All posts tagged: podcasts

Astrantia Roma | edge of evening

Solstice in three parts

A couple of weekends ago I went to Bath with friends. We were there to celebrate A-M’s 50th birthday. I remember, so clearly, trying to leave the house for her 40th birthday party, at a community centre five minutes up the road from our Colliers Wood flat. T was a little under two weeks old. I was sitting on the bed feeding her and each time I thought that she was finished & I would be able to slip out, a blush of pink would rise on her face, clouding to red & a curl of displeasure would appear around her mouth, before she again began to cry & I again began to feed her. Late, sometime after nine, I did slip out and felt all the strange vulnerability one feels out in the world postpartum, without an obvious pregnancy or a tiny baby to signal to people that they shouldn’t knock into you, should treat you with an exaggerated care and concern. I must’ve stayed less than half an hour. A decade later and …

On running

      But now it seems possible that the truth about getting older is that there are fewer and fewer things to make fun of until finally there is nothing you are sure you will never be. Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill Ikeep coming back to this line from Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation which seems true to me in oh-so-many ways. The present feels so permanent, and we live in it like it has the solidity of a house when really it’s a flimsy tent. In many ways that’s a terrifying thought,  but it’s a liberating one as well. Because, as Offill suggests, it’s true that we never know what is going to happen to us next in smaller, funnier ways too. Ways that mean that it’s best never to laugh at anyone because one day, not so very long from now, you may be them. I thought running was a suburban affliction of the thirty-something parent. Something highly contagious, like chicken pox, that I’d rather I didn’t catch. I didn’t know that this was …

Ongoingness

Half-term. A long weekend staying with my mum. A two-and-a-half year old who has just given up his daytime nap. A five year old who has brought home the class bear, Bertie, and his diary — over the holiday. An eight year old whose social life is now so developed that we either don’t see her all day, or we have an extra child with us all day & don’t see either of them. (Except at mealtimes, obviously.) Today, dark skies; furious showers of rain. Four children promised a picnic, who sat on a rug in the living room and picnicked there. I sat with them, leaning against the sofa, wondering why this felt like one of the most chilled out times of the holiday. But, there are small moments, and I’m trying to use them. Sarah Manguso’s Ongoingness is on a shelf in the kitchen. Twice this week I’ve sat, coffee in hand, reading it. Thinking about each of its spare pages. Today I sat there while the boys listened to Roald Dahl reading …