Archive for April 2011

Dead dignity

April 28, 2011

I just removed a dead seagull who flew into a metal fence and got his neck firmly stuck in between the grooves. It took a while for me to ease his neck and head out from the metal grille.

The poor bird has been there a few days and nobody bothered to even get him off. He has been hanging there in the hot sun by his neck, eyes sullen, wing broken, feet shrivalled. When I got him off, his body was soft and his feathers were still beautiful and fluffy. I stroked him gently, said a prayer and put in him a plastic bag and into a cardboard box.

My male colleague refused to help me when I said we should get the seagull off the fence so I went alone. When I went downstairs to ask for latex gloves from another office unit (a hardware shop), the guy in there laughed and said “Don’t you like our pet gull?”

What’s wrong with these men? Are they wimps?

When they die, don’t they hope someone at least treat them with dignity and bother give them some sort of burial (even if it means putting them in a box then in the bin)?

Life is cheap, even in Britain.

Alphabet

April 25, 2011

Aren’t these alphabet bags and purses from Rockstar cute?

Bath Spa

April 20, 2011

I had a lovely day with my mother in Bath Spa yesterday. The weather was BEAUTIFUL, so warm and sunny! We had a leisurely time exploring the major sights, stopping by a small cafe on the Pulteney Bridge to have a drink and enjoy the gorgeous river views and had lunch at M&S Kitchen. I absolutely love the feel of Bath. It’s so elegant and English. At the end of yesterday I felt inspired, refreshed, recharged even though I was completely knackered.

Kids, or not?

April 16, 2011

I knew I wanted to be a mother but was I really ready for it? Probably not. Then again, is anyone REALLY ready? I mean even if you are extremely fond of children, I’m sure months of sleep deprivation and being constantly on the go will break you at some point.

I’m not going to pretend I’m loving every minute of motherhood. I am finding it really tough and I think that’s mainly because we have so little help and support available in the UK. Yes British people don’t have maids but a lot of them rely heavily on the help of parents to look after their kids when they go to work. Unfortunately, that option is not available to us apart from during the occasional periods when my mother visits.

So having to cook, clean, work plus look after the baby (especially during bad nights when he wouldn’t sleep) has left me in tears on a number of occasions. We can’t really afford financially to make any changes to this current arrangement but I expect things will get better once Lucien is old enough to sleep through the night and perhaps join a playgroup.

I’ve recently discovered that I am not such an emotional wreck when I manage to get a few nights of decent rest. And that I am actually not depressed but I’m just really tired. My mother’s suggested that I give up work for a couple of years because Lucien’s such a demanding child but in reality that is not financially viable. Also, I actually quite enjoy going to work. I think it helps enormously with my self-worth and gives me a chance to be myself.

Many people have said we should try for another child but as far as procreation is concerned, we are pretty well done here. I wanted to be a mother, I am now one and we have no plans to have more children. Financially that would be a strain, physically I wouldn’t have the energy to keep up and emotionally I am not strong enough for it.

Yes perhaps it would be nice for Lucien to have a sibling but that would mean that I would have to return to work full-time just so we can balance the books. The kids would have to be left in the care of others and only see me briefly in the evenings. We would find it a struggle to fund frequent trips to Singapore and it would be quite impossible to be able to save any money.

Let me illustrate with this simple pyramid diagram that I came with up. Basically, if you want to be able to spend lots of TIME with your KIDS then you probably won’t have much MONEY because you will have to either work part-time or be a stay-home mum. If you want to have TIME and MONEY to spend on your children then you can’t have too many KIDS. If you want to have many KIDS and the MONEY to spend on them, then you probably won’t have any TIME for them because chances are you’ll have to work long hours.

We have chosen to dedicate all our time and resources to one child. Maybe it’s selfish of us to want to preserve our current standard of living (it’s no where high but it’s not in the pits either). But surely it’s not wrong to want to give the very best to our child and live in a way where we can have the option to do so. I don’t mean we have decided to spoil him rotten, but it does mean we can have the financial freedom to do so when we CHOOSE to.

My career has taken a step back in order to give Lucien the time he needs with his parents. I have reduced my hours and retreated into the background at work. I felt tempted to look for something else on a number of occasions, something more challenging, something closer to my interests, something that pays more, but a better-paid job will inevitably mean more responsibilities and less flexibility, so I’m staying put.  I don’t feel resentful about it at all, I know there will be opportunities for me to pick up where I started and get back to developing my career when the time is right.

So what exactly am I trying to get across with this post? I don’t know, I suppose I’m just being open and sharing my experiences and observations so far, which show how important it is to have a childcare support system in place, that a mother needs to accept she’d need to sacrifice her work and career in the early years and that nobody should ever tell you whether or not you must have kids, how many you should have and how you should raise them.

April 13, 2011

We took Lucien and my mother for a 2D1N trip to the hills in mid-Wales on Sunday. We couldn’t have picked a better weekend to go – it was so warm, bright and sunny – more like Summer rather than Spring. I wore a dress, sandals and sunhat and we set off after lunch, taking a long detour through the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park before arriving at our hotel in the afternoon. The country hotel was nothing fancy. It only had eight rooms but it was cosy, comfortable and very quaint. Our rooms overlooked a private garden with a pond home to tons of tadpoles, and we frequently caught sight of a plump grey squirrel forraging for food on the grounds. We took a long walk around the nearby surroundings on the first day and stopped by a market town on our way back the next day. It was the first time my mother saw for herself the beauty of Welsh hills and landscapes and we’re glad she’s finally got to do a bit of sight-seeing. I had an amazing time – nothing’s better than going on holiday with the ones you love.

Date to remember

April 5, 2011

I spent yesterday afternoon in town with R, just the two of us. This was a small miracle which happened only a few times a year and we savoured every minute of it. We didn’t really do anything spectacular, just went to the bank, did some research on baby stuff in Mothercare and John Lewis, and ended up having a really terrible, terrible evening meal at a Malaysian restaurant (I still can’t get over how awful the food was – I wouldn’t even give it to my dog if I had one). We made a hasty exit from the restaurant because I was fuming and left half of my meal untouched. The street we walked down was pretty empty so I screamed, shouted, ranted. How could restaurant food taste so bad? I then proceeded to stuff my face with a bag of dried cranberries and macademia nuts we bought earlier in a health food shop and we laughed off our embarrassingly horrible dining experience on the train home. An unforgettable 18-months celebration- all for the wrong reasons!

When Harry Met Sally

April 5, 2011

 

I’ve only recently watched this film for the first time (where have I been?!!). Awesome dialogue in parts, and this is such a classic scene.