09 September 2009

Rock Band

Strongly resisting the temptation to buy the remastered Beatles' back catalogue in HMV today I gave the nod to Simon to pop into Game to buy the Beatles Rock Band game!

It is fantastic, the graphics must have been a work of love and of course there is the genius of the Beatles music. We have already graduated from the Cavern to the Ed Sullivan show, with me on vocals, Si on drums and Tom on dribbles I've tried encouraging him to use one of his teething toys (he's not but seeing as he loves stuffing things in his mouth we got him some of the toys to nibble on) as a tambourine but he's more interested in sticking it in his mouth.

"Playing" the Beatles songs just make me want to go out and complete my collection but I don't want the fake stereo that they've put on some of the early LPs I want to enjoy it in the glorious Mono that it was meant to be heard it. And all they had in HMV was the stereo version. I'm also never quite sure about remastering as it's never quite about restoring an old master to it's newly printed freshness. There always seems to be a of unnecessary tinkling about on the edges so unless it sounds really muddy and murky there should not be any need to remaster it and George Martin was very good at what he did and I don't think my mono vinyl copy of With The Beatles sounds murky at all.

04 September 2009

Toothless Squealing

Toothless Squealing, originally uploaded by Jane Goth.

Tom is becoming increasingly vocal with every passing day, but with each day his vocalisations change new things come in and other sounds are dropped. When he was very little he would make an "eh....eh...eh" noise when wanted feeding that's gone now. Currently he is developing his laugh, I don't think he's reached the final product as right now his laugh is a soft "grrrrus grrrus" sound that comes from the back of his throat, which just slays me. I played this video back to Tom straight after I had recorded it. Tom's reaction was fascinating, he was most perplexed at the little baby in the machine squealling in the machine and I think, while it was playing, a little bit disturbed by the baby noises however as soon as it ended he recovered his humour and it was as if nothing had ever happened.

23 August 2009

Keep On Truckin

Keep On Truckin, originally uploaded by Jane Goth.

We had a modicum of excitement this afternoon with three very large oil(?) tanks on flat beds trundled down the road stopping the traffic. Police on motorbikes stopped the traffic in sections and further up the road work gangs from the 'leccy were hoisting up the power cables that ran across the road to make sure that the top of the tanks didn't get snagged.

On The Move

13 August 2009

Poetry Corner

I very rarely post poetry, I've done it once maybe twice, partly because I automatically skim when I see verses in blog posts, novels and newspapers so I assume everyone else does the same. Partly because it is often abusing someone else's copy write and also I feel it's lazy blogging to use someone else's words to try to state how you feel. Using song lyrics is lazy juvenile emo blogging but that's a rant of a different meter. Having said all that I'm about to indulge in some sentimental poetry (or possibly doggerel) blogging by posting this.

Song For A Fifth Child

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
(Lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo.)
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peek-a-boo
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby lullaby loo.)

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Apparently the poem first appeared in the Lady's Home Journal in 1958. I can find out nothing about Ruth Hulbert Hamilton on the interwebs as almost every link to her name goes to a born again mommy blog. Disclosure time I first saw this on such a blog but I'm not going to link back as I don't want to give the poor woman the vapours.

This poem struck me as I have found myself fretting and feeling guilty about housework not getting done because I'm playing/soothing/feeding/cleaning/staring at Tom. There is a huge irony in this as I loathe housework and before he was born would have to force myself to chase the dust bunnies around the room and I hadn't ironed a thing in at least 8 years. Last week I found myself ironing some of Tom's miniature jeans as they looked "all wrong" crumpled.

I'm beginning to think I have been replaced by aliens - this is not me, I don't think like this and I'm more than slightly disturbed by it all. I was inordinately excited at getting a new slow cooker on the weekend, next thing I'll be doing will be wearing a pinny unironically. I think I need to order the Second Sex before it's too late for me.

29 July 2009

Now the baby is asleep

He's flopped over my right arm snoring ever so gently, if I can get him to stay asleep when I put him down I might be able to put the washing on and wonder if we have all the ingredients for a veggie curry.

30 seconds later...

He's down and out, and I am free to use two hands again not only that I am up at the computer on the desk rather than struggling with the crappy PC laptop. (Rem to self must get in touch with the Apple Genius people to find out if it is worth getting the Mac laptop repaired. Buying a new one is not an option sadly)

It has been an age since I've blogged, but I am slowly coming out of the fog that is very new baby with colic, he is getting into more of a routine fortunately and doesn't normally wake up at stupid o'clock during the night, that is if you accept 5am as not being stupid o'clock.

I am now back behind the wheel after the caesarian, just being able to get about as I choose to have been so liberating even if I hardly go anywhere, my trips out have been mostly to the doctors or to the hospital. I have started to meet other people, my health visitor suggested going to a baby massage class which is run by the health visiting team. It's quite good if very small there are only 4 mothers at it although I get the impression they were hoping more would turn up and we have 2 instructors. It's roughly 15 minutes of baby massage and then 1 hour plus of chatting, mostly about babies so not scintillating conversation but right now I don't need scintillating all the time, just being able to compare how much our babies sick up and the day to day mundantity of motherhood is nice.

