Wheelhouse Pottery Class

The jukebox is playing Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers.  My masterpiece of a pot is then ruined by Martin as he sits behind me, shirtless.  We interlace our hands, making a new one where he then starts kissing me.  I’m feeling a bit tingly whilst the hot romance blossoms in the room.  Oh hold up – that did not happen during this class L .  There was no performance of Ghost with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze – damn it.

A birthday surprise in December 2015, Martin took me to the pottery class at the WheelHouse, Abbey Mills.  I was so excited when we arrived, as we have religiously been watching The Great Pottery Throw Down. Can I use any of the skills seen on the show?  Um, no!  I was totally crap.  I could not get the hang of anything.  We were meant to throw large bowls but most of mine kept looking like mini dipping bowls.   On the other hand Martin had a knack for this creative skill.  His first one was like he was a pro.  This is why no Ghost scene disappointingly, would not occur as Martin was obsessed with each bowl being right.  Even Stephen Llewellyn the teacher was amazed.  They had the same resemblance in history both being engineers and then naturally having the ability to create pottery.

During the class, you have plenty of opportunity to throw on the wheel.  If you get any wrong they are returned to be reused later.  There is more than enough clay to use.  It is a small intimate class with only for 4 attendees and the teacher but it just meant that Stephen would help those struggling and improve the person’s techniques. Stephens work can be purchased at the wheelhouse and online.  His work with the dragon fly image is simple as he states it was the easiest image to create on the pottery.  Simple but beautiful.

At the end of the session, you get to pick any bowls you want to keep at £4.00 a bowl.  With this, you decide on the available glazes of which he’ll put in the kiln.  A few weeks later you can pick them up!  I was so happy with mine – they were even smaller that I left them, but that’s because they shrink in the kiln.  Martin and I are planning to go again and just maybe I can beat Martin or at least get a little bit of the Ghost Scene.

My Little Wish Box – My Little Box

my little wish box

I fell in love with the My Little Box subscription over a year ago, which is full of beauty and lifestyle surprises through the post every month. I adore unknown packages and letters that do not involve bills in this case the January 2016 My Little Box.  With anticipation I open it up greeted with the sticker Happy New Dreams and Happy New Year.  The box theme is My Little Wish Box, fittingly suited to the New Year.

Kanako, the artist was busy designing a dandelion being blown with the words My Little Wish Box.  The edge of the box is a message from the team at My Little Box for what they wish upon 2016 for all their subscribers.  Well thought out!

I have my fingers crossed that they stuck to the glossy magazine rather than the fold out paper poster magazine.  A smile appears – its back to original form of glossiness.  Skimming through, it’s all about the reader’s wishes Instagram hashtags.  An excerpt from Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert I found inspiring was “I wanted to meet people, and to hear their stories.  Writers are told to write what they know and all I knew was that I didn’t know very much”.  A printed card with the quotation from Walt Disney “All our dreams can come true, if you have the courage to pursue them”.  I love these cards and have been saving them all.  Not sure yet what I’ll do with them.  Any ideas?

Going with the mint theme is a mint A5 diary which I will definitely use.  In the drawstring bag (I have collected these as they are so handy) is 3 necessary items.  Melted Fuchsia lipstick in a tube – liquefied long wear lipstick.  I will let you know how many hours this last.  A My Little Beauty (their own brand) of lip balm in the shape of lip stick.  Ren clean skincare presents a kind to skin formula of cleansing water to cleanse, remove makeup and tone.  These are all small hand size items which is always convenient for me in case I need to bring them anywhere.

The final gift was a range of message bracelets in the form of a ribbon.  You can tear off the cards and give to anyone!  I gave one to Louella and she loved it.

I love this box and it’ll be added to my organised boxes!

