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Archive for November, 2004

Back on the chain gang

29 November, 2004 at 9:46 pm by belgianwaffle

7.00 Alarm clock goes off

7.10 Husband gets into shower

7.30 Husband has breakfast

7.50 Husband asks whether I had better get up

7.55 Drag myself from bed and stand in shower while husband feeds and dresses toddler

8.24 Leave house in car.

8.45 Reach end of road.

9.00 Deposit precious infant in creche. Infant is, frankly, reluctant.

9.30 Arrive in office. Work a bit. Mostly drink tea. Quiet and kind of pleasant.

5.00 Leave office – look it was my first day and it was quiet and dammit, I’m the boss,I can leave when I like – and drive to creche (husband has, alas, gone on a work trip)

5.30 Arrive at creche. Pick up unhappy infant. It appears that she has not wished to eat the fruit which was offered for her afternoon snack and she is distinctly peckish. Creche staff assure me that she has been happy as a sandboy (or girl, I suppose) all afternoon and danced away to music with them. Be that as it may, she is not happy now.

5.35 Depart creche with unhappy baby and discover to my horror that the stash of crackers I keep in the car for just such emergencies as this is sadly depleted. Hand over last cracker.

5.55 Reach the end of the road on which the creche is situated.

6.10 Reach home.

Conversation on the journey has gone as follows:

Princess: Bikkit, bikkit, bikkit!

Me: I’m afraid that you’ve had the last one, sweetheart.

Princees: Bokkle, bokkle, bokkle!

Me: I haven’t got a bottle with me, my angel.

Princess: Giga, giga, GIGA!

Me: Um, I haven’t any Liga either, I’m afraid.

Repeat to fade.

6.11 Give the Princess a Liga.

6.12 Stick dinner in the oven.

6.13 Change infant.

6.20 Lay table, peer at dinner to see whether reheated yet, placate baby with crackers.

6.40 Eat dinner. Persuade infant to try some reheated lasagne

7.00 Clear table and wipe remains of lasagne from wooden floor. Regret that landlord chose not to revarnish the floor before we moved in.

7.15 Look at photo album with infant (she likes that, she gets to see her grandparents).

7.25 Bath.

7.45 Bed.

I’m a shadow of my former self, I can tell you.


on 29 November 2004 at 22:11

You are wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. 1 Sweetie(s) given


on 29 November 2004 at 22:20

What’s a Liga?
It doesn’t get any better as they get older. Feeds and dresses toddler is replaced with nag child to get showered and dressed, ensure child has all needed for school before stepping out the door. In the evening creche is replaced with afterschool club, you need to add placate child to get homework done, rush to swimming/ trampoline/ choir etc. Nag child to get teeth brushed and jammas on etc. You get the jist.


on 29 November 2004 at 22:20

true heather

Friar Tuck

on 30 November 2004 at 00:23

Re: reaching end of road. Wonderful use of figurative language.
Despair not. It will get better… unless it doesn’t.


on 30 November 2004 at 01:49

Enormous round of applause. Squeezing the day dry (I wish I was as productive)…..


on 30 November 2004 at 12:40

Well it sounds like your day only got busy around half 5, which isn’t too bad. Bit confused about the ‘I’m the boss’ bit – is that just what you’re telling yourself? Or have I somehow missed you starting up a company….how exciting.ps – by God, I used to love Liga.

pub exec

on 30 November 2004 at 13:50

Well done waffle in law. Hope it gets easier …


on 01 December 2004 at 22:01

Bobble, Heather, Demlov, Mike you are very kind. And HJB, a sweetie too, I’m overwhelmed. Stroppy cow, you’re scaring me – and what do you mean what’s a Liga? It’s a biscuit, a staple of childhood for generations (well I had them when I was little anyway and so did Locotes, I see). FT, hah. You know you’re relying on me to rescue you from your LJS mess. No Loc, I haven’t started my own company, it’s just that I run the local office and my bosses are far, far away.
Pub exec, yeah, getting better now that your brother is back from his travels.

Fancy food

28 November, 2004 at 10:35 pm by belgianwaffle

When we mention things the Princess likes, she tends to demand them, e.g.

Me to Mr. W: Those biscuits we bought for Christmas last year were very nice.

Princess (ad nauseum): Bikkit? Bikkit? Bikkit! Bikkit!

So we spell exciting things, for example “have we got a b-o-t-t-l-e of wine for tonight?”

But she seems to have twigged that spelling involves things she likes so hence this evening as we persuaded her that she should try eating the slop we were offering:

“We have some s-a-l-m-o-n in the fridge, will we give it to her, if we’re desperate?”

Princess (cutting across her father): Yes, yes, yes.

Yes, my child likes smoked salmon.  Yeah, and if you think that’s odd, you should see her with venison.  When we were in Cork we had venison for dinner the night before we left and she really liked it.  There’s a child with notions.  So, anyway, I brought some cold venison on the plane for her lunch but, you know, I didn’t fancy saying on the plane “Would you like some venison, dear?” – yes, I have a sense of shame, why do you ask? – so I said “would you like some cold beef?”   She peered at the meat.  She took it in her chubby paw.  She chewed it. She spat it out and stuck it back in her mouth and then once she had swallowed said firmly and clearly “benison”.


on 28 November 2004 at 22:38

smoked salmon is nice


on 28 November 2004 at 22:49
Comment Modified) Mashed apple just doesn’t cut it in your house I guess?


