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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Signed, sealed, delivered…

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Well, how momentous has the last week been?! Not only have we exchanged, completed and MOVED but we have already started painting and decorating! Amazing has wheels can turn so painfully slowly and then all of a sudden it all happens in a matter of days.
Technically we have only moved our bodies- me and Tim have slept their for the last few nights but all our stuff is coming in a lorry tomorrow. This has meant we have been able to rip up carpets, paint the kitchen and pull off wall paper.
We spent our first night going “Uh oh. What have we done?” – overwhelmed by the mountain of of making over needing to be done before the baby arrives in November. But it is amazing how significantly action can change your frame of mind. Once we started attacking the ugliness, dominating that worst of the eighties badness, we began to feel better about things, and now we are positively stoked!
The grimness was so bad that I didn’t even take many “Before” pictures- I just couldn’t bear to point my camera at it. But I took enough to hopefully capture some of the transformation and, crikey Jim, it needs a transformation.
My next post will be the kitchen make over. From pine covered grime to shabby chic lushness….
In the mean time here is Tim looking pretty proud…

I love lamp and B for Betsy

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After the brilliant news that we are exchanging on Monday (house buying speak for swapping contract for cash) and a joyous evening of dancing to the All Stars at The Scoop I arrived home late on Friday night feeling not at all tired, but very craftilicious and filled with energy. I tried milk drinking, yoga, all sorts, but I was just too excited to go to sleep so took it out on some objects around the house.

First, I bettered an old lamp with the aid of some scrabble letters. I love lamps, their ambient warmth, the endless possibilities of crafting them up. And I love scrabble letters; glued on to the end of clips to stick in my quiff, stuck onto old wood with a dollop of paint. So I did a little match making, using a line from a Coldplay song. Lights will guide you home (Minus some vital L’s and a G- anyone got any spares?)…

Then I paired up a white summer blazer with a cherry dress, both of which fit me no longer, and made a B for Betsy, our little friend, offspring of the fabulous Mel, who is having a birthday tomorrow. Mel used to run the kids club I went to and now she is Mum extraordinaire, with a whole hoard of the coolest little people in a lovely Camberwell home too.

Off to go an play with my mums just-bought chickens, yay for poultry in the garden, fresh eggs daily. Maybe next summer we will get to go on a chook buying journey ourselves. Woop woop!

Introducing Nessa and Stacey…

Update on the whare and the pepe

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After putting in the hard word on the house we are trying to buy the vendor’s lawyer assures us that exchange should happen this week, with completion next week. Our ultimatum of 31st July will “definitely be met”…. or so he says! This should be cause for celebration but I think after so many promises we still feel hesitant about getting out hopes up.

Meanwhile the bump is steadily growing – 5 months old now- and wriggling around no end. We are trying to remember that the baby is already a little person so are attempting to sing and interact with my tumultuous tummy, which provides me and Tim with mucho laughter.

A friend lent me an amazing book about Hypnobirthing. It sounds, well, yes, let’s face it, odd/Paul Mckenna-ish. But it is much more logical than the title might suggest. It is filled with beautiful birthing stories, the history of obstetrics and natural child birth, as well as loads of tips about preparing for birth. I have read loads so far this pregnancy but this is my top book so far, I devoured it in one day.

Oooh, how I love, love, love being pregnant and am so looking forward to birthing this little soul.

Even more wild and even more swimming….

