Saturday, July 4, 2020

Another first

It's strange.
You'd think after four months of lockdown/restrictions/cabin fever or whatever you want to call it, you'd think that when you get the go ahead to go out, that you'd be out that door like calves released after the winter in a shed!
I am quite anxious about venturing out. I know it has to be done
a) for my mental health. I'm getting on my own nerves at this stage.
b) Things are opening slowly, so its doable
c) The economy needs all the help it can get.

So when Fiona and Helen invited me to meet them for lunch in The Spiced Bean inn town, I took a deep breath and went.
I suppose it's the fear of the unknown.
Can I go in now? 
Do I stand at the counter?
Do i carry over my own food?
Can I touch ANYTHING.....including the cutlery???

Anyway, after a few initial wobbles, we sat down to lunch. It was soooo fantastic to eat something that wasn't prepared by myself...and also not have to wash up


We had a great laugh and catch up.
What I had noticed is that EVERYONE is so talkative, including staff and other customers. I think that everyone is so happy and relieved to be actually able to converse with other human beings, that once the floodgates ope, there's no stopping us!
Thanks for a lovely lunch girls. Til the next time!


Thursday, July 2, 2020

Hair we go, hair we go, hair we go......

Today was the day I've been waiting for. Four months have passed and I tried to fool myself that it didn't really matter. I am NOT my hair, so I will not be defined by how long it is or the fact that I am now a blonde ....from the ears down.
But this morning I woke up giddy with excitement. 

As you can see, it wasn't before time!

Off to Ger Murphy's I went. It was Bobby's* first visit to the hairdressers. I told him to get used to it, he was going to be going there a lot in future.
* see yesterday's post!
I was soon suitably sterilised, gowned and masked. I sat back for her to work her magic.
Hey presto!

I'm ready to join the human race again.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

My new arrival

Well after a very long delivery I'd like to announce the safe arrival of my new baby......Bobby!

Now before all the begrudgers start with

"Would ya look at yer one! Typical teacher! Hasn't worked in six months and now buys a brand new car. No wonder the country is in the state it's in".

I'd just like to clarify....
Firstly I stopped working two days ago when I got my summer holidays. And I will start again tomorrow when I commence my online course.

Secondly, this car was ordered last Feb/March.
I remember it well.
I was in O'Brien's garage talking to JP. I ordered my car and he kindly told me that 
"Because of some virus thing in China it will probably take a little longer than normal to get here."

I said that was no problem
"Sure that virus thing will never reach here."
Oh God, how young and naive we were back then!!!

Fast forward four months, country/ whole world in lockdown , economies ground to a halt, but eventually my car was delivered.
Mother and baby are both doing well!

Monday, June 29, 2020

CSI: Raharney

It being Monday morning, I decided to start the week off in a healthy manner. I whipped out my blender and lots of veg and proceeded to make a Beetroot and Orange smoothie.

It tastes lovely but then I remembered why I don't make it that often.

Every time I do, my kitchen is left looking like the murder scene in Criminal Minds.


Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Bird Whisperer

We've had a month of the most amazing weather and once I get my holidays........the weather breaks.
I still headed to the canal for my run/walk. Ah sure the wind is great for clearing the cobwebs.

I need my run/walk more than ever now. I'm finding coming out of Lockdown more stressful than going in.

Anyway I was walking past one of the houses on the canal back when I suddenly heard the ruffling of feathers and loud squawking. For anyone with ornithophobia it's enough to make your blood turn cold.
Sure enough, there was a flock of hens running towards me. I froze!
I'd say it's not that I have suddenly become more attractive to birds. Rather these ones have become very used to people passing daily but today was so windy there were no other people out, so they got over-excited when a person actually appeared.
 Luckily there was a fence between us.

 Just when I thought it was safe one of them took flight and landed on the top of the fence. I swear it looked me straight in the eye and was about to attack.

Well, take it from me, I broke this speed limit!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Back to the future

This time last year we forgot Theresa's birthday.
It was soon after Ger had passed away and in all honesty, it was always Ger who texted us to remind us of each other's birthdays.So with no reminding text, we overlooked it.
Major guilt.
So this year I got a morning text from Martina to remind me what day it was.
I really must put all important dates on my calendar!
Later that day I went down to Weir's shop and I bought Theresa a bottle of wine.
As I was coming out of the shop I came face to face with Theresa's mum, who lives in the village.

I immediately felt like a teenager again, and tried to hide the bottle of wine behind my back! We were talking for a while and there was no hiding the bottle from her.
I had a decision to make.
Do I tell her that it's for her daughter or let her think that it's me that has the drink problem?
In the end I stuck by the Raharney Women's Code....and took one for the team! Like when we were younger we had each other's back.
And the fact that we are now in our fifties is irrelevant!

So Theresa, if your mother happens to mention that she's concerned about me coming out of Weir's shop at mid-day with a bottle of wine in my hand, I expect you to bail me out!!!
Happy Birthday.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Day #1 of summer 2020

This is the sight that greeted me this morning when I looked at my calendar.

I'm sure when I marked that in last January I was thinking I'd be much more excited about it than I actually am at the moment.Now, don't get me wrong. I am very happy to be finished with distance teaching/learning. Your one, two or three kids might have been driving you mad over the past weeks, but I would honestly rather have had thirty of them in front of me in a classroom than try to negotiate the curriculum through a screen.
As someone said recently. 
"It's not so much working from home, but rather living at work!" 
So I will be very happy to get my kitchen table back.

I was about to clear it when I remembered...
Dam, I'm doing an online course on "Teaching 3rd and 4th class" all next week. Don't put the books away just yet.

