Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Who would...

...dress their baby up in a Santa suit, rendering him a cliche of Christmas commerciality? It was a present, a present, I say! We love it though.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Controversy and the Contented Little Baby Book

I decided that if I borrowed it from the library, I would only be taking a peek - a mere skim read - and would not step into the controversy by spending 'good' money on The Contented Little Baby Book, by Gina Ford. I am now thrown into disarray!

Gina claims that, once trained ( or 'Gina-ed' ) her babies barely cry more than an hour a day. She thinks colic may be caused by breast feeding on demand - babies take too much and their stomachs and can't digest it in time.

Her remedy is a strict regime of naps and wakings and - here's the killer for me - only feeding ever four hours. I expect that for the first few days of any such regime, Hugh would be apoplectic with baby-faced rage if he had to wait four hours to latch on. The hypocrisy is this : I eat every 2 or 3 hours and have done all my life (I'm a normal weight). Lordy, I'd be tetchy without my snacks.

However, I can't deny that Hugh has no routine whatsoever at six weeks old. He will feed (or cry and fuss) for 30 minutes or an hour - or 2 to 3 hours any time of day or night. If it's a 2am to 5am stint, it's a tricky one. My energy levels are a lottery depending on his pattern.

Then I try to analyse other parts of Gina's theories - if you let an adult sleep and eat (from an overflowing food table) as much as they wanted, they might get over-tired, bloated and grouchy. Maybe a baby does need structure - even if it protests by screaming? Oh, ma heid is confused... There is so much conflicting advice in the big ol' baby care world.

I know I just couldn't wait while our baby cried his wee heart out for any length of time. I don't have the stiff upper lip gene.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

On not ruining it for the other person

When I was at University I was lucky enough to stay in a large hall of residence - it was a bit like living in a hotel with all your friends. There was always the possibility for meeting more students and I remember some of us going to the room of a boy named Keith.

In Keith's room there was barely any wall space that wasn't covered in posters of Sylvester Stallone, aka Rambo or Rocky. Wow, I said, I hate Rambo, he's awful. Perhaps I expounded on why I disliked Rambo's cliched manifestation of gung-ho, Guns-and-Ammo masculinity. Perhaps I wasn't even that articulate. Keith said he'd seen all the Rambo and Rocky films 27 times (or whatever). Clearly we would not be drawn together as natural friends, but if I could go back now, I'd have said, I see you like Rambo, and left it at that.

Years later, I saw a Rocky film and actually enjoyed it - in easy way, with no resistance. I liked Sly Stallone's unabashed acting. Maybe Hugh will grow up playing with guns, a la Rambo stylee. Maybe he'll have a pal called Keith. Keith Karma.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Up for air and into things

Ah well, after 4 hours sleep on a recent night, Hugh let us get more last night. It's like coming up for air.

I made it into town with him today. You hear all the traditional Glasgow patter: one guy says into his phone - Naw, I canny be annoyed wi' that. A middle-aged man sits alone in John Lewis's cafe telling me his wife is doing all the shopping and she's threatening to buy him a jacket. He says, I dinny want any'hing at all. She just brings me to town so she can put me into things.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I didn't really know what colic meant before Hugh was born. It's a descriptive term for prolonged inconsolable crying in an otherwise healthy baby. It occurs in up to 30% of babies (more common in boys) and usually lasts a good few weeks. More colic info here, for anyone who needs it.

Poor Hugh. He has been crying 'inconsolably' in the evenings and the middle of the night for a few hours at a time. It's a total heart-breaker. The midwives have said if you have a 'colicky' baby it's just something you have to get through. It reminds me of the early days of ME when medicine just shrugged its shoulders.

Ah well, when wee Hugh is calmer, I feel even happier for him. I love to see his big eyes looking about the room, with tears forgotten. Oh, the wee man...

