Saturday, June 30, 2007

Some Facebook questions which I haven't bothered to answer

I got chatting to a bunch of people last night who all happen to be on Facebook. It was interesting to see their take on this phenomenon (should I be using that word to describe it?), what they use it for, has it caused any problems - etc.

A few things came up:

What happens if someone you don't really care for sends you a friend request. Do you oblige and accept and then inwardly resent the fact that this person is now privy to your goings on? Do you accept but only allow them limited access to your profile, thereby making it clear you aren't fully sure/committing to the whole friend thing with them? Or do you go full-out and actually reject their request, making it really obvious that you are definitely not interested?

What if you accept a friend request and then remember some really shitty thing this person did to you - esp relevant with people you haven't heard from in ages, seen since school etc. Do you send them a message pointing out the remembered wrong and discuss it? Or simply remove them as a friend? What is the etiquette here?

Or, and this is one I encountered when I used my blog as a social diary (back when I actually had a social life), what happens if you go about happily posting stuff you are getting up to - either via photos, your status update, or through notes, and other friends get huffy because they happen not to have been invited/included? Surely a definite downside to making your life so visible to so many people.

OK - so those are some of the things that came up. Personally I am too knackered to have an opinion/answers to any of these questions today. Feel free to send in your two cents worth.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Beep bloody beep

I appreciate I've only been driving for a few months. But is it just me, or do people agree that the hooter, or horn, as it's known in the USA, is overused?

According to the stuff I learnt for my theory test, and my instructor, the hooter is there to alert fellow drivers of a potential hazard, for example: 'You stupid eejit, you're about to back into my car!'

Similarly, I can completely understand someone using their hooter to alert the guy in front of them who is sat at a green light rolling a joint, that it is indeed time for him to go. What I don't understand however, is why the person behind you, and the one behind that person, and indeed the 5 or 10 people behind that person, also feel the need to chime in on their hooters.

One is enough people. Unless the guy is severely hard of hearing, chances are he heard the first toot. What's the point of everyone else sitting on their hooters too? I think it's just a juvenile way of saying, 'Yeah, and I'm pissed off too. So move your car already!' Yes, because that's really going to help the situation. What it does amount to is a useless cacophony of noise pollution, perpetuated by a bunch of like minded fools.

The reason this is an increasingly annoying issue for me, is that the street that passes our house can be fairly busy. And you won't believe how many times you get the multiple hooter thing going on. I put it down to pregnancy hormones, but there are times I want to sit at our top floor window and drop heavy things onto their cars as a means of shutting them up. Yes, I realise this is illegal, dangerous and all that. But when you are trying to get some sleep and you have 10 people who feel this compulsive need to show how pissed they are by sitting with their hand continuously pressed down on the hooter, well, let's just say you can get pretty imaginative in how you'd like to shut them up.

Similarly, yep, I'm on a roll here, are the people who walk past your home at, I don't know, 11.30pm, midnight? making a huge noise. Laughing, singing, shouting at each other (their appears to be a direct correlation between amount of alcohol consumed and hearing levels), and carrying on like they are in a lunatic asylum. Does it ever cross their minds, just once perhaps, that maybe there are people living in those houses they are passing? People who are perhaps trying to get some sleep, trying to get a baby down for the evening, or even just trying to have a conversation? In our old place, our block of flats sat alongside offices, shops, a hotel, a couple of restaurants and a pub, so I can sort of see why people neglected to appreciate there were residents in the area. But our new street is a row of houses - so I don't think there is any excuse.

Anyway, clearly I'm getting old, grumpy, or both. I just have such an aversion to noise since getting pregnant. Cravings, not really, things that piss me off - plenty. I'm hoping the yoga will help .

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Sophie and I went along to our first maternity yoga class last night.

The timing worked out well because I haven't been feeling great energy-wise, and with the news of my gran's death on Sunday I was feeling very blue. Not good for me, not good for baby.

The two of us were the least pregnant of the women there, and felt like whipper snappers with our 15 weeks and 13.5 weeks compared to all those large bumps. I think the next least pregnant woman was 26 weeks.

