Two articles in Revoice Magazine

Dear and patient reader:

If you’re here for more Beatrice updates, apologies – I really need to do something on months 4-7 (!), but there just hasn’t been time. Part of this is that in February/March/April I was working on articles for Revoice Magazine, a terrific new online publication about music and musicians’ lives.

In March, for International Women’s Day, I wrote a piece called “Sparkly Earrings and Tiny Socks” about taking Beatrice on tour with me. Then there’s an article in this month’s issue, which just came out this morning: I compiled my own experiences and those of quite a large sampling of friends into “Lullay, lullay”, a piece about lullabies. It was incredibly moving to hear other people’s accounts of being sung to as children, and especially their reflections on singing to their own children in turn. Please have a read, if you have time.

Now back to the book, which I really should be working on while B is out with B minor for a walk. In a surprising/unsurprising turn of events, I’m writing from scratch (again) thanks to the advice of a really quite extraordinary mentor who is helping me solve my plotting woes. It’s such a relief to be re-organising the book, which had become cumbersome and draggy. It’ll be a lot of work – but fun.

Witches! Secret libraries! It’s all go. See you anon.

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The Great Transition: The Job Search Begins

What a healthy loop I’ve been in since 5.30am:
 
1. Look for jobs online. As in real jobs with salaries, because this piecemeal occasionally-working singing lark is really not doing it for me at the moment. 
1.a Find a full-time University job that looks good. There is a sidebar that says something about the Oxford University nursery scheme. That sounds good.
1.b Have a look at the OU nursery scheme. Holy crap, there’s a mammoth waiting list.
2. Panic about the availability of nursery places. What if I were really to get a full-time job, one that started immediately? Who’d look after the baby? I’ve just applied for a three-day-a-week position that would be absolutely perfect, since we could probably organise childcare between us if I worked three days a week, but if I don’t get that I’ll have to keep looking for full-time things. And then, if I do get a job with an actual salary, a five-day-a-week thing that isn’t at all flexible, it’ll mean Bojan will feel pressure to take over childcare, which he can’t do, because he works all the time. 
3. Think about the idea of B being a stay-at-home dad.
4. No, that’s ridiculous. He’s a better (and more successful) musician than I’ll ever be. He has to keep working.
5. Consider what might, (4) notwithstanding, induce B to take over childcare. I’d have to earn more than he currently does, for one, and if I get a job now, having been out of the mainstream employment market since 2009, that’s entirely impossible. I’d have to work my way up over several years in order to earn what he does. His earnings currently outstrip mine by about 50% — at least, they did in the 2015-16 tax year. The 2016-17 tax year has been a joke, largely because I quit the Monteverdi Choir in January the moment I got pregnant, thus flushing a year’s income down the toilet (and, even so, making one of the best decisions of my life). I think B might have out-earned me by 200% in the 2016-17 tax year, but I guess we’ll find out when I do my taxes in January 2018. Joy.  
6. Conclude (again) that the best thing is to just get a job. Who cares about professional pride? We’re saving for a house, and if you aren’t earning, you can’t save. Also, if neither of you has a salary, it’s awfully hard to get a mortgage…
7. If I got a full-time job, maybe we could get a nanny, or an au-pair. That would solve the nursery problem. I had a Chinese nanny when I was a child, largely due to the fact that we were living in China at the time, but shouldn’t my daughter have the same advantages?
8. Consider placing an ad in Daily Info for a Chinese-speaking nanny. Decide against it. After all, I haven’t got a job yet. 
9. Go back to jobs. Continue scrolling through listings until my vision begins to blur and my heart rate increases. Could I work as an executive assistant? Should I move collections in the Pitt Rivers, given my slightly problematic right wrist? Would there be collective laughter in the office where they receive the email if I apply for a fancy communications job? Should I answer the “creative writer required for luxury brand” ad in Daily Info? Is it a scam?
10. Eat a Liege waffle (they were on offer yesterday).
Repeat.
More on this later. Since I’m up, and Beatrice is asleep, I should probably be writing fiction.