31 December 2006



28 December 2006

"just what I always wanted, a thing"

Hello. Welcome Back. How was your Christmas? Was Santa good to you? How was the food?

We had a lovely time. The FB let us sleep in until 7.30 and had to be prompted to check his stocking which he then dragged through and insisted on opening on our bed. The highlight of his stocking was a torch, though he was very chuffed that Santa had brought him two satsumas and a banana.

Eventually he was allowed to start on the huge heap of presents Santa had left under the tree (which was decorated in time for F. Christmas' visit). I thought he would get through the loot in about 20 minutes, but an hour and a half later he had finally unwrapped the last present. There were a lot of stops to play with things as they appeared. So he is now the proud owner of his very own till and a doctor's set, which is good because he's decided to be a doctor when he grows up - I guess he realised that being a doctor, a builder and a traindriver during the week, and a street cleaner at the weekend was just going to be too much work.

The obstetric consultant appointment was yesterday. It's not common to see a consultant in the UK during pregnancy; most of the care falls on either the GP or Midwives, but my midwife felt that I needed to see a consultant because of the ectopic, so we saw him yesterday and it was obvious that none of us knew why I was there, but never mind. He's testing my thyroid, liver and kidneys to see if he can figure out why I can't keep my eyes open in the afternoon.

Today, like most of London, we went to the Natural History Museum, followed by the Science Museum. We were under orders from a certain knee high dictator to go and look at the dinosaur exhibition but our little Castro chickened out when it came time to see the huge roaring T-Rex. Then it was off to the Science Museum to find Stephenson's Rocket (one of the first steam trains).

We've weaned the FB off his Underground Ernie fetish only to replace it with a Charlie and Lola DVD watching compulsion. However, there has been a breakthrough, he has permitted us to put Chorlton and the Wheelies on twice! and watch ToyStory, though he did spent most of it telling us that he didn't like it and could we put CBeebies on please.

24 December 2006

Merry Christmas

The Christmas tree is up, the presents are (almost) wrapped, the final run to the supermarket has been done and the fridge and all the cupboards are fighting the childlocks to open, so all that is left to do is to bid you all a Merry Christmas and may Santa be good to you all. It has been fantastic reading all your blogs and having you come back to my place and read mine, so here's to 2007 and many more posts to come.


22 December 2006

The Christmas Meme

From daysgoby

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
I don’t drink alcohol or hot liquids, but I do love chocolate, so it would have to be a chocolate milkshake. Not very Christmassy I grant you, but very yummy
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Definitely wraps them but not very well. And if Santa was a little better prepared he would use different wrapping paper than the non-Santa presents.
3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white?
I think they are white on the tree (none on the house) but we haven’t had them up for years.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
5. When do you put up your decorations?
Christmas Eve due to small boy and 2 cats. All three have a deep love of Christmas decorations.
6. What is your favourite Holiday (Christmas) meal include?
Chipolatas, stuffing, gravy and either turkey or chicken I’m not fussed. This year we’ll have delicious carrots too.
7. Favourite Holiday memory as a child?
My sister and I making a pact when in bed on Christmas Eve that the first to waken would wake the other up.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
My sister and I had suspicions for a long time. We used to count the fruit in the fruit bowl on Christmas Eve and then tally it with what was in there on Christmas Day morning. We also took to marking the fruit and seeing if it was appear in our stockings.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
With whatever decorations we have. I would love to have a tree that looked like it was out of a magazine, well it does, but as the “before” horror shot.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
I love it until it melts into slush and then freezes. I hate ice.
12. Can you ice skate?
13. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Spending time with my husband and son, and watching my son’s face when he opens his presents.
14. What is your favourite holiday dessert?
Stollen. It’s German cake and absolutely delicious, and now I am calling MrV to ask him to bring some more home (from the supermarket, he didn’t bring anything back from Germany except himself.)
15. What is your favourite holiday tradition?
Making the Christmas cake. Everyone has to stir the mixture before it goes into the cake tin, and make a wish.
16. What tops your tree?
I think it’s a really tacky star. I keep meaning to replace it and forget every year.


MrV's back, not home, but at work. Phew!

21 December 2006

Fog in Channel; Europe cut off

And boy does it seem a long way off. MrV is now, I think, in Zurich. The flight he was meant to be on earlier was cancelled, so they all flew to Zurich to catch a flight to London City where flights were still landing. They boarded the plane and then.....it was cancelled. City is now closed. Where MrV is I don't know. His phone's battery has died and I don't know if he is still in Zurich, or on one of the few flights due to fly to Heathrow. Everytime the phone rings or a message comes through on my mobile I think it is him but no; and I'm becoming very compulsive watching the realtime departure board in Zurich, the Swiss Air departure website and arrivals at Heathrow.

