Going round the houses.

Apols for the radio silence, yet again, but I have good news. We’ve bought a house, hurrah! This is after what seems like a long and arduous journey, which was only something like seven months. Twenty-six viewings later, we’re here.

We’ve been in a fair number of unusual houses and met some strange characters on our way, which we politely categorised under quirky. Let’s not forget the woman in her 50s who lived on her own in a three bed house, who had a naked portrait of her younger self pinned up on the chimney breast facing her king sized bed. Not to mention the scatty woman who left dirty knickers sprawled all over the landing floor. Or the middle aged couple who had been divorced for ten years, but still lived in the same house spread over four floors. They had split the house in two, with two kitchens and two bathrooms. They only shared their love of dirt – with skirting boards a centimetre thick with dust, random spare tyres, banana peels and grime on the walls.

Some of the houses were extensively renovated (the two bed house with a steam room and three bathrooms springs to mind), and some were a little unloved (one house had a kitchen dripping with fifty years worth of grease). One house was ridiculously big, covering three floors, and it was very affordable. After steadily climbing up the spiral stairs, confused as to why we were beginning to tilt, it came apparent why it was so cheap.

Look what came with my keys..

There were a few positive ones where we placed an offer and had it accepted, but for one reason or another, we decided against them. The one that came close, our survey came back with Japanese Knotweed so we ran for the hills. I hadn’t heard of Japanese Knotweed before, and coincidentally, I stumbled upon this Mumsnet thread a week prior to receiving the survey back.

I’ve learnt a lot about houses, the housing market and glorified form-fillers mortgage advisors. I’m certainly no expert and I’m glad our search has finally come to a close. DS was beginning to question our ‘family days out’.

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Nineteen Eighty Four.

‘Smith!’ screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. ‘6079 Smith W.! Yes, YOU! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please! THAT’S better, comrade. Now stand at ease, the whole squad, and watch me.’

A sudden hot sweat had broken out all over Winston’s body. His face remained completely inscrutable. Never show dismay! Never show resentment! A single flicker of the eyes could give you away.

Nineteen Eighty Four, George Orwell.

If you have ever read Nineteen Eighty-Four and thought the Big Brother totalitarian society was far-fetched, I suggest you read this article. Although it suggests that reintroducing mandatory exercise regimes would encourage workers to be more active, I am skeptical; it is one step further to removing one’s right for choice.

The breast Vs. the bottle.

Today is the first day of World Breast-Feeding Week – where they brainwash women into thinking that the ‘breast is best’.

Do not mistake me, I am all for breast-feeding. It is the most natural and cost-effective way to feed your baby, passing on all your goodness and building up their immune system. Throughout pregnancy, in every book you read, every midwife appointment and antenatal class, midwives rave about how great it is to breast-feed. They plant the idea in your head and you aspire to be that mum; who spends her days shopping with friends, taking breaks where she would relax with tea and biscuits, feed her baby, then continue going about her day. Wake up call: this mum does not exist.

I think it is disgraceful how midwives pressurise women into breast-feeding; sweet talking us into something we are not given the full picture to. Did you forget to mention the sleepless nights, irregular feeding and no caffeine to pick you up? When it boils down to it and our baby rejects us, we fall into a state of depression. We are not given a contingency plan, but merely told to try harder. Pssh.

Upon giving birth, DS did not latch onto my breast. He was dozy and just could not work it out. Over a period of two days, I had 6 different midwives, hands on, trying to aid DS to the breast; he was not interested. His sugar levels dropped, he was getting sleepier and became weak. After the first 24 hours, I decided that my son needs to eat, regardless of where it is from.

When I returned home I expressed into a bottle alongside giving him formula. He still did not take to the breast, despite numerous midwives and health visitors giving me support. After two weeks, I could no longer express. My milk production was running low and there was no way my body could keep up with his demands. I resigned to giving him formula milk and that was that. I did not get upset over it because it turns out, this worked out well with my studies. I did not experience any less of a bond with DS, as some would say, and using the bottle meant DH could bond too.

I wonder whether this child was breast-fed?

Some women do not receive the support for an uncooperative baby and are neglected, feeling inadequate as the key provider for their baby. No one tells them it is not a big deal, that it is okay as long as their baby is feeding, it does not have to be from the breast. They are told they did not try hard enough and are looked down upon by midwives and fellow mothers. This attitude creates an elitist view of what makes a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’ mother. One is not better because one breast-feeds; I am sure that just because DS takes the bottle, does not mean he will no longer have the chance to be a healthy, clever boy.

