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Reflection on Brexit

15 November, 2017 at 8:06 pm by belgianwaffle

Mr. Waffle was chatting to an English colleague about Brexit. “I can’t understand,” said Mr. Waffle, “why the political parties aren’t going after the 48% remain vote, it seems odd not to capitalise on it.” There was a long pause and then the English man said, “As treasurer of my local branch of the Lib Dems in North London, I share your bafflement.” Poor old Lib Dems.

Weekend Round-Up

12 November, 2017 at 10:50 pm by belgianwaffle

On Friday night, herself went to stay at friend’s house. I dropped her off on the way to a table quiz with former colleagues including the person who always wins pub quizzes. We won. On Saturday it was absolutely lashing. Once collected from her friend’s house in the morning and having had an hour or so to re-group at home, herself disappeared off with friends for the day. Daniel had no match (mirabile dictu). While Michael was at drama in the afternoon, Daniel, Mr. Waffle and I did some boring but necessary tasks (new football boots, wedding present, new jumpers) and then when Michael finished drama we all went to the science gallery exhibition on catastrophes which was not as thrilling as the boys had hoped. Last night Mr. Waffle and I went out to dinner and a film (Death of Stalin) which wasn’t bad but wasn’t as amazing as everyone said it was either.

This morning was mass and hockey followed by (drum roll, please) the boys’ birthday party only a month and a bit after their actual birthday on September 27. We had six 12 and 13 year old boys around (which, including our own pair, is eight boys, that’s a lot of boys). We took them down to the park where they played capture the flag and football. The weather was beautiful. When they came back to the house, they had cake and settled down to play board games until we gave them pizza about 6.30. We then fell back on charades until their parents came to collect them between 7 and 7.30. It felt a bit like 8 o’clock on Christmas night when everyone is exhausted but the mood is reasonably good. I’ve had worse birthday parties, I can tell you. Herself came back from another day in the company of friends to cast an imperious eye over the first years and eat pizza with them.

I sometimes wonder what exactly I filled my weekends with in my 20s. Possibly, shopping for a more extensive wardrobe. This is what Mr. Waffle and I wore yesterday:

Untitled

Not Biblical

11 July, 2017 at 11:54 pm by belgianwaffle

A couple of weeks ago I was cycling along in the rain and did something that I haven’t done in about 20 years. I got my bike caught in the tramlines, a deeply unpleasant experience. However, when it happened to me in Brussels, I was younger and fitter and I remember coming down quite hard. My usual cycling pace is now just faster than a walk and I knew that would be a good thing at some point. I fell over gracelessly but very slowly, sprawling full length on the damp cobbles. The only injury sustained, other than to my dignity and my coat, was a nasty bruise on my ring finger. Two passers-by rushed to help me up. As I thanked them, I recognised them as fellow parishioners.

I told Mr. Waffle about the mishap that evening. “And guess who the good Samaritans who picked me up were?” He failed to guess. I told him. “Rather, entry level good Samaritan isn’t it: someone you know from the parish, not very badly injured.” Fine.

Turn of Phrase

1 July, 2017 at 6:14 pm by belgianwaffle

When two cars have a minor collision, I refer to it as a “tip” or even “a little tip”. Mr Waffle has said that he has never heard anyone else say this and it must be a Cork expression. Can this be possible? Everyone in Cork I checked with was aware of the expression but no Dubliners. Anyone else use this outside the Pale or further afield? Answers appreciated; I’m at the desk-based research stage of this argument.

Digital Detox or Intimations of Mortality

24 June, 2017 at 10:18 pm by belgianwaffle

Did you know that my thumb started to get sore from reading things on my phone and constantly refreshing twitter and instagram? How embarrassing would it be if I gave myself arthritis from playing on my phone? So I cut back a bit. I was using my phone so much less that I went to Cork for the weekend without a charger and my phone died. I discovered that I am not ready to go entirely cold turkey either.

Then the night before the boys’ confirmation on June 9 (more details in a further post, something for you to look forward to), I was sitting peacefully on the sofa when my neck got stuck and was really, really sore. The day of the boys’ confirmation it was pretty painful and, aside from when they were in the church being confirmed, I had a heat pack on my neck the whole time. Woe, alas, alack. My neck got better but the pain spread to my back, so I went to visit a physiotherapist who suggested that basically, my problem was looking down at my phone the whole time. So further detoxing.

And then the computer died. We now have a new one, momentous day. So, with one thing and another, posting has been light. But now, with the new PC, I am back. Stay tuned.

However let me polish off my back related news in one post; Mr. Waffle slipped and fell down the stairs at work. He was spectacularly bruised and also completely immobile for ages. As he started to get better, he said to me, “I’m still sore, though, and it’s been a week since my fall. Am I old enough to say ‘my fall’ now?” I don’t think so but I suppose it’s only a question of time.

The Magic of Poetry

4 June, 2017 at 8:08 pm by belgianwaffle

Mr. Waffle is fond of Yeats’s poem, In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markievicz. He often quotes it, particularly in the summer, although it’s not a particularly summery poem overall. The other evening, Herself drifted in to us wearing her dressing gown at bedtime, “Ah,” said Mr. Waffle, “Two girls in silk kimonos, both/ Beautiful, one a gazelle.” “Huh,” said Herself, “What was the other, a badger?”

83:17

14 May, 2017 at 12:56 pm by belgianwaffle

I went to a talk recently by a distinguished American scholar on behavioural economics. It was grand. I managed to restrain myself from going up afterwards to tell him that his wife’s first cousin was a good friend of mine from school (welcome to Ireland) although based on his (possibly too extensive for his audience’s liking) introduction about his wedding, I think he would have liked that.

One of the things he mentioned in passing was that it was a rare household where when you asked husband and wife how domestic work was divided between them the total came to 100%. I decided to test this hypothesis at home.

Here are the scores that were returned.

Me – Mr. Waffle 60%: Me 40% [I was being generous]
Mr. Waffle – Mr. Waffle 50%: Me 50% [He is very right on]
Herself – Mr. Waffle 60%: Me 40% [My work is less visible than his]
Michael – Mr. Waffle 60%: Me 40% [Really, my work is less visible than his]
Daniel – Mr. Waffle 83%: Me 17% [Seriously?]

I was outraged by Daniel’s score, the root of which is clearly that my work picking up shoes, laundry and other dropped items is completely invisible. Bitter.

In a, probably not entirely helpful, development since the introduction of the American economist’s aside into our lives I have taken to saying in a bitter undervoice as I go about my alloted tasks, “All part of the 17% service.”

It’s a fun game for you all to try out at home. Let me know how you get on.


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