30 November 2006

It's the 30th! It is isn't it?

Somewhere near the beginning of the month I confessed that I had spent the whole day in my PJs. I need to do that again except this time I have a very legitimate reason. I have a cold, a horrible, I'm going to die kind of cold. The sort of cold that makes you google to find out where all that gunk comes from and how it reproduces so quickly. And be in no doubt, I do not do colds well. I'm not that sort of person who soldiers on regardless and uncomplaining. I'm the one lying on the couch complaining that the tissues hurt my nose and why doesn't anyone feel sorry for me! But we have to think positively don't we! Well today my sewing machine arrived. MrV who is the very personification of generosity bought it for me, and what I've seen of it looks lovely. I'm going to have to buy some material just so I can try it out. And today ladies and gent marks the end of the NovBloMo or NovMoBlo I'm not sure which way round it goes or indeed if that's its name. It has been an interesting experience, I don't think my writing flowed any more towards the end of the month than it did at the beginning, and it was hard going sometimes, but I've enjoyed writing it and getting your comments. And on that note I'm signing off for now. See you next week. Have a good weekend.

29 November 2006

A Very Tiny Penis

That got your attention! And probably quite a few links from google too. But alas it's a quite mundane; we got the final results of the CVS in today and everything is fine, the Peanut has absolutely no chromosomal abnormalities but does have a very tiny penis. But what do you expect when he, yes it's a boy, is only the size of a lemon. So out of the window goes my extensive research into none-pink baby girl clothes and in steps my new son and I don't have a clue what to call him and neither does MrV.
Told the FB he is getting a brother and his face dropped. "I want a sister"he said, then he smiled "we put this one in the bin".
"Umm no" I replied "maybe next time you'll have a sister"
I can guarantee that if the Peanut had been a girl, the FB would have wanted a brother. He's just so easy to please.

28 November 2006

Calm reappeared, took a look around and left.

I'm taking the easy way out and starting with my "not necessary but would like to do" list and have begun to make the stars for the FB's bedroom. The plan, which may change by the time the thing is in place (probably for about 2 minutes before he decides he hates it and it must come down that instant) is to hang around 100 stars from his bedroom ceiling to make it look like a little universe. So some may be spiral shaped, some cluster and so on. I'm thinking of doing a few little red ones, and a couple big blue ones, but no black holes. That's too complicated.
And so while the Christmas cards gather dust in their box unopened, and the cake ingredients lie waiting in the cupboard you can rest assured that all the unnecessary stuff is being done.

Some of you avid readers may remember that the FB's pushchair has been taken in for repair. I alas am not an avid reader of mine and can not remember if I grumped about the incredible suffocating rain cover it possesses. If I didn't... the raincover comes down directly over the FB's face in a way that I am sure is in breach of any health and safety regs that pushchairs have to mind. Anyway before you all fall asleep, John Lewis the wonderful department store who fix the FB's pushchair lent us another one complete with raincover. Necessary things raincovers, this being England and therefore on the damp side at this time of year. This morning was one of those wet times and therefore the raincover was necessary. "Good design" I thought looking at the piece of plastic "ahhh look FB you clip it to the sides of the hood using these poppers, what a clever and easy idea!" Until we got to the right popper which doesn't stay on causing the raincover to fall off on one side and let the rain in.......

Cue much swearing.

27 November 2006


I can feel the build up to Christmas pushing behind my head. There is so much that has to be done, and lots of little things that I would like to do that I am getting scared that it will all get out of control and become just one big stress. What has to be done:
Christmas cake needs to be made
Cards need to be written and sent
Presents need to be bought, wrapped and sent or arrange for delivery to fabulous sister who wraps things far better than me (maybe I should look into a course or a book on wrapping presents - put on todo list for next year/decade)
Tree to be decorated - not until Christmas Eve otherwise cats/FB bring decorations down.
Food shopping to be done which means clearing the freezer out so I'll have to do an audit of the freezer to see what can be used up before then
Shit. Get a new shelf for the fridge
Fill the FB's advent calendar
What I would like to do:
Make some hanging stars and snowflakes for the FB's bedroom and possibly other places in flat
Make some Christmas tree decorations a la Nigella.
Make own Christmas cards - maybe next year.
Get some energy and stop being so bloody lazy.
And it seems like the tiredness I've been complaining and moaning about may actually be anaemia, my second bout this year.

Banana Bread for Aunty Evil

from Apples for Jam

125g butter
180g dark brown sugar
350g ripe bananas mashed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 bicarbonate of soda
3 tablespoons warm milk

preheat the oven to 180C and butter a 30 x 11cm loaf tin

cream the butter, and sugar until smooth and then whisk in the mashed bananas. Add the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and whisk in well. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and beat until smooth. Mix the bicarbonate of soda into the milk and stir into the batter.
Scrape the mixture into the tin and bake for about 50 minutes until the bread is crusty on top and a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool.

