Five years ago today, I landed at Christchurch airport to news that we had a new member of the clan.
When I met her, Elizabeth Ruby was just a tiny wee thing. All legs and arms, and big gasps of air. Hidden away in that protective plastic shell in the neo-natal ward, we all marvelled at how such a delicate little girl could survive such an abrupt introduction to the world.
Five years later and she's taking the world by storm. Whether she's frantically climbing up high things with zero fear, sliding around the living room on her new Rollerblades, or holding court with her rendition of Annie's 'Tomorrow', Beth is our little superstar.
Before we know it she'll be borrowing the car and getting a mortgage. Hopefully still blasting out the chorus of 'Tomorrow' as she does it.
Once a month, usually somewhere in residential South London, a bunch of women get together to talk books. And eat. Mainly we eat, but occasionally we try to get books into the conversation somehow.
Despite the recent trend for pregnancy, the majority of us still manage to consume a sufficient quantity of beverages according to the time of year. Gin & tonics for the current sticky, damp summer; large glasses of red when there's snow resting outside the kitchen window.
This collection of sometimes intimidatingly intelligent women, who spend their days teaching, researching, saving lives, being a social worker, lawyer, art curator, and now a mother, has found a special spot in my life. We now share joys, heartbreak, laughs, and a whole lot of food.
Last Friday found us right near Loughborough Junction de-flowering
steaming artichokes, sipping a Costcutter sauvignon blanc, and talking through the mastery of Angela Carter's bloody
It's near impossible for me to think of a better way to end the working week. Even if I consistently end up stuffing the two days beforehand full of book because of my disorganisation.