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Baby passport

Does anyone know how long these take to get (don't mind paying extra to fast track)? We've been invited to our friends' place in France at the very start of September...

I know you can renew an existing passport on the same day if pressed but I wasn't sure how quick you could get a brand new one.

5 songs beginning with A

1. Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
2. List (and upload, if you feel like it) 5 songs that start with that letter.
3. Post them to your journal with these instructions.

bopeepsheep gave me A

1. Anyway That You Want Me - Spiritualised.
Amazing song, it just keeps building and spiralling upwards. It was on a bonus 7" that came with Lazer Guided Melodies I think and was lost when I moved out of the house in Blackheath with the mad Polish landlord with feral children where we had a fox with a naked tail that used to shelter in the basement.

I met Jason Pierce a few times - I'm sure everyone is tired of hearing about my regret at having a strop and refusing to go up into the dome of the Albert Hall and dropping the balloons (at the gig that was recorded for Live and the Albert Hall - the CD has my ex's name listed on the back as "balloon dropper").

2. Alison - Pixies
Not my favourite song by the Pixies but I have to have representation from my favourite band.

3. Ain't too proud to beg - TLC
TLC were brilliant! This one! Unpretty! NO SCRUBS!!! Poor Lisa.

4. Animal - Def Leppard
Ridiculous. Was trying to think of something cooler but this wouldn't leave my head so down it goes.

5. All The Young Dudes - David Bowie

And as a bonus track the best song by an artist beginning with "A" - One Thing by Amerie.

Mar. 29th, 2010

I might have mentioned the pub at the end of our road before. When we moved into the house it was a very quiet, little frequented place. That was nice for us, but not for the landlady as it wasn't turning a profit so it closed down.

It was empty for a few months before being taken over by this arsehole. All the local crims go there for karaoke on a Friday night, and then spill out onto our street to vomit/fight/shout. He has a licence until 12 o'clock which, on a residential street, is really out of order on the part of the council. I've complained to the licencing department (they are sending me a form to request a licence review), the local police and the environmental health department.

Unfortunately the environmental health people usually take so long to call us back that there's no chance of them getting here before the pub shuts but last night (he's started doing a 'jam session' on Sundays until gone 11) they got here in time. The music was not only loud, but f*cking awful - as the people from the council arrived they were slaughtering Bob Marley. I did the 'reasonable woman at the end of her tether' thing very well, playing up the baby thing. As they were standing in my living room we could hear every word of the song being sung, and I use 'sung' in the loosest sense. They said that the noise was clearly in breach of regulations and went to have a word.

The landlord is such an idiot.

Yesteday we officially retired A's premature baby clothes as he's almost 7lb - so now he's into newborn size.

I keep looking at the photos sparklielizard took last weekend and changing my mind about which one is my favourite. At the moment I think it is this one:

Joe went out to DJ last night so my mum came over and cooked dinner which was really sweet. She did of course say something annoying - she went on about how sons are only yours until they're married. Gaaah. He's six weeks old.

I reminded her how close Joe and his brother are to his parents. She said "yes but who would you want looking after Alexander, me or Miranda" and I said "you of course" and she looked triumphant. So I explained (patiently) that people are only babies for a short time, and that Joe and Sam were taken out by both grandmothers a lot as children and felt equally close to both of them, and that if Sam and Sarah have kids, that they live up the road from his parents while hers have retired to the Isle of Wight so Miranda would see more of them even though she's the husband's mother.

Honestly, she does wind me up. My friend Niki says that mothers know exactly how to push your buttons because they installed them.

Baby Vs Cat

Baby Vs Cat
Originally uploaded by natashamorabito

Another picture

Originally uploaded by natashamorabito
He's 38 weeks today.


I went to see the dentist today about the bleeding lump near my wisdom tooth. It is something called a pregnancy epulis. It really fucking hurts and it bleeds loads.

I've got Corsodyl gel to put on it.

He said it should go away after I have the baby but that means I can only chew on one side for the next 7 and a half weeks. Bit annoying.

The bleeding really upsets me and the taste of the blood. I never used to be squeamish but I guess after all the bleeding early on I just don't want anything to do with blood. Obviously there will be plenty at the end.

"Occasionally, some pregnant women will develop a localised swelling on the gum, known as a pregnancy epulis. Typically this will occur in the second or third trimester, sometimes even appearing for the first time in the final month of the pregnancy.

A pregnancy epulis will often bleed easily, and can appear very red and inflamed, however they are generally not painful. They are also not cancerous and do not have the potential to become cancerous.

Some women who have an epulis will have it removed during pregnancy, usually because of bleeding, for cosmetic reasons, or because the diagnosis is uncertain. However, if left alone, the epulis will usually regress after childbirth."

Baby Tata with Mr Rabbit

This is me in 1973 with the rabbit my dad bought me on the day I was born.

He is visiting from Italy at the moment and yesterday he bought a little rabbit for my baby boy who is due to arrive in March.

