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Never offer unwanted advice

29 March, 2005 at 8:48 pm by belgianwaffle

You will remember my various ailments.  Well, despite these, my loving daughter decided that all day yesterday as we trudged around airports only I could carry her.  Would she like to go on Daddy’s shoulders? No. Would she care to walk? No. Would she fancy venturing into the royal buggy? You must be joking. So I carted her round all day because I am sap. When we finally arrived in Brussels, exhausted,10 hours
after leaving my parents’ home in Cork, I put her into the buggy to go from the plane to passport control. A distance of one short travelator.  She went bananas. She roared blue murder. When we arrived at passport control. The woman behind the desk wagged her finger at me reproachfully and said “you must pick her up, you know, you can’t let her cry like that”.

belgianwaffleon 01 April 2005 at 20:10


Rash in Cork

29 March, 2005 at 8:45 pm by belgianwaffle

All in all a little tiring. On Thursday afternoon following three medical consultations, I decided to go with the majority and risk travelling.  I paid a fortune to get to Cork over Easter and I wasn’t going to let a rash stop me (no poor puns, please).

You will be delighted to hear that my rash has improved enormously, thus, obviously, vindicating my decision to travel. This morning I had the stitches taken out of my neck so I spent today loping around the office like Frankenstein’s monster. It is, of course, absolutely forbidden to cover up my scars with a scarf or a polo neck. Snort. Also, I can’t get my neck wet for 48 hours. Good lord. And all this to find out that they don’t know what it was but isn’t it good that it’s getting better of its own accord. Double snort.

So, epic journey to Cork. It took us the best part of a day to get there and the same length of time to get back.  My sister who came home from Chicago actually got back there faster than we got to Brussels. Of course she was actually flying for most of her trip whereas we spent the vast bulk of ours sampling the many delights which Dublin airport offers.
Actual time in Cork was very pleasant with babysitting services on high alert and significant food supplies laid in to meet our needs. On Easter Sunday, Mr. Waffle and I abandoned the Princess to her loving grandparents and went for a walk on the beach and a drink in Ballycotton. All very civilised. We also met the heart surgeon and her husband and their lovely month old baby whom they are managing with alarming efficiency. They have already been to play tennis three times while the infant watched from the sidelines. And they have been to the cinema. I am impressed beyond measure. Alas, they are moving to Burlington, Vermont in June so, I fear, we will see a lot less of them after that. Though, of course, it is probably as easy to get from Brussels to Burlington as it is to get from Brussels to Cork.
belgianwaffleon 01 April 2005 at 20:10

Am glad to hear that you had a typical trip to Ireland pog. Weather was surprisingly clement over Easter though.

Belgians and Rashes

24 March, 2005 at 7:59 am by belgianwaffle

Which is worse?  The fact that the workmen start at 7.00 outside our window giving residents an appreciation of what it’s like to live in a war zone or the fact that they appear to give up for the day at 9?

By the by, please see photo which proves, if proof were necessary, that Belgians regard parking restrictions as  pplying solely to others.

There is still no floss in the supermarket.

My parents’ boiler has been repaired.

And would you like some information on my mystery illness? The touching concern of some friends following my recent post makes me think I should put them out of their misery. There are a few things wrong with me. Starting with the most banal:– I have a rotten cold. Let’’s move on to more exciting things. About two weeks ago something started biting me. Could we have fleas?  But we have no pets and are reasonably clean and nothing was biting my loving spouse.  An extensive examination of the sheets revealed nothing.   They were changed and the mattress hoovered nevertheless. The biting continued.  My husband started to worry about me as I crept into the bedroom, pulled up the duvet and pounced on what always turned out to be an innocent piece of fluff (where is all this fluff coming from anyway?).

So it went on.  And the bites got worse and worse.  And, finally, last week, I consulted my tame medical advisor who, ever one to provide comfort, said that the spot distribution sounded like smallpox, but it was unlikely to be that.  Since the tame medical advisor lives in Cork, he suggested it might be worth seeing someone locally who could actually inspect the damage. By this stage, my legs were red, raw, weeping
and swollen up in a most alarming manner and the rest of me was pretty itchy.  Walking was painful and difficult.  So on Monday, I went to the dermatologist who, conveniently, is a couple of doors down from my house.  The result was most gratifying.  She called in a colleague.  They both oohed and aahed and tut tutted that I hadn’t been to see them earlier.I
held my breath for a photo in the Belgian version of “The Lancet”. They’’re not sure what it is and yesterday they sent me off to another dermatologist who isn’’t sure what it is
either.  And I have had lots of blood tests and a biopsy which has left two stitches and a glamourous bandage on my neck.

