DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Week 21 and, against the odds, it looks like we might just have survived Summer 2020 with only a few battle scars, as the school drop-off gets tantalisingly closer
• WE’RE out the other side of the August Bank Holiday Weekend, which means Summer 2020 (which actually went far faster than we all expected) is pretty much all over and we’re on the home stretch. No one wants to get too cocky, but people are quietly taking the uniforms out from where they’ve been hibernating for the past few months, checking to see what fits (probably nothing), covering the books and doing all the endless labelling that’s usually so tedious, but is cause for celebration this year. I’ve even heard of a few people who couldn’t contain their enthusiasm and have already packed the schoolbags. Fair play. Just don’t, any of us, talk about it for god’s sake or we’ll jinx things. Depending on which side of the counter you’re on, you could say pubs have been thrown under the bus for the sake of schools. The gospel according to (Prof) Luke (my main man) says that 65 is our number of new daily cases that could derail everything. Don’t be a muppet. Stay vigilant.
• I’ve been hearing very mixed reports from people who have been holidaying around the country (note to everyone else: it is possible to talk about such things without using that ‘stay…’ word). Feedback is varying from excellent to downright scary, from good value to feeling absolutely fleeced, to places playing by the rules, and others that are being quite cheeky in their interpretation of things. We weren’t really feeling ‘it’ so had another weekend in the tent. Seriously, the kids better talk about these days (and long nights) in years to come. My back certainly won’t forget about them in a hurry anyway.
• August for me is all about our local festival, the bumpers and the fancy dress. No one would have been short of ideas for their floats this year but it’s obviously all been cancelled. This was well flagged up so we’ve had plenty of time to get used to the idea, but I have to admit when the announcement came through that The Everyman was cancelling the panto (oh yes they are!) I was really taken aback. Like hundreds of families everywhere, it’s a traditional day out for my extended family. In my naivety I felt that December would surely have seen a return to normal. Does this mean visits to Santa are also on ice? Christmas parties? Ok, I’ll stop. Let’s just get through September first.
• Struck me (and lots of others) that we’ve all got a whole new Covid inspired vocabulary going on. For example, the word ‘pod’ – once upon a time it was where you’d find two peas but now it’s how schoolkids are going to be organised. Same for ripple, which used to remind me of ice-cream, but is now more likely to strike the fear of god in me. Blended, was something I did to make a smoothie, and it’s now the future of learning; while face masks, once a luxury or little treat, are now something that’s mandatory.
• But it’s gas all the same how kids adapt, isn’t it? I never really explained the pandemic in any great detail to my four-year-old beyond saying there was a ‘silly old virus’ around which meant we had to wash our hands a lot and stay home (and mutter under our breath a lot and drink vats of wine). I thought talking about it too much might be a bit distressing for her. Hah! Somewhere along the way she picked up the official title, Covid-19, constantly reminds us to sanitise, and wears a mask with ease. I’m really trying my best to get through a column without using the words ‘new normal,’ but….
• Speaking of masks, they are the new ‘go to’ gift when visiting someone, aren’t they? Once upon a time you brought a plant or a candle to the hostess, but now it’s a mask. Beauty blogger Triona McCarthy from Schull gets my top prize for the most original and fun mask I’ve seen around yet. It’s flesh coloured and is adorned with fabulous red lips which of course are the casualty of covering up. Definitely need to get myself one of those.
•Visiting people is a bit different these days isn’t it? It used to be that you’d make sure your guests weren’t sitting in a draught, and now it’s the complete opposite. If we allow people inside at all, we’re opening windows and doors and making sure there’s a bit of a gale blowing through the place. Hard to feel hospitable sometimes, but sure we’ve no other choice. And on the plus side, it’s a good way of making sure no one overstays their welcome! I’ve just started my search for the perfect winter coat which is even more vital this year for the obvious reasons. Thinking function might win out over fashion. And I’m also stocking up on Vitamin D and a few other tinctures and tonics to give us all a fighting chance to get through the winter.
• I mentioned last week that I am trying to reclaim my middle-age years and get back on track with fitness and food choices. I may have taken a few wrong turns over the bank holiday weekend but having heard Dr Niall Moyna on the Brendan O’Connor show on Saturday morning, I’m feeling quite motivated. And horrified. He pointed out that 30 minutes of walking, will only burn off the equivalent of three quarters of a slice of bread. I kind of see where I’ve been going wrong now. I’d recommend a listen back. What about Richard ‘Beefcake’ Bruton, though? He’s ‘abs-olutely’ putting it up to Micheál Martin when he does his New Year’s Day swim in Courtmacsherry!
• I feel I should say something about ‘that’ Tampax ad, only because a few weeks back I wrote that I was surprised to feel a little affronted by it. But to be honest I think there’s already been more than enough opinions shared on it, and besides I’m feeling too pre-menstrual to get into it right now.