Thursday, 21 June 2007


Today's things:

  • Ma has been and gone, it was lovely to see her, it really helped me.
  • The obstretician was great - listened to all my worries, we discussed coping strategies and medication and I feel much better about feeling so odd, although I still feel odd. If you see what I mean. I can take up to two extra pills each week at bed-time to help me sleep and have also been prescribed piriton to take if I need it, which apparently doesn't effect the baby but will make me drowsy. Hopefully a few good night's sleep without waking up and seeing things crawling over the ceiling will help. The message was 'you are not mad, these feelings are not completely uncommon, look after yourself and keep plodding on'. I can do that.
  • My chicken-sitters came round for cake, coffee and an orientation session this afternoon and are all set for next week while I'm away. They would probably be slightly more confident if we hadn't been chased out of the garden by the bees from one particular hive, who were annoyed that Ma and I looked in their house this morning. I think the thundery weather makes them grumpy. The bees, not the chicken sitters.
  • We have had an insultingly low offer on the house from the people who came for a second viewing on Tuesday. TWENTY PERCENT under the asking price. I hate all this cocking around that goes with house-buying and selling. We have a house to sell. It is on the market at a fair price. Either put in an offer around about that figure, or bugger off and look at houses in a price bracket you CAN afford. Actually, I think they are warming up for a haggling session and probably can afford the asking price. But still, the same applies. Head games suck.
  • Now I am here on my own again I don't feel great. Quite sad, a bit nauseous and a bit like I want to cut at my arms. I fly out on Saturday evening to join B in Cork for the week. Only another forty eight hours to hang on to my sanity on my own.
  • Pregnancy sucks.
That is all. Thank you, and goodnight.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

more snuff, and fishy madness

Firstly, apologies to Graeme, who came here looking for sites about snuff to link to his Yahoo Group; not sites about snuff, as I nasty-mindedly assumed. My time at The Company That Cannot Be Named For Legal Reasons has made me very cynical about the internet and I am therefore a Bad Person. Sorry Graeme. I still can't work out why Google pointed you here though - unless it WAS because of that very early post about TCTCBNFLR.

Secondly, the people who came to look at the house yesterday afternoon are coming back for a second viewing this morning. Hence my thrutching around on the internet to calm my nerves before they arrive at ten. Cross everything, please.

Thirdly, I have taken the plunge and got myself a last minute appointment with the obstretician tomorrow to discuss medication. I have been going through quite a severe phase of resenting the bump, being revolted by the idea of the baby inside me and just wanting it all to be over so that I can give it to someone else and leg it over the horizon. And then feeling really guilty that the baby will know that I don't want it.

Not entirely healthy.

I'm okay - doing lots of parenting myself, knowing that what I'm feeling is hormonally or chemically produced, knowing I'm confused. But I need a bit of help.

So I phoned them up yesterday after a chat with a friend (*waves thank you*) and then phoned my mum. Who was in a Good Place, relatively low on the Fishy Scale of Madness, and is coming up on the train either this evening or tomorrow morning to stay for a night or two. (Quote: "It's not that I'm worried about leaving your father dear, I shouldn't worry about dreaming that he's dead, he's tough as old boots and has got quite a lot of mileage left in him yet. He was out on his scooter yesterday and is quite happy. It's more Foxy (the dog). His blood-sugar is really high and I have to carry him up the stairs to bed at night").

I think that B has phoned her too and had a word with her; and he's told me not to worry about anyone else's problems, just to concentrate on myself and keeping steady.

Right. I'm going to go and randomly open and shut doors and windows for twenty minutes now and do a last minute Dead Vole Check. More later, if there's more to tell.

And Steg, I haven't forgotten your interview - it's just I'm a bit crap. Sorry.

Monday, 18 June 2007


Today I would like to extend a warm welcome to the two people who came here via Google looking for 'nagging secretaries' and for 'snuff sites'.


I don't think that you found what you were looking for, but I hope you enjoyed yourselves anyway.

Also, 'snuff sites' chappie - in a completely loving and non-judgemental way - UGH!

I am working today. Oh yes. I am doing the VAT return, aiming to close off the books for our end-of-financial-year, sending out P60s and payslips to the casual crew and getting together a list of email addresses for our first email newsletter later this month.

I have also done a quotation. My very, very first.

