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Culture Night

September 22nd, 2018

Last night, the boys went for French lessons (not a success). While they were there, as part of Culture Night, Mr. Waffle and I went to the RIA and the Mansion House. I’d been to the Mansion House for events before and it was grand but a bit dull. Not their brass, though, which was impressively shiny and made me realise, sigh, that my own is in sad need of polishing. A very enthusiastic woman in the RIA explained about the Irish Historic Towns Atlas and explained, even to my satisfaction, why on a 25 year project when even Youghal and Bandon are done, Cork city is not due until 2020. Apparently it’s because Cork is particularly difficult to do as it has a very complex and ever-changing street landscape. So there.

We went with the boys to the Terry Pratchett exhibition in Trinity which was disappointing as it was a bit heavy on lecture and light on other elements. There was a great map though. It was a bit of an evening of maps.

We went to Gotham (a pizza and burger joint off Grafton Street) for dinner as I could not face Milano’s. It was crowded but they were able to put us outside. It was the first time in years I’ve eaten my dinner beside a smoker and the first time ever for the boys who were displeased but also fascinated. “Wait until tomorrow,” I said, “when you wake up, all your clothes will smell of smoke.” We packed up reasonably rapidly and went home.

When I was going to bed I noticed a weird small rash thing on my neck. “Probably stress,” I said to myself gloomily. In the morning, however, it came off in the shower so I can only suppose that it was ketchup which ended up on my neck due to a combination of peculiar eating habits, shortsightedness and poor hygiene. You’re welcome.

In other cultural news, Mr. Waffle and I are going out to the theatre this evening. It’s a thing in the Fringe and only an hour or so; we are leaving the boys to fend for themselves. Mr. Waffle has just come in after struggling for about an hour with a ladder and the unhappy interaction of the down-pipe and the rose bush in the front garden. I’ve told him we’ll have to leave for the theatre in about 15 minutes. He’s delighted.

We spent the day ferrying Daniel and Michael to various activities – tennis, drama etc. But, we also looked at ovens for our new kitchen. I want to get an aga. Am I crazy? Stove/oven advice very gratefully received.

Just now, the cat has skulked to the flower bed with a dead mouse between her jaws, I can only hope that my shouting at her, “Don’t you dare bring that into the house!” will be effective. All the news as it happens here.

And how has your weekend been so far?

Reflections

September 21st, 2018

Me: Michael, why am I cleaning up while you are leaning against the wall.
Him: I’m not sure what to do next.
Me: You could wipe down the table.
Him (dutifully wiping): You see, I’m not lazy, I just lack initiative.

Fliuch Báite

September 20th, 2018

It absolutely lashed today. I traipsed round town grimly at lunch time trying to find a present for our lovely former childminder, T, who was coming to say goodbye to us before moving back to France. My normal first resort would have been an Amazon voucher but he is very ethical and disapproves of how Amazon treat their workforce so it seemed a perverse choice. I bought him a reasonably large framed photo of St. Stephen’s Green as he used to go there often with the children after school so, I assume that that means he liked it. As I splashed out of the photo shop, I realised that I was unlikely to be able to get it home on my bicycle. Just as well, really, I ended up getting the tram instead.

This evening I had to get home in time to say goodbye to T and give him his present, get to the school for a parents’ meeting at 7 and feed the boys dinner. Mr. Waffle was supposed to be home by 5 but as there were no taxis at the airport, he ended up splashing in to town and getting the tram home thereby missing his chance to say goodbye to T and the school meeting. He was sorry to miss saying goodbye to T and I must say, I felt quite tearful myself saying our final goodbyes, he was such a nice man and the children loved him – he reminded Michael how he used to carry him on his shoulders from school to Stephen’s Green (Michael was never a child for unnecessary effort) and how one Wednesday he collected them from school (I usually collected them from school on Wednesdays) and Michael started crying and saying, “I want my Mummy.” Apparently he kept it up all the way from school to the bus stop and all the way home on the bus and only stopped when T bought him a lollipop from the shop at the bus stop. My heart.

Anyhow when I got home from the school meeting what did I find? My saintly husband had lit the fire and made tea. Is it any wonder I miss him when he’s away?