Because of further complications which will be revealed in due course, they haven’’t really been able to prescribe anything except rest but I’’m going back at lunch time to be hovered over by two dermatologists and two other doctors will be phoning in to give their tuppence ha’penny worth.  More details to follow in due course. By the by, I’d like you to know, they say it’s definitely not flea bites.


on 24 March 2005 at 09:47

Sounds like an allergy perhaps to something like fabric conditioner….?


on 24 March 2005 at 10:32

Poor Waffly – sounds nasty.
I hope they get to the bottom of it and fix you soon.


on 24 March 2005 at 10:34

Poor you, waffly …
(FT hasn’t been bringing any little friends with him, has he? You know how scabrous his hands always are ….).

Friar Tuck

on 24 March 2005 at 15:41

Hey, I resemble that remark!

on 24 March 2005 at 18:45

Further complications? Unable to prescribe. Hmmm…..mini waffle? Hope you get better soon!!



on 25 March 2005 at 00:26

Possibly it is scurvy? I have no idea what the symptoms for scurvy are, but have always thought it sounded like an excellent illness to have.

on 29 March 2005 at 18:16

Hmm…yes, it would have been easy to make flea jokes, but that acually sounds quite annoying and a wee bit serious. Anything that requires stitches can’t be good. Poor you. Feel better soon.One other thing, is it just me or does that peugeot look quite small compared to the two lads near it? Do they make mini-peugeots?


on 29 March 2005 at 20:38

Oh Heather, a sweetie, you are kind. Yes, JD, quite possibly, the experts are baffled. I am so proud. Thank you Norah. Thank you Pog, and yes, I have my suspicions about FT also, though I note he denies all. Thank you Sarah, you will be bored by details of my progress. OOOH Beth, maybe it is, cool. Locotes, feel much improved hearing from you – how nice that you are about. Will you come back full time when you’ve finished your degree?


on 30 March 2005 at 16:46

tsk, you should know I had my degree ages ago, your memory of me obviously faded quite quickly! 😉
This is my MSc I’ll have you know – the path to oodles of cash! Well, I can dream…
As for the full time, only time will tell – I’m trying to put a stint in now, but of course that could also be because I’m avoiding work. Maybe. Possibly.


on 01 April 2005 at 20:09

Yes I know you already had one and were getting a second for the hell of it…do keep avoiding work.-


on 01 April 2005 at 20:32

Oh I will, don’t worry. All part of the studenty job description. Glad you had a nice time in Ballycotton by the way – though surely Rocky Bay can’t be beat?

Touched by greatness

23 March, 2005 at 4:00 pm by belgianwaffle

Mr. W: Your cousin lives in Luxembourg?
Younger Colleague: No, he was working there for a couple of weeks. Actually, he was making a film. They have great film making facilities in Luxembourg.
Mr. W: Really? What was the film? Would I have heard of it?
Y. C.: Maybe, it was “Girl with a Pearl Earring”.
Mr. W: Oh yeah, I actually saw that. Who was your cousin?
Y. C.: Um, the painter guy.
Mr. W: Sorry, your cousin is Colin Firth?

Apparenly yes and he hates it when people come up to him and talk about “Pride and Prejudice”.


on 23 March 2005 at 17:42

By ‘eck.
I’ve never understood the Pride & Prejudice wet shirt thing.
(But then I’m male. Apparently you have to be female).
Can anyone explain it?


on 23 March 2005 at 18:09

Mikeachim : the primal act & animal energy of diving into a natural pool, the haughty but piercing & troubled look at the woman he loves, the strength of the body revealed by the clinging white shirt … need I go on?


on 23 March 2005 at 18:13

Mmmmm Colin Firth.
When they make the film of my life, Mr Splog will be played by our Col.
Why’d he have to be called Colin though?


on 24 March 2005 at 08:03

Um, judging by the comments, it doesn’t look like he’s put P&P behind him, does it? Very good point about his name, Norah.


on 24 March 2005 at 10:01

Is there a ‘natural pool’ anywhere within striking distance of any stately home in Britain since the time of Capability Brown? Just wondering.
Anyway, I think he fell in because he was on drugs…..


on 29 March 2005 at 20:34

Ah Jack, you’re just jealous.

