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Deep Waters

January 20th, 2017

Herself, on being forced to go to mass on Sunday, announced, “I’m an atheist martyr.” It takes a saint to live with a martyr, you know. As part of her campaign to not go to mass any longer she is asking me hard questions. I am dealing with issues that I never really considered myself and where I have no answers. In the context of the Arian heresy (obscure, but not as obscure as you might think because every Sunday when we recite the Nicene creed we refer to Jesus as being “consubstantial with the Father” which I understand is the essence of the controversy. A former colleague of mine used to refer to the creed as “the best mission statement ever”; I digress), she asked me whether the Holy Spirit has chromosomes. On balance, I’m inclined to think not, but really, this is all getting a bit beyond me.

And as though all this wasn’t enough, the sacristan nabbed me at mass on Sunday and asked whether I would like to be part of the parish’s outreach team for baptisms. One evening a month only, apparently. I fear I will have to commit as I have already avoided all kinds of things including organising tea after the family mass once a month. I will offer it up, I suppose. There will be training available, I understand. I hope they will cover all the relevant theological questions which are likely to arise.

Humiliation of the non-Handy

January 19th, 2017

Our heating broke during a cold spell there recently. It worked upstairs but not downstairs. We poked ineffectually at the boiler and the radiators but, in the end, we had to get someone in. He had a look and pointed out that we had a thermostat on the wall downstairs which was currently set to zero and that might be the root of our problem.

Sic Transit

January 18th, 2017

I am at home with the children this afternoon. The boys were gratifyingly pleased to see me. We chatted. Then Michael said he was going to the kitchen for a snack. “Can you come with me to talk to me?” he asked. “Of course,” I said. “Not you, Mum,” he said, “Daniel, I want to talk to Daniel.” “Although,” he added kindly, “you can come as well if you like.”

Ominous

January 17th, 2017

When I checked my personal mobile as I left the office this evening, I saw that herself had called me at 2. I rang her back. “Oh yeah, it was an emergency when I called you. The cat caught a mouse and brought it into the utility room.” “What happened?” I asked. “I shut the door and called Dad and he’s going to deal with it when he gets home.” Cravenly, I cycled home very slowly. Mr. Waffle opened the front door to me. “Did you find the mouse?” I asked. He had not. We both looked again but could find no trace. Could the cat have eaten it all, including the tail? She is certainly less hungry than usual this evening. Alternatively are there mouse body parts quietly rotting in an unseen corner of the utility room? It’s all to play for, folks.

Attending

January 14th, 2017

Daniel did a big tidy up of his room before Christmas. He lined up his various trophies thematically on the mantelpiece and on top of his chest of drawers. For the first time I noticed that he has loads of school attendance trophies. While his brother and sister often miss school due to illness, he almost never does. My son is a man of steel (I am unclear why he has two for 2010/11 – possibly user error saw the school use the wrong date one year). Anyhow, I was suitably impressed by this evidence of robust good health.

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L’Actualité Dans Toute Sa Majesté

January 12th, 2017

When we lived in Belgium, I used to occasionally buy and read “Royals” magazine. The clue is in the title; it goes large on the Belgian royal family but all of the European royals feature from time to time (the Grimaldis are my absolute favourites; what a family) and sometimes more exotic royals from Asia or the Middle East. I used to read it in a post-modern, ironic way and, because it’s in French, it’s clearly not the same as reading, say, “Hello” magazine which I am obviously too lofty to read.

Mr. Waffle goes to Brussels for work from time to time and on his return he often picks me up a (post-modern, ironic) copy of “Royals” magazine. Inspired by his success he got me a subscription to 12 months of “Royals” magazine last Christmas. I have to tell you I was not delighted, I felt I’d tipped over from post-modern, ironic to weird middle-aged Belgian royalist lady. Anyway 12 months later, my subscription has finally expired. If you need to know anything about the Belgian royal family, ask me now. While I have to say that I enjoyed it more than I expected to, I am glad to have reverted to being an occasional consumer of Belgian royal family news rather than the Irish expert on Prince Laurent’s latest quirk.

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There’s Still a Mountain to Climb

January 8th, 2017

Mr. Waffle was up with Daniel at the GAA club before Christmas. A number of players from the women’s and men’s county teams were there to talk to the children and do some training with them. There were about 500 boys and girls there.

One of the Dublin team players said to the children, “Who’s the best at handstands?” Mr. Waffle said all of the boys immediately put their hands in the air. Very few girls’ hands went up. Instead, the girls started talking amongst themselves, “Are you the best? No, I’m not the best, maybe X is the best.” And so on. Ironically, given that far more of the girls are doing gymnastics (yes, a gendered space that), de facto it was likely that far more of the girls could do handstands. Capacity doesn’t really seem to matter in these contexts though, does it?


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