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Understanding the Irish abroad


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(Photo:vintage prom dresses)

You can’t beat a good wedding. And as I’ve just discovered, a good wedding abroad is even better.

The location was Estepona in south east Spain. The bride is a close friend and work colleague of Mrs H. And thanks to an unusual run of good behaviour on my part I was chosen to fill the ‘plus one’ spot on the invitation.

It’s 28 years since we were last in that sun-kissed part of the world. Our eldest was just three months and we were desperate for a short winter break.

On that occasion we hired a car and I was reminded of the challenging drive from Malaga to Marbella when we were held up by a nasty accident involving a motorbike.

The biker was lying prostrate on the ground and was being bagged by paramedics. It’s a two-lane motorway but with quite sharp bends — not helped by routine speeds of 140kph in an 80kph zone.

We checked in to our hotel where the receptionist was pleased to tell us he had spent a year living in Bray, Co Wicklow some years back. However, when I spoke to him in my best Wicklow accent, he didn’t understand a word, so I have my doubts. Maybe it was my west Wickla twang…

The wall-to-wall sunshine that greeted us on arrival was even more intense on the day of the wedding. It was 31 degrees by mid-afternoon when many of the guests assembled in a small coastal village where a bus was to bring us to the church.

Fashionably late

But the bus never showed up and so knots of bib and tuckered wedding guests sought out pockets of shade; and the delay turned into a fantastic ice-breaker as we got to know each other. Myself and another guest quickly discovered a shared love of practical jokes and we happily shared our best stories of success and near disaster.

The groomsmen earned their crust organising a fleet of taxis to get us to the church about 30 minutes late. Any plans by the bride to be fashionably late were scuppered, but she didn’t seem to mind.

After a lovely ceremony we emerged into the incredible heat to find a couple of buses sitting in the shade of some trees ready to bring us into the mountains to the reception at one of the more established golf complexes on the Costa. On arrival, plates upon plates of tapas emerged from the kitchens and the wine flowed as everyone relaxed during the photographic interlude when the bride, groom and their families recorded the day for posterity.

The sun was beginning to dim when we sat down to the wedding meal in a beautiful flag-stoned courtyard. What an incredibly romantic setting. Our table was mainly populated by medics and solicitors and included a relative of our esteemed former President, Mary Robinson.

As many of you know, her father, Dr Bourke, was a GP in Ballina for many years and very much of the old school. I cannot do justice to the superb raconteuring skills of our fellow wedding guest, but his story about an American holiday undertaken by Dr Bourke and his family is worth retelling.

A citation

Driving a hired car, and with his family navigating, Dr Bourke acted on an instruction to turn left rather abruptly and shot across a four-lane highway. Relief at having survived the manoeuvre did not last long as his passengers heard the siren of a motorcycle policeman behind them. The indefatigable doctor rolled down his window and asked the officer how could he be of assistance. “I have no option but to issue you with a citation,” he drawled. “What is your name and where are you from?”

“I am Dr Bourke from the county of Mayo in Ireland. A citation — that’s very kind of you,” he replied. “And who are you, sir, and where are you from?” the unruffled doctor asked. His American accent beginning to falter, the police officer said he too hailed from Co Mayo, from where his parents had emigrated when he was a child. Dr Bourke then asked if his parents were Patrick and Mary and were they from a particular town land outside Ballina?

When the policeman said yes, Dr Bourke looked him in the eye and said: “I looked after your mother in labour and brought you into this world.” At which point the officer put away his notebook.

That evening of superb food and great company under a moonlit sky was nothing short of magical. You really can’t beat a good Irish wedding.Read more at:mermaid prom dresses


11:09 Publié dans Fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Designer Barbara Bates Gives Back, Inspires Teens With Tour Of Shop


Fashion designer Barbara Bates has dressed some of the most influential athletes and entertainers over the years.

Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Harvey and Whitney Houston are just a few examples.

Bates, who grew up in West Garfield Park, at Central Park and Jackson, came from “humble beginnings,” she says, so she always makes time to give back.

That’s exactly what she did Friday when she opened her shop at 2031 S. Indiana to a tour for 12 teen girls from Crane Medical Prep, 2245 W. Jackson Blvd. They are participants of the nonprofit Ladies of Virtue, which works with girls ages 9 to 18 from underserved communities on the South and West sides.

Bates shared her story of getting pregnant at 15 and having her son at 16. She discussed the challenges, but stressed to the young women how she sharpened her skills and continued to persevere.

In 1984, while working as a secretary at a local bank, Bates sold clothes during her lunch breaks. Two years later, a client made a $5,000 investment to help her launch her fashion career full time. She started out with a team of two to sew her designs, and in 1988 she opened a 700-square-foot showroom. This year marks 31 years in business.

If the girls remember nothing else from her talk, Bates said she hoped they got one message:

“That adversities can turn into positive things, and it’s not just a saying. I’ve showed them I had adversity in my life,” she said.

She’s also an eight-year breast cancer survivor. She launched the Barbara Bates Foundation in 1999 to help support and inspire inner-city high school students. Her charity has since expanded its mission to include breast cancer education and awareness.

MarShayla Funderburg, 18, said she was inspired by Bates' story.

“It makes me believe I can do anything,” she said. “There are people out here who been through way worse situations than I have, and they [made] it so I know I can make it.”

Kamissa Didibe, 15, said she’s more interested in a fashion designing career now. She was also touched by Bates' story, she said, because most people think that teen mothers don’t do anything with their lives.