LRB personals

23 March, 2005 at 3:41 pm by belgianwaffle

I like my women the way I like my kebab. Found by surprise
after a drunken night out and covered in too much tahini. Before too long I’ll have discarded you on the pavement of life, but until then you’re the perfect compliment to a perfect evening.  Man, 32. Rarely produces winning metaphors. Box no. 04/08.


on 23 March 2005 at 15:58

it makes you wonder why he thought the LRB was a suitable medium. I may be intrigued enough to meet him because of that. Adding swiftly, that it would only be an idea given that I’m a respectable married woman and wouldn’t do that sort of thing. Well, I’m married.


on 23 March 2005 at 15:59

But I’m not, Heather, and he sounds like my kind of guy.


on 23 March 2005 at 16:02

Yes, HJB, I know, appalling. Kate, am duly appalled. A kebab lover?!


on 23 March 2005 at 17:38

I’m duly hanging my head in shame. But am still strangely drawn to him.


on 24 March 2005 at 08:02

Kate, snap out of it! Now, quick, before you turn into a kebab.


on 24 March 2005 at 09:48

Argh! When you put it like that…


on 24 March 2005 at 09:51

What’s wrong with kebab, Kbabes? 😐


on 24 March 2005 at 12:44

Nothing really, but I wouldn’t want to be one.

Friar Tuck

on 24 March 2005 at 15:47

A prize to the first person to use the word “skewer” in his/her comment.


on 29 March 2005 at 20:35

No Kate, you wouldn’t. Down Jack. FT, there’ll be trouble – have you fixed your email yet?

Friar Tuck

on 04 April 2005 at 04:18

If you fix your e-mail, would it then be called an e-unuch?


on 05 April 2005 at 08:37

Look, is it fixed or not?

Friar Tuck

on 06 April 2005 at 20:11

Oh, sorry. I’ve a new address. Didn’t you get my email?


on 09 April 2005 at 14:10

No. Resend please…

LRB personals

23 March, 2005 at 11:37 am by belgianwaffle

Nothing in this world makes sense. Apart from Sphenodon punctatus, last survivor of the reptilian order Rhynchocephalia.

If only there were a woman like it – cold, efficient and brutal in
love, but also able to feed off small animals, inhabit the breeding burrows of certain small petrels and be in possession of a vestigial third eye. Zoologist M (51), possibly a little too close to his work. And his mother. Box no. 01/05


on 23 March 2005 at 12:08

I like him.


on 23 March 2005 at 12:50

I feel so uncerebral in comparison


on 23 March 2005 at 15:41

And people, there are lots more where this came from.

Pipes, scans, fame

22 March, 2005 at 9:10 am by belgianwaffle

So, other news from the Waffles. They are replacing the lead
water pipes on the street. This is particularly good news for
those of us who choose to drink the tap water in Belgium.
On the minus side, they begin digging outside our bedroom window at 7.00 and tend to cut off the water at random intervals during the day. This is scheduled to continue for a couple of months.

Today the Princess is being taken for a scan. She won’t like
that. It’s at lunchtime and she can’t eat for three hours
beforehand. She won’t like that either. I am nervous and I
can’t feel that this counts as “taking it easy”. Sniff.

I missed a major opportunity for fame. A friend is a journalist
on a magazine here and he asked would I be prepared to talk about my blog for an article on Belgian blogging. “Oh yes, new readers” I salivated but alas due to constant meetings at work (ref para 1), I missed the all important interview slot and didn’t make the article. Am gutted.


on 22 March 2005 at 11:23

Can I have your autograph?
And good luck with Princess/scans and lazing about …..


on 22 March 2005 at 13:51

I am Belgian and I read you regularly. Feel better?
Too many readers destroy the pleasure. You’ll feel like you shouldn’t disappoint people and it won’t be natural anymore.
If you agree I’ll link you on my blog, I’m far from famous but that should attract more “francophone” readers for you.

Friar Tuck

on 22 March 2005 at 18:02

The cure for what ails you, and as luck would have it, the way to increase readership is to floss more often. Oh, sorry!



on 23 March 2005 at 03:03

You will be missed.
Best wishes to you on your road to recovery!


on 23 March 2005 at 10:18

Jack, do you think, I dunno, I think fame would have suited me. Pog, join the orderly queue. Peggy, je suis tres contente, moi aussi je ferais un lien vers ton site! FT less of it from you. Tried to mail you a number of times but looks like your email is down. Speak to Messrs Peak Peak. FP, you mistake, I am promising more blog now that I am taking it easy, not less!

Happy Birthday to me

10 March, 2005 at 7:28 pm by belgianwaffle

Mr. Waffle bought Bobble pictures for my birthday and they are gorgeous.  He explained that matters were fraught as poor Bobble has moved house and job and broken her toe but today they arrived – just in time and inscribed for me – is this not fabulous? Happy birthday to me indeed.

