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Rug – Further Developments

February 10th, 2016

So, I went to Cork at the end of January and collected the rug. It was packed into an impressively small parcel:

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I was able to transport it to Dublin by train with the aid of my sister’s suitcase:

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I have to say that it looks pretty impressive now that it is installed:

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The children and the cat absolutely and unreservedly love it and spend a lot of time digging their toes/claws into it.

I love it too. However, it brings to crisis point our need for new curtains, sofa and armchairs. When we moved into the house in 2013, we kept the faded pink regency stripe curtains and the orange chintz furniture as a stop gap measure. Already the existing colour combination was exciting but the addition of the rug has tipped us over the edge. You may not have fully appreciated this from the last photo. Have a look at this photo which still doesn’t do justice to the real thing:

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It’s even more thrilling when the curtains are closed. I think the sofa will have to be first to go – at least the curtains aren’t uncomfortable.

More home decorating news as we get it.

Green Shoots, Baby, We’re Back etc.

February 9th, 2016

Recently, Mr. Waffle and I went for dinner in our local gastro pub [insert obligatory ‘it’s far from gastro pubs we were reared’ comment here]. The main course was €29.90 and I thought to myself, that is quite pricy, is it not?

A couple of weeks ago at work, I felt a little sorry for myself and decided to go to somewhere nice for lunch – not super nice Michelin starred, white tablecloth now but nice and newly opened. I arrived at 12.45 on a rainy Wednesday in January looking for a table for one only to be told that they were fully booked, sorry.

Where will it all end?

Culture

February 8th, 2016

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Waffle and I took the children to see “Trauma” in the science gallery. It was, well, traumatic. Not unexpected you might argue. After the strain of the exhibition, I felt we ought to do something further of a cultural nature. It would be hard to overstate Michael’s bitterness on hearing this news.

Since we were in Trinity anyway and, one of the major advantages of a degree from Trinity is that it gets you in free to the Book of Kells, I suggested that we might go there and get some use out of Mr. Waffle’s degree. We passed the playing pitches on the way and I found myself, somewhat to my surprise, standing beside a man yelling “Come on Trinity” at a rugby game. How little we know our spouses. Happily Michael’s weary insistence that we might as well get it over with propelled us onwards.

The library is lovely, actually. I note that we went there this time last year so it seems to occur to me as a good outing in January. As ever, I sold it to the boys as being the model for the Jedi library which may be true. They were cynical and bitter, “You say that every time.”

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We didn’t stay long and it is genuinely interesting. Afterwards, as we emerged into the drizzle, having contemplated one of Ireland’s great treasures Michael said grudgingly, “I suppose it wasn’t too bad.” I think I will take that as a win.

Sunday Reflections

February 7th, 2016

Our church serves a diverse community. In the children’s choir, although all of the children are local, there are a number whose parents are from India, the Philippines, Romania (I think) and even Cork. Last weekend the children from the local school brought up the gifts. The priest called on Caspar and Anastasia to come up to the altar. What delightful names and not typical Dublin ones.

It’s all much more exciting than when I was a child and there was never anyone at mass who wasn’t from Cork, except for the odd priest from Kerry.

In one respect, however, matters are not improving. The choir mistress is both talented and dedicated but her musical tastes do not chime with mine and I wish that the choir would do some more classical church numbers. I expressed this to the Princess and she said, “Mum, these are new songs for the next generation; all ten of us.” Oh very funny.

My children continue to star in readings and prayers of the faithful and I am regularly congratulated on their prowess by elderly members of the congregation, leading to a definite instance of the sin of pride on my part, so it’s all going to hell in a handcart etc. Amusingly, last weekend herself had to read “When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child, and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me.” No better child to make it work for her.

Customer Service

February 1st, 2016

On our way back up from Cork to Dublin after Christmas, we stopped off for lunch in a well-known stopping place. The staff were busy but they were also exceptionally rude and unhelpful.

I went to an independent bookshop to spend my money. This is a popular one with the press but I have always found the staff rude and unhelpful. Nevertheless, I went in because I don’t want all our bookshops to be the same and I want them to keep going. The assistant was speaking loudly to someone which was surprisingly unpleasant as the shop was otherwise quiet. After a few moments she said to me, “You have to leave now, we’re closing.” Not an “I’m afraid” an “I’m sorry” or a tone of voice that conveyed anything other than “leave, you are in my space”.

How pleasant it was then to go to Kilkenny Design for a cup of tea with the children and find that not everyone is vile in January. Michael ran into a waiter and an entire tray of crockery went up in the air causing a crash and, inevitably, pottery shards spread over a wide radius in what is a crowded enough cafe space. The staff could not have been more pleasant and understanding and their main concern genuinely seemed to be that Michael was unhurt (he was only psychologically scarred by the scorn of his sister who was embarrassed as only a nearly teenager can be).

I’m not quite sure what the conclusion of this post is other than that I am clearly getting crankier as I age and, you know, it costs nothing to be polite.

New phone

January 31st, 2016

I have got a new phone. Rejoice with me as the new battery lasts more than five minutes and I will no longer have to go everywhere with the charger in my handbag.

I gave the boys my old one to share. It is an iphone 4S with a broken screen and a very short battery life. Despite its obvious drawbacks and the fact that they have to share it, they were touchingly pleased. They have been downloading apps to beat the band. The current favourite seems to feature platypuses. I suppose we will have to reach an agreement about how much screen time is allowed before their little backs seize up as they hunch over the tiny screen.

New Job

January 30th, 2016

I am starting a new job at the end of February. I am somewhat daunted at the prospect but reasonably pleased. I must say, I have been feeling considerably more pleased since telling my colleagues at work and getting congratulated by all and sundry. On the other hand, I have also been feeling sadder about leaving the current job where I have interesting work and lovely colleagues. On the third hand, I could probably do with a bit of a change. I see challenging times ahead though. Wish me luck.


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