Live TV is not the place to air your dirty ‘marriage linen’

My heart went out to actress Alice Evans who publicly broke down on live TV last week while talking to presenter Lorraine Kelly as the pair discussed her recent split from husband and fellow actor Ioan Gruffudd.

According to this devastated wife/mother, she’s now ‘living every woman’s nightmare’. As someone who has gone through a marriage break-up, I can tell you she’s not wrong…divorce is not just traumatic – it’s hell.

As if the split wasn’t bad enough, Gruffudd appeared to confirm he’s (ahem) seeking satisfaction elsewhere by going ‘Instagram-official’, sharing a picture of himself cozying up to actress Bianca Wallace (who?) with the tag ‘Thank you for making me smile again’.

As you can imagine, this proclamation really upset Alice, who, as a mother desperate to keep her family together, revealed her ex’s proclamation “killed my child, because my kid said, ‘Don’t I make him smile?’” How utterly heartbreaking.

I’m not a fan of airing one’s dirty marriage linen in public (warts and all), especially when there are innocent kids involved. There are two sides to every divorce, but it’s my opinion that any man who plays with your emotions, nay gaslights you, by (allegedly) spitefully telling the mother of his babies ‘I don’t love you anymore, I might leave you or I might not leave you’, clearly doesn’t deserve anyone’s tears.

I’m wondering if Gruffudd, who’s known for playing Marvel Comic hero Mr. Fantastic in the Fantastic Four film franchise, is perhaps believing his own press and experiencing some form of God-like complex. What a pity all women aren’t atheists!

Take care of yourself and your darling babies Alice, and for the time being, consider giving those live TV interviews a miss. Exact your revenge by moving on and finding happiness with someone who deserves you. As for Bianca, all I can say is good luck hon – something tells me you’re going to need it.


Thou shalt not kill the apostrophe!

According to reports this week (both in print and on broadcast media), the death of the apostrophe is fast approaching – and I blame social media for its decline. You only have to look at some people’s posts to understand that due to the evolution of the English language and the way we work it, the traditional norms around apostrophe usage have not just changed – they’ve been mangled!

Take, for example, some of those fruit and veg shop owners who irritatingly use up a year’s supply of apostrophes by indiscriminately scattering them with wild abandon into their “apple’s, pear’s and banana’s” ‘for sale’ signs.

I do of course understand that of all the characteristics regarding spelling, grammar and punctuation we were taught in school as students, the use of the apostrophe does seem to pose quite a challenge for some. I tell myself that’s the reason for those exasperating ‘No HGV’s’ signs hanging from poles across the country (including throughout Roscommon), and given their obvious popularity, I have to wonder if there’s some kind of uncontrollable grammatical disease grinding down the quality of our writing?

Mind you, the fact that I get so easily annoyed by the misplaced apostrophe has become something of a family joke. My girls and he-who-has-no-respect-for-the-apostrophe (believing it’s of little importance to his everyday life), dub me ‘the grammar vigilante’.

Let me make it abundantly clear that there are extenuating circumstances when it comes to the misuse of grammar, meaning I’m not targeting people who’re dyslexic, those whose first or second language is not English, or whose learning experiences were negative. Perhaps it’s the OCD-ness in me, but I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I believe that the use of clear and concise syntax is something we should all aspire to when communicating with others through the written word – especially when done in a professional capacity.

I’d never dream of correcting anyone’s spelling and grammar as that would be extremely rude. Nor would I ever judge anyone on their ability to spell a word correctly or construct a sentence using the exact verbs, nouns, and clauses, because that would make me a horribly mean human being. However, let’s be honest, anyone who continuously splits their infinitives or wantonly throws extra words into a sentence where they’re not needed makes me want to have steel spikes jack-hammered up my nostrils! (Only joking).

It’s not just the apostrophe (misplaced or otherwise) that’s in danger…oh no! Other punctuation marks have made the hit list. For example, the ellipsis, the full stop, the comma, the hyphen, and the bracket have also become victims of those who deliberately violate grammatical conventions.

Once again, I’m simply taking a light-hearted look at this subject and I am not ridiculing anyone. However, if you believe an apostrophe was one of the good Lord’s twelve disciples, if you don’t know the difference between ‘it’s’ and ‘its’, or ‘to’, ‘too’, and ‘two’, or if you think the semicolon is just an ordinary colon with an identity crisis, then I’m afraid we can never be friends!


Please support local businesses and charities this festive season

The Christmas lights will be shining bright in Ballyleague this festive season, all thanks to the wonderful volunteers who began the process of putting them up last weekend.

Following what has been a difficult year for everyone, I have to commend those who’ve made this wonderful gesture in Ballyleague, Lanesboro, Roscommon town and in other towns and villages right across the county. By giving unselfishly of your time, you’ve not only brightened up what has been an otherwise bleak year, you’ve also reignited the Christmas spirit in all of us. Thank you.

It is with this season of goodwill in mind that I’d like to take the opportunity (if I may) to ask readers to please shop local this year. It’s not just a handy, reliable, and convenient way for us to purchase our festive fayre – it’s also a lifeline for businesses who rely on us during these challenging times, not forgetting they’re employing our friends, families and neighbours.

Speaking of lifelines, could I ask any animal lovers, and those who love a bargain, to support TNR South Roscommon’s Christmas Sale of Work happening on Sunday, November 28th, in The Angling Centre, Athleague from 11 am to 4 pm. Come along, have a cup of tea and a chat, and grab a bargain or a handmade bespoke gift for a loved one. All proceeds go directly towards helping, feeding and saving the lives of homeless cats in your area.