A round-up of today's other stories in brief

A timely Tintin Storey

Tintin, the boy detective with the distinctive ginger quiff, comes to town on October 23rd – but that’s his big-screen persona, in the new Spielberg-Jackson film. The Belgian wonder also resides on South Frederick Street in Dublin, where his home is the International Books shop. Brendan Storey of IB has a splendid range of Tintin merchandise, as well as, of course, the books. Brussels has its Tintin museum, named after TT’s creator, Hergé (real name Georges Remi). Here, Tintin-ophiles are increasingly well served by Storey, who was seen cavorting in TT costume on Culture Night last. “Everyone thinks Tintin is cool and trendy, and we get a cross-section of old and new fans,” he says.

The dedicated Tintin website for Irish fans,, will be live from the end of this month. Elsewhere, claims to be “the Tintin fan’s resource”. Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn goes on general release on October 26th.

Angela Long

Wrap them up

Grandparents, exert your spending power, if you can, on this gorgeous little girl’s ensemble from Catimini. It’s warm, it’s colourful and it could be just the thing for Christmas. Muticoloured dress, €80; striped leggings, €35; scarf €35 and hat, €30. All from Catimini at Brown Thomas.

Wicklow on film

Wild Garden is a collection of Co Wicklow landscapes shot by photographer Peter Gordon. The images, captured on old technology formats of 35mm and medium-format transparency (or slide) film, have been bound together into a coffee-table book that captures some of the constantly changing light play that this country is famous for. An accompanying exhibition runs at the Centre for Creative Practices (, at 15 Pembroke Street Lower, Dublin 2, until next Thursday, October 20th. Prints framed in limed ash start at €150. Prices go up to €1,450 for aluminium-backed frameless shots that are two metres wide. The hardback book costs €35 and is available at

Alanna Gallagher

Join John Wilson, Irish Timeswine expert, on a tour of some of California’s finest wines, discovering what makes each region and its wines unique. The tasting will take place in Ely Wine Bar, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1, on Thursday, October 20th at 6.30pm. Tickets cost €25, to include wine and canapés, and will be offered on a first come, first served, basis. Register your interest at

All proceeds will go to the Central Remedial Clinic

A reason to go west

A living spectacle of light, a sumptuous seafood supper, a medley of musicians and the largest outdoor art gallery in the west – that’s what Leo Hallissey and his fellow magicians promise for this year’s annual Conamara Sea Week which kicks off in Letterfrack, Co Galway, next Friday, October 21st.

The annual celebration of all that’s best in marine heritage opens just two days after the centenary next Wednesday (October 19th) of the birth of Ireland’s leading maritime historian, the late Dr John de Courcy Ireland. He will be remembered during a conference on The Sea as Inspiration on Saturday, October 29th. However, the fact that Letterfrack has more than 530 people – three times its actual population – involved in education, is something that Hallissey, a retired schoolteacher, is anxious to celebrate in the festival programme, which runs from October 21st to 31st.

“Letterfrack is synonymous in minds with a darker past,” Hallissey explains; at least 147 children died in the village’s former industrial school run by the Christian Brothers, which closed in 1974. “However, now it’s such a hub of learning, from the crèche up to third level and beyond, so we wish to mark this with an After the Light event outdoors on Monday, October 24th at the Connemara West Centre” Well known and emerging artists will have their work presented anonymously for sale at a Small Works Art Exhibition, and other highlights include a cookery school with chefs Egon Heinze and Jonathan Keane on October 25th and 26th, and music a-plenty. See or tel: 095-43443.

Lorna Siggins

All aboard the pumpkin trail

Rathwood, the family-run food, activity and fashion centre located in Rath, three miles outside Tullow in Co Carlow, starts its traditional Halloween celebrations today. One of the main attractions is the Pumpkin Train ride, where children go into the evergreen woods aboard a wooden train, in search of pumpkins. They pick them and, with the help of the local coven of Rathwood witches, carve them using child-safety knives. If the kids can’t carve, some of the coven will help out. Tickets cost €10 for children and €4 for each accompanying adult. Kids are encouraged to dress up as there are prizes for the best fancy-dress costumes. The train runs today and tomorrow, and then daily from Monday, October 28th until November 2nd. For bookings, tel: 059-9156285 or see

Alanna Gallagher



The €80 tux from M&SWhy hire, when for a few euro more you can look sharp in this season’s cut and have first dibs on covering it in your own debs detritus?