The next big adventure is mother and baby groups, I looked at the NCT website to see if they had any groups in the vicinity and the closest was Ely so that's no good, even if it does save me the cost of joining them. I will have to look at Mum's Net and find one that sounds friendly.

Hours later,

Finally got the washing on after he woke up, needing feeding and changing and playing with. I put him down on his tummy for some "tummy time" he coo'd for a bit then fell asleep only for him to wake up when I turned him onto his back so that I could sneak into the kitchen. He's now fallen asleep listening to Radio 4. Radio 4 is his "soap theme tune" I listened to so much of it while I was pregnant with him, the dulcet tones of Laurie Taylor seem to have a soothing effect on him.

06 July 2009

Not Gone

Just no proper time for blogging

23 June 2009

So Tired

I am so tired that almost every bit of me aches and I’ve gone past the point of wanting to catch up on my sleep. Tom is thriving even if he appears to have developed colic, he has taken to crying inconsolably for a few hours each day Sunday it was in the afternoon early evening, Monday he was besides himself with tiredness during the morning and cried for a couple of hours and he cried like billio for a while in the evening and today it was the afternoon for about three hours and a bit in the early evening too.

Problem with him crying like that during working hours is that I’m the only one here and I can’t carry him for too long to comfort him because of the c section and it’s distressing for the both of us.

Before that while Simon was still on paternity leave he spent a few days where he would cry miserably for a few hours because he wanted constant feeding which was very hard on me until I bought a book on breastfeeding in self defence Tom Tips for Breast-Feeding by Claire Byam-Cook which didn’t stop Tom from being a bottomless pit of hunger for those hours but the advice in the book did make it a lot easier to deal with while it lasted. I know it was only a few days but at the time and really still now it felt like it was going on for ever.

However I must be doing something right with the feeding as Tom was back to his birth weight by day 13 we also measured him and he was 59 cms long by the reckoning of the health visitor which threw her mighterly as that would put him above the 100th percentile for his age. She was so thrown that she refused to believe her measurement and left the measuring mat behind so that we could measure him during the week at our leisure. I did manage to do it again a couple of days ago and got a measurement of 57 cms and I wasn’t able to get his legs completely straight either so I don’t think that she was that far out. However 57 cms isn’t so bad as it puts him on the 91st percentile which is line with his birth weight. It looks like he’ll be towering over us at some point in the mid 2020s then I can get a cat so that I have something I can look down on.

12 June 2009

Is six hours enough to Compo-cook an egg?

One of my favourite flickrers is Aroid (Jim). He is an excellent photographer of plants and bugs, but at least half the photos are culled from his family's collected photograph albums. I stumbled across him by accident on flickr one day and was fascinated by his family photos from, especially, the 50s and 60s. What I found so interesting was the comparative difference in wealth between the USA and the UK that is shown up by the photos, for instance the number of mod cons available, that would not become common place here until the 70s and 80s.

Occasionally he experiments with compost heaps and eggs.

09 June 2009

Living In The Moment

Tom has been with us only since Friday lunchtime, but it feels like he's been here forever, pre Tom time seems hazy and very far away. Thinking about it there is a good chance that tiredness has a very large part to play in this, I find that when I am shattered time flows very slowly but I think he's exerting his own special effect on the space time continuum although he weighs less than 10lbs and is less than 2 foot tall he's bending time around him.

Not all of this is a good thing, breastfeeding hasn't yet become the easy, joyful thing that it can be, so when the feed isn't easy it can feel like I've been attacked by a thousand minuscule sharp needles for ever, but then it is possible to swallow up hours just staring at him.

The forces of BST will reassert themselves tomorrow as we have to register his birth and we have to have an appointment to do so. We might also risk a quick trip to the supermarket as well, life does not get much more cosmopolitan than this at the moment.


06 June 2009


Thomas was born yesterday at 12:25 by an emergency c section. He is utterly fantastic 9lbs 4oz or 4.120 kg for those working in new money roughly 48 cm long. We are both still in hospital I'm not likely to be released until Monday Tuesday.

04 June 2009

Action Stations

I was woken up by painful contractions a wee bit before 3, surprisingly enough it took me a wee while to work out that the contractions were fairly regular and worthy of timing. I was a bit discombobulated I suppose. Half an hour of timing later and I was on the phone to the delivery suite as I've hit the magic 5 minutes apart.

As you can probably guess if you are up at this unflyingspaghettimonster hour that I'm not in hospital. I'm to tough it out at home, with the help of a couple paracetamol and hot water bottle/warm bath until either it becomes unbearable, the baby arrives cos I'm that hard and miscalculate how long I've got before the baby arrives, or it's time to go in anyways because the plan was to induce me if I hadn't started labour.

