Monday, 29 September 2008

Summer in the City

Wow! Summer has finally arrived. What a fabulous weekend it was here in Blighty, or at least in the parts of Blighty that hubby & I were in this weekend (namely at home on Saturday & in Bristol on Sunday.)

Saturday morning hubby took himself off to his allotment where he had hours of fun playing with fire and digging in the mud - what more could a boy want on a Saturday? Meanwhile, I took myself off to a craft fair at a local garden centre/farm shop where my friend Liz has a stall selling her wonderful handmade glass plates, coasters, window hangings and jewellery. What more could a girl want on a Saturday than to be in a place with ample opportunities to spend money? The farm shop is fab and is stocked full of yummy food, not to mention a variety of tasters of which I availed myself wholeheartedly. And the craft fair isn't bad either, suffice to say Liz's stall is definitely the best. One lady was selling handmade tea cosies and I was very tempted to buy one for hubby in the shape of a snowman, thus combining his love of a good cuppa with his love of Yuletide; however, I was somewhat shocked by the price (£20!), so hubby will have to make do with his old faithful Christmas Pudding shaped teapot for this year. Unless, of course, I can learn to knit by then...

Bright and early Sunday morning we made our way to Bristol (via a pitstop at Starbucks because I had an urge for a hot chocolate and a blueberry muffin) for a family get-together. My cousin and his wife have come to sunny England for a holiday and so 14 of us gathered at my parents' to greet them. We waited and we waited and we waited and then mum phoned my uncle in Bournemouth, with whom said cousin and wife had stayed the night before, only to discover that they had only left his house at 1pm and had decided to visit the standing stones at Avesbury on their way to Bristol. Uncle thought we should expect them at about 6pm. Needless to say we all decided that the buffet could wait no longer and so we dived in. We then spent the rest of the afternoon in the back garden, eating, drinking, nattering and enjoying the sun (except for hubby & father who snuck off to the pub to watch the football.) At 5.30pm dearest cousin phoned to say they were just leaving Avesbury and would be with us in about an hour; his parting comment was "but you guys carry on with your meal, don't wait for us". Dear cousin, you really don't know us at all, do you?! By 6pm we had all decided to depart for our respective homes and thus none of us got to see our long-lost relative (except that, along with the parents, hubby & I had seen him in June so it wasn't so bad after all.)

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Eating For Two

Yes sireee, being pregnant is indeed a great excuse to eat whatever you like and not really worry about it (just so long as all those food groups are covered and there's a vague attempt to eat the five portions of fruit & veg each day.) But my tastebuds are all over the shop. I'm not saying I have a craving for coal, crayons or bath sponges but honestly, I wonder who these "two" I'm eating for really are cos they are weird. It's 11am and so far today I've eaten a fig yoghurt (tick for calcium), a sausage roll (hmm, tick for pastry if that's a food group and pig snout, trotters, tails and all the other lovely bits that go into sausagemeat - ah yes, let's call that a tick for protein) and a handful of Revels - that's a tick for chocolate (which is, beyond all doubt, one of the most important food groups) and fruit because one of the Revels I ate was an orange cream and that's got to count toward my five portions, hasn't it?

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Boo Hoo, Abandoned by Hubby

Fear not, hubby hasn't run off leaving me to be a one-parent family, he's just gone away for work. But still, I don't like it one little bit. It's not that I'm jealous of where he's gone - I've been to Rotterdam and am therefore acutely aware that there is nothing to be jealous of (unlike, for instance, if he had gone to NYC or Bangkok or perhaps a country that would get him a tick on The List.) The reason I don't like it is because now we live in the countryside in a single-storey dwelling (it's NOT a bunglaow) I live in constant fear of burglars. So much so that the last time dear hubby abandoned me to my fate out here in the woods where no-one can hear me scream, I barely slept a wink for two nights running and had to set 'heffalump' traps (along the lines of Winnie the Pooh) to foil any would-be intruders. This time my mummy has come to look after me and I can sleep safely in my bed without the need for heffalump traps. It's not that mother is an all-in wrestler or sleeps with a shotgun under her bed, but somehow just having someone else here makes it all seem ok.

On a completely different note - today is a day for major (countrywide) celebrations, for today is the day I get paid for the first time since January! Hooray and huzzah! And guess what? Mum & I are going shopping. I predict this will be the end of the credit crunch as we know it - I'm almost certain that the reason the UK has fallen on such hard times is because I've not been out spending. No doubt the Chancellor will be giving me a call this afternoon to thank me personally for saving his behoonie (and I'll be pleased to give him a piece of my mind and tell him to hand over to the Conservatives asap - don't you agree, Ange?!) Notice how as soon as I left the good ol' US of A they were plunged into a recession. No doubt Barack Obama (sorry Mr McCain, I can't give you and your funny little redneck Alaskan friend my support) will be pleased to hear that I'm trying to overcome my fear of flying in order to fit in a Christmas shopping trip to NYC. Fear not Barack, my credit cards & I are on our way.

