It’s November lads. Do you know what that means? Yes indeed, I will be posting every day. I’ve a lot on this month as it happens but am I daunted? Well, a bit. We’ll see how it goes. I see an old blogging comrade in arms is going to give it a go; I recommend you head over to her site for excellent content, she writes beautifully.
So back to diarying. I had left you in mid-October. What has happened since then you wonder. Well, wonder no longer, your wait is over.
Monday, October 19, 2020
Mr. Waffle and I went for an early morning tea before work. Sitting outside in a slightly gloomy nearby square. This was in part to recover from a perplexing anxiety dream where Mr. Waffle was leaving me. Confusingly he was Julia Roberts and if only I could stop him appearing on the Late Late Show, he wouldn’t leave me. The children were small, he was leaving me with them. I kept trying to talk to him to persuade him not to go on but was constantly interrupted by the old man from the Vicar of Dibley who says, “No, no, no, no, yes.” Unfairly, I concede, I was inclined to blame Mr. Waffle for his nefarious behaviour in my dream hence the tea to soothe my unquiet unconscious mind.
I arrived into work to be told by a colleague that I looked absolutely exhausted. Which we all know just means you look terrible. He wouldn’t have looked so great if he’d been trying to persuade his husband/Julia Roberts not to leave him overnight.
Herself has turned down the chance to chair the main Irish committee in school and is feeling some regret but there is only so much one girl can do. One of her classmates (not a friend) had a party at the weekend about which herself was feeling quite sore but the guards raided the party and sent them all about their business so that was gratifying.
The authorities announced that we would be moving to Level 5 max lockdown level from Wednesday at midnight. I really don’t care any more. It’s not like lockdown 1 as the schools will – hallelujah – still be open. On the other hand, our cleaner won’t be able to come. Sigh. Back to the rota.
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
I realise that the libraries will be closed on level 5. Gutted.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
I had an interview for a new job over zoom. The horror. Daniel bought a dozen Agatha Christie novels from his charity shop and I feel we are stocked with lockdown reading material.
Thursday, October 22, 2020
My boss has decided that I am an individual whose physical presence is indispensable in the office. On the whole, I am glad. I am not a great worker from home, it transpires. So Day 1 of Level 5 is not that different from Level 3.
A friend of mine has got Covid. She’s the first person I know well to have it. She is sick as a dog and her husband and son have got it too. Miserable.
Friday, October 23, 2020
The children wore outfits for Halloween in school. It was thematic by class. Herself had pairs (she’s Juliet from the Baz Luhrmann Romeo andJuliet), Daniel had football (pathetic theme as he said bitterly) and Michael’s class didn’t bother but he went in as a Nazgul from the Lord of the Rings. Admire his crown crafted from tin foil and a cereal box. Great to see that the traditional crafts are not dying out.
There was a kerfuffle about hand sanitiser and the school, anxious to allay concern bombarded us with emails saying they had the right kind.
It was the bank holiday weekend. Never was a bank holiday more welcome for all of us. Admittedly the children only went back to school at the start of September but it’s felt like a long haul. And I’ve been very busy at work and worked late and a bit over weekends, so I was flattened.
I bought myself some more Spode Christmas ware. Middle aged pleasures. Herself hates it and says it’s right up there with my old person filters on instagram in hideousness.
We had the 20th anniversary meeting of my Monday night bookclub (moved to Friday in view of special occasion) over zoom. Not really the celebration we had imagined but look, we do what we can.
One of my bookclub friends confessed that she has become a daily sea swimmer. My sister-in-law is the same. I am impressed and horrified in equal measure. The cold.
Saturday, October 24, 2020
The weather continues very mild. Halloween does not appear to be effectively holding back the tide of incongruous Christmas advertising which is everywhere. Brown Thomas have launched their Christmas window. I want to turn on the Aga, because I love it but it’s just too warm. “Always Christmas and never winter,” said Mr. Waffle.
Next door’s gardener came (booked many months ago, finally had a moment) and did some much needed clearing in the garden and trimmed back the apple trees (still loads of bloody apples falling in the garden notwithstanding that it’s nearly November and that the trees were stripped of 83 kgs worth a couple of weeks ago).
Michael, Mr. Waffle and I went to the Botanic Gardens to investigate their Halloween pumpkin display. It was not as impressive as previous years.
Poor Daniel hurt his neck at training and had to cycle home unable to look left or right. He survived.
Herself started reading “Ulysses” by James Joyce as a lockdown project. She loves it. Where did we get her? She took a break to make brandy snaps for me. Very satisfactory.
The school emailed that there was another Covid case in school; that’s 5 or 6 but they all seem to have got it outside school and not transmitted inside so, I suppose, that’s ok.
The picture framers texted me that I could pick up some pictures I dropped in to be framed a couple of weeks ago. I was a bit surprised but apparently lots of places are open for click and collect.
On my way home, I ran into a woman who lives near us. Her children went to the same primary and we often walked in together. I said a cheery hello and she seemed a bit put out. I stopped to talk and it transpires that, boy oh boy, is she annoyed by the filtered permeability (what normal people call bollards) at the bottom of our road. I ended up listening to her for the guts of an hour. She was unconvinced by the arguments on traffic evaporation. It didn’t help that I had parked in front of her house. That was only to pick up the pictures from the framer and, in fact, I have used the car even less than usual since the introduction of the bollards but I suppose it didn’t look great. Basically, she feels that all the traffic that uses our road is now using her small, residential road as a rat run. Anyhow, I said that I would definitely support her efforts to make her road local access and it would be good for all of us etc. and cravenly promised to put her in touch with the chair of our residents’ association who is amazing (he does film production and I suppose lockdown has been quiet for him and he has put his not inconsiderable energies into local issues). Ok, possibly an unnecessarily detailed local update but I was quite shocked how annoyed this generally pleasant and quite reserved person was about something that I thought she would broadly support.
