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More consequences

28 April, 2005 at 5:11 pm by belgianwaffle

Since we have announced that we are going to have twins, a lot of people have asked whether we have been having IVF treatment.  People have no shame. Mr. Waffle and I had a chat about this the other night.

Me:I can’t believe that people keep asking that. I feel vaguely resentful at the assumption, though I can’t imagine why.
Him: I suppose it’s like if you make a cake for a dinner party and people ask you where you bought it – you get indignant and say, “I made it myself”.
Me: No, it’s not like that at all, I mean there is an intrinsic merit in being able to make your own cake but being able to get pregnant or not is just luck,
Him: I suppose.
Me: I don’t know, it must be some primitive thing where you feel that it is bad to have your fertility impugned.
Him: Well, I’m obviously fine, but non-identical twins suggests that your eggs must be getting on a bit in the fertility stakes….
poggleon 28 April 2005 at 17:13

Ooh dear, Mr waffle is pushing his luck …… bad lad.  

belgianwaffleon 28 April 2005 at 17:29

Thank you very much, Katy. Yes, pog, he deserves to suffer horribly..

dmtson 28 April 2005 at 21:29

There’s a lot of pregnancy around on 20six at the moment and various stories abounding about what happens to people in pregnancy. I cannot imagine any other ‘state of being’ where people ask the most intrusive questions or where there is a sense of ‘ownership’ about your body within the wider world.
I can fully understand and empathise with your resentment. In my opinion it would be worse if you had had a pregnancy as a result of assisted conception because then the bastards asking the questions would think they owned that too.
I blame everyone from Margaret Thatcher onwards because that’s quite an easy thing to do. It’s very easy for me to make these suggestions, but the next time someone asks if it’s IVF (or whatever the question of the day is), I think you should give your reply and then ask them about the state of their erections, sex life, bowels or whatever. I’d definitely go for the erections. Please blog any replies.

Friar Tuckon 29 April 2005 at 02:08

Yes, h, that will certainly silence the women who are asking those intrusive questions.

Minkleberryon 29 April 2005 at 07:23

Mr Waffle!

beachhutmanon 29 April 2005 at 09:41

Yep. Give em a blow by blow account of how you made em! (Hmmmm. Maybe “blow by blow” was unfortunate)

Locoteson 29 April 2005 at 16:42

The hormones are obviously kicking in, poor Mr. Waffle is getting the blame for everything…  

belgianwaffleon 01 May 2005 at 14:37

Heather, thanks for this, of course, I am sure that in my past I have been equally bad, however, advancing years have, I hope, increased my sensibility and, for example, I have learnt to stop asking women who’ve been married a couple of years when they are going to have children, mostly because I realised how deeply irritating it was when it started happening to me. Apols for mild digression. FT, it’s only men. Minks, I know! BHM, do you realise that this is a family blog? Loc, eh, what’s that all about? Be off before I beat you round the head.

Something we will pay the price for later

27 April, 2005 at 8:35 pm by belgianwaffle

….others may wish to avert their eyes as this is an almost unbearably smug entry.

We get a great kick out of chatting to our little girl now that she talks.  It worries me mildly that she only talks in French other than to say “open this” and “yes please” but it is fun to hear my child do a French r.

The other day we were out on the tram and I explained to her how the tram ran on tracks. She wanted to walk on the tracks but I said no, they were for the tram so she called out to the man crossing the road “Non, monsieur, c’est pour le tram!”

She likes to give instructions and inform. For example, this morning, I was lying prone in bed and she said “Debout Maman”.  I protested feebly. “Non, je suis pas d’accord” said she.  I protested feebly some more. “Non Maman, il faut t’habiller!”. This from a girl whom we have to chase round the house to dress.  At the weekend we visited a farm and having spoken to her father about the eating habits of chickens she turned to me and told me “Maman, les poules ne mangent pas de l’herbe, ils mangent du maïs”. When crossing the road
she turns to me and says “Attention Maman, il y a des voitures!”

A big favourite at the moment is doing things herself. She has just learnt to take on and off her trousers and no one could be more pleased “Regarde, Maman!”. We just can’t wait for her to start trying it out in public. However, there are some things she can’t do herself and this leads to deep unhappiness and frustration “Can Mama help you?” “Non, non, c’est moi!”�

She has taken to my make-up bag in a big way and goes through the contents regularly. The other day doggy had a makeover involving application of mascara and perfume, behind his ears and on his paws, and a certain amount
of fur combing.  When the task was complete the Princess picked him up and took him away “where are you going, sweetheart?”
“Doggy look in the mirror”.

She has a song for every occasion. They seem to learn hundreds in the creche and she picks up the ones we teach her really fast. Frankly, you haven’t lived until you’ve heard your 2 year old lisp “Day-o, day-o, daylight come and me wan go home”. Obviously, she is a musical genius.
Her recent birthday celebrations have made a deep and lasting impression on her. In quiet moments we catch her crooning “happy birthday” to herself. Yesterday, we met some friends of Mr. Waffle’s who very kindly brought her a present. When we were leaving she said “bye, bye” and strolled away. I said “wait there’s a present for you” and with indecent haste she came skidding back to the munificent donors “birthday present for me!”

She is learning to run and she loves it. She insists that we run with her “Cours, Papa, cours!”. Her loving father jogs along slowly bent double to get down to her level and I notice that now when she runs, she tends to bend over in imitation.

She is fascinated by video material taken on the camera (which, alas, sustained some damage at the weekend – I’d really rather not talk about our poor record on digital cameras). She peers at herself and repeats whatever she has said on video giggling uproariously the while. Then she pushes the replay button. This can go on for hours.

