Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In other baby news

I am now 37 weeks pregnant, and I still look in the mirror every so often and think, How did that happen? It's crazy that it feels unreal at times - I mean, I have this huge protruding belly (not that huge, measuring a few weeks behind my dates, but still, huge) and I can't bend over easily, my legs almost fall off after walking up the stairs and poor M is relegated to the edge of the bed that I'm not taking up, my calves are a mass of thread veins (but not swollen, yay!) etc etc.

I may have to be admitted to hospital next Monday after my antenatal clinic appointment - just a precaution as the baby has not yet 'engaged' - which the internet tells me is not that unusual for a first baby at 37 weeks, so it's a bit annoying that I may have to spend a week in hospital doing nothing when I'm not ill, but I trust my doctor's instincts (a non-engaged baby is at risk of cord prolapse if labour starts). If the baby still hasn't engaged by the end of that week, they will keep me there and induce me - not my ideal scenario, but again, whatever is safest for baby. I am in a flurry of bag-packing, baby-clothes-washing and organising everything in case I only have until Sunday to finish it all.

On men

I've been meaning to write a post about how impressed I've been by all the 'menfolk' I've met at various antenatal classes since becoming pregnant. Maybe I've been labouring under the delusion that husbands and partners are all of my father's generation and not so involved as modern men might want or expect to be, but these guys are great. Of course, M has been wonderful, as I knew he'd be (I'm sure he would be excited to know that I told the internets he was a natural with the baby doll we had to hold through a five-hour NCT class last week), but somehow I didn't expect that every other father-to-be I met along the way would be so keen to know what happens at birth and how they can help their partners most, how to bath a baby and change a nappy etc etc etc.

And yet they are. Bravo men!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Internet housewife

I am a total internet housewife. Here I sit on a Friday night, ordering curtain fabric samples online. And enjoying it.

My life is suddenly so exciting.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Why, why, why, why, oh why do I have such difficulty picking up the phone to interview the two doulas I've found, hoping to work with one? For goodness sake, I only have 5 weeks til my due date and I can't waste much more time!

I think I may not have to see my midwife again before the birth, (and she won't be at the birth) as it looks like I'll probably just continue to have 2-weekly appointments with my consultant in the antenatal clinic. Which suits me just fine... considering my consultant knows my name and face (and medical history) and the midwife wouldn't know me if she fell over me.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


In my sleep last night, I apparently said, 'Ask M, he'll know what to do.'

Way to put the guy under pressure when he's trying to sleep!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sometimes spam is just too amusing

Attention:Sir/madam, How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family?,You may not understand why this mail came to you.

(But wait, I do! It's called phishing!)

We have been having a meeting for the passed 7months which ended 2 days ago with the secretary to the UNITED NATIONS.This email is to all the people that have been scammed and defrauding any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of $600,000 Dollars for each.

(No way! I'm finally going to get back that $600,000 some Nigerian phisher scammed me out of? Sign me up!)

This also includes all the foreign contractors that have not received their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc. So we found your name in our list and that is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed. So you are advised to contact Mr. Jim Ovia of ZENITH BANK OF WEST AFRICA PLC, as he is our representative in West Africa, contact him immediately for your Cheque / International Bank Draft of USD$ 600,000. This compensation funds are in a Bank Draft for security purpose OK?


So he will send it to you and you can clear it in any bank of your choice or in your bank. Therefore, you should send him your, FULL NAME:....................? FULL CONTACT ADDRESS:.........? MOBILE PHONE NUMBER:..........? OCCUPATION:...................
? MARITAL STATUS AND AGE:.......? BANK NAME:....................? Your correct mailing address where you want him to send the Draft to you. Contact Mr. Jim Ovia immediately for your Cheque: Person to Contact Mr. Jim Ovia Email: mr.jimovia75@gmail.com +23480-6017-33-25

(I know! How about I just send you my bank account details and you can deposit the money directly? Wouldn't you prefer that? Or maybe you're going to ask me for those when I'm a bit further into your net.... ok, I can wait.)

Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hoping to hear from you as soon as you cash your Bank Draft. Making the world a better place Regards, Mr. Koffi Annan. Former Secretary (UNITED NATIONS).

(Who knew that Koffi Annan used gmail!)

