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Definitely Maybe

30 November, 2016 at 11:37 pm by belgianwaffle

The residents’ association met for their AGM this evening and Mr. Waffle retired as chairman after two years of faithful service. Unfortunately, no one volunteered to take his place. So it is to be considered again at the next meeting. Do you think this will end well?

In other news, it is the end of November. I have made it through another NaBloPoMo. If you have stuck with me, thank you. I have to tell you, I see quiet times ahead on the blogging front in the immediate future.

And, no, I still haven’t done that 1,500 word essay. Thanks for asking.

Burn

20 November, 2016 at 6:19 pm by belgianwaffle

Herself (who has been elected to a national student body and is talking about a workshop): One of the boys in my group was a bit mean about Irish.
Mr. Waffle: How?
Her: He said that it was a dead language and why did we bother learning through it.
Mr. Waffle: What did you say?
Her: I said that they studied Latin at his school and it was a lot more dead and he didn’t seem to have a problem with that.
Mr. Waffle: Incendiat.

Rats

12 November, 2016 at 7:41 pm by belgianwaffle

I had a busy day at work yesterday. When I got home, about 6.30, I put Mr. Waffle and the boys in to the car. We drove into town through rainy Friday evening traffic to collect the Princess from a course, then we dropped Mr. Waffle to a dinner in his old school (he offered to sort himself out but I was feeling noble – he was a bit peeved as a) we were nearly late for herself and he hates to be late and b) having worked himself to the bone for this deadline on Wednesday, some new disagreeable, urgent thing has now presented itself, as he said, “it’s like getting arrested on your release from jail”), then I came back into town with the children and had dinner in Milano’s which I thought would be good but Michael was unhappy (tired and hungry) and he spread the love. I felt a bit sorry for myself last night but thought it was just that I was tired, so I trooped off to bed with my book and looked forward to Saturday.

This morning I woke up with the head cold which my daughter, my husband and my childminder have had all week. I wish I had been a bit more sympathetic to them. At lunchtime I dragged myself out to drop herself off to an event and hung around to pick her up. I was going to let herself and her father out to buy her some new clothes in the afternoon but my nerve failed me and I went instead. Not a blow for feminism, I concede, but she had to get a winter coat and I couldn’t face looking at something I didn’t like all winter. Go on, judge away.

I am now updating my blog while sipping a lemsip. Mr. Waffle and I are going out to dinner to celebrate reaching his hideous deadline (although this seems a little premature now, see paragraph 1) and sick or no I am going to go. Let us hope that the lemsip works.

Something for Theresa May to Reflect On

11 November, 2016 at 11:23 pm by belgianwaffle

Back when the Swedes joined the EU in the mid 90s, Mr. Waffle remembers a senior Italian Commission official commenting, “How can you negotiate with these people? They say exactly what they mean.”

Punishing

4 November, 2016 at 10:27 pm by belgianwaffle

I took the day off work today. This week was mid-term and the children were at home. Well, herself was on a course, but the boys were at home. I think she enjoyed her course but it was quite tiring; it was film making and it seemed to involve a lot of hanging around on set. She told me an interesting thing though. They had a make-up guy in and he mentioned that when making up women, he always makes them up to look good first and then adds cuts and bruises or skulls and blood (they were making a horror film). And apparently this is what happens when they are making real films as well which I think explains a lot.

Anyhow, it was a beautiful day. I decided to take the boys up the Sugar Loaf. They were not delighted. “Why,” said Michael bitterly, “are we being punished?” Apparently his father had told him that he could stay in bed all day – something Mr. Waffle denies. Anyhow, they came, resignedly.

It was lovely and even the boys found it moderately enjoyable. We had a picnic at the top.

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It was somewhat windy and chilly but the views were good.

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The boys are both faster and fitter than me but I made it down eventually, only slipping and falling over a couple of times (not particularly painful as on grass on the lower reaches but the mortification was considerable). Daniel was travelling at my slower pace and was very solicitous. I felt about 90. We came home about 4 and lit a fire and did nothing for the rest of the day which was pleasing for all of us.

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And imagine, today is only Friday, I have the whole weekend at home stretching out ahead of me. And Mr. Waffle who, alas, is going to have to work this weekend (his deadline is Wednesday and each member of our little family is counting the days), has promised to take time out to take Daniel to his match tomorrow morning and let me stay in bed. Oh hurrah. Yes, I know, he’s a saint; isn’t he lucky he married someone who really appreciates saintliness.

New Tricks

2 November, 2016 at 11:52 pm by belgianwaffle

This evening we were playing cards (snap/beggar-my-neighbour – all the sophisticated games) and when the game was over I picked up the pack, shuffled and started playing patience. I did this without really thinking. Herself and Daniel have seen me play before but this time they seemed more interested and wanted to learn the rules (possibly because it was bed time). Then they played a game each, very slowly. I commented that the more you played the more likely you were to get it out. In the slightly sanctimonious middle-aged parent manner which I am perfecting, I told them: “When I was a child and at home sick from school, there were no electronic devices and there was no daytime television, so when I got tired of reading, I used to play patience. By the end of a couple of days, I almost always got it out all the time. It seems impossible when you don’t practice, but there it is.” They were suitably impressed and trooped off to bed, determined to work on their patience playing tomorrow.

