My sister has a friend who is a Northern Irish Protestant. Her friend was describing to my sister a weekend she had spent with her elderly parents at home in Co. Down. Getting them out to church was a nightmare apparently; getting them ready was a labour of love; then helping them into the car and then zooming to the church trying not to arrive too late. “Late, you were nearly late?” said my sister, “I thought Protestants were never late.” “Well,” confided her friend, “it was my mother, her father was a Catholic from the South and my father and I think that the older she gets, the more like him she becomes.”
Archives for July 2019
Daniel: We know lots more about Catholicism than everyone else at school.
Me: Good to know.
Daniel: Still, remember that time you were shocked when we didn’t know what the rosemary was?
Me: The Rosary, Dan, the Rosary.
This exchange was fresh in my mind when, at my mother’s removal, I hissed at him, somewhat to the surprise of various cousins, “This is it, Dan, we’re saying the Rosary.”
We have booked our summer holiday to Finland and Estonia. You may congratulate us. The logistics took a lot out of us but we are pretty pleased with ourselves now.
In other news we went swimming in Howth last weekend with the French exchange. He said that the water was the coldest he had ever experienced except for that time he went into the water in Iceland for 2 seconds when it was -5 degrees celsius. It was some kind of Icelandic thrill for tourists apparently. I had my first swim of the year and the boys both got in. Mr. Waffle went in up to his waist but then scuttled out. We all scuttled out subsequently on seeing three jellyfish which, I suppose, means that the water is getting warmer but it didn’t feel it.
The approach was quite hilly but there is a path which is not immediately apparent from this picture.
We had chips afterwards to celebrate our deliverance from the jellyfish. Our French exchange was most positive about this aspect of the experience.
In other exciting Summer news, half of the A team in GAA are away for the summer so Daniel got to play a match with the As on Monday night and he played so well that they’ve asked him to start training with them in the autumn and he might get a place on the team. He is filled with cautious joy.
Daniel: Mum, Mum, wake up!
Me (sitting bolt upright in the bed): What, what?
Dan: What time is it?
Me (quick glance at the alarm clock) : 7.45
Him: And what time do you normally get up at?
Me: Dan, today’s Saturday.
Him: Oh sorry, I forgot what day it was.
Mr. Waffle and I visited 11 North Great George’s Street which is open to the public at odd hours for tax reasons. It was a bit of a pain to arrange but I can truly recommend it. The owner has been there 30 years and the house is obviously an (ongoing) labour of love. When he bought it water was streaming down the walls as the roof was largely gone and he has been painstakingly restoring it ever since. He was fascinating about the history of the street and Georgian Dublin.
We also went to visit the Tenement Museum on Henrietta Street with the children. I absolutely applaud this as an initiative and think it is a great idea. However, fresh from our tour of number 11, the information seemed a bit basic (though good for tourists at whom it was aimed) and the house a bit spartan. Obviously, it’s a tenement museum so I suppose that was inevitable. We may have had the experience ruined by going there before it opened for immersive theatre experiences which were reasonably successful (one on the 1913 lock out, one on the tenements) and the children felt that they had had enough experience of Henrietta Street, thanks all the same. Still, well worth a visit, if you haven’t been there before.
A certain amount of mockery has made me aware that the following terms appear to have fallen out of use:
Tradesmen: Not in common use since the 1950s, I am informed. I do not find this credible.
Précis – meaning summary: I have discovered that any Irish person over 45 knows exactly what this means and younger people think I am describing a press release in my own weird argot.
Maiden Aunt: Not since the early 1900s, I am told. Again, I do not find this credible but yet, the levels of mockery makes me think that perhaps it may have fallen out of favour before most people I know were born.
Updated to add: I am informed by herself that précis is spelt thus with an acute accent, we have checked Chambers dictionary and found she is correct. I have amended the text to reflect this. Do you think we pedants are born or made?