DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: All aboard for Lockdown 2 with plenty déjá vu

October 25th, 2020 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

What a week: Taoiseach Micheál Martin talking about a ‘meaningful Christmas,’ poor Fungi still on the missing list and Dermot Bannon showing up on the doorsteps of baffled looking Canadians. What’s on the cards for this week? Just about anything.

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It’s Week 32 and we’re back to 5km. But having gone through one Lockdown, lots of us are determined to come at this one from a new angle.

• YOU know as strange as this sounds I can’t actually remember that much about our first Lockdown. I’ve plenty of evidence to say it took place alright, including and in no particular order: an unattractive muffin top, many badly thought-out online purchases (including a pair of expensive and, as yet, unworn white boots which might actually be too small. Who knew a French 6 was smaller than a regular 6?), and enough arts supplies to start my own Montessori school (I swear to god the pompoms reproduce at night). But any ‘real’ memories of it, the nasty nitty-gritty, have faded. Just as well, I suppose. It’s a bit like that old childbirth cliché, which says if you could remember it, you wouldn’t do it twice. Anyway, I’m approaching Lockdown 2 from a different angle than March – ie less of a lazy slob who awards herself with chocolate for making it to lunchtime and plan on being a more focussed go-getter. Top of my list is to finish tidying out the hot press which I only started back in March. Sure, I’m sure the six weeks will fly by!

• I’m sorry for making light of what’s obviously a very serious and worrying time for our retailers who have to close their doors, again, and find ways to stay afloat during what should be the busiest time of the year. I’m sure no one needs reminding how important it is to shop local right now. Yes, for sure, some of the time it mightn’t be as easy as the one-click transaction we’re used to from the likes of Amazon. You might even need to pick up the phone and speak to someone – imagine that? But the flip side is that you’ll help a business person sleep easier that night and you’ll get to feel all warm and glowy inside.

• So, the number we all have to keep focused on and keep repeating to ourselves is 100 cases a day by December 1st. A lesser known fact about me is that I’m naturally a very ‘obedient’ person (yes, that’s different to ‘dull’). Even as a teen, it never occurred to me to disobey my parents, and my school friends used to say they were more afraid I’d find out they’d been drinking than the nuns! In college I could never quite understand why you’d want to skip a lecture, and as a fully-fledged grown up I still like things neatly inside the lines. Not surprisingly, I’ve always gotten on very well with Germans. That’s why I’m a bit put out by the chatter of people trying to find ‘little ways’ around the Level 5 regulations. What is so wrong with doing exactly what we’ve been told for six weeks? Offer it up for the Holy Souls, or just remember what happened to Phil Hogan. Except instead of getting the €400k plus payment coming his way over the next two years post Golfgate, you’ll be hit with an instant fine of €400.

• There was lots of talk from Micheál Martin about making sure we all get to have a ‘meaningful Christmas’. To be honest I’d settle for less. I think we all know we won’t be sipping hot ports in our local on Christmas Eve and embracing friends from afar. But I would like to think we could at least share our dining table with people outside our immediate family. In my case we all live relatively near one another and often joke that it would be great if one of us moved to Australia, say in November, so we’d have the excitement of a tear-jerking airport scene in December. This year I’d be happy enough to see the crew from Skibbereen land. Otherwise we’ll be relying on some pretty decent jokes in the crackers for our entertainment.

• At least Dermot Bannon is back to take the edge off Sunday nights. Watching him stomp through snowy Canada and complain about the cold, I was trying to remember if he was always so annoying, but at least he was a welcome distraction. It was also quite hilarious to see most of the home owners look at him completely baffled as if no one had told him he was coming as he barged in with his trademark ‘Wow.’ Covid means some of the ‘incredible houses’ are in Ireland. That’ll be more like it.

• It was a week that brought more floods and still no good news on poor Fungi, and at one point I started to wonder if we’d ever even had a summer, until the slightly off-colour patch on the lawn where the tent was brought me back to happier times (well, different times anyway). The new Heineken ad on TV gave me a push to dig a bit deeper. To the soundtrack of Sinatra’s That’s Life, it shows the new normal of being out in a bar, and socialising responsibly and how, even if we can’t clink glasses, we can still have fun. Lots of it. Remember what that used to be? Look it up. It’s very clever. I’d like to be the person who came up with it. So, while we can’t enjoy a night out on the town anytime soon, remember we will again. I might even suffer the agony of the white boots for the heck of it.

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