Thursday, 31 May 2012

Fruity Cuddles


I don't lknow what you were expecting, we're not that sort of blog!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Fat

The other day I was surfing facebook as I tend to do and there was status about disliking Adele. Someone had commented on it saying they liked Adele "well, I like her voice, I hate fat people"

What? I do not like Adele's music myself. It's very much not my thing, although I do appreciate that she writes this stuff herself and got where she has done despite not being what record exec's traditionally feel they can sell.  But there's so much in that short statement that just fries my brain. Someone can like her talent, her voice, maybe buy her records but still hate her simply because of her body shape?
Someone can, even in this day and age, in this country, feel hate toward an entire group of strangers based solely on their outward appearance?
Gods forbid you gain a few pounds lass.

It's not that I don't get prejudice. Everyone is prejudiced in some way or another about something. I suppose prejudice against fat people is quite an honest prejudice, I've never heard anyone try to justify the hate by talking about religious differences, or economic reasons, or claim that they're biologically inferior. They just hate em.

And why not? Fat people are by definition lazy, greedy, selfish, feckless and stupid. And often deaf, or assumed to be so. Oh, except fat people you actually know, or are related to. At least while they're listening.

I've been fat and I've been thin and I know the difference in how you're treated by strangers. I will accept though that a degree of the difference can probably be assigned to my own increased confidence. I still believe it's a last bastion of prejudice. That commenter I'm sure wouldn't have dreamed of making such a bold statement about a race of people, or a sexual orientation, or disability. Not necessarily because they didn't hold the views but because they know you can't say stuff like that. But it's ok with fat people because they choose to be fat. They could always do something about it if they don't like the comments they get.

With a shotgun, for preference.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Borrowers

Boggards, Brownies, Wights, Imps, Gremlins, call them what you will. I have them.

I'm more than accustomed, when working on jewellery to tools I was using a second ago vanishing from the work bench. Sometimes they show up again, sometimes not. Sometimes they are mysteriously found in the very small drawer that was meticulously searched not five minutes before. It's annoying but it's ok.

What's annoying when the little buggers start pilfering in the house. I bought some sun cream the other day. The only sun protection in the house besides Small's Factor 50. I applied it the day after I bought it in the morning, then a bit more in the afternoon and I haven't seen it since. I found the cap from the bottle, nearby where I remember last having the rest of it but of the actual bottle itself, no sign.

We keep the only non-spill toddler cup we own in Small's room. The idea being that we keep it near him so if he needs a drink in the night he can get it himself without either getting us up or flooding his room. Of course he still wakes us up to reach over and get the cup for him but we hang on to the hope.
Tonight, we couldn't find it.

While I'm mostly sure that a little person is responsible for both disappearances and it's a rather larger little person than those listed above, Small's usual MO in moving things around is to put them in things, buckets, under the saddle of his ride on cars, that sort of thing. We've turned the house upside down and can't find either thing. He's not the sort of child to put things in the bin that have no business there either so I'm beginning to suspect other culprits now.

I'll be having a stern word with them tonight, I want my stuff back!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

And we're (pretty much) done!

Today has been a good day. This morning I did housey things like cooking Big an eggy, toasty, sausagey, bacony breakfast and putting a load of washing on in the lovely new machine. Happily, I must have installed it all right as it's working and we're not flooded out. 
Sent Big off to buy play bark to cover over the new playground section of the garden while I played in the garden with Small, or rather tried to but he was in a very Two Year Old mood about things and just begged for stuff as his life depended on it - Go Inside! Go Outside! Want Drinkie! Want Bubbles! - then got even more upset when he got them. Took me a minute to realise that it was gone midday and he was looking for lunch and most importantly, naptime. That take care of I got myself back outside and saw to the weeds along the side of the fence and was just finishing that when Big got back with the bark. Well, a start on the bark anyway, we definitely need some more.
Got Small back up when it was all done and Big's Dad came round to help get the old washing machine down the stairs (our kitchen is on the middle floor of a 3 storey townhouse). He brought Small's 5 year old cousin with him so Small had a playmate for a couple of hours and the two of them had a bit of a blast.
Small being Small, he had to enjoy playing with the bark more than toys and added it to the sand and water table, then loaded up his dumper truck and sent it all flying down the chute but that's my boy for you. 


I did have a little pang about the veggie growing but this afternoon, sitting on the lounger with Big while the boys played with their grandad I just knew it was right. For almost two years now it's been a bit of a work in progress that I never had the resources to actually progress. We had to keep the climbing frame thing on the patio to stop it destroying the grass and getting in the way of the washing line, pulling it onto the grass when Small needed it so it was safer. It's huge so it took up most of the patio space and as these things tend to go, the space around it got filled with the bits and pieces of half-assed gardening that we didn't get round to putting away like tools, old plant pots, that sort of thing. Now it's all clear and we have our patio again. We can get a table for there, we can sit out and relax when the weather's like it is today. I won't feel shame and guilt looking out at the mess and the weeds, neither of us needs to worry about what Small will find to play with. It's all good. I'd like to get some flowers though, we badly need some colour! 