Serve warm or cold, plain or toasted with butter, but allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container, where it will keep well for several days

should be able to be sliced into 10 - 12 slices

26 November 2006

nothing much happening here

Rhyme :: reason

Substantial :: increase

Instant :: pudding

Greed :: Mr Men

Brad :: Pitt of course

Season :: to be merry

Accomplished :: author

Invite :: party

Sparkle :: makeup

Rainbow :: Rod, Jane & Freddy

from here via Pea Soup

    25 November 2006

    A meme for Saturday

    from Daysgoby

    five books meme
    1. Take five books off your bookshelf.
    2. Book #1 -- first sentence
    3. Book #2 -- last sentence on page fifty
    4. Book #3 -- second sentence on page one hundred
    5. Book #4 -- third sentence on page one hundred fifty
    6. Book #5 -- next to last sentence on page two hundred and fifty
    7. Book #6 -- final sentence of the book

    Except that because I've got 6 bookcases in my livingroom and I don't want one to feel left out and grumpy, I've added an extra book to the list.

    1. Oh boy which ones to choose?

    2. "If you were to touch the plinth upon which the equestrian statue of King Charles I is placed, at Charing Cross, your fingers might rest upon the projecting fossils of sea lilies, starfish or sea urchins."
    London The Biography by Peter Ackroyd

    3."Daddy and I go over the accounts sometimes," James said.
    Carter beats the Devil by Glen David Gold

    4. "I - we need to use my membership to our advantage, not throw it away."
    Operation Typhoon Shore by Joshua Mowll

    5. "They are certainly hot, rather stiff, and the legs are often too tight."
    How not to be a Perfect Mother by Libby Purves

    6. "It swept towards me out of the distance, like a wave, washed over me and glided away."
    The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

    7. "In future debates, when people would pontificate, "There was no disaster, there was only high water, " or "The '95 floods caused inconvenience, not a disaster," there would be at least one hero, Hans Verdrinker, would could prove with one hand raised, that there had indeed been a disaster, though now part of him was....."JUST ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WAAL."
    The Undutchables by Colin White and Laurie Boucke

    24 November 2006

    cos it's Friday

    I love Fridays. I don't have a job, or rather I don't have an external go to work kind of job but I still love Fridays. They are the special day in our house; the day that the FB gets to eat his beloved chocolate, and have his specially planned evening.
    Fridays have always been special. I grew up in the Middle East where the weekend is Thursday and Friday. Fridays were our chocolate day as children too. We would have a leisurely breakfast sometimes even having croissants which had been flown in from Paris the day before (so a very very expensive treat). And then in the evening my mother would cook something delicious for dinner. If we were very lucky we would have Roast Beef, and the best bit about that is of course the Yorkshire Pudding. Frankly if my mother had served up the Yorkshire Pudding and gravy, and missed out the beef I would not have been that fussed.
    Now I live in the UK where the weekends are Saturday and Sunday, and we aren't woken at dawn by the call to prayer from the mosques, and still Fridays are special. And I know it is very vain but part of me hopes that the sight of a little boy running down the road, chocolate stains round his mouth, shouting "I had some chocolate mummy, I have lots of energy now. I can run!" makes a minute in someone else's life a little special too.

    Most delicious seafood curry ever. Seriously.

    Thai Yellow Pumpkin and Sea Food Curry (from Nigella Bites by Nigella Lawson

    Serves 4 - 6

    400ml tin coconut milk
    1-2 tbsp yellow or red Thai curry paste
    350ml fish stock
    3 tbsp fish sauce
    2 tspn palm or caster sugar
    3 lemon grass stalks, each cut into three and bruised with the flat of a knife
    3 lime leaves, destalked and cut into strips
    ½ tspn turmeric
    1kg pumpkin (or butternut squash) peeled and cut into large, bite-sized chunks
    500g salmon fillet, skinned and cut into large, bite-sized chunks
    500g peeled, raw prawns
    Pak choi or any other green vegetables of your choice
    Juice of ½ - 1 lime to taste
    Coriander to serve

    Skim the thick creamy top off the tin of coconut milk and put it, over a medium heat, into a large saucepan or casserole with the curry paste. Let it sizzle and, using a fork, whisk or wooden spoon, beat milk and paste together until combined. Still beating gently add the rest of the coconut milk, fish stock, fish sauce, sugar, lemon grass, lime leaves and turmeric. Bring to the boil and then add the pumpkin. Cook on a fast simmer until the pumpkin is tender (usually around 15 minutes though of course this varies).
    Shortly before you are ready to eat add the salmon and prawns to the robustly simmering pan. When they have cooked through which shouldn’t take more than 3-4 minutes stir in the pak choi or any green vegetables you are using - sliced, choped or shredded as suits - and tamp down with a wooden spoon. When the pak choi’s wilted, squeeze, in the juice of half a lime stir and taste and add the juice of the remaining half if you feel it needs it. Take the pan off the heat or decant the curry into a large bowl, and sprinkle over the coriander; the point is that the coriander goes in just before serving. Serve with more chopped coriander for people to add to their bowls as they eat, and some plain Thai or basmati rice.