12 Week Scan

It’s arrived – the ultrasound of our Bump Lentil, 15th October 2015.  The nerves are quivering, and I’m so compelled to scream.  Will Bump Lentil be healthy?  Is Bump Lentil surrounded by a nutritional environment?  The amount of times I was questioning myself was as often as Doris from Finding Nemo forgets. Timidly, I wait for the picture to appear on the screen in the dark room.  Martin has a calm exterior about himself.  Why does he effortlessly look cool and not troubled?  He is always so positive and takes things easy, which is always reassuring.   I shudder when the sounds of the horses galloping appear again.  What a hell of a relief! Tears detonate all over my face.  Bump Lentil appears on the screen so visible than before, with a big head, cute legs sort of bended at the knee and non-stop active. This was worth the gallon of water drinking, and holding the urge to pee, whilst my stomach is being pressed to produce these images.

The anatomy is checked, that being the skull, brain, arms, legs, heart, bowel, stomach, etc along with any indication of Down’s syndrome.  We were given the all clear which was so soothing to hear from the lovely doctor.  By the way, she was so friendly and gave us more than the maximum of photos allowed.

It does not matter that I am not showing Bump Lentil yet. I have proof that I am pregnant, that I am carrying life within me.  That all the pregnancy symptoms I am facing, is not for a nonentity.  This will always be a milestone.

20160116_191610

A lovely card given by Monica, Jimvee and Elvis.

Babymoon in Spain

I was lucky enough to get another holiday for 2015! Hate me even more but wait for this – we did not have to pay for accommodation! My Boss Kevin, crazily gave me a voucher that he had won!  So Martin and I packed our mini suitcase and headed to Spain in September.    I was slightly apprehensive about the holiday as I did not want another resemblance of Santorini familiarity.  I told myself just to let go!  It is pamper time, munch time, sun time, relax time,  explore time and quality time with Martin and Bump Lentil!  Babymoon here we come 😉

Hard to find, Hotel Spa La Romana, Spain was situated in the middle of nowhere. I think this was meant to be the selling point – peace and quiet, and spa treatments, in a secluded hidden area. The grounds surrounding the place had much more potential. The Spa building was gorgeous (and the spa treatments) but you could not enter at your own freedom, as the door was always locked.  The Wifi signal did not even stretch to our bedroom door. Every evening, the place had an eerie coldness about it – it felt deserted. It was beautiful but could be greatly improved, especially if there was more staff and customers.

This was not going to dampen my mood. We headed to the main part of Alicante by the beach and strolled taking the sunshine in. Another day, we had splashing fun in the waterpark, Aqualandia. It is not advisable to go on the waterslides when pregnant, and had to miss out (No!!!!!) but Martin enjoyed it for me 😉 Later we went to a cave that had a waterfall. I sobbed dramatically, like a baby – as I hate water going in my face without controlling it. Most of the time I soldier through – but this was too much power of a fake waterfall gushing in my face. Martin could not stop laughing at my nonsense scene. Overacting I was – but I can’t help how I feel! We then took it slow on the Amazon. I’m giggling right about now, as it was not a lazy river. Martin had to push/drag me whilst I was sitting in the ring, relaxing. That week we felt like we entered a new country, a new decade – the future, when we were in Valencia. Valencia is known for its City of Arts and Sciences, also known as the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, an architectural complex of white establishments. Here, we e
ntered the Pixar exhibit.  We got to see characters in the making, what they could have been, the early drawings, videos, and models. I wish they could bring this exhibit to London!

Overall I had a great babymoon and made the best of what could be.

Where did you go for your babymoon? How was it? Comment below.

Announcing pregnancy to family and Santorini holiday

Just a few days after the Leeds Festival, I was travelling to Santorini, Greece, on the 3rd September 2015.  This was a holiday I was craving for months.  To share amongst this longing of being abroad with white-washed clifftop villages and romantic sunset views, were my cousin Louella, Mama Alicia, and Auntie Estrella.  We have never had a holiday of just us 4 and this was booked ages ago! By the way, the GP appointment is scheduled for when I return.  Finally!

I was dithering, walking around the flat like Penguins from Madagascar (If you know how they walk, I was not even showing any bump at all) whether I should tell Mama Alicia and Papa Marcelino.  Especially due to the holiday where I would not be my usual active, drinking, and exploring self.  Frantically deliberating, I annoyingly bugged Martin on his thoughts, and called Louella for reassurance and some advice.  (Louella was extremely pleased she was going to be an Auntie). What a damn nuisance I must have been – similar to hearing Melanie Pearson from Neighbours constantly cackle.  That alone would drive me mental.

