Month: July 2015

A Detailed and Personal Breakdown of Every Famous Person I Have Ever Met

We all have one. A list of famous people we’ve spotted on the street or noticed feeling up the avocados in our local Tesco Metro. But shouldn’t they… I don’t know… have a designated feeler for that sort of thing?

It’s a question I often curiously ask people: Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?

I might as well tell you, my own list isn’t going to win any prizes. It’s a bit on the lean side and none too heavy on the old ‘international superstars’. If you’re looking to find the likes of Hugh Jackman or Dustin Hoffman on this list I’m sorry but you’re going to come away very disappointed.

Pierce Brosnan
Pierce is probably my most impressive spot. I know he’s Irish, which should elicit an: “Ah now, who hasn’t seen him knocking about the place? I’d be more impressed if you said you never saw him,” but Pierce was James Bond so my hands are tied.

I saw Pierce in Dun Laoghaire and he was really getting the star treatment as befits his status as Hollywood icon and national treasure. A man in an apron (a grocer?) was seeing Pierce and a mature lady (an esteemed relative?) across the street. Pierce looked slick, well dressed and a man at ease with himself. He had a very definite aura that said: I’m like you, only a bit more ‘glowy’ and famous.

Glen Hansard
Glen was my most recent spot. I was with friends outside a cafe, eating a goats cheese salad and feeling a frisson in the air that anything could happen. I wasn’t wrong. Glen walked past and my friend said matter-of-factly: “Oh look, there’s Glen. Isn’t he a bit of a ride?”
“Yes,” I said, “he’s got something about him alright. And he’s meant to be very nice in ‘real life’. He’s a man who looks happy with himself and his achievements. Not smug though. I like that.”

“No,” said another, more discerning friend, “no, he wouldn’t do it for me I’m afraid.”

So I concocted a story, hoping to change her mind: She’s heartbroken, so she goes to the Aran Islands to her grandfather’s cottage to heal. In a windswept landscape she writes poetry, wears woolly jumpers and looks fragile and beautiful. She sits on quite a lot of rocks, feeling like she will never love again. But wait, one stormy day she’s sitting on one of her rocks (her favourite one, it’s flat and there’s space for a coffee and her Sudoku book) and she sees a man fixing a boat on the beach, strong and ginger. It’s Glen. His beautiful hands are adroit and roughened, yet carefully trimmed nails reveal a fastidious, prideful man. He looks into her eyes acrosseth sand and shale with a passion that startles her. Instantly she knows she has found her soulmate. They make passionate love on the cold beach, rain whipping down as they cry out in a frenzy.

“No,” she says,” no, he still doesn’t do it for me.”

Johnny Vegas
I walked passed him on Baggot Street Lower. He was wearing a white t-shirt and was deep in conversation with a duo of consorts. I left him to it.

Jimmy Doyle from Fair City
This one is brilliant in its randomness. It’s a small auld world and no mistake. I saw Jimmy (real name David Mitchell) in Maryland’s Baltimore airport.

Is that? It’s not. Is it? Is it Jimmy? Could it be? Ah no, sure what are the odds. I’ll get a bit closer. Well jimmy me timbers, it IS Jimmy Doyle, skilled mechanic and member of the Doyle dynasty, son of patriarch Bela.

Of course I had to say something. I had to prove this happened, for myself more than anyone.
“Hi, I’m a big fan of the show. Can I get a photo?”

It’s the only time I EVER asked a celebrity for a photo.

Sure enough Jimmy (real name David Mitchell) obliged. I still have the picture. I eh, won’t post it though because it was at the end of my J1 and after discovering Philly Cheesesteaks and corndogs I had put on about two stone.

Keith Urban
If it came down to it in a court of law, by virtue of nationality and column inches, (dirty minds on ye!) Keith would probably be judged my best spot, which is a bit depressing because I have zero interest in country music and don’t find him sexually appealing in the least. He was very tanned and wore a black short sleeved shirt. Points were awarded for the sheen off his hair though. He was a sheeny little fecker.

