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The Essence of Romance

6 May, 2017 at 4:21 pm by belgianwaffle

Mr. Waffle went away for work on Thursday and came back on Friday. Sadly, this meant he missed the boys’ service of light which is part of the new super duper extended disco remix of the confirmation ceremony (they will be making their actual confirmation in June – fun fact, the Irish for confirmation is “dul faoi lámh an Easpaig” literally meaning to go under the hand of the bishop but when herself was confirmed the bishop was not available, am hoping boys will do better – I was only confirmed by an auxiliary bishop myself so we have poor form here).

The ceremony was held in the school which I was a bit dubious about but in fact it was absolutely lovely. The two violinists in the class whose progress we have been tracking over religious ceremonies for many years, have really improved, the children knew their lines, they sang beautifully and the evening sun streamed in through the tall Georgian windows and lit up the beautiful drawing room which is now the sixth class classroom and features children’s collages on the walls as well as the work of Dublin’s finest 18th century stuccadores on the ceiling. Daniel and Michael had their actual baptismal candles which I regarded as an organisational triumph but sadly I should have road tested them as the wicks were a bit short and they went out. The boys were displeased although I think more generally, they enjoyed the ceremony. Not as much as they enjoyed the Domino’s pizza beforehand though.

My sister who is recovering from an operation was well enough to come up and it was lovely to see her. The Princess came along under duress but loved it. It’s been a couple of years since she has visited the school but all the teachers and the principal have been following her progress and congratulated her on her various achievements and I think she was pleased. As it happens, two of her best friends from primary school have younger sisters in the boys’ class so they were there too and the three of them ran around the school commenting on how small the desks were. She showed me where they had written their names on the wall behind the radiator. “Where’s your name?” I asked. “Further down,” she said, “I was more scared of the authorities”.

The shopping was delivered on Thursday night and on Friday morning, I discovered that toilet paper had not been included in the delivery. I gave herself a tenner and asked her to pick some up on the way home from school. My sister offered herself a lift to school which she gratefully accepted. My sister also offered to buy toilet paper but I felt that it was too much to ask a recovering patient. Normally Mr. Waffle looks after all these things as he is self-employed and flexible (as he often points out, self-employed does not mean never has to work and can do errands but it’s an uphill battle getting that message across). The boys and I went out to the shed to pick up our bikes and I noticed that the Princess’s bike was missing. Good job her aunt gave her a lift. I texted herself, “I hope your bike is in school as it’s not in the shed.” About 11.30 she called me at work. Could I collect her as she was sick? I could not as school finishes early on Fridays and by the time I had cycled home and picked up the car, she’d have made it home under her own steam. How I missed my self-employed husband. Unable to do anything for my sick child I offered, “Look, don’t worry about picking up the toiled paper.”

She made her own way home. “Your bike was in school,” I said. “Look,” she said, “I’m not proud of this but I cycled to the library after school yesterday and locked my bike outside, then I forgot it was there and walked home.” It’s quite a step. However, the bike was still there on Friday and she was able to retrieve it and bring it home. And she bought toilet paper. I let her keep the change.

Mr. Waffle came home at 10 last night. As I said to him, he should go away more often as it helps me to appreciate him even more. As I write, he is off collecting the boys’ new bikes from a soulless shopping centre and he’s already done two loads of washing. My hero.

Unwanted Fame or the Wicked Flee where the Examiner Pursueth

30 April, 2017 at 3:44 pm by belgianwaffle

I am not in Cork this weekend but I have been for the last three which is a lot of Cork. My infirm relative quota is rising, unfortunately – more details in due course – and I have been pitching in. Related to this, Boots in Cork have been heroic. My aunt was totally on top of her medication but now, not so much. My brother swept all the medication on her desk into a bag and I took it to Boots in Wilton along with her prescription and they a) threw out all the out of date stuff b) blister packed three weeks’ worth of drugs and c) hung on to the extras (disturbing, I feel) to put in to her next prescription. I nearly hugged the pharmacist. I am not sure whether you can appreciate how obliging they were (Mr. Waffle who has heard this story three times, is still unclear) but it was a high point of my engagement with the health sector in recent weeks.

Of course, my pitching in in Cork means Mr. Waffle is solo parenting in Dublin and my children miss me, I assume, in the case of the teenager, and certainly in the case of her brothers. Mr. Waffle’s parents are not as well as they might be either and that brings its own complications.

