Sunday, February 21, 2010

happy silly (magic) fun

I found out about a month ago that my old 'Ace High' blog had been deleted. I didn't know blogger deleted blogs. I found a few posts on the internet archive, but most of it was gone and I'm so sad that I'll never get that back. That made me think about my blogging history, I felt bad about abandoning this one so suddenly. Bloggers have that selfish thing going on, they're not getting paid, they can do what they please, but I am disappointed in myself for leaving it this way.

In that first Ace High blog I talked myself into leaving my partner, in this blog I tried to get happy on my own. My very favourite post is still in draft mode, it's called 'Reasons I love my boyfriend' and I love him today just as happy silly (magically) as I did then.* I stopped writing this when I was pregnant, my new baby was my 'project' I didn't need my blog any more.

He's called Lucas. We live in Whitstable now. I still miss Tooting Bec.

I've settled on a new blog, after a few mis-fires, and I think this one's a stayer. My latest post on my new blog is called, 'Stalking Tooting Bec' though whether I'll publish it I don't know. I've started to look for magic again, that was always such a hobby of mine and I miss that too.

My new blog is called 'not writing' which is a bit daft, but you know my blogs are magic things, and that includes their titles. They seem to sum up all kinds of stages in my life and somehow define me. I think 'not writing' might just be my new magic blog.

I'm sorry for leaving this one without a goodbye, but my, 'Hello, I'm still here' is if you're interested in my what happened next.

* I read this through and just noticed that I missed out the word fun. That's kind of interesting, and in a magic way.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy New Year?

If you get pregnant and have an IUD in place you're a freak. You ask the doctor questions and they say, 'I don't know, I haven't seen this before.'

There was a moment that I almost enjoyed, where the doctor looked shamefaced, and kind of apologised on behalf of the medical profession. She was sympathetic and said, 'An unexpected pregnancy is extra hard if you did nothing wrong.' Then she said, 'No form of contraceptive is 100%. We doctors forget that sometimes, we never warn people.'

Then she removed my IUD, and she told me I was likely to miscarry. She knew that much.

She also wanted me to have a scan at the Early Pregnancy Clinic to see if it was an Ectopic Pregnancy. That's a pregnancy in a 'tube' not the womb. If an IUD is stopping eggs settling in the womb, there's a danger the pregnancy could be in the wrong place. Apparently that could be life threatening. But I wasn't scared, I felt healthy-pregnant. I felt just fine. Just very pregnant. And very confused.

I found it amusing that all the doctors carefully called it 'a pregnancy' not 'a baby'. They were understanding about the big decision we faced. Abortion was the obvious choice for an early, unplanned, pregnancy.

Steve and I also assumed abortion was the answer, second-guessing each other into thinking this was what we each wanted. It was the sensible thing to do.

In Steve's red car, outside my Tooting Bec house, the idea that we could keep the baby was discussed...

Every inch of my body 'felt' pregnant. Denying that 'life inside' feeling to choose abortion took a lot of strength. I didn't expect it to feel so hard. I tried not to let my mind run away with the idea that getting rid of the 'pregnancy' felt a bit like bashing all the magic out of my body. It was the sensible thing to do. There's a time and a place for 'silly' and emotional, and romantic... And this wasn't it.

I'm in no way anti-abortion. I had no idea I'd find the idea of it so difficult. Pregnancy termination is very easily done at this stage, just a few pills and then a heavy period. I felt like I should do it, but... but... Magic, is magic! And I knew I'd cry for days if I did it.

That didn't mean I'd decided!

Why does 'sensible' seem to equal 'grim'?

And, while I'm at it...

This isn't fair!

Why me?

And, why did I keep smiling when I thought of a baby..?

And... Must Be Sensible!

The Early Pregnancy Centre test was just fine. I saw my 'pregnancy' on a screen. Just a little circle, a tiny egg. 5 weeks old.

I left Steve outside the treatment room. That felt a little cruel, I knew he wanted to be a part of this, wanted to help... I didn't want him to see that little egg. Even though it wasn't much, it was our baby. The doctor said that egg was in the right place. It was 'a normal pregnancy'. It was just a tiny dot, and I knew that with a pill or two it could be gone. That was still an option.

Then it seemed I might not need the pills...

Maybe it was because I'd had the IUD in place for 6 years? Maybe it was removing the IUD while I was pregnant? Maybe it was just one of those things? I started bleeding. Hardly any blood, but blood just the same. Spots of dark brown. And my tummy hurt too. I spent a few days bleeding, with my tummy feeling like it was churning around like a washing machine on a slow spin. It was uncomfortable, and worrying. I told myself a miscarriage would be a good thing...

It didn't feel like a good thing.

