About Me

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A first time mum at 39, trying not to let my son kill me off too soon. Busy juggling a new family, a new house and a tricky recording schedule I figured blogging would be less expensive than therapy and less embarrassing than shouting at rude and stupid people in the street/on trains/at the supermarket.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Mummy musings...

So I now have a whole host of things to irritate me that I never thought possible....

- Parent and child parking spaces are a godsend.  I never realised how much room you needed to get a baby seat out of a car before I had to do it.  I LOVE these spaces. But in Sainsbury's the other day I watched 2 people come back to the car in the space next to me with no pushchair or child.    This irked me to say the least, but they seemed to think it was fine as they had a disabled badge in the window.  The fact they both walked perfectly well and were both carrying a number of shopping bags seemed to suggest they were not that physically impaired.  Adding insult to injury, there was a whole row of empty disabled spaces in the car park (around 8 spots) and wondered how well it would be received if I parked in one of the disabled bays and used my child as the reason?

- Just having a baby/child seat in the back of your car also does not make it acceptable to park in one of the parent and child bays.  As the 'disabled' car pulled out of the space, a chap pulled into it.  2 child seats in the back but no kids.  I kid you not  - no pun intended.  Grrrrrrrr!

- I keep reading about babies of Boychild's age being 18, 20 and even 25lbs and wondering what on earth they are being fed.  He was over 8lb when he was born but didn't put on weight to start with.  Now he is just over 15lbs.  He's not tiny but he's no means big either (Husb and I are both pretty restricted on the leg front!). How the hell can a five month old baby be 25lbs??   I know a one year old who weighs that and she looks comfortably cuddly so what the heck does a 25lb baby of 5 months look like?

- I have started to hate clothes shopping.  Actually that's not strictly true.  I started hating it when i was pregnant but I had hoped that by now, I would have started to like it again.  I'm still too big for the pre-preg clothes but a size bigger is just a fraction too big.  aarrrggghhh!  And you have to speed shop too, whether you have the offspring with you or not.  If you do then you can't try anything on.  If you don't then you have to do it at breakneck speed as you have only a limited time without them.  Either way, it sucks and is really depressing.  Your daytime wardrobe can't really contain black/dark tops as you will be thrown up on about 3 times a day (or covered in drool or baby rice or any other yuk they have picked up) and your jeans MUST be stretch... you are on your knees or bending about 200 times a day.  And it must all be non-iron.  Who has time to iron when you have a baby?

- Nappy sacks.  Effectively carrier bags to put poo in.  So who the hell would want to pay over 2quid for a load of those?  Just discovered Sainsbury's basics  nappy sacks.... 12p.  Bloody marvellous.   Anyone who is prepared to pay lots of money for bags to put poo in, clearly has far too much of it (money, that is, not poo...).

Thursday, 13 September 2012

One month later

It got  better. 

Well it had to really otherwise I may have thrown myself from a bridge.  I had a meltdown - it was pretty bad.  Completely lost it at my husband.   On that particular day I was hot, bothered, exhausted and covered in baby sick.  Boychild had been screaming all day and I just felt as though my life was over.  

5 months ago I was juggling a £1M budget and booking some of the best musicians in the world and now I was looking like shite wearing clothes my mother wouldn't be seen dead in (too fat for regular clothes and too thin for my maternity clothes), spending hours trying to clean the flat but not able too as my child wouldn't sleep for long enough (or allow me to put him down) so fed up of living in a pigsty, constantly washing bottles and trying desperately to keep my milk supply up (after the abominable mess made of breastfeeding caused partly by the midwives and partly by the bureaucratic arses at Kings College Hospital - another long story for another time) and having absolutely no life whatsoever as that would only be achievable with some energy - something I was clearly lacking.

Husband listened.  He didn't really understand and thought I was criticising him (I wasn't)  but he knew I was close to breaking point.

I stopped trying to be superwoman and also gave up fighting the losing battle of my own milk.  Husband therefore could do some of the night feeds.  He now does Friday and Saturday night feeds - I can't expect him to get up at 3am during the week when he has to go to work, I'm not that unreasonable.  I've still only been out alone 3 times but I can live with it.  2 on Friday nights so that hubby can do the feed and I can sleep and once to a Pilates class.  It's a vague hope of trying to get back my pre-baby bod and shake off the backache!

