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January 2005
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March 2005

Sickly pickly

Today, four days after she started getting sick, a Doc says to us "Have you starved her for 24 hours?". Er.... no? What are you talking about?

So apparently we should have let no food pass her lips for 24 hours after the diarrhoea started. Particularly not milk. Well. She's let us know she can't tolerate that, by throwing it up twice today and being wholly and unnutterably miserable, the poor minchkin.

Breastmilk is ok though, and since I'm at home tomorrow I'll be hiking up that percentage I guess. Very distressing, that we could have helped her to get better quicker. She's very upset & weak.

Too tired to write sensibly, also. Goodnight.


There is a warning sign outside St Georges Hospital, Tooting. It says: "If you experiencing sickness or diarrhoea do not enter the building". Unfortunately, Mackay had been sent to the building by NHS Direct, after Nora woke up having been sick, and then proceeeded to start being sick with more and more frequency after I'd gone to work.

It's 24 hour stomach flu. It has already passed, mostly. She stopped being sick at around 7pm, and then continued to drink rehydration salts in 5ml pippets full every five minutes (much to her chagrin - she wanted to guzzle down the lot) and had another breastfeed before proper bed (ie: not the sleep that consisted of passing out on me as soon as she lay down on top of me).

She's very, very floppy today, but already, after eating only about three spoonfuls of cereal and two very wee munches of toast, she ate a whole rusk during the morning, and had a nice piece of smoked salmon and a handful of grapes for lunch.

She's now asleep for her second sleep of the day. I think we'll try and sneak some more breastmilk in when she wakes up to fortify her up a bit, and another biscuit before an early tea and bed.

I could tell she was coming out of it a bit yesterday evening and this morning because she cried. She didn't cry when she was being sick and was dehydrated. I think that's generally a good warning sign for concern. If she's being quiet and she's sick, it's not something to take lightly.

Wrapping my invisible love-duvet all around her as we speak.

Nora is turning in to a toddler

Last couple of weeks - and particularly since the discovery that she can walk. If she is stopped doing the thing that she likes doing - whoooo boy.

On the walking front, she seems to be happy right now in just doing lots and lots of walking practice, holding hands. She could do this before, but just wasn't really that bothered. Now - we're talking walking about twenty feet or more without a hint of falling over and "Oh, sod it. I'm going to crawl". So the elusive video of her walking from Daddy to Mummy may be a few days in coming.

Hitchhiker's trailer

I cannot adequately explain the influence Hitchhikers had on me as I was growing up. Not only was I forced to listen to the radio series by my parents (produced by the lovely Geoffrey Perkins, of course - when I realised that, I felt like shaking his hand with extended vigour) but then recorded the TV series offuv the TV with our early adopter video recorder - and thus watched the wrong Ford Prefect, who had the wrong voice, but whose face nevertheless became the one you saw when you listened to the radio shows.

If that makes any sense.

...and then there are the books, of course, which accompanied me to hospital as a kid on several occasions. The first volume fell to pieces, and I searched high and low for the same edition before finding it for 25p though I have never, weirdly, read the last book. Seventh in the trilogy, I think? But my mind is permanently hardwired with a clutter of reference points, character traits, stupid physics jokes and of course catch phrases. They pop out, like small sweets for my mind to savour for a second, probably almost daily.


The trailer for the movie is on the front page of today. Yes. The front page. Presumably it won't stay there so I'll like to the feature instead.

So it looks.... ok. A bit too American but Martin Freeman seems to have escaped the shadow of Simon Jones adequately. It's nice that it exists, and if it makes more people dig out the radio shows and the books (and the magnificent BBC DVD set of the series plus extras) then that's NO BAD THING. I will definitely be arranging babysitting to go and see it.

Douglas Adams will always be one of my biggest heroes. No point in denying it. Still find it difficult to get that he's not here.

Inevitable General Election hot air

Both from me, and from the politicians involved.

This is a particularly virulent gem. Michael Howard announces health checks for immigrants. Because of course, all immigrants, be they Irish, French, American, Japanese... (oh, I'm sorry, you meant the nig-nogs didn't you? Whoops - let's use the nice euphemism: citizens from "developing" nations) are the causes of TB and HIV in this country. Nothing to do with the homeless roaming the streets of London, or the increase in unprotected sex by idiots.

