This was my first pop concert. My dad and I arrived at the RDS on the evening of July 19, 1997. I was kitted out in my favourite black jeans and black jacket, along with a black t-shirt with Michael’s ghost-white face imprinted upon it. As Des and I wandered towards the RDS arena, I gawked wide-eyed at the sights which are common to any big pop concert, but which were all new to me. There were throngs assembled around hotdog stands and burger vans, and crowds queuing at stands that were selling programmes and tour merchandise. You could also buy cardboard ‘periscopes’ that were about a foot long, and had a system of mirrors inside them. The ‘periscopes’ were designed so that, if you happened to be a shorter person situated in the standing area of the arena, you could hold one end of this apparatus to your eye, and hold the other end straight up in the air, and then the action from the stage would be reflected into your view. Clever!
We’re all being told to tighten our belts — perhaps that means we should be watching what we eat as well as counting the pennies. Even with shops offering value deals on sandwiches and soups it’s never as cheap or as satisfying as making your own. I spoke to four Michelin-starred Irish chefs and asked them to come up with some simple, healthy, delicious and affordable recipes — for salads, pasta, sandwiches and soups that you can carry in your Tupperware lunchbox to work, college or even school. You can eat a homemade Michelin-starred lunch for around a euro — and that has to beat the local deli or supermarket any day. – by Kevin Flanagan with additional reporting by Ben Murnane
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