Call for Submissions: Seventy-Ninth Edition @ Hoyden About Town

I’m the next host of the Down Under Feminists’ Carnival! Here’s the call for submissions:

The next edition of the Down Under Feminists Carnival is planned for 5 December, 2014 and will be hosted by Mary at Hoyden About Town or perhaps, as circumstances permit. Submissions to mary-carnival [at] puzzling [dot] org.

Submissions must be of posts of feminist interest by writers from Australia and New Zealand that were published in November. Submissions are due on 2 December at the latest, but it’ll be easier on Mary if you submit sooner rather than later. So submit early and often, please, and spread the word!

Submit away, please!

The right to forget, or, that one terrible road stop

I predict that soon the conversation will turn from the right to be forgotten to the right to forget.

Why so? Well, now Google Maps now tries to remember places I’ve been and include them in the maps it shows me. The trouble with this (ignoring any petty privacy, commercialisation, misc concerns you may be about to mention to me) is that there are some places that should be forgotten. In particular, all of Western Sydney’s commerce is now represented to me by one service station that we stopped at on a family trip because someone needed to use the loo, but couldn’t, because its loo was splattered with largely unspecified bodily fluids.

Get it together Google! This is even worse than the way my Youtube suggestions are now and forever filled with Thomas the Tank Engine videos because of an unfortunate and lengthy phase my son went through. I insist on not navigating Sydney in future primarily in terms of which horrible public toilet I am nearest.


Friday 14 November 2014

Today’s life lesson: where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Useful, yes?

This year, my mother, Steph, and I are all working part-time, and so we have met in the Blue Mountains once a month or so, give or take, for a picnic.

Today was looking dicey as it was, with forecast temperatures of 35°C or so. That’s high for the mountains, where I’d normally think one would escape Sydney’s heat, but this is the new, improved Australian climate where the heatwaves come out from the desert, and those heatwaves do not play by any former rules about which are the cooler bits of the near-coast inhabited land and which are the warmer bits. To the desert heatwaves, everywhere is an opportunity for a blast furnace.

I felt super-organised and accomplished, remembering to bring hats for both children, food for both children, sunscreen, and a picnic blanket. Did you pick what I missed? No? I forgot a bib for A, so she ended up evenly smeared with yoghurt. It may be good for her skin? Steph didn’t come today so I can’t do any comparative parenting skills today. Actually, yes I can: my mother bought me a new dress, so she wins.

There was a decent breeze, which is great news for the picnickers sweltering away, but otherwise terrible, because wind and dry heat means fire.

This even occurred to me at the time. What didn’t occur to me was to change my plans for the return journey.

My mother had to leave at 2, but we had all day and I thought V might be interested in seeing Wentworth Falls. We unloaded in the carpark in one of the narrowest parks I’ve ever had the misfortune of finding (naturally, the car next to me was both fancy-looking, and metallic orange). Lucky I’m not pregnant or I would have been trapped in the car. We trudged along the flat ground to the upper lookouts, and V was already dawdling and whining. So, we had to be done right? No. He perked right up when he saw the dusty steps descending into the bush.

The Prince’s Rock Lookout advertises itself as a 20 minute return trip, and I’d say that’s an overestimate even for someone carrying a baby and accompanied by a four year old. It’s basically a few hundred steps with the odd turn. But nevertheless, going down there when it’s 35°C with a kid and a baby without any water was not the smartest thing I’ve ever done. However, that’s not today’s cautionary tale. It was actually quite fun, because V was enchanted with the rainbow in the falls. And he’d promised me faithfully at the top that if I let him walk down, he wouldn’t complain when we had to climb all those steps coming back up in the heat. And he didn’t, although he twice took up my offer of a rest whenever he wanted one. I do admire his stoicism when he’s determined (and he’s been a good walker for a while, we did Daydream Island’s short walk end-to-end several times a year ago). I nursed A at the bottom, and at the top I got them back to the car reasonably quickly so that we could hang out somewhere with ambient temperature below our body temperature and V and I had a drink there.

V pointed out politely how much fun this would be in winter, which, he observed, is colder than summer.

