17 thoughts Connor has while at home

  1. I’m now living somewhere where our meals are timed around RTE 1’s “Ireland’s Home of the Year”.
  2. The lengthy debate between my parents on the first day I arrived back at home about which pot is the best one to cook the carrots in was just the first in a never-ending chain of events that keep making me question the value of family life.
  3. My mother did buy me a Jack Lynch biography as a surprise today though, so sometimes family is great. I’m a total nerd and couldn’t wait to finish the book I’m reading at the moment to start reading it.
  4. I have spent winters in Poland, where it was so cold that my nose hairs used to freeze, but nowhere on earth is as cold as my bedroom here is.
  5. Also, a bit of the ceiling in my bedroom, the bit directly above my head, is torn, sudden movements in the room above me lead to pieces of ceiling plaster landing in my face.
  6. My mother is trying so, so, so hard not to ask me why I’m not applying for permanent pensionable jobs. She’s not fully succeeding, but she is trying very, very hard, so I applaud her.
  7. I have started my PhD corrections. It’s such an idiotic process. When your grade is already decided, it’s pretty much impossible to take the process seriously.
  8. Every time the marriage equality referendum is mentioned on the radio or the television, an awkward silence falls. We’re basically enduring approximately 40 minutes of awkward silence a day. There is a leaflet in the kitchen saying “Seven reasons to keep marriage as it is”. I am afraid to throw it away for fear it will provoke an argument. I am a very bad gay. My whole family is voting no and I should be fighting them, but I’m just being really, really quiet.
  9. The only room I can spend time in comfortably is my bedroom. The chair in my bedroom is uncomfortable, and the room is cold, so I’m spending a long period every day in bed.
  10. There’s a new router and the house has much better wifi than ever before.
  11. My mother still tells me to blow on my food if it’s too hot.
  12. My bedroom is next on my mother’s list of rooms to clean. I am not allowed to clean it and because she has to take everything off every one of the 22 bookshelves it will mean that I will be evicted for most of a day, and afterwards every surface in the room will have been Mr Sheened so thoroughly that it will be slippery.
  13. I still haven’t plucked up the courage to tell my mother that I’m on a diet. I can’t face what’s bound to follow: “That’s a great idea, son.” Followed by a list of all the reasons obesity is unhealthy and a list of all her worries about me and a list of times she thought I looked very fat and a list of people she has heard of with heart disease and a list of all her worries about the rest of my family’s health and the hope she will express and the frequent questions about the status of my diet and the disappointment when it fails.
  14. I also haven’t plucked up the courage to tell her anything about my future plans other than the foreign jobs I have for June and July, because I can’t face the garbled version of them that she’ll tell her sister on the phone and the inquisition I will face and the worried conversations about me that she’ll have with my dad and my brothers and sister.
  15. As with every time I’m at home, I can feel myself turning into a sixteen-year-old version of me.
  16. Only five weeks to go!
  17. I wish I had money. And a car. Luckily, my online jobs are all starting over the next week or two and money will start coming in over the summer, but for now, I only have €51 to last me until the end of May.
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