So this is it, from the kitchen window so you can't see the patio but you do get the general idea. This was this evening once Small had gone to bed and I'd tidied away all the stuff. 












And this is it from the patio, with all Small's stuff spread everywhere and our loungers out. It's lovely to finally feel at home in our own garden. I may even hassle Big much less about not 'wasting' good weather by staying at home :)


Saturday, 26 May 2012

Just Call Me Shirley Bassey

The weather is still gorgeous here so I decided to wear a little sun dress and leggings today and put some make up on to take Small to his Tumble Tots class this morning. Then we went to get the weekly shop in and I got Big to drop me in town on the way home so I could pick up some things I needed for the garden and call in to the hairdresses for my skin test before I get the hair re-purpled on Monday.

However, I wasn't going to wear my pretty dress to attack the weed infested would be veg patch erm... butterfly garden. so changed into old cut off joggers and a tshirt. Weeds duly attacked, raised beds dismantled, membrane pegged down, with a little help from Big when I started to flag a bit and a fair amount of help from Small who loves digging and comes running up yelling "My turn! My turn!" and trying to manhandle the spade from my grasp. Big also got the barbecue out and cleaned up and we were all done and dusted by half-four, so I went and got cleaned up and had another costume change back into my dress so I could then lounge around looking pretty in the sunshine while Big did the cooking.

By happy chance it was at this point that the good people at Appliances Online decided to deliver the new washing machine. Yes, the one I ordered yesterday evening. Not bad that, especially as delivery was completely free. Very happy puppy here. And because I'm the kind of multi-faceted modern woman who has purple hair and her own tool kit, I got it unpacked, removed the travelling bolts, plumbed it in and set it going on it's first (empty) cycle and only needed Big to help me shove it under the counter. This is just as well as the only way Big would be able to help me with any of that would be to phone his Dad to come do it.

So, sunny day, pretty dress, multiple costume changes, bbq dinner, a garden I can finally sit in without a) feeling horribly guilty and b) worrying about Small discovering nettles the hard way or eating a slug, new washing machine and a smug sense of accomplishment.

Win.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Just when I thought it was safe to go shopping...

Oh my look at the time!

It's been a busy day here at Edge Towers. Small got up at quarter to six this morning and would accept no assurances that it was still night time as he was Starving Hungry. Teletubbies is rubbish at any time of day but at 6am I not in the least enthralled by 4 cooing alien things sitting round pretending to watch a badly CGI'd dancing bear. No, not even a little bit.

The sudden arrival of summer has taken me unawares and after 4 days on the trot of temps up above 22C, I'm bang out of suitable attire. So this morning I went shopping and struggled to find things to wear. Worse yet, the day is rapidly coming where I'm going to have to buy shoes. I didn't even look today because the shoes I've been wearing in the heat have done their annual job of turning my feet into Death By A Thousand Blisters.
We took Small out in his Smart Trike for the trip which was a win because no pushchair trantrums but fail because after every few minutes he wants to get off and push it himself. I did manage to find a few things in between the stressing and we got home before lunch. Nap for Small, mowing of lawns for me and Big while a second load of laundry went on.
And that's where it all unravelled.
Odd noise from washing machine. A by now familiar odd noise. A part that has broken a few times before now has broken again. The same day we replaced it for the umpteenth time. Yeah, we could order yet another part, they're not hard to fit but now we're getting to the stage of good money after bad. Arg.

So back my new clothes go to the shop tomorrow!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Bad Gardener.

I was so excited when we moved to this house almost two years ago. Previously we'd had a postage stamp sized paved over yard which I'd covered with pots and containers and grew my veggies in. Having a huge (in comparison) real actual garden seemed heaven sent.
Sadly, it's not worked out quite as I dreamed.
For one thing, anything I plant either dies mysteriously of it's own accord or vanishes overnight leaving only suspicious slime trails. I think all the slugs live the dry stone banking wall that makes up the back border of the garden. Horrible things.
What I need to do is properly plan out a layout and then take time to improve the soil, deter or as a last resort, kill the slugs and put some serious work in to care for the planted crops and nurse them to harvest time.
Sadly, this spring either it's been pretending to be winter, or I've been laid up with fatigue and pains or both. Priorities go in roughly this order - Small, Big, Cooking food, Work, housework, errands and so on, in times of difficulty, getting out in the cold to weed and dig and plant is not high on my list.

I want to make the time the way I used to but I really can't do it and at the moment I can't see things changing for the forseeable future. I'm actually considering removing my raised beds and storing them away in the garage for a few years, buying some play bark and making that end of the garden into a wee play area for D. The fruit trees and bushes can stay where they are, they mostly look after themselves after all. In a few years when plastic climbing frames have less of an appeal to Small and he's a bit more able to understand, we can convert it back into a growing area and he can have his own patch for growing his own veg. Hopefully by then I'll be less of a useless article too.

