DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Better hair and proper hugs on the 2021 wish list

January 3rd, 2021 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

Me with my crew, hubbie Aidan and daughter Rosie, taking a dip at Broadstrand on Christmas morning. More swimming, hugging and holidaying are all on my ‘wish list’ for 2021. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: It’s Week 42 and if the past few months, fortnight even, have shown us anything, it’s how foolish it is to plan too far ahead. But for the time of year that’s in it, here are all the things I’m hoping and dreaming of doing in 2021 …

• I know it won’t happen for a while but getting vaccinated against Covid-19 has to be top of the list for most people this year, myself included. I know it won’t be a bullet proof guarantee that you won’t get the virus, or that you won’t pass it on to someone else, but it’s certainly a layer of protection that I’m looking forward to getting, and an appointment date that I’m looking forward to marking in my diary. Which reminds me, I need to get a new diary – how many of us lost that habit in 2020?

• Again, here’s something that’s most likely still months away but I am so looking forward to being three deep at the bar in a jam packed, absolutely heaving, sweaty pub. Honest to God, I won’t care if I never get served. I’ll just be so happy to stand there, shoulder to shoulder with other people, making vague efforts every now and then to get the bar man’s attention, and having the ...craic! I’m there at the first available opportunity.

• Ok, next on the list has to be getting back to the office. I can still remember leaving the Star office on Wednesday, March 11th and taking my computer with me as a ‘precaution.’ Just in case like. I honestly didn’t think I’d even be taking it out of the car. And never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be working remotely since then. If I’d known we were in it for the long haul, I’d have made a better effort with my home office set-up, which is effectively a desk in the corner of the ‘good room’ which we haven’t done up yet. It’s almost as grim as it sounds with shocking acoustics for Zoom calls and podcasts. There’s also really poor phone reception in the room, so I have to leave my mobile in the hallway and I miss as many calls as I get – I suppose it’s one way to get some steps into my day. Anyway, at some point way back, I realised that work is way more than just work – it’s about the commute (getting to listen to your own choice of radio), the take-out coffee in the morning, the chats with your colleagues (and the bitching). I will very, very much enjoy ‘standing down’ my home office and getting back to Star HQ some time in 2021.

• On a semi-similar note I’ll enjoy a ceremonial burning of my black leggings (all of them), which I’ve worn pretty much every day for the past few months, and look forward to wearing my ‘proper’ clothes again. I’m not sure about everyone else, but I can’t wear my ‘good clothes’ when I’m WFH (outside of a decent top thrown on for meetings and uber distracting accessories to take away from the fact that I may have little to contribute. Top tip:  large earrings lets you away with a lot). So I simply cannot wait to give them a good airing when we’re back in circulation. Of course some are victims of the Covid stone, but sure you’ll have that. Moving on …

• Hugs! This is a massive thing I’m looking forward to doing again. I very much enjoy a good hug. A proper squeeze, and depending on how much you like the person, a good old sniff, and a deep inhale. I’m also looking forward to linking arms with a pal and sitting in close beside someone. Contact. There will be no personal boundaries observed for some time once I get the green light. You’ve been warned.

• This is a bit of a frivolous one but I cannot wait to be be able to get a regular blow dry. I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to my appearance (perhaps a bit too much), but I very much appreciate the absolute transforming powers of a professional blow dry. I don’t care how many hair tools you have at home, nothing beats the skills of your stylist. It’s going to be so amazing to be able to call on a random morning you find yourself with a spare hour to see if you can be squeezed in. Bliss.

• So yes, being able to be spontaneous again will be incredible. Popping in here, heading off there, making last minute reservations, and 11th hour plans. Being able to do all of these things on a whim without military style preparation (involving wipes, masks, sanitisers and a bit of fear) will be a joy. I’ll still probably need to know what we’re having for dinner the next day mind you, but that’s just in my DNA.

• Getting a new puppy is also on the cards this year. We said goodbye to lovely Tadhg in December and while he can never be replaced we’re ready to welcome a new addition to the family. 

• Another obvious one is going on holidays. I think we all discovered last year what hard work staycations are, especially when there’s no kids clubs involved. Also, how they involve packing the world and his mother (and father), and how it’s far less acceptable to indulge in a frothy cocktail or two at noon when you’re in Schull as opposed to Spain. Honestly, I’d be more than happy with a trip to Centre Parcs this year (the spa there is meant to be incredible).  Fingers crossed.

• I’m also most determined, regardless of how the year pans out, to spend far less time on both Instagram and Netflix. The only thing is that January is challenging enough at the best of times, and with ongoing Covid restrictions, I might not kick this off until February. March at the latest. Let me  look into it and I’ll keep you posted.

• I also want to learn how to swim properly. I can swim, in the same way I can play the piano. Very poorly. I move my arms and legs a lot but I never move a great distance. I also have a phobia about putting my head under water. I’m far from being an all-year round swimmer, more of a once a week dipper, but I definitely want to go more often this year. Of course  not on those days that I’ve had my blow dry!

• I did mention hugging didn’t I?

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