However, the closest we came to grief all day was driving east along the Great Western Highway. A siren sounded as a fire service SUV flew along the highway while I was re-fuelling the car. I saw a few isolated plumes of smoke ahead and rang Andrew. Ahahaha, so self-deprecating, they really look like small fires but I’m just being cautious (half an hour too late, see hot walk without water), and emergency services are out and about, so, just in case, what does the Rural Fire Service say? He said he’d call back if there was an issue and to take silence as a good sign. On we drove, until traffic slowed around the area the smoke was (stickybeaking, I think) and we saw a number of fire trucks (V says nine, I think he’s guessing but that would be about right) and the police poking about. I still didn’t think it was terribly serious, until I saw that they had helicopters up, Elvis the massive one among them, within sight of the road.

On we drove. I explained to V I didn’t want to stop for food nearby since it was a good idea to get well clear of a fire if one could. Five minutes later, Andrew rang, saying that the Google feature formerly known as Latitude (and, in our household, Stalkitude) was showing me at Warrimoo, where an emergency alert had just been issued. Nope, I reported, I was 10 minutes drive further towards the city. Good news!

On we drove. At the M4 service centre, I had two messages, one from Steph hoping that I wasn’t stuck in the mountains. The other the Rural Fire Service outreach message, which must be an all-cell broadcast around Blaxland and Warrimoo, telling me that if I didn’t have a fire plan in place, that an emergency was in progress, and now was the time to leave my property.

It would still have been OK. I don’t live there, so I have no property to defend. The fire was possibly dangerous, but small. At worst, if I’d been still up there when the road closed, I could have stayed somewhere up there for the night. (It opened again around about the time the kids went to bed.) But next time I’m up in the mountains in summer and the breeze is up, I’ll look at the fire reports, and the next time I see smoke in the Greater Sydney area, I’m not going to bother with the cutesy “I’m sure it’s nothing” business.

Saturday 8 November 2014

The fortnight of our discontent is over. I’ve been waiting to say this for two months, ever since it appeared in our calendars in the first place.

Actually, it was a week and a half of our discontent, and that made it even worse.

I had been planning to go to Skudcamp in Ballarat last weekend for a few months. So far so good. I’d even planned it to be a family holiday in which Andrew and the kids would come down and he’d look after them during the day in a chill way (very chill, actually, since maximums there were around 16° last weekend, but never mind) while I was at Skud’s place, and it would otherwise be reminiscent of some of our better working-mother setups. Perhaps time has softened the memories, but I enjoyed in Brisbane in 2011, with Andrew missing the conference to wander around parks with toddler V while I attended the conf and launched a business. Annabel Crabb is not wrong about the wife (duty) drought.

But I have no wife in that sense (or others), as we discovered when Andrew received the dates for a training he wanted to go to, in fact a training he’d already missed when it was held last year and I was heavily pregnant. The location of the training? Tokyo. The time of the training? The weekdays before Skudcamp.

It got even worse, because the week after Skudcamp was his internal work conference in Sydney, generally expected to be a 9am to 9pm affair.

So it went like this: on Tuesday, Andrew left at 7am to fly to Tokyo. On Wednesday and Thursday he went to his training, finishing too late (and too far to the west) to make it to Narita for the evening flights back to Sydney. So I was still alone with the kids on Friday.

But Skudcamp was to begin at 9am Saturday morning. Working backwards, this means being on the 6:50am bus to Ballarat from Melbourne airport. Which would mean an arrival in Melbourne by plane no later than 6am Saturday. There are no flights from Sydney that arrive earlier than 7:30am, so clearly I had to travel down on Friday instead.

But at the other end, Andrew wasn’t back in Sydney until Saturday morning, and I didn’t want to haul both children to Ballarat, so we asked Julia and Barry to have V on Friday night instead, while I took A for the weekend. And this meant constraints on the Friday end: they couldn’t get home until after 6:30pm, which meant I couldn’t get to Melbourne before about 9pm, much too close for the final 9:15pm bus to Ballarat.

So on Friday I packed my big bags — I had had a totally unrealistic dream that I might be able to avoid checking luggage, note to future self, not when you’re taking a baby — and took V and A on the bus to Central. We then walked across Central because that’s just what that connection requires, caught a train to Julia and Barry, walked all my bags and V’s bag to their place, and I left him there for a fun Halloween mini-party. To his credit, he was really good about the walking. Perhaps better than I was. Especially good of him when it was over 30°.