Now I have to go and check out the price of play bark or similar.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Of spiders and Rab Bruce

Today was my turn to have a doc appointment.
I'm shockingly bad at going to the doctors, even when I need to. I'd been putting off this visit until the doc I've been seeing about the fatigue was free but he seems to be off until mid-June and seeings how I've been struggling to get over a cough and sore throat for six weeks now, I figured I'd better bite the bullet.

What's rough about going to the docs about this 'thing' is that I feel like such a moan. I try not to complain too much, I try to be co-operative, I try to be upbeat. I have to be patient, as well as A patient. Except that I'm trying to convey that while I look and sound outwardly healthy and normal, I'm not.

I don't even know why I've decided it's so important to keep being persistent about it and get a proper diagnosis down. I first noticed the symptoms when I was 18 and have been getting fobbed off by various GPs ever since. Will it make a huge difference to my life to have more than a preoccupied GP say 'oh if you're not better yet it must be CFS. We can't treat that, sorry. Bye'

Of course it will. For one thing, two close female relatives of mine have been diagnosed with different auto-immune disorders in the last year. Although I'm apparently clear for both of them, I may well have a different one and one that could be managed rather than suffered. Hey, maybe even treated and cured! Who knows right? Even if I don't and it is "just" Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I will feel vindicated, relieved, less like a crazy, lazy hypochondriac.

Therefore yes, I will go get yet another round of blood drawn for testing tomorrow. Before breakfast too, so they can check something new - my glucose levels! - as well as everything else.

I don't mean to whinge, I'm sorry. That's not what the blog is for but I've made a commitment to myself to post every day and some days I struggle for a topic more than others!
I'm inordinately fortunate to have had big, bad, serious, life threatening problems ruled out so far. I'm inordinately fortunate to live in the UK and go trailing back and fore to the doctor looking for answers to the unanswerable without having to worry about the bill, or the negotiations with the medical insurance company.  I'm lucky that I have friends who have odd, hard to define conditions themselves and can tell me off for being too compliant with the doctors and shove me back to the surgery to try, try, try again.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Things They Never Told Me #54

Lets go back in time. Way back to when I was 12, Oi, it's not that far!
But yes, 12 year old me considering her Standard Grade subjects (equivalent to O Levels or GCSE) and attending her career interview. She had no idea what she wanted to with her life (still don't to be fair) and from memory the options were pretty much lawyer or doctor aspirations for the clever kids, secretary or nursery nurse for the rest of us. If only they'd been honest with us, if only they'd told poor wee 12 year old me about the real options out there, my life could be so different. I'm not going to be talking about acting, or sport, or anything like that because they require some degree of talent. Similarly being a highly paid 'celeb' of dubious authenticity doesn't count as it requires a huge sploge of luck. No, I want to take my school to task for entirely forseeable errors in their duty to assist me plan my entire future.

First off, in the mornings I listen to a Manchester based rock radio station. Two blokes who earn a living essentially ripping the piss out of each other and having a rare old time of it. No one said this was a viable way of getting a regular wage.

Then there's Comic book Colourist. Nope, they never told me about this either. A comic book colourist is the person who takes the pencilled art for a comic book and paints in the colour. I feel this omission from my careers interview was particularly harsh, as I was pretty epic with a selection of felt tip pens and a colouring book in my youth. Had anyone told me you could do it for a living I'd have a made woman by now. BTW, comic book inker is also a real job, and all they do is trace over the pencil drawings with black ink. Seriously.

Falconer. I mean really, I was nuts about birds of prey in my adolescence as I am to this day but the only ones I knew about ran Falconry Centres up in the sticks, had someone mentioned that these guys can actually make a decent living flying a harris hawk or two around a landfill site or airport (for instance) then I might have chosen my subjects accordingly. Why yes there are subjects in school which support a career in falconry, they just slip my mind at this precise moment. 


Those are just off the top of my head. I bet there's tons more. Use the comments to tell me about them :)


Saturday, 19 May 2012

Sometimes, I take photos.

I did photography in college, but not well. It was just before digital photography took off in a big way and I was very quickly discouraged by the very real talent around me. But still, I occasionally still snap away at subjects other than my bundle of chaos.












Friday, 18 May 2012

Economics and solving the global recession - My way

This is not the first time I have forwarded this theory. I think I've mentioned it on Twitter in the past.

It is my belief that the government should invest in buying every woman in the country over the age of 18 two new sets of bras and knickers every six months. Nice ones. Proper ones. Ones that fit. Possibly they could provide vouchers.

My reasoning is thus -
In hard times, the average person cuts back on all but the essentials and it's a rare person who can class a good  underwear set as essential.
It's a fact that women who are encased and supported by quality foundation garments are happier, more confident and more content.

