DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: It’s Week 28 and I’m bypassing Hallowe’en to get us working together to make sure Christmas isn’t cancelled
• I’M craving two weeks’ holiday in some place, say, like Mexico. A proper full-on, far (far) away from home, luxury holiday, ideally with friends, but without the Covid stone (so essentially a sort of honeymoon, but with my pals). We’d stay some place that’s in the world’s top 10 ‘must stay in spots before you die’ lists, where you can get a little sozzled at 11am while sipping something sophisticated (but also anti-ageing); our wardrobes would be new season but we’d wear mainly robes; our reading material, high-brow, and our laughter, raucous. We might even get banned from the formal dining room. I suppose it’s probably just as well I can’t book tickets anywhere as I’m supposed to be saving for our driveway ... but a gal can dream, right?
• To be honest, though, I’m nearly finding this stage of the pandemic the hardest. I’m obviously not the first person to compare our Covid emotions to the five stages of grief, although I think I kind of skipped through the denial, anger and bargaining stages to arrive right at the depression stage, which for me is really more like an ennui (just a fancier way of saying I’m bored). I’m totally aware that I’m very fortunate no one close to me has become ill, is living abroad and unable to visit, or has lost their job because of the pandemic, but it’s ok to have a moment where you admit to being bloody fed up, isn’t up? A fortnight down Mexico way would sort that right out.
• But after saying all that, isn’t it insane how resilient we all are? Like, a little over six months ago, none of ‘this’ was in the picture at all. Now here we (nearly) all are fully up to speed with an entirely new lexicon and way of living. We might not be loving it all the time but we’re rolling with it just the same. Of course if more of us could get familiar with the concept of what 2m actually is, we’d be doing an awful lot better. But we live in hope.
• I’m digging deep for something to be positive about this week, so how about the fact that we probably won’t have any trick or treaters next month? Equally we won’t have to chaperone younger family members as they do their rounds, either. I’ll take that as a win, thanks very much. And if you accuse me of being mean-spirited, you obviously haven’t spent time with a kid who is fuelled up on cheap, nasty sweets. It’s right up there with Chucky. Most unpleasant, and best avoided (although I’m quite partial to a jelly snake or 20 myself, I should add).
• Without getting ahead of myself, though, is there any word from the man himself in the North Pole? I know he’ll do the rounds on Christmas Eve (c’mon this is Santa we’re talking about) but what about being able to see him in advance to hand over those all-important lists? The Grinch in me is thinking that if the grottos aren’t deemed Covid-compliant than it would save me the usual exchange of 439 WhatsApp messages with my siblings as we try and coordinate our traditional visit on a day that suits us all. It’s easier to get an audience with the Pope. Although it will be a shame to miss out on the annual photo which is a real benchmark on how the kids are growing up, and the parents are growing ...old!
• In the meantime, the catalogue from a certain leading toystore has landed in our house. Yours too? My kid’s reaction was a bit like mine after spending too much time on Instagram. Elation and wanting it all, followed by deflation upon realising that’s never going to happen, followed by massive come down, followed by a horrible, filthy strop.
• So while the kids are busy compiling their lists which will no doubt change a million times between now and December, the only thing I’m concerned about is keeping Cork off any naughty one. Where we normally threaten that Santa is watching, imagine instead that it’s Dr Ronan Glynn who is keeping an eye on us and who will know if we’re keeping our contacts down, if we’re keeping our distance and if we’re doing our bit to make 2021 a better one.
• Let’s end on something more uplifting. How about Sam Bennett sprinting to victory on the Champs-Elysées in the Tour de France at the weekend? I was a kid when Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche were at their best and this was both a much needed flashback to happier, less complicated days, and a reminder that hopefully there’ll be many more in the future. Hopefully in Mexico.