Andrea Mara

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Just My Two Cents

Andrea Mara

Snapshot of a Groundhog Day

So. Here we are. Still here. Still here! What is it – week 6? Week 66? Week 974? Does it even matter? We’re just pushing through as best we can, knowing that there is an end in sight, and knowing that we’ve done this before and we’ve come out the

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Andrea Mara

Snapshot of a Woman Eking Out Summer

Lockdown ate our summer. It’s a small thing in the bigger scheme; an it-is-what-it-is kind of thing. But still. I spent July worrying that the schools might not open in September and that we’d be back to homeschooling, then by the time it was announced that schools would open, and

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Snapshot of a Woman in Denial

“This week is crazy,” I said to my husband. “It’ll calm down next week,” he said, and I nodded. “Who are you kidding,” said the little voice inside my head. “You’ve been saying it’ll calm down next week since 2007, and it still hasn’t.” This is true. I’ve even blogged

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Andrea Mara

November Rain

I am glum. I have no excuse. No reason to be glum. I mean, yes, it’s been raining for 457 days solid now, so that might have something to do with it. This morning, for the first time this week, we could walk to school again. Such joy in that

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Andrea Mara

On Talent

One day, when I was eight, my teacher asked each of us to stand up and sing solo, one by one. I still remember the fear, standing up to sing the song. And I still remember the sting of humiliation when the girl beside me burst out laughing at my terrible singing.

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Andrea Mara

The Unmistakeable Sound of Not Going to Bed

Facing into a bout of temporary solo parenting, I had one and only one worry on my mind. It probably should have been mornings – how I’d get them in to school on time. My husband does most of the morning stuff while I amble from room to room telling various children

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Andrea Mara

Be Careful What You Wish For

Back at the turn of the century (the turn of this one I mean, I’m not here since the 1900s, despite what my kids think) I was working in my first job, and at the time, there was a preoccupation with productivity. Predicting it. Measuring it. Improving it. You can’t

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Andrea Mara

Snapshot of a House Counting Down

“We’ll fit loads in over the next few weeks,” I’d said to the kids two weekends ago, not wanting to say what I really meant, which was, “There are only twelve more days left of summer holidays, let’s make the most of it.” Because I didn’t want them on the

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Andrea Mara

Tell them the one about the fish

It was eleven o’clock on Sunday morning, and we’d been chatting to and entertained by our hosts, Jean and Dónal, for about an hour at that stage. We’d only met Dónal that morning but we’d meet Jean two days earlier when we’d arrived in her Airbnb in Ballybunion. She had welcomed us

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Andrea Mara

Snapshot of a woman in a house

After 18 months of searching, fourteen thousand buckets of tears when we walked away from our old house, seven nail-biting weeks from “sale agreed” to “here are the keys”, and a month of almost-done refurbishment, we’re finally in our new house. And it’s bliss. Except for all the things that aren’t

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Andrea Mara

Glue in my head (medical term: hayfever)

I can’t think straight. I can’t breathe. I feel like someone has poured glue inside my head. And the thing is, it’s not “someone” who did it, it’s me. My own dumbass system, over-reacting to pollen – producing histamine because it thinks it’s under attack. “You’re not under attack, dumbass,”

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Andrea Mara

Phoning it in

I’m bracing myself, gearing up to make the call. Not an important call, not a life-changing call, just a call. To a plumber. On my mobile. To his mobile. From the room where the coverage is usually (but not always) okay. Where the call is least likely to drop, or

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Andrea Mara

Dear 9-Year-Old Me

Dear 9-year-old me, It’s that time of year again – that time you used to love. The bit in between the pancakes on the Tuesday and the chocolate eggs on the Sunday. The forty days of giving stuff up. Lent. I remember how carefully you decided on the rules each

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Andrea Mara

The Sour and the Sweet

My laptop and I are in a coffee shop for lunch. It’s a little bit because there’s no fresh bread at home, and a little bit because it’s good to get out. I’m grumpy, because my soup came with toasted sourdough. I could have toasted my not-fresh bread at home. Sourdough feels

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Andrea Mara

Christmas Through Their Eyes

My eyes water. Wind, sharp and stinging, pushes my hood down and  drives me back. I lean in, but not in a Sheryl Sandberg way. I’ve got 58 minutes and five tasks. Stocking fillers. A fancy gift box. A Secret Santa pick-up. Stamps. A book. Dark shapes huddle under hoods,

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Andrea Mara

Finders Keepers

A few weeks ago I took the middle child out for a lunch date to Dundrum, preceded by a trip to Claire’s for some new hairbands. When I opened my phone cover to take out my Laser card, it wasn’t there. Nor was my parking ticket. I had a credit card

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Andrea Mara

Snapshot of a woman on the verge

Oh September, you crafty devil. From opposite corners of the ring, we faced each other, eyeing each other up, ready for the 30-day bout. You picked me up, you shook me, you slammed me down – over and over. But I knew you were coming for me, and I braced myself, and I

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Andrea Mara

Trains, Trains and (Strangers’) Automobiles

There’s something about the train. This is, granted, mostly if you almost never get the train. I suspect if you get it every day, there are frustrations like crowded platforms and delays and never getting a seat. But for people like me who only get trains every now and then,

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Andrea Mara

The Breakup

I’m a bit fragile today. It’s a little bit down to last night’s wine and tapas – the ratio of rioja to patatas bravas was not in my favour. But it’s a lot down to the Last Supper – the goodbye dinner with the mums from my middle child’s class. After four

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