We woke up in our own house in Dublin on Sunday, August 6 with the gear from Cork to unpack and the packing and tidying for France yet to be done. It was a bit horrific. Daniel said to me, “Mum, I don’t want to go to France.” I knew how he felt because I felt the exact same way myself.
Old friends of ours from the Netherlands were in Dublin and this was our only point of overlap. They came that afternoon with their four children and a cousin or two. It all passed off very peacefully as the children all liked playing endless board games and bonded happily over that while the grown-ups chatted happily in the other room. She is Irish and he is Dutch. The children all speak English with perfect Cork accents. They sound like they come from Cork and my children got quite a shock when they heard them speaking to each other in Dutch. Their mother says it is always hilarious when they are in Ireland as they go into say, a sandwich shop and the assistant asks her teenage child a perfectly ordinary question like, “Do you want coleslaw?” and they turn to her and say in Cork accents, “What’s coleslaw?” She says that she can see the shop assistants looking at her wondering whether she keeps the kids locked in a cupboard under the stairs.
They were camping out as part of a big family reunion on her side. They love to camp. Mr. Waffle refuses to camp. I tried to get them to persuade him but the more they talked the more I could see that he was mentally recoiling in horror. Oh well. On the plus side one of her cousins owns a doughnut franchise and they bought us millions of the best doughnuts I have ever tasted and I tried three so I really made an effort to get a feel for the scope of the wares on offer. Also plus, his job is inspecting nuclear power plants and he confirmed again that when the nuclear apocalypse comes, iodine tablets will be more useful that you might expect. All in all, it was really lovely to see them en masse which we haven’t done in years.
Herself meanwhile had arranged to go out to a friend’s house and mid-way through the afternoon the friend’s parents came to get her and later that evening I drove across town to collect her. Is it any wonder I await the arrival of Dublin’s improved infrastructure with impatience?