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28 February, 2013 at 10:47 pm by belgianwaffle

We’ve been watching the Harry Potter films (out of order – oh the pain to my OCD soul). On foot of this excitement the children wanted a Harry Potter app for the phone. It cost €1.78. “Oh,” said Mr. Waffle, “accept Muggle money, do they?” They do. Did it work? No it did not.

Unlikely Anxiety Dream

27 February, 2013 at 10:34 pm by belgianwaffle

My sister-in-law’s wedding in London is fast approaching. The Princess has a starring role as bridesmaid. The other night I dreamt that I was somehow unable to get the Princess ready and left the job to her father. To my horror, she turned up at the ceremony in jeans and with her hair unbrushed. Her aunt had, inexplicably, drafted in little English bridesmaids who looked like Kate Moss’s bridesmaids and they stood at the altar looking contemptuous.

I woke up and said to my husband in tones of deep annoyance, “How could you not have brushed her hair?” He, understandably, refused to take responsibility for the workings of my unconscious mind.

What are we to make of this?

Feeling the Strain

26 February, 2013 at 8:33 pm by belgianwaffle

I got a call from the school at 12.30.  I only picked it up at 1.30 when I got back from a meeting.  I called them.  What was wrong?  Daniel had a sore neck and he had spent the past hour with his head on his shoulder.  Mr. Waffle and I sped to the school.  He seems to have pulled a muscle in his neck.  He is much recovered this evening, thank you for asking.

Honestly, if it’s not one thing it’s another.

School of Hard Knocks

25 February, 2013 at 11:06 pm by belgianwaffle

Herself: Do you know what T (the childminder) says when we hurt ourselves?
Me: No.
Her: La douleur passe.

I suppose it is the equivalent of “It’ll be better before you’re twice married” which is what we used to get.

Big in Japan

24 February, 2013 at 10:15 pm by belgianwaffle

The Princess has ended up with a bit part in a Japanese documentary about Francis Bacon. I understand that she will be listening in rapt silence with a group of other children from her school while someone from the Hugh Lane Gallery explains his importance. We’re going to get a copy of the DVD. I know, you’re on the edge of your seat out there. You’re also humming that Alphaville song.


23 February, 2013 at 10:14 pm by belgianwaffle

Me: Michael, how would you survive, if there were no corn flakes, what would you live on?
Him: Rice Krispies.

Overheard Outside the Children’s School

22 February, 2013 at 10:08 pm by belgianwaffle

Young master of the universe, aged 8 speaking of another pupil, “She can’t be called Anne because Anne is an old woman’s name!”

Did I tell you that I will be 44 on March 10? Anyone know an Anne under 30? I feared as much.


21 February, 2013 at 10:03 pm by belgianwaffle

My mother’s first job out of college was with Clark’s shoes in England. Not quite sure why they needed a chemist but they did and she has fond memories of them. She also wear tested all of their women’s size 7 shoes which was an added bonus and meant she had the most extensive shoe wardrobe of anyone really.

When we were growing up we always got our shoes from Clark’s on the North Main Street (now defunct – the shop not the street). Since coming back to live in Ireland, I have bought all the children’s shoes in Clark’s. It’s a little bit dearer but they measure the children’s feet, I have my mother’s assurance as to the quality of the workmanship (admittedly dating from the 1960s) and they have actually held up pretty well, until now.

I bought Michael a pair of shoes at the start of December and last week he pointed out that the stitching at the top had come undone and there was a big hole. Mr. Waffle brought them back to Clark’s and asked for a replacement pair. The shop said that policy was only to refund 3/4 of the price after 28 days. That doesn’t strike me as very long. I would have said that a pair of shoes that lasts only just over two months are not of merchantable quality. Mr. Waffle made this point. They said he could ring England. He did. The English lady said that she would need to see them and he would have to post them to her. We settled for getting another pair at a quarter of the price of the damaged pair. But I am not pleased. And my mood was not improved by the woman in the shop saying to the children, “Gosh, I remember you guys coming in every year, you’ve grown so much.”

The Princess is delighted, her next pair of shoes will be those Converse runners she covets. She’ll have to learn how to tie laces first though.

