Top stories to hit the News Stands in July 2014

yoko onos imagine peace towerLooking back over some of the more serious stories that caught our eye these past few weeks, suffice to say, they’re pretty much summed up in one of life’s shortest  and deadliest of words, ‘war’. Indeed as the 100th Anniversary of WW1 came and went, we continue to learn an even more poignant lesson; the sad fact that we have learned absolutely nothing. And as the atrocities continue to rage across Gaza we decided to dig a little deeper. In one fashion or another, there are currently some 18 wars raging across the world as we speak, hundreds and thousands of civilian lives are being destroyed, displaced and lost. Here’s a peek at today’s current war list – it’s not very pretty and even after 100 years since World War 1, it still begs the question WHY?

Syria – The world’s bloodiest war by far; also has generated millions of refugees. Atrocities on all sides but primarily the government. Spread to Iraq in 2014. Still no solution in sight. Afghanistan – Fate of government uncertain as international community draws down forces and Taliban persists. Iraq – Radical Islamists from the U.S. war in Iraq fought in Syria and in 2014 seized much land and resources with support of Sunni tribes who oppose Shi’ite government. Pakistan – After collapse of peace talks, government battling Taliban elements in autonomous tribal areas adjacent to Afghanistan. Nigeria – In the north, a violent Islamist group has instigated repeated violence such as bombings, and government attacks in response. Sad day when the Islamist terrorists blew up the UN building in 2011. Now they are killing women polio vaccine workers. The fighting occasionally spills over into neighboring Cameroon. D.R. Congo – Beefed-up peacekeepers suppressed one armed group in the violent east of the country, and in 2104 were trying to coax another to disarm. Sporadic but really nasty fighting continues to erupt in certain eastern locations. South Sudan – After a long north-south war, the south voted for independence, achieved in 2011. But South Sudan itself slipped into a bloody civil war (along ethnic lines) that reportedly has killed tens of thousands. A shaky cease-fire has been in effect since May 2014. Israel/Gaza – Current fighting with Hamas in the Gaza Strip has exceeded two thousand killed and continues to rage. Ukraine – Low-level fighting, ongoing in the east near Russia, has killed more than a thousand in 2014, in addition to the hundreds killed by the shoot-down of a civilian jet. Government is trying to dislodge pro-Russian armed separatists from territory they control. Libya – New fighting in 2014 between armed militias that overthrew Gaddafi in 2011. Central African Republic – Alarming levels of sectarian fighting (Muslim-Christian) with the potential for a genocide. Low-level with outbreaks of horrible violence. Cease-fire agreed July 30, 2014. India – Little Maoist insurgencies of long standing; now in a cease-fire with one main group, may be winding down. Mali – Islamists were routed from north by French, but ethnic insurgency threatens to erupt again; cease-fire agreed in May 2014. The Philippines – Sporadic residual fighting with Islamist militants on southern islands. Russia – Low-level Islamist militants from the south, including Chechnya, stage incidents and bombings sporadically. Somalia – African Union troops (mostly from nearby countries such as Uganda) restored government control of all major cities, leaving al Shabab militants in the countryside to carry out occasional bombings in the cities they no longer control (and in neighboring Kenya, which has troops in Somalia). Sudan – The genocide in Darfur was mainly in 2004, but brutal incidents continue there; rebels remain active. Yemen – The post-Saleh government with many competing factions has had some success against Islamic militants who had seized some towns in the south, but ethnic-based fighting has flared up in the north.

That’s quite a list eh? The other question that begs a direct answer is this, just how many women were behind starting these wars? What seems to be the key ignition? land?  oil? gas? religion?  minerals? greed? capitalism? differences of cultures? Pick  any one, they’re all correct and before this blogger moves on to the rest of today’s business, I’ll leave you with this last thought on world wars. What with all these wars raging across the world, right now in Ireland, we are choosing to ignore the Great War raging here on our own doorsteps; poverty and homelessness. The Tsunami of homelessness raging outside our own front door is wholly incredulous. The fact that our poverty war in Ireland is driven by pure greed and capitalism makes it no less scandalous than all other atrocities raging across the world.  The picture above was posted on twitter by Yoko Ono last Friday to send a message of peace. Imagine a world entirely at peace, there’s only one problem with ‘peace’ there’s no money in it.

Which leads us nicely into our good news story of the month; 

Margaret lottery winnerMargaret Loughrey hit the jackpot on her way home from the Job Centre.  Big-hearted Lottery winner Margaret Loughrey plans to give away £26million. And the Northern Ireland woman, who hit the EuroMillions jackpot last December , has revealed she’s already handed out half of her fortune. Margaret won the lottery after buying a ticket on her way home from the Job Centre. She was living on benefits of £58 a week at the time of her mammoth win. Since the windfall she’s been handing out money to help people in need. And she said: “I know what it’s like to have nothing. That’s why I’m giving it away – I can’t miss what I never had. “I spent half of my adult life unemployed and the other half on the minimum wage so I know only too well how hard things can be.” Her benevolent outlook has been to the benefit of her hometown of Strabane. She’s the director of nine companies set up since May, including six new firms registered just last week. Margaret has also paid £1million for the iconic Herdman’s Hill in Sion Mills and plans to transform it into a major leisure and tourism site, creating scores of job opportunities. She told the Sunday Life: “As soon as I won the money I said it would go for the good of the town. “I’ve already given half of it away. “I always said I’d keep £1million for myself and give the rest to the town. “There is so much talent here in the Strabane area, people just need to be given a chance. “Everyone has the right to work for a living, to support their families, to buy their own home, to run their own business. “People just need to be given opportunities.”   Story courtesy of The Mirror

July’s Orchid Jewel is Oscar winning diamond Brenda Fricker.

brenda fricker kissing her oscarThe Galway Film Fleadh took place between the 8th to 13th of July.  One of Ireland’s best-loved actors, Brenda Fricker, star of such films as My Left FootThe FieldVeronica Guerin and Albert Nobbs, discussed her remarkable journey from soap-operas Tolka Row and Casualty to becoming Ireland’s only Oscar-winning actress for her extraordinary performance as Mrs Brown in My Left Foot, and shared her experiences with the audience.

brenda fricker as megan roachBrenda Fricker (born 17 February, 1945) is an Irish actress of theatre, film and television. She has appeared in more than 30 films and television roles. In 1989, she became the first Irish actress to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for My Left Foot. Fricker was born in Dublin.[1] Her mother, “Bina” (née Murphy), was a teacher at Stratford College, and her father, Desmond Frederick Fricker, was an officer in the Department of Agriculture and a journalist for The Irish Times.[2]

brenda fricker oscar quoteIn her teens, she aspired to follow her parent’s footsteps into journalism.[3] Fricker has an older sister, Nora Ann Grania Fricker.Before becoming an actress, Fricker was assistant to the art editor of the Irish Times, with hopes to become a reporter. At age 19, she became an actress “by chance”,[3] her feature film career began with a small uncredited part in the 1964 film Of Human Bondage, based on the 1915 novel by W. Somerset Maugham. She also appeared in Tolka Row, Ireland’s first ever soap opera. Her brother, Daniel Fricker, lives and works in Baltimore Maryland…… continue reading here


Another anniversary to hit the headlines in July was that of the political grenade known as Watergate, 40 years ago  former US President Nixon was forced to resign as a result of corruption and a mammoth cover-up. It’s a long and complicated story, one worth googling –  here’s a rough synopsis; Several of his ‘tribe’ broke into his ‘opponents’ offices, there was bugging, tapes and a lot of illegal payoffs.  Apart from his titanic fall from grace, ‘Watergate’ was where the suffix ‘gate’ stems from…. here’s a few Irish examples;

Croker Gate, Brooks Gate, Keegan Gate. Indeed The Concert Gate maybe firmly shut for now, but this story is far from closed!

garthGardai suspect up to 40pc of objections to Brooks concerts are forgeries. OBJECTIONS lodged against the Garth Brooks’ concerts are believed to have included signatures from people living abroad, children, and a prison inmate.  Gardai investigating claims of bogus complaints about the five shows have established a series of irregularities. It comes as yet another round of intensive talks were under way last night aimed at salvaging the gigs. Ticketmaster have delayed the refund process until Thursday, two days after they were originally due to begin giving disappointed fans their money back. They said that the decision to delay the commencement of refunds is due to ongoing negotiations “to try and find a resolution to the concerts situation”. The Irish Independent understands that Dublin City Council officials and gardai have been alarmed over some of the identities which are alleged to have submitted applications. “It’s believed that the signatures belong to children, people with intellectual disabilities, people living abroad and a person in the custody of the State – it’s suspected that illegal activity has gone on here,” a well-placed source told the Irish Independent. – See more at The

Then there’s Banker Gate – one of many peu detre? 

Ah here. On July 30th the Bank of Ireland faced a storm after payments were delayed, affecting the wages of many employers who use the bank. Today, they tweeted that all payments had been processed overnight. Even when The Kenmeister tweeted them about a missing transfer from Nigeria, they were surprisingly sure it would go ahead.

“Still no sign of my $1m from the prince of Nigeria … must be the bank holiday weekend” he tweeted at them, referencing the oldest spam email on earth. SD replied, of course, expressing their sincere apologies and guaranteeing that payments made yesterday would arrive – and he should keep checking his account….  story courtesy of

Moving swiftly on….  let’s take a look  at the argument for avoiding cosmetic surgery, one of these women is in her early 30’s and in a desperate attempt to hold on to her youth, she crossed a line the other three women have avoided. Question; Tulisa what were you thinking?

Exhibit A – Before

tulisa in pink beofre surgery

Exhibit B – Speaks Volumes

tulisa botoxed and filler surgery


Now let’s just take a look at three Hollywood stars who prove our point, here they are on dress down days – no make-up, no surgery and practically twice Tulisa’s age?

sarah jessica parker - in trackiesJessica
















jen anniston makeup free heads to spaJen







courtney cox - no makeup








Maybe it was the pressure of that dreadful  false ‘drugs’ court case, of which Tulisa was completely cleared. Remember we  said we thought that she had been set up when we reported on the story last year? Well we were right, however this past year certainly  and cruelly took it’s toll on the poor girl. Nevertheless, one thing’s for sure, no matter how bad it all gets, cosmetic surgery, botox and fillers is absolutely not the answer.

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend eh Posh?  Our last but not least Anniversary story  – Victoria Beckham 15 years married…. 13 engagement rings…. you what there now?

David-and-Victoria-Beckham-e1392390707774-600x554Most girls are pretty happy with one beautiful engagement ring, unless your Victoria Beckham that is. The fashion designer has owned a whopping 13 (yes you did read that right!) engagement rings so far over her 15 year marriage. According to the Daily Mail experts yesterday valued her 15 year collection at nearly £4million. When David proposed in 1998, her first ring was a diamond cut into an elongated ‘marquise’ shape, set on a yellow gold band, worth around £65,000. However as the couple’s star has rose so has the value of her rings! At Wimbledon this year she showed off her £100,000 engagement ring with a yellow diamond set in yellow gold. And one of her favourites is a square cut emerald with surrounding diamonds, valued at £500,000. The most expensive of her thirteen engagement rings is said to be a huge heart-shaped diamond thought to be worth in excess of £1million. The expert who valued her collection said: I’ve never known a woman to chop and change her engagement ring as she does. She clearly sees no reason not to treat it like any other fashion accessory. Victoria is not afraid to wear quite adventurous styles. She opts for rare cuts or less common stones such as emeralds or sapphires….. story courtesy of

Speaking of weddings, big congrats to this lovely couple who actually met 11 years before they were introduced to each other and last week were married….. check this out

couple met 11 years now marriedA couple had no clue they once met as children — that is, until they found an old photo of themselves playing on the beach together. Nick Wheeler and Aimee Maiden were looking at old family photos at Wheeler’s grandparents’ house when they found one from 1994, 11 years before they first met.

couple met 11 years before marriedIn the photo, a 5-year-old Wheeler is building a boat in the sand with his cousin and sister, and Maiden was shocked when she recognized her 6-year-old self in the background.  They didn’t live in the same area, though. Wheeler lived in Kent while Maiden grew up in Cornwall, in the beach village of Mousehole. In 1994, Wheeler was on vacation in Cornwall when he unknowingly met his future wife.

couple met 11 years wedding dayWhile the two future lovebirds were just yards apart from each other on the beach, their families were strangers. A year later, Wheeler moved to Mousehole, but still didn’t meet Maiden until college. Soon, they began dating, and they moved in together three years ago. This past Saturday, they got married — in Mousehole, of course, right near their original meeting spot. All together now….mazel tov.    Story courtesy of The Daily Mail

And just before we go, let us pause for one final thought.



Competition Time

orchid giveaway snake necklace promoIt could not be easier… celebrating our brand new  eStore on the Orchid Jewels website, all you have to do is to go to our business Facebook page .. click like… share it and be in with a chance to win this stunning piece from our latest collection. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter too… retweets count!  (t&c’s apply)

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And after all the rain in the past 72 hours we hear great news that there is one or two little heatwaves on the way before we bid the summer farewell. So don’t pack away the summer clothes just yet – enjoy every last sunny moment.

Martina & all the team

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Top stories to hit the News Stands in June 2014

candle events logo  wine

Orchid Jewels are delighted to team up with Candle Events Personalised Gift Shop and Studio – Bettystown Co. Meath


martina peter sinead orchid 1 get in 130614At long last  Bettystown Co. Meath have a wonderful Gift Store. It’s only 2 mins from the beach, you just head across the road towards Tesco and it’s on the left hand side…Orchid Jewels are delighted to team up with the Candle Events Store. You have to check it out – some of the stuff is incredible! From scented candles to angels to windmills and all sorts of of wonderful things for your home. You will love the owners David Curtis and Peter  Cluskey too – so friendly and helpful. Their trophies (Stunning) and engraving side of the shop is an amazing service (Passport pics too). Free parking – ps also check out fab Sports Shop (in the back) – Thank you and wishing you guys every success with this genius idea! Candle Events Studio Store – Rocks!

Michael Fassbender and Bradley Cooper party together at Glastonbury
bradley cooper and michael fassbender at glastoThe two Hollywood stars headed to the English music event, which took place over the weekend, to get muddy in a field and enjoy the performances on offer.  According to British newspaper The Sun, the men were spotted at the Shangri-La area of Worthy Farm and stayed out until 4 in the morning.  “The boys were out to enjoy themselves big time,” a source told the publication.  “After midnight on Saturday, they made their way to Shangri-La and then on to The Rabbit Hole. Revellers couldn’t believe their eyes as they were dancing and stayed for a couple of hours.”  Bradley, 39, was spotted blending into the crowds as he watched rockers Metallica on stage. He was trying to be incognito, dressed down in a T-shirt and grey baseball cap.  Luckily the buzzing atmosphere at the festival meant many fans didn’t even register that the Silver Linings Playbook star and 37-year-old Michael were among them.  “They kept moving when people realised who they were but it was pretty late,” the insider continued.  “Most people were too drunk to care and didn’t hassle them too much.”  Bradley could have gotten a taste for the UK music scene thanks to his relationship with 22-year-old British model Suki Waterhouse. The young fashion star took to Twitter to warn festival goers to look after themselves.   Other acts  that entertained the crowds over the weekend included Dolly Parton and Arcade Fire.  – See more at The 


Schumacher  Moved To Rehab’ Ward

michael schumacher1The 45-year-old former Formula One star sustained a head injury after he was in a skiing accident at the French resort of Méribel on December 29 2013. He was put in a medically-induced coma and has been in hospital ever since.  German magazine Bunte reports he is now being transferred, which could mean that he is now out of danger of dying from his injuries. However, it remains unknown whether he will make a recovery either.  “Schumacher’s transfer to a special rehabilitation clinic is being prepared and the chances of full recovery have dropped,” the publication claims.  It has previously been reported that at some point there could come a time when doctors inform the star’s family that they have done all they can for him. Moving to a rehabilitation ward will mean Michael will still get therapies to help him, but is unlikely to make any significant improvements.  Munich newspaper Abendzeitung also has sources claiming the sportsman has been moved.  His manager Sabine Kehm hasn’t issued a statement on the reports. She last spoke out about Michael’s condition in April, when she said he seemed to be making small improvements.  “There are short moments of consciousness and he is showing small signs of progress,” Sabine told Germany’s ARD.  “There are moments when he is awake and moments when he is conscious.  “Of course I am not a doctor, but medically, there is a distinction between being awake and being conscious, the latter meaning there is an ability to interact with his surroundings.   “I don’t want to disclose details out of respect for the family, but we have no doubt at all in the abilities of the doctors treating Michael, they are experts in their field.”  –  See more at The


This Month’s Orchid Jewel is Hollywood Diamond Judy Holliday

judy holliday 2Judy Holliday (June 21, 1921 – June 7, 1965) was an American actress, comedian and singer. She began her career as part of a nightclub act before working in Broadway plays and musicals. Her success in the 1946 stage production of Born Yesterday as “Billie Dawn” led to her being cast in the 1950 film version for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. She appeared regularly in films during the 1950s. She was noted for her performance on Broadway in the musical Bells Are Ringing, winning a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical and reprising her role in the 1960 film.

judy holliday1In 1952, Holliday was called to testify before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee to answer claims she was associated with communism. Although not blacklisted from films, she was blacklisted from radio and television for almost three years.   Born Judith Tuvim (Hebrewtovim means good, Yiddishyomtoyvim means holidays, lit. “good days“) in New York City, she was the only child of Abe and Helen (Gollomb) Tuvim, who were both of Russian Jewish descent.[2] She grew up inSunnyside, Queens, New York and graduated from Julia Richman High School. Her first job was as an assistant switchboard operator at the Mercury Theatre run byOrson Welles and John Houseman.[3][4]

As a child, Holliday exhibited a profoundly high intelligence, having a measured IQ score of 172,[5] placing her above the 99.999th percentile.   see more about Judy Holliday here

If you haven’t seen Holliday’s Classic  – Born Yesterday – here’s a trailer –  definitely worth catching the full film – very funny!


Irish Comedian Dave Young kicks off his nationwide Spaced Out Tour

dave young comedian -  poster artwork for tixRegarded as one of the funniest comedians of his generation, Dave Young has been described as hilarious and thrilling to watch. His sell out shows are a huge hit containing a blend of storytelling, parodies, characters and sound effects that bring his own personal experiences to life. Dave’s unique comedy style is resonated through his live DVD’s, albums and movie roles making him popular with people of all ages.  The secret to his success is in his very positive and humorous outlook on life. As he says himself “Laughter is the best medicine… unless you’re laughing for no reason… then you just might need medicine”.  Dave got his start as the warm up for the Late Late Show and over the course of his career, he has worked and played with Billy Connolly & Michael Buble, but perhaps the most remarkable of Dave Young’s achievements is how he’s managed to maintain the consistency of being a great comedian, superb vocalist and a charismatic performer……as one paper put it, “he’s just a natural!”  Dave’s numerous television appearances and credits include: The Late Late Show, The Saturday Night Show, The Miriam Show, The Morning Show, and Celebrity ICA Boot camp, RTE News, TV3 News and more.  Dave Young is currently on tour with his all new show “Spaced Out”. Which takes you on a wild journey of dis-organised mayhem?  Catch Dave at his funniest and always controversial best as he seeks to enlighten you on Sex, Marriage, Diets and The Afterlife.

