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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Unzipped truth on our camping trip

July 5th, 2020 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

Nigella Lawson is going on a people diet and, post lockdown, is going to continue limiting her contact with people. That wasn’t even an option on my camping trip where, like it or not, you’re all up close and personal!

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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Week 16 and I’m a convert to canvas, I’m already missing Leo and his block-buster speeches and think Nigella might actually be onto something with her new diet

• WE came, we camped, and we conquered. Well kind of anyway. Our first staycation of what we hope will be many during summer 2020 (camping in my mum’s garden) was a success. We hit the jackpot on day one as it was one of those gloriously sunny ones which basically makes West Cork look like paradise. We hit the beach, enjoyed sun-downers and toasted smores on the fire pit. This is the life, we thought smugly, as we reclined on our deck chairs (and hoped they wouldn’t keel over). We zipped up for the night thinking we had it sussed.

• What we hadn’t factored in though, was that we live near a pig processing plant. It’s probably not something we’d be talking up if we ever decided to sell, to be honest. Our staycation overlapped with some of their short term ‘guests’ who squealed the night away. Loudly. Let’s just say, no one mentioned a full Irish the next morning, and possibly never will again.

• And of course this is Ireland, and 24 hours can make a huge difference. Day two brought torrential downpours which put a whole different complexion on things. A mainly damp one. There was also the small matter of being a little too enthusiastic the night before whensampling a bottle of Graham Norton’s pink gin that was in our ‘welcome basket’ (ok I brought it). But we weren’t going to be accused of being fair weather campers so we stuck it out and survived. In fact we’re feeling so cocky now that, along with everyone else in the country, we’re desperately trying to find a campsite we can pitch in. Preferably one where you won’t nod off to the sound of squealing piggies.

• The thing about camping, though, is that it is exhausting. The days are long, as everyone is up early. The tent is pretty much hotter than hell by day so you’re out and about, and then it’s difficult to wind everyone down until late-ish. Basically I now feel like I did in my twenties after a week in Costa del wherever – in need of another holiday. But no, honestly, it was brilliant! Really was. And sure it’s all for the kids, I mean who really needs ‘me time’ anyway? And of course the hidden benefit is that after two nights on an air bed, your own bed will basically feel like the ultimate in five star luxury.

• At this stage in the summer, though, I feel like my whole life is covered in a layer of sand. I’ve given up the good fight and am surrendering to it. It’s a bit like Christmas tree needles. Basically, you spend half the year hoovering them up, and the other half sweeping up sand. There may be one or two days where you’ve conquered both. Make sure to celebrate the little wins.

• So, we’ve a new government? I have to admit I’m going to miss Leo, his increasingly tousled hair and super-scripted speeches. Whatever your politics, I think it’s only fair to say that he rose to the occasion during the pandemic. Or at least his speech writers did. It’s hard to know where the Reeling in the Years crew will even start. Speaking of hair, though, David McCullagh, Prime Time, must be commended for sticking it out during restrictions and not giving into a home cut. That’s quite the mop he’s got isn’t it? Got to be hot under those studio lights. Does he have a bet on with Miriam, I wonder?

• I’ve only a few days to go myself to my hairdresser appointment. To be honest I didn’t think I was as super excited as most people at banishing the greys once again, but the fact that every time I leave the house now I take a deep breath and silently pray that I don’t meet anyone, can only mean one thing: fix me please!

• What did you make of Nigella Lawson saying she’s going on a 5:2 diet with people to limit interaction? She admits to having gone a bit ‘feral’ during lockdown and now only plans to meet people on two occasions during the week. I have to admit I quite like the sound of that. I mean, why stop there, what about a 6:1?

• I had lovely, and most welcome, surprise visit during the week from my local Tidy Towns in Timoleague who called by to deliver a super-cute potted plant that they are distributing to all the cocooners in the locality. Now, they were at pains to point out strictly speaking I wasn’t in the qualifying age category (grey hair aside) but that it was an unabashed attempt to get a little mention here. What can I say? I’m easily won over so a big shout out this week to Timoleague Tidy Towns – keep up the brilliant work! The pot had a little message stuck on the side saying ‘Time to smile.’ Let’s make that the thought for the week.

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