Man has to be the most adaptable animal on the planet. Take this humble locked-down scribe for example: I have extracted turf from the bowels of an Irish bog and nickel, copper and gold from 4,000 feet under the frozen snow of northern Canada. I drove buses in Birkenhead and covered the Beijing Olympics for a newspaper.

I have been a postmaster in Ireland and a publican in Spain. I have known poverty in one life and utmost affluence in another. I would have prided myself on achieving some success in life through being a ‘people person’, but right now I am embracing the life of a recluse.

I am just your ordinary man in the street – or at least I was until they told me I couldn’t go back out on the street before Mrs Covid passes by. Now I living a new life once more – the life of a recluse!

When I was a young ‘whelp’, we boyos used try and propagate the advice that if something or other was inevitable, the best course of action was to lie back and enjoy it. I have adapted this mantra to my present reclusive state. I am ‘lying back and enjoying it!’

There are huge advantages in being a recluse. I am in control of myself (that sounds dodgy – but we’ll run with it) and there are no people here to stress me out. I have gotten so used to this that I love going to bed at night, knowing that when I wake up in the morning, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do, or talk to anyone I don’t want to speak to. I meet my grandchildren on ‘Zoom’ and ‘Skype’ every day; and when they are gone, everything belonging to me is right there in its own place – where it should be.

Wasn’t I always talking and planning to have ‘quality time to myself’ one day? Well now I have it … I lie here being serenaded by the birds in glorious sunshine. I heard more of the Cuckoo this year that I did for a decade previously. I chat my Dexter cows and calves down the field – because that is what recluses do. ‘Della the Dexter’ understands me and I know by how she looks at me that she considers me the most handsome, intelligent and amazing human she has ever laid eyes on. Some might say I am going a little bit ‘odd’ but you see, when you get the name of being a recluse you are not amenable to anyone – and you can do anything you like.

My reclusive life is even better because I have another recluse living with me … if that’s not a contradiction? Mrs Youcantbeserious shares this isolation with me and it is working really well. We are compatible marooners: She is a fantastic cook and I am a spectacular eater. My fellow reclusee has done more work with shrubs, trees and flowers than if I had hired a small digger, bulldozer and hedge-trimmer from Tool-hire over the past two months. I mow the grass for her: I have a ride-on mower …

The road gate is closed all the time. I only ventured out walking on the road after the government said that old recluses like me could travel 5km for exercise since 5th May. We have suspended car insurance for the past few months.

With no people around, the weather hot, and the gate closed, I have been known to go around the yard in my underpants – or head for the sauna with even less on. I won’t speak for my cell-mate on this occasion – but Lads, I don’t want to see a queue outside our gate in the morning. Remember ‘social distancing’!

I watch old hurling and football matches on TV. The beauty of being a recluse of a certain age is that I cannot remember who won – so who needs live sport?

Another thing … I never had the courage to grow a beard. Sixty years of shaving without ever letting the third day pass, has come to an end, thanks to Mrs Covid. Some say that any man who grows a beard has something to hide? I don’t know – but Easter week I stopped shaving or cutting my hair. The beard I feared is now reared!

So, could anything be better than a reclusive existence? You can see how happy and content I am with my lot?

BUT …. I miss my children visiting. I miss my grandchildren running around the place and turning everything into an adventure. AND I MISS PEOPLE!!

The sooner this bloody reclusive reign recedes – the better …!!

Don’t Forget

The man who is going nowhere can be sure of reaching his destination.

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