Early morning TV is just as rubbish as when I was a student, the only difference is that there are now more channels showing rubbish and Hitman and Her is no longer running. Thank goodness for laptops and the internets, that's all I can say as I can't get back to sleep.

03 June 2009

Stand At Ease

The contractions have subsided and seem to have gone back to being irregular so I don't think we'll be seeing any baby action in the immediate future.

A few hours later

I've been having regular contractions since about 10 am, they've gone from being about 25 to 30 minutes apart to about 15 to 20 minutes apart and still quite bearable. But rather than be a martyr I've taken a couple of paracetamol which have taken the edge off them. I had my last midwife's appointment today, I was supposed to get my membranes swept it in order to get things going but, obviously there is no real need.

Depending on how long it takes for the contractions to get being 5 minutes apart I will either be going in to hospital at some point tonight (when the magic five minutes has been hit) or sometime tomorrow morning to be checked over and if necessary be given something like syntocinon to speed up the dilation. I'm hoping that nature is speedy enough because being on a drip will reduce the number of options for staying active, however the main thing is that we have a baby at the minimum of risk to the both of us so if that means a drip and stuck on a bed then so be it.

Right now I'm a bit bored, we had a mad couple of hours this morning, changing bedding, cleaning things, doing more clothes washing to empty out the basket and the like, all that is left to do now is wait until things get a bit more painful.

The Inevitable Happens

V quick post as it's 1:33 am and I'm a bit knackered.

My waters broke sometime today but as it wasn't even a proper trickle I was very good at rationalising it away until about 11:30 pm yesterday. I ran up the Delivery Suite they said come in so we did.

I was checked over, an internal examination was done to confirm the membrane had ruptured and to see if I was at all dilated.

If I am dilated it's not very much at all so I am home again. If labour doesn't get established by Thursday morning I have to go in to be induced, so it is possibly all go. I will definitely have a baby by the weekend. Which is nice.

02 June 2009

Today Is My Bloggiversery

Four years ago today I started blogging. In my first blog I finished up by saying.
...the chance I might meet or at least talk to suitable chaps who read the Guardian, scrub up nice and like real ale.
Who'd have thunk that I would have ended up marrying the person who inspired me to start blogging and I would be imminently expecting our first child?

As for the real ale? well two out of three ain't bad.

01 June 2009

Reality TV Bullshit

Simon Mayo had an apologist (I didn't catch his name) for Britain's Got Talent on his show just now (I started writing this at about 2pm). The apologist was there to defend the programme against cries of the exploitation of children and of Susan Boyle. Now I have watched exactly zero minutes of Britain's Got Talent since the programme started running so I can not comment on whether children were mentally harmed in the making of the series or really say whether that dance troupe should have won or not. No what I did, which I think is like many people in my position did, is accidentally* read articles about what is going on in the broadsheets** or on an online new service.

I hope Susan Boyle bounces back very quickly from the stress that she apparently suffered towards the end of Britain's Got Talent and I hope that she is able to translate her success, for all that she didn't win she did have a great success, into a way of making money that she is comfortable with and can manage.

We all know as some level that the "reality" in these shows is highly manipulated and controlled. Loosing Big Brother contestants routinely complain that the programmes shown were edited either to show them in an unfairly bad light or to make the winner look good. In Susan Boyle's case the only people who did not know that she had a good voice before she started singing were the audience in the studio. Those looks of surprise and amazement that judges had on their faces were well practised and fake as a 3 pound coin. The producers will defend themselves by saying that they've got to create something that is interesting with a narrative thread throughout the series in order to get the viewers interested, and that's fair enough. No one objects apart from the person who feels they've been stitched up but there is a difference between creating a narrative thread and exposing someone to a huge amount of intrusive interest all in the name of publicising your programme.

Susan Boyle was presented to the public as a freak. She had the "Voice of an Angel, Face of a Minger" with a sweet back story of a quiet shy retiring life, a spinster who looked after her old mum and sang in the church choir. Added bonus she has a disability, not one that would be unsightly and put the viewing public off their dinner, but a little bit of learning difficulties caused by oxygen deprivation at birth so ready made sob story. I want to be clear here, I am not accusing Susan Boyle of exploiting her life history or do I think she's a minger come to that, but the producers must have started mentally counting viewing figures when they first heard about her.

Now they could have presented Ms Boyle to the public in many ways but they appeared to choose the method that maximised the public impact and crucially the media's interest too. Once going it was a juggernaut, I'd no interest in the programme but it was impossible to escape, even a cultural pseud like myself didn't stand a chance, the Guardian had features about how the Americans went bonkers for her and in the media/IT sections about how ITV were missing out on millions of revenue because of a dispute with You Tube. Radio 4 did its usual disingenuous thing of "reporting on the media coverage" as a fig leaf for reporting on Susan Boyle and the competition. The bloggisphere and twitterverse appeared to hang on every word. Even I cracked watching the You Tube video.