I've written before how I always go along to a yoga class thinking I'm going to get an easy ride and come out hobbling, berating myself for my foolishness. Well fortunately last night wasn't quite as strenuous as my previous experiences, but I can definitely feel the effects today in my thighs - thanks to all those squat walks. Our Spanish instructor - a stunningly attractive and limber young woman in her late 20's, told us those squats were good for labour. "But I plan on lying down!" I groaned under my breath. But she's right, giving birth is strenuous business and it's worth taking every measure to make sure you are fit and limber to help the process.

When it came to the last part of the session, called 'Deep Relaxation,' I excitedly settled myself down on my mat, closed my eyes, and waited to be talked through the meditative process. I needed to relax and free my mind of my worries. The lights were lowered, and the class became absolutely quiet.

It went well for about three seconds before a bunch of eejits standing right outside our class door started talking about their travels in Africa. Loudly.

And take a deep breath in ...
Yeah, Africa - loved it. Lots of poverty though. Did you do the Zambezi?
And breathe out ...
Oh yeah, what about the malnutrition ... . Did you take malaria tablets?
And imagine yourself ...
... hippos...
And relaxxxxxx
...stagnant water ... conjunctivitis...

I found myself clenching my fists and wanting to run out there and tell them to shut the f**k up. How could anyone relax and think positive thoughts with all that noise and depressing content? The clenched firsts and agression were somewhat of an indication that my moody hormonal phase is clearly not yet over.

So not much deep relaxation for me, what with all the pent-up rage, but the class as a whole felt good, and we are both going back again next week.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Another goodbye

My grandmother passed away yesterday morning. Not a lot of people have grandparents still alive at my age, so I suppose I was lucky to have her that long and should be grateful for that. My grandmother was a big part of my siblings and my life, primarily I think because she was such a big part of my mothers life, and I guess you can say we are a close family.

I for one am feeling out of sorts. She has been such an intrinsic part of my life for so long, and had a profound influence on my upbringing (sometimes not entirely welcomed thanks to her strong opinions and at times sharp tongue), that it feels weird being in a world that she no longer inhabits.

She was very ill, a lot more unwell than I think any of us realised. I was lucky enough to talk to her on Monday last week - accidentally as it happens, because she answered the phone (which she never does) when I called to speak to my mom for her birthday. For once she didn't break my balls about my weight - her initial reaction to my pregnancy a couple of months ago being: "Tell Lucille not to put on too much weight!", and we had a good catch-up. She sounded tired and raspy but otherwise in good spirits. I told her to get better soon so she would be up to a visit from me in September, and then to meet my baby next year.

I keep trying to write about her, and end up in tears, so I think it's perhaps a bit too early for me to talk about this.

Rest in peace Bobo. Love you and miss you.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Always read the small print

These are some of the new ads running in Brazil for a brand of yogurt called Itambé Fit Light. The tag line reads: 'Forget about it. Men's preference will never change. Fit Light yogurt.'

Oh boy, if they ran these here in the UK or in the USA it would cause a shit storm from people calling them fattist or prejudiced against larger people etc.

Personally I think the women look pretty good. The Marilyn one doesn't work, but that American-Beauty spoof women looks pretty damn sexy I think.

I also think the photos have been very well styled and photographed and had I not read what the tag line was and that it actually inferred that men prefer thinner women, I'd think they were beautiful inspirational ads promoting real fuller-figured women. Also, it's refreshing to see larger women (i.e. not conventional stick-thin models) photographed like this, and not in those ugly big pants the likes of which the Dove campaign favours.

Pictures and source: Popbytes

Friday, June 22, 2007

New hair and a terrible dilemma

There's an old joke: A woman walks into her hairdressers and says to her stylist, "I want to look like Barbra Streisand." So the stylist takes a hairbrush and breaks her nose.

Well today I saw my stylist and slapped a photo of Katie Holmes (I know I know) in his hand and said I wanted a slightly longer version of her new do. Let it not be said that these celebs don't have power over us mere mortals.

