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23 February, 2005 at 7:48 pm by belgianwaffle

Sitting in the back of the car with her menagerie, the Princess picks up a soft toy and holds it up to the window “Look, Sheepsie, a blue van”.  Anxious to ensure fairness in all things, she then picks up a bear and presses its little nose to the window “Oh, Isabelle, a tram, look, look”. Finally, she waves doggy in the direction of the window “Doggy, see, lots of cars”

This email from a friend:
Thought of you the other day when reading about Noel Coward – he met a friend at a party – “we don’t have time to talk about each of us so we’ll just talk about me”

My parents’ heating has died.  They have been cold for a week. It is snowing in Cork. Four men have already shaken their heads at
the parental boiler. They’re getting a blow heater and a draft proof front door tomorrow.


on 25 February 2005 at 17:11

No problem there on equality and distributed love!
Your friend is cruel.
Poor parents. A heating system that doesn’t is among life’s greatest find something to kick incentives.


on 05 March 2005 at 15:03

Well, pog, she has time.
JD, well, yes, cruel but not, I confess, entirely inaccurate.


20 February, 2005 at 3:18 pm by belgianwaffle

More complex anecdotes from my brother’s skiing holiday. He managed to annoy his instructor by getting into some mild difficulty on the chairlift. I am not quite sure how this happened but he placed himself so that the instructor ended up sitting on his lap and had to jump off the lift from a height.  Apparently this had never happened to the ski instructor before in 20 years instructing. How empty his life must have been.

It appears that the ski instructor was a bit of a rough character and he started telling his class racist jokes.  My brother said to me “I didn’t know where to look”. I was a bit surprised by this, because my brother is a bit of a lad and I would have thought that hearing racist jokes would have formed part of his past experience. But this is not all. My brother decided that something would have to be done and that night while buying drinks at the bar, he said to the ski instructor “You know man [favourite word of my brother’s – it works very well in a Cork accent], you can’t tell those racist jokes”. Gobsmacked, I asked “what did he say?” “Well” said my brother ” I thought he might be a bit annoyed but in fact he said – yeah, I suppose you’re right”. And that, apparently, was that. No more racist jokes for the week.  I am quite proud of my laddish brother. Whereas I, bleeding heart liberal that I am, would have been appalled but never had the nerve to say anything.

Friar Tuck

on 21 February 2005 at 16:54

Re your sister: I worry less about her than I do Cher. With all her silicon bits, I wouldn’t think she would need anyone’s support.
Re your brother’s skilift incident: I tried that once with my English teacher. She saw right through it.


on 23 February 2005 at 19:52

Pog, you are correct. FT, you are probably correct also.

Welcome, Mr. Bush

18 February, 2005 at 8:12 pm by belgianwaffle

This from Thierry about Dr. Rice’s visit
You will recall that Mr. Bush is coming to us next week. The Economist summarises matters nicely with this week’s cover :

Meanwhile, they’re sealing all the rubbish bins in the European quarter.


on 20 February 2005 at 15:20

Ah, is that it?


on 20 February 2005 at 15:50

Seen Doogle.. it’s a few of the Trinity CS crew that are behind it 🙂
The heads-up on The Suit and The Shades is excellent; thanks!


on 23 February 2005 at 19:52

Jack, glad you enjoyed that.

Ancient hatreds

16 February, 2005 at 9:51 pm by belgianwaffle

I realised today though, that other people may not be as aware of the issues in contemporary Ireland as I am.  I was chatting to this
very nice and very young Welsh woman and she asked where I was from and I explained that I was from Cork and that Cork was Ireland’s second city.  I talked a bit about our fierce independence and our chip on the shoulder about Dublin and all its works.  I told her how,
when I first met my husband, I was living in Brussels and I told my mother I had met a nice man.  And my mother said “not a foreigner,
I hope” (she was terrified that if I married some foreigner, I would stay away from Ireland forever, which is a little ironic in the circumstances, but I digress).  And I said “no, no”.  And she said “ah, he’s from Cork”.  I smiled winningly at Ms. Wales and said “you see, Cork people regard themselves as an independent nation really”

My Welsh companion pondered this for a moment and asked “so she was upset because you’re a catholic and he’s a protestant?”