So when she didn't win and the unfortunate events of yesterday happened it was was not surprising that the parties who created the publicity monster in the first place were busy today distancing themselves from the carnage. I think the statement that made me angry came from the producer's apologist (remember him from the first para?) he said that there was no way that they could have expected the media feeding frenzy that descended on Ms Boyle.

I call this complete and utter bullshit.

We've had roughly ten years of the modern reality TV show with Big Brother being the big daddy of them all. All these programmes have relied on media hype for their publicity and the feeding frenzies that fell upon certain contestants, Jade Goody being the most famous case. It's not as if it's a new phenomenon. They should have had some idea as to what could happen so to claim it was unexpected is, in my book a sign that you're not fit to do your job.

*"accidentally" ranging from - your eye is drawn to the headline like it is to a zit in the middle of a beautiful face to "Oh whoops did I click on the article about Britain's Got Talent? I meant to click on the 10 thousand word essay about the renaissance of Bulgarian opera."

** Broadsheets - papers that pretend to have aspirations serious news reporting. Now mostly found in tabloid or Berliner sizes.

31 May 2009

D Day + 1

I was in a really bad mood yesterday, I felt uncomfortable, tired and inconvenienced all day. I think yesterday's blog post showed that and I want to thank Brighter Schemata, Z and Clair for their nice words, they made me feel a lot better. One of the reasons I was in a foul mood was that after an early morning bath I decided to slather myself with a body lotion that I hadn't used in a while. Because in that while, it appears that my skin has become sensitive to it and within a minute my legs, arms and belly were burning. I ended up having to take a very long lukewarm shower in order to get the body lotion off and remove the heat from my skin. It was pretty unpleasant. I had a wee bit of a heat rash (I always get some on the back of my hands when the temperature goes above 17C) before but now my arms are almost completely covered with tiny blisters. It's not a good look.

Today was better, much better, I got what was a comparatively good night's sleep last night and though my arms and legs are still spotty they are not really itchy. The weather has been beautiful, we had a lovely time dropping in on my in laws as it is their 40th wedding anniversary today. Then we did a bit of DIY shopping and food shopping and took it very easy before having a gentle sit out in the garden in the late afternoon, under the shade of the garden parasol. Finally we had another bbq, steaks with chilli rub, lime and coriander marinated chicken skewers, salad and corn on the cob. The steaks were supposed to be small but they were huge, the size of side plates. It was all very good but our eyes were probably a bit bigger than our stomachs however nothing is going to waste as I've got chicken skewers for lunch tomorrow :).

Baby wise, nothing much happened today, a few braxton hicks, he's been pretty active during the day but that's about it. We'll see if anything happens tomorrow.

30 May 2009

D Day

Today is the day that we've been planning around for the last 8 months, so of course with only a quoted chance of 5% of anything happening today, nothing has happened.

I've been having twinges all day but as far as I can tell the twinges are just that, nothing greater but I'm saying that with hindsight as well, I'm typing this rather than Simon twittering from the delivery suite. I've been rereading the advice and tips on labour. I think that the most annoying piece of advice that almost all the books and magazines give is that "you'll know when you are in labour."


Does a small but perfectly formed marching band suddenly appear playing "Congratulations" in the style of an American High School Pep Band? When does a Braxton Hicks contraction stop being intense and starts being a proper true labour contraction? Saying that you'll know not giving advice as far as I am concerned. It's like birth plans - what position do you want to use? which drugs do you want? How do you want your birth partner to massage you? How do I know I've never done this before and have absolutely no concept of how I am going to react to the pain. I completed my birth plan today it's basically a list of what I would prefer in a vague order of preference but I'm thinking that birth plans are basically a plot to make new mothers feel bad because they didn't get the birth they wanted. The delivery suite had a long list of reasons of why the birthing pool wouldn't be available, or why you won't be able to get that desperately needed epidural. And that's before medical issues are taken into account.

Oh I know I am having a bit of a rant, it's just that I feel a bit cross with it all, I just don't like the not knowing when it's all going to happen or the lack of control. My sister in law had to have a Cesarean because of underlying medical issues, she knew for at least two months when the baby was going to be born. I like that sort of knowing in advance even if I don't particularly envy her the c-section.

29 May 2009

Sleeping On It

I had a great blog post composed in my head this morning, but you are not going to see it because I composed it in my head while I was sitting in the bath at 5 this morning. The bath had it's welcome soperific effect and I did eventually get back to sleep and I've completely forgotten what it was I was gonna blog about. It was probably something to do with disturbed nights and sleeping.

