29 May, 2009

Finks Links #66

Another week is over...and weeks are quite a (fleeting and) important measurement of time at the moment, never really measured anything very much in terms of weeks before (apart from holidays, I suppose)...but, on the subject of holidays we *finally* have a break getting somewhere near actually happening...and I *so* need a break, it's only 4 days, but I'm really looking forward to getting away...!

Anyway, it being Friday, it's time for a few links, got some good ones this week -

Let's start off with "the previous night came back in startling clarity for jake"...

A very amusing XKCD comic...

Horseshow bend, Colorado River [pic]

Animals poking fun at photographers (gotta love the Lion and giraffe)... ;) [pics]

Check out the Aqua H20, a device specifically designed to convert urine (either human or animal - although it doesn't explain precisely how you go about harvesting the animal urine) into drinkable water (it'll do until they invent the stillsuit, I guess)... >;P

I actually think this guy belongs in a "special" home, rather than giving art exhibitions, but anyway, check out his "art"...*shudder*...

Overkill [pic]

Abrams (briefly) responds to Star Trek fan theories... (minor spoilers)

The internet in 1969 [vid]

...and finally a face-palmingly good warning fail and an absolutely hilarious danger warning sign...

More next week!

28 May, 2009

Low hemoglobin in pregnancy

So yesterday we popped to the doctors surgery...it was a very early appointment, but still a lay in (compared to the time I am normally grumpily slapping the radio alarm clock to shut it up for ten more minutes), work having been being kind enough to allow me to come in a bit later so I could hold Flyingpops' hand...It was just a very quick, scheduled appointment, the highlight being the chance to hear the little one's heart beat again (still not bored of that, but Flyingpops is now much less obsessed with the whole thing) the good bit is that doctors and midwives get *proper* foetal dopplers (rather than the bargain one we have at home), which sound much clearer, and (although experience must play a big part) enable one to find the heartbeat in...well...a heartbeat... ;)

She then had a bit of a poke and prod, announced the baby was "a good size", offering Flyingpops a little step to help her hop off the examination table and then turned to the pink notes (the ones you are never supposed to go anywhere without), turned to her notes section and explained that the results of the blood tests (the routine ones Flyingpops had at her last appointment) were back, and Flyingpops hemoglobin levels were low...specifically 10.6 (the normal range for a female being between 12 and 16), we explained that Flyingpops was a veggie, and her rather surprising initial suggestion for something to eat to help remedy the situation was parsley...I mean, parsley is alright as a garnish, but I can't quite picture anyone happily chewing through any great quantity of it without becoming a little depressed...when we pushed a little harder for possible alternatives she conceded to my suggestion that perhaps spinach was a good source (which annoyingly Flyingpops has recently gone off), but just to be on the safe side she sent us away with a prescription for iron tablets, which Flyingpops was ordered to take 3 times a day, warning that they may cause constipation (which didn't go down terribly well - but may provide necessary motivation), just in case the diet proves difficult...

Anyway, when we got home I did a bit of digging on the interwebs, and found a nice list of foods that are high in iron (which should be a big help)...amazingly, and I never would have expected this, a fat, juicy sirloin steak (with real blood in it...mmm!) contains 0.9 milligrams of iron per 100 calories but spinach has an incredible 15.7!! Mind you, thinking about it, there might not be a lot of calories in spinach, could be quite a pile to get through to reach those particles...we'll get there though... ;)

27 May, 2009

Skimming plasterboard

Skimming the Plasterboard
Nursery update time, really starting to feel like we are getting somewhere now...spent quite a bit of Saturday, Sunday and Monday filling in all the holes, scraping off the hard-to-remove final bits of the old wallpaper and then smearing ready-mix plaster all over all the walls (about 1-2mm thick), trying to get as even a finish as I could (started off pretty bad, got much better - and quicker - as I went along)...had a bit of a panic on Monday lunchtime when I spotted a load of little cracks, but a quick call to Flyingpops dad resulted in the blissful knowledge that this was quite normal, even for a professional plasterer, and one was just to fill them up with filler...so the next step (next weekend) will be to sand down the walls (to get a nice smooth finish) -
Skimming the Plasterboard
- you can see where I've had to lay it on thicker (to cover bits where the plasterboard was damaged) little ridges have been left in places, but I had a go with the sandpaper and they come off very easily indeed...it was a bit of a tedious thing to actually do, but it should mean the end result is a much better finish...can't wait for it all to be done...!

