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November 28th, 2018

Mr. Waffle is dipping a cautious toe into the world of the podcast. He is, frankly, dubious but he has downloaded an app on to his phone and is now mentally prepared to move slightly beyond that initial step. His tastes and mine don’t really chime so although I listen to a lot of podcasts, I am not quite sure what to recommend for him. We’ve spent the last half hour looking at options.

I thought “In Our Time” would be suitably worthy; sometimes I listen to it, if I’m feeling strong. “Would I like ‘Desert Island Discs’?” he asked me. I doubt it. I tried to sell him on some of the Slate podcasts but he was not keen. I recommended my hot favourite, ‘This American Life’ but I made him listen to it once before and he did not love it. “Try it all the same,” I urged but to no avail.

Any suggestions for what Mr. Waffle might try, internet denizens?


November 27th, 2018

When I was growing up my mother used to say that people are mostly honest and I have found this to be basically true. Here it is illustrated yet again (sample size, one, as a former colleague used to say).

As I was running for the tram this evening, I realised that my wallet was not in my bag. I retraced my steps to work and after checking back in the office and not finding it – sigh – I began to compile a doleful mental inventory of all the things that would have to be cancelled and replaced. I thought that perhaps I had left it in the cafe where I had lunch. And happily it was still open at 6.30 and even more happily someone had handed in my wallet and they handed it back to me with the contents entirely intact. Oh frabjous day!

I’d met a friend there for lunch and he had insisted on buying lunch so I had taken my wallet out to pay and then forgot to put it away (genius). In the course of lunch I said to him that I was going to be 50 next year and instead of expressing the surprise and shock which is always the right response when someone tells you this, by the way, he said, “That is fecking ancient.” Which is true but also unwelcome. And looking around the cafe he added, “This is the kind of place you’d expect to be full of 50 year old women too”. I’ll say this much for my tribe, we are very good at handing in lost wallets.

Probably not Bringing my Whole Self to Work

November 26th, 2018

Does everyone else have a work timeline and a personal timeline? I can tell you what I did in work over the course of the last 20 years and what I have done domestically but I can’t match them up. So for example, I can say when the children were born and what employer I was with at the time but I cannot for the life of me tell you what work I was doing at that exact time though in general terms I can tell you what I did in that job from start to finish. It’s like the personal and professional travel on parallel tracks in my brain.

This is not necessarily bad, I suppose, but it frequently leads to diarying near misses where I have committed to go to a work dinner and realise, quite late in the day, that I am also committed to some church type event or a school concert. I suspect that having a work electronic calendar (shared with colleagues), a domestic electronic calendar (shared with Mr. Waffle) and a paper diary, doesn’t help. The paper diary is supposed to marry work and personal but I often fail to add things. For a while, I spent Fridays reviewing calendars for the following week but, somehow, the habit did not take. Suggestions to address my scheduling needs gratefully received.

Can you tell I am out of ideas for this not entirely successful NaBloPoMo?

Weekend Round-Up

November 25th, 2018

On Friday, Daniel was still feeling a bit sick so he missed French class. Michael and I went in together. While he was not enthused, he is now resigned to French class which, I suppose, is progress. While he was doing French verbs, I went to the new look Bewley’s and had a cup of tea and a cherry bun. I was pleased with my experience: the tea was good, the bun was good and, as I was in no rush, the fact that service was spectacularly slow was not a problem. A fire is nice at this time of year and although I was seated miles from the fire, it definitely improved the overall atmosphere. I will be back.


Yesterday morning, Mr. Waffle and I cycled off for breakfast together to a new venue recommended in the Irish Times, we were a bit underwhelmed but breakfast is a low stakes investment and we got to go to the architectural salvage yard across the road afterwards so, a win really.

The afternoon was heavy on logistics. My brother was in Dublin again. I collected him from the station and then dropped him and Dan to collect Michael from drama and the three of them went for pizza. Then Michael came home and Mr. Waffle dropped my brother and Dan to the Dart (like a metro only not as useful) and they went to the Ireland v US rugby match. The outcome was pretty much never in doubt and Daniel was pleased. He does not bear losses by his team with anything approaching equanimity.


Then I collected Dan from town leaving my brother to go out with his friends.

This morning, Daniel was called upon to read at mass at short notice. He rose magnificently to the occasion and I felt like a minor celebrity as people rushed up afterwards to congratulate him on his performance. Michael was at hockey with Mr. Waffle and my brother was still in bed. A neighbour called round to ask the boys to distribute leaflets for the Christmas fair next weekend and had loads of interesting news about the neighbours (deaths, births, marriages, house sales). Why do I never hear anything?

After lunch, I dropped Daniel round to a friend’s house and my brother to the train. I felt curiously at a loose end. I went into town with Mr. Waffle who wanted to look at the soldier sculpture before it was moved on tomorrow. Stephen’s Green was full of people who, last minute also, were peering at the statue.


Building on previous success, we went to Bewley’s but there was a huge queue – town was heaving – so we went elsewhere which was mildly unsatisfactory. Mr. Waffle went home and I went around the shops in a desultory fashion and made my way home in the rain. When I got back, Michael was curled up on the sofa in front of the fire resplendent in his dressing gown and slippers. He opined that he had made better use of his afternoon and it was hard to argue.

Herself was in Paris today with her friend, their planned trip for yesterday having been stymied by the gilets jaunes. I was slightly anxious all day because that is my job but I have just received a text confirming that she is safely back.

25 November was my Nana’s birthday which was unfortunate as she always hated the dank miserableness of November. I wonder what she would think of town full of Christmas shoppers and all the lights up. You know what? She might like it.

Civic Engagement

November 24th, 2018

Michael is on the student council at school and he and his fellow student reps went to a Dublin-wide event in Croke Park. He hadn’t intended to go for election to the Dublin-wide council but when he got there, he threw his hat in the ring. He didn’t get on but it is a big thing to speak to a conference centre full of people and I am really glad that he gave it a go. I said that he could try again next year. He said that he might, he doesn’t seem very pushed either way. How I would love to have myself his levels of Olympian indifference.


November 23rd, 2018

Mr. Waffle and I went to a fund raising thing for the school in town last night. It was in a comedy club and the school had some tickets to sell and there were regular punters as well. I felt at least 20 years older than everyone else there, even the other parents.

I found it depressing and, worse, deeply unfunny. It was sexist, racist, homophobic, vulgar and often mean. I sat there glaring with my arms folded throughout. Everyone else was roaring with laughter. Was it me? Am I miserable and middle-aged? Is this what the young people like? Is it unhelpful that I am not a drinker? Is it somehow funnier and less offensive, if you’re drunk? I have been to lots of comedy things over the years, I am not incapable of finding comedy funny (she said defensively). But, I suppose I would never have chosen to go to this kind of show in this kind of venue. I hadn’t realised that there was still so much of that kind of thing out there.

Alas. Definite highlight of the evening was discovering that one of the Princess’s friends was cast in an ad and he is now on telly all the time (in a kind of blink and you’ll miss it way, but still).

In the Bleak Mid-Winter

November 21st, 2018

Slightly scraping the bottom of the barrel tonight. What news? I have to get up early in the morning for a course I’m doing. Poor Daniel is sick. The weather is rainy and miserable. Michael is grumpy. Herself is in France. Mr. Waffle and I planned to take Monday off to go for a walk together and now I can’t because of a work thing. On Friday it will be a month since my father-in-law died.

How’s your own November going?

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