Tuesday, December 27, 2011

home not alone/a hospital christmas

Guess who came home with us today! Hooray!
We found out she'd be coming home yesterday and it was all a bit sudden and unexpected so we had to do a mad Boxing Day dash to Mothercare to get something for her to sleep in and we don't have much else. I suppose we don't need much, although it would be nice to feel a bit more organised. I'm trying to let go and take the "we have the next 18 years to get organised" approach but I would secretly love to have a place to put her clothes and nappies as well as something other than a towel on the floor to change her on. It would also be great if we had a pram as I have a hospital appointment tomorrow and have nothing to take her there in. We actually do have a second-hand pram but we haven't managed to clean it yet and it really needs cleaning. I can't bring myself to put her in it yet after the sterile hospital environment she's been in for the last seven weeks, almost. We are supposed to keep her away from germs (no big air-conditioned buildings or socialising with other babies/children) for the next few months because she was on oxygen for so long and it makes her susceptible to respiratory tract infections, which could be quite nasty for her. All visitors must wash their hands on entry to the flat! Hopefully nobody will be too offended by that request. I'm sure people will think we're being crazily over-protective parents, but it is what we have been instructed to do by the hospital and I would certainly rather be safe than sorry.
I'm too scared to leave Dulcie unattended for even a second since we got home in case the cats get too curious or go into mental attack mode, not that they have ever been particularly violent or aggressive in the past. You never know though! Do you see Poppy peering into the moses basket from her vantage point on top of the shelves?
Dulcie is blissfully unaware of her hairy older sisters so far and has been frightening them off with her very noisy windy emissions.
We enjoyed spending Christmas Day together even though it did not feel much like Christmas. Dulcie wore her fancy new cardigan (hand knitted by her granny) for the occasion and we gave her a bath especially. We brought all her presents to the hospital to open and Santa delivered a nice parcel to her there too. She got us a lovely handmade card, a very nice surprise! Her handwriting is surprisingly similar to one of the nurses'...
Dulcie had had a very unsettled night on Christmas Eve (she's been much better since then) and I had had next to no sleep and was feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything. When the "vegetarian" Christmas dinner I had ordered from the canteen turned out to be decidedly unvegetarian salmon, leaving me Christmas-dinner-less, it was the straw that broke the camel's back and I couldn't help having a good old Christmas weep. Unfortunately, a nurse caught me weeping, causing much concern amongst the medical staff. I don't think they believed simple tiredness and no Christmas dinner could push a grown woman to such a dark place. What can I say? I love Christmas dinner! Above is what I ended up having as a substitute - egg mayonnaise sandwiches (one white and one brown for a bit of variety), an apple and two yoghurts left over from someone's breakfast. Festive it was not! Thank goodness my mum is coming to cook us a belated Christmas dinner at New Year :)

Better go and look after this baby or something. I'm not sure what to do with her now she's here...

Friday, December 23, 2011

no wonder I was getting confused

Now that I'm on antibiotics as well as all my heart medication (sigh... don't ask) I have had to invest in one of these old lady style tablet storage boxes. I was getting very confused about what to take when and could never remember, even 30 seconds after taking tablets, whether I had taken them or not. Sleep deprivation does terrible things to the brain, but once I arranged my week's tablets last night I could see why I had been finding it so hard to keep on top of. We're talking double figures of tablets every day. Yowsers! It has been so nice just to pop pills without thinking too much today. Out of context, that sentence could make this post sound much more exciting than it is!

This is the first year ever that I haven't done anything for Christmas. I haven't managed to write a single card or put up the tree or make a gumdrop wreath or even hang up a single strand of tinsel. I was not feeling the Christmas vibe at all and we had been discussing what to do with our sad Christmas evening when we would have to leave Dulcie behind at the hospital again, but today we had some good news. Dulcie (and I - credit where credit's due!) have been doing so well with the daytime breast feeding that I am getting to move in with her full time so that she can begin breast feeding overnight too and I am moving in tomorrow, on Christmas Eve, so I can wake up with Dulcie on Christmas morning and stay with her all day and go to sleep with her at night. There might even be room in the hospital bed for Graham to stay too. And just when you thought this little Christmas miracle couldn't get any better, it turns out Santa comes to visit all the babies and brings them a present! This is really the home straight now and Dulcie should be home with us soon, soon, soon. Right at the eleventh hour, it is beginning to feel a little bit like Christmas :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

last month's day in the life - november 17th

1.00pm - the highlight of my day

It may seem kind of extreme to bother posting my Day In The Life over a month late (let it go, woman!) but since the 17th of November was the date I personally chose for Day In The Life, I feel duty bound to share my day. I chose the 17th of November for no reason in particular other than that it was the date of my first antenatal class. Hmm, well, obviously I did not attend that! I did have quite an eventful day though and one that I think is worth recording, even if it is a month and more late, so here it comes...

2.00am - My alarm goes off so that I can express milk for my baby that I wasn't even meant to have yet.

4.15am - I realise I must have fallen asleep again while getting my bosoms out as they are out now but as yet unmilked. This is not a good time of night for me this week and I start thinking about everything that is going on and begin to cry.

4.30am - I have to collect all my urine in cardboard containers for the nurses to measure but I accidentally pee straight in the toilet like a normal person and flush it away. Oops.

4.45am - I am still crying. One of the nurses comes in and takes me along the corridor to sit in the nurses' station with them. They give me a cup of tea (my first caffeinated drink since becoming pregnant!) and a slice of fruit cake and I get to watch all the patients' heart beats zigzagging away on the big monitor. It looks as though we all have rather random heart beats, but I am no expert in these things.

5.30am - No longer crying, I go back to my room and express some milk which I then pour down the sink. The doctors haven't decided whether it's safe for Dulcie to have my milk what with all the medication I'm on, but I am still expressing in the hope they might say it's OK eventually. It is a bit soul destroying at this time of night and I'm fairly certain they're going to tell me I can't breast feed. This is one of many things making me cry this week.

6.00am - The camera at the Southern is not pointing at Dulcie's incubator so I can only see a wall. This is often the case at night, but I would really like a quick peek at Dulcie before I go to sleep. I shout into the monitor to try to attract the nurses' attention so I can ask them to turn the camera round for a minute. No joy - I think they must have me muted at their end. I switch the lights out and go to sleep.

7.45am - I wake up from a dream where I've been walking around with one of the nurses and the wires from my heart monitor keep getting tangled around my ankles and tripping me up. I think the symbolism is pretty self-explanatory! Interestingly, this is one of only three dreams I have during my whole fortnight in hospital.

