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30 October, 2015 at 10:31 pm by belgianwaffle

We were in Cork at the weekend.

Herself cycled into town with her aunt using a Cork bike. She was very taken by the segregated cycle lanes. She is still alive.

Following my encounter with the people from Colorado, I was determined to take in Blarney Castle next time we went to Cork. While it wasn’t worth driving up from Killarney twice to see, I think, on balance, it was worth the 15 minute drive from my parents’ house.

It was lashing but we wore our rain gear like proper tourists. The castle is like loads of other square fortified castles in Ireland without a roof.


I have to say that they do a fantastic job with the rather limited material available to them. I have visited the castle before but not in years. I retained a vivid memory of the actual stone kissing being rather hair raising. My memory was not at fault. Daniel and Herself refused point blank to kiss it. Michael was the bravest but so speedy that I failed to immortalise the moment on camera. However, Daniel was to hand to record my latest kissing of the stone.

See that gap at the top of the castle in the battlements? That’s where the stone is. Hair raising indeed, I can tell you.


There was some old graffiti. The standard of graffiti seems to have gone downhill over the years, frankly.


After our castle adventure, we went for a nice cup of tea. The cafe was in the stable yard. In the main room there was a delightful roaring fire but no space. We found ourselves shunted to another room where the stables had been turned into rather drafty booths for tables and chairs with, for added authenticity, manger and trough still in situ. Not entirely successful in my view.


There was lots more to see including a cleverly designed poison garden (the gardens in general, however, were not at their best what with it being October) and a small playground. All in all, it wasn’t too bad. We might even go back for another visit.


Updated to add: look at these delightful pictures of Blarney castle that I saw in the Crawford Gallery.





Suffering for Suffrage

29 October, 2015 at 10:04 pm by belgianwaffle

Last night the Princess and I went to the suffragette film. She is on mid-term break so she had spent some time preparing for the evening. She made buns with pink icing on which were piped the initials of prominent suffragettes:


Then when you cut them in half, they were purple white and green on the inside. These were, I now know, the colours of the suffragette movement.


The buns were something of a highlight. The film itself was quite dull. And felt like it went on forever. Alas. Not as bad as Lafcadio Hearn though, so that was something.

Henrietta Street

24 October, 2015 at 10:17 pm by belgianwaffle

Last weekend the Princess and I went to see 12 Henrietta Street as part of Dublin Open House.

I love Henrietta Street, it is full of Georgian faded grandeur; big houses that became tenements and were then left to rot. It’s being slowly reclaimed but it is a long way from gentrification. One of the houses is for sale by auction with a reserve of €650,000. It’s essentially derelict in an exciting (ahem) urban part of town but massive and completely beautiful. I wonder who might buy it.

Mystery Resolved

24 October, 2015 at 10:03 pm by belgianwaffle

We had guests to dinner in September. I offered one of our guests gin, but when I went to the cupboard, there was no gin. I was a bit surprised but, you know, it could have been finished off at any stage. He had wine instead.

The Princess spent some time painting and cleaning the shed in September (stay with me here). She plans to sleep out there with her friends for her birthday in April. She is planning ahead. As part of her clean out, she decided that an old dusty suitcase which looked like it hadn’t been moved in years should be disposed of. In fact she had used it before the summer as a prop in a film she and her friend were recording. It hadn’t rattled then but it did now. Inside were two empty gin bottles. For ages we were all baffled.

Then we realised that we had swapped houses this summer with a French family with two teenage children. I am really looking forward to the teenage years.

Michael at 10

23 October, 2015 at 10:01 pm by belgianwaffle

Michael continues to be very much his own man. He is not influenced by fads or fashions or cowed by the expectations of society.

He is happiest at home. If left to his own devices, he might never leave the house. He does, however, enjoy the scouts. He has been going since February and hasn’t missed a night. Every Monday he dons his gear and runs into the hall with every appearance of enthusiasm. He is not one to go to something for the appearance of it, so, I think that we can take it that it is genuine enthusiasm. While there were some trips to the park during the summer, it has essentially been an indoor scouting experience – you don’t get to be den connect 4 champion by going on long hikes you know – and we felt that any further exploration of the great outdoors might put him off. However, a couple of weeks ago there was a weekend away and he said he wanted to go. His manner was more that of a martyr steeling himself to sacrifice than a child looking forward to a treat but he was adamant that he wanted to go.