When I read books to her, she knows some of the words so if I say “And that Zelf up on the shelf”� she goes on “I have talked to him myself”. I read to her sitting on the beanbag in one corner of the room and she trots off round the corner to the bookshelf to pick out her book of choice, but just as she gets around the corner, she turns around and says to
me anxiously “ça va, Maman?” Poor mite, her Mama has been out of action a lot recently. As I lay moaning weakly on my sick bed (hey, morning sickness, rash, migraine – is it any wonder I’ve taken to my bed a lot recently?), I would hear her saying to her father outside the bedroom door “Maman est malade, Maman se repose”.

This is enough smugness for today.


on 27 April 2005 at 21:07

Yes, you blog about it while you have the time and just the one child…


on 27 April 2005 at 22:05

enough smugness for a year I would say


on 27 April 2005 at 22:38

Wow, I understood some of that french. La Princess ce manifique 🙂


on 28 April 2005 at 02:27

Hmmm…I’m sure I would applaud if I had any idea what she was saying.
Maman means ‘chicken’ right?Ahem.


on 28 April 2005 at 10:57

Awwwwww …..
Does she know that the twins are coming?


on 28 April 2005 at 13:58

Justifiable smugness if ever I saw it. Bless.


on 28 April 2005 at 17:14

Thank you Lexy. Hmm, take your point Heather. Of course, her personality may, um, change when she has to fight for attention. Sibling? Which sibling?
Thanks DruidX. Yes, Loc, well done, you are entirely correct.
Pog, we tell her, but she’s ignoring us. Norah, you are very kind. My loving spouse says if he weren’t related to the Princess it would make him want to vomit, so you are clearly a better person than he is.


on 28 April 2005 at 17:16

Ah yes – but we know about her hidden depths – ‘farque’ for instance.


on 28 April 2005 at 17:28

I’d say she’ll be using that a bit, pog.


on 29 April 2005 at 09:45

MOst excellent. I always found “Maman” a horrid word, but then I never got on with mine. At all.


on 30 April 2005 at 20:05

So terrifying!! In blog years she seems to’ve grown over night into a young lady. And bilingual!! She sounds adoreable. 1
Sweetie(s) given


on 01 May 2005 at 14:32

BHM – Thanks – sorry you didn’t get on with your Maman, though.
Minks, you are most kind. And a sweetie too. Ta.


23 April, 2005 at 2:19 pm by belgianwaffle

Some random things:

My favourite dermatologist (when you have 4, you can pick favourites) has told me about friends of hers with 3 children who decided, what the hell, let’s go for a fourth, and then had triplets.

Multiple births break down barriers; a colleague of Mr. Waffle’s said to him “oh twins, IVF babies then?” Um, actually, as it happens, no, but thanks for asking.
In Mr. Waffle’s team (I know, stupid term, what are they draught horses?) of 12 people, 3 are already parents of twins. It looks like our double buggy needs are met.  Also, I am now the proud owner of a book entitled “Jumeaux, mode d’emploi”

In fact, people are very nice to you – they offer you lots of things. The Dutch Mama has already offered to drive from the Hague with a carload of goods.
My mother has pointed out that one car will no longer be sufficient to collect us from the airport once the new infants arrive. I have realised that, if we have guests, they will have to take public transport because once our family is in the car, there will be no room for anyone else.
The French Mama has offered by way of comfort, the information that her neighbours who live in a 2 bedroomed, 80 square metre appartment and are already the parents of a 4 year old and a 20 month old are having twins next month and have no intention of moving.  Apparently the mother plans to sleep with the twins until they are weaned and the father will sleep on the couch while the other two children have the second bedroom.� Ah, the joys of living in Paris.
A friend told me about her aunt who had IVF twins at 50 and breast fed them (she was a paediatrician, she felt obliged) and my friend’s abiding memory is of seeing her aunt half naked feeding two babies.

I won’t be able to fly after mid-July or drive very far for that matter. The Belgian coast beckons for our summer holidays. Mr. Waffle is bitter “It’s so unfair, neither the Princess nor I want to go to the Belgian coast.” “Well, firstly, neither do I and, secondly, I represent a majority of this family and what I say goes.”

That’s enough for today. Thanks again for all your congratulations.


Locotes on 23 April 2005 at 22:36

Am I reading that chart thingy wrong, or are you just about halfway through the pregnancy? Blimey – you kept that quiet. Surely us lot should have been told first, who cares about parents?
Oh, and I agree with Norah, twins have always seemed a great idea to me.
(yes I know I have pontificated here about my future fatherhood only taking place in my 50’s – but even I can wonder every once in a while. Just don’t tell anyone…)

Minkleberry on 25 April 2005 at 07:46

my Dad is a twin, my husband is a twin and my maternal grandma is a twin. Ay Carumba!!  

poggle on 25 April 2005 at 11:03

I too love it that you now outvote Mr Waff and her maj …..

Peggy on 25 April 2005 at 11:25

At least, going from 1 to 3 children, you won’t have to argue with hubby about going from 2 to 3 like we do. (I’d like 3 but I can’t stand being pregnant. Makes me too nervous.)
The Belgian coast can be a lot of fun especially when the sun is shining. I’m sure the Princess will enjoy, kids are spoiled there.

jackdalton on 25 April 2005 at 23:00

Hey ‘waf… did you see what they said about Loccie here? 😉

Angela (Homepage)

on 26 April 2005 at 05:25

Augh! I just tuned in! Congratulations times two! Very exciting news, indeed. May the coming months find you healthy and full of energy!

belgianwaffle on 27 April 2005 at 20:43

Norah, Loc, hold off on the twins until second time round, I am sick to the back teeth of doctor’s visits, the ante natal care is, um, trying and I suspect post-natal care presents its own difficulties also.
OK, Minks, I’m holding my breath here.
Pog, not as much as me.
I see your point Peggy, but still a bit scary. Will try to see the positive in the Belgian coast.
Jd, nothing we didn’t know already.
FP, most unlikely to do so as you know…trust tomorrow afternoon will be fine.  

beachhutman on 29 April 2005 at 09:48

OK the belgian coast pretty much sucks, but moules and frites is OK – for a day or three. 

belgianwaffle on 01 May 2005 at 14:31

Beachhutman – it sounds as though you know whereof you speak.

