Being a Catholic these days can feel like being stuck in an episode of 'Father Ted'
Keep your clubs and clothes on
An organisation called the Sandycove Bathers Association voted last week not to allow women to join its ranks.
The group swims at the Forty Foot in Dún Laoghaire, which until 25 years ago was a male-only swimming area. Women now swim there too, but there is a secluded section around the side that remains unofficially men-only. Thanks to last week’s vote, women still won’t be able to use the group’s huts.
I don’t have an issue with men-only groups, particularly. My desire to join a golf club that will allow me to go around in ugly knitwear saying things like “I left my approach shot pin high on the eighth and then, using my lucky five iron, I lipped out”, is roughly equivalent to my desire to go skinny dipping in the Irish Sea. (I don’t want to join Curves gym or the Irish Countrywomen’s Association, either.)
But I do wish that these exclusive, men-only organisations wouldn’t insist on hijacking the venues with the best views. Especially the ones that encourage their members to go around in the buff. I would very much like to be able to go for a walk by the sea without being confronted by the sight of naked men doing “warm up” stretches, as is a regular spectre at nearby White Rock beach in Killiney. Nude swimming still happens at the Forty Foot, too.
Naturists, here’s a tip: if you want to warm up, put some clothes on. I’m sure most of you are perfectly nice people, but the indisputable fact of the matter is that you would look so much better with the help of textiles.
Give the duchess a rest, she's pregnant
The months and months of tabloid speculation over whether Kate Middleton was sporting a “pregface” or whether she was just smiling, and whether it meant anything that she declined a glass of wine/a spoonful of peanut butter/walked with her hands clasped in front of her stomach, finally came to an end this week with the news that the Duchess of Cambridge is, indeed, with child.
While I am thrilled by the notion of the entire British nation sending out “We’re pregnant!” texts en masse, I hope that the media now lays off her a bit.
It’s hard enough for the unencumbered-by-fame to cope with the unsolicited advice and hands-on-bumps that are part of the package of being visibly pregnant – but imagine the pressure of carrying the future of a monarchy in your uterus.