Friday, 28 November 2008

tootling along

Apologies - all is well, but we have been up to our eyes in babies, work, buying cars, wrangling chickens and making bacon. I have photos of some of this, but am a) too tired and b) too drunk to post them. Hopefully I will have some time on Sunday to actually write a proper post.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Well. A slight change of plan.

Due to my not being able to cope with another night on my own, I went to collect B from Liverpool last night after he finished work - which turned out to be just before midnight. We got home (with the two children asleep in the back of the car) in time to be in bed for about three in the morning. So to visit Kate and Vic we would have had to make another journey up there this afternoon, on approximately four hours sleep.

We decided not to go - and B rang Kate to tell her. Whereupon she had a go at him; all the usual, boring stuff. He ended the conversation fairly brusquely. And then she rang back. I was feeling pretty robust, so I answered. And found it in myself to tell her that B didn't really want to speak to her because he felt that she was pressurising us.  I stayed really calm, whilst she had hysterics about how upset she was and how hurt she felt by it all.

And then.

She apologised.

She said "I was a real bitch to you Ally and I'm so sorry, I love you all and it's breaking my heart for us to be like this".


Neither B nor I expected THAT to happen.

But it has; and I feel very positive about it all. B feels very battered. But if it was a genuine apology - and I believe that in the moment she gave it at least, it was - then we can move forwards from here. So we have tentatively arranged to meet next Sunday afternoon. They are prepared to come here for a couple of hours. I think in a way we would prefer neutral ground; however, if they come here, we don't have to stir ourselves and they can play with the children.

For tonight, that is all. We are eating Tamworth sausage sandwiches whilst watching an Anime move called "The Castle of Calgliostro" and drinking our own apple wine.

Thank you, and goodnight.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

clucking hell

We are going to see B's parents on Wednesday afternoon, with the children.

I don't want to go. She is still making 'Ally should pull herself together' noises when she speaks to B on the phone. She offered us lunch - but I can't bring myself to eat her food when she is so obviously still hostile toward me.


In other news, tomorrow, we collect the chickens. Yay!

Thursday, 13 November 2008


I'm pretty tired; B has been working virtually ten straight days, most of then away-overnights. I've coped okay, but I wouldn't like to do it on a regular basis. From now on, things subside a little bit - he's made lots of hay whilst the sun has been out and now it slows to a steady pace.

In the meantime, Leo has had a fantastic week. He's not been to nursery because I don't have transport (but I heard yesterday that the Official Receiver *will* allow that we need two cars, so we just need to wait for the insurance money and actually get one).  So far:

Item. Oxo cubes partially consumed, including most of the silver foil - 2
Item. Bruises to head because of ill-advised Toddler Mountaineering - 2
Item. Nosebleeds, ditto - 1
Item. Times poked sister in eye - 3
Item. Times *attempted* to poke sister in eye - about a million
Item. Full-scale tantrums thrown kicking and screaming on floor when told 'no' - 3
Item. Ditto tantrums when mother trying to change nappy - EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME
Item. Times mother has considered turning to drink - uncountable
Item. Days mother is leaving father to cope with them both alone after he gets home - limited only by how many pairs of pants I can get in my bag

The bits without the exhaustion, blood, bruises and tantrums have been quite fun though.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

clippety clop ...

It's rained so much, our field has grown a pony.

It's only a small one; but it's very friendly and also, quite muddy. And skittish. In the sense that it has marched over the fence to get in. And now it can't get out. And it's friend on the other side of the fence is equally skittish and seems to think that if it paws (hooves?) at the wire netting for long enough, a miracle will happen and the fence will disappear.

I have spent that last just-over-twenty-four-hours watching them with my heart in my mouth, because absolutely the last thing I want to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon is spend two hours with wire snippers releasing someone else's livestock from a fence that isn't even mine to begin with. I was hoping that the owners would come and check on them last night (in the approved 'twice a day' fashion) and reclaim them; but this hasn't happened - and no-one turned up this morning.

I did speak to someone walking their dog along the footpath that runs around the edge of the paddock last night; but she didn't know who they belonged to. She did know the next door neighbour of the other person who keeps a horse in the same field ... so she went home to phone her friend to see if they could pass a message along. But nothing has transpired.