26 May, 2009

Jubilee Line Delays

Tube Carriage - Packed
Urgh...got stuck on the tube for nearly an hour this morning, I groaned when I turned the corner towards the barriers to see an unmoving wall of people, but peering over everyones heads I could see that they were allowing a trickle of people through the gates, so all was not completely lost...I did, for a second, consider heading for the boat, but being already delayed I opted for skirting the mass of bodies (dashing briefly through the pouring rain outside) and sneaked into the Northern Line entrance (not the best secret shortcut, but the terrible weather ruled out a trip quite that far while exposed to the elements)...I wove my way through the crowd listening to announcements telling me that the Jubilee Line was part suspended and we were all being advised to seek alternative modes of transport and finally hit the escalator down to platform level...there, I watched 3 full trains go before I managed to barge onto one, managed with a deft wiggle to sneak into the aisle between the seats (the preferred place to stand, as you have guaranteed newspaper room), hung on for dear life as we pulled out of London Bridge, got Bermondsey out of the way fairly quickly and then just sat in the tunnel for about 40 minutes, the driver coming onto the tannoy system every few minutes to explain to us (in some rough approximation of English) that we weren't moving because there was a red signal (really?) and this being is thanks to "a passenger on a train in Finchley"...as good as an excuse as any I suppose, but I did start to wonder (after about 20 such announcements) if he was ever going to actually tell us what the passenger was doing on the train to cause the delay...he then started mumbling something about fires, which (apart from causing some concern) created a mental picture of commuters huddling round them for warmth - then - without a single word of warning he jammed on the accelerator causing several people to loose balance and topple into those standing around them (to much tutting and ruffled smoothing down of designer suits)...the announcements at Canary Wharf were being done by someone with an ounce more IQ, it actually turns out these naughty passengers were actually being taken ill on the packed trains, the trackside fire had been earlier on, causing the initial delay that was causing people to collapse, the whole thing forming up into a big self-perpetuating wheel of woe...

The rain, when I finally emerged into it at the Canary Wharf end, was actually rather welcome...I love the commute... ;)

22 May, 2009

Finks Links #65

Yay, another bank holiday coming up, and Flyingpops has texted saying that BBQ and beer are on the menu (woo hoo)! Unfortunately only a few links this week, thanks to the emergency cutting it rather shorter than we wanted, and the rest of it being about the busiest of the whole year so far, but there are a few really good ones to share... ;)

First up this week, the ultimate Star Trek Bachelor pad...

Teamwork... [pic]

Manhatten re-imagined into a ring world [pic and video]

Check out the Angels Knee Pillow (an interesting look at Japanese toilet etiquette)...

Physics! [animated GIF]

...and finally my first fail, and a late night snack fail...

More next week, have a great bank holiday weekend!

21 May, 2009

Extremes of weather

Well, good news (for once)! The weathermen are predicting a fantastic bank holiday weekend (can it possibly be true?)...with temperatures of up to 23 degrees! This has to be an excuse to get the new BBQ out, it's been sat in it's box since Flyingpops bought it at the end of last summer (at a bargain price from a Tesco seasonal clear out sale)...just have to hope it's nothing like last weekend, when the weather really couldn't make it's mind up at all...either torrential downpour (as pictured above) -
- (and this shot was only taken five minutes later) blazing sunshine, if you look closely you can still see the puddles...!  I certainly wouldn't want to have everything set out ready for a nice al fresco tea and suddenly be rushing for the living room door, soggy sausage in hand... ;)

