The Displaced Nation

A home for international creatives

LIBBY’S LIFE — A technical malfunction


Well, this week I fully intended to tell you about my battle with certain tiger-mums, a three-hour glucose tolerance test, a suspected case of galloping dandruff caused by the dry weather, and how all that fits into the context of a Valentine’s Day party for three-year-olds. And I shall still do that — next week.

But here’s the thing: just as I was sitting down to write this week’s episode, Oliver comes home early from work, and says, “Come on, Libs — get packed. I’m taking you away for a couple of nights. Then throw some stuff in a bag for Jack, because Maggie’s having him while we’re gone.”

It’s just so easy when a bloke puts it like that, isn’t it? “Throw some stuff in a bag for Jack” indeed. I mean, I hadn’t done the laundry or anything…and then I look in Jack’s chest of drawers, and found that someone had done the laundry. We have a laundry fairy I didn’t know about!

“Maggie,” Oliver said. He looked all smug.

“Did you ask her to do it?”

“Well…no,” he admitted. “But when I asked her if she’d have Jack because I was planning a romantic surprise weekend, she said something about surprises being one thing, and nasty shocks being quite another, especially in your condition, so I’d better give her a spare door key if I didn’t want another surprise trip to the hospital.”

So there we are. If you remember, Oliver promised me a trip to a spa as compensation for his mother putting me in hospital before Christmas, so that’s where we are going.

“Do they have seaweed wraps?” I asked him, thinking about Caroline’s bony ankles and comparing them to my somewhat waterlogged ones.

He looked puzzled.

“They have white towelling dressing-gowns, from what I can tell from the brochure. Or do you mean wraps like those crispy chicken ones from McDonald’s?”

Ah, bless him. He tries so hard. I’m sure we’ll have a lovely time.

I’ll tell you all about it week after next.


Libby is being far too nice and neglecting to mention that I was writing her diary this week, not her — as she said, it was about her “battle with certain tiger-mums, a three-hour glucose tolerance test, a suspected case of galloping dandruff caused by the dry weather, and how all that fits into the context of a Valentine’s Day party for three-year-olds.”

It was a really interesting episode, too.

Such a shame that something malfunctioned somewhere in the bowels of my computer, and despite having saved many times, I lost 2200 words of the episode just when I was about to click Publish.

Oh well. When I’ve finished banging my head against any convenient hard surface, I’m sure it will seem very funny in retrospect.

See you next week. :-/

Meanwhile, here are some links to my own favorite episodes:

#34:  Shadows on a screen – I wrote this one because a good friend who’s a Libby fan wanted to hear more about the pregnancy. When she asked me to do this, I didn’t know at the time that Libby was expecting twins. It was a surprise for everyone.

#11: Neither more nor less than a pig This episode introduces Carla Gianni. The pig thing, while a surprise, was not entirely unexpected. I’ve known Carla, Frankie, and the Maxwell Plum for a long time. They all came into existence in my half-written novel, which has the working title of “Back to the Green.” Billy Joel fans among you may be able to read something into that — also, why there’s a village green in Woodhaven, an Italian restaurant, and why there are so many flashbacks to the past in Libby.

#5: Decaffeinated sherry to toast a Royal Wedding Written in a befuddled, sleep-deprived state on the morning of April 29 last year, having got myself up at an unholy hour to tweet about the wedding with ML and Anthony. It was the first time I’d met Sandra, the mother-in-law. I blame Princess Beatrice’s hat for the way she turned out.

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Img: Map of the World – Salvatore Vuono

4 responses to “LIBBY’S LIFE — A technical malfunction

  1. Anne O'Connell (@annethewriter) February 16, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Eeek!! I feel your pain…but still look forward to hearing about the three-year-old’s Valentine’s Day party. I taught preschool for three years before I changed careers to PR so I can only begin to imagine.
    Anne 🙂

    • Kate Allison February 16, 2012 at 11:02 pm

      Well, in the original post, the party was only a backdrop. As I’ve got another few days now to tweak, however, I might make more of it in the Mk II version! And now I must repair to my den to jot down the main points of Mk I before I forget…Definitely doing it all in Word next time; talk about more haste, less speed!

  2. Pauline February 18, 2012 at 2:29 am

    Looking forward to reading it next week! I always crave more about Libby 🙂

    • Kate Allison February 20, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      Well, thank you, Pauline! Think I might do it the old-fashioned way from now on…pencil and paper before typing, just to be on the safe side!

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