I was talking about Bottom in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with the children for reasons which I have now forgotten. Daniel asked, “Is he from ‘The Taming of the Shrew’?” “No,” I said. “Oh yeah,” he said, “‘The Taming of the Shrew’ is not the one with all the animals in it despite having an animal in the title.” Fair point.
Archives for October 2023
We went down to Cork on Saturday to bury my aunt’s ashes. It was a much deferred event and in the end this weekend didn’t really suit because a) Mr. Waffle and I had a party on Friday night; b) Daniel was staying out at a friend’s house to do a Friday 13th horror marathon and had to be picked up from there on the way to Cork and was up until 5 am being jump scared; c) my sister was enjoying a rolling crisis at work and ongoing illness and d) she and her partner were moving out of their house the following Monday to make room for the builders who are moving in until Christmas.
At the party on Friday, an old friend of mine from Cork asked me how Aunty Pat was and I had to say, not great, we’re interring her ashes tomorrow. I felt a bit sorry for him but there you are.
Anyway, we got to Cork, we got to the graveyard and we did it. It was a short ceremony and it’s pretty surprising to see how small the box of ashes is. The gravedigger knew Aunty Pat and had done some gardening work for her in the past, so that was actually quite nice.
We went for lunch afterwards which was not entirely successful because it was vegetarian which not everyone loved, Daniel was exhausted, my sister was sick and it was so loud that it was difficult to hear anything. Alas. Before we went to the graveyard, my sister had sustained us with a snack including a Cornish pasty from Marks and Spencer’s. “Look Mum,” said Daniel excitedly, “an English empanada.” Good point.
At lunch we were trying to tell Aunty Pat stories over the din. My brother said – which was news to me – that she loved rugby and when he was a kid, he used to go into her house to watch matches. Mr. Waffle and I went round to her house – where my brother is now living – that evening to watch Ireland play the All Blacks and, honestly, with one thing and another, it would have been nice if the Irish team had won. But no, it was that kind of weekend.
I feel a bit sad but I guess it’s good that she’s interred there with her uncles and aunts, brother and grandparents (her parents are elsewhere). And, as they say, she had a good innnings. In fact, she was pretty much perfect and driving about until her late 80s. She was 94 when she died and living at home. Things could have been a lot worse.
This is always a very busy time of year for the patrons of the arts.
Mr. Waffle and I went to see Colm O’Regan (the Irish Mammies guy) in the Dublin Fringe theatre festival. As the guy said himself, it’s comedy and it’s only an hour. It wasn’t bad but it was very light on Cork content which is, frankly, disappointing for a Cork comedian.
As part of the actual Dublin theatre festival, we went to see a one man play called “The Dead House” in the New Theatre which, the clue is in the name, only stages new work. Again, not bad but could have done with a bit more work before being presented to an interested public. It got a four star review in the paper but so did almost all the DTF shows so not the kind of discriminating review you might hope for, in my view.
As part of the festival of history (are you still with me?), I did a book and theatre focussed walking tour of Dublin run by the always brilliant Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded. I’m not entirely sure that these tours would work for tourists (though they do draw some tourists who, in fairness, seem keen) as they assume quite a bit of background knowledge but for residents, they are superb. The guide is filled with enthusiasm. Often I see people telling him thing which I know for a a fact he knows already and he is always very polite and when he learns a genuinely new fact, he is delighted and never defensive that he didn’t know already. Really recommended.
The National Gallery is doing a big Lavery exhibition. I do like Lavery a lot and I enjoyed the exhibition but I’m not sure it’s for everybody. He’s most famous for his portraits and there isn’t a huge focus on them – although there are some – and I’m not sure that’s a fantastic curatorial choice. That said, I enjoyed the Scottish tennis players and the Palm Springs sunbathers very much.
Mr. Waffle and I also visited the big Andy Warhol exhibition in the Hugh Lane Gallery. Charlatan or genius visionary? I honestly can’t decide. Mr. Waffle seems to have a firm view. There is a room with films of various notable people where they try to stay still so that it looks like a headshot. I thought that was quite clever. One of the people given this treatment is Marcel Duchamp. The biter bit?