My stylist was a bit agitated today - clearly dying to get something off his chest. So once we had established the colour (now blissfully brunette - no more Shakira-type roots), and the style, I settled in with my Pret smoothie and waited to hear what would be the most shocking tale I have heard in months.

He is close friends with two guys, who have been best friends since, well, ages. Though not a couple they have almost always lived together, gone on holidays, shared clothes - etc. Turns out these two guys split company about six months ago and have sworn never to talk to each other again.

Now my stylist recently found out about the schism and has been trying to find out from each of them what went wrong. I mean, for these two to part company so acrimoniously it had to be pretty serious right?

Well, eventually, he tied one of them down who told him the story, and what a story it is. Turns out the one chap, let's call him Peter, slept with the other other guy's, (let's call him Tom) boyfriend. OK, so that's pretty shit, I mean, Peter and Tom are so-called best friends for ever, and Peter goes and shags his boyfriend. Not nice. However, it gets worse. It turns out that Peter also happens to be HIV positive, knew this, and still didn't use a condom during this drunken tryst with Tom's boyfriend. He says he was too drunk to remember/think about it.

Tom knew Peter was HIV positive, but it appears he didn't know about the affair with his boyfriend until some months later, so had continued his condomless (well they are supposed to be a disease-free monogamous couple!) sexual relationship with his boyfriend. Naturally when he did find out, both he and his boyfriend went and had an aids test pronto. As it stands they are both having to take a second set of tests to see the results, as the first ones were too early to tell.

My stylist now finds himself in a dilemma because he's friends with both of them, and although he thinks Peter is a complete shit, I mean, how do you even begin to know how to feel about someone who knowingly risks passing on a fatal disease? he also says the guy looks very ill, and doesn't want to abandon him in what could possibly be his last months, especially now that he has lost his best friend.

Right, and on that cheerful note, I am off to go and forage and start the weekend.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Almond oil and Demi Moore

It's boiling hot in London today. The sidewalks are overflowing with people eating, drinking, and chatting. I went over to Planet Organic, after being berated by my friend Anina for not getting almond oil since we last spoke, "For the skin, for the breasts and nipples, for the nausea." I can't help it, whenever someone talks about preparing my nipples for breast feeding I experience an inward shudder. I'm so not the earth mother type. The idea that my breasts have any other purpose other than to be housed in nice lingerie, to fill dresses and tops, and for entertainment purposes, doesn't appeal to me in the least. The whole thing makes me feel like a cow - and I'm not even at the lactating phase. Oh dear god.

Planet Organic is a nice, if somewhat overpriced, place to go and hang out if you want to feel as though there is one small haven in a world where animals are not given the benefit of a humane existence and death before being packaged for your consumption, and where fruit and veg are rained on with pesticides. They also sell things like detergents and sanitary towels that are made with natural substances, awful-tasting chocolate-substitute carob bars, and that sort of thing.

I made my way over to the back where they sell all the supplements and tinctures and, well, the almond oil, and found two assistants deeply engrossed in conversation.

Assistant 1: So, there he was, he was dying, or dead, and the shamans right, they were negotiating with the spirits for his life.
Assistant 2: How did he know they was negotiating for his life if he was dead?
Assistant 1: I don't know. I guess he was in that semi-dead state where he could overhear things.
Assistant 2: Semi dead, yes, yes, of course, I see.

I was sorry to interrupt what sounded like a scintillating conversation, but at this point I hadn't really eaten since a smoothie I'd had at 10am, and my plummeting blood sugar levels were propelling me into a very familiar state of nausea.


I have some weird body issues at the moment. Having been so sick I haven't gained any weight as yet, in fact I've actually lost about 1.5 kilos. Looking and my stomach you wouldn't say this though. And what's worse, it doesn't really look like a bump at this stage, more like I am trying to smuggle two loaves of bread under my shirt. So from behind I look very much like I usually do, but from the side and front I appear to have two bulges - one that starts under my breasts, and another where ones stomach usually is - except imagine someone with severe wheat intolerance after a continental breakfast.