8.00am - The new student nurse comes in to check my blood pressure and another nurse takes my daily blood sample. I tell her that I heard the consultant saying (while he stood right outside my open door) that I "wouldn't thank him" for sending me for an MRI scan and ask her why this might be. She looks unimpressed at the consultant's people skills and reassures me that an MRI scan is nothing to worry about unless you're claustrophobic, which I am not really. I don't want the student nurse to give me my injection (the one she gave me yesterday is still very sore and lumpy) but I know I won't have the heart to say so when the time comes. I get weighed in the weighing chair. I weigh 78kg. I've lost about 10kg since being admitted nine days ago but I guess some of that weight was baby.

8.15am - I check in with Beverly, one of Dulcie's nurses, via the webcam. She tells me Dulcie is doing very well - she's now drinking 20ml of milk at a time and is still coping well without her breathing tubes. The next step is to move her from intensive care to high dependency, just as soon as there's a space available for her. Hooray! I get washed and dressed and wash my surgical stockings in the sink and hang them up to dry.

8.40am - Breakfast arrives. Today I have been given scrambled eggs. Again. I'm not sure I can face them. I asked for scrambled eggs once and haven't been able to persuade them to give me anything else since.

8.45am - The student nurse comes in to give me my pills and tells me she'll give me my injection after breakfast. Oh dear. I wash the breast pump and my nightie in the sink, not at the same time.

9.00am - A porter arrives to escort me to my MRI scan and he has no wheelchair! I'm getting to walk! This is very exciting - the first time I have been allowed to walk further than five metres in nine days - but the porter walks quite quickly and I struggle to keep up.

9.15-10.30am - I have my MRI scan. Twenty minutes in, I discover I am more claustrophobic than I thought and have to be removed from the tube in floods of tears. I think the hospital will have to bill me for hankies when I leave as I have gone through A LOT. I manage to calm down, go back in the tube and make it to the end of the scan despite having to listen to Robbie Williams.

10.30am-12noon - I go back to my room where Graham is waiting for me. The postnatal psychologist comes to see us. I go through yet more hankies, but it is very useful to speak to her.

12.30pm - The ambulance arrives to take me for my second ever meeting with Dulcie. Since it has been such a busy day, someone brings me a packed lunch to eat en route to the other hospital. It feels like a proper outing now! Stuck in traffic, a minibus full of pensioners look very surprised to see me lying on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance eating a sandwich!

1.00pm - We arrive at Dulcie's ward. She's finished with her antibiotics now so the doctor removes the tube from her bellybutton and then she comes out for a cuddle. The nurse puts her inside my nightie and she goes to sleep looking very contented with life. It's ace.

2.30pm - Time to go. Graham heads back to the flat to feed the cats while I travel back to my hospital in the ambulance. On the way we see a woman collapsed on the pavement and our ambulance driver has to jump out to administer first aid. Fortunately someone has already called an ambulance for her and it arrives soon after so I don't have to surrender my stretcher!

3.15pm - Back at my hospital, I send a few emails to update people with Dulcie's progress.

4.00pm - I express milk again. This is the first time I've been able to do it today so I'm worried my milk supply will have dried up, but it hasn't. Phew. In fact, this is my most successful breast pump session in days.

4.30pm - The nurse and student nurse come in to change my Caesarian dressing. It's like getting a bikini wax and there is much ouching from me and much laughter from all three of us. Apparently my scar is looking good and the student nurse is surprised by how small it is which is reassuring. I haven't seen it yet. Once they leave, I relax on the bed for a while and update my notes for Day In The Life.

4.45pm - I email more people to let them know that Dulcie has been born.

5.15pm - Graham arrives to see me, shortly followed by my dinner. Tonight it is disgusting chilli and not disgusting carrot cake.

5.45pm - My dad (who's in Glasgow for a meeting) arrives outwith visiting hours again! I keep telling him, but he pays no heed. The nurses seem to be turning a blind eye today though and he has cards and presents with him, so we'll forgive him.

6.30pm - My dad and Graham head off to visit Dulcie. I am shattered and want to sleep but email a few more people about Dulcie instead.

7.20pm - I chat to my dad, Graham and Dulcie over the webcam.

7.30pm - I express milk in front of EastEnders. I have no idea what goes on in Albert Square these days.

8.00-8.30pm - I try and fail to crochet the first two rows of a cardigan for Dulcie. I try and fail again. And again. I hate crocheting into the foundation row!

8.30pm - I have a lie down and watch Dulcie wiggling her bum.

9.00pm - Graham gets back and we try to find something on telly to watch.

9.20pm - Toast time! Late evening toast and butter is my favourite thing about being in hospital. Unfortunately, it is always accompanied by tablets and a really painful injection.

9.30pm - More milking.

10.00pm - I get some nice emails from friends and fellow subtitlers. My workmates are so lovely and have sent so many good wishes since I shared all the news with them.

10.20pm - Graham heads off to bed in his swanky room in the hotel attached to the hospital. My nurses have very kindly arranged for him to stay there for free while I'm in hospital so he can keep me company as much as possible. I start half watching Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo.

10.30pm - I chat to Karen (one of my favourite nurses) who tells me my Caesarian will stay weirdly numb for ever. Nooo! She also checks my blood pressure etc.

10.40pm - Dulcie is wriggling around a lot so I chat to her over the webcam.

11.00pm - I catch up on a few of my favourite blogs.

11.40pm - Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo finishes so I get washed, brush my teeth, express more milk and get into bed.

12.20am - I say good night to Dulcie and go to sleep at last.

Since I was incapacitated with babies and surgery and heart conditions etc, Claire kindly took over the job of collating posts and choosing someone to pick the date for December. Click on the links to find out how these people spent November 17th.


I believe Nikki is choosing the date for December's Day In The Life but I'm not sure if she has chosen it yet. Keep your eyes peeled!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

remember this blanket?

Dulcie and I got a private room to ourselves for the whole day today so we could do lots of naked cuddling in the hope it might encourage her with her breast feeding. I'm not sure how well it worked (she was pretty hungry by the time I left!) but it was lots of fun and her ripple blanket came in very handy as we smooched away on the bed and in the fancy reclining chair. Hopefully we should be able to use this room every day now until she masters the art of the milk.
Dulcie was totally tube free yesterday for the first time ever! Here's her lovely tube-free face. She had her feeding tube back in by the time I arrived this morning, but once she is managing to get all of her milk in the good old fashioned way, she'll be able to have the tube permanently removed and come home. She's been doing so well this week (look, no oxygen!) and just has this one last hurdle to overcome, but there's no telling how long it will take. The doctors and nurses are hopeful she will crack it soon and we might be able to have her home in time for New Year...ish. Maybe. We are trying hard to be patient, but having our own wee room today really showed us how lovely it will be to have her home at last and all to ourselves and we just can't wait.

