Friday, 31 December 2010
Sainsbury's very busy, but managed to find everything I needed. Prepped the duck, and set everything up nicely for the evening ... Stilton mushrooms for starter, roast duck with crispy roasties (and stuffing, sausages, broccoli, orange sauce ...) for main, and Alex kindly brought profiteroles for pud ... yum!!
Pleased to have an Alex quiz on 2010 to see it off for good, though I think I might have been the only one really trying (I do love a good quiz), and then we played on Rayman's Raving Rabbids until we felt compelled to see the New Year in by switching on BBC 1 and seeing a very earnest young man talk to us in between some fireworks that looked as if London has been exploded.
I (predictably) fell asleep on the sofa chair at about 1ish and pretty soon went to bed, leaving Andrew, Alex and Fishy addressing the Ravings Rabbids well into 2011.
Thursday, 30 December 2010
Then, instead of seeing Megamind (our original plan, scuppered by getting the time of the film wrong), had a wander round Borough Market and met with Charlie for dinner at the Charles Dickens pub on Union Street ... very warm, not too busy, nice food.
Then back to Borough to meet with Andrew, Tony, Ruth, Wela, Erika, Dan and Alex for Karaoke at The Old School Yard. A funny place, where they had converted a small room into a lazy Karaoke facility with dodgy Chinese karaoke system to match, we had some fun with some rock classics, but song selection was a bit limited.
Ruth and Wela came back to stay at ours, first watching the 'Brixton Christmas Carol' video ...
Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Sunday, 26 December 2010
Great to see the whole family, and we had a relaxing Christmas Day with an ENORMOUS turkey with all the extra bits (stuffing, sausages, bread sauce ... yum!) and a magnificent pavlova. A walk, the Queen, some lovely and thoughtful presents and a little sleep later, we indulged in a family game of Monopoly in which Andrew snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
And today? Baked potatoes await, and I think another relaxing afternoon, possibly including some writing. And the baby is now showing a liking for Paolo Conte ... good taste! Just keep kicking ...
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Woke up this morning listening to the Chris Evans Breakfast Show (a particfular favourite of mine, having been very keen on his Drive Time show from my P&G days). Really enjoyed today's show as he was broadcasting from York, with Archbishop John Sentamu ... not only the coolest clergyman in the world and all round good guy, but also one of my travelling companions during my visit to Cote D'Ivoire last year.
Another chilled out day at work, getting some long overdue jobs done as well as having a fun team lunch. Then Pizza at Erika's with her and Theresa, and a lovely cosy evening spent chatting before returning home to lovely Fish, who had not only done a great interview but also had written 1400 words today ... I am very proud of him!
All packed and ready for Christmas and going up to Lincolnshire tomorrow ... let's just hope the overhead lines on the East Coast train route stay up!
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Helped Charlie a bit with his interview prep before bed.
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Then to Alex's briefly to preview the project from the weekend ... looks spectacular, watch this space!
Jon was due to be back from Madrid and staying with Nat, but after his flight was delayed and she was feeling pretty under the weather, seemed most sensible to give him an airbed at ours. Had to meekly and apologetically sneak into the spare room where Laura and Gary are staying to get the sleeping bag for him, felt bad but necessary!
And the overhead cables are down on the London Kings Cross to Peterborough train route, so although they will hopefully be fixed in plenty of time for our journey on Friday, there is really no knowing in 'Frozen Britain'!
All feeling like the hecticness that only Christmas can bring! Fah-la-la-la-laaaah!
Sunday, 19 December 2010
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Laura has gone out to meet Gary, who has apparently managed to get the train from Manchester, despite the snow.
As always, loving the view from our back kitchen window ...
Friday, 17 December 2010
Thursday, 16 December 2010
Has gone very cold again ... big black coat at the ready!
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
But most importantly today, Laura arrived. So good to see your best friend after they have been away so long. After a year and a half in Sri Lanka and a term in China, she will apparently be heading off to Malaysian Borneo in Feb which sounds so exciting!
But for now she is very sleepy, so after a lovely afternoon of chatting and eating, she has gone to bed and I need to make more progress with my jobs ...
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Was just lying in bed and, due to a string recommendation from my colleague Cat, decided to play the baby the Glee version of 'Don't Stop Believing'. And lo and behind, lots and lots of kicking ... or maybe dancing. Was great, you could even see it really clearly.
