Friday, March 29, 2019

Dear Mr Corbyn

Dear Mr Corbyn,

I wouldn’t normally write such a letter and in a perfect world, where everyone loves each other, where the poor, elderly, vulnerable and disabled are all cared for to a high level and not seen as ‘a drain on society’, I would love for you to be in power and would continue to support your every whim, yet we do not live in this world. In fact we live in a very scary time where those in power and in a position to influence, care only for themselves and spent far too much time and energy trying to ‘conquer and divide’ those who are not in such a privileged position, and that is why I’m writing to you.
Now that the beloved MPs in Westminster have failed to agree on a deal, an extension of said negotiation period, and possibly failed to decide anything, other than to reward themselves a 3rd pay increase after many, many years of squeezing those in need, increasing homelessness and the numbers queueing at food banks, and causing many to incur mass debt, oh and buggering over the NHS (how could I forget Jeremy Hunt’s favourite pastime), we need to be honest. You as the leader of Labour party will never win an election (it pains me to say this, I voted for you and I wish we lived in the ideal world I mentioned above, but we don’t), you are the leader of a party that Tony Blair reshaped and changed; instead of being the far left party of the people, Labour ended up being cushioned between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. It isn’t Labour of the past who supported Unions and the little people, it’s the party of the nouveau-riche and educated working class, you no longer represent those at the bottom who have nothing. It is a huge shame but due to this, Labour can never win with you as the head of the party, you know this deep down; and that isn’t to say that you haven’t been wonderful opposition to Teresa May, you’ve had some wonderful sparing with her during ‘Prime Minister’s Questions’ and you’ve been the perfect Ying to her Yang, but we all know my statement is true. Even if the voting was just down to your own party, you have too many Blairites still in your party causing in-fighting – personally I would suggest you leave Labour and setup your own party – I’d suggest it to be ‘Socialist’ related (but the Nazis’ cocked that term up for everyone), and when the next election doesn’t have a majority win, you could join a coalition and impose some wonderful caring on behalf of those who need it most. We must remember that politics move with the time “eventually” and not even the Whigs could last – isn’t it ironic to think that the Conservatives were the controversial ‘lefties’ back in the day?
It does sadden me to write this (to no end and I wish it wasn’t true, I’ve tried to pretend for long enough that it’s possible but I need to be honest) but I don’t have faith in people doing what is best for themselves, and I fear the ‘Conservative PR machine’ will continue to spin the past 3 years and somehow blame everyone else for their mess, exactly like they did with the Lib Dems during their coalition period.

Yours sincerely
Sad in Swansea.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Waterproofing Washable Nappies

Skip to the bottom of my ramblings to find out how to reproof your washable nappies...although I'm yet to conclude how many washes the proofing stays for - watch this space!

As some of you may know, Rowan and I chose to use washable nappies for PB. We couldn't quite face filling the earth with plastic, however we do use bio-gradable nappies (traditionally Naty, Bambo or Mum&You - which are all part biodegradable, not fully, but are better than 100% plastic), when traveling, or when the washables are destroyed my a moronic mother who wasn't thinking while buying you will see below:

I've recently caused a huge headache where I washed the nappies with a detergent that had fabric softener included - without realising (always fishing for a bargain!) and couldn't work out why my new nappies were leaking a week after buying them! Face palm emoji thousand times over!

Any way, I took to the interweb to see what others had done and they all seems to stop at suggestions, one had used this before - Popolini Waxed Cotton - which was hard to locate, let alone buy and only comes in 20g jars. It appears to be a mixture of Bees wax, Lanolin & Soybean Oil. Only one pot showed up and I haven't used it yet; as I spoke with my brother who had reproofed his walking jacket and suggested the following products to me.

I initially ordered Nikwax TK Direct Wash In and Nikwax Direct Spray, I thought I'd try both. First I tried the spray, turning the BtP nappies inside out - no luck, the quick fix did not work!

I wanted to do this without the washing machine as I am staying with my Mother in Law and didn't want to break her machine. Next, I filled up a bucket and followed the hand wash instructions on the 'Nikwax Direct Wash In' solution, dried them and they were not waterproof, second failure!

