Saturday, 22 March 2014

Things I Have Learned Recently



By 'eck our Cyril, this grandmothering lark is hard work, nah then sithee lad. You think you know what you are doing because you were discovered in possession of a baby many years ago, but guess what? That was in the Bygone Era. Things have changed. It is a wonder that any baby survived in those far off days, what with being put down on their sides, unswaddled and not monitored for constant breathing activity.

The first thing you learn as a new grandmother is how little you know. Actually you know nothing - well no, you know an awful lot but that was then and this is now. The word on the street is: shut up. Those of you who are on more than just blog-reading acquaintance with me will appreciate how difficult it is not to chip in with My Opinion every few minutes. I am learning. (If you would like to read the ''Letter' I wrote to my lovely granddaughter on her birth, you can do so here )

The baby is nearly four weeks old and there have been some very funny incidents. As part of the ''baby box'' I made, I bought a lovely grey bodysuit with bones on it. Skeleton Baby - hahaha. What neither I nor DD realised was that the bones glowed in the dark. Slight shock then to awake at 2am and spot a small luminous-boned figure lying next to her. Help, my baby's gone radioactive. That was the same night New Dad had the dream that the baby was stuck on the ceiling, sat bolt upright in bed and tried to get her down.

Away from the babyfest, my Harpenden Independent Partnership - possibly fielding two candidates in the upcoming District Council Elections in May, have started campaigning. We have brilliant leaflets, thanks to Designer Dave who did my book cover. Sadly, as we are self-funding, we do not have enough brilliant leaflets, so are only able to cover one ward completely and one partially.

It is the first time ever there have been two truly Independent candidates possibly standing here and not before time either. There is one councillor who calls himself independent, but it is more a case of: kicked-out-of-the-Tories-for-being-a-pain-in-the-arse rather than truly Independent as we are.

The scale of countrywide ''corruption'' in local government is jaw-dropping. Our two people recently attended a training day, where they met others hoping to get elected in May. One lady disclosed that she was fighting a greenbelt development on her doorstep where the head of the council was also on the board of the development company. Same political party as the one that holds sway here, funnily enough.

I haven't leafletted since before my Town Green Application went to Public Inquiry and had forgotten how interesting it was. A re-learning experience in so many ways. I now have painful scrapes on my fingers from letterbox bite-back. Also slight knee pain from bending down to stuff leaflets through low-lying letter boxes. And at least 2 leaflets were Consumed by Dogs.

But the response has been heartening. So many people have said they will vote for us. Including Harpenden's only known Communist. I know a verbal promise isn't worth the paper it's written on, but we have taken note of their addresses and like Arnie, We Will Be Back on polling day. Yes indeed.


If you would like to read a sample of my novel Diamonds&Dust, A Victorian murder mystery, you can do so here. US readers can do so here.


20 comments:

  1. Wonderful! I can just see you trailing Arnie along on election day for extra emphasis! I love the baby piece. I can imagine everything is different now, but I wonder if it is actually better? I guess putting up and shutting up is the name of the granny game, but I can imagine you have to put yourself in quite some verbal restraints…haha. Lovely you, lovely post and lovely photo!

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    1. We are deriving amusement as well as pleasure from our new grand daughter! (Most of the former at the expense of her parents ..who, give them their due, are fantastic!)

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  2. ...I didn't realise you're based in Harpenden... I lived there for a couple of years about 35 years ago... it was very green then.. I hear it;s changed more than just a tad since that time...

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    1. Much more than a tad, thanks to the Council, who seem determined to cover as much of it with housing

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  3. Brilliant, as always. Thanks, Carol. Two blog posts for the price of one. Good luck on polling day.

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    1. Thanks Francis... wwe haave a long way to go..but go it we will!!

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  4. Oh those babies!! Yes, it's a steep learning curve, second time around - but wonderful - and gets more and more wonderfuller as they get bigger. Give her a year or two, and she'll be teaching you how to use an iPad (or whatever comes after that!)

    And the corruption of local councillors - ours behaved so badly at one point I suggested they all be made to sit in the naughty corner and not allowed out to play till they said sorry.

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    1. I may well suggest this as a useful technique if we get elected!!

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  5. Good luck Carol! I really hope you succeed in May. The powers that be issue new parenting advice almost as frequently as Chelsea changes its manager. When my sister had her first baby, the stuff I had been told only five years earlier was already completely wrong, apparently. Amazing the human race has survived this long!

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    1. I know!! Hahaha ,,, and she isn't even ''potty trained'' yet!!

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  6. Glow in the dark baby! lol That's funny. I'm sure you are enjoying your granddaughter. :)

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    1. Loving every minute. As I'm sure your folks do too...

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  7. Koos and I both agree. Baby is the most beautiful small human we have seen in a long time.

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  8. Super cute! I have a long while to wait for grandfatherhood (I hope) so instead I'm getting up nights for and clearing up after a puppy that's supposed to be for the kids.

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  9. Thankfully our grandchildren are now beyond the 'to swaddle or not' debate. Adorable photo by the way. Good luck with the campaigning but remember to wear thermal socks!

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  10. Congrats on an absolutely gorgeous granddaughter - the photo makes me broody (don't worry - it lasts as long as an ad on the tv...).
    Good luck with the campaign - nothing is worse than apathy, and at least you're doing something to raise awareness.
    PS I can see why you won that Addictive Blog Award!

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    1. Thanks Ros and Teagan ..I have just ordered another pair of possum gloves to go with the campaigning!

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  11. Advice for mums changes just as often as the advice or what not to eat does. When Abi was born and breasted she wasn't allowed any water which I thought was ridiculous. I worked in a maternity and mothers who breast fed were given a bottle of water for their babies at feeding time. It was very hard to get Abi to drink water at weaning or to drink anything at all it made her constipated and was a bit of a nightmare. I haven't asked if she gives water to new baby but I think the rules have changed again. Good luck running for council I think it's great.

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  12. Babies - pretty much whatever you do (as long as it's not leave them outside all night) they grow up. I've had babies through the 'lie them on their tummies/only lie them on their backs, wean at four months/wean at nine months, swaddle/don't swaddle' and they've all turned out happy and healthy. As I am sure your beautiful granddaughter will!

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    1. thanks. I am just amused ( as well as amazed) Apparently I don't dress her the 'proper 'way either...hahahaha

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