The adventures of Mini and Maxi Jen.

As predicted, Celia Dunn had a baby (apparently they can’t stay in there forever), and she is a girl, so I feel vindicated. Many of those withered old facebook trouts said it would be a boy, but they are withered and know nothing, even if it was a blooming pregnancy and a small bump and such, and so, Jennifer June Anderson was born on her due date, and here she is with the hippo I made her.

I just got back from a week in the Shropshire Hills, which has left me in a terrible grump because I had a fantastic time smoking and drinking and (the purpose of my trip) learning about journalism from Zoe Williams and Hannah Pool, both wonderfully readable and LOVELY, did I mention lovely? And now I am back in my mother’s house, listening to the dogs barking, worrying about money, and feeling understimulated. The course, which was run by the Arvon Foundation, was a great mix of people, from the ex-wives of millionaires, to radical Christians, to post-apocalyptic lifestylists, to a particularly fantastic personal trainer. It was kind of like being back at university, only better, because everyone was nice to each other despite being politically/socially/financially diverse, and because the food was delicious (local smoked bacon and this fantastic black bread). And even though I was hungover I did get out of bed, unlike at university where I slept through all my supervisions and went around with the terminally guilty look of a philanderer, hiding in bushes if ever I saw my professors. The early rising was partly for the fantastic bread, but also because the morning sessions (which took place in an old barn by a lake) were fantastic. We’d basically start by looking over the papers and then brainstorming ideas for possible G2 features based on news stories, and then we moved on to various other topics, including a session on how to actually sell the drivel you’ve been writing, which at the time made me feel very confident, although increasingly less so. Hannah and Zoe are both very down-to-earth, and human, I suppose. I always assume successful people are robotic, but they weren’t, at all. In the evenings we cooked in teams and then sat in the Ted Hughes room, where we had readings. And views out over blue remembered hills that weren’t blue at all, but yellow because the corn is out.

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