AIDA AUSTIN

AIDA AUSTIN: "My sister's gentle purring ensures I remain just awake"

East London, five o’clock in the morning. I’m in a taxi, heading from my son’s house towards my sister’s apartment and, I hope, complete oblivion.

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AIDA AUSTIN: ’That’s a trick question. I’m a fecking writer, give me a break’

IT’S 2am, the witching hour, and I’m in London, standing in my son’s kitchen, holding a coffin-sized box of hopes and dreams; inside it are flowers which I am now going to make up into four “small, affordable, classy bouquets”.

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AIDA AUSTIN: ’Flower market? You’ve got the wrong place, love’

IT’S 12pm, midnight — and I’m galloping across Highbury Fields with my son towards the tube station, late for the last train because my son mislaid his wallet.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "This,"I say, "is the bedtime routine I’ve yearned for"

Week one.
11pm and my husband’s recently-ruptured achilles is having a knock-on effect on our long-standing bedtime routine, “with promising results,” I think, after entering the bedroom after my shower. 

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AIDA AUSTIN: "If my sisters and I were a litter of pubs, I would be the runt"

8pm, Sligo — and life has transposed, like it always does, into a scene from The Edwardian Farm. 

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AIDA AUSTIN: "Creative people have a tendency to think that being creative is the only thing they’re good at"

IT’S 11.30am. My mother is on the phone. “Can’t talk long,” I say, “I’ve got a free business-advice meeting at 12pm.”

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AIDA AUSTIN: "To him marriage meant husband, wife and children"

My dad trained for the priesthood; at 18, he dispatched himself from Blackrock College to Trinidad where he was a seminarian for three years with the Holy Ghost fathers.

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AIDA AUSTIN: Basically," I say, "I’ve taken out the heart of my garden...

The plan is: we are moving. A field away from where we live now.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "There is definitely something flashing upon her inward eye. I wonder if it is the same thing that’s flashing upon mine"

London, Sunday morning — and my sister, husband and I are lying on the sofa, trying to assemble the pieces of last night’s birthday party . 

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AIDA AUSTIN: "I’m not used to feeling like Madonna. I feel emotional"

2 pm. I am with my five siblings, walking round a lake amid the sights and sounds of our childhood. 

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AIDA AUSTIN: Talking about every illness in the book

HOME, 4pm. I am up a step ladder, re-painting the sitting-room ceiling.

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AIDA AUSTIN: Love is tested in so many ways

1’s 1.30 pm, in bed — and if I am on page 141 of We are Water by Wally Lamb, I’m thinking it is no thanks to my husband, who’s scampering enthusiastically across the room’s diagonal on all fours sideways, so as to make our ancient floor-joists judder and squeak in alarming fashion.

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