Marie Louise McConville: The long lockdown means I am now losing the plot

It's official - I think I'm losing the plot
Marie Louise McConville

So, it's official then - I think I'm losing the plot.

Those who know me have probably suspected for a while that I have been a woman on the edge, what with the home schooling, home working and the seemingly never-ending shutdown of Primark - it's all been a bit much.

But the thing is, I thought I was doing well given the past year of lockdowns, the re-opening and re-closing of shops, and don't get me started on the ever-changing mask fashion - it's hard to keep up.

But with the kids back at school and an easing of restrictions, finally, I can see normality on the horizon.

So, why then am I talking nonsense and doing ridiculous things?

In the playground the other day while I was waiting for Abbie to get out of school, I got chatting (socially-distanced of course) to another mum.

Having already collected James minutes earlier, he was playing on the climbing frame.

When Abbie's classroom door opened and the teacher appeared, I turned to call James and this is what came out of my mouth - "Jason".

Cue the awkward moment in the playground when not only I realised but all the other parents around me also noticed I had called my five-year-old by the wrong name.

I stood for a moment, questioning who on earth Jason was, when the mum I had been speaking to, turned to me and said: "His name's James, not Jason".

My brain had obviously suffered some kind of freeze - but why?

The thing is, I have no idea who Jason is and I have no idea why I said it, and who knows what the other parents now think.

I wouldn't have normally worried too much but this came a day after a previous ridiculous incident at home.

While working at the kitchen table, I decided a cup of tea was in order.

I walked over to the cupboard and lifted out my cup however when I tried to close the cupboard, I did so the wrong way and it bounced back at me.

In that moment, I apologised to the cupboard for doing what I did and went on about my business.

It was only a while later, while at my laptop, I realised I had apologised to the cupboard - the cupboard - and really, that was not ok.

And this was not the end of the confusing behaviour.

A few evenings later, while clearing up after dinner, I put the salt in the fridge - why?

So, there we have it, I appear to have lost some sandwiches and am no longer the keeper of a full picnic.

I am calling my children by the wrong name and apologising to household objects.

If anything, I would have thought of this type of odd behaviour would have happened at the height of the lockdown when my coping levels were being seriously challenged.

Why now?

Is this what they mean by post-pandemic mental health issues?

If so, sign me up for help - a month in the Bahamas should do the trick.


We're used to him as the quick-witted quiz master on The Chase but now the brilliant Bradley Walsh is filming for an altogether new `Perfick' role.

The 60-year-old has been flaunting fabulous sideburns and swept back hair this week as he is to star as Pop Larkin in a new adaptation of The Darling Buds Of May.

Photos this week of Bradley on the set come after Bridgerton star Sabrina Bartlett was cast in the role of Mariette Larkin, Pop's daughter.

The new series, which is called `The Larkins,' will be shown on ITV.

I'll definitely be tuning in.


There was great news on the movie front this week after Canadian actress, Nia Vardalos confirmed long standing rumours that there will be another My Big Fat Greek Wedding film. (Yay)

The much-loved star, who plays Toula Portokalos in the romantic movie franchise, confirmed on Instagram that the third instalment is happening but filming has been halted due to insurance issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking on a video, the 58-year-old said: "Yes, it is true that for over a year we have been trying to film a script that I wrote called My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3.

"But what is also true is that we're not filming," she said.

Turns out, the ongoing pandemic means films must get expensive Covid-19 insurance and that's before the additional costs of compliance protocols.

Nia asked her many followers and fans if they know "somebody who wants to insure an independent film" to notify her and they will be "cordially invited to this wedding".

She added: "I just wanted to explain this to you so that you, perhaps some of you, although I love your enthusiasm, can stop calling my mom's house and asking if you can be in it. Yes everyone can be in it - if we can just get the insurance."

Count me in.

Now, where's my hat?

***Competitions will return in the coming weeks

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