Dear hubby, please understand that the shopping I am about to do is for the good of the country. I am selfless in that way.

Monday, 22 September 2008

To Christen or Not to Christen?

Yesterday hubby & I made our merry way to leafy Surbiton to attend the christening of our friends' baby. It's the first christening I've been to for about twenty years, in fact probably more than that, way back in the olden days when I had no choice over these matters and had to go wherever my parents dragged me.

Truth be told, hubby & I approached this outing with some trepidation, having no idea what to expect. I was slightly alarmed when we realised we were in a Catholic church as the last Catholic event I attended was a wedding which appeared to go on for about three days it was that long. And we only had an hour parking space, which hadn't exactly been easy to come by. However, I needn't have worried, we were in and out in less than 30mins. Although I'm sure hubby was disappointed that there were no hymns, as he does like a good sing along.

And then it was off to the pub for drinks and a hog roast, all in the glorious English sunshine - what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

It did set me thinking as to whether we would have our delightful child christened. It seems that you do get a heap load of pressies, which seems like a definite positive. But the downside is that you have to go to church and behave (or pretend to behave) like good Christians/Catholics, which would be very hypocritical of us. Still, I can set aside my morals in return for a nice pile of pressies. It's a miracle that I haven't already been struck down by the Almighty after insisting that the immortal line 'What God has brought together, let no man rent asunder' be included at the end of our civil marriage vows, just because I love the sound of it.

The other reason for getting all religious, apparently, is to be able to get delightful child in to a good school. Some other friends at said christening were telling us that the majority of schools near them in London have some sort of church thing going on and in order to get their daughter in to one of these schools they were having to attend church each week, do the Sunday school thing and the church flowers, etc. Eek! The 'ker-ching' of the private school till is sounding more pleasing to the ear by the minute.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Mysterious Art of Blood-Letting

Today I had an appointment with the midwife. This is only my second meeting with said midwife; the first being 8 weeks ago when she took what seemed like 4 pints of blood from me to send off for various tests. So today I got the results of these tests and I am glad to report that my platelet and haemaglobin levels are good and I am not suffering from syphilis - well, that's a relief! Unfortunately, there was a "mix up" with some of my blood which meant that my blood group remains a mystery and also meant that I had to give up another cylinder of the red stuff to be sent off for the test. Then it transpired that the blood pressure machine wasn't working properly and she ended up taking the reading three times, by the end of which I had a slightly raised reading - not surprising when you feel like your arm is about to drop off from that ever-tightening cuff. But, best of all at this appointment hubby & I got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time - ahhh, how cute. And how weird and scary that there is another life form with a beating heart in my tummy!

Not content with giving away my blood wily-nily to the midwife, I then suffered from a nosebleed when I got to work. How very random; I've not had a nosebleed in years. However, I felt much better not long after as we had a 'Company Lunch' which consisted of about 20 Pizza Express pizzas laid out on the boardroom table. Perhaps working for a living isn't so bad after all!

Talking of working for a living - hubby is happily ensconced at the country retreat today "working from home". Ah, what a happy chappy he is because he doesn't have to go to the office, and what a happy wifey I am since I know the washing has been pegged on the line, the dishwasher has been emptied and the living room will have been tided by the time I get home. I think all husbands should be allowed one day a week "working from home".

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Where Shall We Go On Our Next Trip?

Now that I have become a wuss about flying, and considering I also found Europe to be somewhat dull it would appear that the options for our next trip/holiday are somewhat limited. Not to mention the fact that there is a baby on board which also limits the options both pre and post birth - ie my attempts at scaling Everest might have to be put on hold til next year and our planned trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway might have to wait til the baby is boarding at Eton (I think they take boarders from age 3 - is that right?!)

So, imagine my delight when I stumbled across a 77 night round the world cruise, departing from Dover so no flying necessary. Unfortunately the delight turned to un-delight when hubby said it was too expensive. Bah humbug, what an old misery he is. Doesn't the monther of his unborn child deserve a nice holiday?

Monday, 15 September 2008

I'm Back! Did You Miss Me?!

Back by popular demand. Well, hubby asked a couple of times if I was going to carry on blogging, plus there may be a few of you out there who are finding you have to do a little more work each day now that there is no 'Did You Lock the Front Door' to entertain you. Can't be having that now, can we?

Apologies for the rather large gap between the last 'Front Door' entry and the first one on here, but there is a good reason for this. You see, we brought a rather special souvenir back from our travels (from the good ol' US of A, to be precise), and we wanted to tell a few people in person before announcing the news to the rest of the world. Here is a photo of what we brought back:

Can you guess what it is?