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Nice, Polite Boys

31 March, 2012 at 11:34 pm by belgianwaffle

I was in Cork alone (!) recently. As I sat in to my seat on the train back to Dublin with my newspaper in my sweaty little paw, I was distressed to see that every other seat in the carriage was reserved for school boys. As it happened, 13 year old school boys from my husband’s old school. I felt that my quiet reading would be disturbed.

But I had nothing to fear. Mr. Waffle had always assured me that his old school was full of nerds but I didn’t really believe him until the moment I saw the young men pull out their chess boards and timers and start playing while singing Ave Maria. Unless Ave Maria is sitting high in the charts at the moment, I find this detail particularly baffling.

Pedantic not Sexist

30 March, 2012 at 11:27 pm by belgianwaffle

Michael: A woman can’t be a schoolmaster.
Me: But Michael, your own teacher is a woman.
Michael: No, a woman can’t be a schoolmaster.
Me: Of course she can.
Mr. Waffle: Can a woman be a schoolmistress, Michael?
Michael: Yes, of course.

Busy but, yet, Disappointing

29 March, 2012 at 10:00 pm by belgianwaffle

Mr. Waffle was out yesterday evening and I decided I would achieve much in his absence and he would be suitably impressed on his return.

I made brioche. It took forever. I was up until all hours. It tasted like bread and looked like the hunchback of Notre Dame (assuming that he was singed on one side). I didn’t spend seven hours proving for this:

The Princess and I bought white t-shirts. And then I spent hours yesterday evening trying to transfer Monster High images on to them using transfer sheets purchased while we still lived in Belgium with the deeply unsatisfying results you see below (do you think transfers go off?):


On the plus side, we did make some progress both in party bag packing (did I mention that the Princess’s ninth birthday party is on Saturday?):


and in roller blading:

Then, as I sat down after a very long evening of domestic duties to print out a document from work, I realised that the printer was out of ink after the strain of printing Monster High transfers. Alas.

Disappointing Spaghetti Jar Purchase

28 March, 2012 at 8:04 pm by belgianwaffle

St Patrick's Day 001


27 March, 2012 at 8:52 pm by belgianwaffle

Look, the launch of the shiny book that’s going to make us all famous by extension:

Updated to add: book is called “The Out of Office Girl” and you can get it here. I hope this link works or I will be fired from my role of publicist.

Further Birthdays

26 March, 2012 at 8:09 pm by belgianwaffle

March is full of excitement. Mr. Waffle’s birthday falls on the 19th. On the 16th I was scheduled to pick up the large copy map I had got him from the framers. The night before, I said casually, “I might drive to work tomorrow, the forecast is for rain.” Note my cunning.

When I arose from my slumbers, Mr. Waffle proudly informed me that he had taken the car to the garage to get that wonky light fixed. “You don’t mind cycling, do you?” “Not at all,” I said untruthfully as I contemplated the prospect of walking home from town in the rain with a large picture under my arm.

You’ll be pleased to hear that he really liked the map.

Language Learning in Ireland

26 March, 2012 at 12:46 am by belgianwaffle

Acquaintance: You speak French, don’t you?
Me: Yes.
Her: Would you chat to my daughter before she does her [terminal school and very high stakes] oral examination.
Me: Of course, but I know several native French speakers and that would be much better for her, perhaps I could set that up.
Her: Oh, no, no, that would be no good.
Me: Sorry?
Her: Well, will the person giving her the oral exam be French?
Me: I shouldn’t think so but…
Her: Well then what advantage would it be to her to speak to a French person, it would only put her off. Of course, if you don’t want to do it..
Me: No, I’d be happy to, but you know, if you’re learning a foreign language, it’s best to speak to a native.
Her: That’s not true at all, I really don’t want to do that. It would be no good to her.

And she remained immovable. I despair.

Why I Love My Parents

25 March, 2012 at 8:41 pm by belgianwaffle

Final paragraph of (typed) letter received on my birthday:

This letter is supposed to be from both of us, but you will not be surprised to hear that your mother refused point blank to have any part in composing it. However, I expect she will subject the text to an analysis similar to an exegesis of a sacred text by one of the Church fathers, so I suppose she will have an input into the content one way or another.

You should know that my mother married my father on the condition that he would undertake all her correspondence for her and she has held him to it for more than 44 years.


24 March, 2012 at 8:34 pm by belgianwaffle

I came home from work one day to find that the Princess had written her will and got the boys to draw up wills also. She had given them a fictional €100 to dispense. I said to Daniel, “Will you read me your will?” He started out cheerily enough. “I leave [herself] €15. I leave Michael half of the money and the parents all the rest. Signed Daniel.” And then his voice broke as he read, “I wish that all of my relatives never forget me.” He’d drawn a tombstone with RIP on the back.

Honestly, she’s like Wednesday Addams.

Altar Girl Trials

23 March, 2012 at 8:31 pm by belgianwaffle

I noticed on Sunday that the neighbour’s child took off her runner and had a good sniff inside while sitting on the altar. I think that this puts us ahead. On the other hand, maybe nobody noticed. We had the American priest again and he exhorted us to “Come Alive”. We had to shout it out regularly during mass so we all stared at the ground covered in mortification and trying not to catch anyone’s eye. Someone will have to talk to him about cultural differences.

