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Hoist with my own Petard

18 May, 2015 at 10:27 pm by belgianwaffle

Herself is making her confirmation on Friday. It is a busy week.

As I write, Mr. Waffle is off in Helsinki. On Wednesday, he is scheduled to fly to Luxembourg. It appears that the possible Finnish air traffic strike will not now go ahead so he will not need to use his back up plan of taking the ferry to Estonia and flying to Luxembourg from there. On Thursday night, he will fly from Luxembourg to Amsterdam and then into Dublin about 11. If his Thursday work gig runs late, he is booked on to the last flight out of Luxembourg to London and then he will get the red eye from London to Dublin on Friday morning. I am mildly concerned that she will be confirmed in her father’s absence.

Mr. Waffle, having little faith in his spouse, left a highlighted note on the kitchen table this morning that a red confirmation rosette was required and then also texted me to this effect. The boys need new shirts for the event. A colleague said that herself needs a new dress; she is being confirmed in her school uniform (mercifully). On enquiry, she confirmed that other children are getting new clothes to change into. “I don’t care,” said she, “I don’t look good in neon.” What are we to make of this? And then I had to ring the guesthouse for my aunt, book a restaurant for lunch for everyone on Friday and consider where my two siblings will sleep on Thursday night. I also had fend off my sister’s queries as to what I am doing with my daughter’s hair. Apparently “getting her to wash it” is a poor response.

And then as well as all the confirmation organisation, I am doing all the things Mr. Waffle regularly does (bins, washing, GAA preparation, cleaning up after dinner) and the things we do between us (homework checking, sandwich making, chasing to bed) and my own tasks (dinner, scouts, walking the children to school). And work is busy too.

So, this evening when my very undemanding daughter – in the matter of confirmation prep, at least – reminded me that she wanted to go to confession before her Confirmation, my heart sank. I had forgotten at the weekend when confession is very handily available in almost any church you care to think of. The internet tells me that the only real possibility is going to a city centre church between 5 and 5.45 on Wednesday. Alas, fair maiden. With Mr. Waffle away this would mean bringing all three into the centre of the city at rush hour. So I hemmed and hawed and said we’d see but, I feel like the (I am sure apocryphal) mother who said her child couldn’t make the first communion ceremony because there was too much else to do on the day of the communion.

Also, the Princess tells me that she and Michael need cardboard boxes for their art class tomorrow. Because.

Easter Holidays – Part 2

20 April, 2015 at 7:19 pm by belgianwaffle

We drove back from Cork late afternoon on Holy Saturday and arrived back at about 7 with everybody tired, cranky and hungry. It was in this joyous mood that we made our way up to the Easter vigil in the Church at 9 that evening.

The vigil mass is a really beautiful service but spectacularly lengthy. The church was in darkness and we all went outside to light candles from a brazier. As we filed in to the dark, neo-gothic church with only our candles lit, it was really spectacular. Mr. Waffle, clearly feeling the weight of his role as chair of the residents’ committee, hissed to me, “Who’s taking in the brazier? Some of the locals could do real damage with that.” In the other ear, Michael sighed, “Mass isn’t even started yet, is it?” I was forced to confess, it was not. The music was really beautiful but it was hard to enjoy the service until Mr. Waffle peeled off with the two boys about 10. The Princess and I stayed until it ended at 11 but all in all probably not an experience I would repeat for a while.

On Easter Sunday we had my parents-in-law around for lunch and it all passed off relatively well although my father-in-law had left his lights on and there was some fun with jump leads before they could leave.

Easter Monday was a beautiful day and we decided to go into town to look at the various activities associated with commemorating the 99th anniversary of the Easter Rising. Town was heaving and O’Connell Street boasted a number of attractions which would have been all fine and dandy if there hadn’t been huge queues and a constant fear of losing a child.



In the afternoon, we decided to take a drive to somewhere quieter and went to walk up the Hill of Slane. We discovered that there is no walk up to the Hill of Slane. The car park is about 200 metres from the site but it was tranquil and relatively empty after the chaos of the morning.

2015-04-06 16.42.20


We went into the town looking for a cup of tea and ended up having dinner in the Conyngham Arms which was lovely. We sat outside in the walled garden in the sunshine feeling very pleased with ourselves. On the wall, the hotel is described as having the best service in Leinster and I’m not surprised. Our waitress was a heroine meeting our endless ketchup demands with extraordinary cheerfulness.

More soon. Maybe.

The Glory that was Greece, the Grandeur that was Rome

23 March, 2015 at 11:52 pm by belgianwaffle

The other day, I was wondering aloud how the Romans did all the maths they needed for their engineering achievements in those very cumbersome Roman numerals. Mr. Waffle tells me that they did the difficult bits in Greek numbers and then translated them back into Roman numerals at the end.

