Monday, 31 May 2004

i gotta be me



It's time once again for Ed n' Martine's May Monkey:

When we are not ourselves: describe a time when you were "out of character."



It could be a time when you stuck your neck out farther than you thought you would dare, or a time when you "posed" as someone you were not.



What defines our "character," and when do we let ourselves step outside of it?




How many times are we conscious of not entirely being ourselves? In small ways, we change our behaviour for certain situations: job interviews, meeting your partner's family for the first time, speaking to the Big Boss, on the job (particularly if you work with the public), on the first date, and when we're online. We choose what we want to reveal, and we alter how we behave around others. In this respect, I "step out of character" almost every day.



If I was really being my true self, I would show up to work with no makeup on and in my pyjamas. I would spend 50% of my day working, and the other 50% doing other things like sitting out in the sun and playing with my dog. In fact, I'd show up to work maybe three days a week because frankly, life is too short to spend it in front of a computer in a business park. I would tell people when they were really, truly, honestly being idiots. I would tell people more often how fantastic they are and how happy they make me. I would feel okay about spending a day doing nothing. I wouldn't really care that the dishes aren't done, there's a pile of laundry in the corner of our bedroom, and there's a bit of dog poo in the garden. I would sing along to whatever's playing on my headphones while I work. Loudly and with wild abandon.



This isn't to say that the real me is being suppressed in a negative way or that my life is a miserable charade. It's just that so few people know everything about me, warts and all. I kind of like it that way. And I'm sure my workmates appreciate the fact that I don't burst into song throughout the day.

Friday, 28 May 2004

how to make your man very happy



Want to know how to make your partner's face light up? Say to him, "We might need to have sex tonight. And tomorrow. And several times after that for the next week or so."



Hee. :)

tgif



It's Friday today - you can get exited now (and you can get extra excited if you live in Europe as it's a holiday on Monday).



Promises I can keep #37: I will never become a Shouty Mum. Why do some people insist on speaking to children LIKE THIS? NO, YOU CAN'T HAVE A LOLLY, CHARLIE. LET'S GO DOWN TO THE BREAD AISLE NOW. Is it the same logic used by those trying to communicate with people who can't speak English? ("If I talk very loudly and slowly, the other person will spontaneously learn my language and begin communicating with me.") Children aren't hard of hearing (or they weren't before you started shouting at them), and you don't need to speak loudly if there is no other ambient noise. We're raising a nation of frightened looking children who ask for earmuffs for Christmas. Please stop being shouty. Thank you.



Thank you all for your hospital song recommendations. Tim should have a playlist for the next year or so now. I'm sure he appreciates it.



Whatever you're doing and whoever you're doing it with, have a fun weekend. We shall be in the garden mucking about; please stop by for a visit if you're in the neighbourhood.

Thursday, 27 May 2004

radio gaga



Sorry for making you all think that yesterday was Thursday. Hopefully you're not all excited about it being Friday today 'cos it isn't. Sorry 'bout that.



I am feeling a bit self conscious about this spam I received today:

"You don't know it, but you're incompetent"

I miss the days when spammers were simply offering me cheap Viagra and to get me out of debt.



Now, on to the main reason of this post. A friend of mine is going to be hosting a radio show at a local hospital. What we need from you, clever readers, are nominations for the most inappropriate (or appropriate, depending on your view) songs to play. So far we've got: "Girlfriend in a Coma" and "The Drugs Don't Work".



Answers on a postcard (or in the comments), please.

Wednesday, 26 May 2004

whee!



Is it bonkers to be excited about trying out an ovulation prediction kit for the first time? Yes? Oh.



I'm kind of excited about it and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I mean come on, how fun is this? You pee on a stick until you get a positive reading, and then you go at it like drunken teens for two days afterwards. Yippie!



Oh, humour me.

picture perfect



So a few months ago, my digital camera had a brief dip in the Atlantic Ocean. Not even a dip, really - more of a light aquatic kiss. When we got home, I noticed that the display on my camera had gone horribly awry; it scrolled diagonally in psychedelic colours. The camera wouldn't take normal pictures and the USB connection went kaput.