After a brief panic this morning about my father-in-law's present it got sorted. I had to wake my brother-in-law up to get his stepmother's email address but then some amazon vouchers were winging their way over to her.

And finally our daily postal update.....are you ready for this? The material turned up today (the replacement parcel) and it is gorgeous. I think I will take it all out tonight and start thinking about patterns to make; then my downstairs neighbour knocked on the door. He had been to the post office to pick up a parcel for him and they had given him two for us. They aren't supposed to do that, and they are supposed to leave cards and they hadn't; in addition we have been in every day for the last 2 weeks when the postie's been. I'm wondering what other parcel cards have failed to slid through our door. Tomorrow I go to complain. The tally of the missing post stands at one bouquet, and one parcel.

Oh and an update on the FB. Despite another tedious day indoors (first waiting to lynch the postman, and then waiting to hear what was going on with his father) we have had a good day. No arguments nothing. Fabulous! Perhaps Santa will bring his presents after all

Heathrow is taunting me. We are under their flight path and I can hear the planes going over. Keep your fingers crossed that one of them is carrying my MrV

on edit found him. He's in Paris. Going to get the Eurostar home tomorrow.

20 December 2006


It was so cold here today that I couldn't face going out in to the big wide world, so the FB and I spent the day cosied up inside winding each other up. We're going through major power struggles right now and yes, as the grownup I should know better, but when it's in full swing I just don't see what's going on and it took watching a Canadian show - Yummy Mummy - tonight to give me the kick in the head I need to get this situation under control.

How is the Christmas countdown going? I think that's all the presents bought and with a sick sense of horror I have just realised that I have forgotten to buy my father-in-law and his wife their present. OH SHIT! OK I think the FB and I will be taking a trip to Wimbledon tomorrow. Bugger bugger bugger. So one present left to get then. Cake is baked and just needs its covering of apricot jam, marzipan and icing but I'll have to wait until MrV is back from Germany before I can do that as the mixer to make the icing is too high up for me to reach. And yes, you read that correctly, MrV is in Germany, on training. I'm going to be incredibly diplomatic (just in case anyone from his company is reading this) and not say exactly what I think of sending a family man on training the week before Christmas. Tree is still resting on top of the wardrobe; however I have just finished making an incredibly tacky garland-type thing of gold beads and coloured plastic letters spelling out several variations on Merry Christmas. OK I'm bored. I've run out of chocolate within hand reach, there is nothing on TV worth watching, and the FB has lost the DVD remote control.

And I know you are all desperate to hear the latest in our missing post saga. Well....some of it is starting to arrive! Hurrah! But am still one bouquet and three parcels down. When they arrive I promise to take back some of the horrid things I've been thinking about the postal service.

5 songs of Christmas

tagged by Daysgoby

1. Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel. Reminds me of singing in the school choir in a freezing cold church at the end of the term at Christmas time, but it also has an incredible grandeur about it.

2. Once in Royal David's City - some of the notes put a shiver up my spine with their perfection.

3. All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth - my father's two front teeth on the top row are false (knocked out playing rugby as a boy) and he has denied having them for years. One Christmas years back they fell out in the middle of a meal. He tried to glue them back in but to no avail and retired to his bedroom to sulk when my sister and I began to sing "all i want for christmas......" He now claims that he was playing a practical joke on us and we fell for it. Yeah right dad!

4. Santa Baby. Once it gets into my head that's it it's stuck there for the rest of the season.

5. Winter Wonderland.

18 December 2006

Don shades NOW!

Ok here it is. The completed piece of cross stitch known as the Peacock in the Tree. The colours are far brighter than in the photo but this is basically it. Today I find myself missing sewing!

The tally of missing post continues to rise. A further two parcels and possibly a bouquet of flowers have disappeared. I think after Christmas I shall be wandering down to the post office to complain. On the plus side, the Ebayer who sold me all the cotton to make the quilt is sending more down by registered post and claiming the money back from the PO.

17 December 2006

Just call me Super Uncle

Here's the background -

Yesterday we were going to take the FB to see the reindeer at the local supermarket, but alas when we got there the event had been cancelled as someone had been murdered in the carpark.

