Ask Audrey looks ahead to 2018

Our frighteningly frank agony aunt looks ahead to 2018, from cranes over Cork to Brexit and Pairc Uí Chaoimh

There’s another disappointing year gone now. I thought I’d be living in a seven-figure house by now, given that My Conor is from one of the top five families in Cork. (By both wealth, and photos in the Examiner at charity gigs for Deserving Norries.)

Unfortunately, My Conor got his business genes from his Uncle Terry, who actually opened a wine bar in Knocknaheeny. (Imagine.) As a result, I’m stuck in Ballinlough. (And to think I could have ended up with My Conor’s millionaire brother, Ken. It’s amazing how a game of Spin-the-Bottle in Schull in 1991 can determine the rest of your life.)

Anyway, enough of that. As my mother loves to say: “If we can’t look forward with hope, life would be as bleak as a council house in Macroom.” So, what’s coming down the line for 2018?

Harry and Meghan’s wedding will be a highpoint for the sort of people who get confused by the story-lines in Fair City. I’m delighted for Harry, though. People love pointing out he has very little in common with Prince Charles, if you know what I mean. But at least now he can say they both managed to marry women who are completely out of their league. (I’m talking about Diana, before you ask. I’m sure Camilla has a lovely personality.)

Obviously, property prices are going to remain a huge topic for 2018. I tried to get an appointment with the Examiner property editor, Tommy Barker, to talk about this, but he’s too busy profiling houses on the right side of the Rochestown Road that I’ll never be able to afford. You’re nobody in Posh Cork these days unless Tommy has been out to inspect your expensive knockers. (You can stop sniggering down the back.)

The main problem with the price rises is that 30-somethings who grew up in Douglas can’t afford to buy there. This is forcing some of them to look at the northside, often for the first time in their lives. (I happen to know that southside kids going to Christians and Scoil Mhuire wear blinkers in case they make eye contact with someone in white socks.)

My doctor friend, Scary O’Leary, tells me that a lot of her posh patients who move northside have fierce problems when it emerges that they are allergic to pebble-dash. (Imagine.)

A quick word on showbiz.

My prediction is there won’t be any showbiz left by the the end of 2018, because they can’t find any celebs who didn’t say “would you like to see my bits” to an intern.

And then there’s Brexit. I haven’t seen a withdrawal go this badly wrong since the night I got pregnant with the twins. (My Conor was devastated, mainly because he wasn’t there when it happened.)

I asked my political anorak friend, Fianna Fáil Fiona, if they are going to restore the border at Newry. She said no. I said that’s a shame. She said do you have a thing against people from Northern Ireland. I said no, lovely people I’m sure, it’s just that they’re harder to understand than a Listowel man in a balaclava.

The other thing I’ve noticed about Brexit is that men love explaining it to me in a slow voice, as if I was from Blarney. This guy sidled up next to me in Cask the other night and said the whole thing reminded him of his divorce. I said sorry, I only date married men. He said why. I said because you’re not one of them. (No offence.)

Anyway, back to Cork. A lot of people are getting excited about the first full year for Pairc Uí Chaoimh, and the big crowds it will bring here next summer. Don’t ask me why — you haven’t experienced the seventh circle of hell until you open the door to find a group of Clare men having a slash in your front garden. (I said: “You’ve an unbelievable cheek.” One of them replied: “D’ya want to see the other wan?” which was very quick, considering he looked like he lived in a tree.)

I’m hearing lot of Pairc rumours on the music front. It looks like there will be no shortage of gigs with major music talents, along with Garth Brooks.

I’m not the type of woman to encourage breaking the law. But here’s a tip for anyone in the burglary business — if Garth Brooks is playing the Pairc, there won’t be a sinner at home in Kilmallock. (Not that they have anything worth stealing, but it might be handy if you need to practise your lock-jimmying.)

Live at the Marquee is back for a few more years, because the Events Centre in town is as likely as someone serving venison at a northside wedding. (“Oh Jesus Mam, they do be eating Bambi.”) I’m really looking forward to going to see A-ha at the Marquee. The best thing is I’ll be home grand and early, because they only have two songs.

I’m very pessimistic on the sports front. It certainly doesn’t look good for Munster Rugby in 2018, especially now they’ve just been tonked by Leinster. I know people are upset that top stars like Simon Zebo are moving away, but I can see where he is coming from. Like, who in their right mind would want to work in Limerick?

I’m not going to pretend I know anything about GAA. (Unlike half the Yummy Mummies in Blackrock, who will stop at nothing to get their kids into a cheap summer camp.) I asked my bogman cousin, Silage Steve, what are Cork’s chances of winning a senior men’s All Ireland in 2018. He wiped his nose in his sleeve and said “Cryshtt, you’d be more likely to get a gin and tonic in a mosque.” (He’s obsessed with Muslims.)

Speaking of people obsessed with Muslims, what about Donald Trump? I’ve no idea what he is going to do in 2018, and I’d say neither does he.

I actually follow Donald Trump on Twitter (now that I’m barred from following Peter O’Mahony on my bike).

All I know is he loves using upper-case, and that nothing good will come from a politician that has a thing for caps. Just look at Michael Healy-Rae.

Some people say that a clash with North Korea could lead to unprecedented desolation and destruction. They’ve obviously never seen Killorglin after Puck Fair.

More optimistic types think that this could all be fixed with a meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un. But it’s difficult to imagine what these two man-child megalomaniacs with daft bazzers could have in

I’ll end with two personal aspirations for 2018. Like everyone else in Posh Cork, I hope the city council sees sense and scraps plans to expand the boundary.

We haven’t been spending a fortune educating our kids and hiding money from the tax man for years, just so some power-mad councillor can come along make us share a postal address with a pack of social climbers from Glanmire.

Secondly, it’s great to see all the cranes over Cork and that we’re becoming a modern European city. But I hope through all this we manage to hold on to some of the traditional Cork values, such as generosity, charity and pretending there isn’t a smell off people from Clonmel. (Has anyone else noticed that, or is it just me?)


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