I also have given up being bothered about Freddie crying when we're out.  He needs to get used to it as needs must and one must shop occasionally!  Now I'm more relaxed, then he is too. I always knew that would happen but it's very tricky to implement when one is completely shattered. 

He still won't nap much  - 30 minute bursts  - but now he's older he will sit in his chair for a short while and watch me in the kitchen so I can at least clean all his bottles and prepare his feeds.

This morning he slept for 90 minutes whilst I attended a mum and baby fitness class - Pushy Mothers.  He loved it and I can barely move.  Lord, the last time I ached that much I had been beasted by a personal trainer in preparation for my wedding!  And that time, I got to come home, have a bath and cry quietly in the corner.  Today I had to come home, wash my sweaty face and change my t-shirt and carry on with looking after Baby Boy.   I must stink!  But I am so proud of my little one - he clearly loves being out in the fresh air and has absolutely no interest in watching me exercise!

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that he has got better - it's not perfect and I'm still not getting anywhere near enough sleep, but I can live like this and not feel like a total failure.  I'm even beginning to get quite sad about having to go back to work - something I never thought I would say.  People change I guess.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Long time no speak...

So it's been three months since my last post. Babies huh?
I knew other would hard but not this hard.

I watch mums walk up and down my road with their prams , and walk round the shops with sleeping babies and i wish i could do that. But i can't. I'm filled with dread whenever i consider going out alone. My son cries. Then when he's done crying, he cries some more. If you hold him and walk about he stops. If you push his pram cross country he will sleep . But if you want to stop moving or sit down, he will scream.  shopping is impossible. Housework is impossible. My life is impossible.

He is better around other people - he likes noise and voices. Unfortunately the radio and tv don't cut it.  it has to be other people. Even then it only works for a few minutes.

Perhaps if he gave in to sleep he would be in a better mood. I pay a fortune to an Osteopath each week to try to chill him out. We've done baby massage . It's fine while he's there but not when we leave.
As i am typing, on my phone as i can't possibly get the laptop out, he is laying on the floor screaming. I have spent 12 weeks cooing , soothing, cuddling, remaining calm and generally tying to be chilled. I tell myself it will get better. But it's  not so now i will just have to let him scream it out.
God i hope this gets better soon.
I am shattered.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

I'm a mummy!

Forgive me Blogspot for I have sinned, it's been weeks since my last posting.  But I have a good reason.  

I was really down in my last few weeks at work, felt awful and huge and knackered.  Then when I finished work it got worse so I didn't really just want to spend the whole time moaning.   But now.....!!


I won't lie, it was horrific - worse than I imagined (long story for another time) but I have the most beautiful result in the world.  My gorgeous son Freddie.  He's now a whole 5 days old and aside from giving mummy and daddy one completely sleepless night, he has been an absolute angel.  I'm under no illusion that it will last but what do i care!?  I'm on so many drugs right now , nothing matters.  (thank you hospital!)

He has the most wonderful blue/black eyes that you could swim in, daddy's nose (sorry son, but you're gonna have a corker there) daddy's ears (yea!!! it means he can avoid the massive flappers from my side of the family) and according to Husb, he has mummy's mouth. Hmmmm, not sure about that but I'll take it.
The long legs and big feet have me very confused seeing as Husb and I are pretty short and mini but hey ho.  His hair looked dark to start with but he has no eyebrows so I think the fair ginger gene might be creeping through....Meh, it's character building!  Oh, and he has the smelliest farts I've ever experienced from a baby.  (Too much information?  I don't think so, these things are important!)

Anyway, it's Saturday night and I'm indoors watching the end of the the Champions League Final and not at a 40th birthday party and I don't care.  My baby boy is asleep on Daddy's lap and I'm not as shattered as I thought i would be (but everything is relative I guess).  So signing off for now as I'm missing my cuddles.

Happy Mummy!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Cool baby?

I think i might be having a cool baby.  At least that's what I hope.

