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My Ramblings

YOU KNOW THOSE RANDOM BRAIN WAVE PATTERNS, BORING STORIES AND GENERAL RAMBLINGS THAT YOU FIND HYSTERICAL BUT MOST OF YOUR FRIENDS DON'T. 
WELL THIS IS MY PUBLICISED VERSION OF ALL OF THOSE AND MORE USUAL SHIT AND BRAIN SICK.

Motherhood: a snapshot

Pippa Mole

9 weeks in...

I'm really struggling with being a mum. I am not sure if it's because I've always identified myself with what I do (work wise), or if it's the boredom. I always thought I would be the type of mother that revels in her children and I imagine I will once PB is more interactive but at this time with a baby that can't communicate on my level and when I heavily rely on oral communication, it is difficult. I thought starting the Amina Project would distract me and give me something to focus on, when there is some downtime, and I always knew it would be a slow starter, however at this time I've faltered at the first hurdle. Who knows, but for the first time I'm not fighting for it, I have no get up and go, no drive, no desire to get off my butt and be active and I know it's because I spent so much of my time alone being a milk machine / mattress. I know I need to be more proactive, but how?

 

16 weeks in...

I'm pleased to report that the above mist has lifted, various reasons but PB started smiling at 7 weeks and 6 days - Ro and I fell head over heels in love with her, even more than we were before; I joined a Post-natal NCT group with some lovely ladies, and a Mum & Baby Yoga. Plus I had some under lying health issues remaining from giving birth which have finally been resolved with my doctor; and am now returning to work prematurely as my Maternity cover has had to leave due to ill health in her family, which is terribly sad for her but positive for me, as the boredom was getting to much and SMP (Statutory Maternity Pay) is a shambles, how anyone is supposed to live off £140pw is beyond me, especially when paying private rent!

 

24 weeks in...

I've been back in work for nine weeks now, luckily I'm able to support them part time from home, popping into the office one morning a week. It's been a huge juggling act and has caused some rows between Ro and I, but all in all I feel it's working well and I hope I'm supplying work with the help they need, I've really enjoyed having stuff to keep me busy and being back in the driving seat. Additionally the Post-natal NCT group was great (highly recommend), and we've continued to meet up for brunch and other events since. PB and I have signed up to the second term of yoga, we don't always get to do much yoga, sometimes PB prefers to feed, but it's good fun and giving me much needed exercise and an excuse to get out.

All in all motherhood is shaping up to be ok. I did struggle and I think it's normal to do so in the beginning, it's definitely not what I thought it would be and the lack of "Pinterest" style filter and crops has made me feel at times feel like I was doing it wrong or missing a trick but we shall see. I'm lucky to have a smiley friendly baby who tolerates her father and my idiosyncrasies, and is a general joy to be around, we are very lucky!

Birth

Pippa Mole

 39 weeks & 2 days

7.30am: This morning I woke feeling a little wet down there. Popped to the lavatory and didn't seem to have anything to show for it, so decided to clean my teeth and return to bed, however as I stood up a little trickle down my legs led me to believe that my waters had broken, even though I'm having painless contractions.

8am: A quick call to the midwife and a visit was imminent to confirm. 

10am:  The midwife shoes up, does the usual checks, confirms that it looks as though my waters have broken, but I'm not in active labour. Advises me to keep active, that she'll check on me later and that we'll need to head to the hospital if labour doesn't start on it's own.

 3pm: We went for a little walk.

5pm: My contractions are starting to have a small ache to them and Prudie is still kicking away merrily. Waiting is so boring!!! 

7pm: Still not much going on. My midwife called and advised that unless I am having three HUGE contractions every ten minutes by 7am, to call the Birthing Centre - so much for our home birth plan. I doubt my gorgeous one is particularly bothered to get anywhere quickly.

11pm: Still not much happening. I've sent Ro to get some sleep and am having mild contractions every 7 minutes. Yawn!

39 weeks & 3 days 

 1am: My waters have now officially broken...I'm going to try and get a couple hours sleep before heading in to St Tommy's.

3am: My waters are still flowing out of my body at regular intervals. They don't explain that once the brook starts flowing, it will continue at various intervals over several hours - gush!

6am: Still gushing water everywhere and little sleep. I'm a mess - emotionally exhausted and crying for no reason.

8.30am: We've arrived at ADU, St Tommy's, and I am now under observation having passed all of the checks: Abdomen pain? Are all fluids clear? Headaches? Flashing lights? Blah blah blah...

11am: We have met the Doctor and he's booked us in for the next available bed within the Ward; apparently everyone and their dogs are requiring Induction today, so we're in great company, and Tommy's is rammed full! We are officially part of 20% of births that start with the waters breaking and the contractions never showing up - which is nice.

Spoke to the Mothership and discussed how waters breaking are disgusting as you feel like you are constantly pissing yourself and you require a sodden adult nappy between your legs at all times, to which she replied "I've no idea, they were always broken for me", well isn't that nice for her, some people have all the luck.

12.30pm: Our Home Care Midwife has arrived and arranged for us to be moved to the 'Home from Home' unit and will now look after us for the next six hours. Hopefully the induction will speed everything up and Prudie will get her butt in gear, fingers crossed.

2pm: I've had the induction pessary, Prudie enjoyed having her scalp played with by the midwife. midwife. We have until 6.30pm to see if anything gets going, however at 2cm dilated, I doubt it.

6pm: Our midwife has headed off to enjoy her evening and we are waiting to be transferred to the Birth Centre for our Drip Induction, depending on our dilated I am upon arrival. I'm currently experiencing contractions every four minutes and they are pretty uncomfortable.  Roll on the drugs!

8pm: There is a shortage of Midwives, so we need to wait for Home Care team members to be called in.  I thought having a bath while I wait, might help with the pain. The bath is tiny and badly designed, I struggle to get my belly and knees past the handles and find it very hard to get out; it's comfortable and relaxing but did slow down my contractions, so I opt to get out again - with Ro's help, like a large Welsh crane.

(From this point, it was written post the event, I'm good but not THAT good)

10pm: It appears our room isn't available anymore, I'm guessing an emergency came in. Plus, the pain is getting mighty. The midwives bring me 'Gas & Air' and I ask if it's possible to get our antibiotics while we wait...as they are supposed to be administered four hours before birth climaxes.

11pm: Ro and I have found nice way to relax, listening to "Creedance Clearwater Revival," while lounged on the bed sucking the gas and air...however I keep on dosing off then being rudely awoken by a fresh contraction, not pain free. This sends me flying across the room trying to walk them off. But the rest of the vibe was blissful!

39 weeks & 4 days

12.30am: A new part of the contraction has started and I have a feeling it's the joyous birth canal moment...I fear I'm too late for any additional pain relief and I've no idea how I'll cope.

