Andrea Mara

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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 about it before I think (here) and I’ve been thinking about it for a lot longer than that, but then again, if we can’t pretend to ourselves that it’ll calm down next week, what do we have left?

January is mainly filled with lists. There are lists everywhere. In my brand new work diary and in my brand new home diary and in the little notebook in the kitchen in case I think of something when I have neither my work diary nor my own diary to hand.

“Maybe if you spent less time making lists . . .” says the little voice inside my head.

But I need the lists, so that I know what I have to do, and so I can tick things off. Sometimes I even write down the things I’ve already done, just so I can tick them off.

“Eh . . .” says the little voice inside my head.

Shush, I tell her, it only takes a minute, and it’s worth its weight in dopamine and productivity gold.

And on it goes. The not-calm time. Dinner. Parsley to chop. Lunchboxes. Homework. Bookwork. Articles about the new book. Garlic to chop. E-mails to send. WhatsApps. Lemon to squeeze. Book launch invitations. Homework to sign. More emails to send. Pasta to drain. Library book lost. School quiz team schedule. Parmesan to grate. Lifts to organise. Soccer drop-off. Another email. Dinner is done. It’ll calm down next week.

In the meantime, here’s what we’re doing whenever there’s time:

What we’re watching:

You Series 2, which is even sillier than the first one, but quite entertaining, even if one or two of the murders made me very cross. We’re also watching a documentary series called Don’t F*ck With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer, which is a rabbit hole of crazy. (So, basically one fictional series about a psychopath and the internet, and one documentary about psychopath and the internet.)

What we’re wearing:

Sunglasses, boots, heavy jackets, light jackets, hats, scarves, raincoats, and sooner or later, t-shirts. Because what is this weather doing?

Cherry blossom in January…

What I’m reading:

I’ve joined a book club, and though we’ve had just one meet-up, I feel very invested already, and suddenly understand why people DON’T MISS BOOK CLUB. Our first read was Where The Crawdads Sing (I had listened on Audible already, loved it) and our current read is When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman. I wasn’t sure I was really into it – I wasn’t grabbing it every chance I got – but about two-thirds of the way though, it got me and pulled me through to the end, bawling crying at times along the way. It’s a quirky, gorgeously written book with a fantastic set of characters, and a rabbit called god.

I’m looking forward to trying Tin Man by the same author, but first up, 55 by James Delargy, then Keep Your Eyes on Me by Sam Blake and Six Wicked Reasons by Jo Spain.

What they’re reading:

The kids got heaps of books for Christmas and have lots to recommend already, including Middle-School Escape to Australia by Chris Tebbitt and James Patterson, Tilly and the Lost Fairy-Tales (Pages and Co book 2) by Anna James, A Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer, The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas (a YA book about racial tensions) and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

What we’re eating:

Our third Christmas pudding with our second jar of brandy butter. Don’t judge me.

What I’m listening to:

Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls on Audible. Set in the 90s, it’s about a 16 year-old boy and there’s no way on earth anything I can tell you about it would do it justice. LOVE.

Also My Favourite Murder, a comedy podcast about murder. Not for the fainthearted.

What I’m cooking:

I have a little pot of fresh rosemary, so mostly recipes with rosemary – like this very delicious chicken pasta with rosemary and garlic cream sauce.

And as I typed this, Lemon Chicken Pasta from this recipe.

(“Maybe if you didn’t type while you were cooking . . .”)

What I’m lighting:

The world on fire. Just kidding. I’m lighting candles. With great reluctance, I took down the Christmas lights last week, and I’m trying to make up for it with many, many candles. Bring on the Hygge. And next week’s calm.



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






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