It’s all so long ago now. First Dublin, grandparents were dutifully wonderful and, as far as I can remember, it was all about abandoning the Princess with her unfortunate grandparents while skipping off to town or to dinner or to shop. Princess had a fabulous time as did we. She became very interested in the picture in our bedroom (which is the pub exec’s room when she comes home) which was “The Fall of Icarus”. This enabled Mr. Waffle to do some work on his “Greek myths for the under twos” project. “Icarus flies like a birdie, cheep, cheep. Icarus is too close to the sun. Hot. Hot. All fall down. Into the water, splish, splash.”
Cork involved two trips to the beach. On both occasions the Princess threw up due to what Mr. Waffle refers to as my exciting driving style. It also poured rain. While the rain and the vomit significantly dampened our enthusiasm, they in no way impeded the Princess’s enjoyment of events. So keen is she on her bucket and spade that she has been known to sit on concrete and play with imaginary sand. The sight of the real thing and sea made her a very happy girl. Other than the rain and vomit, Cork was a lot like Dublin. My loving parents minding the Princess while we ran off and disported ourselves around the real capital. Also, we met more babies. A lot of people in Cork come pre-equipped with babies. Including one old friend who was duly mortified when his three year old spent his time with us weeping and clutching his (the father’s) arm saying “I want to go home”.
So, to summarise, we met a range of people in both locations, all of whom insisted on paying for our food and drink. Since leaving Ireland we appear to have lost the knack of paying for ourselves or anyone else. We will spend the time between now and December trying to pay for other people’s meals to get in training for the rematch over the Christmas holidays.
on 03 September 2004 at 21:49
Jack, a sweetie, I’m overwhelmed. Ta.
The publishing exec arrived on Friday night clutching to her bosom an array of exciting presents. Books all round and a teapot. The Princess is particularly taken with her book which, as a token of supreme approval, she has not even tried to tear. Publishing exec was full of tales of glitzy parties and famous people. She works in non-fiction at the moment and though I think, in her heart of hearts, she would like to be working with brilliant unknown authors on their difficult, yet brilliant, works of fiction, non-fiction has its compensations. Her bit of non-fiction appears to be the “you’re a famous person, why don’t you write a book?” end of things which I imagine doesn’t guarantee quality (think of Victoria Beckham’s biog or Bill Clinton’s) but does guarantee regular meetings with famous people. Famous people seem to be tortured by their book writing deadlines. And I can tell you that, even now, there are a couple of famous people who are being tormented at the prospect of spending the summer trying to finish that book that was supposed to be delivered for last Christmas. Being rich and famous isn’t everything, you know.
Saturday, we decamped to Namur. We felt that it was time that the publishing exec sampled the joys of Wallonia. I haven’t been to Namur in a long time and I was pleased at how pretty it was. I had only remembered the long tramp up to the citadel and not the appealing old town. It was very warm though. I was sorry that I had told the publishing exec to pack for March weather and, I suspect, so was she as she sweated in her jeans. We took a trip into the Felicien Rops museum which was air-conditioned and full of steps so all conditions were met for the Princess’s entire felicity. I had vaguely heard of Mr. Rops as a belle epoque artist and knew he had done some erotic stuff but I hadn’t realised that it was almost his entire output. The guy was a 19th century pornographer (oh yeah, now you’re all going back to check on the link) but it was quite entertaining stuff in a mildly outrageous way. Mr. Waffle, the publishing exec and I gasped while the Princess proceeded up and down the stairs watched over and attended to by the kindly middle aged ladies who were the guardians of the house of porn.
On Saturday night we left herself in the hands of the babysitter and went out to dinner. All very nice and I weighed myself on the antique but, I hope working, scales outside the bathroom (we have none at home in the interest of everyone’s well being) and weighed less than I expected which I was able to report to the waiter who was peering over my shoulder in mild interest. When we got home, I drove the babysitter back while Mr. Waffle and the publishing exec got stuck in the lift and had to effect a dramatic escape involving jumping between floors and potential risk to life and limb. All parties, including the lift, are now fine.
On Sunday, myself, the Princess and the publishing exec went to the Horta house which is Mr. Horta’s own art nouveau house. It is all very beautiful and everything but, if you check out the link, you will see that it is distinguished by its many flights of stairs which I walked up and down numerous times while holding a small girl by the hand. She never tires of stairs, our girl. All of the chairs in the house have little labels on them saying “please do not sit on this chair”. I presume this was meant to include, “please do not use this chair as a means of support for your filthy little fingers while cruising round the room” but they didn’t say so and as all of the other visitors were Italians who are notoriously indulgent to small filthy fingered people the Princess was free to cruise in peace.