The funniest comedian on the planet comes to Reddans Bettystown 3rd July tickets 041-9827412  for more tour dates see here


Mrs Brown d’Mother of all movies

mrs browns boys d movie logoBrendan O’Carroll generally makes light of the critics, but we can understand if, underneath the bluster, he actually cares more than he makes out. The man works hard and, as I wrote last week, most decent folk, even those who hate Mrs Brown’s Boys, won’t begrudge him his success. A few raw spots were revealed when he was standing in for Marian Finucane on RTE Radio 1, this weekend. About an hour and a half into the show, Joe Duffy brought up the overwhelmingly negative reviews that Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, the film version of Brendan’s hit TV series, had been receiving over the last few days. He was particularly critical of the Arena arts show on RTE. Duffy (who has a cameo in D’ Movie) noted that, in their review, critics on that show had made “serious” accusations against the film including that of racism. Such criticisms should not be made lightly. You’re quite right, Joe.

Pressed as to whether the brickbats ever got to him, O’Carroll did eventually yield somewhat. One negative review of his wife Jennifer Gibney’s performance seemed to have drawn blood. That’s fair enough. It is only right that he stands up for his own. Then there was The Irish Times. It sounded as if we had really overstepped the mark.

“What I loved about the Irish Times — well, not loved, but found interesting — was that they said the same thing,” he said “They said it was racist — where you had this ‘Indian man’ who keeps saying he’s not from Jamaica. He’s actually from Pakistan. Describing him as ‘Indian’ just because of the way he looks is actually racist. I was very offended by The Irish Times.”

Well, this seems like a very well argued point. We are hoist by our own whatever. The gag in the film deals with our idiotic assumptions about immigrants and, in this case, the journalist (presumably me) had, while calling “racism”, made just the sort of offensive error that O’Carroll was satirising. He wasn’t quite finished. At the end of the show, as a cutting send off, he delivered another dig at this paper. “If you want to look in The Irish Times they only gave my movie one star, but they gave a fantastic five stars to a wonderful Mexican movie — subtitled — that is about a Guatemalan Indian.”

Here’s the crunch. Just about the only thing O’Carroll got right was the five stars Tara Brady awarded to The Golden Dream (which, despite being “subtitled”, I recommend). I did not say Mrs Brown’s Boys film was “racist”. I made no mention whatsoever of the Pakistani character. The film did not get one star; it got a hearty two stars. I don’t deny that I didn’t much enjoy Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie. But I felt that I gave it more of a fair hearing than many critics.

It’s all rather odd. The interview we ran on Friday with O’Carroll was, in my view, fairly balanced about him and about his career. It seemed clear that, whereas I was not a fan of the show, I thought O’Carroll a funny man and an all-round good egg. As Joe Duffy said, it’s a serious thing to accuse a person — or a newspaper — of racism. O’Carroll is within his rights to chastise us for any rough comments about his work or personality. But it seems a little unfair to criticise us for things we didn’tsay.

Speaking of things Funny!

kitty funny pic I tried to be normal once


Competition Time

orchid giveaway snake necklace promoIt could not be easier… celebrating our brand new  eStore on the Orchid Jewels website, all you have to do is to go to our business Facebook page .. click like… share it and be in with a chance to win this stunning piece from our latest collection. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter too… retweets count!  (t&c’s apply)

Click here for Facebook Business page... Like It... Share it...Win the Necklace (draw)

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July is upon us, half way through the year already….. we can only be grateful for this wonderful spell of glorious weather, long may it continue. Now that we’re out at Bettystown in Co. Meath, next time you’re at the beach why not pop up to us in Candle Events Store, just say Martina sent you.

Martina & all the team

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Top Stories to hit the News Stands in May 2014

good bad ugy logoLooking back at some of the top stories May  2014 had to offer, it was a month most definitely split into two very clear divides; the good (Maya Angelou, Derry Clarke, Conchita and Tara The Tabby hero) and the bad (Donald Trump, 1d) and the ugly (Kimye). In terms of the bad & ugly, suffice to say, the lesson these people should learn from today’s blog is; just because you’re loaded does NOT give you a licence to be greedy, rude and arrogant – you are not above the law. On the other hand, in terms of the ‘good’ celebrity stories we read and reveal this month, it’s heart-warming to see how truly inspirational real superstars can actually be  – and on so many levels.


CONCHITA on graham nortonShe dominated Eurovision 2014 and now Conchita Wurst has revealed her plans to own next year’s contest too. The Austrian singer, who nailed Eurovision with her emotive performance of Rise Like A Phoenix, is desperate to take centre stage when the competition heads to Vienna. Speaking on The Graham Norton Show, she said: ‘I have cast myself in the role of host at Eurovision next year in Vienna.’  And if Cher’s got anything to do with it you may not recognise the 25-year-old transvestite this time next year. Cher reached out to Conchita on Twitter following her Eurovision performance suggesting an image overhaul, and she’s taken the advice on the chin. ‘I was so excited to receive the tweet, which said, “Darling you deserve a lovelier name and better wig”.  Asked if her beard confuses people, she explained: ‘It’s my own truth. It makes me comfortable on stage. I love myself and the bearded lady is fun and expresses everything I feel. Being a teenager in a small Austrian village was not fabulous. I tried to fit in and changed myself to be part of the game. I now realise I can create the game.’ (Metro)


Fifi-Geldof-gets-engagedAfter Bob Geldof proposed to his longterm love Jeanne Marine, Peaches’ older sister Fifi is also set to wed.  Tragic Peaches’ older sister Fifi Trixibelle Geldof is set to wed her 33-year-old boyfriend Andrew Robertson. Fifi, 31, will be following in the footsteps of her father Sir Bob Geldof, who reportedly recently proposed to his actress girlfriend of 18 years Jeanne MarineIn the wake of the news that Peaches’s tragic death was linked to a heroin overdose, Fifi shared an up close shot of her left hand and sparkling diamond engagement ring on her Instagram account. “Boydonegood,” she wrote alongside the picture. It’s unsure when she will tie the knot with fiance Andrew, who builds sand sculptures on beaches. (Mirror)


cheryl cole comeback single picShe’s back! – Hot on the heels of her return to the X Factor panel, Cheryl Cole is also planning a return to the charts with a new single entitled Crazy Stupid Love, lifted from her upcoming fourth studio album. (Should we be expecting a shirtless Ryan Gosling to pop up somewhere in the video? No? Fine.) According to Digital Spy, the former Girls Aloud star will perform the single live on the Britain’s Got Talent final on June 7.

MAY BLOG  hello coverFormer band-mate, Kimberly Walsh tells The Sun: “She will be performing on Britain’s Got Talent, which will be exciting because it’s obviously a big show and it means you won’t have to wait too long for her [new music].” The new release follows her last single, Under the Sun, which peaked at #13 on the UK singles chart in 2012. Her last album was her first not to top the charts. However, now that Chezza’s back aboard the X Factor machine this should be a well-needed return to the top. (Heat)


Maya angelou reading her poem at clintons in augPoet, civil rights activist, singer, songwriter, dancer, TV producer, director and author ; Dr. Maya Angelou passed away 3 days ago at the age of 86. We are without doubt blessed and richer as people to have known her. (albeit from her work).  An extraordinary spirit and energy who will live on through her body of works. A phenomenal woman.  Maya Angelou (/ˈm.ə ˈænəl/;[1][2] born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American author and poet. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than 50 years. She received dozens of awards and over 30 honorary doctoral degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of seventeen and brought her international recognition and acclaim.

maya-angelou success quoteShe became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, prostitute, nightclub dancer and performer, cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the days of decolonization. She was an actor, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. From 1982, she taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-SalemNorth Carolina, where she held the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies. She was active in the Civil Rights movement, and worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Beginning in the 1990s, she made around 80 appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her eighties. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” (1993) at President Bill Clinton‘s inauguration, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost atJohn F. Kennedy‘s inauguration in 1961.

maya angelou- miss calypso LP picWith the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou publicly discussed aspects of her personal life. She was respected as a spokesperson of black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of Black culture. Attempts have been made to ban her books from some US libraries, but her works are widely used in schools and universities worldwide. Angelou’s major works have been labeled as autobiographical fiction, but many critics have characterized them as autobiographies. She made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing, and expanding the genre. Her books center on themes such as racism, identity, family, and travel. she danced professionally in clubs around San Francisco, including the nightclub the Purple Onion, where she sang and danced to calypso music.[28] Up to that point she went by the name of “Marguerite Johnson”, or “Rita”, but at the strong suggestion of her managers and supporters at the Purple Onion she changed her professional name to “Maya Angelou”, a “distinctive name”[29] that set her apart and captured the feel of her calypso dance performances. During 1954 and 1955, Angelou toured Europe with a production of the opera Porgy and Bess. She began her practice of learning the language of every country she visited, and in a few years she gained proficiency in several languages.[30] In 1957, riding on the popularity of calypso, Angelou recorded her first album, Miss Calypso, which was reissued as a CD in 1996.[26][31][32] She appeared in an off-Broadway review that inspired the film Calypso Heat Wave, in which Angelou sang and performed her own compositions….for more on this phenomenal lady see her wiki …. here she is chatting with Oprah with a clip of performing in 1957.. what a voice!  [in every sense of the word]



Sallyanne_Derry Clarke

Celebrity chef Derry Clarke is like a new man just months after undergoing serious heart surgery, his wife has revealed. The Dublin-based chef is now several stone lighter and is leading a much healthier and active lifestyle. A keen cycler, the owner of city centre eatery L’Ecrivain is in training to take on the gruelling Paris to Nice Cycle challenge this September. After undergoing a triple heart bypass at Christmas, the chef is gearing up to complete 700km over six days in aid of suicide prevention charity Console. After giving up cigarettes before the operation and taking up early-morning cycles, Derry is now in the best shape of his life, according to his wife Sallyanne. “He is doing everything he wanted to do, he is focused and he looks great,” she told the Herald “He lost a lot of weight when he had the bypass and he’s toning up now so he’s in better shape than he’s been in a long time.” Derry will undertake the Dublin to Galway cycle in the coming weeks as a training challenge before heading to France at the end of September. “He’s out on the bike and he’s been keeping healthy,” explained Sallyanne. Derry will cycle across France as part of a group of ten who are doing the challenge in aid of Console, Ireland’s national suicide charity. It is a cause that is very close to the Clarke family after their son, Andrew, took his own life, aged 16 on New Year’s Eve, 2012. “We’re doing okay and keeping busy,” Sallyanne said. “I just had a knee replacement, so it is nice for Derry to have something like this to keep him focused.” 

LEcrivain16The couple, who run Michelin- star restaurant L’Ecrivain on Lower Baggot Street in Dublin, are calling for people to support Console and the Paris to Nice cycle challenge. “We were looking online and all the children’s charities are getting a lot more support than Console,” said Sallyanne. “They deserve the support, but we are trying to raise awareness for Console and would love to see support from people.” Derry (56), has teamed up with other chefs for the cycle, including Ross Lewis, owner of swanky eatery Chapter One. The group are aiming to raise €100,00 for the suicide prevention charity and they will join more than 100 people who are taking part in the cycle. Derry, who is combining training with running L’Ecrivain, decided to have heart surgery in December. He was advised to have the operation due to a family history of cardiac problems. He returned to work at his restaurant two months later and said he has a renewed zest for life. (Herald)


may blog - wrong direction1d in old money have lost the plot! Just because you raise millions for charity – does NOT give you a licence to act like prats. In the words of Judge Judy maybe you coulda, shoulda, woulda been better advised to switch the cameras off! [One Directions Zayn and Louis caught on video this week smoking  weed in Peru]

MAY BLOG kim and kanye honeymoon in corkNewly weds’ Kim and Kanye  West were less than polite about their visit to our shores this week. The would-be-has-been celebrity couple (who are worth millions – which is NOT a licence for rudeness) chose to honeymoon in Ireland, much to the surprise of many, made some very insulting remarks about about the Irish (not worth repeating). The couple have a year old baby girl whom they named North, we kid you not,  North West? Plans to name any future children, South and East have not been ruled out? To be honest, for a couple who are basically famous for being famous, maybe next time you both marry new partners (oh and you will – it’s just a matter of time) Please do us a favor – land your jet somewhere else, further East the better.

trumps jet1DONALD ‘short arms – deep pockets’ TRUMP and family were in Co Clare a few weeks ago — the US tycoon touched down in his private ‘Gold Plated interior’ Boeing 757 to check out the west coast golf course he picked up for a bargain price back in February. If you we’re in the area, you couldn’t miss it. It’s the one with ‘TRUMP’ emblazoned on the side in gold lettering. The outspoken billionaire bought the plane three years ago from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for around €100 million. And, with all his obscene Billions (which is NOT a licence for greed). It has been reported that when he opens the west coast hotel and golf course, he’ll be recruiting staff from Jobsbridge,  yes you heard right, he wants cheap labour, paying minimum wage – some may only be paid €30 euro a week on top of their dole.  It beggars belief how people like Trump sleep at night. Greed is a rather ugly trait. This blogger hopes it stays fine for him.


When you think of heroic pets, perhaps the household cat would not jump to mind. In this incident, it was the feline that saved the day, after an innocent child was subject to a brief but vicious attack from a dog. The incident happened in Bakersfield, California, and involves Jeremy Triantafilo, a neighbour’s dog, and his family cat. The child had his back turned to the dog when it bit and refused to let go. The brave moggie jumped in and slammed against the attacking dog and chased it away, before the boy’s mother saw and came to help her child. “Thankfully, it wasn’t worse,” his father, Roger Triantafilo, wrote in posting the video. “My son is fine.” It is understood the boy received a number of stitches.  (Indo) –  Video clip courtesy of ABC News



MAY BLOG full cycle LP tapes mp3s

MAY BLOG  tell us when you had to buy the whole LP



Competition Time

Before we look at our regular competition, the team at Orchid Jewels would like to send their warmest congrats to M Durkin Co. Longford who was the lucky winner of our €2000 cash and Butterfly Necklace Draw. Enjoy your win.

orchid giveaway snake necklace promoIt could not be easier… celebrating our brand new  eStore on the Orchid Jewels website, all you have to do is to go to our business Facebook page .. click like… share it and be in with a chance to win this stunning piece from our latest collection. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter too… retweets count!  (t&c’s apply)

Click here for Facebook Business page... Like It... Share it...Win the Necklace (draw)

Click here for Facebook Business page… Like It… Share it…Win the Necklace (draw)


And there we have it, summer is finally here –  well sort of, when the sun is out it’s magic!  Have a wonderful bank holiday and a brilliant June. May it be a hot and happy one for you all. Don’t forget  lots of Sunscreen darlings.

Martina & all the team

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Top Stories to hit the News Stands April 2014

peaches beautiful shot   hollywood breaking newsApril 2014 brought us a litany of headline shockers. Each week unveiled one gobsmacking headline after another, some beggaring belief none more startling than that of the devastating and tragic death of Peaches Geldof.  We were then to hear of Bob Hoskins sad and quite frankly untimely passing. However the shock of the century has got to be the 8 year jail sentence for former PR Guru Max Clifford, whose clients were all A lister celebrities from the world of entertainment, his biggest client being Simon Cowell, apparently dropped him on hearing of his convictions. What  a whopper of a month, in the first instance we would like take a look at Peaches story; British Police have launched a major search for her ‘killer’ aka the person who supplied her with the drugs. The Police have emphatically ruled out that her widower, 23 year old husband, Tom Cohen is implicated in any way. Our thoughts are with her father Bob Geldof, Peaches ‘siblings, Fifi, Pixie and Tiger Lily, Tom and her two little boys Astala and Phaedra.


peaches wedding dayA criminal inquiry has been launched by British police after it emerged that heroin was likely to have played a part in the death of Peaches Geldof.  A police spokesman said: “Kent Police can confirm an ongoing investigation into the supply of drugs in connection with the death of Peaches Geldof. “There have been no arrests at this stage.” At the inquest, Paul Fotheringham described how Peaches Geldof’s husband had tried to make contact with his wife before he found her body. Thomas Cohen, a musician, had been away for the weekend with the elder of their two sons, Astala, leaving Peaches Geldof at home with their 11-month old son, Phaedra. This was their normal weekend arrangement, Paul Fotheringham explained, allowing Peaches Geldof to concentrate on her work as a columnist.


peaches colourful coffin“It is believed that Peaches spent Saturday afternoon, into the evening, and Sunday morning at her home address alone,” Paul Fotheringham told the inquest. “Throughout this period she maintained telephone contact with family and friends, including contact with Thomas’s mother to arrange a family activity, but this was cancelled. “All of the friends and family who had contact with Peaches during this period described how she seemed her normal self and was making plans for the future, including a family outing for her sons for the following weekend,” he continued. “There was no cause for concern.” However, on Monday morning, 7 April, Peaches Geldof’s husband tried to contact her without success. He then travelled to the family home in Wrotham, Kent with his mother, Sue, and son Astala arriving at around 13:30

Read more about her dramatic weight loss: Bellenews 

DIET PILLS  + FINANCIAL STRESS = HEART FAILURE  read more here at the Daily Mail The dark reality of the financial pressure Peaches was under

Kylie’s Dancers were asked to work for no fee in video due to budget restraints?  Ye gods it’s everywhere!

kylie dancers asked to work for no feePopstar Kylie Minogue sheds tears over an ‘upsetting’ week, after dancers were underpaid and her Logie performance panned. It’s been a tough week for Australia’s princess of pop.  After a critically panned Logie Awards performance of I Was Gonna Cancel, and copping flack over the pittance paid to her dancers, Kylie Minogue has revealed the week of stress left her in tears. This follows previous claims that a U.S.-based production company sought dancers to work for no fee, due to ‘budget constraints’, for the filming of Minogue’s music video for the same single at Melbourne’s Docklands Studio. Seeming optimistic that the saga would blow over, it’s back to work for the 45-year-old singing budgie. ‘I’ll admit that I was very stressed by the situation as it was linking my name to something that I fundamentally don’t agree with,’ Minogue told  ‘Yes, there were tears! But all’s well that ends well.’  Minogue, who said she had no input in hiring dancers, heard about the problem on social media. ‘When I heard there was an issue with dancer payment I inquired about it straight away,’ Minogue said.  Pay issues weren’t the only flack the pop princess from her comeback performance. The Voice Australia mentor took to social media on Monday to defend her performance at the Logies after being bombarded with criticisms that she lip-synced on the night. ‘Yes, we did something different and YES, I was singing live,’ Minogue tweeted. Her management also issued a statement to ninemsn on Monday to confirm ‘the performance was live’. 