Women make up half the population, they are wives, girlfriends, mothers, bosses, support staff, emergency service personnel, soldiers, they're everywhere and coming into contact all the time with the rest of the population. When you come into contact with happy people, you generally become happier yourself. Making half the population happy will have a knock on effect of making the entire population happy.
A happy populace is a productive, efficient, motivated populace.
A productive, efficient and motivated populace will not only work harder and complain less, striving all together to raise our nation out of recession and back into growth but will crucially, also vote for the very intelligent politicians who brought in the Undies Vouchers. Think of the jobs created in the underwear manufacturing industry, in the retail industry, hell from the boardroom to the cleaners there's going to a boost just from the increased demand for good pants. Consumer Confidence will be raised because if you're out shopping for your free underwear you're bound to pick up a few other bits and pieces for your partner, friend or kids just because of the happy glow. Gradually, the simple act of gifting our nations women with a regular supply of decent lingerie will mend the world.

And there you have it.

:)

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Toys

WANT!

While in many ways I don't really want Small to grow up at all, I am looking forward to him being old enough for Lego. He has Duplo at the moment and some absolutely supercool Disney Cars Duplo that he loves but when it comes to playing with the actual blocks he just upends the box, sits in the middle of the mess and demands we make him a space rocket or a helicopter. Try making that out of a set of blocks designed to make a few basic walls with windows and a garden. He'll get there though.

I have fond memories of lego from my own childhood. In particular I remember a set that built a pretty wee house but I'm sure I had other stuff too. I'm aware that I shouldn't love lego. I should boycott it because it does girls sets that are houses and beauty parlours in pink and purple. Sod that, I've always loved lego and I will just not buy that stuff. There's plenty of other options out there. I actually have some already, Big bought me a wee Pirates of the Caribbean set and I'm slowly building a collection of lego figure keyrings. I very much want my own Thor and Ironman now too!

I don't really know for sure where I stand on the whole 'girls toys' thing. I get that it sells. I get that it's wanted. I get that companies don't particularly want to force women into subservient roles but do want to make profits so they produce what will sell. I understand that the above mentioned range of lego sold very well when previously the same age group of girls had lost interest in the unisex ranges already available. Further to that, I played with Sindy and Barbie as a girl and preferred Barbie (my sister was a Sindy girl though) I had My Little Ponies and Care Bears and Girls World heads and baby dolls and pots and pans and Jem, oooh yes, I loved Jem. I still grew up to be this free thinking, independent woman before you.
Small has a toy hoover, toy brush and mop sets, toy kitchen things, he mugs me frequently to "help" with the cooking or cleaning, especially the washing up. He loves all that. He also loves his trains and his cars and digging in his sandpit and his diggers.
At the same time though, I'm repulsed by how a delve into the girls bit of a toy shop reveals a world of pink plastic. It's almost impossible to find anything that isn't pink. Mainly the stuff that isn't pink is lilac. Clothes shops the same. You can get scooters for five year old girls with a wee drawer in the footplate stuffed with make up. Why? And the difference between this trend for putting make up in otherwise genderless toys and Girls World is that with Girls World, you put the make up on the dummy. You did the dummy's hair. It was playing at being a grown up in a way that didn't compromise your own childhood. Giving five year olds the idea that they need make up, need to wear it, need to accelerate through their infancy to teenage as quickly as possible is pretty repugnant, to me. It's that, and the lack of choice that bothers me. Perhaps that's why the lego is ok with me. For one thing, I've never seen lego suggest that the rest of their product range is for boys and this is the girl's stuff. They've just filled what they see, and sales would suggest is, a gap in the market. For another, it's just toys, it's just playing. It's not building your own make up valise or push-up bra.

But mainly it's because I want to supply Small with a world of Indianna Jones, Star Wars, Toy Story and Avengers sets. I'm a consumer dammit.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Love and Marriage

As Frank Sinatra knew, they go together like a horse and carriage. He went further, putting forward the notion that you can't have one without the other.

Well, times have certainly changed since then and many people do have one without the other. Many many people love without marriage, some because they want it that way and some because due to an accident of birth coupled with some even more outdated opinions, they're not allowed to marry.
Today I completed an online survey that contributes to the (UK) Government's consultation on Gay Marriage. You can do the same from here -  http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/consultations/equal-civil-marriage/
I find the arguments against marriage for gay people bewildering. I've read the argument that marriage is something between a man and a woman to make babies, that the bible says so and that's that. Well, I've never read the bible so I can't tell you if it does but marriage existed before Christianity and if memory serves... was often as much about property rights and making the right alliances than it was about procreation. Marriage told everyone who owns what and whose side they were on and babies made certain of an heir to continue owning it and being owed allegiance. Roughly speaking anyway.

The world has moved on, now marriage is supposed to be about love. Seems to me the only people who can deny that gay people love each other as much as straight people are people who're too consumed by hate to recognise love when they see it. There is no debasement of the institution of marriage, no dumb, fickle, shallow reason for walking down the aisle a gay person can make that isn't made by straight people every damn week. It isn't better for a child to be raised by a mother and a father who're married, it's better that a child is raised by two people who love that child and are committed to putting that child before themselves for the rest of their lives.
I don't agree that the law should state no religious gay marriages can take place. I think the law shouldn't recognise the difference between any marriage that's between two human beings both over the age of consent. I'm fairly sure the wording could be found so that clerics could marry anyone they wanted to but also couldn't be compelled to marry a couple they didn't want to, be that because the couple are gay or because they were straight but have no religious leanings and just want a pretty building.