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Home Alone

September 19th, 2018

Mr. Waffle is away for work this week. Herself is gone, Mr. Waffle is away. “Who is next?” we ask ominously. I feel like old Aunt Ada Doom. The boys and I are coping though I wouldn’t say that our diet stands up to particularly close scrutiny. Particularly as the oven has died.

I didn’t get home until 7ish this evening leaving the boys to their own devices [or possibly just their devices, let us not inquire too closely]. Sadly, the frame of Daniel’s glasses had broken at assembly that morning and the combined efforts of the school staff throughout the day had not fixed them. He doesn’t see much without them and neither of the boys called me to tell me. I could probably have got home a bit earlier had I known. Anyhow, I saved the day by fixing them pro tem with superglue but it does not seem likely to be a permanent solution.

Mr. Waffle went off to Finland with a copy of the Hollybough. I feel I wrote before about my ambition to be in the Hollybough Christmas photo selection. There are loads of them. All you have to do is have a Cork connection, go somewhere mildly exotic and photograph yourself with the Hollybough. I put it in the bottom of our suitcase to go to Paris last year but Mr. Waffle, under the sadly mistaken impression that there was no need to bring it to Paris, unpacked it. I found it under the bed again when we got back from Denmark this year. Mr. Waffle confessed that he thought of it as we were speeding along the motorway out of Copenhagen airport but felt that no good could come of sharing that thought. Anyhow the upshot of this is that he has taken it to Finland to get a photo with a view to restoring his credit. He’s not from Cork you might argue; fear not, even his tenuous connection would be more than sufficient, however, a good friend of ours in a lofty role in Helsinki is from Cork and, time permitting, he may meet her for a cup of tea. If he does, that’s a centre page spread, right there. I’ll keep you posted.

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Weight of Responsibility

September 19th, 2018

Daniel: I have to contact M on instagram.
Me: I didn’t know that you were friendly with M.
Him: Not particularly but she’s on the student council and I need to know something.
Me: Is there anyone nearer home who might be able to inform you.
Him: Herself is in France.
Me: Anyone else we know on the student council?
Him: Oh yeah, Michael.

In fairness, I wouldn’t say Michael is exactly flaunting his new powers.

Local Colour

September 18th, 2018

On my way home from work the other night, I saw a dead rat in the lane. Huge yoke, with it’s little paws frozen in the air from rigor mortis. The next morning when I cycled out, it was gone. What are we to make of this?

Weekend Round Up

September 17th, 2018

I went down to Cork on Friday to do a tour of nursing homes. My brother was away and it seemed the least I could do to help my saintly sister, though since she ended up having to chauffeur and feed me, it’s hard to argue that my visit was an entirely unmixed blessing. My mother was fine and the nursing home where she lives is near my parents’ house, so reasonably convenient. My father was about an hour away. He is recuperating from pneumonia and given that my brother is away, it seemed best if he spent a little time in respite care. The papers are delivered so it is not all bad but I wouldn’t say it is delightful, now. He’s a bit bored and keen to get home, however, this meant that he was gratifyingly pleased to see myself and my sister. I now chat away to him with a view to finding out about ancient history. “What was it like when the first colour films came out, Dad?” “Well, you know, very exciting at the time,” he said. Sometimes these chats are more successful than others. I did enjoy his description of when he was a junior doctor in the local hospital in the late 40s and the matron put her head round the door of the elderly patient he was tending to (one of the Colthursts of Blarney Castle) and asked him whether he had enjoyed his soup. Sir George replied, “Very grateful to the stomach, sister.” This is a phrase that my father believes should be brought back in to common currency and who am I to quibble.

I spent some time cycling round the city and was, yet again, struck by the excellence of the cycling infrastructure compared to Dublin and the relative lack of cyclists. My sister probably put her finger on the reason for the latter when she said, “The traffic in Cork probably isn’t bad enough yet to make people take to their bikes.”

I left Cork at first light on Sunday morning. Since I thought my train was at 8 and it was actually at 8.25, my rising was even earlier than it needed to be. Alas. On return to Dublin, I lunched with my loving family and scooted off straight to my book club which probably didn’t make me the most popular family member but I understand people say that there is a merit in scarcity value.

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How was your own weekend?


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