Birthday wishes

10 March, 2005 at 1:47 pm by belgianwaffle

on 10 March 2005 at 13:54

Hoppy birdy Waffley x


on 10 March 2005 at 13:58

Happy birthday! All the most special people are having their birthdays this week.


on 10 March 2005 at 14:14

Happy birthday… ^^


on 10 March 2005 at 14:30

Have a very happy birthday, waffly.


on 10 March 2005 at 17:42

And may the coming year be better than the last one, but not as good as the one after ….. Happy Birthday!


on 12 March 2005 at 20:37

Breith-l? shone duit [is fearr mall n? go br?ch] agus La’ Feile Padraig faoi mhaise freisin 😉


on 22 March 2005 at 08:57

Thank you all very much for your kind wishes and go raibh maith agat Jack. Special thanks for the sweetie Kate.

Belated valentine

6 March, 2005 at 1:01 pm by belgianwaffle



on 10 March 2005 at 00:09

How friendly.


on 10 March 2005 at 09:41

Norah, glad you are pleased. Yes, Beth, the friendliness of the Belgians is notorious.

Tchoup, Tchoup

6 March, 2005 at 12:45 pm by belgianwaffle

T’choupi is the world’s most boring mole.  Our infant daughter loves him.  They have a T’choupi book at the creche and she had to be wrenched away from it kicking and screaming.  Mr. Waffle decided we needed to lay in T’choupi resources of our own and went to the bookshop this weekend to stock up.  He couldn’t see any T’choupi stuff on the shelves, so he asked a bored assistant whether he was familiar with T’choupi the mole.  “No, can’t say I’ve heard of him….unless you mean T’choupi the famous mole?”  and he led Mr. Waffle round a corner to a shrine dedicated to T’choupi. Bingo.

Meanwhile the Princess and I were visiting the Glam Potter and little L.  It will come as no surprise to learn that L has her own T’choupi volume and the two girls sat on the floor tugging at it and screaming “T’choupi, T’choupi” until I came and separated the combatants and escorted herself, kicking and screaming (T’choupi) to the car.

What with one thing and another, “T’choupi” was my book of choice for mass this
morning.  We were somewhat mortified as we went through the mole’s adventures sotto voce to see that the child next to us had a range of religious books which he was carefully perusing.  Came home and related our discomfiture to Mr. Waffle.  “And” I said “one of the books was called ‘Je vous salue Marie'”.  “Yes?”.  “But don’t you tutoyer God along with parents, friends and pets?” “Oh yes but you vousvoyer Mary”.  Dear Lord will the mysteries of French never cease to baffle me?

Sarcophagic Sonnet

5 March, 2005 at 3:28 pm by belgianwaffle

O my dearest friend
Let not thy vengeful ghost
Haunt those thoughts we shared together, you and I,
For thou art not
And I alone must seek solace with another.

Anyone for “I breathe Byron”?


on 10 March 2005 at 09:43

OK, it’s all over, there are only 2 verses.


on 18 March 2005 at 11:16

Genius. Really.


on 22 March 2005 at 08:55

Absolutely pog.

Early promise

5 March, 2005 at 3:01 pm by belgianwaffle

The other morning the Princess was having her porridge and playing with her letters. We put them all into their slots but, horror, the z was missing. “Mummy, mummy, missing z!” “Well, never mind, sweetie, it’ll turn up.” Sad shake of the royal head “Z lost mummy, find the z mummy.” Off we went, z-less, to the creche and work respectively and, on our return home the Princess skipped off to her toys. Almost immediately she ran over to me shrieking in delight “Mummy, I find the missing z” and waving the lost z enthusiastically. Our genius.

In other news, my parents still have no heating. The fifth man to look at the parental boiler blew it up. Also the house is elderly and the wiring is not all it might be, so my mother was watching the telly the other night with the electric and blow heaters on and a hot water bottle at her feet and she suddenly found herself plunged into darkness and had to wrestle with fuses. Weather shows no sign of clearing either. Much grimness in Cork. And finally, thank you to my greatest fan who emailed me the following
“You haven’t had a blog entry since 23 February. Is all ok. Not like you. Your
public is v. disappointed.”
I feel loved!
dmtson 06 March 2005 at 19:40Now I feel mean for not bothering to send you an email.
Do you think the princess stole the letter Z from the creche? No…I’m sorry – I shouldn’t apply my dirty low-down standards to other peoples’ children.
belgianwaffle on 10 March 2005 at 09:42HJB, FT, you clearly just don’t care as much as my other friend. Yes, HJB, it is quite likely that she stole the Z from the creche…

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