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November 2005
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January 2006

I just can't

I can't read them.

I can't link to them.

Two stories from the news that I read in the last couple of days including the killing and torturing of very, very young children by people they trusted.

One man. One deluded bastard, stupid, moronic, impressionable, religious maniac cunt, tortured his 3 month old baby until she died, slowly, some time later, because she was apparently possessed by fucking demons. I'm not going to link to it and I will not describe what little I could bear to read about what happened to her. I should. I should use a bloody megaphone, but oh... no. No no no it is truly unimaginable. That tiny person. She... her loveliness deserves to be remembered. Not the horrific evil that was done to her body.

I found I could only read the first paragraph of the story before tears started pouring down my face. So I stopped reading.

You know, when they were killing Jewish people in Poland, in the forests, in the second world war, they dug pits, made people stand in them, then shot them. They made the people who were to be killed wait in an orderly queue. In order to save bullets, they threw the children in alive.

They invited the locals to spectate. Which they did, in droves.

That was part of the other story I read. Unimaginable.

So much unimaginable inhumanity. Created and meted out by human beings. Dumbfounding. You can ask How. How? But there really is no answer. If you do can't envision the mindset, you can't answer the question. And yet these people were and are human beings - they have and had conscious selves. So you're forced back toward that "How", regardless of how unanswerable it is.

Meanwhile, in Northern Uganda, thousands of small children nightly risk their lives by travelling to sleep in whatever communal shelter they can find, whilst the west looks on and does *absolutely nothing* to resolve the obscenity of a madman committing mass murder, and forcing children to be his killers. Journalists have been doing their best to wave banners and shout "Look over here, please! Can you not see?" and I'm damn glad they have been, but there's still no sign of international pressure. Yes, on the Ugandan govt to stop imprisioning leaders of the opposition, but with absolutely no impact on the North.

Regardless of how sick my love is, she, and we, are all extremely lucky. I never forget that.

I don't think Christmas is really happening, at this point

Oh Nora, love. Get better.

Back at the Doc's with McK this morning after four days of hell and the only positive sign being her temperature hasn't been hitting the ceiling.

She now *has* to have ventolin and the, I don't know what it is - the brown asthma inhaler. McK uses one. Anyway. Her breathing's so wheezy and erratic, she hates it but she has to have it.

She now has a different antibiotic *on top* of the Amoxycillin she is now taking, which seems crazy to me but then I wasn't at the Doc's so I can't really comment on why we're continuing with the first lot.

She's also having herbal stuff to try and boost her immune system. She's eating, still, thank God. Making sure she gets soooooo much fruit (and so much live yoghurt too, otherwise her poor insides are going to be totally fucked up).


Being at work is really not the thing I'd like to be doing at this point.

Mackay, btw, has been amazing through all this. I'm having to sleep with earplugs so her coughing doesn't wake me up, and Mck's basically doing the nightshift as well as the day shift.



We've woken up and cried in a croaky stylee twice tonight already. Slightly worried about Croup given the level of wheezing. However, since the remedy involves somehow surreptitiously plonking a massive great reservoir of water in to her room, with an element boiling water out of the top, it's going to be difficult if she's not sleeping.

It feels, sounds, too wet to get croupy, but the wheezing is a worry. She absolutely will not have the Salbutamol with the whacky childsized tube for inhaling, which supposedly will help wheezing (makes sense, I mean it's a temporary Asthma remedy for that very reason), But it's nothing like as bad as the night when she had the beginning of this bronchitis 6 weeks ago - I know the steamer stopped it from happening that night. She was making extraordinary noises as she went to bed on every breath.

Now I must quickly try and dig down in to bed and hope to God McK comes back from his night out in case she wakes up again, because at 23.58, I am totally and utterly exhausted.


We had a lovely weekend away, including a whole day and nighht off for McK and I, but came back from our brief sojourn to find nora at Nanny and Grandad's, looking pale, doing ok but hacing thrown up her morning milk through coughing.

Luckily we have an "emergency box", full of calpol sachets, a spoon and various other one off small items (a couple of plasters and an antisceptic wipe, if you must know) so one Calpol dose later and nora was almost skipping about again, and we went home.

Not dreadful overnight but enough to phone the Doc's first thing. It's this damned cough. She's never got rid of it, and my worst fears came true as it came back with a wheezy, sticky vengeance. we got her to the doctor's just in time, given that that afternoon, I came home and she had a temperature of well over 39 degrees - so that's 103 degrees. I was gently easing her out of her clothes while she sat, heavy lidded and close to passing out, near panic rising in my chest but thank christ, half an hour of wiping her back and face over with cold, wet babywipes took her temp down to 38-point-something-low. That, some Calpol and Nurofen and the least amount of clothing we could possibly get away with on a freezing cold night, and she woke up this morning, not exactly well by any manner of means, but a manageable, wheezing, regular cough, and a bit of a general flop but hospital visits averted.

So she's taking antibiotics *again* and what's more, it's the same dose as last time, with the same antibiotic. The first 24 hours are crucial, and it has made her better (temp of 36-something degrees when I got home) but I worry that it's just not going to do the job.

How can a small child get rid of chronic bronchitis, in the middle of a freezing, wet English winter? And please don't say "jump on a plane to somewhere drier".

To cap it all I read in the Standard we've got another wave of that awful 24 hour flu sickness / diarrhoea horror spreading through London like wildfire. If she steps foot in that bloody nursery I know she'll get it (never mind the countless opportunities that I have of bringing it home anyway).

Agh! It never bloody stops. At least she's asleep now though, the wee munchcake.

The Norax

One of the books Nora got or her birthday was one I was slightly bemused over, picking it up. It's long, complex, and has many, many words. It's supposed to be for seven year olds. I thanked Steve whilst saying "Er, well maybe she'll grow in to it". t's "The Lorax", a Suess book based on an environmental theme.

