Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Please Mr Postman

Lil’ Kovid is feeling very happy with himself as he has just gotten his first postcard!!!
Thanks Majella 😂

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Sweet dreams are made of this.

Dreams are the outlet of our subconscious. It is only natural that in these stressful times, dreams are getting weirder and weirder.

Last night I dreamed that I was going to a dinner party.
I know! A group of people meeting, chatting and eating together. Sounds so last decade!
My host told me that It was my duty to keep whoever was beside me at ease and to keep the conversation flowing.
Fair enough.
I sat down at my place and looked to my right. There was....
The reverend Ian Paisley!!!
I looked to the left of me and there taking his seat was....
Gerry Adams.

Even in my dream I could feel myself breaking out into a sweat. How on earth was I going to keep the peace between those two?
I looked up and saw my host raise an eyebrow and mouthed at me to start a conversation.

I wracked my brains to try to find a neutral topic. I started on one. There were a few grunts from my dinner companions and then silence. I tried again. Same result.
This went on and on. A few conversations started but they soon veered into very dangerous territory and I could see both men getting agitated.

Just then someone turned on a big TV and out flashed the NEWS. It was going on about how the Gardai had no power to stop day trippers from Northern Ireland crossing the border into the republic.
Ah, so there was the source of my dream.
Needless to say the two "gentlemen" got into a very heated argument about who was in the right. My host was pointing frantically at me and ordering me to stop them. I was trying frantically to do so....but in vain. I mean, greater people then me tried and failed..
I thankfully woke up. I was EXHAUSTED and in a bucket of sweat!
Do you think perhaps I'm a little stressed.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

He hasn't got a leg to stand on!

I'm afraid lockdown is getting to some of us.
This is the sight that greeted me this morning when I came down to the kitchen.

Lil'Kovid had gotten to my only wine bottle and polished it off! He obviously got legless last night.

Well, if he thinks I'm going to crochet him another set, he's mistaken!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

A blast from the past

This lockdown has revealed many hidden secrets. This is one of them.

My natural hair colour last saw the light of day in 1980. And as they say
"The 80's should stay in the 80s."

Monday, April 20, 2020

Neighbours, everybody needs good neigh-bours.

Go on admit it, you were singing the title.

Today I heard the postman rattling at the door. I leaped for joy. I had ordered new trousers for Mam and they had arrived! They would really perk her up.
So I parceled them up and headed off for the Nursing Home.
I had only gone a few hundred metres up the road when there was a wobble in the car.
"Uh oh", I thought as I pulled over at the next available gateway. I got out and looked at my tyres. And there is was, a soft back tyre.
Dam! I turned around and headed slowly back home.
My head was racing. Now what am I going to do? How am I going to get it fixed? Is there any place open?
I began to panic slightly. Bad and all as Lockdown is, at least I can go shopping once a week. If I have no car, then even that is lost to me.
I stopped in my driveway, got out and looked at the wheel.
As if by staring at it, it would be miraculously fixed.

I could feel the tears beginning to well up. Little things that normally I would take in my stride now tend to floor me. I am very prone to corona-crying or cryona as it's called.
I hear it is a common complaint at the moment!
Suddenly my phone began to ring, It was my neighbour from up the road.
"Hiya Noeleen. Are you in a bit of bother?"
"Oh yes! Flat tyre."
"Yeah. I saw you passing by here. I'll be down in a few minutes to change it, if you want?"
"You will? Oh thank you!"
Sure enough in a minute he was pulling into my drive. He had a look at it and then said
"I have a number here of a lad who'll come and fix it here, you won't have to go looking to get it fixed."
Even better.
And sure enough, twenty minutes later my tyre was fixed and I was all set to go again.

In the past few weeks

  • My lawn has been mowed
  • Two fallen trees at the bottom of my garden were  cut up and removed
  • Bouquets of daffodils are being left in my hedge
All by my fabulous neighbours. Thank you all so much.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Nature’s lesson

On my daily 2km walks over the past few weeks there is something I’ve noticed....bird song. Now I don’t know if there are more birds because there’s less traffic or if it’s just the same as before but I was too preoccupied to notice it.
So the silence was eerily strange today. There wasn’t a tweet to be heard despite the fact that it was a beautiful day.
“What has happened to the birds?”
Now as you well know I have a bird phobia so I don’t particularly want to see any of them but I was worried as to why there was no sign of any of them.
And then I spotted it. Soaring high above, surveying the land below was .... a buzzard.

