Herself went back to England. Alas alack. We will not see her until Easter at the earliest. She is a bit preoccupied about her post-college employment/study plans and fears that she may have to move back home. She’s appalled. I’m delighted but I feel that one of the many irons she has in the fire will mean that her worst fears will not be realised.
Here she is the day she got back to college dutifully preparing not to remove her nose from the grindstone for many months.
I went to Cork and had a January Christmas dinner with my siblings. Honestly, not as satisfactory as an actual Christmas dinner but not too bad. We went to the River Lee hotel which used to be Jury’s where we went for post communion and confirmation lunches but has now gone upmarket. It was grand. Busy. A bit pricey for what it was, I thought.
I went for a walk in the Lee Fields (very unusually not underwater) with my sister and her partner.
I totally lost track of time meaning that I had to cycle to the station at epic speeds weaving through Sunday strollers like a middle aged man in lycra trying to set a new personal best time. I made it with minutes to spare. It took a lot out of me.
Michael had his play. It wasn’t too bad and he was on stage a lot. But whatever way you slice it, Hamlet is a long, long play and I was exhausted by the time it was over. Obviously worse for Michael but he got to be on stage which I think he rather enjoyed. A couple of his friends turned up with a sign saying we love gravedigger number 2 and I was charmed.
Over the holidays, while Mr. Waffle and I were at work and Michael was at endless Hamlet rehearsals, Daniel stepped up to the plate and cooked dinner a number of times. It was absolutely delicious. These talents did not come from me. He also has a new haircut. The young people; would you be up to them etc.? He has also been concussed by the GAA – the bane of my life. He’s recovering but it’s taking the best part of a week. First his tooth, now his head. He’s mostly been exhausted for days and days but he went back to college today and is feeling a bit perkier after doing some theoretical physics.
We had some friends around to dinner which was great but also exhausting. Timing meant that we were supposed to have Mr. Waffle’s aunt (home from Australia) and the cousins over for dinner the following night but happily the aunt cancelled – I mean sorry not to see her and sorry she was not feeling up to it but pleased not to be doing a second large catering event on the trot. I skipped out to my Sunday afternoon bookclub with, well, a skip in my step.
Speaking of book clubs, my Monday night book club has had a change in its operating model for the first time in 25 years; there are 12 of us and this year we all got to pick a book a month for the next year; two people were happy not to suggest and so December is still open – honestly, possibly a relief. Normally it’s a bit of chat on the night and a consensus. I felt very much the weight of responsibility in picking my one book for the year. Herself says that it is unfair on me as under the old system, due to my domineering ways, I got to pick way more than one book a year. The jury is currently out for obvious reasons but the 2024 selection does look quite worthy. That said, very much enjoying “Yellowface”. You may guess which was my suggestion.
- February: Yellowface
- March: The Saint of Lost Things
- April: The Bee Sting
- May: Demon Copperhead
- June: The Vulnerables
- July & August: Life in the Balance and A Place of Greater Safety
- September: Harlem Shuffle
- October: Enlightenment
- November: A Tale of Love and Darkness
As part of my new year’s resolution, Mr. Waffle and I have been to the cinema twice this month. We saw “Poor Things” (really still not the better of it) and “The Holdovers” (quite sweet but would have been definitely a better viewing experience in the run up to Christmas rather than after it). More scintillating cinema reviews as we get them.
In tooth related news, my electric toothbrush disappeared for 24 hours and I carried out extensive inquiries, even texting my cleaner. It turned out to be on the stairs hidden by a banister. It was on the stairs because I had put it there to go back upstairs after its little adventure at the charging station which, for reasons I will not bore you with, is downstairs (see I do hold some things back). Oh great was the rejoicing among my children whom I am constantly upbraiding for their inability to see things sitting on the steps waiting to go upstairs.
And, in further tooth related news, my dentist has decreed that I need another crown. This is my third in as many years. What is it about my 50s? Are my teeth all going to crumble and fall out of my mouth having worked perfectly for all these years? Apparently yes. And today as I sat at my desk eating a sandwich, my temporary crown (installed following a, frankly unpleasant, session in the dentist’s chair) fell out. Back to the dentist this evening. Reinstalling was fine really but I look forward to the moment at the end of February when my permanent crown is installed. Sigh.
This weekend, we went to a Burns night supper with our friends. We went for the first time in 2020 and little though I knew it then, it was to be our last big night out before the pandemic. It was weird to be back but in a good way. I felt like a veteran this time and was ready for the “Address to a Haggis“. We had such a nice evening – I do hope we make the cut again!
I went to IMMA for the first time in ages on Saturday. I am always a bit ambivalent about modern art and indeed I found the RDS audiovisual winners in general not to my taste. However, there is also an exhibition called “self-determination” about the new nation states (including Ireland) that were established in the wake of WWI and that was really fascinating. It runs until April so if you’re local, you have plenty of time to go and see it. If that doesn’t float your boat, you can also inspect nightmare bunny (may not be the name chosen by the artist) who is outside the main entrance.
I went for a walk with friends in the park and despite the fact that rain threatened, it did not rain and we had our walk, a scone after and a chance to inspect the millions of deer with which the park is overrun.
At mass last Sunday we had to fill in a survey about which mass time suits us best; the beginning of the end for some masses I’d say. It’s inevitable with all the priests getting so old. Next weekend is our new post-Covid bank holiday weekend in celebration of St Bridget whose feast day is on February 1 so the priest referred to her and quoted the opening lines of that lovely poem “Anois teacht an Earraigh“. This made me think of my mother whose birthday was on February 1 and who always quoted that poem at this time of year. She always really enjoyed celebrating her birthday and it makes me really happy that it now has a bank holiday devoted to it which she would really have liked. But somehow, as the priest said the poem, I found myself just feeling sad and missing her. That’s the way it goes, I guess.