on 17 February 2005 at 12:29

I had no idea you were Irish. I’ll have to start reading this blog with an Irish accent.
Your explaining made perfect sense to me. I think your Welsh friend was perhaps just a little slow that day.


on 17 February 2005 at 22:30

Funky, talented, a touch of class when it come to wordsmithing, laconic and worldly-wise.
What do you mean you had no idea she was Irish?


on 18 February 2005 at 11:53

jack – well, there’s all that plus the fact that she’s told us.


on 20 February 2005 at 15:21

Jack, quite. Cookie, not an Irish accent but a Cork accent (i.e. at high speed and half an octave higher than anyone else in Ireland). What can I say Jack, you’re always right. Um, yes pog, you too.


on 04 April 2005 at 14:19



on 04 April 2005 at 14:21

Why are you shouting?


on 04 April 2005 at 15:28
Comment Modified) Perhaps Lilite lacks the local knowledge to understand the entry? Which if taken out of context could prove pretty weird…
And also the patience to do the required joined up thinking.


on 05 April 2005 at 08:39

Lilite, couldn’t face explaining again, you’ll just have to visit Cork or ask pog, she seems to have a good grasp of things Irish. Jack, I guess you’re right, oh well.


on 05 April 2005 at 10:07

Oh ….. I wish ….
(Hang on a minute – I think I may have slightly misunderstood what you meant by ‘grasp’. Ahem.)


on 05 April 2005 at 21:33

Whazsis?! Pog’s got Loco by the what and what?!?


on 06 April 2005 at 10:04

He’s protesting rather a lot, don’t you think, waffle? You’d think a man in a filthy tee-shirt would be flattered …..


on 06 April 2005 at 15:01

Hey! I washed that since, you know. Once – maybe twice.


on 06 April 2005 at 16:03



on 06 April 2005 at 18:50

Oi, this is a clean family blog, gerroff the lot of you.


14 February, 2005 at 8:56 pm by belgianwaffle

What kind of girl would be pleased to have dedicated to her a song with the following lines:

I don’t want clever conversation,
I never want to work that hard.
I just want someone that I can talk to, I want you just the way you are.”

Dump Mr. Joel, he’s no good for you.


poggle on 15 February 2005 at 11:24

Yup – I always thought that too. Besides, it’s Billy Joel – who looks like a toad.

Floatykatja on 15 February 2005 at 16:50

Although originally it was the walrus of love himself – Mr Barry White.
Somehow I find that song less offensive when Barry sings it. Why is that?

poggle on 15 February 2005 at 16:51

Because it’s Billy Joel … Katja. Ol’ toad-face. The walrus beats the toad every time …

Floatykatja on 15 February 2005 at 17:35

I don’t think I actually know what Billy Joel looks like. Sounds like that’s probably just as well.
The Walrus of Love beats pretty much everyone every time though. He is a luurve god.

belgianwaffle on 16 February 2005 at 21:32

Yes, Mike, it is distinctly odd. Floaty, did you invent the Walrus of Love, if so you deserve a medal and, funnily enough, I see what you mean. Pog, I agree, Billy Joel is a bit toad faced and of course he is very short as well.

Floatykatja on 16 February 2005 at 21:35

Waffle, I wish I had invented it, but unfortunately I cannot claim ownership. It is quite fantastically descriptive, though, isn’t it?!


13 February, 2005 at 2:33 pm by belgianwaffle

With one thing and another, we decided to video the second half and take her out for some cultural excitement. Of course, the fact
that the BBC in its ultimate wisdom decided to cover the first half of the match on BBC 1 and the second half on BBC 2 meant that didn’t work very well. Mr. Waffle was much chagrined especially since, inevitably, we were much better in the second half.



on 16 February 2005 at 21:33

Hmm. Maybe, it certainly seems as though she’d like it.


on 17 February 2005 at 00:41

Clearly a future sports woman.
Have you bought her trainers and a hurley yet?


on 20 February 2005 at 15:22

No, although there is hurling available in Brussels, you’ll be delighted to hear.

Oliver James in the Observer

13 February, 2005 at 2:20 pm by belgianwaffle

Mr. Waffle says he will write to him and ask him to stop torturing me. Otherwise Mr. Waffle will horsewhip him.  My hero.


on 13 February 2005 at 15:40

If you had a dog this sort of thing wouldn’t happen….