Urban gardensParts of north Dublin are like one giant allotment at the moment

Proper prescription spectaclesParticularly now that everyone else is bulk-buying their reading glasses in Penneys

Red lipstickThe perfect antidote to gloomy weather

Bento Box lunchesUkiyo on Exchequer Street in Dublin serves up a perfectly presented feast for a tenner

Kicking up leavesThe simple, childish pleasures

The revamped cafe in ArnottsRun by Clodagh McKenna, it’s amazingly bright and airy for an in-store cafe

Kenmare this weekendYou’ll find the IMF’s Ajai Chopra et al after hours sampling rare whiskeys at John Moriarty’s bar at The Park


Endlessly seeking to have items taken off the bill in restaurantsWe used to be useless at complaining, now it’s carp, carp, carp. Stop it, or our favourite places will close

Having to ask the taxi driver for your change Twice. Hope the IMF guys don’t get in the back of that cab

That economic forum thingyMore rich Irish people – and Bill Clinton – gathering to have a great time and come up with bad ideas. Hey, pay for your own parties

Oxfam donations down 40%Get back giving again

Expensive breakfastsAnything above €8 makes us choke on our rashers

Being blocked on Twitter . . . by your teenage relativeOn the upside, that’s one less Christmas present to buy

Public clocks telling the wrong timeIt’s time to get it right when the clocks go back in a few weeks

Butternut squashA cheap filler we feel will feature too often in the winter dinner-party stakes

Road trip

The Musical Youth Foundation (MYF), a children’s charity working to provide every child in Ireland with access to a musical education, has teamed up with best-selling author, TV and radio comedian Tony Hawks to present a special film screening of Round Ireland With A Fridge in Screen 1, Movies@Dundrum, on Monday, October 24th at 7pm.

The film is based on the Tony Hawks’s absurd quest to hitch around Ireland in a month while carrying a fridge for luggage. His progress reports entertained the nation on the Gerry Ryan Show. The book became a top-10 bestseller in 1998 and has now sold more than 800,000 copies worldwide.

The event will be hosted by Tony Hawks, who will be answering audience questions following the screening. Tickets cost €10, and can be purchased online from, with all proceeds going to MYF.

Alanna Gallagher

Local hero

Joe Browne, the founder of the Cystic Fibrosis charity Build4Life, has been named the Santa Rita 120 Local Hero of the Year 2011. The Kerryman, pictured left with his wife Carol, has raised more than €2.2 million in the past four years to build a Cystic Fibrosis Unit at Cork University Hospital. He gets a trip to Chile, the home of Santa Rita, as well as €10,000 towards the Build4Life charity. Four other individuals also made the shortlist. Noel O’Callaghan is a community activist from Mullingar; Michael and Marie Greene founded Cardiac Risk in the Young; Michael Martin from Cobh was nominated for his ongoing efforts to promote tourism in Cork; and Alice Leahy from Dublin is a co-founder and director of Trust, which works with homeless people.


Where it comes from: My, how the old neighbourhood has changed. In the boom years, anyone trying to buy a property round here had just one fear – that they could be gazumped. Then, as property values began to plummet, the worm turned, and sellers had to contend with the danger of getting gazundered – ie, being forced to reduce their price at the last minute when the buyer threatens to pull out of the deal. Now, however, the balance of power is swinging back to the seller, but in an unexpected way. Gazanging is when sellers get cold feet and pull out of the deal, either because of the uncertainty of the market or because they can’t find a suitable new home. Or maybe they just can’t face the thought of getting gazundered, so they change their mind and decide to stay put.

Where it comes from:Gazanging is more prevalent in the UK, where there is a shortage of new housing on the market, but with house building at a standstill here, and ghost estates unfit for habitation, expect more Irish sellers to stick with what they’ve got rather than gamble it on this volatile market. The word is a mash-up of “gazumping” and “hanging” – as in the buyer is left hanging.

Estate agents are increasingly referring to the “three Gs” as the biggest pitfalls to watch out for when buying or selling property.

How to say it: “I’ve been gazumped, gazundered and gazanged – I’m moving back home with mum and dad.”

Kevin Courtney