Esther O'Moore Donohoe describes herself as a Podcaster, Writer and Rhythm Dancer. This week, let there be light.
Quite early on in lockdown I made an incredible discovery. ‘Oh wow! Was it something to do with finding a vaccine Esther? Or a major philosophical insight into the human condition?’ It was neither of these things but I’m sure if I took a week’s annual leave I could come up with something terrific.
The incredible discovery I made, was that at certain times of the day, I can sunbathe from my bed. Oh yes. If the sun is out, my metaphorical buns are out. I simply wallop the window open full tilt and boom, my bed turns into a sunlounger.
Over the last few months, I have marvelled at the light, dare I say it, dappling on the landing floor in the mornings
When I first moved in, the orientation of the house was not top of my list of priorities. The main things I was looking for were a) walls and b) a door. Anything that exceeded those criteria was beyond the beyonds. But having lived here for over a year, I now understand the couples on Location, Location, Location who will settle for nothing less than a south facing flat in Balham near the high street and a tube stop. They’ve been enlightened.
Over the last few months, I have marvelled at the light, dare I say it, dappling on the landing floor in the mornings. I have invoked Kurt Vonnegut and mused aloud ‘if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is’ as I’ve carried a bowl of Shredded Wheat to my bed lounger during a WFH break. And like a pushy stage mother, I’ve shoved my houseplants towards it when they look a bit droopy or in need some pep. ‘A bit of sunlight will do you good. I’ll be back later’ I tell them and off I go. If my plants had eyes, they’d surely roll them daily.
Good and bad hours
But let them roll their imaginary eyes because nice light is fantastic. The birdies chirping are fantastic. A take-away coffee is incredible! We’re all noticing how great the things we took for granted pre all this are and appreciate them anew. We are, and please don’t bop me on the head for saying this, getting better at living in the moment. There is no point in looking back, even though we all do it, and we have no clue what’s ahead so our projections are more short term.
We all have good and bad hours, days and weeks but feelings are like buses, there’s always another one coming down the road. However, it’s worth noting that buses are operating Sunday services at the moment so if you are having a bad day it might take longer to shift but it will. Your good feelings bus is en route!
As I was doing a quick micro-shop yesterday, I found myself completely planted in the here and now. I was searching deep in the supermarket fridge for milk with the best date when I suddenly heard myself singing along with Candle in the Wind by Elton John which was playing through the shop's speakers. I could feel the spirit of Elton and Princess Diana move through me* as I stood in front of the cheese section, looking for the Babybel (*it may have been indigestion).
I didn’t stop there. As I took a left for the crisp aisle hunting for a bag of their lightly salted own brand crisps (my snack of the pandemic) I quietly but steadily belted ‘was thaaaat Marilynnnnn was founnnnnd in the nuuude’. Before I knew it, I was bipping everything through the checkout, in full duet with Sir Elton. I won’t ever be able to return to that particular branch but, for those few minutes, I was truly in the moment man.
When I got back home and spritzed everything with disinfectant, as has become habit, I went upstairs to my suntrap before starting work. I lay there like a long, streaky rasher with a cup of tea and a magazine from December that I never made time to read. ‘Well, if this isn’t nice...’ I thought for the one-millionth time.
I have had some shocking days but when the light is there I say ‘LET THERE BE RUDDY LIGHT MATE’ and get stuck into the own-brand snacks. Kirsty and Phil and savvy London couples are right, it is all about location, location, location. And Elton John. And crisps. And sunlight. We’ve always known this, it just took a moment.
Esther O'Moore Donohoe is a writer and broadcaster. On her podcast The 80%, she interviews guests whose success she is 80% happy for.
Read more: My world had now expanded to a 5k wide oyster, but where to go?
Read more: 'My foray into GIY has reminded me life carries on, regardless'