Yahtzee and the art of happiness

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  • Published 20070803
  • ISBN: 9780733321269
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

“SINS HAVE LONG shadows.” A Chinese student said this to my husband when he heard that John had missed out on two lecturing positions. John had been teaching at the university for several years, but only on short contracts. The whole selection process seemed rigged and the apparent unjustness of this was difficult for us both, especially since at least a dozen of his students wrote to thank him for being such a great lecturer and for making the course so interesting.

I wept when John rang and told me that he didn’t get the second position because I knew then that I would have an abortion. We couldn’t afford to have a baby: the lecturing contract was finished; my ten-week teaching contract at the language centre finished in the second week of December; there would be no pay for at least six weeks. We already had three healthy children, and money was tight. It just wasn’t practical. Even talking about the pregnancy was difficult when all John could say was, “I don’t want another baby, Helena. I really don’t.”

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