Getting To The Heart Of The MaterMarch 23, 2020
Begin Together Fund LaunchedMarch 26, 2020
It’s only been a week of this surreal and serene Covid-19 Lockdown Lite, and that initial giddy Snow Days feeling may be starting to wane ever so slightly for many Greystonians.
Day after day of the same four walls, the same sour faces, and the growing sense that you’re now firmly stuck in Groundhog Day.
And spare a thought for all those naturally stunning women who haven’t been able to get to a beauty salon or hairdressers in, like, forever! Right now, blonde bombshell Mary Mulligan has blacker roots than Kunta Kinte.
But, hey, we’ve got to see this time-out not so much as a minus as a plus, as we all get a chance to reconnect, not only with your nearest and smelliest but also with all the fun and games our parents enjoyed.
Before that soul-sucking internet lured us all into, well, self-isolating before we ever knew what it meant.
And should these long, lonesome nights need a little shaking up, you could always get into that kitchen and concoct your own personal Quarintini. Just make sure you put a dash of Vitamin C in there somewhere.
So, below is a list of 10 Things To Do About Nothing To Do, which is just a springboard for finding new kicks from old sensations.
There are also plenty of volunteer groups springing up all over Greystones and beyond, and there are very few better feelings in this world than helping someone in need.
It’s the perfect time too, for trying something new. Like popping over to the Greystones Open Farm, and leaving a positive comment. Or trying out the Lakers’ virtual mini-marathon.
For the kids, there’s our Splash Of Colour art competition, or our annual Battle Of The Bands furry freak-out. Both come with big, groovy prizes too! As does Hub13’s all-genres art competition. Then again, maybe you just want to make fun of eggs.
There’s also the groovy Artzone, hosting art workshops for kids at noon on Tuesdays and Fridays over on Facebook. Plus, Joe Wicks is on YouTube to wake everyone up with some morning exercises, and Cosmic Kids Yoga to bring ’em back down, sensory activities and silly songs to be sung here, National Geographic quizes here, Outdoor Bingo here, you can cook or bake yummy treats, listen to a story here, or go take a webcam tour of Dublin Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Victoria Zoo down under, or the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
The whole family can also go birdwatching through your window with this handy chart. Or get fit with Anne Sexton Pilates (where you’ll find free classes for students sitting exams). Or just sort out your moolah with Anna down at Bookworx (where you’ll find free advice on those pandemic unemployment and employer schemes).
And maybe you’re a poet, and you don’t even know it?! There’s also a poetry competition on de go down at Theatre Lane – details here.
And on the very plus side, with each day that the world switches off its engine and takes a walk instead, the planet is finally getting a chance to clear its throat of over 200 years of industrial smoke.
With people all over the globe coming together by staying apart, the world might just be a somewhat different place when we finally emerge from the Covid-19 battle. At the very least, toilet paper will become the new buttcoin.
So, cheer up, people – this might just be our Road To Domestos moment…
Take A Virtual Hike
Hardly needs to be said, but, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the great outdoors around here. Only, right now, they’re out of bounds. Still, we’ve put together about 25 of those fine walks, gardens and mountain treks right about here, and you can go explore them through the wonders of top-of-the-range, oven-ready, Grade A photos and the occasional shaky-ass video. Be sure to wear some rain gear when checking these pages out. This is Ireland, after all.
Read A Book
You’ll have to check with your parents – or grandparents – about this one. Books are like websites, only all the text (and pictures) have been downloaded and printed out. So you don’t need batteries. Or wifi. Or those pop-ups distracting you every 2.8 seconds.
Those lovely people at The Village Bookshop and at Halfway Up The Stairs are ready and willing to get brand, spanking new books straight to you. All you have to do is call. Or email. And they’ll sort you out with a few days of bliss.
Special mention for some local heroes too, CCA teacher Sean Ó Suilleabháin’s Wicklow Bound charting many of our fine outdoor attractions, whilst mother and daughter Cathy Sweeney and Lucy Sweeney Byrne have both just released their debut short story collections to much acclaim, the former’s Modern Times out this month and the latter’s Paris Syndrome last October. Kudos to Steven Duggan too, for donating all proceeds going forward from his latest book, the black comedy The Elder Terror, to the Alone charity, and to Tom Galvin, for keeping Dad Rock alive with The Ghost Song.
Dive Into A Podcast
It’s the new radio, which, thankfully, actually combines the old radio with a whole bunch of little independent and not-so-independent voices, all yakking away to their hearts content about, in the best cases, something that they love. And understand. From Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast (celebrating all things vintage Hollywood, pop culture and naughty) to local goodies such as Andrea Splendori’s Social Fabric and crime analysis straight outta Enniskerry with Legally Fond, there are a million and two podcasts out there to choose from. And that means, there’s at least one that’s right up your narrow alley. RTE have a solid list of podcasts for kids here.
Have A Movie Night
The chucklesome Alison Spittle has come up with a fine idea – arrange with your friends to all watch the same movie at the same time, and stay in touch in a WhatsApp group (or whatever online thread works for you) to laugh, cry, complain and point out ridiculous plot points, whilst also critiquing every single actor’s wardrobe and haircut choices.
Pick One Great Artist
And dive into every single piece of work that they have ever made. Explore their life, their inner thoughts, their agony, their ecstasy – and when we’re all back to normal, you can bore the living shit out of every single dinner party in town. Until you’re no longer getting invites. Also works with genres, long-running franchises, etc…
Before the mind games kick in, it might be wise to dust down that old Monopoly, or grab a deck a cards, play charades – whatever gets you through the day, and makes you laugh, basically. Talking of which, given the current climes, you could always…
Play Hide & Don’t Seek
Just a thought. If your garden is big enough. Actually, if you do want to play an outdoor game, you could always tackle FourFront Games’ Greystones Puzzle. The beautiful David, Mary-Kate, Ciara and Colm may have closed their escape rooms on Hillside Road, but they left behind lots of happy customers, and, just as importantly, a groovy Greystones map, where you have to scour the town, looking for clues, and, yep, solving puzzles. You’ll find that map right here.
Do An Online Course
There are plenty of them, from the professional enter-your-credit-card-details-here to the philanthropic and the plain silly. Special mention here to KWETB, for putting many of their courses online for free. Also, there’s Jill over in Kilpedder, who is posting free Lockdown Yoga right about here, and for the kids, Junior Einstein have live, interactive Science Club sessions right about here, and another live science club club here, while there’s a Facebook group for fun and gameshere. For Leaving Cert students, there are free interactive online classes with a local former teacher here.
Get Your Crappy House In Order
There’s always a corner, a room, or a series of corners and/or rooms, that really could do with a major spring clean. Now is the time. Are you hearing us, Grace Shanley…?
Sow Some Seeds Of Love
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, right about now, show it some love, and it will keep you glowing for months – and years – to come. And if youdon’t have a garden, check out the nearest chunk of wild, and go plant some surprise flowers or trees for everyone to enjoy.
There are plenty of other options, of course – including exploring eight years of archive-building on de Guide – but, if you can work your way through everything on that list above, we reckon that when you finally emerge, not only will Covid-19 be history, it’ll be Christmas too. Result!