overdone or just right?

Frilly Keane writes:

I suspect a lot of the moanie minnies and professional grumps are very quiet this morning. Season 8 Round 1 was very hard to criticise. And Hollywood was pure Hollywood so even the BBC loyalists and Channel 4 boycotters can now go camp somewhere else.

To give you a local example of those just looking to find fault with Channel 4’s ambition, here’s what the Irish Independent had to say about their opening Trailer 4 weeks ago. Judge it for yourselves, is it creepy?

FFS, if there is ever an example of the Indo following a preference or displaying a deliberate partiality needed – take that link with ya.

For Aoife Kelly the writer lemme say this – The Bake Off format is all about the Bakes and the Bakers, not the presenters and Judges. It is the viewers that generate the win or fail, good or bad outcomes for the Presenters and Judges.

BTW that’s why the Irish Bake Off hasn’t managed to trap its own market, unlike the Irish GoggleBox which is a pure winner.

If I had one moan about last night, it’s that we didn’t get to see enough of the bakers engaging with Sandi & Noel, but that was an issue with the previous hosts too. It’s the format.

As the Bakers go home those remaining get more space for themselves and their Bakes.
Actually, I’ll be more explicit about this. The C4 format is identical to the BBC one, even the Opening Titles.

A few Frilly observations to put out there with ye;

The ads didn’t interfere too much with the show. In fact we laughed when the final ad break came at the Star Baker/ who’s going home moment. They also provided the opportunity to raid the bikkie tin and treat jars, or in my case give out when I discovered the Jaffa Cakes were gone and not miss any part of the show.

They also allocated (well in this house anyway) the time for all the couch commentary to be done with before it came back on.

I suspect Prue will be nicer and sweeter to the Bakers than Mary Berry, who let’s be honest could get school-teacher cross when a baker didn’t take her advice from a previous bake.

Anyone remember the Season 1 final and her lifting Ruth (The Pink Whisk) out’ve it about the size of her scones? Christ she nearly clattered her, and it cost Ruth Clemens the win (Incidentally she remains one of my favourite bakers.)

Noel Fielding was an inspired casting, as I knew he would be, but until last night I never noticed how elegantly poised he is. While I’m a sucker for the tall and lean, and I’ll give ye a heads up again of possible wanton prejudice; wasn’t he lovely tho.

I now wish they had moved to Channel 4 last year so I could see how Noel would have got on with Selasi; I’d say it would have had the makings of a spin off.

No disputes or doubts about last nights Star Baker, likewise with the lad going home.
Although yer man make a right mickie of it, I kinda like the idea of a Crumb Cake with Rhubarb (instead of my usual coffee and a bitta cardamom.) I’ll let ye know if I progress it.

Anyway; in the words of Columbo, one last thing;

It will be the Year of the Scouse, definitely. But which one?

Yesterday: Stairway To Oven

Pic: Channel 4

Update:

In fairness.

The Great British Bake Off presenters, from left: Noel Fielding, Sandi Tovsig, Paul Hollywood and Pru Leith

The Great British Bake Off is back tonight.

No wait, come back.

Frilly Keane writes:

Now there’s more than just a few of us about here waiting on this day since last November so I thought I’d bring it up. The rest of ye can stay in the closet.

Bake Off 2017 – Season 8; Week 1; but unlike other seasons, this year’s Bake Off or GBBO if you prefer, has us in bits; no Mel and Sue – which I have no problem with, and the fretting about whether it or we will survive without Mary Berry. And how will we cope with the ad breaks and product placements.

This is serious stuff.

Despite the fact that I already have it from someone that has seen the 1st episode that it’s all grand –as you were like, with Signature Bakes, Technicals and Show Stoppers; I’m still starving for it and desperate for it to work.

I posted here a while back about the Bake Off and the new line up when it was announced, I think it was in a morning papers thread, I was optimistic and positive then, and now I just can’t wait – so I don’t really care other than hoping I don’t miss Mary Berry too much.

