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Week 1 In the Maternity Leave House

Posted on: Thursday, 6 November 2014

**tap tap** 

Hello. I went away for a little while. Soz about that. Reasons? Allow me to bore you with the deets:

1) Finishing at work, including the English Department All-Singing-All-Dancing Biennial Showpiece Book Week in my penultimate week (enough to bring on an early delivery notevenajoke), took up every last nanosecond of the last few weeks. The marking, my God. Clearing out all of the stockpiled ricecakes and emergency tights from my desk drawer alone took forever.

2) We moved house. Remember Sexy Neighbours? Well, finding repeated 4am teary arguments somewhat wearisome after being woken for a third time by energetic rutting ("BUT *sniff* I HATE THEM *snort* SO MUCH!"), Bedders took on the challenge of finding somewhere new to live. We went to view a house in The 'Burbs - no longer were we interested in being the kind of parents who might take our monochrome-clad kids to hipster coffee bars in Ixelles at the weekend amongst the jumbo ginger beards and sailor tats - ummed and ahhed about the garden and the open fire and the DELICIOUS QUIET, decided we'd go for it, missed out narrowly, were bitterly, bitterly disappointed and then viewed another one on the outskirts of the city and FELL ABSOLUTELY HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE WITH IT. And we got it. Photos to follow. 

Oh, and by the way, moving house when 8 months pregnant is definitely a life-affirming experience which you simply must try. My favourite part was the bit where Adam went to Africa and my parents came out to help/be on standby in case of premature labour for a week. A week is a Long Time. 

3) As mentioned above, Adam went to Africa - Tanzania, to be exact - and there was a LOT of sorting out to be done, lucky lady that I am. How did you spend your half-term? Oh, you know, unpacking boxes labelled 'crap' and 'stuff' and 'crap stuff' and going to IKEA (twice, obviously, because once is just not enough to fully appreciate the retail experience from hell) and having a little private cry on discovering that the huge box we'd brought home 20 stops on the Metro was actually a changing table and not a fecking cot at all. Buuuuuh. 

(PS Want to see some beautiful photos of Tanzania accompanied by beautiful words? Miss Pickering does it better. Want to donate to a worthy cause that helps African farmers feed Africa's people, prevents deforestation and empowers women gimme-a-girl-power-raaaaahhh all at the same time? Go here.) 


Ergo no time for any frivolity at ALL, including blogging - no time, no headspace, ensuing crisis of blogfidence and it just had to get gone for a while. But hey. Now I'm back with lots of scintillating updates about, err, doing the ironing and filling out commune paperwork. Oo, and the books that I'm reading! I've polished off two mega Irish Catholic Tomes of Misery of late, both of which come highly recommended:

A History of Loneliness - John Boyne

Odran Yates is talked into the priesthood by his dear old Mammy. Not an unusual tale. And, hey, he's happy enough with his lot. He's a good man. But is it enough to stand by and be good when all around you is evil? Told against the backdrop of the unfolding clerical child abuse scandal in Ireland. Fine stuff.

The Gathering - Anne Enright

Liam Hegarty - alcoholic wastrel brother of narrator Vee and one of the North Dublin Hegarty clan - is found drowned in Brighton in a high-vis jacket and with stones in his pockets. Vee has to piece together what exactly happened to Liam in their grandmother's house in 1968 - what wheels were set in motion that would see him end up in a British morgue thirty years later?

It's about the unpredictability of love and memory, about grief and big families and secrets and all that jazz. 

Disclaimer - people on Goodreads seem to hate it for all the reasons I loved it - all of its blurred lines between reality and memory and imaginings and life and death. But if you liked A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (and by God, I did), I think it's safe to say you'll love this. 

I'll read something less Irish and maudlin soon. I promise. Mebbes. 

In the meantime, here is a picture of what happened moments after tweeting that I'd just enjoyed breakfast in bed on Monday morning (maternity leave ftw!):

FFS. Pride comes before a fall, as my Grandma used to say. 


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