Archive for November, 2009

Save me from myself

First let me tell you: I have a degree. First class honours, actually (preen).  I read proper books, not just ones with pink covers and gold titles- though I am rather partial to those too, I confess.  I follow the news- nay, I WORK in the news. 

 So there is really no excuse or explanation for my horrific choices in film. For a start, I haven’t seen any of the classics. I haven’t seen Star Wars. I haven’t seen Pulp Fiction all the way through without falling asleep. I haven’t seen any of the Godfather films.

But the films I have seen don’t really make up for the lack of big hitters. Whenever G goes out or away for the night without me, I get a pavlov’s dog sort of reaction which sends me straight to Movies on Demand with an alarm shrieking CHICK FLICK CHICK FLICK blaring in my head. I’ll then waste £3.99 and 90 minutes of my time watching some god awful drivel. Which I don’t even enjoy.

The top three horrors which have scorched my eyeballs in recent months are, in order of direness:

At Number 3, the cliched and misogynistic Bride Wars: Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway confirm that women really are shallow and obsessed with weddings- to the point where they will shit on their best friend with no qualms.

Festering in the Number 2 spot, The Sweetest Thing: Cameron Diaz proves that women might like to drink beer and tell obscene jokes, but underneath it all, bless them, they just want to wiggle their bottoms and find a nice man.

And crashing clunkily in at Number 1, Marley and Me: Jennifer Aniston, er, I don’t really know… has a dog? It…. jumps around a lot and… then it dies?  And the viewer is left feeling that the hollowness inside them could fill an entire universe? I still don’t know what that film was supposed to be about. Answers on a postcard please.

Not only are these sorts of films badly written, poorly acted and utterly two-dimensional , they are also, on the whole, morally reprehensible.

But for some reason I keep going back for more, hoping that the next one will be a great one. Maybe I’m stuck in the 90s, the golden age of rom com- when chick flicks were good (see Four Weddings and  a Funeral)  and even if they weren’t, I was a teenager so thought they were good. Whatever the reason, it has to stop. Especially as it’s come to my attention that in 9 weeks time (faint) I will have cause to be sitting on my behind for long stretches of time, both day and night, feeding a small creature.  I am going to need films.

So I need some help. Any reccommendations? But not horror. And not too violent (well, I don’t mind fighting but I don’t do torture). And not a blasted Jennifer Aniston monstrosity, *please*.  

I’ll start. At the moment, by virtue of the fact that I watched it again at the weekend and loved it again, my favourite film is (this is embarassing, but it is actually a good film) About A Boy. So you see, I have not turned my back on what you might call “female-skewed” movies. Just as long as the poster doesn’t have two people kissing on it, I’m open to suggestions.


I dream of Beanie

There is so much that I want to write, so many posts that drift in and out of my head. But often I’ll dismiss an idea for a post because I feel as though I’m singing a song of a million years and a thousand lands. What can I say that hasn’t been said before, by countless other bloggers and writers and women, through tea steam and down crackling phone lines and across cave-warming fires. For every baby that’s borne and born, surely the same words and feelings are played out again and again. What can I add?

But then, I suppose there is something wonderful about the fact that this experience does not tire, despite the fact that it is, after all, how we all got here. For almost every human on the planet (I say almost because I know that having a baby doesn’t bring happiness for every woman, sadly) there was once a mother- and a father- bursting and brimming with happiness and love for them before they even met. So what’s the harm in adding my verse to the song, gushing though it may be (and that is by way of a warning…)?

So here is where I am: 30 weeks pregnant, belly about the size and shape of a pumpkin, starting to waddle ever so slightly, and loving this experience. Honestly, it is wonderful, and I say that as someone who tends to worry and overthink and generally not revel in things for their own sake. I love the feeling of Bean rolling and kicking and poking inside me; I love that I can sometimes feel her, hard and curled up, right against the outside of my belly; I love that she seems to like it when it’s all quiet- my tender bean ; I love it when sometimes she kicks her daddy in the face when he’s talking to her.

A big fool in love, am I. A pair of fools, in fact, are we: G is as gaga as me.  And,  magically, I’m not worried about having this baby or even giving birth to her. (Apart from this morning, that is, when I woke up bent out of shape and aching, having stupidlyy tossed aside my buttress of supportive pillows in the night, feeling whimpery and nervous about being a mother and, I soon realised, just hormonal. It didn’t last too long). I’m fascinated by the changes happening to my body (but maybe not the ones which feel like permanent cystitis. Those changes I can live without). And I still revel in the planning and the painting and the lists.

But though I love being pregnant, I can’t wait to meet our daughter (or indeed- and it could happen- our suprise son). I can’t quite believe that she’s in there, already, and that one day not so very far away, we’ll be scooping up her wrinkly little body and looking into her beady eyes and no doubt thinking she’s the most beautiful creature that ever lived, despite the fact that she’s very likely to look, at first, like a troll. I can’t wait to breathe her in and introduce her to all the people who are looking forward to meeting her, to poke her feet into socks and her hands into mittens and my fingers into her mouth.

Well, I say I can’t wait, but that is not an invitation for the Bean to make an early appearance. I have at least four new levels of delirious excitement to scale before the end of January. I’m happy in my role as bean pod for the next two months. More than happy, in fact.







Designer Baby

Babies are expensive creatures, or so legend has it.  Certainly, a flick through the magazines and catalogues you’re bombarded with once you find yourself with child can leave you hankering after designer highchairs (that look like trendy bar stools) and up-to-the-minute cribs (which look like modern art sculptures), not to mention the posh baby clothes and the matching nursery sets and the sterling silver keepsakes. You could easily spend thousands without even thinking about it.

I like to peruse the pretty pictures and drool a little over the twinkly things. But low and behold, expecting a baby is bringing out my frugal side. We’re finding that actually, preparing for the Bean’s grand entrance isn’t as pricey an endeavour as we’d thought.

This is largely down to the generosity of family and friends.  Grannies and Great-Grannies are knitting feverishly, and aunties and best-friend-aunties  are beavering away on mysterious and exciting craft projects. My uncle and his wife dropped round a haul of useful baby clobber that they no longer need- a bath and a sling and all sorts.  We’re having the moses basket that my Granny slept in as a bean almost 80 years ago (!) and every baby in our family has done since.

I can say honestly that I would take all this over a £10k spree at John Lewis any day, and I find I don’t give a fig about things being new, or styling, or matching.  I know for sure that the Bean doesn’t.

So far, all we’ve actually bought is a pram and some fantastically bargainous/chompable tiny outfits from a nearly new sale, and a handy grant from the government which all mothers-to-be are entitled to (congratulations on contributing to the overpopulation of the United Kingdom! Here, have £190!) should take care of the rest.

(Oh and I also bought some Eric Carle prints to frame and put on the wall in the nursery, but they were only £11, and totally adorbs).

Life has chucked us a couple of lemons of late, which makes us all the more pleased that we have such lovely people in our lives to help us make lemonade. And I’m finding that the overwhelming joy and expectation we’re feeling about the eagerly awaited arrival of our baby puts everything in perspective and is making all kinds of things that should always have been obvious perfectly clear.

Pretty things are great. But the most important message I have for the Bean is this: all you need is love, baby.  And we’ve got so much of it, just for you.