on 29 November 2004 at 00:46
Comment Modified) Only as a garnish to pork steak probably… 😉


on 29 November 2004 at 09:24

Never been too partial to the benison myself – give me the pork products any day. I get the sense herself could be a high-maintenance girlfriend in later life…


on 29 November 2004 at 11:50

She has such style! 1
Sweetie(s) given


on 29 November 2004 at 21:30

Hmm, I dunno Jojo, she is also very fond of olives. Is my baby the reincarnation of some deceased dedicated posh partyer?
Well, yes, demolition lover, smoked salmon is nice, but for a toddler? Bobble and JD, clearly not and frankly, Bobble as someone who is part Italian, it ill behoves you to frown at fancy eating. Locotes, must point out that among her less exalted tastes are “sausages!” and “bacon, bacon, bacon!” Norah, a sweetie, you are a kind and generous soul.


on 29 November 2004 at 23:29

See see, I try and pretend to be British and fit in and, and… No, give them watered down wine – always worked in our house.


on 01 December 2004 at 14:54

We knew that, waffle – why else would she be called Princess?


on 01 December 2004 at 22:05

Bobble, I like that. Pog, you are right, as always..


28 November, 2004 at 3:29 pm by belgianwaffle

We arrived and as we flew in to Cork airport, I said to my daughter, look that’s Cork. “Nana!” she said. “Yes” I confirmed.

We landed and waited for our luggage. “Nana?” she asked in irrate tones.  “In a minute” I said.

We came out and there she was, Nana, conversation as follows:

Nana: Hello my darling.

Me: Hello Mum.

Nana (Ignoring me and my intervention) : How’s my little girl?

Princess (in tones of febrile excitement): Nana, Nana, Nana!!

Me: Hmmph.

Nana: Oh hello dear. Your father has parked outside and we have to ring him on your mobile to find where he is.

Me: What? But I have no credit on my Irish mobile.

Nana: Oh well, I’ll just walk up and down the carpark until I find him, you go and top up your phone (departs leaving me muttering darkly).

Princess (to her grandmother’s retreating form in most distressed tones): Nana, Nana, NANA, NANA.

Go to airport shop. No top up cards.

Princess screams “NANA, NANA, NANA!”

Go to card vending machine – it is out of order.

Princess screams “NANA, NANA, NANA!”

Go to another machine, it refuses to take my money.

Princess screams “NANA, NANA, NANA!”

Go to payphone. It will not take coins in any of the denominations in my purse.

Princess screams “NANA, NANA, NANA!”

At that moment my mother returned.

Princess is ecstatic “Nana” she says approvingly. “Good.”

“I’ve found your father but I’m going to the bathroom before we leave. He’s up there” says my mother gesturing vaguely.

The Princess bursts into tears and she and I venture out into the car park with her wailing “NANA, NANA, NANA!”

We find my father. “Look,” I say “your grandfather”.

She looks at him dubiously and then says “Nana? Nana? NANA!”

“Hello dear” says my father nervously “where’s your mother?”.

“Well that’s what we all want to know” says the Princess (or words to that effect).

Anyway after that initial excitement, we all went home and the Princess continued her bonding with my mother. We had a relatively quiet week but very pleasant. The Princess who can be a picky eater at home took everything her grandmother laid in front of her with gusto. Alas, she slept poorly, but I suppose you can’t have everything.  Didn’t see anyone other than my parents, my aunt and the heart surgeon. The heart surgeon is pregnant and her baby is due in March. Circumstances have determined that within two weeks of the birth of her first child she will have to travel to the US for job interviews.  A terrifying prospect but one which she views with relative equanimity. She uttered the immortal words “how hard can it be?”  Oh how we laughed.

And that’s it really.  Quiet but pleasant.

Start my new job on Monday. Had an away day on Friday which was reasonably pleasant but getting my feet under the desk on Monday will be…interesting.


on 28 November 2004 at 17:05

A job!!! Despite the hair-do?


on 28 November 2004 at 17:26

Good luck Waffly, you won’t need it. 1
Sweetie(s) given


on 28 November 2004 at 19:12

I’m starting to miss Nana myself after all that. So you didn’t get out and about much? Ah well, a break in the homeland is rejuvenating enough. Despite no pleas for free papers. Again. One of these days you’ll be desperate to find out cinema times or what’s new on the Kinsale Road Flyover – and I’ll laugh…Ahem. But good luck with the job!


on 28 November 2004 at 22:05

Great to see you back, Waffle. Lots of luck for tomorrow – you’ll be brilliant, absolutely brilliant.


on 28 November 2004 at 22:23

MDW: Yes, this is a VERY valuable lesson in how not to alienate your daughter…though it does seem to lead to enormous affection from grandchild, so swings and roundabouts, I suppose.
JD, Bobble, HJB, Loc: thanks for all the finger crossing (and also the sweetie B)- I think I will feel better once tomorrow is over…
Loc, but I DID want the Examiner. Had I known that all I had to do for a free copy was contact you, I wouldn’t have had to shell out vast sums.


on 29 November 2004 at 08:56

Well there you go – you’ll know in future. A bit worried about this ‘vast sums’ business – how many bundles are you buying?! Or are you getting your hands on those black market hush hush copies that tell the future news before it happens…very handy for the bookie…


on 01 December 2004 at 22:04

Well, loads of bundles obviously, I mean, you know as an antidote to the Irish Times (which had half a page on a Dun Laoghaire sculpture on Saturday incl large photo of same – national paper pah!).

Part the Twelfth

19 November, 2004 at 8:46 pm by belgianwaffle

The hooded figure slid past Bobble’’s recumbent form and oozed down the stairs. Norah had seen nothing, as she was watching Lazy Jack Silver. He stirred in his sleep and muttered some more. Norah stood watching him, unaware of the sinister figure looming behind her. A razor-sharp blade glittered in the candle-light.

