Thursday, 24 February 2011

I'm a horribly neglectful blogger...

As you can imagine, it's been somewhat difficult to blog for the last few months as I'm not cycling and am knackered all the time. I also have that elusive and mythical problem: babybrain.

I have, in the past, been doubtful that such a phenomenon exists, but it clearly does. I've chatted gaily to people on the bus only to think vaguely as I disembark 'Who on earth was that?', I've put the tea caddy in the fridge and the milk in the cupboard, I've forgotten to send emails then been mystified as to why people aren't aware of plans.

Luckily, my work seems unaffected and I now only have six and a half days left before I'm off on leave.

So what to blog about... Hmmmmm, perhaps what no-one tells you before you get pregnant.

It's 10 months, not nine. It's 40 weeks of waiting and, believe me, it really feels that long when you start to get big!

SPD. This wonderful phenomenon means that if you're a little bit flexible to start with your pelvic ligaments can get too loose. Oh the joy of feeling like you're being kicked in the lady bits every time you get up, sit down, roll over in bed etc etc. Go to your GP, get a physio referral, it's not normal!

The judgment. Wherever you are you are, whatever you're doing, you are being judged, by them. Carrying a Starbucks/Costa cup? Expect those filthy looks to come flying in. Yes, you're allowed some caffeine, yes, you may well have ordered a decaff but they don't care. They care only that they know everything about pregnancy and know that you are naughty for daring to drink that POISON while pregnant. How very dare you.

If you're feeling particularly masochistic, perhaps you could order that small glass of wine when you're in the pub because that's worthy of a couple of horrified gasps generally. I have had about four glasses of wine/champagne over the course of the past five months, my midwife said I could have a glass a week. So nananananaanaaaah.

'You shouldn't be working in your condition!' Oh really? Thanks for the input, but given that the modern economy works on the premise that most women of childbearing age work you can sod off thank you very much. Oh and get up out of the priority seat you lazy and nobular saddo.

Tube blindness. This tragic affliction should not be underestimated. I am now nearly 35 weeks pregnant and the size of a small whale. I have given up asking for a seat, people pretend not to hear or just look at me blankly.

There are people who are fabulous, they block others from rushing into seats and call me over from across the carriage. There are those who, also standing, loudly upbraid their fellow passengers for ignoring me and then there are those who, on seeing the bump, leap to their feet and demand I sit down. Bless them all. If only they weren't outnumbered by tw*ts who look m in the bump and then whip out a Blackberry/iPhone and start tapping away like their lives depended on it. Eyes glued to the screen they hope desperately everyone will think they just haven't seen me. Everyone saw, they share my opinion that you're a nob.

I single out for particular vitriol those who have pushed me into poles, glass partitions and other passengers as they shove me out of the way to get the seat I was aiming for. Bravo people, being that much of an idiot in public takes balls.

The touchers. People are fascinated by pregnancy, hell, so am I. It's pretty damn amazing that my body can build a whole new person. That said, please don't get too excited and PLEASE don't touch the bump unless I know you or you've asked. Friends, family, even acquaintances who have asked nicely, it's fine. Strangers, it's weird, and a bit gross.

Medical students. I've had a few in my time and I'm always happy for them to join in. They have to learn and I'm generally quite chilled out health-wise. However...

When you're fairly new to the whole Doppler thing and you've been poking around for a bit without success, do NOT half-whisper in a panicked tone 'I can't find a heartbeat!' to the midwife. Most first-time mums aren't as chilled out as me, according to the midwives, they might have got a bit upset. Particularly when it was realised that you just weren't poking hard enough.

Anyhoo, rant over, hopefully this'll tide you over for a bit...

Monday, 24 January 2011

The dry shampoo revolution

I like to think I've played a part in this.

I've been banging on about it to friends and family for years. Since I started cycling it's been a constant pannier essential in the battle against helmet hair.

With so many brands now jumping on board I'd advise anyone to give it a go. You'd be surprised at how much it can pep up your hair after a long ride.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Why I love Mr Weenie

Yesterday, Mr Weenie and I went for a walk. We've been attempting to change our usual Sunday routine of pyjamas and toast as I'm now meant to be doing light exercise every day and walking is about my limit.

We went to the shops and were reminded why we get our food shopping delivered. My weird hearing means the ambient noise of other shoppers, freezers etc overwhelms my ears and I turn into a zombified simpleton. I can't hear what Mr Weenie is saying and, as he hates shopping anyway, we always end up miffed and fed up.

On the slow walk home, on which he matched my waddly pace and we ended up walking for what seemed like forever, I saw many cyclists.

The first were laughing over coffee in lycra, four drop-barred bikes chained to the lamppost nearby, clearly having just done a Sunday morning distance run, probably just for fun. I tore my gaze away and we walked on. A couple whizzed by, again on bikes with drops and in long-distance gear, chatting and clearly enjoying the window of non-rain.

I confess, I welled up. I very nearly cried there and then. Forgetting our minor tiff and sweeping me into a cuddle, Mr Weenie asked what on earth was wrong.

I launched into a monologue of love for my two-wheeled companion.

My bike is not just my bike. Reg is the instant mood lifter, the transport that takes me wherever I want to go, when I want to go there, the outlet for my grump when I'm in one and my main source of physical achievement. He's not even in our house at the moment and has been banished to the storage garage as more and more baby things start to accumulate.

I finished, expecting a pat on the head and to be told to stop being ridiculous.

The reply came swiftly: 'Well, let's think about getting you a Brompton then.'

That, my cycling friends, is love.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Tube pluses: You wouldn't get a parrot on a bike

The snow has receded and the air is crisp and clear. The cold means walking involves being bundled up like the Michelin man and the morning commute is full of glum and depressed faces as the realisation that Christmas is over sinks in.

All that breaks the silence of the tube is the chorus of hacking coughs and wet sneezes that spreads through the carriage and reminds you of just how many germs you're in contact with right now.

The highlight of last week was the appearance of a parrot on the tube. Yes, a parrot.

I had climbed aboard the busy train at Farringdon and been pushed aside by a man intent on getting a seat. Thankfully, another one opened up opposite the one he'd found and I sank into it, faffing with my bag as I went. I looked up to glare at the man who'd pushed me and my now considerable belly aside and was stopped mid-look of death by the very uncomfortable expression he was pulling. The cause? The elderly gentleman in a flatcap who was sitting next to him had a parrot on his shoulder.

It was green and very pretty. It sat on his shoulder semi-dozing, attached to its owner via a lead connected to the ring round its ankle. It occasionally glanced around the carriage or readjusted its wings, but seemed utterly unperturbed to be commuting at rush hour on a mass transit system in London.

As we neared Paddington and I attempted not to stare, it began to coo softly then climbed round to its owner's front to nibble his cap. He spoke to it softly, reassuring it that they were nearing their destination. In fact, they got off at Paddington, and I had the joy of walking up the stairs next to them. And I mean joy, bizarre it may have been but the parrot looked healthy and happy and was a welcome splash of colour to my working week.

I'm really missing my bike and with Eenie getting ever heavier, walking is becoming a bit of a chore and commuting is rubbish.

Bring on the parrots.