Baby! 20 Week Scan (by )

I had my twenty week scan on Tuesday, we have decided to find the sex of the baby this time round due to the whole room issue.

If it's a girl it can share with Jean in bunk beds once old enough - a prospect Jean is most excited about, if it is a boy then though initially it can share with Jean but would rapidly need it's own bedroom - this means selling my office furniture or getting Barbara to let us have the Stable area to have the office in, allowing us to have the office/hayloft as a domestic space.

Things are a bit up and down domestically where the house is concerned anyway at the moment so (look away if you don't want to know!) I was relieved to find out that the baby is probably another little girl! Obviously it is only a 9 out of 10 chance but still I am breathing a bit easier.

The scan showed no annomalies with the baby though I do have a low laying placenta and so have to go back for another scan at 32 weeks. I am seeing the consultant on Monday about weather to have a C-section or not anyway.

I really really hope they will give me one otherwise I am going to be in a wheel chair again - I might be anyway but I will definatly be without the C-section.

People keep telling me I don't want one (bar the midwife who thinks I need one) as it is an operation and you can't do anything for six weeks. Six weeks? I couldn't do anything for about 10 months after Jean was born via natural birht :/

Having said that I do have a few quarms about it - like how is my body going to flush all the placenta and stuff out? Is there a danger to the baby with knives cutting them out? And how will my body know it's had the baby to start up the proper milk production? Plus it's going to have to be a pretty large cut and into what I consider a major organ so what are the infection risks?

Other issues to be addressed are - the fact I am starting to struggle with walking at all and turning over in bed makes the old pelvis go click crunch but I need to be mobile as I'll just pile on even more weight 🙁 I am having nose bleeds and headaches which are going to be from the stress of whats going on domestically but how can I get it low again - all I've been told so far is to rest.

Still we got to see the little baby and the lady showed us everything she was taking measurements of! We even got to see the four chambers of it's little heart!

It was being like it's sister v. v. wriggly so was not very photogenic :/

I do want to get copies of the ultra sounds up - so bear with us for glimpses of baby 🙂

The Google-Fu and MySociety Rap (by )

My Google-Fu
Does Work for you
I writes to my MP
I helps my community

And MySociety

Helping you to say what's wrong
Which is why I made up this song
To let the people know
About how and where to go
To set things straight
To fix things
B4 it's to late

When I sees things out of place
I writes it on MySpace,
Live Journal, Blogger, WordPress and twitter
Yes I'm a social media witter!
Citizen journo of the worst kind
Google and you will find


Doing electronic rants
For my community

Eastgate Shopping Center Rock! (by )

Yesterday I wrote a post about the foodcourt charging for tap water - I then put the link on twitter. Whilst there I thought I'd prod around my local tweets and found one of them retweeting a post by none other than the shopping center!

So I sent them the link with a comment that it was bad policy. I didn't expect it to work but within ten minutes I had a response saying they were going to look into it. Then a little later a message that as of now they are no longer going to charge for tap water!

Tis a little victory but I do feel quiet chuffed. However they are just one shopping center so now I am on a mission - I am going to do several things. Firstly I will be making lists of places I go that do and don't give me free tap water, secondly I am going to be writing to my MP and stuff.

Alaric also thinks that there is something about it under the Citizen's Charter but I have to confess that I didn't even know we had a Citizen's Charter and have so far failed to find a copy of it on line.

And just to add to my lame-ness I have also made up a little song/rap thingy about using google-fu which I will post in a few days!

But mainly I need to thank Eastgate Shopping Center for listening and getting on the ball 🙂

Tap Water (by )

Being pregnant I am finding myself getting stupidly hungry and stuff and whilst out in Gloucester I decided to get a meal in the food court of Eastgate Shopping Center. My parents where buying drinks but I just wanted tap water - I often ask for tap water even when I am drinking another drink so was shocked to be told they were now charging for it! 30p a cup!

I was shocked and said I didn't think that was legal but ended up buying a bottle of water in the end. This was mineral water which a) often contains salts and things which I was told you should avoid during pregnancy and b) comes in a plastic bottle which is bad for the environment.

They said it was due to inflation that they where having to charge, but even if they gave it to me in a disposible cup with ice it not cost 30p!

Anyway I came home and looked it up and was sickened to find out that UK law doesn't insist on tap water being free but rather is put into clauses on specific places such as pubs and clubs. And that Defra have been promoting a free drinking water policy.

I live in a country were the tap water is not only safe to drink but of a high quality and the resturants are generally not on meters so they pay a base rate for the water - which they need to do all their cooking and washing up!

Now my main concern is - how is this not a law? When we have so many laws? And secondly is there some older law - which some people seem to believe there is, dating from the Temprance movement where free water is to be served?

I thought the law said that even if someone turned up on my doorstep I would have to provide them with free water to drink.

Oh and the most stupid thing about the meal I had? The little packets of salt that some places charge 5p for where free. So we had free salt but no free water?!? This seems incredibly insane to me.

Electricity bills and heating (by )

We changed electricity supplier recently, which is great, but the downside is that I've just noticed a bounced direct debit from NPower (the old one) for £661 on our joint account, to clear our remaining balance 🙁

We were paying a regular direct debit of £130 a month, which we tried to keep to by not being wasteful with the hot water (electrically heated) and by rationing the use of the fan heater (which at 3kW costs just under 50p an hour to run, which at the planned four hours a day comes out to £60 a month, the rest being our normal 'summer' power consumption)

I've no idea how we've gone £661 over in the past year 🙁 I can't find my old workings, but I know my estimate of our summer power consumption involved a lot of guesswork, and I was uncertain as to how many months of the year we'd run the heater for... but it looks like we won't be able to afford to run the fan heater at all this winter; thankfully, we've managed to plug a lot of the draughts in the house, and I'm going to try and arrange secondary double glazing (be it nice sheets of plastic mounted properly... or bubble wrap pinned to the window frames), so hopefully we'll be able to get by with the coal fire downstairs, which normally gets through something like £5 worth of coal a day.

I'll be more frugal with the gas heater in my office, too - last winter, it was used to great effect (especially once we'd managed to close the warped window properly so there wasn't a huge draught), but the office is a high-ceilinged room so a lot of empty space has to be filled with warm air before I feel much of it. I budgeted for one £15 cylinder a month, but we ended up using one about every ten days, from memory.

By comparison, Sarah's electric blanket only uses a sixty or so watts, and keeps her toasty warm all night! Which just goes to show how much of the heat from a room heater goes to heating the walls and air, rather than heating us. I need to get some time to refit Sarah's heated jacket with a cable to plug into a plugtop PSU so she can be kept warm without needing to get through batteries like they grow on trees...

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