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blue sky

1) The weather today! Startling blue sky.

2) M’s health. After a surprise ‘hurl’ as she calls it (bleh) this morning, nothing. We figure odd anxiety: protective of cats, she had worked herself into a froth about them going outside. We all need a break.

3) Step count: 3,000 and I’ve got six hours to go. Slowly but surely.

4) Sight in a swimsuit tried on today.

5) The forecast for The Lakes, where we head tomorrow. GONE FOR A WEEK! Yay. And only mixed rain/sun on those nice charts. May strike lucky and get lots of walks in (obssessive, moi?).

6) The picture and article in the Gazette about Word on the Street, which did appear today. Again, rather jolly. Unfortunately not online that I can find, so you’ll just have to take my word (on the street) for it.

7) Mindset before a journey. I’m usually imagining all sorts of things that might go wrong by this stage, and/or desperate to clean the house top to bottom. Neither of those things are occupying much head space at the moment thank goodness.


Two bits of unadulterated good news:

1) Saw Helena’s new baby today — stunning. At three weeks the size M was when she was born: 10lb 4oz. The familiar bleating like a lamb, feed me.

2) M got a Distinction on her violin exam. Hurray, M!


See you in a week. Have a good one.

After a pretty awful 48 hours, during which I tried and failed not to phone all local birthing centres — after receiving a text that read ‘It’s started!’ — the baby girl has arrived on the scene, daughter of good friend Helena and her husband.

And she is absolutely gorgeous. Wonderful. So precious.

Another question, going on from two days ago: why is new life so very very astonishing?

My father-in-law, a retired GP, says the one thing he never tired of was helping babies into the world, that moment. I find that moving.

What do I remember about those first moments? Relief at E being so healthy, so solid from the beginning, an emergency C-section. Panic the first night when I couldn’t reach him, stretching to rock the crib. Relief at being alive. These feelings co-existed with some wariness until he was six weeks old, when I watched him sleeping at 6 am, his profile there, and thought yes, I am his mother, and I am so thankful.

With M: getting the shakes going into theatre, a planned C-section this time. The midwife understanding the flashbacks. And the irrefutable, instant connection, like an electric circuit. The same midwife nodding, standing next to me in the recovery room, M at my breast. Better this time? And not being able to speak.

Congratulations. Everything’s always alright in the end, even if the beginning is rocky. They are still the best things since sliced bread. Hell, they’re unspeakably better.


From January 2010, my new blog is Waving and Drowning


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Who am I?

A writer born in Texas, who grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia (yes, like the song), and who's been living in the UK since 1988. I've published two books (see below), and teach creative writing at the University of Kent. I'm married to a composer, and we have two young children. See About for my full profile.