Come on, Dulcie! You can do it!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

happy mini birthday, mini girl!

Can you believe this little sleeping beauty is a whole month old today? We had a lovely afternoon celebrating with her at the hospital.
She enjoyed a little dance with her dad...
... and we decorated her cot with some of my miniature bunting.

Happy mini birthday, Dulcie!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

what becomes of the broken hearted?

I am sure even the least observant of you will have noticed that I have been unusually absent on my blog over the last four weeks or so. After contemplating ditching the world of blogging for ever (it's hard to get back on the horse after so long when so much has been happening) I decided I should do one dedicated post to get things back up to date and then start trying to get back to some form of bloggy normality, so here is the short-but-still-long version of the last month's events.

I don't know if anyone will remember way back in about September when I had to visit the out of hours GP with a suspected urinary tract infection. I didn't have a urinary tract infection in the end, but while I was there the nurse noticed that my pulse was a bit irregular and advised me to go and see my GP about it even though it was very common in pregnancy and most likely nothing to worry about. Over the next couple of months I was back and forth to the doctor about it, getting blood tests that didn't show anything, spending lots of time with the doctor's stethoscope. The doctor agreed that it was nothing to worry about, very common in pregnancy, probably just caused by my insides being all squashed and my diaphragm rubbing against my heart a bit, but he decided to refer me to a cardiologist to get an ECG done (and maybe an ultrasound scan or similar) so that they had a record of what my wonky heartbeat was doing, but he reassured me again that it was absolutely nothing to worry about and I really wasn't worried.

So late afternoon on November 8th I left work a little bit early and headed over to the hospital for my appointment with the cardiologist and, obviously you can see where all this is going, it turned out that my irregular heartbeat was something to worry about after all. In fact, it was something to be so worried about that I wasn't allowed to leave the hospital and was admitted to a cardiology ward immediately. In fact, the doctors were so worried about it that I wasn't even allowed to walk down the corridor but had to be taken to the ward in a wheelchair where I was told not to get out of bed for any reason. A whole host of medical staff kept coming in and asking me (among other more scary and strange questions) had I really been at work that afternoon and had I really used public transport and the power of my own legs to get to the hospital for my appointment, exchanging incredulous glances and raising their eyebrows a lot. All of this gave me the pretty clear impression that things were serious, although the only symptoms I had were a bit of breathlessness and very slightly swollen ankles, not exactly unusual for a pregnant lady.

As you can imagine, if the doctors wouldn't let me walk 20 metres or even stand up, they were not particularly keen for me to be pregnant. The consultant started talking about the possibility that the baby might have to be delivered a little bit early and they began giving me steroid injections (very painful ones right in the bottom) to help the baby's lungs develop "just in case".

After a sleepless night of watching my heart on the monitor (realising the doctors were not making this up and it really was very wonky) and having my blood pressure taken every 30 minutes, about six doctors appeared at sunrise and told me that I would be getting transferred immediately to the hospital where all the heart specialists lived, where I would be having the baby by Caesarian section the following morning. Everything started moving scarily fast and I was whisked to the maternity hospital in an ambulance for a scan to see how big/developed the baby was and then taken straight to the heart hospital where the full horror of the situation was explained to me in tiny instalments over the course of the day. Editing the whole mountain of bad news down to the bare essentials for the sake of this blog post and your eyes, which must be feeling the strain by now, I was told that I was too unwell to be able to have a spinal anaesthetic during the Caesarian and so would have to have a general anaesthetic, and even if they didn't have to keep me knocked out for two days as they were suggesting they might (an idea that absolutely terrified me) by the time I came round, the baby would already have been taken to neonatal intensive care at an entirely different hospital and I would be staying right where I was, not even having seen our baby.

So on the morning of November 10th our baby was delivered and we had a little girl who weighed 3lb 12oz, a very good weight for a baby at 31 weeks' gestation apparently. Graham and my mum and dad got to meet her very briefly before she was whisked away in the ambulance and they assured me she was lovely.

THE BABY'S FIRST PHOTO, COMPLETE WITH APPROPRIATELY PINK HAT, ALL READY FOR HER AMBULANCE JOURNEY TO NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE. MEANWHILE, I WAS STILL UNCONSCIOUS IN THE OPERATING THEATRE.

The hospital staff set up a webcam so I could see the baby in her incubator from my hospital room, first in intensive care and then on a heart failure ward. This was better than not seeing her at all, but it was still just the most miserable time ever. I cried and I cried and I cried and I cried. I had lots more tests and scans done over the next few days and weeks and I cried through them all. Then I cried a bit more and every day I begged the doctors to let me go home or at least be transferred to the same hospital as the baby but the answer was no, so I cried and I cried and I cried and I cried some more.

THE WEBCAM, MY CONSTANT BEDSIDE COMPANION DURING MY HOSPITAL STAY. I WAS ABLE TO SEE THE BABY IN HER INCUBATOR AND TALK TO HER NURSES WHENEVER I WANTED TO.

Graham and my parents visited the baby every day and I watched them visiting on the webcam and cried some more and they brought me back photos of the baby (all covered up with tubes) and I cried some more.

OUR FIRST "FAMILY" PHOTO. THERE I AM ON THE SCREEN IN THE BACKGROUND.

Eventually, after five solid days of crying, the doctors could stand it no longer and agreed that I could go and meet our baby, provided I travelled by ambulance and took a nurse and my heart monitor with me. So I finally met our little girl when she was five days old and while I was having my first ever cuddle with her we decided we would call her Dulcie Lois.

OUR FIRST REAL FAMILY PHOTO, TAKEN WHEN DULCIE WAS FIVE DAYS OLD , NEWLY NAMED AND MEETING HER MUM FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME. AND, YES, I KNOW I DON'T LOOK IN THE LEAST BIT ILL, BUT I AM! HONEST! I'M ACTUALLY LYING ON AN AMBULANCE STRETCHER HERE.

Dulcie has been doing really well since she made her debut appearance over two months ahead of schedule. She was moved out of intensive care and into high dependency when she was ten days old and on Wednesday evening she made her second attempt at moving out of her incubator and into a cot, and this time she has coped with it really well and is managing to keep herself warm with only a mountain of blankets and her granny's hand knitting to help her. She has been gaining weight slowly but surely and this week she got back to her birth weight and past her birth weight and is now a whopping (to us) 4lb 2oz! On Saturday she will be a whole month old already! She is still getting a little bit of oxygen now and again to help with her breathing and she still has to be fed through a tube, but over the last few days she has been trying her hand at breast feeding and she's getting pretty good at it, even though she gets so exhausted that she can't suck for more than a minute or two.

