Sunday, January 17, 2021
Our friends from the other side of the city cycled round and had tea in our front garden. It was nice to see them. They had cycled to the beach that morning and gone for a swim. What is this madness? Not one, but two people in my book club are swimming daily in the sea. So is my sister-in-law. Mr. Waffle saw his first dry robe in the wild the other day when our neighbour hopped out of her car sporting one having been off for a swim in the sea. To clarify, it is freezing here. We’re all going crazy.
I discovered sea shanty tik tok and I am now driving my family bananas by insisting that we sing the Wellerman all the time. My menfolk have very deep voices and it sounds amazing. They are not amazed.
We had a zoom call with the Mr. Waffle’s siblings and spouses which was successful. We might even try again. Is it too early for the zoom quiz 2021?
Monday, January 18, 2021
I have recommended this diary anthology before. The other day I came across this entry from Noel Coward on September 3, 1939:
Six years ago today was was declared. Now we are starting again with officially declared peace and the world in physical and spiritual chaos. History in the making can be most exhausting.
Fair, Noel, very fair.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Virgin came to see why our wifi remains unsatisfactory. They put in a new cable. Spoiler alert, it remains intermittent. Sigh.
A former colleague sent flowers for my father. This is my father-in-law’s birthday, he died in October 2018 which doesn’t seem a very long time ago. The children have been steadily shedding grandparents since and only my poor mother-in-law is left and she is, alas, not very well. Maybe I will do a post on ten years of decline. Do you know what? Perhaps I won’t.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
I was stopped by the guards on the way in to work. I’m not sure that they were any more convinced of the necessity for my physical presence in the office than I am but I had my letter and was waved through. As I sat in my office later surveying my empire (not a soul on the floor), the arm fell off my chair. Is it a sign?
When I got home, a new phone which my kind husband had bought me was waiting for me. Updating was spookily easy. I’m waiting for the arrival of my new protective case before I actually take it out of the house.
Michael made dinner which was very satisfactory. V excited about involving the children more regularly in dinner production.
Thursday, January 21, 2021
I got a puncture on the way into work. A pain.
I had a great chat with a colleague about family camping holidays in France in the 70s/80s. We were both complaining about how we never went to restaurants even when they weren’t very expensive. My father used to say, “everything multiplied by five is expensive” (I now know that to be true, actually). We went to France for a month every summer (lucky us) and we went out for dinner once at the end of each holiday. I remember in the early years, my mother didn’t order on the basis that she would eat what the children left over (always lots). My colleague whose father was in the army reminisced about how one night when there was heavy rain, his father got out in the middle of the night and dug a trench around the tent. I vividly remember camping in Liechtenstein (on our way to somewhere else) and the rain hurtling down as we put up the tent in a sea of mud. Then we all crouched over the little primus stove while my mother heated up packet soup. It was a low point. That which does not kill you etc.
I got home to another flower delivery from a colleague. I was really touched. The flowers were beautiful but quite funereal. They’re in the hall as I write making our house feel vaguely like a funeral home.
We got news from the nursing home that my mother-in-law has been vaccinated. Good news at last.
Friday, January 22, 2021
I was cycling home from work on a Dublin bike (my own still with the bike shop) and eating a sandwich while cycling – not optimal, I concede – and I got the wheels stuck in the tram tracks at the bottom of Grafton Street and fell off. Many anxious pedestrians rushed to my aid and I was absolutely mortified but unhurt aside from cut knees and wounded dignity. My sandwich, alas, did not make it.
I swung by the bike shop on the way home and picked up my bike with shiny new tyre. €50 people. Honestly, the cost of bike repairs.
Herself and myself cycled to the park to check out a new coffee van (this is how our thrills look now) and test my bandaged knees. Both knees and van were fine.
I’d ordered a fancy dinner from a city centre restaurant. It was pricey and, to be honest, fine cuisine does not really lend itself to assembly at home. Are we downhearted? No, we’ll try somewhere else next week.
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Mr. Waffle and I cycled out to Chapelizod. At the start of lock down one when I first discovered Chapelizod, I thought it was a charming and delightful little village and I said that after lock down the five of us would cycle out there and have lunch. Honestly, at this stage I feel if I never saw Chapelizod again, it might be too soon. That said, we went for an exploratory wander to the former Guinness houses at the top of Knockmaroon Hill and they are worth a look. The houses are on either side of a busy road linked by an ugly concrete walkway above the road (it replaced the original walkway relatively recently – the original could not have been worse). One of them is an arts and crafts pseudo Tudor yoke and the other is an enormous Italianate thing that dominates the approach road. Both present their backs to the road but interesting all the same. They have, I imagine lovely views out to the Dublin mountains and the larger of the two (the Italianate one) has huge grounds sweeping down to the river which I could see by hopping up on the wall. Who knew that there were still things to see within our five kilometres?
For cinema night, we watched “Fight Club”. Daniel selected it and assured us that it was certified 15s. The first half is both horribly violent and quite dull. I was in despair. It picked up in the second half but I still wouldn’t call it a family film.
Sunday, January 24, 2021
It snowed in the morning and Michael ran out to explore but, alas, it did not stick.
Out for a mild walk (met loads of the neighbours- we all see a lot of each other these days) and some frisbee playing, a trip to Tesco to pick up supplies and then home to watch “The Devil wears Prada” which has held up pretty well actually.
And how was your week?
We need more detail on that trench. Where did he deposit the soil he dug? How did the family leave the tent in the morning? But mostly, why?
I think you’re not supposed to talk about Fight Club.
You do seem to have a more exciting life than most of us are having in lockdown.
Or perhaps you’ve a better imagination and turn of phrase.
I managed to make mixed citrus marmalade this weekend (orange, lemon and grapefruit) – it worked pretty well, so I am counting that as a highlight in the current circumstances. Small things and all that.. And we have not had snow, which apart from it being an indication of global warming, I can live without thin North European snow.. Happy Monday!
My parents have had their first jab (but their second one is not until April …) so that’s a positive start
Henry, I understand that he was in military intelligence. This may be all we will ever know.
Jennifer, thank you. I say this because I can guarantee that there is nothing exciting about my lockdown.
Suzy, that is a definite highlight! I am v impressed.
TM, good news about your parents. Fingers crossed things will be much better in a couple of months.