For film night we had “The Addams Family” which was perfect in its endearingly creepy yet undemanding nature.
Sunday, October 25, 2020
I wanted to go for a walk in the mountains but the children were spared by my realisation that they are outside our 5km limit and also, Daniel’s neck though improving was still a bit stuck. Mr. Waffle and I went for a cycle along the canal instead and saw a heron.
In more exciting bird news, there was a hawk in the back garden. It stayed for ages. Does this explain the dead pigeon on top of a bush from a couple of weeks ago?
I had my other bookclub (Sunday bookclub, keep up) over zoom which was nice though nowhere near as nice as physical bookclub.
Monday, October 26, 2020
We had a slow start to the bank holiday Monday. There was an exciting letter in the paper from my friend’s mother. The excitement is there really, the content was less exciting.
Mr. Waffle and the boys (Daniel’s neck recovered) and I went out for a cycle in the park in the rain. They’ve opened the park to traffic again and it’s really busy now. Alas. It was great in lockdown 1 in the spring when it was closed to traffic. Herself met a friend and they had a lovely cycle in the park she tells me. It was the first time she had gone for a cycle with a friend for fun and she rates it as an experience. The poor young people, they’re taking their thrills where they can get them at the moment.
When we got home Mr. Waffle made me afternoon tea. There should be more afternoon tea in my life.
Meanwhile my poor nephew is self-isolating again while waiting for a Covid test.
I decided not to apply the cleaning rota and live the next week in squalor.
At bedtime, I went to put on my alarm. Then remembering the criticism from previous occasions (the beeping noise it makes when being set), I just left it set for the time it was set for (9.30) on the basis that I would probably wake up and worst case scenario if I got up at 9.30 I could be a bit late.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Back to work. At 9.30 safely at my desk, I got an irate message from Mr. Waffle saying the alarm had gone off an woken them all (children on mid-term and Mr. Waffle minding them). Oh dear.
I heard I got through my interview. Reward: further interview. I’m not sure I entirely rejoice as I don’t think I will get the job and the prep is killing me.
I met a friend for a cup of tea in the park. We sat 2 metres apart and shouted at each other. Since I last met her 6 weeks ago, she has got a job in the west of Ireland and herself and her husband have gone sale agreed on a small apartment by the sea as a base there. She says that they can decide based on the weather if they’ll spend the week in Galway or Dublin – this whole remote working thing is really changing people’s lives. She also had a copy of Dutch Royals magazine for me. She’s married to a Dutchman and her mother-in-law knows I have a morbid fascination with European royalty so gave it to her to hand on to me. My Dutch is rudimentary but boy did I enjoy that magazine. I mean did you know that the Monegasque royal family have a holiday home in Northern France? Interesting choice. Hilariously, wikipedia tells me that “its acreage is six times the size of Monaco. A whole world out there.
I cycled home in the dark (the clocks changed at the weekend) but herself told me to rejoice as I was coming home to the middle class parent’s dream: “Your three children are just off a zoom call with their French tutor; Michael is making dinner; Daniel is making chocolate mousse; I’m making brioche and I’ve just finished “Ulysses”. ”
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
I received a further irate message from home that the alarm had gone off at 9.30 again but Mr. Waffle had now made the device safe. Oops.
Also the gardener finished his work and the garden is looking a bit bald but, basically, I am pleased.
Mr. Waffle attended the residents’ association meeting by zoom. One of the older residents hasn’t really got the hang of zoom and they spent the meeting talking to her ear. She also had the telly on in the background and the chair asked could she mute it but she said no, it was a very interesting documentary about Kevin Barry. I love her.
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Arrival of Spode! The thrill.
Friday, October 30, 2020
I got my half day. Rejoice. All of the local restaurants now have a takeaway option and we picked up dinner from the local gastropub which was surprisingly good given that I had mussels and chips which you wouldn’t expect to be particularly portable.
Further good news, it was announced that they’re going to close most of the local park to traffic again for the duration of lockdown.
Saturday, October 31, 2020
I dropped into the church for the first time in ages. It is pretty weird with all of the tape and one way system.
I spent the morning avoiding work so had to get down and do it in the afternoon.
Herself did an interview with an arts organisation as part of the Creative Schools Programme and it was published online. Much excitement.
For film night, Daniel picked a scary film as it was Halloween. We are not great people for scary films. My niece has starred in a real – would have had a cinematic release but for Covid – scary film but it is 18s and we are too scared to watch it. We watched “A Quiet Place”. Many of us went next door at the scary bits. I was fine because I remembered this blind comedian talking about it – mildly funny, in summary not a great film to watch if you rely on dialogue to follow a film.
All in all, a pretty quiet Halloween.
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Another morning procrastinating and not getting down to work that has to be done before Monday. At about 4, I finished up and Mr. Waffle, Michael and I went for a walk around the block: Daniel had already been to training and herself had work to do. It was a bit damp and uninspiring though, as Michael said kindly, good company.
And here we are. Still no cleaning rota but Mr. Waffle cleaned the bathrooms because he is a saint. More tomorrow. Something to look forward to.