26 May 2009

Still Pregnant

I did tell the baby at the weekend that today would be a good day to be born as the weather wasn't going to be very good, and it wasn't, so it wouldn't be as if I had anything else to do and as the weather isn't going to be spectacular tomorrow I wouldn't have minded spending it in hospital. But has he listened to me? has he thump. I think we are going to have to have words when he arrives.

Due date is actually this Saturday but I'm hoping he'll turn up sooner rather than later. I doubt I will be live blogging the birth especially not if I get the birthing pool but there is a chance that Simon will be twittering the highlights.

25 May 2009

I Know There Is Something Up

With politics in its current state when I find myself agreeing with Anne Widdecombe. I mean I find her political views to be almost 100 percent repulsive, she was a dreadful minister and choose to become a Catholic not because she was persuaded of the truth of transubstantiation but rather because she disagreed with the Church Of England's move towards equality in the form of women priests.

But this morning on the Today Programme she defended the Church of England's right to request that voters shouldn't let their anger lead them to voting for the BNP because of the views the BNP stands. I agree with her especially when the BNP claimed through an election poster that Jesus would vote for them! which is gob smacking cheek on their behalf, because if Jesus was around today they would wish to deprive him of his rights as he would be in their eyes a dirty foreigner.

Given that the BNP have tried to steal the Church's "IP" they've got every right, nay duty to speak up against the racists' odious claims. After all if the BNP had tried to claim that Desperate Dan would vote for them D.C. Thomson would have placed an injunction against them faster than most Dundee chippies could whip up a deep fried Mars Bar. I would also go along with what Widdecombe said and support their right to speak against the BNP on moral grounds too if they so wished. In fact I think it is a shame that that we are not hearing the new Archbishop of Westminster (RC) raise his voice along side Rowen Williams and John Sentamu.

Now as many of you know, I am an atheist, not because I think the churchs are a steaming mass of hypocrisy or suchlike - I'm not particularly anti clerical and also it wouldn't matter if every member of the clergy, whatever their religion or denomination were outstanding paragons of virtue it wouldn't change for me my lack of belief in a god or gods. My atheism comes from finding the idea of a personal god ludicrous and illogical and I see no point in an impersonal god either. For full disclosure I should also point out that I was baptised, first holy communioned and confirmed all within the Roman Catholic Church, I went to a Catholic school for my secondary education (excluding the year in the States) however, I don't think I ever properly "believed" and my religious education at high school probably only helped me to come to the view that there isn't a god, in fact one of my RE teachers spotted that I was an atheist before I did.

I believe strongly that the Church of England should be disestablished, the removal from the statute books of all the remaining anti Catholic legislation, Anglican vicars should be allowed to stand for parliament and I don't believe that schools should be required to hold a daily act of worship. However, Nick Clegg is wrong though to say that religion and politics should stay seperate, they can't be for one thing, not in a country where so many people do have a religious faith and where so many people develop their ethical standpoints from what their faith teaches them. Also no section of society, in this case the clergy, should not be silenced politically because who they are because that is censorship, which I think most of us are agreed is wrong.

No let the clergy speak and where people agree with them, let them be cheered and praised and where people disagree with their views - disagree and oppose through evidence and facts not by telling them to "grow up" and complaining that it's not fair because the Church of England "wants to be nasty [to them] the BNP" Eh Nick Griffin? When you get called on your vicious lies you whinge and complain and want the people calling you out to be silenced, you vicious lying scumbag.

21 May 2009

We Are Now In Single Digits

Until the due date, which of course actually means not that much as the baby could come now or he could need to be induced in mid June. I would advise him to come about now as he's got a better chance of having his birthday off school during the Whitsun half term (I went to a Catholic school that's what we called this half term).

I had what could possibly 38 weeks midwife's appointment. I am the picture of maternal health, my blood pressure is 110/70 there was no blood, protein or glucose in my urine everything else was as tickety boo as could be expected at this late stage, i.e swollen ankles were not held against me.

The baby is no more engaged that he was last week, he's still bang on for dates and very active which is a good sign apparently.

It looks like the iPod is going to join the choirs eternal, it can be charged up, and we could "get it working" if very slowly, I tried to sync it with iTunes last night which didn't work as some of the files were fatally corrupted. iTunes then tried to reset it which failed a couple of times so the long term prognosis is not good. Simon says that I can have his iPod touch when the new iPhone comes out, but that may not be until June/July and I'm not sure how long I can last without my iPod.

19 May 2009

Ipod Statue

It may not be as dead as I first thought, Simon is trying different methods to dry it out and we've got it going enough so that it shows up start up screen but not much more at the moment. But fingers crossed there may be life in it yet.

18 May 2009

A Moment's Mourning Please

I killed my Ipod touch, I accidentally dropped in the lavatory and although it was only submerged for a few seconds if that, the damage seems to be irrecoverable. We've dried it out, but it hasn't come back to life. What is really annoying about all this is that it was my surprise extra special Christmas present from Simon and I am so cross with myself for being so careless. So although it can be replaced it just won't be the same.