In other news, Flyingpops mum Nanjan has come out of hospital after a scheduled operation, everything seems to have gone smoothly, but we just want to send you our love and hope that you get well soon (we would have sent flowers but apparently the house is already overflowing with them, so we'll get you some later)... ;)

20 May, 2009

Stripping wallpaper from plasterboard

Nursery - decorating
Nest building continues (and yes, it *still* looks like a mess, I know), last week I had Friday off as a day's holiday (we had been planning to go away, but circumstances conspired against us actually going anywhere), so the day was spent (very pleasantly) in the company of my mum (and dad later on in the afternoon) wetting down the dreadful wood-chip wallpaper in the nursery-to-be with a sponge and painstakingly scraping until we worked our way back through the layers of paper -
Nursery - decorating
- generating absolutely bags of rubbish (this was after a full large bin bag) and making the carpet look like we had been sawing wood in the room, all the way back to the paint on the surface of the plasterboard below...
Nursery - decorating
Between the three of us we managed to do one of the walls, taking us virtually all day...and after all that effort it seemed like it really wasn't going to be a great idea to carry on and do the other three (or it would have taken absolutely weeks-worth of weekends)...however, Flyingpops and I bumped into our neighbour on Saturday morning and we happened to get on to the subject of decorating, and he mentioned that he had a steamer in his loft - ten minutes after we had got back through our front door after our conversation had ended, so he was knocking on it - a large cardboard box in his hands...
Nursery - decorating
The steamer made a *huge* difference, both in speed and finish - taking our time on Friday had resulted in a perfect finish, but it wasn't until I was two meters along with the steamer in my hand that I had managed to work out how long I needed to apply it without damaging the plasterboard below, and even then, I was still managing to regularly melt the paint below the bottom layer of paper (making for an uneven finish), or dripping boiling water onto my leg sending me leaping into the air in shock and pain, so much quicker, but no way near as elegant...

19 May, 2009

Antenatal Day Unit, East Surrey Hospital

We had a hell of a day yesterday...got up as normal, I got washed/shaved/dressed and bumbled downstairs, put on BBC Breakfast (to blip in the headlines and absorb weather and travel reports in the background), wandered into the kitchen to put some milk into the microwave ready for Flyingpops breakfast, ran the tap for some cold water for me to pop my effervescent vitamin tablet into - and then heard a pitiful cry from the stairs, I called from where I was standing asking if everything was okay and got only a pained "Fink!" in response, by the time I had reached the living room door she was in the hall, bent double and holding her bump with an expression of pain wracking her face...

We had a quick discussion about how she felt, which concluded with her deciding to try eating her breakfast and see if the pain subsided, and actually, as soon as she sat down, the pain in her middle lessened considerably, the only problem was, as soon as she finished eating and stood up to go and brush her teeth, it came right back again...

I told her we should go straight over to the hospital to get it checked out, but she wanted to call and speak to her mum (some misguided idea that the hospital staff would tell her off for being silly), but Nanjan confirmed my decision, so we picked up all our commuting stuff and headed over to the Antenatal day unit at East Surrey Hospital (which is only minutes away, thankfully)...as soon as we walked in she was popped up onto a hospital bed and surrounded by Midwives who didn't hesitate but to run a series of tests, starting with urine (normal - no infections) and measurements (using an Ikea tape measure - the Midwife actually confessed "I was in the store and spotted them and thought, those would be good for work"!) which were all okay, and then they plugged in their expensive foetal doppler and found the heartbeat right away (phew!), they asked a battery of questions which culminated in a doctor being paged...

When the doctor appeared (about half an hour later - during which time I tried in vain to stop Flyingpops reading her work emails on her blackberry and worrying about her meeting in the afternoon she didn't want to miss), she poked and prodded, asked some more questions, then ordered a range of blood tests to be carried out, telling us that everything seemed normal with the baby, but just because Flyingpops was pregnant, didn't mean that other things couldn't go wrong, more specifically the place and nature of the pain did kind of match the symptoms of appendicitis...

