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Busy Week

16 October, 2017 at 1:19 am by belgianwaffle

This week nearly killed me. We did a lot of stuff and I’m not counting school/the day job. It will have to stop or we will all keel over.

GAA for Dan; cubs for Michael (he is going to both cubs and scouts during transition to scouts); and bookclub for me.

Herself attended a “Zeminar” in the RDS. Neither myself nor Mr. Waffle could take her due to work commitments so she had to go herself on the bus which we weren’t crazy about but she managed fine. She visited stands from three Irish political parties at the conference. For Irish people, see whether you can guess which they are:
Party 1: Extremely earnest young man explained all their policies in excruciating detail.
Party 2: “You have no information about your policies up,” she said to them, “all you have is stuff about Game of Thrones”. “Ah,” they say, “you don’t want to be putting people off with the old policies.” “But,” she protested, “you are a political party, people expect you to have policies.”
Party 3: “We can help you to get ahead. We can introduce you to the Taoiseach.”

When she came home she went to the school open night so that she could impress possible incoming students and their parents with her prowess with a bunsen burner.

Michael went to scouts.

Mr. Waffle went to football.

I got sodden cycling in to work and resolved to get new rain gear at the weekend.

Herself was back at the Zeminar and afterwards she went to Bray on the Dart to see a play in a friend’s school. Daniel had training after school and I had to drive to Bray (very far away, people) to collect herself at 9.30


Herself had games club followed by a debating tournament after school and had to be collected at 8 (bitter defeat, thanks for asking). Daniel and Michael had their booster vaccinations and sore arms. On the plus side this meant Daniel didn’t go to scheduled GAA training.

The boys had games club. All three children were supposed to have French but T, our faithful tutor, was sick. Poor T, but it was a relief to have something cancelled. Mr. Waffle and I went out to see Class in the New Theatre as part of the Theatre festival (herself babysat, part of a quid pro-quo for the 90 minute drive I had to bring her safely home on Wednesday night). I thought it was only alright but I was a definite minority. It’s about working class parents meeting a middle class teacher as part of a parent-teacher meeting. Class in two ways, you see.


Daniel had a GAA match in the morning. I had a migraine. Unsurprising, frankly. Michael had drama in the afternoon. I dropped him in and bought myself a new waterproof coat while he was being dramatic. By early evening I had recovered sufficiently from my migraine to play “Capture the Flag” in a local park. I wanted to know how it worked before having 8 boys round for Daniel and Michael’s birthday and learning on the hoof (no date set, thanks for asking).

Mr. Waffle and Michael went to mass at 10 and hockey at 11. I marched the other pair up the road, running late for 11 o’clock mass. We were half way up the road when herself said, “What time is it?” “It’s already 11, we’re going to be late” I said trotting along. “But mass doesn’t start until half past.” Good point. They had choir and she did the second reading. It was a reading from St. Paul. Even after 2,000 years, his personality still comes across very clearly. Favourite line which I think will become a running joke in this family: “There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength. All the same, it was good of you to share with me in my hardships.” [Emphasis added]. The first holy communion class were there for the prayers of the faithful and so, the prayer for the dead, always a bit of a tricky one, was doomed. The child did not realise that she had to pause to allow the priest to list the names of the dead and so she ploughed on with her prayer and he ploughed on with his list until he realised there could be only one winner and let her continue. He read the list afterwards but he was clearly ground down by going mano a mano with the 8 year old at the lectern and when it came to a complex name he said, “It’s Áine Ní..M..no I can’t pronounce it, it’s something like that.” He’s not a native English speaker and it was all too much for him.

Mr. Waffle’s parents, who are very prompt, came for lunch and were sitting in their car outside the door when Mr. Waffle and Michael came back from hockey and the rest of us came back from mass. After they went home, I took the boys to see “We come from Far Far Away” which was a play for children about refugees. It was quite good actually but the boys were a bit too old for it and didn’t really enjoy it. Also, we had to sit cross legged in a yurt for the duration which is not very comfortable it you are a grown up. Or maybe that’s just me.

After this we went to Milano’s in Temple Bar for dinner as, for a birthday treat, their father had bought them tickets for the live show of “Impractical Jokers“; they are very fond of the deeply unsuitable TV show. We managed to lose the tickets between dinner and the car and had to tramp around looking for them (in vain) and then go home and reprint them which made punctual Mr. Waffle extremely tense. They arrived at 8.05 for an 8 pm start and, in fact, the warm up act still had ages to go. It was even more deeply unsuitable than the TV show but the boys loved it.

Meanwhile herself and myself were at home. A couple of her friends came round and I was able to give all of them the happy, happy news that the Department of Education had decided to close every school in the country due to the oncoming hurricane. Not a standard Irish weather feature. Then, with growing horror the realisation dawned on me that there might be an impact for grown-ups also and that my office might have to close for the day. I spent the remainder of Sunday evening consulting with colleagues, looking at weather warnings and reading runes while we collectively tried to decide whether the office should close or not tomorrow and how best to get the word out to everyone. You will, I am sure be rivetted to hear that the office is, in fact, closed tomorrow or, at this stage (it is late) today. Mr. Waffle has have brought in the bins and I have parked the car as far away from trees as possible on our tree-lined street. I have my new, guaranteed waterproof coat. My work for the week is done.* How was your own week?

*Actually, it was Open House this weekend and we usually go to see something but this year we didn’t; I’m not even sure I’m sorry.


