Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Harry Potter book

Hmmm...I can't say I didn't enjoy reading it, because I did. And wasn't really exciting. I'd gotten most of the way through the book before I realised that I was still waiting for the exciting bits to start. Then there was an exciting bit - fighting the Death Eaters in Hogwarts Castle - and then it was all over.

I found it more interesting than gripping - quite a lot about Voldemort was explained but not a lot happens otherwise and the Big Bad himself doesn't actually show up at all.

Probably the most disappointing thing about this book is that it felt more like a deliberate Part One of a two-part series, rather than a stand-alone story of its own. Of course, having said all that, I will probably read the final installment even if it's only to find out how it all ends.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Not today either

But my mate Desiree came over with a bag full of toys for Baby, a Loony Toons cross-stitch picture (hand crafted!), and The Life of Brian on DVD. I've only seen Brian once or twice, and the last time was ages ago, so I was really pleased that it's still as funny as I remember. And the song at the end, Always look on the bright side of life, is just about the most life-affirming crucifixion song I've ever come across...

Friday, July 29, 2005

Not today

I'm wondering whether I ought to have some sort of daily automatic blog post which reads "I'm not having the baby, I just don't have anything to blog about today".

Life isn't exactly eventful at the moment you see, but if I go a couple of days without a post then people might start to imagine I'm already at the hospital, straining like I'm about to push out the biggest poo in history (no really, I've been told that's what it's like).

I've been filling my hours with reading blogs and books and watching Buffy Season 7. Season 7 is way better than I remember it being too; my memory of it was endless episodes in which Buffy tries lead the Potentials, but the first 6-8 episodes (what I've been watching on DVD so far) are actually pretty damn good.

My favourite Season 7 episode so far is the one which is all about Anya. It's got humour (where, as a human, she turns her "big, dumb" boyfriend into a troll and is offered a position as vengence demon), the most gorgeously performed musical number ("Mrs", better than any of the songs in Season 5's Once More with Feeling), horror (frat boys with their hearts ripped out), conflict (Buffy decides to kill Anya, Xander tries to stop her) and tragedy (Anya offers up her life in return for reversing the spell, but loses her closest friend instead).

This episode was so good I watched it three times in one day.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

On being at home during business hours

These days I'm reminded of just how many bible-bashers and salespeople I missed out on when I was working. Only yesterday I had to fob off two polite old ladies who wanted to save me from Hell and damnation. If I had the cheek, I'd say tell such people that I'm a Pagan (the boy would, but then - he really is a Pagan), and on the look out for human sacrifices. However, I'm so polite that I actually let them give me their little speech before turning them away.

Sometimes I'm a little more alert. When I hear the doorknocking, I tiptoe into the front room and peek out of the window to see who's there. If it isn't someone I actually want to see, I just pretend I'm not home.

Fortunately we aren't bothered by Mormons **. There is a whole nest of 'em living at the end of our street, but I think they must have a rule about not hunting too close to home or something; they generally don't come to our door. No, mostly it's the Jehovah's Witnessess ("Jehovah Jehovah Jehovah!" Sorry, that's my Life of Brian memories coming back) and people trying to sell vaccum cleaners, discount books and home ventilation systems.

Then there're the telemarketers. Admittedly, it's better than them ringing up during dinner or in the middle of BtVS (reruns still showing on Sky One), but really, any time is a bad time to be called up by telemarketers. Even if I can fob them off by claiming to be outside their demographic (which means pretending to be under fifteen), or a non-consumer of their products (i.e pretending I don't drink commercially made beverages), it's still five minutes of my precious pre-labour resting time which have been stolen.

I think my non-English-speaking mum has an advantage over me when it comes to unwanted callers.

**Postscript - I should perhaps have made myself clear that, when I said there were a nest of Mormons at the end of our street, I meant there was a nest of Mormon missionaries, as opposed to a God-fearing Mormon family which respects other people's right to their own beliefs (or non-beliefs, in my case). I didn't mean to offend all Mormons. I did mean to offend door-to-door missionaries.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Our baby is gonna be a drama queen!

This horoscope was picked up from a parenting website...