17 May 2009

Graham Norton Saviour Of Eurovision

Or to be a bit more prosaic the saviour of the Beeb's coverage. El Tel had lost the plot years ago and he sounded like a man who was too old too tired and too confused by johnny foreigner to be covering the show. He'd been ruining my enjoyment of the programme for at least the last five six years. Graham was a delight, I thought, he didn't take it too seriously and most importantly made it clear that other performers can be popular in European countries without us hearing of them something Wogan forgot or never understood in the first place.

I thought the British song was a bit meh, but it obviously was the right sort of meh for the show. Be interesting to see if Lloyd Webber writes the song for next years Eurovision or if someone else has a go. I just hope we don't end up taking it too seriously because after all the music has been pretty uniformly shit since Abba won it. And as a viewer I enjoy the misguided frocks and attempts at gay euro disco than I do the actual songs.

15 May 2009

I'm Sure

... That there is something I should be blogging about but I can't think what it is at the moment.

10 May 2009

Is That The Time?

Sorry about the blogging outage but I've just not seemed to have had the time or the inclination to blog.

I'm sure that you don't want to hear my whinges and grips about being pregnant, I am going along nicely and the baby's head is now 3/5 engaged (THIS DOES NOT MEAN I AM LIKELY TO GO INTO LABOUR ANY MOMENT NOW) but boy is it uncomfortable and tiring and I'm bored with the whole thing. The uncomfyness and tiredness has been a main preoccupation for the last few weeks so you've been spared some major whinging trust me.

But cat naps aside it hasn't all been daytime TV and gaviscon. No, we got the nursery sorted out, bought a new car 3 and half year old Golf TDi 2.0 it's the nuts. I went to kiddiecare near Peterborough met up with my mum and bought a pram, cloth nappies, various bits of cot bedding, stuff and a baby bath thermometer.

We've also entertained, bought a bbq, garden furniture. Planted seeds, planted out seedlings and tomato plants.

I've learnt the joys of online grocery shopping, Sainsburys since you ask. Really pleased with the service so far.

I've spent a lot of time in the bath, great for getting comfy and reading books although nothing too heavy as it has to fit round the cat naps and not fall out of my nerveless grasp into the bath when I start snoring.

So now you know what I've been up to mostly. My due date is in twenty days and the hospital won't let the pregnancy go beyond 14 days so at some point in the next 35 /36 days we shall become parents.

30 March 2009

Where Did All The Energy Go?

Today is the first day of my maternity leave, I am now a "lady of leisure" for roughly another 8 weeks before the mayhem begins. It was lovely to be able to turn off the alarm and turn over for another hour or so of shut eye, or as close as you can get when you've got a baby jumping up and down inside of you and an urgent need to visit the lavvy. But nethertheless it is still lovelier than having to get up to go to work with no chance of actually catching up on missed sleep or over come the tiredness.

Ah yes the tiredness, I know I can no longer do have as much as I would like, so I decided that I would start as I mean to go on, one biggish task a day which will keep me ticking over, getting out of the house and not turning into a day time Teevee junky. Today was a trip to Morrisons for a big shop. I was knackered before I got to the confectionary isle, I managed to stagger round the rest. Just. I think if the checkout girl hadn't kindly unloaded the trolley for me, I would have still been there now, trying to lift out a bag of cotton wool balls to put on to the belt.

Lesson learnt - Big shops are too big.
Possible Solution - Online shopping.
Most Probably Solution - Simon carries on doing the big shops.

25 March 2009


We've just been to a local hotel for dinner, it was an odd place, a lot of time, effort and love had been put into doing it up in the late 90s and the day to day standards are very high. No nasty communal liquid soap dispenser, each sink had a free standing soap pump and a hand towel to dry your hands if you didn't wish to use the hand driers. It was incredibly clean, neat and well cared for. The huge shame was that all this work had been done by someone who has the taste of a deranged granny with a fetish for commemorative plates and brasses.

There almost wasn't a surface in the ladies loo that didn't have some knick knack or dust collector on it' the pot pouri was in a wicker duck, the walls had porcelain masks and ladies summer hats hanging from them. The fire place in the bar had a flotilla of large brass statues sat on its hearth, and an electric fire glowing with amber coloured glass, through out the art on the walls really belong in the cyber walls of my Bad Art Group on Flickr (unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me). The food was ok, but a bit lacking in vitamins, and sadly for all you lovers of kitch the atmosphere in the bar was pretty lacking so I doubt we will be going back.

19 March 2009

How Am I Supposed To Do That?

Lots of good advice gets thrown at you when you are pregnant especially about what position to lie in when going to bed. First off - Don't lie on your back - very good advice it is too for the later months what with the possible potential of fainting and that it is rather uncomfortable too.

