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.

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