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Culture Night

22 September, 2018 at 6:15 pm by belgianwaffle

Last night, the boys went for French lessons (not a success). While they were there, as part of Culture Night, Mr. Waffle and I went to the RIA and the Mansion House. I’d been to the Mansion House for events before and it was grand but a bit dull. Not their brass, though, which was impressively shiny and made me realise, sigh, that my own is in sad need of polishing. A very enthusiastic woman in the RIA explained about the Irish Historic Towns Atlas and explained, even to my satisfaction, why on a 25 year project when even Youghal and Bandon are done, Cork city is not due until 2020. Apparently it’s because Cork is particularly difficult to do as it has a very complex and ever-changing street landscape. So there.

We went with the boys to the Terry Pratchett exhibition in Trinity which was disappointing as it was a bit heavy on lecture and light on other elements. There was a great map though. It was a bit of an evening of maps.

We went to Gotham (a pizza and burger joint off Grafton Street) for dinner as I could not face Milano’s. It was crowded but they were able to put us outside. It was the first time in years I’ve eaten my dinner beside a smoker and the first time ever for the boys who were displeased but also fascinated. “Wait until tomorrow,” I said, “when you wake up, all your clothes will smell of smoke.” We packed up reasonably rapidly and went home.

When I was going to bed I noticed a weird small rash thing on my neck. “Probably stress,” I said to myself gloomily. In the morning, however, it came off in the shower so I can only suppose that it was ketchup which ended up on my neck due to a combination of peculiar eating habits, shortsightedness and poor hygiene. You’re welcome.

In other cultural news, Mr. Waffle and I are going out to the theatre this evening. It’s a thing in the Fringe and only an hour or so; we are leaving the boys to fend for themselves. Mr. Waffle has just come in after struggling for about an hour with a ladder and the unhappy interaction of the down-pipe and the rose bush in the front garden. I’ve told him we’ll have to leave for the theatre in about 15 minutes. He’s delighted.

We spent the day ferrying Daniel and Michael to various activities – tennis, drama etc. But, we also looked at ovens for our new kitchen. I want to get an aga. Am I crazy? Stove/oven advice very gratefully received.

Just now, the cat has skulked to the flower bed with a dead mouse between her jaws, I can only hope that my shouting at her, “Don’t you dare bring that into the house!” will be effective. All the news as it happens here.

And how has your weekend been so far?

Alas Alack

22 April, 2018 at 10:49 pm by belgianwaffle

There was an all-white cat who lived in one of the houses at the top of the road who had been coming to our house and putting the frightners on Hodge since he was really quite small. He had one green eye and one blue eye. We called him Griddlebone and he marched up and down the gardens of the road as though he owned them. He frequently wandered into our house in summer when the doors were open to Hodge’s furious and hissing disapproval. Only the other day, I arrived home to find Mr. Waffle indignantly announcing that he had just seen Griddlebone weeing against the kitchen window (from the outside, I hasten to add). Griddlebone was insouciant, he was nimble and devil may care and the other morning, I found his body on the busy main road nearby. A neighbour came out and took in the body before it got squashed. Apparently his owners called him Bowie; he’ll always be Griddlebone to us.

Ominous

17 January, 2017 at 8:14 pm by belgianwaffle

When I checked my personal mobile as I left the office this evening, I saw that herself had called me at 2. I rang her back. “Oh yeah, it was an emergency when I called you. The cat caught a mouse and brought it into the utility room.” “What happened?” I asked. “I shut the door and called Dad and he’s going to deal with it when he gets home.” Cravenly, I cycled home very slowly. Mr. Waffle opened the front door to me. “Did you find the mouse?” I asked. He had not. We both looked again but could find no trace. Could the cat have eaten it all, including the tail? She is certainly less hungry than usual this evening. Alternatively are there mouse body parts quietly rotting in an unseen corner of the utility room? It’s all to play for, folks.

A Lot of Responsibility

5 October, 2016 at 6:16 pm by belgianwaffle

Neither Mr. Waffle’s parents nor mine are particularly well at the moment and we have been tugged a bit in various directions. My sister-in-law was over visiting and she said reflectively, “You have a lot of responsibility: two sets of parents, three children, a cat and six chickens.*” I thought, yes, we do have a lot of responsibility and it may partly explain why posting has been a bit on the light side. Also, starting a new job (it’s still new to me, I started in February) is more tiring than you might think. And I am doing a work related course and there are assignments and I profoundly regret signing myself up for it in the first place. Sigh.