Apologies for not keeping up with social stuff. Any e-mails I manage to send are typed on one hand. The other hand is reserved for Hugh joogling.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Greek myths and grandfathers

I love that my father can be randomly dry and surreal. I phoned today and said, 'Hi, it's me.' He replied 'Ah, do you know about Prometheus?' I didn't, but at a random guess I said, 'Greek God?'. Perhaps an item about Prometheus was on the radio or it was something my Dad was 'boring' my mum about...but I like the way he always tried to expand our minds as children and told us all sorts of stories and random facts in the name of education...and love, really. We were like sponges and took most of it in. In latter life, we joke and tease my dad, claiming to be less interested in his encylopedia chat (and tragically we often are less interested. Why is that?!). Furthermore, we tease him if he knows little or nothing of popular 'youth' culture. Merciless.

Anyway, Hugh and I are going to stay at my parents' house for a couple of nights as Nice Man is working away. I'm sure my dad will inform Hugh about the mythology of Prometheus. Hugh will perfect the art of looking spellbound and perhaps stroke his chin in an erudite way.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Randy does Bob

I've been introducing Hugh to some breast feeding music to try and soothe his occasional feeding frenzies when he gets all over-excited and starts headbutting me. His hopeful open mouth flails wildly anywhere from my shoulder to my inner elbow. My song choices have all been a bit girl-y (dare I say gay?). Like Abba and Randy Crawford. Tonight though, he seemed to like it when Randy did a cover of Bob Dylan's Knocking on Heaven's Door. Nice Man will let me away with that one.

White noise was recommended to us to soothe a baby off to sleep. Yesterday Hugh and I both fell asleep to The Archers (very British radio soap opera, world readers). It seemed like a lot of poshos shouting and screaming. I don't usually listen to it. I drifted back into consciousness with the line, What kind of parent calls their child Marshall? So, yes, life still feels occasionally surreal.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

To be Expected?

I've been keeping the blog upbeat recently, but today I confess to the intermittent spells of complete exhaustion. Hugh has started to feed more vigorously at night (for several hours a night) and today we both conked out for most of the day.

Everyone tells you how exhausting the first few weeks are. With my history of illness, it's hard to tell what is what....and I find myself confused...but I do think it may be normal to feel this 'zombie-fied' at this stage of the game.

We've received so many cards and gifts. It's so touching. I hope we can get 'thank you' notes and emails sent out this side of Christmas. In the meantime, I send gratitude across the t'interweb.

Ten past midnight. A bowl of Rice Krispies is what I want, and I shall have it.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Put those handcuffs away

Question: What have playing chess and having a new baby got in common? Answer: It helps to think a couple of moves ahead.

I took Hugh in his pram to the supermarket, to get a few groceries. I suddenly realised the challenge of pushing a supermarket trolley and Hugh's buggy at the same time. I was like a Cyborg with opposing mechanical arms. Come to think of it, I had never seen any other new mums do this. I felt a bit silly. Some people smiled. One old woman refused to smile.

I couldn't dispense with the trolley and put my items in Hugh's buggy's low-slung nylon hammock, in case it looked like I was stealing them. Heaven forbid. I'm sure a court of law would have given us benefit of the doubt (me, Hugh and Richard Madley?) but this is Britain after all - we all get hung up on how things might appear. Best to avoid criminal convictions before 3 weeks old.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Scottish Gas makes us Refugees and we nearly end up in Hospital!

Yes, it's true. What a crazy weekend. Just in case everyone thinks new-babydom is nothing but a giant tub of fluffy happiness, here's a footnote entitled - When It Gets Challenging.

It all began when Scottish Gas came to try to fix niggles in our central heating system. Navy-trousered Gas man spent most of Friday taking the boiler apart and then sellotaping it back together, telling me he'd be back on Monday and the boiler might be 'a bit temperamental', but it should 'last the weekend'. It lasted about 30 seconds. It hissed gently and refused all heat and hot water. Meanwhile I was starting to feel like I was going down with the flu and Hugh decided now was the time to change from being a 'good' baby into a 'watch-me-cry' baby.