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I do not bake. Although maternity leave (pre- and maybe even post-baby) might see me venturing into the recesses of our new oven with flour and, um, whatever else makes cakes. Don't tell me to call it a cooker, I will beat you. I am Australian and it is a stove with two ovens. Ok?

But! I love looking at pictures of cupcakes! Thank heavens for all the delicious cupcake blogs around. I do miss Chockylits Bakeshop. Just look at this!

I find that shop-bought cupcakes (all cakes for that matter) never taste as good as those which are home-made. Someone prove me wrong.

This entry proudly brought to you by Exclamatory Remarks

Three weeks of work left until late October 2009! They interview for my replacement 5 weeks after I leave!

It felt good to be buying my last-for-a-while monthly Travelcard last week! I might try out bus passes!

I painted three radiators yesterday!

M is listening to a tacky 60's CD on repeat while he paints windows! But it has 'King of the Road' on it! Happy!

Today I am sanding windows and cleaning exterior sills.

The sun is shining!! (this deserves two exclamation points) When it's sunny these days my first thought is that it's a good day to hang the washing outside!

Not to be negative! But Obama is not going to change the world (or the USA's place in it)! IMO!

I am feeling fat! And too tired and breathless to exercise!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Wildlife and epidurals

The squirrel who visits our garden to eat our apples and pears (and brings his own pinecones to dismantle and eat on the little stone seat) leaves us occasional gifts of pears on the patio outside our back door. Up to now I had thought they were fruits he had started and not finished, and just left where he'd been eating, but the presence of a gorgeous, unmarked and un-nibbled pear today makes it clear that he is indeed leaving us gifts. Or, if I want to be more cynical, he's saying OK guys, I'm going to eat most of the fruit on this here tree, but I'll bring you a couple to keep you sweet.

In other news, thanks to ginormous Fred the fibroid, and my rogue antibodies, the birthing centre at the hospital have risked me out of giving birth in their relatively lovely low-intervention midwife-led environment. I'm disappointed, as it means a much more 'hospital' scene, but the labour ward downstairs still has a birthing pool and birth balls, plus doctors for emergencies and uncomplicated access to an epidural if needed. This reinforces my desire to stay away from the hospital until the absolute last moment.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pregnancy files - 29 weeks

I swear, my belly is a mosh pit at times.

With just one very crazed little human running up and down and jumping and surfing the crowd of itself.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Now I know where all the Waitrose Baby Butter has gone

Waitrose sells out as women buy baby butter for facial moisturiser! *

I'm intrigued and want to try it (not necessarily on my face!) as their vanilla coconut massage oil is divine, and M and I have used it for massage for a couple of years. It's especially lovely on tired feet. But my local Waitrose is consistently sold out.

Enter ebay. There are pots and pots of the stuff for sale, exorbitantly priced as only ebay sellers know how to price in-demand items. Add in postage, and eager bidders, and you could easily pay £10 for what should cost you £2.49.

*NB, not made of real babies...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Little Chico *

That already, at 28 weeks and four days in utero, my baby is a chocoholic.

Don't give me any science about sugar or caffeine, this baby kicks like a donkey after I eat chocolate and I choose to interpret that as 'More Mummy, more!'

(*Chicos are actually kind of gross and probably very politically incorrect, but they are part of the Australian experience. Think chocolate jelly babies.)

Fox files

Our garden is a bit of a wildlife haven, it seems. We have a regular squirrel visitor, and another squirrel who gets beaten up by the other if they happen to visit at the same time. M thinks it's the fruit trees (apple, pear and plum) that attract them. I *cough* also left some nuts out once, but we won't mention that.

The overgrown nature of our garden - we have a strip at the back that we have left for years to go wild - has also attracted foxes, most notably a young pair of siblings, who were cubs when we first saw them rolling around together in the grass early one morning. A few mornings ago, I was surprised to see a large bright pink rubber bone in the middle of what we loosely call our lawn. I figured someone had accidentally thrown it into our garden. The next day it was closer to the house, with extra teethmarks, so we knew the foxes had been playing with it.