Read more about this story and more from the Daily Mail 

Then there was that wonderful trip for our President to the UK to meet the Queen – he did the country proud and the whole event was a triumph… possibly a tad exhausting though!


george and amal and the ringThe ring! George Clooney proposed to Amal Alamuddin on one knee with a SEVEN CARAT diamond engagement sparkler he helped design

george and amal hand with ringGeorge Clooney’s proposal to lawyer Amal Alamuddin was not done on a whim. The 52-year-old actor had carefully planned it all. According to People, the Oscar winner hand picked the ethically mined seven-carat, emerald-cut diamond he would give his British girlfriend. He even had input on the platinum-set design that featured two baguettes on each side of the main stone. The 36-year-old brunette stunner showed the gem off alongside the actor at his friend Rande Gerber’s 52nd birthday dinner in Santa Barbara on April 27, added the weekly.

george and amal 1‘They plan on being together forever,’ an insider said of the pair. ‘He respects that she is not remotely involved in his world,’ a friend of Clooney, who the magazine revealed popped the question on April 22, said. It was also reported by the publication that the Out Of Sight actor got down on one knee to ask for Amal’s hand in marriage.  Added another friend: ‘Amal seems to be the best fit for him he’s ever had in a partner.’ A source told the weekly the wedding could be as soon as September.

Speaking of great Actors

bob hoskins and daughterWe were very sad to learn of the passing of  the great British’ actor Bob Hoskins, a Parkinson’s sufferer. He  was an extraordinary character. Full of life and great advice for his daughter. Laugh. Get angry. Be flamboyant… and love with all your heart’: Bob Hoskins’ heartbroken daughter;


My darling Dad has died. I loved him to the ends of the earth and he loved me back just the same. These are the lessons he taught me, I will keep them close to my heart and remind myself of them whenever I stumble or falter. They are his words; the words spoke so often to encourage, comfort and reassure. This isn’t general wisdom, rather advice that he tailor made just for me. I love you Dad.

1) Laugh. There’s humour to be found everywhere, even your darkest days there’s something to have a joke about. Laugh long and loud and make other people laugh. It’s good for you.

2) Be yourself. If someone doesn’t like you they’re either stupid , blind, or they’ve got bad taste. Accept who you are, you’ve got no one else to be. Don’t try to change yourself, there’s no point. Don’t apologise. Don’t make excuses. Be yourself and if anyone else doesn’t like it they can f*ck off.

3) Be flamboyant, it’s who you are and always have been. Be eccentric and unique. Don’t try to adapt yourself to someone else’s view of normal. That belongs to them, not you. Like yourself as who you are.

4) Don’t worry about other people’s opinions. Everyone’s a critic, but ultimately what they say only matters if you let it. Don’t believe your own press. People can just as easily sing your praises as they can tear you down. Don’t waste your time on things you can’t change. Let it slide off you like water off a duck’s back.

5) Get angry, it’s ok to lose your temper now and then. If anger stays in, it turns to poison and makes you bitter and sad. Get angry, say your peace, then let it go.

6) Whatever you do, always give it a good go. Don’t be afraid of failure and disappointment. If you fall flat on your face then get straight back up. You’ll always regret not trying. Disappointment is temporary, regret is forever.

7) Be generous and kind because you can’t take it with you. When you’ve got something to give, give it without hesitation.

8) Appreciate beauty, take pictures and make memories. Capture it, you never know when it’ll be gone.

9) Don’t take yourself too seriously. People who take themselves too seriously are boring.

10) Never, ever, ever, ever give up. Keep on punching no matter what your up against. You’re only defeated if you give up, so don’t give up.

11) Love with all your heart. In the end, love is the only thing that matters.

Read more on this story here at the Daily Mail :

Speaking of Great Daily Mail Writers

This Month’s Orchid Jewel is Shay Healy

Shay Healy BWhelan ShotWriter, composer , Eurovision Song Contest winner, comedian and broadcaster Shay Healy hit the charts again this month with his latest spellbinding song “When You become Stardust Too”.  At 71 years of age, he says of himself, he’s the oldest geezer to chart  straight in at No 2 on iTunes. Shay’s an inspiration and so many levels, not least as a Parkinsons sufferer.  Shay Healy (born 1943) is an Irish songwriter, broadcaster and journalist. He is best known for his role as host of Nighthawks, a RTÉ Television chat show of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and for composing “What’s Another Year“, Ireland’s winning entry in the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest.  Early life; Shay Healy was raised along with his five siblings in Sandymount in Dublin. His father, Seamus, was a civil servant and part-time stage actor who performed at the Abbey and Olympia theatres. His mother, Máirín Ní Shúilleabháin, was a singer of Irish traditional songs. She also wrote plays and stories and encouraged young Shay’s early talent for writing. This led to his first appearance at the age of fifteen on the Irish national radio station, Radió Éireann, reading a self-penned article. 

shay-healy with johnny very youngCareer; Healy has had a varied career to date, never focusing too intently on any one of his various professional interests. Of his tendency to diversify he has commented: “I know it infuriates some people when you don’t pigeonhole yourself, but I don’t take on anything that won’t stand up to public scrutiny.”  Songwriting; Healy first received attention as a performer of his own “songs of social significance” during the 1960s. Later he wrote comedy songs for Billy Connolly. Healy achieved his greatest success as a songwriter with “What’s Another Year”, which won the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest. Over the course of the next fifteen years, the song earned him a total of £250,000.[5] In 1983 his song, “Edge Of The Universe”, sung by Linda Martin, was the overall winner of the Castlebar Song Contest. Under the name of Crack, he and his friend Dave Pennefather released a parody song called ‘Silly Fellow’, which was about Paul McCartney‘s arrest and jail experience in Japan.  

shay healy aged 20Musical theatre; In 1977, Healy branched into musical theatre with the script, co-written with Niall Toibin, for a stage production entitled The King. This was a show based on the life and music of Elvis Presley and was premiered at the Cork Opera House two months after the singer’s death. However, Healy’s rock operaThe Knowledge, failed to receive commercial backing and was premiered in Dundalk by an amateur group in January 1989. Healy was more successful with his musical, The Wiremen, which received its premiere on 4 May 2005 at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre in a production by John McColgan and Moya Doherty that ran for six weeks. The Wiremen tells the story of the introduction of electricity into County Mayo during the 1950s. In March 2010 the show was revived in an amateur production by the Birr Stage Guild.  

Image Ref. No. 2175/064Broadcasting; Healy joined RTÉ Television in 1963 as a trainee cameraman.[11] Within five years he had moved to the other side of the lens with appearances on programmes such as Twenty Minutes With…Ballad Sheet and Hoot’nany.  Between 1988 and 1992 Healy hosted Nighthawks, a late-night satirical chat show broadcast on RTÉ Two, which he later described as “the best four years of my working life”. In January 1992, the show became embroiled in political controversy as a result of Healy’s interview with former Fianna Fáil Justice Minister Seán Doherty. During the interview, Doherty revealed that some members of the cabinet with whom he served in 1982 had been aware of his order to illegally tap the phones of a number of Irish journalists. The revelation led to the resignation of Taoiseach Charles Haughey a few weeks later.[13][14]


shay and mary kennedyIn January 1995, RTÉ terminated Healy’s contract. One of his last shows for the station was Where Are They Now? in which he interviewed former celebrities whose fame had largely faded. Healy then set up his own production company which made a series of television documentaries. His 1995 TV documentary on Irish musician, Phil LynottThe Rocker, was broadcast on RTÉ Two and BBC Two, and later released as a DVD.[5] In 1998, Healy made two half-hour documentaries for the RTÉ One television series, Against The Odds. The series focused on individuals who had overcome adversity in their lives. Healy’s two films featured an actor, Chris Burke, who was born with dwarfism, and a singer, Ronan Tynan, whose legs were amputated when he was twenty.[3]


Shay Healy and Billy Connolly Pillar of SocietyHealy has won two Jacob’s Awards. He received the first in 1984 for Strawberry Fields Forever, a radio documentary series on the 1960s which he presented. His second award came in 1989 for his television work. In 2007, Healy joined the judging panel on TG4‘s talent show, Glór Tíre. In the early 1960s, Healy became Folk Correspondent for Spotlight, an Irish pop music weekly, and he continued to write for the magazine until its demise in the mid-1970s.[16] He currently writes a weekly column for the Irish Daily MailThe Stunt is the title of Healy’s debut novel, published in 1992. It deals with the Irish rock scene and was described by one reviewer as “a more truthful… representation (of) the Irish music scene than The Commitments“. His second novel, Green Card Blues, is set among the illegal Irish immigrant community in New York City. In 2005 On The Road, Healy’s memoir of his life in show business, was published. In 2013 he published an amusing Trilogy ‘The Danny Boy Triangle’ on Amazon Kindle.

You can download the track here



Great news in the Gleeson Household all the same!

domhnall gleeson actorDomhnall Gleeson for 7th episode of Star Wars franchise. Original 1977 movie’s stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill also to appear.  Rising Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson is to appear in JJ Abrams’s highly anticipated seventh episode of the Star Wars franchise. Speculation as regards casting has been furious since Abrams was announced as director early last year, but Star War fanatics encountered some surprises when key cast members were revealed today. Oscar IsaacJohn BoyegaAndy SerkisMax Von Sydow and Daisy Ridley will be joining Gleeson on the London shoot. It has also finally been confirmed that Harrison Ford,Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, stars of George Lucas’s original 1977 space opera, are to reprise their iconic roles. “We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII,” Abrams said. “It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”

star wars harrison fordFew details of the plot are known, but the film will take place some 35 years after the events in Return of the Jedi, the last film in the opening trilogy, and will focus on a fresh trio of young leads. The son of Brendan Gleeson, Domhnall, now 30, has already appeared in such films asAnna Karenina, True Grit, Calvary and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Next week, he can be seen opposite Michael Fassbender in Lenny Abrahamson’s offbeat comedy, Frank. There is now a very real possibility that, following the December 2015 release of Star Wars Episode VII, he will have a part in the most successful film of all time.

Read more here in The Irish Times


‘Nothing is too much for Angelo’: Adele ‘splashes out on a £15,000 playhouse for her 18-month-old son’ 

Adele4Adele has reportedly splashed out £15,000 on a playhouse for her son. The Rolling in the Deep hitmaker – who has 18-month-old Angelo with her partner Simon Konecki – fell in love with the garden toys after seeing them in her friends’ houses so decided to buy one for her little boy to enjoy in their south coast home. A source said: ‘Nothing is too much for Angelo as far as Adele is concerned.

adele with baby‘She dotes on that little boy. But actually, Adele isn’t usually one to splash out on things. She’s never been one for the usual celebrity trappings. ‘A couple of her friends have the playhouses and she thought it would be the perfect gift.’ The white weatherboard house features three turrets, a veranda and its own picket fence, and can even be wired up to mains electricity.

And the 25-year-old singer hopes Angelo will enjoy playing inside it for many years. The source added to The Sun newspaper: ‘It’s the kind of thing he’ll never get bored of either — he’ll still be hanging out in it with his mates when he’s 10.’ The Skyfall star could easily afford the £15,000 toy as it was revealed earlier this year her company Melted Stone had filed a turnover of over £30 million, despite Adele not touring or releasing new music. According to reports at the time, the British star took home £12.1million, which included a £4.9million pay package and a £7.2million dividend.

adele playhouse

Read more at the Daily Mail



So Mad Max is going down!

max cliffordYep the man who had everything has moved from his plush pad to Wandsworth Prison. This story certainly beggars belief, the man who was basically the envy of all in the world of PR had a dream A List of celebrities who all cancelled their accounts on the breaking news. It appears the Max Clifford PR firm will now close and all eight girls including his daughter Louise will lose their jobs. Just an extraordinary tale  – we can hear the typewriters hammering out this blockbuster as we speak…. if you’re not sure what the fuss is all about… the full story can be read here... This blogger could not be arsed to give this any more oxygen than it deserves.  I have no doubt the 8 year sentence  will be contested and reduced.  The obscenely rich always win out in the end! Most likely he will serve two years, which  will not be great news and much disappointment for his victims.



And finally a little taste of our monthly Paddy Whakery




BLOG simon cowells 2 dogs VIA LISA CARED4PETS

Competition Time

orchid giveaway snake necklace promoIt could not be easier… celebrating our brand new  eStore on the Orchid Jewels website, all you have to do is to go to our business Facebook page .. click like… share it and be in with a chance to win this stunning piece from our latest collection. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter too… retweets count!  (t&c’s apply)

Click here for Facebook Business page... Like It... Share it...Win the Necklace (draw)

Click here for Facebook Business page… Like It… Share it…Win the Necklace (draw)


And there we have it, summer is almost here, next time we speak it’ll be June! how did that happen? The year is zipping through. Have a wonderful May.

Martina & all the team

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Top Stories to hit the News Stands March 2014

Well there’s absolutely no doubt about it as we went to publish today we thought we’d hold out for our top favourite April fool gags and boy the Irish media did not disappoint.  Newstalk’s Breakfast Show broke the startling news at 7am that George Hook had been appointed as The Irish Ambassador to The United States of America and that’s why he’s currently in the USA. Which he is, so the phone call  between Ivan and Hook sounded so credible. This blogger was very sad at the thought of losing my favourite presenter –  for about 30 seconds – until of course, I realized how amusing it actually was as it dawned on me what day it is today…. I was indeed fooled…but not for long . Click link on tweet to listen back….An oscar award winning performance from Hook.  Well done guys.

Then as the morning moved on, Pat Kenny didn’t disappoint either, a very naughty Mario Rosenstock opened the show ‘As’ Pat Kenny; which in a word  was – hilarious, if you’re in need of a good laugh … check it out.

Indeed, what a lovely winter we’re having this spring and apart from Missing Aircraft and learning new phrases like;  Conscious Uncoupling, the biggest news to hit Irish News Stands this month was;

mirror front page qui did it BOD

trimble on drums with laura and the firm 6 nations partyOur very own Laura O’Neill and her band The Firm performed at the Ireland 6 Nations Celebration party at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin the night they returned from Paris… There is truth in the rumour that Trimble joined Laura  and the band on drums.  And a very good drummer indeed.

bod and laura at rugby partyLaura, who is endorsed by Orchid Jewels kicked back with Drico and the boys in style well into the wee hours. It was a truly momentous win for Ireland and an eventful occasion for Brian O’Driscoll who received the Keys to The City of Dublin last week.


However, The top story to bring the globe to a complete stand-still  is missing Malaysia Airlines MH370, which disappeared off the face of the earth on March 8th, literally without a trace. The conspiracy theories are a plentiful from aliens to hijackers, this blogger’s own theory can’t be ruled out, on my research I found the last Plane to disappear like this was PANAM in 1957, they did eventually recover the wreckage, however every single soul on board died as a result of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning  –  a silent but deadly explanation.  Once all the passengers and crew including the Pilots died, the aircraft ran out of fuel and dropped out of the sky into the ocean.  Sounds plausible right?   So riddle me this… why did MH370 change course, switch off its communications and turn sharply westward..

Revealed: the final 54 minutes of communication from MH370

Malaysian airlines  MH370 diagramThe entire 54 minutes of cockpit communication aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight has been revealed, giving a complete picture of the lead-up to the plane’s crucial final message at 1.07am of “All right, good night”. The communication includes flight MH370’s taxi on the runway to the series of messages recorded when the plane is believed by investigators to have already been sabotaged. Despite a frantic multinational search for possible wreckage in the southern Indian Ocean, no sign of the Boeing 777 has yet emerged. Five aircraft spent two hours each yesterday flying above a remote stretch of water about 1,500 miles south-west of Australia but failed to spot either of the large floating objects detected in satellite imagery on March 16. Warren Truss, Australia’s deputy prime minister, acknowledged that the apparent debris may never be found because of the area’s deep waters and strong currents. “Something that was floating on the sea that long ago may no longer be floating,” he said. “It’s also certain that any debris or other material would have moved a significant distance over that time, potentially hundreds of kilometres.” Malaysia has begun appealing to the handful of nations with deep sea detection equipment for help in what may be a long search for the aircraft’s black box. The search area spans 9,000 square miles across waters that are up to 13,000 feet deep. Malaysian minister expressed fear a possible sighting of debris may be another false lead. Searches by more than two dozen countries have turned up little but frustration and fresh questions about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 which disappeared on a scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8. Six aircraft and two merchant ships were scouring an area of the remote southern Indian Ocean where suspected debris was spotted by satellite six days ago.  There were no reports of any wreckage being found. Australia, which announced the satellite image and is coordinating the rescue, has cautioned the objects might be a lost shipping container or other debris and may have since sunk. “Even though this is not a definite lead, it is probably more solid than any other lead around the world and that is why so much effort and interest is being put into this search,” Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss told reporters. According to several people familiar with the matter, India has told Malaysian investigators that it had found no evidence the plane flew through its airspace, making the satellite debris lead more solid. It was the first formal notification that India had come up empty-handed after checking its radar records, the sources said. Meanwhile, further clues emerged about the fate of the aircraft and its 239 passengers. A transcript of the communication between the cockpit and air traffic controllers reveals the two-way conversation between Fariq Abdul Hamid, the 27-year-old co-pilot, and air traffic controllers. Analysts said the sequence of messages appeared to be “perfectly routine” and gives no indication of the bizarre ordeal ahead, as the plane’s communications were disabled and it turned sharply westward.  Two features, they said, stand out as potentially odd. The first was a message delivered by the cockpit at 1.07am, saying that the plane was flying at a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet. This message was unnecessary as it repeated a call that had already been delivered six minutes earlier. Steve Landells, a former British Airways pilot who flew Boeing 777s, said this second message was not required but he did not regard it as suspicious. “It could be as simple as the pilot forgetting or not being sure that he had told air traffic controllers he had reached the altitude,” he said. “He might be reconfirming he was at 350 (35,000 feet). It is not unusual. I wouldn’t read anything into it.” The other odd feature, which is one of the reasons for suspicions that the plane’s disappearance was deliberate, was that its loss of communications and subsequent sharp turn westward occurred during the handover from air traffic controllers in Kuala Lumpur to those in Ho Chi Minh City. “If I was going to steal the aeroplane, that would be the point I would do it,” Stephen Buzdygan, a former British Airways pilot who piloted Boeing 777s. “There might be a bit of dead space between the air traffic controllers. It was the only time during the flight they would maybe not have been able to be seen from the ground.” The fresh details emerged as the initial hope prompted by the appearance of floating objects up to 79 foot long began to dwindle. Courtesy of JONATHAN PEARLMAN AND ADAM WU KUALA LUMPUR     SEE MORE AT