Am now watching the BBC's Decade of Discovery , the subject of yesterday's blog, knowing I can have a lie in as I have the day off. Hooray! And Laura is coming to stay, even better!!
Only one small fly in the ointment, have lost (and now cancelled) one of my debit cards. Pretty sure I left in teh self-check out in Sainsbury's, but they claimed not to have it, so had no choice but to cancel it. Sigh but I suppose every rose has its thorn!
Monday, 13 December 2010
More great animal pics from the Guardian, this time for a BBC programme looking into new discoveries over the last 10 years, hosted by Chris Packham.
Pictures like this fascinate me, and are the reason I can watch the 'The Deep' episode of 'The Blue Planet' again and again and again. As you seen from my blog, I tend to veer towards cuddly primates (see my love for pottos) and weird and wonderful sea creatures (like the above, and my husband, who is a Fish).
Maybe one day I will do a degree in Zoology after all ...
Sunday, 12 December 2010
Met with Alex and Andrew to swim, with my costume still fitting (just!), then to 'The Rest is Noise' for brunch with Charlie and also a round of 'Blockbuster'. Had a little wander around Brixton, including finding a bargain 'Fat Face' top in a lovely shade of coral red in Barnardos.
Spent the day starting to tackle transforming the study into the nursery, starting off (and getting no further than) sorting out all my crafty 'making things' bits and pieces. The main objective was to get rid of anything I no longer would use or need, assign any useful items I don't need to the charity shop bag, and to make everything fit neatly in the smaller shelves in our bedroom.
Was somewhat long and arduous, though did occasionally get distracted by beautiful things and fabulous ideas. An almost full bin bag, a semi-full recycling bag and a full charity shop bag full later, progress has been made. And now there is somewhere to start putting all the baby books and bits and pieces I have started to accumulate.
Charlie has been exceptionally good at following through with his words over the last few days, and even went straight on to sort out some painful house company duties (filing our tax return) before bed ... he has an incredible capacity to get through these kind of tasks!
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Up relatively early for me on a Saturday at 9 to battle with the Post Office, which gloriously did not have a queue, and then met up with Matthew (who was in town for a conference and a James concert) for a cup of tea, before going to Balham to get my hair cut by the lovely Rachel. She was very pleasant, and easy to talk to, and of course I enjoyed being pampered. Thinking now that I should have asked her to take a bit more of the length off, but no worry. She has made my hair look neater, more interesting and slightly shorter. Almost bought a moses basket at the Farah shop, but as it wasn't quite the bargain I was seeking (it didn't include the stand) decided to pass.
Back to Brixton to go to Kirsten's for her Danish Christmas-fest. Charlie was a little hungover after a night out with Keith and Andrew and others, but by this point in the day was coping better (hangovers are nice not to worry about at the moment for me).
There were lovely candles, traditional Danish decorations, traditional Danish paper-crafts, and various different cooking triumphs (including about a million biscuits). Had a lovely fun chilled out afternoon, and then Kirsten, Zoe, Charlie and I stayed up very late to play Lord of the Rings Risk. A strategically great game, but I was a bit too tired to appreciate it when it passed Midnight. A thankfully short 2 minute walk to get to bed.
Thursday, 9 December 2010
Had a constructive day working from home, and looking forward to my massage this evening, though not particularly looking forward to going out into the cold to get there.
**** UPDATED AT 11pm
The massage was WONDERFUL and totally worth the trek out in the cold. Baby was kicking strongly in the middle, which actually helped me to relax. My back has been getting a bit sore, so it was a complete relief.
Bit disappointed re the news on tuition fees ... can't bode well for access to education, social order or other future legislation.
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
A very festive quiz yesterday, probably my last attendence as substitute, where I helped with knowing the 3 headed dog in Harry Potter is called Fluffy, that the Darling children in Peter Pan had a dog called Nana (though I may have said Nanny, oops) and that Doc Brown in Back to the Future had a dog called Einstein. Yes indeed, my specialist subject is pointless ephemera.
Working from home tomorrow, then looking forward to my preggie massage at Independent Mind, Body & Soul in Balham in the evening. Joy! Especially with a fun but not too busy weekend ahead.
Sunday, 5 December 2010
Before he went, we both stared at my tummy for a few minutes, as I had seen for the first time a little bulge become visible and then disappear. It was quick but definite, she is getting stronger by the day! But she doesn't seem to want to perform for her Daddy ... will happen soon enough :)
Saturday, 4 December 2010
Spent some time with Fish, talking about his Grandmother. Her death has affected us both, especially him, quite profoundly. Not surprising, considering how close they were.