Friar Tuck

on 14 February 2005 at 05:13

He’s obviously a momma’s boy.
BTW, great two-liner.


on 16 February 2005 at 21:35

Mr. Waffle still hasn’t written to Mr. James. But I have bought him a horsewhip. And maybe we should get a dog..

Leading by example

12 February, 2005 at 9:29 pm by belgianwaffle

Princess: Bye bye Mummy (waves and walks to door).
Me: Bye, bye sweetheart.
Princess: See you soon Mummy (shuts door – glass – and waves from far side).
Me: See you soon, honey.
Princess: Nice day Mummy.
Me: Thank you, sweetheart.
Princess: Bye bye
Me: Um, where are you going darling?
Princess : Work.


on 12 February 2005 at 21:47

arhh how sweet

Friar Tuck

on 12 February 2005 at 23:44

Not surprising given the age they start school there.


on 13 February 2005 at 14:17

Eh, I don’t think so Jack. Thanks PFT. FT, well, yes, I suppose so.


on 14 February 2005 at 12:13

Contributing to the household budget already … Is that legal?


on 16 February 2005 at 21:34

Pog, evil snigger from here.

They start school at 2 and a half in Belgium

12 February, 2005 at 3:51 pm by belgianwaffle

Me: Hello, I’m wondering about how to register my little girl for school.
Snooty lady: Was she born in 2005?
Me: What, in the last month?!
Snooty lady (coldly): Yes, in 2005 as we have a couple of spaces left
for the younger siblings of older children in our school. Does
your daughter have an older sibling in the school?
Me: No.
Snooty lady (in tones of deep satisfaction): Well, I’m sorry, you’ll have to try elsewhere.

I’m beginning to get nervous. Still, it’s not like England where a (catholic) friend of Mr. Waffle’s got involved with her local protestant church with a view to getting her children into the good school attached to it. She is chair of the flower arranging committee. But they didn’t accept her child for the school. And she’s still stuck on the flower arranging committee.  And I bet she’s no good at either because, let’s face it, flower arranging is a protestant virtue.


on 12 February 2005 at 21:25

Hmm, but suppose she screams or is otherwise unadorable?


on 12 February 2005 at 21:47

noooooooooo she’s tooo small to be given over to the education system

Friar Tuck

on 12 February 2005 at 23:42

That’s odd. The Belgians don’t seem noticably more educated than other Europeans to me.


on 16 February 2005 at 21:36

Ah, but they are.

Why not blog about the job?

9 February, 2005 at 8:27 pm by belgianwaffle


Have a look at her masthead, why don’t you?

Also, have a look at Woolamaloo

I like my job and I would like to hang on to it.

However, today, as I sat in a meeting where we considered the best conduct of meetings (what Mr. Waffle calls a meta meeting), I lost a
tiny bit of my enthusiasm. On the plus side we don’t have to do meta-training which is a regular part of Mr. Waffle’s job. That’s training on how to apply for training.

Friar Tuck

on 10 February 2005 at 03:57

Oh, and you forgot to mention Diary of a Flight Attendant


on 12 February 2005 at 15:40

Am very bitter that you got to see Dooce on the telly, I want to see Dooce on the telly. I deserve it…

Friar Tuck

on 12 February 2005 at 23:46

Perhaps if you got a ladder and helped her up…


on 16 February 2005 at 21:36

Oh very funny.

Bookclub book

8 February, 2005 at 8:35 pm by belgianwaffle

” Thank you for the messages! I just wanted to let you know that I will probably have to skip this book. Unfortunately my English is not so good to cope with a “fake 18th century slang”. There are too many words that are not even in a dictionary and the whole exercise, given the size of the book, becomes extremely difficult for me.”

Email from existing founder member (TM)  to new member “Here’s the info. It’s a v.long book, by the way.”

On the plus side, the publishing exec has sent me an exclusive article on how the author gets his ideas, so not all bad. I just wish he
had fewer of them.

A small prize will be available, if you correctly guess the book we have chosen to read.

