So what have I been up to? I know you are on the edge of your seat out there. I went to the Dalkey book festival last Saturday. I mentioned it to a friend in the context of not being available for something else and he said, “[Snort] the Dalkey book festival, could you be any more middle class?” Well, I could, in fairness. I could actually live in Dalkey which is a lovely sea side village with the most expensive houses in the country.
I enjoyed my trip to Dalkey. Mr. Waffle and I went to see Lea Ypi whose book I recommend. I found her interesting. Quite angry and still, I think, at heart a communist. You can take the child out of Albania etc. The setting was a Protestant church and I found the seats exquisitely uncomfortable. A former colleague of Mr. Waffle’s was there and she asked a hard question. I was suitably impressed but it disappeared in the deluge of other questions.
The parents of a boy who was in Daniel and Michael’s class in primary school had a party to celebrate their third and final child finishing primary school. In a very real way, we helped them to find the school. The mother met the Princess in the park – aged 5- with her minder and cross-questioned her on the school. She liked what the Princess said and the cut of her jib more generally and decided to send her precious first-born there which is how he ended up in Dan and Michael’s class. I have never before considered how much you have in common with parents of children who went to the same primary school as yours. Even if we didn’t know the parents (and we knew lots of them) we mostly knew them to see. We were all able to admire the school class photos which our hosts had dug out. It was a lovely idea and everyone had a great time. There was even dancing.
Sunday was Fathers’ Day – bit of a quiet day but, you know, grand. Mr. Waffle got a card and a present. And I thought a bit about my own father who was always pretty disapproving of Fathers’ Day; a festival designed by Hallmark, in his view.
No idea what happened on Monday but on Tuesday I was up with the lark, out for a swim, then a cycle in, alas, driving rain which I had not at all planned for.
I then had a very satisfactory long lunch with a friend, cycled up to the school for a last engagement (uniform swap, all of the children’s uniforms have been given away, I am a model of efficiency) and on the way home from school I found a swarm of bees in the lane and got a beekeeper to come and take them away. Your correspondent was exhausted but broadly pleased.
Wednesday was June 21 the longest day of the year and also the day of Dan’s last Leaving Cert exam. It was physics and he was pleased with the paper. In the newspaper a teacher was quoted as saying that it was “a very fair paper”. “That’s teacher code for easy,” said Dan. Herself was pleased with results also so it was a good day all round.
Thursday saw me beating the locked doors of the church with a new father to get in for a baptism prep meeting. The house of the Lord is never closed eh? Anyway, in fairness, the parish priest let us in so new father’s trek from the other side of the city was not in vain (he believes our church to be a half way point between his wife’s family and his, I believe he is mistaken).
And today was Michael’s last exam. It was economics. He had a long time to prepare and he was not enjoying working when Dan was finished but at last the day dawned. He did not like the paper, sadly, so has finished on something of a low. However, it is done and as my father used to say, “students are very poor judges of their own performance”. We all went out to lunch to celebrate. That’s really the very, very end of school. How peculiar.