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Withdrawal symptoms

Whenever I stay with my mother I end up drinking a lot more coffee than I do at home, as she is an enabler. Travelling yesterday, I didn’t have much caffeine, and today I’m paying the price. If this is what withdrawal symptoms from drugs feel like, I sympathise. Luckily there’s an easy fix. ☕

As anticipated we are now a dual-income household! Cal is back at work, I’m back from holiday and we are ready to spend all our money on the new and improved rent. Our highest ever. We haven’t quite doubled our first rent – back in 2012, we moved into a one-bedroom flat in Pimlico that was £1,500 a month – but we’re not far…

Good riddance, summer!

I find myself obsessing over Project School and where we are going to live if we move to target some particular clump of schools. I’ve listed nurseries, gyms, playgrounds and supermarkets in our prospective hotspots and spent very unnecessary amounts of time in Google StreetView, strolling around in suburbia.

Annoyingly some of the areas are only hotspots for schools and cold spots for everything else. Mazes of low terraced houses around the corner from high streets with betting shops and dry cleaners. A few times I was delighted to find a ‘café’ on the map but on closer inspection they turned out to be a ‘caff’. I genuinely don’t understand where people who live in Forest Hill shop. Do they all just get delivery? Do I need to factor in grocery delivery truck routes?

I’ve set up custom search areas in Rightmove, so now whenever my phone pings, it could be Rightmove telling me it has found the perfect house that is bang in the middle of five good schools. Or… a house, at any rate. Here’s one it wanted me to consider the other day.

It would develop the children’s imagination

I met most of my holiday objectives, so I get a pat on the back. I only forgot to buy normal disinfectant (they don’t sell normal disinfectant in the UK). I finished a hat knitting project and read more of Marianne Levy’s book. I really love it. She’s capturing some of the weird, causeless anxiety I too feel around my children.

That particular morning, as every morning, I woke with a feeling of dread. It is as though I have a job interview in the afternoon, or an unpleasant medical procedure. … ‘I’m frightened,’ I remember saying, and the person I told, a father, giving me a shrug. ‘Get used to it,’ he said, and I haven’t, and I have. To articulate what it is that I am afraid of is like pinning jelly.

I never felt it in the mornings, but this is a very accurate description of what I used to call my evening dreads when my older son was first born. I attributed it to feeling anxious about not going to have a good night’s sleep again. I don’t have that particular problem anymore but I’m still often beset by a feeling of a thrumming kind of disquiet and dread of something, and just like Levy says, it’s really hard to identify what’s causing it.

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