Plucking up the courage, Martin and I head to my parents to tell them the good news.   Whilst travelling there I was building a barrier around me, the highest mountain it could be.  This was in case my parents had some audiokinesis superhuman power. I expected X-Men’ Storms lightning bolts to hit me when they hear what we have to say. (I am not sorry for the super hero mentions across this blog.) Yet we had utter, uncomfortable silence.  I just wanted to knock knock on an invisible door in front of them and say “Anyone there?”  I handed a gift, a coloured Pots & Co dessert ramekin, with little socks and a fold out message with the words written, “Lola and Lolo, you are going to have a grandchild.  Love Laila and Martin”.  Lola and Lolo are Filipino translations for grandfather and grandmother.  Eventually after what felt like 5 minutes (but I am sure it was shorter), Mama Alicia either could not comprehend the idea or read my writing.  In aid, Papa Marcelino explained that I was pregnant. A few tears trickled down my cheek as I had an imprint that I was talking to my traditional, back in the day parents and fearing the worst.   I thought a big row would explode but was greeted with the sound of my screeching Mama Alicia congratulating us.  This was then followed by a welcoming hug that broke my mountain moved swiftly towards me.  Though Mama Alicia was thrilled, Papa Marcelino was remaining soundless. How was Martin feeling at this point?  Papa Marcelino turned the awkwardness around to sheer amusement.  He explained, a while ago he was pondering when he would eventually have a grandchild! I have to say, that there was one meaningful yet shyly joking comment from Mama Alicia of when we were getting married.  Oh how many times we would have this question replayed through others! So now they know and all would be ok on holiday.  We also told Auntie Estrella, Uncle Roger, Anthony, Jimvee, Monica and Ian.  All who gave their kindest blessings and loudest happy screams to show how much they loved the idea of us becoming parents.

IMG-20160110-WA0002

Where we thought we had time on our hands – we nearly missed our flight! Try running or in my case speedily fast brisk of walking to the terminal.  Damn, it was long! Mama Alicia insisted on carrying my luggage (I do get infuriated when people think I am helpless because I am pregnant but I do understand I need to let go and let anyone be my servant – haha.) At least we were not the last ones – as a group behind me were shouting “Wait!!” Our first night we went to grasp the scenic views and explore the shops in the hills, looking out to the sea.  Just enchanting! We ate at a lovely restaurant – tasting all the Greek food that we could munch on. Oh, how I desired a touch of local wine whilst the others drank! Just a sip.  Come on.  Give me a taste! Disappointed, I had Coke but at least it was from a glass bottle.  I have no inclination why but Coke in a glass bottle always tastes fizzier and refreshing – all that sugar, so bad but oh so good! I was looking forward to the itinerary we arranged for the next couple of days; Oia to take panoramic sunset views that are picturesque, volcano cruise including hot springs and Santorini’s history.  I could not wait for this country to intensify my love of travel.

Waking up the next morning, I head to the toilet, awakening Louella with the most aching, broken hearted and helpless cries of screams. I had the freshest red blood covered all over my knickers and dripping down the toilet.  There was dried reminiscence down my leg left through the night. For those that do not know – this can be a miscarriage or leads up to a miscarriage.  All the crying sucked all of my energy within me, falling to floor, hysterical. This was the breaking point that I knew I was certain I wanted Bump Lentil, even with all my reservations.  Why does it take something like this for me to be ascertained!?   Louella, emotionally too, supported me towards the bed and called Mama Alicia and Auntie Estrella.