I was in Cork for part of the weekend and all of my family expressed surprise to varying degrees that Michael had undertaken this venture even my father who is not fully up on Michael’s views on matters [he and Michael like to sit reading and peacefully ignoring each other – like parallel play]. I would love to say to you that it was a roaring success but it was not. Michael did not like being away from home and sleeping in a damp cabin; he did not like that his little companions were noisy and kept him awake at night; he did not like the night chasing exercise; he did not like the food; he particularly did not like the long hike which followed no breakfast [for him as all that was available was coco pops – yes, I know – and he refused to let them pass his lips – what kind of a child doesn’t like coco pops?] and where he was sustained by one gummy cola bottle. This was the longest he and Daniel had ever been apart and they fell into each other’s arms in a most affecting manner on Michael’s return on Sunday afternoon before Michael rushed into the kitchen to eat several bowls of cornflakes.

Speaking of food, he continues to be picky. He is getting slightly better but there are still many foods he will not eat. To be fair, he is much more inclined to try things than he used to be but he still doesn’t find a lot of things appetising, either sweet or savoury.

UntitledHe is immensely skinny, but he seems to be healthy so I daresay it will work itself out. I am generally not this philosophical at the dinner table where I tend to be more despairing as yet again Michael has rice cakes for dinner. He makes his own cheesy shapes though. IMAG1086

He is a big believer in comfort and, if left to his own devices would wear the green t-shirt from the Christmas before last and his jeans and his grey gap hoodie every day.

Untitled2015-07-03 12.51.11

He also feels the cold, so tends to wander around the house swathed in blankets used as shawls like a Victorian dowager. In June he was still wearing his waterproof, thick gloves to school every day. It was cold this summer but not that cold.

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He loves to play on the computer. His preferred method for doing so is to ask, “Can Daniel play on the computer?” His concern for his brother is intended to melt our defences. Even though we know he is doing this and I have heard him tell Daniel about how effective this technique is for getting both of them access; the technique continues to be effective. He seems to like watching videos of teenage boys playing fantasy war games. He is currently really enjoying going into town on Saturdays and bonding with a number of other boys and men over dungeons and dragons type games. This is a very male dominated space; some gender balance would be nice. But, on the plus side, the older teenagers seem to be endlessly kind to ten year olds who share their interests.

UntitledHe’s still a great reader and likes to sit up in his room reading his book and ignoring the commotion around him. The other evening we had some friends around. They have three children, the eldest of whom is a good friend of the Princess. While Daniel played with the younger two and the Princess played with her friend, Michael stayed in his bedroom reading. While the others ate cream cakes downstairs (of no interest to a boy who doesn’t eat coco pops), Michael stayed in his bedroom reading. While the eldest of the three children visiting put her hand through a pain of glass, screamed loudly and was taken off to A&E for stitches by her parents, Michael stayed in his bedroom reading. While the victim’s father (she’s fine now but all v dramatic at the time) came back to give us an update and rescue the two younger children; Michael stayed in his bedroom reading. It was a good book apparently. Untitled

Although this makes him sound anti-social, he is in fact both charming and obliging. He is also a peacemaker. He rarely provokes arguments. When we had the beatitudes at mass, I said to him “Blessed are the peacemakers, that’s you.” The reward is that they shall be called children of God which, as he pointed out, he has anyway, so it’s not like there is any extra benefit. I am not sure whether there is any direct benefit to him from his largely peaceful nature but the others don’t seem to fight with him at all as much as they do with each other so I assume that he regards this as positive.

UntitledHe hated his teacher at school last year and this year, he loves his teacher who is in my view the best teacher in the school. His class have had her twice before, so they are particularly fortunate. I can’t say that she has made him love school but he is certainly much more keen and I think he does quite enjoy some aspects. He is not, however, a fan of formal schooling. I was extremely surprised to hear him say recently [in Irish!] that Irish is our language and it is important that we should be able to speak it. Of course, many, many people have been saying this to him for years but, until now, he has been entirely unconvinced by the merits of this argument. I await similar enthusiasm in relation to other subjects. Incidentally, he still understands French and can speak it a little bit but, some form of lessons might be needed at this point; a prospect which neither of us regards with any enthusiasm. He continues to be daring. We cycle to school once a week (when I have a half day and can collect him and his brother). This is increasingly less hair-raising as Michael becomes more traffic conscious and steady on his bike. However, he doesn’t like to let go of any speed he has gained (what cyclist does, I suppose) and he is inclined to not stop at the bottom of hills when, ideally, he should yield to oncoming traffic and not turn my hair white. This issue is, however, steadily improving. Over the summer, he had great fun on the dodgems. He needed to be accompanied by an adult. He was unable to persuade either of his parents to drive with him twice. IMAG1447

