You know you’re an adult when…


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1. You close your online gaming account and join a bee keeping forum. Bee keeping and napkin folding are your new passions.





plumber2. Workmen who come to your house to fix your boiler call you Mrs. “That’ll be an extra 50 euros for the new washer Mrs Ryan”.  None of the familiar terms of endearment, ‘love’ or ‘sunshine’ will be uttered.  It’s the least they could do to address you formally and with respect while fleecing you for every last penny.  “Standards must be maintained” will be your new mantra.

brigjones-icecream3. You could eat a whole tub of Haagen Dazs if you wanted to but choose not to. The only person wagging a finger at you as you reach for the fridge is yourself. You can stuff your face with sweets with carefree youthful abandon but you wont.  The bathroom scales will be ever present in your thoughts. It’s not as much fun anyway when there’s no one to scold you.

4. You say more appropriate things than inappropriate things. This anomaly may reverse in time.  When you’re past middle age you revert to saying more inappropriate things than appropriate, or what I like to call – radical honesty.




5. You develop an awareness of hygiene that was never present in your teenage years.   You become acquainted with the vacuum cleaner.   It never troubled you before but suddenly the collection of socks under the bed makes you queasy.

sitdown6. You’re fond of a old ‘sit down’.


7. You develop a cushion fixation. Your shopping habits change.  You still like the odd impulse buy but you’re more likely to find yourself in the haberdashery department of Brown Thomas than looking at Gucci handbags.  Who doesn’t love new cushions?


8. Buying a new appliance makes you more giddy than a thirteen year old at a Justin Bieber concert. You actually read the instructions on how to care for your new stand mixer.

9. Beer will no longer cut the mustard. You discover the joys of a glass of wine.




Man Flu vs Woman Flu

imageMan flu may be on the increase.  This devastating ailment is so much more severe than mere ‘women flu’ that demands are growing for the Government to pour all resources, the entire health budget into research into this debilitating condition.

imageDoes Man Flu / Woman Flu exist?

I’ve recently called on a friend who was feeling a little under the weather.  I found her in a sad state, incapable of walking, talking, eating, doing anything really, apart from coughing up a lung, sneezing and generally looking like she was about to expire at any moment.

‘I’m grand, I’ll be fine. Just a dose of the sniffles, nothing a Lemsip won’t sort” she croaked. Clearly it was more than a dose of the sniffles.  I watched as she tried to continue ironing bedclothes, determined not to succumb to her affliction.  Taking to the bed was not an option.


Is the question not does ‘man flu’ exist but does ‘woman flu’ not exist?

manuppillsMen quite rightly take to the bed at the first sneeze and insist to anyone who will listen that they have been struck down by Ebola and are close to death.  Man Flu Man will take every pill, medicine, pain killer, cough syrup known to mankind, snuggle up under the blankets, stick a thermometer in his mouth for added effect and generally demand extreme mollycoddling.  Surrounded by books to while away the hours, tv remote at the ready, stacks of Top Gear magazines, he’ll  want to be spoon fed his favourite lemon drizzle cake to keep his strength up.

imageHe may at some point insist on being taken to hospital in full Breaking Bad boiler suit but before that he may call friends and family to say his goodbyes. Other symptoms experienced by Man Flu Man include groaning in agony, night terrors, temporary psychosis and visions of the Archangel Gabrielle.

All perfectly acceptable behaviour in my book. When else can you demand of your loved ones such love and devotion. When it comes to flu, I wish women could be more like men. 


imageThe problem isn’t Man Flu but Women who refuse to acknowledge that they have it, flu being the sole preserve of men.   Typical ‘woman flu’ symptoms include:

  • Doing excessive housework to prove it isn’t happening.
  • Repeatedly saying “I’ll be fine, it’s just a slight chill”.
  • Repeatedly saying “I haven’t time for this”
  • Getting on with your day, ignoring runny nose.
  • Pathological fear of idleness. The thought of not being needed will spell the end of civilisation as we know it.

imageResearch by Beechams reveals that female flu lasts 20% longer and has worse symptoms than the male variety.





image.jpegSo, fellow Goddesses, the next time you’re feeling a little under the weather, man up and milk it for all its worth.

  • Take to the bed immediately.
  • Demand toast and Bovril in bed.
  • Say “Can you turn the tv this way and turn off the light, its hurting my eyes”.
  • Binge watch The Good Wife.
  • Delegate all household chores.
  • Request a stash of Walnut Whips be left on your bedside locker.
  • Have your loved ones read to you from Good Housekeeping or Marie Claire.
  • Insist on cups of tea being produced on the hour every hour.
  • Keep this up for at least 5 days.




