We have been in Cork for the past couple of days with my family. My brother is cleaning out the attic. He found Monopoly, Cluedo and Guess Who. All of the pieces were there (miraculously). The children loved the games. One morning I found them playing Monopoly in preference to watching cartoons on the television. It was a bit stressful though as the Princess wiped the floor with her brothers. And it’s such a long game. Daniel wept for about an hour and a half as he was slowly bankrupted by herself. Echoing around the house were cries of “please, don’t make me sell my houses” followed by “please don’t make me mortgage my properties” followed by “please don’t make me sell my properties back to the bank” and then “please don’t buy my properties from the bank” and finally, “I hate you”. Kind of like the Celtic Tiger aftermath, I suppose.
Meanwhile, the grown-ups stayed up late playing cards. Despite my efforts to palm him off on someone else, I ended up playing with my husband. Regular readers will recall that my husband is a genius; but he is no good at cards. As my aunt said kindly, “It’s hard for people who didn’t grow up playing cards”. She didn’t partner him though. By common consent (with only one dissenting voice), I am the worst card player in my family so it was doubly unfair (arguably, at least I used this argument) and we were doomed, doomed. Mr. Waffle asked whether next time he can just hand over his money at the start and get it over with.
The Princess also asked to learn to knit over Christmas and my mother bought her wool and needles. I knitted a few rows myself and was amazed how it came back to me. I think I was ten the last time I lifted a knitting needle.
We left herself in Cork to bond with my family and brought Cluedo and Guess Who back to Dublin. We have our own version of monopoly which I bought in a flea market in Belgium. It has all the pieces but on inspecting it this evening, the boys were puzzled by the 10,000 franc note and the French names. But they are game. Unfortunately.
We enjoyed three evenings of undisturbed rest in Cork. My brother and sister have moved home temporarily and the house is full – my brother wasn’t clearing out the attic for the good of his health – so while there was room to squeeze in the children, there really wasn’t room for us as well. So, nobly, we stayed in the hotel around the corner. Next time, my sister says that we can have her bed and she’ll sleep in the hotel.