IMAG1471He’s a bit scared of dogs but, this summer, in Kerry he met a lovely dog on the beach and was almost reconciled to the existence of dogs. 2015-07-08 13.25.33 - Copy

It is Michael’s job to sort the family’s socks on Saturday morning. He doesn’t like it but over time he has become fascinated by the odd socks and where they come from. Only last week he staged a daring raid on his sister’s sock drawer and got eight socks, four of which he was able to successfully match. If only all jobs could be as exciting; he is sick of unloading the dishwasher. Aren’t we all?

He can be stubborn. When his mind is made up, it is useless to argue, appeal or otherwise try to make him yield to your will. He is generally quite easy going which is just as well as if he had decided views about everything, it could be very tiring for all of us.

He and his brother are very close. He and Daniel share many interests and have a huge amount in common. Mostly he gets on really well with both his siblings and, indeed, his parents and other relatives.

He is a very easy, undemanding companion, happy to go with the suggestions of others as long as they do not involve leaving the house and even then, he tends to resign himself early to the imposition and try to stake out the parameters of the horror (how far do we have to drive? how long will the walk be? can we not go for a walk again ever after this?).

He was at home sick during the week and I found one of our regular babysitters to come and mind him. “How do you find being at home with C?” I asked him. “Fine,” he said reassuringly. “How do you find being at home with me?” I asked out of curiousity expecting him to say “fine” again but he said “Brilliant!” with genuine enthusiasm. It was the nicest thing anyone said to me all day. Happy birthday my brilliant boy.

Daniel at 10

22 October, 2015 at 9:48 pm by belgianwaffle

Oh the responsibilities Daniel bears on his young shoulders. He worries about all of us. He worries most about Michael though. Daniel is prudent, his brother is reckless. This is hard on Daniel. He is only 20 minutes older than Michael but he still acts like the responsible older brother.

2015-07-03 12.36.25

He continues to be the sporty child and is out training two nights a week with matches every weekend. He is fit as a fiddle and is never happier than when tossing something (ideally a ball but a pencil or a balloon or just about anything will do) in the air. He would like to take up additional sports: tennis, soccer, rugby but the schedule is already pretty full with hurling and football and he may have to hold off on the additional sports until he can get there himself. He has been to Lansdowne Road, Croke Park and Dalymount to watch matches. He supports Arsenal. He is a true sporting enthusiast. It’s a mystery to us. It’s a pity that our only sporty child is the one who wears glasses. I have, however, invested a fortune in sports goggles and he gets good use out of them.

2015-02-20 14.25.21

He’s a good cyclist and good in traffic which is a comfort. He is a bit faster than me and his brother and I can see him sailing ahead in traffic on the way into school and although my heart misgives me, he has never actually done anything to really scare me. He can be slow to set off as he considers all his options so I have taken to saying “Go, go, go!” to him at traffic lights which he is not loving.

He is able at school and likes facts which is a great help to anyone making his way through school. He also loves to read which is handy. His teacher is wonderful this year but he is very capable of getting on with a less than wonderful teacher, putting his head down and learning himself. He did not like his teacher last year but he managed and was reasonably happy. He loves school because he has lots of friends but also because he knows the rules of engagement and he is good at meeting expectations. Towards the end of the summer holidays he is always quite keen to get back to school.

2015-04-08 16.34.09

He is very kind to other children particularly younger children. I see him in the playground helping them down when they have ventured too far on the ropes. He is nearly too old for playgrounds; he does not love them like he used to although we still go a bit. I will miss seeing the look of sheer delight he used to have when running to a playground.