1am: We are finally being moved to the Birth Centre and not a moment too soon. I hobble around to the delivery room and am greeted by a lovely lady called Isatu, born and raised in Hereford by parents from Gambia - she's an angel. We also have a trainee called Jess from Cambridge, who is just so nice.  My crack pipe and I are hooked back up and I'm in bliss again. I ask Isatu for loads of pain relief, however upon inspection I am 9cm dilated and advised that additional pain relief could slow down the rate of my contractions. I guess we are getting this show on the road, as it is. 

1.30am: I have a crazy, crazy need to push (in line with a Thunder storm) and discover that I have no idea about which muscles do what and how to push a baby from my lady parts. After lots of dramatics and coaching from Isatu, I've got it, I hope.

The pushing starts and is exhausting, I've not slept in two days and now I need to use my bum muscles to extract a few kilos from my body, through a stretchy hole, and not just that, but I've got to engage my diaphragm and other big internal muscles to do so.

3am: Ro ponders why women in films are always so sweaty when giving birth,  which must mean I look serene right now...

4am: The sun has started to rise and London looks beautiful. ..I on the other hand have requested ice for my back and cold flannels for my forehead and back of neck; I think Ro just discovered why ladies are sweaty in films and on TV.

4.45: I've done it, I've no idea how...my final contraction was dying and I heard someone say 'one more push and she'd be out, so I did it, I mustered up some energy and did it and out she popped like a greased up seal...literal - head out the rest will follow. She has a raise lump (around 2inches, in diameter on the top of her head), I assume it led the charge down the birth canal and she's all squished but she's perfect! Fucking perfect, I'm in shock and awe!

Post Birth: 

I had four tears, mainly internal: three 'firsts', one 'second', Isatu was a master seamstress and I advised her to go on 'Project Runway'. I also got pretty high on gas and air, as the anaesthetic didn't realty work and every time she removed the gauze it felt like someone shaking a tambourine in my lady parts. It took about an hour and a half to stitch me back together and I lost a litre of blood.

I'd say that the grossest thing was seeing Jess check that my placenta was present and correct, it looked like one of the crappest jigsaw puzzles in the world.

The constant stream of people to our room after we were transferred back to the 'Home from Home...' was frustrating, bearing in mind we hadn't slept in 48 hours and there was a 'Do Not Disturb' on my door, however I guess they have to do their job.

All in all, it was a roller coaster and something that as soon as it was over, I wanted to start all over again - I guess that would be the endorphins talking...I'm so in love but also amazed that I created something so utterly in tact and perfect! It is almost beyond my comprehension.

NCT Class No.1

Pippa Mole

Image courtesy of the internet

Image courtesy of the internet

We had our very first NCT class yesterday. Going in I had two hopes, with an optional third:

·         Ro and I would feel more confident and have a better understanding of what we were getting ourselves into and what to expect with parenthood.

·         Ro might find a mate or two to speak with, who were going through the same thing at a similar time, who he could possibly escape to the pub with.

·         And, if I find a new mum friend, that would be a bonus, but it isn’t imperative.

The first class was ok: we learnt a few new things regarding birthing options, and the cultural viewpoints on pregnancy and child raising differs between we Brits and others nationalities. We also learnt about the Birthing Centre vs the Labour Ward, and the other options open to us through the NHS and privately.

Our class leader is positively lovely, knowledgeable and very approachable, so that’s promising. However my main reservation at this time is that the other attendees are very “nice”. I am hoping that with time they will relax and come out of their shells. Ro nailed it when he said “most ‘Londoners*’ aren’t overly keen to befriend new people and it normally takes them time to come out of their shells and truly relax. Other than us, who go in guns blazing trying to befriend everyone’. And he is right, we are very personable and friendly with very low boundaries, so maybe I am expecting too much too soon.

The one thing I found interesting was that most of the couples will be having their babies during mid-May - end of June, and yet none of them were particularly prepared and hadn't discussed issues like: 'the man's role within feeding', 'what type of nappies they would use?', 'how long they wanted the child in the bedroom'. They'd discussed where they wanted the baby to be born and the type of pain relief, but that was about it. I thought I had held off getting involved as I spent the first trimester convinced that the pregnancy wouldn't work out, spent the second trimester thinking that there might still be problems and being surrounded by baby stuff would destroy me. And it was only around the start of the third trimester that I finally relaxed and started considering what we needed and finally wanted to acquire it all. We did want the wedding out of the way also but that was a welcome distraction for me, as otherwise I would have been a lot more stressed.

The other realisation I made after last night's class was that Ro and I are very relaxed going into parenthood, we have discussed at length our ideals and preferred methods, we both want to take everything at face value and assess, manage and execute within the moment, and we aren't stressed about the worst happenings, as that is completely outside of our control anyway. Therefore the one thing I will walk away from the first class with, is that we are a lot more confident than I had previously thought.

I guess if this doesn’t work out, maybe the NHS day drop in might be better for us; or the post-natal NCT class may have a better selection of people for us to befriend; I guess time will tell…

 

*by Londoners, I mean those of us who moved into London from outside and are not proper, proper Londoners.

Warheads vs People

Pippa Mole

Image courtesy of the internet

Image courtesy of the internet

Rowan and I were discussing the air strike on Syria this morning, whether it was good or bad, and what it would achieve.

My theory is ‘if you don’t take any refugees in and make a conscience effort to refuse to do so, you’ve no right to get involved in war or the bombing of the countries who are expelling their people’. You are either in or out. Therefore we (UK) and the US have no right to get involved. Germany and Norway have every right, however.

Then Ro said something to me that got my mind going ‘the amount of money it costs to create and send 56-60 tomahawk missiles could have resettled and housed a lot of refugees for various years’.

I’ve done some maths based on dodgy information, as always there is no actual cost of anything, just lots of hypothesis and depending on the papers stance on refugees it inflates or deflates. Plus I’m going to use Britain as the basis and all sums are approximate (I’m not an accountant or Mathematician, please bear with me).

Let’s start simply: One tomahawk missile costs £1 million.

The Guardian reported that the local authorities who resettle refugees will receive £20,520 for the first five years per refugee adult. The Telegraph cited that each refugee will cost Tax payers £24k per year. And the BBC said it could cost up to £23k for the first year.

All very confusing. So let’s use an average, £23k for the first year and add the following four year payments the government would make to local authority over the next four years (yes I’m aware that this may not cover the actual cost, but we are just looking for an average cost), this totals: £35k

Now reports on the air strike cannot quite make up their minds how many missiles were despatched, so we will say 58. Most reports sit between 56-60. That totals £58m.

We will work this out on adults only…I guess we could estimate that two children cost the same as one adult, if you like, but that would just add a level of confusion to my brain.

So based on £58m, divided by £35k, we Brits would have resettled 1657 adult refugees. That doesn’t sound like that many, bearing in mind that we said we would accept 20k, and were advised to take 50k.

You have to remember that once settled, it is estimated that they will boost the annual output by 0.1% for the EU as a whole, according to The Economist. The Guardian pins it to between 0.2 – 0.5% growth.

