How to beat the blues

You know those days. The ones where the flavour of life has been sucked away, when dark clouds loom, when you wonder what the point was in getting out of bed in the first place. I’m pleased to report that those are rare occurrences with me. But when they do happen, I like to read a Ruth Dudley Edwards article. Instantly, the spirits life, the sun comes out and I face life with a grin on my gob. Oscar Wilde claimed you’d need a heart of stone not to laugh at the death of Little Nell. Ruth’s columns do that for me.

One I came on recently was giving out about “the bearded one”, as she likes to call Gerry Adams. The Sinn Féin leader is apparently totally mixed up. Ms Dudley Edwards verifies this by pointing to his statement that James Brokenshire is “a player” and so not suited to chair Stormont talks. Ruth’s counter to this is that if Dublin can be pro- nationalist/republican, why can’t Brokenshire and Britain be pro-Unionists?

You have to laugh. Either Ruth is pretending to be very silly or is very silly. No one is saying Brokenshire and Britain shouldn’t be pro-Unionist. It’d be strange if they didn’t. What’s at issue here is Brokenshire presenting himself as an honest broker. I mean,  we’ve heard that song before. The Troubles were all about two warring tribes, with Britain  trying to keep the peace between them for the past forty years. Or is is it four hundred?

As to the Dublin government being pro-nationalist/republican, the cat is in intensive care. Has Ruth ever listened to Enda Kenny in the Dail answering a question about the economy from Gerry Adams? Enda’s reflex response is to start talking very quickly about the brutality of Adams’s “colleagues” in the north thirty years ago. Southern politicians are a support for nationalist/republicans the way the weather in the US is presently a support to the Taoiseach’s travel plans. But sometimes you need the supportive pen  of a cheering commentator to remind you of these things.

I will yield to no one in my admiration of Ruth as a giggle-generator. In his poem ‘Celia, Celia’, Adrian Mitchell described his particular way of beating the blues:


“When I am sad and weary

When I think all hope is gone

When I walk along High Holborn

I think of you with nothing on.”


Like thousands of others, I find uplift not in thoughts of Ruth the Naturist but Ruth the Columnist.





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19 Responses to How to beat the blues

  1. joe bloggs March 14, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

    Did you never imagine Ruth with nothing on during your UCD days?

    • Jude Collins March 14, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

      Ah yesterday, joe! There are few things I can say definitively but one of them is that I never indulged in a Ruth au natural(e). She was the arm-candy of one Patrick Cosgrave throughout her time there, and they married. During her UCD days Ruth was…how can I say this …as yet the caterpillar that one day would evolve into the dazzling butterfly which has teased and delighted so many in later years…

      • joe bloggs March 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm #

        Perhaps she is still in her cocoon awaiting a chrysalis? Love her articles though…

    • Sherdy March 14, 2017 at 10:35 pm #

      Ruth or Truth – an Edwards Exposé!

  2. Perkin Warbeck March 14, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

    THE RUTH in the NEWS

    Resplendent is Ruth in her Edwardian duds,
    Blows smoke in old 4 Eyes and other hoods
    In the night goes umph!
    This Failure of Triumph
    Ruthiness is queen in the Stateen of Spuds.

    • joe bloggs March 14, 2017 at 1:17 pm #

      Just some basics to help you on your way, Perkin.

      A limerick is a humorous poem consisting of five lines. The first, second, and fifth lines must have seven to ten syllables while rhyming and having the same verbal rhythm. The third and fourth lines only have to have five to seven syllables, and have to rhyme with each other and have the same rhythm.

      • Perkin Warbeck March 14, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

        GRMA, Joe, a chara.

        Alas, as Limerick is known as Stab City the most one can aspire to is having a, erm, stab at this most exquisite of poetic forms with its strict rhyming scheme, AABBA.

        What compels one to continue with the stabbing is the increasingly forlorn hope that some day one may yet become the (gasp) fifth member of ABBA.

        Beir bua.

      • paddykool March 14, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

        …and there’s me thinking that Mighty Perk was writing some jazz…..