HOW EXHAUSTED (AND RELAXED!) DULCIE IS AFTER A FEW MINUTES OF BREAST FEEDING. POST-PREGNANCY SQUISHY BELLIES MAKE VERY GOOD BABY PILLOWS, FORTUNATELY.

Dulcie's really very adorable, if I do say so myself, with hundreds of hilarious facial expressions and crazily long arms and legs. She is very patient with us and our inept attempts at nappy changing, which is much easier now that we don't have to do it with our hands stuck through the incubator portholes! She doesn't cry very often and when she does it is the tiniest little noise you could ever imagine. Her nurses assure us this will change! The doctors can't give an exact date for us to be able to take her home (it depends how she gets on with feeding, breathing and growing) but they are hopeful that she might be home around Christmas or New Year.

I finally got out of hospital after two long weeks and many nasty procedures like having tubes fed into my wrists and up my arm and right into my heart, not something I would recommend if you can possibly avoid it! The doctors are not sure what made my heart stop working - maybe the pregnancy, maybe a temporary blockage (like a blood clot) in one of my coronary arteries, or maybe a heart attack - but whatever the cause, the treatment is the same. I'm still having to visit various hospitals for appointments most days (sometimes three times a day) but at least it means I am free to spend time with Dulcie whenever I like in between times. I am not feeling ill in the way the doctors assure me I should be, but am quite tired and light-headed from all the medication I have to take and a bit depressed with the whole situation and the fact that I am spending so much time in waiting rooms where I am the only person under 80. The doctors say everything is going well so far and that they are very optimistic that the medication will help my heart, but we won't really know for sure until I have been taking it for at least six months. At the moment it's quite difficult to forget about it and just enjoy having Dulcie, but I am sure it will all be much better/easier once she eventually comes home.

DULCIE AS SHE LOOKS NOW, ALL GROWN-UP AND CUTE IN HER COT.

I should add, just so it's on the record, that Graham has been completely amazing throughout all of this, super supportive in the most and least practical of ways, keeping me focussed on the good aspects of what has happened as well as keeping on top of everything in the house and generally being lovely to me. And my parents have been a huge support too, running back and forth to Glasgow (a long journey to make multiple times) and finding the perfect balance of being there for us all and giving us space. The only downside of all this is that I'm pretty sure my mum has officially fallen in L-O-V-E love with Graham!

So that is where I have been for the last four weeks - busy having life-threatening heart conditions and premature babies, not just taking a well-earned break from blogging after blogtoberfest! The doctors don't seem to be considering a month of daily blogging as a potential cause of heart failure, but I am not so sure. Now that I have got the old blog all up to date with recent events I will aim to share my November's Day In The Life post later this week and start getting back to normal blogging (albeit less frequent and more focussed on babies and boobies, I expect) as soon as I can. Many, many more photos of the lovely Dulcie to follow!

Monday, November 14, 2011

remember this thursday, please!


Remember...
Originally uploaded by Madeline Olivia

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS POST IF YOU DO BLOG ABOUT YOUR DAY AND I WILL MAKE UP A LIST OF LINKS AS SOON AS I CAN. THANKS :) MY OWN DAY IN THE LIFE POST WILL BE SLIGHTLY DELAYED BUT NEVER FEAR BECAUSE I TOOK EXTENSIVE NOTES!

Hello, world. I am kind of out of action at the moment, but just wanted to pop by to remind everyone that this Thursday (the 17th) is the date that I chose for November's Day In The Life. In case you don't know what I am talking about, this is really just an opportunity for bloggers to get together and share the minutiae of their day. You can write a list of everything you do or you can get more imaginative. In the past people have recorded their day in the form of a pie chart or an A to Z or just by posting pictures. You can tackle the challenge however you like. Once everyone's done, I'll compile a list of links to everyone who took part this month so we can all see what other people have done with their day. No matter how boring you think your day has been, I can guarantee it will interest someone else! It's not very easy for me to blog etc this week (there have been some unexpected incidents) so I'd really appreciate it if you could help me spread the word by reminding people via your own blog/twitter/whatever. I'll share my day as soon as I can too. So that's this Thursday, November 17th. Have fun :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

kirstie's handmade britain

This week I have been catching up with Kirstie's Handmade Britain, watching an episode in the morning while I eat my breakfast and hang out with the cats. I'm really liking the series so far. I did enjoy Kirstie's Homemade Home (I know opinion was very divided on this most controversial of matters!) but was getting a bit irked at how she would try a craft for about an hour, leave her project with the expert for them to finish and then go on about how she made it herself. In this series, she has to see the projects through to the end, although I do wonder how the other competitors feel about her having so much expert guidance. I also have some doubts about the anonymity of the judging, especially in this week's needlework episode. Very suspicious, if you ask me! But I do love Kirstie (my lookalike if Graham is to be believed) and it's great to have a fun programme about crafting on the telly. Plus we always enjoy the crazy world of the craft/baking tent when we go to the Aberfeldy Highland Games, so it's fun to get a glimpse at other shows around the country. My mum has been watching this series too and seemed very enamoured with Mr X Stitch (though didn't he just come across as a lovely man? aw!) when I spoke to her last night. When I told her that my Little Red Riding Hood embroidery was once featured on his website, she was very excited and said she was very proud of me. I think she saw it as a bona fide celebrity endorsement. Tee hee! Have you been watching Kirstie too?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

firsts and lasts

Here is the first item I made with the much sought after mustard (and blue and brown) wool. I made this cardigan last weekend. It took two train journeys and a couple of hours on the sofa. This is the third cardigan I have made with this pattern now and much as I would be very happy to start on another one today, I am going to make this my last crocheted cardigan, for a little while, at least. There are so many other things I want to make for the baby, starting with a pair of crocheted cowboy boots to go with this. Yee ha! Graham thinks a baby-sized balalaika is all we need to complete the outfit (huh!) but he is wrong. He'll know we need crocheted cowboy boots once he sees them.
Here's the cardigan with a bit more sunshine, which shows off the golden colour much better.

Yesterday I did my last pre-baby late shift at work where I had my first argument with a subtitling colleague. Not fun. I hate conflict :( But on the upside, I am so glad late shifts are over for me now. My work have been great over the last few months and made all my late shifts start and finish a little bit earlier, and also made sure that I wasn't doing too many in a row, but I was still finding them torture. I hate admitting that I can't do certain stuff very easily now that I'm pregnant, but I think I am ready to admit that I can't work until 10 o'clock at night any more. Since I am back to waking up at about 4am most days, it just doesn't give me enough sleep to be able to handle life.