The BBC says that our annual GDP is £1.8 trillion, and our exports to the EU are 13%, therefore 13% of the EU’s GDP’s 1% is 0.0013%, equals £23,400,000. £23,400,000, divided by the £35k, totals 668 people, which means the UK could resettle and look after 2325 refugees for five years, all for the same price as 58 warheads.

Therefore, Ro was right and this doesn’t even acknowledge how much it cost to get the warships out to the Middle East. But it does involve someone who doesn’t understand economics, maths or war, has no idea what 1.3846154e+17 means on a calculator. Which means I did my maths wrong and in fact, I’m pretty sure it’s my total times ten, of who can be resettled for the same price as 58 missiles.

Or even, that I didn’t take in to account that some of those being resettled won’t be of working age or have the opportunities to contribute to the economy, but we will pretend that I’m Einstein and that I’ve nailed my point well.

Thanks for your time and please, please, please do correct my terrible attempt at maths.

iFind, St Thomas's Hospital

Pippa Mole

St Thomas' are currently participating in lots of different pregnancy related projects at this time, so they asked if I would consider taking part and of course I said yes. Especially after helping with the progesterone trial.

Here is a video of the MRI of little Prudie chilling in the womb. They said that most foetus' once in the flow of the MRIs don't move much for the cine, however we were lucky and she did a little wiggle.

I did feel very sorry for her though, as the machine is incredibly loud and I imagine it must have been rather startling for her little ears.

The next day at work, after this experience, I noticed that the umbilical cord is up around her neck and got rather freaked out. I called the hospital, who were wonderful and had a Doctor call me back within ten minutes. They explained to me that unless it is coiled twice, they generally do not worry. I calmed a little but also noticed that she wasn't moving much - she was probably breathing in my stress and anxiety and keeping chilled in response, which didn't help.

By Saturday morning I was totally freaked, we were two days into Prudie only responding if I poked her, played music or requested her to react...unlike her normal three doses of hiccups a day and constantly kicking. I spoke to one of my midwives who directed me to St Thomas's. I felt bad as I didn't want to bother people without cause but knew for my state of mind, I should go. So off we trotted to see the Daily Antenatal Centre. All positively lovely, like always. Once again, the NHS are wonderful and so understanding. After 20 minutes observation, they were happy and sent us on our way, of course hearing the professionals telling me that all seemed fine calmed me down, and come Sunday morning she was back to her active self.

The midwives at St Thomas' did tell me that it is quite common for women to pop in between 28 - 31 weeks, as the foetus' have lots of space still but seem to calm down for some reason. I wondered if it is because kicking is so new initially and you become comfortable with it; I guess you lose track of how much they kick and as soon as you start focusing, you wonder "is it more or less than before", or maybe they do just chill out and ease off for a short while. Who knows?

Since Sunday, Prudie has been back to her old hiccuping and kicking self, thankfully, and now we only have ten weeks to go until her arrival date.

Wedding Planning Pt.10

Pippa Mole

Below are the fascinators I made for my bridesmaids and myself to wear on the big day. I had hoped to commission them from a professional but it didn't work out. They ended up costing me financially a quarter of the commissioned pieces, however a lot of time, love and care was invested. I hate to blow my own trumpet but I think they look smashing; and I even managed to make a second one for myself.

Image courtesy of CR2 Studios

Image courtesy of CR2 Studios

Image courtesy of CR2 Studios

Image courtesy of CR2 Studios

Image courtesy of CR2 Studios

Image courtesy of CR2 Studios

Image courtesy of CR2 Studios

Image courtesy of CR2 Studios

Image courtesy of CR2 Studios

Image courtesy of CR2 Studios

Image courtesy of CR2 Studios

Image courtesy of CR2 Studios

Image courtesy of CR2 Studios

Image courtesy of CR2 Studios

Wedding Planning Pt.9

Pippa Mole

I can't sleep...I had the strangest wedding anxiety dream and was visited by Ro's dad. His mum saw and spoke with him also, it was calming. But that's not what has woken me. Mainly, it is the loading of the car that is weighing on my mind, we have so much to take with us:

36 bottles of fizz, 48 bottles of wine, 120 stubby cans, Two dresses and a suit, a huge box of decorations and fascinators, 160 rashers of bacon accompanied by 80 sausages, 52 eggs, 14 garlic breads, and camera equipment. Pretty exciting stuff all round. I know it is all trivial stuff but what if we forget something? Or can't fit it in...

 The difference between Ro and I is that he got nervous for the first time today and he was panicking about people not enjoying themselves and him letting them down, which I thought was really sweet. This doesn't bother me, if people don't enjoy themselves that is their own issue, we've put enough in place for them to do so, it's up to them to get involved.

My concerns are superficial in turn, it's more about trivial silly things...and these concerns have woken me five hours in to sleep and won't cease or desist.

My work have been amazing and given us a gift voucher and Fortnum & Mason hamper; I told my Grandma and her first question was about what biscuits it included. She's convinced that F&M cheese biscuits are the holy grail of cheese biscuits. The irony being that if she knew how much they cost, she'd refuse to go near them.

I wish I could empty my brain, just for 2 more hours sleep...

Wedding Planning Pt.8

Pippa Mole

Wedding guests continued…

I have found that certain guests are rather uninterested in what we have going on at this time, most of them I’ve waved a nonchalant hand at, however some have really pissed me off.

I have one friend who has discounted some of our decisions as it isn’t how they would do it – whatever, that’s their opinion, this is our wedding.

Ro has one mate who is so ‘fair weather’ that he ignored four emails from me and wouldn’t commit to attending our wedding, let alone staying on site, until I contacted his girlfriend, who was rather embarrassed. This particular friend also said he couldn’t even phathom attending Ro’s stag do, as he had far more important things to do. Once again, whatever.

However, there has been one mate of Ro’s, a mate who is supposed to be a groomsmen who has just taken the fucking piss. This guy said that he wouldn’t attend the stag do due to money issues – understandable; he then invited Ro to go to Rome a fortnight before to watch the rugby. He hasn't once asked Ro how everything is going and whether we need any help, in fact he told Ro that he'd rather camp in February instead of pay £75 for two nights stay, all food (two evening meals and two breakfasts) and most booze consumed (except on the wedding evening), and could only afford to drive there and back, or stay in the dorm, but not both. When Ro suggested he share with one of the other Welshies, she suggested that Ro arrange it for him.

Additionally to this, the groomsmen have one thing which is required of them: to wear a collared shirt. Two weeks later, Ro receives a text of the collarless shirt he intends to wear to the wedding on the same thread as the original request. It has at times felt like we have a petulant teenager to consider and manage.

When he finally paid the money, reluctantly, he paid £10 short and I really can not be arsed to ask him for the rest, if it is that important to him, he can keep it. 

At the start of this week, Ro got a call from him assuming he would ask about the stag do, instead he asks whether I've got any contacts from my old job, when Ro reminds him that I left that role ten years ago and that I'm out, he asks if I'm "on the piss", Ro then reminds him that I'm six months pregnant. 

