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279 weeks ago @ The Toast - Cocktail Hour: Open Th... · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm about halfway through The House at the Edge of Night, by Catherine Banner (full disclosure, she's my bf's cousin, but she is an actual real professional author). 3 generations of a family on a remote Italian island, enduring world wars, love, loss, all that. Gorgeous writing.

279 weeks ago @ The Toast - Cocktail Hour: Open Th... · 0 replies · +3 points

Cool! I grew up in Bham, but have never lived as an adult. There are good train lines out from Birmingham New St, Birmingham Snow Hill, and Birmingham Moor St, but buses are pain, so near a local train station is better. New St is the biggest central station for links to just about everywhere. Five Ways and University (the stops closest to the universities) are on that train line.

I had a friend live in a rented flat in the jewellery quarter, which seemed like it should be completely unaffordable but she was a first year teacher-in-training, so it can't have been. Very central and it was a great flat!

For nice walks, I recommend Sutton Park which is flipping massive (I grew up in walking distance from several gates which was great). You can totally get lost there, you can cycle, you can take kids, you can see ponies and cows and have picnics and fish and run and have long intense conversations. I love it.

280 weeks ago @ The Toast - Holding Hope: On Being... · 0 replies · +13 points

Read this on my phone last night so couldn't comment but...yeah, that was full on tears before bedtime.

I have a friend whose girlfriend was recently doing training to do this job in the UK, and in one of her (real) calls had to talk a 12-year-old boy through reviving his mom who had tried to hang herself. I really think this is one of the most important, worthiest, most intense jobs imaginable and I am completely in awe of those who do it.

280 weeks ago @ The Toast - Cats I Would Like To O... · 0 replies · +10 points

I will not call you Risley.

281 weeks ago @ The Toast - Madame Clairevoyant: H... · 0 replies · +4 points

I have never read horoscopes before this column, but it means a lot to me to come hear and read the Taurus 'scope and feel better about my life somewhere. Or sometimes just a bit of permission to feel bad.

288 weeks ago @ The Toast - Good Friends Vs. Best ... · 2 replies · +67 points

Wow, that's some heavy Welcome to Night Vale sh*t right there.

289 weeks ago @ The Toast - Madame Clairevoyant: H... · 2 replies · +16 points

I don't believe in horoscopes in any substantive way, but thank you for Taurus. Off on my next step of forcing myself to drive in order to be able to drive without terror and panic. Body, do your thing.

291 weeks ago @ The Toast - How My Employer Put th... · 0 replies · +2 points

This filled me with utter terror, so that I had to go and look up the UK laws. I'm not sure I've ever been more relieved to leave here rather than the US: Statutory Maternity Leave (ie., we won't fire you) is 52 weeks. A YEAR. And you HAVE to take 2 weeks' leave after having the baby (4 if you work in a factory) to recover. Statutory Maternity Pay is 90% of your normal earnings for 6 weeks, then £139.58 per week or 90% of your normal earnings if that's less. Not great, but that's for the next 33 weeks.

I'm sure there are annoying loopholes (and you have to start taking it if you're ill and off work in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy, so that could be irritating) and it's not as good as just being paid. I am further incredibly lucky in that my employer (University of [Redacted]) would give me 26 weeks at FULL PAY and then 13 weeks at the £139.58 (and then 13 weeks unpaid). I imagine I could use paid leave for the last 13 weeks as well. One nasty snag is that if I decided while spending my days with my baby that I could never leave and go back to work ever, I then might have to GIVE THEM MY PAY BACK (not including the £139.58 a week the govt contributed to that pay). That would be nasty. That's also true if I stick out my job for less than 3 months. Ick.

298 weeks ago @ The Toast - If Josh Hutcherson Wer... · 0 replies · +4 points

He is the stocky, solid, short(ish) and adorably handsome type personified.

298 weeks ago @ The Toast - If Josh Hutcherson Wer... · 2 replies · +2 points

Yay :) I've loved the idea of Josh Hutcherson ever since I saw The Hunger Games and then read this Buzzfeed article:

Yes please: "If Josh Hutcherson were your boyfriend, he would know that the only proper way to be woken up on a Saturday morning is by the smell of French toast he’s making, delivered to you on an old-timey silver platter he found behind the dumpster when he took out the trash earlier that month.

If Josh Hutcherson were your boyfriend, your life would be full of baked goods lovingly made from Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, and the baby-blue KitchenAid mixer you got for your college graduation would finally have a use apart from filling space on your kitchen counter."

For me, he is also on the worrying/life-affirming list of 'people I only started fancying since I fell in love with my boyfriend because they are the same basic body type as him'.

Aside: What is charades in this context? I'm from the UK, and charades here is a silent game ( not an accent game.