After being reasonably quiet this morning, baby started it's wriggling as soon as I put on Muse 'Butterflies and Hurricanes'.  Really going for it too!  So i tried an experiment and put the track on 3 times... it wriggled and kicked in exactly the same place each time.  Hoorah!  I had a similar response to Nirvana 'Smells like teen spirit' and then it went really quiet with Will Young.

I really hope this means that it likes Muse and not the complete opposite.  More experiments required I feel...

Monday, 26 March 2012

Justified grumblings?

I won't lie, I've always been a bit of a grumbler but I am getting more so as I get older and more pregnant.  Here are just a selection of my irritants from the last week week...

1) Today the Telegraph online reported that Connie Huq and Charlie Brooker had named their new baby Covey.  Nope not exactly news that will help me to get through my day but then it was in the 'celebrity news' section and so not really infringing on column inches reserved for world politics.  It was a nice story to read - two people from the telly/media have had a baby and have given it a name slightly more interesting than John or Jack.  Not perhaps a name I would have chosen but then it's not my baby and none of my business really.  So why do people feel the need to log onto the site and comment [quite bitterly and hurtfully] firstly on 'who the hell these people are' - one being quite a successful satirical writer and journalist and the other a fairly well-known TV celeb but lesser-known writer - and then cast scorn and disgust on their choice of baby name?   Lord alive, do people really have that little to think about in their lives or fill their days?  Or is it just too fashionable to be an internet troll right now?   
If you think celebrity news is too trivial to bother you then don't read it.  Easy solution.

2) Lady on train.  I'm sorry you are ill, but the fact you can barely stand, have solidly coughed and sneezed for 25 minutes straight and look awful suggests that this has not come on since lunchtime.  Why did you go to work and insist on trying to infect everyone on South Eastern trains? Yes, I am sitting here covering my mouth because the last time I had a cold (when only 14 weeks pregnant) it lasted over 3 weeks and was vile as I couldn't take any medication.  Please accept you're ill and stay at home!

3) Man on tube.  I know you saw me.  I know you saw my enormous, almost 8 month bump, and I know you chose to then look me in the eye and look back at your paper as I stood directly in front of you trying not pass out on the packed District Line train.  I'm sure your wife would be really proud.

4) Lady tutting behind me at Embankment station as I walked up the stairs.  I'm so sorry that I was 'blocking your way' when you clearly needed to get up the stairs faster than I was allowing you.  I'm afraid the extra 2 stone I'm carrying in a rather inconvenient place tends to prevent me from taking the steps two at a time.  Oh and the fact the other side of the steps was completely clear makes me wonder why you didn't take that route if your exit was so urgent?

5)  Virgin Media.  You irritate me generally.   You're incompetent, slow, useless and you lie.  Anyone in my office who has heard me trying to get my phone line fixed will know that I am close to breaking point. I don't think it's too much to ask to get them to fix it seeing as it's been pretty rubbish for almost 10 months now....

6) Olympic-sized moaners.  Some people just moan about the Olympics for something to do.  You are boring me now.  Get over it. And as for the flak Stella McCartney is getting about the new kit - Jeez!! 
Do the athletes like it? YES! 
Is it fit for purpose? YES 
Is it recognisable as our national flag and obvious it's a team GB kit?  YES
Then what is the problem?  Get a life. 

7) Budget moaners.  Are you blissfully unaware of the mess this country is in financially? There is no easy solution - I'm sure if there was then Greece would already be doing it and we would be following suit very quickly.  There were some things I liked in the budget and some things I didn't.  I will be better off for a while and then worse off very soon afterwards.  It's not great but then life isn't fair.  I imagine that most people are the same.  There is no perfect solution and unfortunately we are all just going to have to ride it out.  I know that The Opposition have been quick to cast scorn and derision on some of the policies however I note that none of them have suggested some better alternatives... they simply waste their breath on telling the Tories what a crap job they are doing.  I have no respect for any politician, from any side of any fence who just attack opposing policies.  Get an opinion, get policies and get arguments to back them up.  Then I'll be interested and have more time for you all.

