most influential person

The question was: who is the most influential person in your life and why?

Most people chose one, other or both parents or their wife/husband/partner, except for these memorable exceptions.

Annette Doyle: Diana Ross – great hair, great figure (well, she had), great tan, big hair and rich!

Ashling Doyle – he was the first – like me!

Connor Doyle – Orlando because he is a Jedi Knight

favourite memory

As many of you have not met each other, I thought it might be entertaining for you to see how others view me. Here is how you all remember me:

Pat Scullion: Coming back to Dublin after a year-log break very skinny and very tanned

Aly Sharpe: Traditional Irish dancing at her going away drinks (note from Mairead: I don’t remember this – must have been drink taken)

Katharine Haines: bunking off one Friday and having manicures and wine

Nick Lawrance: an afternoon taking in lovely food, great wine, a gay bar and a record shop

Annette Doyle: walking through arrivals at Dublin Airport from anywhere in the world

Suzanne Parsons: going to San Fransicso with her after three days’ notice and all the fun we had

Eileen Kershaw: too many to mention – maybe matching shirts in Salthill? Red dress with white fur trim at Christmas?

My mum: friends and her doing homework in the kitchen

Bernard Doyle: bringing her to the library every Saturday on the crossbar of my bike when she was little

Ashling Doyle: when we went shopping together

Connor Doyle: the last time she was home in Ireland

Fiona Jordan: sitting with me in Pizza Express in Clapham, with a glass of red wine putting the world to rights

Kelvin Kershaw: telling stories from her sea scout days

Paul Curran: proving that I am an infinitely long solenoid at the back of a Maths Physics tutorial in first year

Kris Ward: the summer she spent with Mick and I – Mick was gone for most of it for work, and it was just the two of us

Joe Dalton: yellow jeans and cog notes

Brian Costello: slinky woollen dress! …No really I’d better be serious!…Showing off with her first job, company car and pad near Leicester. So enthusiastic in those days!

Mena Doyle: sancing on the counter of a tapas bar to show off her new birthday shoes

Carmel Bennett: helping me put on a sari

Sam Evans: at her best at the Slow Food Festival

Amanda Evans: doing the Irish jig at her Bollywood 40th

Orlando Gibson: Mairead relaxing in a beach resort in Cuba

three words

Well, this was a very interesting exercise. I took all the words you used to describe me and pulled them together into a list. Here it is – I am flattered! Above all, thanks to all of you for not listing the word LOUD.

Adventurous
Ballyfermot
Bindi x 4 (although to be fair, Joe Dalton used the word three times)
Caring x 2
Clever
Confident
Considerate
Cool
Courageous
Dark
Effervescent
Elegant
Enthusiastic
Extrovert
Fearless
Flamboyant
Food
Friendly
Fun x 3
Funny
Generous
Happy
Intelligent x 2
Intrepid
Kenneth Healy (only Pat Scullion could come up with this…)
Kind x 3
Laughing/Laughter x 2
Little dark curly head (thanks Mummum)
Loving
Loyal x 5
Organised
Outgoing
Peaceful
Red wine sandwich (WHAT?)
Reliable
Scouts
Slinky woollen dress (thanks Cos)
Smart
Smiling
Talkative x 2
Tall
Thoughtful x 2
Upbeat
Vibrant
Welcoming

Wise

mummum’s answers

Name:
Mummum

Star sign:
Libra

I live in:
Dublin Ireland

I work as:
mother at home

How I know Mairead:
mother  

Three words that come to mind when I think of her:
little dark curly head

My favorite memory of her is:
friends and her doing homework in kitchen

One thing she should be proud of:
getting a degree in U.C.D.

Most influential person in my life and why:
my husband

Three words that best describe me:
energetic, young, beautiful

My happiest memory:
my husband

My biggest fear:
turning 50

One thing I wish I had done yesterday:
kept Mairead in Ireland !!

I love:
my Sunday tea

I hate:
watching daytime TV

The dream I’d most like to have come true:
to have all my children be happy

If I won a million dollars I would:
give all my children a share

A turning point of my life was:
getting married

Naughtiest thing I’ve ever done:
now, now !!

One thing I’m proud of:
my house

 

MY FAVORITE:

Song:
anything by george michael

Book:
what’s that ?

Magazine:
womens own

Band/Artist:
Jack Jones

Actor:
Harrison Ford

Drink:
Sherry

Animal:
pussy cat

Food:
corned beef and cabbage

Restaurant:
Joels

Film:
nice story

Sport:
Soccer

Shop:
Roche’s Stores

Clothes:
dresses

Shoes:
high heels

Colour:
red

Car:
big

Expression:
very nice always

Emotion:
sometimes

Hobby:
playing bowls

Lie:
I never tell lies

Childhood Toy:
doll in shoe box

Thing about Sunday:
carvey in City West (a posh golf club)

TV Show:
Quiz shows

mairead’s answers

Name:
Mairead

Star sign:
Scorpio

I live in:
Footscray, Melbourne

I work as:
project manager

How I know Mairead:
I am she  

Three words that come to mind when I think of her:
talkative drama queen
Most influential person in my life and why:
Orlando for teaching me how to be true to myself

My happiest memory:
walking along Candolim beach in Goa by the water’s edge in the morning before the crowds

My biggest fear:
Something terrible happening to Orlando

One thing I wish I had done yesterday:
worn nicer shoes

I love:
good food, good wine, new places, the sound of the ocean

I hate:
bad grammar, stupid or ignorant people, having to exercise

The dream I’d most like to have come true:
being able to pop back to Europe for the weekend anytime I want

