Wednesday, October 31, 2007


About 6 weeks ago I was knackered- well I'm actually always knackered so I guess I was knackereder, so asked the hospital to test for anaemia during my routine anti-D appointment. They didn't get back to me and when I called my GP, they'd heard nothing so I put the tiredness down to my early starts, long hours driving and several jobs, DIY and kids. Then I mentioned it again at an antenatal 3 weeks ago, they got me back in and reran the tests and today they tell me I am indeed anaemic and need to go onto iron immediately. Apparently the postal strike managed to lose my original test results so I've been dragging myself about unnecessarily overtired for 6 weeks thanks to the UK postal system. Just great, thanks, guys!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Léon's pox scar
Originally uploaded by PhylB
Here's my wee man. Isn't he gorgeous? But you can tell straight away when you look at his perfect little button nose that he's already been through a horrendous dose of chicken pox. The doctor says that his nose might stretch with time, given he was only 1 at the time he caught it, but I am dubious this scarring will ever fully fade.


Either the world is becoming sillier the older I get, or I am just turning into a grumpy old woman. I love the kids' school to bits, in general. It is a very positive, nurturing environment full of friends, respect, fun etc but today I found myself shaking my head. They sent Marcel home with a letter asking the kids to come to school dressed up for Halloween - nice - kids like that. But then went on to clarify: no masks or face paint in case they frighten anyone...emmmmm I think somebody's missing the point here!


rainbow books
Originally uploaded by
Together, we have so many books, we decided for fun to try to shelf them by colour rather than topic or author. This was just a wee ten minute trial to see if it'd work- we'll now move them about to match the spectrum in order and shades. Obviously with so many black or white ones we can't achieve the effect everywhere but as we're likely to end up with a minimum of 6 or 7 different bookshelves around the house, we thought doing just the two large ones in the living room like that would be pretty!


Given Thomas tends to get Léon ready in the mornings while I drive Marcel and Charlotte to school, it is hardly surprising to find he's been watching his morning routine. First the shower then the shaving. At the weekend Charlotte was hoovering the living room for me when one of the attachments dropped off. Pudge instantly took it to be a razor rather than a hoover attachment and proceeded to 'shave' in the way he has often seen Thomas do. Funny how you can tell from Léon and a piece of hoover that Thomas wet shaves rather than using an electric razor!

Monday, October 29, 2007


I'm so frustrated by this double-life! It started two weeks ago. I was meant to read 'On Chesil beach' for my book club so I bought it a few days before, knowing it was a fairly short novella so even with my scarily hectic life would only take a couple of my 1 hour bedtime slots. I read the first third in the house, then put it in a bag to bring to the flat and it disappeared into the black hole residing somewhere between NewtonMearns and Garnthill. For 2 whole weeks I looked for it perhaps an hour a day, hormonally stamping and growling more and more. Given it is only out in hard back, I couldn't afford to rebuy it, so eventually gave up and told my literary mates to go ahead without me last Wednesday. Yesterday, while searching in vain for Léon's jumper, what did I find wedged behind the car seat I had removed to use my car as a transit van, but a poly bag complete with On Chesil beach - bingo - too late for the group but I did want to hear what happened next!
Then there's the Internet problem - I can't blog there because we have no Internet so I have to try to remember anything I want to blog till the next time I am in the flat. Given a few of the things I considered blogging this weekend were kids-related (surprise surprise), I thought I'd take appropriate photos to upload today while I was in the flat. I brought the camera and sat down to upload them, only to realize that I have the camera here but the USB lead in the house - grrr again.

Finally, I did think it prudent to charge my mobile phone while I was here tonight given all viewers for the flat come in on that number. Can I find the charger? Of course not! Is it in the house? No idea! Will I ever sell the flat if my phone runs out of charge? Six weeks till D-day...where should I leave my bag once I pack for the hospital? These questions and many more will be answered on the next episode of Housesoap :-(

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I was reading this interesting article about Alan Johnston. It reminded me a lot of reading Brian Keenan's truly fascinating book: An evil cradling just after it came out. I think I read it half a dozen times just to get my head round it at the time. I clearly remember his risking his life making a stance both about underwear and the shaving of his beard. At the time, given I am not a great beard lover, I couldn't understand why he didn't just let them do it then grow it back, but I guess he was fighting for his right to humanity, not for his beard. That is easier to understand with the wisdom of age, I suppose. I'll definitely read a book by Alan, should he write one in the future.