No, I know these aren't the worst things to do or ways to behave but he seems to have no idea how stressful wedding planning can be, no concept of the energy, time or money it takes; and no interest in whether being more flexible and easier going would have helped us.

The last thing he asked was how much money he should bring, when Ro said he'd only need money for the bar, he then wanted the price list of every drink so he could gauge his spending... 

It has been beggars belief, I only hope he relaxes and enjoys himself at the wedding. In the past he has been an incredible friend to Ro and I only hope that he is this again, I really don't want his attitude to sour their friendship. I guess time will tell. 

Wedding Planning Pt.7

Pippa Mole

Image courtesy of the internet

Image courtesy of the internet

Wedding Guests, wedding guests are a strange breed. When Ro and I originally wrote our guest list, about eight months ago, we double checked it and felt that other than a couple of mates who live abroad, travel extensively for work, etc., that we wouldn't have many cancellations. How foolish we were!

Due to the nature of the wedding (two nights away) we had to invite people in two tiers, it was a small nightmare trying to get people to commit, but it pretty much worked out, with 90% agreeing to stay on site. We have since filled the remaining 10%, just about, however...we had two friends who were unsure financially and unable to say whether they would definitely stay. At times we both got a little fraught about the matter, but we were adamant that we hold out. Just before Christmas they said they hoped to pay in the New Year, we understood and were grateful for the update.

Come the New Year and I had to push for money from six sets of guests. Ro and I texted accordingly and the aforementioned guests confirmed that they couldn't make it due to a job loss...very sad. Ro and I considered whether they could drive down for the day, however it really isn't for us to decide how they spend their time and money, and it is fair enough if they can not justify attending. It's a huge shame as they are good friends but needs must and we've all been that person who has had to make difficult decisions. My only wish is that we were in a better financial situation and able to offer help.

After we received this cancellation Ro text one mate asking if he wanted to stay on site. I was terribly sexist and assumed that because he was a bloke, he probably wouldn't have arranged anything yet. I was right, to a point. Ro also text another mate asking for him to come to our wedding, we had previously been restricted by numbers.

The latter confirmed that he'd love to attend. However, the first guy came back explaining that he was skint and wouldn't be attending the stag or wedding and had meant to let Ro know... Ro accepted this fate but with a small sting in the tail, as this particular friend had spoken about never attending a wedding or stag do before, and being excited about it all. Once again, we understood and started to laugh, it was becoming a little ridiculous!

The following day, Ro received another text stating that a friend's partner couldn't make the meal but would attend the evening. This was met with a chuckle and appreciative reply.

"Fine" we thought, that is the final list of those not attending and we can now settle our numbers and pay the caterers the final bill...FOOLS!

During my hen, Ro's sister told me that one of their cousins would most likely pull out as she had confessed to not arranging travel or accommodation. A week later, during the Stag, Ro receives a text saying that she was unable to get leave arranged at work, once again we laughed...what is it with some people?

Additionally, we are yet to have final confirmation from another cousin, who said they'd probably come just for the ceremony (we kept a bed and meal for him, just in case) but at this time, it is all just stupid and we have given up caring.

The first cancellation was really sad, we'll miss not having them present; the second one was rather 'ce le vie'; the third can at least come to the evening and allowed us to save some cash...and as for the cousins - oh my days, some people you just can't help, no matter what you do.

My advise about this part of wedding planning is:

  • 'don't assume', just accept that some people can not commit or make things work and they some times have more important things at hand; and
  • make sure you enjoy the company of those who do attend, and don't you dare pine over the ones who can't.

Less Badges & More Love

Pippa Mole

Image courtesy of the internet

Image courtesy of the internet

I do not wear a ‘baby on board’ badge, I find them patronising. When I wasn’t pregnant, I would look up at every stop to see if anyone needed a seat more than I do, in fact I still do this. Don’t tell Ro.

A few weeks ago, a man ‘mansplained’ to me (first time ever in London, just for your info) that I shouldn’t walk with my headphones in on winter evenings as people on mopeds were stealing phones and bags from isolated women on dark streets (a lot of assumptions already in this conversation I didn’t ask for), then he said ‘oh your pregnant, well you should wear a badge, as pregnancy can make you awfully tired’. No fucking way, really? I didn’t react to this gentleman, he thought he was doing me a favour, he thought he was helping. I understood this and thank him for his advice.

My cousin said that she wore a badge while pregnant as she felt it helped her be identified and that people would avoid walking too closely, etc. This I do understand, however this has not been what I’ve witnessed and all I’ve ever seen is people be rather ignorant to others, regardless of pregnancy, disability or age.

Image courtesy of the internet

Image courtesy of the internet

The fact that TFL have brought out a new badge, sums up the public’s attitude to seats and who qualifies for them.

I’ve noticed on the Victoria line and the southern part of the Northern line, that there is a demographic who are the most ignorant and this upsets me. I’m not sure if there is a higher percentage of this particular demographic on these lines, and I do think it is more an individual thing, some people are more conscience of other’s needs. But, the young white professionals, especially women, do not look up. I am a young white women and this upsets me dearly.

Maybe the particular demographic have experienced issues when they have previously offered their seats to people who weren’t pregnant and they’ve received shitty comments in return, which is ridiculous and I’ve never understood this attitude. I was offered seats while not pregnant (normally post a few beers and a large pasta dinner) and I always thanked the person for the kind offer; in fact sometimes when I’ve been offered seats while pregnant I’ve thanked them and not taken them up, either because I feel full of energy or because I’m quite happy standing. What is the problem? People being kind to strangers, embrace it!!

Yet, this isn’t a race or age thing, that is just an observation based on my experience. This is actually about the fact that everywhere else in Britain (most of the time), people will look up and offer seats to those indeed, yet in London unless you wear a badge identifying yourself as someone who should be offered a seat…you can be happily ignored. And this frustrates me greatly.

A friend of mine told me about a time when she was pregnant, on the Jubilee line, and another pregnant woman stood over a man in the ‘priority seat’ and tapped her badge without saying a word. This made me livid, the badge does not entitle you to a seat, it gives people a cue to offer you a seat if they see you. But surely, the cue should be that you look in need, the cue should be that people look up regardless of what seat they are in and offer seats to those who need them. It shouldn’t be an us and them thing, it should be an everyone thing.

Image courtesy of the internet

Image courtesy of the internet

I would personally offer those hungover a seat, if they wore a badge. Traveling while hungover has to be one of the worse things EVER!!! And having a seat can assist this….I know this for a fact, I have done it many, many times. Now, you cannot cry ‘but they made themselves that way’, as so did the majority of pregnant women. And let’s be fair, the times when you really want a seat, the first trimester, you are not supposed to talk about pregnancy, in case something goes wrong (fucking ridiculous); or during the third trimester, when you are traditionally the size of a freaking house and even those who are hard of sight could see that a seat offer might be nice.