Today (depending on when Graham gets back from getting his hair cut) we might be attempting our last pre-baby full-day charity shopping excursion and for the first time, I think, we are missing out part of our route. I am feeling the effects of pregnancy very much these days and have the lung capacity of an elderly gnat. The new and reduced route only misses out four charity shops (two of them usually not very good) and the chocolate cherry brownie shop (nooooooo!) but it cuts down the amount of walking we have to do by quite a lot. If we don't do this today, we are going to go to a few more local charity shops instead and reschedule the last great charity shop shebang for a couple of weeks' time. Graham (who has recently witnessed me not managing 30 minutes in the town centre and saw how much I struggled round the charity shops a couple of months back) is not convinced I am fit for the challenge, but our days out have been such a big part of our relationship over the last eight years and I am really determined to do it one last time while it's still just the two of us. I can do it!

And one last exciting first... I'm getting to pick the date for November's Day In The Life and I have decided to choose Thursday the 17th. No particular reason, really, other than that it's nicely in the middle of the month and I have my first antenatal class that day, which might (or might not) give me something interesting to say. Please spread the word and do join in if you can. I will post a little reminder nearer the time.

covered in stitches (see what I did there?*)

This month Feeling Stitchy have been having a sewing contest inspired by Penguin's recent embroidered covers. I really wanted to give this a go, but decided my to-do list for this month was already a bit too full. Lots of people have had a go though (check out the other stitchy covers in the flickr group) and I will file this project away as something I might try in 2012... or 2013!

* I just noticed the flickr group is called Covered In Stitches, meaning I didn't actually do anything! Oh well...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

unillustrated day in the life

Here follows my day in the life post for October 31st 2011, a day on which I failed to take any photographs. I did have a grand idea of drawing some accompanying pictures, but frankly you should count yourself lucky to be getting the words. Good lord, I am pooped this week! Roll on the weekend, I say. Anyway, here is pretty much everything I did on Monday 31st October. You can find out what other people did on this day by checking the comments here, although it doesn't look as though many people have completed their posts just yet.

7.00 am - Lola doesn't understand the clocks have gone back, so all our training of the past month goes out the window. She had been getting very good at waiting until either a) the alarm went off or b) it got to 8 o'clock before she started her attempts to wake me up, which involve miaowing in my ear and scratching my face and elbows or combing my hair with her claws. Using everything I've ever learned from watching Supernanny, I lie firm and pretend to be asleep for a full hour of miaowing and scratching. Hopefully Lola's amazingly accurate internal body clock will adjust within a week or two.

8.00 am - I get up, feed the very excited cats and eat my breakfast while checking my emails and favourite blogs. Graham is rushing around the flat with a gobful of mouthwash, getting ready for work. I enjoy my daily entertainment of trying to make him laugh and spit the mouthwash out. Today I succeed and laugh heartily as he has to dash to the sink before exploding everywhere. Mwahahahahaha!

8.45am - Graham leaves for work and I shower and get dressed.

9.30am - I write my final blog post for the month of October. It wasn't easy, but I managed to blog every day for a whole month. Hooray for me!

10.30am - Blogging took longer than expected and made me lose track of time a bit, so I quickly gather up everything I need for the day and leave for work. I am helped along by the fact that I only ate half the picnic my mum had prepared for my train journey the day before (so have a leftover sandwich to take with me) and find a tin of Baxters soup in the cupboard. Phew!

11.00 am - I arrive at work for a DVD shift. I quite like subtitling DVDs (you get to be really pernickety) but I know it's not going to make for a very interesting day in the life post as it is such a slow process. My first task of the day is to review episode five of The Fades. The series has turned out to be more entertaining than I had expected from episode one, but this is the third time I've had to watch this episode for work reasons in the space of about ten days and I'm getting a bit bored of it now.

11.45am - The chair I have ended up with today is a bit broken and won't let me lean back at all. Every time I try to rest against the back of the chair, it starts tipping backwards and threatens to throw me onto the floor. Normally there are spare chairs kicking about the office, but every single one of them has disappeared and there is not a spare chair in the whole place. After ten minutes of searching high and low, I overcome my embarrassment (my back is sore after one hour of sitting on this chair so I really don't want to sit on it for another seven) and send an email round to ask if anyone knows where all the chairs have gone. Within minutes someone produces a much better chair from one of the live subtitling booths, but I quickly realise I have caused an accidental revolution. Emails are flying back and forth about the terrible state of the chairs in the office and various managers are fussing around me, bringing me numerous back supports and offering to give me their very own personal favourite chairs. Later I find out they once had a near legal disaster when a decrepit chair fired a pregnant lady across the office.

1.30pm - Finished with The Fades, I make a start on Him and Her, the BBC3 "comedy". I have never seen it before and don't find it very entertaining. I'm using the programme's script to subtitle this, something I've only learned to do very recently. I have no idea what I'm doing and it makes my brain hurt and I want to run away or go home.

2.15pm - I eat my lunch and recharge my brain power a bit. I have the kitchen to myself so manage to have a mini nap (much needed) on the sofa until a manager comes in to make coffee and starts asking me if my chair is OK now.

3.15pm - Back to work on Him And Her. Yawn!

3.45pm - The new software fails and means that nothing I try to do works. I spend a long time trying to make sure it's not just me being stupid before asking a manager for help. He can't work it out so asks someone else who can't work it out either. In the end, they suggest the classic switch-it-off-and-on-again solution which works.

4.00pm - Back on track, but still wrestling with this Him And Her script.

4.20pm - Make an executive decision about whether it's OK to use the label LAURA FARTS as opposed to LAURA BREAKS WIND. These are the strange sorts of things I have to consider a lot (along with how to spell rude/sexual words that don't appear in our dictionaries).

4.25pm - I email Graham to escape the extreme boredom for a few minutes and take my mind off the mental heat and my indigestion.

4.30pm - Back to work. Ugh. And it's dark outside already!

4.35pm - I visit the X Factor website for work reasons, trying to find out if it's Bootcamp or Boot Camp. It turns out it's Bootcamp, but there's so much X Factor news on the site that it makes my internet die to find out and I have to reboot it.

5.00pm - I open a window and stick my head out of it in attempt to cool down. So hot in here! The heating is not on now, but I notice the temperature control had been set at 26 degrees. 26 degrees?! Come on, people! I know who the culprit is and wonder if there's any way we could be scheduled to work opposing shifts. Nice as she is, I can't stand the crazy heat she claims she needs.

