Life

Let’s keep our heads down and avoid attention

October 17th, 2020 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: It’s Week 31 and I’m beginning to feel each and every one of them. Whatever about circuit breakers, I’m running on a very short fuse

• IT’S been all about keeping the head down and not attracting any unnecessary attention to ourselves this week, in the hope that any mention of moving up a level will blow over. I don’t think things quite hit the foreboding doom felt during previous weeks, but was more of a general uneasiness, sort of like waiting for an unpleasant medical exam you just want to get over with. Lots of people reacted by hitting the shops in a mad frenzy as if rationing was on the way. Queues in the city were unpleasant by all accounts and once you actually got into the shops, you were hit with ravaged shelves and very low stock. I felt even more inclined to hit the off licence after I saw a FG Minister of State suggest their opening hours should be curtailed. As William Wallace might have said: ‘They may take our freedom, but they’ll never take our Pinot Noir.’ I might be losing it ever so slightly but in fairness, I am on Week 31. 

• What has us got us all really animated is the Netflix series Emily in Paris. Love it or hate it, what’s being dubbed the 2020 version of Sex and the City, has got people talking about something else besides Covid. It’s even resulted in the new concept of ‘hate watching’ – where it doesn’t matter how annoyed you get, you can’t tear yourself away. That’s a bit like me and Instagram. It occurred to me the other day that I spend so much time on the platform that at the very least someone should be sending me some free teeth whitening strips. It’s a totally one-sided relationship but I’m scared if I quit I’ll miss something. That hilarious ‘sweater weather’ video doing the rounds at the moment being a classic example (look it up on YouTube. You’re welcome). 

• I feel I might be whistling in the wind a bit this week as chances are I’m going to be overtaken by events fairly rapidly. NPHET are meeting today (Thursday) so what’s going to happen next is anyone’s guess. Speaking of which, do you say Nephet, or are you gone rogue with En-phet? I’m the former and am a little disapproving of anyone who goes with the latter. It’s a bit like when people say ‘Leedle’ instead of ‘Liddle’ for the discount supermarket. Why would you do that, like? 

• Also, who came up with the term ‘circuit breaker’ anyway, I wonder? ‘Trip switch’ sounds far more dynamic to me. And if anyone is listening, could we also please stop saying ‘narrative’ this and that. I don’t know when it became such a thing, but it’s time to change (the narrative). I sound cranky again, don’t I? Broadcaster Brendan O’Connor had a good point when he said once upon a time people were opinionated, but now we’re all just cross. His radio show has turned into a weekend highlight for me. Says it all. Other things making me cross is Claire Byrne Live not starting until 10.35pm – who stays up that late on a Monday night? 

• A highlight of my week was when my husband had a rare WFH day. After months of just me and the dog I was super excited. I dressed the part, and upped my game considerably on my Zoom meetings, offered coffee and friendly chat, all to impress the ‘new boy’ in the office. It was quite the novelty for the four-year-old too when she got back from playschool. I know it’s beyond childish but I was taking an insane amount of pleasure from her requests to sit on his lap, ask for help to fix lego (x100) etc. I wasn’t always this mean, or at least I don’t think I was, but there’s something so fabulous about being able to say ‘ask Dad.’ 

• If we do go into lockdown again, this time around I’m making it all about me. And snoozes. Loads of them. It’s the season after all. Forget the tidying and decluttering. I still haven’t forgiven Marie Kondo for brainwashing me into giving away half my wardrobe back in March because it wasn’t bringing me joy right in that particular moment. I’m lamenting the loss of loads of tops that would have been great for Zoom, even if they were, shall we say, a little snug. If you sit at the right angle and there’s no sudden movements, you can totally get away with it. 

• Oh yes, I knew I had something important to ask: what’s the story with the elastic bands coming off face masks in the wash? Is there a knack to getting them on again that I’m just not getting? It’s so hard being me right now. 

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