Monday, 14 October 2013

Family Planning

So much has happened in such a short space of time. There is much to catch up on peeps. Let me commence post haste.

I have now completed 4 fast/starvation/nothing special to K days and lost a whopping whopping 6 pounds. SO EXCITING. Although this weekend may just have pushed the plan to its absolute limits as I seem to have gone a tad crazy. I am not entirely sure of the actual 'official' 5:2 plan as it will not surprise you in the least to learn that I have not read the book or in fact anything at all on how one is properly supposed to follow the diet. All I know is that I have to stick to the 500 kcalories on my two days and try to eat 'normally' the rest of the time. Sadly this weekend seems to have been entirely abnormal and I, seemingly powerless to control it.

This weekend was Bea's sleepover party and I let her and her friends go to the new local sainsburys (SO EXCITING - have I told you about this before? It recently opened literally around the corner from our house - you don't even have to cross a road. It has changed our lives and hopefully the house prices too - you know your area has made it when Sainsbury's moves in) anyway I let them go alone (Cybs and I were a safe distance behind) with a hefty budget to purchase their midgnight feast goodies and being over excitable 8/9 year olds they over bought in ridiculous quantities. They waited patiently until after they had devoured their pizza to commence on depleting the treat mountain and to be fair they did a totally amazing job considering there was only four of them.  However I did have to step inwhen they all started acting a little 'drugged up' on all the chocolate and sweets and remove them all but sadly that left them within easy reach of me, a confirmed over eater, and that is what I did today and last night. I haven't really eaten that much chocolate in the last two weeks but I have certainly made up for it over tha last twenty four hours. I am deseperate to fast/starve/average day for K tomorrow so that I can put an end to the madness.

Apart from the ridiculous over eating the party was a huge success, even if I do say so myself. I am in fact the only person who would say so as Bea is too over tired and too childish to spend too much time praising me for my brilliance and when I gently tried to coax some even mild praise from K on how it was going and whether Bea was happy, he simply said 'She seems happy enough'. Always one for a grand understatement. So, I shall be the one to say how brilliantly it went. THEY LOVED IT. It was everything she wanted for her inaugral slumber party and more. The buying of their own 'midnight feast' was super exciting and then we had an amazing few hours making their own jewellery courtesy of a lovely local jewellery maker (Kath Dare Jewellery - find her on FB) they hammered letters in to a copper horse and made it in to a necklace, created clip on earrings and threaded very fancy bracelets. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to entertain the tricky tween ages. Then Dominoes pizza was swiftly ordered and delivered just as the four had changed in to their new fleecy animal onesies (courtesy of moi) and they settled down for a non-midnight feast sensation of pizza, garlic bread and mountains and mountains of chocolate and sweets. I even managed to get two of them to sleep by 9.30 and the other two were asleep within the following hour. Or i think they were as K and I were fast asleep by then so we have no way of knowing. Cybs slept through all their shrieks and silliness and even slept past their ridiculously early awakening at 5.40am. The boys had mercifully been shipped off to Cybs' extremely kind Godmother so they could have fun with her andI her boys. Luckily so as they would have had virtually no sleep if they had stayed here.  And there you have it. Everyone survived, Bea was beyond happy and K and I got a fair amount of sleep to boot. I am greatly relieved to have it all over and done with. Her birthday was also a resounding success. Obviously the ipad mini (a controversial choice of gift according to some although I would hasten to point out that if I had got her a nintendo 3DS XL and two games we are looking at the same sort of cash and no one would have questioned it......) went down a storm and she was totally beyond thrilled to own one. It was very sweet actually, K and I pretended that the few token gifts we had got her to beef up the present pile, were in fact her only gifts from us, I even asked her if she had received everything she wanted to which she replied that she had and was very happy. Then K pulled out the doozy from behind the utility room door and when she opened it she took off like a firework. I think it was worth every penny. YES the fighting over who can use it and when and her utter frustration that we are currently without internet (a very dull annoyance - it seems we have accidentally been receiving free broadband from Sky for four years and so when it stopped working they wern't that fussed about fixing the problem and we weren't that keen for them to investigate in case they decided to charge us for the last four years) have been tricky but no more than when it was just my ipad they were fighting over.  The Birthday tea with all the extra children and her own siblings was just as much fun as a full blown party party. The balloons, biscuit tower, birthday tea and games were all greatly appreciated and I think it is fair to say that we have thoroughly marked the occassion of her turning nine.