This week, just for laughs, I switched my camera on. Hey presto, it works! Maybe whatever condensation was in there for the first few weeks has evaporated. Maybe the sea water didn't corrode anything after all. Maybe it heard the words "repair shop" and it fixed itself out of sheer terror. Whatever the reason, I'm really pleased that it's working again.



Now if my car would spontaneously fix that huge scratch and dent on the door, I'll be happy as Larry.

Tuesday, 25 May 2004

out of the mouths of babes



"What would everyone like to drink when we get back?", my future sister-in-law asked her girls. "Cranberry and orange juice!" shouted Grace. A brief pause while 6 year old Polly considered her options. "Gin and tonic!" she decided.



They're not related to me, but somehow they've managed to get my genes.

Monday, 24 May 2004

eh?



I really like Mil Millington. His "Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About" is just about the funniest thing I've ever read. Even his newsletter usually makes me giggle - until today. His latest one is about his newfound love for America, and near the end, he says:

"I am, Mailing Lister dudes, American in every way except for some pifflingly minor details of physical geography: now, my friends, *now* I truly know how it feels to be a Canadian."



I do realise that this is meant to be humorous, but it still makes me cringe. The fact is, many English people I've met think that Canadians are Americans who live in that big snowy bit at the top. I do concede that we're not radically different - we pretty much speak the same language, with variations in slang and accent, for example - but we are not American. Don't take me the wrong way, there's nothing wrong with Americans. I like them. Paul is related to a few of them. They have interesting things in their grocery stores and gave birth to The Simpsons. I like our neighbours to the south (it's more southwest these days, though) and I can take their questions about snow in July and comments about our "funny money" in stride. But we're not American.



I can't really explain how we're different; it's just a feeling I get whenever we travel to the States. It's like being in a parallel universe: everything is familiar and yet something's just not right. I am familiar with things like gas stations, but I can't get American pumps to work because sometimes you need to prepay. I know about dollars, but I can't tell how much American bills are worth without holding them up and searching for the number on the corner. In many ways, I am just as much a foreigner in the US as my English partner.



We have two languages on our product packaging. We're metric (although ask me my weight in kilos and my height in centimeters, and you've got me stumped). We have the queen on our currency and passports. I can vote in the UK because I'm from a Commonwealth country and I can drive here simply by trading in my Canadian license. We say "tap", "zed", and use the letter u all over the place. We pay a lot of income tax, and the price of our gas and booze is exorbitant. We have a prime minister. We have our own version of Sesame Street. We have Smarties.



I will never be offended when people mistake me for being American, but I can't let people continue to insist that we're not different. Mil Millington is damn funny, though. He just needs to meet a Canadian one day.

Friday, 21 May 2004

this one's for da ladies



If you're female, live near me, and I actually know you in real life (or as real as my life gets), please take a peek at my latest post on the blog from : a bride. I need all the help I can get! Tanks.

lord help us all



"EastEnders' star Kasey Ainsworth has given birth to her first child, a girl named Blossom. The 6lb 12oz baby was born on Thursday, at the same hospital in St John's Wood where Gwyneth Paltrow had her baby daughter last week." [source]



So, Apple and now Blossom.



Yerrrs.

random acts of blogness



A completely random post today because I have lots of little things on my mind, but nothing substantial enough to warrant its own post. Or something like that.



No matter how long you live here, if you were born somewhere else, you will rarely be referred to as British or English. Conversely in North America, you are considered American or Canadian simply by having lived there for a while. For example, Lennox Lewis is sometimes referred to as Canadian by the English media, but Canadian media usually refer to him as British-Canadian. When sports commentators over here talk about Greg Rusedski, they almost always describe him as "Canadian Greg Rusedski" even though he represents Britain. I don't really think one view is better or correct, it's just different in a makes you go "hmmmmm..." kind of way. I prefer to be thought of as Canadian because that's what I am and that's what I sound like.



Why do men use every dish, utensil, and pot in the house when they cook a meal? Not that I will ever complain about being married to a man who can cook, but I am constantly amazed by the amount of washing up one man can generate for one meal. Then again, I sometimes eat off a paper towel to save washing up so maybe I'm just really lazy.



What does Jasper do when he's left alone? Do dogs have a concept of time? Does he sleep? Play with his toys? Pine for us? I need to know.



