My Year of Binchy – Week 19: The Book That Started It All + A New Look!

Monday, May 6
  • Book: Silver Wedding
  • Chapters: Starting with Maureen today
  • Location: Back driveway, just got done some very sticky weeds, 66 degrees
  • Smoking: Hella Jelly
  • Playlist: For All Mankind
  • Did I cry? My guess no. I was wrong. My ‘Tracy & Gordo’ song came on and, if you’ve been reading this for a while, you know that’s an insta-cry. Nothing can stop it. Today when it came on, I took a break from the book and just sat in the sun with my eyes closed and felt the feelings. The song is “The Run” by Jeff Russo, although I don’t think it’s *just* Jeff Russo, unless he played all the instruments AND composed it. If so, hats off to you, Jeff Russo. Please come play this in concert form so you can make me cry live.
  • New Birds Heard: Today was a sparrow-ful day with Song Sparrows, House Sparrows, and the new… White Throated Sparrow!!!

This week is already starting on an upswing and I am here for it. Mickey and Aubs and I (and hopefully Molls!!!!) are doing a bonus night of Aussie Survivor tonight and like always, it’s a highlight for me. And this isn’t even the better of the two seasons that we’re watching!

I did a BUNCH of work today. And now I’m settling into read.

Let’s see what they have for me.

Okay, look, I know I have a terrible memory, but I started reading Maureen’s chapter and it’s like I picked up the wrong book. I do not remember any of these people.


okokokok I remember now. It’s the mom’s friend character. I don’t know why, but Maureen seems like a young name to me, so I assumed the character was young too.

I would like every woman in this book to break this “DON’T TALK ABOUT IT” cycle that they are in. Why did we all get to this place? I don’t know that I’ve spoken to another woman that wasn’t told not to talk about something or other by their parent. From things they bought themselves at the store to what movie they took you to see or something much bigger. Like, why are we the protectors of the family secrets and why are we the ones looked down on if they get out. I think we would all be a lot happier (and nicer to each other) if we were honest about what’s going on in our lives and how we really feel.

Sure, it might be a bit of a downer sometimes, but holy fuck, I think that the people that expect life to be happy 24/7 are the real crazy ones, you know? And I don’t like to call people crazy. I know I was so far separated from letting myself feel or express any sort of negative emotions that it was unhealthy and only exacerbated all the other shit going on in my brain. Mainly OCD, as I look back on it.

Ok, so this book is evoking some feelings. Wow.

Maureen’s chapter had some delightful twists and turns. It would make a delightful short film.

Next, I am reading Frank’s chapter who seems to have slept with altogether too many people in this book.

Mickey took this photo because my camera was busy with a time-lapse.
Tuesday, May 7

Okay, I’m switching things up a bit. Making the little list at the beginning shorter and then adding subheadings for other stuff, because obviously, I like to talk. Okay? Ok.

  • Book: Silver Wedding
  • Chapters: Frank (grr)
  • Location: Front porch
  • Smoking: Hella Jelly
What I’m listening to:
Did I cry?

Yes, but it was music-related not book.

Thoughts while reading (could be about the book, could not):

Okay, so why are acts of joy looked at as crazy? Pretend I put that word in air quotes because that is what I mean.

When I say acts of joy I mean specifically me singing along to my songs at full volume on my front porch. I feel like if someone were to walk by while I was doing that they might think, “huh, weird.”, but then if they walk by another day and I’m singing again, then they might think, “wow that’s crazy”, and then if they pass by a third time and I’m having a Kendall Roy moment and singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” at the top of my lungs, then they’ll definitely be thinking, “Oh, god that crazy lady is out there singing again.”

And so I sing quiet like a mouse most days.

But then also, is this whole “thinking singing on my front porch is crazy” thing coming from inside the house? Like, do I think this because of something deeply ingrained in me? That was taught to me by my mom or society or movies or some combination of the two.

Am I projecting? Should I just sing full volume knowing that my brain is a little bit broken and that’s okay? Maybe I should project that way instead. I dunno.

I DO know, however, that Frank Quigley is the rare piece of literal crap that gets some sort of comeuppance that he deserves. Bravo and a standing ovation for that chapter too.

I think I’m gonna finish this book tonight which is exciting because that means the book that started it all is next.

Let’s see if this Silver Wedding party goes off without a hitch!

It was a good party. It was a solid book. It did not take place in Ireland. I don’t know if I mentioned that.

New birds heard:

It is rainy-ish out and the traffic is drowning out any bird sounds, but I did hear two new ones out of the window earlier, so we’ll count those, okay?

Those birds were Nashville Warbler and a Chipping Sparrow, who has a lot of personality if I do say so myself:

Wednesday, May 8
  • Book: Circle of Friends
  • Chapters: 1-2
  • Location: Side yard by the birb tree
  • Smoking: White Runtz
What I’m listening to:
Did I cry?

Without a doubt, I am going to cry today. This book is very important to my brain.

Okay, yes I cried immediately. One percent of the book in, because it felt so comfortable to be spending time with Benny again. Her feels are my feels.

Thoughts while reading:

Like I said, this book in particular is the one that started it all. I’m planning a whole blog post about it, we’ll see if I’ve finished it by the time I publish this blog.

But I’ll give you the short Sophia-from-Golden-Girls version.

Picture it: Social Circle, 1995

It was summer and I was 17 and a brand new mom. The human being in my care came as a surprise, so I was feeling pretty scared and lost and unsure of, like, everything.

I found myself in a used bookshop with a pale green stroller filled with an impossibly tiny D and my nana, who was, like always, in the true crime section.

I was perusing the fiction, trying to find something that wasn’t a rote romance, repeating the same stories of love lost and found over and over again. I left with Circle of Friends and my life was forever changed. Sounds dramatic, I know.

But I’m dramatic. And I’ll be even more dramatic when I write the blog about all the hard times Maeve Binchy got me through in my life.

For now, though, I’m gonna read about Benny and Eve and the other one, whose name I have forgotten on purpose out of anger.

I understand why I fell in love with this book immediately. It slaps.

And I was just reminded that this is where I know “Wednesday’s child is full of woe” from. Mickey and I were just talking about this rhyme the other day. I was born on a Wednesday and I cannot argue, honestly. Somehow, though, I have fought through all the woe to live a life full of loving things instead of hating them.

That makes me happy.

New Birds Heard:

Just heard the normies: Robin, Cardinal, Red-winged blackbird


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