Monthly Archives: September 2005

"Bother!" said Pooh. "Eeyore, grab the paperwork and start inventing some sort of plausible-sounding Personal Development Plan."

My absence has now been long enough that I figured I should write something explaining what I’m doing, so….

Last weekend the in-laws were visiting for Barry’s birthday, and this weekend we were visiting the in-laws for Barry’s uncle’s birthday. Both of these were pleasant interludes (especially Barry’s uncle’s birthday, which was a surprise party arranged for his 70th, complete with disco and buffet meal, both excellent, and which gave us the chance to see people we haven’t seen since the wedding and show Jamie off to the assembled hordes) but I am now even more severely behind than usual on all the blogging and other Internet-related activity I want to do. So, I was looking forward to catching up this coming Tuesday (my weekly day off) and next weekend.

And then, while driving home tonight, I suddenly remembered that my appraisal is the week after next, and I’m supposed to have completed a bunch of paperwork in preparation for this by Monday week. I’d planned to take the forms with me this weekend in order to get them done while the doting grandparents watched the baby, but unfortunately this otherwise brilliant plan was scuppered by me forgetting all about it at the crucial time. I am somewhat annoyed with myself for this.

Oh, well. I’ll scribble something down before it has to be handed in, but it is yet one more thing keeping me from the dazzlingly incisive posts I was planning to make. (Yes, they would have been dazzlingly incisive, thank you very much. Hah. Prove otherwise.)

Meanwhile, it’s extremely nice to know that people are reading this blog. Hello and welcome to the new people who’ve posted to the comments sections, and hello again to what now seem to be some regular readers. I do actually own the No-Cry Sleep Solution already, but thanks anyway to the person who offered to send it. And, Em, thanks for sharing the post about the different things you tried with Micah’s sleep – excellent read. Did things ever improve with the 45 minutes of crying? (I remember you posting about it on the group, and someone suggesting putting him down earlier.) And the house… ah, yes, the house. Well, the story is now longer and more complicated than I can face going into, but currently we are going ahead with the purchase after sorting out just enough of the issues to make us feel that we didn’t quite have grounds for a last-minute dropping-out. Things should be sorted, one way or t’other, within the next week. We hope.

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House discord

I don’t know whether anyone remembers the story so far of our house-hunting troubles, but here is the latest less-than-thrilling instalment.

We knew there was several thousand pounds worth of work we wanted done on the house we bought, and we’d borne that in mind when bidding for it. Unfortunately, the survey showed up several thousand pounds worth of more work that needed doing. As in “If you don’t get this done pronto the house is likely to burn down/blow up/fall apart.”

Since the agreed price on the house, plus the price we had already anticipated paying for the work we wanted done, took us to our limit, we decided to ask the vendors to reduce the price by the amount needed to cover the cost of the stuff that absolutely needed doing just to get the house into liveable condition. We thought this was fair enough – quite apart from the small matter of what we could afford, the house simply wasn’t worth what it would have cost once the extra repair costs were figured in on top of what we’d already agreed to pay. (It would also still leave us paying more than that amount out of our own pockets to cover work that we really wanted to have done, like getting a decent hot water system and a good quality driveway, but that wasn’t absolutely essential). Strictly between me and this blog and the entire Internet, I will admit that we’d even have settled for slightly less of a price reduction than that.

That last is, however, a moot point, since the vendors are not prepared to knock anything off the price.

So, once again, we are house-hunting. And this time, with very little in the way of options. There just isn’t much on the market at this time of year. Because of this, we haven’t yet officially withdrawn from the sale, and did in fact seriously discuss just going ahead with it and getting the extra money from, um…. actually, we haven’t worked that out yet. Taking out an even larger mortgage and busting our butts trying to pay it, I suppose.

I do not want to do this. It isn’t just the practical aspect of not wanting to be stretched that far on the repayments, although that is a not inconsiderable point. It’s also that I’m damned angry about their attitude, and do not see why they should get away with it.

On top of this, today I finally got round to ringing the local La Leche League leader (whose number I finally got from the health visitor) to get the details of the local meetings, and discovered that there was one this morning which I’d missed. And I checked the blog of a friend of ours to see what she and her SO had been up to lately, and what they had been up to, it appeared, was a trip last weekend to a town within driving distance of where we are now living. Not only that, but one of the attractions they went to was the same place we went to on Sunday. And we didn’t know and missed a chance to meet up with them. We haven’t seen them for more than a year, and probably won’t get a chance for another several months, and it would have been lovely to go see this place together with them, if we’d only known.