I can't help thinking of that image of Demi Moore on Vanity Fair. I think she was pregnant with hers and Bruce Willis's first child, and she posed nude, and very pregnant, on the cover. She looked beautiful - almost angelic, with a serene expression on her face. And apart from a large bump, looked otherwise quite slim and healthy. I think of that, and then I look at myself nude in the mirror, and suddenly illustrations in anthropological journals come to mind. You know the ones - 'Early woman': Short, stout, rounded shoulders, gravity-loving breasts, protruding stomach, body hair, eyebrows in desperate need of a tweeze, and a scowl that indicates life was a little harder that she might have expected. Yep - that's me. Not so much Demi as 'Neanderthal Nelly' aggressively poised to defend the rotting carcass she has secured for her tribe.

Speaking of aggression, the moody hormones have kicked in with a vengeance. I read about it on my pregnancy websites (the ones that make you feel less like a freak because there are other freaks to discuss freakish things with), and apparently it's normal. Normal? It's doesn't feel normal to me to be pissed off at just about everything 24/7.

Today I was clicking my tongue loudly and nodding my head at bad drivers. And I was walking. Slow walkers, usually an irritation, now risk getting my handbag flung into the small of their backs. And don't even get me started on delivery people who keep trying to deliver the same thing (that I already have) for the third time, or people that seem to think it's their god given right to stare into our dining room windows because we happen to be on their way to the park. Despite what I may look like now, you're not at the zoo yet people - keep walking.

The light in my day was the arrival of Andzelika, my cleaner, who took a load off my hands by unpacking yet more stuff we had brought over from the old flat over the weekend. She's an incredible woman - doesn't flinch no matter what task you throw at her. She also had a baby last year and is understanding of what I am going through right now, despite having an enviably morning sickness-free pregnancy.

And now, I have to go and write about wrinkles. Those carob bars and bottles of almond oil don't pay for themselves you know.

Friday, June 15, 2007

And so and so

I'm not feeling so hot today. I have one of those ear/throat infections - which from past experience probably means that by tomorrow each time I swallow it will feel as though I am attempting to force shards of glass down my throat. I also have a headache, and I threw up again this morning. Monday marks my 14th week of pregnancy, and I'm hoping it also marks the end of this throwing up business.

We have a smart work dinner at Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons this evening, one of those fancy five-course things. Normally I would be frothing at the mouth in anticipation, but I've only just started expanding my diet to things a bit more complicated than toast, so I'm somewhat concerned how all that richness is going to go down. Actually going down and staying down is what I'm hoping for.

I played host to my family this week and it was good fun catching up with them, especially my sisters. Though I have to admit, if I hear the phrase, "You'll see one day when you have kids" accompanied by a teasing grin one more time I'm going to throttle someone. This was usually uttered in my direction each time I grimaced as something was about to be spilt on the cream carpet or our new wooden dining table looked as though it was about to endure the brunt of a hot mug minus coaster. And foolish me for getting those swish new woven place mats which now have red wine and olive oil stains following what amounted to our first dinner party.

Yes, yes I know I'm particular about our home and our things, and I know this is going to have to change once children come along. So at least let me enjoy the last remaining months of obsessive-compulsive bliss before I'm forced to face that messy chaotic nightmare.

We've sort of settled into our new home. There are still a few remaining bits to be unpacked and one or two items to be built, but we're getting there. I haven't been much help this week, what with the family visiting (a blessed distraction) and being so tired I've had to catch taxi's back from Oxford street, twice.

I'm still waiting for that second trimester boost of energy and wellness to kick in. Right now I feel as though I've been bitten by a Tsetsi fly and the only thing I want to do upon waking up is go back to sleep again. Not really conducive to gracious hostessing (get your own bloody breakfast!) or completing the last bits of unpacking. But the intention is to get stuck in next week and systematically work through the rest of it so we can actually start having regular weekends again, and not ones that involve manual labour.

I'm sad to see my sister Chantell leave today, but I think we may be going for a quick visit in September. Hopefully.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A very bad week for Katie Hopkins

It's been a pretty bad week for Katie Hopkins - the Northern-hating man stealing vixen from the UK Apprentice. Firstly, that unfortunate photo (pictured) surfaced of her romping in a field with yet another married man. Then the ex-wife of the first man she stole came forward to speak out about the betrayal in The News of the Word, and her daughter spoke of the break-up, and her resulting anorexia to Closer Magazine. Then she was dumped by the aforementioned field-romping married man. And now she's been fired from her real life job at the Meteorological Office.

