Author: The Book of Maev

Regular

Watching His Girl Friday, my ultimate comfort movie (it’s been a stressful few weeks), and seriously…if anyone ever wanted to do a Dan/Amy AU based on it, it really would work shocking well. Matt Oberg even looks a little bit like poor old Ralph Bellamy.

One of Hildy’s first lines about Walter – “Quiet, he’s thinking” – sounds exactly like something Amy would say about Dan. (On balance, I think Walter is more successfully manipulative than Dan, but it’s a close run thing).

Regular

Superstore, Season Three

Hmm…

Remember when I said Superstore “is most interesting when it’s most political?” I stand by that assessment, but in that regard season three was certainly a let-down.

There are some decisions the logic of which I understand – and maybe even agree with – but which I can’t help but think hurt the show somewhat.

To have Amy be something of a mess after her divorce, and struggle with rebuilding her life, was a strong dramatic. But good lord it made for a dull stretch of episodes.

Chiefly because the showrunners returned to the same plot beats with which to tell that story over and over again. I actually lost count of the number of episodes that unfolded in the same, painfully predictable manner – Amy is made to feel bad about some aspect of her life by her co-workers, Amy attempts to prove said co-workers wrong…and in the process comes to the realisation that her life is even worse than she thought.

It became extremely tedious to watch, because no matter what Amy was struggling with, the basic structure of the episode was always exactly the same. And, as a side note, things escalated to the point where it really did feel like workplace bullying – I genuinely found myself wondering why she even spoke to Matteo by about half way through the season, he was so consistently nasty to her. (Side note, the scene where he gave her “gay truth” about how repulsive she must be as a woman due to a failure to remove pubic hair made me want to throw something against the wall. Ladies, if there’s one life lesson that’s served me well, it’s that any asshole who DARES complain about the scenery when invited on a tour of your nether regions deserves to be thrown into the sea immediately).

The second problem – which again, I understand the reasoning – was marooning Jonah with Kelly for half the season. They were – purposefully – grating to watch, and I don’t think there was ever a point when Kelly felt like a real option for him.

That said, the relationship was revelatory in that it made it clear just how PASSIVE Jonah had been all the way through the show. He falls into the relationship with Kelly because she’s there and because she pays attention to him…and because he was never willing to put himself out there with Amy.

Jonah is a people-pleaser, which makes me kind of curious about his family background – but also meant I had limited sympathy for him in the final stretch of episodes. When he and Amy have their big fight and he says “I waited around for you for two years” I found that an incredibly telling statement.

Because that’s exactly what he did. He waited. And waited some more. And then some more. He never, not once, came out and said what, if anything, he actually wanted. Which was understandable in the earlier seasons – Amy was married, after all – but started to strain credibility in season three. He had a quite long stretch of episodes where he could have said SOMETHING to Amy, and yet he didn’t (I can’t help but suspect that he just doesn’t have middle-gears, and so for Jonah, it’s either keep his distance or stick his tongue down her throat, but it would be nice to KNOW that).

It’s noticeable that both Amy and Kelly are the aggressors in their relationships with him – Jonah never puts himself out there. Which is why I was nearly cheering him on when he WENT THERE with Amy in the final episode, because at long last Jonah was actually being declarative about what he wanted. The constant waffling with Kelly got VERY tiresome to watch.

But talking about the final episode brings us to the central dramatic problem of the season.

Which is the pregnancy.

And I think the problem here is that Superstore ducked a political question when it really shouldn’t have.

Because, as it stands, Amy choosing to continue the pregnancy seems rather out of character. She decided that she didn’t want any more children with Adam long before the divorce, her financial position appears to be at best precarious, and she has extremely hard-won personal experience of how de-stabilising an unplanned pregnancy can be.

So why does she go through with it?

Does she think abortion is wrong? Does she find the idea of aborting Emma’s sibling abhorrent? Does she want to be a mother again because that’s a comforting and familiar role (and we know Amy likes what’s familiar)? Is it that she’s lonely and beaten down by how her supposed friends have been treating her, and wants something that’s hers?

We have no idea, because the show never tells us.

To be clear, I’m not saying that Amy SHOULD have an abortion – I’m pro-choice after all, and that means supporting women whatever their circumstances – I’m saying that the show not filling us in on that point leaves a giant question mark that undermines the whole story.

