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Wednesday 29 March 2023 Dublin: 12°C
Pregnant via Shutterstock
# up to speed
Catch-up Wednesday: 3 midweek longreads
Get up to speed with the latest news, opinions and insights with our hand-picked in-depth reads.

IT’S MIDWAY THROUGH the week and you want to get up to speed on the latest news topics and catch up on opinions and insights.

We’re here to help you do just that, with our three midweek longreads:

1. Horrible bosses

Thought you had the boss from hell? Jim Nelson writes about his humiliating time working in Hollywood.

(GQ, approx 26 minutes reading time, 5278 words)

“I’ll get that sandwich for you” is all I say. Then I give him a slight chuckle, because I know that’s what he wants. I have only been here a few months and already I know: My job is to serve them and, more important, to humor them. I am regularly summoned into their office to witness the sparks of their genius, to hear a few bits of schlocky humor that, for the well-being of my job, I had better find uproarious.

2. Kidnapped by dad

Molly Campbell was kidnapped by her father in 2006, and brought from Scotland to Pakistan. A new play looks at what happened after their story hit the papers.

(The Guardian, approx 11 minutes reading time, 2347 words)

The headlines summarised the situation in a crude and oddly racist way. “Girl ‘snatched’ from school gates and taken to Pakistan for ‘forced’ marriage.” “‘Barbaric’ practice among third-world immigrants.” “Fears grow for ‘kidnap bride’.” “Mother of all battles. If it was a movie it would be a blockbuster.” What happened was much more complicated, and also, paradoxically, much simpler.

3. Home birth

Alice Marchand has had two home births, and says she knows they were the right decision for her. She details how the process worked.

(, approx 8 minutes reading time, 1527 words)

My midwives whispered advice from time to time, but stayed in the background and let me do things my way. I improvised a new yoga pose I called “the Gorilla”: kneeling half upright with my arms straight and my hands in fists on the floor, I giggled in the middle of a tough contraction, and Annemarie commented I might “laugh this baby out”.

Want some more longreads? Then check out Sitdown Sunday>