Speaking of Italians, you will be delighted to hear that after many, many faxes (email? “no, non e possibile”) and a 300 euro postal order as deposit (credit cards? “no, non e possibile”) our guesthouse in Sicily has finally confirmed our reservation. This is a relief as I was responsible for booking in the entire extended Waffle family. I can’t help feeling that a pall would have been cast over my brother-in-law’s wedding had his parents had nowhere to stay due to the ineptitude of his sister-in-law (oh come on, I mean me…do try to keep up).
on 19 July 2004 at 12:00
Don’t be sarky miss. Very, very glad you’re back. I missed you. Hope you are feeling great.
on 19 July 2004 at 12:10
Ta BW – sadly wasn’t being sarky though…
on 19 July 2004 at 13:23
House of porn eh? And trying to justify your visit in the name of ‘art’. Tsk. I knew all you art lovers were a dodgy bunch behind it all…
Good news with the booking though – when’s the trip?
on 20 July 2004 at 21:45
Silveretta, it’s so difficult to guage the tone of a blog comment…
Locotes, you’re right about art lovers. Trip is end August, so it should be nice and warm.
We were in the car the other day listening to Umberto Tozzi (no you probably don’t want to know) and Mr. Waffle explained to the Princess that she was in Belgium listening to an Italian man singing in Spanish on a tape which her Irish parents bought in Portugal. “La, la, la” she said sourly. Umberto Tozzi isn’t to everyone’s taste.
on 14 June 2004 at 11:38
🙂 Nice one…
on 16 June 2004 at 00:28
“Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods’ roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.
Kidneys were in his mind as he moved about the kitchen softly, righting her breakfast things on the humpy tray. Gelid light and air were in the kitchen but out of doors gentle summer morning everywhere. Made him feel a bit peckish.
The coals were reddening.
Another slice of bread and butter: three, four: right. She didn’t like her plate full. Right. He turned from the tray, lifted the kettle off the hob and set it sideways on the fire. It sat there, dull and squat, its spout stuck out. Cup of tea soon. Good. Mouth dry.”
[Remembering Shem the Penman; for the day that’s in it….]
on 16 June 2004 at 08:45
And will you be partaking in the Bloomsday/Denny big breakfast. I see in the w/end Observer that Mr. Banville somewhat sourly comments that the breakfast will include that quintessentially Irish element, the hash brown.
on 16 June 2004 at 23:36
Banville is more or less on the money this time, sadly. The breakfast was Saturday – unless I’m much mistaken – 50,000 Denny Sausages consumed on teh Spire Plaza. (Don’t even ask….)
And truth to tell, I’m not much of a breakfast man these days. Had a ticket for the Joyce Centre Breakfast, but couldn’t see straight enough to get out of bed at the necessarily ungodly hour, so instead I set out to go swinging by Davy Byrne’s for a lunchtime glass of burgundy and a Gorgonzola sandwich. Ended up in the food court of the Liffey Valley. That more or less sums things up… 😉
This week, Mr. Waffle has needed the car to go to a training course in a distant suburb. He comes home every night with personality tests for me. You will, I am sure, be fascinated to hear that I am an outgoing consensus seeker who thinks inside the box.
The upshot of this (the absence of car, not the personality) is that the Princess and I have been travelling a lot by public transport this week and she adores it. People smile, wave and chat to her. There’s the excitement of people getting on and off at every stop. She can’t get enough of it. It is a little tiring for me though and it takes us a lot longer to get anywhere, so I think next week it’ll be back to the car.
The car is a 1.4 litre ford focus. Nothing wrong with that really. Though it is an American car and we should, I suppose, be supporting the sluggish European economy, although I would point out that the original Mr. Ford was a Cork man (or at least his parents were) but I’m not sure that that counts.
Really, I hanker after a Fiat. Before we got our family car we had a lovely 1.6 litre Bravo and it was full of vim and energy and used to sprint away at traffic lights. True, it was not as full of vim and energy as D’s VW Beetle which had a 2.0 litre engine but in my heart of hearts I believed it was nippier. When we left for Belgium we sold the Bravo to R; when we were in Ireland last week we visited him and it was a little odd to go round to our house (we lived in his house while he was away trying to bring peace to the Balkans) and see our car parked outside. It appeared to have a dent. Poor Bravo.
