This day three years ago, Mr. Waffle and I got married. Only fancy. It was the only fine day that summer. To celebrate, I thought I might list 10 of the reasons why my husband is perfect:
1. Because he is amusing and entertaining and, better again, he thinks I am amusing and entertaining.
2. Because he’s a genius and knows everything.
3. Because he is always on my side.
4. Because he has never once reproached me for my complete inability to get a job.
5. Because he never says – what do you do all day?
6. Because he is pleased when I spend his money on shoes.
7. Because he gets up at 7.00 with the Princess every Saturday and Sunday and during the week comes home from work and gives her her dinner.
8. Because he plans everything. And insists on getting faxed confirmation of all our bookings.
9. Because when he is annoyed, he grinds his teeth (that’s it, that’s the most annoyed he can do).
10.Because he, very sensibly, chose to marry me (see also point 2 above).
on 28 July 2004 at 13:52
What a fabulous husband. I’m directing Jimi over. congratulations on your anniversary
on 28 July 2004 at 15:42
And let’s not forget, of course, that he has a splendid name. Happy anniversary.
on 29 July 2004 at 01:06
Gosh, he sounds wonderful. Best wishes, you two.
on 29 July 2004 at 09:22
Thank you all very much. He is perfect though having to guage your husband’s mood by watching his chin can be tricky..
on 29 July 2004 at 13:31
This Mr Waffle – he sounds a decent chap. Which always helps. Hearty congratulations on your three years. Did you get each other presents? Or did you just buy more shoes?
Yesterday was Belgian national day. Mr. Waffle was off work. Everything was closed. Stalls were put up. Military hardware was paraded. The royal family was out in force. I only know this from last year because when we went into the Sablon to partake of this year’s fun, the Princess didn’t want to join in and howled continuously until we agreed to take her home again. Trying.
And this evening Mr. Waffle leaves for his brother’s stag w/end (in Wales where a bunch of the lads will be running up Snowdon for fun – what an odd bunch – Mr. Waffle plans to take the train up, he’s not stupid, my husband) and he won’t be back until Sunday. Woe.
on 22 July 2004 at 20:28
Um, is this one of your clever puns? If yes, alas, don’t get it. Very distressing. If no, I haven’t a clue, but suspect it is slow.
on 22 July 2004 at 20:34
I find silveretta’s clever puns distressing too. And now I’m jealous of your wallpaper.
on 22 July 2004 at 20:34
None of my puns are clever BW. I simply meant that if the train won’t see him back till Sunday then it must be slow.I’ll get me coat.
on 22 July 2004 at 20:35
Yes – your wallpaper is the best, along with Bobble’s.
on 22 July 2004 at 20:48
See Silveretta, it was a clever pun that I didn’t get. Knew it. Ta for wallpaper encouragement both. I am rather pleased with it. I found the option for background in my search to replace my waffle picture and since the other option for this pm’s entertainment was sending out cvs, decided to add one. It is a drawing of our street which a cartoon book drawing man (there must be an easier way to put this but you know what I mean) did for Mr. Waffle’s b’day. Cool eh?
On Friday the Princess and I went to the Royal Museum for Central Africa where we met the best dressed diplomat and various cousins who were visiting her from distant Chicago. The little boys had no interest in the Princess but the little girl (6) was delighted with her and showed her round the museum leaving me to stroll in their wake chatting to the adults. All very pleasant. And they were all nice Americans, you know the way we used to laugh at our American cousins for being so nice when we were all growing up? Well, I can tell you, there is nothing as nice as polite, well-behaved, little Americans when you are spending a wet afternoon in a museum with a one year old.
