Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Even more down to earth with a bump (5)

Continuing my record of Sofia Faith's pregnancy

For several days this week, nausea and vomiting have let me be. What a wonderful relief. This morning however I felt sick again, so I’m not out of the woods yet, although it is slowly improving. My legs continue to itch on and off – but that's also notably better. And the insomnia too, I'm only waking to wee once or twice a night now. All in all, everything is improved.

Got sinusitis, that sucks. But my physical symptoms are nothing compared to how I'm feeling emotionally this week. It's tough as my Gran who I was so incredibly close to, passed away. Struck by sadness, my LIFE AS IT IS is suddenly overwhelmingly colourless. 

I started finally sleeping this week as my sinus trouble has slowly improved. It's so rubbish being pregnant and unable to take any drugs man. Still, was only sick once this week, so that's great. Although the flip side is I'm really quite worried. I have no other symptoms of pregnancy at all. That's odd. And I'm so desperately sad about Gran too. I cannot wait to hear the heartbeat at the Midwife’s visit next week.

One day after writing this - and one day prior to being 16weeks pregnant - I felt my baby moving. A quickening. Little bubbles. A flicker of joy amidst the grieving gloom.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

TODDLER ANTICS My feral child (no.2)

It would appear the ants that have been marching 2x2 for ages, have finally retreated. (Probably something to do with the powder that was put down outdoors). Shame. I'm going to miss Sofia laying down on the floor and licking them up. 

Friday, 26 April 2013


Kyoto Kitchen, Winchester

Kyoto Kitchen
70, Parchment St
SO23 8AT
01962 890895


Winchester Fashion Show 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

A winning weekend in Winchester

The strangest thing; winning that radio competition. I found out Friday Simon and I would be off to Winchester the very next day, and only a day before, I'd been on air telling my story to the whole of the south. But it was the evening before that, when quite out of the blue relatives had rung to say: "We're coming to have the kids for you on Saturday; you never get a break." Imagine my delight, when not only did I win the prize, but the sitter was already booked! And I never enter competitions... So yes, it was the strangest thing. The planets had aligned. 

Saturday morning the grandparents arrived early, and we left early. Winchester via Sat Nav is a novel travel experience. Back roads twist and tangle, passing thatched cottages and farmland in turn. The Hampshire countryside is at its best in the early morning sunshine and one gets a sense of Austen's territory. It is just beautiful.

I tried not to let my Sat Nav prejudice ruin our run and resulted in following Simon in following his toy. (I did wonder where the hell it was taking us though and if I would be sat in the hairdresser hot seat on time?). Half an hour on, about to sit in said hot seat, I swallowed my pride, agreeing yes it was not only the prettiest way - but also (grrrr) apparently, the fastest too. 

MENTAL NOTE: Is it just us, or does Sat Nav cause other couples such grief? 

Friday, 19 April 2013

And the sun came out!

It's lovely having warmer weather. We have been outside more than inside most of the week, and that's been wonderful. People are smiling and generally LIFE AS IT IS for everyone, is on the up. I love Winter, but I love Summer more!

The downside is that work is mad at the moment, (all good - I cannot complain), but finding yourself at a desk looking out to the blue skies is rubbish. Good job I'm able to work in the evenings is all I can say, for I've let a lot of the desk sitting be done when the sun has disappeared. Priorities right?!

Additional work has meant that I've not read a book I was supposed to have. My mates have organised a book club (how very grown-up - I must be in my 40's) and it is due to meet this coming week. I am only as far as chapter four. The wine and nibbles will compensate for not joining in with the review, girls - I apologise in advance.

You would have thought I could have read the book throughout our Easter holiday, but no, I was too busy doing nothing... We had a lovely break in Cornwall and the time away was heaven sent. Cornwall is a corner of the country that I would love to explore a whole lot more. I've learnt that beach days are sometimes best when cold, and flying kites with a 4yo and a 19mo is a brilliant way to pass the time. While there though, I could have done without the minor concussion... must remember for future reference that cottages have low doors!

Have been gardening since we got back and spring cleaning in general. What is it about having a good clear out? It gives you so much energy. So much energy, that although I have had to work so much, and not read a book so much, I found the time to enter a competition on local radio. Well, you'd never guess... I only went and won it. Amazing. It is true, you have to be in it to win it.

