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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Keeping up with life during a pandemic

September 20th, 2020 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

KUWTK is ending after 14 years, in 2021. How do we feel about about a more down-to-earth KUWTDHW?

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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Week 27 and I’ve realised that I need to get a hobby, and am considering a ‘warts and all’ reality TV series

• Is it just me or is it starting to feel that we’ve been left to paddle our own (Covid) canoes? The government’s much-hyped ‘Living with Covid’ plan hasn’t done much to settle my jitters. Micheál tied himself up in knots trying to level with the levels, Leo was pedalling his ‘Four W’s’ like we were pre-schoolers, while it all got too much for Stephen. All in all a very bad day at the office. I was hoping for something more concrete than ‘advising’ this and ‘urging’ that. The Irish psyche doesn’t respond well to that approach, we tend to sail a bit too close to the wind. Let’s hope it’s not all going to blow up in our faces.

• Two people not helping my doomsday thoughts were the guy in front of me in the supermarket the other day and the cashier. The pair were having an animated exchange (flirting in fact) over their thoughts on how we shouldn’t have to wear masks. He wasn’t wearing one, and she had hers (provocatively) slipped down. What a missed opportunity, that I wasn’t wearing one of those great masks by Cork company Hairy Baby, that says ‘Give Me Strength.’ My disapproval was seriously restricted by my own face covering, but I really upped it with the ‘no, you have a nice day’ dead eye.

• A lot of my anger at these two came from the fact that my older sister who has Down Syndrome has had her world completely turned on its head since March. She was totally taking it on the chin for the past six months, but like lots of us, has understandably almost reached her limit. There’s only so much daytime TV, walks, knitting etc that you can do. She misses her purpose. She totally accepts she can’t go back to her part-time supermarket job that she adores, and would be delighted to have one day a week at her day care centre, where she’d happily socially distance with her friends, and wear her mask. She has a pile of them in her bag ready to go. This is absolutely not a criticism of her service provider, whose staff are doing everything in their power to make this happen safely. It’s a message to muppets who are choosing to live their lives like we’re not in the middle of a global pandemic, to look around. People are suffering in lots of ways, my sister included, and your behaviour is prolonging that. Mark up, or I’m coming after you.

• I don’t know. What do we make of the new presenter, Mark Coughlan, on Prime Time? I know he’s massively accomplished and has been doing brilliant work as part of the team for years, but, and I don’t know how to say this nicely, he just doesn’t look right with Miriam. Genuinely. On the plus side, it’s good to finally hear accents (he’s clearly a Dub) on national TV, but I want David back. There’s so much uncertainty around already, that I can’t handle any more change. (Sorry, Linda! – see her column on why change is important on page 21).

• Anyway, Communion season is underway at last and I’m so glad for the younger folk that there’s a bit of fuss being made of them on their special day even if it looks a whole lot different to what families were originally planning. For starters, the landscape is almost entirely devoid of bouncy castles. You can legitimately hire one, there’s nothing to stop you, but lots of people are afraid it will attract negative attention of the GolfGate variety so may choose not to. As people’s guest lists are way down, too, many are opting to go to restaurants rather than celebrating at home. It is a little awkward, though, as every group can only book a table for six, so say, if you want your brother and his family to be there, they have to make their own reservation. Proprietors are also, rightly, warning that there can’t be any ‘cross pollination’ between tables that know each other. Imagine trying to explain that to over-excited cousins? All in all, sounds very relaxing. A top up anyone?

• I’m about to pull the plug on Netflix. I had been really looking forward to The Duchess with Katherine Ryan which I found beyond tiresome. It was so bad it was making me angry. I was really disappointed as it was the only thing that kept me going through a day of rapid-fire questions from the the four-year-old, along the lines of: ‘Is the rain waterproof? How old was I when I was three? How old will I be when I’m older? How did you find daddy? Can I see your armpit again? How did I get in your tummy? No, I mean before the magic star and the magic dust? Who made me to put me in there?’ Given that my own grasp on existentialism is fairly limited, I just resorted to my tried and tested parenting hack and produced a mini pack of buttons. Equally disappointing is the new series Get Organised with The Home Edit. People are losing their s*** over this. Frankly, I had already figured out that grouping cereals together in the pantry was a good plan. I was looking for a bit more than that – in fairness, like.

• Clearly, I need a hobby. My problem is that I’m not a joiner. I’ve tried, I really have, but without success. I signed up to an aromatherapy course a few years back and was full sure I had found my ‘tribe.’ Then, half an hour in, we were told to massage the shoulders of the person to our right. I felt like bolting before I ever saw the pimples on my neighbour’s back. I was a no-show after that. I love the idea of sea swimming, but am terrified of putting my head under water. Maybe I could hold the insulated parkas and flasks and stay for the chats? Although I’m not really mad into chats, either. I haven’t the talent for painting, or the patience for fishing, and golf is my husband’s thing. Maybe I’ll just see if there’s anything new  starting on Netflix.

• I’ll leave you with an update on the voucher my husband got us for a night in Dublin: it’s cancelled. Things got pretty ugly around our place last Wednesday night. I told my husband that he obviously didn’t know me at all, if he thought I’d actually have liked to go to Dublin with Covid numbers rising all the time. He said … well, other stuff. Maybe with Keeping up with the Kardashians (KUWTK) wrapping up soon I should pitch for a more ‘relatable’ Irish version? KUWTDHW? (Keeping Up with the Demented Home Worker. But I might need to work on something catchier). Anyway, after lots of ‘yeah but ....’ we declared it was fine. All fine. Sure it is all fine isn’t it?

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