Not Very Free Range Children

21 February, 2013 at 1:04 am by belgianwaffle

We went to the Natural History Museum which is a small museum where the children have been a couple of times before. At the door, I said, “You can go where you want inside the museum, but don’t go outside. If you need me, I will go to the book corner when I have finished looking around.”

The Princess pushed her brothers forward, “Go on, let’s enjoy our small slice of freedom pie.”

Project Work

20 February, 2013 at 10:48 pm by belgianwaffle

The boys were recently assigned their first school project. Each child had to pick an Irish county to write about. Daniel, still fascinated by the Battle of the Boyne, picked Meath. He did some research on his chosen county. He wrote about the Hill of Tara and the stone of destiny at the top.

“You know,” I said, “I’ve never been up the Hill of Tara, we should go this weekend.” Whereupon the Princess moaned with acute, though deplorable, insight, “Don’t make us, it will be a long walk up a hill in the rain and when we get there the stone will be titchy.” I know that this is true but I am still going to make them do it; if only the weather would improve just a little bit. I have a new Portuguese colleague at work and she is in daily astonishment at the awful weather and refuses to believe that it could be worse in Cork but it is. I digress.

Michael meanwhile chose to do his project on Cork. “Why did you choose Cork?” I asked beaming with pride. “Because there was nothing else left and I knew you would know lots about it.” My pragmatic though not notably tactful child. One of the things he stuck to the chart was a picture of UCC the university in Cork with which my family has a long association. On the front he had written, “Lift the flap to find a fact.” Underneath was written “This is a college, it is called DCU.” [Spelling corrected for your benefit. Michael’s spelling continues to be idiosyncratic.] DCU is a local university in Dublin. As I squealed in horror, a part of me took off my hat to DCU’s outreach programme which is manifestly building excellent brand recognition among local school children.

That is all. The projects have now been submitted and are gracing the wall of 2nd class.

Home Truths

19 February, 2013 at 10:44 pm by belgianwaffle

When I was in Cork, my mother said, “Oh Anne, we would love if you could stay for longer.” “I know,” I said, “but, you know, they want me back home in Dublin too. I’m just so popular, everyone wants to have me stay.”

My sister interjected, “Actually, I’d say Dan [our brother] could take you or leave you.”

Not my Proudest Parenting Moment

19 February, 2013 at 12:18 am by belgianwaffle

Blogging has been light of late. I have been very busy; work, the house, nationwide travel. I swapped my day for collecting the children from school to facilitate a work commitment. When I arrived, late, to collect the troops, herself was very cross. When I asked what was wrong she said, “It wasn’t your usual day to collect us and I was worried that you had forgotten us.” My poor misfortunate children.

Conversation on February 13

14 February, 2013 at 11:04 pm by belgianwaffle

Daniel: Tomorrow is a day.
Me: Well, yes, of course it is.
Daniel: No, it’s a day.
Me: No, today is a day, it’s Ash Wednesday and yesterday was a day, it was Pancake Tuesday but tomorrow is just Thursday.
Daniel (insistently): No, it’s a day!
Me: It’s the day you start your mid-term break?
Him: NO.
Me: It’s the day I’m going to drive you to Cork?
Him: NO!
Me: Well, I don’t know then sweetheart.

This morning before we drove to Cork Mr. Waffle gave me a Valentine’s card. Turns out today is a day. Did I have a lovely card for him? A tasteful gift? Alas, no. I hope he still loves me.

Only A Bit of Chocolate

1 February, 2013 at 8:19 pm by belgianwaffle

Over the years I have left a fair share of my income in the Avoca cafe in Suffolk Street. After a tough week recently, I went in at the tail end of the working day for a cup of tea and a bun. Owing to my head cold, I had a lemsip instead of tea (powder by me, boiling water by them). After I had finished my bun, I went to pay, sniffing into my tissue (lemsip only moderately effective) and the man behind the counter (known to me by sight) smiled kindly at me and said, “That’s alright.” “Eh?” “Ah sure, it’s only a bit of chocolate.” Free bun worth €3.65 for me. Also, I suppose, free boiling water, and a warm, toasty glow. Wasn’t that lovely?

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