Suddenly Lazy Jack Silver sat bolt upright, his eyes fixed on the apparition. Norah started, as the blade slashed through empty air where she had been a split-second before. She stared in horror – a Budget Cutter ! The scourge of healthcare everywhere ! She grabbed a chair and threw it at the figure, but the chair went straight through it as if through a cloud. The Budget Cutter merely smiled ghoulishly as it waved its blade. Norah and Lazy Jack Silver both backed away from it, but they were being pushed into a corner and no escape seemed possible.

Suddenly a voice was heard “Boccle ? Doggy ?” The Princess stood at the top of the stairs, holding her mother’s hand. The Budget Cutter froze, and dropped its knife. “Boccle?” The Budget Cutter shuddered and began to disintegrate into cloudy wisps. Within a few seconds all that was left was the knife and a nasty smell of mould.

“Yes, dear, I’’ll get you a bottle” said Waffle. “Merci” said Princess.

Friar Tuck

on 21 November 2004 at 21:44

*voice from nowhere*
Yes, I’d agree with heather if I had not disintegrated.


on 21 November 2004 at 22:59

It’s okay Friar Tuck, we’ll get on to it. Norah the scientist may very well have an antidote to this – we need to get you some girl action before you disintegrate.

Friar Tuck

on 22 November 2004 at 04:52

I hope the Pope doesn’t read this blog!
* as an angry mob with torches and pitchforks begin building a bonfire in front of my house *


on 22 November 2004 at 09:00

Why is he going to want some girl action too? Or are you worried that you may not become Cardinal Tuck?


on 22 November 2004 at 12:17

Seems to me like a sure-fire way of becoming at least a bishop.. if the Casey scenario plays true


on 22 November 2004 at 12:48

Hang on a minute. Are we sure that the shrouded figure was Friar Tuck? Since when was he a Budget Cutter (v clever, by the way, M’sieur Waffle)? Is this figure not an ‘extra’? And I am unsurprised by The Princess’s magical powers ….

Friar Tuck

on 27 November 2004 at 02:31

I’m in charge of cleaning his keyboard. I hate it when he drools.


on 03 December 2004 at 22:25

You will see that Friar Tuck has been restored to you all. Rejoice. Consider it an early Christmas present.


18 November, 2004 at 8:59 pm by belgianwaffle

Oh hello, I didn’’t see you there. I just came in to check the curtains were drawn in the blog – it’s pretty chilly out there and I didn’t want the place to get cold.

Sorry ? No, stay as long as you like – I’ll just potter around for a minute, then I’’ll leave you in peace. Yes, they arrived safely – the Princess is most pleased with her loyal subjects in Cork. Apparently she got to go on a Bob the Builder car outside the supermarket… no, one of the ones for kids where you put a coin in.

The weather ? Bucketing, apparently – same as Brussels. But they’’re having a good time, as far as I can tell. Her grandparents are delighted to see her and the Princess is eating vast amounts.

Me ? Oh, I’’m fine. Yes, it might seem as if I had a week of freedom – but it’’s still a bit grim when you come back to an empty flat. Well, since you ask I did go out to the pub last night but it was still a school night so I was home by 10.30… Anyway, I’’ll let you get on with it.

Sorry ? Well, I might look in tomorrow but I don’t know if it would be a good idea to change too much.

What do you mean by “just a bit ?”

I see. – I don’t know if that would be a good idea …Well, yes, obviously I could keep things ticking over, but it’s her blog and I’’d feel nervous…update Lazy Jack Silver ? Who sent you ? What do you want from me ? Get out !

Friar Tuckon 19 November 2004 at 05:16

A post! My life has meaning again!

Mrs. Waffleon 19 November 2004 at 11:01

Don’t think that I’m not watching you. My spies are everywhere. Pick up that dirty glass.

poggleon 19 November 2004 at 12:06

And be careful where you put your feet – there are priceless drafts of Booker-prize-winning novels all over the place, you know!

NorahSplogon 19 November 2004 at 12:12

Hmmm… Mrs Waffle doesn’t do it like that.

Friar Tuckon 19 November 2004 at 17:41
Hey, they have computers and the Internet in Cork! Who knew? Do the computers there run on electricity, or are they still the horse-drawn variety?
on 19 November 2004 at 20:50This may be very bad for our marriage, but I couldn’t help it. Fans of Lazy Jack Silver will find a new update. Fans of the Princess will find a new photo. I may have to find a new flat …
Mr Waffle
belgianwaffleon 28 November 2004 at 15:07

Mr. Waffle has just been let back in. It was raining out there. I am not entirely heartless.

Comments jackdalton on 16 November 2004 at 15:25So does this mean he finds out about you and the “hot”, young, Cork-lovin’ Locotes? 🙂 Friar Tuck on 16 November 2004 at 16:52You can count on us to behave ourselves! *tee hee* Locoteson 16 November 2004 at 16:53What do you mean find out about me? I’m here in the public domain at all times – no sneaking about under cover of darkness here. No sir. And I’m not sure I appreciate the use of quotes around ‘hot’ either – anyone would think you don’t quite believe that jack…Anyway waffle, when do you leave? Or have you left? In which case I’m talking to myself….ahem… *sidles away* Beth(Homepage)on 16 November 2004 at 18:03 You take more vacation than anyone I know – although being American that isn’t saying much. *jealous* poggleon 17 November 2004 at 14:10Is that wise, waffle? I mean, is he tidy? Or is he likely to laze about drinking all your booze and leaving dirty glasses and plates all over the place? belgianwaffleon 28 November 2004 at 15:06I’m back. I fear poor LJS suffered in my absence but otherwise all seems well.. jackdaltonon 28 November 2004 at 17:02See… you weren’t missed at all 😛 belgianwaffleon 01 December 2004 at 22:05JD, hmm.