To mark the day I headed into Mullingar this morning to meet Jeanette. We met at Chocolate Brown's to have a cup of tea/coffee.
It was the first time since Lockdown that I went into a cafe to buy food or drink. I found myself beginning to panic a little.
"Where do I stand?"
"Do they hand me the food or can I take it?"
"Is it a one way system?"

However all went swimmingly well and we were soon seated in the sunshine outside.
There were people around but everyone was nicely socially distanced.I am one of those people who are anxious about re-emerging and not feckin' up all the good work we have done so far.
Sitting in the sunshine, enjoying a cuppa and seeing people going about their daily routines has made me more optimistic about the future.

We have all this summer to get it right. Hopefully it will be good news to report when I get to this date on the calendar. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The calm before the storm

I went for my canal bank walk/run earlier than usual this morning. With the warning of thunderstorms later this evening I thought I had  better get my daily exercise out of the way.

Seriously 2020, what else are you going to throw at us?

Anyway, it was a beautiful morning. It is the only place where I can forget about what is going on in the world, or what is about to happen.

One swallow does not a summer make.
Quick, get a friend!!!

2020, can we start again please?

Sunday, June 21, 2020


Today I was sooooo excited. When I looked at my calendar, instead of a black space or an X, there was an event!

I was going to my outdoor yoga class on the banks of Lough Ennell on the grounds of Belvedere House. Phase Two of Lockdown says that you can have an outdoor activity with up to 15 people, provided you observe social distancing. So with my yoga mat tucked under my arm, off I went.
Just setting my mat on the grass and looking out over the lake, I could feel my zen setting in! Every other year it has been the surroundings and nature that has added to the spirituality of the occasion. This time it was the presence of real live people that made it a surreal.

On the down side...I can't believe how unfit and creaky I've become in the past few months!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The road to re-emergence

So I've decided that from this day forward I am going to focus on getting ready to re-emerge into society, rather than focusing on all the things I can't do at the moment. I'm on a bit of a Life Audit, making sure I'll be fab-u-lous when the time actually arrives.

I had looked into colour analysis (online, of course) and had ordered my colour cards. As if on cue they arrived today.

Do you think perhaps they could have come in a smaller box....or even an envelope???

Monday, June 1, 2020

Time after time

"Take care of the hours, and the days will take care of themselves."

If we had been told on January 1st 2020 that we were going to spend at least 1/4 of the year in Lockdown or under restrictions, we would have 
a) scoffed in disbelief
b) gone into meltdown, claiming that there is no way we would survive that
c) booked a space on Elon Musk's flight to the International Space Station.

But anyway, here we are on June 1st, still surviving in a strange new world.
Okay, so some days are better than others, but hey, that's life.

I remember back to the 12th March when we were told that the school would close in two hours time for two weeks. We were to be coming back for a week before the Easter holidays, off for the holidays and then back to resume the school year as normal.
A mad, frantic panic to get everything ready for two weeks of distance learning
There were standoffs at the photocopier!!!
It's amazing what can be achieved in a short amount of time. It's like when you hear you are having visitors in half an hour, how much tidying up can be achieved in that 30 minutes! THE WHOLE HOUSE!

Anyway, I kinda guessed that we wouldn't be opening for that preEaster week, but thought we would be back after Easter, a bit like Jesus himself.
Oh God, how naive was I?

Like a prisoner of old, I took to marking off the days as seriously, they were all merging into each other.

And onto today when it was time to turn another page.

What struck me, was that although some days seemed to stretch on forever, especially at the start, the weeks have actually flown by.
It's also strange to see that I had marked in SCHOOL HOLS, probably at the start of the year, and I would have been to excited looking forward to being finished work and getting away to the sun for some rest and relaxation.
It seems more like a marker to separate frantically trying to put closure on this school year....and starting to get ready for the next, while not having a clue what that is going to entail or even when it is going to happen.

But hey, I got through the past two and a half months pretty much unscathed, and things are looking as if they are moving in the right direction. 
I have PHASE TWO marked in.....fingers crossed.

I'll not be jetting away anywhere this year, but the sun is shining here on this Bank Holiday Monday, I have no school work to set or correct, so I'm heading out to the back garden to pretend I'm by the pool in Turkey.
It's all about your perspective. 
Stay safe!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Important life lessons I learned from living in the Middle East. No. 1

The first  lesson is.....
The Importance of dramatic eye make-up when wearing a lower face covering.

When they are the only part of the face on display it is vital that they pop!

Aldi, here I come!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

A Human Touch

I went for my daily walk along the canal bank this morning. It really was a glorious walk and lifted my mood considerably. 

Along the way I met a woman walking towards me. I didn't recognise her but we stopped ( at a social distance) to have a chat. I soon discovered that, like me she lived alone in the area. I deduced from her accent that she wasn't a local.
Angela Landsbury, eat your heart out.
I figured that like me, this was probably the first face to face conversation she had had in a while.
I introduced myself and she stepped forward with her hand extended.
I laughed it off and said
"Oh I don't think we should be doing that."
She immediately drew back and said
"Oh god I completely forgot. Sorry".
We continued with our conversation for a while and then went our separate ways.
But I was still taken aback by my reaction.
Inside, I had RECOILED when she put forward her hand. My instinct was to draw back as my fear level rose at the thought of touching another person. And that was what was the saddest. It wasn't a thought out reaction, it was purely automatic. This wouldn't have been the case a few months ago. But by now the idea that we have to shirk all human contact is now second nature.
What will life be like when we come out the other side of this pandemic?
Will we ever go back to the way things were?
As if the dating game wasn't difficult enough.
 I may as well kiss the thought of ever dating again goodbye!