It's not up to me though, and I'm probably part of the slow deterioration of the fabric of our society that can safely be ignored. If I am though, and the fabric of society is something that wants equality only if it can make some more equal than others, then I'm all for it crumbling down around my ears.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

I shout at the TV.

I do. I know, I know, it's futile and silly and it doesn't make a damn bit of difference and I probably should get some perspective but I do. Big is quite accustomed to me going from barely paying attention to the actual programme we're watching to suddenly launching verbal attack of some proportions during an ad break.

I mostly shout at adverts, although the news (mainly when Tory politicians are talking) and shows like The Big Questions are known to get good rise out of me too. Actually, I don't watch Big Questions much any more. Partly because it's awful and repetitive and just an hour of various people always including Nicky Campbell desperately begging to be punched in the face but mostly because Small prefers Cbeebies.

Just tonight I was getting well cross at the new BT ads. I'm not sure why Kris Marshall got dumped, perhaps he was tired of doing it, perhaps not enough people gave enough of a damn about the wedding/baby but whatever it was, now we've just got Adam's stepson and his two University flatmates. The stepson, I forget his name (I'm not that invested, sheesh) is hardly in them anyway, so far they revolve around the horrible bloke trying to gain the upper hand in a contest for the female flatmate's affections that may be entirely in his head. They only last 20-30 seconds but it's enough. Why is this girl's sole function to be the object of clumsy, unsolicited advances and to be clueless about technology? Seriously, she has no other purpose and it's infuriating.
For balance, a source of ad break blood pressure ascent for many years was a recurring Co-Op ad where a smug middle aged woman sends her middle aged husband off to fetch something then scolds him for what he's brought, condescendingly turning to the cashier to roll her eyes and enquire 'what're they like?' You know what love, go get it yourself!
There are many ads I like, Compare the Meerkat for one. But there seems to be a default setting in advertising these days that you must include the viewer in a superior social group and then invite them to look down on another group. No, not seems, there is. There always has been, that's how advertising works of course. It just depresses me. It makes misogyny and discrimination acceptable by drip feeding it into homes in a playful little ways, after all it's only an advert. You sometimes hear of someone complaining against the huge raft of 'Men are useless aren't they girls' nod and a wink adverts and they'll say that you wouldn't get away with that if the gender roles were reversed. Five minutes research will show that the gender roles only just quite recently switched to where they are now but at the same time, ads like the BT one would suggest that while you can't advertise a product by showing a male actor patronising a female actor you absolutely can achieve much the same effect by more subtle means.
I used to complete the odd marketing survey and one time it was testing a new ad campaign for men's toiletries where they had research to show that most men's toiletries were bought for them by women so they were going to target the ads to women.
They covered the ads in pictures of shoes.
I was not complimentary.

Oh but it's not that sort of ad that gets to me. How I howled fury at the stupid Dettol handwash ad for the automatic dispenser! "You'll never touch a germy handwash pump again"
WHY THE HELL SHOULD I CARE HOW "GERMY" IT IS, I'M ABOUT TO WASH MY FRICKIN HANDS!
Ahem.


But there is hope. This year saw the wonderful advert for The Guardian, a full two minute short film really. It brilliantly conveyed the modern media age by presenting the nursery tale of The Little Pigs as it would be covered today. Look it up.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Fail.

Just been reading this on the BBC website - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18032390

It's about this photo -



Not the article it accompanies, just the photo. The Time article is about attachment parenting but I don't subscribe to Time so can't read it to see if it's positive, negative or ambivalent but the photo, in my opinion at least, is negative.
I am not an attachment parent per se. Small was prem and spent his first 3 months in hospital, at first on a respirator. What with one thing and an other, he never got the hang of breastfeeding and although I expressed for him at first, by four months I couldn't keep up my supply and switched him to formula. Co-sleeping, no by the time he came home he was used to sleeping alone in his own space so slept in a moses basket by my bedside until he was 9m and grown into his cot. Once he was off oxygen we did do a bit of babywearing and it was wonderful, much better than pushchairs and we continued that way until he was too big for me to carry comfortably in a mei tai. I don't agree with everything AT parenting suggests but I do like the central idea of allowing your child to set his own agenda. It just so happens that the things that Small likes are more... conventional.
Anyway.
Despite my own experiences, and I could write at some length about my experiences, I do completely support breastfeeding. I'm not sure any child really needs to keep doing it once they're a year old and eating all their meals and snacks in solid form but I don't think it's wrong to keep going either. Why I wish the above photo was different is that it's provocative. It seems to set out to get a negative reaction from people. Not only does the child look a good bit older than his 3 years and his mother look like a hired model but there is nothing maternal about the pose. Neither person is paying the other much attention, there is nothing to demonstrate a bond, it's so cold the two could almost have been photoshopped together and never met. Anyone viewing that as their first exposure to extended breastfeeding is not going to see much good about it.   It makes extended breastfeeding a freak show and therefore puts more pressure on breastfeeding mothers. Now they not only have to deal with the difficulty of the first weeks, the mix of attitudes, the whole issue of public feeding but now you have to start thinking about when you're going to stop in case people start equating you with those 'weird, nutjob extended breastfeeders'. For crying out loud, just let parents make the decisions that suit their own, individual child without any more meddling from the media.