I took this opportunity to run outside (while the nurses tried to find a vein) and rang Flyingpops mum, so she wouldn't worry and called both of our bosses to update them as to the situation...waiting for the result of the blood tests took just over an hour, the midwives told us to go for a walk (so we went and bought some snacks from the counter by the east entrance) and by the time we got back (Flyingpops being unable to manage anything other than a slow stagger) we only had to wait about ten minutes and the doctor reappeared, said all the blood tests were clear and the pain was likely to be just temporary, she told Flyingpops to take some weak pain killers, get some rest and come back if it persisted, or in fact for anything else (they were wonderfully kind and attentive, nothing was too much trouble)...

As we went to leave (I fully intended to get into work as soon as I could) we were only a few steps out of the front door when the heavens opened - and of course there was no chance of Flyingpops speeding up...we got absolutely *soaked*...Anyway, she rested up at home for the rest of the day, I made it into work for lunchtime and this morning she's feeling absolutely fine...so totally the right thing to do - go and get it checked out - and now we know exactly where to go for this sort of help and advice...thank you East Surrey Hospital...!

16 May, 2009

A sad day - Colin the Camper's new home

A lovely lady and her son from Brighton fell in love with Colin last night and has left a deposit, coming back Mon/Tue to collect him.

As always, things always happen at once... Fink had taken the day off work to start on the nursery and with some help from his mum they managed to strip a wall of nasty wood chip paper (am sure he'll blog about that!) , the ad was published in the Friday ad paper edition and I had a busy day full of meetings....

All I can think is that people are looking forward to next bank holiday weekend, as my mobile was ringing continually with people wanting to come and view the camper (both responding to the exchange and mart and friday ad advertisements) ...  Thankfully, Fink managed the first viewing, two very keen young lads definitely into the VW scene and then I arranged a second viewing for 7 - when I got back from work.  The lady was VERY keen on the phone and had clearly fell in love before even viewing him as it later transpired she had a lot of cash in her bag to leave as a deposit!  

I've been convincing myself for the last month that I was unable to drive Colin, as my belly is quite large and the steering quite heavy, however when the new owner asked for a test drive (they have never driven a camper before in their life), I couldn't refuse and off we trundled for a 10 minute drive.  Did this make it harder to sell, YES... he behaved perfectly and I can't believe I won't be driving him again.  Colin has given us so many happy holidays and memories, we are both really sad to see him go.  Practically, it's the right time to sell, we won't be camping for a year and there is no room MJs car seat, however even when passed a handful of cash, it doesn't soften the blow.  Colin has been a real family project, from when Tim first bought him and made the modifications, to grandad making the fridge, my cousins husband doing the MOTs, Unckie Scammel doing countless repairs, Brenda making the cushion covers and everyone enjoying a cup of tea at a steam fair or on the beach... so maybe I'm right to feel sad... so much love has gone into keeping him on the road.. and we would like to a say a BIG Thank you to everyone who has kept our dream alive for the last 2 years.   

I've got the horrible task of calling people to put off viewings today and am now sat, watching Colin for the last few times out the window, before he sets off down the A23 to his new owners by the sea on Monday.  Whilst my heart is sad, my head knows it's the right decision and we will be owners of a camper again... after all, I've kept all the camper cups/plates and crockery and will need somewhere to make tea when taking MJ to the beach!

15 May, 2009

Finks Links #64

Link time...!

Kicking things off this week take a look at the missing link between the virus and the living cell (photographed for the first time)...

Take a look around the National Ignition Facility in California, where they hope to ignite humanities first (and hopefully not last) mini star using laser beams (what else)...? ;)

Discover how nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s help to identify fake vintage whiskey...

A new TV show, coming to the discovery channel - Weaponizers - build giant remote controlled cars bristling with weapons...sounds like fun!

Star Trek Colognes, including "Red Shirt - Because tomorrow may never come"...

Scenes from movies, recreated using the CryENGINE (Blade Runner ones are particularly impressive, looking forward to playing the game - if only)...!