According to Reuters:
"A spokesman for the Met Office said: "Her employment has been terminated. Like all new civil service employees, she had a period of probation. She has failed to reach the required standard. New entrants are expected to keep a standard on attendance, performance, time-keeping and conduct. Media reports said Hopkins is considering taking the Met Office to an industrial tribunal." Continue reading.
What? I didn't say anything.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

When people surprise you

You've got to watch this clip. It's from some new (yes yet another) TV talent show called 'Britain's got Talent' which I guess is like some sort of X-Factor, only I think their talent can be pretty much anything and not necessarily singing.

Anyway, the ever bored-looking Simon Cowell is on the panel. The best bit is his and the other two judges faces (what the hell is Pierce Morgan doing as a judge?) when this dude Paul walks out. They hear he's going to sing opera (it's first round auditions) and you can see they're thinking, 'Oh boy, this is going to be painful.' Then the guy starts to sing ... .

I got goosebumps.

If you can't see the clip, click here.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bye bye Katie Hopkins

A big thanks to everyone for their congratulatory emails, warm wishes, and advice re. our pending arrival. The good news is I think I'm starting to come out of this morning sickness malarkey. Yesterday I ate a pesto, feta cheese, and sun dried tomato pasta salad for lunch, and today I've wolfed down almost an entire packet of Walkers Sensations lime & coriander poppadoms. Both of these having quite a distinctive array of flavours and even the site of which would have had me running to throw up in the loo just a week or so ago.

I'm fed up with the celebrity news front at the moment. Paris got out of jail? Oh please, how predictable was that? Apparently it was due to some sort of medical condition, which some are saying was actually a whole lot of depression and freaking out on her part. Hang on a second, depression and freaking out? Haven't any of these people seen 'The Shawshank Redemption'? That shit's supposed to happen! That's why it's called prison, also known as a place where you go and sit in miserable silence to reflect on all the bad shit you've done, and avoid becoming someone's close and personal friend in the shower room. Hold on - this just in: Paris has been sent back to the clink. Oh god, I can't keep up.

And in other news, what the hell happened on this week's UK Apprentice? Katie 'El Diablo' Hopkins gets chosen as one of the final two and then says, actually, upon further reflection, she hasn't really consulted with her parents and caregivers to her children, and it probably wouldn't be such a good idea to agree to the job without checking with them first, so she's going to step down.

What?!? You know what I think? I think Katie went on the show not because she wanted to work for Sir Allen, but because she wanted to get that horrible spiteful mug of hers on TV. Just think back to this week's interviews - when asked what she knew about Sir Allen or any of his companies, she knew sweet F-all. Who the hell, in this day and age, quits a 90k a year job, to apply for another one, and doesn't at least google to find out the basics of what the company in question does, or at the very least, what they will be doing on the job?

Also, when she quit her previous job, or took a time out to do the show ('m not sure which it was), and asked mom and dad or nanny to look after her babies for 12 weeks, or however long they took to shoot the series, don't you think that at least once the conversation came up about what would happen if she actually won and needed to relocate? What am I talking about, if she actually won. This woman is so arrogant, she probably said to her folks: "Here, look after these two while I go and win that job."

And another thing (yes, I'm really on a roll now), what was with the that chilling response to the interview question, 'Have you ever cheated and lied?' And she's like, "Yes, to get another woman's man, because I wanted him," said without the faintest trace of shame at all. Jesus, what a scary, nasty piece of work. The words 'functional sociopath' come to mind.

I think she's super competitive, and likes to win, and I doubt anything gave her greater pleasure than being made the offer to be in the final two and saying, 'Actually, you know what, I don't think I'll take it. Let them two have it.' As though she were far too good and above the whole process in the first place.

Ugghgggh - hate that woman. She's just nasty. Naaasty. And in truth, I'm glad to see that back of her, and am hoping the other two don't employ her as a team member in the final task.
Here's a parting interview with her on The Apprentice website.