9 October, 2017 at 5:38 pm by belgianwaffle

I went out for a leaving drinks at work recently. It was loud in the pub. I was chatting to one of my younger colleagues who has a strong Dublin accent and he said to me, “You’re looking very on-trend tonight, Anne.” “Really, do you think so?” I asked, quite pleased as, you know, I don’t think I was ever on trend really. I was just wondering whether the 90s wardrobe I was rocking had come back around into fashion when he said, “Yeah, you look exhausted.” “Sorry,” said I, “what did you say earlier?” He said, sympathetically, obviously taking pity on my advanced age, “I said that you’re looking very drained.”

Further Intimations of Mortality

25 January, 2017 at 10:52 pm by belgianwaffle

I meet a group of former colleagues for lunch regularly. The median age of the group is 40ish and I am the oldest, at 47, and the youngest is 36. We met recently and I got there a bit late. As I arrived, one of them asked, “How old are you?” “Why do you ask?” I said. “We were speculating because you were late,” they replied. I told them. “Oh really, that old we thought you were younger, except for G, she guessed you were approaching 50.” I turned reproachfully to poor G, who said, defensively, “I only said that you were looking very well for someone in her late 40s.” I understand that there are three ages: young, middle aged and “you’re looking great”. Have I really entered the last phase?

Poker Face

30 May, 2016 at 11:50 pm by belgianwaffle

A former colleague used to say to me that he liked to watch my face in dull meetings as all my emotions flicked across it. I never entirely believed that this was true and a part of me felt that I always kept a very straight face.

My belief has been undermined by a former colleague who now reports into one of my old bosses. He made a proposal to her with which she disagreed. “That’s a real [Belgiawaffle] face” he said. Apparently my name is a byword for showing exactly what you are thinking on your face. Alas.


17 February, 2016 at 11:05 pm by belgianwaffle

I had my leaving drinks at work last Friday. I was scarred by a leaving drinks I once had in Brussels where nobody came for the first hour and I hung around with a couple of colleagues until some more arrived and took the bare look off the thing. When there was a reasonable crowd, my Finnish boss came up to me and said, “Yes, I can leave now as there are finally some other people here.” I love the Finns but their frankness can be alarming.

My colleagues assured me that there would be a good crowd and I need not fear. They were right. I left event management in the hands of a colleague who is also a member of the social club and due to an unfortunate misunderstanding which was no one’s fault etc., I ended up having my leaving drinks in a sports bar. It was loud. As someone said to me, sarcastically “When I think of you, I think dozens of large screens, cricket and rap music; it’s perfect.” Another observed that it was the first time in many years that most of us had been to a venue where they were carding people coming in. But, you know what, it was absolutely fine, if a bit loud – some of the speeches may not have been heard. But that’s not necessarily all bad. People came, and they stayed and they presented me with cards and a fountain pen and a bank draft even though I explained that I was not retiring. After a while the music in the sports bar started getting louder and the strobe lights started up and the middle aged group in the corner began to look a tiny bit out of place. So we went on to the pub and I wasn’t even the last to leave.

Friday wasn’t actually my last day. I came in for three days this week as well and only finally finished today. There’s nothing like running into people in the lift on Monday when they have said an effusive goodbye to you on Friday night. It was a busy couple of days and today, in particular, was frantic but I have done my best and now that in-tray is someone else’s problem. The personal contents of my office, however, which I finally managed to decant to my car at 8.30 this evening are my problem. I am slightly appalled that I seem to have been carrying around so much paper for years including several large, heavy dictionaries.

I am sad to leave but, it was probably time for a change. I did feel sadder and sadder over the course of this afternoon as people came up to my office to say goodbye.

I have had a wonderful boss who has been very, very good to me and hugely supportive; I will particularly miss working with her and she is really sad to see me go, as well, I think. But since she told me to go for the new job; rejigged my CV for it and practice interviewed me for it, it isn’t really a massive surprise to her that I got it (she is like a juggernaut and rarely baulked; though I had my doubts I would get the job, she never did). I have a lot of friends in the organisation I’m leaving and I hope I will manage to stay in touch with some of them at least, I suppose that is the best you can hope for. Last time, I left a job, I changed country as well, this is definitely easier.

On Monday, I start the new job where, doubtless, even now, someone is happily reflecting that his or her overflowing in-tray will shortly be the new woman’s problem.

In the interim, I am feeling popular:


One of these bunches of flowers is, admittedly, from Mr. Waffle for Valentine’s day but still, it’s a pretty good haul.

Upadated to add that despite thinking my office was minimalist and nearly empty, it was not. Alas.


New Job

30 January, 2016 at 2:23 pm by belgianwaffle

I am starting a new job at the end of February. I am somewhat daunted at the prospect but reasonably pleased. I must say, I have been feeling considerably more pleased since telling my colleagues at work and getting congratulated by all and sundry. On the other hand, I have also been feeling sadder about leaving the current job where I have interesting work and lovely colleagues. On the third hand, I could probably do with a bit of a change. I see challenging times ahead though. Wish me luck.

Unusual Social Media Problems

8 November, 2015 at 9:16 pm by belgianwaffle

I have a colleague who is on Wikipedia; it’s all glamour where I work, I can tell you.

I was chatting to him about this the other day and he told me how he was talking to his cousin and his cousin asked whether he had checked his Wikipedia entry lately. He had not. He went to read it and going through it anxiously saw that it covered his career and accomplishments accurately. It finished up: “He is married with four grown-up children: Anne, John, Mary and Jane*. Jane is his favourite.”

I think she’s mine too.

*Not their real names. Protecting the guilty here.

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