Marie Louise McConville: Home Alone star's milestone birthday has left me feeling the passage of time

I was shocked to learn this week that Home Alone star, Macaulay Culkin has turned 40
Marie Louise McConville

Time is a funny old thing.

We live our lives every day, going through the usual routines and then suddenly, in the flash of an eye, a month or a year or a decade has passed and we didn't even notice.

Now that we have reached September, the countdown to Halloween and Christmas is well and truly on.

This week, a conversation with a friend turned my attention to Christmas movies.

My kids love festive films like The Snowman and Arthur Christmas, but are particular fans of the old Disney Christmas cartoons featuring Mickey, Donald and the naughty chipmunks.

However, I would I like to start getting them into Christmas classics like Home Alone, which feels like it just came out yesterday.

So, you can imagine my surprise this week when I learned not only did the movie come out in 1990 - that's 30 years ago folks - but it's baby-faced star, Macaulay Culkin celebrated his 40th birthday last month.

I'm sure I am not the only person that was shocked by this. I just couldn't get over it.

The much-loved child star actually took to Twitter to say: "Hey guys, wanna feel old? I'm 40. You're welcome.

"It's my gift to the world: I make people feel old. I'm no longer a kid, that's my job," he added.

I just couldn't get my head around it.

How did it even happen?

That little blond cutie, who we all felt so sorry for as he hilariously fought off the `Wet Bandits' and saved Christmas, is now 40?

My head has been pickled.

And then it just continued to get worse.

Eighties pop icon Debbie Gibson, who I just loved when I was young because of her cool fashion sense and amazing dance routines, turned 50 this week.

In 1987, when I was just 10-years-old, a teenage Debbie Gibson released `Shake Your Love', and I was just obsessed.

She had the coolest denim jacket in the video and her hair was loosely curled and so bouncy.

In the years that followed, I tried to get my hair to sit the same but never could.

How on earth can that young girl who wore fun waistcoats and hair bands and funky lace gloves be 50?

I have never felt so old.

Of course, let's not forget Sean Connery, who turned 90 - yes 90 - last month.

I have to say, it has all made me realise that time stops for no-one.

Every grain of sand will keep falling no matter who you are, what you are doing or where you are.

I guess we can only take on board what Debbie Gibson said on celebrating her milestone birthday on Monday.

When asked about her younger self, she said: "If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to worry less and enjoy more".

Thanks Debbie.

We'll try and do just that.


The X Factor may not return to our screens next year.

Launched on ITV in 2004, the long-running singing competition was 'rested' this year following a decline in ratings.

Now, ITV's director of television Kevin Lygo has admitted he isn't certain if boss Simon Cowell will bring his show back to screens in 2021 as there are no 'definite' plans in place.

He said: "It's not definitely returning, it might return".

I have to say, I'm glad it's taking a break.

I think it needs a good five years off TV in order to return with a bang.

Take note Mr Cowell.



Autumn is the perfect time to get cosy with a good book, so how do you fancy winning a "provocative and fabulous story"?

How To Play Dead by Jacqueline Ward has been described as a "wildly entertaining and compelling debut" novel as well as akin to "riding a high-speed, super-charged rollercoaster called Revenge".

She's watching over them.

And he's watching her.

Ria Taylor is everything to everyone.

Wife and mother, the centre of her family. And the manager of a refuge for women whose partners have driven them out of their own homes.

But one night, with her husband away, Ria receives a terrifyingly sinister message.

Someone is watching her.

Someone who seems to know everything about her.

She knows what she should do - seek help, just like she tells her clients to.

But Ria is the help.

As events escalate, and terror takes hold, Ria must decide whether to run or hide...

I have five copies of How To Play Dead by to give away to five lucky readers.

If you fancy winning a copy, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below - to

Closing date for entries is 12 noon on Tuesday, September 8, 2020

(Q) Who wrote How To Play Dead?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access