Linnaean classification

13 November, 2004 at 10:25 pm by belgianwaffle

Princess is taken from the bath. “Fish, fish” she says to me. “Where’s that plastic fish?” I ask her father. “Don’t know”. “Poisson, poisson” she says to him in increasingly unhappy tones. “Look” I say “have this”.� It’s a little container. “It’s not a fish” says Mr. Waffle. “No but it has a picture of a fish on the bottom” I say. “No, it hasn’t” he says. I point to the picture of a whale on the bottom. “Yes, I know” he says “but that isn’t a fish, it’s a cetacean”. “A what?” I say. Princess�claws for the container. “You know, a mammal. Whales are mammals, like dolphins”. Princess looks at him with an arrested look and he says to her “une baleine est un grand mammifère”. “Maifer” she says to me solemnly, pointing at the whale.

lauren35on 15 November 2004 at 20:26

Just to confuse her even more, tell her that “papa est aussi un grand mammif?re” …

poggleon 16 November 2004 at 12:28

You got me giggling, again, waffle. I love the princess.

belgianwaffleon 16 November 2004 at 14:33

Mike, I like that approach a lot. Lauren, your suggestion also has a lot going for it. Pog, am sure your laughter is sympathetic.

Bobbleon 16 November 2004 at 14:49

Has she started doing your cryptic crosswords yet?

poggleon 16 November 2004 at 15:25

Of course it is, waffle. Sympathetic and awestruck.

Disney Princesses

13 November, 2004 at 10:11 pm by belgianwaffle

In the toy shop.

Princess identifies Disney toy doll “Sow Ite, Sow Ite”.

Me to Mr. Waffle “Look, that’s the first brand she’s recognised”.

Mr. Waffle “Snow White isn’t a brand she’s the heroine of a popular fairy tale”.

Who’s he trying to kid here?


A slight backlog

13 November, 2004 at 10:09 pm by belgianwaffle

Mr. W : Have you read “American Pastoral” yet?

Me: No, it’s on the bedside table.

Mr. W: But, it’s been there for years.  Philip Roth has written two more books in the time that book’s been sitting on your bedside table.

Culture Vultures

13 November, 2004 at 2:31 pm by belgianwaffle

In the morning we went to an exhibition on tattoos. It also threw in some alarming body piercings for good measure. In the afternoon we took in an exhibition on 25 typical Bruxellois. It included a profile of a Madam Pipi. I feel this is not a profession which is well known in the anglophone world. We were led to this by the admirable Thierry who is my source of information on all that is going on in the Belgian capital.  Finally, we went to an exhibition of pre-colombian art which was sponsored by my bank and we got in free. I think that this was the first time I got something for nothing from my bank, so let’s celebrate that. The exhibition featured quite a number of large stone phalluses and I couldn’t help feeling the mother and teenage son team making their way round weren’t having a great time with these.


on 13 November 2004 at 22:03

Stop being all American. We know what you Bush lovers are like.

Friar Tuck

on 14 November 2004 at 19:40


Romance, Glamour and Excitement

13 November, 2004 at 12:52 pm by belgianwaffle


Mr. Waffle and I went out to dinner last night in our favourite restaurant in Brussels.  It is small and full of velvet and mirrors and the food is fabulous.  It was cold and wet outside.  It was warm and candlelit inside. We held hands.  We stopped talking about the Princess for minutes at a time.


For the night that was in it, I wore a rather daring (but subtle) outfit that I haven’t donned in a while. The babysitter (a middle aged Polish lady) raised her eyebrows, Mr. Waffle admired and the rather older gentlemen sitting on either side of us in the restaurant peered.


When we came home, herself was up and playing with the babysitter. I took her into my arms and Mr. Waffle drove the babysitter home. I hadn’t even had time to take off my coat when the Princess vomited all over me – getting coat, outfit and, for good measure, boots.  Pausing only briefly to consider how many florets of broccoli she had swallowed whole, I began to mop up. When Mr. Waffle returned, it was to find his wife clad in a distinctly unglamourous dressing gown and playing with a wide-awake baby in the marital bed. Although she had been a bit upset at vomiting, within minutes she was her usual chirpy self. As a vomit veteran, she bounces back quickly.

Attempts to persuade madam that she might be better off in her own bed were unavailing, so the next hour was spent picking up doggy from the floor and passing the Princess from parent to parent before, finally, we all collapsed from exhaustion.


on 13 November 2004 at 17:00

A simple case of seeing off any possible opposition, by the sound of it…. 😉 1
Sweetie(s) given

Friar Tuck

on 13 November 2004 at 19:14

bw, see what you’ll be missing when you go back to work!
jd, as plausible as your theory sounds, it never worked with any of my dates.


on 13 November 2004 at 22:02

Sweeties and sympathy. Just what I needed. Thank you.

LRB personals

11 November, 2004 at 2:15 pm by belgianwaffle

It’s been a while since we’ve had one of these. How about this:

“Don’t reply to this ad if you are now or have ever been a T.A. reservist. Orienteering is neither big nor clever, and no-one in your department at work ever calls you captain. You know who you are. F., 36. Box no. 20/13″I see that the mean old editorial staff are not giving out the bottle of champagne for best ad this week as “this issue is the first of the LRB’s 25th Anniversary editions. As a result advertisers are asked to get over themselves for uno momento whilst we keep this issue’s champagne for an office jolly.”


on 11 November 2004 at 14:50

Yes. What she said.


on 11 November 2004 at 15:37




on 11 November 2004 at 16:49

How topical – want the list of things in this post that I didn’t understand? 🙂


on 12 November 2004 at 12:57

Actually to be fair to the personals in the LRB, they are all wonderful. Hilarious. They should sell them separately. Beth, I suspect you are baffled by the TA which is the territorial army, I think. Further guesswork here but could it correspond to US reservists?