Yes, of course I am

21 April, 2005 at 8:34 pm by belgianwaffle

Remember when I had my rash and couldn’t take any drugs?  And some people, in fact quite a lot of people (oh you’re all very smart) speculated that I might be pregnant. Well you were right. Let me tell you how I found out.

I thought that I might be pregnant for the usual reasons and I went to see my gynaecologist.  And she asked me whether I had taken a pregnancy test. Because I am mean and I knew that I was going to see my gynaecologist anyway, I hadn’t.

“Well” she asked “are you sure you’re pregnant?”
“Well, no, I’m not”
“OK, we’ll do a scan and see”
She looked at the screen with a frown and said
“You really think you are pregnant?”
I thought “oh dear, this is so embarrassing, I’m not pregnant, oh Lord” and I said “well, yes, maybe..”
And then she started to laugh
“You’re pregnant alright. It’s twins.”


on 21 April 2005 at 20:53

Oh my goodness me. How absolutely terrifyingly wonderful. Big congratulations…very big…doubled, in fact.


on 21 April 2005 at 21:19
Comment Modified) Yowzers!
YAAAY 🙂 🙂 🙂
*imaginary letting off of fireworks, actual clapping and whistling*


on 21 April 2005 at 21:23

*and giving of congratulatory sweeties* 2
Sweetie(s) given



on 21 April 2005 at 21:33



on 21 April 2005 at 21:44

Awww…that’s sooooo sweet! yay! 🙂
I really am so excited, although its the first time i am reading your blog 😀


on 21 April 2005 at 21:52



on 21 April 2005 at 23:49

Holy Cow, Batman!!! Well done You!
So who’s the father… 😉


on 22 April 2005 at 02:58

cowabunga. congrats. heres a sweetie:) 1
Sweetie(s) given



on 22 April 2005 at 07:02

Congratulations from Austria! 🙂


on 22 April 2005 at 08:20

Bloody feckin blimey O’Reilly hell. Many congratulations! So how are you feeling about all this?I admit I wasn’t one of the smart people – a rash means a rash to me. If you had mentioned the normal tell-tale sign, I might just maybe possibly have figured it.
Doubtful though.
😉 1
Sweetie(s) given


on 22 April 2005 at 08:32

Twins?! No one could say you do things by halves Mrs Waffly. As Locotes said many congratulations, hugs and tanti aguri! xxx


on 22 April 2005 at 09:39

Congratulations lovely waffly!
That’s SO exciting!


on 22 April 2005 at 09:57

Oh what exciting news! Congratulations and hugs all round. 2 Sweetie(s) given


on 22 April 2005 at 10:06

WOWZERINOS! Double congratulations!! I can’t WAIT to read all about these two!! 2
Sweetie(s) given


on 22 April 2005 at 10:39

You big show-off …
xx 1 Sweetie(s) given


on 22 April 2005 at 12:00

Congratulations! How terribly exciting. Even deserving of my last sweetie, in fact :o) 1 Sweetie(s) given



on 22 April 2005 at 13:01

Congratulations!!! How exciting! More princes/princesses for the royal abode.
I found your blog via Fluid Pudding, and have been lurking ever since.


on 22 April 2005 at 13:09

Brilliant! Well chuffed for you! x x x x x


on 22 April 2005 at 16:37

Bloomin’ marvellous! My sister had twins last December – they are wonderful. Lucky you. 1 Sweetie(s) given


on 22 April 2005 at 17:16

Multiple congratulations to you!!!


on 22 April 2005 at 18:57

Oh wow! Congratulations!



on 22 April 2005 at 21:41

No. Way. Twins? Really twins??? If the Princess is any indication, I’m not sure the world will be able to withstand all that additional cuteness.


on 23 April 2005 at 12:43

Mind you, this could put our royal nose rightly out of joint.Have you considerd yet how to break the joyous tidings: ie we love you so much we’re gettin two more instead etc…


on 23 April 2005 at 14:12

Wow, a comment and sweetie bonanza, cool!
Jojo, thank you very much for your comments and sweeties, how come you always know everything first?
HJB, many thanks. Doubled is appropriate, accurately describes my girth also.
Mike, thanks for sweeties and imaginary fireworks in particular, these are the only fireworks I’ve got so far.
Thank you kitschenette. Great name.
Olivia, thanks, stick with this blog for more non-stop twin news…
Thank you boiledorfried.
JD, thank you, as for your first comment, well, if they look anything like the Princess did as a small baby, then Keith Wood is a likely answer. As for your second, out of joint isn’t in it.
Oooh a sweetie, thank you morethanluck..
Gosh, Austrian congratulations, all very nice.
Locotes, that is entirely as it should be! Am feeling a bit bewildered. Thanks for sweetie.
Thanks Bobble, and two sweeties too!
Aaah, thank you Ms. Splog, exciting and unnerving in about equal measure.
Kate, 2 sweeties and hugs too, yay.
Minks, hmm, don’t know how fascinating my blog will be with this new material. Am anxious that another 20sixer produce twins for comparison purposes – would you be in the market at all? Thanks for sweeties.
Pog, you are, of course, entirely correct. I mean let’s face it 2nd pregnancy is dull but you can really give people a jolt if it’s twins. Thanks for the sweetie.
Oooh Katya, a last sweetie, you are the essence of goodness. Thanks.
Jordana, a lurker, I didn’t realise I had lurkers, I am so proud. Thanks for your congrats.
Thanks Chintzy, for one so young you are very kind to the childbearing!
Lauren, thank you for sweetie and congrats, may be emailing you under separate cover for advice.
MDW, September 23 apparently. Am going to be size of a house.
Thank you Hana.
I know, Beth, extraordinary – do you mind if I use your pregnancy counter too? And will you add me to your pregnant people list? And thanks for your congrats.