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Bad news on our house purchase, Tim spoke to the estate agents yesterday, who, in the vein of the last three months said “Oh GREAT news, the vendor has just sent off the VERY LAST piece of paperwork! Should only be another week now….” Shiver my timbers, it is driving us spare. We are going to have to bite the bullet and give a serious deadline. If we are not in by August then that is that. (She sobs.)
If it wasn’t for the fact that we are absolutely loving summer we would be going truly bonkers. We have just had the best weekend exploring some wild swims from our new book, and some extras. On Saturday we took a cheapo train to Lewes then cycled 4 miles through the meadows of the South Downs to Barcombe Mill. There we swam in the River Ouse amongst the most glee- inducing scenery and with a very angry vicious swan that tried to take off Tim’s toe with his royally protected beak.
On Sunday we took a train to Staines of all places, and there found a hidden delight in an old gravel pit that has since filled with spring water and become a lake to rival many of the UK’s best. (This was after a couple of hours getting lost on our bikes on motorways and ending up at the wrong gravel pit that has since become a land fill, wah!) The only people we saw were 4 lads who had their Wild Swimming book tucked under their arm and had been in the water for 2 hours! It was warm and clean and serene.
Then, as if two swims on one weekend wasn’t enough we rode up the Thames to Penton Hook Island and jumped in this granddaddy of rivers. You would never think this was the same river that my dad fell in when he was seven and had to get hospitalised for rabies or something like that. There were herons and fish and clear refreshing water. And an ice cream man that gave Tim a freebie because all our money got pinched when we left our bag on the train.
So, here’s to a summer quite different to the one we were anticipating. We thought we would be plastering, building and decorating our new home. Instead, we are pregnant and splashing around England’s best rivers and lakes. Things could be worse, I guess!

(Me and Tim last week. Who ruined the serenity with a huge blow up dinghy, eh?!)

Halfway through and declaring Mums Matter!!!

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From one mum to be to another…

This week I am halfway through my pregnancy, it is hard to believe that in November I will be snuggling up to a tiny, slimy, startled new born. I have loved the last few months of growing into motherhood as a life swells within me. I have never felt more confident or empowered as I do right now- I have had a bit of a transformation of sorts. Prior to March I was ambivalent about pregnancy and birth, I saw it just as something to swat out the way before you get the prize. But through a bit of reading and talking to friends I have come to see it all as a mystical joy and am beginning to feel proper pleasure in my pregnancy and even in the idea of pushing a human being through a certain passageway. It has got to the stage where I am even a little cynical of hospitals, I feel as if every bit of prodding they do takes away a little bit of my new found power, so much that I am even considering turning down my big scan next week.

What a luxury this is! To be able to give or take medical care. You see, I know my odds are good. I know within seconds of anything going a bit wrong with my living room labour I will hear the wail of an ambulance siren and that within minutes I will be in a crisp, clean ward with many attendants. This knowledge gives me real freedom and has allowed me to get to this place of feeling utter trust in my body.

Last week I went to the launch of Mums Matter- a campaign mounted by Oxfam and the Women’s Institute. I saw a video there that gave a small insight into the lives of expectant mothers in Malawi, lives that would be very much like yours I imagine. It really simply outlined some of the tangled issues leading to the awful fact that 1000 women a day die in childbirth, across the world. This is just completely overwhelming.

I can imagine that for you, the normal anxieties around pregnancy are doubled, trebled, blown sky high, as you think of all the women you know who haven’t made it.

It seems tremendously unfair that I am defending my pregnancy from over-medicalisation while literally millions of expectant mums around the globe can’t even access the barest minimum of care.

You may know that just a few days ago our jolly Prime Minister and his gang at the G20 announced a commitment to maternal health and contributed more money to meet this very important Millennium Development Goal. This is all very nice but there is a serious possibility that this cash will just be taken from other areas of need which would be slightly ridiculous. As Dorothy Ngoma, director of the National Organisation of Midwives and Nurses of Malawi puts it; “This money for maternal mortality will mean nothing if it is simply recycled from aid for food or education.”

I want you to know that I will spend the next half of my pregnancy encouraging people to join the Mums matter campaign. Although we are miles away, over here we do have power and we can each take a couple of seconds to do the smallest thing to make sure maternal health becomes a genuine priority, and not one at the expense of other aid areas and Millennium Development Goals. People can just click through here you to send an email to our Prime minister and join thousands of people looking out for mums across the world.

Meanwhile my ‘dilemma’ over whether to take that trip to the scan next week continues…