Friday, 17 December 2010

Dear So and So - 3rd week in December

Dear boss,

Nothing is actually going to happen if I don't get absolutely everything done by Christmas. You know this, I know this, the clients know this.

When is one of us actually going to come out and say it?

Yours, hassled.

Consultant and all-round dogsbody.


Dear L

"Torch-er" is not actually the verb we use for "having a torch".

And if that's what you actually want to do to me, whinging is so much more efficient.



Dear B

I've had a word with Father Christmas and he reckons that you'll be happy with a packet of fruit gums and a satsuma.  I told him that'll be fine.  That's ok isn't it?

Loving wife


Dear Postman

There are things I need at the moment:  Christmas presents (everyone's), Birthday presents (mine). And things I don't need:  twin breast-feeding cushions, printer paper.

Please can you concentrate on delivering the former and leave the latter to languish in a sorting office?  Just for the next week?

Yours, with cushion.

Non-breastfeeding mother


Dear B (2)

Oh, and it's not just FC who's been rubbish about thinking of presents for you this year.

Loving (but inefficient and unimaginative) wife


Dear Girls,

I realise you're now two. But could we not go for "terrific" instead?



Dear B (3)

Thank you for making me go out tonight.  You were right and I was wrong. The world feels so much better after three hours away from my children. Oh, and a half of lager.

Yours much more cheerily

Loving (and slightly tiddly) wife


Dear weather

Just a little warmer? Please?

Yours freezingly

Pathetic Southerner.


Dear Readers,

Head over to Kat's for more postcards.

love and Happy Christmas,

me x

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Pre-natal depression

Is this a thing?

Maybe it's a thing?

Please let it be a thing.  Because if it's not a thing, it's just me.  And somehow that makes it so much worse.

I'm not depressed.  I'm not someone who's depressed.  People who are depressed want to hurt themselves, or others.  They cry.

I don't feel like that.  I'm ok. I'm just tired. So tired and so sick.  It'd be ok if I could just stay in bed.  I don't know what I'm going to do if I get out of bed. How am I going to cope?  I've got the girls, and I can't think about what I'm going to do with them, what I'm going to feed them, what I'm going to say to them.

And then there's the washing, and the cooking, and the shopping. And I can't do it.  How can I do it? How have I ever been able to do it?

But it's ok. People keep telling me it's ok. People seem to think I should be happy.  Happy about this baby.  And they say that, and I paint on a smile, which I know can't look real, and I say "Yes, it's wonderful, I'm so happy".  And I know what they're really thinking.  Because it's what I'm thinking.  What my brain is screaming at me, every minute of every day.  How am I going to cope?  I can't cope with the three children I have, how on earth will I manage another one?  How can I be happy when I am failing already and all that's going to happen in eight months time is I'm going to fail more?  Fail harder.  Fail worse.

Go back to bed.  Hide.  Make it go away.


I don't feel like this.  I really don't.  But I did.  For all of October and some of November.  And then it passed.  And now I am happy.   Happy and bumpy and looking forward to feeling my baby move.  But I wasn't.  I really wasn't.  And I couldn't say.  I couldn't say because I didn't want people to think less of me.  To think that I had gone into this with my eyes closed. Or, more importantly, that I was bringing a baby into the world that wasn't wanted.  Because it is wanted, so much.

And is it a thing?  Am I the only person who feels like this in early pregnancy? Because this isn't the first time.  I felt like this with L too.  I upset B enormously because I gave him the impression that at eight or ten weeks pregnant I didn't want our much wanted, much adored first-born.  I caused him to question me, and us, and our decision to have this baby.  But it wasn't any of those things.  It was just so hard.  So hard getting through those first few weeks.  And so much harder trying to pretend to be happy when everyone wants and expects you to be happy and when all you can do is try desperately to hold it together and not scream; "I don't know if I want this. I don't think I can cope".

I've called this post Pre-Natal Depression, and in so doing I am not trying to undermine the real seriousness of Post-Natal Depression, but just to share how I felt, on the off-chance that although this isn't something we speak about, and it isn't something the medical profession recognises, and it isn't, maybe, as bad or as serious as proper PND, that is is a thing, and that I (and anyone else who has felt, or is feeling, like this) am not alone.