So it doesn't matter actually what the Time article says, what slant it takes. Far more people are going to see this photo than read the article anyway. And people being people, they'll draw their own conclusions from that photo too.
Great job Time.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Idealism

I keep up with the Leveson Inquiry. I watched Rebekah Brooks's evidence today and it's set me off.

In my world, journalists should report the news. They shouldn't make it. They shouldn't try to direct the actions of politicians or the public mood. Gods know there isn't a shortage of news out there, perhaps if papers reported more about the lives of people living on 50p a day in Indonesia rather than footballers who barely get out of bed (or someone else's bed) for the millions they earn then the world would be a different place. Oh but no one would buy the papers then would they? It's down to the money, not the job well done.

But then I also think politicians should be more concerned with doing the right thing than the thing that will bring them power, money and/or career prospects. I think there's a point in the salary scale where you're earning more than you could ever need so at that point you absolutely should pay your taxes the way lower paid people do, without the aid of accountants and tax avoidance schemes. I think that at that level of salary, your primary focus should be doing your job well rather than keeping an eye on what your peers are earning and high tailing it off to another company if they promise to give you even more money than you could possibly need.

I think that brown field sites should be developed completely before another field is built on. By the same token, I think we should accept that the resources we have are all we're going to have and stop spending billions on space exploration which, whatever the good intentions of physicists, is only going to be used to harvest more resources from other planets.

I also think I should have a really large win on the lottery, but only so that I be largely altruistic and set a good example ;)

Thursday, 10 May 2012

From here you can smell summer

It was a very seasonal day today, it rained a little early on but by late morning it was sunny, warm and with a warm breeze. The last day I remember being this warm was back in the freakishly warm days we had at the end of March. It's been a long wait through some trying times.
This week in particular has been no fun at all what with my insolent ribs (seriously, you don't realise how much you move your ribs until they start telling you loudly if you so much as disturb them by breathing) and Small has been getting bothered by his molars so it's a pantomime at bedtime then wakefulness every hour through the night when he decides he wants a cuddle culminating in him joining us in bed at 5am and proceeding to alternately snuggle for 5 minutes then start yelling and complaining and trying to kick us in the head. Or in my case, because he's EVIL, kick me in the ribs. And then I had to go to work. Bleah.

But today... it was warm, D slept with only two wakings and didn't get us up til after 6am. I felt good enough to try leaving off the codeine and after Big was done with his Thing this morning a little of his personal black cloud lifted a bit too. Back in the days when we had no child and a smaller mortgage, Big and I got our weekly food from a lovely farm shop over Wakey way. In the intervening years they've developed the site a bit and now sport a restaurant too so we went over for lunch. They have a great children's menu too so Small got a picnic platter of crudite, thick cut ham, chargrilled chicken, cheese and bread while me and Big had a burger. Small charmed the surrounding diners and waitresses, ate (fairly) nicely and we went down to the shop to pick up a few snacky bits to have for tea tonight. Also got some stuff for a friend who lives nearby and has had an even worse week than us and dropped them off.

The threatened showers never happened so we went on to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park which is a wonderful place on a nice day. Rolling fields filled with grazing sheep, the odd migrating flock of canada geese, rabbits and  Henry Moore sculpture. Not just Henry Moore, but those are the stand out pieces. Small was in his tiny blonde element, exercising his 2 year old's right to say hello to everyone he met, from humans to ladybirds and including every single sheep. The only slight issue with this is that he expects a reply and prepared to wait for it.

Wonderful day, just wonderful. Small even went to bed without a fuss for the first time in about a week. I'm not one to moan about rain. I'm from Aberdeen, if I was raised to moan about bad weather when it happened I'd never be doing anything else ever. I do like the warm though and I like the serendipity of everything coming together when the warm sun comes out. Perhaps it's just my perspective that changes but while I have no problem with the rain, things just roll better when you're not shivering.


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

It's Panda Wednesday!

Every Wednesday, because it's a work day and I'm generally too tired to think, we shall celebrate the awesomeness of the panda. A more general cute/funny animal pic will feature on my other workday.

