Tag Archives: books

Interesting times

*Disclaimer – this post was not written this morning, I am deliberately posting these entries on different dates so that I can be fully open about this IVF stuff without people knowing exactly what is happening when. It’s a self preservation thing, with all of the injected hormones I become a bit of an emotional wreck, and am saving myself the pressure of people curious to know outcomes before I’m ready to tell.

Big day yesterday. I needed to be in hospital at 8:30 am (at least the best parking spaces are free…) having not eaten since the night before, showered with non-perfumed soap, no deodorant, perfume or make-up (including the nail varnish that used to be on my toes), wearing loose clothing, and bringing my dressing gown and slippers.

This was egg collection day. It is a bigger deal than even embryo implantation day (if we get that far). I’m allowed actual pain relief for this one, and need to be looked after for several hours afterwards.


The pain relief comes in many forms, starting with a couple of suppositories which are left in a tray along with a rubber glove and some lubricant for taking whilst getting undressed and into the open-backed gown, then there’s the IV line, which took two medical professionals three attempts to get right, leading to me walking out at the end with taped on dressings everywhere. There’s also the lovely mask that’s put over my face during the actual procedure, and I’m not saying lovely in sarcastic tones, there’s a lot to be said for the using measures that don’t hurt and aren’t suppositories.


There’s a lot of waiting to be done, I’m never first in, so I’m glad I’ve taken a book, I wish I’d taken a better book though, Twilight was not the most inspired choice by any stretch, and turned out to be more than a bit rubbish. There is a Freeview TV (good job, as they’ve turned off analogue here) in each cubicle, but I’m really not a fan of morning telly, and even bad teenage vampire fiction beats anything broadcast between 9 and 10 am.

They tell me to go to the loo before going through. This is (a) totally pointless as I’ve had nothing to drink for 3 hours and (b) quite a challenge for decency in a backless robe. When I’m done they get the IV line in and I lie back and think of…

…anything other than what is happening.


Now that I’m out of the situation I can report that it involves (yet again) stirrups to hold the legs apart, a swab to make sure everything’s clean (strangely the swab is the bit I’m most squeamish about, not sure why), and then in with the speculum (even on painkillers, owwwwww!) and the device that sucks the eggs out (yes, really). The first time I did this I remembered nothing of it, either they used stronger sedation techniques or I just plain passed out, either way that was a better plan than trying to think of sunbeams and kittens when my recent reading was making me think of vampire attacks and bad writing

TMI? (yes, probably, but I did warn you :D)

They collected 10 eggs, not as many as previous cycles, I think we normally manage a baker’s dozen, but let’s hope for quality above quantity. They will phone this morning to let us know how many have fertilized, in fact we are waiting for the call right now, I’m writing this blog as a distraction (not a very good one, as distractions go, but there we are).

By the time I got home I was pretty exhausted, hubby had to go out to work, but left me with flowers and chocolate. Shame I couldn’t stomach anything sweet. He made up for it in the evening though by letting me order my choice of create your own pizza with extra sides, anchovies and spinach hit the spot wonderfully!

It wasn’t quite all over for yesterday though, as we needed to restart the intramuscular injections that now take place every night until… whenever they tell us to stop.

These injections are not intended for the tummy, but for the buttock, therefore need to be administered not by me, but by my darling husband. My involvement mostly involves burying my head in a pillow and gritting my teeth until it’s over, but I am vaguely aware of what happens…


There is yet again an ampoule that needs to be broken and have its contents drawn into a large needle, the needle is again swapped, but this time for one exactly the same size, as it needs to penetrate through to the muscle. The injection site is quite specific, to find it one needs to divide the cheek (as it were) into four quadrants and then inject into the middle of the upper outside quadrant. This apparently means little risk of damage to the sciatic nerve, or something, but when the needle is in, the syringe needs to be retracted a little to check that there’s no blood (if there is we need to start again, woo). It always feels too high up, like it’s actually in my back. Given the size of the needle it doesn’t hurt as much as one would expect, but it does put one huge strain on bedtimes for the foreseeable future.


…and still we wait for the phone call. At this stage we have actually phoned them, but they are in a meeting apparently. they should still have called back by now, hoping no news is good news…

…breaking news, 6 are fertilised. We are going off to process this news now.

