Much activity chez Waffle this weekend. On Friday night, Mr. Waffle and Dan went to see the local football team defeat opposition (a first, I think, they seem to mostly lose since Dan got his season ticket).
Saturday morning saw the usual complex GAA/acting/French class dynamic. While waiting for Michael to emerge from drama I took the opportunity to drop a (never used) tablet into the repair man. Herself won it in a national competition (very proud – she won, in descending order of excitement a tablet, a hoodie, honour and glory, a large plaque engraved with her name and a conference invitation). In the train, on the way home from the prize giving in Galway she managed to rest her elbow on the winning tablet and break the screen. â‚¬55 to repair but, on the other hand, it was free to us.
On Saturday afternoon, herself had two friends over for a belated birthday celebration. Mr. Waffle the boys and I, having tried and failed on numerous occasions to buy new bikes for the boys in the local hipster bike shops (limited stock) went to a large soulless shopping centre and gave our money to a well-known bicycle chain shop.
On the plus side, I did enjoy this conversation between bike shop guy and a French man buying a bike for his daughter.
French man [poking at bike]: Where are these brake blocks made?
Bike shop guy: Um, Thailand, I think.
French man: Do you have any bicycles with brake blocks made in Europe?
Bike shop guy [pause]: Um no, they’re made where labour is cheapest. Globalisation and that.
French man: Snort.
We then went home and regrouped. About 6, Mr. Waffle and the boys and I left the girls with Netflix and money for Domino’s pizza and went out for dinner (new restaurant, not a success) and the cinema (Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2, a success until the speakers went about 10 minutes from the end and couldn’t be repaired – sigh, we got comps and a refund but we just wanted to see the end of the film).
On Sunday morning, the girls went to the zoo. One of the guests had a family pass which she had brought with her and offered to deploy. I was a bit dubious but herself said that her two friends (both quite tall) were going to pass as a couple and she as their adopted daughter. Even with all the new family structures in Ireland, this struck me as unlikely to be convincing. The zoo were kind of relaxed about it all though and they got in without difficulty even though it transpired that in addition to other difficulties, the card had also expired the previous day. At 12.30, Mr. Waffle’s parents came for lunch. He had made lasagna. At 12.45 the girls called to be collected from the zoo. I collected them and I said to Mr. Waffle that we had better feed them as their parents were delayed. “Family hold back, then,” he said looking dubiously at the lasagna. Moments later there was a dreadful crash followed by a cry of anguish from the kitchen. The lasagna had fallen. Alas. We filled up on bread, cheese and birthday cake. It was exiguous but, you know, acceptable. At 2, I drove the boys’ to their friend’s house for an afternoon of board games and a sleepover.
Once the visitors had departed, Mr. Waffle, Herself and I were left alone together. He and I went to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (modern art – still baffling) and she minded the house. When we came home we had a quiet evening in. Herself recommended “Casting JonBenÃ©t” a documentary on Netflix about the murder of a six year old beauty queen. I can report that it is not suitable viewing for a 14 year old at bedtime.
This morning we picked up the boys from their friend’s house and, to groans of horror, announced that we were going to Howth for a walk. Half Dublin had the same idea and it took us ages to get there.
But the weather was beautiful and we found a set of steps which we had never noticed before and which led to a small stony beach.
Herself and Michael were in the water and damp to the knees in almost no time. But they were delighted with themselves.
There were two seals to admire also. We went on to the lighthouse and then walked back to the car park at the summit. On the way we met two very lost Italians who spoke almost no English. I dusted off my rusty Italian and gave them the unwelcome news that it was quite the walk to the village. In a move that will doubtless get me my reward in heaven I offered them a lift down from the car park. They were suitably grateful. They were from Florence and asked for recommendations for things to see. It’s quite hard to give someone from Florence recommendations for Dublin. Bridges? No. Art? No. Probably best to explore the surrounding countryside as they were doing.
All of the restaurants were heaving (insert your own Celtic Phoenix joke here) so we bought fish and chips (20 minute queue but very efficiently managed) and had them on the grass. My enjoyment of our picnic was somewhat marred by having a seagull poo in my eye. The aim, the precision. Very impressive on the seagull’s part.
And how was your own weekend?