So without further ado -


Monday, 7 May 2012

Ow

Turns out I didn't just pull a muscle after all. No, not dramatic enough for me.
Today it hurt a lot more. Thought we'd take Small to the park so I could walk it off but couldn't stand up straight, Small was trying to hold my hand and I was almost in tears with the pain of reaching down to him too. I was genuinely starting to think I'd broken a rib somehow, except you can't break a rib *somehow* if you break it then you kind of know at the time. Also, no bruises so it wasn't like Big had been chloroforming me in the night and using me for kick boxing practice either. But still, ow. Less than five minutes in the park and I asked Big to drop me off at A&E then take Small back to the park on his own while I waited.

There's this question they ask, I'm sure you've heard of it if you haven't been in a position to be asked it yourself  - "on a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the pain?"
Well, excuse me but I'm not a masochist, I don't have the wide enough experience of levels of pain with which to have them sorted into a neat grading system. It hurts like a bastard though. I settled on 7. I'd rate giving birth to Small about a 7 too, so I hope I never experience 8-10. They gave me codeine, which at least sorted out my sore throat. Actually no, I just thought it hadn't done much good until half an hour ago when it started to wear off. I'm looking forward to the next little pill of joy now. After being thoroughly checked over and having a collapsed lung ruled out and also a broken rib for the same reasons I mentioned above, they decided I've pulled, stretched or torn the cartilage  between my lower ribs on one side. I got a script for more codeine, advised to do some self-physiotherapy and to watch out for coughing anything up along with a range of options for who to call to depending on colour of said expectorant. Lovely.

Little trooper that I am, I'll be going into work tomorrow, probably in a corset to keep the ribs supported. It's times like these my alternative wardrobe comes in damn handy.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Why I Can't Rest

I could have spent today in bed. I'm still fighting off a cold after a month and I've pulled a muscle coughing and Big was kind enough to tell me to stay in bed and rest. He brought me breakfast, he did some housework even.   I'm no good at it though. By 11am I'd exhausted my patience for reading, I'd all caught up on FB and Twitter and every stray hair had been meticulously removed from my eyebrows.
I was thinking of how the hoovering needed doing, how Small was probably still in his pj's, how many other tiny matters of no real consequence were happening contrary to my satisfaction and took the first available excuse to get up and dressed and start at least Supervising.

I can't stress enough that the offer to stay in bed while Big got up and did house stuff is rare to the point of extinction. One of the things that really gets my goat in an 'I love you forever and with all my soul but if you don't QUIT IT right now I may embed this pen in your eye' way is how Big is either apparently blind to the many daily chores that require doing or just assumes that they somehow don't apply to him. You can point them out to him and so long as you don't suggest more than one chore to be done in a day and aren't too worried which day in the next thirty or so he does it, it will be done. I can get really cross about that. Cross to the point where I work myself into a right state over being taken for granted and sob sob, how my health is affected.

But here's the sad truth.

I can't rest. I get bored, I get restless, I get really, really concerned about either a) that necessary chores won't be done or b) that they won't be done right. I may complain about Big and the housework, but it's worth pointing out that he puts up with a lot of complaining despite knowing that he's essentially going to lose whatever he does because I'm a bit of a control freak.
 I'm much happier pottering around getting stuff done a bit at a time, resting inbetween and directing Big to the odd task as I go. It's even likely that in some subconscious way I'm happier doing all these things while grumping that I have to. The mere fact that Big has so far resisted the temptation to whack me over the head with the Dyson and shove me under the patio is testament to the truth of the situation.

We're a team. this is how we roll. 

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Give it away, give it away, give it away now

Until a month ago, I had a teeny tiny business selling the jewellery I made. It became clear very early on that I could either take a huge risk and go all out, put all my time, money and energy into making it a proper income, or I could keep it small, do what I could in my spare time and see where it went. At the time I was living a number of very huge risks and while they all worked out quite well, I decided I wasn't going to push my luck. After 5 years of pottering, slow but regular sales and the odd commission that was challenging and interesting, I had Small. Priorities shifted and not long before his second birthday I decided this would be my last financial year running the website, finding the time and struggling with the tax returns.

I'm left with a few bits and pieces of stock, mostly things I had made up for selling on the stalls I occasionally ran at fairs. Bit by bit, I'm giving them away.  Like just about everyone else at the moment, our beloved Government excepted, we don't have a lot of spare cash around to send presents out so I'm lucky to have a reserve of things I can use for this because it's nice. It was always nice to sell stuff, the price I sold at rarely covered the cost of materials+p&p+effort so I can't say the money came in handy but the knowledge that people thought something I'd made was worth paying for was a boost. I have to say though, it's much nicer to just stick something in the post to a friend or acquaintance and brighten a day, even in the smallest way.

I always knew I wasn't cut out for the severe world of business :D


 

Friday, 4 May 2012

May The Fourth Be With You

Seems like a good day to talk geekery. Especially as it's also Free Comic Book Day tomorrow.

I'm a bit of a geek. Just a bit. I'm married to a proper, full time, in the bone geek so I know I only class as a bit of one. Star Wars (4-6), Star Trek (Classic), Red Dwarf, Firefly, Buffy, Zombies, Joss Whedon, comic books, Terry Pratchett, pretty much anything Simon Pegg has ever done... I love it all.