I am so proud. It's for a wedding next summer and I have massively, massively overestimated the amounts so that I don't end up in a hole in six months when they come back to us and say "well, you said we could have a giraffe in box with a window for 99p including delivery".

It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be though - the plan is for me to take over more of this side of the business, so that B can concentrate on designs and actually going out there and doing the work.

In other news, a couple came this afternoon to view the house. They are talking about coming back for a second viewing. I have passed the point of getting excited about any of this now - I just want it all over with, so I can stop feeling stressed.

More tea now, I think.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

orange daps

orange dapsWe've had a very productive day today - a big box of stuff to the charity shop (did you know that the Sue Ryder people can claim Gift Aid on items as well as on cash donations? Well they can - 28p for every pound; so we signed up for it.)

Then we moseyed around Welshpool for a bit, which involved B buying a book and me buying a pair of orange daps *. See my orange daps! They are orange! And they have little flowers on the toes!

And then ... we had lunch. Lunch! It was a date! We had lunch together! In the same place! People brought it to us! We sat at a table! Together! In the same country! The same dining area!

It was a very nice lunch and if you are ever passing through Welshpool I would thoroughly recommend The Royal Oak Hotel, especially the goats cheese ciabatta thingies. And B says that they serve a nice pint of Bateman's XB.

And then, we came home.

Now, we are doing the expenses so that I can do the VAT return in the week. We are doing it with not terribly good grace, only helped along with tea and strawberry cream cake. I am blogging in a brief hiatus whilst B tries to remember what he claimed for in the LAST expenses run three months ago.

Hence this is quite a long post.

* Which I believe is Somerset for 'plimsolls'. At least, I didn't know they were called anything BUT daps until I left home.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

books that have to go ... (updated)

UPDATED: There's 35 in the list now, rather than 20. I've greyed out the ones that have gone.

Okay, I have books to get rid of, in a whole 'moving house soon' kind of way. No charge for the books - a pound each for the post and packing to the UK, email me if you're outside the UK and I'll find out the cost. I can't cope with eBaying them :). Email me for paypal details. And yes, of course you can have more than one.

  1. Out On a Limb - Shirley Maclaine
  2. Don't Fall Off The Mountain - Shirley Maclaine
  3. Cloudrock- Gary Kilworth
  4. Demelza - Winston Graham
  5. Selected Letters - Marcel Proust
  6. Ages In Chaos - Immanuel Velikovsky
  7. Birds Without Wings - Louis d Berniers
  8. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
  9. Colours Aloft - Alexander Kent
  10. Seal Morning - Rowena Farre
  11. Love of Fat Men - Helen Dunmore
  12. Desert Taxi - M Marriott
  13. The Medieval Economy and Society - M M Postan
  14. Horse By Horse - A Field Guide to Horse Breeds
  15. In Search of Schrodinger's Cat - John Gribbon
  16. The Penguin Dictionary of Archaeology
  17. Goats and Goatkeeping - Katie Thear
  18. The Endometriosis Natural Treatment Program - Valerie Worwood and Julia Stonehenge
  19. Premenstrual Syndrome - Dr Caroline Shreeve
  20. Raven Seek Thy Brother - Gavin Maxwell
  21. English Society in the Early Middle Ages - Stenton (2 copies)
  22. The Beginnings of English Society - Whitelock
  23. Tudor England - Bindoff
  24. The Black Death - Zeigler
  25. Renaissance Europe - Hale
  26. The English Reformation - Dickens
  27. Europe: Hierarchy and Revolt 1330 - 1450 - Holmes
  28. What Happened in History - V Gordon Childe
  29. Still Digging - Mortimer Wheeler
  30. Wales Before 1066 - Donald Gregory
  31. 1066 And All That - Sellar & Yeatman
  32. Life in Shakespeare's England - John Dover Wilson
  33. Late Middle Ages - Myers
  34. The Method and Theory of V Gordon Childe - McNairn
  35. The Greek Myths - Graves (in 2 volumes)

Another twenty next week some time. Probably.

jam, jerusalem and perineal massage

I am struggling to parent myself this week. B's away until Friday and I have been thrown on my own quite low mental resources a bit.

Yesterday though, I met up with four other chicken-keeping types (and pigs! and sheep! and ducks!) for our monthly-ish lunch-that-extends-in-to-the-afternoon. This time, the discussion ranged from how to get jam to set if you can't add Certo (Country Market Regs, apparently), via perineal massage (don't click if you are of a sensitive nature) to how long hens can retain active sperm inside themselves (about four weeks).