“But she actually showed that she [had] a child when she was young ... and did something with her life in the end,” Didibe said.

Jamila Trimuel, founder and executive director of Ladies of Virtue, started the organization in 2009. She said that this trip for her girls was about much more than fashion and entrepreneurship.

“It’s also about overcoming obstacles, overcoming anything that may stand in their way,” she said, adding that by Bates coming from a similar background, they may feel more empowered to succeed in life.Read more at:purple prom dresses | orange prom dresses


10:50 Publié dans Fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


What Happened to Gretchen Rossi


Known as one of the blond bombshells of the Reality TV world, Gretchen Rossi would become an icon of the show The Real House Wives of Orange County. While occasionally doling out emotional details of her past, but keeping plenty secret, her secrets and 4 seasons of appearances captivated the audience for years. But it’s been quite a while since she’s been in the spotlight and many wonder what Gretchen Rossi has been up to these past few years. Here, we take a look back at her life as well as see what Rossi has been up to in 2017.

The Early Years and Real House Wives of Orange County

While Rossi has kept most of her past close to the chest, there are a few things we know about her from her days before reality television. She was born on October 30, 1978 in the state of Michigan, and grew up primarily within the town of La Cresenta, California. She then ended up getting a Psychology degree at Baylor University in Waco, Texas and then tried her hand at the real estate business well before the economic downturn of 2008. During this time she would meet her first fiancé, who would end up dying of Leukemia, causing her to regularly work alongside organizations that help fund research against the disease. It is rumored to this day she is still in close contact with the children of her late fiancé.

After this event, she would find herself in the whirlwind of reality television, being picked up by the Bravo! Real Housewives series, this time set in Orange County, California. Appearing in the 4th through 8th seasons of the program, she would quickly make an impact with personalities and fans alike. Somewhat entertaining is the fact that during her connection with the series, she would end up with a relationship to an ex of another of the shows stars, Slade Smiley, who was recruited to film a show called Date My Ex: Jo and Slade. In this show Slade would help his ex, Jo De La Rosa, get to know new people on televised dates and advise actions thereafter based on what he and friends saw of the guys. While this series only lasted a season, we will soon see that Slade and Gretchen Rossi have lasted much longer so far.

Lord of the Freaks and Smiley

In 2009, not long after being picked up on the Real House Wives of Orange County, Gretchen would also appear on the A-List Awards of 2009. Hosted that year by Kathy Griffin, this show award event has often been called the “Award show for the Who’s Who of nobody”, and had a certain comedic flair about it, with which Gretchen acted gracefully. Outside of this event, she would not be seen outside the reality show for much work until 2015, where she would appear on Lord of the Freaks.

Showing up as herself in this odd chronicle, this was Rossi’s first film appearance, and depending on who you speak to, it was either a film of great artistic merit or of the pure grotesqueness of humanity. Chronicling primarily the stunts either pulled or funded by media mogul and Coca-Cola heir Alki David, the movie depicts some of the darker fringes of what people do for attention, money, or curiousity. This has included Alki paying $1 Million for someone to streak during a speech done by Barack Obama, and a man who got crucified on television. Central to this movie is the asking of why, and very little being explained, except that the world can provide an audience for nearly everything. Rossi herself played a minor and thankfully harmless role in the film, and likely found some content of interest as a result of her previous psychology experience.

In the same year, Rossi was slated to marry Smiley in May. This however, was not to be. Not due to a breakup or any huge relationship issue, but instead due to logistics. It appears that the planning had failed to be in enough advance for friends and family to work schedules around the wedding and yet to have occurred to this day. In the meantime, Slade and Rossi both plan on having a child sometime soon, as they now own a three bedroom house, and Slade went through a “de-snipping” process for her 37th birthday.

What’s Gretchen Rossi Doing Now in 2017 – Recent Updates

In recent years, Gretchen Rossi has had a few ups and downs. While still trying to get pregnant, it has been revealed that the vasectomy process may not have been successful for Slade, and IVF has likewise failed. Likewise, the wedding has yet to take place, partly because of Slade’s previous debts being a deterrent, though this seems to be less the case in recent months.

Another struggle for Rossi is her ex-acquaintance Jay Photoglou and a lawsuit between the two. Rossi has claimed and won in previous cases that Photoglou had stalked and threatened her, as well as cost her a great deal in work as a result of threats and the leaking of nude photos. In the previous lawsuit, Rossi won around $525,000, with Jay quickly filing bankruptcy as a means of not paying it. As one can surmise, Rossi quickly took legal action yet again to get her money. This already complex situation has been compounded by the fact that Rossi’s lawyer, Anerio Altman has filed a request to be relieved from the duties of being her attorney. This has been for multiple reasons, including a claim that Rossi has failed on multiple times to heed instructions, large personal issues between the attorney and client, and no prepayment of legal fees which would otherwise bind Altman. Suspiciously, not long after this motion was filed, it was dropped and reconciliation may have occurred.

Lastly, Gretchen Rossi has had rumors appearing that she may show up in Real House Wives of Orange County’s 12th season. This will likely be far from the guest star status of “Friend” though, as sources indicate that she will only appear in one episode, if that. Appearing at a party for former costar Vicki Gunvalson’s birthday party, it’s unclear if the footage will make it past the cutting floor for the series itself. Fans may have some solace in that Vicki does want Rossi back in the next season of the show, which can allow for more screen time and entertainment from the reality star.Read more at:cheap prom dresses | marieprom


10:39 Publié dans Fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)