Therefore, I umm-ed and ahh-ed for about 3 weeks, the entire time PB has been using biodegradable disposables and it's been killing me. SO...I finally bit the bullet, thinking "if I break the machine, I'll replace it", also I did it without her knowing...secrets protect me, no?

I followed the instructions below and it has worked, it appears the stripping of the existing waterproof liner and then reapplying is the trick. We are three nappies in - no leaks. I've now thrown the three into the machine again to see if they stay dry once washed, I will update when I know.
If this continues, it means I can reproof the 20 that I bought as replacements for the blown ones and resell them. I feel like I've recreated the wheel.

The only issue is that I'm yet to try it on an 'All in One' nappy, which I can not see working for obvious reasons.

I appear to have washed the nappy wraps and boosters at a 40 degree wash with some Napisan and it's blown the nappy wraps again. I've reproofed them and will once again, monitor how many washes the reproofing stays for, last time I managed two washes. I will also do a test to see if it was the 40 degrees or the Napisan which caused issues...I will keep you posted.

How to reproof blown Pocket / Birth to Potty
/ Waterproof wraps washable nappies:

Nikwax Tech Wash
Nikwax TK Direct Wash In

Turn eight BtP nappies inside out and add to the machine, dry and clean.
Ensure your detergent drawer is clean and has no residue in.
Add Nikwax Tech Wash, 200ml per 8, direct to the drum.
Run a 40 degrees cycle, no pre-wash.
Once complete
Add 200ml Nikwax Direct Wash In, direct to the drum.
Run a 30 degree synthetics cycle, no pre-wash.
Once complete.
Air dry.

Disclaimer: This hasn't caused any adverse affects to my machine, I can not speak for yours. Please only do this, knowing that it may cause issues, and I am not to blame. Thanks.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

House Hunting

I have been house hunting since the start of the year, knowing that come Easter we'd be officially Welshies...originally we were looking at Bridgend, but having lived in Gorseinon for a month we decided that we'd stay around Abertawe.

Looking for houses online is like online dating - you have a look at them, decide if there is potential, choose whether you want to go on a viewing (a date), once there you judge the house on the area, feel, mood and then you opt to either take it further or sack it off.
Although, when you are in a couple you do all of this with your partner and have numerous arguments, etc about whether you should or shouldn't go further in the process - which makes it even more fun.

At the start of June, I spotted this crazy looking house in Gendros which has 5 bedrooms. It wasn't the area we had looked at before but we weren't opposed to it. We had hoped to be countryside based but it was stated by Ro and I that we were seeing the house "because of the house and garden not the area". We booked a viewing for the next day.

Once there it felt good, the house had loads of potential, a really warm feel and we could move in immediately without doing any work.

We put an offer in, knowing it wouldn't be accepted and assuming that the house would go for more than our budget could afford...two days later we were counter offered and after some tooing and froing we offered the asking price, as long as it was removed from the market - within one hour it was accepted and removed.

Our mortgage application is in, our solicitors are in place, now we just need everything to be green lit and hopefully we will be in by the end of July.

It has had lots of love before, but we can give more to it. In time we'd like to landscape the garden (adding a vegetable patch and knocking the shed down). We would like to knock the walls between the kitchen and dining room through - if possible (it'll take a couple of RSJs, a builder and a lot of money) but it'll add so much to the house.

As you can see, we've been dreaming a lot. In addition, I'd like to convert the attic, making one of the rooms into an en-suite & walk in closet, I'd like to remove the doors from the cupboards in the front bedroom, making them into shelves. Ro can't wait to fit his own home-made kitchen, I want to build shelves into the TV room to frame the sofa...our plans are endless.

But it is all in the air and who knows what will happen. The building may not be safe or have major issues, the bank may refuse our application, you just don't know but for now, I'm going to dream and dream and dream and just enjoy it.

We had planned to initially move for five to ten years and then find out homestead and move, but if we get this house I know we'll stay for at least 15 years.

Like I said, it's just like dating, some times you think it'll only last for a few fun years and then find yourself married with children.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Dear PB - Pt.1

You amaze me most days and you are changing so quickly, I found your first freckle the other day it's half way down the left side of your trunk, under your armpit. Your second one is in front of your left earlobe. Your dad thinks it's funny that these kinds of thinks make me happy and wonders why I rave about them - I'm not sure why but they do. I guess it marks your adaption from being something I created to becoming your own self...long may it continue!