(I don’t think they were deliberately intending to ignore us. Though I suppose I can’t be sure of that – maybe they think we’ll have turned into boring parenting-oriented people who can’t discuss anything other than the offspring, and they want to steer well clear. Hey – I might have done that, but Barry hasn’t! Honestly!)

So, all in all, much of today fell under the general heading of ‘Bah’.

Positive points about the day…. well, after the events of last week, I suppose that positive points about the day should include the fact that we’re safe and well and in no danger of going hungry or thirsty or losing our entire worldly goods to rising flood waters. And I do indeed count my blessings on all those points. However, more mundane and specific positive points about the day include the following:

1. There is one available house that looks like exactly what we want, and that we’ve arranged to go and see Saturday. So it’s possible that we could be sorted out by this weekend. (As a bonus, the house is available very quickly, and we would in fact have it before we’d have had the other one, so we might end up benefitting.)

2. It seems the house we are now renting, which we have on a six-month contract with option to renew, will definitely be available for the next six months as well. So, even if Saturday’s house doesn’t suit us or is sold before we get there, we could just go on renting and find somewhere next year, with the pressure off.

3. As far as the LLL thing goes, Jamie is apparently now at an age where the leader feels I could quite reasonably attend either the babies’ or the toddlers’ group, or both. So that means there are two meetings each month I could go to. And they’re on my day off. So that’s something to look forward to.

And, you know – Barry and I went for a walk into town today to post some letters, and just enjoyed the late afternoon sunshine and walking and chatting and being together, with our son. As cheesy as this is, I really do feel that the main thing is that the three of us are together and healthy and doing all right. I’m pretty darned content with the way my life is going.

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No comment

After my post last night, I came back a few minutes later and was quite surprised to see that I’d already got three comments. Not that many people read the blog, so the odds of having three people reading it just at the point the post was published had to be tiny. But I was quite touched at the thought of people being so quick to comment, and looked to see what they had to say.

AND IT WAS BLOODY COMMENT SPAM. Which would have been annoying enough on any post, but on that particular one it was just too much. Fuckwits.

I’ve now discovered that word verification is available on comments, so hopefully that won’t happen again, but unfortunately I can’t find a way to delete existing comments in Blogger. The only option I had was to hide them, which meant that I had to bar any new comments on the post as well.

So, if anyone wanted to comment on that post, I’m sorry you weren’t able to. Blame it on the comment spam.

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:(

It seems the more I listen to the news about Katrina, the more sickening it sounds. I have nothing to say on the subject that hasn’t been said over and over, eloquently and heartrendingly, elsewhere, but it just felt wrong to blog about the daily crap in my life without so much as according a mention to the thousands and thousands dead, homeless, bereaved, suffering, shellshocked. And then there was this link I found which isn’t even about Katrina, but about the sheer horrific extent to which everyday life can suck for too many people in the world even minus natural disasters (the post itself is sad enough, but if your heart isn’t quite ripped all the way out already, read the comments).

There is nothing I can say right now that isn’t trite and useless. All I know is, I’ve been holding my son even closer than usual. And I can’t put into words how choked up I feel for those parents who will never again be able to do the same.

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All in the perspective, I guess……

I wouldn’t describe myself as an attachment parent. Not because I have any particular objections to the philosophy (in fact, in practice it pretty much is the way I parent), but because I have objections towards the whole idea of having a Parenting Philosophy as such, rather than just doing whatever seems to work best for your family. But I do like hearing about the way other parents do things, especially parents who’ve thought about what they’re doing rather than just doing what everyone else is doing. So I subscribe to a mailing list for attachment parents. (I don’t play one on the Internet, BTW – the people on there know how I feel on the subject, and have in fact read my ‘objections to the whole idea of a Parenting Philosophy’ speech so many times that they’re probably bored sick of it.)

Anyway, the other day, one of the mothers on there e-mailed us this link, in an e-mail titled “I think we’ve all been there…”.

And, when I read it, it did indeed look familiar. Cries of how you’re abandoning your baby in response to the mere mention of sleep training. Instant advice on what you really should be doing, but no attempt made to listen to what the problems are or to what’s already been tried. Yup, I have certainly been on that board.

Somehow, though, I don’t think that’s quite what she meant. Boink, boink.

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