At least my ‘spot’ area had a bit of glitz and glam to it though. I was outside The Standard Hotel in New York City, drinking a coffee and feeling brilliant. Keith was making his way to a black car, no doubt taking him to a pressing ‘Keith’ engagement.

One of the chaps from The Magic Numbers, Cathy Davey and Neil Hannon (all at once)
I once won a competition to be a reporter for Jack Daniel’s for a special gig they were putting on. The gig was a one-off performance of Vampire Weekend’s titular album so part of the prize was to come and watch one of the chaps from the Magic Numbers, Cathy Davey, Neil Hannon and Richie from Jape rehearse. They were all marvellously nice people, but after a couple of hours watching the rehearsal me and the friend I had brought with me were horribly, horribly bored (my fiance Alex has been playing in bands for years so such a thing holds no glamour for me, if anything it reminds me of wanting us to go away for the weekend but we can’t because he’s playing a gig to fifteen people in a pub in Tullamore).

We stayed as long as we could so we wouldn’t offend, (I’m sure they wouldn’t have cared a jot but even so) then finally when it all got too much tentatively butted in and said: “Thanks a million, we’re heading off now. Bye.”

I think that’s it. There might be more but I can’t think of any right now, which isn’t a great indictment on those that may have slipped my mind.

I wouldn’t say I’ve had a great run of it thus far but as they say, the night is still young.

Fashion: Festival Style Series #1: Sailor Sequins and Gazelles

In a past article, The Tragedy of Festival Fashion I detailed my crushing, yes crushing disappointment at the emergence of a ‘festival uniform’. You know the one I’m on about: floral headbands, ill-advised hats (the little black bowler ones are a particular smear on our history) and those playsuits with the sort of… Aztec-y prints?

Well I may as well walk the talk. In this Festival Style Series I will attempt to turn festival dressing on its head, offering alternative ideas and creative inspiration.


Red Chanel lippy at a festival? A dress that looks pixellated? Runners with sequins? Why the hell not says you?! Am I not the creator of my own destiny?

This look is a fresh spin on the traditional retro pin-up—the addition of trainers and a satchel backpack tones down any ‘glitziness’ and makes it cool. It’s Marylin Monroe except she’s seeing the drummer from Foals and trying to get her singer-songwriter career off the ground. Festival 1Ashish Dress: €1,806.56 Net-a-Porter (Think of like this—it’s 10 cent per sequin. No? Not having any of it? OK. Fair enough).

Small Portrait Backpack’: The Cambridge Satchel Company £135

Adidas Originals Campus 80s Japan Trainers: ASOS €91

Chanel Rouge Allure in ‘Passion’: Boots €32.50

The Book: So What Happened to Amy? Major Exclusive Gawk at the PROLOGUE

Goujon.jpg.Sixteen months ago, when I started to write this book (Mother of Christos, was it that long ago?) I did a bold thing. I started with the prologue. Armed with a simple idea, (one’s life taking a trip down the toilet) I decided one little page of writing was to be my guide, my push, the fulcrum to build a rich, funny story around—and funnily enough, despite my incessant editing and the story growing arms and legs I never could have imagined, this one chapter has more or less remained the same.

Over the past year or so I’ve shared book excerpts on Facebook and sometimes chunks of chapters with family or friends, but never a whole chapter! Oh no! Like a primary school child aggressively covering her notebook in case Martha Ryan copies her top notch work on Ancient Egypt, I’ve been holding on to them for dear life. It stops now! It’s time to give away a bit more…

Behold… the Prologue! In Amy’s own words.


They say bad things come in threes.


Blind mice.

Unplanned triplets when the cost of creches has gone through the roof and you’re only after getting your figure back after little Isaiah.

Stuff like that.

