Twitter and I have a complex relationship. I went off it for three years after being part of it for about 8 years in 2014. Then when Covid struck I rejoined to keep abreast of developments as they were unfolding so quickly.
Some aspects were enjoyable but I soon realized how angry the overall content was making me and ,worse still, I found myself wasting an inordinate amount of time on it.
So Deactivate happened yet again yesterday and I feel like I have managed to get rid of an ingrowing toenail.
I wonder if the Covid situation has made it even angrier than ever or was it that I had forgotten how it used to rile me.
I am absolutely hopeless when it comes to household duties and am a great one for shoving things into already crammed spaces just to make it seem like I am at least half civilised.
My ways have been rightly found out in the last while as hubby has been off work due to the Covid restrictions. He is much more ‘house proud’ than I am and has taken to cleaning out presses, cupboards, rooms, behind beds, under cushions … you name it, he’s finding it.
I have just made a mad attempt to scour out the fridge before he got cracking on it and it’s now pristine and half empty with in-date stuff. No more landslides for the moment, every time the door is opened.
I blame my grandmother, Jean, for all this cos she was every bit as bad as I am but you should have seen her garden with its array of vegetables and healthy flowers. She also minded the lambs and hens and baked the most delicious food, some with her homemade butter.
I loved her house and all the clutter that came with it. I can just see her in my long distance memory calling me to help her to collect some newly laid eggs.
No doubt, I am not alone in being discovered during this lockdown. I guess it could be a helluva lot worse!
Now to try and find my jacket, which is probably hanging up somewhere in astonishment …
I have to admit to feeling very upset today over the whole matter of how it is emerging so strongly that people in care homes are finding themselves caught in the horror of COVID19.
Most of my working life related to the experiences of people with disabilities and especially those who were living in residential care and later on I was very much involved with older people.
I think of all the fantastic individuals I have been so privileged to get to know through lengthy interviews and time spent staying in residential care settings.
It was always their individuality that struck me and not the shared fact of being in a category of ‘older person’ or ‘a person with a disability.’
Now it feels like the categorizations are back and the ‘people’ behind the walls of care homes are being half or more than half forgotten about as the rest of the world thinks about freedoms after lockdown.
Neither older age nor disability make a person any less of a precious human being than anybody else. Neither age nor disability strips a person of feelings, hopes, fears or love of life any more than anybody else.
Of all the people I think about today, my great-aunt Anna stands out. She was the bright romantic star who married for the first time, aged 72, and lived out her last years in a nursing home. Her short term memory wasn’t great but she was as loving, caring, full of fun as anyone I have ever known. At 89, she was game for anything and knew how to listen and advise in a most empathetic way. Age didn’t matter a damn to her, as she would put it.
I can’t bear to think of anyone being viewed as somehow less important than another but know in my heart that if this virus was posing a major threat to millions of children, it would be taking on a whole different aspect.
Obviously, I wouldn’t wish it on any child but I think we have to see our more vulnerable people, especially those in care homes, as being every bit as important and precious as a child and yes I know how precious they are too, even 6ft 3in ones!
Easter Sunday has never been the same for me since our son was 7 and being taught in school about The Resurrection.
He got it into his head that it didn’t matter what he did in terms of danger because he would rise again after three days.
The whole thing led to some of the scariest moments of my life as he tempted fate and all warnings about crossing roads and being super careful around the fire, cliffs, mad dogs, you name it … went out the window.
I’m not a great cook, especially when it comes to catering beyond family.
However, I made it my business years ago to try and develop what I call Star Turns, in other words dishes that I feel confident I could prepare for a load of ‘very important people’ who consider themselves to be a cut about the rest in terms of cuisine. Mind you, I can hardly bear to think of having to entertain such a gathering.
Anyway one of my Star Turns is my late grandmother’s Sherry Trifle and I will humbly say it has never let me down nor failed to impress. Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a go:
Sherry- good tablespoon at least!
Good Raspberry Jam
Break up the trifle sponges and soak with the sherry. Make a pint or so of custard and pour it over the trifle sponges. Cover the dish with an ordinary plate and leave to cool, ideally overnight.
Spread raspberry jam over the custard. Add sliced bananas and top off with freshly whipped cream.
If possible, refrain from eating the trifle too quickly as it is better on day two when all the ingredients have merged.
I really hope you enjoy this. The covering with the plate while cooling is the key as it keeps it nice and moist.
Now, have you any easy Star Turns to share? I am starving just thinking about the trifle!
The current COVID19 guidelines for exercise in Ireland have brought the radius of two kilometres from home into very sharp focus as we are not allowed to wander outside that boundary.
I feel utterly blessed that the sea is within my 2km range as it feeds my soul and offers horizons of hope.
Thinking about the 2 km in broader terms has made me think of all the history associated with everyone’s place in this country. I have found myself looking a lot more closely at the buildings, twists, turns, shadows, gardens and pondering on what history is associated with an area I know so well and how all the people currently in my little 2km radius are actually dealing with these strange times.
We all try to put a brave face on things but I guess there’s no one who is completely at ease. Everyone has their own ways of coping and more than anything this feels like a time when there’s no running away or getting away. When I was a child I used to think that if the worst came to the worst The Isle of Man would be my saving place. I don’t remember my rationale.
Now, it’s about coping, hoping, helping and being sensible. My new approach to coping with attacks of paralyzing stress is to draw on a menu of 5-minute treats, like trying to sketch a flower, listening to a song, reading a poem, petting the dogs, writing a haiku, making a smoothie and suddenly one becomes absorbed and the tension recedes.
Now a treat with puppy Stan and a walk within our 2 kilometres.
Last year I took on a personal project of taking a photo of a door a day here in my precious Irish Co. Waterford. I nearly drove my nearest and dearest crazy but managed to capture 365 doors of all shapes, sizes and forms.
It never dawned on me back then that a time would come when virtually all the doors would be closed because of this novel virus.
Before I give you even a glimpse of a few of my favorite doors, I would love to hear about the door/s that you would immediately think of in your general vicinity.