Tuesday 1 December 2015

Tuesday, 1st December 1987

The afternoon of the 1st December 1987 (oh, cool, it was a Tuesday, like today) found me walking around Stamford High Street, pushing eldest daughter, Shoshannah, in her pushchair.  We were to meet her father at my in-laws later on that day, and go home together in the car.  All afternoon I had been experiencing what I put down to Braxton Hicks contractions, and just ignored them as that.  It wasn’t until we got home and the fact that they were still at it that I decided to ring the hospital and proclaim that I thought I had started labour.  They told me to come in, but not to rush as there was bound to be plenty of time yet. 

So, leaving Shoshannah with her grandmother, into the labour wing of Stamford Hospital I was taken.  The midwife had a look, pronounced that she had plenty of time, and then some, to go get the egg and chips she was looking forward to in the canteen, and disappeared off, leaving me to get on with it for a bit.

When she came back about half an hour later she was welcomed by my waters breaking and was somewhat aghast that things had moved along a lot quicker than she had expected.  I had only been in the maternity wing for around an hour when Olivia was born at 7.58 pm,  weighing 7lb 2½oz.

I had heard giving birth to your second child was much easier and quicker than the first, but I didn’t realise just exactly how easy and quick, and relatively painless, until that afternoon/evening! 

Love you lots, little one. And I officially let you off for causing me to miss that much laughed about steak dinner! I would rather have you in my world than eat a steak dinner anyway (yeah okay, I’m vegetarian.  But I wasn’t then!)

Happy Birthday, Liv


Monday 17 August 2015

Weird Weekend 2015

So there it is then. Another Weird Weekend has come to an end, and it is now back to normality, whatever that is.

Apart from Woolsery and surrounding villages being fog-bound on the Thursday night with the heavens above sprinkling down a continual fine rain that quickly and deftly saturated all who dared stand outside the marquee on the lawn, the event seemed to go remarkably smoothly. 

Big thanks go to the The Small School in Hartland for letting us be weird on their premises and also to all those that prepared, cooked and served delicious meals, made scrumptious cakes and cookies, and were on hand with endless cups of refreshing tea and coffee, as well as drinks of other kinds.

And big thanks also to Andy, Amy and Charlotte for putting up and looking after Ronan, and to Andrea, Steve and their brood for looking after Lars and his son. Your kindness is much appreciated.

Thanks also to the man who complained bitterly that 3 apples were thrown over his fence by an over-enthusiastic little'un, and to the woman who stomped down to the event because someone had parked outside her house on a public highway, without actually managing to block her driveway .... because, well there wasn't one. Their mean-spirited reactions came as an abject reminder of how the good old British community spirit was largely swept down the drain quite a few decades ago, and we cannot thank them enough for reiterating this so dramatically, and for demonstrating why it is important that events like ours that involve as much of the local community as possible, that dare to join in, are important to try to suck back that spirit from the sewers below ground.

Thanks of course also go to the speakers who came along to give their talks. Obviously there will be talks that will not interest some people just as there will be those that enthral people. There will always be sceptics of some subjects, and fervent believers in others. My favourites (apart from my daughter's presentation on 'Feral Cats' of course, and it goes without saying that I am extremely proud of her) were Jaki Windmill's 'Astroshamanics' and Judge Smith's talk involving Ouija boards, as well as Rosie Curtis' first ever talk in public, which was about 'Scary Memes on the Internet'. That does not mean I did not enjoy others; that is not the case at all, and every one of those that I could sit in on and - even more importantly, give complete attention to - I found very interesting. 

I really enjoyed hearing Jaki sing and the opening chant was so reminiscent of the time I had the privilege to attend an All Nations Powwow whilst in Arizona a few years back. That was a mesmerising spectacle of raw, primal chanting, dancing and drum-beating that I shall always remember, but is completely beside the point so I will not enthuse any further.

PS: Photos to follow!

Saturday 2 May 2015

Happy Birthday, Ant

A bit of class for your birthday 

Have a good one!

Lots of love 


Monday 23 March 2015

Saturday, 23rd March 1985 – Uxbridge, Middlesex.

On 23rd March, 1985, at around 1.00 am, my daughter, Shoshannah, woke me up because she wanted to go on a journey. She had warned me about this adventure many times over the previous days, but had been unable to confirm the exact date or time. Therefore, although I had been expecting her to embark upon this once in a lifetime trip imminently, it still came as a bit of a surprise when she actually announced her impending arrival and that her father and I should expect her sometime very soon.

After many stops along the way, at 7.26 pm she – as my satnav would put it - reached her destination; all 6lb 15oz of her.  (She also came with an extra surprise; two bottom front teeth, but that is a different story involving very short trips in an ambulance around the hospital car park from one building to another, when she had to have one tooth extracted when only a few days old.)

Up until 1985 I think there was only one thing I had ever done that I could even contemplate counting as a major event, and that was passing my driving test!  And that had taken two goes and didn’t happen until I was 21. Upon reflection, perhaps two attempts are why I thought it was such a memorable occasion. 

It wasn’t until around eight years later that my life changed and I relegated that ‘major event’ to where it really belonged; amongst the pile of ‘just one of those things that one does and takes for granted events’. It was some time around December 1984 that the realisation really dawned on me that 1985 was going to be a life-changing year. I had no idea where it was going to take me; it was scary, exciting, unknown, unfathomable, terrifying, awesome all rolled into one great ball wrapped with joy.  But I often wondered if I would be able to cut the proverbial mustard. 

Amongst others, there were these recurring questions in my mind:

  • Would I be any good as a mother?  (I think I did okay, although if I am honest I don’t think I would have made ‘A*’ but ‘A’ I would accept.)
  • Would I be able to keep them safe in this sometimes horrid world? (Yes
  • Would I be able to teach them right from wrong? (Yes – terrible 2s were a bit touch and go though)
  • Would I be too over-protective? (Um, yes I probably have, and shall continue so to do)
  • Would I cope with the TEENAGE years? (Phew, just about)
  • Would I be able to teach them the proper manners and how to behave in public? (I didn't read Jane Austen for nothing.  And Shosh loudly singing the 'Postman Pat' song at the back of the church whilst we attended her two cousins' joint christening was perfectly acceptable. Even the vicar complemented her on that)
  • Would they turn out well-adjusted, kind, caring, and a credit to the human race? (I reckon I did a plum job)

And if someone waved a magic wand and I could do it all again, would I? (Too damn tooting right I would)

Shoshannah, my darling first-born, you have reached one of those birthday milestones today.  If someone were to ask me now, ‘What are the things you are most proud of achieving in your life?’ the answer would be that there are only two.  And you are one of them.

Have a very Happy Birthday.