I am excited that Big Brother is starting up again soon. I am not proud of that fact.



Thank you, that is all.

signs you're not quite as insane as some people #329



After that last little rant, I have to say that I do feel better. Admittedly, it still gets my goat that some people seem to get pregnant simply by using the same shower as their spouses, but I'm still optimistic. It's actually quite exciting to think that we can start trying again now. The two week wait sucks, the getting my period thing sucks, but it's not really that long before you can start again and have another couple of weeks of anticipation.



It helps to read through some of these pregnancy Web boards because quite honestly, you will never feel or be as insane as some of the women who post there. Of course some of the women (most, really) seem like lovely, level-headed people who know a lot about conception and have gone through a lot to have a baby. Then there are some who are just plain loopy. I've seen messages like "My partner doesn't want kids. Can any of you point me to any articles or statistics I can use to convince him?" (one person suggested putting pinholes in the condoms).



I shouldn't be surprised; I've seen this sort of thing on other news groups before (like the dieter who wanted to know how many calories were in Night Nurse so she could factor them into her daily food journal). There is definitely such a thing as too much information, and too much misinformation as we rely on the Internet to educate us. It's always nice to have somewhere to go for support, but too many people refer to the Internet for medical advice. I have to admit that I've asked for people's opinions in news groups, but I see it more as the sort of information you'd get while chatting to a good friend over a cup of coffee. It is probably based on past experience, it's probably fairly accurate, but I would still rather see a doctor for the more serious stuff.



In the meantime, like my patented Diet Plan© ("eat less, move more"), I shall stick to the basics because that's what usually works. So my patented Baby Plan® is: "shag like rabbits until I've ovulated". It's so crazy, it just might work.

Wednesday, 19 May 2004

daydreaming



I want...



...an ice cream.

...to lose two stone (28 lbs.) by September.

...but I really want an ice cream.

...to sit out in the sun.

...to go on a short holiday somewhere scenic.

...to be able to bring my pet into work.

...dinner and a movie. Or just dinner.

...someone to finish painting our fences.

...a personal trainer, chef, stylist, and masseur.

...where the hell is that ice cream?

...to be by the sea.

...to fix that big dent and scratch on the side of my car.

...to go home now because I have ice cream in the freezer.

Tuesday, 18 May 2004

signs you're going insane #278



I promise not to fill this blog with lots of "woe is me" kind of posts or writing that is borderline teen angst/ode to my cat. Having said that, this post shall wallow in self pity slightly, but only because this is the one place I can vent. It'll be over soon, honest.



I am now at a point where I vacillate between seeing people with babies and feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, to seeing people with babies and wanting to grab them by the collar and ask how long it took them to get pregnant. I am getting increasingly vexed at the fact that the entire world seems to be pregnant except for me. (I didn't say this post would be logical; please bear with me.) Rumour has it that even Kylie is pregnant. Geena Davis just gave birth to twins at age 47. Stupid Paltrow just gave birth to an Apple.



It isn't rational by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not really in my nature to be terribly realistic. All I know is that I want to have a child and why on earth does the whole process seem so complicated? I suppose a lot of us go into this thinking that all it'll take is a bit of unprotected sex (remember when we were teenagers and we were warned about getting pregnant using the withdrawal method?) and that getting pregnant was fairly easy. Armed with the knowledge of my ovulation cycle, I thought it would be a cinch. You have sex, you ovulate, hurrah, you're pregnant. It's only month two. Do I get more or less mental than this as time goes on?



Rant over. I thank you.

bookworm



Another meme, and one that made the rounds a while ago (sorry, I'm behind on my blog reading). 100 books, put the ones you've read in bold. As an added bonus, the books that are still sitting on my bookshelves waiting to be read are in italics.



1984, George Orwell

The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Animal Farm, George Orwell

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery

Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer

The BFG, Roald Dahl

Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks

Black Beauty, Anna Sewell

Bleak House, Charles Dickens

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh

Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding

Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres

Catch 22, Joseph Heller

The Catcher In The Rye, JD Salinger

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel

Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons

The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett

The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky

David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson

Dune, Frank Herbert

Emma, Jane Austen

Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy

Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson

The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy

The Godfather, Mario Puzo

Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell

Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (thanks, Gary!)

Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian

Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake

The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald

Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett

Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, JK Rowling

Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling


His Dark Materials trilogy, Philip Pullman

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Douglas Adams

The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

Holes, Louis Sachar

I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer

Katherine, Anya Seton

The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, CS Lewis

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

Lord Of The Flies, William Golding

The Lord Of The Rings, JRR Tolkien

Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton

Magician, Raymond E Feist

The Magus, John Fowles

Matilda, Roald Dahl

Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden

Middlemarch, George Eliot

Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

Mort, Terry Pratchett

Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman

Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck

On The Road, Jack Kerouac

One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Perfume, Patrick Suskind

Persuasion, Jane Austen

The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett

A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving

Pride And Prejudice, Jane Austen


The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot

The Ragged Trousered Philantrhopists, Robert Tressell

Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier

The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret History, Donna Tartt

The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher

The Stand, Stephen King

The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson

A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth

Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome

A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

Tess Of The D'urbervilles, Thomas Hardy

The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough

To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee

A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute

Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson

The Twits, Roald Dahl

Ulysses, James Joyce (yes, really. I even have two copies of this book.)

Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson

War And Peace, Leo Tolstoy

Watership Down, Richard Adams

The Wind In The Willows, Kenneth Grahame

Winnie-the-Pooh, AA Milne

The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

old friends, modern twist



Every now and then, a name from my distant past will pop into my head and I'll wonder what that person is up to these days. If I happen to be in front of the computer at the time, I'll do a quick Google search to see if anything comes up. Most of the people I know have common surnames and I generally don't bother Googling for them; I know I'll get 250,000 irrelevant hits. Of course the other problem when locating female friends is if they have changed surnames. Yesterday, a familiar name from the past popped up via Amazon. As she has a slightly unusual name, I investigated further. The first few Google hits were for an author of a couple of books, who also wrote articles for the Globe and Mail, and is the editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine. Further investigation led to a picture of this author, lo and behold, it was my friend from York.



My first thought was wow, she looks glamorous (it was a shot used for an author bio) and yet very similar to how she looked 18 years ago (holy macaroni, did I start university 18 years ago??). My second thought was wow, what a fantastic career, followed immediately by, wow, what a bitch (but only jokingly). She was studying film while I was studying art (and we both ended up writing for a living), and she was a great laugh. I don't even remember how we lost touch, but I suppose it was inevitable when I moved from Toronto to Montreal. I seem to recall that she went elsewhere, too. I found contact information for the fashion magazine where she now works and sent a note. She replied and now we've got a bit of catching up to do.



It's a bit like an electronic high school reunion (we don't have something like "Friends Reunited" in Canada). There are several people I would love to see again - old friends from many years and many towns ago. I'm also curious to see if other people have gotten bald, fat, or old looking, if they've had kids, if they ever left their hometown, and what they do for a living.



So, what have you all been up to since high school (or whatever the equivalent is in the UK)?

Monday, 17 May 2004

little miss sunshine



Today, I'm not quite as chipper as this:







but I'm not quite as miserable as I was last week. Some people would say it's hormones, but I think it's due to the gobshites who were making me irritable.



But I digress.



This weekend was lovely and sunny, and we continued the Garden Tart Up 2004 project. We bought some solar lights and placed them around the pond. We didn't really expect much (we suspected they would be like those glow sticks you get at fairs), so you can imagine our delight when they lit up one by one and created small pools of light. They are light-sensitive and don't come on at the same time, so it was great fun predicting which one would light up next. Great fun after you've had a few glasses of wine, I should add. I finally got my net fairy lights (a panel of tiny white Christmas lights), which twinkle merrily away on the fence next to the patio. We also bought some small table lanterns that hold citronella tealights to keep the mozzies away. Yesterday we painted the fence panels and shed a willow/sage light grey-green colour, which has made the garden look more spacious and bright.



Our iris in the pond is blooming, the tadpoles are getting bigger by the day, but Wayne the newt has disappeared. My new shrubs are growing (despite the fact that Jasper has recently taken to "watering" them himself) and the bark chips do actually seem to be suppressing the weeds. We barbecued, sat and sipped wine and enjoyed the fruits of our labour. Although still slightly grumpy, this weekend's gardening has made the world (or at least our backyard) a much better place.