I think that's probably enough for now....:o)

Friday, 9 March 2012

Something I just had to share.... a very misguided Gina Ford?

I found this blog by accident and this happened to be the first article.  I hope the Mostly Yummy Mummy won't mind me sharing it here.  I'm still in shock to be honest.  You can read the whole post here at  mostlyyummymummy

In a nutshell, it's her little rant over the divorced and childless Gina Ford's declaration that after 4 - 6 weeks from giving birth, us ladies should be ready to get jiggy with our menfolk whether we're in the mood/physically ready/emotionally ready or not.... Nice huh?

From someone who is around 8 weeks from giving birth and is feeling about as sexy as a knitted bog-roll cover and who has watched far too many episodes of 'One born every minute' than is healthy, I'm pretty sure that I won't want to get down and dirty with Husb that quickly.    

I have a lot of friends with children and know that some of them are still struggling to sit comfortably after  a month let alone wiggle around in a sexy fashion.  Jeez, who does that woman think she is?  Well, we know actually; someone who has never given birth or had stitches in places that you really don't want to imagine.

Apparently our poor partners may feel left out in the cold and neglected.... well boo-friggin'-hoo.  If they do, then maybe they should have thought of that before deciding reproduction was a good idea.   Don't misunderstand me, physical contact and emotional closeness is important in every relationship and I'm sure it is very easy to get swept along with the new baby roller coaster and unwittingly push your partner away but that doesn't mean you have to put on a your best Rigby & Peller and lay there thinking of England just to show him you care.  Besides which, your leaking breasts will probably ruin a perfectly good bra, and the sounds of a squawking newborn may not have the same effect on your libido as the dulcet tones of Barry White...

Of course, I may be one of the women who is eager to get back on the horse (as it were) relatively quickly and if I am, whoopee for Husb, but something tells me that he won't want to anyway if he thinks I'm only doing it for show.  And I feel very lucky to have a partner who does have that kind of mindset.  

Recent discoveries....

- After a recent trip to a country hotel in Oxfordshire, it’s been discovered that I don’t snore in Oxford.  Husb would like to move me into said hotel for the remainder of my pregnancy, it’s the best sleep he’s had in around 6 months…

- Never believe photos on a hotel website.  Standard room photos generally look okay, but in ‘the flesh’ they can be reminiscent of a prison cell – small, stark and with no room to actually lay down a suitcase.

- Complaining really does help in getting an upgrade at a bargain rate.  Especially if you’re 7 months pregnant and looking slightly tearful.

- Having a tummy upset at 7 months pregnant is not fun at all.   Especially when it comes hand in hand with regular contraction-like cramping.

- Your unborn baby will not care a jot that you are in pain from a tummy upset and won’t even notice.  I have this on good authority from the lady who monitored mine for half an hour whilst I was in agony.

- Apparently at 32 weeks, ‘quads’ are considered full-term.  Jeez.  I pity anyone carrying 4 babies around!

- My unborn child has an enormous head.  This was reported by a lovely sonographer yesterday who told us that the size of it only just brings it inside the boundary of ‘normal’ sized.  Excellent.   I think I may be considering being too posh to push….

- It is a sobering thought to think I have two plastic storage boxes in my spare room.  One is entirely devoted to 'bum' stuff - nappies, wipes etc. And one is devoted to 'boob' stuff - bottles, nipple shields, expressing contraptions and other such glamourous products. God, I miss proper shopping.... shoes, clothes and make-up

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Morning sickness moans

Sorry, I know it's not the nicest subject but I need to vent.

1) It's an urban myth that it's just in the beginning of a pregnancy.  I never had a trace of anything until after 12 weeks.  I'm now fast approaching 30 weeks and it's beginning to get worse.

2) It also doesn't have to involve the act of being sick.  It can just make you go through all the motions but with your efforts rewarded with nothing but a horrible tight-pulled-muscle feeling in your stomach and sides, watery eyes, the urge to pee and generally making you feel altogether crap.  This process can vary from 30 seconds to about 10 minutes and is pretty unpleasant. 

