Another slice of Covid life from Trim diarist


Another slice of Covid life from Trim diarist


Meath County Council published Paddy Smith’s Cocooner: A Lockdown Diary in November 2020, with the support of the Creative Ireland Programme, Age Friendly Ireland and Healthy Ireland. The book is available in our libraries throughout the county and can also be purchased (€10) from Antonia’s Bookstore, Trim. The Trim man has continued to keep a diary and here we publish a selection of entries from May 2021. It is also planned that the entire diary will be eventually lodged in the archives of the library.

Sunday, 2 May: The Summerhills are really excited. A young crow fell out of its nest in the next-door field and can’t fly, although it has no apparent injury. ‘Russell’ has now been adopted by Lucy and Rosie and Evie. He perches contentedly on Paul’s shoulder but Jane is worried that he will imprint on them and can never be returned again to the wild.

Monday, 3 May: With me vaccinated twice and her once, Mary felt safe enough to do the shopping today. She was delighted with herself.

Wednesday, 5 May: It has been decided that Russell will be better off in the wildlife sanctuary at Garlow Cross where they can keep him isolated from human contact until he is ready for his re-wilding.

Thursday, 6 May: My optician tells me my eyes are operating independently of each other. Probably more accurate to say that my brain isn’t amalgamating the two images it receives. She did some really interesting experiments to illustrate all this. Also, she is recommending that I start wearing a single contact lens. Yikes!

Friday, 7 May: All the Summerhills accompanied Russell to the wildlife sanctuary but they were disappointed they weren’t allowed in due to Covid restrictions. I’ve only noticed now that my inhaler is made by AstraZeneca. Just saying.

Monday, 10 May: “Time for the Angelus,” said Ronan Collins' stand-in today. Ronan himself always says we’ll “pause” for the Angelus. A slight but significant difference in emphasis. Which reminds me, I was really shocked when I first went to work in RTE in 1970 and I saw a tape marked ‘Angelus’ on a shelf in a studio. Don’t tell me the Angelus is only a recording! Is nothing sacred?

Thursday, 13 May: Mary's second vac at our GPs. She is very relieved and pleased, and has no side effects except for a slightly stiff arm.

Saturday, 15 May: Driving past the Norman Pratt Park at The Maudlins, I noticed a miniature forest of dandelion stalks with parachute seeds ready to be launched. Very visible because the grass growth hasn't kept pace with the weed growth. Consternation all day over ransom hacking of HSE systems. Mary is worried her treatment on Tues will be cancelled.

Sunday 16 May: First wasp of the season, RIP. Mary got txt from hospital seeking usual Covid details re Tues appointment so that’s reassuring.

Tuesday, 18 May: Jane took Mary to Dublin for her monthly infusion. All went well. Jane didn’t mind doing the trip at all: a day out for her, and she walked down to Penneys on O’Connell St and got in with no bother.

Wednesday, 19 May: Charlie Bird and producer Simon Murtagh came to the house to interview me about times past in agriculture, for a podcast they are doing for Senior Times. I mentioned Charlie in Cocooner and wasn’t exactly complimentary about him so, before he came, we had a good look around to make sure there were no copies of the book visible anywhere. A txt from the optician: my contact lens is ready. But I think I’ll leave it till next week. (Coward!)

Thursday, 20 May: Mary fully covered from today, a week after her second vacc. In celebration of us both being safe, I planned to switch on the (external) Christmas lights which are still on the tree in the front garden just waiting for this occasion but my arthritis made it too difficult to locate the plug.

Saturday, 22 May: More excitement. Mary got her hair done today and felt very safe in the hairdressers.

Sunday, 23 May: First roast beef dinner in about five months, for Jane’s birthday. Very special because it was the first family gathering (or one-third gathering) here in Trim since Christmas. Afterwards I got Paul to root around and plug in the Christmas tree lights outside. Things are beginning to brighten up, I think.