Tuesday, 29 September 2009


Aaaargh! Throwing up, dizzy spells, throwing up the anti-nausea pills, staggering dizzily around the house, more dizzy spells... roll on 14 weeks...maybe I could just fall fast asleep and wake up in three weeks' time...

Sunday, 27 September 2009

11 Weeks

I am still feeling very unwell and have been signed-off sick for another fortnight, though now that I am getting close to the end of the first trimester, I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Some time shortly after 14 weeks, I will wake up one morning feeling well. The change happened as quickly as that with my previous pregnancies and I am hoping it will be the same this time. As a motivation exercise, I looked up a pregnancy calendar website to see exactly how my baby is doing:

You're getting close to the end of the first trimester. Most of your baby's critical development will be behind you after the next couple of weeks, and the odds of miscarriage will soon drop considerably.

Measuring from the crown of his head to his rump, your 4.1cm baby has all his parts, from tooth buds to toenails. Your baby is busy kicking and stretching; his movements are so fluid they look like water ballet. Fingers and toes have fully separated. Now your baby’s main task during the next six months will be to grow larger and stronger until he can survive on his own outside the womb.

I saw the midwife the other day and spent twenty minutes filling in forms. She was very supportive when I said I didn't want any screening except for the ultrasound scan and said that we could listen to the baby's heartbeat at my next appointment.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

MS sufferers not "just sitting at home waiting to hear if they can go to Switzerland."

Thanks Colin Pillinger, about time the media started giving the other side of the story.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

First Day at Pre-School

Sorry for the blogging gaps. I am only able to sit at the computer for around 10 minutes at a time before the dizziness gets too much, which is making blogging very difficult. Hugh started pre-school today and had the time of his life, mostly playing in an enormous sandpit. I was asked to sit outside just in case he missed me (he was far too busy playing in the sand) and spent an hour huddled up on a bench sucking mints and praying I wouldn't throw up all over the beautiful nursery garden. At least I was feeling too appalling to get all sentimental about my baby growing up sooo fast...

Thursday, 17 September 2009

The Forsyte Saga

I have been cheering myself up over the past few days watching the TV adaptation of The Forsyte Saga. It is a stunning adaptation with only a couple of anachronisms slipping in here and there and it made me want to read the original novels. The author's niece, whom I only ever knew as Miss Galsworthy used to attend Mass at our parish when I was a child and said that one of the characters was based on her, though she never let on about who she was supposed to be. Fleur perhaps? June? Definitely not Irenie.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Sense of Humour

Believe it or not, the Inland Revenue has one. See here for the evidence.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Pro-Life Acitivist shot dead

Please pray for this poor man and his family. Pro-life campaigner James Pouillon and another man were shot dead yesterday whilst demonstrating. I am just waiting to see whether papers such as The Guardian are prepared to apply the same logic to these killings that they used after the murder of George Tiller - will the abortion lobby need 'to shoulder much of the blame' for this deplorable act of violence? Will abortionists be labelled terrorists or extremists? Will the murder of James Pouillon be widely reported?

Friday, 11 September 2009


Apologies for the blogging gaps. My blood pressure crashed the other day and I am pretty much bed-ridden at the moment, with even quite minor tasks taking forever. Thank God for grandparents! My parents have been occupying the children and stopping my house from falling down for much of this week and I am going back to the West Country with them and the children for ten days on Sunday, assuming I am able to travel. Hopefully it is only a matter of time before I am up and about again, but blogging may be a little sporadic over the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The Centurion's Gift

A friend sent me the link to this new blog advertising a book published by a teenager on lulu.com. It is about the adventures of a group of children in Roman times who flee their home after their parents are arrested. I managed to get a sneak preview of the book when it was still in early draft form and am now curious to see how much it has changed over the past few years. You can get your copy via Amazon.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

And today's craving is...

Tomato Juice. Lots of lurvely tomato juice.

Does eating an enormous bowl of baked pasta (Timpana) at 10:30 in the morning count as a food craving?

Monday, 7 September 2009

More News

Thank you for all your good wishes. I can't pretend I find pregnancy an easy experience as I tend to be plagued by chronic nausea, low blood pressure and hypoglycaemia. This pregnancy is proving no different but I have started planning all the things I am going to do when the first 14 weeks pass and I start feeling vaguely human again.

Anyway, over the weekend I had a yes from a publisher who wants to take on my third book. I am very excited, not least because this book was two years in the writing and I couldn't bear the idea of never finding it a home, but also because I had given myself until my thirtieth birthday to find a new publisher and received the answer just over six weeks prior to that event. It was my special intention when I visited the shrine at Ta'Pinu, so I will have to donate a copy of the book when I next visit (if it makes a suitable ex voto offering!!).

Sunday, 6 September 2009


I am back from Conference and feel too exhausted to write anything this evening, but since I announced this piece of news before I began my talk on Friday evening, I thought I would take a moment to share it here.

Here's a clue: I feel sick.

Another clue: I have lost my taste for coffee.

Third clue: I have this strange craving for mint imperials.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Off to Conference

I am off to the SPUC Conference in a minute and may not be able to blog over the weekend. The Conference is taking place in Swanwick, so it is a four hour train journey up to Alfreton. Fortunately, I quite like train journeys as long as I can get a seat. I have packed a couple of books and some work I need to catch up on, and will resist the temptation to fall fast asleep as soon as we pull out of Guildford Station...

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Children in Detention Centres

I still flinch whenever I hear names like 'Yarl's Wood', 'Colnbrook' and 'UKBA'. It brings back memories of trying to calm Hannah down on so many occasions when she had every possible reason to lose control, then the endless locked doors, the searches, the fingerprinting, the obnoxious propaganda pinned up all over the walls... but nevertheless, whenever I see a story about the detention system I find it impossible not to read it.

The Government is coming under attack by children's charities for the number of young children being detained in centres such as Yarl's Wood. 470 are currently being detained with their families, many of them are under the age of five and the majority suffer lingering psychological effects as a result of being arrested, seeing their parents in distress and being locked up indefinitely. This comment says it all:

Amanda Shah, of Bail for Immigration Detainees, said: "Fifty-six per cent of detained children were released back to their communities in the UK, their detention having served no purpose other than wasting taxpayers' money and traumatising the children involved. Children we have supported have suffered depression, weight loss, bedwetting and even self-harm as a result of their detention – that is the human reality behind the statistics."

One thing Hannah's experience taught me was precisely that - the human reality behind the statistics. The UK Border Agency uses its detention and removal statistics as a mark of its success but behind the figures UKBA are so happy to trot out are distressed individuals being bundled into the backs of vans, incarcerated, bullied and marched onto aeroplanes in handcuffs. And to our shame, many of these individuals are children who by no stretch of the imagination can be labelled criminals.