I don't have the talent for information retention that Big does so I might struggle to recall who did the pencilling on the Preacher series or who the Key Grip for Empire Strikes Back was but I'm not bad for a girl. Other girls into geek stuff are not especially rare but they're not so abundant to be found by the indiscriminate heaving of a half-brick. It makes it hard to break the ice with other women when I have no frame of reference for their interests (be it reality tv, reality tv celebs, soaps or whatever.... I don't mean that to sound the way it probably does) and they have no frame of reference to mine. Also you often get a moment where when you say you don't take an interest in those things you're either dismissed as weird or worse, that you're looking down on them. I'm not. It's true that I would far prefer to remove my toenails with a pair of rusty pliers than watch a soap opera these days but I've watched them in the past. I don't mind if anyone else wants to watch them, so long as they don't think they're an accurate representation of normal life or a model for interpersonal relationships. Reality shows? X-Factor? So long as you understand they're about as real as a £3 note and you enjoy them, completely fine, just don't ask me to watch them. Sadly though, common ground is important for chit chat so I don't have a lot of female friends and those I might make with non-geek affiliated women don't tend, historically to last long on the whole.

Tonight we're watching Cowboys And Aliens. We've been watching a lot of superhero movies lately so it'll make a nice change. I like Marvel superheros, but I don't read them. I don't like DC much at all but there are a few exceptions, mostly well outside the superhero remit. I don't read superheroes, rightly or wrongly, because I don't have enough lifetime to read the whole back catalogue going back 60, 70 years plus and because I am a geek, I would want to. But I like the films. I like what Marvel Studios does. We went to see The Avengers last week and loved it so much, even if I didn't know Black Widow and Hawkeye as well as Big does. It was fab, really. Hulk Smash.

And just as I was writing this, Big informed me of this article - http://news.moviefone.com/2012/05/01/girls-guide-to-the-avengers_n_1467480.html
That is the kind of thing I'm talking about above. They've come back and tried to say it's a satire but I'm not sure who it's supposed to be a satire against. Is it a satire against the Bridget Jones girls? Saying they're so dumb they need extra help to understand a movie that's already written to convey it's plot to the uninitiated? Or is it a satire against us geeky girls, presenting us as believing the Bridget Jones fans are that dumb? That we're that bitchy and superior? Or worse, that we're some kind of statistical anomaly, because proper girls would need this article? What is a proper girl Moviefone? How should we behave? Any which way it misses the important factor of a satire - humour. It's just plain insulting to anyone who happens across it, regardless of how it was supposedly intended.

Bah, I'm missing my movie with all this ranting, and Daniel Craig is beating up a lot of people.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Beeeeeeeep

Thursday Funny Picture


Please leave a message after the beep.

Wednesdays and Thursdays I have to work. It does not leave me a lot of time or energy to think of things to say to bore you. So here, enjoy a funny picture. 


My boy

I'm so lucky to have my son. To say nothing of the manner of his arrival in the world (more on that tale some other time) and how close I came to not having him at all, he's a wonderful kid.

Oh yes, I know. Everyone says that about their kid. But he's an absolute delight. I love this age, I know people say Terrible Twos but it's not bad. Yes there's tantrums over the most trivial things but you get them for the same reason you get pure, unadulterated, unselfconscious joy at just as trivial things. Because they're not trivial to him. Sure it's exasperating when I'm tired and sore and fed up and he's face down on the kitchen floor sobbing his heart out because I won't let him play with the sharp knives and yes my temper will fray and I may well insist Big just takes Small out of my way NOW. That's because I'm human, not that I feel much better for it at the time. But the endless entertainment opportunities offered by a cardboard tube, by a tin and a spoon, by a strand of spaghetti... I wouldn't trade them to never see another tantrum. When was the last time your life was made complete by being entrusted with carrying a birthday card to the post box and posting it? In Small's world, today. He's also discovered the concept of hide and seek, which to him means turning around to face away from you and screeching "HIDING" until you start to count. Then mad giggles when you reach ten and yell "FOUND YOU" Tonight, he ducked down in the bath and hid there.

He's a Daddy's boy. When Daddy is home Mummy is old news, this hurts. At 3am though, only Mummy will do and for some reason I am not comforted by this, I'm probably too tired and too jealous of my soundly snoring Big to be comforted. He's not a cuddly boy unless he's poorly or coming round from a nap and only kisses goodbye, not just for kisses sake. The only time he's expressed the emotion of love was when he got a ride-on digger but it all just makes the few kisses and cuddles I am gifted all the more precious.

He apologises to strangers in the street for getting in their way. He says 'not so bad' when asked how he is and 'yesi'mfine' when asked if he's ok. He smiles all the time, unless there's a camera pointing at him, he helps with the washing up, he yells TUUUUNE when he hears ZZ Top or Metallica on the radio. I honestly can't think what I did with my life before he came into it, but it probably wasn't worth it.