        • Perkin Warbeck March 14, 2017 at 6:02 pm #


          This jazz-been, Protean Pk, from the Alcatraz
          Of old age can but glimpse Coast Razzmatazz
          To swim ashore?
          No never no more
          Whistling ABBA to a poster of Cameron Diaz.

      • fiosrach March 14, 2017 at 7:34 pm #

        Did you hear the one about the man observing the carpenter’s work and after a few minutes passed the remark. That’s a strange looking table. The carpenter replied: that’s not a table that’s a chair.

  3. fiosrach March 14, 2017 at 12:24 pm #

    Jude, if you don’t mind. Some of us are having a late breakfast.

  4. Páid March 14, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

    Ruth Nudely Edwards!!! lol

  5. Pointis March 14, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

    I think it is healthy to have scepticism for a body or institution as it acts as a counterbalance if the institution makes mistakes. It also encourages institutions and organisations to admit to mistakes and remedy these if possible.

    What is sometimes unhealthy is if the criticism is not balanced with logic and the criticism is always one sided then we risk following the pattern of the individual who feels rebuffed or injured by the organisation which is the focus of their ire. We would know that as the “sour grapes”!

    There is nobody can doubt that the Republican movement has made grave mistakes and many lives have been taken which could have been spared had Nationalists not opposed by force the occupation of Ireland by our Imperial neighbours.

    The loosely concealed contempt that Ruth demonstrates for Irish Republicans and in particular Gerry Adams is more akin to what we would expect from someone singing “up to our necks in Fenian blood” while intermittently swigging from their bottle of Buckfast at the 11th night bonfire.

    Ruth’s animosity of Gerry Adams would seem to go deeper than that of his traditional British/ Loyalist arch enemies and is more akin to that of a spurned lover / admirer. They say “hell hath no fury”, could it possibly be that Ruth Dudley Edwards has deeply repressed emotions other than hate for Gerry Adams?

  6. joe bloggs March 14, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

    Similar to my reading of the Jude / Ruth dynamic.

    FYI – you don’t have to drink Buckfast, sing the Billy Boys or even go to an 11th night bonfire to hate Gerry Adams and/or the IRA.

  7. Eolach March 14, 2017 at 5:39 pm #

    Hate is an emotion that I do not possess…..Terrible atrocities have been committed in this Island of ours , from August 1169 until the present day….on all sides ….. If you want to take a narrow agenda and blame one side only , then close your eyes to narrow slits and perhaps this will satisfy your limited , uneducated , grasp of the situation….this narrow and bigoted viewpoint will do nothing to propel us into a future that we can all share together. I ,as a republican , have tried very hard to comprehend and quantify the sectarianism ,racism and bigotry that emanates from the pro-British community in Ireland….they seem to be unable to process the idea that I am also a human being..with thoughts ,emotions and feelings….I want peace and harmony ,but as an equal….I will never be subservient to anyone and if you cannot comprehend that , then you are finished…..the game is over for you ….do the statistics not show you that !

    • RJC March 14, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

      Well said, Eolach.

      I haven’t lived here long, so the divided nature of NI society still comes as quite a shock to me from time to time. I’ve come up against attitudes and behaviour that I didn’t think possible in a supposedly ‘civilised’ society. From currying my yoghurt down to burning my flag, the contempt held by some within the Unionist ‘community’ for their neighbours is frightening. It’s just a very sad state of affairs. This ‘shared future’ we were promised often feels like a very long way off.

      I was reading something about SNP MP Mhairi Black the other day and she said of Westminster ‘It’s the kind of place where if you are reasonable with folk, then they will soften a little’ which seemed to me eminently wise for one so young.

  8. fiosrach March 14, 2017 at 7:30 pm #

    Well said, Eolach!

  9. Freddie mallins March 14, 2017 at 8:21 pm #

    True colours there perhaps, Joe Bloggs? Hate ricocheting everywhere. Surely it would be nice to move beyond it.

    • joe bloggs March 15, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

      I don’t think I have expressed hatred to anyone. Can you show me? Maybe you have a victimhood complex?