Well on the day I got fired from my job and then dumped by my boyfriend all I was waiting on was losing an eye or getting a whack off a bus or finding a grey hair.

Fate, Karma, or whoever you are that has it in for me, I cried silently, (Derek? Attracta? Eros?) I’ll be over here, leaning against this wall and panting while you decide how best to finish the job.

I know in films you see dramatic life-altering stuff happening all the time in the space of twenty-four hours. For example you might meet the love of your life on the train (real soulmate-meeting hotbeds, trains, if Hollywood is anything to go by) or you could find out you’re the queen of a small but proud principality off the coast of Aruba renowned for honey-roasted ham, you know, those sort of things:  random and irrevocably life-changing.

That’s in films though. Not real life.

In real life, when you both reach for the last box of chicken goujons on special offer in the supermarket you don’t fall into the kind of mad passionate love where you’re so busy staring into each others eyes you don’t notice your blackened frostbitten fingers have fallen in with the peas. The only frisson of passion you feel is deep despair that there’s a good chance you won’t be having goujons and chips for dinner. In fact the man you brush fingertips with doesn’t even know what a frisson isbut if you were to put him under pressure and ask him he’d take a wild guess at “a poncey way to cook a chop”.

And so, having a fairly serviceable grasp of the distinction between film and reality I could never have imagined that in the space of a day my life could go from normal and perfectly acceptable to one resembling the stuff that comes out when you unblock the drain.

But just like the Irish weather, or goitre, you can’t plan for these things, because that’s exactly what did happen.

And to tell you the truth I hadn’t the foggiest idea what the upshot of it all would be past the initial feelings of failure and eating my weight in crisps and then eating the extra weight I gained from all the initial crisps in even more crisps.

In fact this story may very well have ended prematurely in a Kettle Chip bloated tragedy followed by a straight-to-telly true life movie shown on a Monday night at four o’clock in the morning.

But seriously, all joking aside though (well, sort of joking; let’s not get too hasty and underestimate the power of crisps here) what I was fairly certain about was that I couldn’t trundle along anymore and hope for the best.

Because for some reason after it all happened I realised I was going to have to finally face my fears and do all those horribly terrifying things they tell you to do in those mad books like ‘reassess where I’m going’ and ‘look inside myself’ and ‘figure out who I am’ and maybe, just maybe, as the great Heather Smalls of M People would say in such a predicament ‘search for the hero inside myself’.

Heather, I said at the time, I don’t know if I can.

Fashion: Tangle Twister Makeup and Moschino Togs for a Zinging Beach Look

Fashion is a bit of craic right? And there’s nowhere you can get away with wearing outfits more fun, more daring than you normally would than on holiday. The likes of Miguel from Granada or that family from Newcastle sunbathing beside you—the lot that wouldn’t shut up when you were trying to read Peter Schmeichel’s autobiography—they don’t know you, you’ll probably never see them again,  (“Oh my God! Where am I? Who did I wake up next to? Is that… is that Miguel? From the beach? Ah feck!”) so it’s the perfect opportunity to bust out something a bit wilder than usual.

An orange lippy like Mac’s Morange might seem scary, but it actually goes gorgeously with sun-kissed skin—honest, there isn’t an eye colour made yet that it doesn’t bring out nicely. Add bit of My Gecko Does Tricks from OPI’s appropriately named Hawaii collection on the old nails and whomp! there you are, a human Tangle Twister.

But wait, we ain’t done here. A bright pink Moschino togs with pretend ‘chainz’, pink neon John Lennon-style sunnies and a big mad hat finish your acid-house-beach-rave look. No wonder Miguel was all over you like a heat rash.

tropical final

Moschino swimming togs: FarFetch €285

Sunglasses: Matthew Williamson £210

OPI My Gecko Does Tricks nail polish: Beauty Bay €15.50

Hat: Catarzi @ASOS €31

Lippy: Mac Morange €16.50

© 2017 Cyndependent

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