Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Welcome to Mimistan!

Although it has been frantically busy here since the children broke up for the summer holidays, we do have occasions when we find ourselves in the eye of the storm, and take the opportunity to regroup. Our latest game is to answer these questions:

In Mimistan, what is the national dress?

In Mimistan, we only wear skirts or dresses, we never, ever wear trousers at all. You can tell if someone is from Mimistan because they are always wearing a flower, somewhere. I

In Mimistan, what is the national dish?

Our national dish is afternoon tea, of course! First we have sandwiches made from very thin slices of crustless bread, spread with either egg mayonnaise with tiny bits of chopped up tomato or cream cheese with cucumber and mint; then we have sultana scones with Little Scarlett strawberry Jam and clotted cream; we finish with tiny chocolate ├ęclairs and strawberry tarts. It is all served on delightfully mismatched flowery china, and accompanied by a big pot of Cornish tea.

What is the flag of Mimistan?

The flat of Mimistan is bunting! It is made from scraps of pretty flowery fabric, which was once used to make baby clothes worn by Mimi herself (this part is grounded firmly in reality; my Mum made yards and yards of bunting for our wedding using fabric left over from my baby clothes!)

What do they do on their national day in Mimistan?

We take the day off of work, and we dress up in our finest clothes. We go out early, and leave little handmade gifts on each others doorsteps. In the afternoon, we get together with our closest friends, and partake of our national dish!

What are the Mimistanians known for?

Mimistanians are famous and skilled hoarders. They are often to be found smoothing out bits of foil from sweet wrappers to use in crafts, stashing away oddments of felt, or buying an extra box of teabags for the cupboard ‘just in case’. Those who do not fully understand the nature of Mimistanians may say they are messy, but Mimistanians know where everything is, until they have tidied up!

I would love to know about your countries! What is life like in Alisonstan, or Tashstan, I wonder?

Catching Up

I am still feeling a little overwhelmed by things at the moment. A big part of it is the PCOS, and then there seem to be a myriad of little things that add up to big things and take up my time. My phone, for one. It died, and the phone company kindly sent a new one. When I put in the SIM card from the old one, I thought it would have all my phone numbers on it….but no. And do I have them written down, in a sensible manner? No! So I have been wanting to text Tash to say thank you for the wonderful spirit-lifting parcel she sent, and have been unable to. I have meant to give her a ring (I have landline numbers written down, but not mobiles, how odd!) but the evenings have skipped past, and here I am.

A lot of my time has been spent in reading, reading, reading, everything I can lay my hands on to do with PCOS. If I had to boil all that information down, I would say:

1) Don’t panic, it is not the end of the world.
2) Do lots of exercise
3) Eat a low GI diet

And as such, I have been trying hard to do all of these. 2) and 3) help me do 1) by making me feel I am taking control, but both take up lots of time! As far as 2) goes, I have been bad at walking to work but good at going to the gym and going swimming. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed swimming, and the only thing that would make it nicer, apart from lovely changing rooms, would be a swimming hat with flowers on it, in the style of Esther Williams. I have also found a lot of my time taken up by 3) in the reading of Low GI cook books, and then the shopping and cooking, and happily the eating! Although the concepts behind it are not difficult, it does require a bit of a mind shift.

But, I am getting there.

I don’t want to dwell on this business too much, because I do love my blog to be a happy place, and I am aware that my innards are probably not fascinating reading for you, or the loveliest thing to read about over a nice cup of tea. But sharing here really helps, it really does, so if I do make little forays into PCOS world, I hope you will bear with me, and accept my offer of a fresh-baked wholemeal apricot and apple muffin!

Winds of Change

Since my visits to the doctors and phlebotomists, and being told I have PCOS I have felt a bit scattered. I have found that people have been either breathtakingly kind (thanks Tash, Angela, Annastasia, Anna…) but also breathtakingly thoughtless. I had an email from someone at work who really should have known better, that left me speechless with anger. I had sent an email to them explaining that I now knew for certain that I was not pregnant, but I did have PCOS, that it would not involve surgery, but I might be a bit…fragile…while I got used to it all. The response was oh, glad it is not a big deal, by the way, did you want it to be a baby? Reading it in type like that it seems like a silly thing to be angry over. But you know, it IS a big deal to me. And what do you want me to say? That I had just got used to the idea that I was pregnant, and then found out that I wasn’t? That I had worked out when I would be showing, when I would be due? How I would tell my family?

I think things like that are too raw to share in an email like that. I think I am going to have to be a bit less sensitive too. The good thing is that I serenely clicked on 'delete' and kept all these thoughts to myself. It really does feel good to share them here though!

