Esther O'Moore Donohoe: I wanted hugs, I wanted friends and family. I wanted a McFlurry and a 3 in 1

Esther O'Moore Donohoe describes herself as a Podcaster, Writer and Rhythm Dancer. This week, she's for the birds


What a difference a week makes. Last Thursday as I hit send on my column I was all ‘there’s so much beauty in the world #livelaughlove’. Cut to this Tuesday and I was ugly crying like Kim Kardashian West when she was telling Kourtney she wanted to divorce Kris Humphries and he was in the next room.

All day, I felt a generalised, non-specific blueness. After work, I got into bed fully clothed as soon as I came in from the office (a 15 step commute). I just lay there for a couple of hours, occasionally looking at my phone but mostly just thinking, thinking, thinking. I had heat, a safe place to be and a fridge full of food i.e. absolutely nothing to complain about. But sometimes, no matter how much perspective you have or rationalising you do, you can’t fight the feelings.

It hung low over me for the rest of the evening and the next couple of days. I think my body just wanted a break from this break. I wanted hugs, I wanted friends and family. I wanted a McFlurry and a 3 in 1 tray.

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Reversal in fortunes

As I lay in there, in addition to thinking about loved ones, I thought about the CEOs of reusable cup companies around the world, naturally. Just a few short months ago I’m sure they were zipping around on their adult scooters saying things like ‘Wowee! The keep cup revolution is here maaaaan! 2020 is our year!’ I bet bonuses were forecast and backs were patted at the rise of the reusable cup generation. I also like to imagine that the Zoom offices were located directly across the hall from Keep Cup Inc. The sad sack Zoomers would spend their lunch breaks throwing dirty looks across the canteen at the Kings and Queens of Green, cursing their success. ‘Look at them with their stupid cups, killing it. What about our easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars? When will it be Zoom’s time to shine? they’d lament.

And lo, look at us now. All of our eco cups have been pushed to the backs of presses and we’re Zooming it up every night. No one could have predicted such a reversal in fortunes. Similarly, I didn’t gaze into the night sky in the early hours of New Years Day back in January and promise myself ‘This is the year I finally get into ornithology’ but like I said, things change rapidly these days.

For the birds

Last Friday, I made myself a bird feeder. Since lockdown, birds are the new Keep Cup. Their stock is, quite literally, sky high. They’re tweeting and twittering like never before, or probably like they always have, we just couldn’t hear them. As an amateur ornithologist, I have already chosen favourites as they flit by my WFH office window daily. I don’t know what their real names are so in the absence of any knowledge on my part, I’ve had to get creative. Top tweeters include, Tiny Orange Beaks, Small Puffy Ones with Spotty Chests as well as Shiney Spotted Whistlers. I don’t play by the ornithology rule book.

In my new capacity as a part-time twitcher (for that is what we, in the bird-watching community refer to ourselves as) I’ve also noticed how healthy pigeons are looking these days. The Handsome Pidgies that visit my flat roof are pleasantly puffy and clean and often have both their feet. They are completely unlike the Pirate Pigeons I’d normally see hobbling around town eating puke. Unlike humans, perhaps pigeons don’t have any Covid 19 restrictions around going to their featherdressers? Whatever the reason, they are looking pure stunning these days.

Unfortunately, my home made bird feeder has not proved to be the smash hit with my avian friends that I hoped it would be. I hung it right outside my office window so I wouldn’t miss a trick but they aren’t biting. I thought about paying for some targeted posts on Instagram to let them know it’s here but many birds aren’t on social media anymore.

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I just have to have patience I suppose and remind myself that a lot can change in seven days. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I can see two ducks flying unusually high over the neighbour’s roof. Is this normal?! Are they safe?! They could be having some sort of fit. I need to record it in my twitcher notebook stat! Who knew bird-watching could be so full on? I may have to pull out of the Zoom quiz I’ve got planned later on this evening. I can’t keep (c) up!

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