Nice Man returned to find us both blubbing and I asked him to phone Gas Man and be Not So Nice Man. No good. Gas Man said we'd need to wait till Monday for 'a part'. Somewhat defeated, we all trekked like refugees (with plastic bags full of nappies) to my parents' house. Thank the Lordy for them.

Overnight my temperature rose to almost 40 C (103.5) and I barely slept. When I phoned the midwife next day, they wanted me straight up to the hospital. Turns out I had a soft tissue infection common in breast feeding laydees (and, mooo, milking cows). My heart clunked lower when Hospital Doctor started using phrases like 'intravenous antibiotics' and '24 hour monitoring'. In the end, they allowed me home (or back to my parents) with oral antibiotics and told me to rest as much as possible.

Today I feel marginally better and we should get our heating fixed tomorrow. I like to think I might be brave enough to embarrass the Scottish Gas Man with stories of blocked milk ducts and Hugh's wailing protests at having his wee world disrupted. At times he was so distressed he looked like John Sergeant. Awww. In a nice way. Come on. Everyone likes John Sergeant these days. That dancing programme....


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Slow and steady wins the race

People keep asking if Hugh looks like me or like his Daddy. Occasionally I am reminded of the tortoise from the Creature Comforts Cartoon. Aww, I mean that in the nicest possible way. Really. Please don't send anyone round to arrest me. In my defence, I am reading the Supernanny 'Confident Baby Care' book and breastfeeding every 4 hours.

I have closed down my facebook and myspace sites - yee ha. I couldn't keep up with them. This blog will be enough. Better go and offer the Scottish Gas Repair man (boy, really) a cup of tea and a bit of cake.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

He Shoots, He Scores!

Camera Obscura (one of the bands that Nice Man works with) sent Hugh a card with an accompanying outfit. The message read - " If he's born in Glasgow, he'll either be a musician or a footballer, so better get him into this outfit pronto". We felt a bit cruel, giggling as we dressed him, but hey, he wears it well and the shorts cover his nappy with adequate sufficiency.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One week young

Well, it's true. They say the memories of the pain of birth start to fade fast. I was all ready to rant about how excruciating it was, how barbaric and almost medieval, but a week later there are new 'headlines' that seem simultaneously mundane and miraculous. Things like:

Sling-sational: Hugh goes to Tesco Express. (The Sun)

Too much Too Young? Partick 'Jakey' invites Hugh to pub for first Pint. (West End Courier).

And - Hugh(ge) Credit Crunch! - Old Woman tries to bless Hugh with Silver and runs out of Change. (Financial Times)

I'll spare you the reports on nappies, crying and cheesy bokes. I think that's all de-rigour. It's all so surreal. I keep seeing Hugh and thinking - who's that baby and how did he get into our flat?


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Baby Hugh Macdonald

Baby Hugh Macdonald is born at 2.49am, Nov 5th 2008, 7lb 110z. Here's to him.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Love to burn? You mean heart burn....

People always tell you that having a child is the single biggest change you can make to your life and everything feels different afterwards and you can never imagine what it feels like until it happens to you. (Patronising to the child-less or child-free perhaps?) Anyway...

I have not reached this 'universes collide' moment yet, and already these last few weeks of pregnancy feel strange and surreal. I feel a sort of 'hush' where I'm less aware of waiting. It's like standing at the side of a stage ready to go on and read your lines. It's daunting - but there's also a relief and stillness, knowing that it's almost time.

I've also been thinking about my propensity to avoid writing. Good God, any excuse not to write! I have decided the main excuse might be vanity. My dad once said that the 'artist' must have the courage to be thought pretentious. He's right. I don't blog things because I think, that's too trivial or too specific (or not specific enough) and generally I wimp-out of writing. Wimp, wimp, wimp. Well, I have these final days of pregnancy ahead, and darn it, I should use them to write more on the blog; to be another pin prick in the galaxy of blogs; to risk being pretentious. Currently, I'm pretentiously pregnant with heart burn.