Anyway, as Jon and Miri are over from Madrid for the weekend, took them with me to see Emma H from work at her flat, where she had soup, mince pies and mulled wine. Also, the studios near her house were having an open day, so had a wander round there.
Cooked garlic mushrooms, beef stew and M&S cheesecake for a cosy dinner in for us all, including Alex and Andrew, before spelding the evening playing indulgently on the Wii together.
Thursday, 2 December 2010
I almost can't believe it. Having been to Greece almost every year to see them since 2001, and for Charlie for the whole of his life, she seemed so timeless. I am so pleased she made it to Erika & Dan's wedding this summer, to be a part of such a happy occassion.
And for her to know that we are having a baby, apparently she had been told it was going to be a little girl before she died. So now we have to be sure we are passing all those values she taught us to the new little one, making sure she grows up with the spirit and fire of Yaya Erika in her.
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
Have been feeling quite emotional all day. For some reason, knowing the baby will be a girl means that I can see much more clearly her whole life stretching out in front of her. I think about what work she might do, who she might date and, even before I go through it myself, what children she might bear.
I feel a strong and very positive pressure to be a great role model for her, for her to grow up in a fun and free environment, and to feel an unbreakable bond with me and Charlie. He can teach her 'Go' and 'Carcasonne' and I can teach her how to bake bread and brownies.
And she can be whoever and whatever she wants to be.
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Am nervous and excited about the next (and final?) scan tomorrow. Hope the baby is developing well and maybe we will even find out if it is a girl baby or a boy baby. Having felt at the early stages it was a boy, I am now completely on the fence. We shall see ...
... also, have added baby carrier pic :)
Monday, 29 November 2010
Despite feeling very pleased not to be out in the freezing cold air this evening, found myself with no compulsion to do any of my ever-accumulating tasks. Have uploaded some more photos though, of Thanksgiving, meeting Richard & Christine, and Nathan & Caroline's wedding. Enjoy!
Sunday, 28 November 2010
Braved the cold to get back to London at a reasonable time, fortunately the Tube strike was not yet in full swing.
Saturday, 27 November 2010
Friday, 26 November 2010
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Was slightly helpful, knowing that a female donkey is called a Jenny, that Dick Dastardly's car in Wacky Races was 00, Boris Karloff's name, and unfortunately that Peter Andre's son is called Junior (the shame). Didn't win, but not a shameful loss either.
On a very different note, below is an image of flamingos forming the shape of a flamingo. So random an occurance that it proves there is a God? Maybe, or maybe the flamingoes just like to have a laugh.
Have also discovered by happy accident that I can write Hindi क्धेबका व्ज्रेवा रुरुरु ओस्क्व्ब and Tamil எஹ்ர்க் ௪ல்ப்ந்ஹ்ஸி ந்வ்க்சே and other scripts on my blog ... how useful!
Monday, 22 November 2010
Big highlight was the instrument made entirely out of old fashioned car horns with bulb ends which he played expertly.
Sunday, 21 November 2010
A lazy evening, spent catching up on e-jobs and watching 'Some like it Hot' with Fish, who had a necessarily productive day writing 3,000 words.
Baby seems to be wiggling every now and again, but still can't wait for it to be more pronounced so I can show Fish!
Saturday, 20 November 2010
There was a military theme too, with Nath being in the RAF ... was interesting learning about the different medals and uniforms. Excellent food too, avocado and lamb and a lemon tart. And we 'accented' the speeches with a bit of buzzword bingo which was well received by the groom.
Straight to bed on getting home, ready for an early morning the next day.
Friday, 19 November 2010
Headed back tired, but on taking a call, decided to meet Alex, Jason and Andrew for a quick drink at the Trinity, knowing we would have a lie-in the next day.
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
But Street View has now mapped the whole of the UK, including my parents little road (hence the pic below), and for some reason this feels more invasive, even though I don't live there anymore. The house I grew up in, which we used to run round and round and round ... and where my parents still live. My mind wonders to where they were when the car went round Spalding and these shots were recorded. Or even when it was taken, no leaves on the tree so winter time is a good bet. What if people don't want pictures of their house on the internet to a scale where people can zoom into their windows and see what they were watching on tv at the time? The house does look lovely though, so neat.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Sunday, 14 November 2010
And then on to see Christine and Richard, distant family from Eugene, Oregon. Was great to talk family trees, babies, US politics, all in the yummy setting of Carluccios restaurant. They very kindly gave us a couple of baby related gifts, and above all it was lovely to catch up. I hope Robin will also be able to join us next year, as I know he and Richard would have so much to talk about.
