Sunday – Traffic Day
We arrived into Dublin airport (north of the city) at 11.30 where mother-in-law Waffle was kindly waiting to escort us to the distant suburb (south of the city) where the Waffle grandparents live. We collapsed into chez Waffle, exhausted, at 2.00. Something will have to give. The traffic in this city is appalling.
Noticed that it was kind of chilly. Was alarmed when m-i-l Waffle suggested that we might eat outside. Asked whether this was what she had meant when she said it was very warm. Yes, apparently. Began to regret bringing one pair of jeans and one pair of shorts for the week. Spilt tea on jeans.
Monday – Rainy day
Lunch time on Monday Mr. Waffle minded the Princess while I skipped off to meet my friend D for lunch. All very nice but quid pro quo was that he skipped off to meet his friend in the afternoon leaving me with the Princess. For reasons that now elude me, I felt it important to get the Princess out of the house so took her in to a rain sodden hamlet. Passed Marian Keyes‘s house on the way and hovered anxiously outside hoping that she might come out and I could say “I really like your books and do you know that my husband was your next door neighbour growing up?” I was hoping to get a cup of tea based on this tenuous connection. But no joy. I suppose it was wet, why would she want to leave the house?
Went home and waited for Mr. Waffle’s return. Went to the gate to greet him. I took the Princess out in my arms saying “Daddy’s coming home”. She started chanting “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy”. We arrived at the gate and no sign of himself. However, the senior Waffles’ neighbour, a retired judge of blameless reputation, was pottering about in the front garden (the rain having, briefly, abated) and the Princess pointed her finger at him and said in loud, excited tones “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy”. I thought that he looked rattled.
Tuesday – Lots of relatives day
My brother has just started working in Dublin and my kind parents-in-law had him round for dinner. All very pleasant. And Mr. Waffle and I were very relaxed because his saintly mother had minded the Princess for a large part of the day so we went out for lunch and a walk and a read of the paper over a cup of tea. When we came back the Princess was cooing delightedly at her grandmother who was singing and playing the piano for her. Her parents received a cool reception. For the remainder of the holiday upon seeing her Granny, her highness would stretch out her chubby little arms and demand to be held by the person who she knew could meet her entertainment needs fully.
Parents in law are doing intensive Italian lessons and came back this evening anxious to practise on the assembled multitudes. In fact, there were more people to practice on than you might think. I speak Italian (I know, I know, I am so talented, why does no one want to employ me?), so does Mr. Waffle, a bit. So does his brother, G and so does G’s fiancee S. In fact S is half Sicilian and G and S are getting married this Summer in Sicily. And in case you were wondering, the publishing exec wasn’t there, but she speaks Italian too.
Wednesday – Sippy cup day
We bought the Princess a sippy cup. These are magic. They don’t leak. The Princess tested this thoroughly by shaking it upside down on her tights. Not a drop escaped, her parents were jubilant, she was downcast.
We went to my friend C’s house for lunch. C lives in a very convenient location in the city centre. The only drawback is that her house is across the road from a methadone centre so there tend to be a lot of spaced out people wandering around with vacant expressions. The Princess waved at them merrily and was indignant that they seemed to be largely indifferent to her cheery salute. C was in the middle of packing boxes. She and her husband are moving to a leafier, drug free location. Less central perhaps but drug free. The Princess had a wonderful time clambering over boxes and up stairs. Bubble wrap is particularly appealing to babies. C showed her how to use it by wrapping it round her (C’s) head. Eventually the bubble wrap had to be moved to a place of safety. It was then that I noticed that the sippy cup had disappeared. C and her friend S who had been roped in to packing boxes carried out a thorough search for the sippy cup but it was nowhere to be found. I rang Mr. Waffle who was shopping and asked him to buy another sippy cup. We left C’s house and there was the Princess’s sippy cup, put safely on a windowsill across the road by some kind drug addict. So now we have two, but really, you can’t have too many.
That evening I went out leaving the Princess to the care of her father and met friends in town. D had rallied troops and I now know who my true friends are. C2 told me that she has my weblog as her home page. She somewhat took from this by telling me that my best work was over. “Peaked too early” she sighed, “the cabbage leaves, breastfeeding entry was the best one”. As my greatest fan (apart from my mother) she has taken it upon herself to email the best extracts to a group of our friends. Just that one, it transpires. No wonder C1 kept asking me how my breasts were.
