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Home alone or Random Updates

20 June, 2018 at 10:44 pm by belgianwaffle

“So what news?” you ask.

A couple of weeks ago, I made Mr. Waffle and the boys go to the theatre to see “A Feast of Bones” which the Princess and I saw five years ago and liked. They left the house with great reluctance. Michael, in particular, pointing out that I had a history of never booking them in to good things. I pointed to the session on African explorer Thomas Parke which still remains my single most successful cultural outing. However, I finally have a second triumph, because they all really enjoyed the performance. Go me.

The weekend before last, Mr waffle was off in foreign parts for the weekend. He had a 25 year college reunion. Meanwhile I held the fort. We had a lot of pizza. Michael had his drama showcase which went fine thank you for asking. Daniel had a match – I dropped him up and another parent brought him home. He told me that he was taken off injured after 5 minutes which wasn’t totally ideal. I think he has some kind of floating body in his knee and from time to time, when I have an idle moment, I worry about this. Herself took a break from studying (this was when the Junior Cert was still on – happily it has now ended, it was ok, results in September) and went out for walk at the seaside with her friends. There was a certain amount of scurrying to get everyone everywhere on time but we made it. I left the washing out on the line overnight though – living life on the edge.

On Sunday we cycled to mass. “Are you ok?” I asked Dan. “Fine, why?” he said. “Your knee injury from yesterday,” I said. “Oh,” said he, “I made that up, I was fine and played, it’s just that I didn’t want you to make me have a shower.” Where to begin? I still took him and his brother to the cinema that afternoon (because I am saintly and he did shower on Sunday morning).

Herself finished her exams last Friday and the saintly mother of one of her friends took a group of them to the Taylor Swift concert. A good time seems to have been had by all etc.

Last Sunday was the annual church garden party. Yet again, I found myself manning the ice cream wafer stall with no fridge. Very trying, frankly. Mr. Waffle won the father’s day raffle – a hamper which looked promising but turned out to be full of Nivea for men products. That’s what happens if your sponsor is the local chemist, I suppose.

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There was a box full of loads of Greek and Latin plays and histories. And even though our house is full to overflowing with books and I suspect I will never read them I was unable to resist picking up 5 books for a euro (two French books as well which will be for herself to never read). Here are the books I will never read:

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The boys did a science course last week but have no activities planned this week which fills their little hearts with delight. I met them in town for lunch on Monday. They made their own way in and out. They were in great form. I have to say, if I never see Milano’s again, it might be too soon. That evening, Daniel had a GAA match in Tallaght. Tallaght! With the snow earlier in the year, they are still catching up on league matches during the week rather than at the weekend and it is spectacularly inconvenient. It feels like the season is never going to end.

Daniel went back to the ophthalmologist this afternoon and basically he is cured. He will probably always need glasses but as he is very longsighted, his eyesight will improve from now on. Apparently watching television and playing on the phone is good for his eyesight, if anything. The patching when he was little has worked and his astigmatism is gone. He can wear contact lenses for sport if he likes. And we never need to go back to the ophthalmologist. Nice man but, frankly, I rejoice.

He got his hair cut to celebrate and we had a cup of tea.

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Mr. Waffle is away for work until tomorrow evening, so I am coping alone (so far so good). Real challenge will be tomorrow. The children will be home alone all day – when Mr. Waffle is in the country, he drops in at lunch time to feed them – so I have told them that they have to get dressed and feed themselves. It remains to be seen how that will pan out. Will I come home to starving, feral children in pyjamas? All to play for. Poor Daniel has yet another GAA match. Happily it is relatively nearby so I have told him that he will have to get himself there by bike and he seems resigned if not enthusiastic (I appreciate that enthusiastic would be a big ask there). We’re all looking forward to the return of Mr. Waffle tomorrow evening, particularly the person who may, possibly, have felled a down pipe while doing some overdue rose bush pruning. Also the cat who is sitting looking at me as I type, hoping against hope that I might feed her again.

Tragically, he has to go away again next week and the week after. How will it all end? Also, we have no summer holiday booked. I think I am beginning to panic a little here.

My aunt was 89 today or will be on Friday. My granny always said that my aunt was born on June 20th but the Californian authorities have recorded it as June 22nd on her birth cert. Still, the family wisdom is that my granny ought to have known and so my aunt is celebrating today. Only a spring chicken etc. compared to my father, of course.

Any news yourself?

Alas, Alack

5 June, 2018 at 10:37 pm by belgianwaffle

Daniel made dinner this evening.

He rang me about 6 as I was heading home from work.

Daniel: How do you use the blender?
Me: Ask your sister.
Him: She’s out.
Me: Is your father home?
Him: Nope.
Me: Well, it’s a bit tricky…[accidentally drop phone on the road and it is run over by a bus – he tried his best not to but the back wheels got it]

Despite the absence of my phone I was anxious to tell Daniel not to use the blender unsupervised so I pulled out my work phone. Do I know my home number off by heart? I do not. Any of my children’s mobiles? Nope. So I rang my husband who was a bit stressed trying to finish up at work and told him to ring Daniel urgently and tell him not to use the blender. He was baffled and a bit peeved.

Dinner was great in the end.

Do I have insurance on my new iphone that I got in April? I do not. I will take its mangled body to the shop tomorrow to see what they can do. I wouldn’t describe myself as optimistic.