More soon, readers. Hold me to it!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Things and more things

Right! There is apparently a recognised phenomenon of 'nesting' whereby pregnant women get frantic about trying to get their houses tidy before their baby arrives. I am having moments of mini wars against 'things'. Things like - sunglasses with one leg detached, leaflets from Sunday newspapers on Eco Living or How to Play the Piano, threadbare towels, books I'll never read again, and general dust. Spiders can sneak back behind the bath, if they want.

I don't see the attraction of owning so many things. In fact, I feel cluttered by them. (Nice Man, meanwhile, enjoys collecting, and has 77 million CD's, books and DVDs and thinks I could be a philistine). In my humble opinion (turbo-charged by pregnancy hormones) I am ever more content that 'Content' (ha, see the adjective to noun shift there?) is everywhere for free - TV programmes, radio, music, i-player; books from the library and charity shops. When I'm finished reading or consuming, I like to give the books/things back to the chari shops - a kind of good karma, keep-the-energy-flowing position.

I've heard the term 'infobesity' to describe the general information overload of our media age, and I'm waiting for my next fit of de-cluttering to see if a sudden urge could prompt me to delete my facebook and myspace sites. I mean, this blog is enough, surely ? I can't keep up with social networking sites. They make me want to stare into the middle distance, like a cow chewing grass in a field. Feel the peace of that.

And, of course, space must be created for bambino stuff. It's the five week countdown...bonkers.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Beetroot juice and Billy Ocean

Some child-care gurus recommend talking to your baby regularly before it is born. I feel like a daftie trying to do this, but today I loved driving the car home from work and singing along (loudly, badly, deeply) to Billy Ocean. (I could pretend Billy was merely on the radio by chance, but that would be a lie, dear readers. I am in possession of BO's greatest hits. Nice Man heroically defied his musical DNA to buy it for me).

And guess what - the baby was not being cynical about this tone-deaf joyous recital of 80's-pop-without-irony. Nay, baby was kicking away. This either means it is (A) uncomfortable and trying to move position or (B) contented and happy. I will choose to believe (B).

Thank you for all the comments and good wishes. I have been eating beetroot because the Romans decreed that it was good for strengthening the blood. I bet they made that up. I bet they just inferred it when they saw how the purple juice stained their togas.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

'Awfie Stout'

Well, I am not the poster I used to be. I post far less, I realise. This is okay, surely? Not posting is like keeping a yogurt at the back of the fridge that's a couple of days past it's 'sell by' date. You don't eat it and you don't throw it out either - just in case you might eat it. Inertia gains control of the yogurt - or, in this case, the blog.

I'm pleased to say I am now 32 weeks pregnant. Strangers like to pronounce on my physiology. I do not mind. I am not easily offended by this. Today one woman shouted, Oh, you're awfie stout, hen. I just know it's a boy. A teenage girl exclaimed to her pal - look at her, sooooo pregnant. I love pregnant people. A man in the swimming pool (73 with terrible teeth) bet me 10 pence it's a boy. 'Boy' is the general consensus from uninhibited street punters.

I feel as if it is a boy too - but, of course, I could be wrong. I said to a friend, I feel male energy and she laughed.

Mostly I feel fine, but recent blood tests show my platelets are low - this means my blood is thin and may not clot easily. How dare my blood start to whinge! Does it not know how far I have come to get here? Anyway, we are waiting to see a consultant about the wimpy platelet levels and I am trying to eat iron rich foods and stay cool and demure. I will stay out of street fights and bar room brawls.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Barbapapa and the 37p lemon

Today I am wearing a pale pink jumper and Nice Man commented that I look like Barbapapa - remember him?

World readers might be aware that we are suffering a UK 'credit crunch', and the phrase has to be used on virtually every news bulletin. Of course it's noticeable across all grocery shopping, but yesterday I saw the 37 pence lemon for the first time. In a supermarket too! I remember the stable 15p lemon and the feasible 19p lemon. I had been mildly perturbed by 31p lemon, but wow, 37p? Will it be 45p next month?