I'm sitting here reading the news with a view to blogging and baby Britann is hiccoughing wildly. I'm asking myself how do you go about giving a foetus a fright? ;-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I Like
Originally uploaded by
Léon has decided 2 is a milestone and seems to have found a tiny bit of temper, a tiny bit of cheek and a tiny bit of determination. Now, for those who remember 2002, I don't mean anything on the Charlotte scale - don't worry he hasn't got me booking into the funny farm yet. So far this week, I've had him burst into hysterical tears in the news agent's pointing at the sweetie counter and shouting over and over at the top of his lungs 'Chocolate for boys!'. I've also had Thomas hold his feet in the car and tell him firmly that he shouldn't kick the back of my seat while I am driving, only to have him reply looking fiercely down his nose at him: 'and Thomas don't touch Léon's shoes!'. I can hardly wait to see what the weekend holds...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Painting Marcel's room
Originally uploaded by PhylB
We've been painting rooms and staining and varnishing wardrobes over the past couple of weeks. The other day I had just finished varnishing the wardrobe in deep mahogany when Pudge walked in. Not knowing the word 'varnish' or even 'paint', Léon looked seriously at the beautifully finished piece of furniture and announced 'Wow mum, you've yuckied it'.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I guess poor Gordon was upset today then ;-) especially if he really is claiming Gazza's goal against Scotland was one of the highlights of his life. No wonder he didn't call an election if he is coming out with comments like that, that could lose him every single Scottish vote - he is truly vomit-worthy at times!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Originally uploaded by
Interesting how certain laws are woolly in this country. When I decided to revert to my maiden name a month ago, I was told that legally a married woman who took her husband's name can revert to her maiden name at any time and doesn't need to wait until a divorce is granted. Given how hard it is to get a divorce in this country, I wanted to change name now so baby Bart-Lisa could be a Buchanan-Widmann, rather than a, perhaps inappropriate Gautier-Widmann. After reading up on the pitfalls of name change, I reluctantly decided that paying £70 to change by deed poll was safer than just reverting. My lawyer thought I was mad to pay but guess what, it seems I am right! Although I have a legal right to call myself Buchanan, there seems to be a problem with financial institutions in the UK not accepting that right. When I wrote to my bank to have my name changed on my current account this week, I was informed that they would only change my name on my cards after seeing either my divorce papers or my deed poll documentation. I feel this anomaly is very unfair. Grrr!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I come from a family of bed makers - they hop out of bed every morning and straighten up the duvets to look like an exhibit in Ikea or Marks and Spencer, whereas as I keep bed making to a strict minimum - ie vaguely straightening a duvet if I think the Queen might drop by, or my house is up for sale. I never ever understood the need for wasting 5 minutes a day making a bed when inevitably, I am going to end up back under the duvet, messing it up several hours later. Life's just too short. I always thought I was the duvet black sheep of the Buchanan clan but today I hear I am actually the one who has got it all right! Cool :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Into the final stretch now - 2 months to go today! Arg, it really is time we offloaded the 2 mortgages if I am going to reach 14 December without a nervous breakdown!
Mum made me laugh the other day by suggesting we should name our daughter Britann Rose. An odd choice I thought but she went on to explain - these celebrity types like to choose either place names (you know Brooklyn etc) for their offspring claiming often they were conceived there. Mum thought given we lived at Rose street at the time - that would give us 'Rose' but to make a place name we could combine the two granny's first names: Brita and Ann, to make a pseudo-place name: Britann - hmmmm am not convinced she'd be happy going through life as a Britann!


I am more than impressed to see that with 2 matches remaining in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, Scotland is still above both France and Italy. To listen to the radio and TV, you'd assume we'd already qualified. Am I the only one still feeling a sense of doom and gloom? Both France and Italy are only a point or two behind and can still qualify - one of them still has to play the Faroes for heaven's sake, couple with that Scotland's amazing ability to fall spectacularly at the last hurdle. Sorry to be a merchant of doom - but I predict we won't get through!


When I look at a single - you know a vinyl 45 - (apologies to all under 25s who don't know what I am talking about), I think of it as something small - because I know lps, in fact I am even old enough to have seen my grandparents' 78s. Today while unpacking, I came across a very old pile of ABBA singles from the 70s. I left them in a pile on the living room floor. Charlotte came upon them later in the day and exclaimed in a mix of horror and shock - those cds are enormous! She didn't even really know what they were! I guess I am now well and truly one of yesterday's generation.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Nice to see Doris has finally been recognized as a brilliant writer. Not before time, I've been a big fan ever since I discovered the Children of Violence series back at age 20! I did have to laugh when I heard her candid interview on radio 2 though - she pointed out that at 88, the Nobel people had probably decided they'd better hurry up and award her something as Nobel prizes can't be given posthumously and they probably figured she was on the verge of 'popping off!' I guess she has all her marbles about her and still likes to provoke!