Today, M and I finished clearing out the shed, one of the many jobs M has set us in preparation for becoming parents in November. Seriously, we do not have a non-working weekend planned until mid-October, when I've told him I will be too pregnant to do anything (while attempting to drown out his mother's reminiscences about going into labour while she was working in the fields in Italy...) Rooting around in a shed that's full of spiders isn't nearly so daunting in England, where none of the little beasties are poisonous. Man, this country is so tame compared to Australia.

When he went beside the shed to clear what I hadn't even realised was a paved area (that's how overgrown it was) and stood in the cool darkness under the fig tree, he found a little den with more toys in it! A dog's ball, and some kind of plastic soldier toy. The foxes have been pilfering and storing their loot in our garden.

And I really am glad that they chose us. There's something very special about coming downstairs just after dawn (not a regular occurrence for me at the moment, but newborn baby here we come) and seeing rust-coloured beasts bounding around our garden, or hiding in the grass. We might be living in the country. And when, later in the day, the squirrel pops his cheeky head in and tries to get inside the house, then sits on a small concrete seat M made under the pear tree to nibble at fallen fruit, or seed pods, I feel very lucky to live here.

(btw, the paint colour in the nursery? Love it. It was just an initial 'that isn't identical to the swatch' reaction.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Nursery painting

Um, that colour is way more blue on the walls than in the tin. M doesn't particularly like it. I am determined, however, to love it. Pictures to come.

Doesn't fresh paint make a room look so clean!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

MIL wisdom

M's mother said last night that you absolutely cannot dress a baby girl in blue. And omg red must never be seen on babies. Apparently my choice, as we're not finding out the sex before the birth, comes down to pale yellow or pale yellow. Or, as I like to think of it, 'the colour of pus'.

Podlet, you are going to be shocking your grandmother with my choice of clothing for you.

Saturday, August 02, 2008



Today we cleaned and half-painted the spare room aka nursery. Sugarsoaped walls, cupboard and windowframes, painted the ceiling and wall above the picture rail white.

This is the colour I've chosen for the walls. I wanted a pale gum leaf colour, but of course very pale grey-green just looks grey and M vetoed it. So we have Woodland Pearl. It's pretty close, and of course the real colour is not exactly the same as the internet version.

Next weekend, we add the colour!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Such a cliche

At 22 weeks pregnant, I'm finding I 'hit the wall' at about 9pm. I am normally a midnight-and-still-awake person, so this is weird. But then, the last couple of days I have felt like I'm carrying about a ton of weight in my tummy, which is also weird and very tiring, so maybe the two are connected. I'm vaguely bitter about the fact that tiredness is supposed to ease in the second trimester - I wasn't really tired in the first trimester, so I guess this is my particular take on pregnancy.

I am growing a chocoholic, by the way. The only thing that reliably gets the baby bouncing around is chocolate. And maybe blueberries. I've been eating heaps of blueberries to try to be nice to my legs, which are growing thread veins like it's a biological imperative.

I can't believe I haven't been keeping a pregnancy journal! It's not too late to start now though, and I figure I can remember enough, and have enough journal and blog entries to populate the early months and get into a routine from now on.

On that note, I am going 'in bed', as my Italian mother-in-law says.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Narnian adventures

I saw Prince Caspian tonight. Enjoyed it. I still get a thrill when 'good' fights 'evil', when talking animals and centaurs and children best an army of men.

At the door on the way out I was handed an A4 sheet of paper headed '4 Things We Can Learn From Prince Caspian'. It goes on to outline the 'four spiritual lessons we can learn' from the story.

Is it just me who is a bit nonplussed by this? I mean, way to go local churches for doing some targeted direct marketing I guess, but is there an adult who has read the Narnia Chronicles who isn't aware that Lewis wrote them as a Christian allegory? I've only read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and it was obvious to me when I read it again as an adult. I suppose a lot of people see the films only, without reading the books, but how could they have missed this aspect? Once you know it, the 'spiritual lessons' are written plainly on Aslan's furry face.

