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Friday 9 December 2016

Colette Fitzpatrick: Gossip, tears, sex and ageing? Must be another Sex And The City movie then

Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker
Michael Noonan
'Lap gate' in the Dail

She's pretty much confirmed it, then. Sarah Jessica Parker seems to have let the feline out of the proverbial - Sex And The City 3 is coming to a cinema near you.

She posted a picture on Instagram holding a Bloomingdale's bag (Carrie was a big fan of the store) with the words: "Well. I guess the cat's out of the (little brown) bag.

"As usual, we will keep you posted on every detail as we are able. I'm under strict gag order until then. Xx, SJ"

Cue critics groaning, straight men rolling their eyes and gay men and women clinking cocktail glasses and planning their outfit for the film's release. You see, the skinny, glamorous women of SATC, as unrealistic and as far away from most of our lives as can be, articulated our thoughts for years in the noughties.

The series was most definitely shorthand for the importance of female friendships. It gave us permission to view laughter, gossip, tears, talking about sex, boyfriends, embarrassing bodily functions and ageing as important. (Remember Samantha declaring: "I'm forty f**king five and proud of it?")

We identified with the characters because they made mistakes. Take the episode where Carrie realises she has spent $40,000 on shoes but can't afford the deposit for a new flat. "I'm literally the old woman who lived in a shoe!"

They had fun with fashion. They liked sex. They fought with each and disagreed a lot. But they got over their arguments.

On the downside, SATC was sometimes a slap in the face for feminism. Carrie was often completely stupid - she couldn't understand how a bank account worked and was completely tech illiterate.

The characters too, sometimes felt self-absorbed and narcissistic. The show was an orgy of consumerism (Carrie said she starved herself to pay for her copy of Vogue).

The girls are often helpless (Carrie cries when she loses a necklace). The happiest character, Charlotte, is by far the most conventional, with a rich husband, children and no job.

The worst thing about SATC was that Carrie spent the entire series addicted to an emotionally unavailable man. It felt like emotional warfare as opposed to a tortured romance.

After being treated like dirt by Mr Big, she did the same to Aidan. Aidan adored her but she, stereotypically, went for the bad boy, Big - the rich, older man who could give her a walk in wardrobe for all those shoes.

But you can be a feminist and like Sex And The City. Mostly because the programme is funny and clever and it thinks that women are important.

How could you not love a series that reminded us that "the most important break-up rule is that no matter who broke your heart, or how long it takes to heal, you'll never go through it without your friends".

Or my favourite. "I'm not being a bitch. I'm just being myself."

 

If you want to switch your mortgage don't wait for others - do it yourself

Next week Finance Minister Michael Noonan is meeting the main mortgage lenders to discuss concerns over the rates being charged to variable rate mortgage-holders.

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While the Irish Mortgage Holders' Association is now hoping to help 25,000 lenders switch banks, why not try yourself?

I've recently been through my second mortgage switch. My previous switch on a previous home was a lengthy process which ultimately was the right thing to do. We switched lenders to get onto a tracker mortgage.

Any switch is complicated. You're essentially applying for a whole new mortgage and going through all those financial hoops again. Pay slips, declarations, letters from employers, bills.

Ours was a complete pain. The institution was so busy back in 2006 with house prices rising and so many people had equity built up in their homes that they wanted to capitalise on it with lower tracker rates. The bank lost documents, forgot about us, didn't return calls.

PROCESS

The whole process was so frustrating that we almost didn't bother continuing with it. We almost stayed put. But we persevered and it was worth it. We got a reduced tracker which saved us money.

Before Christmas we started the whole process once again. We had a new home, with a new variable rate which we believed was too high (we lost our tracker when we sold our first home).

We contacted a number of banks with our figures, got a new, lower rate with a new lender and went back to our original lender. Of course, the bank agreed to drop the rate to keep our business but it wasn't as low as the rate with the new bank.

So here we are with the new bank on a lower rate. We didn't wait for politicians. We did it ourselves. It was not easy but like most things that are worth doing, it was worth it. My advice? Don't wait for others, start the process yourself.

 

Polyamory? We've another word for it


Jade-Martina Lynch

Best thing about Big Brother on TV3 so far? We've learned a new word: polyamory. No it's not a builder's filling agent. It's the practice of being in non-exclusive relationships where all involved are aware of the situation.

Irish model Jade-Martina Lynch who happens to be Amanda Byram's cousin, told reporters "in Ireland, we're quite backward because it's very Catholic - we're kind of back in the day and there's nobody in Ireland that I've met that's polyamorous". Jade clearly hasn't been clubbing about town. Seems that everyone's polyamorous - except that they're calling those who practice polyamory something else.

 

Move away from Mad Men politics

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'Lapgate' in the Dail

Now that all constituencies have been totted up, one of the most notable things to come out of the British election is the fact that there are more women (29pc) and more minority politicians than in any previous parliament.

There's also slightly fewer who've been to fee-paying schools. Here, parties have to field 30pc female candidates in the next general election. The parties are struggling to find women. Not because they're not there but because the Government has failed to tackle the things that prevent women from running for office in the first place - childcare, culture and confidence.

They might also think about getting rid of that laddish culture in Leinster House. If there was less Lapgate-style controversies (inset) maybe women might see it as a parliament, rather than an office from the set of Mad Men. 

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