Hello! We meet again. I shall pre-warn you there are no hospital-related dramas in this episode. I didn't want you to get your hopes up.
Very little has happened in fact. Almost nothing. Bea and G 'ran' (I wasn't there so I can't state that they managed to run the whole thing - I should imagine a large amount of walking was involved) their Sports Relief Mile which was most exciting. Especially as they were allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms and something red to school - they could barely sit still with the thrill of it all. It cost me £12 for them to do their 'run' - £1 each for them to wear something red and £5 each sponsorship promised to them by their father who didn't realise he would need to back up his pledge with actual cash. Obviously well worth it though.
One thing of major importance that hasn't happened this week is me managing to write the speech for my younger sister's wedding. The big day edges ever nearer and nearer (just under two weeks now) and I am beginning to panic. I have more than enough to say, I just haven't actually got round to typing it in yet. Mainly because I am very afraid that a lot of my 'funny' anecdotes and jokes come across as bitter and vengeful. Obviously I want to mention the Teddy Ruxpin episode so that my grievance gets a wider audience - but again - it isn't really the place to do so and seems slightly inappropriate at her wedding. I am also remarkably bad at being sycophantic which is needed in a small degree to write a speech about someone. I find it FAR easier to point out people's faults and make light of their shortcomings. But again, inappropriate. My thoughts on marriage and offering sage advice for the 'journey' ahead also fall very short of the mark. After nine years and three and a half children the rose tinted glasses I was incredibly fond of at my own wedding and throughout my first year of marriage, fell off pretty quickly once the children arrived and the money departed, so my main words of wisdom are 'hang on in there'. Again, not something people expect to hear on 'the happiest day of their life'. And I don't want to sound bitter and twisted either - on the whole K and I rub along quite nicely together and as one genius woman put it on a programme I watched recently, 'It's more good than bad'. That, I feel, is a sign of a good marriage, so I wouldn't want to cause any unnecessary alarm. I NEVER trust people with children who make out their partner is perfect. They are born liars and you must avoid them at all costs - if they can lie about that they will also tell you you look good in something hideously unflattering or that something is low fat when it is full fat. Or that they have eaten LOADS even though they are a size 6 and had a lettuce leaf for lunch. One woman with two children who briefly knew one of my older sisters told her on their first night out that she wasn't able to join in the 'crap husband' banter as she was 'Really VERY lucky' with her husband who was, 'perfect'. We have been very grateful for her weird adulation as it has given us many hours of amusement over the years. Along with the woman who told her friend to remove her small son from the room as he was 'ruining her lunch' with his noise. They have become widely used catchphrases and are very dear to my sister and I, but again, neither are particularly useful when trying to prepare a speech on the 'joys' of wedded bliss. I shall have to knuckle down and get on with it soon or face the wrath of my sister. The fear will get me to do it. She is incredibly frightening when crossed. Again, not something one can put in a speech.
One of the main constructive pieces of advice I can offer the newly weds is to agree on a list of names for their potential offspring before they even consider trying to get pregnant. It has come to pass that K and I can no longer discuss potential names for the newbie due to the 'heated' discussions that seem to erupt from even the most innocent of enquiries on 'thoughts'. The explosion after I brought up Cyril as a name once again, will hopefully not be repeated for many years to come. Since then I have tried to keep my names to myself. It would appear that K and I are only able to agree on three names in the entire world and we have used those three names already. This child is tipping us over the edge. Oh, and to add to it all, Persephone turns out to mean 'bringer of death'. So even I have vetoed that. I just couldn't give birth thinking the grim reaper in female form was about to tear me in half and leave me bleeding to death - labour is scary enough without that in my head. K is not prepared to budge on the name Martha for a girl which I have now totally vetoed for three reasons, 1. It would be abbreviated to Mar. 2. He has over used it already and I have gone off it 3. We live in South East London and 'natives' here are unable to pronounce their 'ths' so she would be marfa. I would feel compelled to correct anyone who called her marfa which could cause much embarrassment to both parties. So, that is his choice for a girl which I don't like and Cybil is now my choice for a girl which he hates. (I know the English version is spelt Sybil but it reminds me of Syria so I have opted for the American version spelt with a 'c'). This impasse doesn't worry me unduly as I am still convinced the newbie is of the male variety. However, his choice for a male offspring is K Junior. I assumed at first he was joking, but it appears that he would like to have his final male offspring named after him. I almost didn't go out with K due to his Christian name so I would not want to cause the same distress to my son. No offence to his mother in any way - who clearly chose the name out of love, but nowadays his name is not given to small people for a reason. In fact I tried to re-name K for a few weeks after we started dating, I called him by his middle name