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A first time mum at 39, trying not to let my son kill me off too soon. Busy juggling a new family, a new house and a tricky recording schedule I figured blogging would be less expensive than therapy and less embarrassing than shouting at rude and stupid people in the street/on trains/at the supermarket.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Clearly I am not alone....

Moments after my previous post I found this wonderful article in The Guardian.  Again, I'm sure it won't make me terribly popular as it's not a trendy opinion, but I guess that's just tough.
SOPA - behind the legislation... 

What do you get for killing Michael Jackson?

I saw this picture on Facebook and chuckled.   But then I read the headline that went with it and wondered if the author had missed the point...  what do you think?

I will be brutally honest, I don't know very much about the SOPA legislation - which is slightly embarrassing given my profession - but I will stand firm and say that I am very much against music piracy.   In my experience it is usually carried out by the very people who moan that there is too much manufactured pop and reality shows but if you don't BUY music and therefore PAY the people creating it then there is no investment available to go 'old school' and seek out and nurture new and unique talent.  But that's a whole other rant, probably best not to get me started!

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that, okay, so you could get more time at 'Her Majesty's Pleasure' for illegally downloading music than for bumping off the related artist, but surely that doesn't mean SOPA is wrong.  Surely that means that the system of justice and guidelines for convicting and sentencing people who commit violent crimes is screwed?

Anyone with me?

Thursday, 12 January 2012

First Impressions

It's probably not healthy given that I am 24 weeks pregnant but I am shamelessly addicted to 'One born every minute'  as is my work colleague who is 32 weeks pregnant. 

The excitement in the office yesterday afternoon when we realised the episode due to aired that evening was the 'one with the girl with the birthing outfit'!  We'd both been completely shocked and amused at last week's trailer showing someone who had designed her own water birthing outfit.  I will be honest, we'd both thought that her and her partner were perhaps 'not our kind of people' and we'd made that snap judgement based on their look and dress style and the way they spoke.  Not fair but something that happens everyday.

I know that I had smugly thought how much she would care about her bloody outfit once the pain started to rip through her body and wondered if she would be one of the infamous screamers who for some reason had no idea that this process might not be reminiscent of an aromatherapy massage in a luxury spa.

As someone who does not like to admit she is wrong [EVER!] I will swallow my pride and apologise.  Heather, I apologise for misjudging you and your birthing outfit.  Childbirth has never been a dignified experience but you gave probably the best demonstration of dignity that I have witnessed.

I know everyone is different and maybe you were lucky and had very little pain, or you have a high pain threshold but regardless of that, you showed what can be achieved if you channel your energies into the task at hand rather than worrying about what could be/might be/ is!

I scoffed at your remark about not going to antenatal classes as 'ignorance is bliss' but now wonder if you have a point!

Okay, so if you had been one of the unlucky ladies who did suffer with complications then it would have been a whole different ballgame but you weren't and you just went on to show that a regular uncomplicated birth can be exactly that.  Well done lady.  I just hope I have a similar experience to you rather than mirror some of the horror stories I've had to hear from friends!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Preggy brain

Preggy brain is definitely kicking in.  Brilliant.

Yesterday I tried to let myself into work using my Tfl Travelcard rather than my electronic work pass.  Not a smart move.  Not sure how I thought swiping a piece of cardboard on a touchpad was going to have any effect.

Then I managed to drop a really nice piece of [fresh from the oven] salmon (earmarked for my dinner) on the floor also smashing the plate it was on.  Lovely. 

Mother nature is cruel.  At a time when you supposed to be at your most responsible and entirely in charge of a new life that is completely dependant on you, mother nature decides to take away your hand/eye co-ordination and your short term memory.  Go figure.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Justice. Of sorts....

Two men accused of murdering the black teenager Stephen Lawrence 18 years ago have finally been found guilty and given life sentences for their crimes.
Lawrence sentencing

As someone who drives past the infamous bus-stop on a regular basis (I live less than 2 miles from the murder scene and have done for over 12 years) I have to wonder what the consequences will be. 

