Category Archives: Vicarage life

4 months today!

Julianne May 2009

Our gorgeous little girl is 4 months old today.  We still can’t quite believe she is here!  She is doing well and growing well (6.44kg / 14lbs 3oz at her weigh in last week), and it is fascinating to see her changing as the days go by.  She is such a good baby and is sleeping well at night.  I’ve not been so well, it has been one infection after another for, mainly mastitis (and yes, despite problems I am breastfeeding totally) but most recently tonsilitis as well.  Perhaps the infection that led to my emergency C-section weakened my resistance.  I’ve certainly never had to take so many antibiotics before.

As I am finding it impossible to get round to updating here regularly, I think the time has come to shut down my blog for a while.  I am sad to do that as I have enjoyed blogging, and I hope I will return in the future.  In the meantime, when I have some spare time (!) I hope to be visiting on your blogs – I’ve got a lot of reading to catch up with!



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Time just seems to vanish with a little baby – I can’t believe she is already 7 weeks old (today).  Poor little thing has a terrible case of infant acne, but the GP has assured me that that will clear up soon on its own.  I have got mastitis again, or rather, probably, the  bout of mastitis that I had two and a half weeks ago didn’t quite heal and has resurfaced.  So it is more antibiotics.  Breastfeeding is a lot harder than I ever imagined, I’ve had a lot of problems, but Julianne is doing well on it and I am determined to keep going. 

We have unlooked for excitement at the Church today – the BBC is filming the funeral my husband is taking.  It is of a Jamaican member of our congregation, a lovely old man.  The BBC are filming it for a documentary they are producing on attitudes to death, to be presented by the actor Richard Wilson (of “One Foot in the Grave”  fame).  They wanted to film an Afro-Caribbean funeral, so here they are.  My husband has no yearnings for fame or worldly recognition so this is just extra stress for him, but the family were keen for it to go ahead so he gave permission.  He managed to cut himself shaving this morning so that should cut down on any screen time!  We don’t have any idea when this documentary will actually be shown, but both Simon and the family are to have a right to veto anything they are unhappy with.


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the tale of the (not so) ghostly piano tuner

As yesterday was my husband’s day off we went shopping and took the dog for a walk in a more exciting place than he gets for the rest of the week.  When we got home about mid-afternoon we found my father-in-law’s front door keys in the lock on the front door.  My father-in-law was upstairs in his room watching TV and dozing.  We all make mistakes and are forgetful from time to time, but leaving keys in the door in a busy urban area such as this is very dangerous.  When we all sat down to dinner I pointed this out to him (in no uncertain terms). 

 His daftness then hit higher levels as he told us he had heard the piano in the afternoon.  Had I been playing it?  Definitely not (if the carpal tunnel syndrome was not enough to stop me playing the piano the fact that it is so out of tune than it bothers even me has certainly been stopping me).  “It sounded like it was being tuned.  Someone was going ‘dah, dah, dah’,” claimed my father-in-law.  Simon and I rubbished all this.  “You obviously dreamt it.”   “You heard us talking about the piano tuner coming tomorrow and you dreamt about it.”  “You heard something on the TV or, more likely, a car stereo up too loud in the street outside.”  My father-in-law was not convinced by any of this and jumped to the conclusion that, sadly, is all too logical in his mind:  “it must have been a ghost”.  Simon and I did not keep our scorn and scepticism quiet.  I (in a spectacularly bad mood all day) finished the discussion with, “Well, you didn’t hear this piano being played, and that’s an end to it.”

Now, let us jump forward to a little earlier today when the piano tuner arrived at our house to tune our piano and the two in the Church.  I have such admiration for this man.  He is completely blind (cannot even distinguish light and dark)  and yet manages to support himself through his work.  Just before he arrived I cleared a wide path through the living room to the piano and removed the few items that were on top of the piano.  “I’ve got a surprise for you,” he said.  He then proceeded to tell me how he got his appointments confused yesterday and ended up on our doorstep at midday yesterday.  Simon and I were out, of course, but my father-in-law’s keys were in the door.  A bit frightened, he came in (with the taxi driver’s help), found the piano and tuned it, not realising he had got the wrong day until he checked his appointments in his (audio) diary!