on 23 April 2005 at 20:46

Okay so I’ve found out late but, AIYYYYYA! Congratulations 😀 And best of luck 😉


on 25 April 2005 at 17:35

Congratulations, ‘waffle.
Have a sweetie for each. 2
Sweetie(s) given


on 27 April 2005 at 20:45

Thanks DruidX, will need all the luck I can get.
Beso, 2 sweeties, you are too kind, no idea what I will do with this positive bonanza!

Sick child

20 April, 2005 at 1:07 pm by belgianwaffle

When I took her out in her slippers, I didn’t think she’d insist on walking all the way to the book shop.  We went to a local cafe and got her favourite lunch which she found untempting. We returned home. I put her to bed.  She looked up at me and said “Lunch Mama?”. Extracted her from bed and offered all that our humble fridge contained, all of which she rejected with contumely. Back to bed where she is sleeping the
sleep of the just.

Incidentally, our day was supposed to be enlivened by the arrival of my feckless brother over to inspect his goddaughter. However, he phoned this morning to say that he had slept out and missed his flight. See, he really is feckless.


on 20 April 2005 at 14:50

I now imagine him kipping in a doorway. Or possibly a field. Which sounds about right for Mr feckless ….


on 20 April 2005 at 14:50

ps poor mite


on 20 April 2005 at 14:56

Hmm…you sure you didn’t just take a handy day off? Didn’t leave herself out in the rain on purpose last night or anything? 😉
How is the job going by the way?


on 20 April 2005 at 19:13

That’s just plain cruel. Dragging a poor, sad child from her sick-bed and force marching her to the local Amazon. And you complain about lack of sympathy among those around you… !


on 21 April 2005 at 20:02

Pog, feckless, but concerned for his own comfort, he will be looked after like the lilies of the field. Poor mite recovered, thanks. Loc, no absolutely not, when I take a handy day off, madam will be at the creche. Jack, yes, I’m mean.

Religion in Britain

20 April, 2005 at 1:00 pm by belgianwaffle

I am fascinated by the way people in the UK are so interested in Tony Blair’s religion.  They get very excited about it. They say, in deeply disapproving tones “he’s going to convert to Catholicism, you know, he’s always going to church with Cherie; she’s a catholic”.  I mean really, who cares?   If Tony Blair had grown up a catholic, the liberal middle classes would no more voice objections than they would fly in the air.  It seems to be that the idea of him converting allows them
to express all their suppressed nervousness about catholics.  Personally, I blame the Da Vinci code.


on 20 April 2005 at 13:07

I don’t think it’s the catholicism so much. It’s the terrifying thought of having a PM who is so religious that he would convert to anything …. if you see what I mean.
(I see you, too, have been hit by the boring little tosser ‘OWNED’. A bit of ‘divert’ HTML in comments. And it thinks it’s a world-class hacker. Sad.)


on 20 April 2005 at 13:13

Pog, am kind of excited to have been hit by a hacker, means I have arrived right? And the nice 20six people will fix it, right? Right? Thanks for the insight on the Tony Blair thing, that does make sense actually..


on 20 April 2005 at 13:53

They do seem to have fixed it, bless ’em – but not before I deleted yesterday’s entry in an effort to get rid of the little scrote. Still, at least it wasn’t an essay ….


on 20 April 2005 at 17:58

The Da Vinci Code can be blamed for most things actually. I bet the nasty hacker has read it.


on 20 April 2005 at 19:02

The catholicism doesn’t bother me. The religion does a tad. As an athiest, the idea that the chap running the country believes that a big guy in the sky is watching over us is a little unnerving. Does he pray for guidance? To someone I don’t believe exists?


on 21 April 2005 at 20:04

Pog, 20six, yay. Lauren, you are entirely right. Um, Norah, probably yes, I would say, he seems very earnest.

Friar Tuck

on 26 April 2005 at 02:29

I read an interesting comment the other day which, in my meager experience, seems to be true. In the United States, it is impossible to get elected without making some kind of public show of your religiosity. In Europe, doing so is the political kiss of death.
One exception was President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro of Italy. It was claimed that he was so holy that he appeared to the Virgin Mary.


on 27 April 2005 at 20:44

Yup, think you’re right FT. I’ve been forced to read George Weigel by a VERY catholic friend, whatcha think of him?

Friar Tuck

on 29 April 2005 at 02:05

I have only read a few articles by G.W. The problem is, he is right just often enough to make him credible even when he is wrong. For instance, in one of his recent books, he blames the whole sexual abuse thing on post-Vatican II formation programs, completely ignoring the fact that most of the offenders received most of their formation before Vatican II.


on 01 May 2005 at 14:30

I dunno, I think he’s a bit patronising..


