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19 April, 2018 at 8:24 pm by belgianwaffle

Daniel’s geography teacher fills the children’s hearts with fear. Even the Princess has a grudging respect for him.

Daniel said to me the other day that they were doing longshore drift. “And,” said he, “there’s a thing called a groyne wall which protects against it. We talked about it all through class and nobody laughed.”

That is real power.

The Tooth Fairy

18 April, 2018 at 10:11 pm by belgianwaffle

Did you know that your children will continue to loose teeth well into their teens? Well, they will. While I have no recollection of the tooth fairy playing any role in my life growing up, the same is not true of my children who have enjoyed regular payments over the years. However, as time marches on and the tooth fairy gets older and tireder, payments have not been as reliable as they once were which led to this unfortunate scene at dinner the other night.

Michael: Ok, who’s the tooth fairy?
Me: Um, the magical, mystical tooth fairy, who knows? Why do you ask?
Michael: Because this is getting to beyond a joke, this tooth (he points to the hole near his front teeth on the lower right which I feel sure somehow has been pointed out before) has been under my pillow for about a fortnight.
Me: You the tooth fairy has many calls on his/her time.
Him: Will I just take the money from your purse?
Me: Somehow that takes away the magic.

Poor Banished Children of Eve

17 April, 2018 at 10:08 pm by belgianwaffle

Michael (on the way to Sunday mass): Why do I have to go to mass every Sunday when people in my class only go at Christmas and Easter.

Me: Well, families are different. Anyway, imagine if you were me growing up: I stayed with my Nana, Aunt and Uncle and cousins for a couple of weeks every summer and we had to say the Rosary every night. It was so stressful, I used to always lose count of the Hail Marys and Nana had to prod me to stop.

Michael: What’s the Rosary?

St Patrick’s Day Round Up

16 April, 2018 at 10:03 pm by belgianwaffle

Look, better late than never. We’ve been away for Patrick’s Day for the last number of years. This has been a source of considerable ire to Michael who hates going away in any event and also, was keen to see the Dublin parade.

So, this year, we stayed at home. We went to mass and had all the good Patrick’s Day numbers including “Dóchas Linn Naomh Pádraig” and “Hail Glorious St Patrick”. Herself got to encourage the congregation to join in and make up a little Irish spiel on the spot which she did quite competently. I was very proud. Michael and I then got the bus in to town to see the parade. His siblings had no interest whatsoever. It was bitterly cold. Michael and I found ourselves in the middle of a huddle of French people. “Where,” they asked, “are all the Irish people?” I could not say but I could confirm that they were not at the parade anyhow. I actually found it quite enjoyable but Michael was completely frozen and we didn’t stay until the end. The poor children in bands and floats were absolutely perished. One little boy was weeping from the cold in his lightweight band uniform and the other band members were trying to cheer him up/warm him up with no real success. Honestly, March just isn’t the month for this. On the plus side, one of the young French people standing near me was able to show me how to get autocorrect to work in French on my apple phone (it’s all in the keyboard function, I mean, who would have guessed that?). This may represent peak middle age for me: asking some random young person to fix my phone.

I took myself off to Cork that afternoon to see my aging father, he was moderately pleased to see me but quite, quite deaf. As I listened to the booming tones of the world service coming through the walls from his bedroom to mine at 2 in the morning, I was pardonably bitter, the more so because it was a programme which I had already heard and had not enjoyed particularly the first time. You will be pleased to hear that his hearing has been more or less restored in the interim and I look forward to a slightly less noisy trip to Cork this weekend coming.

I think next year we might go away for Patrick’s weekend again. Don’t tell Michael.

End of an Era

14 March, 2018 at 5:38 pm by belgianwaffle

Michael has jacked in scouts. It was time for his renewal sub and he decided he had had enough. He really enjoyed the opportunity to be an indoor scout but, increasingly, they were forcing him outside to use his map reading and knotting expertise in the wild and he decided that this was not for him. Also the scout hall was freezing all winter and he was tired of being perished. Alas.


10 March, 2018 at 8:21 pm by belgianwaffle

I am 49 today. Herself arrived home from school yesterday to announce, “Seán in my class thinks you’re a drama queen.” “Why?” I asked. “Because he asked what I was doing for the weekend and I said that we all had to stay at home on Saturday because it’s your birthday. He asked if it was an important one and I said no but I told him that we’re all dreading when you turn 50.”

So, yes, I like to celebrate my birthday, is that bad? Herself spent the afternoon slaving over my favourite brownies. I expect to enjoy them after my birthday dinner. Mr. Waffle got me flowers, a candle (always welcome to me) and a framed print of a picture which I once failed to identify on University Challenge (I pronounced it appealing and he took careful note).

More generally, I had a slightly unsatisfactory day. The boys and I cycled into their drama class. Some evil person punctured Michael’s tyre while they were in there which meant it was flat as a pancake when they emerged and we had to walk home pushing our bikes (“I’m tired” “When will I be able to stop and eat my bun?” “I want to go to the toilet.”). It took a lot out of all of us.

Mild highlight of the day so far was herself walking up to the bike repair shop with me after I got home.

Be not afraid though, because Mr. Waffle and I took a day off work during the week to celebrate my birthday. We went for a walk in Glendalough and had a nice lunch in Powerscourt. Was there snow in the mountains? Yes, there was:




We had to scoot back to Dublin a bit earlier than we would have liked because there were parent-teacher meetings for the boys, but that was satisfactory as well because they seem to be getting on very well which is always a relief to hear.

Furthermore, tomorrow is mother’s day. I am not delighted about it coming hot on the heels of my birthday as I think 48 hours of indulgence is a lot to ask from my family, however, it has put me in a good position to force everyone to go for a walk in the mountains tomorrow. Rejoice.

So I am hoping that 49 will be a good year. My sister is recovering from cancer – she’s gone back to work which is great. I am starting a new job in April – you may congratulate me – and so far I have all of the delight of anticipation and none of the horror of the new job. And surely, I have done enough funerals in the past year that there can’t be too many more to go through this year.

Now, you will have to excuse me because I just heard from the kitchen the magic words, “Someone put the kettle on!” and I think that my birthday cake is approaching.

Computer Games for the Hard of Hearing

8 March, 2018 at 8:00 pm by belgianwaffle

One weekend morning, myself and Mr. Waffle found ourselves watching Michael play “Overwatch”, it was surprisingly relaxing. “Be careful, Michael,” I said, “it looks like there might be baddies around that corner.” “Mum, I am the baddie,” he said. “Oh right, what’s your name then? It’s hard to hear with that deep growling voice.” “Rupert, the Slayer” he said. “Really, that’s a surprising name,” I said and Mr. Waffle and I started singing “Rupert the Slayer” to the tune of “Rupert the Bear” which we thought was hilarious. Our put upon son, said patiently, “No, guys, Reaper as in Grim Reaper, reign of terror, not Rupert as in Rupert the Bear.” This seems more likely but I am sad that the reign of mild inconvenience of Rupert the Slayer is over.

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