5.15 -5.30pm - I open more windows and get in a messenger conversation with Claire about air conditioning, petrol spillages and day in the life. Neither of us are having very interesting days for it so far, but at least Claire has the drama of being highly flammable as she is covered in petrol. We wonder whether it will be safe for her to microwave her dinner later and I suggest she should use her managerial status to delegate the task. You can read more about Claire's petrol incident here.

5.40pm - I find out my application for a stall at Made In The Shade's Holiday Hop has been successful! Woo hoo! I'm not sure how I will find time or energy to prepare for this, but I am still very excited at the prospect.

6.40pm - I try to teach a colleague how to send subtitles using the new software, but her file is a rogue file and much scratching of heads ensues.

6.55pm - Just when I think I might be able to sneak out five minutes early, I mess up a bit of admin and have to stay to sort it out. Ugh.

7.10pm - I leave the office and head to the underground.

7.12pm - I miss my train while trying to get the ticket out of my purse and it's over ten minutes until the next one. I'm not very good at standing up these days, so I get on the next train to arrive and go the long way round. I enjoy the chance to sit down and read my book.

7.40pm - On the way home from the underground station I get severely rained on and get leg cramp while climbing the hill, but make it home eventually. Graham lets me in and manages not to laugh at how much I am puffing and panting with wet hair and steamy glasses and a funny walk because my legs are still cramping. Ouch.

7.50pm - I catch up with Graham over dinner (chilli and wraps from the freezer).

8.15pm - I mooch around on the internet while the cats fight over my warm lap space.

8.30pm - Both cats squeeze in on my lap and we all watch the latest episode of Misfits. It's probably the worst episode of Misfits there has ever been, but it's still OK and I have high hopes for the rest of the series.

9.30pm - We watch the last episode of League Of Gentlemen series two. We've been working our way through these lately. Lola thinks it is 10.30pm (supper time) so miaows a lot, but we do our best to ignore her.

10.15pm - I feed the cats and get ready for bed. I read a few pages of my book while I wait for Graham.

10.30pm - Our noisy student neighbours decide to move their party out to the back garden, so it's basically like they are standing right by our bed and shouting in our ears. They are really annoying in so many ways. We lie awake and moan about them, but I am trying hard not to get angry otherwise I won't be able to sleep even if they ever do shut up.

11.30pm - During a brief respite in the noise, I fall asleep and manage not to wake up when the noisy neighbours apparently return. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween!

Happy Halloween! Are you doing anything spooky today? I might watch a scary film later on, but that's only if I can resist watching last night's Misfits. I'm so excited about the new series, although a little worried that it won't be so good without Nathan. Fingers crossed the writers won't have let us down. Do you see the spooky witch stamp on my train ticket from the weekend? The ticket inspector on the train seemed like a real jobsworth at first (making people sign unsigned railcards and asking to see seat reservations etc.) but he had brought in his own witchy craft punch to make all the tickets spooky and all the travellers were surprised and delighted when they spotted it, myself included. Very fun.
Elgin was good, although a weekend does always go by a bit too fast. Other than eating so much delicious food, the main activity of the week was organising and shopping for baby clothes. Here is Beyonce-Buble's new wardrobe laid out on my mum's living room table. As you can see, this baby is not going to be short on stripes. I was pleased to get so many unisex things that were not just cream or yellow and got especially excited looking at the navy outdoor suit in the top left corner there, I think because it is so thick that it actually looks like there is already a baby in there. These clothes are a mixture of hand-me-downs from my sister and her friends (things that she doesn't need for her own impending baby), things my mum and sister bought for me at a second-hand baby sale (you know what I mean and it's not a sale of second-hand babies!) in France and a few things we bought new this weekend. I will share just a couple of highlights with you.
Eeep! My mum found this at the second-hand baby sale in France and I just love it. It's so soft and snuggly and the colours are beautiful and just look at the embroidered leaves on the tree and the little bird above the pocket. I can't wait to see our baby in this. There was another lovely knitted suit amongst the second-hand baby sale items, which is plain charcoal grey with a nice cable in it, also super soft and snuggly. I don't know if French baby clothes are more lovely or if there was just someone with great taste getting rid of a lot of stuff at this sale, but either way it worked out well for us.
This is a hand-me-down from my sister that I was very excited to see. I bought this for my eldest niece Kim (now six) because it reminded me of the stripy baby Toby from Labyrinth. I remember holding Kim in this outfit when she was super-duper tiny and it was so snuggly and cute. It's made from velour. I think my other niece and nephew have also worn it, but Kerry thought I should have it back for Beyonce-Buble this time around. Aw!

It's just occurred to me that I might not have referred to the baby as Beyonce-Buble here before and you could be feeling rather confused reading this. We've been calling the baby that for quite a long time, since it seemed right to have a name to refer to it by (rather than "it" or "he/she") but I didn't like using names we might actually use in the end. The Beyonce part comes from the fact that fancy lady Beyonce is also expecting and the Buble part... Well, Graham's hairdresser was telling him that in Chinese culture, babies are named by their grandparents. We were speculating about what sort of names our parents would choose for the baby and decided that Graham's mum (a dedicated Michael Buble fan who can use the word "Buble" so many times in one sentence that it stops making any sense) would definitely go for Buble. So the name Beyonce-Buble was born and in my mind it is completely unisex so it doesn't make me imagine the baby as either a girl or a boy particularly, something I am keen to avoid doing.
Here are two more great things about being in Elgin - the real log fire and Patch the elderly three-legged cat. We were trying to work out how old he was this weekend and think he might be about 22 in human years, making him over 150 in cat years! He's been missing a leg for about 20 years and is getting very stiff, short-sighted and hard-of-hearing, but he is a lovely cat who purrs a lot. This year he has stopped wanting to go to the toilet in the garden, so has a litter tray in the bathroom. He won't use it when anyone else is in there though, so he queues up in the morning and waits for him turn. Aw.

And so completes my final post for Blogtoberfest. Although the quality certainly varied (it's probably not a good sign that my blog has less followers/members now than it did at the start of the month!) I am still very proud of myself for managing to blog every single day. I had thought I might take the whole of November off if I succeeded, but now I find I have all sorts of things I want to share here because it's become so normal to write something every day. I'm certainly not going to keep up the daily blogging, but I will definitely be back soon to share my latest crocheted creation and whatever else is on my mind.

Enjoy the rest of Halloween and don't forget that today is Day In The Life, so you can blog about every little thing you do if you fancy joining in.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

train tracks cause bad backs

089 by Loosetooth.com
089, a photo by Loosetooth.com on Flickr.

