A Different View
When John Hinde decided to capture the essence of Irishness for his famous postcard, he never for a moment thought he’d spray the red haired, freckled little girl a colour somewhat darker than the accompanying donkey.
But the naturally alabaster, occasionally flushed, Irish woman now apparently feels naked unless she is sprayed from highlighted head to pedicured toenail in a shade you couldn’t accomplish if you actually spent three weeks baking under the Saharan sun.
To their credit, at least they don’t spend weeks on their dark tan, thus exposing themselves to a greater risk of skin cancer than if they walked into a nuclear holocaust.
But when did fair females decide that the Hughie Maughan makeover was the ‘look du jour’ for a big day out?
One of the delights of Modern Ireland is that we now have a nation with skin tones that take us a million miles from the traditional milky and scarlet.
But you don’t see people of African roots deciding to spray themselves in whitewash for their big day out.
So why do those of a paler complexion think that the secret to feeling happy is three coats of high gloss varnish?
A little air brushing just to smooth out the edges is entirely acceptable; indeed, it might be seen as rude not to – but a complete transformation to a point where you’re unrecognisable from the original is a different matter altogether.
And yet, even allowing for our searing summer, nobody could have believed that our fashionistas could have collectively gone so brilliantly brown to a degree that left you wondering if they had suffered a ‘reverse Michael Jackson’ before Ladies Day at the Races.
In fairness, it’s not just the ladies at it – hundreds of the more metrosexual had inexplicably gone a deep hue of Hughie overnight.
Not so long ago, they laughed at the Welsh rugby player Gavin Henson when he arrived onto the Millennium Stadium spray painted to within an inch of his life; these days they might be giggling at the one who was comfortable in his own skin.
In the interests of full disclosure, the only paint on my skin has been from a can via a brush that missed the spot on the wall.
Furthermore, I am to natural tanning what Cristiano Ronaldo is to modesty; I’m the guy on a sun holiday wearing a sun hat, tee-shirt and long shorts, sitting under a massive parasol under a tree in the shade of the apartment block.
But I did once get burnt on a lads’ holiday – not so much deliberately as it being down to drink – then I compounded the problem by mistaking some form of tanning top-up for after-sun.
To this day, I would argue that one of the others had set out to sabotage the sun denier – but the result was that, instead of reducing the peeling, it left me looking like a leper with bits of his face falling off on the return flight.
The only upside was that I somehow managed to get three seats to myself all the way back into Cork.
Even then, I gritted more than grinning and bearing it – but that was the last time my face was anything other than red and white.
Nowadays you hardly have to leave home to get that all-over tan – except it doesn’t actually look like a tan; it looks like what it is . . . you’ve been power-hosed brown in a booth.
Of course, the spray tan quickly faded every time you scrub yourself – but purveyors of the power-hose method will know that more than the memory lingers.
Your now-former brown self continues to live on through the sheets, the towels, the coloured rings that cling to the side of the bath like the residue of a giant, drained pint of Guinness.
But apparently, it’s worth it if only so you look like you’re back from three weeks in the Seychelles when it was really only twenty minutes in a beautician’s.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer
On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.
Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.
While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.
“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.
“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”
Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!
Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.
But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.
The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.
She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.
The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.
“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.
“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”
Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie
Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery
Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.
But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.
The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.
To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.
“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.
But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.
Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie