Lockdown blues…

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I am bemused by how many people appear to be enjoying lockdown – and talk as though it might be a new way forward. 
 
The new era whereby work is something that we did, do you remember? Or that work is something we do – but we now do it from home. How civilised and fine for lawyers and best-selling authors – but not so good for taxi drivers or the people who pick our fruit, or stock the shelves... 
 
And not much consideration either for the people who hoped to retire this year nor for the debt we are hitching on to the back of our young people, not to mention the millions of people who are losing their jobs. As many as 30 million people in the US alone. 
 
That said, I too am enjoying lockdown - to a point. 
 
I have nice accommodation. We have a garden where I can feed my birds and potter during our unseasonably beautiful weather in London. We even have a garden room! Household members each have their own bedroom, although Nikki and I still choose to share but even then we have options if one of us (her) finally decides to call time. And by and large, we are a happy household although my jokes and general eccentricities are definitely waning and despite their pleas, I can’t seem to rein it in either. 
And despite not being able to do any shows – I have kept myself busy. Skirting boards have been painted. You’ve seen the bird table already and I can now access my shed and even find a few things. 
 
And I am writing of course – which I hope is noticeable but I mention it anyway. I have significantly upped my blog and pod quota (you’re welcome), I’m curating a new venture on Patreon (thank you to all my followers) and of course embarking on writing my new novel -  which is proceeding at a decent pace – Chapter 7 completed and about to be posted online - and is set to become a worldwide smash…
 
My sense of delusion remains undiminished BTW – and hardly needs pointing out. 
 
And yet I am desperate for lockdown to end and the world to begin turning and churning again. And yes, to get back to my day job. Back on stage again to face the lights and the darkness.
 
But also, to welcome back the more mundane. To sit in a pub again with a pint of beer and a bunch of mates to enjoy a good old moan with. Or to hug my mum again because telling her that ‘I love her’ just feels hollow by comparison. 
 
And being an avid but poor golfer, I’ve missed the game and my opportunity to improve!
 
And yet since the golf courses have reopened, it hasn’t been the green idyll I had imagined.  
I have played three times already – and each time with Tom because of restrictions with club memberships and only two players (two balls) being allowed. 
 
You would think that after such a long layoff, that these rounds would be extra special. The father and son moments that make everything worth it. All the parental sacrifices that are required. The sleepless nights. The hours on the touchline. The hours coaching and encouraging. And the rebuking our children because it’s necessary and no matter that they hate us for it. Being prepared not to be their best friend. That’s a pitfall that is always best avoided. 
 
And years later then - just two guys out on the course – teeing it up and giving it a bash.
 
Which is exactly what has happened on every occasion – me taking a very heavy bashing at the hands of my son. At the game I am supposed to love and by a young man I supposed... 
 
It’s a funny thing, masculinity. Given that I introduced all my boys to this game. I bought them kit and coached them and I suffered their tantrums, it might be a source of pride to watch their balls sale 70 yards beyond mine and finally to disappear below ground in far less shots than I can manage. 
 
And yet I strain every sinew to prevent this from happening. I try with all my mite to beat Tom, Sam or Harry and yet, the harder I try, the heavier my defeat.  
 
And not just on the course but in life and show biz also because in-between shots, Tom fields calls from agents about filming schedules and other exciting matters – during which I tinker with my grip and try and come up with reasons not to top myself.  
Strictly speaking, phones are not allowed on the golf course but there is dispensation for me since my phone hasn’t rung for years now. 
 
In fact, the only Holland boy I can now beat at golf is Paddy and guess what? He won’t play me anymore. He refuses, as though he senses my need but is unwilling to oblige. How did I raise someone so cruel?
 
I am fortunate then that my lovely wife has accepted my invitation to take up this venerable game. Before lockdown she began lessons with a friend of hers and our local pro. It will be great if she really takes to the game. We can have holidays together with the boys and finally around the dinner table, Nikki will be able to contribute to the incessant golf chat. 
And I say this in the full confidence that I will always have a member of the Holland household I can beat. 
 
Unless that is, she one day decides that the spare bedroom is of interest to her – whereupon I will start deliberately missing putts. 
But not a word to her, eh?
 

