Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Five - I

1. If statistics are to be believed apparently I can no longer be counted upon to come up with cogent posts worth reading. So for the forseeable future I will be making these mini-lists of Five. Feel free to ignore me.
2. I have become the scatter-brained woman who neither brushes her hair nor bathes till all hours of the day. I blame it on the baby who does not yet have his own blog to defend himself.
3.The best books for midnight reading are the non-heavy paperback kind that can be held with one hand. This week I have finished the 4 Ox-tales books: Water, Air, Fire, Earth - each a series of short stories by remarkable writers. Loved most of the stories. Should I bother with a review?
4. Have discovered that homemade garlic ciabatta's are the stuff of evening snacks especially on days when it is raining. It's also something that everyone will happily eat without comment or advice on how to make it better. Take one ciabatta, slice through, butter on both sides, sprinkle chopped garlic, dill and chives, wrap in foil and refrigerate or freeze. Then bake at 180 deg preheated oven in foil for 22 minutes direct from freezer or 18 minutes from the fridge. Slice while hot and eat while hot.
5. I have installed Skype much to the delight of my parents who NEED to see their one and only grandchild gurgle and coo in order to be able to sleep each night. And introduced my in-laws (staying with us) and V's brother in Singapore to it as well - so all grandbabies can be seen across the world. Everyone is behaving as if they have just discovered electricity.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


My how time flies when you’re changing diapers (yes, British people I am using Amriki Ingles – I say diapers; somehow nappy just seems not to flow off the tongue as easily).

I’m going to finish this post today come baby bath time or bedtime. It’s been circulating around my head so long that it’s demanding a post code of its own. So 34 points, no order, no hidden meanings:

1. I turned 34 on the 15th of July – 9 days after a small person was yanked from my insides and therefore it has taken me one fuzzy month to get my act together enough to put it down in the blog I started for that very purpose. To mark my years.
2. I was going to write / publish this post by the 15th of August 2009. Of course I began and other demands caused the draft button to be pressed.
3. My birthday gifts included some amazing musk lotion and foot balm from Laline, another bookshelf (finally) and mastitis. The last gift was painful as hell and proves that the baby is cute for a reason.
4. It also meant that most of my day was spent with 103 fever, under the blanket and topped up with a trip to our local GP to get antibiotics.
5. The antibiotics make it to the top of the list of most wanted.
6. Super dinner of goulash and tagliatelle conjured up by my mother to end eventful-uneventful birthday.
7. My parents were in town for 5 weeks. And then they left. We survived a week on our own (yes I know most people manage on their own ALWAYS – I am not one of them). Now V’s folks are in town. Both times we have had incredible menus to keep our tummies warm. Lucky us.
8. GOD’s (Grandparents on Duty) are a wonderful support system and something that not living in India has taken away from us (or is that us taken away from it?). I escaped for the odd hot chocolate and spot of retail therapy while they were around.
9. After all these years it’s no longer an immediate fit for anyone. Parents have their way of doing things in their homes and then we bring them here and demand they do things our way. Add hormones into that mix and I make for a horrid host. I apologise unreservedly.
10. Of course they were superstars, taking him when I needed to nap, burping him when I was at the end of my tether and generally providing the boosting moral support and motivational speeches of what a good job we are doing (not).
11. My mum wandered around with bowls of fruit, cups of milk and biscuits trying to stuff the abovementioned into my mouth while my hands were otherwise occupied. Annoying but clearly necessary.
12. She also massaged my swollen feet with soothing salves each night. For this I and my feet are eternally grateful.
13. My aunt came and stayed a few days before and then after, bookends to her big Russian holiday. Along with my mum she had plenty of wonderful advice and a pair of helping hands that left us a freezer of sambhar.
14. My mum added to this a week of dinners before she left – high protein and highly tasty non-vegetarian delights. It made our in-between week much simpler being able to just defrost and eat with rice/ roti/ bread.
15. My cousin (very same aunt’s son) came to on holiday (so convenient) to London after the Moscow leg. I saw my adorable niece and nephew (him for the first time) when they came to see the baby.
16. My 6 year old niece wanted to know why there weren’t two babies (crossed wires in a child’s mind) and where was the lip balm?!. And my nephew told me all about his holiday where he had seen nothing, done nothing, except ‘walking’. For a 4 year old I guess pounding the pavements of London all day long was the highlight – oh, and also going on a boat. Adorable.
17. In-laws are now in residence. It’s the month of vegetarianism.
18. I have given up television. Or rather it has given me up. With so many people wanting a share of screen time getting ones hands on the remote is like stealing the Kohinoor diamond. It requires getting past an intricate guard system of relatives. Without hurting anyone.
19. I want a television on my bedroom wall. And yes I know it’s not good for us. I also know it’ll never happen. But a want is a want.
20. I shall have to catch up on Law & Order in its many versions as a box set.
21. I borrowed a box set from friends to watch during the first days on my maternity leave. It’s taken me over two months to get through the fantastic ‘The Wire’. And with the best will in the world I’m still not done.
22. I have lost all touch with the news and my obsession with the weather has all but disappeared. Seeing as I may never leave the house again thanks to an unpredictable routine does it really matter if it’s raining or sunny?
23. On the other hand I am reading with speed bordering on conorde-ish (yes, that isn’t a word, yet seeing as this is my blog I am allowed to make it up). I am loving living in a world of fiction, all history, magic and make-believe
24. I am counting on the Economist to keep me up to speed with world affairs.
25. I am officially a professional at multi-tasking. I can read, feed, and sing a lullaby all simultaneously. In the middle of the night.
26. Maybe I should / could join something as a logistics officer.
27. What I cannot do is fall back to sleep instantly. I have never been able to sleep without reading and this habit of old persists. This is a problem for my sleep deprived day persona. What it means is that I am reading swathes of books by lamplight each night. I have at least 10 I could cogently review. Should I?
28. We got 15 cards to congratulate us on the arrival of the baby. I got 1 birthday card and most of my friends forgot. Oh well, I guess it (and I) are getting old.
29. There is to be no more baby talk on this blog. I am not and never will be a mother blogger. There are those better suited to gushing about their children and spouting advice. I hope to glean some of it from them, ignore the sanctimonious others and muddle my way through motherhood thank you very much. For my friends in London who live on the other end of the phone and regale me with news of the outside world – thank you. You make my London life brighter and better each day.
30. Even though my ventures out are limited the glass walls of the house decide my mood each day. The weather outside our windows is undecided. Some days it’s all rainy and others all bright. Summer is almost at its end and it never truly got here.
31. Our new laptop arrived. I got a skype account. The laptop keypad has a fault and does not yet work. We are still stuck with our 17th century old-timer. And no skype.
32. I am obsessed by chinese food. Particularly fried noodles with beansprouts.
33. And Green and Blacks chocolate ice cream. Which I can shamefully admit I will go and have 2 tablespoonfuls of in the middle of each night without an iota of remorse.
34. I’m undecided how I feel about 34. It comes with a whole lot more baggage and responsibility. And my mind is befuddled with all the trivial day to day chores at the moment. What I do know is that no matter what life throws at me I am a year richer and more ready than ever to face it.