And I can’t help but think of it as a failure to grapple with the political problem – they don’t want Amy to have an abortion (because women on TV never have abortions), but they also don’t have her explain why, because her explanation might be offensive to the (probably pretty large) proportion of their audience who HAVE had abortions.

So, you end up with a story that has a kind of hole in it, which becomes incredibly distracting.

The comparison to Veep is instructive here, because while Veep spent comparatively little time on Dan and Amy’s relationship in season 6, they did enough work to fill us in on Amy’s psychological state, that her decision to go ahead with the pregnancy (a decision I think we can safely say she would NOT have made earlier on the show) really isn’t all that surprising – the audience can work it out almost immediately. (Dan’s emotional condition is a different matter – the show purposefully kept us locked out of that to preserve the ‘gotcha’ in the final episode – though there is enough information to join some very suggestive dots. I expect all of this to be elaborated on in season 7).

In other words, Amy Brookheimer’s pregnancy makes sense for her emotionally, if not necessarily practically. Amy Sosa’s pregnancy doesn’t appear to make sense on either level, making it a rather baffling decision.

That said, I’d be curious to see what they’ll do with it next season.

I should also say, this show emphasises how different European and American conceptions of secularism are – there’s no European country I know of where anyone would be in the least bit bothered by a shop putting up a Christmas Crib…but Glenn condemning Amy and Jonah for ADULTERY (in front of their co-workers)…well, I feel like the scene was intended to be read as inappropriate but ultimately harmless, which is not how I understood it.

The nsfw ship meme for Dan/Amy – all of them

The nsfw ship meme for Dan/Amy – all of them

I MISS MY TRASH PARENTS SO SO MUCH

Keep reading

Hi Maev! I’m sorry to hear about your ho…

Hi Maev! I’m sorry to hear about your housing predicament. Good luck! Having a place to yourself is more expensive but from my experience, living alone is GLORIOUS.

Thank you. I really hope you’re right!

It’s been a rough week. I found a flat – a flat I genuinely liked, somewhere I could see myself living, and not too far from the tube – transferred the holding deposit, started to think about how to plan the move…and was told six hours later that my contract, which I had been assured would be extended for two years, will now end in September.

It was a big shock.

Now, it doesn’t mean I’ll be unemployed. But it does mean I’m looking at a substantial loss of income. (It also doesn’t help that the same day, I found out my father was assaulted when he intervened in an attempted robbery, and had to go to hospital. He is recovering, but is very shaken up, understandably).

I have decided (I think – as in, sometimes I get a cold fist of ‘this is insane’ in my stomach) to go ahead and rent the new flat anyway. Which may be the most unwise financial decision I’ve ever made, but… I’ve been living out of one room for five years, and I think it’s time to make a change – even if it does mean things like holidays will become basically impossible.

It is the financial element of it all that really worries me – London is not a cheap place to live – but the thought of having my OWN space at long last…it is, as you say, glorious.

It also doesn’t help that London has been baking hot all week, and my flat (built post-War, I suspect on the cheap) is effectively an oven. House-moving is always traumatic in my experience (I’ve moved nine times in nearly twelve years, and every single move has been unpleasant in its own unique way), but racing around the city trying to do viewings (and meet estate agents, who are undoubtedly the lowest of the low) in thirty degree heat (centigrade not Fahrenheit) is all but unbearable. Getting on the tube feels like walking into a very grimy sauna right now.

I’ve been freaked out and on edge all week, and the heat is not helping – which is why I went to sit in my favourite part of Battersea Park and read Cold Comfort Farm all afternoon. Flora’s rather…robust attitude towards personal problems was probably exactly what I needed.

5) If you had to choose a favourite out of all…

5) If you had to choose a favourite out of all of your multi chaptered stories, which would it be and why?

Hmmm…

I think it would come down to either To Wise to To Woo Peaceably – which has everyone’s favourite fanfic trope, Fake Dating – or Best Laid Plans. Mostly because the way Best Laid Plans plays with time is probably closer to the kind of things I like to do in my original writing.

Also, neither of them was as complicated to plot or as upsetting to write as You Were Always On My Mind. Writing about the assault from Amy’s perspective was not easy – it was an interesting writing challenge to depict a character who is trying desperately to be logical and assess her options while being, for very good reasons, completely distraught, but it wasn’t a FUN one. The final chapter, where we see her start to face what happened to her and come to terms with it was particularly difficult to write – on one level it happens because she is finally starting to feel safe and secure with Dan, but on another…Amy does not not WANT to face her feelings about it, at all, and it is literally painful for her.

