Last week was a bit horrendous. I had parents’ council on Tuesday night, open night for what may be the boys’ school on Wednesday and a play on Thursday. The play was about how Irish society treats Travellers (appallingly) and I left the theatre staggering under the weight of my guilt for being complicit in really dreadful prejudice and treatment. It was worthy but it wasn’t exactly a fun night out. On Friday night I went to Cork leaving Mr. Waffle to manage collecting Herself from French class, minding the boys (including getting the hairdresser in to give them a haircut) and letting in Falling Fruit who were volunteering to collect the apples from our three trees and give them to good causes. He managed. Partly because Herself was sick and couldn’t go to French class. But it was all a bit much. Still, I am delighted that our apple harvest is being used rather than rotting on the grass.
Archives for October 2016
Herself: I really admire farmers who don’t use chemicals.
Me (surprised): Do you?
Her: Yes, it must be so hard to grow things in a vacuum.
Me: Good one.
Her: Yes, and it helps tell the wheat from the chaff.
Me: Which am I?
Her: Well, I’m not a farmer so I’m not sure which is the good one, but the good one.
We got a cheap family day return to Belfast on the train and, with some trepidation, we signed up for it. We were a bit worried that it was too far from Dublin for a day trip and, to be honest, it was.
We set off at nine in the morning. We got to Belfast about 11 and headed for the Titanic Quarter. Attentive readers will recall that we visited the Titanic exhibition over the summer. This time our destination was the W5 science museum. We spent about 45 minutes waiting in the station for the train to the Titanic Quarter. For some reason, I thought it was further away than it was. We could easily have walked it in less time. This led to certain low level tetchiness among the troops as we waited.
Things started to look up when we reached our destination. The local market was celebrating a year in operation and chose to do this by getting in people dressed as Storm Troopers. Whatever floats your boat, I guess. The children were charmed.
Mr. Waffle and I enjoyed seeing the Storm Troopers surround and take over a PSNI vechicle.
Two worlds collide.
The museum itself was pretty good and the children enjoyed it. There was plenty of science.
There was also a climbing space which the children enjoyed very much but was only linked tangentially to science. Overall, well worth a visit.
After spending the afternoon in the museum, we decided to go into the city centre for dinner before going home. Belfast is lovely and still pretty much tourist free so we quite enjoyed wandering around. Daniel commented on the quality of the cycling infrastructure; possibly we speak too much about this at home. “Look,” he said, “segregated cycling provision.” “Mmm yes,” said Mr. Waffle, “everything is segregated here.”
We went to Milano’s for dinner which was busy. The clientele seemed a little more upmarket than their equivalents in the South: more snazzily dressed couples, fewer frazzled families.
We got the late train home about 8 and everyone was pretty grumpy and tired by the time we actually got home. Nevertheless, we would all definitely go again. Not on a day trip though. Overall, I’m taking this as a win.
Over the summer, two rowers from west Cork won silver medals at the Olympics. The nation went crazy. I did not as I was on my summer holidays in Brittany and was not swept up in the madness.
I was on the phone to my sister who told me all about it.
Me (as the tale concluded): V. exciting. Do we know them at all as they are from Cork and we are honour bound to have a connection to all Cork people?
Her: Well, no, but their aunt is in my pilates class.
Some kind of point proved here, I feel.
Neither Mr. Waffle’s parents nor mine are particularly well at the moment and we have been tugged a bit in various directions. My sister-in-law was over visiting and she said reflectively, “You have a lot of responsibility: two sets of parents, three children, a cat and six chickens.*” I thought, yes, we do have a lot of responsibility and it may partly explain why posting has been a bit on the light side. Also, starting a new job (it’s still new to me, I started in February) is more tiring than you might think. And I am doing a work related course and there are assignments and I profoundly regret signing myself up for it in the first place. Sigh.
*In fact the chickens belong to our neighbours and we were only minding them while they (the neighbours) climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with their two teenagers. Yes, I am impressed as well. It did allow Mr. Waffle to send me this message when I asked if all was well at home:
Fine. Children still in pyjamas so am next door supervising hens.
Life’s rich tapestry and all that.
So, Herself read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up“. If you are unfamiliar with Ms. Kondo’s book, the clue is in the title. Then, she read it again.
Then she spent about a fortnight tidying her room while keeping Marie Kondo on her bedside table for inspiration. I lugged enormous black bags of stuff to the charity shop at regular intervals. I also preserved a lot of books which she was heartlessly going to give away. This has not been without consequences for the rest of the house.
Mr. Waffle emailed me this picture which he entitled “The cull continues”.
But her room is amazing. It’s really tidy and it has stayed that way. She’s really grown up a lot this summer. She looks more grown up and she has become very self-sufficient. She spent a week in Paris and a week in London. She was with her aunt in London and had an amazing time. The trip to Paris with her exchange and no relatives was more challenging but she did it and she is quite proud of herself, I think. That was the longest she had been away without family. In many ways she did more growing up after the end of first year in secondary school than after the end of primary school. Going into secondary school, she was still a child but now she is definitely a teenager. I think we get on pretty well and we do like to talk but I am also, in her view, endlessly tactless as, I point out to her, is the nature of parents of teenagers everywhere.
She sends me emails which I find delightful. Like this one.
You don’t hear this much but, do you know what, I’m going to say it, I really like being the parent of a teenager. I hope these words won’t come back to haunt me.