Michael O’Leary unveils cuddly ‘new Ryanair experience’, Orchid Jewels would like to see this man run the country –  at least he tells it as it is?

michael olearyPumpkin risotto, smoked salmon and baked sea bass, all washed down with a couple of glasses of Prosecco. Standard fare for a City lunch, except this not just any lunch. This was a Ryanair lunch. Perhaps more startling than the menu was the fact Ryanair was serving lunch at all, as it sought to persuade hacks from around Europe on Wednesday that it really had changed into a cuddly, customer-friendly airline. In years gone by, you were lucky if you got so much as a glass of water out of the self-styled ultra low cost carrier. As Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s indomitable chief executive admitted, press conferences previously involved him sitting in a “hotel basement somewhere or a phone box talking on my own”. Wednesday’s event, to explain the “new Ryanair experience”, was held at the London Design Museum on the banks of the River Thames – even if Mr O’Leary did find the “expensive yuppy London venue” difficult to stomach. After issuing two shock profit warnings in the autumn and posting its first third quarter loss for three years last month, Ryanair is trying to shed its penny-pinching image and win over more business customers and families. The Irish carrier will this year receive the first of the 175 Boeing 737-800 aircraft ordered last summer, before its financial results took a turn for the worse, and is seeking to grow from 80m passengers a year to 110m. To fill those jets, the airline, whose business model was traditionally based on offering cheap-as-chips fares to bases in Europe that almost nobody had ever heard of, will have to start flying to more primary airports around Europe. And to entice the business and “high frequency” passengers who prefer to fly to those primary airports, Ryanair has to evolve, Mr O’Leary admitted. Several customer service improvements, such as reducing the number of website clicks required to make a booking from 17 to five, have already paid dividends, the airline chief insisted, as a plasma screen in the background displayed a tongue-in-cheek photo of him holding a cuddly golden retriever puppy. Forward bookings for May, June, July and August are five percentage points higher this year than at the same point in 2013 following Mr O’Leary’s publicity blitz in the autumn, during which he pleaded mea culpa. However, those changes, which also include allowing a second, small item of carry-on baggage, are only the beginning, Mr O’Leary promised, before introducing Kenny Jacobs, the face of the “new Ryanair”.  Mr Jacobs, Ryanair’s first chief marketing officer, who recently jumped ship from the price comparison website Moneysupermarket, is planning to emulate the success of other challenger brands such as Aldi, Ikea and H&M, which all concentrated in the beginning on low prices but have since evolved their models. “They started off absolutely focused on low cost and then on top of low cost they added more choice and then they improved the service,” said Mr Jacobs. “That’s a similar journey that the Ryanair brand will go on.” Next month, Ryanair will launch its re-vamped website which features clear bar charts showing when passengers can take advantage of the lowest fares. A mobile app will follow in the summer, while the company will launch television adverts in the UK in a fortnight.  Despite its current, unwieldy website, Ryanair is “still going to carry 81.5m passengers”, Mr O’Leary boasted. With its low fares – which remain the most competitive in the industry – and customer service improvements, the opportunities are “limitless”, he chirped.  The analysts have so far given the improvements the thumbs up. “These changes should broaden Ryanair’s addressable market (families and business) and drive higher yields,” said Investec’s James Hollins.  But not everyone is convinced the airline, which has courted controversy for its racy calendar, featuring skimpily clad female crew members, has changed. Attention was drawn by one female journalist to the attractive, blonde hosts Ryanair had employed for the day, who were shivering in the background in their skimpy blouses and tight black pencil skirts.  “Skye has assured me she’s not that cold,” shot back Mr O’Leary, standing next to one of the girls. “I will, of course, do everything in my power to warm her up,” he joked.  Ryanair may be changing but some habits clearly die hard.  By Nathalie Thomas, Leisure and Transport Correspondent

8 Reasons Michael O’Leary Should be Running This Country!

No frills Perhaps we have been living too lavishly over the years, Michael will surely know how to scale it back. We’re talking stripped way back to essentials, none of that Mercedes type stuff or mansions in the country. No way, we’re talking war era Moscow. 2. No baggage We will be leaving everything in the past. There will none of that petty “well you did this” and “you did that”. There will be an extra charge every time you give out about the previous government. 3. Won’t listen to complaints Not happy with the situation? Tough. This a no complaints service and Michael knows best for the country. He will make the right decision. You may not like it at the time, but there will be an end result. 4. Will make a profit It will be a low-cost operation, but by God, Michael will be able to make a profit. How? We won’t know. 5. No nicely nicely approach If you are expecting the nicely nicely approach, you have checked in with the wrong country. We are on a mission here people, the most amount of money, with the lowest amount of investment. 6. We will eventually take over all the other countries Sure, they won’t want us to, but we will make repeated attempts to buy out other countries. Just because Michael will be able to run that better too. 7. Quick turnaround time We are hoping to have the entire country turned around in under two hours, Michael won’t be nice to you but he will sort out this situation fairly rapidly. 8. Taking us places we have never been before Ireland will be stirred by Mike into a new era, one that we never knew could exist, but one who’s name we don’t recognise because like a lot of Ryanair flights, you never knew that city existed beside the actual city you wanted to visit.  Courtesy of

Orchid Jewel of the Month is Hollywood Icon Jane Fonda

janes fonda1Jane Fonda (born Lady Jayne Seymour Fonda; December 21, 1937) is an American actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model, and fitness guru. She rose to fame in the 1960s with films such as Barbarella and Cat Ballou and, with interruptions, has appeared in films ever since. She has won two Academy Awards, an Emmy Award and seven Golden Globe Awards (including 3 special awards) among many other accolades. She announced her retirement from acting in 1991, but returned to film in 2005 withMonster in Law, and later Georgia Rule, released in 2007. She also produced and starred in several exercise videos released between 1982 and 1995. Fonda has been an activist for many political causes; her opposition to the Vietnam Warand associated activities were controversial. She has protested the Iraq War and violence against women, and describes herself as a feminist. In 2005, she, Robin Morgan andGloria Steinem co-founded the Women’s Media Center, an organization that works to amplify the voices of women in the media through advocacy, media and leadership training, and the creation of original content. Fonda currently serves on the board of the organization. She published an autobiography in 2005. In 2011, she published a second memoir, Prime Time.


jane fonda as a childLady Jayne Seymour Fonda was born in New York City, the daughter of actor Henry Fonda and the Canadian-born socialite Frances Ford Brokaw, née Seymour. According to her father, their surname comes from Italian ancestors who immigrated to the Netherlands.[1]There they intermarried and began to use Dutch given names.[2][3][4]). She is also of English, Scottish, French, and Norwegian descent. She was named for the third wife of Henry VIIIJane Seymour, to whom she is distantly related on her mother’s side.[5] She has a brother, Peter, an actor, and a maternal half-sister, Frances (aka “Pan”).[6]  On April 14, 1950, when Fonda was twelve, her mother committed suicide while under treatment at a psychiatric hospital.[7] Later that year, Fonda’s father married socialite Susan Blanchard (born 1928), just nine years his daughter’s senior; this marriage ended in divorce. At 15, Fonda taught dance at Fire Island Pines, New York.[8] She attended Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, Connecticut.  Fonda attended the Emma Willard School in Troy, New York and Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, where she was an undistinguished student.[9] Before starting her acting career, Fonda was a model, gracing the cover of Vogue twice.[10]    Acting career  Fonda became interested in acting in 1954, while appearing with her father in a charity performance of The Country Girl, at the Omaha Community Playhouse.[10] After dropping out of Vassar, she went to Paris for two years to study art.[11] Upon returning to the states, in 1958, she met Lee Strasberg and the meeting changed the course of her life, Fonda saying, “I went to the Actors Studio and Lee Strasberg told me I had talent. Real talent. It was the first time that anyone, except my father — who had to say so — told me I was good. At anything. It was a turning point in my life. I went to bed thinking about acting. I woke up thinking about acting. It was like the roof had come off my life!”[12]


jane fonda as a teenagerHer stage work in the late 1950s laid the foundation for her film career in the 1960s. She averaged almost two movies a year throughout the decade, starting in 1960 with Tall Story, in which she recreated one of her Broadway roles as a college cheerleader pursuing a basketball star, played by Anthony PerkinsPeriod of Adjustment and Walk on the Wild Side followed in 1962. In Walk on the Wild Side Fonda played a prostitute, and earned a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer.  In 1963, she appeared in Sunday in New YorkNewsday called her “the loveliest and most gifted of all our new young actresses”.[13] However, she also had detractors—in the same year, the Harvard Lampoon named her the “Year’s Worst Actress” for The Chapman Report.[14] Fonda’s career breakthrough came with Cat Ballou (1965), in which she played a schoolmarm turned outlaw. This comedy Western received five Oscar nominations and was one of the year’s top ten films at the box office. It was considered by many to have been the film that brought Fonda to bankable stardom. After this came the comedies Any Wednesday(1966) and Barefoot in the Park (1967), the latter co-starring Robert Redford.  In 1968, she played the title role in the science fiction spoof Barbarella, which established her status as a sex symbol. In contrast, the tragedy They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969) won her critical acclaim, and she earned her first Oscar nomination for the role. Fonda was very selective by the end of the 1960s, turning down lead roles in Rosemary’s Baby andBonnie and Clyde, which went to Mia Farrow and Faye Dunaway, respectively.


jane fonda with catFonda won her first Academy Award for Best Actress in 1971, again playing a prostitute, thegamine Bree Daniels, in the murder mystery Klute. She won her second Oscar in 1978 forComing Home, the story of a disabled Vietnam War veteran’s difficulty in re-entering civilian life.[15]  Between Klute in 1971 and Fun With Dick and Jane in 1977, Fonda did not have a major film success. She appeared in A Doll’s House(1973), Steelyard Blues and The Blue Bird (1976). From comments ascribed to her in interviews, some have inferred that she personally blamed the situation on anger at her outspoken political views: “I can’t say I was blacklisted, but I was greylisted.”[16] However, in her 2005 autobiography, My Life So Far, she rejected such simplification. “The suggestion is that because of my actions against the war my career had been destroyed … But the truth is that my career, far from being destroyed after the war, flourished with a vigor it had not previously enjoyed.”[17] She reduced acting because of her political activism providing a new focus in her life. Her return to acting in a series of ‘issue-driven’ films reflected this new focus. In 1972, Fonda starred as a reporter alongside Yves Montand in Tout Va Bien, directed by Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin. The two directors then made Letter to Jane, in which the two spent nearly an hour discussing a news photograph of Fonda. Through her production company, IPC Films, she produced films that helped return her to star status. The 1977 comedy film Fun With Dick and Jane is generally considered her “comeback” picture. She also received positive reviews, BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress, and an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of the playwright Lillian Hellman in the 1977 film Julia.[15] During this period, Fonda announced that she would make only films that focused on important issues, and she generally stuck to her word. She turned down An Unmarried Woman because she felt the part was not relevant. She followed with popular and successful films such as The China Syndrome (1979), about a cover-up of an accident in a nuclear power plant; and The Electric Horseman (1979) with her previous co-star, Robert Redford.


jane fonda with dad and kate hepburn sitting smilingIn 1980, Fonda starred in Nine to Five with Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton. The film was a huge critical and box office success, becoming the second highest-grossing release of the year.[18] Fonda had long wanted to work with her father, hoping it would help their strained relationship.[15] She achieved this goal when she purchased the screen rights to the play On Golden Pond, specifically for her father and her.[19] On Golden Pond, which also starred Katharine Hepburn, brought Henry Fonda his only Academy Award for Best Actor, which Jane accepted on his behalf, as he was ill and could not leave home. He died five months later.[15] Fonda continued appearing in feature films throughout the 1980s, most notably in the role of Dr. Martha Livingston in Agnes of God(1985). She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of an alcoholic murder suspect in the 1986 thrillerThe Morning After, opposite Jeff Bridges. She ended the decade by appearing in Old Gringo. This was followed by the romantic dramaStanley & Iris (1990) with Robert De Niro, which would be her final film for 15 years.

Exercise videos

jane fonda workoutFor many years Fonda took ballet class to keep fit, but after fracturing her foot while filming The China Syndrome, she was no longer able to participate. To compensate, she began participating in aerobics and strengthening exercises under the direction of Leni Cazden. The Leni Workout became the Jane Fonda Workout, which began a second career for her, continuing for many years.[15] This was considered one of the influences that started the fitness craze among baby boomers, then approaching middle age. In 1982, Fonda released her first exercise video, titled Jane Fonda’s Workout, inspired by her best-selling book, Jane Fonda’s Workout BookJane Fonda’s Workout became the highest selling home video of the next few years, selling over a million copies. The video’s release led many people to buy the then-new VCR in order to watch and perform the workout at home. The exercise videos were produced and directed by Sidney Galanty, who helped to put the deal together with video distributor Stuart Karl, of Karl Home Video. Galanty produced the first video and 11 more after that. She would subsequently release 23 workout videos with the series selling a total of 17 million copies combined, more than any other exercise series.[15] She released five workout books and thirteen audio programs, through 1995. After a fifteen-year hiatus, she released two new fitness videos on DVD in 2010, aiming at an older audience.[20]

Retirement and return

Handprint and footprint ceremony honouring actress Jane FondaIn the early 1990s, after three decades in film, Fonda announced her retirement from the film industry.[21] In May 2005, she returned to the screen with the box office success Monster-in-Law.[15] In July 2005, the British tabloid The Sun reported that when asked if she would appear in a sequel to her 1980 hit Nine to Five, Fonda replied, “I’d love to”.[22] Fonda appeared in the 2007 Garry Marshall-directed film, Georgia Rule, which co-starred Felicity Huffman and Lindsay Lohan.  In 2009, Fonda returned to act on Broadway for the first time since 1963, playing Katherine Brandt in Moisés Kaufman‘s 33 Variations.[23][24] The role earned her a Tony nomination forBest Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play.[25]  She starred alongside Catherine Keener in Peace, Love and Misunderstanding, which was released in 2012.[26] She made a return to French cinema, shooting Et Si On Vivait Tous Ensemble (…And If We All Lived Together) mid-2010.[27][28][29]  In July 2011, Fonda’s planned appearance on the QVC shopping network to promote her latest book, Prime Time: Making the Most of Your Life, was cancelled on short notice. Fonda said the cancellation was a response to viewer complaints about her activities during the Vietnam War.[30] Fonda has said she had “never done anything to hurt my country or the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for us” and blamed QVC’s actions on “pressure by some well-funded and organized political extremist groups”.[31]  Since 2012, Fonda has had a recurring role as Leona Lansing, CEO of a major media company, in HBO’s original political drama The Newsroom. In 2013, she portrayed First Lady Nancy Reagan in Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  For more on Jane Fonda see Courtesy of Wikipedia


Rolling Stones to return to Tour

mick jagger georgia may lwren jade last summerThe Rolling Stones are to return to touring late next month following the postponement of a string of shows in the wake of the suicide of Sir Mick Jagger‘s long-term girlfriend L’Wren Scott. The band have announced new dates in Europe, with their live performances now due to resume on May 26 at Norway‘s Telenor Arena inOslo. The Stones had been poised to give details of the shows when fashion designer Scott took her own life in her New York apartment just over a fortnight ago. Sir Mick, together with the band, called off their Australian tour as they came to terms with their loss. He headed to California with members of his family and a private funeral was held for 49-year-old Scott in Los Angeles last week. The newly-announced dates are part of the group’s 14 On Fire tour which will also see a night each in Portugal, Switzerland, Israel, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Sweden, finishing in Denmark on July 3. No UK date has been announced at this stage although the conclusion of the current series of dates would leave them free to perform at the British Summer Time Festival in London‘s Hyde Park, at which they performed two nights last year, and which runs from July 4 to 13. It has still to fill the Saturday, July 5, headline slot.

Scam victim who bought Apple computer is sent piece of fruit

appleAn unsuspecting customer, who purchased an Apple Mac computer online, was dismayed to find he had paid several hundred euro just for a piece of fruit. Now gardai are trying to establish if any victims of the scam are based here in Ireland. Fraudsters, who set up the online scam, sent out apples and other fruit, vegetables and bricks, to their victims instead of their intended purchases. An organised crime gang, who masterminded the international fraud, conned hundreds of victims in at least 15 countries. The gang, who had been operating the scam since last year, were based in Poland but lured online victims from countries ranging from the United States, to CanadaIndia, and several EU countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK. The sales were made through online auctions, hosted on eBay and other Polish platforms. After making electronic payments for goods such as the Apple Mac computers, customers using the Polish platforms were sent the apples and other small items while those using eBay received nothing. As soon as the fraudsters received the electronic funds, they transferred them to prepaid cards and then withdrew the cash at ATMs. Customers shopping on eBay were protected by a money-back guarantee. The full extent of the scam has not yet been determined. Police are aware already that the gang made off with €35,000 but fear that the final figure will be much higher. The police operation was co-ordinated by the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol in The Hague and it worked closely with eBay to uncover the gang. Head of operations at EC3 and former senior garda officer, Paul Gillen, told the Irish Independent last night: “This is an excellent example of what can be achieved when Europol joins together with national police forces and outside agencies such as eBay to successfully dismantle a criminal group responsible for sophisticated online frauds across several countries.” During a series of raids on targeted homes in Poland at the weekend, police seized a large quantity of potential evidence, including anonymous prepaid cards, cars, laptops and mobile phones, according to authorities. Officers also arrested two key suspects in Pulawy, Poland, while they were attempting to withdraw what police believed to be fraudulently obtained cash from an ATM. Mr Gillen said EC3 cyber experts assisted Polish law enforcement authorities by providing on-the-spot expertise and real-time access to Europol’s databases while eBay provided support from its Dublin-based operations centre by helping police to trace criminal online activity, via live monitoring systems.  Courtesy  TOM BRADY SECURITY EDITOR

Fyi; The real Apple, as in Apple Mac iTunes et al, turns over some $3Bn a week… that’s 3 Billion Dollars  a week! 12 odd Billion Dollars a month… 144 Billion Dollars a year… give or take a dollar…  Don’t suppose they’d consider passing on any of those obscene billions back to the consumer? No? mmh didn’t think so. Apples and Oranges eh?

Speaking of Scams?

They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery and to an extent this is true. However, one could argue when imitation moves from flattery to full blown obsession, copying every single business move?  You know you’re being stalked by a fruitcake!


Due to recent somewhat unethical business practices of two of our competitors, we are suspending our regular feature where we announce and promote the latest Hotels to sign up Orchid Jewels. Resentment is a particularly unattractive trait and this inappropriate behaviour by these two competitors is currently being investigated. However, we have very exciting news regarding a brand new franchise contract. We shall officially announce the details in the coming weeks, once all the contracts have been signed. We’re aware that our business is highly competitive, but we prefer to operate with integrity and ethics. Orchid Jewels is looking forward to this new and exciting phase.