Previous GBBOs had two very special ingredients; the Bakers and the relationship between Paul and Mary.

Twelve contestants will put on aprons in tonight’s tent. 6 boys 6 girls. (for the Gender Quota Auditors – seasons 2-8 have all been 50/50)

Tonight Paul will be partnered by Prue Leith. I don’t see much of a change in the dynamic here for us as viewers but I will be curious to find out if Prue is a fond of the boozy cakes as Mary was.

Paul did Bake Off USA without Mary Berry before (and we know how that went) and to be fair they have had very separate careers before Bake Off and since.

Bake Off made them prime-time regulars but, they remain Master Craftspersons (is that right?) they never went full sleb; what made Paul and Mary was that they remain 100% committed to their trades; it’s all about the Bake.

In the GBBO Competition, Bread week is the equivalent of the Men’s 100m; however, Bake Off will still be all about the Hand Shake. The Paul Hollywood Handshake. So, it doesn’t matter who is partnering him.

And for some Bakers you’ll meet tonight, getting the Paul Hollywood handshake more important than Star Baker. In my memory, there has only been one 2-hander and that was for last year’s Jane’s Pavlova.

There are two things I’m most excited about for this new era for Bake Off.

I can’t wait to see Noel Fielding slooping, flapping and hanging around over the work spaces and crouching down in front of the ovens alongside the bakers. I think he’s going to bring out the best in them and he’ll find a way to make Soggy Bottoms funny.

The other thing; Sandi Toksvig and Paul Hollywood. Somehow, and I hope I’m wrong, ‘cause you know, its frigging Paul Hollywood ffs, I think Sandi might just be getting the last word when Paul does his crosshairs thing with the white knuckle and blue eye daggers at a Baker ….

Incidentally, there is loads of ink given over the ratings and the audience C4 might get versus the 14million the BBC pulled in for last year’s final. I suspect tonight will be a record breaker for Channel 4. OK it’ll be no Durty Den on Christmas Day, but I believe Bake Off has a following loyal enough to stick with it.

Have a good Bake Off everyone.

The Great British Bake Off is on Channel 4 at 8pm.

Pics: Channel 4

You know what pisses me off the most about Paul Murphy TD? Is how some people are continuously reminding us about where he went to school.

As if it was a fault or even a halfway decent loophole in a defence; but all it manages to secure is a flimsy attempt at man-marking. Handbags stuff. It’s no one’s business where his parents sent him to school; and ye all know that.

Likewise; it’s no one’s business where his Mam and late Dad lived, and as long as it was legal nor is what they did to earn a living. But ye know all that too.

What the real motivation for this constant durty elbowing about his personal and family background is this notion that those that face the Left, by and to whatever degree; be they elected Politicians, Candidates, Activists, former Presidents, Party Members or Supporters, must somehow at some point in their lives have struggled with poverty and going-without, experienced neglected communities, addiction, attended overcrowded and failing schools, were denied third level educations and know their way to the nearest Labour Exchange.

There is this premise being heavily sold by the main Parties and their associated luvvies, to counter the mainstreaming (albeit slowly) of Sinn Féin, and in the wake of the Water Protests and Occupy Apollo etc, that you can’t be an authentic Left Winger if you never saw a Vincent De Paul Christmas box or attended a fee paying school.

Daniel McConnell in the Indo a few years back referred to Paul Murphy’s “posh accent” and that he went to Gonzaga. So? In the words of Terry Prone herself … So? Was he really saying that Paul Murphy isn’t qualified to fight against Austerity alongside people who rely on medical cards, FIS, schools with breakfast clubs and sound like Dustin the Turkey?

So, because Paul Murphy has what the Indo described a “posh accent” and that he went to the same school as Peter Sutherland and Michael McDowell he must be a fake playboy Socialist, and the donkey jacket is just for show over the old’s chool uniform colours as shared by McDowell and Sutherland. Is that it so?

