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Happy New Year

2 January, 2016 at 12:54 pm by belgianwaffle

I have another cold. On the evening of December 30, I got a headache and by new year’s eve, I was so miserable that I went to bed at 11 unable to make the party to which we had kindly been invited or even to stay up to listen to the bells ringing in the new year. Frankly, not an auspicious start to the year. Yesterday, I didn’t feel up to going to the new year’s day party to which we were invited. We spent the day at home. My sister-in-law and her husband from London came for lunch and stayed for a couple of hours. They are very soothing, undemanding guests, while also being entertaining so it was quite pleasant for me. Mr. Waffle felt that they might have been a bit bored by spending an afternoon listening to me recounting my various ills but I am sure that they had a lovely time. The boys went off to a birthday party and stayed over with the birthday boy, so the evening was very peaceful. I was very sorry for myself. Today I feel alright but not fantastic, still mainlining lemsip and somewhat fed up. The boys will be home shortly from their birthday extravaganza to tend to their sick mother. I am sure that they are looking forward to that. And back to work on Monday. Sigh.

More news to follow. In the interim, I trust that your Christmas was satisfactory and wish you every happiness for 2016. As you know, every reader is precious to me.

A Tooth Fairy’s Lot is Not a Happy One

2 December, 2015 at 8:17 pm by belgianwaffle

Herself lost a tooth yesterday. Who knew children kept losing baby teeth for so long? This morning she came into us to announce that the tooth fairy had not come. “Perhaps he will come today,” I said. She looked at Mr. Waffle with a sapient eye as he dragged himself out of bed and said, “I think the tooth fairy is trudging to his work, even now.”

I got this email from her during the day.

From: Herself
To: Me
Re: Don’t go getting ideas.

This is blatantly unacceptable.

Does there come a time where one is just a smidgen too sophisticated for the tooth fairy?

Plumbing and Logistics

26 November, 2015 at 8:11 pm by belgianwaffle

Our toilet is blocked. Mr. Waffle is upstairs deploying a plunger. The bathroom floor is covered with newspapers. He’s been at this since we got home at 6.30 this evening with only a brief respite for dinner. I feel I am setting a poor example for my children by making plumbing a gendered space but I just can’t face it myself.

We are facing into a logistically complex 48 hours with me going to Cork, herself going to a friend’s house miles away to sleep over (needing to be collected on Saturday morning), Michael doing a thing with scouts and Daniel with his usual Saturday morning GAA match. Today, I have made appointments with doctors and dentists and committed to sending photos to a piano tuner. A number of Christmas events are bearing down on me and I am in no position to be either a host or guest due to complete lack of organisation. Have I laid in any small tasteful presents to dole out at the appropriate moment? I think we both know the answer to that question.

Oh yes, it’s approaching the most wonderful time of the year. You will excuse me, I need to sit quietly in a darkened room while listening to peaceful suctioning noises emanating from the upstairs bathroom.

And to the Americans, happy Thanksgiving. I can only rejoice that this is not an Irish celebration. It might tip me over the edge.

Romantic Text Messages in Middle Age

23 November, 2015 at 11:06 pm by belgianwaffle

Mr. Waffle was putting out our bins this evening and he ran into our next door neighbour putting out their bins. Her husband travels a lot for work but she said that no matter where he is or in what time zone, he always texts her to let her know which bin* to put out when.

Unrelated: it was lashing here this evening but Daniel still spent an hour out at GAA training getting damp and filthy. The Gaelic Athletic Association is not for the faint hearted. Also this evening, Michael got his first scout badge; great rejoicing.

*Green for recycling; black for general and brown for organic (only Mr. Waffle and Mr. Next Door can remember which bin goes out on which night).

Australia Vanquished

21 November, 2015 at 9:44 pm by belgianwaffle

It’s freezing here today. Ireland were playing Australia in some kind of game that is half way between Gaelic football and Australian rules football. Mr. Waffle and Daniel went to watch in Croke Park. As Mr. Waffle is a very prepared kind of person, they both had multiple layers and were reasonably toasty throughout. Daniel even had a flask of hot chocolate which his thoughtful father had brought for him. I just picked them up and to add to their happiness, Ireland managed to beat Australia.

On the down side, as I type, Mr. Waffle is upstairs taking off his long johns (purchased many years ago in the Canadian winter and still proving their worth) and even from downstairs I can hear him sneezing and coughing. Alas.


17 November, 2015 at 7:06 pm by belgianwaffle

It was wet and windy today. I had a half day. Michael was home sick. Mr. Waffle minded him in the morning and I had him in the afternoon. I abandoned him to drive into school and pick up Daniel (bike in the boot) and then when I had dropped Daniel, I went in search of herself (communication continues to be challenging – the phone Santa got her for Christmas is unsatisfactory). I found her almost home, her little helmet bobbing along as she walked by the nearby shops. She had been blown off her bike. She had a bloody knee but no serious injury was sustained except to her dignity.

Mr. Waffle arrived in at 6, also windswept and disappointed that his soccer was called off. There’s enthusiasm.

45,000 homes are without electricity though thankfully not ours (although we did lose the internet there for about an hour, so, you know, we could empathise). I lit the fire and made biscuits. Now we are about to eat them.

It’s a day for staying in.


Dispatches from the Classroom

11 November, 2015 at 10:02 pm by belgianwaffle

As part of the new dispensation at secondary school, herself has got an iPad (I know). This has brought unexpected benefits. Before the iPad came into our lives, I used to send emails to my children and they went into the void. Now at least my emails to her are answered and she sends me some of her own.

I got this from her today.

To: Me
From: Herself
Subject: Rosa ist nicht eine Mädchenfarbe

Rosa ist eine Mädchenfarbe

It’s from her German textbook. I was pleased that my consciousness raising work has not been wasted. I showed it to her father this evening and he said, “In this context it would be Rosa ist keine Mädchenfarbe“. Arguably, he is missing the broader point. I must, however, concede that here in the house of pedantry we regularly interrupt compelling arguments to point out grammatical errors which often goes over poorly with those making the compelling arguments.

In other news from herself, she has a new gym teacher (part of the general rotation of teachers and subjects, apparently). They did yoga today. She tells me that it is “extremely physically taxing”.


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