He still loves fairgrounds, though:

He is very fond of some computer game involving the Trojan wars about which he now has considerable expertise. This also goes for fantasy games involving plastic figurines which he likes to play with his brother. He is also a big fan of Fifa 15 which he gets to play on Saturday mornings. When I emerge from bed, he is downstairs in front of the tv with the curtains drawn dressed in his match gear, playing his little heart out. He will have been at this since at least eight as he usually has to head off for his Saturday match by 9.30 at the latest. His kind aunt and uncle gave him an x-box live subscription for his birthday. This has not been an unmixed blessing as he is finding the live opposition a bit harder to manage than the computer. However, he is surprisingly sanguine about this. I say surprisingly as he is a child who hates to lose. Board games and card games can be torture. But the impact of the GAA has been positive and he is developing a certain battle hardiness when they lose games. His sister put it well though, she said that we are all like raw wood when we are born and over the years we build up layers of polish which allow us to ignore losing and care less but he hasn’t got very much varnish yet. Poor Daniel. It is hard to care so much. I think he would very much like it to be otherwise.

2015-07-03 12.30.43

He loves his brother and mostly they get on very well. He and his sister are very much alike and consequently enjoy a much more fractious relationship. They both want to be king of the castle but Daniel has a sneaking regard for her and her opinion which is a distinct weakness in his defences.

2015-04-19 15.39.06

He still understands French reasonably well but his spoken French is pretty limited although his accent is good (lucky him). His Irish is coming along though. In English, he is really good at speaking clearly and pronouncing his words properly. He can articulate his words in a way that is quite unusual for an Irish person. He didn’t get that from me; all my words end in a soft “sh” sound (money my parents paid for elocution lessons? Down the drain clearly). He did some prayers of the faithful at mass last Sunday and I was struck by how well he read in front of the congregation. He was nervous, I know because he told me, but he didn’t seem nervous up on the altar and he was really clear.


He is great at helping around the house. He is well able to do useful tasks and not too inclined to wriggle out of them. His room is pretty much always tidy. Worth repeating, no? His room is pretty much always tidy. It fills my heart with joy. On the minus side, he seems incapable of putting his runners anywhere other than where he takes them off and I am constantly falling over them in the hall, on the landing and all over downstairs. There is no malice, it’s just a higher item on my priority list than it is on his.

2015-07-30 11.53.07

I am a constant source of embarrassment to him in public and with his friends, if I’m not singing, I am hugging him or otherwise doing mortifying things. I was pleasantly surprised when I came back from Cork recently to have him rush down the stairs to give me a hug notwithstanding the fact that he had a friend staying. When his friend suggested that they might go back upstairs to continue playing, Daniel said, “I’d like to stay and talk to my Mum for a while because she’s been away and I’ve missed her.” I was so touched. Sometimes, he seems so independent and self contained that I forget that he is only just 10.


While he is willing to eat most sweet treats, his savoury diet leaves a great deal to be desired. He essentially lives on bread, porridge and Yorkshire pudding (although this evening he ate a lamb chop and I nearly expired from happiness). I am slightly sick of Yorkshire puddings but I think Daniel will never tire of them. And, if he did, what a catastrophe that would be.


Notwithstanding the outrages he has to put up with from his family, he is a happy child and enjoys life. He has a big smile and we often see it. He finds his parents’ jokes hilarious. Like many things, I suppose we should enjoy this while it lasts. It is wonderful to see your children growing up but sometimes, you wish it would happen a little bit more slowly.

Historical Artifacts or in my Parents’ House, Nothing is Ever Thrown Out

17 October, 2015 at 11:49 pm by belgianwaffle

I have mentioned previously that I am a changeling. Whereas my parents and brother and sister never throw anything out, I keep a black bag at the bottom of the wardrobe which I fill up with unused, unnecessary or grown out of things to give away.

When we were once at my parents’ house in Cork, Michael was looking for a bookmark. I dug into the pile of papers on the desk and pulled out a scrap of old envelope.

When we got home to Dublin, it floated on to the ground and I picked it up to throw it in the bin. This is what it was:


My mother won a DAAD scholarship to Germany in the late 1950s and she clearly kept the envelopes in which she received her correspondence (based on her later behaviour, I can confirm that this is typical; sometimes because it is handy to have scrap paper – not, I would have thought, hugely needed in our house – and sometimes to keep the address on the back). She loved her time in Freiburg and, indirectly, it led to her meeting my father as I covered here.

Now, of course, ironically, I can’t throw out this scrap of envelope.

