2017 Grateful 25

Back in the days when I lived in English-speaking countries, I quite liked the whole Sunday paper ritual: lugging home weekend editions of The Times or the Indo or whatever else I thought had enough reading material to get me through a couple of cups of coffee and the accompanying cigarettes.

It’s something I haven’t done in a long time, in part because reading Hungarian is still beyond me, and in part because the news is so bloody miserable these days that I’m loath to spend the time wallowing in the woes of the world.

Today, though, taking a much-deserved break from a series of papers on equine doping, I sat down with said coffee and opened the Sunday Independent‘s Life magazine. I’ve been out of Ireland long enough to have completely lost track of what is considered a good paper. It was simply what was to hand. Back in the day I’m might well have been one of those who classifies people according to the papers they read.

In 2014, YouGov in the UK profiled the nations newspaper readers and came to the conclusion that:

The top three favourite dishes of Guardian readers are likely to be antipasti, aubergine parmigiana and braised endive; they are into hiking and shop at Waitrose.

When I was living in the UK, I bought the Sunday Times, and from memory, it was for no other reason that I liked their astrologist 🙂 But as a Times reader, they got me wrong – ok – I’ll give them the tarte au citron – it’s a favourite.

Tarte au citron, baklava and pomme lyonnaise are favourite dishes of Times readers. They describe themselves as well educated and arrogant occasionally, and are most likely to own a cat.

I hadn’t realised that comedian Tommy Tiernan had his own column, or for that matter, his own TV show (which I watched over the weekend, too). I’m not a fan but I enjoyed his piece: Sometimes you just have to curse. Yep – I’m with you there, Tommy, I’m with you there.

I’m not at all sure who Donal Lynch is when he’s at home, but his piece on why he hates summer had me chuckling along, nodding in agreement. SAD, he says, medicalises a perfectly reasonable hatred of summer. So far it seemed as if the mag had been written for me.

I skipped the four-page spread on U2 (my life simply isn’t long enough to spend time reading about Bono) and on to a piece by Polly Vernon who wondered if being popular is making us miserable. She reckons that social media ‘has made popularity tarts of us. We chase followers and likes as if they were oxygen.’ Can’t fault you on that, pet. You’re bang on. I love a good quiz and enjoyed ticking the boxes to discover that I think there’s more to life than being liked. Whew. Glad that’s been sorted.

The discovery that some bright spark has made a gin infused with collagen (CollaGin) has to be good news – they’re on to a winner. Drink gin for younger looking skin! As if anyone needed enticement. I skipped through the products page and have made a note to self to order some bamboo toothbrushes. And I was still only as far as the staples.

It’s been a good week. I caught up with the cousins, some of whom I hadn’t see in 30 years. I watched the best half of the Lions game on Saturday morning and loved the ‘we’ness’ the Lions brings out in us. And in between all the work, I slipped in a dinner and a lunch and a few scoops. Best of all though, I wallowed in the teens – that lovely cool weather – and silently commiserated with friends on the mainland who were dealing with the 30s. What’s not to be grateful for?




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