“One member advised me that she had left her copy in the doctor’s surgery with her contact details.
She was surprised and delighted to receive two phone calls that week with enquiries for membership! So when you’ve finished reading it, pass it on,” recommends O’Toole.
The current issue has features entitled Breaking Bread (‘get to grips with sourdough, finesse your focaccia and get cracking on Scandinavian crisp-bread’) and Coffee Break (‘the low-down on how caffeine can boost your memory and pep up your power nap’).
There’s an article on honey bees, with Philip McCabe suggesting ways to encourage their survival.
McCabe is president of Apimondia, a global organisation of beekeepers — his tips outlined in ICA Home & Living include planting bright shades of colour because bees are particularly drawn to purple, blue, white and yellow hues.
And honey bees love single petal flowers, so go for lilies, orchids, bluebells and tulips.
The magazine’s fashion and beauty section features glamorous wedding wear (for the guest), as well as practical and clever ways to use layers when dressing for unpredictable summer weather.
The ‘Escape’ section tells how to spend 48 hours in Kilkenny and how to pack like a pro (‘pare it back to lean, clean, tight and light’ is the advice), as well as sharing how some ICA ladies spend their dream camper van holiday.
The food section includes a recipe for Marie O’Toole’s macaroons — we’re told these little cakes have been produced in Venetian monasteries since the eighth century and that Queen Marie-Antoinette insisted they were coloured to match what she was wearing on any given day.
There are features on ICA in Clare and Wexford, as well as an article about Wexford’s Bridgetown Flower Guild, one of Ireland’s newest and youngest guilds.
Regular items include the handy hints, which in this issue focus on home-made cleaning agents — mixing specific amounts of white vinegar and water together with citrus peel and cinnamon sticks and leaving for a week results in an environmentally-friendly kitchen cleaning spray.