Monday, July 16
This was to be a sort of 1950s holiday with Mr. Waffle back in Dublin working and me at a seaside resort with the children, so, on Monday, we dropped Mr. Waffle off to get the train back to Dublin. Before he left, he put on a first wash and the washing machine refused to work. Ominous. Fortunately, M and R had chosen to extend the warranty on their machine (a decision which I applaud) and Mafew promised that someone would come on Monday. “No, not today,” he clarified. Alas.
On the plus side, there was Bible Camp. We have been to this before – it’s evangelisation through fun and the boys love it. Herself was always a bit dubious and this year put her foot down and refused to join in the communal fun. There was an accordion and this may have been the last straw for her.
In the afternoon, we were in Cork (with our washing, obviously) and the weather was absolutely beautiful. My brother, who can be saintly when the mood takes him, played rugby with the boys in my parents’ back garden while I had a nice cup of tea with my mother and herself continued operation read for Ireland.
Back in Garryvoe we ran into the neighbours. The father of the family shares a name with my brother-in-law but looks quite different from him. Undeterred by this, Daniel commented, “I am looking forward to seeing my cousin later.” Children’s minds work in mysterious ways.
Tuesday, July 17
We went to the beach first thing in the morning. It was cold but great fun. I think my bones actually shrank a little as I waded into the water.
We then took ourselves to Bible camp. Herself stayed resolutely in the car reading her book for the hour’s activities but I sat on a bench in alternately freezing wind and drizzle and watched the boys playing while reading the paper. I was thus able to prove that it is possible to get burnt in cloudy weather. Oh the pain.
My sister and a friend came to visit us that evening briefly distracting Michael from his anguish that he had pulled a heavy kitchen chair over on his foot. When they left, about 10.30, I went to bed. Michael was still awake whimpering that his foot was sore. At 11.30 he started bawling. His foot was sore. Could he conceivably have broken it? He cried loudly and pathetically until 1.30 am when I was getting desperate. Of course, I hadn’t so much as a bottle of calpol on me. I found myself wondering would I get them all out of bed and drive to A&E in Cork or, at least, to an all night pharmacy in Middleton. He fell asleep, I scooted to my own bed. At 2.30, Daniel came in and woke me up. “Michael’s having a tough time,” he said, hopped into my bed and was instantly asleep. Poor Michael was indeed crying again, “The pain! My foot!”. In desperation I rang my father (house phone off the hook, so had to ring my sister’s mobile first and get her to wake my father). I asked could I give Michael one of my own adult paracetemol tablets. How much did he weigh, how much paracetemol was in the tablet? I chopped it up following instructions and Michael was so miserable he swallowed it. About 10 minutes later he was asleep and I was able to text Mr. Waffle my woes for his consumption in the morning.
All night Michael slept the sleep of the just. When I asked how he was in the morning (fearing the worst) he bounded out of bed, saying, “I’m fine.” My father texted me, “How’s Oedipus this morning?” If like me, you thought the only significant thing about Oedipus was that he killed his father and married his mother (notable certainly) then see here.
Wednesday, July 18
After the horrors of the previous night, I was a shadow of my former self. I took the children for the customary tour of Blackrock Observatory which they pronounced satisfactory. Daniel played the theremin:
On the way back to Garryvoe, Daniel said sadly, “I miss home.” “Why sweetheart,” I asked. “There’s no wifi in Garryvoe.” A whole new world people.