Ask Audrey has been sorting out Cork people for years

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I tried to book a 5-star hotel break in Kerry for the bank holiday weekend. (We haven’t gone abroad since they allowed northsiders to fly.) There isn’t a room available anywhere, even though we could easily afford two grand a night (Hugh is high up in pensions.) What’s going on? –– Eva, Monkstown, my gardener knows Latin, we’re that posh.

I’m delighted to see Cork people are still going to Kerry on holidays. It’s so important to help people less fortunate than ourselves. What’s going on is that the boom is back Eva. It’s harder to find a 5-star hotel room in Munster than it is for a Tipperary man to understand the rules of Connect 4. Remember the golden rule if you do get a room. No vouchers. That’s the kind of thing a Norrie might win at a table quiz. And don’t forget to ask where’s the best place to park your helicopter in a loud voice.

What’s the story man? I’ve moved to Cork from Dublin to get away from the mad rents and now I can barely afford a place down here either. I’m thinking of commuting. Someone at work said that Mitchelstown is nice. What do you think of that? –– Decco, Glasheen Road.

I think your friend at work isn’t really your friend. Drive up to Mitchelstown and you’ll see what I mean. Worse again, you’ll have to face the Dunkettle Roundabout every morning. It’s not unusual for a driver to be stopped at Dunkettle for so long that he gets a parking ticket. Goodbye all the money you saved on rent. The Government is proposing to spend a fortune to upgrade the junction with flyovers and the like. It’s the first time money was spent on an infrastructure project outside Dublin since 1283. The good news is the improvements will have you home for 6pm every night. The bad news is the improvements will have you home for 6pm every night. That’s a lot of free time in Mitchelstown.

We are great friends with another couple here in Ballincollig. My husband has suggested we spice things up the next time they come over for dinner. What do you think he means? –– Lorna, Ballincollig.

I think he means you might be for dessert. I’d pay a visit to the lingerie department in Brown Thomas if I were you. The last thing you want is a reputation for grotty knickers. That’s a complete no-no. Even in Ballincollig. A word of warning. Don’t be getting your hopes up now Lorna. My Conor said he wanted to spice things up when his friend Rory came to visit with his wife last May. You can imagine my disappointment when he arrived home with a bag of chillies.

Hola. My mother is coming over from Madrid to stay with me this Christmas. I would like to give her spiced beef as I hear this a traditional Cork dish for the festive season. Is this a good idea? –– Ana, St. Luke’s.

It is, but I’m afraid you’re too late. The recipe for cooking spiced beef in Cork is as follows. 1: Fill a large pot with water in late August. 2: Bring to the boil and add spiced beef. 3: Turn down the heat as low as it will go. 4: Say ‘that’s a grand smell’ every single day until Christmas Eve. 5: Take spiced beef from pot on Christmas morning and have some for your breakfast. 6: Agree that this is the nicest it’s ever been. This is despite the fact that it looks like a weird brown soup by then. I hope I haven’t put you off it.

How’re oo going on? I’m after making friends with a Russian lady over the internet and decided I better get a new hobby because she hasn’t much of an interest in old road bowling. What’s this craft beer crack everyone is talking about? If you ask me it’s just Smithwicks for lads with beards. –– Liam Pat Mickey, beyond Bantry and left a bit.

My Conor started drinking craft beer last year. I won’t go into the details of what the extra hops do to him, but anything more than a bottle of pale ale and I make him sleep in the shed. You can probably hear him below in Bantry when the wind is from the east. And we’re not talking snoring here. A lot of craft beers come with a story of how they were originally brewed by Cu Chulainn’s cousin. I’d say they are about as authentic as your internet friend from Russia. Sorry to be the one to tell you.

Remember the golden rule if you do get a room. No vouchers. That’s the kind of thing a Norrie might win at a table quiz. And don’t forget to ask where’s the best place to park your helicopter in a loud voice


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