I then walked back to the train station, caught the train to the airport, checked in, and had an unusually good airport security experience. Airport security with a baby goes one of two ways: either extra irritating because it’s the normal experience only with added baby (especially in Australia, where they do not allow baby carriers to go through the metal detector, so you must always haul the baby out of the carrier, walk through with the baby in your arms, and then put the baby back in the carrier), or they’re horrified at the very idea of you travelling alone with a baby and eager to assist in all ways.

Friday at Sydney was the latter. They bought me a chair so I could take my (metal-containing) shoes off. They took all my gear to the X-Ray machine. On the other side, they showed me to a table, brought over a change pad for A to lie on safely while I reassembled everything, and schlepped all my bags over to me. Amazing.

Because I was arriving in Melbourne too late for the bus to Ballarat, I had booked into the ibis budget hotel there, which meant a ten minute walk in the dark in order to collapse into bed.

Meanwhile, Andrew was on an overnight back from Tokyo to pick V up from Julia’s and spend the weekend with him.

In the morning I woke up at terrible o’clock for the 6:50 bus to Ballarat. Nice to see Molly and meet baby Spud though and probably our lengthy birth and parenting nerdery was memorable for the rest of the bus.

Once we got to Ballarat, we were to get a taxi, which had shown up without the baby car seats I’d ordered in advance and also without room for two adults’ luggage. Apparently “everyone knows” you’re supposed to specify that you’re bringing luggage when you book a taxi. Well, now I know I guess. It emerged that, unlike in NSW, in Victoria baby seats are not absolutely required in taxis even for young infants and so “everyone knows” that they’re never used. (I didn’t catch a taxi for the foot journey from hell through sweltering Sydney on the Friday for that reason: baby seats are required by law, and apparently it’s most common to book one and be stranded for hours until someone can be bothered.)

And so I was there.

The weekend was gentle and relaxing, mostly. The goal was to build something of the communities Skud and I have access to in the US, only not in the US because we don’t live there. I think when that’s so, what happened right there is less interesting than what comes after and I don’t yet know what comes after.

My trip back on Monday was much more straightforward. Melbourne airport was on “ignore the person struggling with bags and a baby” mode. They’re in the middle of reconstruction and don’t even have chairs or tables where you can reassemble the disarray of your belongings really. I ended up padding halfway to my gate in sock feet before I found a chair. But otherwise all was smooth and the entire trip was only five and a half hours door-to-door. We caught a bus to Melbourne airport and then a plane to Sydney and Andrew and V met us at the airport with a car.

Then there was the long work week for Andrew. He actually came home on Tuesday to have dinner with two visiting friends of mine, so really it was just a few days of barely seeing him. But on top of two trips it wasn’t fun.

For once though, it seems like the end of the year won’t be a huge crunch. (2009: I was heavily pregnant. 2010: a friend died and my grandmother had a stroke. 2011: we were about to move house. 2012: we were both coming out of surgery and illness. 2013: I was heavily pregnant.) I have a one week trip (with A in tow again) to Wellington for Kiwicon. Otherwise, for the first time in six years, maybe I can think about solstice and Christmas more than a couple of days in advance. That doesn’t mean I have plans. But I could!

Terms not to use when negotiating meeting times, an incomplete list

Also of use to conference organisers setting submission deadlines.

  • “midnight Tuesday”. Ambiguous between the midnight at the beginning of Tuesday and the one at the end of Tuesday. In casual usage, this usually turns out to mean the midnight at the end of Tuesday, but why be ambiguous? (And if you’re wondering why anyone is organising anything for midnight precisely, time zones. Or deadlines, “midnight Tuesday” usually means you can spend Tuesday evening on the task.)
  • “this Tuesday”. Almost always means the Tuesday immediately following, but that can be ambiguous in the case of time zones (if one of your attendees is already in the Tuesday in question) and in the case of someone reading their email belatedly.
  • “next Tuesday”, even worse, because some people mean the Tuesday immediately following, but most people (I think) mean the Tuesday a week after that, and then add in the same problem that it may already be Tuesday somewhere, and people may read their email belatedly.

I like to avoid midnight entirely, especially if you’re intending the “you have Tuesday evening to get this done” meaning. Use “11:30pm Tuesday” or “1am Wednesday”. Problem solved. If you really need it to be terribly terribly close to midnight, you can use “11:59pm Tuesday” quite often or at worst you can just spell it out “midnight at the end of Tuesday”).

For upcoming weekdays, just state the date. “Tuesday 21st”, “Tuesday 28th”. Avoid anything that requires people to know the time you wrote at.

