Monday September 21, 2020
Mr. Waffle and I went to a nearby cafe and sat outside for breakfast. I’ve had worse. “It’s like skiing,” said he. You’re cold, you’re all wrapped up, you’re outside and it’s surprisingly sunny. Sun cream was unnecessary though. That’s as close as we’re going to get to skiing for a while, I’d say.
I ate my lunch in the park and that too was surprisingly pleasant.
Herself finally interviewed her person in the arts for her artistic school project. She really enjoyed this project and put a lot of work into it and her interviewee seems to have enjoyed it as well. We’ll get to see the finished project on the organisation’s website later in the year. Small thrills.
Meanwhile, the boys learnt how to use a defibrillator as part of their Transition Year school experience. Good to know, I guess.
To absolutely no one’s surprise, herself is now head of the student council and most powerful student in the school.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
I forgot that it was my turn to make the sandwiches for school. Everyone survived and herself is vindicated in her decision to take over this work herself making ever-more elaborate vegetarian offerings.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
I finally got to go to my dentist for my six month delayed check-up. My teeth are fine, I’m sure you’ll be delighted to hear.
I rang a pub where a former colleague and I often meet for lunch to know whether they were taking outside diners (permissible under our level 3 Covid rules). Yes, normally Thursday to Sunday but not, said the barman, the following day: “It’s going to be wet, so we’ll be closed, we’re like farmers now, relying on the weather,” he remarked bitterly.
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Dan had to do his transition year exciting outside school course via zoom from home which was not at all what he had been hoping for. Alas.
As the barman had predicted, it was very wet indeed and I got absolutely soaked cycling home from work. I passed miserable groups of people eating outdoors, coats on, hunched over their food trying to avoid the rain driving in sideways underneath the canopies. I’m not sure eating out this way in the winter will be sustainable.
Friday, September 25, 2020
I ended up, yet again, working my half-day and arrived home quite late – 7ish. This meant a delayed start to cinema night – Enola Holmes (alright) – and herself had to bail and go to bed before the end of the film as, lucky her, she had extra maths classes in the morning. Unsatisfactory.
Out of the blue, Daniel said he loved the time we made candles on holidays. This was during our holiday in Kerry in 2011 when he was 6. The day as I remembered it was characterised by driving rain and misery but it just goes to show, you never know what they will like and remember.
In other news, herself has found a website which calculates your Leaving Cert points and what courses they will qualify you for. She put in my results and her father’s and told us, “You could have got quite good Leaving Certs, actually.” Since we’re both 30 odd years out of school – and thought we had both got quite good leaving certs in the 80s when we sat our exams – this wasn’t the ringing endorsement it might have been.
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Herself confided at breakfast that she had had an anxiety dream (presumably inspired by the wretched Leaving Cert.). She had been on University Challenge and the picture round had been identifying French philosophers and she had buzzed in that the philospher pictured was Sartre but it was actually Derrida. I’m enjoying the quality of her anxiety dreams.
Michael and I picked some more apples, literally the low hanging fruit. Still a great number of apples in the upper branches of the trees. Alas.
I rehung all the pictures on the landing – on what a friend of mine calls the honoured ancestors wall – to include the two new pictures of herself that I got framed. It took a lot out of me but I am very pleased with the result.
Sunday, September 27, 2020
It was the boys’ 15th birthday. When herself celebrated her 17th birthday in lock down in April, I really didn’t think we would still be here in September. More fool me. Still we were readier for it and I think they had quite a nice day. We began with an elaborate breakfast and as we sat down and I looked around at my lovely family I said, “I really don’t think I could be happier and, obviously, I don’t want to die or anything but, if I did, I would die happy.” There was a pause and Daniel said, “Well, you know what Nana always said?” “What?” I asked. Himself, his siblings and his father chorused, “Always leave when you’re enjoying yourself most.” They’re hilarious.
My sister went to all sorts of trouble for their birthday presents and they unwrapped a blizzard of things from her to add to what they had got from their loving parents and their aunt and uncle in London. Lucky boys.
Mr. Waffle and I left them to play with their new video games and went off for a walk in the Botanic Gardens which was crowded but pleasant.
I began the process of making mint jelly (which is mostly apple jelly with mint added).
A birthday post on the boys will follow in due course. Something for everyone to look forward to, doubtless.
Monday, September 28, 2020
My office is freezing. Possibly the authorities have decided they won’t heat the building for the few of us deemed essential, at least we’re getting out of the house, what more do we want? I wore a green woollen poncho type thing to keep myself warm. I thought it looked fine until herself asked me why I was dressed like Paddington.
