Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I saw this on TV tonight and I really thought that it was a new advert from the Department of Health about how great breastfeeding was until...dun dun dur....actually it was telling me that although I've breastfed my child for a while really he's getting far too big for it at about...oh...six months and I really should be thinking about follow on milk.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Let me tell you of your entry into this world.
Let me tell you how your mother fought and ripped and screamed but in her triumph passed from helpless being into the land of Kali; of Shakti; of female power unimpeded; of peaceful mother feeding her child everything her body had to give.
It started a long time before the pain. It started when a woman told me that I could not birth in my home, my cave, for fear of my death. I knew she was wrong but she scared those around me. She could not see my invisible attendants. They were the Old Ones from before a time of men laying their hands on a birthing woman’s body. I could feel them around me. Tawet; the hippo-headed mother. Hapi; the dwarf who loves babies. Hathor; sacred mother who in her last moments of desperation turns into Sehkmet; the lion-headed warrior. Isis; the eternal midwife.
I could feel the old one’s charms wrapped around me. I could feel my friend’s love and hope. When the time came to walk into the birthing room I was not alone, I was not afraid.
The pains started.
I smiled. I was going to meet you, my son, at last after nine months of sickness and waiting, waiting, waiting.
I paced my home. The pains got stronger and more demanding. I walked.
Day turned to night and I was burying my face in cushions and moaning muffled sounds.
Your father went to bed. He knew it was going to be a long time yet.
The pain subsided, came less often, less urgently.
Day came. I lay in the bath, too tried to do anything but feel my body’s shivers. I slept a little in the water, waking with each contraction. I was entering a dream-like state, almost ecstatic; the pain was a long way away from me, down a long tunnel.
Somehow night came again.
I started to worry. This was going to be a long labour but I was not going to lie down and give up, I was going to walk every step.
I decided to take control.
Midnight. The house was quiet, the lights down low. I took out my drum. I lay some artefacts before me: Painted stones, a necklace of beads, a vial of arnica, an image of the Goddess, a band of green ribbon. These things were given to me by my powerful sisters, my friends, at my Mother Blessing.
I tapped out a rhythm. I knew you could hear it inside of me. I drummed a beat that came from beyond this age of needles, white rooms and separation, it came from my heart, my ancient heart, it came from my mother and her mother before her.
The pains grew stronger and more urgent.
I needed others to drum the beat for me now but I was alone so I put music on so that I could dance. In another time, another life, my sisters would have made the music on their drums and with their song but this was now and so the music came through a machine.
You danced inside me and slipped further into place.
The pain was swift and strong but I owned it now.
When the fingers of dawn just reached out through the sky I woke your father and said “It’s time to go”.
The birthing room was cold, sterile, silent, bright. It was an assault on my senses after the dark place I had come from. But I owned this experience and so we set about making it my den.
We turned the lights right down, the radio on, pushed to bed to one side and put blankets on the floor. Now I could birth.
They left me alone, didn’t touch me, didn’t measure me. I had told them before “Hands off”. Your father made sure I didn’t have to think of these things in this moment of intense birthing.
I dropped to the ground and roared with every contraction.
I pulled myself up again.
There came a point where I clambered up onto the bed, got onto my knees and started screaming.
It was the most exquisite pain.
In between each contraction I laughed and smiled at your father. Partly to reassure him that I was fine even though I was screaming (I see now, the screaming made it fine, that’s how I was dealing with the pain) but mostly because my body was making the most enormous amounts of endorphins. I was giddy and as high as I had ever been. It knocked my vision out and yet every moment is as clear as a bell.
I gripped the sides of the bed, tearing it.
I demanded ice was put to my lips.
I shouted “Come on baby, come on baby” to you to tell you the time had come.
Then it was over. I pushed once, twice, and you were in the world.
I was so tired I barely had the strength to turn and look at you. Your father held you as I moved my naked body around.
