Those of us of a certain age will remember Live at Three on RTE. It was on in the afternoons when I came home from school just before Blockbusters and Countdown. Both these programmes provided background noise when I was doing my homework (hey – don't judge my parents – those programmes were about numbers and letters !!) My Granny Russell who lived with us provided a running commentary to the programme. But she had a bit of a 'set' on Thelma Mansfield, one of the presenters. She never stopped giving out about her. 'Would you look at that one ?' 'Wouldn't you think that one would something with her hair?' Myself and my mam would share a secret smile and say nothing, both thinking that Thelma was rather glam, with lovely blonde hair. Compared to her co-host, Derek Davis she was practically a supermodel. His only saving grace was his lovely Nordie accent.
Fast forward to 2013, and myself and my mam were chatting about Nationwide, on RTE, or to be specific Mary Kennedy and her dress sense. I watch it regularly, as there if often arts and cultural initiatives featured (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). Myself and Gok Wan, I mean, my Mam, agreed that Mary was dressing 'a bit young' and that her skirts were too short, showing off her middle aged knees. I smiled to myself, thinking that I was indeed, turning into my Granny Russell.
Fast forward to New Years Eve 2013, I was trying on my new guna deas for my cousin's wedding the following day. I was mighty pleased with myself, getting the dress, during a lunchtime dash at work the previous day. I had the bag, shoes, wrap, hairdo – sorted. I put on my sparkly guna and looked admiringly in the mirror. Then horror of horrors, I looked down and there for all to see ... was Mary Kennedy knees (MKK)... !! It's ironic that it has taken me 20 years to be comfortable in my adult skin, only to find the said skin wrinkled around my knees.
My plans for flesh coloured tights to complete the ensemble were abandoned. I needed to act quickly, to come up with a solution to the travesty. Cerise pink opaque tights, I thought. A quick try-on with previously mentioned guna, and I was sorted. Cinders Ella could go to the ball/ wedding.
We headed off to the wedding the next day, scrubbed and polished. We were only gorgeous. At the reception I met a distant relation that I hadn't met in about 25 years. I thought he would say how lovely it was to see me after all of these years, but instead, the first words out of his mouth were that my Grandad Owenie Russell would turn in his grave if he seen my tights. Sadly, I never got to meet my Grandad as he passed away shortly before I was born, but he is always remembered by all who knew him with fondness and respect. He would have been been keen on women 'retaining your modesty' and I guess my tights didn't do that. But in my defence, my cerise pink opaque tights saved the guests from my MKK.