The Climbing Excavator [pics]

A (rather pretty) homemade coil gun, not sure why the lightbulb is there... [pics]

A brilliant idea - the transparent u-bend (complete with little dial to help clear blockages without having to take everything to bits)...!

The amazingly well rendered - Death Star destroys Enterprise (although I thought the idea was that it destroyed entire planets, not just little objects on their surfaces... [video]

...and last but not least, an *excellent* Audi Billboard fail and a hilarious double fail... ;)

More next week!

14 May, 2009

I felt the baby move...

...for the first time last night! Flyingpops has been complaining for almost a week now that the movements from the bump have been getting increasingly violent, *really* surprising her when they occur without warning and even on occasion making her physically recoil in shock, and it's only going to get more intense from here on in...I conclude, therefore, that we have probably just about reached the stage (I was warned about in my daddy-to-be guide book) where the little, enjoyable ticklish "fluttering" feelings are over, and from here on in it's going to be much more like something she just has to put up with (might be a couple of weeks of novelty wearing off to go, if we are lucky)...

The good side effect of this, of course, is that while before if I picked up any sort of feeling at all, it was less pronounced than my own pulse, last night I was able to distinctly feel movement beneath the skin (it still feels a little diffuse to me, as it would do, but it was unmistakably present)...Flyingpops describes it as like being punched, not slugged to the ground, obviously, but a decent deliberate whack...so the little blighter is getting strong, but then, when one stops to think about it, we are only days away from the six month stage in the pregnancy now, if you can believe that! In just over three months (it's going so *fast*!) if everything continues going as smoothly as it's gone so far, I'll be posting a picture of the individual responsible for all this bashing about here for all to see...! ;)

13 May, 2009

Petite Anglaise by Catherine Sanderson - book review

I've started reading Petite Anglaise by Catherine Sanderson, not the well known (and staggeringly well written) blog (which I must admit I dip in and out of from time to time - especially now, as parenthood beckons), but the accompanying book...I mention it simply because it's so completely unlike any other blog books, most of the other ones I have read (Belle de Jour/Blood, Sweat and Tea - that sort of thing) have been simple collections of carefully selected posts, perhaps tidied up a bit, put into a logical order - in fact, exactly the sort of thing one would expect from a blog book - after all, the hard bit has already been done, it's just a matter of picking out the diamonds for publication...

This one is very, *very* different - to read it is almost like putting on a DVD with the directors commentary playing instead of the main soundtrack, it follows much of the history of what is covered in the blog, but written again completely from scratch - this time telling the truth about what really happened and deeply analysing both what she wrote on the blog and her motives for doing so, explaining what was going on in her mind, and in an incredibly brave move it also includes pointing out where she added embellishments to make posts seem more amusing or poignant...an example being the episode where she was left trying to set up the video conferencing system in the office ready for an important meeting and ended up giving a room full of executives a close up of her cleavage (a classic bit of comedy), in reality it was just one IT guy at the other end, still embarrassing, but nothing like as funny...it's refreshing, it's interesting, and it also explains why each of her posts was unfailingly entertaining - because they weren't necessarily entirely true - it's made me wonder just how many other blogs I read are just very slightly fictitious...anyway, it's a highly entertaining read, standing head and shoulders above it's competitors simply for it's unique perspective - to be recommended...

12 May, 2009

Baby on Board

London Bridge from Horsham Train
I was sat, minding my own business (watching House MD on my PSP) on the train on the way home last night, when a strange thing happened...a couple got on the train at London Bridge, waving goodbye to an elderly pair (grandparents, I assumed), dragging kids behind them...they collapsed into seats and started talking (moaning about their bad timing using the underground at rush hour)...mum was hugging a tiny baby sat on the seat directly in front of me and after no more than five minutes a pair of tiny hands appeared on the top of the seat, searching for purchase, and when found, pulled a little head into view, poking over the top of the seat back, staring straight at me with an odd mixture of awe, puzzlement and terror - I smiled as reassuringly as I could and did a little wave and the head vanished a second or two later as grip failed during a carriage wobble...then the hands reappeared, followed by the head and the same look...I smiled and waved again, and this time baby was repositioned by mum...only for the little head to pop out again, this time around the side of the seat into the aisle...this went on and on for about ten minutes until I heard mum say "What are you looking at?", and she peered around the seat, just in time to catch me sticking my tongue out (anticipating the usual head to appear, causing me a little embarrassment)...it did work quite well as an ice breaker though - we got chatting, I told her Flyingpops and I were expecting and we laughed about the unusual behaviour, but we were both at a loss as to what was quite so interesting about me...I bid them farewell at Redhill (they were heading on to Gatwick) and as I walked up the platform, the little baby *still* had it's eyes fixed on me as the train swept past, and off into the distance...