She loves it. this could have been accented by the point that she thought it was called "The Norax" for the first couple of days, but she begs for it to be read to her, and yesterday talked to me about how she wanted to be a Barbaloot. Mackay pretended she was the Lorax for a while, and she screamed with laughter at the whole idea.

I always end up wondering - how much of this are you actually getting? God knows. But Stephen was entire right. Reading it together, the strong rhyming scheme is a great hook, and the fact that it's in that familiar branding also helped.

On a different note, the Norax is beginning to move away from "a" slightly. She has been known to use the words "With" to "To". Only a bit. But it is a bit. Interesting.

Important, this one. This man is a shocking disgrace

It's rare that I am so dumbfounded I find it difficult to articulate just how disgusted I am with something, and whilst I'm slightly wary of giving this guy's company ANY publicity or link uppage or whatever, I would hope that by mentioning his name and the company's, search engines might come across these interesting news items, forwarded by my equally shocked friend, Leslie.

The man is Dov Charney, and the company is American Apparel. We cannot allow the point that they pay above sweatshop rates for clothing manufacture (so should everyone, and the prices of the clothes certainly reflect this so, you know.. shrug) get in the way of the fact that I have.. I don't think I have ever, in my life, heard of a more astounding case of self delusion, mysogyny and masculine power in the workplace. However, let's start with the easy bit. The shocking advert. Here is what passes for being a suitable ad for American Apparel shorts: "Stuff this". Could someone from the company or ad agency possibly explain to me what makes that advert apparently acceptable?

That ad must have been passed by the CEO's office, so let's move on to him. I'm not going to quote extensively from these articles, but here are a couple of tasters. I do urge you to read these. They are quite difficult to believe. In fact, it's so unreal, it tends to all sound like some sort of hoax. Incredibly, it isn't.

"Many of Charney's fashion industry colleagues are flying to his defense, suggesting that practicing conscientious business methods should absolve him from being sexually erratic in the workplace" Er... why?

Charney's sexual antics with his younger employees are obviously inappropriate because they contribute to an environment of sexual harassment. But Charney laughs at such a notion, attributing ideas like sexual harassment to a "victim culture" among women. "Out of a thousand sexual harassment claims, how many do you think are exploitative?" he asks. In any case, "women initiate most domestic violence," he said.

I'm assuming that there is going to be a strong groundswell movement to publicly denounce this person, and if there isn't, then I'm going to make sure I try to do my bit to start one. I will make it my business to not only never shop in any store affiliated with this guy, but I will ask all my male and female friends to do the same, explaining exactly why, publicly, by using his own words.

I'm trying to think about what I could do regarding the store in London - difficult being heavily pregnant. Standing protesting outside a store for hours isn't really very feasible. I'll have a think about it.

What I would say to anyone casually picking this page up though, is please don't just link to it if that's what you were going to do. Explain in your own words how you feel having read those articles, link to the original articles and (I would hope) also state why you will not be shopping in American Apparel.

Two whole years old

Nora is two.

This feels like it should be some kind of milestone, but she seems to hit those on such a regular basis that today was really more about her being in ecstatic fits over a handful of balloons, then being overjoyed at getting a Stegosaurus and a Triceratops and *even better*, not being scared out of her mind by an absolutely incredible dinosaur popups book (supposed to be for over 5's - not because of the level of text, but because it's so amazing and fragile. I think we'll be keeping that one seperately, and reading it together, for a few years. I would heartily recommend it to anyone, will find the full title and link when I'm less shattered).

She knew what was happening when the birthday cake came upstairs, but she only wanted to eat bits of the icing sugar. She loves squeezing her new (but Ebay'd) clanger (it's "small" clanger, btw). Grannie Tod & Grandad David came, as well as Uncle Stephen and Grandad John (she remembered everything that happened in France, which impressed John no end, although it was only a month and a half ago so it can't have been that difficult). So lots of attention, lots of singing of 'Happy Birthday' and lots of grown ups who have to have everything explained to them by Nora. Heheh.

To the future, then.

No more playpen cluttering up the room (for a while), and soon, we will institute the "reduce dependency on dummies by very, very slowly snipping a teeny amount off a day until it's not worth sucking anymore" routine - as well as trying a bottle of milk with a straw through a top-cut-off teat. But before that, we've got to start to change her behaviour with the actual drinking of the milk itself ie: not in the bedroom, first thing after getting up. How about get up, get changed, then come and have the milk in the front room slightly before breakfast?

?? Who can tell.

She was fantastic today. Really fantastic.

Happy birthday, lovely girl.

Moose update

She's still coughing, which is very disconcerting, so we've put hr back on, as the Doc called it "Steam therapy". ie: a Vicks steamer pumping out a little bit of humidity in to her room all night, in order to keep her tubes as lubricated as possible. It definitely works - she was on the way back down again then suddenly, she perked up and has been laughing and giggling like her usual amiable nork self.

She hid in the shower behind the shower curtain the other day. McK "looked" all over the kitchen, calling her name, while she giggled uncontrollably behind the plastic. he put his hand behind the curtain and pretended to try and find her, and she scrambled, screaming with delight in to the other corner.

She has also taken up talking in silly nonsense. "Baby talk!" Is this some kind of regression; impression of the babies at nursery... just more wayward silliness? She laughs and says "I'm talking gibberish!".

At which a mock stern look, and a "Yers, you *are* talking gibberish. Baby talk is very silly". Like it makes any difference. She just laughs even more.

Apparently yesterday there was a massive poo incident. I won't go in to the details... :)

Hey, she can read the words Fox and Owl! Bonkers.