It made us both realise we wanted that baby.

If there could be a baby...

And while we're on the subject of 'sensible.'

Steve doesn't live with me. The idea of him moving in is completely terrifying.

We've been together just 10 months. I've spent many of those months threatening to dump him.

I'm happy with Amy, I'd decided I didn't really want more children.

And while we're on the subject of 'silly'...?

We want a baby. We want to be some magical couple with our happy baby story. We're in love. We're as much in love as can be. I want Steve's baby!

And the washing machine churn, and spots of blood have gone away for now. And I hope we'll have our magic, miracle baby and live happily ever after.

There's just one thing Steve and I can't agree on. I want this baby to have ginger hair... Steve doesn't.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy Christmas?

I stuck 23 stickers for 'The Advent Calendar Inside Steve's Head especially for Jo' on Christmas Eve. At Tooting Bec, the magic tube station.

I'd been keeping up with my stickering plan despite the removal of my tube station poster after 5 days. But on the 20th the poster was replaced again - and this time I only had one replacement sticker in my bag to get started with again. So I stuck my sticker of 'a piece of sellotape on the edge of something,' then felt daunted by the thought of making 23 more stickers in the busy days leading up to Christmas.

I also noticed graffiti on the special poster (two from the end on the Northbound platform,) but it didn't make much sense to me. It just said, 'WAKEUPORDIE.COM(!)'

Even when I briefly glanced at the website it made little sense. And I didn't like that it was on my poster for Steve, so I decided to ignore it.

I somehow found the time to make the stickers, to make Steve's advent calendar real. As I quickly drew I cursed Steve's complex images like, 'Santa on the top of the London Eye having a cigarette' and, 'Boy refusing the offer of more food.' But it felt very good when I'd done it. Steve appreciated it, and he loudly told me he loved me, when he met me in Bennett's non-corner corner shop after he'd seen the advent calendar poster for the first time. Special Christmas Magic!

Hmm, perhaps I should tell you about more Christmas magic?

Well... My period was late.

On Christmas Eve (look away now if you embarrass easily) my breasts did a strange nipple-ache thing, a feeling exactly the same as one I'd had when I'd been pregnant with Amy.

By Christmas Day the funny feeling was still there. All my alternative explanations for this funny feeling had relied on it going away...

After putting Amy to bed on Boxing Day Steve drove me to a 24 hour Chemist in Streatham. We bought a pregnancy test - whilst watched by a gang of cuddly toy tigers, on the other side of the aisle...

I said we 'drove' to Streatham? Well, Steve has a new car! Must tell him to update his blog so you know this important stuff... The car is red. We were a bit disappointed about the colour. His Grandad was getting rid of it, it was very cheap. It's good having a car. Although we spent an entire Amy-free night stuck in traffic when we'd hoped to go Christmas shopping in Bluewater.

So... Pregnancy test?

We went back to Steve's Streatham room, and I did the peeing on the stick thing. And then we waited 3 minutes...

I think I need to explain that I do use reliable birth control. That's why I was convinced that it was impossible that there'd be 2 lines for, 'Yes, you're pregnant!' Even though my body seemed to scream, 'You're pregnant' at me all day long. I simply felt pregnant. Being pregnant is a magic thing. And I like to think I know magic.

Do you know anybody who's ever got pregnant while taking the pill? Someone who's on the contraceptive pill, and taking it very carefully every day?

Well, I don't take the pill. Instead I have an IUD. It used to be called, 'the coil.' I remember my Sex Ed teacher calling it that, and thinking, 'That sounds painful!'

An IUD is like a bit of copper barbed wire that sits inside your womb and repels sperm and eggs that might want to settle there. It's one of the safest and best forms of contraception available. If 100 women use it for a year then just 0.5 women will get pregnant. (I won't make any jokes debating how half a woman could get pregnant, or even a whole woman getting 'half pregnant'?) That kind of statistic means it is equaled (but not bested) by the pill for reliability.

So of course I couldn't be pregnant!

Of course we looked at the little white stick and there were two lines! Two lines equaled pregnant.

'Fuck!' Steve and I both shouted together. (And Steve doesn't swear much!)

We both burst out laughing next. I suppose it was comical that our life had just taken such a bizarre twist.

And there I'll leave you for now. I watched too many soaps over Christmas. My Mum likes soaps. My life feels like a soap opera sometimes.. So this can be the cliffhanger ending. What happens next...?

Do yourself Eastenders or Coronation Street music. I don't mind.

I call this soap, 'Tooting Bec.'

