Wedding Bells Pt 2: It’s All About Us

Last time I wrote about the wedding (see Wedding Bells: Dilemmas and Complications) I had no idea what kind of wedding I wanted. I had no idea who I wanted there, where I wanted it to be. Really I just had no idea.

Now I can safely say we have a plan.

Sort of.

Originally we had planned to get married legally on a Friday, just myself and Buttercup and two close friends as witnesses. Then have a “mock” ceremony the following day for everyone and then the reception in the evening. This was due to budget reasons as the legal ceremony would only cost £40 rather then around £600.

Then mum decided to offer money. Which is infuriating as she has only offered after being told she wouldn’t be at the legal ceremony. Nor would any other family member for that matter. So we rethought the plan and decided to move things to Saturday entirely and have a small registry office ceremony for immediate family and close friends only, followed by a reception for everyone later.

Good plan. Except….

Can’t get married on a Saturday as we wanted as no registry offices are open. So Friday it is.

Now, the option there is go big or go small, and as small is more in keeping with the budget, even with any extra money we’re given, small it is. This means we’re now looking at a 70 guest max wedding, nice and cosy. And in all likelihood we’ll have fewer than that.

This in itself raises the next problem. Mum and Sister in very close proximity to dad and Maggie.

Why is nothing ever simple?

Still. The argument remains that it’s all about us. But that doesn’t mean we get it easy. Somehow I have to ensure that there is no drama at my own wedding. Doesn’t matter that it’s a wedding. Doesn’t matter that it’s family. I still don’t feel I can trust mum and sister to not kick off.

Daffodils, Butterfly Flowers, and a Bulb of Garlic

Being the adult-y sort of adult that I am I thought I would try my hand at a little bit of horticulture. I have had a few pot plants before and they did alright, and I’ve managed to kill an orchid so I’m fairly sure I know what I am doing.

Hoverfly on Flower
One of many flowers to have lived, and died, in my “garden”

I’ve always dreamed of having my own veggie patch, and a herb garden, so I figured:

“What am I waiting for? Why not just crack on and see how it goes!”

There is, alas, one slight set back to my dream garden. I live in a second floor flat with a small triangular balcony. But hey ho, you gotta work with what you’ve got.

So I bought some daffodil bulbs back in the winter. Nothing to extravagant, nice and simple to begin with. These sprouted and flowered for a bit, seemed to do quite nicely, but withered when the cold came back.


So I bought some seeds, specifically ones that are supposed to attract butterflies but not bees and I’ve got them planted. They seem to be coming along nicely.

Finally, the garlic. I’ve popped a couple of cloves in a pot. Should start to see some growth soon and with any luck they’ll be ready for harvest in the autumn.

And that’s how my balcony garden started. With some daffodils, butterfly flowers and a bulb of garlic.

The Madness of King Pablo

Game of Thrones Life Size Replica Iron Throne
Iron Throne by Wicker Paradise

The King is dead. Long live the King.

Pablos decent into madness has been an ongoing problem for quite some time now. But the extent of his truly insane nature has only been realised following developments witnessed over the last few weeks.

Until recently Pablo and Maggie had been (fairly) happily married. They’d had their ups and downs, and their fair share of arguments, a lot of which are caused by Pablos hobby of spending money he doesn’t have.

It’s not difficult to understand why Pablo might be upset when you consider that his wife is living in another country with another man. What you would need to consider from an outside perspective though is that the three of them were supposed to retire and all move out together at the same time. The plan changed a little closer to the April of 2018 when Maggie and dad moved, Pablo decided he wasn’t quite ready to retire, and thus planned to stay in the UK a little longer. So really it’s not as if she’s run away with this other man, Pablo changed the plan, and later it seems decided he didn’t like it, though we don’t know for certain why, and now he’s having a mental breakdown.

Fast-forward to the present day. Maggie is filing for divorce for unreasonable behaviour. Pablo has kicked Maggie out of her own house and changed the locks (*cough* that would be illegal *cough*). Legally speaking she could force entry. She’s well within her rights to. Course should she do so she’d be putting herself in danger from Pablo, and would likely be arrested for a breach of the peace. So she’ll have to get a court order.

Not much of a surprise this has all happened. Pablos had problems before. He was on meds. But he stopped taking them, went a bit nutty, quit his job, severed ties with his remaining friends, and has now gone completely fruityloops.

Outside of that, all is well in our little corner of paradise.

Lentil at 1 Month

Well I think it’s safe to say that having a baby really does change everything, and yet some things dont seem to change at all.

For example, my sleep patterns from the month before Lentil was born give me just under 7 hours of sleep every night on average:

But in the month immediately after birth its down to 6 hours

So realistically, not a massive difference. At least, not on paper. Boy do I notice the difference, especially in the last week now that I have returned to work!

That was until the colic kicked in. Hour upon hour of non stop screaming. No matter how many feeds, cuddles, or nappy changes, nothing seemed to help.

“Will nothing sate this child of mine” I cried. It’s safe to say that after 4 hours of crying, with Buttercup and I tagging in and out every half hour or so, we were both struggling. Tears were shed.

The overwhelming feeling of inexplicable guilt had filled me up. My baby is crying and I can’t sooth her because I am a bad parent who is well out of his depth and doesn’t know what he is doing. Even though I knew straight away that I was wrong, I still felt there was a little truth in this. The reality is that babies get colic, and they cry endlessly for hours, and as stressful as that is it doesn’t mean anyone is a bad parent. As long as Lentils other needs are attended to, a bit of colicky crying is not a reflection on my abilities as a parent.