I feel that this situation goes hand in hand with the fact that being in a wheelchair, appears to not demand people a space on a bus, yet it should. I feel very strongly about this matter. If you have a pushchair, you can fold it up, regardless of whether your baby or child is asleep. It is a mild inconvenience, however being in a wheelchair can be a HUGE inconvenience to life generally, regardless of trying to get around London in a timely manner. Most of the underground is not designed for wheels, so buses are a life line to those bound by them. GENERALISATION WARNING: most of the people who refuse to move their prams for those in wheelchairs, are also the kind of people who would tap their badge at someone on the tube and demand a seat…completely hypocritical. You demand a seat but won’t consider making space for others when it isn’t practical to yourself – disgusting!

It all makes me so sad. Why can’t we all be a little more open minded and kind to each other, constantly putting ourselves in the place of others. Being in a wheelchair can make living a “normal life” very difficult, just look around you when you are out next, consider how many places have a step to get into them or have floors which are only accessible by stairs…a good 80+% of London is this way. Having a pram should highlight the plight that these people go through daily, we should be more aware and ready to fight their corner, as we have experienced it, temporarily, but still we’ve seen and felt the plight they struggle with every day, however we still have people refusing to move or try and accommodate those who might need a little extra thought.

I don’t know how to resolve this issue. The courts have now ruled that wheelchair users have the right of space on the buses and yet people still refuse to be considerate. TFL now have two badges and within the next ten years will probably have a host of multi-coloured badges highlighting people of varying ailments who should be offered a seat…there seems no end in sight, other than maybe, just maybe we all go back to being a little kinder and nicer to each other and try to consider other people’s life experiences a little more.

Wedding Planning Pt.6

Pippa Mole

Image courtesy of the internet

Image courtesy of the internet

Suppliers are interesting creatures: planning the wedding has highlighted how interesting they are and how some of them spout about ‘supporting small businesses’ and yet reject your money as and when they feel like it.

In September, I commissioned some accessories for my bridesmaids and myself, for an amount of money which I wasn’t overly comfortable with but felt would reflect the artist’s work and my appreciation to my bridesmaids for their friendship over the years. The artist accepted and started talking to me about the commissions, we sent various emails over time discussing it. Then in November I received an email explaining that they hadn’t felt particularly well but wouldn’t let me down and would focus on my commissions once they had gotten their Christmas orders out of the way.

Understanding this, I sent some clarifying emails for each bridesmaid: inclusive of a photo of them, the dresses and colours they were wearing, any and all social media (so the artist could gauge their personalities) and how adventurous they were when it came to accessorising: this was accepted.

Just after Christmas, I received another email explaining that they would rather focus on their special offers range, instead of my commission and that I could have first refusal of those, which would be ready at the end of January. I understood this, however wasn’t overly happy with it; I started looking through their website to see if there were some items I could buy and adjust accordingly for the girls. Upon speaking to Ro about it, he said ‘if they don’t want your money, don’t give it to them. You are extremely talented and creative and can make them yourself. You are already making the jewellery, just make this gift too’. I was hesitant but he (the real creative in our duo) said he’d help me if I got stuck, so I set about finding the pieces I needed and cancelled my commission.

This is just an unfortunate situation, and thankfully not all of our suppliers have been like this…

Our jeweller, Johnny Rocket, has been incredible, going above and beyond, creating our wedding rings within 10 days, even getting them hallmarked, and making us feel welcome by just being the fucking legend that he is.

Our caterers once again: wonderful, wonderful people. Ever so accommodating – answering every question, regardless of how stupid. Having time to talk to me whenever. Being very relaxed and willing to readjust the invoice a week before the wedding, due to people dropping out. They’ve helped when we considered the need to get a marquee to fit everyone in, luckily we haven’t had to do this. And they do not have a corkage fee, and have no problems with us having a local craft beer on the tables. If I could marry them, I might do so.

However, as with above, not all have been this great:

I ordered the fizz and red wine from Majestic Wines and they cancelled my order without notifying me of the matter. I chased them and received a terribly written response (bad grammar and spellings) telling me that “due to stick issues, they’d cancelled it”. I responded with a larger complaint explaining that I wouldn’t be purchasing from them again, and they ignored this, responding with another terribly written email and a 10% off code. I have since donated this code to my colleague’s school board to use.

And then again, on the other end of the scale, I commissioned a cartoon from a friend of mine, Ginger Rainbow, and she had created it and posted it to me within 48 hours. I guess the rule of thumb is trial and error. Some suppliers are professional and courteous and others don’t want your business, no matter what.

Wedding Planning Pt.5

Pippa Mole

Image courtesy of the Internet

Image courtesy of the Internet

One of the best things that I have discovered during the wedding planning process is other people's opinions on what we should be doing, or focusing on, what we must have or do, on the day and who we must have attend.

I have to say, that my family may have not been great financially, luckily, they've been terribly supportive when it comes to our plans, ideas and invitation list. As has Ro's Mother and Sister.

However, not everyone sees it that way and this has caused the largest rift known to one family. Ro has a family member who at times has caused upset before: emptied his Mother's house of her belongings (following his Father's death) as she was moving to a smaller house, whether she had hoped to sell or retain those items; told his pregnant Sister that she'd probably miscarry during her second trimester or could always have a still born birth; and insisted on scattering Ro's Grandfather's ashes without his Mother, him or his Sister present, citing the tidal timetable as the reason it had to be right then and there, and not even giving their Gran the chance to prepare emotionally, or mentally for the event.

These are just some occasions where people have been upset, and I believe this particular person doesn't do it maliciously or with intent to upset, I really do believe they mean well, they just fail to see why others may not be happy or agree with their decisions. They lack forethought and consideration, but that is all it is, for some reason it has never been raised before and therefore they've continued to behave this way without ever questioning whether it was the right thing to do, or the right way to approach the situation, etc.

Due to the above occurrences, we did not want them present on our wedding day. My parents had a wedding run and controlled by my Mum's Mum, and my Mum has always said that our wedding is ours and that they won't get involved, and they have lived up to this, one of my brother's eloped and they didn't blink an eye, and in regards to all of our decisions (so far) they have been 100% supportive.

We had hoped that we would be able to not invite them and be left to it, I did suggest first of all that we send a card explaining but Ro didn't want to. Skip a month later and we've had three different family members trying to find ways to make it so that this family member can be present...totally ignorant of our wishes. We were left with only one approach, to be mature and contact this particular family member directly explaining our decision. Ro's Mum was hesitant to give us their contact details but did so. We didn't want to discuss it over the phone as conversations can be misquoted and can become heated very quickly. So we felt email was best, we wrote and rewrote the email, a lot. Which was wasted energy, as it transpires that whatever we did, it wouldn't have been well received, we could have wrapped it in gold, put it in a Tiffany's box, written it in the sky and we would always have ended up the terrible villains.

So now we haven't just gained two seats from other members of Ro's family not being able to attend, we have gained an additional 4 seats, possibly 5, all because this particular family member has decided that if they can not come, no one else should.

