AIDA AUSTIN

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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AIDA AUSTIN: "I just don’t fancy the idea of a second-hand mattress"

HOME, 8.30am. Our house has been denuded of certain essential items.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "You must have a look at my big shaking-machine"

I’m in England, spending a week in the company of my mother-in-law and mother; women with a mean age of 82, who have stared down the defeats of life but still remain, after all is said and done, resolutely inclined to Movement and Battling On.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "I still can’t get my new i-box to work."— "I-Pad," I say

BRISTOL Airport — and I am walking towards my mother-in-law’s car burdened by my luggage and a nagging sense of guilt about having dissed her driving in last-week’s column.

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AIDA AUSTIN: "It won’t be dark, so I’ll be able to see the ditches"

My mother is on the phone, alerting me to the travel arrangements which she and my mother-in-law have made on my behalf; I fly to England next week to visit both women, who live four hours apart in the West Country.

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AIDA AUSTIN: She tried so hard to have a little tantrum but she’s so expertly managed, she doesn’t stand a chance

I am trying to establish the house phone’s whereabouts. 

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AIDA AUSTIN: "My driving is a safe kind of chaotic. Scatty but slow..."

MY SISTER is driving me to Stansted Airport. Right now she’s navigating a junction on the M11, so that we might merge with traffic on the A120 and she is getting sweary, London-driver style.

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