The Indo is notoriously responsible for all sorts of shyte – from the ridiculous to the contrived, but Jaysus even that bates Barry’anagher.

Admittedly, I’m the last one to agree or even be seen on the same side as Peter Sutherland and Michael McDowell (politically anyway.) Yet here I am wishing that a few other ‘Zaga alumni should be so willing to represent or even acknowledge the existence of those who rely on Money lenders and Community Welfare Officers to get to the end of the week.

Imagine the society we could have if Peter Sutherland represented the people living from one day to the next, from one hotel room to the next, from one waiting list to the next.
What really infuriates me about this ‘he’s a posh boy’ sneering behaviour is the nerve of those, some claiming the Left themselves by the way, but mostly Centre and Right Facing, and not forgetting the Main Stream Media that inflates it all, is that compassion and empathy with those that your current Taoiseach would call a Cheater is being questioned at all.

This isn’t by any means a shout out for Paul Murphy and the treble As. No chance.
But you see, I include myself in the Left direction. In fairness, I’d be a fair bit more short-sighted than Paul & his crew. But it’s no secret I have advocated for (some) Sinn Féin reps.

However I’ll make no apology for earning similar to Paul Murphy (‘ish – and I have longer hours and no pensions and freebies like an office set up and printer cartridges.)And make no mistake, I’m not giving up part of my income after tax to make a point.

I’ll do what I like with my self-made hard earned and tax paid few bob. If I can afford to drive something that is not a 12 year old Toyota, and manage the School-of-their-choice fees, I will. And while I can afford my brands, bling and holiday home; I’m having it. But all that doesn’t mean I’m disqualified from having a Social Conscience and wanting a fairer and more equal society.

I want all our schools to be better, I want everyone, EVERYONE, to have access to the same healthcare I do, I want everyone to have daycent pensions and the supported care and assistance if they have the need, and if that means paying tax according to my means, railing and rising against overpaid public servants of every rank, creed, quango and charity, then that’s what it takes.

And I fully expect to stay like this by not apologising for earning as much as I can and doing what I like with it. I won’t be taking any vow of poverty if I can help it.

So why is it that by virture of my own self-made lifestyle, would I be questioned for even considering looking left, endorsing (some) Shinners, and expecting our democracy to be decent and human to those that need it?

To add further salt to my indignation; I know a lad that got a very nice favour via NAMA and the blind eye of a few UK Bankruptcy Trustees, who subsequently sold up and is now on extended stay in the States; aka he didn’t stay on and stump up his bitta CGT.  I bet my self-earned lot that Leo wouldn’t dream of calling him a cheat. He has a posh accent, and went to a posh school too by the way.

Frilly keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

 

Frilly Keane writes:

I suppose tis no secret that I’m no fan of Gender Quotas. In any walk of life. I’m one’ve those who believe that Equality as a statutory right should be enough. Mad right? But why should it. Be mad like?

Why should a governing policy or funding condition be implemented just to insist on my place on a Board or on a Party Ticket, or to even up the numbers on a Management team if I’m already qualified and suitable for the post anyway.

Aren’t I already entitled to equal consideration if I’ve declared my interest?

At this stage of our evolution here in Ireland, why should anyone still have to sue for a right they already have. I not going to deny it never occurred to me, but on the most recent occasion, I neither had the stomach nor the patience, but mainly because I was mortified that I would have to.

Now I’ll be honest, I really thought that part of what I’m about to introduce to ye would’ve bin done already, by those professional Opinion’ators and Journalists; those we’re expected to take seriously because the Main Stream Media news and views endorses them.

Maire Whelan: She had a job she was qualified for; Yes. She had a responsibility to do it right, honestly and beyond reproach; Yes, and not just to her employer, us, but also to her Professional Body – An Honourable Society apparently. Could she, or did she achieve any of those obligations? No.

