Moral dilemma

January 31, 2006

I watched Child Of Our Time on Sunday and there was a really interesting bit where they asked parents about their morals and tried to compare them to their children.

One of the questions they asked was, "If you escaped from a shipwreck on a raft and it was overloaded and sinking, would you throw off the severely injured person on board?"

I asked Mattgreen later. He said "Yes," with no hesitation. I told him most of the parents had said yes as well, apart from the Christians.

There was a pause, then Mattgreen continued, "If I was the injured guy, I'd try to convince the rest of them to throw the Christian off instead. What's the problem? She's got to forgive you, hasn't she? She's going to be a martyr! In a way, I'm doing HER a favour. She gets eternal life!"

The lady knows what she wants

January 29, 2006

Mattgreen, Izzy and I are sitting around the kitchen table trying to decide what we're going to do this afternoon.

Mattgreen: I suppose I should fix that light in the loft.
Alicey: Hmm, what shall I do?
Izzy: I want to play on the CBeebies website. OK? That's me sorted, now what about you two?

We were too shocked by her vocabulary to argue.

Marmalade Ownage

January 22, 2006

After last year's triumph in the marmalade department, I could hardly wait to have another go. I spotted organic Seville oranges in Waitrose the other day and snapped up 2 kilos. I figured that would be plenty.

When I got home and checked the recipe, I discovered that was enough for double quantities. In previous years, I have made half quantities, so I was definitely going to be making a lot of marmalade. Luckily, my mother has been saving jam jars like there's no tomorrow in preparation for my annual marmalade-athon.

I had to use my two biggest pans.

So far, so good. I started at 3pm and finally finished at 8.30pm. Marmalade making isn't for slackers, you know. I have now got more marmalade than anyone else on the planet. It's the most beautiful colour as well - I think I'm finally getting the hang of it.

Anybody want a jar?

Google Book Search

January 20, 2006

I have found the best tool ever.

I love Picasa (also from Google) but they have surpassed themselves this time. If you haven't seen it before, this is amazing. Somebody pointed it out on my OU forums.

Google Book Search
is an online book database. You type in the name of the book you want to read, for example 'The Fats of Life' which is my course text, and it finds the book. You can then search for a word or phrase in the book, and it finds it and tells you what pages it is on. Unreal.

You can also search for a random word and it will find all books in its database that have that word anywhere in them. i.e. marmalade will find both recipe books and Paddington.

They don't have all the books I want yet. I bet they'll get them though.

More about dogs

January 17, 2006

After my recent post about wanting to get a dog, I had an email suggesting this website which helps you choose which breed of dog will fit in with your lifestyle (Thanks Karen!)

I have spent many happy hours searching through all the dog breeds trying to decide. Matt's basset hound is totally out of the question as it cannot be left alone - they suggest you get two! Yeah right!! I don't think so!

Like Soraya, I love wolf-y looking dogs, so I discovered several more as well as the Samoyed that I thought were gorgeous, including the Alaskan Malamute, the Siberian Husky and the Eskimo Dog. Sadly, all of them are utterly impractical. I can't get a dog that needs 90 minute walks every day, or is a pack animal and needs an experienced trainer, or is potentially aggressive. I mean - I love the idea of these breeds - but realistically it wouldn't be fair on the dog or the rest of the family. Maybe when I retire.

So. I have looked around, and so far my favourite is the Leonberger. Big, furry and friendly. The only downside is they cost £800+. Ouch!

More fascinating dog news to follow in March when we've been to Crufts. Isabel has started talking about getting a dog virtually every day. I have started noticing People With Dogs everywhere I go. I have not yet started accosting strangers in the park about their pets but, believe me, it's only a matter of time. I can't wait!


January 14, 2006

My OU course about fat has nearly finished and it's been really interesting, although a little hard going at times. As a result, I decided to give up dairy products for a while. Did you know that humans are the only species who drink the milk of another? And that it's a very recent habit (in evolutionary terms)? Also, if you start thinking too closely about eggs and what they are (chicken menstruate, anybody?) it is all quite disgusting.

So, I decided to go vegan for a bit. I figured that last time I was vegan (about 10 years ago) I lost loads of weight so it would combine handily with my New Year's Resolution.

So far, I am really enjoying being vegan - it's flexing my cooking skills, I feel much much better (it's like detox!) and I like the variety. Fresh soya milk is much nicer than the UHT stuff that was available last time I was vegan. However, I'm not losing much weight. You can eat loads of chocolate being vegan now 70% cocoa solids stuff is much more widespread. Oh well.

Today I baked these Vegan cookies. They are totally lush!

Having said all that, I will be quite happy to tuck into one of Mossy's steak ciabatta sandwiches in a few weeks. Mmmm. Guess I'm not such a great vegan after all!

Day from hell.

January 11, 2006

Today has been a nightmare.

Firstly, Isabel had to have a radio isotope scan to make sure that there's nothing wrong with her kidneys following the urinary tract infection she had at 7 weeks old. She's been on low level antibiotics ever since, and they are now doing final tests to establish whether her kidneys are damaged or not. Personally, I don't think they are, because if there was something seriously wrong with her I think I would know.