And while we’re here, a free reminder that dates of the form 10/06/2014 are ambiguous between the 10th June 2014 (Australia, much of the rest of the world) and the 6th October 2014 (the USA). 2014-06-10 is less ambiguous and often comes with free sorting by date, but when doing meeting negotiation just write “June” and “October” and be done. You’re welcome.

It’s password management turtles all the way down

Since I mentioned password management in passing yesterday I recall a question I haven’t seen answered yet: how do you manage your password management passwords?

My setup is this: as advocated by, eg Bruce Schneier and Troy Hunt (but not, apparently, by Florêncio et al 2014, although I’ve only read the abstract and some of the press) I use a password manager, which stores huge long random passwords for all the sites I use and is in turn password protected.

While I’ve been doing this for several years, a few flaws have emerged:

  1. Google passwords. You have no idea how often you need to enter a Google password on an Android phone until… you do. And you’ll be reminded for every new device and then every password change, even if you’re a Heartbleed-level-or-greater password changer. It’s very very difficult to survive setting your Google password to F]U8NScS+RP7eL5)v=gj7f*/bX~$&` or even F]U8NScS+R frankly as an Android user. (Especially since if you have two factor turned on, the way you authenticate to an Android phone involves entering your password twice.)
  2. shared passwords, often required in business in particular but also in (cough) personal households, and not handled by most password managers in a model other “a password database for you” and “a password database for you and your boss” and so on for potentially combinatorial values of “you and [colleague]”

There are some services that attempt to solve that second point within an organisation, eg, Lastpass Enterprise but even allowing for that, let us enumerate the password manager passwords that a hypothetical individual called Mary currently has:

  1. personal password manager password
  2. work password manager password
  3. household password manager password
  4. volunteer organisation password manager password

And at the point where this hypothetical individual is remembering four separate extremely complex and secure passwords it’s beginning to look like the promised land of “the last password you’ll ever need” is, well, turtles all the way down.

It’s 2014 and the Internet is still atomising my household

Here’s some electronic things my household owns collectively:

  • our main camera
  • our television
  • our games consoles
  • our Kindle and Nexus tablet

Here’s the services I use almost daily that do not have any notion of collectively owned content or multiple publishers wanting to manage a single account:

  • Flickr
  • Google Play, or any other Google service
  • Xbox Live (to the extent I’ve explored it)

And this is epically frustrating, because here’s some use cases that these websites don’t handle well.

  • we share parenting of our children. We would like to be able to play one or both of them Frozen or Cars or whatever without both owning a copy from a streamable service or someone needing to leave a logged in Android device with a known password in the house at all times.
  • we both take photographs on our main camera. We sometimes can’t remember who took which one and in any case, it’s always me who post-processes them. We would like to be able to publish them on a photo sharing website and maybe sometimes attribute authorship (if one of us is especially proud of a shot and actually remembers taking it) and sometimes not!
  • we read the same books because I read them first and Andrew reads some subset of them on my recommendation, and we’d like to do that without both buying a copy.
  • we listen to the same music because Andrew listens to it first and I listen to some subset of it on his recommendation, and we’d like to do that without both buying a copy.

I mean, it’s disgusting really. One day we could even do the ultimate in simple gross violation of normal and healthy relationship boundaries some day and want to play each other’s saved games.

Right now we do pretty much what everyone does to some degree, as far as I can tell, which is to have a shared Amazon account and a shared Flickr account and still buy movies on optical discs for now even though five minutes of unskippable sections at the start are annoying and put our music on a fileserver and awkwardly manage our photos on a USB hard drive that can get plugged into different laptops and really not stream much stuff at all. Maybe one day we’ll have some kind of dedicated device that is logged into someone’s Google account and streams movies that are always bought through that account, or something like that.

Now traditionally when I make this point, someone will show up and say “yes, my dear, but something extremely complicated is going on here, much too complex and subtle for your delicate sensibilities, called making money through an advertising revenue model requiring demographic information and the entire world will go bankrupt if we allowed multiple people to share accounts even for content they produced in any recognised way, so don’t worry your pretty little head about it and let your husband buy the clicky button things from now on.”