In other thrilling news,  I have FIXED the tumble dryer. Only a person who washes as many clothes as I do will understand the sheer joy of this statement. After MONTHS of having to put it on twice to get anything dry, rewash whole loads of washing because I forgot there was a load in there and they had become damp and smelly, not using it at all and perservering with the broken drying stand etc etc etc I suddenly saw a small button I had never seen before in the main opening. Being inquisitive I opened it and a hiterhto unseen compartment in the bottom corner of the macihne magically opened. Inside I found a new fresh hell of disgustingness. It turns out that if I had bothered to read the instructions - I NEVER read instructions before using anything, I just assume that I must be able to work it and reading instructions is a total waste of time unless something is totally perplexing in which case I may give them a cursery glance - anyhoo if I HAD taken the time to do something properly for once, I am quite sure it would have alerted me to this little hidden 'gem' which I think is some kind of filter system and I might have tried cleaning it in the last 4ish years because hidden behind the secret compartment door was many years of dark matter (presumably once fluff) mixed with dampness which had congealed to make a truly revolting black mess of nastiness. It was a bit like the congealed mess in a plug hole, only in vast quantities. I removed the revolting fliter to find that it was entirely blocked by this thick black matter and quickly surmised that this was what was causing all the issues. It took a while to clean it and then even longer to clean the hole from which it sprang. I had to do that blind and with my bare hands - I know damp fluff sounds innocent enough but honestly, four years of damp black fluff really is quite something to behold in its grossness. Anyway, it is mercifully all over with now and the first load of test washing went straight in and was dry so rapidly I whooped with excitement when I felt it. I virtuatlly skipped in to the living room to tell K who I had assumed (wrongly) would be as jubilant as I. He MAY have muttered in response. He MAY have said 'oh really?' it is hard to tell with a muttering. He definitly didn't look up from what he was doing.

Men and women are clearly different breeds. I know this has been documented for many centuries and in many books but sometimes the difference still shocks me. I cannot understand how he wasn't more thrilled over the tumble dryer excitement but I would hazard a guess it's because he uses the dryer once a month at most and not twice a day like me so the effect of it being out of work was felt far more keenly by me.  And this is true for so many things in life that are predominantly 'female' (in our house anyway) - but also in the most major way as well. I draw your attention to the absolute and ludicrous inequalities surrounding birth control. I have no idea what it is like where you live but here in my corner of paradise one is no longer able to simply visit one's doctor for help and tools on the whole 'family planning' area of life. Instead this is now outsourced to one central place where all residents wishing to 'plan' families and not just have a baby every year, need to frequent. This place is no longer the 'family planning centre' as it was in my day.  It is now very refreshingly just known as the 'Sexual health clinic'. HOW lovely. So, at the doctors post G when I actually wanted to begin 'planning' I was given a list of these delightfully named centres and told to visit. I duly did.  What greeted me was a fairly run down place in a run down area with a first come first served 'drop in' service which saw me waiting for over two hours with a small child to be seen. Since G I have had occasion to go back for a coil removal (ted) a coil insertion (post ted) and then heavens of joy I was permitted to go back to my doctors since they changed the rules, for a coil removal (Cybs - hopefully rather obviously). Post Cybs I have been a little laissez faire with my attitude to birth control. Mainly becuase the breastfeeding debacle meant that I was not ovulating again until she was almost a year and secondly because I could not face going back to that sodding clinic. Even with a makeover between G and Ted's arrival and appointments being made available, I really couldn't  bring mysefl to get there. Until last week when I suddenly became incredibly fearful of a fifth. I rang up on the Friday to see if I could make an appointment. The service had changed again and now it was all drop in sessions with absolutely no appointments available. Oh joy. The slots for the drop in clinics were from 2pm -7pm week days (entirely useless to me on any level) and Saturday from 9.30-11.30am, BUT she warned, if you are not queueing outside from 9am you are very unlikely to be seen as we only accpet the first twenty people.  AHHHHHH - goodo the service has worsened during my four year absence, not improved. Jolly good.  Regardless of my apprehension I informed K he would be enjoying an early morning spell of cihldcare for all four and off I set.