You have shown characteristics of being stubborn and knowing what you want - they are from me; they are not bad traits. They will help you know what you want and will support you in not being led into situations which don't make you comfortable. Always ensure that you are happy with the situation at all times, if something doesn't feel right - walk away and say 'screw that and screw you'.
True friends will respect and love you no matter what. I've been fine tuning my friendship group since my early Twenties - trimming the fat - which has resulted in me having some of the greatest friends ever. Most of whom I look forward to you getting to know the older you get, each one is important and treasured by me for different reasons and they will help support you in your later years, they will also allow you to stay with them during trips away - well, they better!

Just be happy, you've brought so much joy to my life over the last 13 long as you can support yourself and anyone you bring into this world, you are doing well. You don't need to be rich, have this or own that, all you need is to be content. Careers will come and go, change and adapt, and some companies and colleagues will screw you over - learn from them, walk away, grow and move on - otherwise it's a wasted opportunity to grow and develop.
Ensure you have some shit jobs and remember that the person opening the door, serving you in a shop / cafe or bar, is a parent / friend or child of someone else and they deserve your respect and love - always say please and thank you. You can be at the top of the ladder one day and find yourself at the bottom the next day, if you are polite, courteous and kind to people on the way up, they'll pick you up should you find yourself at the bottom on day. Don't step over anyone and always smile at homeless people, they are people to and are just down on their luck.

Be a good person.
Don't harbour ill will or thoughts,
Never be jealous and don't worry - they are wasted energies.
Hold your head high and smile at everything which is thrown your way.
And if all else fails, just laugh in the face of absurdity, because life is ridiclous most of the time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hey Duggee

Watching kids TV can be mind-numbing, which is why when you discover a TV show that is funny, easy to watch and doesn't make you want to punch yourself silly, you are surprised and overly impressed...and this is how I feel about 'Hey Duggee'.

The animation is simple and colourful. The stories funny. The episodes are short. The songs are catchy and they feature cultural references far I've seen 'Apocalypse Now', 'Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou', 'Robinson Crusoe' and Monty Python to name a few.

If you look online, you'll find many mentions of it and most of my parent friends all reference it as one of the better Children's TV shows out there. I doth my cap to you Grant Orchard and Co you've made something timeless and entertaining for all.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

The website is dead

I tried for two years to have a website. I planned to sell my wares, to write and write and write, however having a baby, going back to work, moving to Wales, changing roles at work, all went to pot! I think I wrote about three posts during 2017 and most of those were weeks after the events, just like now.

Bearing in mind we are buying a house, Ro and I decided we'd save the £25 I was spending a month on my two websites and I'd return to blogger - faithful, free blogger, so here I am. I've cut and paste all of the posts I wrote during my sabbatical and am now back!!!

We decided in September that we would officially move to Wales come March 2018, our lease was up for renewal and we wanted PB to grow up in the countryside. Ro was going to wait until February / March to close the business, however it worked out that they found new tenants for the studio in Peckham to take over in December, so it made sense to close the business come November / December 2017 and set himself up as a freelancer in the mean time; this period was very stressful  but we got through it, some how.

2018 seems to have flown by due to various things, although now I'm listing them they appear minimal...
We went to Scotland at the end of January for a week (I'll write about it in a separate post, as it was magical).
And Ro packed our entire life up and we moved house, we used Anyvan and two nice Lithuanian guys came and loaded us up in the space of 3 hours. It was a good price, we had a £100 levy due to a list of additional items we'd forgotten about, but £750 to get 75 sq. ft. of stuff to Wales from London in one day seemed pretty ship shape!

We are staying with Ro's mum while we find somewhere to buy. We originally were looking around Bridgend, but since staying nearer to Swansea we have decided to stay put, it's not ideal work wise but we way of life is nicer and we can afford more, and we'll be closer to friends and family.

Ro doesn't want to set up business just yet, especially if he has to move it once we buy which is fine, he  he is enjoying taking everything at a slower pace, spending time with PB, doing odd jobs and just enjoying life - although he stabbed himself with a rusty Stanley knife today while gardening, two stitches later and he's fine.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Motherhood - A snapshot

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!