To which I answer: this blog is (to the best of my knowledge) not owned by any of Yahoo!, Google or Microsoft and does not especially care about their revenue models. Moreover, if your comment boils down to “please try and see this from the side of the websites” I will replace your comment with the one from the previous paragraph, sexist content and all. (Also don’t explain to me that one can share passwords in various ways. I know. I do those things.)

I will concede one point: households don’t have continuity in the way that individuals do. My household will split into at least three and perhaps four someday. This is pretty much impossible to model in the present intellectual property+licencing rights model as far as I can tell.

And all the same, I’m annoyed that the software world is really hostile to the (very normal) way I live my life and is (surprise!) set up for a world in which each of the four people in my house sits in their own room with their own TV + gaming system + speakers + phone/tablet + ereader interacting with content they purchased entirely separately, and in many cases, in duplicate (possibly) maximising your revenue since whichever unfortunate day someone came up with the idea of an “account” on a computer system.

First ecosystem to fix this gets to sell me Frozen or something.

Late September

I can never remember weather emotionally once it’s passed. What’s summer like? I’m only remembering now that we’ve had a few days above 30°C. And memories of August, which was very wet, have all faded like dust. I guess we got rained on? I can’t access the feeling.

Two weekends ago was my niece C’s first birthday party, involving picnic rugs on the sunny grass at Jubilee Park with the harbour glinting at us. Steph had made jars of chocolate crackles, biscuits and rocky road, decorated with ribbons. It’s taken me three decades but I finally appreciate an understated consistent aesthetic approach to things. Unfortunately, that’s about a decade after my house filled up with whatever. C had a platonic kid birthday party, involving one crying jag (when the cake came out and she wasn’t allowed to eat it) and one messy face (covered in cake). V has his own social life now: Andrew took him to a friend’s fifth birthday party.

During the following week I had a couple of lunches, going to uni on the Monday and with Chally on Tuesday. I try and go to uni once a month or so now, although I am not sure how much longer anyone there will eat together once Jette’s postdoc winds up and Yasaman submits her PhD. It was a long run of having a social research group there but it may be in terminal decline now.

Last weekend was one of the weekends we mark in our calendar as “Free weekend”, but that really means “Don’t leave the suburb.” And we didn’t. On the Saturday evening, V had a farewell party with his daycare friend J, who is going to stay with family while her mother is travelling for a while. It was the perfect evening party with children: a warm spring evening at a park with — even before the daylight savings transition yesterday — long evening light. And sparkling wine too. On Sunday we met V’s friend M at the park for them to play, which wasn’t as magical because it didn’t involve heaps of other adults and sparkling wine, but the two kids had a fair amount of fun.

This weekend though, is a long weekend, and the daylight savings transition, so magical in that now we are entering the long generous daytime of the continual holiday. Friends who have emigrated to the northern hemisphere tell me that the winter holidays (Christmas and so on) make all kinds of emotional sense there: if there has to be a winter solstice, it might as well involve a celebration. Here, we just have to grit our teeth through winter, and then summer is both long bright days and many days off and then at the end of April, prepare ourselves to face the darkness once more.

A short theory of under-committing to things

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, and I keep being tempted to start my own. Except, yikes, I need to do hours for four years or something?

Sumana Harihareswara suggested to me that maybe I should start aggressively small and uncommitted like Leonard Richardson’s podcast: when I feel like it, in whatever style I choose. And that was close, but I’ve realised the closest fit for my personal style is to aim high, but to limit my run. This doesn’t always work out as I’d hoped, but it still seems like a good model. Do four ‘casts (say). And then done. No promises when or if I’ll be back.

I wish more things in my life could be structured that way.

Late August and early September

I see Andrew and I had our fifteen anniversary (as a couple, not as spouses) in August and I think managed not to remark on it to each other at all. Happy times. Not very surprising when that was just a week out from his flu recovery. We’ve always largely ignored that anniversary, although it would make sense to mark it since it’s the only event of any significance in our household that occurs in the second half of the year. Instead, we pack it all into the first half with both children born in January, Andrew in February and me in April, followed by our wedding anniversary in May. Andrew and I usually take each other to a joint birthday lunch in March or April, and then we have a family lunch at the pub where our wedding reception was each May and then we’re done partying for the year, evidently.

We had a couple of very quiet weekends after we got back which was good from the point of view of recovering but had the usual effect on me: once I haven’t done anything socially for a few weeks I wonder if I have any friends. We went to the aquarium with V’s friend A (everyone I talk about has the initial A) and A’s family; they commented that it was the fastest aquarium trip they’d ever done, with V hauling A from exhibit to exhibit. “Look here! Look here!”

