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FORTY AND F***ED?
Pardon the bad language in the headline, but the latest news to reach us is that women who turn 40 and are still without a man have officially been left on the shelf! In the UK anyway. According to the study, which was – wait for it – carried out shelving company Bigdug, ’40 is the age when women turn from a happy-go-lucky singleton to spinster overnight’. The poll of 1,000 women found that one in ten Britons blame putting their career first for their single status and a further 32 per cent think they will feel ‘left on the shelf’ once all of their friends settle down. Another 13 per cent believe it will happen when they start to lose their looks. One in 20 even think it takes just a few comments from friends and family to start questioning whether they ever will find someone to love.
Not to worry though. The two New Yorkers who wrote The Rules, a best-selling dating bible that advises women to never make the first move or be too available, are on hand to help. Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider are in Britain this month to broadcast their message of hope. Covering everything from how to snare a man to what not to say in a text, their seminars are supposed to explain why women all over the world break all the basic rules.
“Because many women are successful go-getters in business they mistakenly assume they can be aggressive with men too,” Schneider wisely said. ‘They want to ask him out, buy him dinner and sleep with him on the first date but, instead, we say women should disappear between dates and be very mysterious.”
Righto. That’s that problem solved so.

SICK SINGLE MEN
So, it’s official. All the single men in the world, ie those afraid to commit to marriage or a long-term relationship, have been given a medical explanation for this ‘issue’. Researchers have singled out (pardon the pun) a gene that apparently makes men less likely to be in a committed relationship. The gene is the 334 version of the AVPR1A gene and it affects the way the brain uses vasopressin. It is thought by the researchers that almost 40 per cent of men carry the gene. Wow. The discovery has been deemed a breakthrough with lead researcher Hasse Walum saying that ‘it was the first time that a specific gene has been associated with how men bond with partners’. The study also noted that being happily married or in a long-term relationship is more then just a person’s genetic make-up, and the gene doesn’t quite prevent marriage from happening, or the man being happily married. It just makes that outcome less likely, that’s all.

FOOD FAIRING IN LISTOWEL
County Kerry celebrates all things culinary at the 14th annual Listowel Food Fair, which takes place from November 6- 9, 2008 (www.listowelfoodfair.com). The festival kicks off with two open seminars in the Listowel Arms Hotel, the now traditional Farming Seminar and a new Nutrition & Healthy Eating seminar by consultant dietician, Aveen Bannon. The National Farmhouse Cheese competition takes place on Friday morning, judged by cheese guru, Juliet Harbutt of the British Cheese Awards, with Teagasc experts, Eddie O’Neill and Sara McSweeney in attendance. On Friday afternoon it’s the turn of brown soda bread, which is the featured recipe in The Homebaker of the Year competition which takes place at Listowel Community College. The festival will be officially opened by guest chef, Darina Allen of Ballmaloe House & Cookery School on Friday evening, November 7. This year sees the launch of the Irish Food Book of the Year competition and the €1,000 prize will also be presented on Friday, followed by a cookery demonstration by Darina Allen.

LOVERS WITH A CONSCIENCE?
If you’re looking for love AND want to change the world, a new social networking site (what else?) has been launched, which aims to combine the two. Log onto www.nfpdating.co.uk to check out the folks seeking new friendships and relationships with those who have a shared interest in making the world a better place. To start with, people can register for free, upload photos, create personality profiles, and send messages to other members. But if they wish to read the messages others have sent to them, they must become full members and pay a fee of £9.99 a month or £19.99 a quarter. The site is hoping to tap into a niche within the online dating arena for people from non-profit organisations.

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