Thursday, 23 November 2017

Autumn days

We are enjoying yet another stunning autumn day here in the North of England - it’s cold but crisp, the light has a wonderful slightly honeyed clarity and the pavements are decorated with delicate origami shapes in an array of purple, yellow and dazzling red. For November 23rd this is highly irregular and I'd personally call it the best autumn in memory. The Forestry Commission predicted as much, back in August, when an unusually wet summer gave trees the opportunity to store plenty of sugars in their leaves. The following months have been almost uniformly dry, warm and still - no frosts to kill off the leaves, no water to turn them into mulch and very little wind to blow them away. The results have been breath taking. Autumn has always been my favourite time of year and the kids are used to me staring at the sky a lot and constantly stuffing fine specimens into my pockets to be pressed and displayed at home, but this year I've been insufferable. By rights it ought to be dark and damp and full-on SAD by now, but its almost December and the skylines are still dripping with beautiful, iridescent, flaming leaves.

Furthermore, I've just made a thrilling new discovery.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Why i have not been posting....

I have managed only one post in the last ten months. That makes me sad. While i would love to write a long post explaining why, i have only got time/energy to write a list of the things that have been getting in my way.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

My favourite things that I taught this semester: Patricia Hill Collins

For my module about Feminist Philosophy I talked about an article by Patricia Hill Collins, 'Shifting the Center: Race, class and feminist theorizing about motherhood (1994). It is a beautifully written paper in which Collins, an African-American Feminist Scholar, describes the agonies involved in mothering children within a society which treats their ethnicity as inferior. I introduced the paper as a way to convey the force of what's known as the 'commonality problem' in defining the class 'women'. Here is the problem.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Leeds Leeds Leeds

I'm here!

We moved and we're all still alive. We've got two children that (mostly) sleep at night, a boy that likes his new room and his new preschool, a stay-at-home dad with three days of no deaths under his belt and a mama who can construct simple sentences. Result!!

Massive apologies to the millions of people who are waiting on an email from me about something. There has been no time. Hoping to get round to things once the desperate fight for air eases into some gentler treading of water.....maybe around June then.

In the meantime, I'm now at

Good luck getting a response out of that.......

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Periods for Pence

I came across this campaign on Facebook a while ago, but it's taken on more poignancy now that Mike Pence is not merely Governer of Indiana but the future Vice President. Now renamed as 'Periods for politicians' the campaign was started when Pence, a Conservative pro-life politician, signed off new laws placing various restrictions on access to abortions in Indiana.

Campaign founder Sue Magina (a.k.a. Sue My Vagina) took affront at one law in particular. This law obliged women who have aborted a foetus, had a medical termination of a foetus, or miscarried a foetus -at any stage of pregnancy- to provide that foetus with a formal burial or cremation.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The unbearable richness of being

Never ever let your baby hear you say that things are going well. They will make you pay for it. Wow did that last post come back to bite me.

I don't know what the hell happened....a cold, a new developmental stage, an interrupted routine because we went away, divine retribution for my sounding perilously close to blasé about everything....whatever it was, it broke the baby.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Secundipara continued....

Okay, now the little lady is having her lunch, let's try again (with one hand).

What's it like having a three year old and a three month old? Well for this white British, middle class, academic mother......its good! Of course new parents usually say that. And while I'm so chronically tired that a few days ago I accidentally drank some bleach (I'm fine, don't worry, though there were a few minutes of frantic googling and water-drinking); so time -poor that my teeth are unbrushed at 1pm today; and in such bad physical shape that I'm considering getting one of those neck cones they put on dogs so that I stop accidentally catching a glimpse of my midriff....despite all this I am gloriously, ecstatically happy. Why?
- My daughter is objectively amazing, perfect and the finest specimen of humanity the world ever saw, obvs.
- Any second-time apathy that might have occurred has been totally offset by the relief I feel after not knowing if she would make it for so long.
- Her brother has adjusted surprisingly well and hasn't tried to commit fratricide at all (yet) or at least not while I was looking.
- We are in all truth ridiculously fortunate and really well placed to just enjoy things right now. I've had three months leave on full pay, Papa's hours are really flexible, we are comfortable, financially and physically. And we have two healthy and cheerful children. What's not to love?

We've got several advantages compared to our first-time parenting experience. We now have a dishwasher, a car and a cleaner.....these help so much. This time around we didn't have any night-time social life we needed to adjust to living without. And we have tons of lovely friends nearby who are in the same stage of life whereas last time we felt like the only parents in the world. 

And of course we have a bit more experience than last time: it does help! I remember being in a blind panic one time when Orson was asleep in his Moses basket and he threw up a little. I was thinking 'if you vomit while unconscious you can choke and die, I've got to get him into the recovery position!' Turns out there are different rules for babies and drunk people, babies are pros at not choking.

So my worries about if I'd have enough love to go round everyone were unfounded - love really *is* like a magic penny.

I'll have to write when I'm having a bad day next time to balance this nauseating cheeriness a little.......


What is it like having a second child arriving into the family? I would tell you, but I don't have time.

No really, baby just woke up.......

Friday, 2 September 2016

Hello world!

It's been a while. I've been a little busy with this

Fiamma Rose Gina Duca joined us on July 11th.  Isn't she lovely?