Tagging along

Yes, these new wiblogs are fantastic for procrastination aren’t they. I’m still thinking what to do for most of my categories, but tagging is great fun, especially as Jack pointed out in the comments with the tag-cloud.

I’m sat in waiting for someone to pick up the electrocuting blanket, in 30 minutes they’ll be officially late, but typically I’ve been waiting since 9am. hopefully they’ll make it in time, because I want to get my WISE parcel in the post on time, given it’s going outside of the UK. Going to the post office would take very little time, but that would be the exact window in which they’d show up.

The Brownies did very well in their inspection last night, only one not in uniform (although there were only eight of them there due to a temporally displaced Halloween disco at the local school). We also had a fire drill, covered books, had a story and a game and talked about or favourite books and authors. Jacqueline Wilson and Humphrey the Hamster scoring very highly on the appreciation index.


time for a meme, thanks burnt sienna:

1. Flip to page 18, paragraph 4 in the book closest to you right now, what does it say?

Hmm, I could have cheated and said that my Bible is closest, but it was beaten by a matter of inches by ‘The Cat Ate My Gymsuit’ by the late great Paula Danziger, which I was using to prepare for an American Evening in our 8-10’s group at church… page 18 has 3 paragraphs, as it’s the end of a chapter, here’s paragraph 1 of page 19:

“School went on as usual. I keep getting good grades in everything but gym. My anonymous letters to the Student Council suggestion box were ignored. Lunches continued to be lousy. We were only up to the Civil War in history class”

2. If you stretch out your left arm – as far as possible, what are you touching?
A Newton’s cradle (one of those things with clicky silver balls on strings)

3. What’s the last program you watched on tv?
‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie’ series two episode one, on dvd this evening.
‘Torchwood’ from Sunday on the hard drive last night
Last Friday’s ‘Neighbours’ for actual live, broadcasting-at-the-same-time-as-watching-tv.

4. Without looking, guess what time it is.
about 9? 8:53, not bad

5. Except the computer, what can you hear right now?
not a lot, we have a very loud computer

6. When was the last time you were outside and what did you do?
walked to my house from the car after my driving lesson

7. What are you wearing?
Jeans and a hoodie (official Lemly uniform).

8. Did you dream last night? If you did, what about?
Probably, but I never remember most of my dreams beyond the first five minutes after waking from them.

9. When was the last time you laughed?
Over dinner, my husband and lodger amuse me.

10. What’s on the walls in the room you’re in right now?
lavender coloured paint (not our doing, it’s not bad but we need to change the orange carpet), a noticeboard, a calender and a picture (no, not that one) of some footprints in sand.

11. Have you seen anything strange lately?
Swansea is a very strange place, so probably, but nothing is springing to mind.

12. What do you think about this meme?
Interesting enough to carry on with for a while…

13. What’s the last film you saw?
Kinky Boots, it was Ok, we gave it 3/5 on our rental thing, it sort of fit into the same mould as Calendar Girls, and Brassed Off and The Full Monty etc etc, but it was enjoyable enough, if not quite reaching the heights it aspired to.

14. If you became a multimillionaire, what would you do with the money?
I really don’t know, it’s not at all likely though. I think a significant proportion would go to doing some good in the world, but I’d probably be selfish with some of it too.

15. Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
my feet are cold, even though I’m wearing shoes.

16. If you could change ONE THING in this world, without regarding politics or bad guilt – what would it be?
Everything becomes political if you think about it too much. Decent tea available worldwide, does that work?

17. Do you like dancing?
in some of its forms, yes.

8. George Bush?
Wash your mouth out.

19. What do you want your children’s names to be, girl/boy?

20. Would you ever consider living abroad?
Not long term, but I’m up for most experiences, so long as running water and tea are available.

21. What do you want God to tell you, when you come to heaven?
What do you mean “when you come to heaven”? Are you already there? Lemme in!

22. Who should do this meme?
Anyone who’s bored enough.

WISE and well

First of all a huge apology to Semele, my WISE buddy, I got my parcel last week, but was very ill with flu, so didn’t post the MASSIVE THANK YOU it deserved. It really cheered me up, and to demonstrate this effect, I have posted a photo of the new improved and better me with the book:


The book, for the uninitiated is about a sheep who can’t sleep, and is fantastic.