So now it all made sense. Birds, and I presume many other creatures, realised that there was a potential killer in their environment and so what did they do? Yes, these supposedly less intelligent life forms had enough cop on to scurry home and stay there until the danger had passed over.
Now if they can do it, surely us humans can do it too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

My new BFF

Today I am grateful that the sun is shining, birds are singing and I live by myself out in the countryside. No, it’s not that l prefer solitary confinement but rather I can get my legs out and no one will comment on their hairyness!
In normal times I’d have gone for waxing but I can’t honestly see me getting away with that as an essential journey.
I could shave them. But it’s taken so long to get to the “it doesn’t really hurt anymore” phase that if I shave them, it’s back to the start of that painful process again.
So no one can’t see them so I’m not offending anyone.
However it’s just dawned on me. If I get a tan, when lockdown finishes and I go for waxing , the resulting pattern will make me look like Lil’ Kovid!

I’ve also suddenly realised  that Lil’ Kovid has become my Wilson.

I find myself talking to him
“Lets go out and sit in the sun for a while.”
“I think we better go in now. We’ve been out long enough”

But it’s better than talking to myself. I mean, that would be too weird, right???

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Original vs Copy

It's getting more difficult to stay sane during this time of Lockdown. Thank God I've read enough self-help books over the years to give me some coping mechanisms!

One of the main ideas that's put forward is to create something.I think this is proven by the huge increase in cooking and baking that is going on all over the world, in particular Banana Bread!

So on my last trip to Aldi I stumbled upon this little kit.

Now I haven't crocheted since I was a child. I had the best dressed Barbies and Sindys in the country. The problem is, I was self taught so I have no idea of the names of stitches or even if I'm doing them right. And I have NEVER followed a pattern before. So this was as difficult as cracking the Da Vinci Code for me.

However I am not one to balk at a challenge so I gave it my best. And I must say I am very proud of the result...

                   Original                                                Copy

I think I'm a strong contender for Portrait Artist of the Year.
After consultation with my family via Whatsapp he has been christened Kovid. I'm thinking of calling him Lil' Kovid, just to give him an edge.

So there I was, feeling all smug about my artistic endeavours, when this comes in on the family Whatsapp from my nephew Niall. It seems he too was using his time creatively to produce a portrait.

                          Original                                            Copy

Okay, I'll give you this round Niall. But be warned! I'm off for my weekly trip to Aldi, and depending on what I can find in the centre aisle, I'll be coming back fighting!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Life imitating Art

In recent days I have been reminded of a scene from The Hunger Games.

Every evening the surviving participants would await word from the Capital regarding the fatalities of the day. Peace would reign for a short time while a shot rang out for each death and a photo of each victim was projected into the night sky. In that way each survivor knew what their odds now were of winning but also to grieve for people they had gotten to know and like during their training.

I find myself every evening waiting for the day's data from the Health Service, namely the number of deaths and new cases in the past 24 hours. In this case the deceased remain anonymous, not even given the respect of a name.

Today my heart sank when it was announced that there were new 31 deaths, a big increase from 14 yesterday.
My condolences to their families and friends.

The rest of us live to fight another day.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Gone but never forgotten

When I opened Facebook this morning, this memory was the first post I saw.

It’s been three years since Ger and I were going to music things in the highways and byways of Ireland and one year since she died, after fighting the battle of her life, but unfortunately losing.
Today, her family and friends should have been gathering together in St Camillus’ Church to commemorate her first anniversary but of course , due to circumstances beyond our control it was not to be.
But knowing Ger, this post was her way of saying
“That doesn’t mean you can forget about me!”
As if we ever could!!!

Modern technology and connectedness may be a major cause of this virus but it also makes it more bearable. Last night the Raharney women had a zoom meeting . The only people who can understand what it’s like to lose a friend, are the other people in the friendship group.

Then this morning we all logged in to mass in the Camillians via webcam. We were on WhatsApp to each other so although we were apart we knew that we were still there supporting each other.
I don’t think I’ve ever paid so much attention at mass or got so much from it.
It was a bit of a triple whammy for me, it was Ger’s mass, Fr Monks mentioned all the residents in their nursing home which included Mam and it was being celebrated in the church that Dad built, his pride and joy.