Sunday, 16 May 2004

no joy



I got my period today and it was no less heartbreaking than last month, even though I thought I was being a lot more relaxed about it. I didn't even realise I was close to being due until a few days beforehand (I was in such a bad mood from work that I didn't even notice it was PMT time) and unlike last month, I didn't hone in on every little twinge and slight oddity desperately searching for signs of pregnancy. This month, I was pretty sure that we didn't manage to conceive and I looked ahead to next month (our last try before the wedding). Regardless, when I knew for certain that I wasn't pregnant, I cried and cried.



I know, it's only the second month. It still really sucks, though.

Tuesday, 11 May 2004

sorry to disappoint



The osteopath greeted me with a wide smile and asked excitedly, "Any good news?" No, I said. Not so far, but maybe this month - I'll know in about a week. With a slight look of disappointment he said, "Oh. Okay." and our session began.



I don't think this poor man can take much more.

for the birds



As I was pulling into the parking lot earlier, two small birds were sitting in the middle of the road. As I got closer, they looked at me with a start (or as startled looking as birds can get, I suppose) and frantically flew out of my way - and into each other. With a swift arc, they lifted off the ground and crossed back on themselves, colliding into each other and flopping to the ground.



Which begs the question - when cartoon birds collide into each other, what appears above their heads?

itchy and scratchy



This is rapeseed, AKA canola:







Fields and fields and fields and fields of this stuff surround our local area. It makes me sneeze. It makes my eyes, throat, ears, and nose itch. It makes it hard for me to breathe. To cap it all, it reeks - and it's everywhere.



As a Canadian, I've no one to blame since canola was developed in Canada. But like Celine Dion and William Shatner, there are some Canadian things that are better left on some remote island in the Pacific or in an underground bunker. Ban rapeseed! Use groundnut, corn, or olive oil instead! In fact, let's convert rapeseed fields into cornfields. Everyone likes corn. Corn doesn't make me want to stick my head in a tub of liquid Benedryl. No one munches on a bucket of buttered rapeseed at the cinema. You can't throw rapeseed on the BBQ. Ban rapeseed, I say!



I thank you. Please pass the Kleenex.

Monday, 10 May 2004

say what?



I don't get it. Fertility Friend tells me that I'm fertile for a couple of days before and a couple of days after I ovulate (up to three days before and after, to be precise). The Miriam Stoppard book I'm reading says that I'm fertile for about a day before ovulation, and possibly a day after. Baby Centre says that I'm fertile 1-2 days before ovulation, but there's some doubt about whether or not I'm fertile after. Some sites say that sperm can live (and thus fertilize an egg) for up to 5 days. Dr. Stoppard says it's more like 24 hours.



Why is this such an inexact science? Modern medicine, my eye.

Sunday, 9 May 2004

yo' mama



To my Mom, who still sends me care packages, sends me fantastic emails (containing the funniest celebrity gossip), sends presents and cards for the dog (can't wait to see what'll happen when we supply her with human grandchildren), provides the most luxurious accommodation when we're staying in Mississauga (what hotel not only launders your clothes, but also mends them? Eh? Eh?), and has been so wonderfully unobtrusive about our wedding (and not at all the stereotypical mother-in-law) -



thank you and happy Mother's Day. Please keep sending chocolate.



Lots of love,

Lisa and your future son-in-law xx

Friday, 7 May 2004

innocence lost



So I'm driving back from our other office in Chalfont after a lovely lunch with my workmates (courtesy of my company), when all of a sudden, I get flashed. In the middle of the afternoon, in broad daylight, on a busy road, I was flashed. By a speed camera. Nuts. I must mention that speed cameras here are not the sneaky variety we have back in North America - they're not hidden behind bushes, nor are they held by police officers parked behind large structures so that you can't see them. This isn't to say that we don't have these kind of speed traps here; they're just not used as often. Here, speed cameras are either fluorescent yellow or large and obvious enough to be spotted. Signs warn you well in advance that there are speed cameras about. White lines are painted across the road to indicate where your speed will be monitored. There could have been someone dressed in a big bear suit, flapping his arms and holding a neon sign saying "LISA, SLOW DOWN" and I wouldn't have noticed. Sucks to be me.



