• theniamhcooper

70 musings on day 70 of lock-down

So, we're made it to Day 70. Who would have thought we'd still be in lock-down at this point - I think most of us were just hoping that this thing would go away,

"like a miracle",

just like we were promised. Then again, we should have known; nothing that man said can be trusted. But enough about Jon Bon Jovi. He also said we were halfway there.

Here are my musings about lock-down. They might make you laugh. They might make you cry. But they might just strike a chord. Here's to the next 70.

*** Disclaimer: I know this site is called 5-minute musings. Sometimes it's more. Sometimes it's less. Roll with it.


1. Peeling egg shells onto the naked table, is, in fact, not a sin.

2. Eggs. They’re the secret hoarder’s loo roll. Because eggs are the basis of baking, and baking is the number one most amazingly creative and therapeutic thing I am doing in these strange times. Plus, there’s instant gratification. Cake is another way to say I love you. And cake makes people happy.

3. My girls are actually very cool people. And sometimes, they like my baking. That makes me happy. Oh, and champagne helps too.

4. I absolutely have a favourite mug. That also makes me happy. Especially on darker days.

5. You can grow new veg from old veg. But obviously, not in your favourite mug.

6. I will stop listening to certain music and watching certain shows as certain celebrities have rendered themselves irrelevant mugs.

7. Donald Drumpf has proven himself to be an even more self-absorbed, unempathic, creepy, despicable, lying, expert-disregarding, pandemic-down-playing, vile, evil (almost vile backwards), weak and undeserving mug of the USA, very possibly with gallons of blood on his hands, due to his slow response to this crisis. Bon Jovi, I love you really.

8. In this crisis, I know for sure that I am not a lesbian. I’ve actually known this for a while.

9. It is entirely possible to fall in and out of love on Tinder in less than two weeks.

10. My daughter thinks that I’m high maintenance. Yes, I like certain things a certain way. I don't put up with certain things. But that doesn't make me high maintenance. Just discerning. So, if TinderGuy wants to send me a dick pic (eww!) on a Monday morning, completely disregarding my hungover disposition (empathy warning!⚠️), then he's got to go. Said guy and I had been texting since St. Patrick’s Day. The ‘relationship’ ended that day. Maybe I am high maintenance, but I also have standards. Perhaps I'll knit myself an empath.

11. I don’t plan to take up knitting.

12. Skipping is much more preferable. And skipping around the garden is a work-out. ️

13. I have a new-found respect for delivery people. Who, ideally, don’t deliver when I’m working out in the sun-room.

14. The sun-room is a stupid-ass place to work out.

15. Sentences prior to the Covid-19 crisis involving the words ‘work’ and ‘out’ used to look completely different: I’m going to go to ‘work’. Then I’m going ‘out’ to the pub. Covid-19 has changed how I use language.

16. Social distancing is important. Also, it’s a contradiction. Also, it’s an expression I didn’t know existed in February.

17. The only time it’s ok to suspend social distancing is when the delivery guy has been on the road for twelve hours, you’re the last house on his run, and you know he’s got a 45-minute drive home. Then it’s ok to wash your hands, make a sandwich, throw some medium-grade instant coffee into a carefully washed travel mug, pick out in a fully wrapped wafer bar, wipe down said wafer bar, and hand over food with minimal contact. And then wash your hands, floor, slippers, door handle, hands again, plate, door mat, hands, and the dog.

18. Dogs are the best therapy. They don’t talk back, they’re always happy to see you, they can sense how you feel and jump onto your lap without judgement. Something you can’t say about a lot of Tinder dates.

19. It’s possible to get face-burnt in just 15-degree sun when sheltering in the beauty of a homemade wind breaker, fathomed out of an old bed frame and a bed sheet.

20. Making a lemon meringue pie from scratch is hard work. It’s made me think about the crusts I leave behind when dining out.

21. I wake up with cold sweats. Some of us are having nightmares and strange recurring dreams. Some days we barely surface from our rooms. We’re all worrying in our own ways. Drinking tea from our favourite mugs helps.

22. I’m so glad I bought that 600-box of Barry’s tea bags before all this kicked off. It's running dangerously low.

23. I understand how people are panic-buying, just a little bit. In a suddenly uncertain world where jobs are suddenly gone, kids are anxious, adults are inwardly and outwardly screaming, routines are disrupted, schools are closed, the only thing we really have control over is what we buy. Hence, the queue at Woodie’s when it reopened.

24. Home-schooling during these times is, for the most part, pointless, and should be limited to life skills. Homework when given during home schooling should really be renamed homeschoolhomework.

25. Working from home, on the other hand, is a learnt skill. Getting dressed in your usual work attire helps. Also, don’t forget the lower half. In case you have to jump up, suddenly. Unlikely, but you never know.

26. Be lucky if you can work from home.

27. I feel guilty about changing my car before this pandemic. I may need to sell it shortly. All my freelance work has effectively dried up. I just have to think up a way to explain the disappearance of said car.

28. One thing I can control is food. So I cook, bake, shop, and organise. I also signed up for a weekly local organic fruit and veg delivery. Not cheap but I will learn to use every ingredient wisely.