Friar Tuck

on 10 February 2005 at 21:28

I’ll take a stab at it…
Is it The Oxford English Dictionary?


on 12 February 2005 at 15:39

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Pshaw. It was David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas”

Working across enemy lines

8 February, 2005 at 7:39 pm by belgianwaffle
Me: So the wolf ends up in the little pig’s pot and burns his tail, ow, ow.
Princess:  Poor wolf, kiss the tail (kisses picture).  Better?
Mr. Waffle:  But, it’s a bad wolf, it tried to eat the little pig.
Princess (reprovingly):  Sick tail, kiss it better.
Mr. Waffle (resignedly):  I see that that our daughter believes in the Red Cross principles: we care for all the injured, regardless of the rights and wrongs of the conflict.
Princess:  Tail, better?

on 08 February 2005 at 20:17

The way I see it, the tail isn’t the one at fault. It’s just doing its job.
Kudos to Princess for negotiating this tricky moral minefield without breaking a sweat.

Friar Tuck

on 08 February 2005 at 23:26

We may have a place for Princess. Please complete the attached documents and return them to me. We’ll be calling for an interview later.


on 09 February 2005 at 11:46

Wow FT – Princess is going to be the next pope?

Friar Tuck

on 09 February 2005 at 17:44

Well, pog, Princess has several things in common with the current occupant of the throne. She occasionally drools, wears a diaper, and furthermore**ZAP**


on 09 February 2005 at 17:54

Don’t you worry. Princess will save you from the nasty man by kissing it better.


on 09 February 2005 at 19:57

Menace, Mike, you are funny. FT, pog really, she’s going to be the next pope? And by the by, FT that’s a nappy. Princess will, of course, save you.

Friar Tuck

on 10 February 2005 at 04:02

Of course it is, dear.

Compare and contrast

6 February, 2005 at 9:01 pm by belgianwaffle

7.00  Got up
7.10  Gave the Princess her breakfast
7.30  Read “That’s not my Tractor” and “We’re going on a Bear Hunt” with the Princess
7.45  Looked at photographs with the Princess
8.00  Breakfasted with spouse while keeping a wary eye on the Princess
8.20  Put on washing machine (again)
8.30  Back to bed for nap
9.00  Awake exhausted and crawl to shower
9.30  Dressed and ready to face the day, depart for park
9.45  Arrive park and assist the Princess in extracting maximum enjoyment from swings and slides while getting mud on off white coat.  Split Princess’s lip while assisting her on to see-saw.  Deal with understandable profound upset. Get blood on (freshly dry cleaned) very off white coat. Deeply regret wearing off white coat.
10.15  Meet a number of friends and acquaintances and assorted offspring in park
11.00  Go home.
11.15  Entertain friend and offspring with tea and croissants
12.00  Attend mass
13.00  Return home.

What I used to do on Sunday mornings before my daughter was born

7.00 – 13.00  Sleep.
13.00   Get up.

Spent her nap time recovering from the ardours of the morning and discovering from the Observer what ailments she is likely to
have.  This afternoon was magic though.  We went to the toy museum. It’s a fabulous place.  Loads of toys (obviously) which children can actually play with including a little kitchen, scooters, train sets, cars, buses, trams, rocking horses and a small theatre.  It reminded me of the toy theatres that my father bought us when we were little and I have grown all nostalgic and intend to torture my mother to check whether they are still in the attic.



on 09 February 2005 at 21:31

Oh go away. Well, 9.30, probably time for me to head to bed. Yawn.

A trip to the doctor

5 February, 2005 at 3:29 pm by belgianwaffle

In we went. The doctor tells me that toddlers are prone to constipation.  Attentive readers will be aware that this is a problem for the Princess at the moment.  It’s a classic thing for her age.  Superb.  He drew diagrams, he chatted, he asked me to prepare an Excel table for our next appointment (he’s obsessed with Excel and its potential).  Throughout this the Princess sobbed convulsively and clung to me pathetically.  When she discovered that he planned to examine her, she nearly choked with rage and distress.  It was all a bit grim.   Anyhow, you’ll be delighted to hear that she thinks the medicine prescribed is delicious and all is improving, so we may not have to go for a scan after all.  Mr. Waffle and I have been debating whose fault this situation might be.
Me: “Well, I’m not anally retentive.”
Him: “Well, whose sister was toilet trained at 9 months?”