Ah, the true cost of man's environmental impact. What on earth can we do for the next generation? Ah well, it's okay...babies probably won't like eating lemons.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lunch box lurkers

Hoorah - week 27 of the pregnancy and I am always hungry. I was sitting in the waiting room of my lovely massage girl, waiting for a foot massage, and I pulled out my (see-through plastic) lunch box to eat the dry crusts I had left there earlier. Yes, that hungry. The receptionist jumped up in fright and yelped. What's wrong? I asked. Oh, she said, as I opened the lunchbox, sorry, but I thought you had a tarantula in there. I've heard about odd cravings in pregnancy, but tarantulas in lunch boxes? Her subconscious must have been looking out for one.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ya Bute

I am becoming a short-cut blogger by just posting photos instead of observations. I persuaded Nice Man to go with me for a night in the country on our nearest island - the Isle of Bute. Having been to the outer Hebrides and grown up on Islay, Bute seems flatter and less exotic. Sorry Bute! There's lots of faded Victoriana, chip shops and seagulls that need ASBOs. We had a good time though. I'd recommend Mount Stuart house and gardens - a posh mansion with splashes of eccentric flamboyance. Gothic high camp. Think stained glass windows for each sign of the zodiac. Very Russel Grant - only these were from centuries ago.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Time's relativity as measured by water filters

I've reached the half-way point of pregnancy - 20 weeks. On the one hand, it seems to be going very slowly....until I change the water filter. We have a water jug to filter tap water and the filter is supposed to be changed at the start of each new month. I find myself thinking - wow, it's time to change it again? Already? So, I've started to measure my gestation in water filters. I have 4 more to go...

I saw another great film last night called The Visitor. Here's a photo from it. Take a tissue or two...


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

In Search of a Midnight Kiss... the indie film I saw tonight. I enjoyed it much more than I had bargained for. Stuart came to the cinema with me and he whispered that the film featured the apartment block he stayed in and the local cafe he frequented while recording in LA.

I've never been to America myself. I'd like to go one day, before flying becomes socially taboo and the world's oil runs out. There, I've gone all Woody-Allen-pessimistic on the environment again. Must-keep-up-eco-morale! We really need to start some lateral thinking on the big issues. Solar panels and wind farms - I open my arms to them all.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lost e-mails, double trews...

Thanks for all the kind messages of congratulations. I hear that some people e-mailed me at my old e-mail addresses and the e-mail's didn't get through. Tiscali and Talk Talk are no longer.

Alas, I lost my Outlook Express email address book when my laptop was stolen and I don't know how to import addresses on the new Windows Vista. For those trying to get in touch, the best way is to email me via the blog link. I think there is a link?!

What a lot of rain has fallen, on these longest days of the year. The breeze is still chilly enough that I have resorted back to wearing the double trew (two pairs of trousers at once). It's a combination that I usually reserve for October to April wear. My sister tells me I should get warmer, further on in the pregnancy. It's like carrying a human hot-water bottle around, she said.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Great Expectations

Well, I'm finally back in the blogosphere, with the happy news that Nice Man and I are expecting a bambino in November. Amazing huh?

The scan above was taken at 10.5 weeks and I'm now about week 17 -approximately 4 months. ( I had no idea about what week numbers meant, until it happened to me). I'm feeling reasonably well and still hope to do my part-time job until Autumn. We won't know if it's a boy or a girl until birth. Glasgow NHS has a 'don't tell' policy, and it's probably better as a surprise. I'm not into all this painting-the-nursery-pink-or-blue shenanigans. Cultural conditioning can wait.

Yesterday I was 'best man' at Stuart and Marisa's Glasgow wedding celebration. I told the crowd to bear with me, if there were a few pregnant pauses in my speech...ha, ha. I also made a quip about baseball that nobody laughed at, so I jumped in and said Nice Man had given me that joke, then got a big laugh.

I'll see if I can post some photos later.


Thursday, March 27, 2008


A morally-challenged man decided to take my laptop and exchange it for some class A drugs, so I'm unable to respond to emails for a while. Just so you know.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Red bananas, blog guilt, creme eggs.

