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28 November, 2016 at 7:55 pm by belgianwaffle

House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton

If you are hoping for actual mirth, go elsewhere.  A description of Lily Bart’s descent of the social scale.  It didn’t encourage me to try more Edith Wharton.

“A Dance with Dragons” by George RR Martin

If you like this stuff, it will keep you going.  I am not a massive fan but I find fantasy stories moderately entertaining in general and this falls into that camp.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” by JK Rowling

It’s a play.  If you can get over that, it’s alright.  Better on stage than on the page, I imagine.

The Light Years“, “Marking Time” and “Confusion” all by Elizabeth Jane Howard

I am loving this series of books about an upper middle class English family, the Cazalets. The first book begins in the mid 30s and I’ve just got as far as the end of the war.  I am feverishly waiting for the library to contact me and tell me that they’ve got in volume four.  I cannot recommend this series highly enough and don’t know how I managed to miss it until now.

Vinegar Girl” by Anne Tyler

This is a retelling of “The Taming of the Shrew”.  I like Anne Tyler’s books very much but this one is, frankly, a bit forgettable.

The Taming of the Shrew” by Shakespeare

I went back and reread the play after reading “Vinegar Girl”.  If you ask me, it’s nothing to write home about.

Love and Other Man Made Disasters” by Nicola Doherty 

This is a sweet, funny romantic tale for teenagers.  I really enjoyed it; not my normal cup of tea and I should caveat that the author is nearly related to me but that would not make me lie to you.  I am told it would make an excellent stocking filler for the young teen in your life.

Bedsit Disco Queen” by Tracey Thorn

A surprisingly entertaining autobiography by one half of the band Everything but the Girl.

Sic Transit or Slightly Glum Sunday Night Reflections

13 November, 2016 at 9:48 pm by belgianwaffle

This year for the first time in years, we didn’t go to the Dublin book festival – the children are getting just a little bit big for it. They’ve been to the book doctor (great service) loads of times. All of the events seemed to be aimed at younger children and even last year, they felt a bit old. And then, this year, culture night didn’t quite hit the spot – maybe because I had to bail out early to travel to Cork but maybe because they’re getting bigger. I am, however, forcing them all to go on a 1916 tour so some family culture is still available. Also, herself wants to go to the Nutcracker at Christmas. I am hesitating; I’m just not sure that it will be a winning family outing. A couple of weeks ago, at her request, I took her to see a thing on Shakespeare at the Royal Irish Academy. It was tough going for me but she seemed to really enjoy it. Can’t see it ever being a family outing though.

And then we are finally replacing our car which we bought in Belgium in 2005 – yes steering wheel on the wrong side but not as awkward as you might expect. As we were looking at makes, we found ourselves reflecting that this might be our last family car, if we hang on to it for 6 or 7 years as at that stage the children will all be in college which is a terrifying prospect. Looks like it does go by quickly after all.


9 November, 2016 at 6:06 pm by belgianwaffle

2016 is the year that keeps on giving in this regard, is it not?

I was away last night for work so I woke in my hotel room to the news that Donald Trump is to be president of the US. It seems extraordinary that the people who gave us 8 years of Barack Obama have now given us Donald Trump.

In other current affairs news, the Princess, who confidently expected her teachers to be on strike for weeks, was gutted when we got a text message at 9.30 last night saying that the school was reopening today. She is still readjusting to the new reality. Aren’t we all?


8 November, 2016 at 10:55 pm by belgianwaffle

My friend from Belfast was telling me about his friend also from Belfast who has moved into the top floor of an old Georgian house. His friend has loads of books and the movers found getting the stuff up to the top floor very trying. Towards the end of the day, the man who was moving house, found one of the movers lying on the floor saying, “I can’t take it anymore, don’t make me move another box.” “Typical Belfast labourer,” snorted my friend.

Somehow, if you’d asked me what a typical Belfast labourer was like, I would have said words like, tough and hardworking. I don’t think my expectation would be that they would lie down on the floor and give up. It just goes to show that stereotyping is misleading.

The Migraineur or a Victorian Afternoon

5 November, 2016 at 7:33 pm by belgianwaffle

I woke up this morning with a migraine and after a trip to the shops to buy bread this morning, gave up the effort and went back to bed and didn’t get up again until an hour ago. Alas. I feel alright now but not fantastic. The light of the screen is making my eyeballs a bit sore. Don’t say I’m not devoted to this NaBloPoMo. I trust that by tomorrow, I will be restored to full health. Something for all of us to look forward to.


1 November, 2016 at 8:28 pm by belgianwaffle

Yes, indeed, it is November and National Blog Posting Month is upon us. I checked my archives and I have been doing this since 2006. Mr. Waffle who, among his other duties, is chair of the residents’ committee is, as I write, holding a meeting in the kitchen. This means I am kneeling while typing as they needed all the chairs. Truly, my dedication knows no bounds. Herself says I am typing like a meerkat. More to follow. All month long.

At A Time When It Was Neither Profitable Nor Popular

6 August, 2016 at 10:12 pm by belgianwaffle

I’ve been blogging for a long time. However, the only people I have ever met through blogging have been a couple of people who blogged on the platform I started on. It was called 20six and it has long since disappeared off the internet forever [actually, is that even possible?] but it was my first blogging community and it still has a place in my heart.

So, it was lovely when Heather, one of those 20sixers, contacted me to say that she and her husband would be in Ireland and could we meet again. I followed her blog for years. Sadly she has stopped blogging which is such a pity as she was a talented writer; moving, interesting and hilarious by turns. I say this here because when I met her, it was so exciting to talk about her life and what other bloggers were doing that I forgot entirely to say please go back to writing. Twitter is all very well in its way but it’s just not the same. I’ll say it when I see her next; she and her husband enjoyed the best weather of the summer in Ireland so I feel that we might be able to persuade them to come back.

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