Thursday, March 30, 2006


Nearly the holidays, thank goodness. Tomorrow is Lorna's last day at work and there will be a gathering to bid her farewell at one of Edinburgh's now smoke-free pubs. Perfect timing for pregnant ladies who want to buy their husband some beer! Mind you it appears she has managed to catch a cold and spent most of today in maybe her timing isn't so great after all.

The TENS machine arrived today. It looks a bit fiddly, especially considering everything else that will be going on at the same time but Lorna remains convinced she'll use it, at least in the early stages.

We got a call from Ulrike in Germany this evening - it's nice to think about the international community who are thinking about us and waiting for news...

Last night was our final summary meeting with the ante-natal class. It covered issues surrounding the first six weeks and was fairly interesting. They advised us against receiving too many visitors in the early days though - I'm all of our wonderful Edinburgh friends will wait for us to contact them with a formal invitation however.

Anyway I need to cut this short tonight as Lorna is going to guide me through her maternity bag collection. If she asks for something I will have seconds to respond so I'd better learn where things are. In my bag is just a blindfold.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Running contd....

I ran an outdoor 10K practice on Saturday, but now I need to concentrate on not running in a "thumbs up" style.....

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Running and the legacy of Rocky

Finding that my visits to the gym were lacking focus or purpose, I decided to sign up for the Great Edinburgh Run. At 10K it is a distance I used to run in the gym and something I reckoned I could achieve again. I found a realistic training schedule on line and made a convincing start.

The gym TV choice was dull and uninspiring; who trains to Ready Steady Cook? So I bought an iPod and loaded it with my CDs. That was all very well but I needed something more motivating...then I remembered the Rocky soundtrack...

Who can fail to be moved by the rousing Gonna Fly Now, or forget the iconic Eye of the Tiger? Well, I hesitantly confess that playing these tracks while running still gave me the buzz first felt at age 14 watching Stallone doing "cool skipping" and knocking lumps out of Mr T. I remembered the injustice I felt at the cheating Ivan Drago, who took drugs while Rocky trained honestly by lifting his family in a barrow, chopping logs and running away from the KGB.

Today however, while out running (I've moved from the comfort of the gym to the real life of the muddy path) I discovered that there's only so far the music can take you. The film is just that; a film. None of the dog walkers I passed wanted to return my cheery wave. No fruit market owners tossed me grapefruits and wished me luck and there was a serious lack of "gimmie-fives" from the teenagers outside ASDA. Trying to jump over park benches like hurdles just me made look silly and I don't imagine Edinburgh council are going to erect a statue of me holding my side, blowing my nose on my sleeve and trying to catch my breath at the top of some steps.

In reality the people I did tend to catch up with (pensioners, people walking very small dogs or pushing prams) were more likely to ask me if I wanted them to phone somebody, or start checking me for medical information tags.

So maybe it was time to watch the films again, remind myself what they were all about...well, talk about getting old. When I was 14, Rocky was about imagining you could go to the gym and get big muscles so that one day, if you ever actually got into a fight, you'd nearly lose but then win right at the very end. Full stop. Imagine my surprise when looking at the film with 32 year old eyes revealed something altogether more frightening; Rocky has a plot. And to my horror I found myself following the plot and actually getting into it! The bits of Rocky 2 formerly known as the "shite bits" suddenly were being interrupted by men pretending to hit each other and doing press ups. What's this? Rocky's been injured in the eye and shouldn't fight again? But people are making fun of him! He promises his missus he won't fight but then decides to anyway! He trains, but half-heartedly - he needs his wife's support. He's going to lose! Then she gets pregnant and has a baby...but falls into a coma! Oh no! Rocky should be training but is spending all his time in the chapel! He won't even see the baby...but then she comes round, he's delighted and in a final piece of scripting genius she says, "I want you to do something for" What thinking, feeling person could fail to be moved.

Anyway, I'll be running on Sunday 7th May, wearing my iPod to distract me from the discomfort, and who knows, I might even be able to jump up in the air and freeze frame just beyond the finish line.

Monday, March 20, 2006

T -33 and counting

Sometimes I decide an update is due, and sometimes my adoring fan club decide for me - hello Inverness mum!

33 days to go. The house transformation is almost complete; a nasty case of furniture food poisoning has caused us to spew money, and all that is left are the dry heaves of our overdrafts. We now own more wardrobes than most and the cot-bed is due to be delivered on Saturday. And the mattress. And the changing 'tray' that fits on the cot-bed. I must give credit and eternal thanks to Gillian for her gift of an electric screwdriver...