Arts and crafts

11 November, 2004 at 1:43 pm by belgianwaffle

Princess picks up a leaf and puts it in her trailer. I take it out saying it’s a bit shabby and she picks up another one.  Finally we have a trailer full of leaves that meet my stict criteria.

We go home and get out a sheet of paper and a glue stick. The Princess chews meditatively on the glue stick. I arrange the leaves in pretty patterns on the page. The Princess refuses to surrender the glue stick. I remove it from her by main force and use it to stick my pretty leaves on the sheet of paper. She wails throughout the procedure. I return the glue stick to her. She chews on it while removing my prettily patterned leaves from the page and wiping them one by one on her tights. There is a brief tussle wherein I use my superior force to remove from her little fists leaves, paper and glue stick.

When she goes for her nap, I stick back all the leaves on the paper, write her name and the date on the end of the sheet and hang it on the wall.

Is there something wrong with this picture?


on 11 November 2004 at 13:51

Nope – not that I can see.
(That leaf she chose first was pretty manky.)


on 11 November 2004 at 13:59

She’ll sue. She will you know.


on 11 November 2004 at 15:55

nah, she’s learning the valuable lesson that if you want something doing properly you’ve got to do it yourself…

Friar Tuck

on 11 November 2004 at 16:41

Art critics can be difficult that way.


on 12 November 2004 at 12:56

I fear that Pog has the right of it, but I like the way the rest of you are thinking.

Gainful employment

10 November, 2004 at 11:36 am by belgianwaffle

I appear to have secured gainful employment. I will be starting at the end of the month. I may even like the job.  I have already begun to spend my first month’s salary.  You may congratulate me.

So this will be a big change for me and my girl.  Princess will be spending her days in the creche and I will be rejoining the world of adults.  To be honest, we’re both a bit apprehensive. Well, she would be, I’m sure, if she had the remotest idea what was coming.

The past year has been hard.  I have found it more difficult than I ever imagined it could be to be home alone with a small child.  Even the most perfect small child in the world.  And of course the stream of rejection letters landing on the doormat hasn’t helped my mood either.

I must pay tribute to my loving husband who never once reproached me for my inability to find a job.  Who never objected to paying all the shoe bills. Who never ever in all the time I was off work asked “what do you do with yourself all day?”.  Who never said “it’s so easy for you at home, not having to work”. ( I don’t think that he ever thought that either and let’s give some credit to my mother-in-law here, the woman who said “it’s much easier for him going out to work than for you staying at home, he’s very lucky, work is sociable, you know” – he must have absorbed right-on vibes at home).  And he always thought I was brilliant and potential employers were stupid.  Except obviously, the people who’ve taken me on. And he’s going to take me out to dinner on Friday night to celebrate.

Though I am delighted to be going back to work, it’s not the unmitigated delight it would have been, if I were not a mother.  I am worried about my baby.  Worried that she will be unhappy. Worried that she will miss me.  Worried that she won’t understand what’s going on.  Worried that I will miss an important part of her life that I should perhaps be there for.  But I am also hopeful that she will understand or at least feel how much happier I am (though of course this does depend on the job being as entertaining as I hope it will be, my friend D has pointed out to me that it’s not all coffee breaks, which is a disappointment).
I realise that, objectively,on the scale of things which people have to deal with, my life was more or less perfect, but for me it was difficult at times.  Looking after my little girl is getting easier now and she has a personality and she is fun and I love her dearly, but, just between you and me, she’s still not the great conversationalist I think that she will be some day.  I miss adult conversation.   There were days when the only adult conversation I had was with my husband before and after his day at work.   Sometimes the days would stretch out in front of me and I would think “what the hell am I going to do?”  We have visited every museum and playground in the greater Brussels area several times. We have shopped.  We have set up camp in the Glam Potter’s house and F’s house on alternate days (my only friends who do not work full time). But you can’t see someone 4 times a week. Really, you can’t.  Often I was tempted, but you can’t.  Maybe it would have been easier in Ireland with our families around, I don’t know. Maybe it’s easier for other people, but, you know, I doubt it. Before I was at home full-time, I used to think that non-working mothers had copped out of the world of work.  That they couldn’t hack it and had gone for the easy option. Obviously, I would never have said that in a million years, but I thought it.  Now, I know, I was wrong. I am going back to work, I’ve gone for the easier option.   Full-time mothers, I salute you.


on 10 November 2004 at 11:43

My friend Helen has said much the same thing Waffle. It’s the lack of adult conversation that gets you. You feel you are slowly losing brain cells one by one – no matter how much you adore/love being with your child.
As I am childless I can’t imagine that feeling yet…
Have a salutation sweetie on me. 1 Sweetie(s) given
on 10 November 2004 at 11:55
Comment Modified) Well done waffle. And just think of all the news you and the Princess will have to share with each other in the evenings.
She’ll love using her imperious tones and high IQ on her subjects in the creche ….

on 10 November 2004 at 12:00

Go Waffle! Thrilled for you. How wonderful and terrifying. Well done you.


on 10 November 2004 at 12:18

Congratulations on getting a job
and Congratulations on all that time at home with only a littl’un for conversation and NOT having gone completely bonkers as a result.


on 10 November 2004 at 13:27

Fantastic news! Will you be able to blog from work though?