20 April, 2005 at 12:49 pm by belgianwaffle

Yesterday morning on the way to the creche we were singing Guantanamera in the car (really, we’re the Von Trapps).  Well I was mostly humming and Mr. Waffle who had the advantage of spending a number of his formative years in Latin America was singing. I asked what the words meant and he said “Peasant lass from Guantanamo, trust me, I am a sincere man from where the palm trees grow and I like your orange jump suit”.


on 22 April 2005 at 23:05

And I believed him, too…Congratulations, by the way!


on 23 April 2005 at 14:13

Yeah, me too, I’m very gullible. And thank you for your sweetie and congrats!


18 April, 2005 at 8:13 pm by belgianwaffle

“Dear Siblings,

Look an email from Peter Devlin. Even though they play in obscure places and are not prolific on the album front, it is good to be a Devlin’s fan!!!

Should really be in bed but far too excited too sleep now!!!

Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2005 20:22:15 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: thank you……

i wanted to write and thank you for your very kind words in the note we received in vancouver . colin and i read it on the journey back to seattle and it put a smile on our faces at the end of a very long and tiring tour. it means so much to get feedback from people who really appreciate what we are doing. thank you.and we must say thank you for making the effort to travel from chicago – we would love to go back there and play , possibly in sept / oct when we hope to return to n.america with the full band for a tour. maybe we’ll get to see you then. in the meantime, take care of yourself and thank you once again.
peter devlin.”

Not much on capitalisation the Devlins but yes,
very good to their fans. On the strength of their caring
attitude to my sister and a quick listen to their stuff from this site, I have purchased the album “Waves” from Messrs. Amazon and have been instructed by my sister to encourage you to do likewise.


on 19 April 2005 at 02:16

Can’t say they do it for me – but very decent of them to write back. Your sister isn’t Lorraine Keane from TV3 by any chance? Because apparently she pretty much stalked a Devlin until he went out with her. And now they’re married. If she’s not, maybe it’s an idea for her to work on?


on 19 April 2005 at 10:44

Blimey. Mind you, if it was a handwritten note I’d be really impressed ….


on 20 April 2005 at 12:25

Good man, Jack. Locotes, must pass this news on to my sister. Think based on form she must have a good chance with the other brother. Does this mean Lorraine Keane would be related to me, though? Ah, pog, you’re no fun.


on 20 April 2005 at 12:46

Me? How can you say that? Hmmm?
(Pretty boys, them Devlins ….)


on 20 April 2005 at 12:57

I’d say it’s just the photos, pog.


on 20 April 2005 at 12:59

Is it? Damn.
on 20 April 2005 at 14:54

Hmm…the future relation to LK could be a problem alright, though at least being in Belgian-hiding you wouldn’t see her often. She’s Ireland’s most fashionable woman though (allegedly) – so that’s bound to be handy…


on 20 April 2005 at 18:58

Whatever chance ‘waf2 has of landing a Devlin is likely to be seriously undermined if one of them ever comes across this discussion. None are bloggers by any chance are they?
Anyway, he’s probably just after her money… 😐


on 20 April 2005 at 19:01

Or worse: her innocence…..


on 21 April 2005 at 20:05

Loc, this is no comfort. Jack, I only wish I could work up to that kind of fame. And what innocence?


18 April, 2005 at 8:02 pm by belgianwaffle

I got my credit card bill today and it is 10.53 in credit.

poggleon 19 April 2005 at 10:42

I don’t understand. Wha’?

belgianwaffleon 20 April 2005 at 12:25

Baffling, isn’t it? I have taken steps to remedy matters.


16 April, 2005 at 8:27 pm by belgianwaffle

Email from my feckless brother:”Checked in to the Blog for the first time in a while today…….it seems you were unhappy with the level of sympathy your rash was getting with the
family and turned to your blog readership for some more.

Good to see the Blog still survives notwithstanding the pressures of parenthood, ‘serious’ illness and gainful employment. Strange to see you out past your bedtime when I called last night…..hope you had a good night”

jackdaltonon 17 April 2005 at 12:43

I think that’s a very commendable and brotherly sort of email. Telling it straight and yet no eviseration or excoration involved.
In fact, I’d be proud if I’d written something like that to my feckless and self-indulgent sibling….

belgianwaffleon 17 April 2005 at 13:58

Heather, that is the correct response. Jack, go to the back of the class.

poggleon 18 April 2005 at 10:33

The cheeky b…. – erm – brother.

belgianwaffleon 18 April 2005 at 19:56

No, no pog, right the first time.

Happy Birthday

16 April, 2005 at 8:24 pm by belgianwaffle

Very excitingly, the handsome Prince sent greetings from the Netherlands. He said, and I quote “Happy Birthday to the Princess Van Haar dappere Nederlandse Prins.”These Hiberno-Dutch princes are great linguists.  And emails from a number of other souls who are excellent at remembering the birthdays of friencs’ offspring.
Alarmingly virtuous.

Matters reached a crescendo today with the presence of 6 children and 9
adults all high as kites from excess sugar intake. Thank God it’s
a full year until next birthday.

Friar Tuckon 17 April 2005 at 17:54

Surely not a whole year! What about your birthday? Surely Mr. W showers you with an equal amount of attention.

poggleon 18 April 2005 at 10:32

Sugar? All I need is sugar?
Now you tell me.
Felicitations to poor mite/genius.

belgianwaffleon 18 April 2005 at 19:56

Thanks for your kind wishes. Yes, pog, I know, after reading your recent post I can’t help thinking of all the money you could have saved.