Your Leo Baby - The Lion July 22nd - Aug 23

The Leo baby is, above all else, loud! Forget sleep for the foreseeable future, Mum and Dad. This is a baby who must be heard and will certainly let everyone in their midst know what they want. Think centre of attention, since there really is no other place to be for this tot! With a Leo baby as part of the plan, family life will revolve around this magnetic child.

The Leo baby adores an audience, so it should come as no surprise that many of these tots go on to become stars of stage and screen. This babe is auditioning early on! To that end, this is a child who is also competitive, so maybe they are prepping for that dog-eat-dog Hollywood whirl from day one. When in a playgroup or any social situation, the Leo baby will make friends easily and will thrive on the interaction, since being on-stage is where they're at. Even so, they will have a hard time sharing things such as roles, responsibilities, even toys. The king (or queen) of everything they see, they will be the one making the rules. To sum up, the Leo baby is the leader of the pack, loads of fun and will expect to live in the most comfortable of kingdoms. Pity the parent who won't play along!

Bedtime reading

The stack of books I've been lent to read have proved to be not quite perfect for bedtime reading. It's not because they've been less than good reads; it's because they're too large to hold open in one hand while lying in bed. This especially applies to Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which is big enough to be problematic even when I'm holding it with both hands and sitting upright. However, it hasn't stopped me from finishing it.

I took me a while to get through this book, partly because it's such a big, thick book and partly because of the content. It's written in a 19th century style and chockful of distracting footnotes which, though usually interesting or amusing, don't necessarily add to the narrative. But in the end I'm glad I persisted because I ended up enjoying it tremendously. Like I've said before, it's sort of a Harry Potter for grown-ups. Not that it's more serious, just that the writing style would probably bore the same child who'd tear through J. K. Rowling's latest.

I've passed it onto the boy to read, because I suspect that many of the book's references to English magic are based on actual English folklore or magic lore. He likes that kind of thing you see, because he has a bit of Ripper in him (gratuitous BtVS reference).

I've also finished Atonement by Ian McKewan. Set in a pre-WWII upper class English country estate and WWII France and London, it's about the consequences of a young girl's over-active imagination which puts her older sister's new boyfriend in prison. Quite a large portion of the book is about the boyfriend, after his sentence has been truncated to allow him to enlist in the army. The last chapters tell how the girl, now grown up, tries to make up for what she did. Perhaps it's because this isn't the kind of book I normally read, but throughout most of the book I was simply impatient for something to happen.

On the other hand, the ending made reading it worthwhile because the focus is back on the main issue of the story, and McKewen doesn't try to give us a Hollywood-happy ending.

From the long term memory banks

My extraordinarily practical mum has convinced my rellies in Hong Kong that, instead of buying clothes and things for the baby, they ought to send me money. While I was sitting there hearing her tell me this, I tried to think of what gifts we could do with which would have been cheaper to buy in Hong Kong than in NZ - plenty, probably.

I remember us receiving regular parcels from Hong Kong when we were kids. (It was a mini cargo cult at our house). Usually it was stuff like dehydrated herbs and animal parts, bed linen and clothes which were either way too big, way too small or way too cute for us to wear.

One item I particularly remember finding in one of these parcels was a box of those educational cue cards parents use to teach kids how to recognise words, only these ones were bilingual. There was one with a picture of a cute pink piglet on it, and of course the word 'pig' in English and Chinese. When my mum told me how to pronounce the word in Cantonese I thought it was the funniest thing ever, because it sounded exactly the same as the name of my mum's best friend. It was actually quite some time before I realised that my mum's friend's name was not Pig, but Pearl. (This is where Cantonese-speaking readers will guffaw until the cereal they're eating comes out of their nostrils, because they know that those two words are homonyms.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Any day now

Although, technically, the baby is not due for another 12 days, it could in fact happen any day now. I read somewhere that about eighty percent of babies are born within ten days of their respective due dates, so if you find I haven't posted for a few days then you should probably assume it's all happening.