The museum itself is a funny place. It was built on an imposing scale by King Leopold II to celebrate his conquest of the Congo. The exploitation of the Congo was particularly dreadful. Joseph Conrad wrote a book about it “The Heart of Darkness” and Roger Casement wrote a damning report for the British government. But the museum is curiously unaware of these developments. Nowhere is there an acknowledgement that dreadful things happened in the Congo when Leopold and co. were in charge. This may be partly because a lot of the exhibits and display cases don’t seem to have been updated since the museum was built in around 1900. This is part of the charm of the establishment, in many ways. There is a piece of wood from the tree under which Livingstone’s heart was buried accompanied by a handwritten note from the donor confirming its authenticity. There is Stanley’s case which has a handwritten note pasted on to it in fading writing saying “This suitcase accompanied my brother across Africa. It is not to be used under any circumstances or to be removed from my bedroom. Dorothea Stanley”. There are old maps of Africa dating from the 1400s. The one that impressed me most was one from 1825 where they were truthful about what they knew and almost the entire of central Africa had “lands unknown” written across it. Best of all, from the point of view of the children, there were stuffed animals. Lots and lots of stuffed animals. The Princess reached febrile levels of excitement when she came to the enormous elephant. She grabbed the rail round it and stood on her tiptoes squeaking and pointing.
Friday, was terribly thrilling also as it involved a birthday party. This was Mr. Waffle’s first children’s birthday party in a long time and, fortunately for him, it was a relatively civilised affair where the adults outnumbered the children by about 3 to 1. Still and all there was falling, vomiting and crying, so it wasn’t entirely untypical. One of the attendees was the birthday boy’s minder who is a very nice girl from South Carolina. The Princess was most taken with her and sat on her lap for a considerable time poking at her train tracks. “These European kids are always fascinated by the braces” she said gamely. “Right, I see, well, proof that we don’t believe in orthodontics over here” I said in mortified tones. Princess continued to poke with interest and then offered Ms SC a paprika crisp to show that there were no hard feelings.
We got the birthday boy two books. I began to feel a bit inadequate as the other presents emerged. Ms. SC (who let’s face it, must have no cash as a childminder who’s “starting school in the fall”) got him a very elaborate turtle that makes lots of interesting noises when you poke it. Other people got him a coat and a bottle of wine for his parents; and two very elaborate cuddly toys. Had the following conversation with Mr. Waffle on the way home:
Me: Did you feel that we should have got him a bigger present.
Him (in tones of deep bafflement): No, why?
Me: Well, the other presents were all bigger than ours.
Him: Really, were they? Well, I’m sure ours was fine, didn’t his mother thank us for it?
Me: Well, yes, of course, but…
Him: Well then.
Sometimes, I feel that I worry too much.
They didn’t need me on the champagne and strawberry stall after all so we all got to wander around in the drizzle together.
It was very English and very organised. You were given a time to go and queue for the various entertainments and marshalling was done by girl guides of varying degrees of ferocity. My English friend F asked whether I thought any other nation would be so horribly organised. I pointed out that I had already seen a German lady leaving in a huff pulling her two children along behind her muttering under her breath “Hier ist alles sehr disorganasiert”. These events tend to reinforce national stereotypes.
We took the Princess for a ride on a shetland pony and while waiting for our turn we saw a 10 year old girl guide saying sternly to a small child “don’t climb on the pony – hop on”. Since he was only about three we felt that this might be a challenge for him, but she was adamant and eventually there were tears and a parent had to lift him on. This boded ill for our adventure. As we waited, a five year old said loudly to his parents “What a big willy that horse has”. Everyone chatted nervously about the weather. Finally it was our turn. The Princess took one look at the pony and refused to go next or near it. As we tried to put her in the saddle she clung to us in a most affecting manner and shot evil glances at the girl guide. Eventually she consented to be photographed pulling the pony’s mane. Our photographic archive is complete.
We also took her to dig for buried treasure. This involved digging up sand from a small basin with a spoon. Eventually you would come across a worthless small object perfect for babies to chew and choke on. To be fair she didn’t come across any small object because on being given a spoon and a basin she, not unnaturally, assumed that the contents were for eating and began spooning sand into her mouth enthusiastically. We managed to stop her before she got to the treasure.
After winning a small prize in the raffle (every ticket wins a prize) and chewing on the plastic tape securing the three legged race area (I leave you to determine which member of our party decided that this was a good idea) we decided to head home. “Well” I said perkily to Mr. Waffle “that wasn’t so bad, was it?” He hissed in an undervoice as we made our way through the phalanx of range rovers parked in the grounds “if you ever make me go to something like this again, I’ll divorce you.” Not so good either then.
