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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Keep on rocking in the (covid) free world

September 13th, 2020 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

Things are rocking this week with the arrival of my Covid swing.

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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Week 26 and a seasonal head cold has my nerves absolutely shattered as I fear the worst with every single sneeze

• KIDS are gas aren’t they? And I don’t quite mean in a funny, ha ha way, either. It’s quite incredulous how so many of them (my own included) waited until a few days before school resumed to develop their first colds since last March. You literally couldn’t make it up. Lots of Googling and WhatsApping will confirm that snots and sneezes are ok; but it’s the cough that tends to stop you dead in your tracks. You’re like: ‘were you just clearing your throat there pet?/did something go down the wrong way my love?’ And at the same time you’ve already started playing out the dreaded scenario in your head that involves Covid tests, (unpleasant), time off work, shutting down a class or entire school, and of course potentially being very sick. The whole thing is enough to age you faster than a week in the sun. But, let’s face it, it’s going to happen a lot this year, so buckle up for a bumpy ride.

• What’s also quite gas is how I’ve been dreaming of the back-to-school routine for months, but already I’m kind of thinking that sending kids out for five days a week is, I don’t know, a bit excessive? Sure couldn’t they do with a day off mid-week, or even to wrap-up on a Thursday? At lunch time. I must be going a bit soft. Having said that, though, I did avail of a free morning to have a major clearout of the house, and to get rid of all those random things (unidentified scraps of paper, anything glitter-related, bits of Happy meal toys, some dodgier pieces in the art portfolio, outgrown clothes etc) that the four-year-old insisted she couldn’t live without. It was most cathartic and I’d recommend it. Although my resident sniffer hound detected most of it in the recycling bin and insisted on rehoming it all. Ah sure, there’ll always be next week. Hopefully.

• If you’re a numbers person, though, they’re looking scarily high again. Some camps say the nightly numbers are only adding to our anxiety but I like being in the picture. It did mean though, when my husband surprised me with a voucher for a night in Dublin I struggled a bit with the ‘oh my god, that’s amazing!’ My initial reaction was more like ‘can you get your money back?’ Total killjoy.

• What do we all make of the new beeper which has been invented to help ensure people stay two metres apart?  You wear it round your neck, on a belt or in your pocket, and if someone is within two metres of you, it starts to beep. Now it will only activate if someone else is wearing one but how handy would this be to give you an escape from, say, an overzealous boss/ over-chatty neighbour etc? Beeping brilliant. I’m in.

• Anyway, readers who have been with me since the start, as well as deserving a prize of some sort for their stamina, will hopefully be as excited as me to hear that the stand for my swing chair has arrived. I got the seat in June, just this week got the stand and can most definitely vouch that delayed gratification has a lot going for it. Back in March, I started saving my childcare and housekeeping money (yes, I had a cleaner, every two weeks, and if you’re going to judge, you can jog on) in an empty Pringle tube and when the going got tough, it helped me to hang in there. Now I’ll admit a few times I went to the tube for an actual Pringle and was a bit gutted to just see my stash of cash. But by June I was able to treat myself to the swing and now the plan has at last come together. Once all ‘this’ is over I’m going to throw a swinging party to remember. Who’s in? Enough with the smut now, it will be more like rocking in the (Covid) free world.

• Of course my timing is a bit off. Now that I’m finally enconsed in the chair we’re all being told to get up off our a****. Research by the Irish Heart Foundation shows that half of those working from home estimate they are sitting down for an average of two hours and 40 minutes longer per day which, of course, is very bad for our health. The IHF have launched an Escape Your Chair Heart Month campaign supported by the HSE which calls on the nation to get up and move for a minute each hour during the day as a way to kick-start their daily exercise. I could always get up from the desk and walk to the swing? That count?

• Anyway I had one of those ‘moments’ last week. There was a TV programme on in the background that was playing some great songs, loads of my most recent favourites. I was enjoying it so much I went to investigate what it was. Only, Reeling in the Years. Oh great. That was good for the ego.

• So we’re all in mourning at news that there’s no Room to Improve this year. Sunday nights are going to be more depressing than usual without Dermo, his glass boxes and the comedy gold Twitter commentary it produced. Fair City has made a return  to our screens after a lengthy break and a total reworking of plots to make them pandemic-friendly. I’m not a fan of the Irish soap, but I think I might tune in for the laugh to see how Carrickstown is adapting to Covid-19 and how Carol is going to puff away with the face mask. The South Westerlies, which made its much hyped debut on RTE, was also ... shall we say interesting? If you’re in the mood for a good giggle see Siobhán Cronin’s take on it here.

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