More GAA for Daniel and Mr. Waffle on Saturday morning. Meanwhile, Michael and the Princess and I cycled into town which went very well. We got sandals for herself and dropped in to the Chocolate Factory which was having “A weekend celebration of an emerging design community“. Herself and Michael regarded this with the deepest suspicion but it was very successful. They made origami frogs.
There was a “create your own den” thing which they loved and it was manned by a young woman who had done something on art and philosophy with Michael’s class a couple of years ago and, amazingly, remembered him. While they were playing with the designer den, I was looking at the exhibition. I didn’t buy anything but there were some really lovely things.
Downstairs in the inevitable pop up shop, the children bought wooden key holders for â‚¬5 each. It took them a very long time to decide and they explained at some length to the nice woman on the cash desk their difficulties in choosing. “You know, I think the artist wants to get rid of these anyway,” she said, “Why don’t you have another one each for free?” Great rejoicing.
Buoyed up by this success, I said I would buy an ice cream for the trip home. While waiting outside the shop for the children, a child no older than Michael threw a Lucozade bottle at the bin and missed. “Pick that up,” I said smartly (oh yes, I am now that woman) but he didn’t hear me and sailed in to the safety of the shop. Herself put it in the bin for me.
Then we began the long trek home. I discovered, belatedly, that my children are not capable of cycling and eating ice cream. In fact Michael can’t push a bike and eat ice cream. So I pushed my bike and his and we essentially walked all the way home. I sent the Princess (speedy ice cream eater) on ahead but Michael and I trudged on (it felt like for miles) while he enjoyed his almost endless Calippo. This deeply unsatisfactory progress also gave me the opportunity to mortify my poor children.
A gang of four young children (aged, say 8-12) came up to me as I was pushing the bikes and pointing at Michael’s said, “Hey, can I have a shot of that?” “No,” I said shortly, and recognising the Lucozade culprit, I added “I saw you throwing a can of Lucozade on the ground, don’t do that, it’s not nice, we all have to live here and we don’t want rubbish on the ground.” Him, startled “It wasn’t a can, it was a bottle and I picked it up on the way out.” “No, you didn’t,” I said, “it was gone when you came out because I asked her to pick it up [indicating Herself]” Insert here, the sound of the ground opening and swallowing the Princess and the reproachful words “Why did you have to bring me into it?” The culprit said gamely, “I must have put another bottle in the bin” and so, admiring his resourcefulness, hostilities were suspended and we spoke a bit more generally about where they were from and what they were up to before they took themselves off. I feel like some kind of caricature; should I have just said nothing?
After mass on Sunday morning [herself did a reading which went fine but also sang the alleluia before the Gospel from the altar for the first time, possibly needs work] we were all back at the GAA. If I never see Gaelic games again, it won’t be too soon and, as Mr. Waffle, points out, he actually does almost all the ferrying and sideline standing. On Sunday he also took Daniel’s broken hurley to be fixed notwithstanding the fact that we have already bought a new one. The hurley man indicated that it was irreparable. I wanted to throw it out but Daniel resisted on the grounds that it had “sentimental value” which is an attitude which explains why attics across the land are full to bursting point.
We all cycled up to the GAA club for the blitz to support Daniel in his endeavour and then we cycled to the pub where we had a triumphal drink to celebrate his medal and then home again. Only hair raising in parts.
On Sunday afternoon we had our first barbecue of the summer and it didn’t rain although was threateningly cloudy. Then at 7, Mr. Waffle and I went to a midsummer party and finally home at 11 to face into a new week, refreshed.