I love Fiats even though my parents always had Fiats when they were a byword for unreliability. My father had a theory that you should keep your car for as long as possible; if you sold it after a year or two then the price dropped hugely vis a vis a new car but only very slowly after that. I think we must have had one car for 9 years. It would never start in the cold and we had to push it down the hill to start it and, if it didn’t start, we had to phone the AA. I think everyone was grateful when the AA introduced home start and we could just leave the car in the driveway when it wouldn’t start and wait for the nice man to come round and fix it.
Once we had our ancient Fiat in France tugging round a trailor, a tent, 2 adults and 3 children and it sulked and refused to go any further as we were heading for the ferry home. Immense panic. The French sister organisation of the AA came to inspect. No joy, the gear box was dead. The car could not do first, it could only be started in second. My intrepid mother had them start it and she drove to the ferry stopping nowhere while the rest of us sat numb with fear with our hands over our eyes. When we got to the ferryport she stopped at the top of a small hill. We looked at the steeply inclined ramp cars were chugging up to get on the ferry. A first gear job. We were foiled. My mother is never foiled. To our intense mortification and grudging admiration, she approached one of the men loading cars. She explained our predicament. They cleared the gangway and surrounding areas. The rest of us pushed the car with the trailor attached and my mother got going and zoomed down the hill and up the ramp at 50kms an hour.
And still I hanker after a Fiat. And if we did get one, it would have to be a people mover, I suppose. And, alas, the Fiat people mover, the Multipla is the only ugly car that Fiat has ever made. It’s all tragic really.
on 13 June 2004 at 22:51
Har di har.
Sunday – Traffic Day
We arrived into Dublin airport (north of the city) at 11.30 where mother-in-law Waffle was kindly waiting to escort us to the distant suburb (south of the city) where the Waffle grandparents live. We collapsed into chez Waffle, exhausted, at 2.00. Something will have to give. The traffic in this city is appalling.
Noticed that it was kind of chilly. Was alarmed when m-i-l Waffle suggested that we might eat outside. Asked whether this was what she had meant when she said it was very warm. Yes, apparently. Began to regret bringing one pair of jeans and one pair of shorts for the week. Spilt tea on jeans.
Monday – Rainy day
Lunch time on Monday Mr. Waffle minded the Princess while I skipped off to meet my friend D for lunch. All very nice but quid pro quo was that he skipped off to meet his friend in the afternoon leaving me with the Princess. For reasons that now elude me, I felt it important to get the Princess out of the house so took her in to a rain sodden hamlet. Passed Marian Keyes‘s house on the way and hovered anxiously outside hoping that she might come out and I could say “I really like your books and do you know that my husband was your next door neighbour growing up?” I was hoping to get a cup of tea based on this tenuous connection. But no joy. I suppose it was wet, why would she want to leave the house?
Went home and waited for Mr. Waffle’s return. Went to the gate to greet him. I took the Princess out in my arms saying “Daddy’s coming home”. She started chanting “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy”. We arrived at the gate and no sign of himself. However, the senior Waffles’ neighbour, a retired judge of blameless reputation, was pottering about in the front garden (the rain having, briefly, abated) and the Princess pointed her finger at him and said in loud, excited tones “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy”. I thought that he looked rattled.
Tuesday – Lots of relatives day
My brother has just started working in Dublin and my kind parents-in-law had him round for dinner. All very pleasant. And Mr. Waffle and I were very relaxed because his saintly mother had minded the Princess for a large part of the day so we went out for lunch and a walk and a read of the paper over a cup of tea. When we came back the Princess was cooing delightedly at her grandmother who was singing and playing the piano for her. Her parents received a cool reception. For the remainder of the holiday upon seeing her Granny, her highness would stretch out her chubby little arms and demand to be held by the person who she knew could meet her entertainment needs fully.
Parents in law are doing intensive Italian lessons and came back this evening anxious to practise on the assembled multitudes. In fact, there were more people to practice on than you might think. I speak Italian (I know, I know, I am so talented, why does no one want to employ me?), so does Mr. Waffle, a bit. So does his brother, G and so does G’s fiancee S. In fact S is half Sicilian and G and S are getting married this Summer in Sicily. And in case you were wondering, the publishing exec wasn’t there, but she speaks Italian too.