She was a shyte Attorney General throughout both her terms. And that’s not an opinion, it’s a confirmed fact; how her responses to the Fennelly Tribunal alone didn’t even earn her a performance appraisal suggests some jobs cannot be questioned.

Even with the blanket of pals in high places she has very obviously depended upon throughout a pretty insipid career at the Bar, could she not muster up some semblance of professional obligation to a profession that’s served her too well as it is.

Nope. Not a bit of it; as AG Maire Whelan was obliged to present to the Government the three applications for a significant appointment in our Judiciary, but she wanted it for herself so she kept the applications to herself. Self-Serving – that’s not fair play and it is a denial of Equality. Something she is required to observe.

It’s not the appointment itself I have an issue with, it’s the conniving snakey way Maire Whelan secured the job for herself that I’m most offended by. And in truth, well my truth anyway, she and the then Government turned their arses to Transparency, Equal Opportunity and simple bog-standard Fair-Play.

Yet when they require it from dependents on the State, and those seeking Social Welfare assistance or Carers grants; Christ they’re all about it.

Anyone caught trying a bitta crafty non-disclosure there might end up with a Blue Shurt Manifesto named after them. Named and Shamed – and with the exchequer funding the advertising campaign.

So why didn’t Maire throw her hat into the ring with the other three candidates; like if she was that sure of herself she would have competed equally with the other candidates.

It’s a disgusting final play from someone who had the responsibility of being the first Woman Attorney General. Would Mary Robinson have conducted herself so grubbily? That’s up to ye. But one thing is certain, I have no confidence in how our Judiciary gets appointed.
I’m disgusted at myself for having had to say the first woman in the job. What the fúck should it matter. The best person for the job is what I want to be endorsing. And that’s where these Gender Quota lobbyists deny us all true and fair treatment.

Another snakey Lady in High Placement is our Garda Commissioner, Noirin O’Sullivan; now I don’t know if she actually earned that Job, or even the High ranks she captured on the way up to it.

That whole organisation has been rotten for decades, and is a closed shop and only serves those secured into it. It’s clear now that we cannot rely on any internal or external oversight other than hoping our Judiciary can. See above.

Here’s annuder one; Mary Mitchell O’Conner – talk about a sense of entitlement. She was elected a TD, that’s the job she has actually earned. That’s it as far as I can see. So what are her credentials to be granted a Ministerial Super Junior job ON FÚCKING DEMAND?

What we do know is that she was a terrible Minister and can’t retain senior staff; that latter part right there is a big enough signal that she’s just not fit for any enhanced role.

Gender Quota advocates should put that into their defence prep notes.

The whole Gender Quota thing is a cod anyway; its pander and lip service the Girls:Boys ratio; The optics – to be seen to be doing sum’ting. But in truth it’s all just what we’ve always called jobs for the boys. Get used to it lads, it’s not really about boys.

It’s about favouritism, payback, and patronage, and what can cope with the spin cycle. Not about Skill, Achievement, Expertise, Qualification, Contribution, Potential or Equality; which is what we deserve.

To be fair I don’t necessarily blame Leoseach for his Cabinet; he had fúck all talent to choose from anyway. But I hate the Gay Mixed-Race Taoiseach header that accompanies every event, photo op, and announcement.

What the fúck has that got to do with him being a Doctor, an elected TD, Minister, Leader of his Party, and now Taoiseach. If there was true Equality in this country, like inherently bred into us, the fact that he’s gay and half this n’ that wouldn’t even occur to anyone; and even less a matter required to enhance positive messaging.

Stick to the fact that #CampaignForLeo is the only thing of substance he has accomplished in years.

I’ve a pal and work colleague that is going to run in the next GE. She’s already a very active Councillor, but deliberately refused at Gender Quota place in the last one.

Her manifesto is very simple; People remember results. If she does get elected; and it’ll be tight if I’m honest, it’ll be because she has worked for it and the constituency she is hoping to represent will recognise her work and contribution already on their behalf, and her capacity to replicate it Nationally.