More Culture

15 October, 2015 at 9:37 pm by belgianwaffle

The Princess and I went to a reading last night based on the life and work of Lafcadio Hearn. It was not a success. Notwithstanding the potential for real interest, I regret to report that the performance and script were dull. The audience was not large and most of them slumbered throughout the performance.

It’s not all fun and games supporting the arts, you know.

Thin Ice

13 October, 2015 at 11:47 pm by belgianwaffle

Michael asked me at dinner, “Mum, do I get any spam in my email, aside from you, I mean?”

Mildly Disturbing

11 October, 2015 at 11:46 pm by belgianwaffle

Herself likes to spread salt on her rice cakes (don’t judge). One day she brought some sea salt into school in a bit of cling film. One of her best friends asked her, “Why are you putting crystal meth on your rice cakes?”


9 October, 2015 at 11:44 pm by belgianwaffle

I met a nice American couple from Colorado on the train recently. They were finishing a week’s visit to Ireland. They had been to Dublin (where, they revealed, in passing, that his father had happened upon some junkies shooting up in the city centre near where they were staying, alas), Clare, Cork and Kerry. They seemed to have picked up a number of misconceptions during their stay.

Them: We’re from just outside Colorado, where they brew Coor’s beer.
Me: Oh right.
Them: We knew that would help to place it for an Irish person.
[Not so much, actually]

Them: Why does everyone in Ireland love Wales so much?
Me: Ah, Wales who beat England in the rugby world cup match recently?
Them: Yes, everyone in the bar was shouting ‘Come on Wales!’
Me: That’s a complicated one.

Them: We took a tour bus in Dublin and saw the Protestant church that used to be separate from a Catholic church by a wall to keep the Protestants and Catholics apart.
[I’m pretty sure the tour company made that up.]

Them: So we went into a bar and this man at the bar just looked at us and said, “F*** off!” I guess that’s Irish pub humour for you [they laughed good-naturedly while I was just appalled].

Them: So the one thing we knew we had to see, if we came to Ireland, was the Blarney stone [possibly one of Ireland’s dullest attractions as they eventually found out – up the road from Cork, readily accessible from my parents’ house, I have visited it once – that was plenty].

The detail on their trip to Blarney, however, was enough to put off the most enthusiastic. They were staying in Killarney. Killarney is in Kerry and about 80 long kilometres from Blarney which is just outside Cork city. 80kms may not be as far in Colorado as it is on the Cork-Kerry road. Possibly for this reason, they decided to get a taxi to Blarney. That was €160 worth of taxi. Due to, admittedly, poor planning on their part and having arrived on October 1 when, as any Irish person would tell you, all Irish monuments change their opening hours, Blarney Castle had closed eight minutes before they arrived. However, undaunted, our heroes went back to Killarney (where they were staying) and paid a further €120 (reduced rate) to go Blarney and back in the morning. They enjoyed the added bonus of a near miss on the narrow road where their taxi driver risked all their lives passing out a turf lorry – authentic in so many ways. With difficulty, I managed to restrain myself from sharing with them how many more economical and effective ways there were to achieve their objective. Still, they seemed happy and, as they pointed out to me, it would be a lot more expensive to get to Blarney from Colorado. This was undoubtedly true and I could only admire their youthful optimism.

I have decided that the next time we are in Cork, I will take the children to Blarney Castle, maybe there is something in it after all.

The Dark Side of Cat Ownership

8 October, 2015 at 10:42 pm by belgianwaffle

This morning, Mr. Waffle disposed of two partially disembowelled mice, one from the utility room and one from the kitchen. Then he whooshed the indignant cat away from the pile of her vomit by the back door. It contained visible mouse entrails and her previous night’s dinner and she was busy re-consuming it.

I will leave you with that image. You’re welcome.


7 October, 2015 at 11:04 pm by belgianwaffle

We come back from holidays in late August and it is heritage week, then there is the fringe theatre festival, then the theatre festival, then culture night, then open house, now there’s the Dublin festival of history and something called gallery weekend as well and by mid-October we are so exhausted that we can face no cultural events for the following twelve months.

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I got all the brochures from the Dublin tourist office. They handed me out the brochure for culture night surreptitiously from under the counter. Apparently, if they were out, they would all be gone. Baffling.