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44 Comments

  1. Carla May 24, 2020
    Reply

    It’s good to read your stories! I’ll play golf today (on Xbox, the only way I know haha). Lots of love!

    • Lily May 24, 2020
      Reply

      I am a flight attendant here in Canada. Currently awaiting my layoff letter coming by FedEx next week. The industry (as the entertainment one ; my brother is doing lightning stuff on movie set in Montreal) has been terribly affected and will be one of the last to come back to normal probably (at least 50% of my coworker will looser their job for June) and gosh I miss flying! You see flying is my own little stage. I have me own microphone and I run the show ‍♀️ (I EVEN miss the movie stars on those Vancouver/Toronto to LAX flights ! ) Hopefully we both get back at it quickly… I am not used to be home that often

      • Yasmine May 25, 2020
        Reply

        That was actually really funny because I play golf myself and being the youngest member of the family, and the one with the smallest handicap (10), I also always try to beat them but fail, which is very frustrating. That’s the reason why I always come up with the great idea to play in teams. I team up with my sister (handicap 2) and magically win!! I suggest you do the same because it feels great to finally win hehe 😉

    • David Fitzpatrick May 25, 2020
      Reply

      Hi, can i just say what an amazing life u live on the golf course and off. Im young and eo UK ld hope to play golf but unfortunately no one msy age in my area plays. Its a dream of mine to one dsy play with someone from the holland clan

    • Sarah Holland May 26, 2020
      Reply

      your story is so amazing … I do loves seeing people play golf but i don’t know how to ..i never good at sports but really good at something indoor

    • Mike DesRoches May 26, 2020
      Reply

      Great post. One of my best images of my late Father was when he and his three boys got out on the course together and we have a shot of the four of us. The scorecard ranged from 71-126 (my oldest brother, who is a Colonel and Airborne/Ranger, carded the 126 so his skills are elsewhere), but it was such a great memory to have us all together as the boys are scattered all over the US.
      Point being, good for you for teaching them the game. It’s teachings transcend the game itself.
      Plus, without it, I’d not have had the chance to meet you, nor play with Sam.

      • Dom May 26, 2020
        Reply

        Hello Mike, how kind of you to read my blog and take the time to comment. I trust you are well inspite of the madness that has visited the entire world it seems. My thanks again. Dom

    • Sofia May 27, 2020
      Reply

      This definitely put a smile on my face on a lovely Wednesday morning. Made me think of something else instead of feeling sorry for my self.
      Lots of love to the Holland clan from the south of Sweden!

  2. Alessandra May 24, 2020
    Reply

    I agree, for some this lockdown is difficult to live by. For others are enjoying this time since we are spending time with our love ones in a long time, since we always have to go to work, school, meetings etc. I’m just thankful for being able to enjoy this lockdown in a way. But if I’m being honest I’m ready to get back to “real life”. And by the way I’m also practicing on my golf not so good skills, but hey at least I’m tying

    • Pilar May 24, 2020
      Reply

      I actually miss going to school and my friends, I enjoy being with my family (despite it sometimes turns difficult between us haha) we enjoy the times we laugh all together, which doesn’t really happened before this. But I don’t know if I’m ready to return to that. I’m sure that when that happens I will miss my family and these moments.
      Of course it’s a hard situation, fortunately here it’s not that hard yet, but anyway we have to be carefully. People are also losing their jobs and everyone is desperate about what is going to happen with the economy when everything is over.
      It is great to know that people is contaminating less (hope this continue after this), but it’s also hard to know that there are lots of people who doesn’t have food, water or even a home where to stay safe. Fortunately are people like you, your sons and other foundations which are helping that people and let us help them too.
      I’ve never played golf, but I’m pretty sure you and anyone would defeat me, I’m not that good with sports, and really I can’t imagine myself playing golf, and less winning.