Friar Tuck

on 10 November 2004 at 16:47

But what about MY needs? How am I going to waste time at work if you don’t have time to blog?
No, seriously, congrats.
Shall we start an office pool on when you start wishing you were a full time mum again?



on 11 November 2004 at 02:08

Woo-hoo! Congratulations. It isn’t all coffee breaks, but there are lunch breaks too.


on 11 November 2004 at 12:58
Comment Modified) Thank you, thank you, one and all. I am pleased but apprehensive as well (special thanks to HJB and Bobble -sweeties!). Thank you also for note of concern re blog, we will see whether I will be able to blog at work. FT, if you want to waste time at work, I suggest that you start your own blog. Beth I am delighted to note your point re lunch breaks which I had entirely forgotten.


on 14 November 2004 at 19:33

Bloody hell, I don’t believe it. I’ve been here since (almost) the start, been feeling your pain on the rejection front, been enjoying your optimism on the next possible job front – and then I miss the ‘actually got a job’ post. Curses. My deepest apologies.But hey, my warmest congratulations! Well feckin’ done – am highly happy for you. Though of course it now sounds as if you won’t be looking for work in the homeland and giving me another option to have lunchtime grub and pints with. Ah well, I’ll survive. Can I ask what general area the job is in / what you’ll be doing? (without you having to go into details…) 1 Sweetie(s) given


on 16 November 2004 at 14:31

No, no Locotes, you have been here since the start. Thank you for your congratulations, much appreciated. Job is dull but worthy. Well, I hope that I will find it interesting, obviously…


on 16 November 2004 at 16:58

Dull but worthy….sounds good. Or bad. Or a bit of both. I can’t tell actually. From that description it could be a doctor or a McDonald’s server. Hopefully somewhere in the middle.

Isn’t it obvious?

6 November, 2004 at 12:03 pm by belgianwaffle

Princess : Pees, pees.

Me: Sweetheart, would you like some ehm toast?

Princess: No (more insistently) pees, pees.

Mr. Waffle: Tu veux un biberon?

Me: No, she knows how to ask for a bottle.

Princess: Bockle, bockle, bockle.

Rush for the kitchen, Princess is presented with a bottle which she angrily dashes from the hand that feeds her.

Princess: Pees, pees, pees.

Me: Would you like some frozen peas? (She does sometimes, honestly).

Princess (in mounting volume and indignation): NO, pees, pees, pees.

She points imperiously to the cupboard.

Mr. Waffle: Tu veux un biscuit?

Princess smiles and nods. Biscuit is produced. She dashes it to the floor.

Princess: Pees, pees, pees. Points imperiously to cupboard where breakfast cereal is kept.

Me (hopefully): Rice krispies sweetheart?

Princess (vigourous head nodding):  Yes, oui, yeah, pees.


on 06 November 2004 at 12:32

Ah, you’re just bitter because of pog. Am I right in my understanding of your last post? You went to Limerick to be cheered up? Are you mad, man?? And I note that it is your blogging birthday. Happy anniversary.


on 06 November 2004 at 12:50
Comment Modified) Pog shmog…. I get over women easily. It’s getting out from under, without waking anyone that’s the ?1m challenge…
And Limerick is grand in small doses; once or twice every ten years or so seems to work well for me…


on 06 November 2004 at 14:09

Glad it’s not just me having communication problems today then.

Friar Tuck

on 06 November 2004 at 17:31

I guessed rice krispies immediately. Can’t understand why it wasn’t obvious to everyone.


on 07 November 2004 at 19:24

I thought maybe she wanted a pea under her matress to prove she was a true princess..


on 08 November 2004 at 09:56

Bobble, regret your difficulties, did you too have trouble getting your breakfast cereal of choice from idiot parents? FT, you Americans are so smart. Lauren, I like that.


on 08 November 2004 at 10:25

No my boyfriend delivered my breakfast of choice superbly (fruit museli) but my communication was not up to much with the polish builders who are making my life hell at the moment.


on 08 November 2004 at 10:50

Ah, alas, poor Bobble. I have been reading about your travails.


on 08 November 2004 at 12:40

Nice abbreviation from the Princess ….
And as for you, doc – ‘pog schmog’?
I’m gutted.


on 08 November 2004 at 13:52

No, no, pog, you’re not gutted, you’re absolutely indifferent to him. Also you know that deep down he adores you and would come back to you in a heartbeat if only you would have him.


on 08 November 2004 at 14:53

Yes of course. That’s exactly what I meant. Well spotted.

Double standards

5 November, 2004 at 11:33 am by belgianwaffle

My brother came for a lightening mid-week visit.  It was very nice to see him.  I find that family make for relaxing visitors.  My brother arrived and slung his coat over the chair and I barked “hang that up”.  With other visitors, I tend to say “Will I hang that up for you or would you prefer to leave it there on the chair?”  He went out with some friends on Wednesday night and I said to him “Take off your shoes when you come in and tiptoe down the corridor.  I swear to God, if you wake my baby, I will rend you limb from limb”.  With other visitors, I tend to say “ok, see you later then, we might be in bed when you come in, but we’ll leave a light on and, oh, don’t worry about the baby, she sleeps like a log”.  Still, I don’t think many visitors would ring me in the early hours of Thursday morning and say without a trace of guilt or shame “Where is it you live again, I’ve forgotten and the taxi driver needs to know”.

