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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Ah ... between the jigsaws and the weeds!

August 2nd, 2020 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

Is it just me or is the pressure to have epic days out in WestCork gone off the scale? And then to capture an epic shot of the epic day out?

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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Week 20 and silly season is getting to me as I take to the West Cork waters on a paddle boat and leave the pier jumping to everyone else

• IT’S full-on silly season as we’re heading into what’s nearly the last hurrah of the summer with the bank holiday weekend coming up. If I get one more out-of-office email telling me ‘I’m not back at my desk until August 24th’ I’ll weep with self-pity. Judging by my Twitter and Instagram feed nearly everyone has decamped to West Cork too, with Kinsale, not surprisingly a big draw for some of our celebs including Boyzone’s Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden (no sign of Ro though in fairness) and Normal People star Paul Mescal (not confirmed if he brought the chain along or not).

• I have to laugh, though, as it seems lots of people are trying to ‘out West Cork’ each other and capture the ultimate holiday experience for social media. Once upon a time, it was enough to post a picture of yourself eating an open crab sandwich to show you were living it up in West Cork. Then it escalated to the now almost-commonplace shots of you with basking sharks or dolphins frolicking off the coast. Now it’s gone next level entirely, with pressure to post footage of yourself pier jumping with the iconic Fastnet in the background (and the basking shark), followed by a swim to Cape Clear, and back for that crab sandwich on everyone’s favourite, Field’s bread. And all captured by a drone. #blessed #livingthedream. I jest of course (am I going to be excommunicated now?) but I think we could all do with relaxing the cacks a bit. You don’t need to discover a never-before-seen idyllic cove to prove you had a great day out. Whatever happened to just going for a spin and having a flask of tea and sandwich out of the boot of the car?

• Top marks, though, for creating a memorable West Cork Summer 2020 moment must go to a young man who wasn’t even trying. That’s holiday-maker Michael Murphy who was unknowingly filmed playing his cello on the rocks in Baltimore at dawn, with the Beacon in the background. Magical. And not a hashtag in sight. Read all about it on page 3.

• And, also, what about the legend that is Steve Redmond? Without fuss or fanfare he slipped into the water at 4.30am one morning last week to complete the record breaking 40km swim from Baltimore to the Fastnet and back. Incredible achievement. Normally in West Cork, it takes a lifetime, if at all, before non-natives are allowed to lose the ‘blow in’ title. Steve’s originally from Kildare, but I reckon we can fast-track things a bit for him!

• Right, skip on if you can’t handle any more of my mask moaning. But isn’t it most unusual all the same how some people think they’re exempt from the rules. I was in a really busy filling station and the guy ahead of me, a man probably in his 70s, wasn’t wearing one. I was behind him in mine; the youngster on the till was in a visor and I half expected this man to apologise for forgetting his. But nothing of the sort. Then a few days later, on a Sunday morning, a lycra-clad cyclist went into a shop before me making a half-hearted effort to pull his very tight top up to shield his mouth as clearly, while he had remembered to bring money for a coffee, he hadn’t remembered his mask. I give up.

• I think I need to de-stress with my two current favourite pass times – jigsaws and weeding. Both are ways of being completely ‘in the moment’ without even trying. I’m the kind of person who just can’t meditate and who peeps out of the corner of her eye during the relaxation part at the end of yoga class (willing the instructor to wind things up). But the simple act of pulling weeds and doing puzzles are my free therapy right now. Thoroughly recommend you give them a go.

• Although, basically I’d do anything to wean myself off the crap TV that I’ve become hopelessly addicted to since Covid hit. I’d always thought I was ‘above’ reality TV. Hah! I just hadn’t tried it! I feel bad now for thinking less of people who watched Love Island. My current weak spot is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And as I contemplate ‘just one more episode,’ I’m reminded of my late dad who had a very low tolerance for such shows. It was a rare occasion he’d have even stayed in the same room while say an episode of Eastenders was on, and when the announcer would say afterwards ‘If you’ve been affected by any of these issues tonight please contact blah blah…’ he’d appear from behind the paper and say ‘Affected? I’ve been affected alright having to sit through that rubbish!’ while looking at us in disbelief that this qualified as entertainment. I think he’d recommend I go cold turkey this week.

• Speaking of turkey, I’m starting on the very, long road back to shed the ‘Covid stone’. I know, I know, we’re all sick of hearing about it. I’m sick of it myself. Unfortunately I’m the kind of person who thinks she should look like a super-model after three days on the (hot or cold) turkey burgers and cauliflower rice. This is day four and I fear it’s going to take an awful lot more than that. I’m exhausted just thinking of the effort involved. Maybe I need one final episode of the RHoBH?

• I did pass a lovely afternoon recently paddle-boating around Rosscarbery’s lagoon which had to qualify as cardio, right? Note, I didn’t say paddle boarding, but the more middle-aged paddle-boating. It was a little challenging as my two crewmates’ legs were too short to reach the paddles and they spent most of the time arguing over who got to steer. That meant a few close encounters and I’d say the swans will need time to recover but I’ll definitely be back. Good old fashioned fun.

• I’m massively jealous of parents who have kids in Cúl Camps around now. I know there are some jitters around them mixing and all the rest but we need to have faith in kids, who are by now so clued into the sanitising regimes, and the organisers, and enjoy some deserved time out for yourselves. My advice is to lower the bar and have a nap, or watch some daytime TV. You’ve earned it. Besides, we’ve no real idea what September has in store for us yet. It’s definitely positive to hear the government’s plans for getting everyone back, but when I hear talk of building work, I’m not massively reassured. Shouldn’t that have started already? Sorry, didn’t mean to ruin the moment.  Does anyone have a flower bed that needs weeding?!

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