The boy has getting prepared - he's committed to limiting his alcohol intake to one drink per day until the baby is born, just so that he's fit to drive 24/7. At first, I thought he was doing this as a health thing (because I'm always nagging at him to look after himself more). But almost giving up the booze for a couple of weeks, rather than completely giving it up forever, is still better than nothing.

We picked up our rental infant car seat this morning. The woman we dealt with seemed to be having trouble getting it all buckled up in the back seat, which was a bit of a worry. If a seasoned professional is struggling with it, how long is it going to take for me to handle the thing with ease?

I've been avoiding driving for the last couple of weeks - it's just uncomfortable - so my car's been sitting in the garage used. On the way to the rental place with it this morning, we managed stall several times and flood the engine because we didn't give it enough time to warm up.

I even got my sister out-law to come visit me instead of vice versa, even though she'd have to bring her two young kids with her. She brought cake and I supplied our giant sea-themed jigsaw puzzle for my nephew to occupy himself with. In the short hour they were here, the kids founds several places to leave food - on the kitchen floor, on the living room rug, in the chair in the nursery, behind the rubbish bin and inside one of the boy's boots.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

nursery update

Finally, finally, I thought we were going to finish the nursery. All that was needed was to put up the various wall hangings, pictures and mobile.

Last weekend the boy had bought a staple gun to attach the giant foam rubber jigsaw puzzle to one wall (it's a big underwater sea-life picture). But then he found out that the staples he'd gotten didn't fit the staple gun. I was just itching to get all the other bits and pieces up on the wall, but I thought it would be a good idea to get the jigsaw puzzle up first because it's so big. So I waited.

This weekend the boy went back to the hardware shop to get the right size staples. Those jigsaw pieces are pretty thick, so I was expecting him to come home with the 14mm staples. He came home with 8mm staples.

And, of course, the staples weren't big enough to go through the jigsaw pieces.

Bah. The strategy is now to glue all the pieces to something else (e.g. a sheet), and staple that to the wall. But the boy is going to leave that for another time.

So after confirming where it will eventually go, we put up all the other wall stuff on the other walls, and the big flower mobile is now hanging from the ceiling - so at least it's nearly all done.

It's now only two weeks before my due date, so potentially there'll still be handyman noises going on when I've got a baby to feed/change/settle.

Only two weeks (or possibly less) to go. I'm pretty fed up with the physical discomfort of being this pregnant, but at the same time utterly terrified of the anticipated child birth process. I don't know whether I want this period of time to speed up, slow down or what.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The poignancy of watching Buffy backwards

I haven't been completely lazy today - I've written a post on the above subject. If you want to read it, it's right here.

Otherwise, all I've managed is a few chapters of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, a couple of Buffy episodes and a short walk (it was sunny today - at last). The walk wasn't much fun, either. First my lower back started hurting a couple of minutes after I left the house, then I was hit by pelvic pains which have lasted all afternoon. Despite all my reservations about childbirth and the start of sleepless nights, I'm really looking forward to having a workable body again.

The boy has decided to go out for drinks with the boys tonight. I don't have a problem with it, since he doesn't do it often and anyway, he won't be allowed to much after the baby is born. (That's right - I won't allow him). I'm pretty sure he'll be sensible about his drinking this time, since he's only just recovered from his virus. I just hope he doesn't smell like lighter fluid by the time he gets back, because it really puts me off my sleep.

Paper clip sells for $173

It's true, and it happened here in NZ. An Auckland teenager put a red paperclip up for sale on Trade Me, and it attracted tons of interest - resulting in a winning bid of $173.

I'm glad that the money was donated to the SPCA.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A meme

The Skirt has tagged me for this one, and just as well too - because my day has been utterly uneventful and I would otherwise have nothing to blog about.

10 years ago
I’d been back from my two-year OE for about six months, and somehow managed to end up working in the same place I’d left to go overseas in the first place. I was thoroughly missing being a traveller, and the friends I’d hung out with in Edinburgh. It took a while, but I adjusted to life back in NZ, re-attaching myself to my old friends and drinking buddies. Around this time, I also found out that I was allergic to a whole bunch of substances, which belatedly explained all my hay fever /eczema /asthma problems of the past 20-odd years.