Saturday, 13 November 2010
A leisurely jaunt by train from Euston to Birmingham to stay with Miranda and Nigel, and to see Jess, Ruth and Wela. Miranda goes down as one of the most incredible hosts I know, with homemade bread, a guestroom in the loft and scrabble tile cushions with an 'E' and a 'C' on our bed. Ok, that was our 30th birthday present from earlier in the year, but a wonderful touch nonetheless!
A lovely day, relaxing with a cup of tea in front of the surprisingly entertaining England vs Australia Rugby match (as opposed to the painfully one-sided Scotland vs NZ match).
An excellent curry later, we returned to watch the boxing, which was surreal. It had the build up of WWF wresting from my childhood, and was over practically before it began.
Tried sitting quietly to see if I could feel baby move. A couple of twitches, but still nothing conclusive ... a least it seems baby doesn't like rugby ... phew :)
Friday, 12 November 2010
After digging around in the damp trunk of a fallen Australian tree in a rainforest, I expected something completely grotesque and pointy. Instead, the velvet worm turned out to be extremely cute, with bimbly legs and a soft coat, so I thought I woud share it with you. Happy weekend!
Thursday, 11 November 2010
Still slightly disorientated and tired, verdict seems to be that baby is having a growth spurt. So mummy gets sapped of all energy and ability to use reason and logic. Oh well, guess it is a good sign!
Even had a washable nappy lesson at work today from Marianne, who showed Cat and I the wonders of pocket nappies, boosters, poppers etc. Was actually quite exciting, I think I have been so weirded out by having my life ruled by dirty nappies for a few years, that I have been making it worse in my mind than it really is.
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Sunday, 7 November 2010
Then to Streatham to play board games with Charlie, Alex, Kate and Greg which consisted of me watching 3 rounds of Galaxy Trucker (quite happy to0 watch rather than play), a jolly reminder of how fun Run for President is, then (after Alex had left) a couple of play-testing games of Greg's game 'Fern's Kitchen'. When we first met him, he showed us his 'Who Stole my Chicken' game which looked pretty fun, so v fun to be part of the actual game testing and tweaking.
Saturday, 6 November 2010
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Also managed to charge up and register my new snazzy internet phone today ... it promises so many fun things, but I am a complete beginner. One step at a time, it was hard enough just to figure out that I had to put the battery in before I charged it. D'oh!
And also, I am pretty sure that I have felt the first wigglings of a little baby Fish in my tummy. Hard to describe, kind of swirly and wiggly is the best I can really do. Not fizzing, like some have said, or even like fluttering. But reassuring, all the same ... especially as I become more and more convinced that I am not imagining it. Go baby go!
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Rotherhithe seems very much like East Anglia ... as it is a peninsula, unless it is your destination, there are never reasons for nearby folk to go through it. So we, as adopted Londoners, had never really explored the area. And it is quite beautiful, with old warm pubs and endless wharf buildings (Ware House And River Frontage ... who knew that 'wharf' was an acronym?!).
It was a chilly evening, and as we wandered round it was exciting when we reached the culmination of the walk ... the tunnel entrance itself.
The above picture depicts one of the banquets held in the tunnel for stakeholders, in an attempt to raise more money to finish the job. It is a remarkable story, but mostly without visuals ... as the tunnel these days is used by the London Overground line.
So how, you may well ask, could we go in the tunnel to look at it? Well, we did not see any of the horizontal tunnel, but as the Brunel Museum had managed to make a deal with the engineering contractors, a new concrete floor had been put in place so people could see the vertically cylindrical entrance hall, where people used to descend to see the tunnel, and walk through it if they were brave enough, in Victorian times. So, it was more old and musty than spectacular ... but it was more about what it meant and represented, than how it looked.
And the welcoming central heating of the old Mayflower pub was very well received by us, and we tucked into some fabulous winter fare before pootling home.Not too inconvenienced by the Tube strike in getting home, the buses were kind to us.
Monday, 1 November 2010
1 - Listened to a Guardian podcast about the Millennium Development Goals, about how so many of them revolve around women ... education of women so they can pass on that education to the families they are raising, in terms of health, good living, nutrition, making choices, childbirth ... the list is endless!