My critical assessment? Susan's lips were even bigger than in the first film, but I did like this song.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Lazy blogging

Wherein you get the contents of a comment I left on Sarawr's blog, with a bit of editing and some photos:

My week (and a bit)
by Anne

Wednesday 25/6: 4 hours sleep the night before. Fly to Berlin. Walk around all day. Go to some middle-of-nowhere place in East Berlin just for the hell of it and find there is nothing there. Find out from a colleague at work later that its name means 'Mosquito Bridge'. We did actually see some mosquitoes. Wander back into town and stumble across Checkpoint Charlie (bonus!). Get no sleep because Germany won the football and the whole city decides to stay awake outside our hotel window. With fireworks. Note to self - do not stay on the Ku-damm when Germany is playing in the European Cup (I think that was what it was). Actually... Revised note to self - do not go to Germany when Germany (or Turkey) is playing in the European Cup.

Thursday 26/6: Walk around all day in Berlin. Catch a tram to the end of the line in East Berlin and find... huge Soviet-style mega blocks of flats, more flats and... a Chinese restaurant. Play darts and eat kebabs (real ones) in a Turkish pub a bit closer to civilisation. FInd an awesome chocolate shop which sells chilli chocolate so hot I could only manage two small pieces at a time. Get no sleep because Spain won the football and the whole city decides to stay awake outside our hotel window. WithOUT fireworks.

(The Chinese restaurant at the end of the universe)

Friday 27/6: Go to the zoo and subtly distribute M's poem 'The Liberation of Berlin Zoo'. See Knut the famous polar bear cub (not so much cub any more) and discover he is an attention whore, unsurprisingly. Feel sad about zoos in general. Wonder if the elephants are actually suicidal or if dangling their legs into the waterless moat is just exercise. Go to Spandau. Regret it. The Zitadelle is closed for a Kraan concert. They formed in the year I was born. Rock on. At least there is a post office. Post some postcards. Not terribly much sleep. There seems to be a small group of randomly singing men wandering the streets outside our hotel. They go away around 5am.

Saturday 28/6: Relaxing German-language boat tour (we could make up our own commentary!) and a fantastic afternoon and evening in Potsdam, wandering the gardens and biergartens of Sanssoucy (truly Berlin's Versailles, plus windmill). M tries a red Berliner Weisse as the rain buckets down. Almost no sleep because we get on the wrong train (I'm not complaining, I had 4 days of not caring too much where we went and letting M and P make all the travel plans) and we go back from Potsdam to the centre of Berlin via THE AIRPORT late at night and reach the hotel after midnight.

And especially for Sarawr - tomatoes growing in the flower beds at Sanssoucy:

What I learned about Berlin in a very short time:

  • Their iced coffees are almost as good as Australian iced coffees, and leave British attempts in the dust.
  • I need to go back and do more touristy things - I am fascinated in a very cliched way by the Berlin Wall.
  • The Turkish food there is indeed rather wonderful.
  • My German is kind of passable.
  • The public transport is cheap and excellent.
  • Pfifferling mushrooms are yummy - in season now.

Sunday 29/6: Fly back home. Go to bed too late. Cry in the shower because I am so grumpy.

Monday 30/6: Wake up exhausted and headachey after too much walking for a pregnant person and not enough sleep in Germany for any kind of person. Work.

Tuesday 1/7: Work. Not impressed to be on the early shift this week.

Wednesday 2/7: Work. Go to see a film with friends but I get the day wrong and we miss the film, so eat Indian food together instead. M comes to bed at 3 fricken 30 am despite promising 12.30am at the latest. Not impressed that we no longer have a spare room to which he could be dispatched. (It's now an almost-nursery.)

Thursday 3/7: Almost fall over from tiredness when I get out of bed. Stumble through the day and because I am a perfect wife still go to M's poetry reading in the evening.

Today 4/7: Oh my god, how pregnant do I look now!?! Work. Stood up by MY THERAPIST. (Later find out she had a good excuse.) Bed.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I can't remember where I found this picture years ago, but it still amuses me greatly.


The weather here has been pretty unpredictable but there have been some gorgeously sunny and warm days amongst the cloud and cool.

Tuesday was our second wedding anniversary so we caught a train from Victoria to the Kent coast and ended up at Broadstairs. A wonderful day of walking on the beach, Italian food and watching teenagers jump from the forbidden pier. I even got ever so slightly sunburned - not something I would remotely tolerate in Australia, but here it's so unusual it felt healthy!

On June 10 2006, we probably would have laughed if you'd said that two years down the line we would be expecting a baby.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

What the fruit?

