Another Era

Iris Robinson is in the news a lot these days for well publicised reasons, but Suzanne Breen had a revealing intimate portrait in the Sunday Tribune a while back to which I meant to draw attention at the time.

Iris is very much a woman’s woman, curling her legs up on a chair, mug of coffee in hand, chatting spontaneously. “Oh, Peter’s been at the blackcurrant and vanilla balls!” she laughs, pointing to a half-empty jar on the kitchen dresser. “He has a terribly sweet tooth.”

The mother of all Union Jacks – bigger than those over government buildings – flies in the Robinsons’ front garden. The opulence of their home is striking. Curtains of wine and gold silk rising into a central coronet; towering Chinese vases; hundreds of china figurines and sculptures – Marie Antoinette inches away from the Last Supper. Chandeliers hang in every room – “I think I was born in another era,” Iris says.

Each room is themed: the dining room is Oriental; a sitting room is old English; the bathroom is Italian; one bedroom is Scottish, another French. “I designed them all myself, it took years,” Iris says. A local artist painted wall frescos: a Tuscan landscape in the bathroom, an African one in the porch.

The Robinsons’ bedroom has a massive four poster Gothic bed with heart-shaped cushions. Then, there’s Iris’s lilac dressing room.

Sounds delightful. Perhaps it was this article that led to the following dig from Brian Feeney (who is so sour on occasion as to be the polar opposite of a blackcurrant and vanilla ball)

They say you can judge a state’s importance by the magnificence of its visa – the more magnificent the visa the less important the state. Let’s be thankful Norn Iron is not a state with a passport for you can be sure it would be as colourful and rococo as one of Iris Robinson’s ghastly themed bedrooms.



2 Responses to “Another Era”

  1. 1 Seán Báite June 12, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    The Trib didn’t get to see their S & M dungeon then, did they ? S’pose Iris went for the bog standard decor down there..

    Not sure if you were over at this recent thread at the Cedar Lounge :
    Iris & Pete Show
    but it ends up sensing a certain degree of campness about the pair – which fits in well with this penchant for ghastly interior decor and blackcurrant and vanilla balls you reveal to us….
    All this despite her horrendously homophobic remark that set off the whole thread

  2. 2 Hugh Green June 12, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Yes, there is a high camp dimension to the pair of them. The house sounds like an abandoned Graham Norton set.

    I’ve started to arrive at the conclusion that every form of puritanism, like the one Iris espouses, is shackled to perversion. That is, anyone enthralled by a longing for uprightness, righteousness and cleanliness is equally and simultaneously enthralled by a longing for depravity, sin and filth. The more you go on about the importance of sexual abstinence, the more you are obsessed with orgies, and so on. None of this is new, of course. I’m just a late arriver.

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