Miriam’s Musings

When did I morph into a 1950s housewife?

Lockdown has altered my DNA! Yes folks, this whole restriction carry-on has sucked the nice right outta me – replacing the shiny, happy, little soul – always ready to exchange small talk and engage in chit-chat with people I barely knew – into an anti-social, death-before-giving-way harpie! In short, my give-a-damn fairy has packed her bags and left the building. While I do sometimes have bursts of being nice, I feel it’s only fair to tell you that they don’t last very long!

Like everyone else, I haven’t been anywhere other than the inside of my home (okay, I’ve made the odd trip into the office to carry out essential work duties), meaning that apart from he-who-is-sailing-through-lockdown and our fur-babies, I haven’t really made conversation with another living soul for longer than a few minutes!

Yes folks, as we find ourselves on the cusp of the anniversary of our country’s first lockdown, it’s clear that this pandemic has claimed not just our waistlines and wardrobes, it has also claimed our personalities, turning us into socially-awkward, non-verbal, horror-stricken recluses, interacting with others via a glare over a mask. Indeed, as Covid rages on with no end yet in sight, I’ve noticed that even those perpetually sunny, glass-half-full optimists in my circle have become prickly, cranky, hostile hermits – and it ain’t pretty!

And yes, I’ll admit it, I do adore taking part in family Zoom quizzes, as I’m very competitive. And I’ve managed to gain a new skill by mastering the art of baking banana bread and apricot loaves, which come in handy for lunches. However, if this situation continues much longer, I’m concerned that my inner Marion Cunningham (Mrs C in Happy Days) will take over, morphing me into a dutiful 1950s housewife, washing, drying and folding loads of lemon-fresh laundry and then putting it away in time to have a healthy, home-cooked-from-scratch-meal ready for when hubby arrives in from work.

Seriously, just when did I drop the ball? I used to be fierce. I used to be capable of taking on several tasks and several people at the same time. I used to be in control. Nowadays, I just pull up a chair and watch as the fear of Covid takes control.

I’m home alone all day, baking tasty treats and arranging the flowers in my vase to make sure they match the ones on my tea towels. I’m scrubbing pots and polishing furniture. In fact, some days, by the time hubby gets home, the only thing left in the house that needs polishing off is the vodka! Dear God, all I’m missing is a home-perm, a self-crocheted twinset and a string of pearls to complete my pandemic enforced ‘home-making happiness’ persona.

To be honest, a small part of me is beginning to wonder if this whole extended lockdown situation may just be a ploy by the three men running this country to put strong Roscommon women in our place. Only joking – that’d never happen, our leaders are way too sincere. Yeah right… and Kim Kardashian is aging naturally!

Yet somehow, we’ve all managed to muddle through a year of restrictions and constraints. We’ve listened, with outward smiles and inward screams, to Micheál as he drip-feeds us a load of flannel, sorry information, regarding delays in the vaccine roll-out, and the schools’ reopening/not reopening scenario. We’ve tolerated their makey-uppy, amateur hour, ad-hoc marketing slogans telling us to  ‘hold firm, stick to the basics’, and while it’s not my job to poke holes in our leaders’ massive egos, I feel as though someone needs to inform them that their very tight schedule of not-getting-anything-done needs to be altered, and quick.

This country can no longer survive by taking life one panic at a time. Therefore, as our nation is understandably balancing on the verge of a very serious (and much deserved) emotional breakdown, my question is this: if Micheál, Leo and Eamon haven’t got a clue how to run this country, could they kindly hang up and connect us to someone who does?


Gardaí across Ireland do the Síochána shuffle!

Fair play to members of An Garda Síochána, and their majestic four-legged colleagues from the mounted unit for accepting the ‘Jerusalema Challenge’ dance-off set down by their Swiss counterparts, the Zuger Polizei.

Our wonderful dancing kings and queens clearly found the challenge too appealing to refuse, and, following much coaxing from a nation desperately in need of cheering up, our heroes and heroines stepped up and answered the call.

They bopped on those beaches, they boogied on those bogs and they rocked on top of those rooftops to deliver a first class routine which kicked off with one officer halting a Swiss registered vehicle before joining colleagues to bust into the Síochána shuffle. Pure class!

Gardaí, delighted with the public’s reaction, have responded by extending the challenge to us, the citizens they work so hard to protect. Therefore, if any of you rockin’ Rossies out there want to take part (ensuring compliance with social distancing and Level 5 restrictions), why not video it and share it online using #GardaJerusalema!

Come on Roscommon, let’s show the rest of Ireland what we’re made of… it’s time to begin, now count it in, 5,6,7,8…


All hail the pellet-burning stove!

Since moving to Roscommon some years ago, our main source of heating has always been turf, turf, and more turf. Why? Because he-who-insists-on-buying-plots of turf, visiting them and lovingly watching them dry, then dragging me with him to foot the end product, wanted a ‘traditional fire’.  Me? I simply wanted a clean house heated by something that wouldn’t assault my nostrils – due to its musty smell – and sting my eyes with its fuggy smoke. But hey, hubby doesn’t often make demands, so I gave in to what I called his ‘turf phase’.

Anyhow, we’ve now entered 2021, and even though I’m not a fan of turf, I’m really sad that due to climate change concerns, Ireland’s bogs have come under threat. Indeed, I find it really upsetting that after 62 years providing employment for the local community, our neighbouring Lough Ree power plant at Lanesborough has turned off its lights and closed its doors.

All that aside, and due to our last electricity bill (from our three electric bedroom heaters) being so high – think of the cost of a week in the sun, five star, for two – we decided to bite the bullet and install a pellet-burning stove.

Now, as we live in a tiny house – my dad calls it ‘the Wendy house’ – a bulky, pellet-burning stove was, for me, out of the question. No way was I having a large eyesore in my tiny sitting room, menacingly perched in my miniscule fireplace.

However, one week later and oh my God – this pellet-burning stove is the business, folks. A consistent heat-source, with a settable temperature for people like me who are always cold, not to mention a large fillable bin, means it can burn for days. It’s also clean, as in it’s both dust and dirt free, and the pellets are quite reasonable to buy. And yes, it’s ugly, but we live in a small cottage, and I’d imagine it’d be quite attractive in a larger room. I’m willing to confess that I find it so great and so convenient for heating our entire home that the benefits far outweigh its unappealing  appearance. Do I miss my old fire? Not in the slightest!