AIDA AUSTIN

AIDA AUSTIN: "She’s a tonic - she’ll say anything, that one"

MY FRIEND thinks I could do with a good night out in Cork. 

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AIDA AUSTIN: "A stranger would give your marraige a week"

HOME, 9am — and it strikes me that we need to revise certain household arrangements, for it’s an unhappy fashion in our house that all offspring burst open our bedroom door when we least expect it, to look for towels in the linen cupboard, saying things in passing like, “by the way, we’ve run out of milk”.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "Having nothing in common has never got in the way"

COASTAL Suffolk, and we are instigating radical change; with an empty nest looming my husband and I have put ourselves to discovering areas of common interest. 

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AIDA AUSTIN: "I am TI-TAAAA-NIIII-UUUUM! [Woof, woof, woof, woof!]"

OUR youngest sister is celebrating her 40th birthday tonight in Sligo. Months ago, she warned us of her plans: “We’re taking over the hostel on Lough Arrow for the night,” she said. 

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AIDA AUSTIN: "We should rent our house out to pay for our holiday"

A bright idea, Feb 24: In bed, ten past midnight, my husband says, “We should rent our house out to pay for our holiday.”

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AIDA AUSTIN: "Petrol’s the one thing I resent spending money on"

I’M FLYING to London at 9.30pm.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "I think Noel called his car a piece of junk"

HOME, 8am, and my husband has made fresh plans to dislocate his new hip.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "Whatchya do? You being a sex pest again?"

HOME, 8am, and the type of noise my youngest sister’s generating downstairs in the kitchen declares her view that if getting up at 8am is good enough for her, it’s good enough for everybody. 

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AIDA AUSTIN: "I lie back in the sun all kissed out by my niece"

IT’S 9am, down in the garden and I’m sitting on a rug in the sun. Beside me, my younger sister is lying face down.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "From September, it will be just the two of us at home"

MY husband and I are outside the house, trying out a pair of matching sun-loungers that he’s just bought.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "I’m all for girlhood, with womanhood being such as it is"

I AM in the Sligo boondocks with my sister, staring at her youngest daughter Lola who’s sitting under the kitchen table eating a pink meringue.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "I told you she fell out but you wouldn’t believe me"

IT’S 8pm, at the kitchen table — and my children are swapping childhood memories between forkfuls of curry.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "Everyone has a zone of genius, you just have to find it"

IT’S 8.45am, Notre Dame University, South Bend, in my son’s off-campus student house. On waking, I look up at my sister, who’s sitting up in bed and gazing around as if she’s just been told the punchline of a joke she doesn’t understand.

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