There you were. I held you on my chest. You didn’t cry. I was naked, breathless and waiting for the afterbirth; I looked into your father’s eyes with triumph.
I was the most powerful I have ever been, in that moment I had become the Goddess.
You nuzzled and crept until you found a nipple. You suckled.
You had come.
You were safe.
I love you.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
This is an extract from 'Skins' and, for those of you not in the know or don't give a flying fuck about teeny angst fest TV, is the hip new (well, nearly, it's just finished the second series) fancy thing about what it's really like to be a teen in Bristol.
Cassie is a thin girl with anorexia who came out of hospital in the first ever episode. She is, as you can tell from this clip, meant to be slightly mad but thin, beautiful and vulnerable. She arranges food rather than eats it and in one episode we see a huge draw of chocolates under her bed. I don't know whether we are to believe that she eats this and then throws up or that she likes to keep it just to look at and re-arrange. She is portrayed as someone who is aware of her eating disorder and also aware that it makes people pay attention to her and to gain power.
What do people make of her?
They fucking love her.
Men want to take care of her and women want to be her.
The program is often full of great ideas on how to be anorexic: How to look like you're eating from your plate but really moving the food around, how to put weights down your pants when you are being weighed or how to drink 4 liters of water just before a weighing to give you that extra couple of kilos.
Amid all these great ideas Cassie spins about, smiling, kissing people and taking drugs in a cute fluffy way. She gets stuff for free all the time, she expects it. She's just so.....so.....great isn't she folks?
Well thanks channel 4 for giving us all something to aspire to.
Here you go, see an extract for yourselves if you can stomach it (sic). That's just a cab driver, by the way. See, she makes EVERYONE love her. Oh and the comments on youtube for this clip?
"She's so pretty"
"I just love her"
You get the drift.
T' other day Northan lad and unpopular driver of two jags, John Prescott, told the world that he had suffered from bulimia.
Now, I'm not his biggest fan and I don't particularly feel sorry for him but I am really surprised by the media's reaction to his revelation. Most of it went "Prescott...bulimia...ha ha ha ....obviously not very good at it"
One comedian said he's done the first bit; binging, but forgotten to do the next bit; throwing up. "I don't want to around when that lot comes out" He laughed.
Even someone on Radio 4's Woman's Hour said "Looking at him he's clearly loosing the battle" Meaning he was still fat.
I'm quite surprised that people still think of bulimia in terms of anorexia; pretty thin tragic girls being silly but still managing to be thin, vulnerable and desirable.
There are now a lot, and I mean A LOT, of people who throw up their food as a matter of course. Not all of them are thin. In fact most bulimics are overweight. Most of them think they are not bulimic because they are still fat and it's clearly not working.
Let me spell it out for everyone:
BULIMIA DOES NOT MAKE YOU THIN
PEOPLE WHO ARE FAT HAVE EATING DISORDERS TOO
Not many people say "Just eat something!!" at anorexic girls because they know there is so much more to it than just eating some food. Then why do people still think it's ok to say "Just eat less" to fat people? Oh yeah, we're the disgusting ones, the greedy ones, the ugly ones.
Friday, April 18, 2008
This comes from getting books faster than I can read them.
I'm a bit anal when it comes to books. I used to keep them in alphabetical order but now I have run out of room and they have to crammed into whatever space is available. I keep the books I have read together on my bookcases and the books I have not read under my bed. At the last count there were nearly 200 books under the bed.
So I decided I would start a new system (I'm always thinking up systems when it comes to my books) where I would try to read the books that have been in the pile the longest.
I have just finished Jonh Wynham's Sees of Time that I took out of the Churchdown School Library when I was about 15.
I can't believe I have had a book sitting around waiting to be read for 20 years. When I think of all the places I have taken that book: Birmingham, back to Gloucester, several flats, two houses - wow!
It was quite good.
I've ruined it of course by going and buying 5 books this week; I just can't help myself!