So while this might seem like ( another) sad post, it’s not!
It’s just that it sometimes takes seismic events like pandemics and death to make us appreciate what we have or had in our lives... namely family and friends.
And on that note can I wish you all a very Happy Easter.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Stay the fu@k at home

Today I cried.
I’ve been positive and proactive about doing things for my physical and mental health. Of course there are many disadvantages to our new restricted lifestyle but there have been advantages too and they’re the ones I have been focusing on.
But today I lost it. Now, don’t go thinking I must be sad and desolate and that’s why the waterworks started.
No, I don’t usually cry because I’m sad, it’s usually because I’m angry. And boy, am I angry today!
Angry, fuming, livid, enraged.
You name it, I’m it.
For the past weeks the majority of this nation has sucked it up, taken the restrictions on board and as a result, things aren’t as bad as was feared. I was believing that we would come out of it in the foreseeable future.
And then what happened?
A bit of sunshine.
And every gobshite crawled out from under whatever rock they were hiding, and decided that it was their civil right to travel to “their holiday home” in the sunny south east and nothing was going to stop them.
I can’t get my head around their mentality.
But unfortunately there are people who think the fuckin’ world revolves around them, and them only. And they are not to be discomodded in any way.
My reality is, we haven’t been able to see our Mam in the nursing home for the past 6 weeks. Last week I had to try to explain to her, as she was sobbing on the phone, that we, her children, had not abandoned her and left her on her own. But how do you explain the concept of a virus and lockdown to an elderly person who has never experienced anything of its sort before in their life.
Mam always loved Easter, it was her favorite time of the year. A new outfit would have been bought to wear to mass.
Today, all I could do was go to the front door of the nursing home and leave her a few bits and pieces, in a fuckin’ plastic box.

Take it from me, Mammy will not be impressed. But it’s the best I can do!

My temper comes from the fact that none of us are comfortable with these restrictions but we realize that if we abide by them for the time being, then the sooner we will get this virus under control and my family and all the families in the same situation will get to hug their parents again.
But by those stupid a**holes thinking they are above restrictions, have probably set us back weeks or even further, and the end is nowhere in sight. Mam, and lots of other mams don’t have months to spare.
Hence my fury and rant. I had to get it off my chest or I will do someone a physical harm.
While the scientists are frantically working on a vaccine for COVID-19, would they ever try to discover one for “STUPID-20 as well, because as far as I can tell, it will cause far more desths.


Today’s visitor to my humble abode is ....

 He looks friendly enough but I continued to observe social distancing. In other words I spoke to him through the safety of the patio doors.
It could have been worse.
It could have been another feckin’ BAT!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

A rose by any other name.....

I was delighted to find another bunch of daffodils in my hedge this morning.

Although someone kindly pointed out that they’re more narcisses than daffodils.

Someone else commented that I must have an admirer. I was getting a little excited until someone else pointed out that I was lucky  that the heads were still on them or else it would be a stalker!
So daffodils or narcisses, admire or stalker, it’s just a different way of looking at the same thing!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Back to the Future

 It's amazing how quickly a completely new situation can become the norm. I've lost count of the number of times I've been looking at a TV programme recently and taken a sharp intake of breath when there is a scene where people are shaking hands and standing beside each other.
Despite the fact that it was probably filmed years ago...BC - Before Corona.
So when all this is over, will we be able to go back to the way it was before?

I was supposed to go to see Clara musical society's production of Shrek-the Musical this weekend, along with a gang from Leixlip. Obviously it has been cancelled. I got a text today to say that it is now being put on in October and did I still want to go?

Of course I did....after I did a little double take.
You mean we will be going in a group of 13 people and we will be sitting in a hall with loads of other people IN CLOSE PROXIMITY? Imagine that!

It does seem like an impossibility but hopefully it's just on pause at the moment.

It also is not natural how excited I am about going to see a show next October. I'm on the verge of planning what I'm going to wear.
I really should get out more often,,,,oh wait, I can't, the country's in lockdown.

I can't wait to look back on this post then and struggle to remember just how difficult things were.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Hey Noeleen, what about the avocados?

It's hard to believe that's it's almost a month since we were introduced to the concept of social distancing. The day I was sent home from school, I had a look through my freezer and cupboards to see what I had in storage and almost had a panic attack when I realised that all I had to keep me going was kale and avocados!

Of course I got to do my shopping. Many thanks to all those who are keeping our shelves stocked. It means that I'm not dependent on my pretentious food choices.
But I am more conscious of respecting the planet and not letting food go to waste.
So I consulted my bible of Operation Transformation recipes and found this one.

Tomato and avocado salad.

Aoife's Vinaigrette

Mix all ingredients together.

 I use this vinaigrette recipe for all my salads. It's delicious.
And then, hey presto...

