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We’ve gone back to basics – it’s brutal

September 20th, 2022 3:30 PM

By Emma Connolly

Only the essentials are allowed in the shopping trolley these days – luckily grapes (in their liquid form) are still deemed essential, for now anyway – and they’re helping with the dog’s new, and very hard to stomach, problem. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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Between the dog’s new problem and trying to arrange a courier it was a challenging week to be fair, and one without any fancy snacks to look forward to either. It’s going to be a long winter ....

• THE poor dog has developed a pretty unfortunate habit I’m calling ‘boffing.’ It’s a mixture of coughing and bombing. As in every time she coughs (or even politely clears her throat), the old dear bombs (slight breeze from the heart, otherwise known as a … exactly). She’s a house dog and we do our best to avoid eye contact and allow her some dignity when it happens (which is quite often) but I can think of better sound tracks while we’re having our dinner (and breakfast and lunch). I did resort to turning the radio up a bit to spare her blushes, but to be honest the ‘boffing’ is less off putting than most of the news headlines right now.

• Anyway, a good chunk of my week was spent trying to arrange a courier collection, to return a badly-thought out online purchase. I nearly lost my tiny mind in the process. None of three collections I booked showed up, even though I stayed in especially for them. I didn’t have much faith with the fourth booking, so when I spotted the van coming down the road I bolted out and started waving my hands wildly on the front lawn to flag him down. It was a bit like being ship wrecked on a desert island and spotting a boat or a plane when you’d lost all hope. That’s the level of urgency we’re talking about, and yes, I think I scared him a bit. Anyway I got so peed off by the whole thing that I’ve vowed never again with the world of online buying (within reason). Back to bricks and mortar shops for me. I remember going shopping with my mum in the 80s, mainly in Bandon, and boutiques would allow you take stuff home on appros, or they’d have things specifically picked out and put away for you especially ‘in the back.’ It all sounds so civilised and relaxing doesn’t it? I’m totally there for it. I can no longer cope with scrolling through 22 pages online of almost identical looking white shirts, and just want someone to hand me one that will do just nicely. If that’s a sign of getting old I don’t care (just so long as boffing isn’t on the cards!)

• You know how I was banging on about how hard it is to live in the moment last week? (don’t worry about it). Not helping was the email I’m sure lots of us got this week telling us that bookings were open for a popular Cork Santa experience. I was tied up – mainly on watch for the courier driver – so I didn’t look into it for a while. Not the wisest move as all that’s now available are a few random Tuesday and Wednesdays in early December to meet the man himself (and as I’m typing I’m sure they’ve been snapped up too). When did everyone get so flipping organised? Let me guess, everyone has their summer holidays booked for next year already too? I feel a migraine coming on, and I don’t even get migraines.

• So my husband is one of those rare creatures who enjoys grocery shopping. Naturally as my role in life is to make him as happy as possible, I grant him this weekly experience. He’s a bit of an indulgent shopper who strays wildly from the list and while I might ‘tut tut’ at his extravagant purchases, it makes late night snacking options quite the event. Some oak smoked salami with a delicately aged cheddar on herb infused crackers? Sure why not! How about some terrine made from hand-picked mushrooms with a punchy port? Era go on! That’s how we roll. Or that’s how we used to roll. I got quite the shock when I sauntered cockily to the fridge last Friday night, Friday being the day of the weekly shop. No fancy charcuterie, smelly cheese, or paté in sight. Not even an olive. It was quite the pickle (none of those either). We’ve gone back to basics and it’s bloody brutal. Slice of toast it was in the end. Some Irish survey revealed the cost of living is more than €4,000 a month for a family of four. We’re a family of three but given that I’ll have to start stocking up on the doggy diapers soon, any fantasies of giving up on ‘scheduled work’ (eg the day job) might have to go on ice for a while. At least we’ve got the ploughing match to look forward to. What? I’m digging deep.

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