Wednesday – Sippy cup day
We bought the Princess a sippy cup. These are magic. They don’t leak. The Princess tested this thoroughly by shaking it upside down on her tights. Not a drop escaped, her parents were jubilant, she was downcast.
We went to my friend C’s house for lunch. C lives in a very convenient location in the city centre. The only drawback is that her house is across the road from a methadone centre so there tend to be a lot of spaced out people wandering around with vacant expressions. The Princess waved at them merrily and was indignant that they seemed to be largely indifferent to her cheery salute. C was in the middle of packing boxes. She and her husband are moving to a leafier, drug free location. Less central perhaps but drug free. The Princess had a wonderful time clambering over boxes and up stairs. Bubble wrap is particularly appealing to babies. C showed her how to use it by wrapping it round her (C’s) head. Eventually the bubble wrap had to be moved to a place of safety. It was then that I noticed that the sippy cup had disappeared. C and her friend S who had been roped in to packing boxes carried out a thorough search for the sippy cup but it was nowhere to be found. I rang Mr. Waffle who was shopping and asked him to buy another sippy cup. We left C’s house and there was the Princess’s sippy cup, put safely on a windowsill across the road by some kind drug addict. So now we have two, but really, you can’t have too many.
That evening I went out leaving the Princess to the care of her father and met friends in town. D had rallied troops and I now know who my true friends are. C2 told me that she has my weblog as her home page. She somewhat took from this by telling me that my best work was over. “Peaked too early” she sighed, “the cabbage leaves, breastfeeding entry was the best one”. As my greatest fan (apart from my mother) she has taken it upon herself to email the best extracts to a group of our friends. Just that one, it transpires. No wonder C1 kept asking me how my breasts were.
Thursday – Stalking day
I passed Marian Keyes’s house again. Does she never come out? I was armed with further information to ingratiate myself into her establishment: my parents in law were at her wedding; my mother-in-law once lent her a suit in which to do an interview. Mr. Waffle says that if I keep hanging round her house like this, she will probably call the guards.
Friday – Escape day
My mother-in-law minded the Princess until 2 in the afternoon. Mr. Waffle was at a conference but I was free to do whatever I wanted. I went into town. Superb. Saw a Luas. On the way back from the Dart (welcome to the world of Dublin public transport), I was busy reading one of the six books I had acquired in town. I walked into a very tall person. It was C1. Ladies and gentlemen, which book was I reading when I walked into my friend C1 who has been known to reduce strong men to tears with her criticism of their reading material? Was it either of the Booker nominated tomes I had purchased? No, indeed, it was Shadowmancer. C1 would doubtless have commented at greater length had she not still been slightly winded from my walking into her.
Saturday – Do we really have to go back tomorrow day
Just as we had got used to the joys of adoring grandparents, it was all about to end. We gave the Princess to her loving Granny and went off for lunch with a friend of Mr. Waffle’s. When we arrived there were two friends. Friend one is a young man with no interest in clothes and a trust fund. Friend 2 is the best dressed woman in Ireland. We had only been expecting Friend 1, so my effort to dress up was minimal. I actually wore no make up. Friend 2 arrived looking perfect This is the girl who once said to me (seriously, I think) when I admired a beautiful skirt she was wearing “surprisingly difficult to accessorise”. This is Ireland, we are a nation famed for our poor dress sense. She spent too long in London at a formative age. When we left, I said to Mr. Waffle “I didn’t realise Friend 2 was coming, if I had, I would have dressed up more”. He said “Mmm, I know what you mean”. Does my training count for nothing? The correct response is, of course, “Really?I thought you looked beautiful”.
Sunday – Travel back in state of nervous exhaustion day.
Mr. Waffle and Grandad Waffle entertained the Princess from an early hour while I slept in bed. They will get their reward in heaven. Then Grandad Waffle drove us all to the airport in a zippy 50 minutes. Having left at lunchtime, we got home about 7.00. Princess was pleased and surprised to see the flat again. She was very disappointed, however, that no stairs had been installed in her absence.
Nice to be home all the same.
on 07 June 2004 at 16:34
Well, I think you looked very nice – make up or no….