To make matters worse, Ro's Gran hasn't once phoned him or tried to find out why he didn't want this family member present, she has automatically decided he is an awful person and has disowned him, which is such terribly upsetting behaviour, especially for a Christian. During this time, I haven't seen any understanding, forgiveness, or acceptance, just judgement, vengeance and disregard for his feelings.

The most upsetting thing is that Ro just wanted his Gran present, especially as she missed his Sister's wedding. He doesn't get to see her often and with the loss of his Granfather last year, it would have meant so much. Aren't families, and weddings, wonderful?!

Wedding Planning Pt.4

Pippa Mole

Image courtesy of the internet

Image courtesy of the internet

One of the hardest parts of wedding planning is that everyone else isn't as excited as you are. 

I tried to arrange all of my bridesmaid to come to London to go wedding dress shopping, I had three responses saying 'yes, let me know when', one telling me that they were super busy and if it as a practical time, they'd attend' and one saying that 'they were coming to London with their baby soon and she'd let me know how it went'. I decided to put the last two comments down to lack of sleep. 

In regards to the wedding, Ro has had various responses, not all super positive and supportive. However, it is slowly coming together and if I have to drive to people's homes to get proper commitment from them, I will. I think if it was a simple day wedding, we would experience less stress, however we chose a weekend event...why did I always dream of spending the weekend with our friends and family?

The good news, is that we have had some great responses and amazing offers of support: free dining linen, bouquet, suit, photography, music (DJ and live) and general ears and advice. It has definitely been a clarifying experience, where we have had the chance to review certain relationships.

My advice to anyone else would be 'do not pin your heart on certain people reacting as you would like them to and if they don't, it isn't necessarily a bad thing, they may be distracted, have personal shit going on, or maybe just don't feel it's as important as what else they have going on'.

There is no point driving yourself mad about it, just find someone who is excited and do your favourite things with them, you'll probably have more fun and a better experience than dragging those who can not assist around with you, and this is exactly what I've done. It was too stressful trying to arrange all five bridesmaids, four of whom don't live in London, so I arranged my one London bridesmaid and a good friend to come with me to go dress shopping. Additionally, I hoped to go ugly wedding dress shopping with one of my bridesmaids but she's snowed under with her children and home improvements, and I don't want to add to her ever growing list of things to do, so I am going with my cousin and a good friend...and I can't wait.

It is upsetting that you have to change the people you want to spend time with, but I came to the conclusion that I would hate to add extra pressure to their lives and therefore would rather carry on, instead of not getting to do what I wanted...which I know sounds selfish, but I have a limited amount of time to do certain things, especially as my wedding date isn't going anywhere. I've always tried to be there for my friends when they've needed me, but if they can not be there for me right now, I'll enjoy them when they can and enjoy everyone else in the mean time.

Pregnancy No.3

Pippa Mole

I'm pregnant again. Yes, yes, I am. I really didn't think that September would be the month...I even bought tampons in advance of my periods arrival, and then it never came.


I did two tests, the day after my ever-prompt period didn't show up, and two days later I did it again, both were negative.


On the Saturday, I bought my wedding dress and on the Sunday I did another test which finally showed a positive result, "oh!" was my instant response, I almost didn't believe it. I then spent the next few days doubting whether it would stay but filled myself with positivity and hope, but bought super massive pads just to be prepared.


One week later, on a Tuesday I had spotting and cramping, Ro took me to the EPAGU at St Thomas's. I was convinced this was it and we were going to experience last July all over again...filled with hope but mainly feeling numb, we shuffled into the ultra sound room to be told that our egg was perfectly implanted and happy...and asked "have you ever been told your womb is split?", "no" was my answer, to which the Sonographer said "there is a second sack, which may be a failed pregnancy or the beginning of a second pregnancy". What the fuck?!


This was incredible news, as this pregnancy has had the same symptoms as my second one: boob achiness going up and down, cramping, and general achiness. I had assumed it wouldn't work out, and it may still not, but here's hoping.


A week later I have had another two days of spotting with cramping but I am still staying hopeful, especially as I have had two days of sickness (feeling hungry every two hours, almost ravenous, some times to the point of feeling sick), peppermint tea eases it a little, as does Coca-cola.


I am keeping positive as much as I can but not telling anyone has been impossible, as I'm normally a very open person; I just don't think I can face letting everyone down again (I do know this isn't the case but it is how it feels), should the worse happen. I have a follow up scan next Tuesday and we hope to find out that our little egg is now a little content embryo. Our approach is that one is a blessing, two would be incredible, and if it's not to be, ce le vie! It'll be hard but we've managed before.


---

One week later...

Today we had our follow up scan, we got to see our little squiggle and it's heartbeat pumping away. They've booked me in for another scan in two weeks due to my history, which was very kind. Additionally, we had it confirmed that our second sack is benign, they can not confirm whether it is a clot or a failed pregnancy; I think I'd rather not know. One healthy squiggle is more than enough.


Along with everything being confirmed, I became 2795 of 4150 of the PRISM trial to see whether Progesterone actually assists with pregnancy or not. There are little to no downsides and potentially helping women with their future pregnancies is a wonderful thought.


---

The Progesterone is interesting, it's two pessary white tar filled pods inserted twice a day and then spend the day / night working their way out. I've never used so many pantyliners, or washed my PJ bottoms / trousers so much.


Otherwise, it's been a kind of blessing (other than causing havoc with our sex life), as it has given me something else to think about.

I did discover that inserting them too high results in 19 hours of intense cramps...luckily it was just my cervix kicking off!


---

During our third scan (9 weeks) 'Shithead or Shitbag' (as we've Christened our future offspring) did a little dance for us: Jazz Hands & Feet! Super cute and reassuring.


The EPAGU have been amazing, as always. They were wonderful last time round and excellent this time. The receptionists there often have stony faces but once you get past them, the Nurses, Doctors and Sonographers are ever so caring.


---

On Wednesday we had our twelve week scan at the Fetal Medical Unit. Unlike the EPAGU, they have a massive screen for you to look at, and Shithead wasn't too keen on moving as he was quite contempt to be face down and snuggled up.


Our blood tests screening and scan said we are low risk, which is promising, however I was consuming Vitamin A during the first eight weeks, which could cause problems. This has been a concern of mine but I've been advised to speak my midwife about it.

Wedding Planning Pt.3

Pippa Mole

Image courtesy of the Internet

Image courtesy of the Internet

The Dreaded Wedding Dress Shop Visit

Firstly, I feel that I should tell you that I am not a girly girl, I like pretty things, I am a magpie with sparkly things, but I do not generally covet clothes; hats? yes; dresses? no. Therefore I am not really sure why I thought that I would walk into a dress shop and fall head over heels in love with one, to the point where I want to spend £1000+, especially for one day's wear.

My initial plan was to spend around £300-500 on a dress, which I can adapt for everyday use afterwards. Although, I always assumed it would be £300 over £500...I'm such a cheapskate, but I think the real problem is that I know the worth of things, so I can justify £600+ on a handmade dress made in Britain, but not necessarily one which is mass made in a factory; working behind the scenes of fashion has ruined me.

