The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - NEWS - Fiona Looney re­turns next week

Acou­ple of weeks ago we were at the mar­vel­lous Fes­ti­val Of Speed at Good­wood House, along with tens of thou­sands of other mo­tor-car fa­nat­ics. Blearyeyed and bat­tle-weary, we em­barked upon the fourth and fi­nal day of this year’s Chil­dren In Need Drive And Dine event. First stop was the garage (which is ac­tu­ally an air­craft hangar — so rock ’n’ roll!), of Nick Ma­son — he of Pink Floyd. Nick very hos­pitably showed us around his fab­u­lous car col­lec­tion, which in­cludes many su­per-rare ex­am­ples of those red ones from Italy I like so much. But that wasn’t all. He also ed­u­cated us in pre-war mo­tor­sport via a tour of his beloved Alfa Romeos. Stun­ning. This morn­ing stayed up un­til 2am lis­ten­ing to Tom Jones sing in the Te­pee of Love — a truly won­der­ful space cre­ated in the gar­den of my pub.

up in bed on Mon­day night, wait­ing. But for what? To go to sleep? Nope. For my next plan to take on the world? Given up on that long ago. For the mean­ing of life to hit me be­tween the eyes? No again. In fact, I was wait­ing for the bloomin’ chick­ens to go into their coop, so I could lock them up safe from Mr Fox. Wait­ing for the lit­tle dar­lings to turn in is my last daily do­mes­tic duty be­fore I am free to drift off into my own land of nod.

This is not my favourite house­hold chore. All chooks are phys­i­o­log­i­cally pro­grammed not to go in be­fore twi­light. They roll with na­ture, man. Of course, I can’t even be­gin to think of com­plain­ing about such things in­doors as Tash is cur­rently breast­feed­ing 24/ 7. And if that’s half as ex­haust­ing as it looks, then I’m cer­tain I’ve never come close to be­ing that spent. And with baby-in­flicted delir­ium, an un­healthy ob­ses­sion in need­less smart­phone apps seems to have crept in un­der Tash’s tired radar. She’s got one app that can take your pulse, and an­other that means you can dic­tate mes­sages that are au­to­mat­i­cally turned into texts.

All very clever but, hang on a minute, isn’t that why texts were in­vented in the first place, be­cause we don’t al­ways want to talk down the phone? Any­way, af­ter fi­nally seal­ing the deal with the chick­ens I am­bled back into the house, paus­ing to pour my­self a good-boy brandy be­fore mak­ing my way up­stairs.

Now, our brandy glasses are made of ex­trathick glass, thereby giv­ing the op­ti­cal il­lu­sion that they con­tain more than they do. I prom­ise you this is true. ‘ That’s a very big brandy,’ de­clared the Boss, ‘and for a Mon­day night too.’

‘I’ll just get rid of a lit­tle, then,’ I replied, tak­ing a big­ger first sip than nor­mal. ‘There you go.’ Tash gave me her friendli­est death stare (at most a three out of 10). For the mo­ment I’d got away with a cheeky Mon­day-night over­fill, but I fear there’s a brandy-glass mea­sur­ing app com­ing my way very soon.

fe­male friends is on her lat­est drive to bag Mr Right. Her most re­cent strat­egy con­sists of go­ing swim­ming be­fore work so she can pur­sue the ob­ject of her de­sire. He’s a hunk there whom she has nick­named Splashy, due to the amount of noise he makes while achiev­ing his no doubt im­pres­sive lengths. But you know, I used to swim and make a lot of noise. I think it’s a male ex­er­cise thing. Go to any gym and you’ll hear the guys dra­mat­i­cally huff­ing and puff­ing away while the girls qui­etly get on with what­ever it takes to look fab­u­lous. In fact the only time I have heard any sim­i­lar sound com­ing from a fe­male was a few weeks ago when Eli, our sec­ond son, was be­ing born. Still it was no match for all the Mr Ma­chos I’ve met over the years. Can you imag­ine the noises they’d make if called upon to per­form life’s ul­ti­mate mir­a­cle? Splashy and Not So Nicey.

ad­ven­tures be­gin by start­ing with one thought and then go­ing off on a tan­dem and see­ing where you end up. Of course, I know the ac­tual phrase is go­ing off on a tan­gent, but I heard this mal­a­prop­ism ear­lier in the week and quite liked it. It makes me smile. Plus, I reckon ac­tu­ally go­ing off on a tan­dem would solve most of life’s prob­lems any­how.

My wife had a pal at univer­sity who used to say she was the best thing since life’s bread. A lis­tener on The Break­fast Show has a girl­friend who thinks Glen Camp­bell has been singing about a ‘nine stone cow­boy’ for the past 40-odd years. And fi­nally there was the granny who re­ferred to new-fan­gled tech­nol­ogy as be­ing ‘state of the ark’. I shall in­form my son Noah im­me­di­ately. He’ll be thrilled.

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