I wish I could say Behind the Scenes, but some chapters were a lot more fun to write than others. It also contains my exploration of their backstory, which I’ve always wanted to know people’s opinions of (I think it got maybe two or three reviews?). Admittedly, that’s a topic I might revisit, depending on what we learn in season seven (at least some of those blanks are going to be filled in eventually, right), but I’m really curious if people think I got it, in broad strokes, right.

I'm doing a rewatch of Veep, and I'm…

I'm doing a rewatch of Veep, and I'm at 2×08 which is always where I start feeling really uncomfortable about how the show treats Amy. There's that scene where Janet Ryland's producer gets REALLY aggressive with Amy, and then Mike and Dan swoop in to mansplain Amy's anger away. It's an uncomfortable scene, and I'm always torn between wondering if the sexist writing around Amy started here or if it was meant to show that kind of misogyny in Amy's world, but deliberately not addressing it further.

I hesitate to get too emphatic about this, but I tend to think it’s the latter, mostly because of how Ianucci has depicted sexism in other works.

There’s a scene in the final series of the Thick of It that made my skin crawl the first time I watched it. An economist has come in to meet with the Minister and his advisor to discuss a social entrepreneur fund (or something). She’s a young, pretty woman, and all the way through the meeting the way both men react to that is just…uncomfortable.

Not, I should say, because they’re being overtly horrible – there are very few people out there as unpleasant as Jonah after all – they’re actually attempting (very poorly) to be nice. And yet, they can’t stop touching her.

It was one of the more accurate scenes I’ve witnessed of what is like being a woman in the world. Because while dealing with the Jonahs of this world is upsetting, it’s those interactions – the “are they being gross or socially awkward, I may never know, or may only know when it’s too late to put a stop to it” – that create that low-level but constant sense of anxiety (at least, in my experience).

Similarly, it really stuck out to me how the script in The Death of Stalin treated sexual violence. Because, on one level, the script cannot stop talking about it – it is emphasised and re-emphasised to us that these men have abused their power by coercing sex, that rape is a constant in their world – and yet the question of WHY they do this, what the drive is, is never examined in any real sense.

So what I think you get with Iannucci is someone who goes to some trouble to depict sexism and how it limits women’s lives, and yet simultaneously maybe isn’t all that interested in sexism as a subject. It may be that he considers it a matter more of realism than anything else.

And I think, as a general rule, we’re more used to sexism being underlined as BAD by our entertainment, on the rare occasions people make the effort to engage with it. Take Mad Men, for instance – it depicted horrific treatment of women, but as a general I don’t think the audience was ever in any doubt as to whether the behaviour they were seeing was INTENDED to be reprehensible or not.

Whereas Iannucci’s approach is a lot more passive. That is an episode I have some problems with mind you, because while Mike is useless, I cannot believe that both Dan and Amy are so incompetent that they didn’t think to prep Selina – and even more so Catherine (who should have been given some kind of media training years ago) – for difficult questions that might come up. Even if they did have an agreement with the producers – which isn’t THAT unusual – any media person worth their salt would still prep an answer, just in case.

And I think some of the producer’s lines to Amy are SO obnoxious that they strain credibility a bit – especially as he says them in front of other people – perhaps he thought he could get away with it because the Hughes administration was a lame duck by that point, but it’s living dangerously. If he pisses off Amy too much he can kiss goodbye to any access to Selina Meyer in the future, which might be a mistake if she ever, I don’t know, becomes President. It would be more believable to me if he saved his real awfulness with Amy for when they were alone – the way we’ve seen with Leon, who is a hell of a lot more aggressive with Amy in that one scene where they’re alone in season 5 than we’ve ever seen him be with anyone else, including Selina, who he supposedly loathes.

