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Not Cool

21 February, 2019 at 8:19 pm by belgianwaffle

Herself is doing volcanoes in geography again. Is there no end to them?

The geography teacher asked for a volcano in Africa. “I’ll give you a clue,” said he, “it features in a famous song.” He scanned the classroom.

Which misfortunate child was, due to her parents’ irredeemably dreadful music taste, able to say, “Sir, I think it’s Kilimanjaro and your reference is to “Africa” by Toto.”

New Technology

19 February, 2019 at 8:08 pm by belgianwaffle

Herself has rescued her father’s tape deck from his parents’ house. She is delighted with the way it doesn’t know what she’s doing or take a note of what music she’s listening to. She’s pre-ordered Hozier’s new album on tape to take further advantage of this.

She’s started to whisper when there are phones in the room as she points out that they are always listening to us. I know this is true as Siri perks up and talks occasionally, and disconcertingly, when I am at meetings. She is less inclined to do this when I intentionally say, “Hey Siri.”

Lads, I’m beginning to wonder whether we should all go back to the tape deck.


13 February, 2019 at 7:33 pm by belgianwaffle

As part of their Transition Year programme, herself and her classmates were taken to Mondello Park.

They all got to drive around the race track. She absolutely loved it and has spent the time since learning all the answers to the driver theory test in English and Irish. It’s six months before she can sit even the theory test so she may have peaked too early. She tells me that it is useless to rely on my driving habits as I am completely wrong about everything. For example if there is a narrow country road and you have to turn around and there is a gate nearby do you turn on the road or using the gate? “Using the gate, of course,” I said confidently. Apparently not. Pesky rules of the road. “I can tell you that one is more observed in the breach” I said but apparently that cuts no mustard with the AI administering the test.

The only sour note was a video they were shown of a cyclist diffusing a bomb. Over a headset, the cyclist was told to cut the red wire and, of course, cut the green one instead. Boom. I think the point was to emphasise that cyclists are vulnerable road users who, like other road users, may not always obey the rules of the road and you need to be vigilant but I don’t think that’s the best way to make the point and neither did the herself or the other girl in her year who cycles to school. So now I’ve become the crank cyclist parent who writes to Mondello Park. In fairness, I did tell them that overall she loved it, so maybe they might heed my plea to dump the video.

Updated to add – They replied with gratifying speed indicating that they noted my concerns and would make clear that it was aimed at all road users. Sadly, no indication that they would remove the video though.

Art Not Imitating Life, Apparently

17 January, 2019 at 6:06 pm by belgianwaffle

Me: Do you ever read my blog?

Her: Yeah. I’m never more than about 3 weeks behind.

Me: I suppose you know what’s in it – you live it.

Her: Yes, but that’s very different from reading it.

Small Victories

16 January, 2019 at 3:20 pm by belgianwaffle

Herself said to me the other day, “I am so glad that you sent me to my school, I would have hated to have gone to an English language school”. I think that the effect of 10 years of education through the medium of Irish has finally had its effect.

I can only hope that her brothers eventually feel the same but thus far they remain resolutely unconvinced. Alas.

Long Car Journeys Bring Out the Best in All of Us or Mothers are Always Wrong

8 January, 2019 at 3:45 pm by belgianwaffle

One from the Christmas holidays.

Herself (from the back seat in mock horror): This is so outrageous.

Mr. Waffle: Stop squawking back there.

Her: Do you want to reconsider your choice of language or do you want to keep using the oppressive, misogynistic language of the patriarchy?

Me: Silence.

Her (to me): Well, Mum, what do you think of Dad’s choice of language?

Me: I’m just so glad that it’s not me in the firing line.

Her: To be silent is to be complicit.

Culture at Christmas

30 December, 2018 at 8:33 pm by belgianwaffle

The children are a bit old for the pantomime and we didn’t fancy/refused to pay for any of the theatrical offerings available over Christmas so for our Christmas outing we went to the cinema to watch a screening of “Love Actually” in the cinema. Michael and Daniel strenuously objected to going but afterwards, Michael, at least conceded that he had quite enjoyed it. “But,” he said, “it was weird the way that all of the women were just goals for the men and not people at all.” Except for Emma Thompson we agreed. My work here is done.

Attempting to explain my deeply reprehensible choice I said, “Yes, I know it is unsatisfactory in a number of ways but it’s of its time.” Herself replied “You can’t say that about a film that was made in 2003!” It’s hard to argue with that. I still like the way the bodyguard sings “Good King Wenceslas”. If you want a comprehensive analysis of all the ways in which this film is profoundly unsatisfactory, I can direct you here. Do not click on this link if you ever want to watch that film again, it will ruin every bit of it for you, except the bit where the bodyguard sings “Good King Wenceslas”.

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