    Nigella says that you must use raw prawns in the recipe and that if you can’t get any just double the amount of salmon in the recipe. As we live in the land without frozen prawns I say that normal prawns do quite nicely.

    23 November 2006

    Of necklaces and broken pushchairs

    There is a very happy little boy who should be fast asleep in his bed (but isn't he is singing to himself). We went into town today and he got to use an underground pass of his very own. It didn't matter that it doesn't work, he got to swipe in and out just like the grownups do. And he got his very own box of beads and threads. So now he has a list of people that he is going to make necklaces for - his cousin and bestest friend, me, his dad and his gran. I hope he has enough beads for all these!
    It was a beautiful day today; the sun shone, sky was blue and the few leaves left on the trees and those on the ground seemed to glow. So rather than go to the park, we went into the centre of London. Got to go to the Bead Shop, Kiehls for skin cream, and then onto my favourite department store John Lewis. The FB's pushchair has developed a series of faults like one of the wheels keeps falling off. Minor stuff like that but infuriating. So it needs a rehaul and it's still under warranty. This is our second pushchair. The first had a dodgey right axil that kept snapping and now this one. Either we are incredibly unlucky or we should be the crash test dummy family for pushchairs. Or possibly pushchair designers forget that people actually need to use them on a daily basis and so bring out creations that can only be used if child is Thumbalina sized and is under some sort of house arrest so can only go 10 metres from the home.

    Witty titles are just not my thing are they!

    22 November 2006

    So long First Trimester, Hello Second

    Today is the start of week 14 the magical day when you slip from the first trimester to the second, when morning sickness and chronic tiredness are supposed to vanish into the past and a new and improved energetic self appears. Like hell. Morning sickness? tick. Exhausted, constantly? tick.
    Am going to have to move my blog posting time to earlier in the day, as by 6pm I am incapable of coherent speech let alone typing without spelling mistakes.

    Eight days left of November and then a break I think from blogging, can't wait!

    21 November 2006

    Shouting is fun

    Since the FB was little he's been shouting "Green Man come out the pub" every time we wait at the lights to cross. Since the weekend though, he's taken to cupping his hand to his mouth and shouting that little bit louder. Hasn't made much of a difference.
    He also shouts "Stop!" at car alarms when out and about, and weirdly, they stop. Doesn't work when indoors though. Useful skill I think.

    20 November 2006

    Darn I've forgotten what I wanted to call this one

    The problem is, is that I usually come up with my blogs as far away from the computer as is possible. Today's was beautifully scripted, complete with Yorkshire accent as I passed Marks & Spencers on my way up to the FB's nursery. Alas the bakers opposite had made a batch of fresh doughnuts and the smell completely put the blog out of my head. Hence the pile of drivel you are reading now.

    We have been whining central today which may possibly have been caused by the Evil Mummy's refusal to let the poor, innocent betrayed FB watch more than 20 minutes of TV during the day. Last week he watched far far too much and we have to cut it back. So instead we played many games of Postman Pat balancing parcels on his arms, Whose Nose is it anyway? and the FB became very inventive and built a runway and heliport on the couch. It was good to see him playing and not sitting staring at the screen.
    However, on the subject of TV, those of you Down Under may be able to answer a question for me. We have a TV show here called "The Koala Brothers" which I think may be one of yours? The koalas (it's a cartoon) fly a little prop plane in the outback usually to help some of their other animal friends. But it is their attire that confuses us. Is it cold in the outback (was always under the impression that it veers towards the warmer end of the thermal spectrum). Said koalas are always wearing very thick, Norwegian fishermen style jumpers which is understandable when up in the air, but down on the ground??

    Yours in fashion confusion


    19 November 2006

    "Sunday" wrote Mr Kipling "and time for banana bread"

    So we - the FB and I, made some. The FB has been going through a phase recently of asking for a banana, promising to eat it and then taking either a bite or NO bites at all out of it and then dumping it. Each time he does it I think of you guys in Australia with your $100 per banana and wince. As the unused bananas go into the fridge I thought we could make some banana bread out of it. And we did. And it was lovely. Recipe came from my current favourite cook book - Apples for Jam, and was incredibly easy. Especially if you have a Kenwood (thanks MIL!).

    Went to bed last night with a splitting headache, feeling sick and very cold; and with the designs of two bead necklaces spiralling around my brain. When I've got the time, and money I'll drag the FB to the beadshop in Covent Garden and start working on it. One of the designs is in green all different shades, and the other can only be described as a rainbow. It could be tacky or it could be gloriously gorgeous.