Tomorrow, the OH and I are off to be thoroughly spoilt: lunch/dinner/champers/hair&makeover (that's me) and general pampering for the whole day and night. Doesn't get much better than that, does it? So yes, the sun is shining. And it would appear it is shining down on me. 

Must dash... I'm off to buy a lottery ticket!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

FURTHER TRAVEL TALES: Blessed in Bangkok

In a near forgotten past and in a life before children, there was a young girl who wandered without bags under her eyes but with a bag on her back. Here she returns to notes she made while visiting Bangkok. Oriental city and complete chaos... 


I make for the canal and pass Wat Poh, Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace on route. A royal bombast, they represent Thailand’s history and architectural experimentation. Polished orange and green roof tiles bedeck their colourful treasures. Gold features heavily. Mosaic encrusted pillars and deluxe marble compliment extensive murals and statues. It is an aesthetic orgy whose rich appearance contrasts with the bright blue sky and the beggars beyond. 

The water taxi can wait. For the lure of such elaborate beauty is hard to resist. I cover my shoulders for the Reclining Buddha, who apparently blesses me as I light him a candle. The mood within is purely spiritual and the aroma of incense encourages the calmness. Three young boys, heads shaved and orange robed, walk serenely by. My gaze follows their direction and I notice a sign for the massage school.

Wat Poh is the national head quarters for the teaching and preservation of traditional Thai massage and medicine. Wandering in to a large room littered with bodies, it isn’t long before I too, lie on a mat that may as well not be there. The next hour I am pushed and pulled in directions alien to my now backpack styled slouch. The masseur means business. Her tiny hands work fast and hard. Her size betrays her strength. She cracks the vertebrae all the way up my spine, she doesn’t stop there and it feels as though my neck is doubling in length.

There are lots of locals here. Their voices remain at a melodic hush. It is apparent that this is a school of healing and not just relaxation. People are here for help. The Thai woman lying beside me yelps out loudly in pain. It is rather alarming. The two masseurs nod at each other. I am sure I observe ever such a slight smile between them. It is as though they are in competition. The one working on me kneels on my inner thigh. I grimace slightly.  Then I float.  

On the water taxi I feel so relaxed from my massage, I dreamily gaze over to the bank, not hearing the noise of the engine or smelling its smoking diesel. The canal meanders alongside lush greenery, teak houses on stilts and more temples.

A sudden movement catches my eye. A man holds an eel he has just caught in his hands. The water is brown and thick and he clambers out of it onto the make shift raft of four drum canisters supporting a piece of iron. He replaces his flip-flops, and climbs up the rubber-tire stairway to street level, dripping and clutching his catch. In the next tiny inlet, a young girl sits, washing clothes. 

Glancing down over the side of the boat I reflect: Quite clearly Thailand’s riches are not simply to be found within its palaces and temples. Momentarily the girl looks up at the busy water taxi passing by, then, continues with her work. I cannot see any soap powder. All I see are thousands of television aerials, surrounding a massive Coca-cola sign suspended high above her. The consumerist West invades my daydream. And then I'm moving again - this time in a taxi on the road.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Even more down to earth with a bump (4)

Continuing my record of Sofia Faith's pregnancy -


The nausea and vomiting continue. They are such great signs I cannot ever complain – and I wont – but it is so tiring. On top of already being tiring. I read that even when you are resting at this stage, it is as if you are mountain climbing.

I've got itchy legs and often wake up through the night scratching them. If not I wake up to wee. Oh and when I don't wake up, it's because I'm already awake. Yes, the insomnia continues to eat in on my nights. However, I do think that overall, things are improving.
Ha! This morning I threw up four times in a lay-by trying to take Esme, my two-year-old to nursery. As I hung out the driver door, I could hear her enquiring, "Mummy, Mummy." Each time I tried to respond, I puked some more. Unpleasant.

This week is an important milestone for me. Last pregnancy I got to this very point, and began bleeding. Two days on I lost that little being.

It is a great feeling - not only to have made it beyond the point of our miscarriage - but also to have had our 12 week scan. It's amazing to know that all is well with our baby. 

Our baby is measuring two inches long.
Our baby is sucking its thumb. 
Our baby has its legs crossed. 
Our baby is sat in the very bottom of my uterus.
Our baby is looking like it's snoozing in a hammock. 
Our baby is a bloody wonder.
Our baby.