      • Brisavictoria May 25, 2020
        Reply

        Sabemos lo difícil que puede ser para ellas este encierro , los trabajadores necesitan de nosotras para poder vivir y nosotros de ellos , también es difícil para los pequeños por más que quieran salir a
        jugar a abrazar a sus abuelos no se puede pero es por su seguridad , también este encierro nos juntará más en familia y no te preocupes por el trabajo pronto saldremos de esta , juntos lo vamos a hacer y aprovechamos cada segundo que pasemos con nuestra familia , aunque los adolescentes podemos ser amargados algunas veces , nosotros pensamos que los adultos no nos entienden , se que ustedes los adultos pasan incluso por cosas peores pero son momentos que tenemos que ponernos en los zapatos del otro tal vez piensan que somos muy inmaduros o no reaccionamos ante situaciónes que como a ustedes les gustarían , pero todos pasamos por momentos difíciles por ejemplo mi bisabuela está muy enferma y aquí en México ahorita es muy difícil cuidar de los ancianos .
        Vamos a salir adelante entre todos trataremos de apoyarnos

      • Esther May 26, 2020
        Reply

        Yo creo que es un poco difícil ya que los hijos tenemos una vida y no dependemos al 100 de nuestros padres, pero también es agradable poder tener a la familia cerca porque hay muchos que están pasando esta época solos y lejos de sus familias.

    • Brisavictoria May 25, 2020
      Reply

      Sabemos lo difícil que puede ser para ellas este encierro , los trabajadores necesitan de nosotras para poder vivir y nosotros de ellos , también es difícil para los pequeños por más que quieran salir a
      jugar a abrazar a sus abuelos no se puede pero es por su seguridad , también este encierro nos juntará más en familia y no te preocupes por el trabajo pronto saldremos de esta , juntos lo vamos a hacer y aprovechamos cada segundo que pasemos con nuestra familia , aunque los adolescentes podemos ser amargados algunas veces , nosotros pensamos que los adultos no nos entienden , se que ustedes los adultos pasan incluso por cosas peores pero son momentos que tenemos que ponernos en los zapatos del otro tal vez piensan que somos muy inmaduros o no reaccionamos ante situaciónes que como a ustedes les gustarían , pero todos pasamos por momentos difíciles por ejemplo mi bisabuela está muy enferma y aquí en México ahorita es muy difícil cuidar de los ancianos .
      Vamos a salir adelante entre todos trataremos de apoyarnos

  3. Aimee May 24, 2020
    Reply

    This has given me a better insight as to how the rest of the world is coping with the pandemic. I’m lucky enough to be in Australia, where there are no active cases left in my state and our country is starting to lift its restrictions, meaning we are able to go outside somewhat-freely and do so many things again.

    However, it’s profusely difficult hearing of the strain of people around the globe still having to be cooped up inside and away from families; let alone hearing of the many deaths that are still occurring. I wish that there were a way to help citizens and health-care workers from other countries with their mental health and it’s saddening to know that there’s essentially nothing I CAN do besides donate to causes where I can and try to spread positivity on social media platforms.

    I hope that you have a better week this week and I wish that the people of the UK (and beyond) were able to reunite with loved ones and resume much-missed routines as we are. Thank you for your blogs also, they are helping in more ways than you know.

  4. Jenny Aguirre May 24, 2020
    Reply

    I have always been interested in golf, but in my country there are no golf courses so I play it on the Wii and it is fun. I have fun with your blogs, I don’t miss them..

  5. Caroline May 24, 2020
    Reply

    Thank you (again and again) to be that funny and putting smiles on our faces and even loud laughs in our mouths, moreover during these late hardtimes we’re all going through!

    • Theresa May 25, 2020
      Reply

      We too have been ‘enjoying’ some aspects of lockdown- jobs around the house and garden have been completed, crafting, drawing, reading. We’ve been out on our bikes and delighted in the glorious weather and the beautiful nature but… working from home isn’t the same as being in the office, missing the banter and camaraderie. Our daughter cannot do her GCSEs, she cannot ‘pop to Costa’ with her pals. Life feels sterile without family and friends let alone all the additional disinfecting of surfaces and hand washing! We’re all in this together we’re constantly told, but we feel so apart. Stay safe and well Hollands x

  6. Pamela May 24, 2020
    Reply

    Love your blogs as usual! I, too am missing my mom!! She lives over 4 hours away!! Thank goodness for FaceTime! It just isn’t the same! I’m also a bit frustrated with my brother and sister who have chosen not to social distance and thought it would be ok to go visit my mom!! She’s spitfire at 79 and so far is ok!! We all say she will out live all of us! The rest of us have chosen to do the right thing!! I have never played golf. All of my brothers play. They play together as often as they can. So far no major tantrums have occurred! I hope this craziness will end soon and you will once again be on stage making your audience laugh! Good health to you and your family!