    18 November 2006

    cats and dogs

    The FB is starting to worry me. He seems to be labouring under the impression that he is an animal. Yesterday he came up to me and licked my hand. I said "ughh don't do that, you're not a dog" and he said "bark! bark!" and licked my hand again. He also climbs on to the back of the sofa and when he's told that only the cats are allowed to sit up there, yup you guessed it, he miaows like a cat. My son is certifiable.

    Yesterday it bucketed it down, absolutely poured. One of those days when it is far nicer to be in doors snug and warm with perhaps a good film on the box. Alas we had to go out to meet MrV from the tube station as tonight was our once-every-three-years fish 'n' chip night. So the FB and I put on our wet weather gear and headed out.

    Today was gorgeous, a beautiful clear crisp autumn day and my mother-in-law is making one of her flying visits to London from the arse of beyond. She left home at 3am this morning, and flies back up north at noon tomorrow. Poor woman, she is absolutely shattered but so happy to see her grandson, and it was lovely to see her too.

    17 November 2006

    Friday's Meme

    from Peasoup

    Explain what ended your last relationship?

    When was the last time you shaved?
    last Thursday

    What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.?

    What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
    trying to put an image on my blog's title

    Are you any good at math?
    reasonably (and it's maths not math)

    Your prom night, what do you remember about it?
    we don't do proms in the UK

    Do you have any famous ancestors?
    yup. very famous

    Have you had to take a loan out for school?
    I had a student load but paid it off a few years ago

    Last thing received in the mail?
    a bankstatement

    How many different beverages have you had today?

    Do you ever leave messages on people’s answering machine?

    Who did you lose your CONCERT virginity to?
    I can not remember the name of the band at all.

    Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
    no, but I dig tunnels, warrens of them

    What’s the most painful dental procedure you’ve had?
    i've never had any work done apart from having my teeth cleaned and I love the taste of that toothpaste they use.

    What is out your back door?
    don't have a backdoor

    Any plans for Friday night?
    spend some time with MrV and try and stay awake long enough to watch QI

    Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
    yes, makes it go all corkscrewy

    Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns?
    nooooo and i don't like popcorn so please don't send any

    Have you ever been to a planetarium?
    yup a few times i think

    Do you re-use towels after you shower?
    of course, doesn't everybody?

    Some things you are excited about?
    the results that came in yesterday, Christmas - more about the things we do as a family than the actual day.

    What is your favorite flavor of JELL-O?
    either blackcurrant or strawberry

    Describe your keychain(s)
    two keys attached to a broken keyring attached to a keychain thing that attaches to my bag.

    Where do you keep your change?
    usually it gets donated to the FB so is scattered all over the floor, shoved into gaps in door frames, pushed under the tv..anywhere and everywhere but not in my purse

    When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people?
    God I think it was when I was presenting my thesis at uni.

    What kind of winter coat do you own?
    leaf green duffle coat

    What was the weather like on your graduation day?

    Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?

    16 November 2006

    For me?

    First there were these (made and decorated by the FB)

    then MrV came home with these

    why? Because we got the results today and they are good. The Peanut is ok.

    15 November 2006

    The Blue Hand Gang and other stories

    Silly me, I gave the FB some squares of coloured tissue paper to play with this morning. He's had a great time screwing them up, cutting them up into different shapes and generally decorating the floor with them. Then this afternoon he discovered that if they got wet the ink ran and he could make patterns with them. Very inventive I thought, then saw the carpet, his hands, legs (the FB would, if allowed, spend his life naked) and feet. They are blue, and it won't come off.

    We are on day 3 of enforced rest and boredom has well and truly set in. I am now an expert on all CBeebie programs - Doodledo is fantastic (Smarteenies should be taken off air, ughh) and the Numberjacks has the best music I have heard on a kid's tv show. And of course Underground Ernie is back on much to the happiess of a certain little boy.

    My copy of The Crafter's Companion arrived this morning and there is the most gorgeous sewing bag in it (top row, otherside of the elephant purse). It will have to wait until after Christmas though as I won't have a sewing machine until then. So a question for you all. Is there a particular sewing machine you would recommend to buy or stay clear of?

    A big big thank you!

    Kirsty's post today made me stop and think. I haven't said thankyou to everyone for all the kind comments you have left me. It is really heartwarming to log onto the laptop in the morning and read all the supportive messages you've left over night. My family are at the other end of the country and I've felt quite isolated but your good wishes have made me feel that there are people all over the world wishing us the best of luck. So thankyou, from the bottom of my heart.

    (and Kirsty wrote it far better than I ever could)

    14 November 2006

    Do you think the Priory would help with this?