So now I have three points on my license. That's three more than I've ever had in my life. My license is tainted; it has words like "date of offense" stamped on it. "Do you think they'll reject my application for citizenship because of this?" I asked Paul worriedly. "I have a criminal record now, don't I?" All this for doing 40 in a 30 (which goes up to a 50 mph zone about 10 feet after I got flashed). I'll never be able to become prime minister now.

Thursday, 6 May 2004

shoot me if I change my name to Delia



My friend Dean joked that I'm turning into a suburban English person, but I think he's right. With all the DIY, gardening, complaining about the weather, complaining about how we get ripped off in England, expressing my dismay with the roads in Cambridgeshire and what not, I am slowly developing into a crotchety old Brit. Fantastic. I might write a letter to my MP and tell him about it.



On the other hand, it's nice to feel more at home now. While watching "The Nation's Favourite Food" (originally on BBC), I found myself nodding vigorously at the nation's choice of comfort foods. There are so many meals that are delightfully and gloriously British, that have now become my comfort foods. How wonderful to tuck into a plate of bangers and mash (that's sausages with mashed potatoes to my foreign friends) on a miserable grey day, or to cure a hangover with a full English breakfast or "fry up" the morning after. Although not listed as a comfort food (it's under Lunch Dishes), I adore the traditional roast lunch. It's like four different kinds of starch on one plate, with gravy and meat. What other nation considers a cup of tea and a biscuit to be comforting? When something goes wrong, someone must scurry to the kitchen to put the kettle on. Of course I remain staunchly Canadian in my other comfort food selections: macaroni and cheese (Kraft Dinner, thank you), pancakes with maple syrup (with scrambled eggs, hash browns, toast, and a cardiac arrest), and bagels from Fairmount or St. Viateur bakeries in Montreal.



I shake my head at the nation's selection of toast as a comfort food. Come on, that's what you eat when you've got stomach flu or what you use to mop up your baked beans.

Tuesday, 4 May 2004

that's the sound of crickets



Apologies for the lack of posts lately. I suppose I haven't really had anything new and interesting to say (of course, that infers that my writing is usually interesting, which is debatable). I still think about babies a lot, I do the odd bit of reading (I think I know more about ovulation than I ever wanted to know), and still keep track of my temperature. The only change is that we've altered the babymaking plan a bit; we'll try this month and next but then wait until after the wedding to try again. There is some sort of logic behind this plan, honest. I figured that if I'm 4-5 months pregnant at the wedding a) I shouldn't be throwing up on people by that point (now I've just jinxed myself, I know) and b) I will be past that critical first trimester before travelling overseas. On the plus side, the wedding dress I've selected laces up at the back so there's room for expansion. Woohoo!



I don't think there will be much luck this month. My temperatures are all over the place and I don't think we got the timing right. It'll happen when it happens and not expecting anything means pregnancy will be a pleasant surprise. Am I convincing anyone yet? Damn.

why does it always rain on us?



Another bank holiday weekend, another three days when the sun decides to bugger off and hang out elsewhere while Mr. Rain moves in and leaves the place a mess. And yet, we barbecued. Keeping with the great English tradition of cooking food outdoors on an open flame even though it's cold and pouring rain, we also broke from English tradition by barbecuing something other than burgers and sausages. Paul cooked up a ton of grilled veggies (aubergine, fennel, red onions, and red peppers marinated in olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice), slices of halloumi cheese, and some chicken slathered in real gen-u-ine American BBQ sauce. I whipped up some courgette fritters, wrapped new potatoes in foil with olive oil and whole cloves of garlic and chucked it on the oven, and put together a salad of fresh mozzarella (not the square stuff you grate and put on pizza), fresh basil, lemon juice, olive oil, and roasted red chilli peppers. Did I mention that we were cooking for four? I have a phobia about running out of food when we have guests over, so I always make far too much - or so I think. The only leftovers we had were a couple of courgette fritters, a half dozen new potatoes, and a couple of pieces of chicken. Mmm lunch.



Food always tastes better when it's been cooked outdoors, even when it's covered by a fine mist of precipitation.