If I won a million dollars I would:
squander 20%, invest 40% and spend the rest travelling the world

A turning point of my life was:
travelling around the world in 1998/99

Naughtiest thing I’ve ever done:
using an ex-boyfriend’s credit card to send flowers and a marriage proposal on hs behalf to “the other woman”

One thing I’m proud of:
my feet
 

MY FAVORITE:

Song:
Whenever Wherever Whatever by Maxwell

Book:
Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

Magazine:
The New Yorker

Band/Artist:
Prince

Actor:
Denzel – no, George – no, Wesley

Drink:
red wine

Animal:
cat

Food:
dinner

Restaurant:
Club 21 Shack, Goa

Film:
Blade/Blade 2 (mmm… Wesley)

Sport:
basketball

Shop:
Dunnes Stores

Clothes:
linen

Shoes:
spangly flip flops

Colour:
tangerine

Car:
black Toyota Prius

Expression:
Bollocks

Emotion:
exhiliration

Hobby:
food

Lie:
these shoes aren’t new

Childhood Toy:
Tressy dolls (like Barbie dolls)

Thing about Sunday:
lounging at home with Orlando

TV Show:
West Wing

my (40th) birthday book

Eileen, my oldest friend, gave me a special book as part of my 40th birthday present. It was a Friends Book, and she had written to all my friends and family all over the world asking them lots of personal questions, which she then filled in and gave to me as a keepsake.

The answers were hugely entertaining and often very illuminating. I have learned a few things about people I have known for years!

I have reproduced here a selection of the most entertaining answers for you, plus my own responses to the same questions.

I have also included my mum’s answers as they were the most entertaining and illuminating all-round responses!

Thanks so much to all of you who sent in your contributions. It really was one of my favourite presents ever.

bollywood movie stars party

It was the party of the year (well, in my diary it was the only party in the year). A Bollywood Movie Stars bash to celebrate my 40th birthday: it doesn’t get any better than this.

Twenty or so of my family and closest friends gathered on 4th November dressed in what can only be described as Bollywood-tastic outfits to dance the night away.

Eileen and Kelvin won the Most Fabulous Outfits award with their stunning outfits from Little India in Dandenong.

My family made a great effort too: Lee looked sophisticated and graceful in a black and silver sari, and Mena had more Bollywood Bling than the rest of us put together.

Orlando looked rugged and handsome in his all-black kurta pajama, and has made such a fuss of me throughout all my birthday celebrations. He is a superstar.

Photo Gallery

Other highlights of the evening included:

Paul Curran as a Bollywood Bad Guy, complete with maximum eyeliner, dark glasses and shark’s tooth medallion

Damien’s Derby Day extreme facial sunburn including a rather fetching white band where his sunglasses had been (it turns out some people thought he’d made himself up to look like that)

The Irish contingent doing the entire (it seemed) Riverdance, then Mena and Mairead’s solo reel, finished by Mena, Mairead, Eileen and Carmel in full Indian regalia doing a full set of the Walls of Limerick

Mena leading the soca dancing into the wee hours (“Follow me – I’m the leader of the parade!”) (“This is the music of my soul!”)

Sam’s amazing bum-wiggling dance which reduced all women present to tears

Sam and Paul’s talented dance interpretation of the song “A-E-I-O-U” by Freeez: popular consensus is that Paul’s “E” was particularly impressive and rendered all audience members helpless with laughter

The main conversation in the back yard about which song you want played as the last song at your funeral (and if you didn’t make a choice it was going to be November Rain by Guns N Roses)

Kelvin dancing, full stop

Kelvin almost being tempted to sip some rum instead of red wine

Mena at 5am having a smoke: “I am the oldest one here, the birds are singing and I am the last one partying”

Mena about the Irish dancing – “You are all doing it wrong, here let me show you”

Eileen about the Irish dancing – “You are all doing it wrong, here let me show you”

Lee talking to Orlando – “Now let me guess which food you put out: the cake and the popcorn”

Lee – “The thing I like about this sari is that I can breathe out and it hides my belly”

Carmel – “The thing I like about this sari is that I can breathe out and it hides my belly”

Orlando – “I am going over there to act as a buffer between Sam and the TV”

Paul’s AEIOU – ” I am not happy with my ‘E’ I have to rethink this”

Sam about raising children “I have a secret weapon, it is called music”

Mairead talking about cooking for the party – “…So I said to myself, I will show him, I will make the Tandoori chicken red…”

Paul takes off his sunglasses “I thought it was a bit dark in here, and I could not work it out…”

Sam dancing with Carmel – “Grab me from behind”

Paul talks to Orlando about dancing with Sam’s wife -“I don’t think it is your hands that he is worried about”

Orlando teaching Sam and Amanda soca – “Get in closer, don’t be shy, you are married”

Mena (a number of times in the evening) – “I’m back!!!”

Mena (a number of times in the evening) – “Why is it that every time I go to the toilet, all I can hear is people calling ‘Where’s Mena?'”

The delicious food that everybody brought

Mairead and Eileen trying to do their much-awaited Party Piece, drunk, unprepared, and with at least one Achilles tendon injury; but their smiles never faltered: divas to the last

Paul and Carmel vainly trying to teach Sam and Amanda to twirl properly like Irish dancers

Thanks to all my friends for making such a huge effort on the night. Nobody knew more than one or two other people but you’d never have known it – the noise of the conversation was deafening and the dancing spirited to say the least. Thanks for all my beautiful cards and gifts too – it was the most special birthday for me and I am delighted you could share it!