Nothing boring about that entry, either.
on 08 June 2004 at 15:44
Thank you, thank you. I feel insanely popular. This blogging is excellent for the ego (unlike, say, rejection letters). Renee, I am touched by your missing me and FP you checked every day – superb, a woman with ankle tattoos has time for me! Jack, you are lying to me, I fear. We were the only people at Mao’s on Saturday lunchtime, so unless you moonlight as a waiter, you didn’t see quite how grim I looked. Your instincts, however, are good.
on 08 June 2004 at 21:08
It’s that obvious, eh? Ah well my lying heart was in the right place… AND I bet you looked grand anyhow.
See, I can say that sort of thing and get away with it at the moment because the Locotype is off meeting Pog in NY and thinking we don’t know about it …. 😉
on 09 June 2004 at 14:06
Really, are they going to meet? If so, why hasn’t he offered to meet me in Cork? Not exotic enough for him eh? And I bet that he’s terrified that I’d breastfeed the baby and mortify him.
on 11 June 2004 at 03:31
Harrumph. Well I suppose I should be flattered to be talked about. Unfortunately for the gossip-mongers (not naming any names jack), there was no meeting between myself and ms. pog – she was far too busy having fun sampling the culinary and alcohol-related delights – and I was simply bloody knackered every night from scandalous amounts of walking. They really should group interesting sights all in one place.As for Cork meetings, I’m always up for meeting interesting new people (Belgian-based or no) – I simply assumed my lack of expertise on Booker prize winners and such would be a problem – jack has that whole culture thing going on that I can’t match. I hang onto the youth and wit cards myself…
on 11 June 2004 at 03:41
ANYWAY, defending myself from these scurrilous jibes made me forget what I wanted to say in the first place – a highly entertaining account of your Dublin stay waffle. The wrong part of the country, but I suppose free child-minding can’t be sniffed at no matter where it’s from.I used to have one of those sippy cups when I was a wee lad – a great invention to be sure. I have to ask about this whole Italian thing though – is it a waffle family initiation or something? Did you learn in school?
(ps – I hadn’t actually thought about breastfeeding, but look at this way, surely you would prefer mortification on my part instead of intense interest??)
on 11 June 2004 at 17:49
Locotes, you had a sippy cup! You are such a baby, they weren’t even invented when I was little. Your comments re breastfeeding are very apt. Did Italian in college as an occasional student because I am just so stupendously fabulous (why, why, does no one want to employ me? Baffling). Very glad you’re back from the States. Where are the pics??
on 11 June 2004 at 18:12
I wouldn’t bother meeting him ‘waf. He’s too young AND have you noticed how he turns the knife at every opportunity: “jack has that whole culture thing going on that I can’t match. I hang onto the youth and wit cards myself…” Damning with faint praise: the type who wouldn’t even pour his sippy cup on you to put it out if you were on fire…
on 11 June 2004 at 18:17
.. would have to agree though that it’s a damn fine blog on your visit to Dublin, City of Dreams.
Particularly liked the bit about the judge…. 🙂
on 11 June 2004 at 20:23
Well the lack of employment thing is obviously a total mystery – I think we’re all agreed on that. The company bosses probably feel threatened that you’d have their job within a year.
As for the sippy cup – of course I’m not totally sure we’re talking about the same thing – the one we had leaked alright when we turned it upside down – so who knows.Yet again the age thing comes up – I forgot to mention it before, but that has to be the main reason why I’d never expected a meeting – mid-20’s seems to be a step away from nappies! This coming from veterans in their early 30’s probably…
And jack, what’s all this about turning the knife? There I was complementing your cultured person, and you come back with a whole comment slagging me off. AND advising waffle against me. *sigh* You poor insecure soul.
on 13 June 2004 at 20:48
Would agree with the Honourable Member for Cork South Central… they just reckon you’d have their jobs in a flash.
But I’m only thinking of Locotes own good about this meeeting thing – he’d probably end up playing Paul Martel to your Connie Sumner, and getting buried (by mr Waffle), wrapped in a valuable persian carpet in a land-fill somewhere out near Ballyguyroe…. 😉
Now you’ll all have to excuse me while I go work on my sense of personal worth…
on 13 June 2004 at 22:50
Thank you, thank you lads feeling much better about the unemployment thing now and fiercely popular. Have just spent an inordinate amount of time filling out a stupid application form and may even do a post on it…so needed the moral support.
on 14 June 2004 at 18:40
Ah-hah – I knew I had a use for something…
on 26 June 2005 at 16:40
Hello from Sweden!