I was thrilled to be the first in the queue. And there I stood, outside the sign for Sexual Health Clinic from 9am, on a main road, next to a huge local supermarket, in the cold for half an hour. I was joined fairly swiftly by all kinds of fellow patients. One lone male also joined the queue and a few more males who had clearly been forced to attend by their female partners who were dragging them up the path and in to the queue. I wondered whether they were there for an STD test or something - is that what couples do now? Surely they weren't both there talking about condoms and the pill? This passed the time for a few minutes.  Eventually on the dot of 9.30 a burly 'Green Mile' bouncer opened the shutters and told us to walk 'that way' and 'Not that window - the next one'. The receptionist asked if I had been there before and gave me a form to fill in. Standing up next to the rest of the queue I ticked all the boxes that applied and gave it to the other window. She told me a doctor wouldn't be in for half an hour so I would have to wait but in the mean time to see the nurse. She then efficiently called my name and in I went.  She asked some awkward (for me as I always feel a bit silly talking about 'it' with people I don't know and even those I do - it's like toilet habits - it's not something I really feel happy discussing to a stranger) then told me that I was too far along in my cycle for anything useful to be done and to come back to enjoy the whole shebang again another time. Oh and that they were moving to a bigger better clinic further away so to go there instead. NICE. Although on the plus side the new clinic has appointments available for a short period on a wednesday morning. Progress indeed. NOW. I have no problem with people wanting to look after their sexual health, in fact I think it is a jolly good idea. HOwever I have been married for over a decade, I am of advancing years and I have four children - I really don't understand why I am being forced to join the same queue as people who want to know if they have chlamydia or the bloke who wants more free condoms.  I mean it is just not a nice way to treat me. I know this was long and detailed and no doubt dull, but IMAGINE FOR A MINUTE THAT MEN HAD THE FRICKING BABIES.  There is no way in hell that would be the case.  It would be like some sort of Carlsberg advert where beautiful women greeted you at the door and handed you a drink - it would be pristine and white and so clean you could eat your dinner off the floor. Appointments would be available at all times of the day or night and if by some strange reason there was a delay in your appointment there would be all kinds of screens and entertainment systems to keep you amused.  The same would apply for all aspects of birth - I mean imagine the birthing centres if it was men doing the labouring! They would be like hotels and midwives would be amongst the highest paid professionals in the land..... Anyway I mustn't go on, you get my point. I am not being anti-men I am just being pro-women. I don't feel like I should get a reward for being boring and middle aged but I do feel that I at least deserve a comfortable surrounding in which to have my coil fitted.  Enough said.

Oh! and I forgot the biggest excitement of all - we have new carpet!  The transformation of our bedroom is now complete and looks rather good considering the budget and our living room is now happily covered in a clean and very soft carpet.  These are life changing advancements. It makes hoovering and tidying totally worth while. And discovering what was behind the sofa when I moved it toget the old carpet up, has spurred me on to clean behind more furniture from now on. It wasn't quite congealed tumble dryer crap but it wasn't pretty. There is now a STRICT no food beyond the kitchen boundary policy.

And on that Bombshell I shall leave you to your evening. I shall just say that luckily the carpet was fitted in time for an extremely rare visit from mother. She was staying with Shiny Life Sister and they came for a Friday afternoon playdate barely 24 hours after the new carpets were laid. It was an extremely nice way to round off a very busy week - but only because I knew it was extremely clean behind my sofa...

Adios mis amigos. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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