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Cobbles and conversation

December 9, 2011

The conversational highlight of the week was with a black cab driver in London (once I finally found one that would stop for me … they seem to have an unwritten rule against stopping for heavily pregnant people). He was chatting away about his children – a boy and a girl both under 5 and pronounced that it would be better for me to have a boy as boy’s are easier in the long term (girls are apparently easier babies), and his entire philosophy on child care was summed in with the pronouncement that “you’ve got to run them like dogs, boys I mean, just run them and run them and then they’ll know you’re the boss and they’ll sleep better.

I shall bear that in mind if The Spaniard turns out to be a boy.

I sit here now on the sofa a home with a tummy full of Spaniard and curry absolutely shattered after probably the most hectic week I’ve had since the whole pregnancy began.

I’ve been to a Christmas party (hurrah) that one of my clients very thoughtfully and kindly invited me to … a late lunch in Tiger Tiger in London. They all drank oodles of red wine and champagne, I stuck to fizzy water and enjoyed watching the festivities. It felt quite daunting to be ‘out’, but there I was eating turkey and Christmas pudding with the best of them. That was all great and then we had to move to a new area all cordoned off for us – but up in the disco … I thought that as it was early there would be no loud music but how wrong can a girl be. 7pm and everyone was drunkenly dancing to Robbie Williams and lurching around (not so much my ‘party’ but other revellers) it felt like 2am and the music got so loud that the poor small Spaniard danced like a dervish for a few minutes before retreating to the back of its small cavern home and sat with its fingers over its ears and it’s back to my tummy and shivered – or that’s what it felt like. So at that point I headed home, only to be stopped on the way out by a very drunk city slicker, “you’ve got lovely eyes” he said looking at my chest … then suddenly the fog lifted and he spotted the huge bump, “oh God, you’re … oh, I’m so sorry … bye” as he ran from me as if I had the plague. It was quite funny really!

Next day I went to a conference – an all day conference. Quite the most exhausting thing I’ve done for months. On the surface it was easy, I knew lots of people there, it was in a warm place with comfy chairs and lots of cups of hot water and food – but by midday I was flagging and having to get up and move around as sitting down hurt alot, and also the constant breaks and the standing around making conversation also hurt. The Spaniard already confused from its first disco the night before was in a particularly fractious mood and just kicked and kicked when I stood up and then when I was sitting down kept doing spectacular twists and turns much to the alarm of people sitting around me. However, I met an old colleague who is trying to get pregnant through IVF – and I hope that the alien being in my tum was able to give her reassurance that anything is possible, and a newer colleague who proudly showed me a scan picture of his 12 week old baby to be and then carried my bag in a very chivalrous and kind manner. Another friend there was also pregnant but looked so perfectly coiffed and clad that nobody would know – so it felt kind of pleasing to belong to a small club! Everybody was very friendly and even a charming chap from the Cabinet Office tweeted his support for my #unbornbaby (as The Spaniard is known on Twitter) as the youngest ‘digital native’ at the conference.

We headed from there over to the House of Lords and queued for an age in the howling wind to go through security (which in the end I was able to miss due to the big scanny machines) but by that stage I really felt like a huge fat frumpy whale and just sat on a chair like a zombie really not appreciating the excitement of having gone in through Black Rod’s entrance and the perfectly served sandwiches and bone china tea cups in a room overlooking the Thames. I fled fairly rapidly and a kindly policeman put me in a taxi outside and I thought, Hurrah, off to sleep … ha – no the cabbie decided to hunt for cobbled streets and speed bumps and attack both with relish so by the time I did get back to the flat where i was sleeping it felt as if my entire insides were facing in the wrong direction and The Spaniard was planning an imminent escape.

I went straight to bed … only to get up about an hour later feeling alot better to go out for dinner with a remarkable man who has been one of the inspirations behind me maintaining this blog, Roger Darlington. He was the perfect way to the end a long day, we ate a peaceful curry and he gave me a wonderful ‘book of memories’ for The Spaniard and also calm, confidence and excitement at the impending arrival.

Today, I found another cabbie who loved speed bumps and cobbles, only this time it wasn’t just me in the back but a pregnant friend as well – I am sure it was a challenge – part of the Black Cab code – and they get points for deliveries in the back of the cab – he saw his chance with the two of us to become the undisputed Black Cab, waters broken champion of London … well we foiled his plan and clutched our tummies as we headed back to Kings Cross.

I got home this afternoon and slept for 3 hours flat, the sleep of a sleepy sleepy thing with literally no energy left. Now having had a peaceful evening, and more curry (I blame The Spaniard’s addiction to chilli and spice), now I have time to reflect on the kindness of friends and colleagues this week, the adventure of going to London and the unutterable joy of coming home and being a couch potato. The Spaniard has settled down and all feels back to normality. Thank goodness … that was the last ‘trip’ I’m making before January 12th … I have no idea when I’ll be at a work conference again – probably not for months, and I doubt I’ll be out of Cambridge til late February after the unzipping procedure on 12th Jan – but I think I managed alot this week and it was necessary for work purposes.  Oh, and just for the record, last night I did have swollen ankles – for the first time … I think I’ve been very lucky there – must be the hated surgical stockings!

Now to turn attention inward and get house sorted, spend some time on me and look forward to seeing some ‘girlfriends’ on Sunday morning for brunch. The Spaniard has had a heck of a week poor little soul but will, I hope, be placated in the morning with a long long walk along the river bank to lull it to restful calm.

Oh and wow … 33 weeks now and as of tonight 4 weeks and 6 days til The Spaniard is hoiked out into the world. How amazing.

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