Radio review: Cheerfully planning the perfect funeral
Where There's a Will, There's a Wake Podcast
All in the Mind Radio 4
Brendan O'Connor RTÉ Radio 1
Actor Kathy Burke has a smoky irreverent cackle that's the ultimate dirty laugh.
She presents the idea of your fantasy funeral with eerie sound effects … the screeching of a night owl, the eternal barking of hounds of hell.
There are only two certainties in life; death and taxes.
So why not plan the perfect funeral?
Enter Burke's good friend Dawn French – “quite marvellous, quite brilliant, little bit of a tw*t”.
It all very cheery after all, as Burke reminds us, every day lived is a day closer to death.
She does that disgustingly throaty dirty laugh again.
“I love you, I love the bones of you,” says French.
"Talking of bones, you're going to be dead soon,” Burke reminds her.
There was mild confusion when French requested Brownies at the funeral.
It turns out she didn't mean squidgy chocolate cake but mini girl guides in uniform.
Meanwhile, All in the Mind took a moment to look at the fashion of dopamine gifting.
Apparently it's a thing to buy bright shiny clothes or holiday in houses in bright colours.
What you wear can gift the observer a dopamine hit.
But Prof Catherine Loveday is having none of it.
Dopamine gifting reduces a really complex human thing to a single word that doesn't even properly represent it, she said. I wouldn't argue.
Nor would I argue with the expert on RTE – psychotherapist Richard Hogan was chatting to Brendan O'Connor about managing Christmas.
The question “How did you get over Christmas?” is a telling one.
For some people, January brings a true sense of relief.
He had a few tips for how to get through – the Elvis in the mirror tip – where you gee yourself up for the family occasion.
It's about where you came in your family – about being put back into that role that was once assigned to you.
It's important to ask: “Am I looking for slights? Am I listening out for offence?” he said.
Step away; walk away; stop scraping the scab of when you were five years old.
Most importantly, remember that research suggests 5pm on Christmas Day is the most problematic time – just as you relax, a row might blow up.
Best to retreat to the nearest sofa with a box of Roses and a glass of vino… make the world go away.