Then there is the advice for dealing with particular ailments such as heartburn/indigestion/acid reflux - sleep with your head raised up, use pillows to prop yourself up at night. It helps stop the acid from flowing up so easily.

If the other end of your body is bothering you and you have feet and ankles the size of Tasmania then the best thing to do when going to bed is to raise your feet up so that they are above your heart, pillows are great for this as are a couple of bricks under that end of the bed to raise up the whole of the bed.

But what do you do when you are like me, suffering from heartburn, oedema and find it really uncomfortable to sleep on my back? How exactly am I supposed to raise my head up and my feet above my heart at the same time, whilst sleeping on my left side? Since when did I have to be a contortionist? Exactly how many pillows do I have to take to bed at night? And where exactly is my husband supposed to sleep?

14 March 2009

We Don't Do...

Gender Stereotype in our house. I've been watching the rugby and poking the fire, throwing logs on it etc, while Simon has been bimbling about in the kitchen cooking dinner and dancing to pop music. Just to mix it up later, I shall do some sewing (making a patchwork throw for Jnr) and Simon will be knocking nails into walls, no doubt with his bare hands.

26 February 2009

Been Sleeping

I've not blogged in a while mostly because I've started to feel tired, so tired again. That and discovering Twitter was actually fun, if you keep it small. Valerie blogged about the meaningless of facebook and flickr if you have so many contacts you can't remember who they are and why you added them in the first place. I agree and I've felt this from the very start, so I've never let my friends and contacts lists grow too large and I've been selective over who I've added especially facebook where I could add many more people who I know through work, high school in the states and friends but I haven't because it's not the quantity of people you know it's the quality of the relationship you have with them.

I know it is very fashionable at the moment to diss the social networking sites but they do have a valuable place in the get gamut of communication which where I disagree with the "get off line and do something else" theme that has been running. That's great of course and I interact in more traditional ways with lots of people every day. However in about a month's time I will stop working, for a short while I will be without a car and stuck at home in a very small hamlet where I know only the next door neighbour who works, very near a town where I know practically no one. Of course this is going to change again, we will get another car so I won't be stuck in the boonies, we will start going to anti-natal classes where I shall start making a new set of friends and acquaintances as we bond over the ridiculousness of the breathing exercises. But there will be a gap, and the internet, along with the phone will help stave off the loneliness and the boredom I am most likely to feel.

11 February 2009

History of the Internet

Concise and lovely looking history of the internet.

05 February 2009

31 January 2009

We have moved. I am shattered. We have so much space we don't know what to do with ourselves just now. That will change as we get used to it no doubt we will think it cramped. It feels wonderful to have my things around me again we are using my bedframe and Simon's mattress in the 'master bedroom' as that's the best combination sir looks and comfort.

We've got so much space in the living room that we have my oversized sofa and simon's three piece suite spread out and we still have more than enough room for a dining room table and chairs if we had them. The danger is that we buy extra furniture to fill the space but we are only renting this house, there is no guarentee that we will buy anything with such big rooms

We are hard by a very busy road and in a small hamlet with bigger all aminties so it's not all perfect but it will more than do for the moment.

24 January 2009

House Hunting

As regular readers will know we've been trying to sell our properties in order to buy something bigger and more suited to a family. And as every bugger knows, the bottom dropped out of the housing market last year, first time buyers either can't get a mortgage, worried about their jobs or keeping their powder dry until the market bottoms out.

Instead we decided to rent out our flats, we've got mine rented and the next step is to find somewhere for the 2 and a half of us to live before we rent out Simon's. We looked a great house today, a good size, with a garden, a dishwasher, two loos which is always good and a wood burner in the living room which will be great at Christmas. It isn't where I would want to live long term as it is in the countryside rather than urban bustle that is King's Lynn but we just wouldn't get the same space in 'Lynn. There are just some temporary transport niggles to square away, we know now we can do it, it's just how and then I think we'll say yes please on Monday.

21 January 2009

Health In Pregnancy Grant

I had another midwife appointment today, everything is tickity boo so nothing to report. However as a public information notice for almost everyone who lives in Britain and is thinking of popping a sprog after the 6th April 09; there is a new one off grant called the Health In Pregnancy Grant - it’s a one off payment of £190, not means tested, or taxable and there is much more information about it on the Revenue's website. Health In Pregnancy

20 January 2009

The Inauguration

photo from Boston.com

I can't remember an inauguration that has caused so much excitement and good feelings, especially here in the UK where we tend to be interested, often very interested, in the goings on of American politics but not fussed about the pomp and ceremony side of it. The BBC had almost as many correspondants covering the event as they did the Olympics last year.

Obama has a hell of a job on his hands to restore US financial fortunes and to get out of Iraq with dignity intact and it not all turning into a nastier mess that it already is. I don't think that all the US forces will be withdrawing though, I doubt they will be handing over all those multi million dollar bases that have been built in the last 5 years quite so quickly.

