Monday, February 15, 2021
I bought daffodils at the weekend and Daniel asked, “Are they supposed to look like asparagus?” Oh child of little faith.
I listened to a podcast about Amazon’s resistance to unionisation and felt smug. I haven’t bought anything from Amazon for a number of years. Herself made us boycott it because of their unsatisfactory labour practices. Although I do miss the convenience of one click a bit (I can’t lie), I am sustained by my inner smugness and the knowledge that I am making a conscious effort to buy from Irish shops gives me an additional smug glow.
I forgot to bring my wallet to work and I didn’t even need it. Everything I might need seems to be on my phone. This is a bit unnerving but handy, I must confess.
My friend in Vermont sent me pictures of herself and her sons skiing (at my request) and it filled me with joy. And the sun shone which was great but it would be even better if it hadn’t rained all weekend.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021 – Pancake Tuesday
My sister sent us up a package. Great excitement. It contained, inter alia the €90 jumper which I had bought my father for Christmas and sent to her for safekeeping. Unnecessary in the event. I gave it to Michael as he was the only one of the menfolk it would fit and while I wouldn’t necessarily have spent €90 on a cashmere jumper for Michael, he does look very nice in it and has worn it voluntarily of his own accord. I am sure that my father would have been pleased.
The weather was positively springlike. There were exciting Gategate developments. The gates were installed and I was given a fob. Meanwhile in the whatsapp group a message appeared from one of the opponents asking ominously, but perhaps not unreasonably:
Hi all – I noticied that two sets of lane gates have been installed (one set seems permanently shut). What news about key fobs/pin code/cost and payment?
Everyone in the whatsapp group ignored this message.
We had pancakes after dinner.
Wednesday, February 17, 2020 – Ash Wednesday
The weather was beautiful again. The bishops told us to burn last year’s palm to make ashes but appear to have forgotten that getting to mass/getting palm last year was a bit problematic. We went ash free but I did notice some colleagues with ashes on zoom calls during the day; clearly they had access to some kind of underground supply (insert your own jokes here).
Follow-up message from ignored neighbour re Gategate arrived:
Henry Kissinger once asked: “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” I might ask similar of access to the lane for say garden maintenance/delivery person etc. ….Access should not be arbitrarily decided.
The group admin (who I suspect really regrets setting up this group now) suggested that irate neighbour contact another neighbour to which he replied:
The problem is that we are not sure about anything concerning the lane gates. It must be asked “Why so?”
The brilliant though perhaps headstrong and impetuous neighbour who installed the gates himself and intends to collect money afterwards replied at length to which irate neighbour replied:
At long last! When can we expect fobs and code for the closed gate? We should not have to seek you out.
This caused the rest of us, craven but grateful, to pile in and say how pleased we were with the gates and how it had been perfectly obvious that they were being installed over the previous month. Irate neighbour replied that while the gates were good (!) he had been left out and
Bush Telegraph is just not good enough in this day and age.
Anyway, the upshot is a new whatsapp group for the lane. I dread to think what the reaction will be when irate neighbour discovers that the new gates are going to cost each household money. Meanwhile I’ve been sailing in and out on my bike, clicking away on my fob. The lane is delightfully clean.
Patrick Kavanagh’s poem Epic springs to mind.
I have lived in important places, times
When great events were decided; who owned
That half a rood of rock, a no-man’s land
Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims.
I heard the Duffys shouting ‘Damn your soul!’
And old McCabe stripped to the waist, seen
Step the plot defying blue cast-steel –
‘Here is the march along these iron stones’
That was the year of the Munich bother. Which
Was more important? I inclined
To lose my faith in Ballyrush and Gortin
Till Homer’s ghost came whispering to my mind.
He said: I made the Iliad from such
A local row. Gods make their own importance.
In other whatsapp news, my firstborn child is definitely well ahead of me in matters literary. I had the following exchange after listening to a podcast.
I was in touch with her as it was, yet another, critical week for news in relation to Leaving Cert 2021. The solution which may yet founder is quite good she thinks with a combination of teacher grades and exam grades and you get whichever is better.
The Junior Cert has been cancelled and I asked my sister-in-law how my nephew was taking the news. Apparently he has told her that every day between now and the end of next year is Friday afternoon, so he is pleased, I think.
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Another beautiful day. Herself thought she might try reading Dante’s Inferno. She was trying to find an online translation and came across a link to a site which said, “Dante’s Inferno, Best Available Tactics, 9 hours”. She had never heard of reading tactics before and she was curious so she clicked through. Apparently Dante’s Inferno is a video game as well. Who knew? Anyway, it turns out that the Inferno consists of 8 books of 400 pages each so she’s lost interest a bit. It looks like a lot more than 9 hours even with best available tactics.
I was going to give up instagram for Lent but herself said that she would put a limit on my phone so I couldn’t use it after 6. I’m delighted. I’ve given up biscuits again instead.
Mr. Waffle has bought a new bike and hasn’t yet disposed of the old one. The shed now looks like this. We have 8 bikes for the five of us and I’m thinking of getting a new bike myself. Is this wise?
Friday, February 19, 2021
Having just completed quite a bit of paperwork to stick with Ulster Bank for our mortgage, I wasn’t entirely delighted to hear that they are pulling out of the Irish market. “How can they?” said herself, “Is there an Ulster somewhere else?”
Having been beautiful all week, the weather turned and it started to rain.
Saturday, February 20, 2021
The weather was shocking. I managed to put my neck out while swinging my now irritatingly long (last cut December 2019) hair out of my face. An idiotic injury. Two of the kids on the road got surrounded by a rough bunch of teenagers in the local park and had to leg it home to safety. Not a particular cheering day. My neck basically wedged stuck during cinema night (“Little Women” not bad but not universally popular) and I went hunchbacked to bed.
Sunday, February 21, 2021
We woke up to sunny weather. What a delight. Mr. Waffle and I went for a really lovely long cycle in the park. Although my neck was still really sore from my hair flicking injury, it seemed that the angle for cycling and resting my weight on my hands worked really well. I went for a brief walk with herself in the afternoon and the boys and I watched “The Fellowship of the Ring” which we had all seen before but enjoyed very much. In short a much better Sunday than Saturday. Alas, my neck is still a bit sore – you should know that I am writing this with my chin pointing at my knees which is sub optimal. If I’m not better in the morning, I suppose it’s the physio for me. Alas.