    Hello I'm Velcro and I'm a maltesers addict. I've managed to keep it under control for 8 years but recently it seems to have come back with avengence. It's just that they are so delicious and don't coat my fingers with chocolate unlike this yummy stuff.

    The cross stitch is coming on slowly. The background is complete and I am working on the border which I have to say is very tedious. I've got to the point now where I am starting to plan my next thing and this, I think, is making finishing this one very hard.

    13 November 2006

    Of Mice and the rest

    There is a small possibility that at age 8 the cats (the original four legged furry penguins) have finally realised that their archnemisis is the mouse. We found a dead one on the stairs this morning. There was blood. Now, two theories abound. Either the mouse was attacked outside, crawled into our hall, half way up the stairs and then died OR one of the cats took a swipe at it. To be honest the first theory is more likely. I've seen a mouse run across the floor and the cats sat and watched it in a sort of bemused "I wonder what that is" kind of thing. But show them an olive or a mushroom or god forbid leave a piece of cheese out and they'll show it who's boss.

    Today was test day and to be honest having my eyebrow pierced hurt more than having a huge (and I mean huge) needle shoved into my abdomen. Now we just await the results.

    West Country Chicken

    again there is the proper recipe for this and the lazy Velcro way.

    1 oven ready chicken about 1.75kg

    1 small onion, 1 stick celery, 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig parsley, salt & a few pepper corns = stock
    50g flour, 75g unsalted butter, 1 large onion thinly sliced, 2 sticks celery chopped, 1 large/2 small cooking apples, 150ml cider, 300ml stock from above, 2 - 4 tbspns double cream

    cut the chicken into joints and remove the skin

    put the carcass and giblets into a saucepan with all the stock ingredients, cover with water and simmer gently with a lid on until the stock is needed.

    coat the joints in flour, pat off the surplus and fry in 2/3 the butter until brown all over. remove then fry the onion and celery. added the peeled, chopped apples and fry. stir in the remainder of the flour to absorb the fat. add the cider and stock gently. bring to a simmering point and add the chicken and enough stock to cover. simmer for 30 min or until the chicken is tender. remove the chicken, then cook the sauce uncovered for 5 min until slightly thickened, then add the cream. pour the sauce over the joints.

    the lazy velcro way
    buy some chicken stock, use that instead of making your own
    use chicken breasts or thighs
    the rest as above.

    comes from the Chicken Cookbook

    on edit used olive oil to fry the chicken in which worked very well. next time plan on using creme fraiche instead of double cream, and button mushrooms

    12 November 2006

    Remember You're a Womble

    I haven't seen that show in years, in fact I don't think I ever have. Read the books though and loved them when I was little, and for some reason the song has just leapt into my head. Hence today's title. Or are the titles meant to relate in some way to the text below?
    I was going to put the recipe for West Country Chicken up tonight. MrV made it for Sunday lunch and it was absolutely delicious. But my wireless network is bucking worse than a wild horse at a rodeo and I doubt that it will stay up long enough for me to put an entire recipe. So tomorrow it shall be. And will give me enough time to see if I can find a link to the Wurzels "I've got a brand new combined harvester" which really ought to be played whilst cooking. Swigging cider is also allowed, and the odd "oohh arrr" too, though in a Dorset/Sumerset accent rather than a pirate (unless you were pretending to be West Country pirate).
    Mr V took the FB swimming today (in Wimbledon - see a connection has been made to the title, alas not on Wimbledon Common, there aren't any swimming pools on there and it is a little cold to be swimming outdoors) and I got some mummy time which was so lovely. Am still going through that first trimester exhaustedness stage, although there is some debate as to whether the 12th week is first or second trimester. Either way am shattered and need to sleep 23 hours a day.

    11 November 2006

    All quiet on the Southern Front

    (that's cos I'm in South London, am very aware that I am north of you guys Down Under).

    It's been a nothing day today. The midwife came round to do the booking in session where they take your medical history, your height, weight (lied through teeth) etc etc. She's going to book me an appointment to see a consultant if all goes well on Monday. The best thing though, she was my midwife when FB was born and was happy to see him again. The last time she saw him of course he was 11 days old and refusing point blank to breast feed.

    Apart from that all I've been doing is stitching. When I've finished it I'll put a photo of it up here. Should warn you though, that like all shop bought cross stitch designs, it leans heavily on the tacky side.

    Last night's tea was Days Go By's chicken soup which was delicious, and tonight it's hot dogs.

