Tuesday, August 18, 2020
I contemplated driving to Cork but I just couldn’t face it after driving up from Connemara the previous day so, rather daringly, I took the train for the first time since lock down started at the end of March.
Everyone was wearing a mask including me. It felt so uncomfortable for three hours on the train. And, obviously, no tea trolley. I should really have predicted that.
The voyage passed off uneventfully and I had brought my bike on the train so cycled up to my parents’ house from the station. It was a beautiful sunny day and quite a nice cycle. I stopped off in the market to pick up the wherewithal to make myself a sandwich and it was all very pleasant and holiday like.
It was lovely to see my father who looked better than when I had seen him last and was gratifyingly pleased to see me. After a couple of hours chatting to him, I went to look up something on my phone. Could I find it? I could not. I walked down the road to see if it could have fallen out of my pocket while cycling. I couldn’t see it. I called Mr. Waffle on the landline to tell him the news – he asked whether I had taken his house keys to Cork. I had not but in that mistaken belief, he and Daniel had to take a taxi to GAA training. His keys turned up later. I decided I’d better ring the Guards and see whether anyone had found it. My father’s habit of typing up important numbers and taping them to the inside of his diary came into its own as I found myself wondering how I would work out the Garda station phone number without a phone. I reflected on all the things that would be gone – all my holiday photos, my contacts, my notes, the general awkwardness. I rang my number one last time on the off chance and, hallelujah, it was answered. A woman from up the road had found it when she was cycling home and taken it to safety. I was grateful. It’s slightly weird how discombobulated I felt without it.
Meanwhile the nation went backwards on Covid and we were told that we could only have 6 people indoors and that we should avoid public transport. I was quite grateful the announcement was made after my train journey as otherwise I would have felt obliged to take the car, I think.
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
I got myself up early and went into the Crawford gallery for a look at the pictures and, rejoice, the cafe had reopened so I had a delightful breakfast also. Holiday thrills. Although it did lash rain.
I dropped in to see my 91 year old aunt who was pleased to see me. These days I keep asking my father and aunt slightly odd questions about their lives on the basis that they won’t be around forever. I wondered what my aunt had called her mother, my granny. Was it Mum, Mam, Mama perhaps? “Muddy boots,” she said firmly. She is a little deaf, so I tried again. She stuck with “Muddy boots”. On investigation, short for mother apparently. My family are so odd.
I got the train back to Dublin that evening. It’s funny how quickly you get used to things. I’d found the mask awful on the way down but I barely noticed it on the way back to Dublin.
And that was largely that for my four provinces tour. I appreciate Leinster and Munster didn’t get the same treatment as Ulster and Connaught but I did do the four corners of the country. Herself says I should call this diary of a super spreader. Oh how we laughed. Hope your own holidays went well also.