READ: “What she has had instead of happiness requires better language to describe. There are entirely different criteria for a good life that might matter more to a person — honor, meaning, depth, engagement, hope.” | Diana Athill: “When sometimes during those years I stood back and passed judgment on my life, I saw it as happy. And that is still true, because when love-happiness faded out, writing-happiness took over.” | Fertility and hope. | “…the lights out, the crying beginning from the time her head is laid in the crib and her arms reach up. And so we shut the door and snuck downstairs to do the things we do when we feel bad.” | Dark mom reading list.
LOOK: Like banana bread, but with avocados. (Do I support or oppose this?) | Heidi Swanson’s kitchen (look at how she listens to music while she cooks). | Rice bowls. | Four dishes from fennel bulbs. | Jam making, a guide. / How to write a cookbook. | Amazing breast milk. | On Instagram: @jenniferhiggie | Homes on Sight Unseen. | Your next box set. (We’re on Brideshead Revisited.)
THINK: “… people of all stripes and socioeconomic classes seemed to sense the power lurking behind that type of attention, that kind of historic relevancy.” (The real heroes are dead.) | “… you have achieved more than I ever will in my lifetime, so I’m going to get online and tell you that you don’t look like someone I want to f—.” | Disenchantment and burnout among career women lawyers: “one of the primary issues that needs to be addressed in therapy with this group is the tendency to be self-punishing.” / A good workplace is one in which you can look around and see versions of yourself five years from now, or ten. / Office fashion or “capitalist burqa.” | The cause of the “unlikable character” has been popular to champion in recent years but as of this writing, there is no room for the “unlikable author.” | Why did the harrowing personal essay take over the internet? | Australia has a new Prime Minister! Two incredible profiles: Raging Turnbull (1991) / Stop at Nothing (2009).
READ: “I’ll sleep with you again if you send me the first draft of your novel.” | “I thought of it as England itself, and I can’t say I loved it, only that it was what life was.” On BBC Radio 4. | “You’re attracted to people who are attracted to strength and hate weakness.” | You’re just a baby. | “Somehow, along the way, she made a decision to be excellent while still being Serena.” / “I craved the right to turn my face to the wall, to create a death commensurate with bourgeois achievement, political awareness, and aesthetically compelling feminine despair.” | Contributed a link to Stevie’s Weekend List: Cut-out-and-keep special: “a go-to kit for bolstering and yes!ing.”
LOOK: ARTnews Consumer Reports (especially this one). | “I have never objected to mess, since mess reminds me that I can choose to write or I can choose to clean, and I have always chosen to write.” Writers’ rooms. | Steve Reich’s Clapping Music app. | Respectful parenting podcast. | On Instagram: @peopleintheirhomes and @thecuriouspear. | Spiced courgette and lemon cake. / Lemon and lavender yogurt cake.
THINK: How the internet can kill your anxiety. | Your perfume is killing me!!!!!!! | Identity is lost without a moral compass: moral traits like kindness and integrity define who we are. | Virtue signalling/shy Tories. | Self care.
READ: “On Friday we had two babies but by Monday we had none…” | “I remembered vividly that a psychiatrist had once written “She deeply fears losing her boyfriend, with whom she has created an ideal home life”, and I thought that this was true, and I thought that this was the reason I believed (fully and entirely) that my boyfriend had cancer of the blood. As it turned out, the reason I believed this was because he did. He did have cancer of the blood”. | “If I find myself obsessing over the exact wording, I’ll remind myself that “perfect communication” is a destructive myth and can be a form of trying to control other people’s feelings or perception of me.” / “…I assign complexity to his silence, confuse that silence for disapproval, and believe that that disapproval is indicative of my failure to meet standards I held for myself long before he entered my sphere.” / “I walked home, reprising in my head a mini-quiz I gave myself each day, I guess to keep my insecurities nice and sharp: What had I done wrong, besides everything?” | I can’t go on! (Why do people get stage fright?) | Weakness revealed. | Not writing.
LOOK: Diana Day by Day! | Vegetables à la Grecque. | Best banana bread. | Rachel Roddy’s tomato sauce. | Charred corn with miso butter, bacon and garlic scapes. | Fresh turmeric and chicken curry. | Kitchari. | A ground breaking kitchen in London.
THINK: Should I use the term “illegal immigrant“? | The secret to love is just kindness. | “… all these stories of human degradation are never enough.” | “Text game”/”Pussy affluenza.” | Third pregnancy is…
READ: Why am I hot? | “I guess that is what is so embarrassing about being a poet, that you might be filling the world up with more crap. That your pathetic little thing is not interesting to anyone but yourself.” | A profile of Nigel Slater. | “He turned — bare chested — to the rest of the lads, suggested that perhaps it was time this became a “lids off” party?” | Incognito. | Dispatches from trauma island. | I love Jeanette Winterson’s writing on health: on hormones / on fasting.
LOOK: Incredible real life political drama in artful ABC documentary The Killing Season. | Parm broth. | Spaghetti with vegemite. | Skye Gyngell’s apricot butter. | Now fewer than 20 days.
THINK: “Screen Addiction is a new way for kids to be blithe and oblivious; in this sense, it is empowering to the children, who have been terrible all along.” | How to get out of your head. | How to stay mostly unruffled with toddlers. | The dowdy patient.