  7. Yasmin Jacobs May 24, 2020
    Reply

    Hey Dom,
    Thank you for writing your blogs.
    I have read them every time and Every day they make me smile and make my day ❤️
    ~Yasmin

  8. Regina May 24, 2020
    Reply

    I want the world to start turning and churning again. I imagine we all do, even the people who are trying (maybe too hard) to be positive about it. But I find it is discontentment with present situations that overturns less then satisfactory circumstances and not positivity. Productive discontentment that is. I hope it stirs more people into returning the world to its turning and churning. Also, good luck with your golf! Maybe if you only beat your wife every other game, she won’t notice?

  9. Tina Sarms May 24, 2020
    Reply

    Great blog as usual Dom! I hope you feel better soon and I hope you find someone to play golf with that you can beat, haha! As a mom of 2 young boys, I already feel like we are competing — right now at jumping, running, wrestling, at burping the loudest! But when they grow up, I do hope they surpass me, in their success & in their quality of life! And I’m sure you feel the same way (deep down??) about your boys as well. Cheers, & like you I am looking forward to the world starting back up again, albeit with a “new normal” that is yet to be determined!

  10. Cherval Royster May 24, 2020
    Reply

    This lockdown is a blessing and a curse all at once. The break was nice, but we all want to get back to work. And this lockdown wasn’t good for people in bad housing situations. The lockdown blues is real.

  11. Sara May 24, 2020
    Reply

    Don’t be too confident that you’ll always beat Nikki, Dom. Your boys may get their golfing talent from her …… unless you were referring to always beating Tessa!

  12. Elaine May 24, 2020
    Reply

    Over here in New York I find myself wishing for ‘the good old days’ of normality, but I keep my spirits up by reminding myself that as long as my loved ones are in good health and remain so, then all this staying home will be for good in the end. I hope so much that we will see better and better numbers as time goes on until the cases are at a minimum. Wishing good health to all you Hollands and to all of the world as well!

  13. Jenny May 24, 2020
    Reply

    I can say form paddy’s perspective…mabye you guys are so good he doesn’t have the self confidence to try to win. I am myself a 16 year old and every time my family beat me at something like football or games I give up. If I could suggest mabye make it fun for him to play golf, do a family fun game and mabye slack abit with the competitive aspect of the family:)

  14. Kelli May 24, 2020
    Reply

    Truly, sports are extremely humbling and rewarding. I used to compete on my school’s track and field team as a jumper. It should be noted that I did try my best to jump farther than my competitors; however, at the end of the day, I was really competing against myself. The true beauty of sports is that it instills discipline, time management, and perseverance within an individual. There are so many aspects of competing in sports that cannot be measured simply by the distance or the score recorded.

  15. Matt May 24, 2020
    Reply

    Hahaha – ahh Dom, I’d play you or rather as a 32 year old that’s only ever played Crazy Golf, id love to let you teach me! Your boys love you, don’t forgot that mate! ☺️

  16. Márcia Malaquias May 25, 2020
    Reply

    Hello Mr. Dom,
    I am happy to know that you are gradually returning to normal life and soon you will be back on stage and that your ginger girl is learning to play golf and soon it will be better for you 🙂
    God bless you and family ♥️

  17. Victoria May 25, 2020
    Reply

    During lockdown, my town/state (US) hasn’t really been on “lockdown.” Restaurants were for drive thru only, and no sport centers were open. Now restaurants are open and some stores. The sport centers aren’t, which is sad. I can only play baseball in my grandparents’ yard or sneak into an apartment complex to play tennis. I’ve been dying to play golf lately which is odd since I use to dislike it.