Also I have a blister on the top of my left middle finger from a splinter I can’t get out. Woe is me.

Not with a Bang but with a Whimper

3 June, 2018 at 9:27 pm by belgianwaffle

Last Friday was the boys’ last day in first year. They were both quite miserable with colds and we kept them at home. So there was no real celebration. Herself has the Junior Cert starting next Wednesday so she isn’t finished her school year for a couple of weeks yet.

On Friday night everyone was recovered enough to go out for our traditional end of school celebration in Milano’s. Traditionally, this was a lunch time event but since the boys were a bit under the weather and herself wasn’t finishing school until mid-afternoon, we left it until dinner time. I would not recommend Milano’s in Temple Bar on the Friday night of a bank holiday weekend. There was a large hen party at the table next to us and the noise was deafening. The combination of wavy wallpaper and a light on the blink created the perfect conditions for a migraine to develop. It was all a bit hideous.

However, we have got through the boys’ first year in secondary school and, all in all, it hasn’t gone too badly, I feel. It was a tough transition from primary school but they got there. Michael has just been chosen for the student council and he is quite pleased with himself, thank you very much. Daniel has found himself just the wrong age for school sports teams which has been deeply frustrating for him but something that will be remedied from September. Academically, they’ve both been fine despite some misgivings on my part because they were so young.

Herself seems to be very on top of the whole school thing now – it’s always so hard to judge but she seems to be very relaxed and well able to deal with anything the system throws at her. The teachers love her. She cleaned up at the school prize-winning again and came home laden down with trophies and certificates.

Notwithstanding the relative success of the school year, we are all delighted that it is over. Roll on summer holidays.

To Dust We Will All Return

30 May, 2018 at 7:18 pm by belgianwaffle

Mr. Waffle’s aunt died a couple of weeks ago; she had been ill for a while and it fell into the category of merciful release, I think. We brought the children to the removal and I was surprised that Daniel was quite upset. Of course, I should have realised that she was the first person my children know who has died. I had also forgotten that it would be the first time that they would see a dead body and I think Daniel, in particular, got quite a shock. With my constant funeral going, at this stage, I feel barely a week passes without my seeing an embalmed and jaundiced corpse so, I perhaps underestimated the likely impact.

The funeral was small but Mr. Waffle’s cousin read a nice eulogy and over the lunch afterwards, Mr. Waffle was rather pleased to meet an old schoolmate of his aunt’s who was able to tell him what she was like when she was young. His aunt, who was somewhat eccentric, had planned her own funeral (many years ago, memorably, she rang Mr. Waffle while he was shopping with the children in Tesco to discuss her choice of coffin) and, to be fair, it seems a pretty good idea as the service really was very nice. She was very Catholic indeed so, if you are of that persuasion, do say a prayer for her.

“Not free merely, but Gaelic”

27 May, 2018 at 7:11 pm by belgianwaffle

In pursuit of further Irish excellence, the boys went to the Donegal Gaeltacht for three days from Monday to Wednesday with the school. I was a bit worried that they might not have enjoyed it but it all went swimmingly. There were lots of pictures on the school’s facebook page apparently but since I have deleted facebook, I will never know. I’m sorry I will miss the one of Michael on the beach, coat on and hood up standing beside his classmate in her togs.

Apparently they had a disco one night. I asked Daniel whether they got dressed up. He said, “The girls all wore make up and had their hair done and the boys all wore tracksuits; in fact, I wondered whether I was overdressed in my jeans.” Who would be a teenage girl?

This is the Maiden

14 May, 2018 at 8:32 pm by belgianwaffle

Me – Looking into the distance thinking about nothing in particular.
Michael: Are you sad, Mama?
Me (snapping out of it): No not at all, why?
Him: It’s just your neutral face looks forlorn. [Yes, forlorn, that is the exact word he used].

Me – Celebrating summer by wearing new shorts.
Daniel (definitely most fashion conscious child): Mum, what are you wearing?
Me (nervously): Just new shorts, do you like them?
Him (kindly): It’s just that I’m not used to seeing your knees.

Bicycle Related Woes

21 April, 2018 at 10:39 pm by belgianwaffle

Michael’s back tyre went completely flat at school one day. Daniel said to him, “You take my bike and I will push yours home.” Because he can be quite saintly and Michael is a lot smaller and lighter than him. The walk home nearly killed the misfortunate child and he was in no way mollified by his parents saying, “If it happens again, leave the bike locked in school and we’ll collect it later in the car.” Michael was, at least, grateful.

In other bike commuting news, the children have an approved cycling route to school which involves crossing a busy road near our house at the pedestrian junction. The other morning while following the parent-approved route (as she bitterly pointed out to me) Herself was the victim of bike on bike violence. This guy came up to the lights at speed, broke the lights, knocked her over and then cycled on until halted by outraged motorists who themselves picked her up and made him go back and apologise to her. She was ok – cuts and bruises only and a bit of a shock. She was back in the saddle reasonably rapidly and seems to have suffered no lasting ill effects. I suppose, all I can say is that I’m glad that guy was on a bicycle and not speeding in a car.

There’s no two ways about it, the pitiful cycling infrastructure in Dublin makes it hard for kids to cycle to school.


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