Our weekends are logistically challenging at the moment. Daniel has a match on Saturday mornings, usually in a distant location and Michael has a course in town from 1.15 to 2.45. Herself has a course, on the other side of town from 12.15 to 2.15.
A couple of weekends ago was not untypical. Daniel had a match in Howth which is brutally awkward to get to. Mr. Waffle took Dan and the neighbour’s child out to the GAA club. The pitch is on a high outcrop overlooking the sea which, as Mr. Waffle pointed out must be beautiful on a warm summer’s day but on a sleety, freezing day in February, it was nothing to write home about. Our neighbour’s child is very slender and quite fragile looking (though handy at gaelic games despite appearances to the contrary). He was wearing shorts and a t-shirt when he turned up at our house. “Would he like a tracksuit?” we wondered. No he would not as he had underarmour and he pulled it down to mid-thigh as he spoke. Frankly, we didn’t feel it would cut the mustard. When they got to Howth, the neighbour’s child went in goal. Sadly, our team was being flattened* and he was very busy in goal. So busy in fact that even though he now conceded that he would quite like to put on the tracksuit bottoms, there wasn’t a moment’s quiet form him to do so. Eventually, he got a knock to the head and had to come off which may have been a mercy. Mr. Waffle took the visibly shivering child into the club house and got him into the tracksuit and plied him with hot chocolate and crisps and he seems to have been no worse for the experience.
Meanwhile back in the city, I was looking out glumly at the rain. The Princess was getting the bus into town and wasn’t quite sure where her venue was. I volunteered to go with her leaving Michael home alone. She and I got the bus in together and then I went to get the bus home but due to extensive works on the new city centre tram line was utterly unable to find the bus stop for the return leg for a surprising length of time. I was consequently both late and very damp when I got home to pick up Michael. We rushed into our rain gear and cycled into his course. Then I cycled off to her course and showed her where the bus stop had moved to, put her on the bus, cycled back to Michael’s course, cycled home with him, peeled off my damp clothes and stayed at home for the rest of the day a shadow of my former self.
If I had known in my 20s what was coming, I would have enjoyed those long, relaxed weekend brunches even more.
*Daniel got man of the match as he is a child who does not give up even under the most daunting of circumstances. I was pleased for him, it was all that could be salvaged from a rather grim experience overall.