29. I don’t like chocolate as much as I thought. Especially those new Cadbury's flavours. Taste like cheap Easter egg chocolate. What are you doing, CB?

30. I like baking far more than I thought.

31. Dividing my freezer into logical sections like bread, frozen fruit and veg, and meat makes absolute meal-planning sense. Before, I thought meal-planning consisted of running to the supermarket 4 times a week.

32. A pandemic does not change an asshole.

33. I’m seeing behaviours in myself that make me an asshole.

34. Some days I feel getting dressed is a huge accomplishment.

35. My last two houses have sold just before a recession. This is sure to become a recession. I try not to worry about moving into a new house with far higher rent, just before this all started.

36. Some hair strands have varying levels of grey and are multi-tonal, and actually, not all that bad. If I stay in. I let my girls dye and cut my hair, just in case.

37. My weekly online supermarket deliveries are always accompanied by a mixture of guilt (I should leave the slots to those more vulnerable), relief (I didn’t have to go out there and risk bringing this virus back into the house), and frantic scrubbing - if anyone had told me I’d be wiping down my shopping two months ago I’d have declared them crazy.

38. Tesco is warning people to carefully use their delivery slots. Stop guilting us. Why don’t you ramp up your capacity. You’d create jobs. Which is a good thing, when so many have lost theirs. And you’d make a fortune. Hello, Lidl and Aldi? Do you not want to jump on the online gravy train?

39. I’m so glad I nicked all those soap bars every time I stayed in a hotel. I’m so glad I’ve half a brain and know not to drink disinfectant. Or eat bars of soap.

40. I’m so glad I bought that steam mop in the sales.

41. Silly things bring me joy. A word board which I bought years ago now gets a daily Covid-19 message. Also, two birthday messages during lockdown down so far.

42. The word board mainly reminds us what day of the week it is.

43. I have moderate feelings about a Joe who shares his surname with the burning centre of candles. I hear now that he schedules sex with his wife. Eye roll.

44. But really, I am just jealous, due to a) not being able to focus on working out at 9 a.m., b) not being able to stick to any sort of schedule at the moment, c) we won't mention sex.

45. Also, I’m no longer into workouts. The conservatory has been reinstated to its former glory. The dogs are delighted with their new home.

46. Baking every second day doesn’t make me a bad person.

47. Eating baked goods every second day will make me a fat person.

48. Certain routines help. Getting up at 7:45. Having three cups of tea before 11. Taking the dogs out. Talking to at least one friend or member of my family a few times a week. Zooming. Aretha Franklin was a visionary.

49. I make little pacts with myself that I don’t tell anyone. Like, talk to or message someone other than those in my house every day. Send surprises in the post. Make a hot water bottle for everyone here every day. Breathe more. Rise less.

50. That’s also what my bread thought this morning. I forgot to put in baking soda.

51. I’ve decided to start a new project. It’s to accompany my book.

52. I somehow managed to write a LC German book during one of the most chaotic years of my life. So far. 2020 is a serious contender to top it. Not the first book I thought I’d publish, but thank you Folens.

53. I received my book in the post 1 day after the LC orals were cancelled this year. If that wasn’t irony, I’ll have to look up the meaning of the word again.

54. It gave me the kick up the arse to start writing again. It, being all this. I wrote a story.

55. If you’ve ever made me laugh, cry, smile, cry, feel, cry, scream, and sigh, then God help you. All these years I’ve just been gathering ammunition.

56. I was feeling rubbish for a few days. I hummed and hawed if I’d submit my story to a new collection.

57. I edited it down to the required 1500 words, just in case. Give or take 169.

58. The deadline arrived. I read over it and laughed a few times. She who laughs at her own writing must be crazy. Crazy sells, so I sent it in.

59. I check my email and hope for a response. I bake, just to distract myself.

60. I feel guilty about eating almost a quarter of my (N)Eve’s Pudding.

61. Turns out the girls don’t like (N)Eve’s Pudding.

62. I knew that. But I still baked it. I usually bake things everyone likes, but I, erm, needed to use up the apples.

63. How do you like them apples.

64. I think Matt Damon is a legend. The way he’s embraced quarantine in Dalkey, carrying his swimming gear in a SuperValu bag around town, recording a video for the class of 2020 at Loreto Dalkey, and generally just being sound - is just sound.

65. I run 5K for charity. I can safely say it almost kills me.

66. I wake up to an email from the editor. He’s going to publish it as he likes ‘the injection of dark humour which certainly tickles the right way’. I celebrate with a glass of wine. Writing has overtaken baking as the the number one most amazingly creative and therapeutic thing I am doing in these strange times.

67. Wine is something I keep forgetting on my shopping list. Maybe it’s better this way. I over-indulged on a zoom call recently and my liver may never fully recover.

68. A second email, saying he’s read it again and he’s ‘in love with it’. He wants to know whether I mind if he sends it to an actress friend of his to record it, for her vlog.

69. I never liked the word ‘vlog’, but now I do.

70. Maybe every virus has a silver lining.

Stay safe everyone. Covid, and out.


If you've enjoyed this, let me know. I might just muse some more.

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