DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Registered and ready for my vaccine call

May 30th, 2021 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

As of 8am today, 518 Covid-19 patients are hospitalised, of which 108 are in ICU. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: It’s Week 63 and I’m really hoping the weather improves, if for no other reason than to get my husband back out on the golf course

• SO I don’t know the day, nor the hour it will happen exactly, but hopefully by this time next week I’ll be jabbed and that will be another jab done. I honestly didn’t think it would roll around to my turn this fast and instead of the usual tinge of regret (or urge to wail uncontrollably) I feel when clicking the box ‘aged 45 and over,’ I felt something that qualified huge relief.

• That was also the sentiment when I heard that it mightn’t be best to get your hair dyed for a certain period of time after your vaccine. No fear on that front as I’ve had the gruaig seen to and it feels great. Of course, in the same way when you do up one room of your home, it shows up how grotty the others are, it’s now hard to ignore the rest of the shambles I’ve become, but all in good time. Of more immediate concern to me is talk of it not being safe to have a little celebratory drink after the vaccine. Apparently it will reduce its efficacy which, I suppose, would be a bit of a drawback all things considered. That’s all well and good if I’m jabbed on a Monday or Tuesday when I live like a modern day Spartan, but anything after that, when I’m more like a middle-aged cliché, will be a bit tricky.  I’ve done a some googling with combinations like ‘gin, jab,’ and ‘vodka, vaccine,’ but am only getting interesting sounding cocktail recipes so far. Leave it with me.

• Right, so a few weeks back we started getting our groceries delivered. We said we’d trial it  to see if we ended up saving a few quid (wipe the smug smiles off the faces of that family on the TV ad who claim to save what, €500 a month? A likely yarn in fairness) and a bit of time. But so far, the jury’s out. There’s a few reasons. Firstly we always end up forgetting loads of things so there’s around 12 additional trips to the shop in between deliveries. Also, it can be hard to see any before/after difference when you look in the fridge as there’s none of the ‘extras’ you pick up when browsing the aisles (nice cheese, hummus, fancy crackers etc). Snacking has become a grim experience. But mainly, the procedure itself is quite terrorising, as you have to unload the shopping from the crates, and return them to the delivery man under his watchful gaze, and without delay. Think Fittest Family, except you’re flinging stuff on every available counter top like your life depends on it, with barely enough breath left to chat with the driver about the Indian variant/the weather. We’ve worked out a bit of a drill so when we hear the van pulling into the drive I grab a specially designated whistle and roar  ‘EVERYONE STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING –TO YOUR STATIONS.’ Lego building is abandoned, so too are showers and phone conversations, even the dog is roped in to look her cutest to distract the driver and buy us more time. You’d be a bit shook after it and not even a smidge of beetroot hummus to look forward to either. I think I’ll bring it up at the next household meeting that we should go back to the in-store experience (note to self: start having household meetings).

• We’re also trying to do something that qualifies as ‘family fun’ every Saturday. If we can throw in ‘free’ even better. I know most people do this on Sundays but regular readers will know I bring lots of ‘baggage’ to the Sabbath so we go big on Saturdays instead. Our latest outing was to Dromkeen Woods near Innishannon. Surprisingly I had never been before, and with glorious views over the Bandon River and a sea of bluebells it was really beautiful (see I’m not cynical about everything). The five-year-old’s appreciation of nature is a bit hit and miss but she was very taken with a 3-D-augmented reality experience, called Wanderful on offer in the woods, which is the brainchild of local mum-of-three Lena Angland, (daughter of Alice Taylor). It’s very simple, even to a Luddite like me  - you simply download an app, which opens as a map with symbols, which kids have to find along a trail. When they find one, you point the phone at it and it unlocks a 3-D animated creature (Olivia the otter, Derry the deer etc) and gives some essential facts. It’s a gimmick and a really great one. It went down as well as the  ice-cream we treated ourselves to on the way home and no one threatened that it would be the last time we’d go anywhere which qualifies as an all-round success in my book. Suggestions for next Saturday gratefully accepted.

• My father-in-law turned 80 the day before Bob Dylan. They’re both legends in their own right too, and are well able to hold a crowd. Another time we’d have celebrated with a party, and we will again, but all 16 of his grandchildren got to share cake with him at different times of the birthday afternoon which is about as priceless as it gets really.

• What are the weather gurus saying now? Hopefully things will improve a bit this month, if for no other reason than my husband would like to get back on the golf course. I’d also like that very much. He was meant to go late-ish last Friday evening and I had it all planned out. I had run the legs off the five-year-old so there’d be no resistance to bed time. I’d the good crisps in (picked up on one of my extra visits to the supermarket), had a nice bottle decanting, and had saved an episode of Mare of Easttown. It was going to be perfect. Then around 6pm the text came through. The course was waterlogged. All golf was cancelled. He’d see me later. Would he bring wine? I just about managed a ‘thumbs up’ emoji. Luckily I hadn’t opened the crisps. We’ll try again this Friday.

• Finally, I’ve taken up skipping. I used to love exercise, but somehow over the past year that relationship has hit the rocks and I’ve gotten a bit (a lot) lazy. I saw this person on TV who lost eight stone from skipping (and probably cutting out the crisps), so I’ve whipped out my trusty skipping rope and am giving it socks every chance I get (or for 10 minutes in the morning). It drives the dog berserk and the five-year-old scrunches up her face with such a mix of concern and horror I’d wager it’s not a pretty sight. But they can get knotted – while  I try my best not to!

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