These men should have been caught 18 years ago, locals knew who they were and what they were alleged to have done but, I can only imagine that fear kept most people silent.  That, and the fact that racism was widespread in Eltham during that time.  I'm sure that a number of people also kept quiet because they shared similar views to the murderers.  Whilst this level of racism has subsided considerably over the years I know, from first-hand experience, that it has by no means gone completely.  Unfortunately disparaging remarks about the local 'wogs' and 'coloureds'  - yes, believe it or not, I have heard people use that term and it still startles me - are still forthcoming and generally they are from chaps 'of a certain age'.  A long time ago, I worked behind a bar in the local area and I would often try to argue against the people using these words and remarks but for a young girl in a lowly position, often I was forced to hold my tongue.  I'm embarrassed for not standing my ground harder.

Soon after the memorial near the bus-stop was put in place, a security camera had to be installed to help prevent the plaque being vandalised.  Eltham was very different in the 90's.  It was quite a violent, racist place with much racist graffiti everywhere.  I'd like to think that, whilst it's not perfect, it is a much nicer place to live now.  There are a mix of ethnicities in the area and  a much more integrated society.  True, I still wouldn't walk around late at night on my own, but to be honest, I can't think of an area where I would do that.   You could live in Richmond, Kensington or out in the countryside and you'll still find someone who wants to pick a fight with you or do you harm given the opportunity.  Perhaps familiarity does cause you to see your own locality through rose-tinted specs but it also makes you notice things you don't like too.

I hope that this high-profile case doesn't have the opposite effect and actually start the racism up again.  Or even cause black youths to take 'revenge' on local white youths?  Is that idea so hard to believe?  After the widespread riots in the summer of 2011 then nothing would surprise me anymore.

My main wish though, is that some comfort can finally be felt by Stephen's parents and friends who have battled tirelessly to receive some justice.  Nothing can bring him back, but at least the thought of two of his attackers being behind bars must help ease the pain a little.  But let's not forget that these men are only 2 of the attackers.  Several more are still out there and, up until now, were probably feeling a teensy bit smug that they had got away with murder.  Let's hope that smugness has now been wiped off their faces and they are feeling just a fraction of the fear Stephen Lawrence felt all those years ago.

Good Riddance 2011, hello 2012

For a year that started with so much promise, I can honestly say that by the end it was the year that well and truly sucked.  The only good thing I can think of that happened was [finally] becoming pregnant (and believe me when I say that that in itself has its pros and cons!) and having an amazing drive around the west coast of the US.

Poor Husb's mum was ill from the very beginning, and quite unfairly so. For a lady who had never consumed alcohol (with the exception of the odd bit of sherry trifle) to develop Non-Alcoholic steatohepatitis causing cirrhosis of the liver (following a nice bout of e-coli and proceeded by pneumonia) was really not a nice thing.  She never really recovered. For one reason or another, the complete rest she was meant to have was never really forthcoming and so even by the summer she was still very weak.  Eventually her immune system had enough and gave up on her and so following 2 weeks in hospital she quietly passed away, thankfully before the pain got too much to bear.  From then on, things got progressively worse.  My father-in-law became unbearable and incapable, we became very poor overnight when it transpired we would have to cover all the funeral costs, we all went into collective consultation at work and redundancy loomed (and came for many) finally culminating in the sale of our flat falling through after our buyers walked away at the 11th hour.  Nice.

Christmas came and went in a blur spending an excruciating Christmas day with my father-in-law followed by a much more relaxed affair with my parents on Boxing Day.  Given my circumstances I couldn't even drink through the pain.  Husb managed to do exactly that though - lucky swine. 
New Year was rather pleasant in spite of the awful driving weather we encountered all the way to and from Hereford although it was a more subdued affair than usual given the emotions running high and a lot of reflection going on.

So bring on 2012, I say.  I can't see how it could possibly be much worse....
Arse, that was stupid wasn't it.
Jinxed it now....