The next thing I knew I was at a hospital, where the hospital was inserting items to check the blood down there. With this, she regretfully explained that I have miscarried but would double check with a scan. I wanted to break down, and was so thankful Mama Alicia was accompanying me. I was then taking to another room for blood samples.  Fail. Needles in both arms did not draw anything through.  The nurses had to use the dorsal hand veins instead of the arm and leave some sort of tube/container on there. Half the day had gone by and I felt like a zombie with plasters on both my arms and hands to where the needles left its mark.  Eventually, after a lot of staring at other patients walk by, I had an ultrasound in a dim lit room, cold gel over my tummy, and the probe machine scanning over my stomach.  The doctor could see the sac (I had no clue what I was meant to see.  A circle? Was that it? I could not tell what I was meant to be looking at!) but hear no heartbeat of Baby Lentil. I felt like I was being crushed between 2 solid steel plates, and suffocating.  We had to come back to try again in a few hours.  Maybe there is hope?  Arriving later that same day, the news did not elevate.

I was then taken to a private gynaecologist, somewhere else on the island who would perform a transvaginal ultrasound.  Again, items prodded inside of me, along with a camera. Whilst looking on the monitor, horses galloping could be heard!  There was Baby Lentil – healthy and a good heartbeat rate, estimated at 6 weeks – 7 weeks in and due around 26th April 2016, the same day as Papa Marcelino birthday! This was the best feeling in the world – and I was so overwhelmed.

4a82d785-0d5a-4c01-be32-21fb69a3b5a3

Least to say, I missed out on the tours that day and the next, but that did not matter! Through all of this hell of pain, my family and Martin were so compassionate, when I felt so lost.  I love you all  and Bump Lentil– and nothing can express how much!

Leeds Festival 2015 during pregnancy

In less than a week from finding out that my uterus is starting to perform all the necessary stages to carry an embryo, I was heading to the Leeds festival. I still did not know how many weeks I was in, as my GP was on holiday.   To my dismay, not only was I panicking about things I should not do – the realisation I could not drink alcohol put such a frown upon my face! I got more frustrated about it when Martin and I went to do the big bulk shop of food and drink!  Whilst Martin was piling the shopping trolley with everything that can diminish your mind type of fluids, I was only adding juice.  Do not get me wrong, I love fruity juice – just love alcohol on certain outings! We read up that there is a high miscarriage rate in the first trimester.  Therefore we did not want to inform many people and would let the pregnancy run its course. However we agreed we would inform Phil, Martins brother and Laura, bride to be, as we were going to enjoy the Leeds festival together. As Laura put it, sober @ Leeds! Both were totally chuffed.  My mind was overloading as we knew we would be due around their wedding in May 2016. If I have to give birth in Cumbria, I will!  Or magically hold my breath in so Baby Lentil does not pop out until afterwards! Hurry up GP appointment!  Grrrrrr!

Can I handle this? I know, I am 32 and only experiencing this enormous event only now. WTF? Do pregnant woman even attend these events?  I know – stupid questions.  But I am starting to question everything! What is good, bad, acceptable, not acceptable, safe, and harmful? Does my GP not understand I am new to this! My blood was boiling as I would erupt with an encyclopaedia of questions, that is just being archived for now. I do not want to always refer to the internet – I just want to communicate with someone person to person and talk about pregnancy so that my worries could dissipate.

For my first time festival, I felt I did it right. Pink Moon Camp was a necessity – comfortable and hygienic whilst being pregnant.  I shred skin flakes like crazy and can be dry due to my eczema – so having showers nearby was heavenly.  Knowing that outside the camp, others could possibly be sleeping in mud, faeces, urine and rubbish cruelly put a smile on my face. I did despise the toilets by the stages, though.  I never knew that I could pick up any scent so easily.  A peg on my nose would not even mask those smells in to a far off land. Yet at most performances, I had to keep befriending the toilets.  I have not camped in over 5 years and remember how it was – still fun. Our own little BBQ’s, hot drinks at the side of the readymade tent.  I have to regretfully admit, I did not know many of the artists but they were amazing hearing them live.  Metallica was just crazy! Festivals and early stages of pregnancy is challenging but I would go again!