Ordinarily I would nip out and see if I could repatriate them myself - but it could take an hour once I get going, because there's all the electrical tape to put back up that they have knocked down; and I really don't want to leave the children for that long. Quite apart from the fact that IT'S NOT MY PONY. I did go out and make friends with the escapee, on the grounds that if it then leapt in to our garden for some reason it would be more likely to let me catch it; and I took Leo out to see it (he was delighted); but that was it. So far. There's no water in there - although it's hacking down so there's plenty on the grass - and sooner or later I am going to feel duty bound to put a bucket out for it to drink from.

Can we all sniff superciliously and say in chorus "How irresponsible of the owner!" and leave it at that for the moment?

I have had a good weekend so far. B went again yesterday morning (back tomorrow night) and Leo and I have unpacked some boxes of books on to the shelves in the living room; and tidied up. So it's a proper living space now. Both yesterday afternoon and today I have lit the fire; and it's very cosy. Currently Leo is having a nap and Eleanor is snoozing on her play-nest thingy whilst I'm curled up on the sofa with a cup of tea. I am starting to feel very much more relaxed and very at home here. Just having the TIME to sit on the sofa is wonderful.

Today, as per the advice to not save clothes for 'best', Eleanor is wearing: a blue fleecy top, stripy leggings and blue socks. By the time I got organised enough to take a photo, the best of the light had gone, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow and see what she's in then. Maybe. If I get my act together.

How long before she starts to resent being dressed up like a dolly?

Now I'm going to put some doors on Freecycle. As you do.

For today, that is all.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

help needed ...

I have turned in to the kind of person who buys frilly dresses for their baby. It's hormonal, probably, and I assume it will pass with time. However, I do have some questions:

1. Do the little frilly knickers that come with a lot of dresses go OVER or UNDER the tights?
2. Do the tights go OVER or INSIDE the vests that popper between the legs?
3. Are dresses for 'every day' wear? Or should I just be leaving her in babygrows for 'about the house' kind of days?

She is coming on in leaps and bounds - she's taking five ounce bottles now, and only waking once in the night. Admittedly last night she was awake for two hours with wind ... but we're getting there.

I'm shattered though - B is away again. I'm hoping Ma will come up for a few days over the weekend, it's going to be tough if she doesn't.

For today, that is all. Leo is rubbing banana in to his hair and I suppose I should stop him.

Sunday, 2 November 2008


Things that make me happy include:
  • Leo coming up and cuddling against me
  • B doing the same ;)
  • Eleanor staring at me in that wise/innocent baby-way
  • Smelling the wind coming in through the back door when I open it first thing in the morning
  • Knowing there is crumble topping in the bottom of the fridge
  • Making biscuits
  • Having a clean house
  • Being able to lift things again without it hurting
  • The kindness of strangers
  • Our own compost
Eclectic. But it's that kind of day.

B came back from a three night away at ten last night and went again at one this afternoon.  He'll be back about two this morning, has tomorrow off and then is working mostly away for pretty much ten days straight. i.e. if he comes back it'll literally only be to sleep and change his socks before he's off again. I've coped really well for the last three days, despite not having a car. Leo hasn't been able to go to nursery; but I've got him in to a good routine where he goes down for two naps of about an hour and a half each morning and afternoon ("Let's just go up to your cot and you can have a little rest and read your books!"). He's awake at seven. And has been in bed by about six thirty each night.

Eleanor is a bit better, snuffles wise. I'm propping her up in her pram and her cot a lot, which seems to be helping. She's therefore able to take more with each feed, so we are going longer between them and I'm a bit more rested. I still haven't taken her out - but the midwives have signed both her and me off to the Health Visitor and she's put on just over a pound in three and a half weeks; which given her difficulties is brilliant.

Tomorrow, I am going to reclaim my chickens from the very kind friend who has been looking after them. And we have another friend visiting for a day or two. Life is starting to come back in to balance - I don't usually mark Halloween in any way, other than to tape up the letter box with gaffer tape and pretend to be out. However, on Friday night I did feel that I wanted to take a quiet moment to acknowledge that it was 'All Hallows' and remember all the people that we have lost this year. It felt the right thing to do, somehow. Apparently the Welsh version of Halloween is called 'Nos Galan Gaeaf', which means 'The first day of the new winter' - or the new year. To me, winter is the beginning of the year; the fallow-time when everything recharges itself and gets ready for spring. So it seemed a good time to draw a mental line under the last twelve months and start afresh.

For today, that is all.