Last night we went out for dinner for Valentine’s day. Mr. Waffle’s parents had kindly agreed to babysit, the Princess was almost entirely recovered from her bug and things were looking promising.
Then I got a phone call. A friend had been in Brussels during the week and had spent an afternoon with us. When he was here, he mentioned that both of his children were down with chickenpox. It never occurred to me that he might be infectious. I assumed he had had it. I would never in my wildest dreams go to visit a small child where there was the slightest risk that I might give them something. I assumed that, as a parent, he would apply the same standard. Apparently not. I am incandescent with rage. What a stupid, thoughtless thing to do. Mr. Waffle has indicated that this man is never coming near us again without a medical certificate. On the plus side, it appears that chicken pox in children is usually not very serious, on the negative side our internet research reveals that it is most infectious in the day or two before the spots come up, i.e. exactly when this wretched man was visiting and sharing biscuits with our Princess, so, odds on, the poor thing will get it. Furthermore, the incubation period is 10 to 20 days, so she will probably get it when we were supposed to be going on our skiing holiday, so no skiing for us.
Armed with this alarming information we went out to dinner. We could only get a booking for 9.30, so we were both kind of hungry. I had come down with the Princess’s cold so I had a sore throat, headache etc., slightly improved by paracetemol consumption. The restaurant was (understandably) heaving. We had to wait to be escorted to our table in a distant and less glam part of the restaurant, nobody took our coats which sat on the radiator alongside us for the duration (except when the slid down on top of us). Our wine failed to materialise until we had nearly finished our main course. When we asked where it had gone our waitress gave us two glasses of white. We had ordered red. We had been given someone else’s bottle. The red, when it finally arrived, was almost undrinkable. We had ordered water but never got glasses for it despite repeated efforts to grab a waitress. Starters were expensive and mediocre, main course was, in fact, fine. However, when we were offered the dessert menu, for the first time ever, I said, no just the bill, thanks. To get to the bathroom, I had to wait for two members of staff to finish a blazing row (apparently some people had left without paying the bill – could you blame them?). Naturally, our conversation over dinner related almost exclusively to chicken pox (which, I concede was not the fault of the restaurant) which is not romantic, I think you will agree. We had a miserable time. I’d rather have gone to Mona Lisa Smile again.
Things are much better today, you will be glad to hear. Princess is completely well again (except for the threat of chicken pox, of course) and weather is lovely. I am on the mend and the Princess has gone out for a walk with her father and grandparents leaving me the run of the house, the Sunday papers and a couple of croissants. It could be a lot worse.