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Out of Control Inverted Commas

March 13th, 2018

My colleague whose father died last month has, naturally, been inundated by mass cards. He tells me he received one from some friends saying, “Sorry about the death of your ‘father'”. “I have to ask them what they were implying,” he said. This inverted comma for emphasis business must end.

Sundry Matters

March 12th, 2018

Herself has an excellent Business teacher. She really enjoys the subject and, with his encouragement, entered and won a national competition last year. I have met him: he seems able and on the ball.

All this is to give some context to this unnerving conversation.

Her: I can’t stand it any more.
Me: What?
Her: When we are doing accounts, there are always at the end “sundry creditors”.
Me: Yes, and?
Her: Well someone asked [the business teacher] why all of these companies for whom we are doing imaginary accounts seem to owe money to “Sun dry” and whether it is a particular kind of company.
Me [bad person]: Snigger.
Her: That’s not the bad part, he said, that it must just be the example company that they use in the book and now everyone in the class except me thinks that sundry is pronounced “sun dry” and it’s the name of a made up company. What should I do?

Mother’s Day Walk

March 11th, 2018

Even though they were exhausted by yesterday’s birthday celebrations, I made my family go out for a walk in the Dublin mountains today. Fortune favoured them and the road to the walk I had planned was closed due to snow.

We went for a mild walk in the woods instead. It was snowy, it was foggy. It was not an enormous success. I said that it reminded me of the set of the play we saw at Christmas and my, extremely literal, husband and son both said, “But the trees on that set were all white.” Walking down the snow in the fog, I said to Daniel, “Listen to the sounds, what do you hear?” “I hear running water and birdsong,” he began and was promptly interrupted by someone shouting in the distance, “Are you taking the piss, Jonathan?”

Some key walk statistics follow.

Time spent complaining about walk: 4 hours
Time spent gathering hats, coats, boots etc for walk: 35 minutes
Time spent complaining about wet socks/trousers: 90 minutes
Time driving to and from the walk: 75 minutes
Time complaining about evil siblings’ snowball throwing: 75 minutes
Time actually spent walking: 75 minutes

UntitledUntitledUntitledAnd we had to stop at Tesco on the way home to pick up ingredients for Home Ec tomorrow. Oh the humanity.


March 10th, 2018

I am 49 today. Herself arrived home from school yesterday to announce, “Se├ín in my class thinks you’re a drama queen.” “Why?” I asked. “Because he asked what I was doing for the weekend and I said that we all had to stay at home on Saturday because it’s your birthday. He asked if it was an important one and I said no but I told him that we’re all dreading when you turn 50.”

So, yes, I like to celebrate my birthday, is that bad? Herself spent the afternoon slaving over my favourite brownies. I expect to enjoy them after my birthday dinner. Mr. Waffle got me flowers, a candle (always welcome to me) and a framed print of a picture which I once failed to identify on University Challenge (I pronounced it appealing and he took careful note).

More generally, I had a slightly unsatisfactory day. The boys and I cycled into their drama class. Some evil person punctured Michael’s tyre while they were in there which meant it was flat as a pancake when they emerged and we had to walk home pushing our bikes (“I’m tired” “When will I be able to stop and eat my bun?” “I want to go to the toilet.”). It took a lot out of all of us.

Mild highlight of the day so far was herself walking up to the bike repair shop with me after I got home.

Be not afraid though, because Mr. Waffle and I took a day off work during the week to celebrate my birthday. We went for a walk in Glendalough and had a nice lunch in Powerscourt. Was there snow in the mountains? Yes, there was:




We had to scoot back to Dublin a bit earlier than we would have liked because there were parent-teacher meetings for the boys, but that was satisfactory as well because they seem to be getting on very well which is always a relief to hear.

Furthermore, tomorrow is mother’s day. I am not delighted about it coming hot on the heels of my birthday as I think 48 hours of indulgence is a lot to ask from my family, however, it has put me in a good position to force everyone to go for a walk in the mountains tomorrow. Rejoice.

So I am hoping that 49 will be a good year. My sister is recovering from cancer – she’s gone back to work which is great. I am starting a new job in April – you may congratulate me – and so far I have all of the delight of anticipation and none of the horror of the new job. And surely, I have done enough funerals in the past year that there can’t be too many more to go through this year.

Now, you will have to excuse me because I just heard from the kitchen the magic words, “Someone put the kettle on!” and I think that my birthday cake is approaching.

Infrastructure Update

March 9th, 2018

Herself: Did you know that there’s broadband on the moon?
Me: Really?
Her: Yup, apparently, it’s quite good, better than rural Ireland anyhow, but then, I suppose, there isn’t the same demand on the moon.

We All Know What He Meant

March 8th, 2018

My religious friend is very associated with the Carmelites, maybe he’s even a lay Carmelite, if there is such a thing (I could google it but I know he will tell me whether I do or not so I am saving energy here) anyhow, he’s very pally with a lot of Carmelites and he heard this great story from a Carmelite nun.

So anyway a Carmelite priest was saying mass for this bunch of Carmelite nuns including this lady in the Carmelite convent. For reasons which are unclear he began to talk about Elizabeth I in his sermon. He got very worked up about her many sins against Ireland and, as his indignation mounted, he said, “Virgin Queen, Virgin Queen? She was no more a virgin than you or I.”

Computer Games for the Hard of Hearing

March 8th, 2018

One weekend morning, myself and Mr. Waffle found ourselves watching Michael play “Overwatch”, it was surprisingly relaxing. “Be careful, Michael,” I said, “it looks like there might be baddies around that corner.” “Mum, I am the baddie,” he said. “Oh right, what’s your name then? It’s hard to hear with that deep growling voice.” “Rupert, the Slayer” he said. “Really, that’s a surprising name,” I said and Mr. Waffle and I started singing “Rupert the Slayer” to the tune of “Rupert the Bear” which we thought was hilarious. Our put upon son, said patiently, “No, guys, Reaper as in Grim Reaper, reign of terror, not Rupert as in Rupert the Bear.” This seems more likely but I am sad that the reign of mild inconvenience of Rupert the Slayer is over.

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