The Princess and I went to the National Gallery on Saturday morning to inspect the Baroque rooms. She has developed an enormous interest in Greek mythology thanks to the Percy Jackson books and I thought we’d have a look at some paintings of Greek gods. Unfortunately, this outing of supreme middle class smugness was spoilt by the fact that they are repairing the roof in that wing. So, instead of looking at art we went up and down in the glass lift several times. When we emerged there were two patient English tourists waiting outside, one of whom was Emma Thompson. Being Irish, I pretended not to notice. Being 7, the Princess didn’t notice but I thought you ought to be told.
On Saturday afternoon we walked in the rain in the Phoenix Park. I seethed that Saturday’s Irish Times, allegedly a national paper, devoted a full page to the discontinuation of a Dublin bus route (the number 10, if you’re asking, in fact, its functions will be taken over by the 46A so it was really more a change of name of a Dublin bus route). That was fun for everyone, as you can imagine.
Saturday evening saw us leaving the children in the hands of an older woman who had moved to Ireland to be near her daughter. For 20 years, she worked for a surgeon in Cannes and she lovingly described his spotless operating theatre. I can’t help feeling she must have been appalled at our bathroom. Sigh. We went out and had dinner in a place specialising in Irish beer. Mr. Waffle tried O’Hara’s on the basis that I used to regularly lunch with one of the co-owners who worked in Brussels at the same time as me. I tried to identify him to Mr. Waffle. “You must remember him,” I said. “He worked in the same office as that fellow whose parents live around the corner from my parents in Cork.” To which, Mr Waffle replied, “This country is far too small, isn’t it?”
On Sunday afternoon, Mr. Waffle had to work but the children and I went out to the parents-in-law and, on the assurance of my mother-in-law that their neighbours had said to help ourselves, hopped over the garden wall and stripped the neighbours’ raspberry canes. This morning we had homemade jam for breakfast made from raspberries which were, only yesterday, basking in the South Co. Dublin sunshine. Oh the unbearable smugness of being.
Last night, I cycled into town to go on a blind date. Town Mouse was visiting and had suggested that we might meet. I’ve only ever met one person through the internet before and so this is all a bit new to me. It is a very odd relationship when you know a lot about what a person chooses to put on his or her blog and not a lot about anything else. Like say, her partner, who is a very distant background presence on the blog but, you know, much more rounded when you actually meet him over dinner. There was so much to talk about and I feel that I didn’t get even half of it in. I feel a bit sad now, that, realistically, unless they start making a habit of coming to Ireland, I will never really know TM and her young man. Still, maybe I will go and visit her and insist on inspecting her vegetable garden which fills me with envy. Though she did cast a pall over my evening by mentioning that she, like my children, was a picky eater when young and now she eats most things “except vegetables beginning with C”. We’re doomed.