Life

DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: It was even too hot for the DryRobes!

August 1st, 2021 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

I’m already feeling nostalgic for the heatwave of July ‘21 , even if my picnics were going downhill as the week went on, and I cursed Dermot Bannon and his glass boxes.

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• How was the heat wave for you? I’d describe mine as … sweaty. In two words, extremely sweaty. But whatever about our soaring body temperatures, our homes are just not built for the extreme heat we saw last week. Over the past decade, we’ve all been obsessed with underfloor heating, triple-glazed windows and an extra layer of insulation. But I’d say anyone at new build level must now be seriously considering an air-con unit. I’m also certain I wasn’t the only person to question their glazing choices either (Dermot Bannon has a lot to answer for). A lot of the time, it was cooler outside than inside my house. The only small mercy of that situation was that the flies didn’t survive for too long (the draw back was that we were dropping like flies a lot of the time ourselves). And of course not a fan of any description could be had in all the land. Outside all of that though, it was lovely all the same, and a great talking point. I mean, as a nation, do we love anything more than talking about the weather?

• So while our Olympians are going great guns in Tokyo, we had an Olympics sport of our own kind in West Cork. It was loosely called ‘getting parking at the beach.’ The field was very competitive what with locals and outsiders (the cheek!) vying for the few available spaces that weren’t already taken up by the obligatory coffee truck (doesn’t anyone bring a flask anymore?) and camper vans. There was double, and even triple parking going on at times. You’d need nerves of steel, while not being too attached to your wing mirrors to negotiate a spot. It wasn’t for the faint hearted that’s for sure. As if you weren’t hot and bothered enough already!

• Just as well the water temperature was so enticing, that for once it didn’t require the grit of a US navy SEAL to get in to cool down. The weever fish and jellies (those brown lads!) did mean you had to stay alert but there were certainly lots of moments where I thought to myself ‘this is the life.’ Of course there were plenty of others where I thought the complete opposite, but we all know that voices carry by the sea so I had to wait until we got back home to do all the giving out. 

• It was a bit hard to keep up the pace though wasn’t it? We’re more used to just a few days of heat, but this was a good 10 days or more. And as we could never be quite sure when it was going to end, we had to seize every day as if it was our last one on this earth. So for most people that meant working a regular day, (if you had the week booked off, I want to know what weather app you’re using, or what sun God you’re worshipping), and then spending as many remaining daylight hours on the water/or the beach as possible. At the start of the week I was well up for it. I had the tides figured out, the car pre-packed and ready to go. My picnics were also top notch, I’d go so far as to say gourmet (I mean who knew beetroot travelled so well?) But by the weekend (after trying the excuse that we’d never get parking so we could stay home), I’d have set up camp on any fly infested strand, and all you’d find in the cool box was a packet of ham, bread rolls (the ones with the scarily long shelf-life) and a family pack of Tayto. I was burned out in more ways than one. 

• I’ve also definitely have had my fill of BBQs for a while, and I’m pretty sure the five-year-old has consumed (if not surpassed) the maximum number of sausages recommended by the WHO in a given year. In fact we’re all quite liking the idea of going vegan for a while. I reckon I could manage a few more glasses of rosé though. 

• It must have been a bit galling all the same for all those who were waiting months upon months to get on a plane for a blast of sunshine, only for it to coincide with our heatwave? No I’m not smirking, honestly.  I mean we had our own challenges here. It was even too hot to wear our DryRobes for goodness sakes! Of course things are back to normal now but sure that third field over was in dire need of a drop of rain. 

• Finally, in the spirit of disclosure I’m fessing up that after 16 months of being a demented home worker,  I had one day back in the office last week. I got up early to do some work in the cool and quiet only to find there was no internet. Two hours later, there was still no internet. The house was getting hot, and I was getting hassled so I hit the road for Star HQ in downtown Skibbereen and readers, it was glorious, both for the fast internet connection (the joy!) and also that sense of connection with other colleagues. Obviously we couldn’t have a coffee together but still. Might we have to come up with a new title for the diary I wonder? 

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