What Your Water Says About You


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imageIf only I lived as a North Korean peasant in the presence of Kim Jung Un. The special one has discovered a new treatment to prevent aging and cancer – water. Water from the sacred Mt Koryong. And the benevolent leader has bottled it for his 27 million subjects to buy.

If like me, you like your water infused with rose petals and oxygen, collected from the tears of water nymphs, regurgitated by the Dalai Lama himself and spit into a bottle, then the following might interest you.

imageAccording to Nth Korean scientists “There are nano-tracks in human’s cell membrane and only smaller molecule water can pass it. Such water is absorbed rapidly into human body to promote metabolism of cells and works as antioxidant to prevent the accumulation of peroxides, retard aging and prevent cancer.”

And the water is indeed sacred, there is a never ending supply. According to reports “Geologists and management officials of the spring water factory have not yet measured the exact volume of water. However, much they pump the water, it never diminishes.”

Its claimed that is has mysterious energies, and cleverly nicknamed ‘clear water’. I suppose ‘murky water’ wouldn’t do.

I suspect Kim himself told his scientists to find the cure for cancer or else face a cruel tortuous death. Low and behold, there it was starting them in the face.. water..

What your choice of water says about you.

imageCoconut Water :– You are a hypochondriac totally taken in by the hype. You’re never more than 5 ft. from a yoga mat and you firmly believe that drinking coconut water will allow you to remain in a Downward Dog position when you’ve passed the 100 year mark. You don’t really like the taste, but that’s the price of being a smug health freak.

Fiji Water :- You like taking selfies of your gym body, you never pass a glass without checking your reflection to confirm that you still have it.

Tap water :- Tap water ceased to be acceptable in 1989. You are obviously very very old….

imageSmart Water:- You’re not that smart but you like to show everyone that you’re tech savvy. You believe the junk science behind electrolytes that replenish lost energy. You want to know what the Ph balance is but don’t understand what it means.


Evian :- An acceptable choice for a domestic Goddess. It has the ‘Je ne sais quoi’ factor. Would do if San Pellegrino not available.

imageSan Pellegrino:- Sweet nectar of the Gods.  Lets be clear, this is not merely a bottle of water but an accessory, and we all live by the old adage “Accessories doth mak’eth the woman”. Your Chloe handbag is just the right size for carrying it but you’d rather keep it in your hand.



imageLidlAldi own brand:- You are the intellectual superior to everyone. You know it makes sense, it’s functional, cheaper and of equal quality to Evian and you can bulk buy when doing your grocery shop. You actually understand the junk science about electrolytes in water. You think Louis Vouton plays for Arsenal and your idea of a perfect holiday is a potholing expedition in Donegal.

Tipperary Spring :- You are a country bumpkin. You prefer a night by the fire knitting Aran jumpers to a night on the tiles.

Water Fountain: – Your homeless, but hey, you have the edge on everyone else, you’re drinking free clean water…

Tap Dancing School - 'We only use tap water.'

Tap Dancing School – ‘We only use tap water.’

Old Bag To Let


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image  My dream of a luxury Caribbean cruise will remain just that, a dream, unless I come up with a cunning plan. Staring out of my rain soaked office window, my mind is elsewhere.  I’m lounging on deck, a Pimms in one hand and my Jamaican Patois  phrase book in the other.  A gentle breeze caresses my bikini body (in my dreams I have a bikini body).  A hot sailor arrives with a cold towel to gently dab away a bead of sweat from my sunkissed forehead…..

img_1770I trawl the internet looking for ways and means of earning a few shillings and turn my fantasy into reality. The internet offers a plethora of suggestions, but one catches my eye.

Handbag Rental:- Yes, there are crazy people out there willing to part with cash for a loan of your handbag.  Initially I find this an amusing idea.  Reminiscing about days of old when I lived at home with my five sisters.  Handbags were exchanged without permission or knowledge.  You could arrive home to find your polo mints and lip gloss strewn across the bed, handbag nowhere to be seen.  Many an argument started with ‘Where the f**k is my bag”.  Ahh! Happy days.  If I had a penny for every time my handbag was commandeered….

image.jpegBut this idea or renting out your handbag intrigues me. A Burberry clutch will get you 35 euros per week.   A Longchamp tote maybe even more. My plan may indeed be cunning. The only drawback is a lack of designer bags in my wardrobe. I might get 50 cent for my old satchel, but that wouldn’t cover the postage.




OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd there is that fact that my handbag is a health hazard.


img_1769However, it’s a universal truth that any domestic Goddess worth her salt must own at least one decent bag. How else can she be differentiated from the peasants. I do have a lovely Orla Kiely shopper that I’m quite attached to.  I’m not about to let any old tosser (too miserable to buy their own bag) use and abuse it.  I’ll rent out my Primark crossover bag for starters and see how I get on.  There can’t be that much competition, I can’t imagine anyone who owns an Alexander McQueen skull box clutch would be that hard pressed that they’d have to rent it out.


If the handbag rental goes well, I could rent out all sorts of things. Shoes..I have a pair of runners that need breaking in. I wouldn’t even charge extra for the muck.  Maybe not my good shoes, don’t relish the thought of some slimey old pervert sniffing around my stilettos… Scarves, sunglasses, jewellery, husband. The sky’s the limit.


I consider other ideas..

Personal Assistant to Millionaire:- Dashing about, organising appointments, booking flights.   Maybe I could be a kind of skivvy to the stars.  I have visions of me collecting George Clooney’s dry cleaning.  I’ll make myself indispensable to him.  George will be incapable of sneezing without my guidance.  In order to get the gig, I’d have to look the part.  Mmm…Maybe I’ll rent a little Gucci clutch bag.







How to be a Nifty Fifty

For those of you feeling a little trepidation about approaching the big five oh, follow Nifty’s tips for a smooth transition from being a 40 something to becoming a ‘Quintastic’ fifty year old. It’s not all twinsets and pearls, pill boxes and hair nets.  50 is the new 35, so banish any thoughts of succumbing to the ravages of time. Your time to shine has arrived.


image.jpegLie about your age. This is a crucial first step.  Change your date of birth on your Facebook profile and allow everyone to see it.




imageLet ‘Been there done that’ be your new mantra when it comes to doing thing you don’t like.   Nobody expects you to run a marathon.  When the office masochist looks for victims to accompany him/her on their next torture challenge/extreme marathon, you can feel safe in the knowledge that nobody will look in your direction.  While others feel pressured into agreeing to subject themselves to electrocution, pain, exhaustion, humiliation, be glad that you’re past it (but never admit that).


Hang out with 51 year olds. Being the youngest of a group of friends means that you’ll always be the baby in the group.  Even when you are all octogenarians, take comfort in the fact that they are, and always will be older than you.  Take every opportunity to remind them of the fact.

Grey hair may be back in fashion but not if you are over 50.


Practice chest bumping. Shaking hands is so last century and only for grannies.


Dig out your old handbags and accessories. If you’re over 50 anything you’ve kept from your youth may now be considered ‘vintage’.  Anything that pre-dates the 90’s is retro chic.




imageDevelop an air of mystery befitting a domestic Goddess of your standing. Buy some large sunglasses and a Hermes scarf.




imageDon’t turn into Mrs. Doyle. A cup of tea is not the be all and end all of your existence.  When visitors call, don’t immediately jump up and force feed tea and cucumber sandwiches to your unfortunate guests.  A Pimms on ice (enjoyed by smart urban sophisticates everywhere) or pink champagne never fails to impress.

“After fifty, one ceases to digest. I just ferment my food now.” – Henry Green


Never wear an apron.

Never wear elasticated trousers.

Don’t be the proud owner of a sewing machine.


Pill boxes are not for pills. They are for storing your jewellery when travelling on a Greek Island cruise, or any cruise for that matter.

Embrace your inner Bridget Jones. Everything droops but there’s always Spanx.  These latest foundation garments will sort that one.   Someone once said that middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle. Not true.. The middle age spread doesn’t exist on planet Spanx.


Don’t become cat lady. If you must have a cat, ensure that like you, it’s dressed impeccably.






At least once a day, gaze at a picture of George Clooney for inspiration. A perfect example of a Quintastic.


Bonkers Food



imageIf you’re thinking of moving to LA anytime soon, you need to get with the program. LA based Amanda Chantal Bacon owns Moon Juice, a juice and nut milk shop.  She has a ‘copper cup of silver needle and calendula tea’ every morning.  Last year she wrote a food diary for Elle which went viral.