And as for the's still in the freezer!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Going "out out".

Another week in Lockdown has begun. It doesn't get any easier, especially as today is technically the first day of my Easter holidays. My life basically comprises of two main types of activity.
"Going out" is heading for my 2k walk.
"Going out out" is going for my weekly food shop to Aldi.

Now usually going "out out" means heading out for a night on the town, all glammed up and lots of socialising.

In the past three weeks I have slipped into the murky waters of leggings, t-shirts, sweatshirts and runners. My face hasn't seen a screed of make-up and my hair has just about seen a brush. So I've gotten onboard with #gailrails capsule wardrobe challenge, which involves picking 30 pieces and working your daily wardrobe around them.

I never thought I'd see the day when I was actually excited about going food shopping! Well today was that day. I washed and styled my hair, put on make up and put on a pair of jeans, which I haven't done in three weeks AND THEY STILL FIT! Hurrah.

So feeling 100% better I headed off for Aldi, complete with my shopping list of what I need for the week ahead. But of course it wouldn't be a trip to Aldi without getting sidetracked by the centre aisle. I came home with a lovely Mindfulness Journal.
Anyone who knows me, knows my love of a good journal that needs to be filled in.
It actually seems to be really good, especially for this difficult mental time.

My other purchase ironing board cover! Again, unprecedented and unexplained joy at this mundane purchase.

Guess what I'm going to be doing tomorrow? Can't wait.

Friday, April 3, 2020

A child’s perspective

I’ve been getting lovely letters and emails from my class telling me all the things they’ve been getting up to over the past few weeks.
It’s so refreshing to see things from a child’s perspective . They’ve been making obstacle courses in the garden, gardening, baking, reading, school projects. But they’re all missing their friends.
Love these little extracts
“Hi Ms Noeleen. How are you getting on with this Coronavirus thing?”
“Three cows had to have caesareans with the vet.”
“Granny’s dog died. Sean and I dug a grave and buried her in the garden.”
I hope he’s talking about the dog and not granny!!!

“I made the boat for our Science project . It looked a bit like the Titanic but happily it floated.”

One girl included a lovely picture.

And i’d Say my hair WILL BE that length and color by the time I get out of here!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

I wandered lonely as a cloud....

I spent most of the morning doing schoolwork. I left the sitting room to go to the kitchen for lunch. I came back into the sitting room and sat down in front of my laptop. I was about to restart when a flash of colour caught my eye.
I looked out the window and I saw something unusual in the hedge beside my gate.
"What on earth....?" I thought, so off I went to investigate.
Anything to avoid going back to word!
And there was the most beautiful sight. Someone had wrapped up a bunch of daffodils and left them for me!

I could feel the tears welling up, but tears of happiness. Such a kind and thoughtful gesture.
I brought them in and put them in my sitting room.

And oft when on my couch I lie,
In vacant or in pensive mood.
....And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with those daffodils.

I have no idea who left them. Obviously its someone who lives within a 2km radius! I would just like to thank you so much. It really lifted my mood at this difficult time.
I hope we don't lose this renewed sense of community when all this cr@p is over!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

If i could put time in a bottle......

So that's the end of March....

Funny, I was sure there had been 800 days in March.

And onto April.

I had a little chuckle when I saw it as I am certainly being an individual on my own!

When I turned over to April I saw all the events that are now cancelled.
Clara's production of Shrek
The Sheerins "Take it to the Limit" in Trim though I did get to see them on telly the other night.
Gig in the 3 arena.

But the one that stopped me in my tracks was Ger's anniversary mass.

It's hard to believe that it's a year since Ger passed away. I am so thankful that this situation wasn't around then. We were able to go and see Ger in her last weeks. When I got word at 3am that Ger was after passing I could jump into my car and go to her house to be with her family and friends.
Sounds weird even saying that now. A houseful of people!
It was such a support and comfort to be able to talk to and hug people who were in the exact same position. Then the next week was a whirlwind of house removal, funeral, get-togethers with friends. If there is one thing that the Catholic Church and Irish people do well and that's Death. It centers around meeting up and giving support, not just at the time but at the Month's mind, and then on every anniversary.
That is why my heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one at this time.It is doubly hard when you can't be with them in their final days and hours when they need you most and then to not be able to celebrate their lives with all their friends and loved ones.

We had organised a night in Clarke's bar after Ger's mass to raise funds for St. Luke's hospital. We'll do it some other time. But to all those grieving at this time I can only send my prayers and condolences.