AIDA AUSTIN

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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AIDA AUSTIN: "Did Obama really do it in his first year of office?"

IT’S 11AM, Chicago Union station, and my sister and I are sitting on a stationary train, about to depart for Notre Dame University, where we’re to attend my son’s graduation ceremony.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "If you think showing me a text will thaw me out, think again. Only a coat could do that."

TOMORROW, my younger sister and I will travel to Notre Dame University for my son’s graduation. But today, we’re on the train, heading towards Hotel Lincoln, Old Town Chicago, and my sister’s tapping in unnerving fashion on her iPad, giving me a beady look from time to time. Not quite the stink-eye but almost.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "I’m too far gone for prayer never mind a holy medal"

I’M COUNTING down the days until my trip to Notre Dame University, Indiana, where I’m to attend my son’s graduation.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "My mother’s opinions do seem susceptible to the cold"

CORK airport, 2.30pm, and, as expected, the rain has travelled for hundreds of miles against prevailing winds especially to decant itself on top of my mother when she disembarks the plane.

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