I was explaining to the FB this morning why they had to cancel the event - someone got badly hurt in the carpark at the supermarket (I'm too soft to tell him that someone got killed there) and the police are trying to find out who hurt them. They need to stop people walking around there in case they pick up something the police need to help them.
I then explained to him that the police will catch them and then his uncle will tell them off. His uncle used to be a barrister (yes he has a wig, and a little box to keep it in, and a little grooming kit to look after it) with the Crown Prosecution Service (like the US DA, I don't know what the Aussie version is). The FB looked at me and said "and den UncleG will fight dem" just like his very own superhero. MrV then phoned his sister to let her know that her fiance is an undercover crime fighting superhero and she replied by text:
His already large head has now swollen another two sizes. It's a tough job being Top Uncle but someone has to do it.

And I finished it. I finished the cross stitch. MrV took the FB into town to do some present shopping (for me) and I spent the 5 hours I had free sewing and watching grownup television including a fascinating documentary about kodiak grizzlies narrated by Brad Pitt. I'll photograph the finished picture and post it tomorrow. Bring shades.

14 December 2006

Three in a bed scandal

Last night I shared my bed with two males (hangs head in shame). One tall, furry and rather gorgeous, the other small, fidgety and with the softest skin. The FB was ill last night. He's caught another cold and is feeling rather sorry for himself. When he gets a cold he tends to cry out in his sleep for hours unless he's in our bed and then he sleeps peacefully but in perpetual motion. At one point I woke up with him lying along the pillow; and he headbutted me a few times. Ouch!
Am feeling rather proud of myself. I've been writing a daily to do list and apart from finishing the cross stitch I've been ticking everything off'; and now the flat is getting tidy and my outstanding pile of things I mean to do is slowly shrinking.
What else has been going on? Well we've been playing a sort of game of tango with life; one step forward, one step back. Is that tango? or am I thinking of the Gay Gordons? So I'm due a refund in tax and they've sent me a cheque......but our post is going missing; bought material to make a quilt off Ebay.....and the parcel's gone missing; applying to buy a house....and the application has gone missing! Maybe using dancing as a metaphor is wrong. I should just declare myself the new Bermuda Triangle and have done with it. Perhaps tomorrow the postie will bring all the lost mail or perhaps a missing jet or yacht.
And on another note. Aunty, I can't add comments to your post (I am tempted to say that they go missing but they don't, they just don't save). I'm going to try and get MrV to invite me to join googlemail as it seems that's what I need.

13 December 2006

A meme for a windy Wednesday

4 jobs I've had
1. Personal Assistant
2. Engineering Assistant in an aircraft maintenance company
3. Level 2. Tech Support
4. modeled togas in a bridal fair in Tel Aviv (honestly!)

4 movies I could watch over and over.
I’m going to cheat and declare movies as meaning any dvd in my collection.
1. Any of the Pink Panther films (but not the one with Steve Martin in)
2. Bringing up Baby
3. All Creatures Great and Small
4. Eddie Izzard performances (the old ones, not too fond of his new stuff)

4 places I have lived (apart from where I am now)
1. Doha, Qatar
2. Kalamazoo & Detroit, Michigan
3. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4. Maastricht, the Netherlands

4 TV shows I love
1. Charmed (yes I know I know)
2. New Tricks
3. QI
4. Jam & Jerusalem

4 places I have been for a holiday
1. New Zealand to see the grandparents when I was 7
2. Disney World, Florida
3. Interrailed around Germany with MrV and FB (when he was 2)
4. Island hopping in Greece

4 websites I visit daily
1.All the blogs I read. To list them here would take too long
2. Yahoo
3. The Guardian
4. Tomato Nation

4 favourite foods
1. Chocolate – milk. Never white chocolate and never dark
2. salad – Caesar, plain, greek
3. All fish except swordfish. I would kill for a hammour (excuse the spelling. It’s a fish from the Arabian Gulf and easily the most delicious fish I have ever eaten, especially with tartar sauce made in the Gulf Hotel)
4. Cheese. Especially those forbidden unpasteurized soft cheeses.

4 places I would rather be
1. Edinburgh, either in my dream home in the Grange or a flat in Marchmont (or Ramsay Gardens though that gets rather noisy during the Festival)
2. Australia so I could meet all the people who leave comments
3. Somewhere snowy so the FB could experience snow. He is desperate to build a snowman and throw a snowball.
4. If I have to be in London, then a townhouse in Knightsbridge

stolen unashamedly from domesticali

12 December 2006

When all else fails read the instructions.