5 years ago
Job dissatisfaction was at an all-time high. I bought What colour is your parachute? and tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t know how to do anything except program computers, but I knew that deep down inside I was no geek. Plans to renovate the house would have kept me going at my job for a while, but the expected cost of the project put a stop to that. In the end my plan was this – pay off the mortgage, become a full-time student and learn to paint.

1 year ago
I was about one year into my job in a public library, having decided to become a librarian, and a few months into my MLIS. The commuting (up to an hour each way) was driving me crazy, the car stereo was crying out to be put down and my enthusiasm for ‘helping people’ was dampened somewhat by the realization that not everyone is going to thank you for being helpful. This was also the time that the boy and I decided to try for a baby.

Too pregnant to do housework, too lazy to do a painting of Piglet for the nursery, I spent all day reading and watching TV. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is quite an interesting story, but I think the author is taking too long to tell it.

Pretty much the same as yesterday. It’s been raining and blowing most of the day, so my plan to go for an easy waddle around the shops fell through.

Apart from waiting for a man from a security firm to come over and do a maintenance check on our alarm system, I’m expecting more reading and TV watching.

5 snacks I enjoy
date scones
Potato chips
Custard squares
Pop Tarts (if I can get ‘em)

5 bands/ singers that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs

I don’t know the lyrics of ANY band's or singer's repertoire. But I do know most of the words to Hotel California.

Some of my favourite bands/singers are:
The Chills
Straightjacket Fits
The Chemical Brothers
Massive Attack

Things I would do with $100,000,000
I’d invest it and spend the interest on guilt-free shopping – magazines, clothes, kiddie stuff. Or else I’d buy the boy a plasma TV screen, myself a snazzy new car and put the rest in an education fund for our child.

5 locations I'd like to run away to

anywhere in Italy
the Greek Islands
the Caribbean
New York

5 bad habits I have

If I think I’m about to fart and I’m in close proximity to the boy, I don’t move away – I just let it out and hope he doesn’t notice. He always does.
eating when I’m bored
succumbing to guilt
assuming that I’m right

5 things I like doing
attending foreign-language film festivals
eating out with friends
reading good books
watching television
eating cake

5 things I would never wear
This is actually hard, because I’d try most things at least once…
Anything with large patterns on it, especially florals
Rubber – unless the boy really, really wanted me to try it
A corset

5 tv shows I like
Excepting shows which no longer air (e.g. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Carnivale, Lost, Father Ted…there are so many…) -

Malcolm in the Middle
Veronica Mars
Desperate Housewives
Harry’s Practice (a kids’ show about pets – it’s so cute)

5 movies I like
Just about any movie with Johnny Depp, exept for The Man who Cried (very boring)
The Matrix (but neither of the sequels)
The Emperor and the Assassin

5 famous people I'd like to meet

This is assuming I wouldn’t be too shy to actually speak to them of course…
Albert Einstein
Joss Whedon
Peter Jackson
Cindy Sherman (art photographer extraordinaire)
Lionel Shriver (who wrote the disturbing We have to talk about Kevin)

5 biggest joys at the moment
Really, there’s just a couple…
The baby
The boy

5 favourite toys
I could only think of four…
The computer i.e. the blog
The digital camera
My painting gear
The DVD player

*** I haven't tagged anyone for this meme. Please help yourself. ***

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Those three words

I read somewhere once that the three words a woman most wants to hear are not "I love you", but "You've lost weight".

The boy reckons that, apart from the wriggly beach ball that is my abdomen (which is apparently growing beautifully, according to the midwife), I've lost weight in my thighs, upper arms and face.

In the months leading up to my getting pregnant, I could tell that I was starting to stack on a bit of weight because my clothes were getting tighter. This, plus my age, had lead me to believe that my post-baby body shape wasn't going to be anything like Elle MacPherson's. I'd been psyching myself up to accept that it was highly unlikely my favourite pre-pregnancy clothes would be emerging from storage in the next twelve months.

But the boy's remark has left me feeling a little more optimistic, perhaps even ambitious, about my post-baby body possibilities. Okay, so the first few weeks aren't going to be particularly active. But later on I can see myself pushing Baby in a stroller up and down steep hills, using cans of baked beans on my biceps and maybe even following yoga exercises on DVD.

