WOMAN ON THE VERGE: Doing my best to keep things ‘light’

September 6th, 2022 3:30 PM

By Emma Connolly

Bad Sisters on Apple TV is really good; but all the talk of power cuts coming down the tracks due to the global energy crisis, is less so. (Photos: IMDb & Shutterstock)

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This week I’m going to be mainly celebrating hitting the ‘back to school’ milestone, watching Bad Sisters and doing my level best to ‘black out’ all the talk of power outages this winter

• HEAR that? Exactly. Silence. And after a long and busy summer isn’t it just grand? The expressions of parents and guardians in school car parks all over West Cork this week said it all: ‘We did it! We survived another one! And we even had fun along the way too – we think!’ But with our shifty side eye as we scurried from the school gates, what we were also saying was: ‘Teachers: we’re really sorry. At some stage around late July the wheels came off in a big way. Routines became more erratic than that of a new born and our offspring developed an attitude that was probably linked to the amount of Netflix they watched. You might sort it out please (and the US accent they somehow picked up even though we holidayed at home). We promise we’ll make it up to you with an extra nice Christmas gift. God bless you and thanks.’

• Parents of college-going kids have the ‘pleasure’ of their company for another while yet as Leaving Cert results aren’t out until the end of the week. Then it will be all about the mad rush to find them suitable accommodation. Good luck with that. Going by the horror stories doing the rounds, it’s time to start the novenas, investing in a camper van, or cosying up to long lost relations in the country’s various cities.

• Finding college accommodation was always an issue, albeit not at the level it is today, even when I was a student and that was in back in the days of Brian Ború. I remember going to Dublin with my parents after getting my results to try and get a highly sought after spot on the college campus. It wasn’t looking hopeful until my mother innocently produced a bottle of whiskey from the dark recesses of her handbag as a little ‘gesture’ for the chap in charge of the waiting list. Somehow a spot opened up for me. At the time I was horrified but in hindsight I have to applaud her canniness. I should point out though that this was the early 1990s in case anyone was thinking of taking this approach. Best not.

• My parents figured the on-campus rooms would be a good place for me to find my feet. I was, after all, only barely 18. There was no gap year back then, and I was fresh from five years in an all-girls boarding’ school. In other words greener than the school uniform I had worn.

• Their plan didn’t quite go as they had expected though. The set-up was a unit with two separate bedrooms, each with a shared adjoining kitchenette and bathroom. Compact would be how I’d describe it. I was paired up with, how should I put it, a worldly-wise Austrian girl called Petra who was in her mid-20s. So, you know how Germans have a reputation for being pretty liberal and uninhibited in the ‘bedroom department’? Well, Austrians are even more so. I can vouch for that. It was quite the education, even if not the one I’d expected. We didn’t stay in touch. Funny that, but I fully expect her to pop up in a Netflix series about Tantric sex or something of the like.

• Yes, gas what you remember! While I didn’t hit it off with Petra (unlike everyone else it seemed), I did make great friends in college, who I’m still really close with today. Although that could be because, over two decades later, we all know far too much about each other to cut loose.

• Speaking of the female bond, just as I predicted Bad Sisters on Apple TV is wickedly good. It’s like the complete opposite of Normal People – these sisters really are normal people, lively and messy and awkward and funny and a pretty accurate depiction of a regular Irish family. Well besides the fact that they kill their brother-in-law. And sure let’s be honest, who among us hasn’t thought about that every now and then? (joking lads!). Sharon Horgan is as brilliant as ever, and is surrounded by a superb cast. My life is empty until the next episodes are streamed.

• Anyway, do you reckon we really need to have the torches and lanterns at the ready for these much talked about energy blackouts or are these doomsday scenarios just a load of hot air? Although it might be kind of nice every now and then to come home from work and go straight to bed wouldn’t it? Just give everyone some bread and cheese and call it a day. No need for a dinner, or to unload a wash, put on a wash, and so on. Of course that’s if we’re not already back working from home in a bid to conserve fuel. We could stay in bed all day then. There’s a thought.

• In the meantime, are we all looking to connect with our inner Bear Grylls in a bid to live off-grid faced with off-the-scale energy bills? Me neither. I did go in search of pocket friendly dinner ideas though but to be honest it was all a bit horrifying with mention of meat cuts like cheeks, skirts, shanks, hocks and shoulders. And don’t even mention tripe and drisheen either. I’m still traumatised from having to eat them as a child. Besides you’d need to redecorate to get the smell out of the house, so it would be in vain.

• Finally, in this my most uplifting column to date, spare a thought for the poor farmers who have hardly a blade of grass between them. That, and Irish Water’s hosepipe ban, in place for 30 supplies in West Cork for the next four weeks. It’s exhausting – and I haven’t even got my electricity bill for this month yet. There’s always the next episode of Bad Sisters to look forward to I suppose.


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