To say I am eating humble pie doesn’t even come close!  I fetched my father-in-law so he could hear the story first hand, and yes, I have apologised profusely, as has Simon.  We were right about one thing, though:  there was a perfectly rational explanation.

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catch up

 This is the cutie that stayed with us for an all-too-brief few days last weekend.  Isn’t he gorgeous?!  He was very sweet and no bother at all, apart from crying whenever one of us was out of sight (yes, even if we just went to the loo he would sit outside the door and cry).  We had to move him to sleep in the bedroom with us – I was concerned that this might upset our dog but he just seemed glad that the visitor was out of his sight! (and earshot!).


I seem to be permanently playing catch up at the moment. 

  • I’ve been tackling the post that has built up in my absence, and booking dentist/ doctor/optician appointments. 
  • Tomorrow I’ve got the hairdresser in the morning and then the dentist for a check-up in the afternoon.  An extra bonus of being pregnant is that the dentist is FREE! 
  • I’ve decided to do a cookery course – just a couple of hours a week for 3 months, starting in a fortnight’s time – I am going to register for that tomorrow.  I’ve fancied doing some sort of cookery course for a while, but finding something affordable and at a convenient time has been difficult.  This course is at a nearby further education college.  As I cooked dinner yesterday by the glow of a small kitchen fire I think I could really do with a course!  (Thankfully the kitchen and my eyebrows are all still intact, I just need to replace a saucepan.  I was distracted peeling carrots while I heated some oil in the saucepan to brown some beef, so totally my own fault.  The flames were surprisingly impressive, and it burnt for longer than I’d have imagined.  I was very grateful that there is nothing above the hobs on the stove, not even a cooker hood.)
  • We are trying to sort out the rest of Simon’s holiday leave for this year – when to take it and where to go.  The when is reasonably simple as we only have November as an option! 
  • I’ve been buying some clothes – I’ve grown out of most of my wardrobe!  I had a discount voucher to use online for a maternity wear shop so I have placed an order.  A swimsuit so I can try to keep fit in the local pool, a good dress for Church and other dressing up occasions, and a pair of trousers which will work with a variety of tops.  I’ve already got a denim skirt from ebay and I have been living in it for the last three weeks.
  • I’ve got a few hours of work to put in on the Church accounts (next up after this little bloggy diversion).
  • Good news, though: I’ve caught up with the washing and ironing!


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feet and hearts

Our poor suffering spaniel is now on antibiotics and painkillers for his infected paw.  My feet have pretty much recovered from last week’s accidents, I’m still feeling a little nervous when opening cupboards, however!

I’ve just been to the hospital for a heart scan – not for any health problems but rather as part of a research project going on there.  It was amazing to see my heart on the monitor.  It is working so hard and I am just taking it for granted.  The more I learn about the human body the more in awe I am at the amazing work God has done in creating us.

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bad foot week continues. . .

but this time the victim is the dog, not me.

  This is our poor hound, wearing his buster collar.  The affected paw is the front left, and we are to leave it unbandaged.  Bertie is managing to turn himself into a contortionist, somehow licking the paw regardless of the collar, but he can only do this when he is standing up!  At least that limits it a bit!  The vet thinks it is a skin infection of sorts and we have an anti-bacterial/anti-fungal shampoo to use on the paw once a day.  I am also washing it with salt water.  It seems to be getting worse instead of better – though I always find it difficult to know whether what is going on is part of the healing process or is really a step backwards.  We will see how it is in the morning and go back to the vet if necessary.

Bertie loves trips to the vet’s surgery – he must be their only patient who charges the door in his eagerness to get in.  (All those interesting smells, and friendly people)  The vet we saw this time was a lovely lady from Australia.  We went out into the street so she could see how Bertie was walking, how much he was limping.  He got so excited he walked entirely on his hind legs, so we gave up and went back indoors.  Even in pain he is still full of enthusiasm for everything; at 4 years old he has slowed down a little, but not enough to make him into “normal” dog.  He is a puppy at heart, and very excitable.  I only managed to take the photo by holding a biscuit by the camera!

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My feet are taking a bit of a battering this week.  First a tin of fruit fell out of a cupboard on top of one, then a bottle of shampoo fell (from another cupboard) onto the other.  Suffice it to say that the little piggies that went to market, stayed at home and had roast beef are all suffering.

Maybe it is also a sign that my cupboards are a little over-full?!


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