Whirlwind Weekend

This morning the air was just delicious, crisp and cool, but with the promise of warmth to come. Sometimes when I walk to work, I can feel the newness of the day. It is a certain quality to the air, that reminds me of the dampness to the wings of a newly-emerged butterfly, the scrunched-upness of a newborn baby, or the rustling of the papery stuff splitting as a new daffodil unfolds. So it was this morning, and it was soothing to have some peace, for we had a whirlwind weekend.

Although the breeze in your hair can be exhilarating and it is beautiful to watch autumn leaves tossed about in a gust of wind, whirlwind weekends can be tiring, as this was, although it was lots of fun. I went to work on Saturday, and then went straight from work to The Gardens of Easton Lodge for their annual Great Gatsby Jazz Party. I went last year for my hen party, and it was such a wonderful evening we went back this year. The Gardens are thrown open, and there is a small marquee which is open along one side, with a dance floor and a live jazz band. They all dress up in 1920’s clothes, and it is so elegant, you could really believe that you have slipped back in time. My lovely friend Anna appropriated for our group the last gazebo, and we settled in for the evening. Although we did not go for dressing in strict period, we did go for dressing up nicely, and everyone brought something along for a shared picnic. I drank babycham and had such a good time.

Anna and I were waiting for the loo when another jazz-goer remarked that we had really dressed up for the occasion. When she had gone, we both had to giggle, as we were wearing what we are often to be found wearing! A dress with beads, a sparkly cardigan, high heels and red lipstick!

I must be an old lady indeed, because as dusk fell, I was drifting backwards and forwards on a swing hung from a tree, thinking ‘oh, I wish I had a cup of tea!’ and indeed, when I got home (at very nearly midnight!) the first thing I did was to kick of my shoes, and make a cup of tea.

When the alarm rang on Sunday morning, I really wanted to snuggle down and sleep some more, but I had to get up as it was our turn to host brunch club. In a change to our usual format, we decided to take everyone up to Dedham, and go for a row on the river, then share a picnic on the riverbank. Although it clouded up and spat with rain once or twice, on the whole the weather was fair, and we had a lovely time. For the picnic, we had a sliced tiger loaf and oatcakes, lettuce, cucumber, and tomato sliced. There was hummus and Moroccan chickpea dip, slices of ham, piri piri chicken and thai chicken. There were sea salt and cracked black pepper crisps, balsamic vinegar and rosemary olive oil. Most importantly, there was a large jug of Pimms! For dessert, one of our guests had made the most heavenly chocolatey oaty biscuits, and another brought with her a delicious fruit salad.

Of course, once we had been for our row on the river, we had to have a cup of tea! Before we knew it, we were heading home for a quiet evening and an early night- and although our weekend had been lots of fun, I was really ready just to be at home.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

All Change

You can probably blame all the rain we have been having on me...it has been reflecting my mood recently. I am sure in the future I will look back on the last few weeks and see things differently, but for now I am struggling to cope with some changes.

I won't go into too much detail as I really want this to be a lovely place to visit, but I decided I had to explain why I have been silent so long. You see, the doctors are unable to tell me with certainty if I am pregnant or suffering from cysts on my ovaries. The long list of symptoms I told the doctor made him think I was pregnant, to the point of getting out his little wheel thing to predict the due date of the baby. When I failed the test, he slid it back into a drawer and called a colleague who put forward the cysts theory. I have been for blood tests and I get those results in a week. From there, who knows? The worst thing, apart from the awful nausea is the not knowing. I don't want to get attached to a baby that does not exist, but neither do cyst-adorned ovaries fill me with joy.

In the spirit of change I left work the other evening and walked straight into the hairdresser and had my hair cut. It is still longer than my profile picture, but is a lot shorter than it was. I like it better now it has some shape. It is a 30's style bob, and I feel like I should be wearing nightie-dresses and sparkly jewellery.

I feel tired by happy this evening, as we have had a real turn-out of our living room. Every single thing has been moved, cleaned, dusted or hoovered. We are soon to be taking delivery of a lovely new home for our little snake, and to fit it in, everything had to move. The writing desk is now where the snake was, who is now where the tv was. the tv is where the book cases were, which are now where the sofa was! I have rearranged every book I own, and made a dispaly of our wedding photograph, the wedding photographs of our parents, Carl's dried buttonhole, and a pretty pink polka-dotted tea cup candle.

We have a lavender candle burning, and I am trying to feel positive. I have felt soothed just sitting and blogging again, and visting some of my favourite blogs, so I will not be away so long again.

I think I hear the kettle whistling.....cup of tea for you?