You know the way yesterday’s entry disappeared, well here’s my loving spouse’s approximation of my style, because I couldn’t face retyping:”Disaster has struck. Mr Waffle, who was perfectly able to go to work yesterday, has decided to come down with an illness. Not a macho stop-you-in-your-tracks illness but a “sore throat” if you please. This emerged last night. To be fair to him (reluctant though I am to do so) he was tossing and turning all night and does appear to be in some pain. Today we cancelled the hotel and I spent virtually all day with the Princess while Mr Waffle recuperated.
The morning was somewhat trying. Today is Ascension Thursday, as the more God-fearing of my readers will know. I decided to combine several good deeds and go to Mass with the Princess, leaving Mr Waffle to nap at home. As the Princess wakes up at 6.30 we had no problem getting up early, and 9.30 saw us in front of my favourite church, the Notre Dame au Sablon. Inconveniently, the House of God was closed. Apparently they preparing for a special Mass for the Guild of Archers (Brussels has a lot of these odd guilds. Who joins the Guild of Archers these days ?)”
He got a bit tired of it after this, so you may never know what happened next, but you may award his text marks out of ten, should you so wish.
I would award several points for his ability to write in your clever style, but I fear that awarding him too many points might make you hesitant to return.
So, zero points. Zero!
I hope this message finds you all quite healthy and relaxed.
Brightfield, Ireland is pagan as well, which let’s face it is much more shocking. Without wanting to sound really ancient, I think that we used to get a day off when I was in school but I suspect now they just labour on… poor little things.
As you know, this is a bank holiday weekend in Belgium and to celebrate this we are going away tomorrow night. Yes, Thursday night only. Try to keep up. Yesterday, I began to wonder what we would do in our château, so I called the châtelaine.
Me: Hello, we’ve reserved a room for Thursday night…
Ch.: Yes. You know you can only arrive after 6.30.
Me: Yes, I know this.
Ch.: And we don’t take credit cards.
Ch.: And you have to check out by 11.00.
Me: Yes. Um, I was just wondering whether we could book in for dinner on Thursday night.
Ch.: We don’t do dinner.
(Why advertise two dining rooms on your website then?)
Me: Oh, I see, well could you recommend a babysitter.
Ch.: No. Are you bringing a baby?
Me: Yes (and we told her this when making the booking, so I don’t know why she sounded so appalled, maybe she’d repressed the memory).
Ch.: Well, you’d better have all the equipment for it, because we certainly won’t be able to accommodate it.
Me: Ok, fine.
Hmm. The Princess goes to bed at 7.30 – 8.00 and she likes it to be dark. Are we going to spend our night away sitting silently in a dimly lit room? Apparently. Do you think we would be able to order Chinese to the château or should I bring sandwiches?
And Mr. Waffle came home this evening with a cold.
I am feeling very positive about this.
on 20 May 2004 at 00:21
Jeff and I went out of town last weekend, and when MC went to bed at 8, we were also forced into going to bed at 8.
Oh, we *tried* to watch Harry Potter on the television, but the flickering light kept stirring our wee one, so we were forced to turn it off.
And sit in dark silence.
And as we sat, I wondered if I would have any luck sticking tiny earplugs into MC’s ears. Also, one of those sleeping masks in a tiny tiny size…
Good luck to you!
on 20 May 2004 at 17:50
I had not seen such customer focus in a long time. Very funny.
on 20 May 2004 at 19:10
Jack, I am touched by your enthusiasm. Angela, for all the wrong reasons, tiny earplugs are unnecessary. Stroppy, we may never know what she is like in the flesh.
on 20 May 2004 at 19:54
Yes, but I love all that stuff about Waffle-generated chaos — half-brains and keys and change…..
on 24 May 2004 at 14:41
Jack, suddenly I am less keen on your enthusiasm and slightly reluctant to blog on my unfortunate w/end cinema experience but, deep breath, am sure that it won’t at all confirm your views as outlined above. No, really.