Monday, September 20, 2021
I had lunch with a friend whose Dutch mother-in-law had saved for me a copy of Royals magazine which had a special on Máxima’s 50th birthday. It was saved for me through Covid, flown in specially from the Netherlands by my friend and then I left it behind me in the pub where we met for lunch. Gutted.
I stepped down as treasurer of the parents’ council. I am ecstatic.
I saw on the internet that Françoise Bernard has died (at the ripe old age of 100). My mother loved her book “Les Recettes Faciles” and used it all the time. Someone posted a picture of it on the internet and it really brought me back to my childhood. As far as I know, it is still in my parents’ house. Like everything else.
Tuesday, September 21, 2021 – Autumn Equinox
My sister is anxious that the boys, whose 16th birthday is on Monday, send her some indication of what they might like as presents. Michael is particularly hard to buy for. He sends her an email saying: “I appreciate that it must be very difficult to shop for someone with few material desires.” Where to begin?
As a lockdown project, Mr. Waffle started sending birthday greetings into a whatsapp group of people he did a European masters with in Belgium many years ago. He has their year book in hard copy (that was the only kind of year book available in the early 90s). One of the surprising things to emerge is a man who says that he lied about his birthday because he wanted to celebrate during term time. People are odd. Anyhow, lockdown is over but Mr. Waffle’s work as the pan-European birthday fairy continues.
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Our new French conversation woman came to the house. She was greeted with resignation rather than enthusiasm by the boys but look, good enough. I hope that it works out. At least it will be in person rather than online so I hope it goes a bit better than last year. I’m quite pleased with my wheeze of putting up paper ads in the student accommodation and local shops to find someone even though it felt very 20th century.
Over dinner I said when linking two fascinating items of conversation, “to segue seamlessly”. “Did you just pronounce that ‘seg‘?” asked herself. “I did,” I said. “It’s an Italian word not a French one, it’s pronounced “segway” like the yoke,” she said while laughing hysterically. I am flabbergasted. I have checked since with friends and colleagues; I am the only one who has fallen into this error. Alas. Still I am now among the enlightened. As my Nana used to say, “you are never too old to learn”.
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Dan and Michael got their second vaccine dose. Daniels’s bike gave up. We had rescued it from the shed in Cork during lockdown when bikes were hard to come by but it was always a bit sub-optimal. I think it might possibly have been my father’s last bike before he gave up cycling in his 80s.
Friday, September 24, 2021
Poor Michael was sick as a dog after his vaccine and stayed home from school but Dan was fine. Herself got her hair cut.
I found myself at a bit of a loose end on Friday evening for the first time in as long as I can remember. Michael was sick in bed. Daniel and his father had gone to a football match.
Herself was packing for her weekend in Edinburgh (she’s visiting a friend). She was singing “La Vie en Rose” to herself and as the house was so uncharacteristically silent, it floated clearly down the stairs. I will miss hearing her sing around the house.
My brother revealed that he will be in Dublin a day or two a week from October and will be staying with us unless that doesn’t suit. I said that we will give it a go and see how it goes; I am a little dubious. I am tidy, he is not. If I arrive down in the morning to find his dirty dishes in the sink, this may not work for us. However, I suspect it will be temporary as either he will move to Dublin full time or find another job in Cork. We will see. I believe my sister thinks I might go insane. She might be right.
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Mr. Waffle took herself to the airport at the crack of dawn. Michael was recovered, in celebration, I took him to the Beuys exhibition in the Hugh Lane gallery. To be honest, neither of us loved it. Daniel had a football match. Apple season continues unabated.
Having announced to the family that it is impossible to make apple jelly that doesn’t set, I proceeded to make a batch that failed to set. Pride comes before a fall etc.
My sister drove to Valentia in Kerry with a friend with a view to taking a long-planned trip to Skellig Michael on the following day. The boat was cancelled due to inclement weather, alas. Still she sent me a nice photo from Valentia.
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Another sermon about climate change at mass which also touched on the 7 deadly sins, haven’t heard about them in a good while. The archbishop has written a pastoral letter (on climate change rather than the 7 deadly sins) which we are encouraged to buy for €2.50. I’m unsure about that investment. My attention drifted during the prayers of the faithful and I was startled to hear the priest expressing gratitude for teapots. I mean, I am grateful, more practically grateful than for other things that we may be grateful for during the prayers of the faithful but it struck me as… unusual. The priest remarked that he worked in England for 30 years, perhaps this was part of it?
Daniel and Michael had a couple of friends over to eat pizza and play board games to celebrate their birthday. Daniel managed to use the projector to put an x-box game on the big screen. We have been using the projector for film night for 18 months or so at this stage. We bring in a whole shelf of dictionaries to stand the projector on. Daniel put it at an angle on one small paperback and it projected perfectly. As his father said, “That light and optics physics course we sent him on was definitely worth it.” I feel a bit foolish.
Mr. Waffle and I went off to the other side of the city where we had a cup of tea, visited his mother and went for a mild walk in the rain. More appealing than it sounds.
I can’t believe that Angela Merkel is leaving us. The boys weren’t even 2 months old when she first became Chancellor and they will be 16 tomorrow. She has been there all their lives. I know politicians are often more popular abroad than at home but I thought she was amazing and I am sorry to see her go; it’s truly the end of an era.