‘X Factor’ Boss Simon Cowell: ‘I Want Louis Walsh Back As A Judge… But Cheryl Cole Doesn’t’

Cheryl-Cole-and-Simon-Cowell-3103350Simon Cowell has admitted that Louis Walsh‘s future on ‘The X Factor‘ may be in jeopardy, as Cheryl Cole – who is returning to the series after a break of three years – doesn’t want the Irish judge to return to the show. Louis has previously said that he’s confident he’ll be returning to ‘The X Factor’ – having been on a judge on every series of the show since it began in 2014 – but it’s now thought Cheryl would rather his job went to someone else. Speaking to OK! about the future of the judging panel, Simon said: “I want Louis to come back to ‘The X Factor’ – but Cheryl doesn’t.” Cheryl and Louis have something of a history, he was the original manager of Girls Aloud after they won ‘Popstars: The Rivals’ back in 2002, but they ended up ditching him after they felt he wasn’t doing enough for them. Kimberley Walsh addressed the issue in her book ‘A Whole Lot Of History’, writing: “Louis has just never really been a hands-on type of manager, and back then we suffered because of it. “Whatever the case, his disappearing act meant we had nobody looking after us and nobody fighting our corner as far as record company decisions went.”Cheryl has previously said she would prefer it if a “strong woman” joined her as a judge when the show returns to screens later this year.Simon also spoke to OK! about being a new dad, describing his son Eric as “a little sweetheart”. However, he admitted that he’s yet to change a nappy, claiming: “I’m still thinking about it!” PS peeps, Si’s ex Sinitta is to be Godmother, no surprizes there then eh?. Read the full story in this week’s OK! Magazine, out now.  Courtesy of

Gwyneth and Chris split after year trying to save marriage. And introduced us to a new expression…Conscious uncoupling?

gweneth and chrisCOLDPLAY’S Chris Martin tried desperately to save his 11-year marriage to Gwyneth Paltrow, but they simply couldn’t overcome their problems, friends have said. More details are emerging of the celebrity pair’s ‘conscious uncoupling’ which was announced on Paltrow’s website Goop. And the couple, who have two children together Apple (9) and Moses (7), revealed how they had spent most of the past year working hard to save their marriage. Sources close to the Coldplay singer say he was desperate to salvage their relationship, even suggesting counselling and a move back to London from their LA base. But despite their best efforts, Chris (37) and Gwyneth (41) have decided to separate and end one of the most high-profile celebrity relationships. The joint statement read: “We have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much, we will remain separate. We are, however, and always will be a family and in many ways, we are closer than we have ever been.”We have always conducted our relationship privately and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and co- parent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.” The website crashed shortly after they posted the statement, such was the volume of traffic. The couple went to the Bahamas with their two children to lie low, shortly before dropping the bombshell. With a combined wealth of €72m, attention has now turned to how they will divide their sizeable assets as they work out the best agreement for their family. Earlier this month, the pair bought a John Lautner-designed house in Malibu for a cool €10m. Set on a secluded acre of land and surrounded by tropical landscaping, the single-storey house is rumoured to be Chris Martin’s new bachelor pad as he makes a fresh start as a single man. The pair, who married at a secret ceremony in Mexico in December 2003, were last photographed together in January at a fundraising bash hosted by Sean Penn. There were no signs that anything was amiss in the relationship as they were pictured laughing and looking relaxed. Their shock statement was followed by tips for ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ by Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami. Making it clear that the couple are heading for divorce, the tips said: “Divorce is a traumatic and difficult decision for all parties involved and there’s arguably no salve besides time to take that pain away.” The state of their marriage has long come under scrutiny – and Gwyneth often called rumours they were breaking up “ridiculous”. Last October, she was forced to deny any “romantic relationship” with supermodel Elle Macpherson’s billionaire husband Jeff Soffer. It was claimed their friendship may be probed in a Vanity Fair article, which was later scrapped. Gwyneth raised eyebrows with a 2011 interview where she was outspoken on her views on adultery. She said: “I am a great romantic, but I also think you can be a romantic and a realist. Life is complicated and long and I know people that I respect and admire and look up to who have had extra- marital affairs.” The term ‘conscious uncoupling’ is thought to be a Kabbalah term aimed at easing the pain when two people separate. Courtesy of Melanie Finn Showbiz Editor MFINN@HERALD.IE


Proud parents Elton and David plan ‘low-key’ wedding. Seen here with little Zachary

elton and david with zacharyELTON John and his partner David Furnish are aiming for a “low-key” wedding next month following a change in the law which allows same-sex marriages. The couple, who celebrated a civil partnership in 2005 on the day such ceremonies were introduced, said family and friends had been eager to hear about their plans. In an interview for US TV, the singer said: “We’ll do it very quietly. But we will do it and it will be a joyous occasion and we will have our children.” Gay marriages became possible in England and Wales for the first time at the weekend. Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the introduction as a “historic day”. John, who has two adopted children, said: “I’m very proud of Britain and the laws that we’ve seen come into existence since we’ve been together. “For this legislation to come through is joyous, and we should celebrate it. We shouldn’t just say, ‘Oh, well, we have a civil partnership, we’re not going to bother to get married’. We will get married.” During the interview for NBC’s Today programme, Furnish said of the anticipation from their circle of friends: “The phone’s been ringing off the hook.” John is back in the album charts with a 40th anniversary edition of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which went in at No12.   Courtesy of The PRESS ASSOCIATION &

Woman accidentally joins search party looking for herself

missing woman searches for herselfA missing woman on vacation in Iceland managed to unwittingly join a search party looking for herself. Toronto Sun reports that a tourist group traveling by bus to the volcanic Eldgja canyon made a pit stop near the canyon park. The woman in question went inside to freshen up and change her clothes at the rest stop, and when she came back “her busmates didn’t recognize her.” Word spread among the group of a missing passenger, and the woman didn’t recognize the description of herself. Next thing you know, a 50-person search party was canvassing the area, and the coast guard was mobilizing to deploy a search party of its own. About 3am, some genius in the group finally figured out that the missing woman was actually in the search party, albeit in different clothes, and the search was called off.  No word on what kind of wardrobe was involved in this woman’s “freshening up.” But her sense of self-image must be way out of whack to join a search party until 3am without even suspecting for a minute that the woman in the description bore some resemblance to herself.  Courtesy of Alex Moore Death And Taxes.

From the surreal to the bizarre

This is an award winning Body Paint Artist…… seriously study the picture very closely –  can you see it yet?  Scroll down to next photo to see how she did it.  Incredible shot.

body paint parrott amazing

And the answer is –  I think you’ll agree this is truly remarkable work!

body paint parrott diagram


And finally.. To man’s best friend. Beautiful moments in life when nature teaches us to assume nothing!

dog saves baby abandoned in forest



 Competition Time

orchid giveaway snake necklace promoIt could not be easier… celebrating our brand new Orchid Jewels website all you have to do is to go to our Facebook page .. click like… share it and be in with a chance to win this stunning piece from our latest collection. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter too… retweets count!  (t&c’s apply)

Click here for Facebook Business page... Like It... Share it...Win the Necklace (draw)

Click here for Facebook Business page… Like It… Share it…Win the Necklace (draw)




That’s it for this month, why not pop over to our eStore and have  a peek at our latest collection. Wishing all our loyal customers and clients a very Happy Easter.

Martina & all the team

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Top Stories to hit the News Stands in February 2014

laura -  smokin profile shotThe shortest month of the year most certainly brought us two of the most dramatic events in terms of tiaras, tears and tantrums, not forgetting some spectacular diamond TV moments. Yes, we are of course talking the Oscars in Hollywood and Eurosong in Dublin. And believe you me, there is a connection (see below). Suffice to say, from our perspective at Orchid Towers; we were thrilled with how our Laura performed on The Late Late Show.  It was an Oscar Award winning performance, for sure. She is an extraordinary talent and irrespective of the tantrums from one of the Eurosong’ female panelists, Laura did herself proud. Her debut on Irish Television was a triumph and we’re pleased to report she’s back in studio recording her next single.  We had great fun in the run-up to the Eurosong Finals and were delighted to sponsor ‘The Best Laura Chorus Competition’. Congratulations again to the winner Kallie Fisher from Dundalk – whose rendition of Laura O’Neill’s Eurosong hit ‘You Don’t Remember me’ set facebook alight with ooohs and aaahs.. Kallie is just 2 years old…. we kid you not!  If you are following Orchid Jewels on facebook you can view Kallie’s performance here Wishing Can-Linn the very best of luck on May 8th Eurovision in Copenhagen.


Oscars 2014: Viewership Hits 10-Year High

ellen hsoting oscarsSunday night’s Oscars scored 43 million viewers this year — up 2.5 million from last year, according to Nielsen ratings — meaning that Ellen DeGeneres courted the most viewers since Billy Crystal in 2004. Only NFL playoff games have earned comparable viewership numbers in recent years. The Oscars telecast was the biggest non-sports audience on network television since the 2004 season finale of Friends. It turns out the awards show is better off erring on the bland side than when they stir up controversy. A wider audience tuned into DeGeneres’ unexciting but fun hosting stint than Seth MacFarlene’s boob-gate Oscars last year, which earned only 40.4 million viewers. DeGeneres and her writers stayed mostly on the safe side with her jokes, opting for a long bit in which the host distributed pizza to Hollywood starlets over, say, jabs at Leonardo DiCaprio about his sex life. The harshest stab went to Liza Minnelli: “And I have to say, one of the most amazing Liza Minnelli impersonators I have seen in my entire life,” DeGeneres said, as the camera showed the real Minnelli in the crowd. “Good job, sir.”  Read more: Oscars 2014 Ratings: Ellen DeGeneres Hosted Show Hits 10-Year High |

So Who won What? …hang on …AND What is our Laura O’Neill doing with Colin Farrell?… he’s apparently a huge fan and they’re both former NPAS buddies Dublin too….

laura and colin farrellHollywood’s biggest night was no letdown. We made plenty of predictions, as did everyone. Here’s the final list of this year’s Oscar winners. Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club  Best Costume Design: Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Adruitha Lee & Robin Mathews, Dallas Buyers Club Best Animated Short Film: Mr. Hublot  Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen Best Visual Effects: Gravity (PHOTOS: TIME’s Portraits of the Winning Actors from the 2014 Oscars)


ellen and colinBest Live Action Short: Helium Best Documentary Short: The Lady In Number 6 Best Documentary Feature: 20 Feet From Stardom Best Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty Best Sound Mixing: Gravity Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave (PHOTOSCelebrities Walk the Oscars Red CarpetBest Cinematography: Gravity Best Film Editing: Gravity Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby Best Score: Gravity Best Original Song: “Let It Go” from Frozen Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave, John Ridley Best Original Screenplay: Her, Spike Jonze Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club  Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave

Read more: Oscars 2014 Winners’ List: Who Won at the 86th Academy Awards? |

February’s Orchid Jewel 

Fitting Tribute for one of Hollywood’s Biggest Movie Stars, Oscar winner Liz Taylor

liz taylor2Dame Elizabeth Rosemond “Liz” TaylorDBE (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011) was a British-American[2] actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age. As one of the world’s most famous film stars, Taylor was recognized for her acting ability and for her glamorous lifestyle, beauty, and distinctive violet eyes.  National Velvet (1944) was Taylor’s first success, and she starred in Father of the Bride(1950), A Place in the Sun (1951), Giant (1956), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959). She won the Academy Award for Best Actress forBUtterfield 8 (1960), played the title role in Cleopatra (1963), and married her costarRichard Burton. They appeared together in 11 films, including Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), for which Taylor won a second Academy Award. From the mid-1970s, she appeared less frequently in film, and made occasional appearances in television and theatre.

liz taylor lep1Her much-publicized personal life included eight marriages and several life-threatening illnesses. From the mid-1980s, Taylor championed HIV and AIDS programs; she co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research in 1985, and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1993. She received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Legion of Honour, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, who named her seventh on their list of the “Greatest American Screen Legends”. Taylor died of congestive heart failure in March 2011 at the age of 79, having suffered many years of ill health.   Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born at Heathwood, her parents’ home at 8 Wildwood Road in Hampstead Garden Suburb,[3][4][5] a northwestern suburb of London; the younger of two children of Francis Lenn Taylor (1897–1968) and Sara Sothern (née Sara Viola Warmbrodt;[6] 1895–1994), who were Americans residing in England. Taylor’s older brother, Howard Taylor, was born in 1929.[7] Her parents were originally from Arkansas City, Kansas. Francis Taylor was an art dealer, and Sara was a former actress whose stage name was “Sara Sothern”. Sothern retired from the stage in 1926 when she married Francis in New York City. Taylor’s two first names are in honor of her paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Mary (Rosemond) Taylor. One of her maternal great-grandfathers was Swiss.[8]

liz taylor3Colonel Victor Cazalet, one of their closest friends, had an important influence on the family. He was a rich, well-connected bachelor, a Member of Parliament and close friend of Winston Churchill. Cazalet loved both art and theatre and was passionate when encouraging the Taylor family to think of England as their permanent home. Additionally, as a Christian Scientist and lay preacher, his links with the family were spiritual. He also became Elizabeth’s godfather. In one instance, when she was suffering with a severe infection as a child, she was kept in her bed for weeks. She “begged” for his company: “Mother, please call Victor and ask him to come and sit with me.” Biographer Alexander Walker suggests that Elizabeth’s conversion to Judaism at the age of 27 and her lifelong support for Israel, may have been influenced by views she heard at home. Walker notes that Cazalet actively campaigned for a Jewish homeland, and her mother also worked in various charities, which included sponsoring fundraisers for Zionism. Her mother recalls the influence that Cazalet had on Elizabeth:

Victor sat on the bed and held Elizabeth in his arms and talked to her about God. Her great dark eyes searched his face, drinking in every word, believing and understanding.[9]:14

liz taylor richard burtondual citizen of the United Kingdom and the United States, she was born British through her birth on British soil and an American citizen through her parents. In October 1965, as her then-husband was British, she signed an oath of renunciation at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, but with the phrase “abjure all allegiance and fidelity to the United States” struck out. U.S. State Department officials declared that her renunciation was invalid due to the alteration and Taylor signed another oath, this time without alteration, in October 1966.[10]She applied for restoration of U.S. citizenship in 1977, during then-husband John Warner‘s Senate campaign, stating she planned to remain in America for the rest of her life.  At the age of three, Taylor began taking ballet lessons. Shortly before the beginning of World War II, her parents decided to return to the United States to avoid hostilities. Her mother took the children first, arriving in New York in April 1939,[13] while her father remained in London to wrap up matters in his art business, arriving in November.[14] They settled in Los Angeles, California, where her father established a new art gallery, which included many paintings he shipped from England. The gallery soon attracted numerous Hollywood celebrities who appreciated its modern European paintings. According to Walker, the gallery “opened many doors for the Taylors, leading them directly into the society of money and prestige” within Hollywood’s movie colony.[9]:27

Read more about Liz Taylor’s fascinating life story by wikipedia here


BLUE 1000 LIKES NECKLACE COMPOIt could not be easier… celebrating our brand new Orchid Jewels website all you have to do is to go to our Facebook page .. click like… share it and be in with a chance to win this stunning piece from our latest collection. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter too… retweets count!  (t&c’s apply)

Click here for Facebook Business page... Like It... Share it...Win the Necklace (draw)

Click here for Facebook Business page… Like It… Share it…Win the Necklace (draw)

Rehab Sure Made Headlines…. but it appears that bad grammar is not the least of their problems

Mirror Mirror On The Wall Who Has the Biggest Exclusives of them all…..

simon lauren baby ericBy sheer coincidence and adding a little spice to this Mirror story, the ents’ blogger here at Orchid Towers, has it on good authority that Liz Taylor and Richard Burton were no strangers to the Cowell household when Simon and siblings were growing up. Indeed, his dad Eric, after whom Simon named his son, was an executive at EMI Records back in the 1960’s. There was no rarity of the odd Hollywood A-lister chilling at their cocktail parties in the 60’s and as we can see, Simon certainly soaked up that mercurial energy –  Eric senior would be right proud.  So here we are some 40 years later, Simon’s four week paternity leave is going  very well. (Pictured above with Diddly, Squiddly, Lauren and baby Eric. The X Factor boss is worn out but “deeply enjoying” the sleepless nights to bond with two-week-old Eric during his four weeks’ paternity leave in the US.  Doting Simon Cowell has been getting up in the middle of the night to feed his newborn son, reports the Sunday People. The X Factor boss is worn out but “deeply enjoying” the sleepless nights to bond with two-week-old Eric during his four weeks’ paternity leave in Miami. Friends of Simon, 54, have told how he and girlfriend Lauren Silverman have been rising at all hours and, contrary to rumours, they are yet to hire a nanny. Instead they have employed a baby nurse to help out with Eric temporarily. One friend said: “Simon is enjoying ­being a hands-on dad so much. He has been up at all hours to help with the feeding with Lauren. “He wouldn’t miss this time for the world. He really has never been happier. “He and Lauren are very much doing this by themselves, they have got a baby nurse just to help out but that’s it at the moment. “This time is very special for both of them and they want to make the most of it. “Simon has been cheerily telling his friends about fatherhood , he is absolutely in his element. “This has been life ­changing for him but he is absolutely loving it. He didn’t ever think he could be this happy.

Read more here at the Mirror ollow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

Great to see though, at the end of the day, Si is no different than the rest of us…only richer!

simon back of bently and a beerHe drinks alcohol at 2am to get to that happy place before he sleeps’. X Factor gaffer sinks a few vodkas and cigarettes to help the creative process. Simon Cowell has told how he drinks alcohol to enter a “calm place” and come up with his TV ideas late at night. The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent boss, 54, said that he drank vodka at “one or two in the morning” to helped spark creativity. And he insisted he only needed one good idea every ten years to be successful. In an interview to promote X Factor musical I Can’t Sing! written by comic Harry Hill, Cowell also said that he could not quit smoking. “Harry trained as a doctor, he doesn’t like my theory that although I smoke and drink I take supplements, so I’ll be all right,” he told the Radio Times. “If I tried to cut out cigarettes completely, I would have a real problem: too boring. It’s the same with drinking.” But the new father added: “I’m pretty good at cutting back when I need to.” He added: “I have this expression, ‘You never eat Indian food for breakfast’. I always think there is a time in your day when you can be creative. “For me, one or two in the morning, couple of vodka and limes, couple of cigarettes, I’m in a calm place: I can think. “I always say, ‘One good idea a year can pay for your next ten years.’ And that’s all you need to do.” 

