Sunday, November 22, 2009

Moving towards maternity

I left work to start my maternity leave on Friday. I have been really looking forward to this as I've been so tired and, over the past few weeks, my focus has been moving more and more from trying to get my project finished to getting ready to have a baby. I've been very lucky in having someone gradually taking over my work, so I haven't had to worry and I know I'm leaving things in very competent hands.

I had a lovely last day - I came home feeling that I'd finished everything, feeling appreciated and with lots of nice presents. But still, it's strange to leave work knowing I won't be back for a very long time - it almost feels like forever. Since university I've always worked and usually combined working with other things - voluntary activities, studying - so I've been constantly busy for 7 years. Suddenly, all I have to do is rest and get ready to have a baby. We're nearly ready - there are a few bits and pieces to finish off and quite a lot of cleaning and tidying which we would benefit from doing. But mostly, nothing. And this baby could take another 5 weeks to appear! However, I am very tired, and struggling to sleep at the moment, so I think I'll appreciate all the rest I can get.

We had a trip to the hospital for a labour day a few weeks ago which helped me to feel more ready to give birth. And yesterday we did the first part of our National Childbirth Trust antenatal classes - we met some really nice parents-to-be and it made us think about preparing for labour and what life will be like with a baby - it was a really useful day. I'm not sure I still quite believe that a baby is going to turn up very soon though!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Her Fearful Symmetry

I did promise I would tell you what I thought of Her Fearful Symmetry. Unfortunately, since finishing it I've been asleep most of the time. Yesterday, for example, I was in bed for all but 7 hours of the day. That's pregnancy for you.

So. It wasn't The Time Traveler's Wife. And I don't love it as much as The Time Traveler's Wife. But then, how much did you like your best friend when you first met them? Or the person you're now married to? Maybe there was some sort of spark there, you found them more interesting than other people. But you probably didn't actually like them as much as you do now.

Well, that's how much I like Her Fearful Symmetry. It is a good book. I read it constantly until I'd finished. And when I'd finished it, I wanted to go back and read it again straight away. Partly, admittedly, because it was a bit confusing and I wanted to work out exactly what was going on. But also because it's one of those books I want to read as fast as possible to find out what is happening, and then want to read again because I want to pay attention properly.

It's a ghost story. But it's not a scary ghost story. It's got some identical twins in it. It doesn't have the moments of unbearable tragedy found in The Time Traveler's Wife (where you cry when you realise what's going to happen and then cry again when it does) but it has a different sort of sadness. I'm looking forward to it coming out in paperback, when I will buy it and read it again.

When not asleep, I've also read The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It's Jesuits In Space. Seriously. You would have to be prepared to tolerate space travel and aliens in a novel to enjoy it. But it's beautiful and brutal. And has a sequel which isn't quite as good. What more could you ask for from a novel?