I walked into the kitchen. My husband Tim, daughter Julie and her husband David were sitting around the table.
They had obviously been chatting for a long time. They looked up and Tim said: “I’m sleeping in the spare room tonight!”
I wondered if there were sheets on the bed, as one does! I asked: “What?”
“Well, you’ve been contaminated. You’ve been to the Opera House,” came the reply.
I felt a bit like the teenager who’d been out beyond my curfew having to explain myself. I volunteered that I’d sleep in the spare room as I was the one that had been out! The questions continued.
I sat down, took a deep breath and endeavoured to make my family understand that I had in fact been careful
“What was it like? Was there social distancing? Were people wearing masks? Were all the seats full? Did you enjoy the gig?”
Julie wondered if I’d seen our friends Breda and Michael. Breda had put a picture on Instagram. There’s no news anymore; everything and everyone is on social media.
I sat down, took a deep breath and endeavoured to make my family understand that I had in fact been careful. My friend Siobhan had invited me to a celebration of Leonard Cohen’s music in the Opera House called Bird on the Wire. I cannot remember when last I was at a concert. It felt good to be going.
The certs were checked and recorded. ID was not required
There was a bit of pre-COVID-19 normality about it. As we neared the Opera House, a security man was making sure people were social distanced and he reminded us to have our COVID-19 certs open and ready for viewing. The certs were checked and recorded. ID was not required. I’ve been to a few restaurants and I’ve yet to be asked for ID. I could indeed have had anyone’s cert on my phone.
We proceeded to our seats. We were in the first row in the dress circle so had only three sides to worry about. To be fair, it appeared that every person was wearing a mask for the duration of the concert.
I can’t say that I was anxious but I wasn’t totally relaxed either
One man dropped his down to his chin for a while. He was a good distance away. Yet, I was aware of him and it made me feel uncomfortable. All the seats were full with no spaces in between.
I can’t say that I was anxious but I wasn’t totally relaxed either. I wonder if things will ever return to normal?
The music began and it was lovely. Other people singing the late Leonard Cohen’s songs will never be the same as his special performances which I was remembering.
This group of musicians interpreted the music in its own way. There were 10 performers in all that included Pauline Scanlon and the Whileaways, Will Merrigan on bass, Dave Clancy on keys (I will be looking out for Will again) Beoga legend and others.
I could sense their absolute delight at playing live music again
Pauline was the leader of the pack and she told the audience that we were indeed a sight for sore eyes. She went on to say that it was just amazing to be back in front of a crowd, playing in Cork and also creating music with other musicians and especially playing Leonard Cohen’s fabulous music.
Musicians really have had a rough time and I could sense their absolute delight at playing live music again. Will reiterated the comments and asked the question that Leonard often asked to explain the meaning of life. The answer, familiar to anyone who’d ever been to a Leonard Cohen concert was “Do Dum Dum Dum, De Do Dum Dum.”
Will reminded us that we could act normally.
“We could sing! We could stand up and dance in our places. It was all legal now.”
We are fooling ourselves when we say that things are back to normal
The thought of people standing up and shaking themselves about was not a pleasant one. Luckily it proved the same for all the patrons as we stayed glued to our seats. We sang along during the last two songs because we were invited to do so.
It is regrettable and disappointing that COVID-19 cases are rising again
We are fooling ourselves when we say that things are back to normal. Our behaviour is far from normal. Siobhan and I waited until the bulk of the crowd had gone to make sure we kept our social distance from others.
It is regrettable and disappointing that COVID-19 cases are rising again. So, we have to continue to be responsible in our own lives for our own safety.
If you feel like a nice night out, the group have yet to play Sligo, Castlebar, Killarney and Clonmel during December. You will find details on www.birdonthewire.ie