“At 8am, I had a warm, morning chi drink on my way to school drop off, drink it in the car! It contains more than 25 grams of plant protein, thanks to vanilla mushroom protein and stone ground almond butter and also has the super endocrine, brain, immunity and libido boosting powers of Bran Dust, cordyceps, reishi, maca snd Shilajit resin. I throw in some ho shou wu and pearl as part of my beauty regime.  I chase it with three Quinton shots for mineralization and two lipospheric vitamin B-complex packets for energy”.   Source –Jay Rayner /Twitter


If that isn’t enough to put you off your cornflakes…I did some digging of my own and found plenty of similarly ludicrous food fads to make you feel inadequate.

imageAstrologically farmed eggs – That is, eggs that are laid at a certain time to coincide with cycles of the moon. Apparently they are tastier they have ‘bright sunset yellow’ yokes.  This also comes under the heading of Biodynamic Farming, or bonkers farming to you and me, which advocates planting, cultivating and harvesting crops based on moon phases.

image.jpegBog Butter – A farmer in County Cavan has found a large knob of butter. Why has this made global headlines.  Because it’s not just any old butter but 2000 year old bog butter buried by our forefathers and  preserved in a bog.  Now lauded as a wonder food, much sought after due to its rarity.   According to scientists, bog butter provides additional peat infused nutrients. It has a waxy texture and smells of cheese.   Will we read next of Russian oligarchs shelling out millions for it?  One woman’s forward planning I found amusing,  she intends to turn her breast milk into butter and bury it in the Bog of Allen, so that some archaeologist will dig it up and tuck into it in a couple of hundred years time.


Quinoa – never eat anything you can’t pronounce. Deeply unpleasant glue like grain.  The unpalatable truth is that poor Bolivians can no longer afford it due to soaring western demand.



imageActivated cashews – if you must have ‘bio-available’ nuts.

From  ‘Nourishing Traditions’ by Sally Fallon

How to activate your nuts…

  1. Dissolve salt in enough water to cover the amount of nuts/seeds you are activating.
  2. In a large bowl place your nut or seed of choice.
  3. Cover with the salt water solution.
  4. Soak for the required number of hours.
  5. Strain and rinse the nuts.
  6. Spread over a dehydrator rack, or baking tray.
  7. Dry in the dehydrator for around 12-24 hours.
  8. If drying in the oven, set the oven at the lowest temperature possible, preferably no more than 65C. Stir or turn them occasionally, for the required drying time.
  9. And the result? A crunchy, delicious, totally bio-available and stress-free, nuts.


Watermelon spiked with gin – Maybe this one is not so ludicrous.  Cut a hole into the watermelon that is deep enough to pour in a large helping of your favourite tipple. Leave overnight and serve the next day.

Notification Bother


My phone is bleeping to very kindly tell me that traffic is heavy and I’ll arrive home in 12 minutes. Only problem is that I’m at home already.  I really need to go into this traffic app and switch off the notifications.  If only I could muster up enough enthusiasm to tick a box.  I’d have to remember which app is responsible too. Thinking of all the boxes that require ticking is stressing me out.  It’s easier to just ignore the bleeps.  I know that on the scale of life’s trials, it up there with having to resort to drinking Cava when all the Champagne has run out.

imageWe all sign up for all sorts of aids to keep us on the straight and narrow.  Apps to help us navigate our way through traffic, to tell us when someone tweeted some hilarious inspirational quote that they stole from Facebook or that someone you don’t know is going to an event near you.

imageThe problem is this, clever app developers know how to instil a sense of urgency to make you open the app to find out more. When I get a notification to tell me that Justin Beiber has changed his hair parting, I feel the need to open up the app to investigate further, regardless of the fact that I couldn’t care less if JB himself appeared in front of me in person in the nip to sing me a lullaby (sorry for putting that image in your head).

Admittedly, sometimes they can brighten up a hum drum existence. When there’s nothing else going on in my life I’m happy in the knowledge that George Clooney is whooping it up in Venice.

imageAnd there is the fact that I have been known to panic if I look at my phone only to realise that I’ve no new notifications.

A worrying trend is companies collecting both customer profile and behavioural data to send personalized notifications. Apparently I’ve reached the age where I’m considered a candidate for a face lift, why else am I targeted with notifications about new cosmetic procedures.  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!   I hadn’t been thinking of life threatening facial disfigurement, but now that I’ve been notified, I’m suddenly dwelling on the sagginess of my jaw line.

Having given this some thought, I’ve resolved to tick a few boxes and banish these nuisance push notifications forever.

First thing tomorrow!