He has many things that he needs to look at; Gitmo, Afghanistan, healthcare system, infrastructure, education, international relations the list is possibly endless.

I feel very chuffed about Barack's win, I remember seeing him on CNN during the 2004 Democratic convention and boy did he shine, he just oozed charisma, intelligence and that wow I-want-to-be-able-for-you factor, but even then I thought, he won't be able to become president because he's black. I am so glad that I was so wrong.

19 January 2009

21 week scan

I had my 21 week scan today, I’ve not got a picture to show you I’m afraid, as Junior was being non co-operate and was most definitely not presenting his or her best side to the ultrasound. Because the baby was lying in an awkward position the ultrasound operator was not able to get all the measurements she wanted so I have to go back in 2 weeks time for another go at it.

The operator tried to get Jr to move into a more “photogenic” position, first she made me lie on my right side then on my left, finally she had me lie flat again. She raised the foot end of the bed I was on by about 10 degrees which did feel odd and even with all this maternal movement it still didn’t make the baby turn over though it did wiggle its head.

What she did measure was good and I am not worried. I have to go back in a fortnight, if they had any concerns they would not let me wait a fortnight before having a second opinion. We got to see Junior's face full on, although I am gearing up to be Jr's doting mother right now my future offspring looks like an alien as filmed on the camera that Armstrong and Aldrin used to send live pictures back to Earth.

We saw the baby wave its arms about like a good un and the hands moves and the toes, Simon says basically my child was doing an impression of me and refusing to turn over when prodded.

The heart was beating merrily away but she couldn’t do all the measurements she wanted on it, as the spine was in the way. And it stayed like that because Jr wouldn't move even with all my shifting about. So as I said I've got to go back in a fortnight. I think I might have a full fat, caffeine soaked espresso before my scan.

17 January 2009

Baby on the Move

Finally I felt junior move and more than once, so it wasn’t wind. It is a most odd feeling, like being gently kneaded from the inside. Just as I was beginning to think I was having a sloth, due to the lack of movement.

13 January 2009

Odd Side Effects

I had my six monthly check up for my glaucoma today. I seem to be developing a strong aversion to the fields test machine they use at the hospital, the eye nurse did her best to be reassuring but I my stress levels rose as I was doing the test. It makes me feel claustrophobic and I find the beeps and whirling unsettling, which makes it harder to do the test which means it takes more time and so I have to listen to more bleeps and whirls and stick my head into a machine that makes me feel claustrophobic for longer and so it goes in an unvirtuous circle.

After the field test and a quick and dirty eye test I saw the consultant. I immediately had to fess up to have been bad about using my eye drops recently, erm like not actually have taken them for the last *cough* two and a half months. Anyway I didn't get slapping from the consultant but after he checked the pressure in each eye he asked me how pregnant I was. Then he spent a while consulting his bumper big book of medicines which probably did not give him much assurance. He told me that as the pressure in each eye was just borderline high that it would be best to carry on without treatment for the moment and he would check the pressure again in about ten weeks time.

It's good that the pressure in the eye seems to have dropped for now, because as far as I am aware there aren't any recommended treatments for glaucoma that have been checked for side effects in pregnancy, that doesn't mean that they are necessarily unsafe it's just they do not have evidence to say that they are definitely safe. And that's because most glaucoma sufferers are far older than I am and there isn't really a need for checking against pregnancy. The first consultant I saw back when my glaucoma was diagnosed told me this when I told him that we were hoping to start a family once we were married.

Hopefully next time I will not have to stick my head into the fields machine. And the time after next Simon will have to look after Junior I don't think he'll complain too much unless he's stuck in a meeting.

10 January 2009

Testing testing

1... 2... 3...

Trying out a blogging app on my iPod Touch. It is a thing of loveliness my iTouch and the app works off line as well which means you might get a few more blogs from me this year as I'll be able to write down stuff as the blogging groove grabs me.

-- Post From My iPod

Happy New Year

Sorry I have not blogged in a while, for once it has not been blog ennui but rather because we have been rat arsed busy and I've not had the time/energy to do so. It has been all I can do to read other people's blogs and occasionally think of a pithy one liner, let alone conjure up several paragraphs for my own blog.

With the current lack of decent mortgages available to first time buyers and the increasing uncertainty a lot of people have about the jobs it is not surprising that we haven't been able to sell either of our flats so reluctantly we are heading down the renting them out and then finding somewhere for us to rent for when Junior makes an appearance. I say reluctantly because we would rather not have the faff of dealing with letting agents and the rest of the palaver. I've got a tenant moving in next week so we have spent all our time since the New Year getting it into a rentable state as opposed to a sellable state. It is now almost all over bar the carpet cleaning which we will do tomorrow, everything of mine is out of the flat except the white goods, a large bookcase and a step ladder which the tenant will need to change the light bulbs. Georgian building have high ceilings, the spiders get altitude sickness up there.