It was fun.

The Ladies Who Lunch have also worked out a chicken-and-cat sitting rota for me, which means that I can join B for the last week of June at the Cork Festival; so I have booked my flight with Ryan Air and just need to work out how many trees to plant to offset it.

Kate is coming for lunch today, so I need to get myself up and about before she arrives at 11.30-ish. And the man from the rescue centre is coming to collect the stray cat tomorrow afternoon, which will be good - she's not much bother, but cleaning her out twice a day and paying her the attention she needs is just another thing to do at the moment.

I am definitely going through another down patch - I don't want to be pregnant, I don't want to have the baby, I just want to curl up in a ball and cry and if I start I don't think I'll be able to stop; so I'm desperately trying to keep it together. The babe is lying horizontally across my belly at the moment and it's sore and uncomfortable and kicking me in tender places. I am fed up.

Self pity, so attractive. Sorry.

See me pull myself together and go and look for some clean socks! See! Here I go!

For today, that is all.

Monday, 11 June 2007

indecent exposure

Today, I would like to talk about nipples.

No, no, come back! Not another pregnancy-related post!


You know. Nipples, but on men.

I know that all men have them. And I in no way object to their actual existence. In fact, I am the first to admit that I am happy, nay, proud, to be a part-owner/operator of the pair that are attached to B. Although, thinking about it, 'operator' is probably an overstatement, because they are, after all, vestigial, aren't they?

And that is, in a round-about, unclear and rambling way, my point.

Why is a certain type of chap SO PROUD of his non-operational, vestigial-man-nipples that the minute there is any glimmer of sunshine, the t-shirt gets whipped off, the chest exposed and there they are, positively flaunted for all too see.

Or in my case, to try to avoid seeing.

I am not completely prejudiced. I just feel that there is an appropriate time and place for optimum exposure - on the beach is fine. In the privacy of ones back garden or the back garden of a friend is fine.

Sitting at the table next to me in the beer garden; or walking up the High Street is NOT FINE AT ALL. It makes me uncomfortable.

Because, actually, it's not about man-nipples at all, is it?

It's about masculinity. Testosterone. It's about 'see me, here I am with my Tarzan-Like Chest exposed to the world, proving what a perfect specimen of the human species I am by allowing all the females around to wonder at my physique, whilst my fellow males stare in bemused envy'. It doesn't seem to matter whether there actually IS a Tarzan-Like Chest to expose. Many exposed chests which I have had the misfortune to observe have been most UN-Tarzan-Like.

It's wrong. It's disconcerting. It's rude. All of these, because it makes other people feel uncomfortable.

And it's also a Very British Thing.

I don't remember being anywhere in Europe and seeing anyone other than British men semi-naked anywhere other than the beach.

Why? Why do British men feel that this is appropriate summer behaviour? Why do they feel that it is okay to subject the rest of us to their semi-naked dominance rituals? Answers in the comments. And sunglasses sent to the usual address - preferably some kind of design that immediately goes pitch-black when a man-nipple comes in to sight.

For today, that is all. I go to scrub my mind.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

trusting to luck

I am taking a brief break from mucking out the entire house - the estate agent rang at ten and asked if someone could come round to view at three this afternoon. As we've been either a) away b) maniacally busy c) maniacally stressed or d) sleeping, all week, the entire place looks like the set from The Young Ones. Hopefully they won't want to look in the fridge.

Because of the Not Previously Mentioned Stray Cat Issue*, the house smells like a cat rescue centre. And I am having a not-really-able-to-lift-things day. So I am not going to bother to hoover. I'm not even dressed yet - that is probably the most sensible thing to do next.

More post-viewing.

UPDATE: Well, they liked both the house and garden, a LOT. But the chap has arthritic knees and ankles, so they don't think that the steps to the garden will make it suitable for them. But, such a lovely, lovely couple (originally from Tadcaster, so also, very VERY Yorkshire). And I didn't mind having tidied the house for them. Unlike the people we had the other week who let their small children run wild around the house.

I am now going to make myself a nutritious smoothie and sit and read a brain-lite novel for a bit and luxuriate in my clutter-less house.