I blame Charles and Camilla

11 April, 2005 at 8:28 pm by belgianwaffle

There I was reclining on the couch watching the start of events having a bar of chocolate and a cup of tea and rejoicing in my retreating rash when I was suddenly struck by migraine.  So the rest of the weekend I spent alternately vomiting and lying in a darkened room with a damp face cloth on my forehead.  But today, touch wood, all is well, rash is retreating, no vomiting, no headache.  I’m on top of the world here.  Even filling 20 goodie bags for the creche (tomorrow is the Princess’s birthday and she must give gifts to all her little friends, this is the Belgian way) and filling in the Princess’s application for school has failed to dampen my spirits.

Bobbleon 11 April 2005 at 20:54

Please me too. I promise to stick you in the car when we go round Umbria later this Summer.

Locoteson 11 April 2005 at 21:03

Oi, no bribery bobble – I asked first so I did.

jackdaltonon 11 April 2005 at 21:49

Stop pushing, just because you’re bigger than Bobs and me doesn’t mean you can go to the front of the queue.
Besides you don’t like fruit pieces and natural, non-additive laced stuff. There’s no Murphys in the bag!

poggleon 12 April 2005 at 11:32

Poor waffley ….

Locoteson 12 April 2005 at 15:03

How do you know jack? The wonderful girl might stick a can in for me. I can give the fruit pieces to the cat or something…

Friar Tuckon 12 April 2005 at 16:02

You go girl! Don’t pay any attention to those other greedy goobers. I love you for who you are, not because of your goody bags.
Ha ha. Just kidding. I want one too!


on 12 April 2005 at 20:13

It must have been the hats – at least, they certainly gave me a headache.

Bobbleon 14 April 2005 at 23:32

I think I need a bigger car.

belgianwaffleon 16 April 2005 at 20:17

OK, look there are enough goodie bags for everyone. Calm. Bobble you will get extra though if you take me in your car in the Summer. Thanks for all sympathy.
Beth, surely not…

The advantages of having children

9 April, 2005 at 2:21 pm by belgianwaffle
I have a friend who’s thinking about having a baby.  What’s it like she asked me, fresh from her third skiing holiday of the season.  I chuckled evilly and gave her the low down about sleepless nights, vomit, screaming, no more weekend breaks etc. She said coldly “you’re putting me off here, tell me the good things”. It occurred to me that a big problem with child rearing is that the bad things are all very tangible and easy to describe (consider the list above) but the good things are intangible and particularly hard to describe to someone who doesn’t have children.� But the other day, Dooce wrote this and I think that it’s a great example of one of the good things about having children: “This morning you and I were playing on the floor in your bedroom — I was hiding the phone and you were crawling all over my torso and legs to find it — and you suddenly stopped, your face very close to mine, and you leaned in and pressed your nose to my cheek. We stayed in that position for several spectacular seconds, a hesitation that altered history, a moment so intimate it felt like it could end wars. I could feel you grinning on my skin and even though I wanted to scoop you up and cover you in kisses I let you hold your face there for as long as you would. I know there are only a handful of moments like that in life. Thank you for that one.”

on 09 April 2005 at 21:48

‘ waf, you seem top have a gift for spotting the spot. That would go to the heart. If a guy had one.. 😛


on 10 April 2005 at 18:17

Well ok…I suppose that sounds good….but still….I mean….the whole sleepless nights, vomit, screaming, no more weekend breaks thing….you know?


on 10 April 2005 at 23:26

That’s really nice….
As much as it is possible for men to be genuinely broody, there are time I feel broody.
*realises what he has said*
Er. Hey, any guys that are listening, er, harrumm *cough* *spits* hey, what I mean is, waHEY, lots of practice at making babies first, naaarwhatimean? Oink oink.
But one day….yeah….


on 11 April 2005 at 10:48

That’s lovely.
But nothing – nothing – could make me broody; it runs in the family (though obviously not for long ….).


on 11 April 2005 at 20:31

Hey people, do you think responses to this email sort out the slightly older from the slightly younger? Pog, Locotes, you young people are so unsentimental…


on 11 April 2005 at 20:38

Ah sure I have my 50’s to worry about the kids. Once I have my money made, my Ferrari bought, and my supermodels wooed.
*cheeky grin*


on 17 April 2005 at 14:01

Careful Loc..

Princess loses half a tooth

7 April, 2005 at 8:00 pm by belgianwaffle
Creche curious as to whether it was there in the morning.  Self gutted.

on 07 April 2005 at 21:57

oh the poor little mite. And I haven’t even a toffee to offer…
[actually on reflection that may be just as well]


on 08 April 2005 at 11:21

The lithp thoundth kinda cute …

Friar Tuck

on 09 April 2005 at 04:59

Don’t be so negative. Although the modelling career is out, she could be the poster child for parental child abuse!


on 09 April 2005 at 14:07

I know, Bobble. Thanks for the thought JD, but yes, probably just as well. Well it ith actually. FT, always a word of comfort , eh?


on 10 April 2005 at 18:39

How did she lose half a tooth? Boxing at lunchtime again? Skateboarding down railings?


on 17 April 2005 at 14:02

I think it was the skateboarding.