Finally we were at a party a while back and one of the attendees said that he had been performing at Electric Picnic earlier that day; the excitement, the glamour. We were all pretty disappointed when it turned out he had been doing a podcast.
I have a nasty cold which is finally starting to get better. I had the dentist this morning at 8.40 (why, why did I pick this time?) and in fairness to him, I felt I’d better do a Covid test in advance. Negative but mood not improved by waggling Covid test stick up my nose at 7 in the morning. Annoyingly Dan and Mr. Waffle both had this cold and are already fully recovered, Michael, who despite his slender frame appears to have an extraordinarily vigorous immune system, wasn’t sick at all. In far off England, herself, who clearly shares my level of disease resistance, had been felled by freshers’ flu which is hard when you’re a sophisticated third year.
And as well, a couple of weeks ago, I got the most horrendous thing. I have never had a stye on my eye so why, the first time this happens to me would I get a hordeolum? This is a stye inside your eyelid. It’s as revolting and as painful as it sounds.
Is it going to be a long winter? Quite possibly. Note to self: get the Covid booster and the flu jab as soon as possible.
I mean not super exotic travel but travel nonetheless.
Mr. Waffle was in Bruges, at a college class reunion thing; a broadly good time was had by all. Except the cat. She is fed by Mr. Waffle, inter alia, before bed. At 10.30, she takes up her position on the corner of the rug and begins looking at him imploringly. In his absence, she stared at the couch, clearly hoping he was going to materialise and having zero faith that I would feed her.
Herself, before returning to England, went to Cork where she was feted and petted by her adoring uncle and aunt.
An otherwise uneventful trip was made exciting by the travel arrangements. She needed a 19-23 id card for the student ticket for the train. It only arrived on the morning she was leaving but, sadly, after she had actually left. I had driven her to the station in the driving rain and heavy traffic and there was no way we would have time to turn back. I was resigned to buying a full fare ticket at the station but then her father – like a superhero in waterproofs – cycled to the station and gave her the ID. Honestly, quite a bit more thrilling than it sounds.
Also, in public transport news, my children keep losing their travel cards and while Mr. Waffle was in Bruges another one was lost. Looking at the account there are about 16 cards called things like Michael2018(2). Poor Mr. Waffle, the administrative duties of a father are many. Anyway thrillingly, following this latest loss, Mr. Waffle found that he was sitting on a gold mine. There was about €100 sitting on the various long lost cards waiting for him to recover (after considerable effort – order of administrative labour, first class).
Then, like the extremely saintly mother I am, sherpa-like I drove the Princess’s stuff back to England while she flew to attend a conference, the logistics were almost unbearably complex.
Before driving to England to my intense chagrin, a tree crept up beside me and broke the side mirror on the car. It worked ok but slightly suboptimal for my long drive. And 500 of your earth euros to repair it. I’ve decided not to fix the scrape I gave it going in the gate in Cork, there’s only so much I can afford.
The offending tree with its victim:
My trip to England was grand. I ensconced herself in her, frankly, palatial student accommodation and then turned around to get the ferry home. I spent two nights with my friends in Shrewsbury. It is such a lovely town. Look at it.
I am unclear whether the best shopping in England is to be had in Shrewsbury or my friend really knows what is likely to attract a fellow middle aged woman. They have a lovely indoor market there and I spent like there was no tomorrow.
On the way back to the ferry, I stopped in Conwy in Wales. So lovely, so utterly unknown by me until the ferry to Wales became such a big part of my life.
I am back to work on Halloween (not ominous at all). Expect less gallivanting thereafter.
Apparently there was a thing on the internet some time ago (I am always late to these trends) where teenagers would say to their middle-aged parents that celebrities who were alive and well had died. The parents would be shocked and horrified “Dolly Parton is dead?!” Their heartless children would then record their reactions and put it on the internet. Mildly funny.
Slightly related herself told me when Justin Trudeau and his wife split up. They had actually split up. “Oh no,” said I, “I am absolutely gutted.” “You and all of Canada,” she said. Alas.