Phew! Following a six hour door to door trek, I am back in Glasgow after my weekend in Elgin. The journey was really pretty good. I finished my latest crochet project about ten minutes outside Glasgow so was entertained all the way, but I am now seriously pooped with a sore tail bone and ain't got the energy to upload the photos necessary for my planned post. But isn't this dress print lovely enough to use instead? It does have train tracks on it, so is not totally unconnected really. I'll be back tomorrow with pictures of baby clothes, a little bit of Halloween fun and my thoughts on having completed blogtoberfest (plus a giant pat on my own back). Just one day to go...

And don't forget that tomorrow is the designated Day In The Life date for October if you fancy joining in and sharing the minutiae of your day on your own blog.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

a postcard from elgin

Having a lovely time here in Elgin. The train journey to get here was very pleasant (I crocheted all the way from Stirling to Keith) and the weather has been beautiful since I arrived. I have mostly been spending my time crocheting by the fire with Patch the three-legged cat for company, but have also been eating lots (and lots) of very tasty food, admiring the wildlife and scenery, and visiting lots of charity and non-charity shops with my mother. We bought some baby clothes and it made me feel very organised.

Wish you were here!

Laura
xx

Friday, October 28, 2011

underground resistance

Glasgow underground is being "modernised". They cancelled the plans to extend the route (which would have been amazing) and instead are replacing the orange and brown colour scheme that I love so much with...
... boring and nondescript white tiles. How depressing. Hillhead station is being changed at the moment and every day a few more of the interesting tiles are hidden by the attack of the bland. Yeuch. I will admit the underground system does look dated, but it was really just beginning to look dated in a very good way and I do think they should have tried to hold on to its identity just a bit. I know the Glasgow underground is no Prague metro, but perhaps it could have angled itself as Prague metro's cousin. Not any more. Boo.
One good thing about the work getting done has been seeing all the exposed brickwork in the roof space. I can't think of any other good things about it so far.

In other news, I just can't believe how happy I am. This morning I was looking at the mess (our mess) that surrounded me in the kitchen (our kitchen) and I couldn't stop smiling. Just thought I'd share that! Hope you managed to keep your breakfast down...

Better go and pack my bags before I hit the road. I did have an exciting guest post planned for tomorrow, but the guest blogger has been sacked after making non-committal/maybe noises about whether or not he really would blog. I am not blogging 28 days in a row just to have unreliable staff let me down on day 29! So somehow I will have to find a way to blog from Elgin without my mum and dad noticing. Yes, I like to keep my blog as secret as possible from people who actually know me. This is strange behaviour, I will admit, but I know I'm not alone in it. Most of my friends have found my blog by now, but I'd really rather they hadn't. If only I hadn't designed a logo with my real name on it, then I could have stayed anonymous for ever.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

the good news and bad news of new shoes

These are the new shoes I mentioned a few weeks back. They are very... sensible, which is just what I was after. The bad things about these shoes are 1) they are bruising my ankles because I am not used to sensible shoes that actually support things like ankles, 2) they have developed a slight squeak which makes me feel very self-conscious when making my very frequent trips across the office floor to the toilet, 3) the soles are quite bouncy and give me a funny walk a bit like Will from The Inbetweeners, 4) they are very... sensible. However, these shoes' one major good point outweighs all of these bad points, namely that they keep my feet dry! I have been out in all sorts of torrential rain, wading through puddles etc. and my feet have stayed cosy and dry as a bone. In the 13 years I have lived in Glasgow, I think this is the first time I have been able to go outside in autumn/winter and not get wet feet. Hooray!
Later on tonight I am going to have one of the cherry and cinnamon scones I made the other day. Yes, even though I blog every single day, I still manage to do all sorts of things that readers of this blog don't know nuffink about! (Not really - I just forgot to blog about them until I saw the photo on my camera tonight.) The scones turned out really delicious, but this will be the first one from the freezer that I have tried. I hope it's still nice. If so, I will take one as part of my packed lunch for my long train journey tomorrow. I am going away for the weekend to visit my parents, leaving Graham in charge of things around here. I am looking forward to being mothered (and fathered) and fed. I'm going to take some crochet for the train journey too, so I want to go and finish the cardigan for my sister's baby tonight (just half a sleeve to go!) so that I can take a new project with me tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

another day in the office



Well, I feel a bit lame blogging about what I have been subtitling two days in a row, but it's not just laziness. I actually had a totally different post planned for tonight (two to choose from in fact!) but I just had to blog about Frozen Planet instead. It's on BBC 1 tonight at 9pm and it is just so, so good. The animals in tonight's episode are amazing, but the little bit about snowflakes (see clip above) really tickled my fancy. I never knew that each snowflake was formed around a particle of dust. There's something about that idea that I just love. I will look at the first snow shower quite differently this year, thinking how if the world didn't have dust (current bane of my life since our neighbours are knocking down practically every wall in their flat) then we wouldn't have snowflakes at all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

sunday at the cinema

Yesterday afternoon we went to see We Need To Talk About Kevin. I was really in two minds about whether or not to go. I thought this could be the most ill-advised film for a pregnant person to watch (I was also worried about it putting the parenting fear into Graham) but, because it was directed by Lynne Ramsay and had such great reviews, I couldn't resist in the end. I'm glad that I did go and see it. It was a really engrossing film and gave me lots to think about without actually giving me any fears that I didn't already have. I'd be really interested (if time travel was possible and I could take a copy of this film back with me) to see what my reaction would have been before I got pregnant. I seemed to be a lot more angry with the father's character than Graham was and it reminded me of the time we watched Control (the biopic about Ian Curtis) in the early stages of pregnancy. That film left me quite furious and vowing to turn off the radio whenever a Joy Division song came on, a reaction I'm sure was down to hormones and anxiety. I've calmed down now though!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

have you seen this yet?

Have you seen this exciting new item from Asking For Trouble? It's a five year diary. Designed for people who are not very good at keeping a diary usually, it has just a small box to record a few notes for each day. You start it on January 1st 2012, fill it in all year and then go back to the next box on page one on January 1st 2013... and so on. Come the end of 2016, you can look at any page and see what you did on that specific date over the last five years. It also has some other exciting features like a personal profile you can fill in once a year to see how your tastes and fancies have changed too. I think this is such a fun idea and I might have to treat myself to one for Christmas. I have quite a lot of half used diaries lying about (I found a few when looking for that issue of Melody Maker the other week) but I think even I could jot down a couple of notes each day and hopefully not just write, "Went to work, had dinner, watched telly, went to bed," five days a week either!

