Sleeplessness, and hobby news

Updating has been a bit more sparse than usual this week, for a couple of reasons. The nice reason is that Anne’s brother, who in our last instalment had been thrown out of Freiburg-im-Breisgau by his (now ex-) girlfriend, has moved in with us for the time being, though since he has rapidly managed to line up substantial amounts of English-teaching work in Brussels, with a side-option on some crazy political stuff, I imagine he’ll be moving out as soon as he finds a reasonable place nearer his work. Anyway that’s meant more late evening socialising and less blogging.

The less good reason is that Bridget’s sleeping patterns have been pretty bad of late. Last night, not untypically, she was awake and yelling from 4 till 5. My wonderful wife takes most of the brunt of this, but since Bridget has developed a habit of pulling Ursula’s hair when she is distressed, it now takes two adults to deal with the situation. We are moving inexorably towads the point of putting her into full-time residential care. We have guaranteed state funding for this option, and indeed have had for several years, but it’s not just a question of finding some suitable accommodation, it’s also the emotional wrench of realising that your eight-year-old daughter is no longer fit to live with the rest of the family. Anne speculates that perhaps she is suffering from some chronic pain which she can’t tell us about, but I’m not really sure if I find that a comforting option, apart I suppose from the possibility that it might be curable in that case.

One unexpectedly good piece of news did come today. One of the UK’s best known psephologists wrote to me to invite me to write the Northern Ireland section of his next book. Since it’s stuff I would probably have been doing for my own website anyway, the prospect of doing it for a fairly decent fee and a publication credit is very gratifying…

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