Category Archives: Libby’s Life Episodes

#94 -The most terrible poverty

This episode is told from Maggie’s point of view. My mother, rest her soul, copiously littered her speech with quotations. I’m not sure why. Perhaps because she didn’t have many original thoughts of her own, or because she wanted people … Continue reading

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#93 – Setting the bar

The problem with Oliver having Sandra as his mother — obviously there are many problems, but let’s talk about this one for now  — is that he still has a low bar when it comes to defining “normal”. As far … Continue reading

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#92 – Help me if you can…

The new Maggie twists slightly on her unforgiving sofa, and asks in a too-bright tone if I would like some tea. The old Maggie would have simply put the kettle on with nothing being said. Her Miss Manners style of … Continue reading

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#91 – The Stepfordization of Maggie

Maggie’s house used to feel like my second home. Every part of it was an extension of her, my “other” mother: the black wood-stove, the teapot-cats she didn’t have the heart to throw away, the colourful patchwork quilts draped over … Continue reading

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#90 — The other woman

(This episode is told from Oliver’s point of view.) The phone buzzes in my hand, and I look down at the telephone number on the screen. “I have to take this one,” I say to her. Even to my own … Continue reading

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#89 – Catching Up

It’s snowing in Woodhaven. I sit at the antique oak desk in front of our dining room window and watch the flakes fall onto the deck. They linger for a few seconds before dissolving into the wooden boards, but it … Continue reading

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#88 — A silver trail

It’s a cozy enough scene, I suppose, if one were to look at it quickly through the living room window. Granny, Beloved Son, Doted-On Grandchildren and, OK, Tolerated Daughter-in-Law, all sitting in squashy chairs and sofas around a real (gas) … Continue reading

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#87 — Behind closed doors

I wish she wouldn’t do this. I wish my mother-in-law would be uniformly odd and infuriating all the time, so I can feel justified in complaining about her and accusing her of doing terrible things to my Sophie Conran wallpaper. … Continue reading

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#86 – Where the heart is

I twist around in the passenger seat of our rented car, which Oliver is driving at 25mph past some M1 roadworks, and look at the children. All three are fast asleep, their mouths slightly open. Jack is snoring. If only … Continue reading

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#85 – A trick of the light

Talk about déjà vu. January last year,  all over again. I sit on an uncomfortable plastic chair on one side of a teacher’s desk. On the other side of the desk, in a larger, more padded chair, sits Patsy Traynor: … Continue reading

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