We gave away some apples by leaving a box at the front gate. Rejoice. In fact this turned out to be successful beyond our wildest dreams and we managed to give away a box a day until the weekend.
We had my Monday night book club by zoom and one of our members pointed out that our October meeting would have been our 20th anniversary. I wish we were meeting live. It’s been great, the bookclub. One of our younger members reminisced that when we started, we were all 4/5 years older than her and we were busy admiring door handles in each other’s houses (we were all buying or about to buy houses) and she thought how dull we were, but she stuck it out and as I pointed out gleefully, there’s not really any difference between 46 and 50 so it’s all evened out in the end. I do miss meeting people in person.
The children had the day off school, possibly because everyone has suffered enough but more likely because of a teacher training day.
We’re trying a new wifi provider. Mr. Waffle had some difficulty with installation and became annoyed with people who inadvertently threw out what looked like spare packaging but was a vital part of the new infrastructure. Trying times at Waffle Towers.
I finished making the mint jelly. It’s not green naturally you know. Commercial mint jelly manufacturers add colouring. Probably not the colouring I added.
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
My mint jelly did not set. Sigh. On the other hand, it’s perfect for Halloween.
A man came to look at our upstairs bathroom with a view to getting it redone. He is to send in an estimate – perhaps a new bathroom by Christmas. Thrilling.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
We got a note from the school that there were three additional Covid cases in the student body, but we’re all to carry on, they’ve been inspected, all is well. It’s a bit unnerving all the same.
My sister got promoted. She seemed underwhelmed but I am suitably impressed. She has a very flash new title and more money to spend. What’s not to love?
Thursday, October 1, 2020
It was a really fine day and I had lunch outside a pub with a friend but it was a bit nippy. I should have brought my Paddington poncho.
We lit our first fire of the season.
Friday, October 2, 2020
Our saviours came in the form of an organisation called Falling Fruit which picks spare fruit and gives it to good causes. They got 83 kgs of apples from our trees. We rejoice. They gave them to a cider maker who volunteered to give €80 to a charity of our choice. We sent it to Threshold which was founded by my father’s cousin so that was pleasing.
They arrived as Mr. Waffle was about to tuck into a salmon bagel and he went to the front door to let them in. When he returned, it was to find the cat tucking in to the salmon from his bagel. We thought she didn’t like salmon but it turns out she likes it if it’s wild salmon. He was summoned away again by the Falling Fruit people and this time he put a cover over his bagel. When he returned, his bagel was safe but the cat was on the work surface tucking into salmon straight from the packet where he had, admittedly foolishly, left it. Still, a small price to pay.
Mr. Waffle and herself were talking about dinners over the weekend and he said, he was missing an ingredient. “Could you substitute Delia seeds?” she asked. An understandable error.
Mr. Waffle and I went for a walk around the neighbourhood and I was felled by a migraine half way round. I took some tablets and went to bed for a couple of hours but I felt a bit sorry for myself.
Michael chose Gladiator for film night which I rather enjoyed -partly because the muted colour palette suited my migraine – but it is both long and bloody. Herself had to bail early again due to the ongoing demands of extra maths classes.
Saturday, October 3, 2020
I went into town to pick up various supplies. Town was absolutely heaving. Loads of people eating outside. I quite enjoyed my little trip to what felt like normality but it does worry me a bit also.
Mr. Waffle and I went for a cycle in the park which, sadly, has been re-opened to cars and is much less pleasant than it was during lockdown when it wasn’t bisected by traffic. We ran into a neighbour in the park who remarked that he had seen us in Clifden when they were driving through in the summer. Incidentally, this is why Irish people can’t have affairs.
Herself spent the day undergoing cold turkey. She’s decided she spends too much time on the internet so has locked herself off internet on her phone and given herself 15 minutes a day on instragram, twitter and tiktok. Her friend has the code to unlock the internet and instructions not to give it to her. She is bereft.
The boys went to get their hair cut. The hairdresser asked whether they were cousins and Daniel said that no, they were twin brothers. She commented to Daniel that he should share his food with his brother which when reported back to his family made us all laugh.
The boys spoke to their grandfather via Skype to thank him for his generous gift to their (frankly overflowing) coffers. It does make me sad that they can’t go to Cork to visit him.
Sunday, October 4, 2020
I cannot believe that I am saying this but I really miss mass. Extraordinary.
The weather was awful but we had a cousin and his parents around in the afternoon which really cheered us up. Everyone is fed up though. When will it all end?