  18. Beth May 25, 2020
    Reply

    Once again, another very thought provoking blog!
    Given our scenarios are very different, we share similar thoughts on quarantine. I’ve been back at school for the past few weeks and I love being able to see and talk to other people (but given that it’s been a top of 10°C for the past week I haven’t been too happy), but it is strange to see so many people. I do hope this ends by Christmas though because I do need a different sort of holiday than the recent! Glad you are back at your golf.

    Btw what does idyll mean

    • Leina May 25, 2020
      Reply

      Hello Mr. Dom,

      I’m French and I’m learning English.
      I don’t know if what I write is very understandable

      I love what you wrote it is very touching.
      You are a very close family and it is wonderful.

      in France too we take advantage of the sun ☼ and our family.

      I never really played golf but it must be really interesting
      I will surely remediate it. 🙂

      I have a question,
      For the books you wrote, is there a French version?
      Thank you so much !

  19. Casey A May 25, 2020
    Reply

    If it makes you feel any better, you would probably destroy me at golf! I grew up playing tennis, it’s been about 20 years now, and I can’t get myself to switch from a tennis swing to a golf swing. You would think they’re similar, but apparently they’re not for me!

  20. Julie Cortez May 25, 2020
    Reply

    When the students surpass the teacher you have done well. Wishing you and your family well. Stay safe and healthy.❤❤

  21. Lena May 25, 2020
    Reply

    Great blog post! I love reading your writings! (:

  22. Valeriefran May 25, 2020
    Reply

    Hello from Nevada! Your accomplishment Mr. Holland is your family. Not every Dad has had the success in raising a family that you have had. That’s the most important and awesome thing about you. Golf is just a small part of it. And life is starting to get back to normal here. Almost like the blip in The Spider-Man movie!! Like we all went away with the coronavirus snap…. but now we are back! Thanks and keep being the best Dad. Your family does appreciate you!!

  23. Yasmine May 25, 2020
    Reply

    That was actually really funny because I play golf myself, and being the youngest of the family with the lowest handicap (10), I always try to beat them but fail, which is really frustrating. This is why I always have the great idea to play in teams. I team up with my sister (handicap 2) and magically win! I suggest you do the same because it is always an amazing feeling you get when you finally win, even if it’s in teams 😉

  24. Reply

    Wow! I rarely find blogs, or writers in general, of this caliber. I must admit Also rarely, do I feel the need to leave a comment after reading the musings of someone, but after reading this…I feel I am moved to. For a really long time I’ve been a Stephen King fan and Dean R. Koontz. I don’t know if you are…but certainly after reading this small slice of your life— I can honestly say your writing style not only intrigued me (it indeed has flavour of King as I felt I was reading the mind if one of his characters and immediately had to remind myself it was not fictitious but honestly very much alive and real) but renewed me to revisit my favorite author and perhaps take up the pen (err… keyboard, haha) as I long have been tempted to do. Thank you for the refreshment! It’s been a long time since I’ve felt spirited from such writing. Count me a fan of yours. Sincerely.

  25. M. May 25, 2020
    Reply

    I play golf with my daughter once a year. The deal is, if I win, she has to clean the entire house. If she wins, I have to take her out for Sushi and a shopping trip. Needless to say, my house is still a mess and I’m broke!!

  26. Raeesah May 26, 2020
    Reply

    I love this blog!
    I found it really funny when you mentioned how could I raise someone so cruel.
    This blog has probs been the highlight of my day it was so interesting to read

  27. Faaiz May 26, 2020
    Reply

    Dom, not to get your hopes down but I’ve heard that the lock-down could last anywhere from 6 months -1 year. In Canada, we have almost prepared for the second wave which could be much worse. Although some have ignored the government’s request like being in local family party swims and picnic parks which I’m sure most of us craving for.

  28. Faaiz May 26, 2020
    Reply

    I’ve never played golf… well maybe I did once at an outdoor restaurant when I was about 10 but overall my parents never really took an interest in it. I think I might be actually good at it.

  29. Madeleine May 27, 2020
    Reply

    Best blog so far ! Thank you for taking our minds away from the news !

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