It's such an exciting moment when I finish a book and think about what I shall read next. Shall I read something I've been putting off for a while? Or shall I read one of the new books I've just bought? Or shall I read that book someone gave me for my birthday in September? Or one of the kid's books I got in a penny sale at the library? Or the new Jasper Fforde?
OOOOOOOOh choices choices!
The joy of books.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I started out in a group of six women and only two of us are now qualified. It took me three years to get this qualification and I had to write a lot of essays and do lots of reading and research.
This woman said "Who would have have thought that you'd come so far? Who would have thought that the GBSN could do so much for someone like you..."
At the time I thought "humm...." and later I thought "hang on a minute..."
What did she mean by that I wonder? I don't think I am a stupid person. The fact I haven't done much with my life is out of sheer laziness and love of drugs, not lack of intelligence.
Although the training was payed for and organized by the GBSN I do believe I would have fallen into this anyway, probably gravitating towards the NCT. In some ways that would have been better because where I am there is only three BFN supporters and a whole army of NCT counselors. I feel as if there is a big club that I am not allowed in and the politics has set me against people I really like. I often feel like I'm back at school and the popular group is excluding me because I'm friends with the girl they bully.
So...yes, great, free training but if I could go back and do it again I would probably choose a different path.
"...someone like you..."
That sticks in my caw.
What does that mean??
I bet she doesn't say that about some of the NCT women, one of whom started off training with me as a Peer Supporter. (Yeah, hi C)
Is it the dreadlocks do you think? Is it that I'm on benefits? Is it that sometimes when I try to say things my mouth suddenly feels like it fills up with dough and I'm totally unable to get the bloody words out? Is it my clothes, my size (to some thin people fat=thick like they can't understand how someone can let themselves get into that state)?
I do hope that people who have talked to me for more than a few minutes understand that I'm not stupid.
When Osiris was born I started doing a number of things, joined groups, got involved, got all the free training I could get; the breastfeeding support is one of the things I have taken further, not the only one mind you. I do DO other stuff.
"...someone like you..."
Monday, April 14, 2008
He's 5 today!
I can't believe that 5 years ago I was getting ready to bring my new little baby home. I was trying to feed him without my back and nipple hurting. Looking into his little face I knew he would change me forever.
Watching my big boy of five break open the seal on his new set of 'Read at Home' books delighting that he has some new books, I know I have done something right and wonderful. He is such a lovely little boy, bright and confident, sometimes social and sometimes quiet. He surprises me with questions I'm not sure how to answer. He knows where babies come from and that some people believe in a God (or Goddess). He knows there are choices to be made in his life about these things and he knows he is the only person who can make them. He is comfortable with couples who are the same sex and also with people who want to be single and are happy about it, he knows what's important.
There's so much more to teach him and so much more for him to teach me, most of all there is so much for him to learn that doesn't involve his mother (sigh!).
Now we are learning how to be Mummy and Son without breastmilk.
I'm not sad, I think I'm ready now...finally...after five years...
I wasn't last year.
Thank you to all the wonderful people who supported my decision to keep on feeding him for another year when he was clearly not ready to give up but I felt the social pressure on me.
We are taking it one day at a time and today I am overwhelmingly happy for him. He has a new MP4 player, 6 sets of lego, lots of silly games and Polly made him a Kirby cake.
Happy birthday my darling.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Thai food is my absolute favorite. I am totally alone in this in my family. I could eat Thai food forever.
Last night I cooked my first fairly successful green curry. I've tried using green curry paste ready-made and sauces out of a jar but none of them have the exstream yummyness of the little stall in town that does a plate of curry for £3.