*In fact the chickens belong to our neighbours and we were only minding them while they (the neighbours) climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with their two teenagers. Yes, I am impressed as well. It did allow Mr. Waffle to send me this message when I asked if all was well at home:

Fine. Children still in pyjamas so am next door supervising hens.

Life’s rich tapestry and all that.

569

Happy Anniversary

1 August, 2016 at 10:21 pm by belgianwaffle

Mr. Waffle and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary on Thursday, July 28. As we got married before having children and when Mr. Waffle was in a different line of work, that was, then, a relatively quiet time of year. Now the children are on holidays; it is one of Mr. Waffle’s busiest times of the year and we go on our family holiday immediately after.

This year has been particularly difficult as for the last number of years, I have been able to take unpaid leave over the summer but it wasn’t possible this year. We kept our childminder on for the afternoons and signed the children up to a couple of courses and Mr. Waffle took up the slack. It was all a bit stressful. Unfortunately, herself was ill for almost all her course and the week before the boys were due to go on their course I got this plaintive email from my husband.

To: Me
From: Mr. Waffle
Subject: Re: All well at home?

To my horror got a call from the sports camp I thought the boys were doing a course next week but apparently it’s this week. Will have to see if they’re willing to go for the last three days and if [childminder] can do afternoons. Also means we have no course for anybody next week…

In other words, it’s a busy time and we almost, but not quite, forget our anniversary every year. We tend to remember a day or two before when it is too late to do anything but scramble for a not entirely adequate present. For example, the internet tells me that crystal is the appropriate offering for a 15th wedding anniversary; I got Mr. Waffle a book and he got me flowers [very welcome flowers, I hasten to add].

Happily, this year, our firstborn surprised us and when we came home from work, the table looked like this:

Untitled

She made us risotto for dinner with help from Daniel and Victoria sponge for desert and it was amazing.

Also, I still love my husband, which is great. He sends me funny emails. Samples below:

From: Mr. Waffle
To: Me
Subject: Signs and portents

My laptop is being weird and currently refuses to open any files or programs.

Also five slugs in utility room / by back door.

I think I’ll call it a day.

From: Mr. Waffle
To: Me
Subject: What is the best Irish term for Brexit?

Sasamach? Bréalú?

I understand someone else came up with these terms but I am always glad to be consulted on matters of national importance.

A couple of weeks ago, the cat brought another pigeon into the house. This time it was not dead. Mr. Waffle grabbed the pigeon from the cat; trapped the cat in the utility room and chased the pigeon around the kitchen (I asked Herself about it – “It was terrible, the pigeon fell in my soup”. Terrible on so many levels). Eventually he was able to usher the pigeon out of the kitchen into the hall while the cat continued to scream blue murder in the utility room. Mr. Waffle said that the pigeon was somewhat dazed but it picked itself up and waddled along the hall and out the front door, somewhat to the bemusement of passers by.

On Saturday evening he rescued the cat from up a tree where she was chased by three small yappy dogs who have moved in across the road. We are not loving them. Mr. Waffle, however, is fantastic.

The other evening I was trying to print off the childminder’s payslip and the printer wouldn’t work. Michael sidled up to me; “Sorry,” he said, “but I think I broke the printer.” “How do you think you broke the printer?” I asked. “I dropped 10 cents down the paper feeder,” he said. I shook it and I turned it up and down but to no avail. “I’m not cross,” I said, “but how did you drop 10 cents into the printer?” Apparently he had been practising coin flips and it had just escaped away from him. After the last unfortunate demise of a printer, my clever husband had taken out a guarantee. €12 well spent. We now have another new printer. I think love is in the details.

Think of us having another delightful anniversary dinner in France. After all, 15 years is definitely worth celebrating.

Returned Safely to These Shores

18 June, 2016 at 6:10 pm by belgianwaffle

Herself was returned to us last Wednesday after a wonderful week in London. Her aunt and uncle were very kind and she had all manner of treats and excitement including a trip to the ballet to see Swan Lake which she absolutely loved.

2016-06-09 21.57.03

Although the weather was a bit mixed.

2016-06-13 19.53.32

She was due to arrive back on Wednesday at 5 but her flight was delayed unbeknownst to me. I was stuck a bit late at work and rang Mr. Waffle to see whether our heroine had returned. “No,” he said, “and I am at the airport, so who is going to be home at 6.30 to relieve the childminder?” I flew home like the wind calling the childminder to tell her that I was going to be late. No answer. I rang the land line at home. Daniel answered.