A while back, the baby was apparently the size of half a banana. Then not so long ago, the internet tells me it would be around the size of a grapefruit. My latest search reveals that baby p2 is now the size of an avocado. Fine, except in my fruit-eating lifetime, avocados, while obviously differently shaped to grapefruit, are also rather smaller, no? So, Dear Internet, this fruit analogy deal you've got going on is not making a great deal of sense to me.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

This is not an original thought, but I think it does bear repeating.

Barring a misquotation, Sharon Stone thinks that China's earthquake situation might be down to karma.

By that logic, what is she implying about her own nation being hit by Hurricane Katrina?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I was oh so very 'wifely' the other night. I had received some beautiful gifts tied up with ribbon, and as another tea towel fell from its hook to the floor I thought, 'Why don't I recycle these ribbons by sewing loops to all of our teatowels!'.

And lo it was done. While M and I watched 'Planet Earth' on DVD, I was transformed into a diligent housewife. It was fun, and had a great result, but that might be it for me and housewifery for the moment.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I just happened upon a painting of trees in sunlight and shadow, and became intensely homesick for that kind of light. It felt like a break in the rainforest. I'll blame the terribly grey and wet day outside and make a note to get out into the sunshine to find my own miraculous dappled light and dark when acceptable weather finally returns.

Apparently my baby is now about the size of a grapefruit. Seemingly a grapefruit positioned cunningly to put pressure both on my bladder and the fibroid.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Saturday, May 17, 2008


This discomfort is really starting to get to me. A hot water bottle helps the constant sub-ache somewhat. I'm pretty sure this is all compression pain (i.e. the fibroid is starting to get squashed) but rest assured I will explore it fully with my doctor.

I think it's pressing on my bowel, and while I would normally massage my abdomen to relieve the feeling of bloat and wind, I can't because my hand hits fibroid too soon, and I am not massaging my fibroid.

Finally found another pregnant woman (obgyn.net) with a pedunculated fibroid, and she's not having a good time of it as her fibroid is degenerating (i.e. dying) and causing major pain. My fibroid already did that once a couple of years ago and then came back better than ever. Lazarus as fleshy growth.

This lady warned me of some danger signs which could lead to miscarriage, so I will also talk about those with my doctor, and a doctor replied to my post with some information about how s/he treats fibroids with 'red degeneration' which is common in pregnancy.

Forewarned is forearmed. This is rather scary, but it may never happen. I can deal with this discomfort, and probably worse, as baby and fibroid grow, for another (gasp) 25 weeks if need be.

And I will also find out about the antibody issue on Monday. Our miracle baby is going to be even more of a miracle to make it unscathed through all of this. I can't wait to meet him/her.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Things that have changed since I became pregnant

  • Eating sometimes feels like a job - am I getting enough calcium/iron/protein...
  • Fred the fibroid is on a major growth spurt
  • I haven't had a full night's sleep since mid February, when I was ooh, about a day pregnant
  • I am beginning to learn to love my tummy
  • Belts are not my friend

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


So when does feeling fat turn into, 'Oh, look at my lovely baby bump' ? I'm hoping rather soon.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Two scans down...

So the scan went well on Tuesday and ohmygoodness what a different experience it was for me compared to the first one. Firstly, the technician was one I've had several times before for scans to do with my endometriosis, and the first words out of her mouth were not, 'Wow, you've got a really big fibroid!' She explained everything on the screen, turned on the sound so we could hear the heartbeat, and took lots of time doing the scan, probably mostly because Baby P was not cooperating in terms of a position in which she could measure the back of its neck. She asked me to cough a couple of times, and the baby got the cutest little shock. I bet it's having fun now that I have a dreadful (unmedicated!) cold, what with all the body-jarring sneezing and coughing going on.

Secondly, whereas at the last scan (10 weeks, 3 days) I couldn't make out much on the screen at all - just hyper-magnified blobs as the technician whizzed around (while M could see the heart beating and everything - the scientist in him maybe?), this time (at 12 weeks) there really was was an actual little baby up there. Its legs were crossed at the ankles (just like mine when I lie on my back, I find it the most comfortable position), little hand moving up to its face and mouth every so often, and at one stage it turned its back on us. This is the first time the pregnancy has felt so real.