I cried.
I love the Quakers. Really I do. But this piece in The Friend sums up what's wrong with some of them. Many of them are very practical and do so much good in real, tangible ways that I feel slightly churlish picking this rubbish example - but it made me laugh so I'm sharing it.

Dilemma - To Evict Or Not To Evict?

On 6 October we rented out our flat to what seemed to be a lovely DSS single mother. On 22 October we started eviction proceedings.

We had intended to rent our flat below the market rate as we live in an area of severe social deprivation and racial tension - the sad fate of many once proud northern towns. We actively sought DSS tenants unable to afford market rates. The young woman who came seemed very eager and excited, talking of putting in her new sofa and decorating the second bedroom for her one-year-old who was recovering from scarlet fever. Please note there is also tuberculosis here [AMAZING]. We were happy and felt a sense of contentment. However, she became the tenant from hell for the other people in the block of flats, watching TV without a licence in the early hours; with a noisy dog - not allowed anyway - tethered to the sofa all day and a live-in partner (not allowed as agreement is only in her name), which culminated we understand in her throwing all her partner's clothes out of the window closely followed by a brick-throwing contest with him stark naked at 4am. Even by the culture of our local area [not a snob at all then?] this was apparently an unmissable spectacle. A crowd gathered!

So I was angry: my middle class sensibilities kicked in and we started eviction proceedings. I spoke to one of my best and wisest friends - Mo, who lives and honourable, quiet life with her family on the Dewsbury Moor estate not far from where Shannon Matthews used to live. She, in her gentle Northern Irish lilt, explained that for some people behaviour like that is is normal and they know no different [THANKS, MO]. They are almost certain to flit, without paying rent and then begin the cycle again. Another short term flat, more threats from authority, more flitting. I then realised that perhaps we'd done them harm rather than good by imposing our middle class values on them and then being angry when they were totally unable to respond. Driving back in the Yorkshire rain, I happened to see our tenants holding hands, dog in tow and child in buggy, ambling down the road to the shop without any protection from the now vicious weather. I found myself crying. Yes, on one level we have an obligation by law to have them evicted, both for the sake of the other flat dwellers and because they are cheating the benefit system and are undoubtedly anti-social. But, and my heart is at the moment wrestling with this. They've been marginalised, patronised (by me and others) disastrously educated, and often in third or fourth generation unemployed families. Can I in all integrity evict these people, their little boy and their unborn child because their behaviour is unacceptable to me and to professional law makers and enforcers? What sayest Thou?

Emma Green
Brighouse West Yorkshire

Since the eviction notice was served, we are told that they have now left the flat, without paying any rent, and their whereabouts are currently unknown.

My husband

Joe has a feature in the Guardian Film and Music section today: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/aug/20/second-albums-jack-penate-horrors

Suggest please

I think I would like some more people to follow - pimp away.

Lovely weekend

Joe and I went up to Tetbury in Gloucestershire on Friday, the traffic was horrible on the M4 until past Reading but it was a lovely day, and it's always nice to be able to see the countryside (even from a non-air-conditioned car).

Tetbury is very pretty and very posh, it is the nearest town to Prince Charles' place and he even has a Highgrove Shop in town. It's full of antique shops (I tried to buy a vintage umbrella from one but it turned out to belong to the owner and wasn't for sale). We had a really nice walk in the countryside, we had to go through a field of bulls which scared me a bit but they were extremely placid and one even let me touch it on the nose.

We met a very chatty man with two miniature Schnauzers and an undone fly.

On Saturday evening Joe was DJing for a friend's wedding at a place called Matara. http://www.matara.co.uk/ It's run by an old hippy as a sort of Zen centre but it makes most of its money from boozed up weddings.

Sunday we drove to Westonbirt Arboretum to meet Kristina (Lurpak) and her daughters. It is the Forestry Commission's 'home' I guess. It is huge and they have examples of practically every tree in the world. We walked around the old part which is only about a quarter of the whole thing and that took us all afternoon.

Here's Meg:

More photos under the cutCollapse )

We found a hollow sculpture that was for wishes. You had to write your wish on a scrap of paper and put it inside. Meg wished for "the earth to get well soon" I wished "for the best possible things to happen" Joe wished he could write a book and something else that I've forgotten and Hannah wished that her mum would change her mind about something before a certain date... I can't quite remember. We pulled some other wishes out to read and along with the ones for general health and happiness there was one person who wished she had proper boobs and not just nipples and a little boy who wishes that everything was made of fudge.

Pixies again

Friday was sold out so we managed to get four tickets for the Tuesday. Problem is two are in the circle and two are in the stalls.



I am very excited that the Pixies have announced a 'Doolittle' tour. Although they are my favourite band, I've never seen them live. They split up just as I was getting into them. Then I was kind of loathe to go to any of the reunion tours, and then once when I wanted to go they were playing in London when I was on holiday abroad and I don't really go to festivals so I never got round to it.

Anyway I am going to get tickets for the Brixton gig as soon as they go on sale on Friday.