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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Waxing lyrical about my new farmer’s tan

May 16th, 2020 8:00 PM

By Emma Connolly

Social distancing isn’t required when escorting the girls back after milking.

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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Week Nine and I’m using the global pandemic to excuse myself from taking responsibility for just about everything

• A single, solitary wax strip was all I could locate for a DIY leg wax on the hottest day of the year last Saturday. The purple tinge to my skin would have been horrifying enough, but this was next level stuff. I was told as a teen that at least three hairs grow back for every one you shave, so I’ve been a dedicated waxer for decades. I’m impressionable like that (someone once told me that one After Eight had the equivalent calories of a five course meal. I’ve never been able to touch them). Obviously I enforced a strict social distancing policy on the patio for the day. In other news, the bush telegraph had it that local beaches were very busy – and that not everyone was within their travel zones. Just saying. I mean I’d have liked a swim as much as the next person, but this is about the long game, people.

• I should actually have spent that day on a bouncy castle celebrating my nephew’s Communion. What’s that joke doing the rounds? That the youngsters should sue the government for loss of earnings? I was thinking more of the bouncy castle suppliers – they must be feeling more deflated than most.

• So how’s the mood in general? There are days I feel I could re-roof the house, and there are others where I struggle to even charge my electric toothbrush. I’d like to blame the pandemic, although to be honest I’d say I’ve always been like this. But come here, it is really handy having a fall guy, isn’t it? I’m quite enjoying this pandemic cop-out. We can totally get away with saying we’re feeling a bit ‘overwhelmed,’ or ‘flat’ by what’s going on, without having to fess up that’s it’s more likely caused by staying up until 1am watching rubbish or spending too much time online and not getting exercise. Same for weight gain, and for being a bit of a b****. I wonder at what point will we have to become accountable for our behaviour again?

• That’s why I’m struggling a bit with a sort of Stockholm Syndrome. Hear me out. It’s totally weird, but there are lots of moments when I think I quite like this enforced lockdown, and I’m kind of dreading when ‘(a new) normality’ resumes. Initially, it was a case of being given some ‘bonus’ time to sort the house/catch your breath/hop off the rat run of life for a while. Now though, it’s after settling into a sort of a rhythm that, as bewildering and all as it is, has something going for it. Although over the weekend, someone said that they felt there was a real chance schools mightn’t open in September and my immediate reaction was:  Dear God, get me out of here!

• The  four-year-old has also started calling us by our first names so it’s probably time for her to get out, too. I think it’s a desperate bid to boost  household numbers. It’s a little cute, but I definitely don’t want it to be a permanent thing. Everyone else gets to call me Emma.

• Before I forget, help me out here, is there some knack to not looking at yourself during Zoom meetings? Is it really hard or am I missing a trick?  I have mastered the art of wearing something ‘distracting’ in terms of a neckpiece, earrings or super bright top, to deflect from the fact that I’ve nothing earth shattering to contribute, but looking straight at the camera, I find very tough. (and yes obviously, I get straight back into my hoody as soon as I hang up).

• I’m relieved there’s finally been clarity on the Leaving Cert but I do feel very sorry for this year’s cohort. And very, very, very sorry for their parents. I have no idea what it feels like to be a teenager in 2020, but, decades later, I can vouch that the Leaving Cert was a major ordeal in my life, so I think I do get it even a little bit. Have a good sulk, a cry, a bitch, whatever. It is unfair. It is very unlucky. But go easy on your parents. It’s not their fault.

• And then, just  when I was losing the will, out of nowhere, like some glorious unexpected gift, came the Johnny and Dickie, handbags-at-dawn spat. Talk about comedy gold, box office stuff, and it totally snapped me out of my self-pitying ‘why me?’ mode. It’s just a shame that they kissed and made up so soon, as I was about to settle in with the popcorn.

• In other news, I’ve only gone and gotten myself a farmer’s tan. That’s probably because  I’ve being doing a bit of farming – mainly picking stones and blocking cows. The old excuse of ‘not being home’ doesn’t cut it these days. I even climbed up on a plastic covered silage pit, for the first time in around 30 years, and found it strangely exhilarating. It was good to get a different viewpoint, even if my OCD tendencies meant I was convinced I was after getting Weil’s disease.

• Where are we with face masks? I like the idea of them, and reckon I’ll give them a whirl even if they’re not mandatory. Instagram is getting a bit busy with designers bringing out limited edition mask collections so that might have swung it for me. What? I’ve already admitted to being impressionable.

• There’s been a really obnoxious smell coming from my hot press over the past few days. The four-year-old described it as a ‘silent bomb.’ And we all know they’re the worst possible kind. Any solutions? Preferably of the variety that don’t involve me taking everything out as I think that would tip me over the edge. And that’s not a cop-out.

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