6 April, 2005 at 6:49 pm by belgianwaffle
I got an email from the Dutch mama saying that she was much more interested in my rash than the she was in the Pope. I also got an anxious
voicemail message from the publishing exec. Frankly, I am gratified. The great news is, miraculously, it seems to be just giving up and going away. My face is blotch free.  It has abandoned its assault on my neck.  My torso is returning slowly to its pale and interesting self.  Only my legs continue swollen and unhappy which was a disaster last week but this week, I’m inclined to view much more positively. The fourth dermatologist can only
see me in May – obviously she doesn’t regard this as urgent (sniff). Am hoping to be entirely better by then and save myself 50 quid.

on 06 April 2005 at 21:18

May I suggest San Rocco (Saint Roch) in the case of skin rashes and diseases. I always consult the Saint Index at a time like this.


on 06 April 2005 at 21:59

Yay! Bye-bye rash, bye-bye. 🙂


on 07 April 2005 at 01:15

More one for St Jude, I’d have thought…. 😐

Friar Tuck

on 07 April 2005 at 02:51

I think Bobble was talking about the rash, not the affected person, JD.


on 07 April 2005 at 10:31

Oh hooray. Get theee gone from our Waffly, nasty rash.


on 07 April 2005 at 19:58

Yes, FT, good thought. Bobble, isn’t he mostly for plague victims?? Indeed Druid, Norah getting better all the time. Jack – you have little faith.


on 07 April 2005 at 21:25

San Rocco is venerated in Venice for plague relief and for conditions caused by exposure to damp/living on water. San Rocco and Job (who is a saint in Italy) are very popular in Venice.My personal fave is Santa Rita. When an ordinary miracle just isn’t enough you call Santa Rita, Saint of impossible miracles.

Friar Tuck

on 08 April 2005 at 03:19

Yeah, Santa Rita is the best. Call on her when you can’t find a parking space. It even worked in Naples, where there are like a thousand cars per square meter.


on 08 April 2005 at 23:38

Respectful disagreement, Tuck.
St Jude — Patron of Hopeless Cases.
I know these things 🙂


on 09 April 2005 at 14:08

Oh I am so taken by Saint Rita. Forget Jude and Rocco, Rita is the woman for me.


on 10 April 2005 at 21:35

More fans for Santa Rita… I feel a pilgrimage to Foligno coming on.
The Rough Guide to Tuscany and Umbria sums the story up quite well.


on 11 April 2005 at 11:26

Tuscany and Umbria? Why didn’t you say so… g’luck Jude, see you some other time!


5 April, 2005 at 9:00 am by belgianwaffle

My friend D had a baby girl at 10.26.  I got a text message at 10.29 yesterday morning. I was very impressed.  Then I met Mr. Waffle for lunch and he said “10.26 pm!”. Ah well, attention to detail was never really my strong point.  You will be delighted to hear that mother and baby are doing fine.  Have not yet spoken to the baby’s mother but did ring C (baby’s aunt) to find out how things were going.  She confirmed that the baby is beautiful and that she, C, is all excited.  She said “when I woke up this morning, the
first thing I thought of was how is the baby?”  Is this not endearing? Lucky baby.

belgianwaffleon 06 April 2005 at 18:51

That’s children for you alright Jack, just you wait…

jackdaltonon 07 April 2005 at 01:12

Wait? 🙂

belgianwaffleon 09 April 2005 at 14:09

You jest?

jackdaltonon 09 April 2005 at 17:47

Do I look like I’d jest about something like this?

Good catholic

5 April, 2005 at 9:00 am by belgianwaffle

I find myself surprisingly distressed by the death of the Pope. I mean, we didn’t really see eye to eye on a lot of things and I can’t help feeling that that nice liberal man from Milan would be much more likely to make me a happy Catholic.  But all the same, you have to admire the man for whom the cliche “indominatable spirit” could have been invented.

I have been thinking about his trip to Ireland in 1979 and the excitement that generated. I remember I was sick and no one came near me to bring me succour or squeezed orange juice and I had to drag myself downstairs and watch the Pope on the telly with my mother to get any attention at all.  My best friend got taken to Limerick by her parents and got up at 4.00 in the morning to get a good place to hear the Pope say mass. She brought me
back a picture and a papal flag which are probably still behind the wardrobe
in my parents’ house in Cork. Meanwhile, even more thrillingly, my cousin PJ was offered the opportunity to serve mass for the Pope. To his parents’ eternal (and I do mean eternal here) shame he asked what would he be doing if he wasn’t a papal altar boy and when his teacher said “well, you’d just have the day off school, I suppose”, PJ said, “well, thanks, but I think that I’ll take the day off then”.

Ireland in 1979 wasn’t exactly booming and it was such a lift when the Pope came, I think then that it was the best thing that could have happened to us. Now, of course, we’re all far too sophisticated to care where the Pope visits. I suppose the memory of how dynamic he was then has stayed with me and it was a shock to see how frail he was latterly but, by God, he had a will of iron and unshakeable faith. Fair dues as we say in Cork.

belgianwaffleon 06 April 2005 at 18:53

I know, it is kind of odd. I must say, I like him much better now than I did when he was alive. What a bad catholic I am (don’t worry, I have mechanisms for coping with the guilt).

Friar Tuckon 06 April 2005 at 20:07

I grew to like him more and more over time. At first, I thought he would roll back all the changes of Vatican II. Thankfully, he didn’t. And while I would have liked a less conservative Pope, he did do some surprisely “liberal” things, like asking forgiveness of the Jews, pardoning Galileo, and dialoging with Islam. While they might be small gestures, they are fraught with significance.
And I’ll never forget his first words to me…. “Where’s your beard?”

dmtson 06 April 2005 at 21:00

Well, we all wonder about the beard FT. But, yes, it is heartening that he did encourage far more inter-faith dialogue and forgiveness than previous incumbents.

belgianwaffleon 09 April 2005 at 14:09

Yeah, funnily enough, HJB, this is actually a true story. The holy father was a bit of a traditionalist and he liked his monks traditional.


5 April, 2005 at 8:56 am by belgianwaffle

My rash is getting worse.  It now covers about 80% of my body and if Mr. Waffle wants to pat me comfortingly, he can only rub the top of my head. Up every 1-2 hours last night applying cold face cloths to my spotty person. Make with the sympathy please.  I’m off to see my fourth dermatologist shortly.

