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Browned off


Diary of a home bird
Ciara Galvin

FOR the recent bank holiday weekend I travelled to Liverpool to sample the delights of the bustling city, food, music and shopping. The weekend was fantastic, fabulous food, great company and a nice bit of retail therapy.
There was one noticeable problem though, I had managed to head off on my holidays half tanned. Yes, that’s right: I expertly tanned one half of my body the night before taking to the skies. You may ask how this came about. After a long day in The Mayo News HQ I hit for Ballinrobe weary and with a rumbling belly, and me being me, not even a suitcase dusted down.
Rather than satisfying my dietary requirements, I thought it was more important to try on half of my wardrobe and pack enough clothes for a round-the-world trip. (I was going to Liverpool for three days.)
As the Cancun tan is but a distant memory, the good old reliable can of Cocoa Brown had to be broken out. Halfway through the ritual of standing like I was directing a Boeing 747, I got the all too familiar request from the male roomie down the hall, ‘I just need ya for two minutes’.
As previously outlined on these pages, the male roomie has an innate ability to pick the worst possible time to ask for assistance. If he sees you rushing out the door that’s when he strikes, but down through the years we’ve all learned to deal with it. On this occasion, he need help with some typing. As I had just spent the day in front of a computer, I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic, but I ploughed on.
At speed (I was conscious of the fact that my tan was developing rapidly on my arms but I still hadn’t my back done) and without the all important glasses (a lot of squinting and spellchecking), I typed up the document.
I was proclaimed ‘a genius’. Buttering me up for future computer tasks, no doubt. Still, I decided the play the situation to my advantage and reminded the male roomie of the saying ‘you scratch my back and I scratch yours’. In this case, however, it was ‘I scratched your back now please tan mine’!
Equipped with tanning mitt and all, the male roomie stuck to his side of the bargain.
An hour later, settling down to a late-night snack it dawned on me, ‘I didn’t tan my legs’. Too tired to care, I convinced myself that nobody would even notice, and off I set the following day, half bronzed.
And on my return, a little worse for wear, well, I was confronted with a few tasks the male roomie had set out for me. To one – Tune the TV – I nearly replied, ‘I’m not even tuned in myself Dad, never mind the TV’. Other tasks included dismantling a travel cot (felt like jumping into it for a nap) and climbing into the attic to put said cot away (uneasy on my feet and with a pounding headache, the top of a ladder was the last place I wanted to be on a Bank Holiday Monday).
In hindsight, I learned a few lessons: one, complete a task fully before moving on to something else, and two, never lie around the homestead idly hungover.

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.