I came home from America on Wednesday morning, March 29 so I did not totally welcome that it was school quiz night on Thursday evening March 30. I will not miss being on the school parents’ council. However, it all passed off peacefully enough. Because Ireland is small, the son of my mother’s best friend from college has a child in our school. I was chatting to him on the night and we were exchanging reminiscences from our childhood. I recalled that his mother had mentioned to me that he always went to Cheltenham. “How did you get on?” I asked. “I’m not telling you because you’ll tell my mother,” said he. Badly, I surmise. That’s what she thought too when I told her.
Months ago, I booked the play “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” for myself, Mr. Waffle and the boys. It was on the Friday night (March 31) at the start of the school holidays. What could go wrong? Little did I think that the school would completely scupper us by scheduling Leaving Cert orals – German on Saturday, Irish orals for the Sunday and French orals for the Monday. “Leaving Cert Irish orals on Palm Sunday in a catholic school?!” said my sister. You betcha. Anyway, Daniel decided he was too busy/nervous to go to the play but Michael came with us and enjoyed it.
The orals were stressful and Daniel, who is really good felt that he did not totally do himself justice but I am sure he will be fine. Michael was happy enough. My dentist told me that his son got to re-schedule his orals because he was playing rugby for the Ireland U-19s. No such facility was offered for the theatre going public, I fear.
To celebrate the end of the orals and the proper start of their Easter holidays I offered to take the guys to the Dungeons and Dragons flick, Dan refused but Michael and I had a good time. It was funny, even if you knew absolutely nothing like me but, of course, Michael got lots more of the in-jokes.
Herself came home for the Easter holidays on Saturday April 1, having raided the second-hand shops in Sofia to good effect. Her friend’s mother in London washed the haul she and her friend acquired. Twice. Then she said, “Come into my laundry room and smell.” Apparently it still smelt of cigarettes. Alas.
Anyway it was nice to have her home. We saw lots of her. Mr. Waffle’s sister and family were over from London and we had everyone to Easter lunch at our house. It was lovely to see everyone. I think we all had a good time.
The youngest cousin brought bunny ears that she had got for Easter. We all got to try them. Big hit.
Herself turned 20 during her time at home (full post to follow eventually) and she and I went out to spend the voucher for afternoon tea in the Shelbourne that my brother had given me for my birthday. Really very pleasant.
We had a small birthday tea at home as well. I have some lessons to learn about large numbers of candles on cakes.
But we got there just in time.
Joe Biden came to visit and I had to travel through the city in the face of many warnings. I gambled and won as Joe and I had the city to ourselves all the other Dublin denizens having bailed out. I felt very much a part of the visit as helicopters hovered over my home making Dublin safe.
For our farewell dinner before herself went back to England, I booked an Ethiopian supper club. A set menu and a lot of eating with your hands. Latter was difficult but overall interesting. Something that looks a bit like a Breton pancake is the base layer of Ethiopian food and then various stews and dips are arranged on top. The Ethiopian national dish – the name of which eludes me – was the success of the evening.
The next day, we took herself to the airport to go back to England. She checked in on the drive to the airport. When we got there, the luggage machine told her that she was at the wrong airport. Further inspection revealed that instead of booking a Dublin to Gatwick flight she had in fact booked and checked into a Gatwick to Dublin flight. Miraculously a woman at the ticket desk was able to change her to a later flight that day to Gatwick for a change fee of €50 and no further cost. A triumph for Aer Lingus. We went off to Malahide for a breakfast celebration and then went home where her brothers were pretty surprised to see her back. She said that she had left home a couple of hours previously as a fully functioning adult but she had come back as a small child. In fairness, it was a most unlikely lapse. Her father went into work and I drove her out to the airport again. I felt like I spent the day on the road to the airport. And all for the purpose of sending away my beloved firstborn. Sigh. I hope your own Easter holidays were satisfactory.