Right, and now I really do need to go and shower and pop out to get stuff like champagne for Louise's birthday party, and get some real food in me that doesn't contain at least 83 e numbers.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Up the duff - Part II

Reading back my previous post it sounds as though I didn't want any of this (to be pregnant) and am resentful of the whole process. Actually quite the contrary is true. We had planned on trying for a baby this year, only we didn't realise that trying would involve pretty much one time on the right day when the planets were aligned just so, a dog was howling somewhere in the distance, and I had found a four leaf clover. In other words, I was ovulating. Seriously, we thought we'd have six months or so of, well, enjoying trying, and then maybe we'd strike it lucky. But it happened right off the bat. So it is true what they tell you in high school!

The sickness that I have experienced is probably on the extreme end of the scale. Some women have little to no morning sickness at all, others have, as I explained in my previous post, perpetual nausea and a sense of motion sickness. And then there's me and a handful of women who actually get the full on throwing up. I really didn't have a clue it would be like this, mostly because the women in my family and those of my friends that have had babies never experienced anything like it.

Along with throwing up and nausea, I also have an acutely sensitive sense of smell, and a lot of things make me feel sick: Cigarette smoke, garlic, onion (cooking worse), meat, fish, a lot of perfumes, clothing fabric, household cleaning agents - esp bleach. The list goes on. One whiff and I'm running to the loo or nearest roadside bin. Not fun I tell you, and very debilitating and limiting. I haven't been in a restaurant in ages, let alone attempted cooking anything beyond a piece of toast. Again, a lot of women don't have this problem - I guess I just got lucky.

The first three months are also tough because although you don't actually look pregnant, you are so tired it's unbelievable. This is especially difficult for women who have jobs and don't want to tell people before their three-month mark. By mid afternoon you are so exhausted it's hard to keep your eyes open. And simple things like climbing a set of stairs becomes a mammoth task, as you get out of breath really quickly. That's also because at some point in those three months you begin carrying 50% more blood in your body. It wares you out.

Your breasts get huge and painful, as in really painful. In my case I found sleeping in a bra, that better resembled a reinforced hammock, helped immensely. Definitely not sexy bedtime apparel, but what with being exhausted and feeling sick, looking sexy kind of plummets down the list of priorities. Your body begins to change shape, you lose your waist, and there are days you feel like not much more than a human host with little say in the matter. Apparently this gets worse especially in the last couple of months of pregnancy.

So yes, it's tough to feel excited and happy when you are so chronically and violently sick and exhausted what feels like 24-7. It's kind of like having a really shitty case of the flu, and your friend arrives and starts telling you about an upcoming party where there's going to be this gorgeous guy you've had your eye on for ages, and how there's this brilliant sale full of great dresses at your favourite shop. These things would usually have you grabbing your credit card and running out of the house, but because you feel like shit you simply nod and say, "That's nice, maybe when I'm feeling better," which feels as though it's going to be never.

That's kind of how it's felt for me up until now. I know I should be happy and exited, and there are brief moments between feeling sick that I genuinely do. Like the day Robert arrived back from Hong Kong with a miniature Chairman Mao-style silk jacket in pale blue for our pending arrival. Our little one's first gift making it suddenly feel more like a reality rather than just a virus. (And no, we don't know what the sex is yet - but he's a man, and they all assume their first born will be a boy, ergo the pale blue).

Or when we have our scans, and I see this little person, who is only the size of a lime, but already has these little fingers and arms and legs, and facial features, and it's doing little flips and waving it's arms about, that it dawns on me and I'm like, 'Oh my god, this is pretty amazing, and this little person is going to be with us in six months.' Those are the moments that strangely make all the vomiting, soreness, and tiredness suddenly feel very worth it, and keep you going.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Up the duff

Ok, so I wanted to wait until the three month mark, till we'd had our nuchal scan and our blood results back, and now I can finally tell everyone, I am pregnant. For those of you scowling and throwing up your hands saying, "Hmm, she writes it on her blog but doesn't bother to tell me in person!" well you may take a moment to reflect on the fact that I probably haven't seen you in ages. This is the sort of thing I wanted to tell friends in person, and in fact we used our house cooling party to do just that. For those who didn't make it, and that I haven't had the chance to speak to, it's nothing personal - promise. What with being sick as a dog (more later on morning sickness), not going out for almost three months, and moving house, I've kind of been a bit preoccupied at the moment.