11 May, 2009

Swine Flu - Canary Wharf

Goodness me, just heard that one corner of the FSA (a couple of floors down from me in One Canada Square - we share the same lifts) has been quarantined thanks to a case of Swine Flu! That's rather closer to home than I would have liked... :S


Bathroom - new plastered ceiling

Bathroom Plastering
So, the work has begun! As of Saturday the carpet in the bathroom is gone -
Bathroom Plastering
- new thin plasterboard went up all over the uneven ceiling (I had wondered how it was going to be made even!) screwed into the joists-
Bathroom Plastering
- and brand new plaster was carefully layed over the top...it took about 6 hours in total I suppose-
Bathroom Plastering
- but worth every minute of it, it is *incredibly* smooth to the touch...if the rest of the work is up to this standard then our new bathroom will be very nice indeed... ;)

Oh and the woman that first wanted to buy Colin the camper bought a T4 (our fault for putting them off until the weekend, but we hadn't quite got him ready to be sold when she rang) and the second person that came to look never returned with the brother (who had the money), so we've still got him (for the time being)...although a new ad was posted in Exchange and Mart yesterday...so we will see what activity that brings!

08 May, 2009

Finks Links #63

Another (short) week is already over and done with(!), so forgive me if there aren't many links (again)...let's hope they are to your liking though...

We'll start off with a great picture entitled - But but but, I thought I was man's best friend??? [pic]

Some awesome tables with tentacles... [pics]

Fancy some digigrade leg extensions (lets you trot like a horse)...? [video]

Grimace at the Hospital food blog... [pics]

Next it's urban exploration time - so let's creep around the Lebow clothing factory (closed their doors in the 80s)... [pics]

A probably very uncomfortable-to-wear self defence hat...

Watch "Shot of spirits - check, fire - check, idiot - check"... [animated GIF]

Check out Ned Kelly's home made bullet proof vest (they just shot him in the legs btw)...

Sweet Sue's whole chicken in a can...mmm, yummy...NOT! >;P

An ill conceived colouring book for kids called "A scary thing happened"...(released and then pulled minutes later, but not before someone got screen shots)....

...and last but not least, a horrifying anatomy text book fail and a rather uncomfortable pregnancy fail... ;)

More next week!

07 May, 2009

22 Week scan

Am just back from the 22 week scan and wanted to let you know that everything is absolutely perfect... MJ is still very camera shy, hiding his face from the camera and so our photos are not 'too great' but maybe MJ just wants to surprise us when he/she is born!  We asked to not find out whether it was a boy or girl, so the lovely nurse didn't look and it will be a complete surprise for everyone in September..(in fact, I may start a blog post to guess sex and weight nearer the time!)

MJ is a little above average.. again, what do you expect with Fink as daddy! 
Head circumference - Average 198mm - MJ 210mm
Abdominal circumference - Average 172 - MJ 182mm
Bi-parietal diameter (across babies head) - Average 56 - MJ 61mm
But all in proportion and the biggest news is nothing to worry about... phew!

Picture to follow, once I learn how to do it!