Sure breast-feeding gives a baby a great start in life, but one must also remember that a baby grows into a child, and healthy eating should be continued through the ages.

Time for rest.

This week is action packed full of people I need to see and things I want to do before I start work; hence why I have not made a new post in two days. Tonight I have crashed on the sofa from exhaustion.

Monday I went to visit a girl I met on a mum’s forum, who has recently given birth to a gorgeous little boy. He was so tiny I barely noticed him, sleeping on the sofa, upon entry. DS was huge in comparison, standing on my lap, bouncing and babbling away. This is the first time DS has ever met a baby and I think he was a bit bewildered. Seeing a newborn brought back to reality how much DS has grown up in such a short time and how her baby will also double in size in a matter of months. It is times like these you become all philosophical and start reflecting on life. It is incredible.

Tuesday was pretty hectic. I had arranged for my sister-in-law to visit a wedding venue near our hometown; it was a quaint country house and absolutely perfect. It was lucky I remembered attending a wedding here when I was around twelve years of age. I got so much enjoyment out of investigating into the various wedding venues in Kent; researching and organising are my forte.

Later that evening, we picked up an old school friend of mine and took her back with us to Canterbury. We wined and dined; eating homemade lasagne made by DH. Then she and I ventured out for a couple of cocktails and a good ol’ catch up. It is great when we find the time out of our busy lives and update each other on the latest gossip. She is one of those friends that I can go months without seeing, but nevertheless, we will still pick up where we left off.

I woke up feeling a little odd from the alcohol; mothers these days are such lightweights. We had to set off back to our hometown to drop our friend back home and pay a visit to my family. DS was beaming to see his great grandma, grandma and auntie. He spent some time with them whilst DH and I had the opportunity to take a trip to the cinema together for the first time, in what seems like over a year. We saw Inception with a couple of university friends, it was actually quite a good film. I recommend it.

I am not sure what to do tomorrow. Perhaps I should spend the day relaxing before throwing myself into a monotonous 9-5 schedule next week; but then again, there is no rest for the wicked.

Nothing tastes as good as skinny.

I have noticed in recent weeks there has been a lot of talk around women and the various sizes they come in. I find it almost comical how being fat once use to give you an unsavory reputation, and now times have shifted, it is okay to put on the pounds; leaving the skinnies, who eat healthily and look after themselves, to be the bad guys.

Do not get me wrong; I do not condone anorexia, bulimia or any other form of eating disorder. Naturally human beings are designed to be thinner; we have demonstrated our ability to survive and evolve without being malnourished. The majority of individuals who are thin do not diet or starve themselves, they are just healthy beings who are judged upon because society chooses to accommodate our greedy nation.

This lax attitude in our modern day that makes it acceptable to be overweight is absurd. Perhaps our recent government’s cuts on housing benefit should have brought to light the real reasons why some individual chooses to abuse the system. Our deficit cuts should have focused more on the individuals who resign themselves to being overweight and claim that they are disabled, thus not working, exercising and using taxpayers money to fund the numerous care they receive from the NHS. Society has become somewhat lenient towards obesity in our ever-growing nation.

By no means am I saying there is a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ weight as such, some people are naturally bigger than others, that is not the problem. The issue lies when one’s lifestyle is substantially affected by overindulgence.

Fat seats in Brazil designed to hold up to 550lbs.

Writings on the wall.

I stealthily sat up, raised the blind a little and huddled against the cold window that misted over with the warmth of my breathing, gazing out at the dark platform towards those rectangles of domestic lamplight that promised warmth, company, a supper of sausages hissing in a pan on the stove for the station master, his children tucked up in bed asleep in the brick house with the painted shutters… all the paraphernalia of the everyday world from which I, with my stunning marriage, had exiled myself.

The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter.

The way in which literature is written determines its audience. In our post postmodern era, we embrace various styles of writing and are not dictated by dictionary spelt words and correct grammar. We are able to write colloquially, with fluency, without the judgment once posed by the Pre-Raphaelites.

Thanks to the Modernist Movement and technological advancements, we can now be expressive authors of not only books, but online blogs, forums, articles, and have the freedom to Tweet our musings to the world. This blog has become an exploration of my thoughts in which I chose to divulge publicly. It has enabled me to utilise my dreams and discover my writing style.