Finding out I am pregnant

Picture a long stretch of road from a tube station to my parents’ house – around a 15 minute walk and then wanting to urinate on the way! If I could hold my vagina securely in public whilst walking and not leaking through my garments I would be ecstatic. Although, it was the peak busy time – everyone heading home after work, so there was too much people to have my hands over my vagina!  Not that it would help reduce the tension.  There were no buses that I could easily hop on to and speed the journey either.  The release was so relieving once I headed to the 2nd toilet in my parents room which involved 2 flights of stairs.

For me, I thought I just wanted to pee. As a few days past, the need to have the toilet as my best friend increased dramatically.  Only at this point do I realise something is wrong and after a bit of googling, I tried to diagnose my symptoms.  Diabetes, infection or pregnant  – mmmmm which one could it be?  It actually could be any of them as diabetes is prone to oriental/Asian persons which I have only recently find out a glucose test is required. An infection – well any female can get a infection.  There are more and more commercials on TV about Thrush! Pregnant – of course as we are trying to have a family, so I opt for this as to why I am urinating like a water fountain.

On the 22nd August 2015, I advise Martin that I would take the pregnancy test! Did you know there is so many options and at extortionate prices! We planned to eat a juicy medium rare steak before I take the test, as I know it is advisable not to eat uncooked foods. (Not forgetting the sushi at Nobu Restaurant during the week with the ladies – freaking delicious and mouth-watering!  Picture below).  I am elated that we did this.  My anxieties are at a high, with shivers. If I am pregnant, that was a Barry Allen –Flash – too fast!  We were thinking it would take months or years due to our friends and family experiences.  I am awaiting the results – then a positive pregnancy test confirmed.  The line in the window on the stick appears as a double line! Oh my God!!!! In disbelief and shock I tell Martin. His response to this news was to double check the box to see I did it correctly! Can you believe that? There is only one way to let your pee gush over a stick! Hahahaha! He reads the box instructions and correlates it against the cleaned stick and then kisses me, accompanied with the tightest hugs.  As Martin likes to say, he has strong sperm! I like to think I have the warming conditions in me to grow a baby. WOW! We are having a baby – we are going to be a family!!!

20150819_193545 (2)

 

Before the pregnancy

I am a 32 year old mama to be who has nerves as strong as a tornado about mama-hood.  Yet with this feeling, the idea also enlightens me, making me feel a different type of happiness at the same time – if that is at all possible?!  Prior to finding out I was carrying my bump Lentil, I was a driven career woman, continuing to work if I was sick, and constantly on the work mobile even if I was on annual leave.  When work was not on my mind, I would grasp onto a holiday (where possible 3 times a year) either with my family, friends or boyfriend.

The inkling of having my own child would not even cross my mind a few years ago.  If anything, that was when I was really scared.  Forget horror movies – I can watch any scary movie.  Not knowing how to hold babies, speaking baby nonsense language (Just speak normally adults please!), and further interacting with them – frightens the hell out of me.  I left a lighter in a pen pot – what was wrong with me?!  I said no to a child so that she could eat from her own colourful polypropylene plate rather than my plate.  She also demanded the blue chocolate penguin.  What did I do? I said they all taste the same irrespective of the colour.  Boy, did I receive an enactment of Boo, Monsters Inc crying!  I do not even know how to change nappies!

I was doing the online dating game on and off for about 2 years.  I started a blog with a few posts but never got a chance to post all the cringe-worthy stories.  Yet, it was through this gruesome repetitive dating experience that I met my boyfriend, Martin.  This would have been the last online date that I would experience if it did not work out well! I can say – that he was definitely the final online date.  **Awwww**.

Sitting down watching something on the TV, I turn around to face Martin and said “Could you just give me a baby instead of marriage first?” and then laughed it off. The question got rejected or ignored.   In my mind, it was that we were sharing more and more moments with babies, kids whom I was starting to get a teeny tiny bit comfortable with (Just a little).  Along with that usual worry of most females – the biological clock ticking.  We went on a beautiful holiday a month later to Montenegro – which I would revisit!  It was absolutely breath-taking, clear lakes, fast rivers and gorgeous mountains – the hotter climate Eastern Europe version of Cumbria (Where Martin was brought up and raised).  After we settled back in London, it was at this point Martin asks me the big question – the question to have our own kids!