There is one little issue about antibodies which is of concern, but we don't have all the information yet, and I have this overwhelming feeling that everything is going to be just fine, so I'm going to go with it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Nope, turns out I still can't feel comfortable blogging about being pregnant until I have my next scan on Tuesday (I was only 10 weeks and 3 days - not that we had a clue really at the first one, which is too early to really tell anything other than (a) there is a baby in there and (b) it is alive). This is the nuchal translucency scan where they look for signs, well one sign, of Downs Syndrome.

I'm mega-worried. Almost makes me long for the days when you were just pregnant until you had your baby. No scans, no tests, just the happy surprise at the end. And I know I could decline this test, but if there is something wrong, even something non-life-threatening like Downs Syndrome, I would rather know so we can prepare for a baby with special needs. I think it's pretty normal to want one's baby to be as healthy as possible, and I know that if this baby is Downs, it has been since the moment of conception - it's not because of something I have or haven't done. That's a big thing with me - maybe it's Catholic guilt.

Whatever happens, we'll always have the magical moment where we discovered we were having a baby. That we could. No one can take that away from us.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Baby photos

Having my first ultrasound scan tomorrow morning. I think I might start pregnancy-posting after that if everything is ok with the baby. Nervous!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I have my first midwife appointment tomorrow, and then my dating scan next Friday. Maybe after that's all out of the way and I can feel confident that (a) I am actually pregnant, and (b) the baby is ok so far, I will start posting about this whole thing.

Just a few snippets:

1. Prenatal vitamins, or rather the iron in prenatal vitamins, are the devil.
2. I'd love a little boy, but given my current obsessive predilection for old Britney Spears songs, I'm thinking there's a very girly girl in there somewhere.
3. I have never experienced this kind of yawning hunger before.
4. I wish I could sleep better. Feb 15 was my last good night of sleep. Which is not to say I don't feel like I could sleep forever. Surely the training for the sleepless, nappyfilled nights doesn't need to start this early?
5. That whole Chinese potty-training thing looks really good, if completely undoable in a London house. Or a London anywhere.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Watch out world

Apparently I am having a baby.

This is totally unexpected but welcome, as with my medical history (severe endometriosis) we thought that if we did ever try (which we weren't doing at the time) it would be an arduous, long effort, possibly punctuated by IVF or IVM. Nature had other plans.

There are no guarantees, but if it does work out, maybe I will be a mommy mummy blogger after all!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


What can you say about a government that pussyfoots around the banning of plastic bags (oh, we'll introduce a law in 2009 if retailers don't take action, who cares what's best for the environment and what all right-thinking people want) yet ignores the protests of millions of its citzens to take part in what many have called an illegal war.

Priorities, you're doing them wrong.

(And I'm applying for citizenship exactly why?)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Further to my post on peak oil, something to illustrate just how dependent on oil we are:


Down the long leg of the catwalker fishnet melts

to meshwork tobacco spittle. A black liquid garter.

Asphalt picks itself up – each scaly skin spread

between kerbstones is pulling free with a bass

pop. Every city suddenly a kicked nest of adders

coiling together into a spitting rope of pitch.

All along their spines household molecules un-

crack – hydrocarbon vertebrae whose Lego atoms

snap back into line in a chiropracty of electron-volts.

Cars at last cough up. Judder to a stop. Dig ignition-

deep to sputter swart apologies across the crisp white

shirts of their hosts. And every sump on its scrap-heap

bumps and boils its box-black kettle – rejoices openly

as through the stratosphere water-vapour and dioxide

recombine: weave fine mists of oil to drop charred

tapeworms of cirrus. Videos slime in the hand like

jumbo choc-ices. CDs in the rack pucker and shrink

to mushy black peas. Dentures gum up the works

jarred into toothless gaga. Those precise blocks

and avenues of electronics crinkle dark and

mediaeval. In the fast lane of the bowling alley

a caviar cannonball splashes ten full bottles of

devil’s milk – while those of the mobile who gas

this world down to its last nook into Porlock hell

shriek as they peel hot tar from lobes – Yes every

biro mothball racquet sags bleeds gutters

till the black string vest of tributaries resolves –

untangles towards tonsured ozone. Finally

we notice. On satellite-replays Presidents track

their sloed candyfloss economies writhing round

earth’s spindle – are caught on camera in black lip-

stick salve leaning to kiss the screen goodbye – and for

that moment the globe has a single gathering purpose

as a girl glances up from her fractions to witness

those filaments merge to a mother of twisters –

merge and rise and take her place. She watches

the whole black mass lift up and out into daytime

where it balls itself – steadies a wobbling edge

against blue to sling there its low fat circle. Crude

and glossy. She sees the birth of the full black moon

that lights our ways with dark.