But I don’t think Dan or Mike’s behaviour is out of character given the stakes involved in the interview – rushing to smooth things over and silence the angry woman seems depressingly predictable to me. If anything, it reminds me of that awful Arrested Development interview. And I’d say Dan at least was aware that Amy’s anger was legitimate – he physically pulls her away from the producer (which is obnoxious, because no way does he have the right to get all grabby-mac-manhandling with her at that point – Mike or Gary would NEVER get that physical with her), but notice how he also KEEPS touching her while he’s talking her down? And not in the “getting physically close to manipulate you” way we saw earlier in the show – he does genuinely seem to be trying to soothe her (which, in a neat bit of character continuity, is something we actually see him to do quite a lot as the show goes on, especially in season four – one wonders if it’s something the actors have discussed, because I would imagine it’s almost entirely subconscious on Dan’s part). (Whether or not Amy’s anger SHOULD be soothed away is a whole other question – female rage being so often de-legitimised not matter what the cause – but somehow I doubt either of them wanted to get into that larger feminist discussion at that time).

Now, it does seem to me that for someone who depicts sexist worlds with some degree of precision, Iannucci is incredibly reluctant to allow his female characters to actually TALK about it. I mean, DAN gets more lines condemning sexual assault than any female character – and he’s also far more overtly appalled by Selina being groped in Finland than either Amy or Selina are. His reaction isn’t massively distinct from Gary’s to be honest. (I think I know the reason for this – with how gross Dan’s treatment of women is implied to be, I think they gave him those lines to establish that he did have SOME standards when it came to sexual behaviour – if you want people to root for Dan and Amy to get together, in any sense, you want to make it REALLY clear that Dan’s arrogance and entitlement does not extend to being sexually abusive. That said, some of the lines come up in very unexpected places – to Tom James of all people – which makes them stick out more than I think they’re meant to).

For instance, we’ve not ONCE heard Amy express feelings about how Jonah treats her. Which, while the crucial power element is mostly lacking there, it seems to me that Jonah’s relentless pursuit of Amy in at least the first three seasons comes very close to out and out sexual harassment. Like, when does Amy get to say NO and have him respect it? (I am in two minds as to whether Jonah would be capable of sexual assault – I’m absolutely certain that Dan isn’t – but he definitely seems like the kind of man who would be oblivious of how intimidating his physical presence could be to a much smaller woman. At the same time, he lacks any real desire for dominance – his ideal seems to be a woman who sleeps with him, bosses him around all the time and occasionally lets him cuddle her, which would explain his attraction to both Amy and Shawnee).

Whatever else though, I think it’s fair to say that the subtlety of Iannucci’s approach to all of this did not persist when he left – for evidence look at the different way Iannucci and Mandel have people use the word ‘shrill’ (an incredibly loaded word when it comes to women) about Amy.

On the other hand, I sometimes get the feeling that it’s Amy’s increased openness to relationships and children that really bothers people in Mandel’s writing, which is a position I very much disagree with. Romantic relationships and motherhood are experiences most – not all – but most women go through st some point in their lives, and I think it’s imperative to find ways to talk about these things that acknowledge the realities of women’s experiences.

For what it’s worth what really bothers me about how they’ve written Amy is how her role in the political plot in season 6 was whittled down (the decision to prioritise Jonah and Dan’s stories is…let’s call it a loaded one), and how consistently her supposed lack of acceptably feminine qualities (like charm and a soft voice and absence of ambition and ESPECIALLY sexiness) is morally equates by the show (in Mandel’s years) with, say, Jonah’s raging entitlement and irresponsibility or Dan’s cold-blooded selfishness. That seems an EXTREMELY gendered assessment to me, and one that Iannucci did NOT make. (I also hated the way they gave Selina lines about having had abortions in season 6, with the clear intent of implying that she was a bad person. Any women who avoids having Andrew Meyer’s baby seems to me to be making a responsible choice). (In case you’re wondering, I LOATHED the film Nocturnal Animals with every fibre of my being).

I'm doing a rewatch of Veep, and I'm…

I'm doing a rewatch of Veep, and I'm at 2×08 which is always where I start feeling really uncomfortable about how the show treats Amy. There's that scene where Janet Ryland's producer gets REALLY aggressive with Amy, and then Mike and Dan swoop in to mansplain Amy's anger away. It's an uncomfortable scene, and I'm always torn between wondering if the sexist writing around Amy started here or if it was meant to show that kind of misogyny in Amy's world, but deliberately not addressing it further.

I hesitate to get too emphatic about this, but I tend to think it’s the latter, mostly because of how Ianucci has depicted sexism in other works.

There’s a scene in the final series of the Thick of It that made my skin crawl the first time I watched it. An economist has come in to meet with the Minister and his advisor to discuss a social entrepreneur fund (or something). She’s a young, pretty woman, and all the way through the meeting the way both men react to that is just…uncomfortable.

Not, I should say, because they’re being overtly horrible – there are very few people out there as unpleasant as Jonah after all – they’re actually attempting (very poorly) to be nice. And yet, they can’t stop touching her.

It was one of the more accurate scenes I’ve witnessed of what is like being a woman in the world. Because while dealing with the Jonahs of this world is upsetting, it’s those interactions – the “are they being gross or socially awkward, I may never know, or may only know when it’s too late to put a stop to it” – that create that low-level but constant sense of anxiety (at least, in my experience).

Similarly, it really stuck out to me how the script in The Death of Stalin treated sexual violence. Because, on one level, the script cannot stop talking about it – it is emphasised and re-emphasised to us that these men have abused their power by coercing sex, that rape is a constant in their world – and yet the question of WHY they do this, what the drive is, is never examined in any real sense.

So what I think you get with Iannucci is someone who goes to some trouble to depict sexism and how it limits women’s lives, and yet simultaneously maybe isn’t all that interested in sexism as a subject. It may be that he considers it a matter more of realism than anything else.

And I think, as a general rule, we’re more used to sexism being underlined as BAD by our entertainment, on the rare occasions people make the effort to engage with it. Take Mad Men, for instance – it depicted horrific treatment of women, but as a general I don’t think the audience was ever in any doubt as to whether the behaviour they were seeing was INTENDED to be reprehensible or not.

Whereas Iannucci’s approach is a lot more passive. That is an episode I have some problems with mind you, because while Mike is useless, I cannot believe that both Dan and Amy are so incompetent that they didn’t think to prep Selina – and even more so Catherine (who should have been given some kind of media training years ago) – for difficult questions that might come up. Even if they did have an agreement with the producers – which isn’t THAT unusual – any media person worth their salt would still prep an answer, just in case.

And I think some of the producer’s lines to Amy are SO obnoxious that they strain credibility a bit – especially as he says them in front of other people – perhaps he thought he could get away with it because the Hughes administration was a lame duck by that point, but it’s living dangerously. If he pisses off Amy too much he can kiss goodbye to any access to Selina Meyer in the future, which might be a mistake if she ever, I don’t know, becomes President. It would be more believable to me if he saved his real awfulness with Amy for when they were alone – the way we’ve seen with Leon, who is a hell of a lot more aggressive with Amy in that one scene where they’re alone in season 5 than we’ve ever seen him be with anyone else, including Selina, who he supposedly loathes.

But I don’t think Dan or Mike’s behaviour is out of character given the stakes involved in the interview – rushing to smooth things over and silence the angry woman seems depressingly predictable to me. If anything, it reminds me of that awful Arrested Development interview. And I’d say Dan at least was aware that Amy’s anger was legitimate – he physically pulls her away from the producer (which is obnoxious, because no way does he have the right to get all grabby-mac-manhandling with her at that point – Mike or Gary would NEVER get that physical with her), but notice how he also KEEPS touching her while he’s talking her down? And not in the “getting physically close to manipulate you” way we saw earlier in the show – he does genuinely seem to be trying to soothe her (which, in a neat bit of character continuity, is something we actually see him to do quite a lot as the show goes on, especially in season four – one wonders if it’s something the actors have discussed, because I would imagine it’s almost entirely subconscious on Dan’s part). (Whether or not Amy’s anger SHOULD be soothed away is a whole other question – female rage being so often de-legitimised not matter what the cause – but somehow I doubt either of them wanted to get into that larger feminist discussion at that time).

Now, it does seem to me that for someone who depicts sexist worlds with some degree of precision, Iannucci is incredibly reluctant to allow his female characters to actually TALK about it. I mean, DAN gets more lines condemning sexual assault than any female character – and he’s also far more overtly appalled by Selina being groped in Finland than either Amy or Selina are. His reaction isn’t massively distinct from Gary’s to be honest. (I think I know the reason for this – with how gross Dan’s treatment of women is implied to be, I think they gave him those lines to establish that he did have SOME standards when it came to sexual behaviour – if you want people to root for Dan and Amy to get together, in any sense, you want to make it REALLY clear that Dan’s arrogance and entitlement does not extend to being sexually abusive. That said, some of the lines come up in very unexpected places – to Tom James of all people – which makes them stick out more than I think they’re meant to).