3) point 2 is only correct if you get the feeling first thing in the morning.  Clearly there is nothing to ...erm... produce ... shall we say, as you haven't eaten for 12 hours.  My third point is that 'morning sickness' is definitely not exclusive to mornings.  It can spring up at any time, usually if there is a strong smell of anything vaguely unpleasant in the air. 
Generally it's at rather inconvenient times, for instance, after a meal in a nice restaurant which results in you having to run to the ladies covering your mouth and, effectively, wasting the money you have just spent on a perfectly good lunch or dinner.

4) why do I never get 'morning sickness' at the weekends/when I get out of bed later than usual?  Why is it only when I get up for work at around 7am that I am plagued with such torture.  I'm pretty sure this has happened less than half a dozen times on a weekend or lie-in.

5) what is it about toothpaste that induces it? 

6) I'm pretty sure a bloke invented it. 

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Now I know I'm old

In December I blogged about some 'sad' music facts

I might have made the point in that blog that I thought I was old.  Now I know it's true.  And I'm completely out of touch.

I said something about Flo Rida and assumed it was a woman  - how many men do you know called Flo?  Well guess what?  Flo Rida is a bloke.  I found out by accident watching Jessie J on Jonathan Ross at the weekend.

Oh the shame.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Gone too soon

I've been a bit quiet of late as it's tricky to blog about my usual trivial rants and thoughts right now. 

On the 27th January, my 34 year old cousin lost her short, but brutal fight, with a rare cancer.  After her doctor spent all summer telling her that her itching and bruising was an allergic reaction (although to what, he couldn't tell her), she was finally diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in early October.  The tumour had wrapped and wound itself around blood vessels and arteries and was wedged in close to her liver causing her to have a more than passing resemblance to Marge Simpson.   Given the type and severity, she was told it was inoperable. 

Most people would have crumbled at the prospect of leaving two young children motherless but not her.  She asked all the right questions and discovered that they could drain the jaundice on her liver and give her chemo that could potentially shrink the tumour (although not cure it) and give her a couple more years.  To the point where she could actually go back to her job as a Deputy Headmistress.   So she pulled herself up by the bootstraps and decided that was exactly what was going to happen.

She banned her two sisters and parents from being maudlin and upset about it as if she could deal with it then so could they.  She spent the next couple of months bossing around doctors from various hospitals and kept telling me not to be so daft when I had to postpone my visits yet again (the news clashed with us trying to move house and then the unfortunate death of my mother-in-law resulting in weekly trips to Yorkshire).  She had no intention of going anywhere soon so what's the rush?

By Christmas though it was clear things were not good.  The hospital still hadn't started chemo as her liver was proving difficult.  By the time I saw her, she was almost green.  She was painfully thin (ironic seeing as she had spent a fortune at Weight Watchers over the years) but with swollen legs and a tummy that made her appear 7 months pregnant.  Yet she was still more annoyed that I hadn't brought my baby scan photos to show her!  Then regaled me with the stories of the batty old woman in the bed opposite who kept trying to give away her sister's baby.  The woman thought my cousin would be a much better mother.

Less than two weeks after I saw her she moved into a hospice - for recuperation, she said.  My parents saw her and my mum knew instantly that it was not for recuperation.  She looked awful and could barely get in and out of bed unaided.    A few days later she went home and told her parents the news we'd all been dreading.  There was nothing left the hospital could do.  It had taken too long to drain her liver and now chemo was no longer on the table.

Her living room was turned into a bedroom and her husband took over caring for her full time.  Their two children (3 and 6) reacted very differently to mummy's illness.  The younger one didn't notice any difference and continued to run to her and show her the things he had done.  The older one was frightened and wouldn't go into see her.  Mummy looked too strange. 

Just a few days later, almost sensing that the time was close, her husband asked the children if they wanted to stay with their grandparents that night and 6 year old daughter instantly agreed.  The children were sent off and my cousin and her husband spent the whole night listening to music.  The District Nurse was sent for and husband was told to phone anyone who might want to see my cousin straight away as she was unlikely to last  the night.  The midwife was right and Liz passed away early that morning.