Not the Mná, and not that she was their only choice. Unlike Leo’s effin’ cabinet.

The Girls mentioned earlier really had a far bigger responsibility; to prove they could do the job under the same rules has the Men that sought to deny women for decades. They’ve done us all harm.

I’ve gone way over again, but for the weekend that’s in it; Hon’Cork

Frilly keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

Frilly Keane is back!

Has she had some work done?

Frilly writes:

So, a few weeks ago I was on a ‘work’ weekender thing. You know, bar on check-in, chicken supper cabaret dance, residents bar, followed by a whole day of motions n’ shyte n’ freebies n’ stuff, then the free bar, the gropey dinner dance, and then more residents bar networking; the you’sh.

And of course I’m suited and booted through it all; hair and nails done, bits done; well you never know. Anyway, on these long-day late-nighters, I use a thing call Beauty Flash Balm to keep the paint work together and in some way manageable without constant touching up.

It’s like a primer in a way – it smooths out all the rough spots and holds the next layer of paint perfectly.

But when you do your nightly scrub off; your face literally falls away into a limp flaccid useless organ; until the following day when you do it all again and this stuff pulls it all together and firms it up as much as it can; and after a few days detox and rest everything goes back to normal.

But not this time; and a few nights after when I took my face off I found a crack.

The crack is traveling from the edge of my lips, between upper and lower, and sloping down. And is now followed by a mirror image on the other side. And it was all so sudden.
And I’m not coping with it. I have it in my head now that I’m dribbling.

I would insist I’m not vain and I know I’m not afraid of getting old; I just can’t not notice them.

So what happened next just started off with a quick search about fillers; and within 3 hours I was having conversations with three different clinics; and have actually being diagnosed, Marionette Lines. Incidentally all three clinics are on a direct bus route from my gaff.

Anyway, it all got very real and then as if I wasn’t already being ridiculous, it got even more ridiculous.

Like an eejit I filled out an online form, gave them what ye just got about the cracks, and now mentioned the vertical crevice kindly hidden by the bridge of my glasses; which I now know is a Glabellar Line.

Within 24 hours, clinics in Barcelona, Prague, Wroclaw and Szczecin – they’re both in Poland btw, and another one in Holland were in touch with their fancy and well-presented websites.

Suddenly I was now considering Lipo as they all have a 2- for-1 and other discounts on bundles, and was now learning about the package deals they all offer.

Then I was being introduced to my Personal Assistant for my stay and surgery. Then the surgeons themselves were contacting me for photographs of the mentioned worksites. Even through WhatsApp, and, no word of a lie as I type this, Arthur in Szczecin for Dr Osadowska is sending me pictures of “real Patients” and links to LipoLife3G demos.

Interestingly, three of the clinics advised that my Health Insurance was a possible payment option, along with interest free payment plans. And I have now been offered a 10% additional discount from Anna if I book beforeh June 30

It’s all being made so doable and why not-able; and d’ya know what, why shouldn’t it?

Why shouldn’t I invest further in personal appearance? I already get my roots done every 5-6 weeks, I get mani – pedis, facials, waxed, massages, and like to shop, whether I need another pair of shoes or another work shirt or not.

I invest in my profession, skills and my practice. I NCT the car and replace it with a newer one every 5’ish years and I maintain a totally avoidable yet expensive Personal Grooming regime.

Like, if there’s a cream, serum or scrub for it, I have it. It’s not Vanity. Not a bit’ve it. Its maintenance. I’m not enhancing an’ting I’m just fixing stuff.

If a crack appeared over the front door of the house you’d get it sorted.

So what’s stopped me, or at least delayed me picking a surgeon and booking the flights.

Me. The sheer indulgence of spending €2.5 – 3k on meself, when there’s school fees, ‘van fees, new tyres needed, renovations, ara’ the list goes on, brings on a guilt that I can only describe as a pure Me Fein that I’m very uncomfortable with.