I thought I’d better blog to keep up with the hubby anyway. I like his blog.

Not much to tell in other news really – I passed my driving theory test (again) yesterday, maybe I’ll manage the practical one of these days. See some of you at Greenbelt – that’s quite exciting!


So you decide on the perfect book for your WISE buddy, but it’s also one of your favourites, and even if you did want to give away your copy, you’ve written your name in it, not subtle.

One complete trawl of all charity shops within a certain radius later, you give up and bid on e-bay. Is that a cheat? Tough.

There’s also the thought in the back of your mind that if you think it’s the perfect book for your buddy, the chances are (a) they’ve already read it, or (b) you’ve got them all wrong and they’ll hate it.

Ho hum.

Kiss Me Quick, Squeeze Me Slowly…

Squeezy marmite? Can fully understand the phasing out of the smallest jars though – I mean, what’s the point?

Nice joke on Maggi’s blog.

I’ve just finished reading ‘Behind the Scenes at the Museum’ by Kate Atkinson. Great book, a cast of thousands and lots of untimely deaths, but ultimately uplifting.

Surprisingly uplifting also was our Saturday morning viewing of ‘Trainspotting’ we chose life. We also chose to make a fantastic ‘lemon ice cream tart on a ginger nut base’, basic recipe from Nigel Slater, double quantities of brandy from the lodger.

Thanks to those who replied to my Zen tagging, Alice, you didn’t mess up sweetie, lots of zen/psychic hugs beaming your way that you can absolutely trade in for real ones when I see you and Baby B next, I would suggest going to the swings but it’s peeing it down and I need to think about starting dinner.

Oooh almost forgot, neighbours season finale today, catch it at 5:35, new exciting credits start tomorrow. We all have to have our little obsessions ;P


I’m feeling very old, not so much the fact that I’m 30 tomorrow, but that combined with the fact that Ronan Keating is 29 today.

So, time for a new game I think. Zen Tagging.

below are my answers to some questions I’m going to make up as I go along.

When I have got bored finished answering these questions I am going to tag some people. This is where the true art of Zen Tagging comes in, you should know if I’ve tagged you. You can then proceed to your own blog and answer the same questions, not forgetting of course to see if you can master the art of Zen Tagging your own friends.

A word of warning – don’t tag people without blogs, with normal memes this just results in a bit of confusion and no answers, we don’t want to be responsible for upsetting any strange psychic forces holding the universe together do we?

My Answers

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
Truly Madly Deeply
Harry Potter and the… etc
Close My Eyes
Galaxy Quest

Howl’s Moving Castle
Behind The Scenes at the Museum
Orynx and Crake



Sausage, bacon, fried egg and tomato ketchup.

May 1st
March 4th
August 21st



Thomas Hardy
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Cruella De Ville


And I tag…

Cough, splutter…

Well that’s what I’d sound like if I was actually talking rather than typing to you.

So – Happy Ever After…? The ministry of obvious research have been at it again and discovered that most of us prefer happy endings to our books. This report may spoil the end of many classic novels, this one shouldn’t.

I’m not really sure what I think on this one, with films my stock phrase “I’m a sucker for a miserable ending” is a fairly neat summary, but with films you’ve spent an average of 2 hours with the characters, and so even with the most likeable ones you’re not actually that attached. Books however take longer to read, and can be slowed down and savoured if you are enjoying them (something I’m very good at) and so I am not so willing to have my paper and print companions open to the same range of fate as my celluloid ones.

I think I just like decent endings, ones that fit. The survey also asked what books people would like to change the ending to, and no, Nineteen Eighty Four needs the ending that it has. Part of the point of reading a good book is not knowing whether you’re going to finally put it back on the shelf with a smile in the corner of your mouth or a tear in the corner of your eye, and I for one need that to be the case.

The last word

So before I start on the festival reviews I’ve decided that on the Charlie thing that it’s my blog so I get the last word.

I did find it slightly amusing that there were no comments on the book review. I will presume that’s because I’m right on, and you all agree so much you feel there is nothing to add :P

We’ll have to agree to disagree on the rest. Ness I’m not sure whether “I’ve said my peace” was a typo or not, but I liked it.

You know, Maggi Dawn never gets any of this.