On Saturday, I went to a lovely shop filled with gorgeous 50's style dresses, a welcoming environment and the staff were a dream. It was an incredible experience and for them to break my 'Wedding Dress Virginity' was a huge compliment to me. They are extremely accommodating and have a lovely selection. All of their dresses are made within the UK and most sections can be interchanged and made from various colours and materials. It was amazing and I did love some of the dresses, however I felt underwhelmed and indifferent about the entire experience, which in itself felt very uncomfortable. My friends were gushing but never once did I think 'yes, this is it'. 

Due to this I felt like a weirdo, as though something was terribly wrong with me...stupid I know, but when you see other women bursting into tears and brimming with excitement, it makes you wonder whether you're wired incorrectly. My friends who were present celebrated on cue, however I didn't feel it. One of them is married and other is non-plus by the concept, and it was amazing having them with me, but I never once felt that 'whoosh' of nerves or emotion. And it felt awful, I felt bad for the person in the shop, was I supposed to be more brimming, or does she just know how people behave and therefore I'm completely normal...maybe she trusts me more, as I am quieter? Who knows? It is such a foreign scenario.

Having finished the experience and coming to the realisation that I'm not willing to part with £1200 for a dress, regardless of the occasion. They are well worth it, absolutely gorgeous, and if it was within my budget, I probably wouldn't think anything of it, however it isn't and I won't pretend it is.

Afterwards, while speaking with one of my bridesmaids, she admitted that she also felt relatively dead inside while trying on her dresses and how she ended up picking the dress that she liked, with an appropriate price tag and suitable for a Thai wedding. All of a sudden I felt normal. I didn't feel like a leper and we agreed that Film and TV play a huge part in creating this ridiculous farce that every girl spends her life dreaming of that perfect dress...I never did, I spent my life dreaming of a great guy who cares a shit ton about me. The dress just serves a purpose, and that purpose is to ensure that I am not naked on my wedding day.

One of my bridesmaids came over the other night to flick through some Wedding magazines I'd been given and we were both aghast at the price of some undies: £900 for a bra, knickers and robe, you could have matching shoes but they were 'price on application', now that is some crazy talk. If you are going to be spending that much on your under garments, what the hell are you spending on your dress? And if I was to spend that much on undies, I'd want them to be the most bloody comfortable things in the world, which are accompanied with a chauffeur to wipe my bum for a month, and I would wear them to work as my outer garments.

---

A week later, I received a message from the shop offering me 50% anything in stock, so off I set to visit again. I ending up spending £180 over my revised budget, however I've made a saving of £330 (original pricing given to me), or £660 (based on the revised pricing I was given in the shop). Either way, I'm slightly over but have a dress, so that can be ticked off my list.

Having completed that task, I still feel terribly indifferent about it. My dress is lovely and just as I imagined it would be, however it is just a dress. Friends are lovely, kind and positive about it when they see a picture but I find it impossible to get truly excited.

But, I am excited about the entire day: from music we will have playing, the friends and family will be get to see and celebrate with, and the food we get to devour. I guess there are some girls who pine for dresses and other who dream of food, dancing and playlists.

Apple Blinking Technology

Pippa Mole

Image courtesy of the internet

Image courtesy of the internet

Dearest Apple, you really are a bunch of imbeciles!

I thought it was bad enough when you decided you were bigger than the government who you don't pay taxes too...however, this is a whole new level of moronic programming.

You replaced my screen in April, as I dropped my phone and smashed it, I sat at the "genius bar" for over an hour, even though I had a scheduled appointment...it was eventually dealt with and off I went again with my newly fixed phone and £100 lighter!

However, last weekend my phone screen decided to become intermittently unresponsive just before I took a long journey, "great, I thought, this is handy being in the wilderness and not having a phone to rely on as I drive around but you know, we all coped up until the invention of car and mobile phones, so I can walk to the SOS phones which line the motorways and dual carriageways of Britain. No biggy!".

I finally reach my next destination and thought I'll hard reset my phone to see if it's a temporary blip. It wasn't, so I decided to book in to the "genius bar" for when I returned to London next week...however, when reporting to the Apple Store booking form that my phone was unresponsive and I wanted an appointment, the only way to confirm the appointment was to type in a verification code, however my phone was unresponsive and I couldn't input my code to unlock the phone, so couldn't see any text messages coming in. Which is pretty dumb. I wrote a sarcastic comment on Facebook about it and hoped my phone would eventually wake up and do what it's supposed too. It did, thankfully, however by that time I remembered that there is no point in booking an appointment, as I'll be waiting around for over an hour anyway...

Then this evening, back in London, I felt that I should do a complete reset of the unit, in case it is software issue, not a hardware issue. I had my partner's trusty Macbook to hand. Why his and not mine? As you've made my First Generation Macbook (still going strong and with plenty of capability), obsolete, as it's too old and therefore you're hoping that I'll buy a new one from you (fyi, I won't. And I'm really stuck between a rock and a hard place, as I hate Microsoft and you the same amount now-a-days, and don't think either of you deserve my hard earned money).

So, here I am computer up and running, and I realise that it's probably going to be better if I recover my phone contents from my iCloud, as that is why it's is there and you constantly sent irritating 'too full' messages in regards to it. So off I go (by the way, this is what it looks like to reset a phone from iCloud without other 'devices' to hand):

Hello - swipe right to reset <swiped right>

Language? <English>

Country? <The kind of great but not as great as it was GB, but didn't we do good at the Olympics>

Setup a code? <ok, code entered>

Wifi? <yes, I have wifi. I know, I am big and clever. I dress myself everyday without help too>

Restore options <from iCloud please>

iCloud Sign in <easy and done>

Enter verification code that we've sent to your device, which you're setting up and can not access until the set up is complete. <What the Hell!>

Did not get a verification code? <of course I didn't, you Idiot!>

Code options? <cannot use this number>

Enter all your details in and give us another mobile phone number for us to send a code to? <ok, done, done, done, entered code, back to iCloud sign in, click 'next', enter code sent to your trusted device which you are trying to set up currently...OH! Very helpful Apple! Also, it states that the Account Recovery process will be sent to my trusted device, which I am trying to setup currently...this isn't irritating at all and I do not want to currently pick up every device with an Apple logo on it and throw them at walls, honest> GAME OVER

I have tried since to use my partners phone, but low and behold his is locked to a separate network, as the phone networks are as tight as every bloody company afraid of healthy competition.

Then "lightbulb moment", login to my iCloud account and change my number. Nope, as my iCloud account is now locked until my verification code has been entered...so.......

Fine, I shall back up from iTunes to a back up from February and then I will lose 7 months worth of back up, as my phone will update my iCloud and delete everything since February: GREAT!!!

Then I think, 'Apple can not be that stupid, surely, it must be me', maybe I can get a phone call with the code, even though I have not setup my phone properly...yes, I can, oh my golly this is great. Oh no, what's that Apple my iCloud has no back ups and I need to back up from iTunes (February) or setup as a new phone. Maybe, it's because my iCloud account is locked, so I unlock it and try again. Oh no, that's right, I have no iCloud back up what so ever, even though before I started this godly awful process, my phone told me it was backing up to iCloud and up to date - cheers technology!

