Let’s Talk About the Weather

Let me be frank with you. I had certain expectations when moving to GB, and 90 degree weather was certainly not amongst them. I’m not being a great big wimp here, because I grew up in Dallas where triple digit temperatures were the norm for months at a time. I could just about handle the heat because I mainly survived the warmer months as an indoor vampire, only voluntarily leaving my house at night when walking outside didn’t feel like being dragged along behind a bus’s exhaust pipe. And we also had air conditioners. Glorious, cold, marvelous air conditioners.

Let me tell you how London handles 90 degree weather: the ‘sun worshipers’ grab lots of beer, sit in a park, and read. If you have kids, you can splash around in a park’s fountain or paddling pool and feel repulsed by the fact that most of the kids aren’t wearing bathing suits, but are either naked or wearing soggy underwear/diapers. (It’s Europe, I get it. But I still think it’s kind of nasty because, ugh, pees and poos.)

Now, if you’re stuck in an office and can’t just lie around in the park drinking beers and ciders, you’re screwed unless you work in a fancy office with a/c. And usually that a/c is too piddly to cope with any real temperatures. And then to get home from the office, you have to ride in the hot, steaming subway or the sticky, sweaty bus, or even the overcrowded, stiflingly hot trains. (Which don’t always get you home – Waterloo Rail Station was a big mess this week when the heat caused the rails to buckle. THE RAILS BUCKLED!?)

In my situation, I do not have to put up with terrible public transport or kiddie pools filled with pee. No, I’m stuck on bed rest in a flat that, normally, is very comfortable to be in because it’s so full of light and relatively free of drafts. Right now, it is prison. We live on the top two floors of a 4 story building. The downstairs is open plan and the whole back wall of the living room is made of glass and south-facing, essentially turning our living space into a great big greenhouse. Upstairs is uninhabitable. I noticed yesterday that my lip balms and pot of coconut oil were completely liquefied and warm to the touch. It’s so hot that we’re sweating again just moments after showering. We certainly can’t sleep up there, so are all camped out downstairs on the sofa bed and couch. After a few nights of this, we are ALL cranky and not functioning too well.

And today, the weatherman said that it’s supposed to get even  hotter. FML.

I know in the back of my mind that this weather will pass and everyone will be complaining about rain and needing to wear a jacket again. But you know what? I’m always the jerk that is excited when it’s time for dreary weather again. I don’t like the idea of lying in the park with booze, and I certainly don’t like the idea of playing in a diluted sewer with my child just to keep cool. I’m coping with this heatwave by fantasizing about cardigans, hot drinks,and clouds. Low lying, rain-filled clouds.

Screw summer.


Pregnancy Update: Week 20

I’m not going to post any adorable pictures of me holding up a piece of fruit the size of my fetus to illustrate my progress thus far, mainly because I’m stuck on the couch and not really encouraged to be walking around – even to the kitchen to get a food prop. Also: selfies of people over age 30? Ugh, please.


But the wee one is apparently the size of banana. Which is, subsequently, a food that I have a better chance of keeping down at the moment.

I had a real scare earlier in the week. There was blood. There was a trip to the emergency Maternal Assessment Unit. There was a quick transfer to the actual Labour Ward where I sat in triage all day. There were tests. There were prods. There was poking. There were tears. But in the end, baby seems to be okay for now and I’m on strict bed rest for two weeks until the 22 week scan, where we’ll see if everything is hunky dory.

I did see my midwife the next day, who also seems to think that I may have injured myself internally due to how often I’ve been sick to my stomach. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is no joke. It’s like having food poisoning and the norovirus at the same time, yet for weeks at a time. It’s not ‘just bad morning sickness’, but an actual debilitating condition. I’ve read about TWO women alone here in the UK dying from HG complications ONLY THIS WEEK. 2! In one week? The deterioration of throwing up every single day for weeks on end can lead to organ failure, dehydration, and god knows what else. I’m grateful that my midwife is so understanding of how physically and emotionally draining HG has been on my body, so at least I have her in my corner if things don’t pick up. But I’m staying positive that they will improve, because it’s not going to do much good to worry while I’m stuck on the couch for the next two weeks.

Since we last talked

After a long absence from the world of blogging, I’m back.

Lots of changes since the last update. One, we no longer live in charming Nunhead. We moved a grueling mile or so west to the heights of Denmark Hill (the nicer part of Camberwell) back in November. The husband can walk from our front door to his office in less than five minutes. R’s new school is literally around the corner, which will be nice when he starts Reception in September (in the UK, kids start at age 4 instead of 5 like they do in the USA). And most useful of the local amenities is King’s College Hospital, which is just across from G’s office. When we moved in, I joked that it would have been useful to have that on our doorstep back when I was pregnant with Rhys. I must have jinxed myself because here I am, pregnant again. At least there won’t be any parking issues this time around – much of the spill over hospital parking is actually on our street. Oh, and I no longer have a car, like I did when Rhys was born. But back to the point: I’m glad it’s within waddling distance from the front door.

Aside from being super close to work/school/hospital, we’ve got a cracking view of the London skyline from our bedroom. Camberwell has an amazing array of restaurants, so one of my favourite hobbies for the past few months has been trying out as many of them as possible. At the end of our street, we can choose from Spanish tapas, Lebanese, Turkish, Vietnamese, Greek, Scandinavian, Chinese, and a place that does pretty spot-on Chipotle-sized burritos at lunchtime for a fiver. Basically, I’m kind of in a perfect spot.

Telegraph Hill Super Saturday

Today, we’ll be out enjoying the rare bit of September sunshine at the Telegraph Hill Super Saturday.

So many events to choose from in the area:

  • Somerville Adventure Playground (12-5pm): bouncy castle, creative artworks, adventure play. Free BBQ at 2pm
  • Oak Youth Club (50 Turnham Rd, 12.30-5pm): Honor Oak Olympics including face painting, sports, Zumba, benefits advice, bouncy castle, massage, refreshments
  • Barnes Wallis (54 Wild Goose Drive, 11.30-4pm): free face painting, benefit advice, health check, refreshments
  • Telegraph Hill Centre (12.30-4pm): Reflexology, head massage, table tennis, free cafe,
  • Green Shoots (Besson St, 12-4): craft market, bee keeping, cushion making, home made cakes, Grow Wild info
  • Common Growth Community Garden (Sandbourne Rd, 12-5pm): gardening, drinks, Grow Wild info

I’ll be out trying to recruit some new Avon customers, but will mainly be out enjoying the afternoon with family and maybe a few friends too.

I really love the diversity of our area. Bee keeping? Reflexology? Zumba? Bouncy Castles? and all for free? Can’t complain!


The End is Nigh

Holidays are for the birds. Or, at least the birds who can afford to go out and do exotic far off things that people do over their holidays. For those of us on very limited incomes and a child with special needs, Holidays are Hellidays.

Thankfully, the school gates were open today and I popped in to see what was going on. They were all dusting and getting things ready for term to begin TOMORROW. That’s right. THREE WHOLE HOURS TO MYSELF FIVE DAYS PER WEEK!!!

The six teachers are all dear and I adore them to pieces, but they were all taken aback about how, well, how do I put this diplomatically? Bad I look. I look bad. I look shattered. I look worn out. And there I was, thinking earlier how much better I had been looking since throwing on a little extra slap in the morning. But nope, Cover Up does not cover up exhaustion and stress.

Am thinking the afternoon is going to involve a nap, folding clothes, house-hunting (looks like next-door has fallen through), and generally trying not to overthink things.

Oh, please buy some AVON from me. Have campaigns 14 and 15 and frankly, I want one of everything. End of sales pitch.