Me: Hi sweetie, can I speak to K (childminder)?
Him: Yes, but do you want to know my news?
Me: Yes, of course, but can I speak to K first?
Him: It is interesting news.
Me: OK, sweetie, tell me your news first.
Him: When we came home from school the hall was full of blood and feathers.
Me: Oh God.
Him (with relish): Yes, and we found a dead pigeon in the corner of the drawing room.
Me (yelping): Oh God.
Him: Yes, and it’s still there.
Me: What??
Him: Yes, K has a phobia of birds (really, really is this a thing?). Michael and I locked the cat into the utility room. I hoovered up the feathers in the hall and Michael mopped up the blood. K showed us how to turn on the hoover from the kitchen. But we were too scared to deal with the body.
Me: OK, I’ll deal with it when I get home.

Return to the house. I readied myself with a shoe-box and a plastic bag. I went into the drawing room to see feathers, blood:

2016-06-15 19.58.15-1

and a corpse in the corner:

2016-06-15 19.58.48

I ran out again. Maybe not my finest hour [Daniel took the photo above]. Then the phone rang. It was Mr. Waffle. Herself had returned and they were wondering could they get a lift from the airport. Absolutely. I sped out, leaving the boys at home on corpse watch.

I picked Mr. Waffle and herself up outside the airport.

Me (to daughter): Welcome home my darling, did you miss us?
Herself: Um, no but I did have an amazing time.
Me (to husband): I have slightly unwelcome pigeon news.

On his return, he disposed of the corpse. What a man. Glad to have our firstborn back and despite herself, I think she might be a little glad too. And she brought us all presents.

2016-06-15 20.06.00

Is it true, Hodge, does nothing taste as good as thin feels?

47

12 March, 2016 at 10:24 pm by belgianwaffle

I was 47 on Thursday. It was a bit unsatisfactory. For a range of reasons. Firstly, I was at work, having decided that it would be inappropriate to take a day’s holiday too early in the new job. I think that was a mistake. Secondly, I had arranged to meet someone for lunch when, really, I would have preferred to go somewhere nice on my own and then a couple of other people came and even though all of these people were very nice, I ended up being the conversational glue holding everyone together and that is tiring.

Thirdly, when I came home that evening, I turned around and headed out the door with Daniel who was singing at the school first confession that evening. We were there about 7. The priest was late. We only finally emerged about 9. Daniel got to sing a verse of one of the hymns with a smaller group and it all went well, so he was pleased. I had hoped to have a celebratory birthday take-away (the excitement!). But, fourthly, by the time I got home after 9 it was really too late. Then, fifthly, I trudged disconsolately to the fridge to get a birthday dinner of cheese and crackers only to find that the cat had got into the fridge and food was scattered everywhere and she was wolfing down some chicken scraps. Under the pile of chicken, inevitably really, was the cheese which I had been hoping to eat.

All in all, sub-optimal. On Friday, Mr. Waffle proposed that we go out for a nice dinner on Saturday to make up for the debacle of my birthday. Babysitter and restaurant were booked. Poor Mr. Waffle, this morning he had to do some urgent work thing and around lunch time he started to feel ill. He retired to bed. About 4 we cancelled dinner and babysitter and, as I type, he is still in bed having eaten nothing since lunch time. Oh woe.

Inauspicious, I feel. However, if you sent a card or an email, please know that this year of all years, it was welcome. Also, herself bought me Toffifees which was pleasing. Daniel and Michael made me a card. Daniel tried to give me €50 of his money and Mr. Waffle bought me this picture. So not all bad either.

Updated to add: I forgot to mention my birthday message from vodafone –

Please note you have reached 100% of your monthly data and will not be able to use data until your next allowance begins on 15-03-2016. To purchase our best value data freetext INFO to 50226 or for more details visit www.vodafone.ie/datacharges. To continue using data for the remainder of your billing period, freetext NO DATA BAR to 50226.

I moved on to a new tariff last month and the man said I had more data than I would ever need. I see.

Updated to add: My father said to me when I told him of my various woes “forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit”. I had to look it up (having only done Latin for a couple of years and never having liked it much). Possibly, it means, one day you will look back on this and laugh. Thanks Virgil, not yet though.


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