Wednesday, December 02, 2015


Its 7.00am in the morning, my phone bleeps and I look at the text “Hello my wine glass assassin, in Dublin 19th 20th December, show me the town, you owe me. Gaspar.” I sit bolt upright, throwing aside Steve Harvey’s best seller, “Straight Talk, how to find, keep, and understand a man.” I leap onto the scales in the bathroom, scream no, no, no, as the digital calculator rises like a thermometer in a heat wave, then run to the bed and swig from the chardonnay bottle. Gaspar, in Dublin, for a weekend. The gorgeous Gaul from “Miss Chatelaine.”

Where was Marianne? Should I call her? Could I really feign disappointment if they had broken up? Was I a vulture circling the decaying remains of a relationship? The text sounded singular… what were Gaspar’s intentions?

A response was essential, and it had to be measured. There were 70 odd text characters in Gaspar’s message, so I could hardly write a love sonnet in return, nor did I want to sound too much like a friend. Vampish would send him running, overfamiliarity worse, and until I knew what the story was, I needed to transmit a curious but cautious “vibe.” “Don’t keep a man guessing for too long-he’s sure to find the answer somewhere else” to quote sex-goddess Mae West, so I also had to comply with the unwritten rules regarding time restrictions.

I had to sound interested, but not desperate, sensual but not sexual, casually prompt but not anxious, alluring but not seductive. So In the emotional balancing act that is the texting game, where a girl is subjected to her every insecurity, carefully having to weigh and measure her responses, and where assumptions could alarmingly tip the balance, I couldn’t help but wonder…why were men never on the scales?

Ok, time for navel gazing and conscientious objections later, I had less than three weeks to lose two stone, and sweep into the capital city oozing sensuality like Lea Seydoux, suavely ordering Dirty Martinis’ like they were café au lait, while being completely in command of my surroundings, and having every male in the vicinity at my feet.

Simple plan of action; no meals for the next 20 days. Gurus’ do it and Yogi’s thrive on it, how hard can it be? The two piece Jacques Fath day dress, in wool serge and hounds tooth plaid, that I had bought at an auction, was going to transform me into the idealised female silhouette that dominated the 50’s (it’s 7.20am and I’m delusional from post-traumatic first winter weigh- in, so it’s all making perfect sense.)

Three hours later I am returning to sanity, and am immensely indebted to the vineyards of France. I am practically Zen-like, though my blood sugar is plummeting faster than Courtney Love’s breast implants. However- I have walked into town, in one of my favourite dresses, a 70’s three quarter length, teamed up with tan leather boots, and a gloriously beautiful jacket from the ultra- stylish Red Lane Boutique. A floppy hat and gloves complete my look, which is effortlessly easy to wear and so comfortable.

And while a fainting fit was imminent, I could rest assured that when I awoke in E.R under the ravishing attentions of some handsome Doctor, he will have duly noted that my underwear was of the very best, and perfectly co-ordinated…and that obviously, I was a gal of “quality.”

It’s unlikely though that the teachings of Steve Harvey will be of any use to me while I am completely unconscious, so I decide to break my starvation pact, and have a “little something”, and where else but the fabulous Momo, the wonderful restaurant owned by my lovely friend Kamila. It’s probably a mistake, the divine and sumptuous offerings at Momo are as tempting as the apple was to Eve. I breeze in the door, to be met by the impossibly clear skinned Jessica.“I gave up dairy Agnes, and my skins transformed” she said, after I asked her was it micro-derma-brasion.I couldn’t argue, her complexion was flawless, and tawny, her honey and almond blonde hair was lustrous, her clear and bright eyes sparkled as much as her gold hoop earrings. It made me wonder about the camembert I desperately wanted.

Hannah glides over with a glass of Chardonnay, she’s like a porcelain doll, with huge eyes, waves of dark hair, and exudes a decidedly vintage glamour. These two fabulous gals add hugely to the ambiance of Momo, and I soak up the atmosphere.Candelabras flicker, vintage armoires huddle around a scuffed retro table, and a Moorish looking alcove leads through to a dining area complete with a medieval style map that covers the entire wall. The tiled floor is perfectly shabby chic and distressed, fading nostalgic photos discreetly adorn the walls, sandwiches nestle under glass domes on the bar counter, hand pressed cordials gleam in rainbow colours from brackets, old books litter the shelves, yellow roses pop from bud vases, and a grey vent meanders snakelike across the ceiling-indie music seeps into the air; it’s the perfect place to collect my thoughts…and just what are my thoughts?

What confused me was how idiotically happy I was with Gaspar’s use of the possessive adjective “My” as in “My wine glass assassin.” I mean my feminist impulses should have shook me like an earthquake, but there hadn’t been as much as a tremor. I was reminded of years ago when I had to tenaciously fight for equal pay. I knew a battle was looming even before I took the job, call it intuition. It eventually went to court, and I won, but I never forgot it. So while I could stand so firm over my rights as a man’s equal, why was I falling apart over a man’s text?

As I delved into my decadent dessert, sipped espresso, and wondered about Gaspar’s rather enigmatic message, I casually and unaccountably picked up my phone and typed.“Hi Gaspar, so nice to hear from you, love to meet you both. Bring rain gear, weather’s terrible.”It was brief, measured, and assumed the very best of the situation and of everyone’s intentions, and while it’s going to take time to find answers, after my own personal “hurricane” this morning, I find myself in the calm of the eye of the storm, and it’s divulged some weighty wisdom….Gaspar’s going to spend a little time on the scales, and of course, I will keep you posted x 

Photography by Matthew Reilly 

Edited by Roland Thackaberry 

Thanks to Momo for having us.  

Tweed jacket available from Redlane Boutique 


1 comment

  1. Thank you Agnes for kind words. You look glamourous as always. I think we have to go to Momo. Wishing you a very happy New Year!


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