Friday, December 15, 2006

Magic 5s

I blogged about the 15th being a bad day, but the thing is, what do you do if your Feeling Bad Anniversary thing was in the early hours? It was just after midight on the 14th, so 'officially' that's the 15th, but I can almost convince myself that it was actually the 14th. It felt like that day because it was before bed time of the 14th.

So if I think like that it makes the 15th a non-event. Which means the worst is over with. So today I can feel ok, by using the magic of the number 5 to tell myself that I needed to feel bad yesterday, and not today. And on the 14th I could try to feel better by telling myself it was the 15th. And I had an early night to prevent the freakiness of those 'exact hour' anniversary horrors.

Of course, it was only because I believed in the power of the number 5 that I remembered it as the 15th at all. I do know it's all daft, and the important thing is to look forward to tomorrow, and lots of tomorrows, some days with the number 5 in them, some days without. And any of them can be happy.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The 5 tube stations with the silliest names (zones 1-3)

I haven't looked at the tube map yet. I'm delaying the pleasure. It's part of the adventure...

There's a time soon where I know I'm going to feel bad, so I came up with a plan to help me to avoid this.

Here's the plan for distraction-from-feeling-bad, on likely-to-feel-bad night.

Find the 5 tube stations with the silliest names. These will have to be in zones 1-3, for practical and financial reasons. To visit the 5 silliest-named places on one night, it's best if they're not too far away. The main reason is that I have a zone 1-3 monthly travel card. I don't want to be bothered with zone extensions.

When I've located the 5 silliest named tube stations, I will plan a route, deciding the best order to get to them all. This will not be a silly order, it will be sensible.

When I reach the silly-named destination I'll explore until I find a pub, or else a cafe, and once there I'll have a drink, and make a sticker. The sticker can be anything. This can (and probably will) be silly.

Then I'll stick the sticker somewhere at the silly-named tube station, and move on to the next. When 5 silly destinations have been visited, and 5 silly stickers stuck I'll go home to Tooting Bec.

I've realised that this game is likely to involve me drinking 5 pints. That's ok.

I expect Steve will come too, but he doesn't have to. And I told him he can make stickers too if he likes, I'm not sure he will.

There's a chance that this stickering adventure will take place tomorrow night, but I hope not, as that's the office Christmas party. It will most likely be on the 15th.

Hmm, I've never been to Pudding Mill Lane...

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I'm not superstitious at all, but I do like the number 5. It's my 'favourite number' not a 'lucky number'. Although I do believe in it's magic.

I suppose it's magic like tigers on tube posters, and stickers, and Tooting Bec itself. I realise that I'm always looking for magic, and wanting to believe in it, rather than that it being actually real. But then again I think that looking for the magic might be the magic. I don't know. And it's right that I don't know. If you could pin down and define magic, then it wouldn't be magic, would it?

So I look for meaning in things sometimes. Like the number 5. And other numbers have meaning's too don't they?

Do you know that if you look at a random pattern of anything, it's human nature to try to see a face? So perhaps it's something like that...

So I have this special date. It's 15/12/05. Or in the american style 12/15/05? It doesn't matter which. It was a bad day. And I try to find some meaning in it's numbers, as if that will help me make more sense of it. So I decide 1 means alone, or else single. 5 means magical significance. 1 again (explained) then 2, meaning a couple. 0 meaning nothing, zero, just a blankness. 5 again for that special magic. And somehow that makes sense in my head. More than if the number was 21/08/06 or 9/14/03. Because I do believe in magic. Not always happy magic. And thinking 15/12/05 might mean something doesn't help me to deal with it any better than if I believed in Jesus and saw his likeness in a slice of toast.

'The Advent Calendar Inside Steve's Head especially for Jo'

It's a secret, so don't tell Steve, but I've been making stickers for all the pictures of the 'Advent Calendar Inside Steve's Head.'

There's a special poster that I always sticker on. It's two from the end on the Northbound platform at Tooting Bec. Of course the stickers would have to go there.

I love this imaginary advent calendar game. I'm only hoping Steve won't suggest something that's too hard to draw.

So far Steve's given me:

Dec 1st - A tangerine
Dec 2nd - A camp bed
Dec 3rd - A small blue plastic elephant with a hoop on its back
Dec 4th - A TV remote control
Dec 5th - A small piece of sellotape stuck to something
Dec 6th - Two Duracell batteries

So I made all these stickers, and I stuck them on my special poster. I hadn't stickered for ages, so this felt good. But as I stuck my stickers I saw something surprising. Someone else had stickered on my special poster! There were two tiny biro drawn figures on white sticker paper. They looked a bit like aliens, basic body shapes, but one had a heart shaped head. The poster that was two from the end on the Northbound platform at Tooting Bec was an Oasis poster this time, and this had lots of detail, bits and bobs... So I had to feel one of the stickers, just to be sure it was someone else's sticker and not part of the poster design. Yes, there were two little stickers there, so I wondered who'd stuck them and why?

I wasn't sure how I felt about it, I'd stuck my stickers already, and if I'd seen the stickers before I might have chosen a different poster. Now I'd have to share with the other stickerer.

I did like the idea that someone else had been stickering while I'd abandoned this game. It just felt like this was supposed to be a poster full of stickers, a Christmas present for Steve. I wasn't sure how Steve would feel about someone else's stickering on his advent calendar poster? I knew he wasn't always happy about the idea of other people reading my blog when he doesn't.

The train arrived, so I had no time for further thought. But as the days passed I got used to the idea of sharing my poster, and I even hoped more stickers might appear, but there were just those two.

So I drew Steve's imaginary advent calendar pictures secretly, carefully, each day, and stickered for 5 days. And then something happened...

I headed to work as usual, a new sticker ready to stick, but I saw that the Oasis poster had been replaced. Instead there was a bright red poster advertising some dance music album. So all my stickers were gone..!

But it was ok. You see, I'd made 2 advent calendar stickers each day, just in case this happened. I know what stickering's like by now. So I took my 5 replacement stickers out of my bag and stuck these on the poster, two from the end on the Northbound Tooting Bec platform... I just managed to stick all 5 stickers before my train arrived. I stuck the 'small piece of sellotape stuck to something' sticker and then ran for the train, just as the doors were about to close.

Steve was with me last night, and at one minute past midnight he told me that Day 7 of the 'Advent Calendar Inside Steve's Head especially for Jo' was 'Grandad asleep'.

He's funny. I love him. And I think I'm going to draw a Grandad asleep with a Radio Times across his chest. We talked about Grandads, and neither of us had one who'd fall asleep at Christmas. But that wasn't the point..!

I've been playing a 'Guess the Advent Calendar picture' game with Amy since December 1st. Every day so far I've said, 'It's going to be holly!' And today it actually was! I knew it would be when Amy said, 'Yes, I think holly too!' Amy's guessed every day accurately so far, despite my warning that Santa only gives presents to good children, and cheating with advent calendar doors is not good.

The thing I like best about the 'Advent Calendar Inside Steve's Head especially for Jo' is that I can't guess what it will be tomorrow. But if you're passing the special poster, two from the end on the Northbound platform at Tooting Bec you can find out.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

God and Aftershave

I don't believe in God, I believe in tigers on tube station posters.

I finished work early and had a few hours to kill before Steve came home. I decided I ought to do some Christmas shopping. I'm not very good at shopping. I look at stuff and think 'almost', 'maybe', 'if only...' and walk away and look at something else that's 'almost', 'maybe,' but never quite right. I often think about the thing I looked at first, which by now has become 'just right' in my head. Only it's there, and I'm here. And I know if I go back to it I'll probably see the reason I dismissed it in the first place.

Steve asked me to choose some aftershave for him.

I like the way he smells. He doesn't smell of anything much. He doesn't usually wear aftershave. He must have decided he wants to.

I saw bottles of tacky shapes, with garish labels, and with overpowering names like 'Happy' or 'Unforgiveable.' I smelled a few but knew this was hopeless shopping. I could never find a bottle that smelled of nothing much. That smelled as special as he did.

I wasn't in the mood for Christmas shopping any more.

Christmas isn't always a happy time, is it?

It would be the first Christmas I'd spent without Amy's Dad. Christmas is supposed to be about children. For children Christmas is about toys. I knew Amy would be happy with plenty of those. I'd miss her Dad, she wouldn't. I'd miss that he wouldn't see her enjoying her Christmas presents.

I felt sad, and decided I'd save the shopping for another day. I shop better when I'm desperate, when I must buy, without any time for 'maybes' or 'not quite rights'.

I wondered what I'd do when I got home, while I waited for Steve? Would I have a drink or two, because I could? Because this was my 'me time,' my turn to be alone while Amy enjoyed her toys with another parent.

A song played on my iPod - and it was a good tune. It was positive. It was lively. I've a feeling it was about faith. It felt like the way I would be if I could write myself into a story. I looked at a tube poster and saw a tiger. That was the second tiger I'd seen on a tube poster ad just recently. I used to believe that tigers were magic. Because of the tiger man at Tooting Bec station.

And I wanted to write a story, as lively and positive as that song, as magical as the tigers on the tube posters... But I didn't. I scribbled this blog post in a notebook instead. And I couldn't get a seat on the train. So I couldn't write in my little laptop. It didn't really matter.

I saw magic, and it saved me, and maybe baby Jesus was born on a special day and everyone will have a happy Christmas?

Will you drink to that?