    10 November 2006

    Friday's meme

    borrowed (with british spelling changes and some questions removed) from Married with Children & Girlfriend

    1. What time did you get up this morning?
    2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds, peferably a blue one
    3. What is your favourite TV show(s)? QI & Never Mind the Buzzcocks (but only if Mark Lamarr is presenting and not that whippersnapper they’ve got on now)
    4.What is your middle name? Not saying
    5. What is your favourite cuisine? Chinese
    6. What foods do you dislike? pork
    7. Your favourite flavour of crisps? Ready salted hula-hoops (eaten off fingers of course)
    8. What is your favorite CD at the moment? The Beiderbecke Collection
    9. What characteristics do you despise? Smug, incredibly overconfident people
    10. Favorite item of clothing? pyjamas
    11. If you could go anywhere in the world on holiday, where would you go? I’d love to do the TransSiberian railway to Vladivostock then travel to India and spend a year doing India and Nepal
    12. What colour is your bathroom? White
    13. Favorite brand of clothing? Not clothing, but I’d love a Mulberry handbag
    14. Where would you want to retire to? One of the Greek Islands, maybe Crete, Santorini or Naxos
    15. Favorite time of day? evenings
    16. What washing powder do you use? Whatever is cheapest
    17. Coke or Pepsi? Diet coke caffeine free
    18. What did you want to be when you were little? It varied – a vet, a longdistance lorry driver, a writer, a doctor
    18. (b) What do you want to be now? fulfilled
    19. Favorite sweets? Space dust
    20. What are the different jobs you've had? Call centre person, worked in aircraft maintenance, modeled at a wedding fair, washed dishes, nannied, PR to a director etc etc
    21. Piercings? Ears, nose, both eyebrows
    22. Ever been to Africa? nope.
    23. Been in a car accident? Yes, was the front seat passenger
    24. Favourite restaurant? Been so long…..
    25. Favourite flower? Today hollyhocks
    26. How many times did you fail your drivering test? never sat it
    27. What do you do most often when you are bored? Read or sew
    28. What is your favorite colour? I don’t have one
    29. Lake, Ocean or River? river
    30. How many tattoos do you have? None but I’ve secretly dreamed of having a chain of cartoon snails going round my upper left arm. Each snail a different colour.
    31. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The egg
    32. What materialistic thing would you ask for if you had one wish to make? Endless money

    09 November 2006

    Not good really

    Today was the Peanut's 3rd scan. This one was to check that everything is going well, growing ok, check dates etc (first two were to make sure that it was in the right place and hadn't gotten lost on the way to the womb). And it's not. Going well that is. Or so they think. The Peanut has a 1 in 31 chance that it's Downs. So on Monday I've got to have another test to confirm or (hopefully) refute this. Cross your fingers please for us that it is one of the 30 lucky ones.

    I may be a bit down for a while. Bear with me please.

    (Jess I wasn't up to making your soup this evening, but will do it tomorrow.)

    08 November 2006

    It’s a Grey Day in Balamory

    (apologies to those lucky enough not to live in thrall to CBeebies)

    It’s one of those days in South London when the sky is such a perfect shade of grey that people turn into shadowless zombies or is it vampires that don’t have shadows?; and the buildings all stand out against the sky in fantastic relief. I think I must be amongst the very very few people who actually love grey days. It doesn’t bother me not to see the sun for a day, but then I am after all Scottish and we go months without seeing either the sun or healthy food!

    And on the subject of umm less than healthy eating, I had to face the horrible fact that the large protuberance on my front was not as I thought a baby belly. Not, unless the baby is a freakish lemon meringue pie, dairy milk chocolate, and pizza fetus. So back to eating cereal for breakfast, and not nutella balancing on toast; salad for lunch, and not sandwiches; and give up on the takeaways for tea. When I was pregnant with FB I gained a whopping 6 stone (38kg) and not surprisingly I experienced so much pain in my hips and pelvic area from carrying around all that weight. So this time I have to keep my weight under control.

    And now all I can think of are chocolate cakes, cream filled doughnuts…..

    (tea tonight was a pumpkin & lentil stew with chickpeas and carrots. It was blended down so the carrots weren't visible anymore and FB ate two helpings!)

    07 November 2006

    No Idea what to call this one

    Yesterday I went for a spending spree on books, for me a spending spree is 2 max (for myself) and 3 for FB. Gone are the days when I could walk into Waterstone's and happily buy 100GBP of books for ME. Got "Few Eggs and No Oranges:the Diaries" by Vere Hodgson (war diaries 1940 - 45) - the no oranges bit made me think of you guys in Australia and your banana crisis; and Operation Typhoo Shore by Joshua Mowll. Ok that one's a kid's book for boys but the first one in the series was fantastic and I have been so looking forward to this one being published.
    I miss buying books.