Simon with a becks beerCowell, who was recently pictured topless while strolling alongside girlfriend Lauren Silverman and their baby boy, Eric, said that he was in good shape. “Yeah, not too shabby, eh?” he told the magazine. Previews of The X Factor musical, penned by Hill, have been postponed for the second time in a week with producers citing technical problems. Cowell joked that I Can’t Sing! would have to last longer than the Spice Girls stage show to be considered a success after Viva Forever! ran for seven months and was deemed a flop. Asked what would count as a success, he joked: “Seven months and a day”, before adding: “I’m not au fait with the numbers. “From day one there was a cloud over that musical. The critics had a field day.” He added: “You’ve got to be confident in what you do, otherwise you’d be paralysed. I’ve always thought if I like something then other people will like it.”  Cowell told the magazine: “It’s bloody risky, but so is making the TV show. “Every new season you go in with the highest hopes, and sometimes you get a bum year. You wait for those numbers to come in, oh my God it’s stressful, and it’s a delicious thrill.”

Read more here at The Mirror, Pictures by Splash  Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

Nigella Darling! Divorce Suits You! You are looking a Million

nigella dishyThe gorgeous chef looks really very dishy… geddit? It was her striking good looks which had the nation transfixed when she walked into court in December. But Nigella Lawson admits she is “terrified” of being photographed without her war paint. And three months after she admitted taking cocaine during her assistants trial for fraud, she has bravely posed with minimal make-up for the new issue of British Vogue. The Domestic Goddess, who long been a contributing editor to the fashion bible (her first cookery column was printed in 1995), appears on the cover of the April issue of the mag 

nigella vogue cover 2014Wearing a green off-the-shoulder dress with jewelled belt, Nigella gazes into the lens in her sultry cover shot. The 54-year-old also shows off her hourglass figure in a plunging black dress. The brunette beauty, who has been at the centre of a media storm for the past few months, looks calm and at ease in the photographs, despite wearing minimal make-up. Nigella, 54, said: “I was terrified of being photographed without make-up, and I hate having my looks talked up. It always makes me feel I’m going to be a disappointment in the flesh.”  The Domestic Goddess has also told how she wants to do more than writing cookery books. Speaking about her future, she told April’s Vogue: “I love what I do, but there are other parts of my brain that I haven’t flexed in a professional way. “I do sometimes think that I’ve let the more analytical part of my brain slump slightly. “I do like writing about food, but there’s so much that interests me. “I’ve been working – in a cottage-industry way – on an app, which, if it works, could be deeply thrilling.”

See the full interview in the April issue of Vogue, on sale Monday March 10.

Read more at The Mirror   Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

More TV for Orchid Jewels

treacyswetcountyhotelOrchid Jewels can’t get enough of Television this month, what with Laura O’Neill wearing Orchid on the RTE Late late Show last Friday night. Our cabinet made it’s own appearance during Season 6 Episode 8 of At Your Service, where Francis and John Brennan help 28-year-old Patrick Treacy with the ambitious revamp of the West County Hotel in Ennis, Co Clare. Keep an eye out in the lobby shots for our wee baby (the glass cabinet filled with Orchid Jewellery) sparkling away!  View programme here

Radio Moves…End of an Era….Larry Gogan moves to weekends on 2Fm

And in homage to the legend of Irish broadcasting and his famous Just a Minute quiz, here are just ten of the best answers that have been broadcast on his show. Courtesy of The Irish Independent Newspaper

1.  Name something a blind man might use…    A Sword

2. Name the capital of France…  F

3. Name an occupation where you might need a torch… A burglar

4. Where is the Taj Mahal? Opposite the Dental Hospital

5. What was Hitlers first name? Heil

6. Complete the saying “As happy as… A pig in sh**t

7. Can you name a  dangerous race  The Arabs

8. The name of a famous bridge…. The Bridge Over Troubled Waters

9. Something people might be allergic to? Skiing

10. What star do travellers follow? Joe Dolan

As a treat and for the Oscar Season that was in it, we thought we’d leave you with some clips from Ellen’s Post Oscar show – which went out LIVE last night…enjoy!

Wishing you all a very happy St Patrick’s Day

Martina & all the team

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Top Stories to hit the News Stands in January 2014

Face-of-Ireland-Ciara-Quinn-at-Finnstown-House-Hotel-with-OrchidJewels-YouTube_0001-300x225TOP STORY: What a cracking start to 2014, never in our wildest dreams did we believe that January could gives us such a flying start to the year ahead. Not one, not three but FOUR new clients signed up to Orchid Jewels this month. With a further nine hotels/locations to be announced. Our little diamond sales rep, Sasha can be spotted driving the length and breadth of the country in our Orchid Jewels branded van, she literally has not stopped to draw breath.  Our wholesale business has gone into orbit, our website is now seeing some 70,000 visitors a month, so we’d like to kick off our blog for 2014 by thanking you, our loyal customers, our wonderful clients old and new but most importantly, everyone on our seriously hard working team here at Orchid Towers.

Before we get into the rest  of the stories to hit the News Stands in January, we’d like to give a very warm welcome to the latest four hotels to join our ever expanding client list

Midleton Park Hotel Cork

midleton-park-hotel1jpgMidleton Park Hotel is situated in the bustling East Cork market town of Midleton, located just 14 miles (15 mins drive) from Cork City, this luxury 3 star Irish hotel enjoys an enviable reputation for its accommodation, conference & meeting facilities and delicious food, all served in a warm, friendly atmosphere.  The hotel boasts extensive Leisure Club facilities and has a Wellness Centre specialising in the Yonka range of spa products…..visit website

Oriel House Hotel Cork

oriel house hotel eveningOriel House is a unique mix of old and new, luxury and relaxation and the dedicated team at Oriel House ensure that our guests depart with nothing more than a desire to return. Our spacious guestrooms are the epitome of comfort and style, all of deluxe standard including three suites, double and family rooms.  Our stylish guestrooms are equipped to the highest standards for the modern traveller and have been designed to offer total accessibility to all our guests.  The Oriel House Hotel has established an excellent reputation as a popular business hotel in Cork, ideal for conferences, meetings and events.  We have an excellent selection of well appointed conference suites catering from two to four hundred and eighty delegates….visit website

Springhill Court Kilkenny

springhill courtAt the three star Springhill Court Hotel Kilkenny your break begins from the moment you leave home. Set out on your journey stress free knowing that we are easily accessible and have ample free car parking on site. The Springhill Court Hotel in Kilkenny is one of the best known hotels and if it is Kilkenny hotels you are looking for then look no further! Once you have arrived in Kilkenny City you can begin to enjoy our superb hotel facilities which include Lavender SpaLeisure Club, popular Image Hair Salon,Claddagh Restaurant and themed Paddock Bar and Lenny Lion’s Kids Club during all school holidays. Friendly, efficient staff is at your disposal for the duration of your stay. …visit website

Reddans of Bettystown, Neptune Beach Meath

reddans neptune profile picLocated by three stunning beaches which run from Laytown to Mornington, Reddans at Neptune Beach is a wonderful family friendly pub, directly on Bettystown beach with warm fires in all areas. Serving Coffees, Afternoon Teas,  Superb Food, Free Wi-Fi. Live Music. Great for Lunch, Snacks, Dinner, Book Clubs, Social Groups, Parties, Perfect for Business Meetings, Big Screen Television in the Main Bar Full Sports Package Sky Sports, Setanta BT Sports, At The Races Racing UK Food To Go Available on request (t&c’s) Bookings Telephone 041 9827412  Opening Hours Mon-Thurs 11am – 11.30pm Fridays, Saturdays, 11am-12.30am. Sundays and Bank Holidays 12.30pm-12.30am  …. more details here


oscarsClimate Change certainly continues to wreak havoc across the island, both ends of January has seen some extraordinary weather events. High winds, spring tides and tidal waves have destroyed homes and business’ up and down the country. In the meantime, Pylons,  Irish Water, Rehab, The CRC and other Charity debacles also continue to dominate the headlines in Ireland. Nevertheless, while we (as a nation) are quite appalled at the ongoing corruption within the corridors of power,  we (at Orchid Towers) were frankly gobsmacked when we heard about Michael Flatley’s hideous burglary.  Apparently thieves broke into his ‘castle’ and stole his ‘Rhino Horns’ from a room full of ‘trophies’. It beggars belief that anyone in their right mind, would wilfully be party to such barbaric animal cruelty [A room full of animal trophies] –  each to their own? However, it seems that karma prevailed. Speaking of Trophies, in entertainment news, January did not disappoint – the awards season is in full swing and you can expect a lot of that in this month’s blog; We’ve had the NTA’s, The Golden Globes, The Screen Actors Guild, The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and The People’s Choice Awards….

Michael-Jackson-Picture-Download-Wallpaper-HD-FreeGrammy Awards Took place last Sunday January 26, 2014 What it honors: Presented by the Recording Academy, the Grammys celebrate achievement in the recording arts. The awards are now in their 56th year and have become the most coveted honor for musicians of all genres. Who votes: Members of the Recording Academy can cast their votes in 82 categories and are meant to determine winners based on artistic and technical merit, not sales numbers. Most memorable moments: One of the most notable is the 1984 show, when Michael Jackson earned 12 nominations and eight wins for “Thriller,” setting a record for most nominations. Other moments include Beyoncé’s 2008 onstage collaboration with Tina Turner,Eminem and Elton John’s controversial performance of the rapper’s track “Stan” in 2001 and Yoko Ono’s tribute to John Lennon as she and son Sean accepted the Grammy for best album (“Double Fantasy”) in 1981, just 15 months after Lennon’s death.

What happened this year: LL Cool J returned as the host. Jay Z lead the pack with nine nominations for “Magna Carta Holy Grail.” Dubbed “music’s biggest night,” the Grammys are generally built around musical performances. This year everyone from Imagine Dragons to Kendrick Lamar to Pink to Blake Shelton took to the stage. Plus, it marked Daft Punk’s first televised performance since 2008. All the usual suspects were there and all the predicted winners picked up their gongs….  next up…

stephen fryBritish Academy Film Awards Sunday, February 16, 2014, BBC What it honors: The annual British Academy of Film and Television Arts Film Awards, known as the BAFTAs honor any film that screened in British cinemas this year, regardless of the film’s origin. It is one of the only awards shows that does not take place in Hollywood. Who votes: Members of BAFTA may vote for the awards. More than 6,500 members cast their ballots. The general public is invited to vote for the rising star award, which pits five actors against each other. Most memorable moments: Technically this didn’t happen at the awards show itself, but last year Queen Elizabeth was handed an honorary award for her patronage of British film and TV by none other than Kenneth Branagh. BAFTA Chairman John Willis called her “the most memorable Bond girl yet.” What to expect this year: Stephen Fry returns to host and is always amusing to watch as he lampoons the stars in attendance, so expect lots of jokes about Hollywood. Nominations were announced on January 8, 2014. Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday, March 1, 2014  What it honors: Now in its 29th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards honor arts-driven films made on independent-level budgets in 15 categories. The show also highlights the winners of the annual Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants. Who votes: Members of Film Independent, a nonprofit arts organization any dues-paying person can join. Most memorable moments: Seth Rogen’s hosting duties in 2012 remain a highlight of the awards show, especially his opening monologue, which included a memorable jab at musician Chris Brown. In 2011 Paul Rudd, Eva Mendes and Rosario Dawson got handsy onstage. What to expect this year: Patton Oswalt hosts. Once again, “12 Years a Slave” leads with seven nominations. “Mud” will receive the Robert Altman Award, which honors the film’s cast, director and casting director. This will be the first year with a winner in the best editing category, but the most exciting aspect will likely be the bits and comedian Oswalt’s hosting skills.

Golden Raspberry Awards Saturday, March 1, 2014 What it honors: Also known as the Razzies, these awards annually celebrate the absolute worst in film. The awards, now in their 34th year, are considered the “anti-Oscars” and feature categories like Worst Remake and Worst Picture. Who votes: Anyone who pays $40 for a Razzie membership. Most memorable moments: In 2010, good sport Sandra Bullock accepted two Razzies for her work in “All About Steve” the night before she won a Best Actress Oscar for “The Blind Side.” What to expect this year: Nominations will be revealed January 15. but things do not look good for “The Lone Ranger” and “Grown-Ups 2.” Anticipate a lot of stars good-heartedly celebrating their failures, although it’s unlikely that Will Smith will admit how terrible “After Earth” was.

EllenDeGeneresshow1Academy Awards AKA The Oscars babay! Sunday, March 2, 2014 What it honors: Also known as the Oscars, the first Academy Awards were held in 1929 in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and have been televised since 1953. The awards honor achievements in film and are generally considered the most important awards in Hollywood. Who votes: More than 600 members of the academy, all film artists and professionals, vote in 24 categories. Most memorable moments: There have been a lot of memorable moments at the Oscars over the years, including Roberto Benigni’s eccentric best actor acceptance speech in 1999 for “Life is Beautiful.” Other moments vary in poignancy: In 1973 Marlon Brando refused his award for “The Godfather” to protect Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans, while a streaker ran onstage during the 1974 awards. The best? Halle Berry’s 2002 win for best actress, which made her the first African-American to win the category. What to expect this year: Ellen DeGeneres returns as host. Nominations were only announced on January 16, so it’s too soon to know who will be pick up the gongs, but the Oscars are generally less quirky than the Golden Globes and often feature a very lengthy ceremony. The best part, as usual, should be the fashion, which always ranges from glamorous to cutting-edge. Want more? Most of the major film guilds also host their own awards, honoring achievements in each field. Although most don’t air on television, the winners often help predict who will take home the Oscar in similar categories.

Art Directors Guild Awards, Saturday, February 8, 2014

ACE Eddie Awards (film editors), Saturday, February 15, 2014

Costume Designers Guild Awards, Saturday, February 22, 2014

What with all them there awards and all, we felt we should honour one of the most iconic Hollywood Sirens of all time;-


bette-davis3Ruth Elizabeth “Bette” Davis (April 5, 1908 – October 6, 1989) was an American actress of film, television and theater. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic, sardonic characters, she was highly regarded for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films and occasional comedies, although her greatest successes were her roles in romantic dramas.

After appearing in Broadway plays, Davis moved to Hollywood in 1930, but her early films for Universal Studios (and as loan out to other studios) were unsuccessful. She joined Warner Bros. in 1932 and established her career with several critically acclaimed performances. In 1937, she attempted to free herself from her contract and although she lost a well-publicized legal case, it marked the beginning of the most successful period of her career. Until the late 1940s, she was one of American cinema’s most celebrated leading ladies, known for her forceful and intense style. Davis gained a reputation as a perfectionist who could be highly combative, and confrontations with studio executives, film directors and costars were often reported. Her forthright manner, clipped vocal style and ubiquitous cigarette contributed to a public persona which has often been imitated and satirized.

bette-davis1Davis was the co-founder of the Hollywood Canteen, and was the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, was the first person to accrue 10 Academy Award nominations for acting, and was the first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Her career went through several periods of eclipse, and she admitted that her success had often been at the expense of her personal relationships. Married four times, she was once widowed and thrice divorced, and raised her children as a single parent. Her final years were marred by a long period of ill health, but she continued acting until shortly before her death from breast cancer, with more than 100 films, television and theater roles to her credit. In 1999, Davis was placed second on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest female stars of all time.

bette-davis2In 1962 Bette Davis became the first person to secure ten Academy Award nominations for acting. Since then only four people have equalled or surpassed this figure, Meryl Streep(with eighteen nominations and three wins), Katharine Hepburn (twelve nominations and four wins), Jack Nicholson (twelve nominations and three wins) and Laurence Olivier (ten nominations and one win). Steven Spielberg purchased Davis’s Oscars for Dangerous (1935) and Jezebel (1938) when they were offered for auction for $207,500 and $578,000, respectively, and returned them to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

  • 1934: Davis’s performance in Of Human Bondage (1934) was widely acclaimed and when she was not nominated for an Academy Award, several influential people mounted a campaign to have her name included. The Academy relaxed its rules for that year only to allow for the consideration of any performer nominated in a write-in vote; therefore, any performance of the year was technically eligible for consideration. Given the well-publicized hoopla, some sources still consider this as a nomination for Davis; however, the Academy does not officially record this as a nomination.[18]
  • 1935: Won for Dangerous
  • 1938: Won for Jezebel
  • 1939: Nominated for Dark Victory
  • 1940: Nominated for The Letter
  • 1941: Nominated for The Little Foxes
  • 1942: Nominated for Now, Voyager
  • 1944: Nominated for Mr. Skeffington
  • 1950: Nominated for All About Eve
  • 1952: Nominated for The Star
  • 1962: Nominated for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

For more on Bette Davis see here


No they’re not?… yes they are!…Jebus will they or won’t they be reunited back on the UK X Factor Big Screen, I mean Panel –  Oi Vey!

Cheryl-Cole-and-Simon-Cowell-3103350Cheryl Cole is refusing to commit to a return to The X Factor – because her previous stint as a judge holds so many painful memories. The singer has held informal talks with Simon Cowell about returning for the new series later this year. But Cheryl, 30, is stalling on a decision – saying her bitter divorce from Ashley Cole and contracting the killer disease malaria both happened while she worked on the ITV hit. A source close to Cheryl said: “She’s not sure whether taking the job is the right thing. Cheryl associates her last season there with a really hard time in her life and that’s her biggest mental hurdle. “It was when she was going through her divorce and had just had malaria. Although she loves the show, that season was really intense and hard work with her finalists. “Cheryl is in a good place – the best she’s ever been. Simon is after her but she’s having to do some real soul-searching to see if she really wants to throw herself back into the ­spotlight.” Cheryl filed for divorce from ­footballer Ashley in May 2010 after he was exposed for cheating on her. Just two months later she was hospitalised and treated for malaria after a holiday with then-boyfriend Derek Hough in Africa. She missed some of the auditions for the show but returned for the start of the series in August. In May 2011, she was humiliated after being sacked from the American version just three weeks after joining as judge.

National Television Awards 2011 - Show - LondonIt was rumoured her Geordie accent was to blame, while other reports suggested Simon was under pressure to axe her after she failed to impress US show bosses with her “lack of presence”. Cheryl took the show’s producer, Blue Orbit, to court and won an undisclosed settlement, believed to be in the region of £1.4million. Her relationship with Simon also soured, with her reportedly texting him to say: “I hate you. I understand you’re a ­businessman and what I’ve learnt from this is ­business means more to you than our ­friendship.”

Cheryl has a few months to make her decision with contracts not being finalised until May. Friends also said the Fight For This Love star is keen to focus on her singing and is concerned the show will get in the way. Simon has been vocal about his bid to win her back. He said: “She was a really, really good judge. I mean, she took what she did ­seriously.

cheryl and simonShe used to phone me almost every night – one, two, three o’clock in the morning, talking about songs and what she should be doing. “That’s the kind of judge you want to be working with because they really care.” A source close to Simon said yesterday: “Talks are ongoing with Cheryl. Simon really wants her to come back and what Simon wants, he normally gets.” Rita Ora, 23, and Dannii Minogue, 42, are rumoured to be possible judges for the next series after Gary Barlow, 43, and Sharon Osbourne, 61, stepped down. Louis Walsh, 61, is likely to return but Nicole Scherzinger, 35, has also hinted she may be out. The only confirmed celebrity is Simon, 54, who has signed up for a three-year X Factor/Britain’s Got Talent deal worth an estimated £25 million. Cheryl’s pal said: “This is not about the salary. This is about Cheryl making the right choice for her and her happiness.”  see more here..