The Gallery - Sparkle

I'm making no apologies for going literal again:

I am thirty-three years, eleven months and three weeks old, I have been married for five and a half years, I have three and a bump children, I have owned one flat and a half of two houses, I have graduate and post-graduate qualifications and I make a particularly splendid banana cake, but this is the first time I've ever had my own Christmas tree.

I am very excited.


Click here to visit the Gallery for more sparkly photos.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Two twos make...

This post is for Mocha Beanie Mummy's (almost) Silent Sunday, and in honour of my wonderful A and S who were two yesterday.

I love you very much, girls, and am so proud of you both.

Silent Sunday

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Gallery - All White?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Because, if the truth be told, I've found the last couple of weeks a little trying.  We're bang in the middle of it, you see.  Look at any of those maps of where in the UK has the worst weather, and we're it.  The garden still has about three feet of snow, the thermometer didn't get above -7 today, and the car iced itself to the road last Friday.  Add to that the fact that I can't get all three girls out of the house at the same time, because although we're in the middle of a town, the Council is studiously ignoring our road so it's walk in, walk out only, which is not so easy with three under four and an increasingly large bump, that Tescos won't come (see Council whinge above), that the local supermarkets are rationing bread and milk, there is ice on the inside of our loo window, and the entire area has sold out of snow tyres and you'll get why I'm a little fed up of the whole thing.

But then every now and then, just as my stress levels are rising, I look around.  And I realise, yet again, how unbelievably beautiful it is.  I finally had proof today too that I'll never be really good at this photography lark - nothing to do with the talent of course, but I don't have the commitment.  It was an absolutely stunning day here.  Frost everywhere, empty blue skies, bare branches white against them.   And although I thought, about forty-eight times; "I should go and get the camera" I didn't.

But here are some I have taken over the last week or so. Some I'm proud of, some didn't quite work out how I meant.  But they're all white:


This post was written for Tara's Gallery. Click on the link to see more White (but not necessarily snowy) pictures.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Wondering if my daughter is deaf.

L, darling, please don't do that.

L, did you hear me? Please don't do that.

L, I said, please don't do that.

Do not do that.  I've told you three times already.

How many times do I have to tell you not to do that?
If you keep doing that, you will not get any stories tonight.

Do you want stories tonight? Right. No stories.


I knew my mother of power stage was too good to last.  And although it's true that the shouting does work we both hate it.

So I'm wondering (I can't call it hoping, because of course I don't*) but is it a bad thing to be thinking it'd be an easier explanation if maybe she really can't hear me?

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Digitally re:Masterpieces - TheThree (Dis) Graces

It's been a while since I've done a Digitally Re:Masterpieces post.  But I mentioned last time that I knew what I wanted to do, and it was this:

Antonio Canova's The Three Graces (1817) although in fact this isn't quite the right one, because Canova actually sculpted two versions.  This one, which is in the Hermitage in St Petersburg (one of the most amazing places in the world - you have to go there a  minimum of twice: once to gaze in amazement at the building itself and the second time to notice that it happens to have one of the world's greatest collections of art hanging on the walls and dotted around the rooms), and another, commissioned by the Duke of Bedford because he liked the first so much, which now spends half its time in the National Galleries of Scotland, and half in the V&A.

So, living quite close to Edinburgh, we've been lucky enough to see that version quite a few times.  And when I visited it recently with a friend, I was struck again by how beautiful they are, these three sisters.

A bit like this:  

The Three Disgraces (2010)

When I started doing these Digitally re:Masterpieces posts I meant to do one every month and I hoped that other people would join in... I'm still hoping for the latter, although I've failed on the former.  Do join in, and link to your post here:

Oh, and as a side thought, one of the reasons I have not posted this before is because I worried it was inappropriate to put this picture out on the net. Is it? What do people think?

Three Graces picture taken by Mark Thorpe and found on Wikimedia Commons.  Thank you.