    (dinner was beetroot, white fish and tatties with sauce. v simple and rather yummy)

    06 November 2006

    Ok here it is - Penne & Prawns with tomatoes

    40g butter
    200g tinned tomatoes with juice, pureed
    250g penne
    2 tspn olive oil
    500g raw prawns peeled and deveined
    2 garlic cloves peeled and squashed a bit
    2 tbspns calvados
    2 1/2 tbspns single cream
    1 tbspn chopped parsley
    melt half the butter and when it is sizzling add the tomatoes, a little salt and a dash of pepper. cook over a medium heat for 10 mins until it is thick

    cook the pasta as instructed

    fry the prawns in the remaining butter & olive oil with the garlic until they (the prawns) are quite bright and the undersides are golden and crusty in places. WHen they are cooked scatter them with salt. Add the calvados and cook until it evaporates

    drain the pasta, keeping a cup of the cooking water. Add the tomato sauce to the prawns along with the cream and parsley. Heat until just bubbling. add the pasta and toss well. if it looks like you need it add a little o the cooking water to help the sauce coat the pasta. serve immediate with a grinding of pepper.

    brought to you by Tessa Kiros Apples for Jam

    fuck pureeing the tomatoes, just use passata
    chop or crush the garlic
    use whatever pasta you have
    cooked prawns work just as well (we can not for love, money or sexual favours, get raw prawns in this part of London)
    forget the brandy & parsley

    forget about thickening the tomatoes, passata is thick enough
    cook pasta
    fry garlic and prawns in butter & olive oil until done
    add tomatoes, swig of single cream and pasta

    Admittedly I've never actually made the proper version but the lazy version is very very yummy even when made with children's alphabet pasta (bought to try to entice FB to eat pasta - failed).

    05 November 2006

    Why is there a hanger on my bookcase?

    It's on the second from top shelf leaning casually against some library books but what on earth is it doing there? Our home sometimes resembles a bricka-brack shop with things turning up in odd odd places but this is a typical modern London flat ie has absolutely no storage. Our wardrobe has become less of a place to store clothes and more of a suitable dumping ground for anything that simply can not fit anywhere else - on top of it resides the cats' moving box, a moses basket, a baby bath, a kid's microscope from Intel, x number of empty product boxes...... My dream is to one day have our own home with enough storage that my husband doesn't sleep at night waiting for the wardrobe to keel over on top of him.
    Ah yes, he's home. Came back the bearer of gifts - a digger/tractor for FB which went immediately into the sandpit in the kitchen (no backgarden, boy loves playing in sand) and two very delicious, very stylish bars of chocolate from a Belgium chocolatier. I should make them last I know I should but...
    The return of the man meant no more slobbing about in pyjamas, no more ordering takeaway and sadly the dishes had to be done. So tonight I faced the wrath of the cooker and made dinner and it was delicious. Came from Apples For Jam which I love. First time I made this recipe (penne with prawns and tomatoes) and will definately not be the last.
    right I am off to eat my chocolate, have a good evening.

    04 November 2006

    Lazy Mummy

    Should I confess?? Hmmmm Ok. I’m still in my pyjamas and it’s evening. I have a good excuse, I mean reason, honest. Both FB and I had horrible headaches today and, yeah ok, not a good excuse. I’m sorry. We’re also having take-away pizza for tea and I’m going to have to answer the door in my sleepwear. Thank god the hall light has gone and I’m not tall enough to reach it, and there is no way I am carrying a chair over the stair gate and down the very steep stairs. Also I used up the last light bulb this morning when FB decided to switch the bathroom light on and off and on and off and…. and blew the light bulb, again. I supposed I could ask the downstairs neighbour if he could change the bulb but a. I refer you to my previous comment re lack of light bulbs, and b. it seems a little “do you have a cup of sugar”, and c. I’m in my pyjamas.
    As for the pizza, tonight’s dinner was meant to be meatballs, tatties and sweetcorn but after moving the several tons of pumpkin innards cluttering up my freezer, I found a solitary box of meatballs, already opened and with only 4 meatballs left. I don’t remember opening a box and putting it back in again, but then I walk into rooms and walk back out again because I have no idea what I am doing there. I blame Mrs S our poltergeist. She’s “borrowed” my tube pass, a bath plug and frequently moves my husband’s glasses (though to be fair to her that is probably him) so she was probably hungry for meatballs in whatever dimension or place poltergeists inhabit (inside the tv according to that film)
    I am trying to convince my husband, by text message as he is in Belgium and I am here in London, that we should up sticks and move to Australia. You guys seem to have a far nicer standard of life than us poor Brits, and yes the comments on the weather got to me. Alas his last text back to me said “are you ok?” I think he suspects I am now certifiable.
    (pizza was yummy but too much and I had to fight the cats off and stop FB from taking a bite out of one slice, putting it back (the slice not the bite) and doing the same again.)
    Yesterday I mentioned the crisis that is my lack of maternity wear. Slowly this is being fixed. Next week MrV is taking me boot shopping to this place. I’m swaying between these and these, both in brown. And I’m going to drag him to Blooming Marvellous for some cords and tops.
    And on that note, I bid you goodnight.