(copyright Mario Petrucci 2008)

Upholding standards

Tonight I wrote my first letter to the editor of the Guardian. Why? One of their articles used 'off of' instead of 'off'. I hope it was just something that the copy editor missed and not a sign of things to come. Seriously, this is the home of the English language.

(And yes, I totally feel like some outraged dowager from the Home Counties, which is amusing for a girl from Brisbane, Australia.)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Peak oil, people

Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum production is reached, after which the rate of production enters its terminal decline. If global consumption is not mitigated before the peak, an energy crisis may develop because the availability of conventional oil will drop and prices will rise, perhaps dramatically (definition courtesy of Wikipedia).

I don't pretend to have a good understanding of this, but what I am becoming convinced of is that we are almost at the point of peak oil. We're almost there. Seriously. Estimates of peak oil range from 2012 to 2017, some up to 2035. I.e. tomorrow. For most people, driving a car (in its current form at least) is not going to be economically viable anymore (which gives me hope in terms of global warming), for everyone, prices of pretty much everything that requires transport are going to rise dramatically. Air travel is once again going to be the province of the rich, which again is great for global warming but leaves this little Australian high and dry. And wars will continue to be fought, even more desperately, for oil.

I hate seeing those emails that surface occasionally telling drivers to boycott buying petrol on a certain day to protest against fuel price rises. To me it completely misses the point. Yes, there are obscene profits being made, but people, we are RUNNING OUT of oil. The price is going to go up no matter what.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Give me a break!

This looks pretty much like my new lateral epicondylitis support. I may be the only person in the history of everything to get tennis elbow while removing staples from documents. To be fair, I was under huge time pressure, and the documents in question were thick and old and required much yanking, but seriously? Tennis elbow?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Frozen in a train station

I fear that this would mostly provoke irritation amongst Londoners, many of whom are already irritated to bursting point, if my interactions with commuters this week have been any indicator.

But I, for one, would love it.

Support the Public Lending Right

If you're in the UK, please consider signing this e-petition about funding for the Public Lending Right.

Public Lending Right (PLR) is the right for authors to receive payment under PLR legislation for the loans of their books by public libraries. Payments are made annually to registered applicants (including the poet) on the basis of loans data collected from a sample of public libraries in the UK.

A reduction in PLR funding will adversely affect the earnings of thousands of UK authors and illustrators. Many are self-employed, and in an industry as unpredictable as publishing, the annual PLR payment is a highly valued and reliable contribution to earnings.Maintenance of decent funding for the PLR is surely in the interests of all authors!

You may have already seen this. But will Gordon?


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Our local park is like a club that accepts as members only those who have small children, or who are teenagers. There is the occasional older couple walking their dog, or some just-out-of-their-teens lovers lolling on the grass, but usually it's just a mess of prams, tricycles and music blaring from mobile phones.

And mud. This afternoon, just before the park closed for the dark hours, a tiny boy got an evil look on his face and made a mad dash for the only puddle in the park, muttering, 'Mud'. As his father leaped to halt his progress, the slightly older brother, standing with his bike, nodded and said, 'Mud', with a rueful smile. I guess his mudding days are over.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


(ohmygoodness the tubes and trains have been SO crowded this week)

I'd still love you if you were grotesquely ugly, it's just that I'd be loving you through another woman's body.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Modern Toss
(excuse the newspaper graininess)

Sometimes I think Miranda July has a window into my mind

Are you angry? Punch a pillow. Was it satisfying? Not hardly. These days people are too angry for punching. What you might try is stabbing. Take an old pillow and lay it on the front lawn. Stab it with a big pointy knife. Again and again and again. Stab hard enough for the point of the knife to go into the ground. Stab until the pillow is gone and you are just stabbing the earth again and again, as if you want to kill it for continuing to spin, as if you are getting revenge for having to live on this planet day after day, alone.