1-1 at the moment.

Friar Tuck

on 07 February 2005 at 17:03

This too shall pass.
on 12 February 2005 at 15:41

Pog, no, no, my sister is the one who was toilet trained at nine months. FT unworthy!


on 14 February 2005 at 11:39

Oops. Sorry. I got that the wrong way round, huh? Just don’t tell him, okay?


on 16 February 2005 at 21:34

Too late, I fear.

Sarcophagic sonnet

5 February, 2005 at 3:04 pm by belgianwaffle

“I gaze upon thy paled face
Soon to be entombed in somnolence divine,
O that the knobbed fingers of Death did ever embrace thy soule
And caress thy beauteous form to nature!
I cannot strew thy grave with fragrant petals,
O my love.
For thou encoffin’d and embalmed
In satin shrouds are not to me beloved”

If you’re good, I’ll give you another verse next week. Or would you prefer a couple of lines from “I breathe Byron”?

Friar Tuck

on 05 February 2005 at 17:46

That’s very, ummm, sonnetty.


on 06 February 2005 at 20:26

ChaOtic, too much effort…
FT, um, yes.


on 07 February 2005 at 16:21

I especially like the ‘knobbed fingers of death’.
And ‘thy paled face’- oooh – new word!
The sentiment is wonderful – ‘I don’t love you now you’re dead’.
More, please.


on 12 February 2005 at 15:42

Well, we’ll see…

The war cry of the bureaucrat

1 February, 2005 at 11:45 pm by belgianwaffle

What do we want?

Reasonable change within an acceptable legal framework as negotiated and agreed by all parties.

When do we want it?

In a reasonable timeframe as appropriate going forward.


on 02 February 2005 at 11:25

Catchy ….

Friar Tuck

on 02 February 2005 at 17:42

You’d need a lawyer’s lung power for that.


on 05 February 2005 at 14:57

I’m glad you all like it. FT, I presume that’s a compliment.


on 08 February 2005 at 19:53

Ha ha. Recall Gordon Brown’s budget soundbite during the heyday of the Spice Girls:I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want: measured, sustainable growth.


on 09 February 2005 at 11:28

Oh lord – I’d forgotten about that. Cringemaking, wasn’t it?


on 12 February 2005 at 15:40

Menace, pog, never heard it – exceptional. Thank you.

Belgian colour supplements

1 February, 2005 at 11:38 pm by belgianwaffle

Le Soir had a sex supplement on Saturday. I ask you. In colour.

I was perusing an article and asked my loving spouse “What does “partouze” mean?

An orgy. I actually had to look it up.

You mean you didn’t know?


And you are talking to our daughter in French, how will she ever learn proper French, if you don’t know the word for orgy?

(Pause) I’ll leave that for you to decide.

And then there was an interview with Claire, parisienne, who throws orgies. She is described as being, and I quote “adepte du ‘night fucking at home'”.

Me: Isn’t it odd given the variety of French vocabulary in relation to sex that they use an English expression?

Mr. Waffle: I am sure that even as we speak the Académie française is working on an appropriate translation.


on 01 February 2005 at 23:47

I am sure they are Mr & Mrs Waffle. After all the dreaded e-word had to be got rid of (email).


on 02 February 2005 at 08:44

I love that.


on 02 February 2005 at 11:25

Well, farque me!

Friar Tuck

on 02 February 2005 at 17:47

Gaaa! My eyes, my eyes!
But seriously, in Italy I saw a whole section of jeans labeled “F**king Jeans”. I wondered why you need special jeans for that activity?


on 02 February 2005 at 21:31

as opposed to ‘day f***ing’ then?


on 02 February 2005 at 23:25

Italians unlike the dear French are lazy buggers (speaking as one myself). We just add an Italian article and you have a suitable word. Lo Shopping, Il Weekend, Lo Sport, Il Cinema, Il Bar. Easy.


on 05 February 2005 at 14:53

Beth, you are so right, there’s a reason why you Americans rule the world.
Bobble, you have to admire the Italians delightful indifference to this kind of thing.
HJB, we aim to please.
Pog, I doubt that’s what the academie will go for.
Lauren, you have this in Paris also?
FT, sorry…

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