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A woman’s right, a man’s duty and a tree

November 14, 2011

I went on Friday evening with mother to hear Penelope Leach author of the (apparently) acclaimed book Your Baby and Child talking to a small group of women at Newnham College. Having googled her before I went, I found that her main ‘thing’ seems to be around not letting babies cry. So I went along a little suspicious but kind of agreeing with her … but by the end of her talk felt even more anxious, guilt laden and inadequate than I do most days.  She did talk a huge amount of sense around happiness and it being a “woman’s right and a man’s duty to enable a happy pregnancy” and it was fascinating hearing of research on how experiences in the womb can form not just you but your children as well … but then she started talking about how much better it is to have children younger (health, risks, support network), and to go on and build a career after they’ve been born, how you should be in a loving stable relationship, how stress can cause cortisol to be released from the small unborn person’s brain which can have a damaging effect etc etc etc I went and spoke to her afterwards talking about being self employed, old and at risk and she responded that I might have to live on benefits – which seemed to miss the point rather. Anyway – I did agree with alot of what she said and it did cause me to question alot of my life choices and also the position I’m now in… but I am where I am, I desperately want The Spaniard and will do all I can to nurture and love the little person even if i won’t be able to lavish it with an Eton education or endless new clothes from Calvin Klein and it has to get used to sitting in a basket at my feet while I work (hmmmm). I just have to hope that being such a bad mother really won’t result in it becoming a drug crazed alcoholic as Dr Leach seemed to infer.

So that stopped most of my sleep on Friday night, then Saturday I just felt absolutely wiped out… which was annoying as Saturday marked 2 moths to the day (12 Nov – 12th Jan) that The Spaniard will be born … YOIKES … the spare room tidy up job also loomed large and the feeling that I really need to make each day count and desperately want a break and a bit of pampering… also the worries about the heartbeat being erratic weren’t diminished either. I tried to sleep – seems to be very elusive – on Saturday afternoon and then dragged a friend to late Diwali party thinking curry and fireworks might perk me up and get The Spaniard back its bouncing best. Little bugger had obviously been desensitized by its experience in Norfolk on bonfire night and didn’t so much as flinch. It was a happy evening but I still couldn’t sleep last night.

Remembrance Sunday

Today, I went to the Remembrance Sunday service at church, very moving indeed and reflected, during the 2 minutes silence after the beautiful haunting Last Post, on The Spaniard’s two great uncles lost at the Somme and its great grand mother lost in a bombing raid near Newcastle …

Then I walked in the sparkling Autumnal sunshine along GrantchesterMeadows before heading home to continue excavating the dreaded spare room.

Grantchester Meadows 2 months to go


Tonight I came over to see Mother, she’s going away for a week – down to Dorset and will be terribly missed … but as we sat and watched Strictly Come Dancing together and chatted about nothing The Spaniard seemed to bounce back to its normal self – for the first time since the upsets on Friday which was a huge relief. It kicked me so hard I felt winded – which was excellent.

The main reason, other than she needs a break to finally help heal her poor ribs, is that tomorrow and Tuesday herald the felling of ‘The Tree’ … I’ll do a separate post about it but in brief it was there long before the house was built and has dominated the property since before she and Daddy bought it over 50 years ago. We grew up under it, I was married under it (well the reception), we held Daddy’s wake under it and it has been home to bats, squirrels and all manner of birds as well as being a rare and unique tree for my whole life.

We have battled for the last 2 years to save it since our neighbours decided that the damage it was doing to an unimportant outhouse was so bad it warranted its destruction. The Council Planning Committee unanimously voted to save it with a Preservation Order, but Eric Pickles the Secretary of State for the destruction of our green and pleasant land listened to an appeal and it was decreed that it must come down as ultimately bricks trump trees.

So … my melancholy mood will continue over the next day or so which is annoying … but I will do what I can to find some good moments to relish. I did have my hair cut on Saturday for the first time since April (but still not coloured and I do look like a badger, albeit now a more coiffed badger) and have also decided that I need to be waxed, plucked and groomed a little more over coming weeks to make me presentable (all over) for The Spaniard’s arrival.

Sorry for the wishy washy blah ramblings tonight … it’s been a difficult few days and isn’t set to get any easier.

HOWEVER, I did get the most wonderful present in the post … and a huge thank you to wonderful Tracey Todhunter for the gorgeous soft silky wool shawl … I’ve not taken it off once all weekend I don’t think. It has already become my Linus blanket …and you did make me feel special this weekend so again thank you. I also spoke to my cousin in the States which was lovely … and again reminded me of how many people The Spaniard will be loved by.

Right then bed … maybe tomorrow I’ll climb the tree and sit there Swampy like defying the tree surgeons and waving an anti Eric Pickles and anti tree hating neighbours banner. That would make me feel better!!

I also need to contemplate how and if I tell Roy about me having a happy pregnancy being my right and his duty … maybe best done from a high up vantage point up the tree!!

the thuja tree on it's last day

the poor doomed tree

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2011 1:02 pm

    We had a thuja in our garden when we came here. It was about 40-50 years old and much misshapen because it was being encroached upon by surrounding horsechestnuts, sycamore and leylandii. It was the one right in the centre of this photo

    I remember it most because of its ‘just-sharpened school pencil’ smell.


  1. RIP tree part 1 « Mush brained ramblings

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