Thursday – Stalking day
I passed Marian Keyes’s house again. Does she never come out? I was armed with further information to ingratiate myself into her establishment: my parents in law were at her wedding; my mother-in-law once lent her a suit in which to do an interview. Mr. Waffle says that if I keep hanging round her house like this, she will probably call the guards.
Friday – Escape day
My mother-in-law minded the Princess until 2 in the afternoon. Mr. Waffle was at a conference but I was free to do whatever I wanted. I went into town. Superb. Saw a Luas. On the way back from the Dart (welcome to the world of Dublin public transport), I was busy reading one of the six books I had acquired in town. I walked into a very tall person. It was C1. Ladies and gentlemen, which book was I reading when I walked into my friend C1 who has been known to reduce strong men to tears with her criticism of their reading material? Was it either of the Booker nominated tomes I had purchased? No, indeed, it was Shadowmancer. C1 would doubtless have commented at greater length had she not still been slightly winded from my walking into her.
Saturday – Do we really have to go back tomorrow day
Just as we had got used to the joys of adoring grandparents, it was all about to end. We gave the Princess to her loving Granny and went off for lunch with a friend of Mr. Waffle’s. When we arrived there were two friends. Friend one is a young man with no interest in clothes and a trust fund. Friend 2 is the best dressed woman in Ireland. We had only been expecting Friend 1, so my effort to dress up was minimal. I actually wore no make up. Friend 2 arrived looking perfect This is the girl who once said to me (seriously, I think) when I admired a beautiful skirt she was wearing “surprisingly difficult to accessorise”. This is Ireland, we are a nation famed for our poor dress sense. She spent too long in London at a formative age. When we left, I said to Mr. Waffle “I didn’t realise Friend 2 was coming, if I had, I would have dressed up more”. He said “Mmm, I know what you mean”. Does my training count for nothing? The correct response is, of course, “Really?I thought you looked beautiful”.
Sunday – Travel back in state of nervous exhaustion day.
Mr. Waffle and Grandad Waffle entertained the Princess from an early hour while I slept in bed. They will get their reward in heaven. Then Grandad Waffle drove us all to the airport in a zippy 50 minutes. Having left at lunchtime, we got home about 7.00. Princess was pleased and surprised to see the flat again. She was very disappointed, however, that no stairs had been installed in her absence.
Nice to be home all the same.
on 07 June 2004 at 16:34
Well, I think you looked very nice – make up or no….
Nothing boring about that entry, either.
on 08 June 2004 at 15:44
Thank you, thank you. I feel insanely popular. This blogging is excellent for the ego (unlike, say, rejection letters). Renee, I am touched by your missing me and FP you checked every day – superb, a woman with ankle tattoos has time for me! Jack, you are lying to me, I fear. We were the only people at Mao’s on Saturday lunchtime, so unless you moonlight as a waiter, you didn’t see quite how grim I looked. Your instincts, however, are good.
on 08 June 2004 at 21:08
It’s that obvious, eh? Ah well my lying heart was in the right place… AND I bet you looked grand anyhow.
See, I can say that sort of thing and get away with it at the moment because the Locotype is off meeting Pog in NY and thinking we don’t know about it …. 😉
on 09 June 2004 at 14:06
Really, are they going to meet? If so, why hasn’t he offered to meet me in Cork? Not exotic enough for him eh? And I bet that he’s terrified that I’d breastfeed the baby and mortify him.
on 11 June 2004 at 03:31
Harrumph. Well I suppose I should be flattered to be talked about. Unfortunately for the gossip-mongers (not naming any names jack), there was no meeting between myself and ms. pog – she was far too busy having fun sampling the culinary and alcohol-related delights – and I was simply bloody knackered every night from scandalous amounts of walking. They really should group interesting sights all in one place.As for Cork meetings, I’m always up for meeting interesting new people (Belgian-based or no) – I simply assumed my lack of expertise on Booker prize winners and such would be a problem – jack has that whole culture thing going on that I can’t match. I hang onto the youth and wit cards myself…
on 11 June 2004 at 03:41
ANYWAY, defending myself from these scurrilous jibes made me forget what I wanted to say in the first place – a highly entertaining account of your Dublin stay waffle. The wrong part of the country, but I suppose free child-minding can’t be sniffed at no matter where it’s from.I used to have one of those sippy cups when I was a wee lad – a great invention to be sure. I have to ask about this whole Italian thing though – is it a waffle family initiation or something? Did you learn in school?