Please tell me where Marian Keyes’ house is located?! I’ll be off to Dublin in two weeks.
on 28 June 2005 at 21:23
Hi Camilla, not sure, if I can hand out Ms. Keyes’s address, must maintain my status as trusted insider, but I can certainly tell you that it is in Dun Laoghaire which is a suburb about 15 kms outside Dublin and worth a visit in its own right for a walk along the sea front which is very pleasant. Have a great trip!
on 14 July 2005 at 20:47
Um, thanks, I guess.
on 14 July 2005 at 23:05
‘waf —- you don’t need to be nice to comment spammers 😉
on 16 July 2005 at 07:28
Oooh, what’s a comment spammer? You mean he didn’t mean it. Am gutted.
on 16 July 2005 at 22:08
He’s raising the Google profile – and other search engines’ ratings – of his porn site by linking to your blog. Kind of second class relic stuff. Approval(as opposed to Sanctity) by association.
His link to you is read as a trackback implying you support his activities …
on 17 July 2005 at 14:10
Gosh that’s really quite nasty. Thanks for the explanation Jack. Have deleted comment and feel enlighted though unnerved…
on 17 July 2005 at 14:31
Don’t give it any thought, ‘waf.
It’s like ‘cheep meds’, daily ‘Lorttarty’ wins and Dear Blessed in The Church of the Red Breast emails … just part of the rich tapestry that is net-life 😉
on 18 July 2005 at 19:12
Thanks all the same. Good to know. And that’s an interesting collection of links you have there.
On Friday, Mr Waffle recovered from his life threatening sore throat and we went to Beloeil. It was lovely. We had the place to ourselves and the Princess could crawl at will over the Aubusson carpets. She also made a spirited effort to crawl into a number of the water features in the extensive grounds. In a further burst of energy, Saturday saw us heading off to Lille. We had a lovely lunch where the Princess was surrounded by adoring waitresses who entertained her, heated her lunch and ran down the street after her with the various soft toys which she had left strewn on their restaurant floor. After this excitement she, very obligingly, fell asleep allowing her parents an opportunity to admire the glories of Lille in peace. And finally, just as we reached our car it started to rain, having been beautifully fine up to then. Two perfect days- it just couldn’t last.
Saturday night we bought tickets for a lateish cinema showing and went to dinner. The film started at 9.40 and we only arrived at 9.45. The ever punctual (except when he’s with me) Mr. Waffle was tense. “Don’t worry, we’ll only miss trailers” I said. The film had started. It was the new Almodovar flick. We knew we were in the right film because there were Spanish speaking transvestites on screen. But the reviews I had read said it was about catholic schoolboys. Confusing. It was good but hard to follow. Obviously missing the first five minutes had made all the difference. After half an hour, it ended. I whispered to Mr. Waffle “see, I was right, it hadn’t started, that was obviously a short”. “Well then why is everyone leaving?” he hissed. It appears that we had inadvertently bought tickets for the 8.20 showing and when we arrived at 9.40 the idiot usher had sent us to that rather than the later showing. Suggestions that there are other idiots involved are unhelpful at this juncture. So, here we were. I was all gung ho to go to the 9.40 version but Mr. Waffle wouldn’t go “we’ve missed the first half hour, we’ve seen the last half hour and I’m not going for the half hour in the middle.” I seethed with impotent rage but I was forced to concede that he had a point.
We arrived home and I was still seething. It was my turn to drive the babysitter home and her innocent question as to how we enjoyed the film was met with a full description of our woes. When I had finished, I drew breath and asked how things were with her.
“Not so good. I was supposed to go to the Philippines for a month in June but now two of my employers won’t give me time off”
She is a middle aged lady with a husband and two teenage children in the Philippines. She works for three different families in Brussels and has been here 18 years. She has only seen her children once or twice a year since they were small. She hasn’t been home since Christmas.
“That’s terrible” I said.
“Yes,” she said “and it’s my 50th birthday on June 6 and my 25th wedding anniversary on June 24th and we had lots of things planned. I have to ring my husband tomorrow to tell him I can’t come.”
“Could he come to visit you here?”
“No, he can’t get a visa.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“This is my life.”
I came home to a sleeping husband and baby a chastened woman. Lucky me.
That happens to immigrants the world over I suppose. A recent case of nanny-abuse is hitting the headlines over here. What a life!
Know what you mean, ‘waffle…Is trom cearc i bhfad… 😉
On the missed film front, I thought you might like to know that “Lost in Translation” has finally come out on video.