Life

Americans blown away by May McFettridge and her home town

Will Idahoans Ben and Andrea Doyle return to Belfast? Oh yes they will!

LAST week I was delighted to meet two visitors to Belfast as they waited for a tour of the City Hall. Ben and Andrea Doyle come from Coeur d’Alene in Idaho, in the United States, a beautiful tourist city known as 'a little slice of heaven' – so we’d a lot to live up to.

They flew to Boston, Amsterdam, Dublin, Limerick and so to Belfast, intent on seeing the Giant’s Causeway. Time didn’t permit that visit because they loved Belfast and spent their holiday visiting all the highlights we have to offer and, most important of all, sitting in the Grand Opera House watching the pantomime.

Cinderella just blew them away; they loved it and especially May McFettridge – so much so they are coming back later this year for the next pantomime – and the Giant’s Causeway. And this time they will be bringing their three children with them.

“We will tell everyone back home how wonderful Belfast and the people here are and recommending they come and see for themselves.”

Haste ye back.

TAKE NOTE

AFTER last week’s article about children and the internet, I heard about this website which might be of interest to parents and grandparents. I don’t think grandparents are given enough credence and they can give so much support and time to young people.

‘Be Share Aware’ gives a list of situations to view; some are films, some are cartoons, all are constructive and sensitively done. Caught in the Web made by BBC Newsround and voiced by David Tennent; Jig Saw is specifically for eight-to-10-year-olds, and how what is supposed to be a joke selfie goes viral and promotes bullying and sexual abuse. I Saw Your Willy, like most of the others, involves the NSPCC.

SORTING OUT BLUE BADGES

THERE’S been a lot of chat about Blue Badges and the fact that there is a hold-up in renewing existing car permits for people with a disability. I phoned the Department of Infrastructure, which is responsible for this, and talked to a very nice lady there who explained the following.

There is a delay of 12 weeks. But not to worry, those holding these badges will be receiving a reminder a few weeks prior to the expiry date. You should immediately send off your renewal information and you will still be valid for on road parking.

The only problem will come in private parking areas such as hospitals and supermarkets. In this case you should ring ahead and find out if you are valid to park on their property. Apparently it’s up to those in charge whether or not they’ll allow you to park. I suggest asking for an acknowledgement when you reply – and keep that in the window alongside your badge.

AN OVER-RATED ACTRESS?

MERYL Streep really got to Donald Trump when she received her lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes and chastised him for mocking a disabled reporter in one of his speeches.

He tweeted that she was one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood and anyway, he said, he never mocked a disabled reporter. You could almost hear him stamping his foot with rage. There’ll be more of that behaviour to come I imagine.

At 67 years of age, Streep’s sage logic is worth listing to, although a bit harsh. She has said that no longer has patience for certain things not because she’s become arrogant, simply because she has reached a point in her life where she does not want to waste more time with what displeases or hurts her.

“I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me.”

She also has her thoughts on friendship.

“On friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything, I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”

At the awards in Hollywood she said: "Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose."

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association are a savvy bunch who honoured the actress with the Cecil B DeMille Award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.

I somehow think Trump will regret his put-down of Meryl Streep, the acting fraternity and the Press Association.

RETURN TO SENDER

IT MAKES me think of my cousin who was away on a school trip and, as instructed by his parents, sent them a postcard to say he was fine, eating well and behaving himself. He sent it to his home in Holywood but it arrived a week after he returned with the message below the address – 'Try Holywood Co Down' and the postmark was Hollywood LA.

Years ago, when I was sitting in my French class reading the life story of cricketing twins Alex and Eric Bedser, I got into wild trouble when I burst out laughing and Miss Withers came down to my desk and discovered what I was at!

I couldn’t understand why she didn’t think it funny when I explained that the 6’ 3” identical twins were en route for Australia for a test match in Perth. There was consternation when their bags, bats, balls and kit failed to turn up at the team hotel. Transpired it was sitting waiting for them in Perth in Scotland. Not only in supermarkets is labelling important...

So be sure to address your letters clearly with postcode, county and country.

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