(ps – I hadn’t actually thought about breastfeeding, but look at this way, surely you would prefer mortification on my part instead of intense interest??)
on 11 June 2004 at 17:49
Locotes, you had a sippy cup! You are such a baby, they weren’t even invented when I was little. Your comments re breastfeeding are very apt. Did Italian in college as an occasional student because I am just so stupendously fabulous (why, why, does no one want to employ me? Baffling). Very glad you’re back from the States. Where are the pics??
on 11 June 2004 at 18:12
I wouldn’t bother meeting him ‘waf. He’s too young AND have you noticed how he turns the knife at every opportunity: “jack has that whole culture thing going on that I can’t match. I hang onto the youth and wit cards myself…” Damning with faint praise: the type who wouldn’t even pour his sippy cup on you to put it out if you were on fire…
on 11 June 2004 at 18:17
.. would have to agree though that it’s a damn fine blog on your visit to Dublin, City of Dreams.
Particularly liked the bit about the judge…. 🙂
on 11 June 2004 at 20:23
Well the lack of employment thing is obviously a total mystery – I think we’re all agreed on that. The company bosses probably feel threatened that you’d have their job within a year.
As for the sippy cup – of course I’m not totally sure we’re talking about the same thing – the one we had leaked alright when we turned it upside down – so who knows.Yet again the age thing comes up – I forgot to mention it before, but that has to be the main reason why I’d never expected a meeting – mid-20’s seems to be a step away from nappies! This coming from veterans in their early 30’s probably…
And jack, what’s all this about turning the knife? There I was complementing your cultured person, and you come back with a whole comment slagging me off. AND advising waffle against me. *sigh* You poor insecure soul.
on 13 June 2004 at 20:48
Would agree with the Honourable Member for Cork South Central… they just reckon you’d have their jobs in a flash.
But I’m only thinking of Locotes own good about this meeeting thing – he’d probably end up playing Paul Martel to your Connie Sumner, and getting buried (by mr Waffle), wrapped in a valuable persian carpet in a land-fill somewhere out near Ballyguyroe…. 😉
Now you’ll all have to excuse me while I go work on my sense of personal worth…
on 13 June 2004 at 22:50
Thank you, thank you lads feeling much better about the unemployment thing now and fiercely popular. Have just spent an inordinate amount of time filling out a stupid application form and may even do a post on it…so needed the moral support.
on 14 June 2004 at 18:40
Ah-hah – I knew I had a use for something…
on 26 June 2005 at 16:40
Hello from Sweden!
Please tell me where Marian Keyes’ house is located?! I’ll be off to Dublin in two weeks.
on 28 June 2005 at 21:23
Hi Camilla, not sure, if I can hand out Ms. Keyes’s address, must maintain my status as trusted insider, but I can certainly tell you that it is in Dun Laoghaire which is a suburb about 15 kms outside Dublin and worth a visit in its own right for a walk along the sea front which is very pleasant. Have a great trip!
on 14 July 2005 at 20:47
Um, thanks, I guess.
on 14 July 2005 at 23:05
‘waf —- you don’t need to be nice to comment spammers 😉
on 16 July 2005 at 07:28
Oooh, what’s a comment spammer? You mean he didn’t mean it. Am gutted.
on 16 July 2005 at 22:08
He’s raising the Google profile – and other search engines’ ratings – of his porn site by linking to your blog. Kind of second class relic stuff. Approval(as opposed to Sanctity) by association.
His link to you is read as a trackback implying you support his activities …
on 17 July 2005 at 14:10
Gosh that’s really quite nasty. Thanks for the explanation Jack. Have deleted comment and feel enlighted though unnerved…
on 17 July 2005 at 14:31
Don’t give it any thought, ‘waf.
It’s like ‘cheep meds’, daily ‘Lorttarty’ wins and Dear Blessed in The Church of the Red Breast emails … just part of the rich tapestry that is net-life 😉
on 18 July 2005 at 19:12
Thanks all the same. Good to know. And that’s an interesting collection of links you have there.