I have a chance of being one hot mama.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


The boy didn't get around to finishing off the nursery over the weekend, but I suppose he had a really good excuse. I've been sleeping really badly lately, and my nocturnal thrashings about have been keeping my poor love awake too. On Sunday morning he got out of bed really early - it must've been about 6am - and I didn't see him again until I'd got out of bed myself. By that time it was nearly midday. The poor guy was fast asleep in the nursery, cocooned in his sleeping bag on the leather recliner.

But that wasn't all. Once he woke up he complained of having a headache so bad it nearly made him throw up.

Now, ever since I got knocked up I've been a little insecure about how good our life together has been. Maybe it's hormonal, maybe psychological, but the littlest things have been making me see the happy "thing" we have together as fragile, and anyway nothing can be expected to last forever right? When he's late home from work, I worry that something bad has happened on his homeward journey. When he complains of having an intensely nasty headache, what are the chances of it being a brain tumour?

I made him go to the doctor, and apparently he's been suffering from viral encephalitis. It sounds like some kind of lethal tropical disease doesn't it? But apparently there's been a bit of that going around. The doctor said it was on the wane already, and didn't prescribe anything more than a nice, strong painkiller.

So fortunately, life gets to stay good.

Monday, July 18, 2005

That book about the hell child

I'd temporarily stopped reading Lionel Shriver’s We have to talk about Kevin, because I was finding parts of it really disturbing i.e when the narrator, Eva, tells about her incredibly difficult time with her son during his infant and toddler years. Not only do mother and child not bond, but they seem to be active enemies right from the start, and the father doesn't help because he trivialises all her fears about Kevin's terrorism. I thought perhaps it mightn't be the best thing to read at this time of my life.

But in the end I just had to finish it because it was such a compelling story. Halfway through Ian McEwan's Atonement and several chapters into Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel, I decided I had to continue with the saga of the psychopath's mother.

It's easy to hate smirking Kevin and despise his father, but then Eva herself doesn't quite come across as a sympathetic character either. The story poses questions such as: is it possible to make your own child hate you without even trying; can you truly blame a teenager's murderous actions on bad parenting, or are some people just born bad; are there some people who, otherwise perfectly sane, intelligent and decent, should never have kids?

And quite apart from the fact that you know from the very beginning that Kevin will end up killing several of his schoolmates, Shriver still manages an unexpectedly tragic ending.

I finished it last night, I'm relieved to say. I was afraid it would give me bad dreams, but I think the Buffy-fest which followed (we watched most of the first half of Season 5) prevented that (I had Buffy-themed dreams instead).

Saturday, July 16, 2005


The Skirt has very kindly and generously knitted my child an ultra-cute hat and booties.

I'm quite touched that someone who has never even met me, has put the time and effort into creating such a nice gift. I was dying to see what they looked like, and this morning they arrived on my doorstep...

(The hat is modelled by my red panda stuffed toy.)
Thank you, The Skirt!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Which Johnny Depp character are you?

You Are Edward From "Edward Scissorhands."

You are very shy and often misunderstood. Innocent, sweet, and artistic, you like to pass your days by daydreaming and expressing yourself through the arts. You are a truly unique individual. Unfortunately, you are quite lonely, and few people truly understand you.

Take The Johnny Depp Quiz!

(Actually, it's not true about the 'lonely' bit - not these days anyway).
Found at cubmommy.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger

I finished off the Tigger painting this morning. Here it is...

And the Winnie the Pooh painting looks like this...

Winnie originated as a colouring-in outline drawing printed off the Internet, and Tigger was a colour cartoon which I printed off in black and white (also off the Internet). So I can't really claim an awful lot of creative input. It was fun to do though.

The nursery still looks really boring, because I'm waiting for the boy to rearrange the furniture and put up the paintings and other wall decorations. When it's done (and if by then I'm not in the middle of giving birth) I'll post up a picture of the room.

