Andrea Mara

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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 made it through in one piece. Just about, but I did.

Last Friday night, I sat on the couch with the Late Late Show and a glass of wine and whole lot of cheese, and tentatively I toasted your imminent departure. Battered and bruised, yes, but I made it.

Two days later, as you slipped away, making space for October, I waited for the referee’s whistle. But I heard only the sound of sameness – the homework, the tears, the not-yet-working routines, the alarm clocks, the deadlines, the what’s-for-dinners and the five-more-minutes.

What gives September? How are you still here? I’ve given up fighting – here’s a snapshot of everything else I’m doing right now, as I wait to get through the second incarnation of September:

What I’m listening to

Oh my God, podcasts! I’m so, so late to the party. But I listened to Serial Season 1 over the last few weeks, and became obsessed within about four minutes. I listened to Series 2 and I’ve started Series 3 but it’s just being released week by week now. I have a Serial-shaped hole in my (newly-acquired) podcast listening space – help!

Edited to add: I posted on Facebook looking for recommendations, and got a list of 40 podcast suggestions all at this link hurrah!

What we’re watching

Recent discovery: you can reserve and borrow pretty much any DVD from the library, and having failed to find any of the Danish Noir series on Netflix or any of the Player thingies, that’s exactly what I did. We watched The Bridge Series 1 and we’re almost through The Killing Series 1. After holding out for years, I’ve finally discovered what everyone else already knew: watching subtitles is absolutely as easy as not watching subtitles.

What we’re reading

I’m reading Bear Town by Frederik Backman – it is confusingly also called The Scandal, and I’ve heard very good things about it. I’m about 40 pages in and a little confused about who’s who, but have it on very good account that it’s great.

The newly-turned-11-year-old is reading Rebel Girls 2 having just finished Eye of the North by Irish author Sinéad Ó Hart – highly recommended.

The nine-year-old has just discovered Robin Stevens’ murder mystery series and is inhaling them.

Meanwhile, the small boy has just begun reading for himself and it has changed his life. I tried reading Wimpy Kid to him twice before, but he had no interest. I tried one more time a couple of weeks ago, and this time he tuned in. The following night, he picked it up himself and started reading – when I came in to do his bedtime story, he told me he’s old enough now to read for himself. And that was that – he’s on his fourth Wimpy Kid book, and delighted with himself. Only two things worry me: firstly, he reads while walking down the stairs, which is surely dangerous, and secondly, what am I going to do when he finishes the series?

What we’re eating

Autumn-y things like tomato soup (this recipe), gnocchi bake, and a lot of cake, because baking is motivating the kids to finish their homework, and it’s helping solve my lunchbox dilemmas.

Other than that, a lot of cheese.

What I’m wearing

Same as everyone else, I’m walking around looking confused, saying things like, “It was freezing this morning and I put on this jumper and now there’s a heatwave again but I’ve put all my t-shirts in the attic.”

Also wearing newly discovered Topshop Jamie ankle grazers in Petite – ankle grazers for short people.

What I’m drinking

Black, black coffee on weekdays and red, red wine at the weekend. I can’t remember what gin and tonic tastes like #needanightout

What we’re having for breakfast

The chronically indecisive small boy has taken a shine to overnight oats – the ones I make are ten-minute-oats rather than overnight – I mix four or five tablespoons of porridge oats with enough apple juice to wet them thoroughly, but not to the point of making apple and oat soup. I put the bowl in the fridge for ten minutes, then he puts fruit and yogurt on top. Happy him, happy me.

What I’m doing every day

Rushing. Nagging. Begging. Trying. Hanging in there.

November, you better sort this out.


All credit for “snapshot” blog posts to Awfully Chipper who did the original!





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