Get back to work!

After over a year on mainly maternity leave it was my first day back at work on Thursday. It was…odd. In some ways, I didn’t feel like I’d been away, and in other ways I felt all at sea. I’d forgotten things I thought I’d remember and remembered random things that didn’t really help with anything. My colleagues were all very lovely (as usual) – someone even bought me a large bar of Oreo Dairy Milk to help me through my first day – needless to say it was consumed quite quickly!

It was a bit strange not having Babymouse around, although I must say it was nice to have time to read on the train without interruption, and to actually have a lunch break!

Babymouse is being looked after by my mum, who is travelling lots of miles every week to come and stay with us for the days that I work. Both baby and grandma seem to be coping OK, although it has only been 1.5 days. Babymouse was a bit overexcited when I got home on Thursday, especially as Mr C wasn’t there either and she had a late tea – she was very hyperactive and didn’t want to go to sleep at all! She finally went to sleep at about 10.45 pm, which is very late for her. My mum managed to get her to sleep by making her (Babymouse’s) toy TARDIS (yes, we are starting her young!) make the TARDIS noise and flash its light. I have no idea why this worked, but I’m glad it did!

I’ve just finished reading The Taxidermist’s Daughter, by Kate Mosse, which was quite heavy for a commuting book, but a good page-turner, if a little “eugh!” in places.

January with a vengeance

I can’t really remember what we did in the first three weeks of January…tried to get back into our routines after the Christmas break I suppose. It was actually quite nice to go back to the playgroups and see everyone again. We met up with some friends one Sunday afternoon, which was really good. I went to the doctors a few times to try and sort out my medication (Ramipril). We are still trying to increase the dose, so I’m now taking 5mg per day with no side effects as yet, although I am a bit worried that my blood pressure is going to get too low as it was already quite low last time I had it taken when I was only taking 2.5mg/day. We shall see, I have to go back and have a blood test (to make sure kidney/liver function is OK) and a blood pressure test in 2 weeks. Also, I forgot to say before, I had a bit of a mental bad patch in so I’m now taken double the dose of anti-depressants as well, and things have been better since then apart from the odd blip last week, which was probably due to…

NOROVIRUS WEEK OF DOOM!

We think Babymouse got the virus from somewhere. She was the first to be ill, followed by me, then Mr C. My lovely mum came to help out as we were all ill, and then she got sick as well! Poor mum! Fortunately, the virus seemed to weaken each time it attacked one of us, so my mum was less sick than everyone else, but poor Babymouse was the most badly affected. She actually got over the virus fairly quickly, but it has left her with a (hopefully temporary) intolerance to lactose, so she can’t take her usual milk and has been prescribed some lactose free ‘milk’ by the GP. Hopefully this will help her bowel to recover and we can gradually re-introduce her usual milk in the next few days. Poor B was very unlike herself last week – she is normally quite active and chirpy, but she was very lethargic and unhappy – basically she was either sleeping, eating or crying. I suppose it’s not really surprising because she was obviously not well and hadn’t been able to eat properly and she’s also teething again (it seems almost continuous) with her molars, which apparently are some of the worst teeth to have to deal with, teething wise. It was quite horrible to see her so unhappy and not know what to do. We do have the luxury of having relations who are doctors, so we did call them, as well as the health visitors, and both were very helpful. I just hope we can reintroduce her milk without any further problems. At least she is eating a lot more ‘proper’ food now and isn’t entirely dependent on milk for sustenance, but it is still the major part of her diet.

This week is my last full week of maternity leave – back to work next Thursday! It’s come round very quickly since we passed the Christmas barrier. I found out last week that they are not replacing the other half of my post, at least in the short term (which I fear means never), so that will be interesting…

How to make a very easy cheese sauce for pasta

I’ve never been very confident about making a cheese sauce from a roux – it quite often goes lumpy, and also it takes a bit of time, which I often don’t have. So, I decided to try a new method:

Philadelphia Cream Cheese

(Photo by Mike Mozart on Flickr)

Or any other brand (or non-brand) of cream/soft cheese. I use supermarket very cheap savers version – it’s fine. You can add grated cheese if you like your sauce extra cheesy, but it’s not always necessary.

The Strange Library

10/12.2014 - look what came today? #murakami #thestrangelibrary

(Photo by Julochka on Flickr)

I asked for this book (above) for Christmas, and I got it. It is, in keeping with its title, a strange book, slightly disturbing in places and rather sad, but also very beautifully illustrated with images from books in The London Library. Worth a look.

World of Noise

World of Noise cover

I got this CD free with a copy of Q magazine in 1995 (issue no. Q104, May 1995). I was 17. I remember playing it constantly, although I often skipped a couple of tracks (Sinead O’Connor, Strangelove). This CD introduced me to such delights as Crowded House, Mazzy Star and Bob Seger, meagre knowledge that was enhanced by listening to Bob Harris’ late night show every Saturday night (but was still pretty poor compared to some of my contemporaries I suspect). Then, at some point, I lost the CD. Probably when I finished university or maybe before I left home – I have a feeling I gave a load of CDs to my brother. Anyway, there are some great songs on it, so I tried to find it and asked my brother if he still had it, to no avail. In the end, I had a look on eBay to see if there was a copy for sale, and indeed there was, for not very much at all, so I bought it.

Here is the track list (is that the right word?):
World of Noise tracks

I still can’t decide what my favourite song on the album is. I think at the time it was probably

or perhaps

or even

depending on what sort of mood I was in.

It’s nice to have the CD ‘back’. I will be adding it to my mp3 player ready for when I go back to work next month. I did my commute for the first time in a while on Tuesday and I was reminded of why a music player is an essential piece of equipment for train journeys (for me, anyway)!

#Mandictionary

I spotted a #mandictionary poster* in town last week; the one that says “Manuary”. It caught my interest, particularly in light of the post I wrote last week, so I looked it up and found out that the posters are produced by CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), an organisation that exists to prevent male suicide in the UK. The #mandictionary project aims to help men “define themselves on their own terms” and get away from harmful male stereotypes. Sounds like a good idea to me.

They also have a helpline and webchat service and information about where to get help locally.

* I didn’t have a chance to take a photo of it (we were on a bus), otherwise I would have posted it here, but you can see lots of examples of Mandictionary definitions at the CALM site.