When I go to Cork, it’s a bit stressful; lots of errands and logistics. I have pitched it thus to everyone. And this is true. Really. But last weekend, when I was there, I snuck out to the Crawford Gallery and saw their new exhibition (which is excellent, incidentally) and, I felt a bit guilty that I wasn’t constantly running so I just didn’t mention my illicit gallery break. I did tweet about the exhibition, safe in the knowledge that my family is indifferent to my tweeting and not among my 234 (gasp) followers. So I was not utterly delighted to get this email from my sister:

From: Her
To: Me

Tweets making headlines

@Belgianwaffle’s Tweet was featured in Irish Examiner

5 things to do this week
Stuck for cultural events this week? Des O’Driscoll has great suggestions for you, whether it’s tv or theatre you’re …

It’s not like it was a secret but it’s not like I was advertising my gallivanting either.

Fighting the Patriarchy

4 December, 2016 at 6:42 pm by belgianwaffle

My brother came to stay last night. He’s not a big believer in feminism; I feel if at this point my sister, my mother and I have failed to convince him, then he’s a lost cause. Herself thinks that this is a paltry attitude and seizes every chance to point out to him the error of his ways (this is a child who accuses me of being an instrument of the patriarchy when I say that green is a nice colour on her – perhaps I have done my work too well here). Anyhow, she hauled him over the coals and routed him comprehensively before breakfast.

I can’t help feeling, therefore, that it was unfortunate that, in his presence, she had to troop up to the altar this morning to do the second reading which included the line:

For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed.

In other news, I have finally finished the wretched essay.

Being Irish

6 October, 2016 at 8:57 pm by belgianwaffle

Over the summer, two rowers from west Cork won silver medals at the Olympics. The nation went crazy. I did not as I was on my summer holidays in Brittany and was not swept up in the madness.

I was on the phone to my sister who told me all about it.

Me (as the tale concluded): V. exciting. Do we know them at all as they are from Cork and we are honour bound to have a connection to all Cork people?
Her: Well, no, but their aunt is in my pilates class.

Some kind of point proved here, I feel.

Irresistible Force Meets Immovable Object

2 August, 2016 at 10:41 pm by belgianwaffle

Herself likes to argue and debate. So does my brother. She is a feminist. Despite the best efforts of three generations (his mother, his aunt, his sisters, his niece) my brother remains resistant to the idea that discrimination against women exists in any form in Ireland. He and I have been arguing about this for around 30 years and I have largely given up. Herself is made of sterner stuff. Also she and my brother really seem to enjoy the vigourous cut and thrust of debate whereas I just get cross.

In my new back seat role, I enjoyed this dispatch from the front line.

From: Herself
To: Me
Subject: If The Media Wrote About Theresa May’s Husband The Way They Write About Samantha Cameron

Am having an argument with Uncle Dan about whether institutionalised sexism exists.

Rug – Further Developments

10 February, 2016 at 8:56 pm by belgianwaffle

So, I went to Cork at the end of January and collected the rug. It was packed into an impressively small parcel:


I was able to transport it to Dublin by train with the aid of my sister’s suitcase:


I have to say that it looks pretty impressive now that it is installed:


The children and the cat absolutely and unreservedly love it and spend a lot of time digging their toes/claws into it.

I love it too. However, it brings to crisis point our need for new curtains, sofa and armchairs. When we moved into the house in 2013, we kept the faded pink regency stripe curtains and the orange chintz furniture as a stop gap measure. Already the existing colour combination was exciting but the addition of the rug has tipped us over the edge. You may not have fully appreciated this from the last photo. Have a look at this photo which still doesn’t do justice to the real thing:


It’s even more thrilling when the curtains are closed. I think the sofa will have to be first to go – at least the curtains aren’t uncomfortable.

More home decorating news as we get it.


25 January, 2016 at 6:15 pm by belgianwaffle

My sister was in India for work last week and bought me another new rug, She got me a lovely one for the hall a couple of years ago and it is lasting beautifully.


This new one which is winging its way from India as I type is much bigger though. I am filled with excitement and suitably grateful.

She said to me that she had bought the rug but I wouldn’t get any big presents until I was 50. I was cast down (though still very grateful) but then cheered at the thought that 50 wasn’t as far away as it once was. And then cast down again at the thought that 50 wasn’t as far away as it once was. It was a roller coaster, I can tell you.

I am going to Cork at the weekend to rescue the rug and bring it back to Dublin. Photos to follow. Hold on to your hats there.

Updated to add – it arrived in Cork yesterday, impressively packed.

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