Oh, in other news, B has been having a nightmare trying to sort out technical issues with the kit for a theatre show. The show is currently in Vienna and after a lot of bench-testing and compatibility testing (including the inadvertent surprise-explosion of some of the kit whilst they were testing it) between them, he and the suppliers seemed to have tracked down the problem and the suppliers have sent out replacements. Which TNT have sent to the wrong country. How do you confuse Austria with Eire? Okay, the show is going to Eire next - bloody luckily - however, Eire wasn't mentioned AT ALL to the suppliers, who organised the delivery. Just the venue address in Vienna. So mental note to self - NEVER use TNT for ANYTHING.

And for today, that is all. Thank you, and goodnight.

* very young, very thin, very dirty, very pregnant - but quite friendly if you ignore the tendency to nip and the fact that she nearly had the top of my finger off while I was giving her a worming tablet - and now in a four foot by two foot cage in the sitting room waiting for the Montgomeryshire Cat Rescue to have space to take her. All repeat after me - ALLY AND B CANNOT HAVE A FOURTH CAT BECAUSE THEY ARE HAVING A BABY IN SEPTEMBER AND ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH ANIMALS, POULTRY AND INSECTS TO LOOK AFTER. Just to make that clear. *waves ingratiatingly at B*.

Thursday, 7 June 2007



Wednesday, 6 June 2007


Sealed bid in, have been told we should find out tomorrow. Productive marketing meeting had with Marketing Guru, including lunch. Evening out with Kate and Vic for their anniversary and my birthday, including Tiramasu.

All letters posted, all goals achieved, all white-wine and soda's imbibed.

Tomorrow: I am interviewed by Steg. Which has taken me AGES to get around to. Sorry.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007


Today is definitely A Better Day, in official, portentous capital letters.

Lie-in, tea and toast in bed, sunshine, feeling a bit more on top of things:

  • have written the letter in support of our sealed bid - it's ready to go, but we are going to phone up this afternoon and ask how many other they have received so far.
  • dentist VERY nice man. I only need a small filling, time tba.
  • in the process of paying some bills and chasing some cheques - quite satisfying, actually.
  • broody hens all in the right place and happy with their eggs.
On a slight down-note, we had a dead vole at 4.30AM, but Betty gave it up very easily and B chucked it out of the window. That was also very, very much out-weighed by a phone call this morning telling us that some very dear friends are finally pregnant. Good news.

In other news: I have had a chat with my GP this morning regarding escitalopram - it seems like one is advised against breast-feeding whilst taking it. This was kind of expected and not an enormous deal - of course breast feeding has advantages; but there are also significant advantages to me staying sane whilst producing and tending to the baby.

Swapping to Seroxat, which is pretty much the only similar medication that has had enough research done on it for breastfeeding to be deemed 'safe', seems like it might be a really bad plan. Partly because of all the Bad Things that have been said recently about it; partly because I think I've been on it before and it made me like a zombie; but also, because if one comes off one kind of anti-depressant medication and goes on another, whatever they are, there can be a two or three month period where you are, basically, up the creek (a professional term I made up myself) as the different levels of chemicals in the brain balance themselves out.

Not ideal.

And on the positive side, we like the idea of B being able to participate in feeding from Day 1, too.

Now I am going to partake of a little lunch, pay some more cheques and sort out the Cupboard Of Doom in the spare room - in to piles for eBay, Freecycle, Charity Shop and Tip.

See my pre-emptive de-cluttering halo.

Monday, 4 June 2007

not actually an issue

Not great today. Had a lovely weekend, but now I'm home I'm stressed about:

  • cash flow and paying bills - not actually an issue as there's money in the bank.
  • looking after the broody hens - not actually an issue, as B is going to help me shift them about.
  • putting the sealed bid in for the house - not actually an issue as we have decided what we are going to do.
  • waiting to see whether the people who came last week who like the house actually want to buy it - not actually an issue as there's nothing we can do about it.
  • dentist appointment this afternoon - not actually an issue as I am no longer petrified of the dentist per se; it's just that it involves talking to people and that's not high on my list of capabilities this morning.
I feel a bit sick, my head is buzzing and I'm having trouble keeping hold on reality and not curling up in to a foetal position and crying. A nice cup of tea and a gentle wander to talk to the chickens is probably what's needed.

Also, some of my nappies have arrived. Well, not MY nappies exactly. But you know what I mean.