I really must learn to decrease my meal portions. Every time I make myself too full I end up feeling as though the baby wants to burst out of my abdomen like an Alien creature, and no matter how I adjust my posture I can't seem to make enough room in my body for it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I could so get used to this

It was another 10am start and another day of reading by the kitchen window (the closest thing to a conservatory I have). I went out for a walk to the supermarket and bought some muesli bars for the big day (they tell you to stock up for those breastfeeding munchies), and ended up receiving a bunch of free sample disposable nappies. (I'm still sure we'll be using disposables, despite knowing there's a huge, growing mountain of used nappies out there somewhere. But that's a whole other post).

This was followed by more reading in the sun...I finished The Seven Daughters of Eve (it was very interesting, but I could've done without the mini Clan of the Cave Bear imitations) and started Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, lent to me by Make Tea Not War (I'm only a few pages in but it sounds like Harry Potter for grown ups).

A friend dropped by with presents for the baby - a teddy bear, some building blocks, a couple of cartoon stick-ons for the walls and some sort of large mobile made up of large, colourful flowers. It was really thoughtful of him, but I do wish sometimes that he didn't have that habit of grabbing a topic of conversation and talking it to death - much like how a cat hangs grimly onto a mouse it's caught, despite all efforts to wrench the darned thing out of it's mouth because you fear it's full of rat poison.

Anyway, as I was saying, it's been a great day for slacking.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Filling in time

It's truly wonderful knowing that I have about four weeks ahead of me, of no early wake-ups, no leaving the house if I don't want to and no doing anything else I don't want to.

Yesterday I got started on my second nursery painting, this time a portrait of Tigger. I also started reading The Seven Daughters of Eve, by Bryan Sykes. One of The Editter's offerings, it's actually quite a timely thing to read at the moment. It's all about Sykes' research into tracing the origins of seven genetic European 'types'. Supposedly, all Europeans can trace themselves back to one of seven women. Along the way, he adds weight to the hypothesis that the NZ Maori (and other Polynesian populations) can be traced back to the indigenous Taiwanese population.

Last night we watch House of Flying Daggers. I'd been looking forward to this movie, described by reviewers as some sort of visually stunning martial arts romance, but I wasn't expecting that it would be quite the melodrama that it turned out to be. I'd describe it as a gorgeous martial arts chick flick or Asian-style bodice-ripper (...and the long-haired hero is a badboy, even). It had a better story than Hero, but is a not up to the standard of other Zhang Yimou films e.g. Raise the Red Lantern.

Yep, it's been a fine few days so far.

Monday, July 11, 2005

A belly like a swiss ball-sized bowling ball

The Editter dropped by yesterday to loan me some books - none of which feature murdered children, babies from hell or frustrated artists who find themselves part of a living nightmare (as far as I can tell, anyway). She told me about someone she knows who is also pregnant, and is planning on working right up until about a week before her due date. I was horrified because, with four weeks to go, I'm already totally glad I'm now homebound. It's really uncomfortable at this stage.

After the physical exertions of yesterday's pregnancy aqua class, I was hoping to go out for a bit of a walk today. It's pretty cold today, so it meant wrapping up really well in polar fleece, windbreaker and beanie, but what actually made me return home a mere twenty minutes later was the sheer weight of my belly. It really felt like a swiss ball-sized bowling ball was in there somewhere, threatening to snap my pelvic ligaments. I'm reluctant to use the girdle now because, now that the baby's 'dropped', I don't want to squish the wee thing in tight elastic.

So it's just as well that I have plenty of reading material and DVDs, eh?

Sunday, July 10, 2005


I finally got around to trying out the pregnancy aquafitness class this morning. Despite my predictions that I would be spending every morning asleep in bed, I've woken up at 7.50am both mornings this weekend, so getting to the 10.30am class was a piece of cake.

It was quite fun, although it's been years now since I've voluntarily spent forty minutes trying to follow a perky aerobics instructor. We must've been quite a sight - twenty big-bellied women splashing about in the shallow end of the pool.

The class turned out to be hard work, harder than swimming twenty-odd lengths at my usual slow pace. The hardest part though, is always getting dressed afterwards - especially the socks.