(and relax....)
This kind of kneejerk filth makes me increasingly angry since the Labour Party, so called bastion of fairness, is so frightened of losing power that they are also joining the "let's knock immigrants" bandwagon. Having said that though - Charles Clark did issue a fairly fat pipe "What immigration has done for us" type statement t'other day - all a bit Glenda Slagg though if you ask me. Look how great our country has become on the back of immigration! But you don't want that sort living down your street, do you, eh? Eh? They're all terrorists!

The fact of the matter, re: the above story, is that the Labour Party govt sponsored a huge, hundreds of thousands of pounds worth report condeming NHS tourism last year, and found (although this was kept somewhat quiet, versus their headlines that they were sponsoring the report, naturally) that in the key hospitals they targetted as being most at risk, that there is *no statistically significant amount of overseas "custom" of NHS services*. Neverthless, that information only comes through magazines like Private Eye (thank God for Private Eye), and the message the general public was left with was "Immigrants take your taxes and are disease ridden freeloaders". Howard gratefully takes the baton and runs only a few steps further with it, to keep nailing that message home.

The Michael Howard story is based on a lie. A fabrication aimed squarely at enhancing a climate of fear, and it is standing on another lie perpetuated by the Labour Govt.

I despise them all.

Veering more and more toward the idea of spoiling my ballot paper at present. I live in Lambeth, which means that Iraq war apologist Keith Hill will be re-elected no matter what I do.

Discuss? Opinions?

Teddy Nora

Nora is one big ball of cuddles these days. Anything passing her "It's cute & cuddly" test gets a big "Ah" sigh and a cheek rested against it at the very least. This can include anything from Teddy to a picture of a cat.

But what I was going to write about was the extent of her understanding. Quinn and Danny left an hilarious teddy shaped snowsuit here last week (which gets the "Ah" treatment whenever Nora goes past the coat rail). We decided to put her in it the other day, which didn't go down too well until she saw herself in the mirror. She looked, and looked, a sly grin appearing on her face.

So we asked her where the teddy was. And she pointed to herself.

She loved it.

A small sidenote is that I noticed, with a real throwaway comment, I said to her the other day while we were reading before bed "You lean back and rest on me" and she did. I'd never said that before to her, and it was a fairly long sentence with two different concepts in it. But she got it. Blimey.

She now seems to be concentrating far more on understanding and getting stuff than physical development. She's still not walking, but she can put the complicated wooden cross shape in to her wooden sorting box bang on, without help. All we can really do is give her the space to help her brain to keep happily expanding and playing, without getting bored. Boy, does she get bored.

Which of course meant...

I didn't exactly do much for my birthday yesterday!

We went out to a local nice cafe, and I had a toasted feta ciabatta for lunch. How's that for eating out in style.
Thank you to Claire who remembered! (Unlike me, of course, with hers. This is what happens when you live your life without a Palm calendar).


A slight irritating cough suddenly exploded last Thursday in to a full blown wet chest horror. Nora's doing amazingly well but she's really not a well bunny. When her Tixylix cold and flu wears off, her coughing is more or less continual. That's not an exaggeration, by the way.

So this morning she woke at 4. After taking more goo, she came in to sleep with us and didn't manage to go back to sleep for a while. Eventually I did the obvious, which was lay her on my front, where she flopped out and I decided to purposefully not hear my alarm, and let her wake up when she wanted to. Her lying on my front, eventually asleep is a lovely, tender feeling of togetherness in the face of adversity, but rather unfortunately, it also tends to cut off the circumation to my hands and part of my head! (A baby's snoring head, lumped in to the crook of your neck, you with your head tilted back to allow her as much room as possible... then suddenly you realise the side of your face feels rather strange).

Had to go to work obviously and when she's doped up she's doing pretty well but sleep has been light, tiredness the norm around these parts in the last few days.

Danny / Quinn - I hope Ada's ok and she didn't give it to her? slightly worried that we also visited our painter friend Fraser's place where their lively wee'un Lotti is only 5 months old and has had some terrible chest infections over the winter.