After they went up, I said to Mr. Waffle, “Did you play patience when you were sick as a child?” “No,” he replied as I laid out the cards. This time it came out. As I was stacking the cards in the pile at the top, he asked “Is that it, will it definitely come out now?” “Of course, it will, you know that” I said. “Actually,” he said, “I’ve never played patience and don’t know how to play.”* I am astounded. How could he have kept this from me? Honestly, it’s like only discovering your husband never learnt to swim 15 years into your marriage. How can a child of the 70s have developed without extensive patience experience? He muttered something about lego. I played with lego too but, really, who didn’t play patience? I am shocked to the core of my being.

Can you play patience? Seriously, can’t everybody? Even Mr. Waffle can now.

*Note that we were a good hour and a bit playing patience with Mr. Waffle giving the impression that he knew all about it before he came clean. There is some moral about gender there, I feel. It reminds me of my mother’s story about how when she was going to study in Germany in the 50s (when Germany was where it was at in terms of chemistry), her professor of chemistry in Cork summoned her to his office and said, “Now, they’ll have a lot of equipment that we don’t have here, but you just don’t say anything and you’ll learn what it is and how to work it fast enough.”

Not Entirely Satisfactory

23 October, 2016 at 7:13 pm by belgianwaffle

Mr. Waffle had to spend all weekend working. In consequence, I found myself engaged in solo front line parenting. Yesterday morning, I took Dan to hurling and shouted encouragement from the sidelines (they enjoyed a very comprehensive victory, so much so that I and another mother who was watching felt very sorry for the opposition). Yesterday afternoon, the boys had a birthday party and I dropped them in and took herself for a cup of tea. Then back into town to collect the boys. I felt like I spent most of the day running children all over the city. Mr. Waffle made dinner though; so that was very welcome.

This morning began at 7 with Daniel getting sick – though, as he said, he made it to the toilet, so it could have been worse. Poor Mr. Waffle trekked off to a meeting at 9.30 and Daniel continued peaky. I realised about 11 that he wasn’t well enough to go to mass. And we had committed to herself doing a reading and some kind of special introduction for the first communicants (local primary prepping for May) at 11.30. In the end I sent her on her own. She was bitter and, as she pointed out she got to read one of my favourite readings; you know the one, St. Paul, “I have run my race to the finish..” If she was bitter, however, Michael was delighted. I briefly contemplated sending him along with his sister but it was too much. She would be up in the choir loft; he would be alone in the congregation staring moodily at the ceiling. I did not feel it would end well.

Mr. Waffle was restored to us at lunch time but, alas, further work beckoned so I took the children out. Herself wanted to go shopping alone so, with some trepidation, I took her to town and left her with her phone in a large shopping centre. If you are of a nervous disposition, I can reassure you that all went well and she managed to spend a large chunk of money in Tiger. Much of it was spent on candles and night lights. I am not sure a) how this reconciles with her love for Marie Kondo and b) whether I entirely approve of her room being turned into a fire hazard.

The boys and I went to the Science Gallery where there was an interesting, if depressing, exhibition on design and violence. It was not perhaps entirely suitable for 11 year olds but there were a number of them there; they weren’t allowed to undergo the virtual reality solitary confinement experience. Probably for the best. Michael, at my instigation, did sit on a metal chair. It’s a cube and is delivered with it’s own sledgehammer and you batter it into a chair shape. If you pay extra, they will pre-batter it for you. I was just asking Michael whether it was comfortable (unsurprisingly, it was not) when one of the staff bounded up and asked him politely, but anxiously, to get off the exhibit. Apparently, it cost €8,000 and they were not keen for people to try it out. High concept design but not practical, I would suggest.

Michael considers a 3D printable gun – just add your own nail:

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We went to the café where both boys dutifully looked at the list of words on the wall – semantics of violence, I understand. As one of the words was boycott, I insisted on explaining about Captain Boycott; they were not fascinated. Daniel had hot chocolate and a slice of biscuit cake (much recovered from 7am vomiting) but Michael did not like anything on the menu (a frequent occurrence) and commented, “I thought something like this would happen.” Then, with the air of a conjurer pulling a rabbit from a hat, he took a lollipop from his pocket which he proceeded to suck contentedly. Cheap date.

We then took ourselves off to the Natural History Museum which was busy but appealed in a mild way to both boys. In September, they had been to a session about TH Parke whose statute is in front of the museum, so they were able to fill me in on him. Interesting man.

You probably can’t make out the relief on the statute but Daniel informs me that our man is sucking out poison from the chest of one of the others on his expedition.

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And then we all went home and poor Mr. Waffle had finally finished working. He spent an hour playing Betrayal at House on the Hill with the boys. This is a board game which the children love and Mr. Waffle and I loath so this was particularly noble. Now he is making dinner, like a saint, and tomorrow we are all back to work. Alas, alack.


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