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Archive for December, 2015

What George Boole and I Have in Common

20 December, 2015 at 6:30 pm by belgianwaffle

Over the summer, the children and I went on a George Boole themed tour of UCC. Among the things I learned about the great man was that his wife was a great believer in an early variant of homeopathy and firmly believed that giving you a small dose of what had made you sick in the first place would help to cure you. The great man got a cold after walking home from work in the rain (something those of us from Cork are all too painfully familiar with) and his wife wrapped him in damp sheets to help him recover and it was too much for his constitution and he was carried off by pneumonia at the tender age of 49.

As attentive readers will know, I got sick on Sunday, December 6. I have been utterly unable to shake the cold since and announced to Mr. Waffle on Friday that if it was not better by next Friday, I was going to see the doctor and check whether it was pneumonia (a colleague has been diagnosed with pneumonia, it’s on my mind). “Good luck with that,” said he “as next Friday is Christmas Day.” Happily, however, this weekend, I finally, finally seem to be recovering. I am, fortunately, never normally ill. As a colleague who suffers from regular colds remarked to me, disapprovingly rather than admiringly, I thought “You normally have the constitution of an ox, don’t you?” I certainly have never had a cold for this long. Every night last week I was up for at least an hour between 2 and 4 coughing my little lungs up. I had to absent myself from the hall during the course of the Princess’s Christmas concert and cough away in the toilets and also, during a work conference where, mercifully, I was not required to be on the podium but where I hacked through the conference dinner like typhoid Mary [actually, does typhoid make you cough? You know what I mean anyway].

I don’t think that my condition was helped by the fact that every time I hopped up on my bike, the heavens opened and it lashed rain. It never normally rains in Dublin but apparently this has been the wettest November ever in Dublin and the rain held on grimly into December. There is no better way to get soaked than on a bicycle regardless of how good your rain gear might be.

But where you ask yourself, is my George Boole link? It was a low point, I have to tell you. I had returned from work late, peeled off my damp cycling gear, crawled into bed with a hot water bottle, a dose of Benylin, a lemsip, a temperature and my ever-present friend the cough. I was woken up some time later by the distinctly unpleasant sensation of wet sheets. Alas, my hot water bottle had leaked.

Saint Nicolas on Tour

9 December, 2015 at 6:32 pm by belgianwaffle

Michael: How far is to Saint Nicolas?
Me: Well, we haven’t lived in Belgium for a long time now and, um…
Him: When is it?
Me: Well, some people might say it has already passed. Technically.
Him: When is it?
Me: December 6. But, you never liked the chocolate Santas anyway, he had to bring you crisps.
Him: That’s hardly the point.
[His siblings emerge from their bedrooms looking peeved.]
Me: Um, well, it’s really up to Saint Nicolas and I suppose we don’t live in Belgium any more….
Him: There will be three pairs of shoes beside the fireplace tomorrow night. Saint Nicolas had better deliver.
Me: Um, ok, we’ll have a word with him.

Exploring Dublin

8 December, 2015 at 5:40 pm by belgianwaffle

Herself was off school today. Her cousin who lives across town was in a school play. The Princess decided to go and see her little cousin star in Matilda. My first born, therefore, spent two hours today criss-crossing the city on Dublin Bus. She is still alive. I am very proud. She tells me Matilda was pretty good as was the post-play lunch with the relatives. Who’s a big girl then?

Unrelated: I’m still sick, thank you for asking.

Seasonal Affliction

7 December, 2015 at 2:25 pm by belgianwaffle

I went to a Christmas bazaar on Saturday afternoon. I was uncharacteristically dissatisfied with the merchandise on offer. I didn’t buy much and trudged home disconsolately afterwards. Little did I know it but I think, even then, evil germs must have been coursing through my system removing my otherwise unquenchable appetite for Christmas tat.