For instance, we’ve not ONCE heard Amy express feelings about how Jonah treats her. Which, while the crucial power element is mostly lacking there, it seems to me that Jonah’s relentless pursuit of Amy in at least the first three seasons comes very close to out and out sexual harassment. Like, when does Amy get to say NO and have him respect it? (I am in two minds as to whether Jonah would be capable of sexual assault – I’m absolutely certain that Dan isn’t – but he definitely seems like the kind of man who would be oblivious of how intimidating his physical presence could be to a much smaller woman. At the same time, he lacks any real desire for dominance – his ideal seems to be a woman who sleeps with him, bosses him around all the time and occasionally lets him cuddle her, which would explain his attraction to both Amy and Shawnee).

Whatever else though, I think it’s fair to say that the subtlety of Iannucci’s approach to all of this did not persist when he left – for evidence look at the different way Iannucci and Mandel have people use the word ‘shrill’ (an incredibly loaded word when it comes to women) about Amy.

On the other hand, I sometimes get the feeling that it’s Amy’s increased openness to relationships and children that really bothers people in Mandel’s writing, which is a position I very much disagree with. Romantic relationships and motherhood are experiences most – not all – but most women go through st some point in their lives, and I think it’s imperative to find ways to talk about these things that acknowledge the realities of women’s experiences.

For what it’s worth what really bothers me about how they’ve written Amy is how her role in the political plot in season 6 was whittled down (the decision to prioritise Jonah and Dan’s stories is…let’s call it a loaded one), and how consistently her supposed lack of acceptably feminine qualities (like charm and a soft voice and absence of ambition and ESPECIALLY sexiness) is morally equates by the show (in Mandel’s years) with, say, Jonah’s raging entitlement and irresponsibility or Dan’s cold-blooded selfishness. That seems an EXTREMELY gendered assessment to me, and one that Iannucci did NOT make. (I also hated the way they gave Selina lines about having had abortions in season 6, with the clear intent of implying that she was a bad person. Any women who avoids having Andrew Meyer’s baby seems to me to be making a responsible choice). (In case you’re wondering, I LOATHED the film Nocturnal Animals with every fibre of my being).

Regular

The resemblance between me and Dan in this episode is much greater than I should be comfortable with.

I HATE moving house. Every single house move I’ve ever had to make has been exhausting, distressing and stressful, and this one is turning out to be no different.

And I hate even more that I thought I had this situation resolved to my liking, and then my boss threw a great big grenade in it.

I can barely sleep from worrying, and it feels like I have no control over anything – and every attempt I make to GET control ends up backfiring horribly and making the situation worse.

casliyn: Instagram AU + Dan and Amy moving in…

casliyn:

Instagram AU + Dan and Amy moving in together
Requested By: @thebookofmaev

I’m suddenly picturing Dan having an incredibly convoluted grooming process, a la Richard Gere in An American Gigolo.

From past experience, I know my moving experience will not be one tenth as neat. But, stressed though I am, I am REALLY looking forward to no longer living in out of one room.

Regular

PSA: No new fic

Just a…head’s up, I guess.

I have just found out that I will have to move at the end of the month.

I have moved…nine times (I think) since I’ve lived in London, and the inexperience has invariably been exhausting and stressful and draining. (Being poor makes everything more challenging – I was once so short of cash that I couldn’t afford to hire a van, and moved all my earthly belongings either by carrying them on my back or with the help of a pram I bought in a charity shop. A tip for my dear readers – NEVER do this).

I have decided that it is time for me to get my own place. Which, I can’t help but fear may be one of the more unwise financial decisions I’ve ever made (London property is EXPENSIVE), but… being dependent on a flat mate for stability and security is incredibly stressful. I worry about it ALL the time – at least if it’s my own flat, I will have control over whether the tenancy ends.

I say this, but I am also painfully aware of how scarce flats I can afford are in London – and until I have found one, I’m not going to be able to think about anything else. I barely slept last night as it is. (All of this is the London housing crisis in action, by the way – I make a good living (now, I didn’t always) and yet finding somewhere I can afford to live is going to be a real challenge).

So if I can’t stop my brain from twirling round the anxiety carousel about this move, I think it’s safe to say writing of any kind is unlikely to occur.