Colin the Camper - For sale... :(

So another big change, and a very sad one this time - in part to help finance the bathroom rebuild and in part because it's really not going to be practical with a tiny baby, Colin the Camper is officially up for sale...he has been part of the family since early November 2006 (I was actually shocked when I checked back on the blog and discovered it's been quite such a long time!), our adventures have been numerous, most of which I have detailed on this blog - it will be *very* tough to wave goodbye, but needs must, and this particular need Colin is not quite suitable for...his advert asking for some new guardians appeared in the Friday ad over the weekend, and an excited (potential) buyer rang up Flyingpops yesterday - they are coming over to have a look on Saturday morning... :(

Still, it can feel cramped enough in there even with just the two of us and all our stuff, so it really is time to think about either getting a bigger motor home (that I can drive without being extremely squashed), or perhaps a little caravan...

In the meantime, we should celebrate the time we have spent together by re-living all the fantastic experiences we have shared!

Thanks Colin, we'll make sure you go to a good home...!

06 May, 2009

Walkers do us a flavour - Winner Announced!

Builders Breakfast wins!!
Yeeeehaaa!!! Builders Breakfast has won! So I wasn't completely crazy (and nor was Heston)...! ;)

Swine Flu

Wet Soap Wash Rinse Dry
So it looks like Canary Wharf management have succomed to the hype, despite the international version of Swine Flu appearing to be slightly wussier than a dose of the (so called) "Man" variety, signs have materialised all over the building reminding us that we should be (gasp!) washing our hands...as if that wasn't bad enough, it then goes into great detail about exactly how we should be doing so - and I'm terribly sorry, but I don't think I would have got terribly far in life if by this stage I had somehow managed to miss the part where I learned how to work a soap dispenser and tap...and is it really necessary to wet your hands before you put on the soap? I mean, I could understand it if we were using bars, but hereabouts we have nice little dispensers that spit out a generous quantity of something that resembes pink shower gel which lathers up rather well without any additional water...

Anyway, while this was probably a small overreaction, pity the only (known) pig that lives in Afghanistan (in a zoo, believe it or not), the poor little thing, even though it's got no chance of catching or passing on the disease (there being no brothers and sisters or even distant relations in the same country to potentially get it from) it has been locked up in solitary confinement to allay public fears of infection! Sometimes I really do dispair... ;)

05 May, 2009

MJ at 22 Weeks

This link is amazing!

New Bathroom - Buying Tiles

We are *finally* getting our new bathroom...! The quote is in, the taps have been chosen and work is due to start in the next couple of weeks, this does of course mean that for the duration we will have some considerable upheaval to put up with (not least of which is having no means of taking a bath - I guess I'm going to have to use the showers here in the gym in Canary Wharf, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)...So Saturday we spent doing the last of the little jobs associated with the upgrade - choosing the tiles - which (one would have thought) should have been reasonably simple, however, we really did end up going all around the houses...first stop was Rogers Ceramics, a little independent tile shop at Gatton Point, which was a really tiny place and didn't seem to have a single kind of tile for under about £25 per square meter (and as we needed 20 square meters that would have cost us about £500!)-
Homebase reigate
Next up we stopped in the Homebase in Reigate, nothing *really* grabbed us, but they did have nice plain white tiles for £7.99/m2 (or about £160 for the job) - so a step in the right direction...if only they had more than 4 boxes in stock we probably would have finished the process right there and then...
Homebase reigate
Anyway, we headed on to Dorking and Wickes next, where they had even cheaper white tiles (£6.15/m2 - or £123) and again (unfortunately) only 6 boxes in stock...!
Wickes Dorking
Flyingpops went to the information desk and asked if they could order up some more, and the answer was no, they only way we could guarantee getting the whole lot from a single batch was to order them to be delivered, which would cost an extra £40! Most unhelpful...and so we ended up in Tile Base (just down the road from Wickes) -
Tile Base Dorking
- where the staff were extremely friendly and helpful (in stark contrast) -
Tile Base Dorking
- they had a *huge* palett of white tiles (all from the same batch) for £6.50/m2 (and it was "10% off day") meaning we got the whole lot for £117!  We even got a few sheets of embellishments for 99 pence each (down from £5)!
Tile Base Dorking
Flyingpops mum came (briging her estate car) to help us transport them all home (thanks Nanjan!), as there was absolutely no room in the Bug, and they are all now stacked up at the bottom of the stairs waiting for the work to begin! How exciting!

