At every turn there are signs we’re very much in post-pandemic territory and it’s great. I’m especially thrilled that young people finally get to have their debs and grads balls – I mean, if we had to suffer it, so should they!
• IT would do you good to see the photos of all the debs and grads finally getting to take place in West Cork wouldn’t it? The dicky bows, the dodgy tans and the looks of devilment are all signs of things finally getting back to normal for our younger folk who have missed out on so many milestones over the past two years. I’m delighted for them.
• It got me a bit misty eyed about my own debs, even if at the time I’d have gladly welcomed a global pandemic just to get out of it. There was the whole palaver of trying to find someone to ask which was more of a worry to me than the Leaving Cert itself. The simple fact that I didn’t know any boys that I wasn’t related to was a major hurdle to overcome. A more sophisticated pal from Dunmanway had to sort myself and a Ballydehob buddy out with our dates for the night, and nearly 30 years later we’re still grateful to her!
• Getting the gúna sorted was the fun bit, I was totally there for that. I had serious notions about myself and went to Pamela Scott on Grafton Street for my purchase which was full-length black, with a modest slit that the nuns could approve of. It would not have looked out of place on a middle-aged woman at a garda dinner dance. I accessorised with a black boa (it was meant to look alternative, but if I’d had elbow length gloves I would have passed as an extra from a drawing room scene in Poirot). Most of it was left behind on the dance floor anyway. To finish the look I went for lethal platform heels, which I survived in unharmed on the night, but which I nearly killed myself in a few weeks later coming out of Amadeus in Bantry (the bottle of Ritz may not have helped). They were happy days. At least I think they were, but the rose tinted glasses help.
• Another sign of things being back to normal was the return of the local ploughing match on Sunday, after a two year gap. My grandfather was very involved in ploughing and my dad carried the tradition on so I have a bit of a grá for the turning of the sod even if I don’t know the first thing about it. What I do know though is that it’s a lovely community outing with an added bonus of being able to get a sneaky bag of John Daly chips in the middle of the afternoon. Years ago we’d get a day off school for the occasion and I still vividly remember getting stuck in the muck and being pulled out but having to leave the wellies behind. Why I remember a detail like that and not important things like the difference between practice and practise is beyond me, but there you go (‘s’ is the verb right? Or is it the ‘c’?)
• Of course the ploughing scenes seemed somehow more poignant on the day it emerged that farmers will be asked to grow grain due to potential supply shortages because of the situation Ukraine. I’ve still a few sliced pans left in the freezer from the pandemic panic buying so I reckon I’m good for a while, but it just shows yet, again, how important it is to be as self-sufficient as possible.
• Same goes for fuel costs, which are really kicking in. I’ve always coveted a beast of a Land Rover … until now. Basic tips to save fuel for anyone interested include braking less (on West Cork roads?) and decluttering the car (note to self: deliver the six bags of stuff for the charity shop that you put in the boot after Christmas).
• Anyway, so I have finally finished watching Inventing Anna on Netflix and I feel like a weight has been lifted from me. Those hour long episodes were a serious nightly commitment that I was struggling with. There were nine episodes in the series in total and it took me to episode five to realise I should have bailed on episode two so I just kept going until the grating end. Give it a swerve if you still can. The memes doing the rounds are the best bit.
• Finally, the five-year-old turned six on International Women’s Day. She was just four when I started writing here, which just shows how time is moving along at quite a pace. It’s great we can have parties again and if anyone is curious how you might feel after blowing up 20 plus balloons, I can confirm, not at all well. Possibly the same way the birthday girl felt after too many jellies. We’re ready to get back on the Lenten bandwagon until at least St Patrick’s Day which is only around the corner with the added bonus of a new bank holiday this year. Sure Easter will be here in no time and we’ve the Census in the middle to look forward to. But without being a kill joy there’s still a lot of ‘the old Covid’ lurking around so as Joe would say, keep washing those hands