    (favourite word today seems to be "and")

    03 November 2006

    It started as a pregnancy grump

    morning sickness and maternity wear. It's not fair! I'm only 11 weeks and look at least 30, and every time it's tea time I start feeling sick so the idea of preparing a nutrious healthy meal is just too much and then I feel like a crap mother. I'm hoping that things improve when MrV comes back and stops working 15 hour days. Either that or wait until the second trimester.
    And because I was pregnant with during the summer all the surviving (and thus hideous) maternity clothes I have are all lightweight and useless in these Arctic conditions. So the hunt is on for winter maternity wear for short round women. Any suggestions?

    Today is also a crap day for another rather sadder reason. BabyC would have been due today if it had made it past 7 weeks. Alas it didn't, and turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy. In one lousy day I lost a baby, 2 litres of blood, one fallopiean tube, almost my life, and my best friend (long and very complicated story and no she's not dead, just not my friend any more). So if I seem a little down today please forgive me.

    On the upside FB has been the sweetest smooch monkey today. I've been showered in sloppy little boy kisses since he woke me up this morning.
    And I have readers! Thank you to everyone who've left comments. You've made a sad old lady very happy.

    Friday meme

    48 Things You Could Care Less About

    1. FIRST NAME?

    no my parents just liked the name, like many many other parents in the 70s.

    Wednesday night when the combination of early pregnancy, my son's awful behaviour and my husband's impending weekend away, came together.

    As it can change midsentence, it depends really. But generally I would rather it was neater.

    cornbeef (but not out of a can please) with tomato and Hellmans. Yummm

    I think I would find me a bit too aloof so probably not. Either that or I would be intrigued by my quiet calmness and want to get to know me better. It depends on who I was as that other person.

    sort of. This blog is part of it, and I have a daily notebook with shopping lists and notes of things that have happened and occasional musings and thoughts.

    Yup. Only missing my right fallopian tube.


    adult or kiddie? Favourite adult cereal is sultana bran. Favourite children cereal is Lucky Charms. God it's been years since I had that last.


    Maybe not physically, but I can cope with incredible pain for a very very long time (except childbirth)


    14. SHOE SIZE?
    3 1/2 to 4.

    15. RED OR PINK?
    Red. I loathe pink. If the Peanut is a girl she is not wearing pink until she can choose her own clothes.

    Lack of selfconfidence

    Currently my husband who is in Belgium.

    sure. what would I do with them though?

    dark blue trousers, white tshirt and beigey-whitey woolly slippers. my indoor, no one can see me, clothes

    sultana bran with skimmed milk

    The soundtrack to the Beiderbecke programs from the 80s, a car reversing in the street, some medical students chattering outside, and my son playing with his toys.

    leaf green

    sandalwood. reminds me of my childhood.

    my sister

    how much thinner they are than me.

    Steal is such a strong word don't you think. I liberated it ok. And yes, I live in awe of her.

    diet coke, but sometimes a chocolate milkshake.

    I'll watch the rugby if Scotland is playing England and winning but apart from that I hate sports.

    29. EYE COLOUR?

    30. HAT SIZE?
    no idea

    only during summer

    chocolate, bread, (Abel & Cole) carrots, round lettuce

    Happy endings.



    chocolate cake

    I have no idea

    see above

    Pelagia & The White Bulldog by Boris Akunin

    I don't have a mouse pad

    My Family


    The Beatles

    not geographically but emotionally - when I was 10 and went to boardingschool. I was in the Highlands of Scotland and my parents were in the Middle East.

    I always know where I am and don't get lost

    Western General Hospital in Edinburgh

    I snagged it from Pea Soup

    02 November 2006

    And the temperature drops

    Ahh bliss...silence. MrV is away for the weekend and First Born is in his bed (and so far has not fallen out), and I have the livingroom to myself apart from the cats who are lurking about somewhere.
    The weather has suddenly changed. We've been lucky up to now and had beautiful autumnal weather, I think like the rest of the Northern Hemisphere; and now it is baltic. And I keep forgetting this and going out without my warm winter coat or even a jumper, and then freezing my arse off. And trying to keep a coat on First Born is almost impossible - it must be the Scottish blood in him!

    01 November 2006

    Wednesday 1st November

    Day one of the month of blogging....

    things chez velcro are slowly settling down; firstborn has so far failed to swamp the bathroom and utility room in 5 days and the downstairs neighbours are either very forgiving (they have the same landlord as us) or very very shortsighted and failed to see the Niagra Falls flowing down their walls.
    Halloween was very quiet this year. We only had three trick/treaters so we now have a cupboard full of little bars of chocolate, oh well I know a certain mummy and little boy (who has a face covered in chocolate) who will be happy to get it all eaten. We didn't dress up for it, but we did disembowle and carve two pumpkins. I wish I had taken a photo of them because they sat on the worksurface yesterday evening looking like two gossiping women.