So I took a day off work and took her into hospital. As usual, there's nowhere to park so we park in a nearby street and walk for 20 minutes. We get there and she has to have a canula put in. I explain that her veins are hard to find and on the three previous occasions they have had to put the canula into her foot rather than her arm.

They put numbing cream on both her feet. Isabel screams, "I want mummy! I want to go home! I don't want the needle!"

Then we have to have the canula inserted. Isabel screams before we even start. She tries to hide her feet. She screeches that she wants to go home. I insist that she shuts her eyes and eventually the registrar manages to get the canula in. It is harrowing. They bandage up her foot.

We walk to the nuclear medicine department to have the radioactive isotopes put in. It is miles away, and halfway there Izzy can't manage anymore. I carry her. Have I mentioned she weighs 3 stones? By the time we get there I am dying.

They provide a wheelchair to push her round to the camera room. They ask her to go to the toilet, then strap her to a bed. They inject her with radioactive isotopes and tell her to lie absolutely still for 30 minutes while the camera continuously films. I provide chocolate rabbits and make up stories about Princess Isabel, Fairy Isabel and Mermaid Isabel continuously for 30 minutes.

Then they ask her to do a wee while they film it. I am like, "But you told her to go to the toilet!" They say, "OK, does she want a glass of water?" Isabel drinks the water, but can't do one. The nurse suggests we go to the cafe and come back when she needs a wee. We go to the cafe and I persuade/coerce/force Isabel to drink TWO Capri Suns. She comes back to the Nuclear Medicine ward, says, "I'm desperate for a wee!" then can't do one. We give her more water. I get her to run around. I press on her bladder. She sits on the makeshift toilet again... and does a gigantic dump. Sigh. The nurses dispose of it. We go outside where it's really cold, and she runs around some more. She drinks more water. We have been at the hospital for 4 and a half hours. The nurses explain she will have to come back and have a catheter and dye injected if she won't wee for the camera. I beg her to wee. I play "Lets pretend we are rabbits" and jump around the room with her.

She wees. Thank god.

We go home. Isabel complains she feels ill. Ten minutes later she comes into the kitchen and vomits copiously all over the kitchen floor. Her clothes, the floor, everything is soaked. I carry her up to the bathroom and put her in the bath.

When I come downstairs to clean up, I discover that the kitchen floor, which Mattgreen has been laying today, has not yet been grouted. Vomit has slithered down between the tiles, including blobs of food, and loads of wet, stinky vomit is between the tiles and the underlay. I clean up the vomit. Then I start lifting tiles, wiping up the vomit and then spraying the tiles with Dettox. I have to remove loads of the tiles that Mattgreen has spent all day laying.

Mattgreen comes home and is none to pleased about this. Here is a picture of him re-laying the tiles after the Vomit-a-thon.

What a nightmare.

One day we will look back on this and laugh. Maybe.

Failure to agree on reality

January 08, 2006

Long, long ago, when I used to play competitive Magic at tournaments, players would often disagree about things during matches. A judge would be called, and the players would explain what had happened.

Player A: He tried to Incinerate my Imp, and that's illegal.
Player B: I did not try to Incinerate his Imp, I tried to Incinerate his Orc.
Player A: You liar!
Player B: I'm not lying, I blatantly targetted your Orc.
Player A: (angrily) He's bloody lying.
Judge: Failure to agree on reality.

The phrase, "Failure to agree on reality," always made me smile because it was so ridiculous, but it was pretty much exactly accurate.

Five years later, and Mattgreen and I get it all the damn time with Isabel.

Izzy: Where do peas come from Mummy?
Alicey: Peas come out of a pod that grows on a plant.
Izzy: No they don't.

Izzy: I want to wear pink shoes.
Alicey: You haven't got any pink shoes.
Izzy: Yes I have.

Alicey: I have to drive the car home.
Izzy: No you don't.
Alicey: I do, because you can't drive.
Izzy: Yes I can.

Any continuation of these discussions always leads to, "No it doesn't!" "Yes it does!" pantomime ridiculousness. I usually sigh in exasperation, whereas Mattgreen announces, "Failure to agree on reality"! He's spot on.

Belated New Year's Resolutions

January 07, 2006

Sorry I've been away for ages. I had an extended Christmas holiday this year and I'm only just getting back into the swing of things.

Last year's New Year's Resolutions have gone surprisingly well. I've completed my course. I've made more of an effort to stay in touch with friends (more is a relative term, of course, but in 2004 I had a wedding to organise and barely spoke to anybody I knew all year). Mattgreen himself says I have much improved at blaming things on other people - praise indeed! I have given up smoking. And although I haven't started running again because I'm still studying, I have started going to the gym again, and I love it.

So I am going to count that as five out of five. Go me!!

This year, I have just two resolutions:

1. Lose the 15lbs I've put on since the wedding and have been trying to get rid of for a year.

2. Get a dog.

I've always always wanted a dog, and we always said we would get one when Isabel goes to school. She goes to school in September.

We've got tickets for Crufts in March so we can go Dog Window-Shopping, as it were. Mattgreen is slightly less taken with the dog idea than I am (and is adamant that he wants a basset hound, whereas I would prefer something like a Samoyed). Hmm.

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