I recall from 30 years ago that pregnancy and giving birth temporarily turn the brain to mush but I hadn't realised that becoming a grandmother would have the same effect! I've been trying to catch up on the national and world news that I've been too preoccupied to follow but all thoughts seem to lead to babies and Baby Amelia in particular. Wasn't there a budget this week and did the world keep on turning?
I have decided that the only way to get the grey cells working again is to think aloud and perhaps clear my head of all the distractions it is still harbouring. I can't promise that it won't all be babyish.
Rambling#1 Mother/daughter days.
My poor girl had a pretty awful pregnancy with sickness right up to the 37th week, plus SIJ dysfunction for many months. However, all of these miseries vanished in the two weeks before the baby's arrival and she was positively blooming when I went to keep her company in the run-up to the big day. We had a week of long talks, longish walks, cooking, shopping and we even fitted in a trip to the hairdresser. We haven't had such a special time together for several years.
When we arrived home from our shopping spree in the West End, I discovered this unusual memento of the day from a certain store frequented by our MPs. I really don't know how it ended up in my bag and hope that accidentally making off with a shelf tag doesn't count as shoplifting! I'm sure all the free publicity that store has had recently will more than offset the cost of replacing this little item.
Rambling#2 Time on my hands
Being away from my PC left me with lots of time to read. I got through two books and almost finished a third, a stark reminder of how long I usually spend on reading and writing blog posts. Oh but I did miss all of you! And anyway (in justification) the books I read were all recommendations from my top blog spots. My first book was Gilead by Marilynne Robinson and it produced the same profound response in me that D describes in her excellent review. It is certainly a book that I'll be returning to again and again.
My second book was inspired by J's beautiful posts about sea glass. I happened upon a copy of Anita Shreve's Sea Glass in a charity shop the day before I left for London and packed it in preference to my toothbrush (only joking!). I love Anita Shreve's deceptively simple writing style; her characters are so vividly drawn that I feel their fears, uncertainties, joy and pain. As I got towards the end of the book, I kept putting off turning the pages in the same way that I used to put off packing my children's bags when they were going back to boarding school. It probably wasn't the best choice of book for such an emotionally charged week but I am so glad that I have read it and I'll never look at a piece of sea glass in the same way again.
My third book, not yet finished because I am back in front of the PC, is The Lambs of London by Peter Ackroyd. I have read and been disturbed by several of his books such as Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem, The House of Doctor Dee and Hawksmoor, and I have admired and enjoyed several of his biographies. I haven't yet decided about this book which is not a true biography of the Lamb siblings and yet cannot be read as pure fiction. I've been thinking about writing a post on 'faction', derivatives and adaptations and this might well feature in it.
I realise that I have not mentioned babies for several paragraphs. Perhaps I'm cured? I am just off to share our news with half the village now, so perhaps not.