I was really cranky about it though, because we decided to buy an annual pass — like most tourist things in Sydney, you only need to go three times for an annual pass to be cheaper, and their passes also include Wildlife World — and their system couldn’t be more contemptuous. We bought the pass online and showed up at the aquarium to find that the queue to have our photo taken and cards printed was over half an hour long and for that matter really poorly managed, as it was also being fed through a side door by people who’d been sold passes at the ticket counter as well as the main entrance by people who’d bought them online. And the queue was in a gift shop, so that’s delightful to wait in with children, especially V who is very tactile and would love to shake everything, stroke everything else, and swing off the remainder.

Not recommended. I had to go through half the aquarium before I calmed down, and that was only in the underwater tunnels beneath the sharks which mostly made me wish I was using SCUBA. Partly because a dive site might have 12 people, but the underwater tunnels were packed with 100 or more, but mostly because being underwater is really calming. It was easy at that moment to forget all the difficult aspects of diving: the early mornings, the seasickness, the wetsuits.

I don’t think I’m done with diving forever.

The following weekend was V’s school’s BBQ for the incoming kindergarten group, which was sweet. The kindergarten classes have just hatched chickens in incubators, so while I am dubious about this practice (I am not sure the creation of fifteen chickens, presumably to be short-lived and perhaps not even used for food, is justified by the educational outcomes) the whole day was chicken themed with chicken crafts and so on. V was very excited and left his craft chicken with the real chicks so they could admire it.

We had a lot of trouble and worry trying to organise someone to look after V when I was in labour with A. (Scheduled births made a lot more sense to me with my second pregnancy, especially when A was three weeks overdue, stretching the time for which we needed 24/7 on-call carers for V to six entire continuous weeks over Christmas and New Year.) So in late August I remembered to reach out to our friends Ben and Anna, whose second child was due, to offer at least “call us if you’re stuck”. Sure enough at the end of August Anna went into labour on an evening when their promised child carer had taken off to the snow at short notice (!!!). Andrew got to try and be the big damn hero in this case, driving across Sydney in the middle of the night, because it makes more sense for me to stay here with the baby than for him to. But in the event he only arrived at the hospital as Ben and Anna’s baby was being born. It would have been very handy for them if it had taken longer or there’d been an emergency though, so not wasted effort.

Last weekend V was to watch Star Wars for the first time with his friend A, but as Andrew predicted, the early sequence with characters walking the desert for twenty minutes completely lost them. They watched The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course instead, which was a cultural experience for us all. I was only familiar with the Steve Irwin phenomenon by cultural osmosis while he was alive. The movie is a good type of bad movie, with Irwin doing his own stunts (mostly falling out of dinghies constantly), unsubtle editing together of crocodile scenes and Irwin scenes to make it look like they might be in the same vicinity, and his educational pieces to camera set incongruously in a plot featuring fish-out-of-water CIA agents, Magda Szubanski as a crocodile-shooting station owner and David Wenham as a fisheries employee.

Finally, yesterday we went to visit Ben and Anna, and their child G and to meet new baby H. This was a nicely symmetrical visit, as we took A out to them in her first few weeks as well. H is still the dusky rose colour that newborn A was, and very sleepy. I held him, but didn’t miss having a newborn baby. Without hormones, I think they aren’t a lot of fun before they smile, although they are sweet in their own way. V had a very good time playing with G for hours, from drawing in chalk, staging a concert, and making sandcastles on the beach.

Writing this is half giving the lie to a recent complaint of mine, which is that I don’t really have a social circle! We are lucky to have a reasonable amount of social contact, although some of it would drop off if V had his own friends and could visit them under his own steam. I think two things are going on: the first is that we don’t have a circle, as in, people who know each other. I think that’s probably tough to overcome now unless we primarily make friends in our workplaces. Which brings me to the other problem, which is me working from home. While Andrew could socialise mostly with friends from work, although it would mean his circle would be comprised almost entirely of men and would talk about nothing but Google projects (this is a common condition among people who work there), the entire concept is moot for me. I’m planning to try co-working next year when V is in school and I’m working more days, and seeing how I feel then about the need to have more adults in my life. In the meantime, I will try and value all of my one on one friendships at their full value!