And something someone said to me lately “its not about you” probably secures the guilt.

Secondly; the imposition of being out of action for some time, for what is simply an electable set of procedures is just not fair on work and home.

And finally, I don’t want to do it on my own; despite the availability of a Personal Assistant. I don’t want to be sore and drugged and on my own, and I definitely don’t want to be in a departure lounge swollen, bruised, and weary, on my own; more selfish self-interest I suppose.

So surgery is ruled out; for now. Unless I win the lotto then all bets are off.

But I’m definitely getting fillers. Don’t ask what ones, or what clinic etc.

So if ye’re all wondering, like, what to get me for the biggie; all these local clinics sell gift vouchers.

Frilly-new-face on the way; an’ with a bitta luck by the first Sunday in September, it’ll be like I only left Cork yesterday.

Frilly keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

LorcanFinnegan

Two women in Dublin by Photographer Lorcan Finnegan from his street series Granny Fashions

Frilly Keane is back.

With some hand me down wisdom.

Frilly writes:

In case ye haven’t noticed, I’m not a bit afraid of where I’m from, and I don’t cringe when I hear Olé Olé Olé, in fact I join in. I’m a divil for the sing song, and a divil for the dance floor, and I never care who’s looking. And I’m proud to announce that only one generation separates me from The Marsh.

I don’t ever feel the need for Window Dressing since I’m not a bit impressed by addresses or schools, or trappings or who Daddy’s Daddy was. Or Watches …. However I’ve a bitta’ve thing when it comes to accents tho’, I love genuine rootie ones, and break out in a rash at the Mt Anville.

If you ever give yourself a chance, listen to John Evans talk about football, now there’s a lad who has substance, passion, integrity, depth and respect.

Plenty of ye here have accused me of having a terrible dose of the inferiority complexes, and would even insist they could drop a hopper of turf into my chipped shoulder; meh. I’m all Substance over Style. But I’ll do that one another week.

Since there’s been very little middle of the roadie-easy-listening stuff here lately, which is not a complaint since there are some very serious matters before us as a democracy; I’m still going to give ye a 3 minute doss this week.

Recently my teenager (only just mind) was off to Mary’s for a thing called Core – fúcking queuing for tickets weeks in advance n’all. “it’s a social Mother, they’re not called Discos.” Lemme tell ye, if there was a ditch anywhere close, even a daycent pothole,I’d have dived into it and dragged her wi’me.

I don’t blame my baby since most of that “it’s a social” comes from all that High School telly shit. I’d have called it Dancing meself, like “did ye go dancing?”

My Nana Lulu would have said the same, “did ye go to the Dance?” Or sum’ting like “was it that Disco Dancing ye were at up there in the club?” Or she could easily have said “dance hall”

Dance Hall; just saying it puts a smile across ya. So it got me tinking about stuff our Nanas never said, or did.

Chicken Pesto in a Panini please; I think this all started around the late nineties in an’round Mount Street, and that’s not that long ago, so keep yere keyboards steady. I doubt either of my Nanas went beyond Tomato Sangwiches or a Chester Slice in Roches Stores Coffee Bar, where, incidentally coffee was white or with cream, proper cream – out’ve a bowl and not a squirty tin.

As I write this the smell of Roches Stores Coffee Bar has wrapped around me like a steaming bubble bath. And the range of cakes …. that all came in proper bakers trays.

Tis the crowds coming back from Italia ’90 wanting Cappuccinos instead of milky coffee are a much to blame.

What’s the wiffy code? or pin number; our Nanas kept cash in their purses; big brown plasticiky yokes, where they knew exactly how much was in them. And they kept address books. I can recant my own phone number, but nobody else’s, not even the landline at home.

They kept hall tables with a seat that they sat down on when making or taking a call. It was an event, a time out with a cup of real tea. Now we do the ironing or the supermarket shop talking into a phone. We used to talk to people on the bus and train; now we talk into the phone. I prefer their way.