There were 'red bananas' for sale in the supermarket. They actually looked more purple than red. At £1.99 they were twice the price of yellow bananas. I wanted to widen my fruit experience, so I bought them. Newsflash: they just taste like yellow bananas. There, I've saved you a pound.

I have blog guilt for not updating the blog.

I had a couple of month's break from Mickel Therapy when I moved in with Nice Man and started my part-time job. All that is still going well, but readers, I can't say I feel fully recovered. Instead I feel like I often have a way to go and don't know how to get there.

My MT therapist is well-meaning to the point of evangelism. She really wants to help. I went back to see her again and she was urging me back to the process. MT is not about bare effort or force. Au contraire. It's about trying to get into some sort of mind/body flow where mysterious forces combine to lessen the 'symptom load.' The hardest part for me, is that it sometimes feels like bare effort and force and I don't get the gains I'd hoped for.

But, I am not dismissing it either. And that is important. I'm just letting you know where I am and hoping aloud that I can get back into the flow.

It's good to have an Easter holiday. Nice Man bought two creme eggs, and I thanked him for the gesture and confessed that I can't really eat creme eggs (wondering whether I should just force one down, so as not to seem ungrateful, my inner Mickel Therapist crying 'your bodymind won't be happy!') And, furthermore, Nice Man is fully aware of my Gillian McKeith gene. As I hesitated, he popped both creme eggs in his mouth before breakfast, just to observe my horrified response. I might find it easier to stir a bag of white sugar into a tin of syrup and drink it from a chocolate cup inside a vat of candyfloss. I wouldn't feel queasy at all. How did I manage to eat them as a kid? Happy Easter-ing.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

The thing about the taps (and the texts)

You know how taps (faucets) are made of chrome silvery stuff? Well, the bathroom taps in our new flat are merely coated in the silvery stuff and (barely visible to the eye) it's started to chip and crack, like tin foil only sharper. When I turn on the hot tap, I sometimes get papercuts in my fingers. I am learning to turn on the tap by barely touching it. Meanwhile, I'm waiting on the landlord agency to fix my fall-aparty chest of drawers. If I mention the taps, they'll think I'm strange. There's nothing to see. They'd have to move in with us and get a few papercuts before they realised the predicament.

I started getting scam texts that say 'I did the girly thing for leap year and proposed to him! He said Yes! Lucky Man.' One just said 'How the devil are you?'

I'm using a birthday gift token for a scalp massage this afternoon. Oh yes, shall relax.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A bug?

I seem to have gone down with some kind of cold bug that's giving me flu-like aches. How very dare it. I'm not used to this. It shows how well I had been doing. I can't wait to feel better again. Indulge me this boring moany post!

Isn't February going fast? Nice Man is off to Spain tommorrow to hit drums with bits of wood.

My brother, John, directed a documentary on Scottish pop that will be here on BBC iPlayer for 3 more days. I was proud of him.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

The social lottery of Glasgow buses

Getting on a bus in Glasgow is like playing the lottery of social intercourse. Sometimes, you sit beside a person of questionable personal hygiene, who then asks if he / she met you on holiday. (No, of course, is the answer). I hit the metaphorical bonus ball yesterday when I helped a partially-sighted, 93 year old man on to the bus and we sat beside each other.

He was all cheery about the weather - thank goodness for weather as an opening topic to almost all conversations with strangers. He said it reminded him of the days when he got 'a penny fair' on the tram, and he and his wife went to the bluebell woods (now a housing estate) past Anniesland. He had such light in his eyes, I thought he'd be one these guys who had a long marriage. When he told me he'd been with his wife for 70 years (since age 23) and then that she died 2 years ago (aged 88), I got a big lump in my throat.

