The Seoul city government is offering advice to pregnant women that includes ensuring their husbands have clean clothes and enough to eat while they are in hospital giving birth.

The mandarins over in Seoul
Gave instructions to those up the pole
Such as making a plan
For feeding your man
So they’re clearly talking through their hole

John Moynes


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38 thoughts on “A Limerick A Day

  1. Bitnboxy

    The stuff of dreams for the Iona “Institute’s” David Quinn. After all, tis what women really want.

  2. Slightly Bemused

    This reminds me of a time a few years ago when I was working in Grozny, in Chechnya. We stayed outside the town in a small village called Pobedinskoye where many of the villagers had separate guest houses in their yards. We rented those, and the families provided us with food – the same they cooked for themselves. We provided water and of course paid for the accommodation and food. But it was very much the lady of the house’s job to cater to our needs.

    One week, the lady of our house had to leave to go visit her sick mother, leaving only the man of the house. Despite being given firm instructions, he was totally inept about cooking (think exploding boiled eggs) or any other matters to do with the care of his ‘guests’. Dishes piled in the sink as he did not know how to do washing up. Of course we helped out as best we could, and my French colleague took over the cooking of the evening meal, which we shared with himself and his son. And we cleaned the dishes.

    When the lady came back she tore strips off him while bustling around putting everything in order again. It was a salutary lesson in how roles are assigned and I imagine was largely unchanged for centuries. She looked after the house and guests, and the small vegetable patch and chickens, and he did the farming, and repairs around the house.

    While we were there, we occasionally had to go back to Moscow. This involved a 6-8 hour drive to Nalchik in Kabardino Balcharia, overnight, then a 5 hour flight up. Coming back was easier, and we could get back to the village in just one day. Our hotel in Moscow was close to the MacDonalds, and we could get there just before our pick-up for the airport. So we would go and order a rake of burgers, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, etc. And carry these with us all the way back.

    One or two (depending on how many were travelling) were breakfast, but the rest arrived cold in Pobedinskoe. Yet it was like nectar of the gods when you had been eating boiled potatoes and spinach perushki for weeks. I shudder to think of the food safety issues today, but we were hungry, and it did not matter!

    1. Col

      “as he did not know how to do washing up”
      Come on, presumably he knows how to clean his hands, so he knows how to wash a plate. He just didn’t want to do washing up.

      1. Slightly Bemused

        There was certainly an element of that, as this was woman’s work! The plates and cups were fine, mostly, it was more the cooking pans and cutlery would often have bits still stuck to them.
        Luckily all of us were used to fending for ourselves and had cleaned a pot or two in the past. Such skills stay with you – at least until you get a dishwasher :-)

      1. Paulus

        The trick, from a man’s perspective, is to maintain a calculated level of incompetence where dishwashing is concerned. The situation usually then resolves itself.
        (Hopefully I didn’t say that out loud)?

        1. Slightly Bemused

          Same applies to changing nappies :-)

          Unfortunately I forgot that when my little one was born, but it did mean I got time with her in the middle of the night as I was good at waking and then going back to sleep. And coming from a large family I had already mastered the trick of avoiding a fountain, much to my darling ex-wife’s disgust.

        2. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

          ha I’m ahead of you, I always break a few dishes to get my point accross, the chef should never have to wash,
          himself had his revenge with a few 90 degree laundries…so it all evens out

          1. Harry

            The chef should never have to wash, but some chefs absolutely destroy the kitchen in the process of cooking, using every implement and surface and coating same in grease. Sometimes, as a treat, some chefs might spill an entire pan of grease all over glasses and cutlery already in the sink, which is a joy to get off. Some chefs are incapable of cleaning as they go.

            Sometimes it’s a lot less work to do the cooking rather than clean up after others.

          2. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

            oh that sounds like the voice of experience, I’m more a clean as you go type, people like that drive me mental

    2. Micko

      I know a lady who used to play a similar trick when she wanted her male friends to help out. She’d pulls the “ditsy blonde” card as she call it :)

      Pretends that she can’t lift or manually do something that she’s actually well capable of doing and then gives lots of “ooh you’re soo strong” platitudes to the poor sap.