04 May, 2009

22 Weeks Pregnant...

Found this on a website and thought it was interesting to share:

Dates and numbers:
There are 125 days until your due date on September 07, 2009.
You are 155 days pregnant.
You are 5.1 months pregnant.
You are in your 6th month of pregnancy.
Your 1st trimester: December 01, 2008 to March 01, 2009. (0 - 12 weeks)
Your 2nd trimester: March 02, 2009 to June 14, 2009. (13 - 27 weeks)
Your 3rd trimester: June 15, 2009 to September 07, 2009. (28 - 40 weeks)

Your baby's crown-to-rump length is approximately 7.6 inches and your growing baby weighs about 12.25 ounces now! Your uterus is about 2 cm above your bellybutton and you probably feel comfortably pregnant. Your growing tummy is not yet large enough to get in the way and you should still be able to bend over and sit without much trouble. You might be enjoying your pregnancy more than ever at this point if morning sickness was an issue in the early weeks.

Your baby's body continues to grow and develop every day. The organ systems in your baby's body are becoming specialized for their particular functions. The fetal liver produces different enzymes than it will produce after delivery. The liver is responsible for breaking down billirubin, which is produced by the breaking down of blood cells. Because the life span of a fetal red blood cell is shorter than that of an adult, a fetus produces more billirubin than adults do. Billirubin passes from fetal blood to the placenta and then into your blood. Your liver helps get rid of fetal billirubin. A newborn baby that has high levels of billirubin may show signs of jaundice. Jaundiced babies have a yellowish tint to their eyes and skin and are often treated with phototherapy.

Your baby's senses are developing daily. The fetus now has a full complement of neurons in the brain and is learning about her body and surroundings through touch. Touch is one of the first senses to mature and your baby may stroke its face or feel her arms and legs.

Your blood volume has increased more to meet the demands of your pregnancy. Most of the increase is in the form of plasma, the liquid part of your blood. This has the ability to dilute your blood and give you physiological anemia, which occurs during pregnancy. The measure of blood dilution is called Hematocrit and the levels reach their lowest points this week. You should check with your doctor to make sure you are not developing more serious forms of anemia.

Your baby now shows an extremely rapid brain growth (which lasts until five years after birth).

The ovaries of female fetuses contain primitive egg cells, all of the eggs a woman will have for her entire life. The uterus of female fetuses is also fully formed.

From my personal experience... I'm feeling great, get tired if I push it too much, but am loving being pregnant! Oh and I eat all the time! God help my weight after the baby is born!

01 May, 2009

Finks Links #62

Gosh, I've been so busy this week it's incredible there are any links to share at all, but I do have just a few interesting bits for you...really looking forward to the bank holiday coming up, in serious need of a long snooze in the warm weather...!

Anyway, this was pretty amazing, give it a second or two to get going, the idea is to change reality into looking like it might belong in a video game, achieved by painting the old mint in downtown SF with 7 perfectly mapped HD projectors... [video]

Appeal to the inner James Bond in you with this tiny Sim card spy ear (basically a mini mobile phone with no speaker and auto-answer turned on, hide it in a room, ring it up, and listen to what is going on)... ;)

Thank goodness you live in modern times at the discovery of a 43 foot snake in Columbia which would have been able to hunt down cattle(!) (don't worry, it's only a fossil)... ;)

Laugh at what had better be an extremly good can of Pepsi... ;)

Check out German-born photographer Anna Skladmann's study "Little Adults" - a series of portraits, featuring the uncomfortably made-up and dead-eyed children of Russian elites...actually quite haunting...

The Top 10 supercar crash tests (ouch)...

Take a look around Russia's most modern nuclear power station... [pics]

...and last but not least, a great Undercover fail...yep, they'll never suspect a thing... ;)

More next week and enjoy the bank holiday weekend...!