Happy National Families Day!

Family musings and misunderstandings during "clotheslines confessions"... Fiona shares her experience of Lockdown in Ireland.

We live in an unprecedented time! A time of hand sanitiser, face masks and a distance we as Irish people are not accustomed to maintaining.

Some of us trapped within the same four walls as our families and others separated by miles, unable to check in on the ones they love. Something as simple as calling in and sharing a cup of tea is impossible and with ever changing guidelines we’ve had to adapt and become masters of Zoom.

J.K Rowling wrote that “family is a life jacket in the stormy sea of life”. Now more than ever we need that life jacket. Be it the family you were born to or the family you have chosen, we here at willow want to celebrate all things family. So I’ll take this time to share with you the inner workings of my crazy family.

With adulthood, I spread my wings, I flew the nest and learned to appreciate privacy and a need for personal space, to relish freedom and exert my decision making capabilities by having pancakes for dinner and throwing caution to the wind by going outside and not even bringing a jacket.

However, like so many others, ‘Lockdown’ rolled around and I found myself marooned back at home in my childhood bedroom. At first, I thought where better to weather the storm than back at home? I was dreaming of the hot warm dinners and a few weeks of being molly coddled again. It sounded like bliss and the break I needed after my stint in the big bad world.

After nearly 3 months, I have found the reality to be quite different. You see my previous vision of serenity had failed to account for a few crucial elements of the Irish family.

First of all, I forgot one of the key components of the Irish Mammy. Unrivalled devotion and pride, they will always talk up your achievements to anyone who’ll listen but always manage to get the story slightly skewed.

Since I’ve been home and had free time my sister and I have taken to tiktok as a means of bonding and passing the day. There’s only so much fighting over clothes one can do. On a more high brow note, I was intrigued by tiktok and wanted to get to grips with the next phase of content creation and social media. Not to mention that bloody Carol Baskin song was stuck in my head.

Anyways, since I made my glorious return, I’ve noticed my neighbour has taken to looking at me funny. “Hi John” I beckoned, only to receive a grunt and his hurried return to mowing the lawn. “Strange” I mused but shrugged it off as a fear of interaction and contracting Corona virus. Little did I know my father, a man of few words, except when the immersion was involved, held the key to this great mystery. He informed me that the last “clothesline confessions” had ended with mum telling John that my sister and I had gone mad on the phone on the Tinder. We just couldn’t get enough of the Tinder. She regaled him with stories. “Out there on the lawn shaking their butts so they were John. If only you saw!” Lamenting, “Morning, noon and night, they just can’t get enough?” Delighted with her knowledge of the younger generation she continued to explain to John the intrinsic workings of “Tinder”, apparently you can get famous from it these days and even make money. “You’ll have to watch your two little ones John, they’ll be at it in no time, maybe Fiona and Ciara can give them a few tips”. “Maybe not” said John.

The realisation that my neighbour now thinks I’m some sort of cross between Kim Kardashian finding fame and an escort service isn’t the worst thing that happened that day, I also found out that Dad had taken to using my €200 “La Mer” face moisturiser as hand cream. I have decided I don’t have the heart to break it to Mum, and instead have signed her up for an “introduction to using your smart phone course” as an early Christmas present.

Family, you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them, but at least life is never boring.


Galway Store Manager


May 19, 2020 — Amy McSweeney

Leave a comment