I went to a Christmas party on Saturday night. The party givers had a beautiful large, two storey over basement Victorian house with a sea view and I felt very unseasonal envy. Afterwards giving our babysitter a lift home, she remarked that I was a bit hoarse but I felt fine and attributed it to uncrushable envy or shouted conversations over several hours. I was fine on Sunday morning. On Sunday afternoon, I went to my Sunday afternoon bookclub Christmas tea. It was in the Westbury. It was pricy but, in fairness to the Westbury, it was delightful. I had a lovely time but by the end of the afternoon I was hoarse again. Cycling home, I felt light-headed and by the time I got back, I had a nasty sore throat and sore ears and sore sinuses.

Herself was sick last week. “I’ve caught your cold,” I said bitterly to her. “No, you haven’t; every cold virus is different.” Fine. I am sick anyway. After lying awake half the night hacking I decided to cancel my dental appointment this morning (I left a message on the machine at 7.30 but have had a painful conversation with dental receptionist just now where she sounded like she didn’t believe my story of illness but thought I was malingering – were you looking for paranoia, well, it’s available here) and stay out of work sick. I can’t remember the last time I was sick enough to stay out of work and I feel distinctly sorry for myself. I haven’t even eaten anything yet today which is, frankly, unheard of (though even as I type I think I might be able to fancy a lightly poached egg – is this the harbinger of recovery or just the lemsip talking?)

I have my Monday evening bookclub Christmas meeting tonight and I would love to go, I have even bought the present for the Kris Kindle thing. I suppose if I don’t go, it can be repurposed as a teacher present.

Yes, it’s all the problems of the world here today; bet you’re glad you dropped by for this fascinating account of a bad head cold. I think I might light the fire to speed my recovery.

I Say a Little Prayer for You

5 December, 2015 at 6:18 pm by belgianwaffle

Herself and her friend A were running across the road to the bus stop. She says it is hair raising (mental note, must investigate this on google maps) and as they got to the other side, she said to A, perhaps not entirely seriously, “I am just going to say a prayer thanking God for delivering us safely to the other side of the road.” A (who has to my knowledge made her communion and confirmation and attended exclusively catholic schools) said, “Say a prayer? You can’t do that, you’re not an exorcist.” Herself asks, “What do you think people do in churches, A?” A replies, “Are they all praying like, like…” “Like Catholics,” herself cuts across. “Do they sprinkle each other with holy water while they are praying?” asked A with interest.

Cycling Etiquette

3 December, 2015 at 8:48 pm by belgianwaffle

Yesterday I walked to school with the boys as usual pushing my bike along. I was walking on the pavement pushing my bike on the edge of the road when a man in lycra sped past me and said, “If you’re not cycling, get out of the cycle lane!” Should you push your bike on the path? It is very annoying to find cyclists annoying. I am on their side. Sigh.

A Tooth Fairy’s Lot is Not a Happy One

2 December, 2015 at 8:17 pm by belgianwaffle

Herself lost a tooth yesterday. Who knew children kept losing baby teeth for so long? This morning she came into us to announce that the tooth fairy had not come. “Perhaps he will come today,” I said. She looked at Mr. Waffle with a sapient eye as he dragged himself out of bed and said, “I think the tooth fairy is trudging to his work, even now.”

I got this email from her during the day.

From: Herself
To: Me
Re: Don’t go getting ideas.

This is blatantly unacceptable.

Does there come a time where one is just a smidgen too sophisticated for the tooth fairy?

Little Disagreement

1 December, 2015 at 8:03 pm by belgianwaffle

Last night the Princess asked me whether I was a Jo and Laurie person or an Amy and Laurie person. If you have not read “Little Women“, you may move on now. Anyhow, I said that I was a Jo and Laurie person, like everybody except, perhaps, Louisa May Alcott. Of course, the Princess is an Amy and Laurie person. Internet, might I ask you, what kind of person are you?

Can I tell you that you are on your first warning having given the WRONG answer on the piano question.


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