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Minding Pops


Diary of a Home Bird
Ciara Galvin

THEY say when the cat is away the mouse can play. Well the cat that does all the cooking and cleaning was away recently, leaving this big kid and the male roomie to their own devices.
The female roomie was off caddying for a few days for Ballinrobe Golf Club, who were playing in the AIG Ladies Cup in Dundalk.
Just hours after she left, our our little adventure of self-sufficiency began, and I found myself on the cold tiled floor trying to ‘create fire’.
Fifteen minutes later after a lot of foostering with temperature gages and starter buttons, I got off the floor, glorying in a ‘me woman, me make fire’ kind of moment.
The general feel to the house was of two students staying in their rented accommodation for the weekend; no mammy to kindly do their laundry and smelling stuff in the fridge to get an indication of whether it was edible or not.
Only we wouldn’t dream of having a party, and I cooked something other than spaghetti bolognese.
Tuesday’s menu was enchiladas with sweet potato fries and salad. It went down well, and as I was asked to look after Pops while Madre was away I made sure there was a slice of sweet cake for the tae.
We worked well as a team, washing and cleaning up, but both of us had our downfalls. Emptying the dishwasher during the week I got a sneaking suspicion that the male roomie had forgotten to put in a tablet, and I, well, I had a few dry runs while trying to wash some clothes, three dry runs to be precise. It seems I must have forgotten to follow the process by pressing the start button more than once.
Entertainment during the week came in the form of Netflix. The roomies have a new ‘Smart’ TV (don’t ask) and Pops enquired about ‘Narcos’, the series which follows the life and crimes of Pablo Escobar.
Two episodes in and Pops was glued. I was afraid I’d return home from work one of the evenings to find that he had developed a thick Colombian accent and a Pablo-esque moustache.
By the end of the week the male roomie had actually become so accustomed to his treatment that he mistook his daughter for his personal chef. A call at work asking had I been looking for him, ‘Yes father, 24 hours ago’, finished with ‘Oh and could you cook those thingies you made during the week, those ’n-cha-ladays’. I had to break the news that he’d have to make do with a stir fry.
Later that evening I had to stop him in his tracks from setting the table with side plates. I don’t know what he thought he’d be peeling in a stir fry.
On Thursday a phone call came through at work: The golfers had successfully made it through to the final. Forget Mayo v Dublin, this was the only sporting occasion in town.
The win meant the female roomie would be away for another night.
“How are you getting on looking after dad?” she asked.
“He’s sleeping through the night,” I replied.

> In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.