What d’ya mean I can’t smoke here?
Ok we’re the better for that one. Back in the day, I had a beauty of a mullet, permed n’all, but the smell off it in the mornings when I put my head under the shower hose; actually, does anyone do that anymore, kneel down beside the bath and wash their hair under a rubber hose?

Anyway, I don’t like to think about how Nana Lulu would react to not being able to have a fag on a plane. I’d say she’d have preferred to walk from Dagenham to Cork rather that put her arse onto the LHR to ORK if there wasn’t a smoking section.

My other Nana, who I never really knew, probably never even entered an airport. I remember distinctly when My mother had to have an emergency appendectomy and her Mam, my Nana, used to bring me into the Mercy to visit, and the first thing she did at the side of the bed was light up a fag. By the way that girl lived to 88.

Unleaded please; or daysel, to be fair, neither of my Nanas ever drove. Then again, neither did my Grandfathers, and one worked in Fords for enough years that got him a Gold watch. I never knew my paternal Grandfather, although I know he left my father and uncles well set up, which didn’t last long. Nothing new there. But if they did drive, they’d tell the lad how much to put in; none of that now, and I miss that, and not just the three pounds’ worth of petrol.

I need to get the man in to look at the dishwasher. Not only was it an uber-luxury item bordering on the ridiculous, like having a private jet in today’s money, Kitchens were smaller and the freezer was a little shelf with a flap in the fridge, and it only held an ice cube tray and a half a block of Neapolitan, and maybe a few fish-fingers.

That’s another thing, Neapolitan ice cream was the fancy stuff; with Jelly and Ice Cream on a Sunday. Maybe I have evolved a bit, since I hate both Jelly and Ice Cream. And Ice Cubes, I hate them too, but why our Nanas needed them I’ll never know as nobody drank at home unless it was a funeral.

I need to floss. They all took their teeth out at night. Did you ever notice old photos taken in larger towns and cities? All the smiles are the same. That’s ‘cause they all had the same factory teeth.

Years ago, when Big Tracey was minding her own Nanny, she brought a lad back from the Felons one night, and when he was in the loo afterwards, he thought the cup at the sink was liquid soap. It’s still funny to think of yer man plucking through his walk of shame in the dark. Although the dentures that nearly bit yer’man weren’t Nana’s there were “mau’Graunnies pur wee teeth.”

I need to get waxed before the holidays. Ha! Imagine that. My Nana Lulu wouldn’t even take off her tights to go paddling in Youghal. No flip-flops, bikinis or tramp stamps. Going to the Sea-side was a day out in the Sunday best. If it wasn’t for Section 23 holiday apartment blocks and Spars, our sea-side towns would be a thing of the past too; how many long for the days when Crowds arrived with flasks and bottles of tay, and knitted togs, and bought sticks of rock home for the neighbour’s kids. Imagine your Nana bringing your Mammy to school in a Pyjama Pants; Christ she’d a’bin taken off her.

A 12” with Pepperoni and Sweet-Corn; delivered please; take-away was the chipper on the way home from Bingo. D’ya know, I’m no one to talk about take-outs, home deliveries and drive-thrus; but wouldn’t we all be better off with if it was just the Chicken Supper on-the-way-home from a night out?

I can already hear yere cribbing about the writing and the maudling reminiscing; but it really is incredible to think how our trappings in life change so fast, from the Hall Phone to Tap n’Pay, from the Dance Hall Slow Set and Ladies Choice to Tindr, and our Integrated Dishwashers that just get replaced rather than repaired, to how we eat and exercise; just ‘cause Discos, Mulletts, Flasks of Tay, Girdles, and The Parish Dance slash Bingo Hall are all things Millennials snort at – just like we did at pals in hand-me-downs, doesn’t mean we should be ashamed of them and pretend we’re any better off.

Hon Cork, and see ye on the 24th

Frilly keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane