Tag Archives: Bristol

In which there are things I have learned since being pregnant

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  1. There will be tears over the most random things, including (and embarrassingly) One Direction videos.
  2. Everyone has an opinion on everything to do with your pregnancy; from the actual birth, on whether your bump is ‘neat’, on how you’ll bring up your child. I’ve found the usual best response is just to nod and smile, nod and smile, then ignore.
  3. Hypnobirthing is amazing. I mean, it just makes so much sense and I really, really cannot recommend it enough. I don’t understand why it’s not completely standard practice. We’re currently attending a four-week course and both S and I are getting so much from it, not just for the birth but techniques that are excellent for life in general.
  4. Watching your stomach ripple because there’s an actual, live baby dancing a fandango underneath it is pretty magical.
  5. The imminent arrival of a little one brings so much joy and goodwill from others — it’s magical. This wasn’t something I was expecting so it’s been lovely to feel how much love there already is for our child.
  6. The NHS, especially here in Bristol, is frickin’ awesome. I mean, I appreciated it before but now I really, really do. Everyone we have come into contact with — midwives, health visitors, sonographers, consultants — has been brilliant, supportive and knowledgeable. The options for the actual birth in this city are also some of the best in the country, from midwife-led units to hospitals to home birth to freestanding birth centres.
  7. It still hasn’t really sunk in yet that we’re having a baby. I don’t think it will until they’re here!
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In which there are things that have happened recently

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 – I turned 32, complete with two nights out with friends, a delicious meal with my parents, flowers, cava, a chocolate birthday card (excellent invention!) and not one but two new pairs of sunglasses.

 – Our friends got married on one of the sunniest days of the year in a pretty Hampshire church. There were many hats (including my own), and then we drank pink fizz at a tithe barn while listening to a traditional jazz band. Very English, very lovely.

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My hat on our hatstand which our friend borrowed for the occasion

 – We booked our flights for our big summer holiday, ten days in Croatia and Montenegro in August-September. Our rough itinerary is a couple of days at Lake Plitvice, couple of days in Dubrovnik, a week driving around Montenegro. If you have any tips or must-sees let me know!

 – I started a new job, swapping cross stitching for cakes and knitting. I’ve therefore spent the past two weeks getting very, very hungry whilst cooing over pictures of cute babies in jumpers.

 – Over at the new house we built an internal wall, replaced skirting boards and sent off our planning permission for the balcony. And picked about half a hundredweight of raspberries from the now jungle-esque garden.

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 – Enjoyed the glorious June weather that we’ve been treated to, by having dinner in the garden, drinking cider by the water and going canoeing in Lansdowne Harbour (accidentally sunburning my knees at the same time, oops.)

In which I am a year older

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My last weekend as a 30 year old: sunshine and blue, blue skies; eating the most delicious burger while watching others take part in Bikefest; G&Ts sipped outside, dangling feet over the harbour edge; reading magazines in the garden; a red and black themed hen do; trilby hats and new denim shorts.

My first weekend as a 31 year old: a short plane ride to a tiny airport; catching up with the best of friends; Smithwicks and red wine in pubs; lilting accents; eating a full Irish breakfast while gazing at a stunning lake view; a miniature castle by the water; more rhododendrons than I’ve ever seen before; live music and Fisherman’s pie.

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An excellent start to my 32nd year.

In which I look back on a fantastic year

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I can honestly say that 2012 has been one of my best years ever. I knew it was going to be pretty special, what with turning 30 and the small matter of a three month round the world trip, but it outdid itself in many other ways, on a personal level and also on a larger stage.

I’ve never been a jingoistic flag waver but I was so proud to be British in 2012. After the horrible events in London last year, having such a fantastic Olympic Games was a real balm to the country. And that opening ceremony! I re-watched some of it the other day and I still think it’s such a perfect representation on the UK and our culture. For someone whose not usually a sports watcher, I was avidly watching – and enjoying – loads of random Olympic events, as well as the Tour de France. In fact, I became such as fan of the TdF that I’m going to watch it next year for the Alpe d’Huez stage. (Unfortunately we were out of the country for the Paralympics so I don’t know much about them, sadly, but I bet I would have been similarly glued to them.)

Our Awfully Big Adventure was just that, and one of the best things we’ve ever done together. We had the most amazing time, forged a lifetime’s worth of memories and experienced so many things that I’m still processing them all. Posts on Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Singapore, Thailand and India will come soon! We also got to travel to Germany and Austria, and visit Brighton, Yorkshire, London and West Wales. I hope 2013 brings similar opportunities to see more of the world.

In terms of work, I’ve certainly not been bored. I was asked to become the editor of the magazine I work for, which made me very, very happy. I had some other great freelance work and worked with some lovely people. And although I got made redundant from my part time job, this was a blessing in disguise as I’m really excited about looking for a new role in the new year, as well as developing more freelance work projects.

As of October we became an aunt and uncle after S’ sister gave birth to baby Holly, and we also stood up as godparents in April. My dad passed his Masters with distinction, we danced at four friends’ weddings and toasted two others who got engaged. I turned 30 in June accompanied by lots of friends, fun, frolics and wine, and I’m really excited to see what this new decade will bring. The first six months have been pretty awesome!

Yep, 2012 was a good year. Thanks to everyone who has visited me here, read my ramblings and contributed a comment – I still get a real thrill from knowing people are reading what I’m writing. Here’s to 2013 and all the opportunities this new year holds for us all.  I’ll be seeing the old year out with some of my very favourite people in a pub in Clifton, with (rain permitting!) a walk over to the suspension bridge at midnight to watch the fireworks. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing to welcome in 2013, I hope you have a good one, accompanied by plenty of your favourite beverage. (Make mine a glass of cava.)