Yes, morning sickness. Most women get it, as in perpetual nausea for about 12 weeks, maybe actually being sick once or twice on occasion. But what most women do not get is throwing up for seven weeks. Right now it's down to twice a day. At it's peak, hmm let me see, a peak which lasted approximately 6 weeks, I was throwing up 4 sometimes 5 times a day.

This meant that practically everything I ate came back up - ahhh the joys of watching risotto rice spewing forth from your nostrils - my skin was so dehydrated it was flaking, and I had zero energy. It also meant not being able to leave the house because if I wasn't actually vomiting I was nauseous, so I looked like crap, was starved for company, and felt like hell. Yes people this is pregnancy, well, mine at any rate.

You know those images of a serene-looking pregnant woman sitting on a rocking chair with a beatific expression on her face, gently stroking her bump and musing about baby names? That isn't me. In fact, that probably isn't anyone real. That woman is most likely a model, and that's a pillow stuffed under her dress, and she's smiling because she's going to get a nice cheque after the shoot, so she can go and buy more cigarettes and laxatives.

One of the worst things is that when we do tell people they get so excited saying to me: "Oh you must be soooo EXCITED!!!" and actually I'm not. Sick, exhausted, worn out - yes. Excited, no. So already I had some sort of maternal guilt, and this little one is only the size of a lime inside of me.

Anyway, my doctor tells me this morning sickness (morning my arse - try morning, noon, night and everything in between) should pass in the next week and a half. And then, according to my more honest friends who are mothers, I have indigestion, flatulence and hemorrhoids to look forward to. Yes people, and women actually have long and painful fertility procedures to go through this.

Everyone says the second trimester is the best. You don't feel sick anymore, you aren't too big, and you get your energy back. They also say the baby starts to kick (something called 'the quickening' - which reminds me of something out of The Highlander, but I digress) and then you start to actually appreciate that there is this life inside of you and it all sort of comes together. That is along with the indigestion, flatulence and hemorrhoids I gather. Yes, I'm looking forward to the next leg of this journey.

On a less flippant note, I got my blood tests back today and along with the nuchal scan (where they look for signs of Downs Syndrome by measuring the nuchal fold at the back of the neck etc), everything is A-OK so far, and the little one (who was very active in the scan) is looking as good as it should for this stage of things.

Fingers, toes and everything else crossed that it continues like this.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Battle at Kruger

If you've ever been on safari you'll know how tough it is to spot animals. And if you do see them, chances are they are lounging around being lazy or drinking water. Beautiful yes, but hardly the sort of action you see on shows such as, 'When animals attack!'

Well a lucky group of people at the Kruger National Park in South Africa had an experience they will most likely never forget. They witnessed this series of incredible events, and fortunately for us, captured it on film too.

The clip is nearly 9 minutes long, but you absolutely must watch it till the end. Also audio is important as the commentary from those watching is an integral part of the action. Like my sister, who works in film says, you could not possibly write a better script than this. This is real-life drama at its best.

Thanks a lot to Mags (my sis) and Craig for the tip.

If you can't see the clip, click here.

The new Olympic logo

This is the new Olympic logo, which has been unveiled for the 2012 games to take place in London.

Tony Blair says,
"When people see the new brand, we want them to be inspired to make a positive change in their life," though clearly not everyone is as blown away as he'd hoped. As expected, there's a whole debate on whether or not it's a good logo.

One woman pointed out that it resembles Lisa Simpson giving head (look to the right of it). Well I suppose you could kind of call that inspired thinking on her part - strange, yes, but definitely inspired.

Continue reading.

Thanks to the lovely Roberto for the tip.

