03 August 2007

The ABCs

I feel that my writing has lost a little bit of something recently. This is probably because my life revolves around family, cleaning and the West Wing which is rather limiting for blog entries. So when I read on domesticali that there is a new meme doing the rounds called Encyclopedia of Me which requires a post a day for the month of August I was hopeful that this might get me going again.

A is for Abroad

I've promised this a few times before - where I've lived..
I was born in the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. My mother worked there as a nurse before I was born so knew the staff and was helping out making beds a few days after I was born.
Middle East
We moved to Doha, Qatar before I started school. Water came to your house in a tanker, minor road were just tracks in the sand, electricity cuts were the norm, rats were everywhere, and then there were (Aunty do NOT look) these.
As well as Qatar, I've lived in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and Tel Aviv in Israel

North America
When I was 18 I moved to the US (against the expressed wishes of my parents) to Kalamazoo in Michigan and boy was it cold! A few months later I moved across the state to Detroit and within days I left and went up to Ottawa to stay with family in Canada.
OK let's see, I've lived in Epstein and Bönstadt near Frankfurt am Main, working as an aupair firstly with 18 month old twins, and then with 2 young children; and Maastricht in the Netherlands.
The UK
Apart from those well known centres of culture Edinburgh, Crieff and London, I spent 3 years in Northampton studying at Uni.

B is for Babies Crying and Cooing
The Count has the most adorable cry. He's still got a sort of newborn cry which doesn't have the same lungpower as an older baby and when he's very tired he doesn't bother crying, instead he just lies there saying "mwahhh" which frankly is too cute for words.
When the FB was four months old he stopped sleeping through the night and started waking up every few hours for no discernable reason. We tried everything from moving him into his own room, to taking notes of how often and much he fed, and even, to the disgust of the health visitor, tried Gina Ford but the FB refused to cooperate and nap at the appropriate time. Eventually we had to go the hard way which was to leave him to cry at night. It took a couple of nights of lying in bed listening to him scream himself to sleep (which were horribly hard) but he got over his nightwaking.
Both of them (well the FB doesn't any more but he did when he was a baby) coo, smile and laugh at something that no one else can see.

C is for Cleaning Ovens
When I lived in Tel Aviv I had a job as pot wash in a very popular bar in Tel Aviv port. As jobs go it wasn't bad, the pay was good and the only dangers came from broken glasses the waitresses would put in with the dishes and the unwelcome attention from Benny the greasy cook. He had a weird obsession with wanting to cook me a "white meat" meal. So anyway, one day the bar got a notice saying that they were getting inspected by Environmental Health so the whole kitchen had to be cleaned. A lot of the food served up was fried and the walls above the fryers were caked in grease which meant a special alkelai cleaner needed to be used. I was given rubber gloves to do this but as I was cleaning the walls the stuff was running down my gloves onto my arms, and as I watched little pocks were being burnt/melted into my arms. I remember the weird tingling feeling and looking down as they appeared. I also had a big one burnt into the joint of my thumb where a hole had let the cleaner through.
So oven cleaning??? Well today's Motivated Mum's list had oven cleaning on it, and as it is the first time I've done it since we moved, and I'm still speculating as to whether the house was cleaned before we moved in, I used a seriously strong cleaner on it. As I cleaned I felt a tingling feeling down my right arm but fortunately this time there wasn't anything there. Phew!


Ali said...

Glad you've joined in! Cleaning the oven is high on my hate list. I actually got one of those companies who do it for you to come and sort mine out. Sadly, I can't give them any repeat business, because I don't want them to know I am a slob who hasn't touched it since they last came.

There's a dirty secret!

Molly said...

Are you and Aunty evil on some evil mission to guilt us all into cleaning our ovens??

Stomper Girl said...

We call a pot wash a dish pig over here!

And what have you got against the southern hemisphere, oh well-traveled one?

velcro said...

ali you could always hire another firm to do it, or buy a new oven

molly - completely!

stomper - I just wrote out where I've lived and didn't bother including all the places I've been on holiday but if I had then New Zealand would have been on the list.
I've nothing against the Southern Hemisphere your immigration people have just made the entry requirements too hard

Aunty Evil said...

Hey Velcro, thanks so much for the warning about that link. You and MDH are my bestest friends in the world. He tells me to "look away" when he spots a spider somewhere and then tells me when it is all clear again.

As for cleaning the oven, I am still not over yesterday's foray into my own. It will take some time I suspect.

caramaena said...

Sounds like you're quite well travelled!

velcro said...

You're welcome Aunty. Oven cleaning isn't so bad, changing bedlinen is worse I think.

Caramaena I think travel is genetic in my family. Everyone, except my grandmother (and the newest generation) has lived abroad at some point in their lives. As much as I would love to move back to Edinburgh, I would also love to move back to Germany too.

Mrs Thistletwat said...

The Count sounds adorable. Little Miss T has the best pair of lungs of any baby I've ever heard, and she is not afraid to use them. I was on the furthest end of the post natal ward (one of those old Nightingale wards) and hers was the loudest cry even from the opposite end.

velcro said...

The FB was like that MrsT. May I suggest earplugs?