Angelina is not living in a purgatory like most broken and bruised wives

Collecting divorce papers as rapidly as she collects kids – how many offspring does she have now…60? Oh sorry, 6 – eccentric actress Angelina Jolie has reportedly cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ as her reason to dump Brad Pitt!   

  Now, while many are gloating that karma has visited Jolie – given she’d ‘stolen’ Brad from Jennifer Anniston and ‘snatched’ former husband Billy Bob Thornton from fiancée Laura Dern – let me suggest that she is not Karma’s victim living in a purgatory of flatline emotions.

  You see, looking past those pointless tattoos that required changing every time she snared a new man and adopted another kid, (that family must look like an ad for the United Colours of Benetton), her bizarre necklace containing a vial of blood and her hokey-kokey leg at the Oscars…you stick your right leg in, your right leg out…Jolie’s no fool and, even as it took guts to admit her relationship to America’s sweetheart Pitt was no longer working and needed to be terminated, I believe that by using the incendiary wording ‘for the health of her family,’ as her reason, Jolie is possibly now coming across as some broken and bruised relict…painting Pitt as a bad father…which I’m sure he’s not! Nor do I think she’s a victim of domestic violence; rather she’s someone who wanted out and decided to pull the plug in the most painful way possible, i.e. in the full glare of a public media firestorm. 

  You see folks, there comes a time in some relationships where one partner reaches breaking point, and, even though they’ve emotionally and financially invested decades in their family, and in some cases may still love their partner, they know that making the traumatic decision to save their own lives and stability often means fleeing the home they’ve created. This is what happens in the real world…in our world.

  And, while it’s interesting that the National Centre for Health Statistics (USA) has found it’s usually the woman in a relationship who files for divorce, it’s my opinion that sadly, (in the real world), it’s also usually the woman who’s demonised for putting an end to her misery; it’s usually the woman who’s left friendless; exiled from the very family she once cherished, maintained and protected, finding herself penniless and on the brink of destitution. This will never be the case for Jolie and her rainbow crew; they’ve got enough financial stability.

  However, it’s very often the case for brave Irish women. That’s women who’re under the radar, women who merely exist rather than thrive following their decision to exit an abusive relationship because, put quite simply, unlike Jolie whose life will not go up in flames, often an Irish woman’s decision to leave an unhealthy relationship can mean jumping into a safety net full of big, gaping holes!

  Perhaps that’s why, according to statistics, a woman will ‘endure 35 assaults before she makes her first complaint,’ leading me to rationalise that perhaps the reason some put up with so much abuse, both physical and mental, is due to constantly searching for reasons to stay…He’s just over-protective…He’s got a temper, I shouldn’t provoke him…He’s had a bad day at work…He’s had a drink, he doesn’t mean it…The list is endless; but the cold hard facts are, this abuser is just a diabolical, contemptuous, jumped up, snivelling, insecure, weak little coward hell-bent on destroying you! The longer those who’re abused evade the truth, sadly, the easier it is for their abusers to continue to mentally and physically violate them and the easier it is for our government to vow to help these long-suffering souls with one breath; effectively abandoning them by lacerating vital funding and resources that would save them, with the next.

  We all have arguments and conflictions with those we love; the Jolie-Pitts are no different, and, while celebrity website reports that ‘Pitt is accused of getting verbally abusive with one of the couple’s kids,’ as a reason for the split; and those who have kids will understand it’s  normal to say things you regret, even screaming like a mad yoke, because kids, especially gobby teens can drive you mad, it confirms what we all know; there is no such thing as anxiety-free parenting; even when you’re the type of parent who allows your kids draw all over your wedding dress…I mean, what did that tell ya readers? It told me a lot about the family dynamics here, that perhaps Angie didn’t value the symbolism of the gown or the marriage as much as she valued her time in the media spotlight. 

What I thought of Gogglebox Ireland

As someone who loves to people-watch I have to say tuning into TV3’s Gogglebox Ireland was about as much craic as, well, being held hostage in a room with boring, irritating nonentities. I mean, when I was asked to get involved with this viewing concept a couple of months ago, as in, on the production end, and not as one of the bell-ends chillaxing in pristine houses, dolled up to the nines… not lounging in their faded jammies like normal people, but instead propped in front of state-of-the-art TV sets, not a dog hair in sight, I said er, no thanks.

  You see, the world doesn’t need another reality show where people sit on their armchairs in front of d’telly watching other people, desperate to feign interesting personalities, sit on their armchairs in front of d’telly. I mean even as the talented Deirdre O’Kane, who narrated last week’s muck, introduced “Paul and Paul from Youghal,” it was clear she struggled to hide the fact she couldn’t quite believe her career had sunk to this; sure I could almost hear her making a mental note to sack her agent. 

  And while my first reaction to this ‘entertainment show’ is that while the people who appear on Gogglebox Ireland are most likely nice decent folk, the blunt truth is, they are most certainly not enthralling, nor are they riveting.

At last, Ireland is waking up to this innovative Baby Box concept!

Well done to Tipperary mum-to-be, Karen Smith, (pictured below with Dr John Slevin, Consultant Obstetrician and Colette Cowan, CEO, UL Hospitals Group),  for her innovative, artistic and beautiful Baby Box butterfly design theme; it’s stunning. Aimed at reducing sudden infant deaths, the Baby Box, a Scandinavian concept, was launched by a proactive University Maternity Hospital Limerick who, last week, provided these colourful little boxes free to parents of newborns.

  Apparently all Finnish mothers have been presented with a Baby Box starter kit by their government for the past 75 years with the idea being the device prevents babies from rolling over onto their tummies, a position which experts now believe can contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). 

  As Ireland’s infant mortality rate is 3.7 per 1,000 births, I think this is a wonderful initiative which should be rolled out countrywide as a matter of urgency. Well done to all involved.