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I’m back! Didn’t know I was gone, did you? Well, despite the fact that our blog posts have continued apace for the past three weeks, I have been holidaying in the Southern hemisphere — New Zealand, to be precise. Although I use the term ‘down under’, to describe my location, I know that it is a term generally given to Australia, not New Zealand…but, hey, geography never was my strong suit. Besides, it makes my point — which is that, whilst away, I felt I was living under a rock, information and current news-wise.

I had no access to CNN, newspapers, or virtually any other real access to all-day cable news programs. I was isolated. Oh, I had my iPad and my boyfriend had his laptop, but I was not glued to CNN the way I am at home. I felt SO isolated. I had the shakes. Not even Facebook! It was like going through drug withdrawal. No Trump tweets were read, no SNL skits about the Great Orange Wonder had me holding my sides and rolling in the aisle, no hours spent glued to Facebook to read and ‘like’ the mimes and cartoons about ‘palace intrigue’ and power struggles behind the Orange Throne.

It was terrible…and yet, so soothing. I couldn’t believe how relaxed and de-stressed I felt. Sure, part of it was the holiday itself; but removing myself, crawling under that metaphorical rock, was liberating. The first few days were unsettling, but after that, when the shakes stopped, I found I liked not knowing every horrible thing going wrong in the world at large.

When I returned home, late on a Friday night, I tried…I really did. I first went to see Mrs. Beeton (my pink parakeet, back from spending the three weeks with L’il Sis) ensconced in the canary room. Never mind dogs greeting you with wagging tails when you’ve been away and return, Mrs. Beeton went nuts! She began, even before I turned on the light and upon hearing my voice, frantically calling her loudest “Sweet, sweet!” in greeting. As the light flicked on, she flew around and around the room, chirping all the way. She stopped to say hi to each of ‘her’ canaries and took several minutes to calm down. Then, as is our usual routine, I took her, cage and all, into my bedroom to watch a few minutes of bad t.v. before settling in to sleep. I could have turned on a lovely ‘women’s film’, as Gill calls them, but no, I just couldn’t do it. My trigger finger glided over that channel and found itself, as if by memory, at CNN. I was done in!

It was all about Trump’s latest Tom Foolery and his antics in the sandbox. I swear, things were just as miserable as when I left the country three weeks before. The talking heads were still babbling, world leaders were still being insulted and pissed off by The Orange One, and my stress level rose to red alert again.I do believe even Mrs. Beeton, after spending time with L’il Sis in her apartment with no television, just soothing radio music, was taken off guard and was sharing my stress. It’s sad when even the birds are worried about Trump and his self-inflicted stumbles.I believe that the parakeet, although a genuine ‘bird brain’, is less of one than he is!

Gill scolded me the next day when she heard that I was fully back into my CNN addiction. “Ma, you’re as bad as a heroin addict! You CAN say no! Turn off the television…especially CNN. If not for yourself, do it for Mrs. Beeton. If you don’t, I may have to call the SPCA on you!”

I am trying to reform, trying to keep my three week exile alive and myself under the metaphorical rock for just a little longer…but I may need a 10-step program to get me over the hump. I’ll let you know how it goes.