So we took part in a limited selection of events. Foolishly, I had already booked myself and the Princess into “The Importance of Being Earnest” at the start of the season; our stamina was compromised early. It was long – I had completely forgotten, but she enjoyed it, notwithstanding the extremely uncomfortable seats and the slightly mediocre production.

Then, I sent her to a music workshop in the Chester Beatty library because I wanted to use up her cultural stamina and her friend was going. She did not like it.

The children and I went to the “Secret” exhibition in the Science Gallery which was really excellent. Michael learnt to pick a lock. What’s not to love?


Unrelated. But, we saw people swimming in the Liffey. The horror.

2015-09-19 15.09.09

Culture night began well. We had booked an acting session which the children found mildly enjoyable. They were taught by a talented, enthusiastic and energetic young woman. There was a group of about ten children of various ages. Among other things she had them freeze as various professions. “Doctors and nurses!” she said. Then to each of the girls, she asked “What are you doing nurse?” to some she would add “Or are you a doctor?” and to all of the boys in turn, she said “What are you doing doctor?” It was obviously unconscious. I agonised, should I say something or not. I went up at the end and thanked her for a terrific session then I said about the unconscious gender bias. I felt like a heel. The Princess was utterly mortified.

By the end of the evening, the boys were beginning to wilt. The visit to the Quaker meeting house was, frankly, a mistake. Herself was really interested but the boys most emphatically were not. She listened in fascination to the nice Quaker lady telling her how they wouldn’t dream of imposing their beliefs on others or judging others for their beliefs. So different from the religion she knows best. If she converts is that a win or a lose? Look, it’s not Catholicism but, you know, it’s religion.

Mr. Waffle and I went to “The Man and Le Mans” at the Irish Film Institute’s documentary film festival. If you like motor racing, boy, was this the film for you. I do not like motor racing. As a bonus, there was an interview with the director. He explained that they had set the sound to extra loud before playing the film that evening. That was obvious to the meanest intelligence

In the fringe theatre festival we copped out and went to see two comedians. They were mildly amusing. Moment of the night was banter with the audience as follows:
Comedian: I hate audience interaction, see you [pointing to man in front row] what do you do?
Man: I work in retail.
Comedian: See, that’s not funny, how can you make that funny? [He continues with this theme and then turns back to man in the front row]. So Mr. “I work in retail, where do you work?”
Man: In Knobs and Knockers on Nassau Street.

Got the biggest laugh of the night.

We went to a thing called “By Heart” in the theatre festival. It was recommended to us. A Portuguese man teaches 10 people in the audience one of Shakespeare’s sonnets. It was a lot more entertaining than you might think. I forced Mr. Waffle to be a volunteer and I was too. It was sonnet 30 which goes as follows:

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanished sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.

It doesn’t look too bad but it is quite hard when a) you can’t see the poem, b) the actor/director/writer/main man is Portuguese and although he speaks excellent English is a little hard to understand at times, just like Shakespeare c) the woman sitting beside you on stage is from Belgium and speaks little English and is getting you to translate the sonnet that you barely understand yourself, on the hoof, into French for her d) the audience is shouting out your line at you which you have forgotten in the stress of trying to translate into French the line “And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe,” while the Portuguese man assures you that there is no need to worry as the audience always loves failure [this appears to be true] and e) you are trying to follow the action [talk of Fahrenheit 451 and Mandelstam and the author’s grandmother] rather than repeat your line constantly in your head.

When I described it to my sister, she said that it sounded exactly like the kind of thing that happens in a nightmare and I see where she’s coming from but I did quite enjoy it. The next night’s volunteers were featured in a photo in the review of the play for the paper and it sums up the difference between Mr. Waffle and me that I was quite sorry we weren’t in the paper and he felt, strongly, that we had dodged a bullet. It was unfortunate, then, that shortly after the performance, it transpired that a colleague of Mr. Waffle’s had been in the audience. This man glided up to him at work and said, without preamble, “When to the sessions of sweet silent thought…”

I didn’t book anything for the children in the theatre festival, but happily, the boys got taken to something they really enjoyed with school and herself had been to “The Importance of Being Earnest” so honour was saved.

Between this cultural onslaught and the boys’ birthday and the return to work and school this is always an exciting time of year but you may look forward to more regular posting now that this year’s cultural work is done.

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