AIDA AUSTIN

AIDA AUSTIN: ’Never mind the tax,’ he says, ’just drive.’

IT IS the evening before my return to Ireland and I am sitting at the table in my sister’s apartment, eating Thai fish cakes with buttery green beans, and cloth table napkins.

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AIDA AUSTIN: I lift up my spray gun nozzle and point it at his face

1 PM, and I’m in the shower cubicle, choking on bleach fumes; my excitement at selling the house, I think [scrub... scrub], has been worn thin [scrub... scrub] by constant cleaning.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "Just look at that sky, not a single cloud in it"

London Pride, Piccadilly – and love is in the air. I can’t get away from all the affection.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "It might feel sad if I hadn’t painted my eyelashes shut"

MONDAY 1.30pm: I am up a ladder, repainting the back eaves of our house, with a two litre pot of paint — and vertigo.

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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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