Locoteson 05 April 2005 at 12:46

Bloody hell. That’s not good. Not good at all. Poor, poor waffley indeed. Best of luck with the derma – for Christ’s sake he better come up with something – set the princess on him if not.

belgianwaffleon 06 April 2005 at 18:51

Aah, thank you sympathetic ones. Things are mercifully getting better…

Trash people

5 April, 2005 at 8:53 am by belgianwaffle

On Sunday, on foot of Thierry’s recommendation we went to see the Trash People in the Grand Place. As we approached, I was seized by fear. Was it an April fool’s joke� I had seen no mention of it anywhere but Thierry’s blog. Really were they going to fill the Grand Place with Trash People? Really, they were and here is a photo to prove it.  Thierry, forgive my doubting.

belgianwaffleon 06 April 2005 at 18:52

EXCUSE ME, wannabe??

Part the Sixteenth

2 April, 2005 at 2:36 pm by belgianwaffle

Our hero stood up gingerly.  No bones broken then, he knocked his head painfully against the low roof of the dimly lit hut where he was lying and stepped out the door into what appeared to be an Amazonian rain forest.  Friar Tuck looked up and smiled “you’re awake”. “Where am I?” said LJS curtly. “No need to be tetchy” said Friar Tuck, nettled. He smiled beatifically while surreptitiously scratching a scabrous limb “you’re in the Amazonian rain forest, Heather thought it would be best for you, you’ve been having a nice nap for, oh, about 3 months”. Friar Tuck laughed sinisterly, it was a new speciality and something he had been practising in the long wet afternoons. LJS gasped “But Pog and Bobble….” “They’ve been taken care of” said Friar Tuck and he gave his sinister laugh another outing. “Why have you taken me here, what is Heather’s dastardly plan?” “Now, now”  said Friar Tuck soothingly “is that any way to talk about one who is our  benefactress; sit down and let me explain”.


on 02 April 2005 at 15:39

Now “been taken care of” sounds distinctly iffy.

Friar Tuck

on 03 April 2005 at 04:10

“tetchy” is not in my dictionary, let alone my vocabulary. But I pick nits. At least I haven’t been taken care of.

on 05 April 2005 at 08:37

HJB, in a good way? Bobble, yes, I would worry if I were you, but at least you don’t pick nits.


on 05 April 2005 at 09:32

yes, in a very good way. I was out walking and decided to go home and write a piece and then you did it….the power of thought!


on 06 April 2005 at 18:52

Will you do one now though? Yours in hope.


on 11 April 2005 at 10:46

Where am I? What have you done to me? Why do I own a flowery top and a Ghost dress?
I think I’ve been brainwashed.


on 18 April 2005 at 10:35

Is Bobble okay? Am I? It’s dark in here …..


on 18 April 2005 at 19:55

Well, you might be and then again, things could be taking a sinister turn…


on 19 April 2005 at 10:17



on 19 April 2005 at 16:17

Double eeeep!


on 20 April 2005 at 12:24

Oh, it could well be treble eeeep.


on 20 April 2005 at 12:46


Pushy parents

2 April, 2005 at 2:23 pm by belgianwaffle

“I am trying to find classes for my violin-enthused 2-year-old. In other countries they start violin with the Suzuki method at 2 or 3 but I cannot find any such classes in Brussels.  The Brussels music schools start with “musical awakening” (read rhythm instruments) for young children but they have
next to nothing to offer in specific melody instruments and in the under 4s.  Also, English would be highly preferable to
French in our case.  Does anyone know a group, a class or a
private teacher who would be familiar with the Suzuki method or equivalent, who would welcome a 2-year-old and who would practice with violin/piano or other melody instrument and know English?”

From Readers’ questions and answers in the Brussels Childbirth Trust Magazine, April 2005. Good Lord, have these people no shame?


on 02 April 2005 at 14:39

Heather, I’m hurt, how could you?


on 02 April 2005 at 14:40

Yes, I’m sorry. Very sorry. It was rather shocking though.

Friar Tuck

on 03 April 2005 at 04:05

Yes, absolutely no shame. A two year-old using a motorcycle for violin practice! What is she thinking.


on 04 April 2005 at 10:29

Well I never doubted you for a moment, waffle ….. besides, the poor mite already has several chart-topping CDs out, I heard (Vanessa Mae eat your heart out).


on 04 April 2005 at 15:49

None whatsoever. vroom vroom tunes…


on 05 April 2005 at 08:40

FT, I know. Yes, pog, poor mite is chart topper. Jack, eh?

Some links

1 April, 2005 at 8:39 pm by belgianwaffle

Margot Wallstrom’s blog. In particular her commenters. What is wrong with me?

Found this heartwarming tale via Dervala – it’s a bit long but, um, heartwarming.

Thanks to Thierry who is our source of information on all things Belgian, tomorrow we will investigate Trash People.

I think I should stop while I still can.


on 02 April 2005 at 10:05

Yeah, but it’s all a little weird isn’t it, the whole corporate blog thing?


on 02 April 2005 at 14:56

Some good links our Waffle.Nice to see that some people are still blogging. I’ve been away a few weeks and people are dropping like flies… How are the blotches?


on 05 April 2005 at 08:36

Full update on blotches this am Bobble, bet you can’t wait…

Good advice

1 April, 2005 at 8:12 pm by belgianwaffle

This evening I hauled out one of the Princess’s toys and started playing with it and she said to me “NO, Mama, NO.”
“What’s wrong darling?”� “For looking at Mummy not for touching, it might break”.


on 01 April 2005 at 20:32

I suppose…

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