It's the FB's nursery's Christmas party tomorrow. I thought it was next week until I arrived to pick him up at lunchtime and overheard another mother talking to her daughter about the party TOMORROW. Cue much swearing, silently of course, so as not to offend the little ears (and big other mummy ones too). I have to get him a pressie to be given to him by Mother Christmas - Father Christmas is far too busy, or scared, to visit this part of London in daylight hours; and make savoury rice, which is what I should be doing now instead of blogging.

And how was your weekend? Busy getting ready for Christmas or are you all far more organised than me and have got it all done? By the looks of things we may be the only household left in the celebrating world that doesn't have a Christmas tree up, and they all seem to be so beautifully decorated. I love this tradition that some families have of buying an ornament a year per child so that when they grow up and leave home they have their very own box of tree decorations each with a little history. I do wonder though, what happens to the parents. Are they left with a barren tree that first year?

Right, I am going to go and figure out how to make savoury rice and then make tea, and then.....

(P.S. the title for today's meander is a little piece of wisdom passed onto me by my father. It explains his ability to break any item of PC equipment within minutes)

08 December 2006

And now over to Velcro for the weather

We had a tornado in London yesterday. Yup that's right, in London. Last time I checked London was in England and not in Kansas. In addition to that we had thunder and lightning, gales, rain, hail, sleet and finally beautiful blue skies. An odd odd day weather-wise. The FB and I went into town to yesterday to run errands including visiting John Lewis 3 times in the space of 2 hours. But we did get this, our Christmas candlestick chosen by the FB.

I can hear the kids in the future
"Mum what were you thinking when you bought this?"
"Ask the FB darling, he chose it"
One child turns to another and mutters "there she goes again, calling him the FB. Should we have her locked up this time?"

And this made up for being rained on etc etc etc....

My diary for next year!

(the thing covered in the delightful teatowel is the dried fruit for the christmas cake marinated in a litre of brandy. )

I'm just back from my midwife's appointment (I wrote this earlier, midwives don't hold court at 9pm). Apart from a very scary moment when she couldn't hear the baby's heartbeat everything seems to be fine. The FB who has been behaving like a little hellion over the last few days, got his act together and was a perfect angel during the examination. He must have been shattered because at 6pm all went quiet and I found him fast asleep in his bed; so I woke him up. Well I need him to sleep through the night, and he wouldn't have if he had continued to sleep. Does that make sense? I hope so.

05 December 2006

Tubes of chocolate.

He slept. He slept. He slept. All through the night. Do I sound relieved? Do I sound more human? Yes! and Yes! He's still not back to nursery but is definately going back tomorrow. I'm not sure I can take one more day of watching Underground Ernie especially not the line in the theme tune "underground ernie, you know you're gonna get there, early" which makes me, after hearing it about 30 times in one day, find the writers of said theme, and very nicely ask them if they have ever actually travelled on the London Underground, home of the unique "Underground Minute" which can be as short as 30 seconds and last as long as 5 minutes. Of course if a dot appears next to the destination on the board, you've entered "Abandon Hope" territory which takes us to the line "you know your travel plans will work out just fine" hmmm.

Well today I plucked up enough courage to take me to Mothercare and I bought a pair of maternity jeans and a top. And, and this is the important bit, I haven't gone up a clothing size which is remarkable considering chocolate is treated around here like it is at least one of the major food groups, if not as important as air for sustaining life. Maybe Liz was right, maybe Maltesers really are a diet food. If so, bring em on!

(see now the title makes sense, if you know that the Underground is also called the Tube, which being terribly Londoncentric, I assume you do)

04 December 2006

A new week, a new box of tissues

I didn't think, when I started writing this blog, that I would be journaling the trials and tribulations of having a cold! But thankyou to everyone who wished me good health, your wishes came true and the cold is on its way out. A special huge thankyou to Stompergirl for her fantastic suggestion of Savlon for my nose. It heals that horrible cracked reptile look in a day. I wish I had heard of it before.

So how was your weekend? We got an extra special treat on Saturday morning - the FB let us sleep in until 9.30! Yup you read that right. 9.30! Absolutely bliss. But he's more than made up for it since. We got a grand total of 3 hours last night. I can't wait for this cold to pass.

Because all the words in my head are a little jumbled up with sleep deprivation I'm going to stick some photos up instead.

I can't get this blasted thing to let me title the photos
so here's what they should have had under each one:
"I'm washing dishes just like my Daddy"
Autumn Leaves
This is a tree in our downstairs neighbours' garden. To me it marks the turning of the seasons which seem to go past so incredibly quickly.
This gate is en route to the FB's nursery. There's
something about the colour of the paint and the
way it's peeling that made me cart the camera
out to photo it

On Edit:
Layout sucks, sorry about that.