This is what the Californian sun does to you

Victoria Beckham attended the MTV movie awards yesterday dressed as a Bolivian prostitute. Ok, sorry, that's not fair to Bolivian prostitutes - even they have more style than this. Seriously though, this is some kind of street walker look, usually perpetuated by women who don't have enough money to co-ordinate their underwear with their clothes, or buy a proper strapless bra. That stuff costs money you know.

I'm not sure exactly what VB's fashion inspiration was, but it wasn't good. A visible neon pink bra and a strappy skin tight black and white animal print dress, served over perma-tanned skin that resembles a rotisserie chicken? It's not edgy, it's not even forward thinking, it's just cheap and nasty. Say it with me people - Naaasty!
Oh, and apparently her and Cameron Diaz wore the same shoes.

What's happening to VB over there? This is a woman who is known for never getting an outfit wrong. She still has killer legs though.

Source and photo source: Dlisted.
Additional photo source: Daily Mail

Move it

We've moved. We are now in the new place, and I'm delighted to say there are only a few more bits and pieces to do before we are settled in. Er, that's not taking into account all the deliveries that are arriving this week, some of which need to be built (damn those Swedes!), plus stuff in storage that eventually needs to be retrieved and unpacked. But, for now, as in immediate things like having a kettle switched on, milk in the fridge, clothes in the cupboards, a working shower with soap and shampoo - well, that's all sorted, and honestly, what more do you need? Oh yes, working internet - which we have, thank god.

I just want to take this oppotunity to reccommend our removals guys. It's tough finding a reputable and reliable company to safely move what amounts to your life from one place to another. I investigated three companies, read their testimonials, and got qoutes, before settling on London City Removals. They got back to me promptly, had reassuringly good testimonials, and were cheaper than the other two. Also their qoutation didn't include a dire caveat to the effect of: This qoutation ONLY covers EXACTLY what you stipulated, which some of the other companies did. I think if you have moved before you will know that you never know up front exactly how many boxes you are going to have before you actually pack them. There's also inevitably always something extra you forget to include like a ladder or a bicycle or something like that.

These guys also did moving materials like boxes, bubble wrap and tape, which they delivered a week before, and which they were happy to tag the total of onto the final invoice, payable on the day of the move.

When move day arrived, Robert and I were still busy doing bits and pieces and we did worry that they'd come in and get annoyed that we clearly had more than we said we'd have, and then start humming and hahing about us needing to pay extra. Actually we needn't have worried. Mick, a very cheery man with a Cockney accent who insisted on calling me Lucia (Loocheeaaa) and his three chaps weren't in the least bit phased. They got on with the job, and this is the amazing bit, actually asked us on numerous ocassions, "Do you want us to take that for you as well, it's really not a problem?" if something wasn't clearly boxed or grouped with the rest of the stuff.

We had actually planned to treck our computer equipment over ourselves, but the guys assured us they did office moves all the time and happily carried all our kit into the van - and there was a fair bit of it. Like I said, incredibly helpful, proactive, and upbeat attitudes, the likes of which I have never encountered before with removals people. Usually you get a couple of guys who make it very clear that moving your house is a huge effort they'd rather not be expending, and would never, ever, go as far as offering to take anything other than the absoulte minimum they are required to do.

So all in all we were very happy with London City Removals and we'd definitely use them again.

On Saturday we had some furniture delivered. Fortunately, being the anal busy-body that I am, I went to go and check in on the guys as they were putting our bed together, only to discover that it was the wrong bed. Flashback to a month earlier, sitting in the furniture store ordering it and being amazed at just how inept the sales woman was. Seriously this young woman was on another planet entirely, and half the time I don't think she understood English very well. This is not some sort of bigoted remark - I just think if you have a job in an English speaking country that requires you to put orders (in English) into a system, that you at least have some grasp of the language.

Anyway, I spotted the error on time and called it in, which meant the poor chaps had to drag that heavy solid wood bedframe and base back down the two flights of stairs they'd originally dragged it up - in the searing heat. The result is we now have a mattress and no bed, but have been assured we'll have the right one by Friday, if not sooner. Like I said, just a few more bits and pieces to do before we are settled in