Have you seen any fun items popping up on the internet lately? All Christmas present ideas would be gratefully received!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

things I saw on my travels

Yesterday afternoon Graham and I needed to go into town for some stuff. I took my camera and photographed some fun sights. I thought this bike was very lovely and the flowery shower cap keeping the seat dry added a bit of colour to a very dull, grey and rainy day.
This foxy hat made us both laugh. I think it was in the window of River Island, but I may be wrong. I was too intent on not being caught taking photos in a shopping centre to pay much attention to the name of the shop.
I'm pleased to see the bakers have all got their garish halloween cakes on display, but I don't think I'll be eating any. I'm a bit frightened of this level of food colouring.

I am in a prime grump today and have that icky, fuggy feeling that is either caused by too much sleep or not enough of it, I'm not sure which. I have a perma-scowl on and can't bring myself to do nothing or anything. Harumph. I'm quite fancying climbing back under the covers for a long afternoon nap, but I don't think that would be the most sensible thing to do in the long run. Maybe putting the heating on would help. Brrr! My plans for later are to watch the X Factor, go to bed at a reasonable hour and hopefully wake up in a better frame of mind/body tomorrow.

Friday, October 21, 2011

three little hurrahs

The view from up here - Lola worshipping at the altar of my belly.

Just a wee high-speed post today. Three good things.

1. I slept all night last night! I even stayed in bed until 10am! I feel so much better!

2. Yesterday, when I tried on my tights to see where the first incision would have to be made, I realised that they were actually OK just as they are. Seems like my bump is now robust enough to stand its ground against nylon and lycra... if that is what tights are even made of? Yippee!

3. I don't have to go back to work until Tuesday now. Hooray for a four-day weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

today's challenge

Denier Nylon Tights from circa 1950s by billyrosendale
Denier Nylon Tights from circa 1950s, a photo by billyrosendale on Flickr.
Very cute vintage tights packaging, I thought, though I'm not sure what purpose the cat serves...


I mentioned yesterday that I had been in town looking for a dress to wear to a wedding reception tomorrow night. The pickings were slim - New Look had got rid of their entire maternity section (the only one in Glasgow's city centre with more than three items to choose from) and everywhere else seemed to have nothing but jeans and big woolly jumpers. In the end, I found something in Dorothy Perkins. Their maternity section was actually larger than expected and they had a whole five dresses to choose from. Unfortunately, none of them really grabbed me, so I thought the best thing to do was to try them all on. Four of them looked like flabby old flour sacks and one looked much nicer on than it did on the hanger, so I bought it. Looking at it on their website now, I think maybe I bought it a size too small, but c'est la vie. So after buying the dress, I went to get a pair of maternity tights, but the dress is decidedly navy and apparently maternity tights only come in black. Nooooo! So today's challenge is to convert a normal pair of navy tights from my drawer into a pair of maternity tights by inserting some sort of panel. While lying awake for 90 of last night (that's now three consecutive nights without sleep - zzzzzzzzzz) I spent my time thinking about how best to tackle this and came to the conclusion that I really don't know what I'm doing. Initially I had thought about using stretchy material for the panel, but I worry this will make the tights liable to fall down. The dress is quite short, so any falling down leaves me in peril of showing off my gusset - always a totally classy look! So now I'm thinking a non-stretchy panel in the hope that the stretch from the tights will do the job of providing flexibility and comfort, although it would be nice if the tights would grow with me over the coming months, something I'm not sure they'll do with a non-stretchy panel. Then there is the question of what shape and size to make the panel and whether to have one big panel at the front or maybe two V-shaped panels at the sides... Never having seen a pair of maternity tights out of their packaging, I am kind of clueless as to how they work. The most important factors (my design brief!) are that I should be comfortable and that I should have no unsightly bulges... apart from the baby bump, obviously. Oh, it's a challenge all right! I will let you know how it goes.

ps I'm not sure why Blogger won't let me change the size of this font. I hope you are not suffering from eye strain now. Sorry.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

lucky me!

On the way back from town (where I had to find a pregnant-lady-appropriate outfit to wear to a wedding reception in two days' time and was reduced to tears by the harassment of charity workers combined with the effects of another sleepless night) something really fun happened. As I was walking along Great Western Road in the sunshine, I noticed...
... a book sitting on a table outside Roots & Fruits. I thought it belonged to someone in the shop, but a few doors on I noticed a book sitting on a table outside Felix & Oscar and then another book sitting on a table outside Cafe Alba. My suspicions aroused, I looked more closely and spotted...
... this sticker on the corner of each book and realised that all three books were free to a good home. I had a good look at them all, but ended up choosing the first one I had seen, which was...
... Smoking Ears And Screaming Teeth by Trevor Norton, a book all about people who have experimented on themselves and the consequences. I am more of a fiction reader usually, but this book sounded fun and interesting and I thought it might overcome my currently poor concentration skills with its outrageous truths.

All the books were being given away as part of the Guardian and Observer Book Swap. Apparently thousands of books are being left all over the country. I feel very lucky to have found one and it has the double bonus of giving me something (an actual thing) to blog about today too! I'm glad I happened to have my camera in my bag for once because it means I can go and add my photos to the website. Actually, I had better do that later since I need to eat before work. I hope I don't have to subtitle anything too emotional tonight - sleep deprivation is really making me weepy (even though I feel very happy with my day and life in general) and it is always embarrassing to cry in the middle of the office... as I discovered when subtitling Undercover Boss yesterday. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

cats + fire = lazy blogging

I'm really running out of Blogtoberfest momentum but, not being ready to admit defeat yet, I thought I would do yet another post about how nice it is to have an operational fire and cats to enjoy it with. I had a very productive morning yesterday (doing crafty stuff too functional/boring and too Christmassy to share here now) before crashing and burning and spending the rest of the day generally being exhausted/lazy. It was so rainy outside yesterday and the flat was absolutely freezing, so Poppy, Lola and I were all very glad to have the fire on for the evening. Graham was glad too since it meant he could dry out his soaking wet cycling shoes as seen behind the cats there.
It all got a bit too much for Lola in the end and she spent most of the night with her tummy on display.
Just look at her little face! Aw, I love her so much.

Sad as I know I sound, I am off to vegetate in front of some crap telly until bed time. I woke up at 3.45am this morning and did not get back to sleep, which is why it was such bad news when my work phoned me at 8.45am (just when I had decided to go back to bed for the morning) to tell me I would have to come in on my day off. It wasn't so bad once I got there and I spent most of the day subtitling watching a film again, but I am now shattered and a bit brain dead. I'm going to try to hold off from going to bed until 10pm for fear of waking up at stupid o'clock if I go to bed too early. I think the baby has had as little sleep as me (it kicked away all night and kicked me all day at work in its usually quiet time) but it is showing no signs of flagging yet. Oof! I love it when it has active days like this - it's just nice to know it's definitely there.