They say ‘Success’ is the sweetest revenge of all… we tend to agree.


courteney cox1Courteney Cox has opened up about her failed marriage to actor David Arquette. Friends actress Courteney revealed that she still loves her ex-husband – with whom she shares nine-year-old daughter Coco – saying that she wanted David to be happy without her. “When you love someone, you want them to be happy, even if it’s not with you,” revealed the friends actress in an interview with the February edition of More magazine. “In divorce you always have regrets,” the Dirt actress added. “We were married for a long time, so it’s not like we didn’t try.” The celebrity couple married in 1999 after meeting on the set of the Scream films, but separated in 2010 before finalising their divorce in 2013. Speaking about how the couple’s daughter was dealing with their divorce Jennifer Aniston’s BFF said: “Obviously, kids always want their parents to be together, but as divorces go, this is the best one we could provide.” Courteney and David remain close with the Cougar Town actress recently revealing the sex of her ex-husband’s new baby with his girlfriend Christina McLarty.  The 49-year-old Cougar Town star told Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show: “They’re going to have a baby boy. I hope I’m allowed to say that.” Bit late if you weren’t! Entertainment Tonight host Christina has been tight-lipped about her first pregnancy to date but is rumoured to be preparing to give birth in March. David, whose ex girlfriend Jasmine Waltz has been causing a smutty ruckus in the Celebrity Big Brother house, hailed Christina to be the love of his life last October. He said: “I’m madly in love with her and she’s the love of my life. Absolutely.” Courteney is now dating Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid as the Mirror recently revealed after they attended Jennifer Aniston’s holiday party together. An insider also recently said: “Although they’re divorced, Courteney will never stop caring about David – especially now that he’s going to give Coco a half-sibling … David and Courteney see each other nearly every day as their producing business thrives.” [Courtesy Irish Mirror]

Psychic or what?


Kate Moss at 40


Happy Birthday Kate

How to keep young Madonna at 55


The Big winners at this year’s UK National Television Awards, flying the flag for Ireland (And Scotland to a degree, as it’s a BBC Scotland Production) was of course Brendan O’Carroll and the cast of the massive-sitcom-success story Mrs Brown’s Boys. Not only an NTA winner but also ‘The’ most watched television show across all stations in Ireland and The UK during the festive season.  So When the delicious Chris Noth (Sex And The City) announced the winners….  here’s how Brendan and the team reacted….  and rightly so… well done guys.


The Academy Award winner, admitted she recently did a little search on the web that gave her a bit of insight.

sandra-bullock-1092“So, I Googled myself and read the comments section, thinking I could get some tidbits of what people really think of me,” Bullock said while accepting her actress of the year honor for the film Gravity at the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s opening night on Saturday. “No human being should ever read the comments sections or ever Google one’s self at any time.”  But the star, who said she learned “a lot about myself,” opened up about her discoveries – good and bad. “Some things I was very well aware of,” she said. ” ‘Sandra Bullock is over 40’ came up a lot. I know that. ‘Sandra Bullock’s way past 40.’ Yeah, I know that, too … ‘There’s absolutely nothing special about her acting. She’s not particularly attractive, I can’t stand her, she’s mediocre. She’s over 40.’ And apparently Julia [Roberts] … You and I are in a dispute over George Clooney. We talked about this, right? It’s shared custody and we’re both fine with it.” Going off of that, Bullock – who hasn’t publicly dated anyone since her divorce from cheating ex-husband Jesse James – also touched on relationship rumors. “[There were] lots and lots of comments about who I’ve dated. Some are true and some I’ll never admit to,” she said.  One person she didn’t necessarily date, but revealed she had a moment – of sorts – with? A fellow awards season regular.  “I was reminded I made out with Meryl Streep,” Bullock revealed of her online dirt. “Off-screen, not necessarily her choice. I kind of took her by surprise.”  But behind all the jokes and silly revelations, the actress, most importantly, acknowledged: “Some commenters thought I had good hair and good teeth. And I made some young girls and some over 40 girls laugh with some chick flicks. I sparked with Betty White and I’ve flown into space. I’ve had a pretty good life and a pretty good career.” [Courtesy of People Magazine]


blog compo october giveawayIt could not be easier… celebrating our brand new Orchid Jewels website all you have to do is to go to our Facebook page .. click like… share it and be in with a chance to win this stunning piece from our latest collection. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter too… retweets count!

(t&c’s apply)

Click here for Facebook Business page... Like It... Share it...Win the Necklace (draw)

Click here for Facebook Business page… Like It… Share it…Win the Necklace (draw)


The headlines were just too tempting for this blogger to resist. The whole story itself is just soooooo boring…. Young brat (15) makes squillions via lucky break and little talent…image of an angel… doesn’t smoke.. doesn’t drink –  yeah right?… collects squillions of ‘Belieber’ Fans….now he’s ‘like’ 20…. he’s leading the life of a forty year old dead beat –  his former housekeeper spills the beans here.  To be honest…it’s nothing a good old slap to the back of the head wouldn’t sort.





thinking cat on dogs headWell that just about rounds up the big stories that grabbed our attention in January 2014…and while I’ve got my thinking cap on, just to let you know, I’ve all sorts of beautiful new jewellery designs ready to launch for our Spring Collection. Suffice to say, with the new clients we signed up this month and the nine we’ll be announcing in due course, it truly feels like we’ve won an Oscar ourselves. We are so looking forward to 2014 and all the hope and wonderment that it brings.

Wishing each and everyone of you a most successful and prosperous 2014.

Happy Valentines Day darlings.

Martina & all the team

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Top Stories to hit the News Stands December 2013

mandela shadow matt fordMah Nishmah? Ikaga desu ka? what’s going on? or as we say in Dublin, story bud? So here we all are in the final hours of the very last day of the very last month of the very last time we’ll see 2013. And what a belter of a year that was. Although in fairness, from a business perspective, Orchid Jewels had a truly wonderful year.  We were blessed to team up with a plethora of brilliant new clients, we gained and met some lovely new customers and long may the trend continue. However it was an extraordinary year filled with extreme ups and downs. We lost two giant greats of our time, from completely different worlds, but both leave a legacy of which we may never see the likes again. The first being His Excellency Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, South Africa’s first black president and eight days later we lost another great rebel Peter Seamus O’Toole. Both bright, brilliant and inspiring men, whose lights shall never fade.  If you were a fan of O’Toole, this 50 minute Radio documentary is worth a listen. Hilarious and touching, there won’t be a dry eye in the house John Kelly in conversation with the late great Peter O’Toole on RTE Radio 1 like the man himself, it’s utterly enchanting. In short this month’s blog mainly focusses on the late and the great….

As we say Goodbye to Mr Chips…. we leave you with his one and only remarkable Oscar Speech….His Oscar was presented to him by Meryl Streep…. grab a tissue, this is truly wonderful!

2013 was the year we found…Horse meat in burgers… a new pope…..and  the words selfie…twerking…and top ups…..We said adios to The Troika…. Trapattoni…and Maggie The Thatcher…and a sad farewell to Seamus Heaney…..George Jones…Phil Chevron… Louis Reed….Ray Manzarek… along with ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and the man they called Madiba.

AS XFACTOR lands another UK Xmas number one…we ask IS IT A RIG OR A JIG?

sam-bailey-x-factor-winners-single-louis-walsh-helped-stopped-nicholas-mcdonald-weekly-votes-handbagWell to be honest, if you wish to check you will see that we here at Orchid Towers had been championing Ms Bailey to win monthly over the past six-months. Simply and notwithstanding she has a truly remarkable voice. There wasn’t a single week went by in the live shows that that girl didn’t perform, no matter what song she was given, in true Xfactor cliche –  she nailed every single song she was given to sing. However, where there’s a hit there’s a writ.  But before we hit the writ, here’s a bit of juicy trivia, in 2007 Simon turned her down on the Xfactor when she turned up for the auditions as part of a trio and two years later, as a solo artist she didn’t even make it past the research producers (3 stages before you meet the judges) And once again the tabloids hit the controversy head on. According to The Daily Mail;  The votes have been revealed – why would Louis Walsh tell Nicholas McDonald not to sing the song from his most successful week of the series?  anyone who was watching can’t have missed just how much even her competitor’s mentor was rooting for her. Louis Walsh spent most of the final telling Sam that she was going to win and urging viewers to vote for her.

nick macdonald x fctorDespite the fact that he had little Nicholas McDonald up on the stage fighting for the same record deal. Nicholas and Sam had to choose their ‘song of the season’ – a track from any week previous. Sam went for The Power Of Love from her first week, when she took home 23.4% of the votes – the most for that week. Nicholas, on the other hand, sang Angel from week three, a week when he came second to Sam again with 25.3% to her 27% of the votes. Little Nicky topped the votes in two of the weeks, one of which was when he sang AdeleSomeone Like You, the song we heard him tell Louis he wanted to sing in the live final. In that week he received a whopping 31.4% of the total votes with Sam taking 26.5%. Good one, Louis. Did he know these stats before told Nicholas to sing that song…? In the end, the live final results were pretty conclusive with Sam taking 53.4% of the votes and Nicholas getting only 36.3% (the rest was lost votes for Luke on Saturday). Nicholas has since spoken out to say how betrayed he felt by Louis’s actions.  He told The Mail Online, ” I was disappointed with Louis saying, ‘Vote for Sam and her single everyone.’ It felt like Sam was getting all the love.” And there we have it… rumour is Cheryl will be re-joining the panel again next year… and it’s quite possible we will have an update on Simon’s gun-shot marriage before we finish the blog tonight…


blog compo october giveawayIt could not be easier… celebrating our brand new Orchid Jewels website all you have to do is to go to our Facebook page .. click like… share it and be in with a chance to win this stunning piece from our latest collection. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter too… retweets count!

Click here for Facebook Business page... Like It... Share it...Win the Necklace (draw)

Click here for Facebook Business page… Like It… Share it…Win the Necklace (draw)

In typically true Irish fashion, the weather has been the topic of most daily greetings 


Apart from the weather,  the other essential topic was which top TV programmes were most viewed or popular across the festive season….unsurprisingly Mrs Brown’s Boys (written and starring Brendan O’Carroll) topped the most viewed TV show both here and across the UK on Christmas Night hitting 9.5 million viewers out doing both Eastenders and Corrie… which is very impressive.

The  other major TV hit this Christmas was a tribute to the Late Great Dermot Morgan… actually there are no words!  [You can catch the full show on the RTE Player –  which will be up for 20 days in the meantime here’s a clip]

This month’s Orchid Jewel is Meg Ryan

????????It’s difficult to look at the profile of Meg Ryan without mentioning the very wonderful screenwriter, the late great Nora Ephron [Silkwood,  When Harry Met Sally…Sleepless in SeattleJulie & Julia] I think it’s fair to say that without Nora’s quite brilliant writing Ms Ryan’s career could have turned out very differently. Margaret Mary Emily Anne Hyra (born November 19, 1961),[1] known professionally as Meg Ryan, is an American actress and producer. After playing several minor roles in film and television, Ryan became a star in 1989, when she appeared in When Harry Met Sally…. Over the next 15 years, she played leading roles in several romantic-comedy films, including Sleepless in Seattle (1993), French Kiss (1995), Addicted to Love (1997), City of Angels (1998), You’ve Got Mail (1998), and Kate & Leopold (2001), films which together grossed a total of more than $870 million worldwide.[2] In 1995, Time critic Richard Corliss called her “the current soul of romantic comedy.”

meg ryan nora ephron Her first full-blown hit in a leading role was the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally… (1989 written by Nora Ephron – pictured here on the right), which paired her with comedic leading man Billy Crystal. Her memorable portrayal of Sally Albright, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination, famously includes a now-iconic scene in which her character, while lunching with Crystal’s character in Katz’s Delicatessen in Manhattan, very theatrically demonstrates for him how easy it is to fake an orgasm. Ryan next starred in The Doors, which was moderately successful, and Prelude to a Kiss. The year 1993 saw the release of the hugely successful romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle, which paired Ryan for the second time with Tom Hanks. They had previously been paired as romantic leads in the film Joe Versus the Volcano, which was a commercial disappointment, but later developed a cult following—and they would later be paired for a third time in the film You’ve Got Mail. She also starred again with Dennis Quaid in Flesh and Bone. Read more here

Sleepless In Seattle….20 Years a classic!


posh and kateLast month we reported on the Beckhams move back to London and we took a sneaky peak at their new home on which they are spending a cool £70 million to renovate. The Duchess of Cambridge has reportedly been bonding with Victoria Beckham over decorating.  The 31-year-old royal, known as Kate Middleton prior to her nuptials to Prince William, and the fashion designer are believed to be close now the Beckhams have moved back to the UK. They have many of the same interests, with the royal couple welcoming their son Prince George in July, while Victoria and David are parents to four children.  “The Beckhams and William and Kate are becoming very close and regularly discuss everything from parenting to decorating. Kate and Victoria have a lot in common as they both adore art and interior design,” a source told British magazine Star. “William and David enjoy discussing sport and bonding over being dads, and Kate and Victoria talk about fashion, design and parenting.” One particular area in which the two women have shared ideas is the Beckham’s bathroom. The couple recently purchased a new mansion in London and are said to be spending $71.7 million on renovation. Catherine is reportedly planning a gift for their new luxury mansion. “Kate has been advising the Beckhams on their bathroom tiles, and her and William’s main bathroom is marvellous,” the insider explained. “She is sourcing antique Grecian statues for them both, too, as housewarming presents.”  When the Beckhams’ new house is all finished they are said to want to plan a dinner party with their royal pals.  “The four of them will cook together when William and Kate visit the new house. David loves making sushi and William’s keen to learn,” the source added.  Article courtesy of


cheryl and simonCheryl Cole’s Christmas just keeps getting better and better. As though it wasn’t enough to be swanning around sipping cocktails on a swanky beach while the rest of us get so sick of the sight of our families that we start plotting their downfalls, she’s also pretty much seized the X Factor judge vacancy with both hands. According to the Mail on Sunday, show insiders expect to see Chez back in that black seat replacing either Sharon Osbourne or Gary Barlow – both of whom have said they are leaving the show. “The contracts for the show will be drawn up and negotiated in March, but the plan is very much to bring back Cheryl,” a source told the newspaper.


Courtesy of The Grammar Gardai  –  Use your what there now?


“There is absolutely no information in here about how to kill a mocking bird”

cat how to kill a mockingbird

Speaking of smart cats

buy a dog

“Probably the Best Headline of 2013” – Needless to say Mrs O was not amused

selfie obama at mandela

NYE blank pageWell that’s it, 2013 come and gone. As we look forward to 2014 and on behalf of all the team here at Orchid Towers, may 2014 bring you all you wish for,  L’Shana Tova, Bonne Année,  Feliz Año Nuevo, Glückliches Neues Jahr, Bhliain Nua Sásta, Buon Anno or as we say in Dublin, keep it real bud.

Happy New Year.



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Top stories to hit the News Stands November 2013

tumblr_static_purple_candle_gifFor one of the shortest months of the year, November certainly brought its fair share of tragedy and devastation. Friday 8th of November will be a date that will go down in history, a day that saw one of the worlds most destructive climate events when Typhoon Haiyan ruthlessly ripped through the Philippines at gust speeds of 170mph when it made landfall, killing 5000 people and displacing some 13 million citizens. In Scotland 9 people were killed (more fatalities expected) and 32 others seriously injured when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of a packed Glasgow pub, trapping many inside in choking dust and debris. The helicopter crew – two police officers and the civilian pilot – were among the dead and the others were discovered inside the wreckage of the building. The tragic accident happened just 48 hours ago, eyewitnesses claim the Police Helicopter literally dropped out of the sky like a stone.  An investigation in the crash is underway. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of  those who tragically lost  their lives this month.


TAAnimatedXmasTree2The one sure sign that the Christmas season has begun is The Late Late Toy Show on RTE and last night didn’t disappoint. In fact by all accounts, the all dancing and singing Ryan Tubridy out did himself, the Mary Poppins Theme literally had Twitter light up like Christmas. Another true sign is the countdown to the X Factor finals which is only around the corner, we’ll take a look at who we think is in the running and we’ll also be taking a look back at some of the most successful Christmas chart songs of all time.  In other not so extraordinary news to hit the news Stands this month, U2’s fifth member and band manager Paul McGuinness announced his decision to step down, which also means he’s bagged himself a nice little Christmas bonus of €30 Million. Cheryl Cole settled her court case with the producers of X Factor USA and Keith Duffy defends his cameo in the Irish TV Drama Love/Hate. We’ve a wonderful story of a Homeless man who found a wallet and tracked down the owner. A new Kramer versus Kramer emerged this week via Saatchi versus Saatchi staring Nidge’ Lawson and Charlie Saatchi, we can hear the typewriters hammering out this blockbuster as we speak. The outcome of this story is going to be a real page turner.

UTV IRELAND LOGOIn light of the shocking and quite frankly welcomed announcement that UTV are to launch a third Television here in Ireland, we take a look at twelve classic tips if it wants to be taken seriously as an Irish Channel at all, at all. Brilliantly compiled by the very talented Michael Freeman  [ writer with The Daily Edge ]  UTV HAS ANNOUNCED plans to launch a new Irish TV station to compete with RTE and TV3. But will they get it right? There are, of course, certain crucial elements that any self-respecting Irish channel must incorporate.

As a service to UTV, we have isolated the following key ingredients:

1. Anarchic puppets

Source: eternallyforever2011 

It is scientifically proven that Irish children cannot be rared correctly without a regular dose of shouting handheld characters. Ignore at your peril.

2. A snazzy logo

Source: YouTube

The more futuristic, the better. Whoo! FONTS.

3. Anne Doyle

Source: Photocall Ireland

How do we love thee Anne Doyle? Let us count the ways. We’ll agree to forget that time you got the shift from Brendan O’Connor on TV.

Source: YouTube

4. Grumpy sports pundits

Source: YouTube

Who are basically exactly like your granda when he’s in the pub.

5. Funky idents with top-notch computer graphics


Source: dragonarchive

6. Keith Duffy

And his enormous biceps. Corrie, Love/Hate, ITV game show The Door – is there anything this guy can’t do?

7. Dodgy Irish-based dramas

Source: Thejournal

Remember Deception on TV3? With Leigh Arnold?  Future cultural historians will date all Irish culture from here.