2 - Read a painfully true Guardian article about the lack of strong genuinely inspiring role models for young women today. That the media is filled with 'princess' stories about heiresses and vacuous women whose only vision of success is marrying some rotten loaded footballer with dodgy values. Feeling suddenly angry and passionate about raising my children to aspire to greater things, not just the traditional gender stereotypes that the media continues to proliferate.
Clicked through to the website http://www.pinkstinks.co.uk/ and felt very drawn to the 'i'm no princess' and 'future ROLE model' themes it is trying to inspire.
I am sure I am acutely aware of all this stuff from being on the brink of parenthood, makes me pleased that I was a bit of a tomboy when I grew up, surrounded by grubby football playing boys who have never particularly treated me as a precious princess ... in a really good way. I like being a grounded, intelligent woman and I am proud of it. And, if I have a daughter, I hope I can pass that groundedness on to her.
Cheryl Cole, Kerry Katona, Katie Price and Paris Hilton can all kiss my @*&.
Sunday, 31 October 2010
Thursday, 28 October 2010
Cold is improving, though still coughing a bit.
Thinking pumpkin soup will go down well as we play werewolf in the afternoon on Sat.
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
On a completely different note, I just wanted to talk briefly about how beautiful letters and words are. Partly from the joyous year I spent studying Calligraphy, partly my love of the English language, and partly from my annual greetings/Christmas card outputs, I know that lettering bring such joy, and yet we all take it for granted. This can be seen at the moment by the tirade against 'Comic Sans', or as I might rename it, the 'annoying clown font'.
For those of you with a spare 2 minutes, you can do this quiz to determine what type(face) you are. To be fair, I din't quite agree with what it suggested for me, but it was such a joy to look at the other types that I am now convinced that it is just because the questions could not quite address the complexity of being me :)
Monday, 25 October 2010
Don't think it is 'flu, don't think I have ever had 'flu. No temperature, just feeling wretched, achy, hurty throat and oodles of snot. Drinking lots of fluids, I hope it passes pretty quickly.
Sunday, 24 October 2010
Don't feel too bad in myself, but will be taking it a bit easy today. Mainly just hoping the cough doesn't get worse. Might have a lazy bath and cuddle up with a blankie in the lounge. Hopefully Natalie is coming round for lunch, and Jon is cooking an epic curry for the occassion, so shoudl also hopefully help to clear up my sinuses. Here's hoping!
Saturday, 23 October 2010
Have made the final adjustments to this year's Christmas card, so that is now all ready to go. Some good advance planning there! Then spent a lot of the afternoon cooking, making a Shepherds Pie for dinner, making a lasagne for the freezer, and making gooey chocolate brownies for dessert, with creme fraiche and a spiced plum compote. Was great to spend a bit of time just playing in the kitchen, with the new Star Trek and Empire Strikes Back on in the background to keep me amused.
So great to have a cosy warm house full of people (E, C, Andrew, Alex, Jon, Erika T, Kirsten) now the evenings are drawing in, and great to feed them all after a long tiring days walking ... they all looked knackered! Alex also kindly brought round a bottle of champagne to toast the foetus, was nice to have a bit of celebration. I had the teeniest sip, was totally worth it!
Erika T went home early, not feeling too good, and after Alex and Andrew left, C, K and J watched 'Falling Down'. Was a bit confused by the laughter I could hear as I fell asleep, I didn't think it was a comedy!
Friday, 22 October 2010
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Dinner afterwards at Pizza Express, lovely to see the Keats, Jacksons, Smiths, a Toth and a Jongberg!
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Sunday, 17 October 2010
Saturday, 16 October 2010
We all brought Caroline a pair of knickers for her 'bridal trousseau' (I still don't know what that is!), and one brave and brilliant soul (not me) knitted some!
Then back home to prepare for an evening out in Shoreditch, hairpins and red lipstick at the ready for full 40's glamour.
Had lovely chats with Caroline, the South America ladies, and another pregnant lady Claire, who is 7 months and was happy to chat about her NCT experiences.
Moseyed on home to meet with Fish who had been writing at the Ritzy all day, and yet again indulged a craving for a Macdonalds Cheeseburger (why that? I never usually eat Macdonalds?!?!) on the way home.
Friday, 15 October 2010
Highlights include the pottos (of course), meercats, penguins, the spotty stingray. Then joined a bit bundle of lovely ladies for the first meal to kick off Caroline's hen weekend ... a weekend of fun awaits!