So I decided to find all the right ingredients and do it myself. This is what I used for my green curry paste:-
1 stalk of lemongrass
Juice of 1 lime
Just over 1 teaspoon of dried chili (next time I will use fresh)
1 teaspoon of dried kaffia lime leaves
1 teaspoon of galangal (might use more next time)
2 teaspoons of roasted spice mix (I didn't have cumin on it's own so I used a mix that has onion seeds and fenagreek in too)
A bunch of coriander stalks
3 garlic cloves
An onion (should be Thai shallots)
I wizzed them all up in the blender then fried then in some oil for a few minutes, added a bag of prawns, a pack of baby leeks, some baby courgettes and 2 small aubergines. Let of fry for a minute then add;
2 cans of coconut milk
A tablespoon of Thai fish sauce
A big lump of palm sugar (I was quite pleased to find this as it was tucked down a tiny aisle in the local Asian shop in unmarked tubs)
The leaves from the bunch of coriander
A few dried kaffia lime leaves.
I was really pleased with the result. It was yummy and creamy and had all the flavors it should have in.
Nobody but me ate any; I put the rest in the freezer.
Now my house is full of great ingredients and I've even got some lemongrass stalks in the freezer for another day.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
It's a pretty good summation of why I am allowed to pick and choose from all the images of the Good Lady and anything positive I find in any religions; If it's good enough for the patriarchy....
Dear President Bush,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from you and understand why you would propose and support a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. As you said "in the eyes of God marriage is based between a man a woman." I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination... End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
7. Lev.21:20 states that I may ! not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle- room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Monday, April 07, 2008
Yum...thickened with potato starch!
If this doesn't want to make you puke on the heads of the formula manufactures then you clearly don't know enough about:-
b) The dangers of bottle feeding
c) Why babies need to wake and feed during the night
d) Questioning why society expects us all to behave like robots, even when we are babies, and to not ask questions and to be good little prols and just plug yourself back into the matrix....
If you don't know about these things than you may need to start questioning your own life and about what behavior society expects from you.
It's all linked.
The personal is the political.
My baby doesn't sleep through the night, I don't wear pretty dresses, I don't care about shoes, Rob doesn't like sport, I don't buy or revere branded goods.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
I am very concerned to the recent changes in Housing Benefit. As from the 7th of April a family of two are only entitled to £126 a week to pay for rented accommodation for a family with two children . This is replacing the system that would give you the asking price for the property as long as it was not over-priced. This change means that if you live in a property that costs more than £126 a week you will have to make up the shortfall out of your own benefits or wages. As the average price of property in this area is £570 - £650 a month for a two bedroomed house this leaves a shortfall of £70 - £150 a month that will need to come from the family's benefits or wages. As you can see this will affect the poorest people in a way that will make a big difference to their children's quality of life.
I am very worried about this, not just for myself but for all the families on low income in the city. As Labour are trying to tackle child poverty I do not understand why this change has happened.
Please can you do all you can to put our case to your Government.
I await your reply.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
I'm a bit of a gamer at heart. Many is the time where I have lost a day to tapping keys making a little woman shoot magic arrows at big scary monsters (I actually did a typo thing there and wrote mansters which I think is a fruedian slip). But I have, of late, found nothing to make my geeky bits tingle with that same gamer addiction that I used to have with the heady heights of Sim City or Sam and Max (that's showing my age - eh gamers?) but now Rob has set me up with a new thing which I may find almost as good as a good long game of Monkey Island (hard level).
Have you played this Irgxana? What do you think? All I can say is "Hey look, I'm totaly waving my arse at you...I doing science with my arse" heh heh
AND ANOTHER THING this tinternety thingy is good for is Asda home shopping. I did my first load today. Sure, I didn't get to grab those going-out-of-date bargains but I also didn't have to put up with a toddler running away from me, the other one filling the basket with expensive things he has seen advertised on TV and having a nervous breakdown before I reach the check out.
The man came with boxes of goodies. I had forgotten what I'd ordered so it was a bit like a lovely hamper of surprises but stuff I really like - of course; I'd ordered it! Because I didn't have to go through the spin out moment of realizing's I've spent too much and it all came out of my bank account without me really doing anything, it felt like I hadn't payed for it. Seemingly free food!!
W00t...I believe I should say.