  3. Tinytim

    Not sure if it has changed but I recall It was fairly different (only 3 years ago)with the kitchens in Irish maternity wards working something like 8-4.
    The Da’s being prewarned to bring in enough food for the Ma; no way they would be going about 16hours without a meal.

    1. millie bobby brownie

      Thankfully they don’t do this in the rotunda any more! When I was having my wee lad there in August, I was very impressed at the improvements in the catering there, which were awful when I had my daughter back in 2013.

      The food this time was all very well made, with lots of fresh seasonal veg and a good size too. They even give you a bit of cake (also made on site) at lunch, and a fresh scone with tea at 8 or so in the evening.

      1. paul

        my wife had the same experience in 2019. Trip to GP, blood pressure checked, rushed to Rotunda on their advice in a ‘just in case’ kinda thing. Given a bed and before any serious medical details checked one of the catering staff appeared, had a chat with my wife and as the Doc was arriving, so did a huge omelette with fresh veg. Certainly took the sting out of pre-eclampsia.

      2. millie bobby brownie

        Bit of butter and jam for the scone, my dear Bemused. No cream, sadly, but a welcome treat nonetheless. And wee millie is a model child, as always – unlike the other one, who prides himself on being akin to a biblical plague.

        Hope all went well with Mrs Paulus and baby, Paulus. You do hear bad stories about the rotunda, about all the hospitals I suppose, but I can only sing their praises. Particularly when I was readmitted for post-natal complications this time around. The staff were so lovely and took such good care of us.

        1. paul

          any problems we may have had with the Rotunda are definitely high level ones. As with most of these situations, the people on the ground level are very nice and trying their best. Something that is very much appreciated during times of great need.

          Baby fine, a bruiser that is busy passing out his older cousins in terms of height, appetite, weight and speed. Despite being ‘from his mother’s womb untimely ripp’d’ in the middle of the night, he’s shown no signs of stopping.

          to distinguish from them above, I’m very much the lower-case paul :)

          1. millie bobby brownie

            Gaaaaah I’m sorry paul, Paulus and any other People I offended with my fluffing of names today!

            No excuse other than being a big silly today.

          2. Tinytim

            ‘Millie the fluff’ does have a certain children’s book ring though.

            Glad to hear kiddos are all good and that improvements have been happening.

            To be fair, it was probably the only negative I had for the coombe ( yes I know it wasn’t about me! )

            We even giggled at the security guy saying as we were leaving “see you next year” !!

          3. millie bobby brownie

            And I’m delighted to hear you have a fine bruiser of a baby! It’s a thing of joy (and bemusement) when the child you put down the night before has doubled in size while you slept!

        2. Slightly Bemused

          It always amazes me how siblings can be so different, often polar opposites. Delighted she is doing well.

          1. Slightly Bemused

            Not sure what you mean by that, Brother B. If you are referring to my own offspring, I have only one. Admittedly she can change ata moment’s notice, but that is not unusual :-)

            I was thinking of my own immediate family. We were 10 kids, and no 2 of us alike. Different interests, aptitudes, temperaments, etc. And in some ways those closest in age are the most different to each other.

            I see the same in my nephews and nieces of the same family – completely different to each other.

            Something similar can happen with identical twins, which can be a great way to tell them apart.

          2. Slightly Bemused

            Oh, no worries. I was just not sure is all. It is true that I was away for a lot of her childhood, but as she was brought back to the US by her mother, that was going to be the case anyway.

            One advantage, though, when she was younger was the telling of stories at bedtime. I bought two of every book – one for her and one for me to read to her. Once she told me I made the best monster voices. She had no concept of time difference, though, and when she called at her bedtime, it was about 2:00 am, and I was woken out of my sleep to read. I was not making monster voices, I was just trying to speak :-)

  4. Nigel

    I remember when my mother went in to have my younger brother and Dad had to cook and the house smelt of burnt porridge for weeks. Still can’t eat me porridge to this day if it’s the slightest bit burnt.

    1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

      we spent a week eating egg and onion sandwiches once and learning how to cheat at cards

      1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

        I don’t think I ever wanted her to come back, I was even allowed let the dog lick the plate, good times

      2. Nigel

        Now I’m being traumatised by the memory of the burnt porridge smell mingling with the burnt toast and burnt bean smell at dinnertime.

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