Now, I am stuck living in February 2016, on the upside the scourge of 2016 hasn't started yet; Bowie is still dead but this seems to be the worse thing to have happened this year so far.

30 minutes later...

In fact, iTunes has loaded my partner's phone backup and won't let me do anything on my handset without putting in his Apple password, which means I'm not living in February 2016, I'm living as though I've never had an iPhone...I think I joined on generation three. That shows me for sticking with one bunch of arseholes, over others for the last ten years or so!

Now I'm trying to sign in to my Apple account within iTunes to see if my profile will setup from it (yep, clutching at straws) and your demanding that I enter a verification code which you haven't sent! This is beyond a joke. I just want a phone which works and does what it is supposed to, how is that SO hard? Also, isn't it my choice if I want a slow computer: none of this bollocks happened when I could regularly back up to my computer, but no, my iPhone won't see my Macbook, you "Mary Poppins 'penny pinching' bunch of bankers"!!!

I'm officially sobbing over the most stupid of things, as you've broken me! I am sobbing that my entire communicational existence (yep, pathetic I know) has just gone in the blink of an eye. This is ridiculous! I want to crawl out of my sobbing body as I hate myself for being like this but you've worn me down, I can't take it anymore...I feel disgusted with myself but I'm too exhausted to care...I just want this endless situation resolved and a phone which works (I was trying to help, as if this screen issue persists, you'll ask me irritating questions like 'have you restored your phone?', 'have you performed a hard reset?' 'have you called your Mum today?').

Therefore, in my final statement of the most emotionally challenging restore of a device known to man: I have reset my phone as new and loaded my iCloud, which had most things other than the last week, and any text messages (all of my messages of the last decade have gone), as have my notes (inclusive of my potential wedding vows, oops) but I feel that it is cleansing, for when I move away from Apple I wouldn't be able to keep them anyway...it has actually helped. Really it has. Therefore, thank you Apple for helping make my future transistion away from you much easier.

24 hours later...

And my screen has become unresponsive again. At least I can now tell the 'Genius Bar' that it's not software related. Although, I still have to visit the bloody place, great!

Wedding Planning Pt.2

Pippa Mole

image courtesy of the internet

image courtesy of the internet

I'm being terribly sensitive today, I know it but I can't help it. I was innocently showing a colleague one of the potential fascinators I'd like my Bridesmaids to wear and it was met with a comment similar to 'are you serious? Surely they'll never wear them, or remove them as soon as possible?'. This comment wasn't meant negatively or rudely, I think they were just highlighting that what I want isn't necessarily what others want. Which of course I understand...however, during my friend's weddings I have worn colours and cuts not suitable for me, been the bestest bridesmaid ever (and also the worst, sorry Gemy). BUT I'm not asking for the moon on a stick, I have said they can wear whatever they want but in a certain colour and yes, I have now changed that colour, but we have six months to the day and I doubt they've bought anything yet, as all the dresses available are summer and I'm having a winter wedding and if they have, I'll feel shitty, but I've been a hoping and a praying that nothing has been purchased as of yet. Oh fuck, what if it has?! I really am a Zilla Bride!

I had been feeling very isolated from some of my bridesmaids, so I've setup a new chat group with a funny "bridezilla" motif (above), so I can chat with them about anything (other than 'Hen Do' related stuff), as I do want their input. I had hoped to go 'faux' wedding dress shopping but it deemed too hard to find a time for all six of us, and get available appointments, so I've scrapped that plan. I may go with a couple of friends another time, for shits and giggles though...as when else will I get to put on ridiculously large dresses with multi petticoats and a corset, and have help in a dressing room from a stranger, ok maybe the latter will happen randomly but definitely not the rest, that's for sure.

 

Blimey, there are a lot of justifying 'buts' in this post... 

Spinning & Me

Pippa Mole

Image courtesy of the internet

Image courtesy of the internet

Three weeks ago, I ‘span’ for the first time. I’m not sure if you can use the past term for the word Spinning or not, but I’ll rock n roll with it!

 

Now, I think the main thing was that I used to cycle around Oxford, therefore I’m used to being able to free-wheel, have a comfortable seat and handlebars, and it was the bestest thing in the world.

Spinning is not cycling, that is for sure!

 

My first class went like this: there are far too many moving parts on the bike, the seat is the most uncomfortable thing, the pedal cages are impossibly uncomfortable and restrictive on your tootsies, and the momentum of the bike makes it impossible to ‘just stop pedalling’…you near break an ankle every time you try to stop peddling without using the brake. It's not natural to have the brake down the frame between your knees!

So, I'm in my first class, I've set the bike up accordingly, I think, I sit on my hard seat and start pedalling casually. Due to having ridden a proper bike, I set the resistance to a normal setting for riding around town...this was a HUGE error! Never do this, however it's not natural to cycle in a high setting with nothing to press against, it makes it impossible to actually cycle like this.

There am I cycling away at a normal gear, but wait they ask me to add, add, add, wait what? Add more?! Madness! It's like cycling through thick soup, a lower gear and lower again...fuck a duck!  This is awful!

Stand up? What?  I never stood up while cycling, unless I was free wheeling down a hill and then I wasn't pedalling...so I give it a go...nope, I nearly broke my leg, as I automatically stopped peddling as I stood up and my entire body nearly went round and round. If I was a cartoon, that would have happened. I check the clock every five minutes...this is horrid and hellish! 

 

Now, as I know that I'm a career gym quitter, I know that I need to give everything two chances and being spurred on by others is best. Therefore I book in again, this time round I love it!!! 

This time round, I find it easier. The session is more accessible, we get to go down the hill as well as go up, we get to decrease resistance, as well as increase, it's in lots of little bursts and some resting. I stand up and stay up, I increase the resistance and rock side to side like a pro, I am a pro! At the end of the class, I'm buzzing!  I love it! I want more! So much so that this week I went two days in a row and I'm still loving it!

 

I don't know how long this will last, I generally detest most exercise but right now...long may it live! 

Sleep Walking

Pippa Mole

I woke up this morning complaining to Ro about his waking me up last night and how it wasn’t fair as I was unable to get back to sleep, and this isn’t unheard of, as he does have nightmares and vivid dreams and wakes up with a start. However, this time he refuted the claim and told me that I had woken him by talking about security and then insisting on checking on the front door, which is such a creepy thought. Especially, as I thought I hadn’t slept walked in years, except once while drunk which Ro likes to remind me of a lot, especially as I tried to have a wee in the living room during that experience, and then stripped off and got into bed, regardless of our guests at the time.

Anyway, there I am freaked out and confused and disbelieving in Rowan’s story to walk to the top of the stairs and find the front door double locked. Bugger! He was right!

As creepy as it is, I’d rather be right…now I’m doubly creeped out!