Bitter, Bitter, Bitter is the Lemon to the Fritter

22 March, 2012 at 8:18 pm by belgianwaffle

It was my birthday on March 10 and on March 9, Mr. Waffle took me to a nice restaurant for dinner. It was filled with tables of older women and we and 4 or 5 other couples were in an alcove away from the main restaurant. I asked our waiter who the women were (IFUW was my initial thought). “They are,” he announced proudly, “the mothers of the rugby players.” Scotland were to play Ireland the following day. We looked dubious, this seemed unlikely. Seeing our expressions he added, “Possibly also the grandmothers.” It was later explained that these were the wives or rugby officials. Clearly an older cohort. And that was all fine and dandy until they got our their guitars (I kid you not) and started belting out 70s numbers (“Torn Between Two Lovers, “Leaving on a Jet Plane”) as well as, of course, “Flower of Scotland” and the ever unappealing “Ireland’s Call”.

Alas, fair maiden.

More Characteristics of Middle Age

21 March, 2012 at 8:16 pm by belgianwaffle

When you receive an array of exciting presents and you are, quite genuinely, absolutely delighted with a floral magnetic shopping list that you can stick on the fridge.

Rehearsing Old Arguments with People too Busy Skiing to Care

20 March, 2012 at 11:55 pm by belgianwaffle

When we were teenagers, my brother and I fought all the time. We must have driven my poor parents insane. One of our biggest bones of contention was washing-up. For many years, my mother resisted the introduction of a dishwasher to our family home on the grounds that her sisters-in-law were against them. Like many of the better examples of modern technology, it was only introduced after I left home. I digress.

I cannot sit comfortably in the knowledge that the dishes await my attention next door. My brother could sit comfortably in this knowledge indefinitely. So, I was always at him to get up and get on with it. And he always said that he would, in time. But by the time he had finished drying a plate my sister and I would have done everything else around him. Or worse, he would breeze in at the end of our labours and claim credit for doing the work based on a paltry contribution of 2 minutes’ work. He and I used to row like blazes about this (my sister just kept working with her head down).

His argument was that I was obsessive about cleaning and, anyhow, I liked washing up. For him, he argued, it was all sacrifice but for me, it was satisfying. This used to drive me to the edge of reason (a spectacle he always enjoyed).

The other day the Princess and I went to her room and cleared out her “make and do” box. This was a bulging cesspit of random (loosely) craft related material which squatted ominously in the corner of her room. We shrunk it, we re-organised it. And it gives me a warm inner glow; even after several days. Isn’t it annoying the way siblings have insights into your character that elude you until you are middle aged?

But, just so we’re clear here, I’d still rather have sat on the sofa and had someone do it for me.


19 March, 2012 at 11:55 pm by belgianwaffle

Daniel: Prey is the same as warship, isn’t it?
Me: Well, no, prey is something you chase after and normally a warship does the chasing.
Herself: He means pray and worship and, Dan, the answer is yes.

Is it for this?

8 March, 2012 at 11:02 pm by belgianwaffle

I have a tendency to burst into song. Doesn’t everyone? I was walking along with Daniel the other day, it was sunny and I was humming away to myself. He slipped his little hand in mine and tugged gently. “What is it sweetheart?” I asked. He replied, “Stop singing, you’re embarrassing me.”

Hard Hater

7 March, 2012 at 9:04 pm by belgianwaffle

Me: Look, look, your key role as publicist has been acknowledged.
Her: Is that the same person who said in her twitter feed that I am 9 when, in fact, I am 8?


4 March, 2012 at 9:53 pm by belgianwaffle

My twitter account has been issuing weight loss spam. Sorry about that. I suppose it could be worse. In all my lengthy time on the internet, I have never had this kind of difficulty before. I have joined new things with gay abandon. I have given my credit card details without a second thought.

My mother on the other hand is ultra cautious. She has never joined anything on the internet. She has never given her credit card details over the internet (I know). She has never told anyone her PIN. She shreds all her personal details before binning them. Nevertheless, she has been very unlucky and regularly been the object of scams. The bank have been known to ring to check whether she is in the Bahamas spending money like water. She never is.

While I would like her luck to turn, I do hope that mine isn’t. Sigh.


3 March, 2012 at 9:54 pm by belgianwaffle

We went to visit the President’s House. The children threw pebbles in his fountain.


We went to the zoo. We saw some animals but we spent most of our time in the playground. The African grasslands closed at 4.30 so we missed the lions. Alas. At €45 to get in, that’s the most expensive playground I’ve been to in a while.


Oh dear.

High Standards

1 March, 2012 at 11:54 pm by belgianwaffle

Michael: What’s an ego?
Herself: Well, there’s an ego and a super ego.
My sister: A super ego?
Herself: It’s the rules of society that stop you jumping the queue or taking another person’s sandwich. A baby, for example, doesn’t have a super ego.
My sister (faintly): Oh.

On relating this to the Princess’s loving father, he said, “Oh yes, I remember explaining that to her in some context or other. It doesn’t sound like she added much to the original lesson.”

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