Lorna is getting big, tired, heavy and grumpy. No, not grumpy, just more tired. She is still at work and will be until 31st - quite late really, but she has a light class commitment. Her concern is that some of her bosses haven't really taken in the fact she's actually leaving, soon! She is met with renewed surprise and head scratching when she reminds some of them and points at her bump...

Lorna went to last week's ante-natal class without me and typically it was a good one! She got chatting to one of the other women there who was due 17th of April...and had her baby the next day

Any non baby related stuff? I got a new helmet the other day, a nice Arai RX7, and only once I got it home did I spot the crack in the plastic vent. "Oh fiddle-de-dee", I said. I'll take it back in to get it fixed but still, grrr, why should I have to.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Second class, camping about and bugs

Wednesday saw our second ante-natal class, and what a waste of time! There were 16 women there, though only 8 guys had returned for more after week one. Lying on the table in the middle of the room was what looked suspiciously like a dolly with a beanbag placenta poppered to it, and a disembodied pelvis held together with screws and wires. Because that's what they were. Oh god, they're going to force that poor doll through that pelvis, probably without even loosening the screws, then point menacingly at the women and say, "See? Nasty, eh?" Then we were treated to a Q&A session about "How can you tell labour has started?" before being played a relaxation CD of the type we "might like to buy." For 15 minutes. With the lights off. The annoying female voice told us to "breathe down as far as our wombs" and "make contact with our babies". Lorna didn't appreciate me breathing anywhere near her womb, so we just sniggered childishly at the other ladies who were taking it seriously. Next week the class is about second stage labour and pain relief. I'm not going to able to make it, but I don't feel so bad as by that stage there's not going to be a lot I can do other than What I Am Told.

After the class I had to head to Ardmay House for the remainder of the week. 40 P5s had been there since Monday and I highly recommend it as a place to take that age group. Not too big, we were the only school there and the activities were easily tailored to suit their feeble whinging bodies.

Finally for nnow we got a visit from Cameron today, who came to Edinburgh to visit the museum. Unfortunately he had to bring his parents Neil and Janice with him, so we just had to put up with them the best we could. There was an exhibition of Creepy Crawlies - giant model bugs alongside their real miniture selves for Cameron to hold and Janice to hide from.

42 days to go. Bike show tomorrow at Ingliston, and an evening trip to Ikea later in the week...

Monday, March 06, 2006

As exciting as watching wallpaper dry...

It's done; the spare room is now neutral yellow, thank goodness. I could go on about how I was suffering from a dreadful cold all weekend, and how the job was only completed due to my bravery and iron will...but I won't.

A trip to Ikea proved pointless, but then what were we thinking going on a Sunday afternoon anyway? Shoogley changing tables and a lack of measurements left us failing in the wardrobe department. And people kept bumping into us, desperate fill their trolleys with stuff they don't need and would never normally buy, infected by the "it's so cheap we'd be daft not to" mentality. Stalking through the crappy sofas with murderous intent is not a good way to relax. All we got for our trouble was a blackout blind and two packets of Scandanavian sweets.

So, 47 days to go. I'm off to camp with P5 at the end of this week, then it's the Scottish Motorcycle Show this weekend. After that we will move to yellow alert and Lorna, the car and I will maintain closer contact at all times.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

First ante-natal class...

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a room and know immediately that there are many other places you'd rather be? And that feeling where you suffer from embarrassment in anticipation of the actual embarrassment you are going to suffer from later?

Today Lorna and I attended our first ante-natal class and were faced with a circle of 20 chairs surrounding a table with flipchart pages and marker pens. Uh-oh. Maybe it's because of my job, but I dread "getting to know you" activities, except for one called "Going to the Pub".

Right enough, introductions were called for round the circle followed by the job of splitting into male and female groups and filling in our Hopes and Fears on the flipcharts. I "hope" I'm not going to have to take part in any more stuff like this, I "fear" I am. The guy group filled in what we thought the women expected us to, the only strong agreement coming when we "hoped" their "boobs would remain substantial".

Having fed-back and made all the appropriate noises we then watched a video about Simpson's, the maternity unit where we will go on B-Day. Interestingly the actual birth was only mentioned once while parking regulations made it into 3 different chapters.

Anyway I can't wait for next week when we are playing Fruit Salad, discussing "My Best Holiday" and discussing what to do if you are being bullied in the playground.