I've not really been the same since and I won't lie, I am dreading the funeral next week.  I can barely hold it together 10 days later writing this so Lord knows what I'll be like standing at the front of the church while my father puts the photo on top of the coffin.

Whilst there is nothing good that I can say about this whole incident, an amusing story has emerged.  Her sister had to tell her 4 year old son that his aunt had died and did not know how to do it.  So she told him that Aunty Liz had gone to live in the sky with the stars. 
- 'Oh', he replied.  'What, in a space rocket?'
- 'erm, something like that' his mother spluttered.

How can we be sad now, eh?

Friday, 20 January 2012

Clearly I am not alone....

Moments after my previous post I found this wonderful article in The Guardian.  Again, I'm sure it won't make me terribly popular as it's not a trendy opinion, but I guess that's just tough.
SOPA - behind the legislation... 

What do you get for killing Michael Jackson?

I saw this picture on Facebook and chuckled.   But then I read the headline that went with it and wondered if the author had missed the point...  what do you think?

I will be brutally honest, I don't know very much about the SOPA legislation - which is slightly embarrassing given my profession - but I will stand firm and say that I am very much against music piracy.   In my experience it is usually carried out by the very people who moan that there is too much manufactured pop and reality shows but if you don't BUY music and therefore PAY the people creating it then there is no investment available to go 'old school' and seek out and nurture new and unique talent.  But that's a whole other rant, probably best not to get me started!

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that, okay, so you could get more time at 'Her Majesty's Pleasure' for illegally downloading music than for bumping off the related artist, but surely that doesn't mean SOPA is wrong.  Surely that means that the system of justice and guidelines for convicting and sentencing people who commit violent crimes is screwed?

Anyone with me?

Thursday, 12 January 2012

First Impressions

It's probably not healthy given that I am 24 weeks pregnant but I am shamelessly addicted to 'One born every minute'  as is my work colleague who is 32 weeks pregnant. 

The excitement in the office yesterday afternoon when we realised the episode due to aired that evening was the 'one with the girl with the birthing outfit'!  We'd both been completely shocked and amused at last week's trailer showing someone who had designed her own water birthing outfit.  I will be honest, we'd both thought that her and her partner were perhaps 'not our kind of people' and we'd made that snap judgement based on their look and dress style and the way they spoke.  Not fair but something that happens everyday.

I know that I had smugly thought how much she would care about her bloody outfit once the pain started to rip through her body and wondered if she would be one of the infamous screamers who for some reason had no idea that this process might not be reminiscent of an aromatherapy massage in a luxury spa.

As someone who does not like to admit she is wrong [EVER!] I will swallow my pride and apologise.  Heather, I apologise for misjudging you and your birthing outfit.  Childbirth has never been a dignified experience but you gave probably the best demonstration of dignity that I have witnessed.

I know everyone is different and maybe you were lucky and had very little pain, or you have a high pain threshold but regardless of that, you showed what can be achieved if you channel your energies into the task at hand rather than worrying about what could be/might be/ is!

I scoffed at your remark about not going to antenatal classes as 'ignorance is bliss' but now wonder if you have a point!

Okay, so if you had been one of the unlucky ladies who did suffer with complications then it would have been a whole different ballgame but you weren't and you just went on to show that a regular uncomplicated birth can be exactly that.  Well done lady.  I just hope I have a similar experience to you rather than mirror some of the horror stories I've had to hear from friends!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Preggy brain

Preggy brain is definitely kicking in.  Brilliant.

Yesterday I tried to let myself into work using my Tfl Travelcard rather than my electronic work pass.  Not a smart move.  Not sure how I thought swiping a piece of cardboard on a touchpad was going to have any effect.

Then I managed to drop a really nice piece of [fresh from the oven] salmon (earmarked for my dinner) on the floor also smashing the plate it was on.  Lovely. 

Mother nature is cruel.  At a time when you supposed to be at your most responsible and entirely in charge of a new life that is completely dependant on you, mother nature decides to take away your hand/eye co-ordination and your short term memory.  Go figure.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Justice. Of sorts....