Did you know that already? I am rather surprised about the numbers of my friends who did Greek in school, it turns out it’s useful for odd conversations in your 40s. A friend’s wife said something quite innocent about some word possibly coming from the Greek for horse and she was instantly corrected by her husband and mine who said, “No, hippos is a horse*.” Reporting, this rather disapprovingly, to some other friends, it turned out that they had studied Greek also and one of them said wistfully, “Greek was my favourite subject.” She is not the kind of person I would have thought of as a lover of ancient Greek but it just goes to show how little we know of our friends. I suppose at this stage you could count on the fingers of one hand the numbers of children anywhere studying ancient Greek except maybe in Greece.

Bonus prize for you, if you know how the Greeks did their numbers. I can stop any time.

*This is very unlike both of them and I can only attribute it to the lasting power of Greek teaching in the Irish school system.

Mr Waffle’s Birthday

19 March, 2015 at 10:32 pm by belgianwaffle

Today is Mr. Waffle’s birthday.  We made him a cake.

Me (at breakfast) : You will never guess where we have hidden the cake.

Him: Let me think.  In the oven?

Me: Nope, you will never, never guess in a million years.

Him: Hmm, maybe in the tumble dryer?

Me: Yes.

How could he guess?  I have never hidden a cake in the tumble dryer before.  What, do you think I am weird or something?

So, Mr Waffle, another year older and also psychic.

Broadband – Our Ongoing Saga

18 March, 2015 at 11:08 pm by belgianwaffle

Another depressing message from Mr. Waffle on the broadband:

Another 10 days before we get broadband…
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: <getmore@eircom.ie>
Date: 16 Mar 2015 12:50
Subject: Your eFibre & eVision installation appointment
To: Mr. Waffle

Account Number: XX


Thank you for choosing eircom. Your eFibre and eVision installation appointment is 26 March AM.

In the interim, poor Mr. Waffle has taken to lugging his modem home from work which is good for us but only in the evening. Poor Michael, you should have seen his appalled visage when I told him that it would be 10 days before the internet and television were restored. I asked if I could take a picture of his sad face for the blog but he seemed to regard this as an unwelcome and tactless intervention, so you will have to use your imagination.

More on our Broadband

15 March, 2015 at 3:13 pm by belgianwaffle

Because, unlike eircom, you care.

I was in Scotland last week for work (rainy, but interesting, thanks for asking) and I got this pathetic message from Mr. Waffle on March 11.


Hope your night out went OK. Just to say that UPC seems to have withdrawn service – neither TV nor Internet work. Still no news from Eircom…

Since then, the eircom technician has come. Pause to appreciate that. True, Mr. Waffle had to work from home for a third day but the technician came on Friday 13th. Unfortunately, he is only phase one of operations and another person has to come now. Date unclear as they cannot yet give us an appointment, but I am willing to bet you that it will not be before the national holiday on March 17.

In the absence of TV and internet, the children have been thrown upon a combination of their own resources and the DS for entertainment. None of us is sure how long this will be sustainable.

I am writing this from the broadband heaven that is my parents’ house in Cork. I am not sure what appetite I will have to blog from the 3G on my phone when I return to Dublin, so there may be a hiatus here. Or, at least, pretty short posts. I know, it’s a worry, you’re on the edge of your seat out there.

Carlingford Again

14 March, 2015 at 7:05 pm by belgianwaffle

As I was away on the day of my birthday, Mr. Waffle and I decided to take Thursday off work and go for a walk together as a birthday celebration for me.

We went to Carlingford. It can be really beautiful up there. It was not beautiful on Thursday. It lashed rain; that rain that hits the ground and then bounces back up again and hits you from underneath. We abandoned our plans for a walk and went to the Heritage Centre in the old Protestant church. It was fine as these things go but limited. Standing in the church graveyard in the driving rain looking at the gravestones, I couldn’t help feeling that it was all going rather poorly. This was before I stood on a large sloping, slate gravestone to examine the inscription in more detail. Slate is quite slippy in the rain and I managed to hit my knee, shoulder and the side of my face as I went down. No serious injury but mild pain, humiliation and misery.

Then we went for lunch. We went to Fitzpatrick’s. It was recommended by a friend. It didn’t really do it for me. Mr Waffle described it as “Johnny Fox’s North” and that was about the size of it. Food was fine; big quantities and decor very touristy. Unfortunately, I then proceeded to succumb to a migraine to add the icing to that particular birthday cake.

Alas. Let us hope that the rather inauspicious beginning is not an omen for the year.

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