Swings and roundabouts then.


on 05 November 2004 at 11:59

I wish I had a sister like you…. 🙁 0


on 05 November 2004 at 17:00

I’m highly suspicious he did that on purpose to teach his overly-strict sis a lesson…


on 06 November 2004 at 11:55

Norah, thank you, and a sweetie too. Jack, really?? Loc, no, that’s how he is. He is a middle child who prides himself on his vagueness, he was also born under a lucky star.


on 06 November 2004 at 12:12

yep… really.
on 06 November 2004 at 12:35

Jack, am touched. You clearly have no older sister of your own who used to torture you…poor Jack.

Friar Tuck

on 06 November 2004 at 17:28

Hey, I resent the implicatoins of your “middle chlid” comment!
BTW, would you mind taking care of those misspellings? Thanks.


on 08 November 2004 at 10:02

FT, v. funny.

Part the eleventh

3 November, 2004 at 12:23 pm by belgianwaffle

Jojo came into the pub looking flustered. She saw Pog’s slender figure and elfin features in a distant corner. When Jojo arrived Pog effortlessly dispersed the crowd of admirers who were hovering hopefully around her table.
“Well”, said Jojo, “what have you got?”

Pog raised an eyebrow.

Jojo was not in the mood for enigmatic, she had had a lot of enigmatic recently and, frankly, she didn’t feel that it was all it was cracked up to be. She sighed.

Pog sensing that her elfin good looks were not going to dissipate Jojo’s ire, cut to the chase.

“Look Jojo, it’s like this, I saw LJS, unconscious, leaving the bar with two women, one of them I didn’t recognise but the other looked remarkably like Norah Splogg”.

“Norah Splogg, nobel prize winning astrophysist and best-selling author?” asked Jojo in tones of deep scepticism.

“Norah Splogg, blog assasin and agent of HJB” countered Pog.

Jojo gasped. Could it be?  Pog’s information was always good but she had never heard a whisper of this.

Pog raised her other eyebrow. It was a party trick and she liked to practise.

“Well” snapped Jojo, “what of it?”

“I’ve been doing some work for the army and I think I can get them to bring us to Heather’s Schloss” said Pog.

“What now?” asked Jojo startled.

“Yes now” said Pog impatiently “listen Jojo, don’t you realise that Heather has been wanting to get her hands on LJS for years. God knows what will happen if he stays in that Schloss. We haven’t got a moment to lose.  Our only advantage is surprise, Heather doesn’t know that we are on to her.”

Jojo’s head span. “Damn it, Pog, we don’t even know that Heather’s involved. He could be at home in Bishopstown. And the Swiss police could get very difficult if we turn up and it’s all a false alarm”.

Pog raised both her eyebrows.

Jojo ran her hands through her perfectly cut and styled hair. “Oh alright Pog, let’s go” she said crossly.

They got up and left immediately only pausing for Jojo to ring her babysitter and explain that she might be a little late.


on 03 November 2004 at 12:45

*looks on in admiration of mobile eyebrowage*


on 03 November 2004 at 12:54

Can you curl your lip as well Pog?


on 03 November 2004 at 12:55

Um. No. And I have tried on several occasions. The Elvis sneer is beyond me, I’m afraid.
The shame of it.
on 03 November 2004 at 13:15

You could try having your lip & Eyebrow pierced, then joining them with fishing line. Voila! Raise your eyebrow A la Spock & you get the instant Elvis sneer as well. I’m sure it would look very attractive 🙂


on 03 November 2004 at 13:26

Oooooh ….
*grabs hole-punch*


on 03 November 2004 at 16:59

And in real life I am terribly cool too. Oh yes.


on 03 November 2004 at 17:03

She is y’know. No cheese on her suede skirts, no sirree. Not never. Nohow.


on 03 November 2004 at 21:18

Oh….. this is getting better. Carried off by NorahSplogg and a beautiful and nubile young accomplice – who’s probably a research assistant.


on 03 November 2004 at 21:59

Thanks LJS ;o)


on 05 November 2004 at 17:09

I enjoyed that. The eyebrow part in particular had me *chortle*ing. For the record, I can do both eyebrows and the lip curl. Form an orderly queue ladies…Where did Bishopstown come from though?


on 06 November 2004 at 11:56

Hello there, glad you are all having fun w/pog’s eyebrows. Loc, just liked the idea of a super hero living somewhere as banal as Bishopstown.

Vomit in the Netherlands

3 November, 2004 at 11:47 am by belgianwaffle

We went to the Hague last weekend to stay with an old friend of Mr. Waffle’s.  The Dutch Mama is originally from North Cork, but having married a very tall Dutch man and having lived in the Netherlands for many years she has become a fluent Dutch speaker.  I do find it odd but, as she tells me severely “Dutch is not difficult.”  So the DM and her husband have two children, a little boy of 2 ½  who looks very Irish and speaks Dutch with a most impressive guttural g sound and English with a Cork accent. The Princess had her first crush and she trotted round the room after him saying “Bonjour, bonjour” while he, taking this adulation as his due, allowed her to play with his toys while making his impressive guttural noises.  The handsome prince has a cute little sister of 8 months but she was of no interest to our lovelorn girl.  By the end of the weekend, she was able to say the little boy’s name clearly but still referred to his sister dismissively as “baby”.

On Saturday, the weather was beautiful and we went to the beach.  While the men built sandcastles, the women saved the children from drowning.  It was all very exciting.  At one stage Mr. Waffle and Mr. DM were busy digging a hole while the Prince and Princess looked on longingly. Eventually the DM looked over and said reprovingly “I think you should let the children have one of the spades.”