Two men accused of murdering the black teenager Stephen Lawrence 18 years ago have finally been found guilty and given life sentences for their crimes.
Lawrence sentencing

As someone who drives past the infamous bus-stop on a regular basis (I live less than 2 miles from the murder scene and have done for over 12 years) I have to wonder what the consequences will be. 

These men should have been caught 18 years ago, locals knew who they were and what they were alleged to have done but, I can only imagine that fear kept most people silent.  That, and the fact that racism was widespread in Eltham during that time.  I'm sure that a number of people also kept quiet because they shared similar views to the murderers.  Whilst this level of racism has subsided considerably over the years I know, from first-hand experience, that it has by no means gone completely.  Unfortunately disparaging remarks about the local 'wogs' and 'coloureds'  - yes, believe it or not, I have heard people use that term and it still startles me - are still forthcoming and generally they are from chaps 'of a certain age'.  A long time ago, I worked behind a bar in the local area and I would often try to argue against the people using these words and remarks but for a young girl in a lowly position, often I was forced to hold my tongue.  I'm embarrassed for not standing my ground harder.

Soon after the memorial near the bus-stop was put in place, a security camera had to be installed to help prevent the plaque being vandalised.  Eltham was very different in the 90's.  It was quite a violent, racist place with much racist graffiti everywhere.  I'd like to think that, whilst it's not perfect, it is a much nicer place to live now.  There are a mix of ethnicities in the area and  a much more integrated society.  True, I still wouldn't walk around late at night on my own, but to be honest, I can't think of an area where I would do that.   You could live in Richmond, Kensington or out in the countryside and you'll still find someone who wants to pick a fight with you or do you harm given the opportunity.  Perhaps familiarity does cause you to see your own locality through rose-tinted specs but it also makes you notice things you don't like too.

I hope that this high-profile case doesn't have the opposite effect and actually start the racism up again.  Or even cause black youths to take 'revenge' on local white youths?  Is that idea so hard to believe?  After the widespread riots in the summer of 2011 then nothing would surprise me anymore.

My main wish though, is that some comfort can finally be felt by Stephen's parents and friends who have battled tirelessly to receive some justice.  Nothing can bring him back, but at least the thought of two of his attackers being behind bars must help ease the pain a little.  But let's not forget that these men are only 2 of the attackers.  Several more are still out there and, up until now, were probably feeling a teensy bit smug that they had got away with murder.  Let's hope that smugness has now been wiped off their faces and they are feeling just a fraction of the fear Stephen Lawrence felt all those years ago.

Good Riddance 2011, hello 2012

For a year that started with so much promise, I can honestly say that by the end it was the year that well and truly sucked.  The only good thing I can think of that happened was [finally] becoming pregnant (and believe me when I say that that in itself has its pros and cons!) and having an amazing drive around the west coast of the US.

Poor Husb's mum was ill from the very beginning, and quite unfairly so. For a lady who had never consumed alcohol (with the exception of the odd bit of sherry trifle) to develop Non-Alcoholic steatohepatitis causing cirrhosis of the liver (following a nice bout of e-coli and proceeded by pneumonia) was really not a nice thing.  She never really recovered. For one reason or another, the complete rest she was meant to have was never really forthcoming and so even by the summer she was still very weak.  Eventually her immune system had enough and gave up on her and so following 2 weeks in hospital she quietly passed away, thankfully before the pain got too much to bear.  From then on, things got progressively worse.  My father-in-law became unbearable and incapable, we became very poor overnight when it transpired we would have to cover all the funeral costs, we all went into collective consultation at work and redundancy loomed (and came for many) finally culminating in the sale of our flat falling through after our buyers walked away at the 11th hour.  Nice.

Christmas came and went in a blur spending an excruciating Christmas day with my father-in-law followed by a much more relaxed affair with my parents on Boxing Day.  Given my circumstances I couldn't even drink through the pain.  Husb managed to do exactly that though - lucky swine. 
New Year was rather pleasant in spite of the awful driving weather we encountered all the way to and from Hereford although it was a more subdued affair than usual given the emotions running high and a lot of reflection going on.

So bring on 2012, I say.  I can't see how it could possibly be much worse....
Arse, that was stupid wasn't it.
Jinxed it now....