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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER WEEK 8: We’re going to the pits – we just can’t decide if it’s sand or fire

May 9th, 2020 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

It’s going to be a long, hopefully hot summer, spent in our gardens, which is why I’m furiously researching fire pits.

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DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: It’s week 8 and my beeping dishwasher might just push me over the edge if people’s date night pictures on Instagram don’t do it first

• I won’t lie. I had a day or two this week where I’ve wanted to opt out from adulating/parenting and let the mood drop a bit. But perspective is very important right now. Yes, it’s pretty rubbish for us all, but what about those poor souls who are dying, their families, the seriously ill in hospital, those having sleepless nights over their businesses, anyone with other health issues or those all alone. Certainly, we’re all allowed a bad hour or bad day, but unless you’re in any of the above categories, pull it back before you catch the ‘poor me’ habit. It can be hard to shake.

• I’m easily confused but I’m finding the roadmap, er, confusing. I might print it out and put it on the fridge. Beside the sign I’ve made that says ‘Step away Emma.’ I’m a rule follower but I can see this getting very messy. I’m just keeping my eye on the prize which is: everyone back to work by August 10th. I think we can safely say I’ll be the first in that day. Let’s just not bring any home baking ok lads? No banana bread anyway.

• In the meantime, my days are punctuated by things beeping at me. If it’s not the washing machine it’s the dishwasher. Sweet divine Jesus. I know the appliances are just trying to be be helpful, but I wish they’d just BEEP off.  I’m genetically wired in such a way that I can’t ignore a beep and have been known to get up at night, or insist on pausing a movie, to empty the dishwasher. My husband does not get this. At all. But like is there anything worse than having to empty a dishwasher first thing in the morning? Just me so then.

• In other news, my kitchen worktop has suffered no less than three considerable chips/cracks since lockdown started. It’s supposed to be able to withstand a nuclear bomb, so take heart, if like me you’re starting to look like the wreck of the Hesperus.

• I’m still on the wagon, thanks for your support. There was the exception of a G&T on Saturday and Sunday night and a small wine on Monday night to round things off.  You’re judging me again aren’t you? I can feel it.

• What are we making of Normal People? I only watched one episode I admit, and while I like Lenny as much as the next person, I have to admit I was losing patience with the Twitterati’s ‘beautifully shot’ this and ‘painfully captured’ that. Joe Duffy’s Liveline the following day was far, far more entertaining.

• In fact, RTÉ Radio 1 presenters are playing a blinder over the past few weeks. Cork’s Brendan O’Connor is settling in nicely to his weekend slot and sure you all know how I feel about Ronan. He helped me pull back Bank Holiday Monday when it was looking a bit like the week-old bluebells on my kitchen table – tired and droopy. A blast of the Gypsy Kings kickstarted the kitchen disco and suddenly all was right in the world again. Can’t beat a bit of Bamboleo! Let’s not just talk about the fact that it’s Sean O’Rourke’s last week, though.

• I’ve been making lots of videos of the four-year-old during lockdown, for a social archive. Okay, that’s a lie, it’s out of complete boredom. The thing that’s struck me time and time again is that it’s only when you stop recording that your child will do something incredibly cute, clever or hilarious that would definitely have gone viral and potentially have made you a fortune. Everything that came before that is only interesting for granny or grandad. At a push.

• Meanwhile, it’s also occurred to me how much I miss my commute from Timoleague to Skibbereen. It was such a glorious way to ease into things.Alone. And there was the added bonus of switching from Radio 1 at just the right time to catch Gift Grub and making it on time for an O’Neill’s takeout coffee, an excellent start to the day. Same for the drive home. It’s all a bit blurry now. A bit like my mind. My thinking time is gone so apologies for being duller than usual.

• Maybe that’s why I’m completely unable to make any decisions these days. I feel that an outdoor swing chair would make me happier. But should I go for fixed or freestanding? Also, would the Dyson hairdryer change my life in a way that justifies its price tag and what’s the best glycolic acid for a knackered 40-something-year-old like myself? Answers on a postcard, please.

• One thing I am certain about, though, is  people are being right old doses on Instagram lately, aren’t they? I really want to quit the platform, but I’ve spent the past two years looking for the perfect sideboard for my kitchen and I’ve got FOMO. In the meantime, can I respectfully suggest that we’re done with any references to quarantine weight gain; posting pics of your lockdown date night and all pretences that your kid played quietly with a cardboard box for five hours? Give it up.  Also assume everyone has seen the memes. Seven times already. (Sorry. I’m not sure if lockdown has made me angry, if I’ve always been like this, or if I’m pms-ing as I’ve no idea what day or date it is.)

• If I said my new fixation is Professor Luke O’Neill, would ye think I was proper crazy? I wouldn’t be offended.

• I started the week refusing point blank to buy my sidekick any new toys or allow any more horrible plastic enter the house. Of course I caved and ended the week by buying a sand pit. The only thing was that the retailer was out of sand, and while I live near a beach, lots of them, I’m not quite near enough until phase … see I told you it was confusing.

• It’s going to be a long summer, at home, and the Donegal postman has declared it will be a sunny one. Sod it, I think I’ll also buy a fire pit and sit it out.

• In other random thoughts, we thought that in 2020 we’d have flying cars; but stranger than that, we will all be wearing face masks. These are the days.

• But as I type this, looking out at West Cork’s lush countryside, what I’m mostly wondering is what phase can my window cleaner come back? #idontdowindows.

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