Also, there’s definitely going to be some kind of ‘original programming’ remit on the licence and murderous suburban dramas with Leigh Arnold are a great way to fill it.

8. At least one degrading UK chat show

Source: ianaxton/Twitter

Aired a week later, obviously.

9. Mattress Mick

Source: shootaudition

Goes without saying.

10. An iconic continuity announcer

Take UTV’s Julian Simmons, for example. “AND TONIGHT ON THE UTV…” Legend.

Source: scblack

11. A lottery or scratchcard show populated almost exclusively by auld wans

Source: oisin2012

12. And Craig Doyle.

Source: Sam Boal

Some kind of attempt to Make Craig Doyle Happen. Most likely in a chat-show format with a ‘modern’ twist. IT’S TWITTER LIVE WITH CRAIG DOYLE. [You’re welcome, UTV.]


And with less than 40 seconds to go The All Blacks took the game 22/24 and George was off the Hook –  but only just.


keith duffy love hateBOYZONE star Keith Duffy has said he was hurt by Love/Hate fans who pre-judged his cameo in the hit series before they had seen it. The 39-year-old received praise for his small role as a fitness instructor in Sunday night’s episode. But the actor said that he had been shocked when word leaked out he had been cast in the drama series. “I know there were diehard Love/Hate fans thinking ‘oh why did they put him in?’ Because I have such a familiar face, the prejudging I got was quite cruel. People presuming that I was taking someone else’s job to get work. But I auditioned like everyone else,” he said. The Coronation Street star revealed how he tried and failed to be cast in the Stuart Carolan penned series before. “I did an audition for Love/Hate before and RTE felt it wasn’t right but this time around, it was. I’m an Irishman and this is a huge show in Ireland, so when the audition came along, I said ‘well why not me? I went along and screen-tested, doing what every actor does. They came back and said ‘yes, we think this can work, we believe in you in this part and therefore so will the audience’,” he said.… See more on this story by Ken Sweeney [] here




Now aged 67 she’s still the most wanted voice and face of TV and Radio, currently the face of Sky Television; Joanna Lamond Lumley, OBEFRGS is an English[1] actress, voice-over artist, former model and author, who starred in the British television series Absolutely Fabulous as Edina Monsoon’s best friend, Patsy Stone, as well as in The New Avengers,Sapphire & SteelJam & Jerusalem and Sensitive Skin. In film she has appeared in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Trail of the Pink Panther (1982) and James and the Giant Peach (1996).  She has spoken out as a human rights activist for Survival International and the Gurkha Justice Campaign and is now considered a “national treasure” of Nepal because of her support. She is an advocate for a number of charities and animal welfare groups such as Compassion in World Farming and Vegetarians’ International Voice for Animals. She also won the Special Recognition Award at The National Television Awards in 2013.

joanna lumley ab fab vodka fagsJoanna Lamond Lumley[4] was born on 1 May 1946 in Srinagar, in the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, which was then part of British India. Her parents were Major James Rutherford-Lumley, who served in the 6th Gurkha Rifles, a regiment of the British Indian Army,[5] and Beatrice Rose Weir. They married in 1941. After the independence of India in 1947, the Lumleys moved to Kent, England.[4] The family also spent time in Malaya[6] (now Malaysia).[4] Lumley was educated at St Mary’s Convent School in St Leonards-on-SeaSussex, England,[7] and afterwards attended the Lucie Clayton Finishing School,[8] after being turned down by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at the age of 16.[9]

JOANNA LUMLEY bw modelLumley spent three years as a photographic model, notably for Brian Duffy by whom she was photographed with her son. She also worked as a house model for Jean Muir. Over forty years later, she participated in another photoshoot – again with her son – for Duffy as part of a retrospective of the photographer’s work.[10] Lumley appeared in an early episode of the Bruce Forsyth Show in 1966. She appeared in a British television advertisement for Nimble bread first screened in 1969.[11] Lumley did not receive any formal training at drama school. Her acting career began in 1969 with a small role in the film Some Girls Do and as a Bond girl in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; she played the English girl among Blofeld‘s ‘Angels of Death’ and had two lines. She went on to have a brief but memorable role in Coronation Street, in which her character turned down Ken Barlow‘s offer of marriage. She appeared as “Jessica” on the big screen in The Satanic Rites of Dracula, released in the UK on 13 January 1974, which was the last of Hammer Film‘s Dracula series starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.  For more see here courtesy of Wikipedia.


joel hartmanJoel Hartman was digging through trash, hoping to find someone’s leftover food. Instead, he found a French woman’s wallet. Inside was her identification and credit card. Hartman, 36, said he could’ve kept it. But he didn’t. He went to four hotels until he succeeded in finding the one where the wallet’s owner was staying. That was two weeks ago. Friday night, Hartman got payback for his good deed. He was a guest at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center through Thanksgiving. He was fed and given new clothes. And he’s got $500 in his pocket, thanks to a hotel staff that searched tirelessly to find him. “He did the right thing, and now I want to do the right thing for this guy,” Scott Stuckey, the hotel’s general manager, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Hartman said he has been homeless since March, when his girlfriend died and life got too unbearable. He can’t remember when he last had a shower. And one night this week, he slept in the woods. But when he found the wallet, he was focused on one thing. Giving it back. For more on this story see here



blog compo october giveawayIt could not be easier… celebrating our brand new Orchid Jewels website all you have to do is to go to our Facebook page .. click like… share it and be in with a chance to win this stunning piece from our latest collection. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter too… retweets count!

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Ballykisteen Hotel, Golf, Treatment Rooms & Leisure Club

Ballykisteen_hotel_exteriorIdyllically located in the shadow of the Galtee Mountains in the heart of County Tipperary, Ballykisteen Hotel & Golf Resort is a wonderful retreat in a beautiful setting. Relax and unwind in our leisure centre, pamper yourself in our treatment rooms or enjoy a round of golf on our superb 18-hole championship golf course. Junction One Bar and Restaurant are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving delicious food and drinks in relaxed surroundings. The perfect wedding venue, our modern hotel combines style with character and charm. Surrounded by acres of stunning grounds there is no more romantic setting than Ballykisteen Hotel. Situated 30 minutes drive from Limerick city centre, on the main Limerick to Waterford Road, and less than an hour from Cork, our hotel is the ideal place to meet for any occasion. Host your celebration, conference meeting or event in one of our 6 function rooms with capacity for up to 280 guests. There are 40 spacious hotel rooms to choose from including suites and family accommodation.  Voted one of the top 10 hotels for family breaks in Ireland we have fantastic facilities for our little friends including Ballyk Kids Club, playroom, pool and plenty of great attractions to visit nearby.  Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in every guest room and all public areas.



sam bailey two shotWell there’s no doubt about it, ten years on and the battle for the UK Christmas No 1 record is still making headlines and this year is no different. This year the battle will rage between AC/DC and whoever wins the XFactor. Over the past few months we have been championing Sam Bailey and we haven’t changed our minds. It will be a travesty if Sam Bailey doesn’t pick up the mantle, however, as the deciding factor of this reality show is down to telephone voting it’s highly probable that one of the kids will win it. Either way, Simon would be pure crazy not to give her a record deal. Speaking of Simon, it good to see that he and Cheryl have kissed and made up, indeed his partner production company in the US have apparently settled their lawsuit with Ms Cole and paid her $1.4 Million compensation for dropping her from the USA version of the show two years ago.

cat singing hilarious

Well that’s about it for now, this time next month it’ll be New Year’s Eve, it’s unbelievable just how fast this year flew by, we’d like to thank each and every one of our loyal clients and customers for all your wonderful support.

On behalf of all the team here at Orchid Jewels, wishing you a very happy and peaceful Christmas.



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Top Stories to hit the News Stands October 2013

halloween happy pumpkinWell now my little pixie pumpkins, can you believe it ’tis the eve of Halloween and not a banshee nor a ghost washed in the house. And with just under 55 days to Christmas it is of little of no surprise to see all the TV and Radio Santa adverts dusted off, polished up and on the air again. Yes indeed, from this week onwards the ‘Xmas’ ads will be shoved in your faces at every turn, no escaping  it. Although it’s not all doom and gloom, it’s a great time for retailers to pick up a few bob. However, it also gives the already extremely rich & thick celebrity an excuse to pump up their over inflated obscene bank accounts, as we see endless autobiographies, CD’s, albums, films, books, perfumes hit our shops and screens,  not that we begrudge them.  This blogger simply asks, that in view of the dire political and economic state of this Land of Ire and rage – instead of contributing to the coffers of the already hideously rich, you might consider purchasing from lesser known outlets, artistes, craft makers, and shops.

two penguinsThe Christmas message for the citizens of ireland this year is to Shop Local, help generate much needed jobs, in light of the recent brutal budget we truly need to address our ever increasing ‘poor’ population.  With that,  lets take a look at some of the stories that hit the news stands this month. Well there was the Budget we didn’t ask for, a referendum we couldn’t afford and a government who could care less, why? Because they wouldn’t know the meaning of the word Austerity, even if they were smacked in the back of the head by a penguin on ice. That’s exactly what the budget feels like for 90% of Irish citizens whose lives now lay face down in the chilling ice. The other 10% which includes bankers, accountants, politicians and civil servants are evidently living in the lap of luxury – they didn’t feel a thing?  What else, well Love Hate returned with a vengeance, The Beckhams moved house again, oh and…..


edele lynchIn fairness TV3’s Celebrity Apprentice was TV gold,  the B*Witched star beat Amanda Brunker in a closely contested finale of the TV3 series, with Caroline Downey (MCD) awarding Lynch the title after her team’s renovation challenge in a Down Syndrome Ireland Latch On educational centre, using items sourced from   Lynch raised €45,000 for her charity, the Laura Lynn House, over the course of the six week competition. It will support two families’ respite care for an entire year. “It’s great to hand that money over and actually see what it will go to and how it can help a family in such a huge way like that, especially with the state of the country at the moment,” Lynch said. She was toasted at the official wrap party in Dublin’s 37 Dawson Street which saw Caroline Downey and her advisors, John McGuire and Liz ODonnell, as well as several of the contestants turn out to congratulate her. Asked if she would participate in another reality competition, Lynch admitted she would love to be on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.

amanda brunkerNevertheless there is no doubt about it that it was a very close race, Brunker who actually won the most tasks across the series, raised over 25K for her own charity St Michaels House. Amanda was the hook of this show, she was absolutely hilarious and gave us some great entertainment.  If you missed the series –  it’s well worth a catch-up via the TV3 player.

caroline downey and contests


Photo by Jeanloup SieffDimensions du scan 1165x1170150pp MIA AND FRANK

Mia Farrow (born Maria de Lourdes Villiers Farrow; February 9, 1945) is an American actress, humanitarian, and former fashion model. Farrow first gained wide acclaim for her role as Allison MacKenzie in the television soap opera Peyton Place and gained further recognition for her subsequent short-lived marriage to Frank Sinatra. An early film role, as Rosemary in Roman Polanski‘s Rosemary’s Baby(1968), saw her nominated for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for Best Actress.

She went on to appear in films such as John and Mary (1969), Follow Me! (1972), The Great Gatsby(1974) and Death on the Nile (1978).  


Farrow dated actor-director Woody Allen from 1980 to 1992 and appeared in twelve of his thirteen films over that period, most notably Zelig (1983), Broadway Danny Rose (1984),The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Radio Days (1987), Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), Alice (1990) and Husbands and Wives (1992). Her more recent film roles include Widows’ Peak (1994), The Omen (2006), Be Kind Rewind(2008), Dark Horse (2011) and Luc Besson‘s Arthur series (2006–2010).

SO WHO’S THE DAD Eh? Answers on a postcard.

ronan farrow and frank gifMeanwhile quite a startling revelation in the Mia Farrow story cropped up a few hours ago in Mia Farrow disclosed in a recent interview with Vanity Fair that she doesn’t know for sure whether the father of her 25-year-old son Ronan, shortly headed to MSNBC, is Woody Allen or Frank Sinatra. Ronan, to his credit, had a sense of humor about the ensuing media kerfuffle.

ronan farrow and woody gif

Ronan Farrow a former Obama administration foreign policy adviser has been confirmed as the host of his own weekday program on MSNBC today – and called the recent headlines about his paternity ‘an annoyance’


Farrow has appeared in more than 50 films and won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe award, received seven additional Golden Globe nominations, three BAFTA nominations and a best actress award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.[1]Farrow is also known for her extensive humanitarian work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She is involved in humanitarian activities in DarfurChad, and the Central African Republic. In 2008, Time magazine named her one of the most influential people in the world. For more on this inspirational woman see here


boyzone STEPHENIt’s difficult to believe that four years ago this month (10th October) we lost the wonderfully adorable Stephen Gately.  And even harder to believe that Boyzone debuted on the Late Late show with that famous crazy dancing 20 years ago. Rumour has it that Stephen Gately’s estate has refused permission to use his image and voice in the BZ20 tour. Indeed, preparations for their 18-date arena tour have been overshadowed by a very public Twitter spat between Stephen Gately’s brother, Anthony, and widower, Andrew Cowles, with either side accusing the other of blocking permission to use Stephen’s images and voice in the show. When stories broke alleging that Cowles was the one who refused permission for the late Stephen’s inclusion in the celebrations, he took to Twitter to deny the claims and point the finger of responsibility at Stephen’s family.

Boyzone late late “There’s ABSOLUTELY NO TRUTH in that story! I’m happy for BZ to use Steo in the show. The estate is waiting for his family to agree terms. x,” wrote Cowles, later adding that he was keen to see Gately included in the tour. However, Stephen’s brother Anthony reacted angrily to Cowles’ assertions, tweeting, “Stephen would cut you off before his family he told us that, remember you only knew him 6 yrs #bloodthicker”. The argumentative tone continued on between the pair, shedding some light on their evidently strained relations, with Cowles warning Gately to “be very careful what dirty laundry you air in public. Your family has PLENTY of its own. I don’t talk about that publicly.”

Boyzone 4 pieceBoyzone member Shane Lynch was solemn as he admitted that, despite how much he and his band mates want Stephen to feature in the celebrations, it is looking less likely than ever. “Even though he was part of Boyzone, I don’t know to what extent we can involve him in the show,” Shane told The Sun newspaper.


Michelle-keegan- tina in corrieStunning actress Michelle Keegan won’t be returning to Coronation Street, as the soaps producers have decided to kill off her character Tina, in a bid to get maximum ratings. The soap babe decided to leave Corrie last April and her final scenes will be aired in May. Most soap actors hope the door will be left open so they can return but it is believed producers spent weeks deliberating over her exit. According to The Sun ‘They’ve (show bosses) been weighing up whether to kill Tina off and now believe it’s the way to get maximum ratings,’ a source told The Sun. It will set up a cliff-hanger leaving viewers guessing who killed her. But Michelle’s fans will be devastated as it means Tina will never be able to return.’ The talented actress is looking forward to trying new roles. ‘I have had the most amazing six years at Coronation Street and it was such a difficult decision to leave,’ Keegan said in a statement at the time. ‘But I felt it was the right time for me to make the next step in my career. ‘I will miss Tina and will always be grateful to ITV and Coronation Street for giving me such an amazing role to play for my first ever acting job,’ she added. ‘I am very excited about what the coming months hold for Tina and what the future has in store for me.



BECKS country pile

Choosing to ‘downscale’ to a four-storey London townhouse worth £45m they clearly need to make some room and pack off and away some of their unwanted treasures! The retired international sports star and his pop star come fashion designer wife now plan to sell many of their current possessions by means of a charity auction held at their famously dubbed 12-acre estate‘Beckingham Palace’  in Hertfordshire before they move.  According to a source for the Daily Mirror Newspaper; “After deciding to sell Beckingham Palace, David and Victoria realised there was no way they could fit all their belongings into one, smaller pad.  A 20 Million South London mews?


beckham new london home rear“They have shipped a few treasured items to California and given some things to their families but there is still loads left. Victoria had the brilliant idea to sell it off for charity and now wants to host a massive auction at ‘Beckingham Palace’. “The house has been the scene of many fund-raising dos – the World Cup party, her ‘full length & fabulous’ ball, children’s tea parties and so forth – so why not host a farewell auction there too? There will be some amazing stuff for sale so she hopes to raise thousands.” Some of the household treats the a-list soccer star and spice girl are selling off are to include kitchen items, household appliances, designer clothing as well as their famous gold wedding thrones, which famously featured at their 1999 wedding ceremony in Ireland.


becks new london home interiorApparently “Victoria loves the location of the new home, particularly as it’s close to her work studio, and for its close proximity to some of London’s best shops,” a source told the Sunday Mirror. “But the last thing they expected was to be experiencing shakes from Tube trains going underneath the home. It seems the very busy Circle Line runs directly under some of the property and in particular under the kitchen.” If things get too wobbly though, they can always retreat to their £18 million country pad, Beckingham Palace. Or their Chateau in the south of France. Or one of their homes in Beverly Hills. Or their property in Dubai.  Check out all the latest News, Sport & Celeb gossip at


blog compo october giveawayIt could not be easier… celebrating our brand new Orchid Jewels website all you have to do is to go to our Facebook page .. click like… share it and be in with a chance to win this stunning piece from our latest collection. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter too… retweets count!

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The U2 front man was on stage with a number of delegates at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York waiting for the former US president to arrive.  Sensing that Mr. Clinton was slightly delayed, Bono quickly jumped into his seat and began to show off his American drawl. Pretending to be the former president, Bono described how he “thought (Bono) was one his roadies” when they had first met in the White House and commented how he “felt like the rock star on that occasion.” The delighted audience watched as the singer then began to list their humanitarian achievements, including work with the Drop the Debt initiative and the Aids Foundation. Eventually Mr. Clinton arrived on stage, prompting Bono to leap back to his own seat after handing him the microphone. An amused Clinton commented: “I must be really easy to make fun of.”


You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour.

You have 2 cows
The State takes both and gives you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other and then throws the milk away.

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, and then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.
The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.

You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has died.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

You have two cows, but you do not know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

You have 5,000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment and high bovine productivity.

You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

You have two cows.
Both are mad.

Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
Nobody believes you, so they bomb the crap out of you and invade your country.
You still have no cows but at least you are now a Democracy.

You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

You have two cows.
The one on the left looks very attractive.

You have two cows borrowed from French and German banks.
You eat both of them.
The banks call to collect their milk, but you cannot deliver so you call the IMF.
The IMF loans you two cows.
You eat both of them.
The banks and the IMF call to collect their cows/milk.
You are out getting a haircut.

You have two cows
One of them is a horse


And on that ‘pound’ note my dear friends, we’ll leave you and love until next month,  if you are struggling with the dreaded Christmas present list, why not check out our fantastic bargains in our online Jewellery shop or you can go to our client list to see where our Jewellery is stocked nationwide. You can always contact me directly via private message on Facebook or indeed here on the website, I’d be delighted to hear from you.


Martina & All the Team.

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