All the way to work this morning they were warning us to be prepared for long motorway tailbacks and delays because over a thousand live chickens had escaped onto the road before rush hour! This must have inspired Marcel subconsciously, as he asked if I could make a pot of chicken soup this weekend! What a sight that must have been! Given my drive to work takes just under 2 hours, I was eventually starting to tire of the radio DJ's poor why did the chicken cross the road jokes!

Monday, October 08, 2007


Originally uploaded by
Since moving half our stuff, or to be more precise 80% or my stuff and 30% of Thomas's to the house, I have been desperately hunting for more appropriate footwear now the colder air and wetter weather is here. On Friday, I found a huge bag of shoes, but was less than pleased to discover neither my brown flat boots which I have been hunting to wear with my denim skirt, nor my black ankle boots, which I tend to wear all winter with all trousers. Today, however, during one of my searches, I was thrilled to find both in a little rucksack in the kitchen. Problem solved...or maybe not. First I tried my black boots, and my poor swollen feet could get in what are usually my comfiest boots, then I squashed my feet into the slightly larger brown boots only to find the zip wouldn't pass either my swollen ankles or legs. Waaaaah! Remind me to have all future babies in the summer! (Only kidding!)
I guess I might be stuck with sandals in the snow this year! Ho hum...

Saturday, October 06, 2007


I've just re-re-re-watched Shirley Valentine. I guess I first saw it when it came out in 1989, and then thought of it as relating more to my parents' generation than my own. I re-watched it about 18 months ago, and was surprised to hear her say she was only 42. That made it so close to being me, I could almost touch it. It really is one of those deeply thought-provoking pieces. It always strikes me as amazing that it could have been written by a man, especially 20 years ago. I can think of so many friends I'd love to sit in front of it and make them watch. Isn't life funny?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Flickr never ceases to amaze me. You upload pretty photos of yourself (well as pretty as you get at my age), your kids and your family and in the first 24 hours you get 2, maybe 3 hits. You upload something as horrendous as this - but which contains a small scrap of human flesh covering everything you would cover at the public beach anyway, and even though it isn't tagged as being in any way naked, you get over 200 hits in the first 24 hours. Odd. Firstly how do people find it? And secondly, why on earth do they want to see it? I must say it has me puzzled, though also amused. Maybe I should try walking down the beach at the moment wearing nothing but a bikini and a face mask to see if it provokes the same reaction?!


Limbo Dante
Originally uploaded by
El Código
I was listening to a talk programme on BBC radio 2 today. Did you know that the christening rate for children in England and Wales has now fallen to 16%? It was quite an interesting debate. I remember as an unchristened child in Scotland (which I can't imagine is majorly different from England except perhaps in catholic circles) in the 70s being a bit of a freak. Schoolfriends had already worked out that I couldn't join in the the chats about what aunts, uncles or cousins had bought me for Christmas as both my parents were only children. Often, to compensate, I'd be asked what my Godparents had got me - sorry - didn't have any of those either...weirdo! Anyway I was fairly surprised by quite how low the figure was just 35 years on - I'd probably have guessed 50% off the top of my head, though given I don't know anyone who's had their children christened in the UK, maybe I should have guessed! The ensuing debate, anyway, seemed to centre round the 2 extremes - people saying their children could feel safe and happy and you could cover all eventualities for their future with a will so a Godparent was superfluous, and others saying that Godparents were necessary. Interestingly, however, half of those who claimed to be religious still said the most important role for a Godparent wasn't religious instruction but as a back-up parent, should the real one be run over by a bus. If that's the case, why does religion come into it?
Anyway, I guess limbo is going to be full to bursting by the time I and my unchristened offspring pop our clogs! (well as long as we manage to live a fairly saintly life ;-) ).

Monday, October 01, 2007


Tonight after dinner we had some cape gooseberries. They were much appreciated, given how much I like fruit at the moment - as a very vegetable, non-fruit person when I am not pregnant, I never cease to be amazed how nice fruit is every time I am pregnant, though unfortunately it usually reverts to tasteless straight after birth. Anyway, I have always called cape gooseberries cape gooseberries but I noticed on the packet their real name was physalis. Why would you call a fruit after an STD? I'm afraid my small brain has a real problem separating physalis and syphilis mentally, so I am going to have to stick to calling them cape gooseberries.


I decided a while back to revert to my maiden name (Buchanan), but given we were in the process of a mortgage application and house buy, I didn't think it overly wise to revert to a name with no credit rating on the country's national databases until all that was done and dusted. Given we got our keys last week though, I figured a new month was as good a day as any to break with the old and embrace the older. I feel years younger already!