He told me he had fought in WW2 and he goes swimming every morning and has a wee dram at nights ('just the one, mind'). His 'children' are in their 60's now (unfathomable to me) and he doesn't like to impose on them. He told his son he would go 'chasing the birds' at the bowling club socials and son said, 'you wouldn't know what to do with them, if you caught one.' At that point he gave a big self-deprecating laugh and I noticed how shiny his black shoes were, and I thought how clean and chlorinated he must be after the swimming pool. Almost like a baby.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

boys in green aprons and freudenschade

Now is the time that I wish I'd learnt touch-typing in school. Secretarial studies, as it was called, was generally frowned upon. If you were 'clever', you were encouraged to do languages or science instead. I took German, but I think I'd swap it for touch-typing. These people that can type without looking at the keyboard impress me more than anyone who can use an Umlaut or know what Schadenfreude really means, when you break it down. Can anyone learn to touch type, later in life? i.e. after their brain is hard wired to look at every key, or else thye end up wrtining lke tis?!*!?

Today in my local supermarket there were about 10 varieties of apple. I used to love cox pippin in autumn and granny smith in spring. I asked a boy in a green apron which apples are in season now (half of them are from New Zealand or somewhere a million food miles away). He went to ask another boy in a green apron and together they asked a third boy. The consesus was that all the apples were in season. They're all in season, he said, waving his hand across the display, to lend weight to his argument. Okay, I said, but I didn't believe him.

Here is a good website called Eat the Seasons that should tell us more.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Movers and Shakers

Dear Readers, you find me typing while on the dog-and-bone to my ISP, Talk Talk. I've been on hold for just under a million minutes. The recorded message keeps shouting 'Thank you for your continued wait!' and sounds like Davina McColl. I keep thinking she's actually the customer service person and I jump to attention every 30 seconds.

I am trying to arrange a change of address for my ISP. What's that, you say? A move?! Yes, indeedy. More will be revealed later. It involves myself and Nice Man and it'll be good once we get passed the nitty gritty. Today's nitty gritty involves sticking my head into the back of cupboards (at my current, soon-to-be-'old') flat and finding packets of lentils or self-raising flour marked best before Jun '05. There is a fleeting temptation to keep them, but '05? Come now...

More of today's To-Do's involved throwing random possessions in blue plastic Ikea sacks (socks/books/flowering cactus) and getting ready to plead (when I finally get through to Talk Talk's home-moving helpline) that their requirement of BT reactivating the existing phone line at the new address (ie flicking a switch in an exchange box somewhere) is reasonable, but the fact that BT are then charging £124.99 for this honour, sounds to me like they're taking the mickey. Jeeze, that was a long sentence. And perhaps unnecessarily so! I'm warbling...

Wish me luck.


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pleasing Party Aftermath

Oh, how lucky I feel to have a surprisey party thrown for me, and even better, it coincided with my 40th birthday. Nice Man made me wear a scarf tied around my eyes as I walked in to a mystery destination (yikes) and lo, a room full of people were singing Happy Birthday. Happily still, they were my nearest and dearest and they did place kisses on my cheek and give me presents. Nice Man sang with his guitar and John McCusker got his fiddle out and Heidi Talbot sang this melodic swooper of a song. I tried to chat to everyone at least once, so it was a bit hectic at the time, but in the aftermath, well, it was a pleasing mass of general loveliness. I'll write some thank you cards soon.

PS - I found a tank-top in a bag and I don't know if it was a present for me without a gift tag, or some one's knitwear gone AWOL. I'll wear it, if its owner can't be found. Black and 'V' necked, it's a utility classic to be applauded.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lychee Birthday to me

I was 39 years on this earth before I tasted a lychee. Initially I was wary - once peeled they looked uncannily like eye balls or pickled onions. Yesterday, in the supermarket, I bought a plastic tray of them for a mere £1 and tonight, on the eve of my 40th birthday (see how I dropped that in?) I peeled and savoured several of them in a row and thought how lovely they were. I will tell you if 'life begins at...' in my next post.


Friday, January 04, 2008

Island Hogmanay - part 2

Well, Nice Man and I spent a second Hogmanay on Islay and had a great, battery-recharging, nature-loving time. We took a day trip to Jura, where I lost my fake-fur hat. There are 6000 deer on Jura and less than 200 people, so if any one spots a deer wearing a deer stalker...