I'd been hoping that this weekend, the boy would get around to moving the nursery furniture around and putting up the wall hangings. It seemed that he'd made a unilateral decision to work on his online gaming skills instead. But I can't really complain too loudly, because he did buy me some more Buffy DVDs (we now have almost the entire collection except for season six part two) and some more baby stuff (wool blankets and wool singlets).

Friday, July 08, 2005


I only found out this afternoon, about the terrorist bombings in London. It was such a shock I forgot to withhold the swear words, and wondered whether any of the boy's friends or relatives in London were affected. My next thought was, 'I wonder if it was a Parisian retaliation for not getting the 2012 Olympics?'.

Anyway, I was relieved when the boy told me his cousins were okay. And hopefully my brother's friends, whom I stayed with years ago, are okay too.

What crappy people terrorists are, to target innocent civilians.

A fond farewell

I'd been looking forward to this day all week - specifically, I'd been looking forward to 3pm this afternoon. My leaving afternoon tea was scheduled for this time, and I knew that no work would be done after (not by me, anyway). Just for the occasion, I contributed a dozen handmade chocolate truffles from Dorothy's Cake Shop.

An hour of eating, drinking, anecdote-telling and baby-chat was followed by a wee presentation, in which I was given some really nice presents: a big soft polar fleece blanket in baby blue (unfortunately polar fleece is discouraged for cot use, but Baby can still use it in the pram); a teeny tiny set of baby nail clippers; a baby backpack (for carrying the million things one needs when taking Baby out of the house); and a super-cute white wool cardigan, hand knitted by the office administrator.

I was pretty chuffed by the lovely stuff I got, considering I'd been working there less than six months and only part time at that. So of course I promised to send baby photos and visit, though my offer to leave Baby at the office while I galavant around town all day was firmly rejected.

Then I waddled out of work as fast as my enlarged, overhanging belly would let me. I have approximately four weeks of sleep-ins ahead of me and I intend to do some snoozing.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

New Buffy discussion blog

Coolest. I've been invited to join a Buffy discussion blog. I'm not sure though, that I'm up to contributing anything more profound than simple assertions of whether the Buffy/Spike affair ever stood a chance of becoming a meaningful relationship.

But I bet Make Tea not War might have a word or essay to say.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


The first thing that the office administrator said to me this morning (after 'Hello, Violet'), was that I'd 'dropped'. The boy also said the same thing last night. Well, perhaps I have, but I honestly can't say I've noticed my belly being any lower than it was a week ago.

I must be becoming less and less observant with time, because I haven't been noticing the baby kicking much either. When I told the midwife, she looked very concerned and muttered something about getting me in for a scan. But in the few minutes it took for her to put goop on my belly and observe the baby's heartrate, she noticed about half a dozen kicks which I didn't. Oops. Oh contraire, I have a very active baby in my innards.

The fact that I've 'dropped' means I'm another step closer to the big day. I'm still waiting (though not impatiently) for my boobs to start leaking, my skin to start showing stretchmarks and for my ankles to start swelling with retained fluid. And that's before the breaking of the waters, the 'show', and the actual labour.

My work replacement started today, and in the middle of the first day of my three-day long handover, my manager decided to take our photos for the staff newsletter. That's when I realised how fat I look in black and white. Oh well, I have an excuse.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The last week of work

I'm finishing work this Friday, and I just can't wait. I enjoy my job and all (it pays better than the library job per hour, I don't have to deal with customers and I only have to be there 20 hrs per week), but it'll be so nice to have a few weeks in which I never have to get out of bed early.

My replacement should be starting tomorrow, so I'll be busy finishing off the stuff I started and handing over everything else to her - that's if she's allowed to work that is. Apparently she wasn't able to apply for her work visa until yesterday (she was an overseas student until recently), and who knows how long it'll take to actually get one?

Yesterday I did a little painting of Winnie the Pooh. I figured that, since the night light has a Winnie the Pooh theme, I may as well stick with it. Next week, I'll do a Tigger (photos will be posted at some stage, but since they'll just be copies of what I found on the Internet, there's no rush is there?).

