Today is Mr. Waffle’s birthday. A very happy birthday to him.
At the start of lock down, he got out his year book from his European masters some 30 years ago and started sending birthday wishes into the whatsapp group to cheer everyone up. Obviously, no one else has the year book (ladies and gentlemen, I give you my very organised husband) so he didn’t get birthday wishes on his own birthday. Last summer, I said this in passing to the Dutch Mama who was also in that class. Once we got over the initial awkwardness (there’s a whatsapp group?) and I asked Mr. Waffle to add her to the group, she promised faithfully that she would send a message when the big day arrived.
A couple of weeks ago she contacted me to double check the date of his birthday. This morning she messaged me that she got her cymbals out of the cupboard and was good to go, this was her moment. However, there were about 37 other messages to him on the group chat – his Scottish friend in Vienna having somehow discovered his birthday and messaged the group early in the morning. Mr. Waffle was pleased, the Dutch Mama put her cymbals back in the cupboard.
We exchanged some further texts. Her second born is applying to college and it’s taking a lot out of her mother. She, the child, has just finished her final school exam in English. Not so hard for her you might argue with her Irish mother. However, apparently she chose to study the Irish gothic – Sheridan Le Fanu, Bram Stoker, Maria Edgeworth’s “Castle Rackrent”. To be honest that sounds a challenging enough project for Irish school children. I am pretty impressed by the standard to which Dutch children are held in their foreign languages. Meanwhile here, we are still trying to find the train station in modern foreign languages, literature having been surgically excised from the curriculum some time between when my mother finished secondary school and I started. Alas.
Mr. Waffle seems pleased with his day so far. As I write he is out in the hammock – the weather having turned delightfully, and most unseasonably, fine – reading one of his birthday present books.
In other news, I reorganised the presses (or cupboards as they are known in other countries) and it was thrilling. Judge away.
We may venture out later for a mild walk with the boys but having been inspired by the sunshine to go for an epic cycle yesterday, we may just stay home peacefully reading the paper and recovering from our exertions before waddling out for dinner this evening.
A four day weekend is a superb innovation. More like this please.