of Stuart, however he refused to answer and became quite annoyed with me so I had to give in and carry on with K. I have had to 'park' my first choice of Cyril after 'that' argument (unless K croaks before the birth in which case I have told him I shall pay no heed to his wishes and go with the names I want regardless of 'what he would have wanted') but I am still keen on a number of names he hates and it is causing quite a bit of tension - I feel that he hates every name I suggest just because I sugggested it and he clearly feels the same. One thing I have learnt is that you MUST try the name out loud - as if you are calling them in a crowded, public place - before you become too attached to it. If you feel stupid, it is not the name for you. For example, I have quite a plummy accent and anything too fanciful makes me sound like a total knob - in a museum cafe a few weeks ago a woman with a particularly shrill and 'posh' accent shouted out 'Orlando' and I had to quell my desire to laugh out loud - it was a valuable lesson. That is also why Persephone was Vetoed (with a capital V). So, I want a short, traditional style name with a 'nice' meaning - preferably not to do with death. 'Quiet', 'respectful', 'happy', 'easy to potty train', - are all meanings I would be happy with. I must look up Sid. Although K will no doubt find a reason to hate it. Mainly he knows someone who was a 'maniac' from his school or he manages to find a rhyme, cockney or otherwise, which means the child could be teased. Also I suffer from fictional characters becoming synonymous with names - did you know that Kermit was a usable name pre The Muppets? I wasn't keen on Kermit, but my point is that Barney is a big purple dinosaur, Percy is an edible pink pig and Oswald is an octopus - choosing a name is hard enough without good names being taken by fictional characters. Serial killers are just as annoying - according to my book Myra has become almost non-existent as a name due to the notoriety of the child killer bearing the same name. Hilariously under Adolf my book simply states that it has 'failed to regain popularity' since Hitler brought it to worldwide attention. Not that one can or should compare these things but I would argue that Adolf had the 'edge' on evil out of the two. Interestingly Jack doesn't seem to have suffered the same fate but surely Jack the Ripper was one of the most famous serial killers of all times? Ditto Fred West - Fred and Freddie are still exceptionally popular. Yet another example of inequality in action - a female killer blights a name for decades but male killers don't adversely affect popularity - unless they kill in their millions.
I have always wanted the balls to go totally 'out there' with naming - one of the more hilarious in the book is 'De-forest' for a boy. I would imagine it could get shortened to De but still, an odd choice. Or perhaps I could go out of ethnic and religious confines and call the new one Fariq or Jesus or something that would cause surprise and confusion at every stage of his life - imagine the fun I could have! For the final few weeks of Ted's stay in my womb he was known as 'Habib'. I became very attached to the name after The Replacement and I spent a few days together at the end of my pregnancy when my mum had the other two children so we could spend the days drinking tea, talking and doing stuff together. I say 'we' but actually I sat down and she did stuff. She is exceptionally good at painting, taking direction on her painting and making tea - as well as being marvellous company - I remember those days incredibly fondly. Anyway, the inevitable name conversations we had became quite dull quite quickly so we came up with the idea of going 'off list' with our name choice and Habib was chosen. I was still quite keen when Ted eventually appeared but thankfully K vetoed swiftly - in favour of Montgomery. Yes, Ted was 'officially' announced on Facebook as Montgomery. Mercifully my hormones were raging and I cried every time I called my new baby by his full name or abbreviated version, Monty. After three days K relented and we went back to the book and eventually settled on Teddy, full name Edward. (In case he doesn't want to be associated with a stuffed toy when he reaches his teenage years and prefers something harder, like Ned or something). So, in order to stop the mis-naming of another baby for three days I want to be fully prepared this time around which means that either I push K down the stairs with notable force or I have to agree to K Junior. I know which one I favour.
The middle of my three planned scans takes place on Wednesday so we will have a chance to look at the genitals and make our own decisions on what flavour baby we have this time which might help narrow down our choices. We don't want to be officially told but want to have a look so that we can come to our own conclusions. Although K and I will probably disagree over what we have seen so it will mean we are no further forward. That is assuming they don't find anything horrid at the scan which makes finding out the sex rather insignificant. One must never take these things for granted.
So, that is that. Procrastinating, running, naming and arguing - my week in 'ings'. This week will bring scanning and hopefully speech writing. Oh and some cleaning - Thursday sees the bi-weekly arrival of my lovely cleaner who spends a whirlwind three hours trying to get some order and cleanliness in to the place and it makes me phenomenally happy. Perhaps that is the night I should write the speech. I will be in a happy frame of mind then and can write 'happy' thoughts on life. That is what I shall do. Thursday it is. Unless I am too tired. Or I have something urgent to write to you guys about. You never know.
Until the next ridiculously important update, my friends, I shall say au revoir and good night. Me and Fariq need our sleep.