The last few weeks of ‘school’ before the ‘summer holidays’. This one was all about home-schooling, hosepipe bans and women dancing in my back garden.
Love school: I went all Lord Mayor in our house on Tuesday and gave the kids a full day off home-school. (I know the Lord Mayor usually only gives a ‘halfer’, but these are strange times.) After an cigire (the inspector, my wife) ratified my decision, we sampled some freedom with a morning cycle around Ballyphehane Park.
It was a balmy taste of summer freedom, until we arrive back home at 11 am. What were we going to do for the rest of the day?
If I suggested homework them the kids would have gone on strike. (Did I tell you they formed a union?)
The result was a long hot day of coming up with things to do. I’m going to miss home-schooling when it’s gone. I know some people find it a drag, but it gives a bit of structure, a couple of hours in the morning when the kids aren’t trying to pester us into bribing them with a treat. Oh, and RTE, if you’re reading, any chance you could runover the summer? Big hit in our house. Mainly with the parents.
As I said, sunny weather isn’t all good news – kids run away from the sun when it gets too hot, unlike their parents, who reckon this is the year I’m finally going to get a tan. The only thing that got us through the hot weather a few weeks back was a paddling pool of murky water left over from the day before. (We’re all about reuse and recycle in our place.)
The hosepipe imposed by the government back then is still in place –when (if?) the hot weather comes back, it will tip a lot of us over the edge. The only viable alternative to a paddling pool in the sun is video games inside, and we’re told we have to feel guilty about that. And, yes, I fully understand that water is a limited resource that can’t be magicked up from anywhere.
But I also understand we’ve had months of going slowly mad, juggling every waking hour to make sure we meet our parenting, work and other obligations. So here’s an idea: forget lockdown limits for parents, you can drive as many kilometres as it takes to get to a beach or lake on a sunny day, as long as you have one or more kids in the back.
I can feel Ryanair messing with my head. Our fortnight in France in late June is long cancelled, I’ve come to terms with that.
But as I write, Michael and Ryanair are offering very cheap flights to France in mid July on top of that, the campsite we were supposed to visit will be open then and their prices look good. Ten days of warm air on bare legs is available if the government will let us go.
I know it’s kind of selfish and risky. But Michael O'Leary is in my head now, saying ‘go on, book, you’ll be allowed to go alright, go on, couple of clicks.’ It’s tempting.
Party dancing: We had a socially distanced birthday party for our son out the back on Sunday. They say that the coronavirus will change the way we live forever, but that obviously doesn’t include men dancing without a few drinks in them.
It only took one glass of cava to get the women of all ages (except my seven year old) dancing around to Born Slippy by Underworld. Meanwhile, the men stood around awkwardly, wondering what is wrong with these people. My six year eventually shook his head in disbelief and went inside to build a fort for his dinosaurs.
I love these lockdown parties – they’re a reminder you can still do the stuff that matters, even if it involves wearing a mask. Who knows, that might even include getting on a plane.