Saturday night we ventured out.  All very pleasant.  We came home, however, to find a sick baby.  She had just woken up and as I took her into my arms she spewed onto me, herself and the carpet. Alas.  The DM had spares of everything and after mopping up we took her into bed with us.  And she threw up all over us (of course).  The DM proved her mettle, got up at 4 a.m. and supplied fresh everything all over again.  The following day we thought that the worst was over and drove to the park.  The Princess threw up all over the car seat. The handsome Prince’s car seat (being manly, and Dutch, he was travelling by bike with his Poppa) . The DM, stopped the car, provided spare clothes and we wiped up and washed up and proceded to the park where herself had a great time playing with bunnies while we worried whether she was really ill or this was the end of it.

What with the worry and everything, we were distracted and we arrived back at the house to find that Doggy was MISSING.  Yes, we had a sick child and her Doggy was lost.  The DM, who had to give her own kids lunch and who, you know, had better things to do, drove Mr. Waffle back to the park to find Doggy. I was torn between severe mortification and overwhelming gratitude.  And they found him.  The reunion between Princess and vomit flavoured canine companion was touching.  And she was fine all afternoon although she didn’t eat much.  But then that night, she decided to really test the DM’s resolve and sheet and towel supply and she was sick a number of times.  And we were worried.  And Monday morning, she was listless and miserable and sick on the DM’s kitchen floor (which the DM wiped up in her work clothes while Mr. Waffle and I stood about wringing our hands – is there no end to the woman’s virtue?). But upon reaching the fastness of her castle in Brussels, the Princess rallied and I am pleased to report that today she is entirely mended.

Meanwhile, back in the Hague, the DM is putting on her 14th lot of washing and handwashing the handsome Prince’s car seat.  But we had such a nice time (really despite the vomiting), that I want to go again.  The DMs are great fun. The Hague is lovely. What’s not to like? Mr. Waffle feels we should maybe give them a short break before going again though. Can’t imagine why.


on 03 November 2004 at 12:18

The princess adopts the same approach to wooing crushes as I do.


on 03 November 2004 at 12:38

Pog, yes, perhaps it is their turn…Norah, including the vomiting?


on 03 November 2004 at 13:08


The fate of the free world

2 November, 2004 at 2:32 pm by belgianwaffle

The Americans are voting.  The rest of us are holding our breath.

Very excitingly, Beth has an entry all about it as requested by me.  It is true, the Americans are the most polite people in the world.

And finally, got this text message from the best dressed diplomat who is being diplomatic in New York:

“Overheard, kid to mother: Mom, did you hear that a Kerry Edwards hot air balloon landed in Central Park?

Mom: Yes.

Kid: Mom, who’s Kerry Edwards?”

Friar Tuck

on 03 November 2004 at 05:18

In case a certain presidential candidate-I will not specify which one-is re-elected, would you have a spare room where I could crash for the next four years?


on 03 November 2004 at 11:04

Well, FT, it’s not looking like it’s going to be Kerry Edwards, is it?

Part the tenth

1 November, 2004 at 8:27 pm by belgianwaffle

Maureen left the room, head bowed, deep in concentration and missed the silent figure
standing at the edge of the entrance hall.  As soon as Waffle knew they were alone she turned to Heather and in her soft, Cork voice she said, “I think we may have a problem.”

“Problem,darling?  Why for” Heather sipped at her dry martini and tilted her head towards Waffle.  “You don’t mean.?”“That is exactly what I mean.” Waffle took her champagne glass in her dainty manicured
hand and sighed.  “I couldn’’t say no to him.  You understand?” She smiled ruefully.  “He knows too much.  Sometimes I feel as if he has me in his power.”  She shuddered and her red silk dress rippled across her perfect, slender body.
Whilst Heather understood Waffle’’s situation she was apprehensive at the thought that
Friar Tuck was in the Schloss.  It had been so long since she had had anything to do with that monk.  Would no one save her from this turbulent priest, she thought, wondering if she should make a note of that particular phrase, given its originality.
“We really don’’ t need Friar Tuck here, Waffle.  Is it possible that we could distract him with some sort of..”

Suddenly the lights dimmed and a screamechoed through the Schloss.  Waffle looked at Heather, her blue eyes brimming with tears.  “It is okay?” she gasped.
“Maureen understands?”

“Of course she understands.  It’’ll be fine” she said in an impatient tone.  “Frankly, I’’m
far more concerned about you bringing the priest with you.  He is not what he seems.” Heather turned around and called “Friar Tuck, I know you’’re here.  Show yourself to me.”

Slowly, the hooded figure moved towards the two women. As he came closer Heather held her hands to her face, the crimson nail varnish clashing violently with her ashen complexion.  Turning to Waffle she sobbed, “How can this be so?”

Another scream echoed through the Schloss.

Friar Tuck

on 02 November 2004 at 03:22

Yes, I’m still able!


on 02 November 2004 at 11:54

Oh Brother …..


on 02 November 2004 at 19:44

Another thrilling installment from my co-author! Fab.

Friar Tuck

on 02 November 2004 at 21:13

This is not a complaint–indeed, this thing reads like a good Michener or Le Carre novel–but could you make me a little more Grey Eminence-like. I’ve always aspired to that.
Pog, don’t get me started with the “Is he a French friar or a chip monk” stuff.


on 03 November 2004 at 11:03

FT, email winging it’s way to you explaining how your character will develop…har di har.


on 03 November 2004 at 11:22

You seem to have some Prior knowledge, Friar Tuck …..


on 03 November 2004 at 11:33

Am I the only person in blogland who can’t do poor puns?


on 03 November 2004 at 11:53

‘poor’? Hmf 😉


on 03 November 2004 at 12:39

Well, I can’t do good ones either Pog..


on 03 November 2004 at 12:51

Me neither.

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