I'm about a quarter of the way through Lionel Shriver's We need to talk about Kevin. It's possibly not a great choice of reading material for a first time mum-to-be, because it's about this woman who doesn't like her young son - and he doesn't like her. From birth onwards, Kevin is a hell child; he refuses her milk and literally cries all day until hubby comes home. Obviously this is a worst case scenario seemingly designed to frighten the bejesus out of any woman who is nervous of her untried maternal qualities, and not necessarily something which will happen to me or anyone else. But it did make me feel a little anxious.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Weekend roundup

For starters, the boy turned down an invite to watch the second Lions vs All Blacks match on Sky, at a friend's house. The official excuse was that he had work stuff to do, but between you and me - it was because he couldn't face sitting through another thrashing of the Lions by the All Blacks. So keen was he to distract himself from the possibility of another defeat, that he devoted the whole of Saturday evening to playing one of his online computer games (don't ask me which game it was - they're all the same to me; one in which mythical creatures with magic powers try to kill each other).

My brother, who has just bought a seven-seater people-carrier (I'm sure there's a name for this model of vehicle, but I don't know what it is and I don't care), offered to be my mother's tax driver on Sunday, leaving the boy and I free to go out for lunch and shop for more baby stuff. We lunched at one of those child-friendly cafes, which is probably not the best choice for a couple who're anticipating an end to child-free weekends for a long time to come. But the food is always nice, it's open on Sundays, and it's right opposite a big shop which sells both baby gear and alcohol - rather a bonus in the boy's book.

The results of our little shopping trip? We got one of those nappy disposers - a big white bin which magically wraps up used nappies and seals in the odour so that the parents don't have to race to the outside rubbish bin with each and every nappy change. I did read somewhere that they aren't quite as effective once baby starts eating solids (because the resulting poos are sufficiently smelly to overpower the bin magic), but he's been told by another dad that they're a lifesaver.

We also bought a big foam jigsaw puzzle which comes together to form a giant sea life play mat and a smaller fabric play-thing, both to stick on the nursery walls. These, along with the paintings I intend to do, should add a little warmth and cheer to the room.

The weekend's grand finale, after unsuccessfully trying to finish one huge Beef Wellington each for dinner, was watching the last of the Carnivale season one episodes and the beginning of the next.

Saturday, July 02, 2005 cream...

I bet Hokey Pokey was never going to be a possibility...

You Are Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
You are kind, popular, and generous.
You tend to be successful at anything you try.
A social butterfly, you are great at entertaining a crowd.
You are most compatible with strawberry ice cream.

Double Act

The opera was good - it would've been very enjoyable even, if my bum muscles hadn't started twitching after a mere five minutes into the show. There was only one break halfway, and during the second half this posterier discomfort was joined by twitchy leg muscles and the gasping for air which results from my lungs being squashed up by Baby.

Coincidentally, the woman sitting on my left was also pregnant - what're the chances of that, eh? She was fidgeting and trying to stay comfy too, although I'll stick my neck out right now and say that my fidgeting was probably greater than hers. I briefly imagined the boy and I popping out to the lobby for a quick bum massage, but dismissed the idea when that led to visions of being kicked out for lewdness in public.

So in hindsight, I should probably not have decided to go, even though I did manage to get through the entire evening without disrupting everyone around me...well, not too much I hope. Those seats were a little squeaky, and the effects of two women bobbing up and down in their seats can't have been entirely ignore-able.

Friday, July 01, 2005

The Big Test

The streets are awash with Brits in red sweatshirts, so you might mistakenly think the title of this post refers to the absolutely huge Lions vs All Blacks rugby test match which is scheduled for tomorrow night.


Tonight is the night of the opera. I'll get to find out whether I made a wise choice in booking two seats to Don Giovanni knowing full well that I would be almost nine months pregnant by the date of the show. I'll find out whether approximately three hours of sitting (albeit with short intervals between acts) proves to be too much for my squashed up lungs, my soreness-prone bottom and the slight possibility of an early labour.

Actually, I'm much more worried about the lungs and the bum than I am about the prospect of my waters breaking in the middle of a solo - probably because I already have a sore bum from the two-hour meeting this afternoon at work, and my lungs feel squashed up quite regularly.

Wish me luck.