Tonight, however, I discovered that Lentil can be soothed by my singing, albeit temporarily. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, she often kicked in the womb while I sang, so it’s obvious she likes it. Admittedly I have a fairly short repertoire of songs I can sing well, but if she enjoys the selection, who am I to argue?

What can I say though. Lentil at one month. It’s been an amazing journey so far. What will she be like when she grows up? What bands will she like? How will she do her hair? What will he dream job be? Her favourite colour? Her favourite and least favourite foods? All of these things I get to spend the rest of my life finding out about, and I couldn’t feel more honoured.

My little Lentil. One month old.

P. S. RedBull is an absolute miracle.

The Parking Ticket or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Parking Nazis

A parking ticket? A parking ticket?! (My kingdom for a parking ticket!)

We Got a Parking Ticket

We Got a Parking Ticket – Adam Gerard

Furious doesn’t even begin to cover it. There are millions of words in the english language, but I don’t think I can string enough of them together to accurately describe just how angry I am. But apparently I’m about to try.

The reason I am so annoyed is that due to a technicality the parking company have got me over a barrel. The reason for the ticket being issued is that I “failed to correctly display a valid permit or ticket” for my residents parking space. I do indeed have a residents permit, which is displayed in the windscreen of my car, however it appears in the recent cold weather it had lost its sticky (I assume due to condensation) and had relocated itself to the passenger footwell.

I got the ticket on Tuesday, and had last used my car on Sunday so naturally I have no idea at what point this adhesive failure actually occurred.

Having sent an appeal in explain the situation as above I have received the following response:

Having considered the points you have raised and reviewed our records, we are unable to accept your appeal. Our main reason(s) for this decision are as follows:

The signs at the car park make it clear that the land is private property and that a charge of £100 will be levied if vehicles park outside of the Terms and Conditions displayed.

The signs make it clear that a valid permit must be clearly displayed in the vehicle parked; on this occasion the above detailed vehicle was observed parked whilst not correctly displaying a valid permit therefore you became liable for the Charge advertised.

e appreciate that you have now provided us with a copy of your permit; however the evidence shows that the permit was not clearly displayed at the time the vehicle was parked. It was your responsibility to ensure that the permit was clearly displayed before leaving the vehicle parked.

In recognition of the particular circumstances, and as a gesture of goodwill, we are prepared to offer you the opportunity to pay a reduced settlement charge of £20.00 provided that payment is received within our office by the 24th December 2018 after which the amount payable will revert to £100.00.

Well, I guess £20 is better than £100. And it’s a lot of effort to take the legal route of pointing out that I have never actually agreed to the use of a parking enforcement agency for the car park (residents were not consulted), but the use of a parking space is permitted in my lease, as such I don’t need a permit. 

Article 1 of the First Protocol: Protection of property allows the freedom to enjoy property and any perks it comes with, which arguably extends to the ability to park ones car. However, I run the risk of being shafted in to paying £100 so I’ll forget about my rights for a second and just pay the £20.

And then remember my other rights. Specifically the right to a Subject Access Request demanded access to all data relating to me, my property, and my car from the company, which will likely cost them the £20 all over again. What can I say, I like to get my money’s worth.

The Arrival of Lentil

It took a while, but she’s finally here. My little Lentil. Born on 28th December 2018 at 16:21 by c-section and weighing 9lbs 2oz!

We went in to the hospital on Boxing Day for the induction, and after a difficult labour (52 hours total) she was finally out. Buttercup endured hell with this birth. Lots of vomit, lots of pain.

The induction process started at about midday on the 26th December, though nothing much happened for the first 24 hours after this. On 27th December they started stage 2 of the induction, and this is where things really got interesting. The cramping and sickness to be specific.

By 2am on the 28th Buttercup was 4cm dilated and in “active” labour, so we were transferred to the delivery unit. From there is got worse before it got better.

The gas and air made Buttercup sick and delirious. She didn’t really know what was going on, just that she hurt and wanted it to stop. This I cannot deny was highly distressing, especially at the point where Buttercup was barely conscious, and the few moments she was, the only word she could whisper was “help”.

Next came the Epidural. This took a full 90 minutes to arrange. Unfortunately the procedure to insert the line for the administration of the drug required Buttercup to remain in a certain position, and stay extremely still. Which she couldn’t do. She just didn’t respond to instructions, even at the point where we were shouting at her in an attempt to shock her out of it. The doctors eventually administered a local anesthetic and we took away the gas and air. A few minutes passed and it was almost as if someone had flipped a switch. Buttercup was back, alert, awake, she knew exactly what was going on and everything became so much easier.

With the Epidural finally in place things really did get much easier, and now it was a case of waiting until Buttercup was 10cm dilated before moving to the next stage. I took this opportunity to have a nap, sat bolt upright on the floor. My first hours sleep in the last 36 hours.

10cms arrived and it was time to start pushing. The midwife upped the dosage of Oxytocin to ramp up the contractions and Buttercup pushed with all her might for well over an hour and a half, slowing making progress, Lentil getting closer and closer. Until the progress stopped.

Lentil was stuck. She’d hit the pubic bone and couldn’t move any further,

A consultation with the doctor was held, and it was decided to move to theater. The new plan was to attempt to assist with forceps, with a cesarean as the backup plan. So down to theater we went.

At this point I really wish I had taken a selfie in my scrubs as I looked particularly ridiculous.

With a forceps assisted delivery, the doctor is only allowed 3 attempts before they move on to the cesarea, and those attempts were used up pretty quickly.

Cesareans are an amazing process. From the first incision to my little girl being officially born was roughly 6 minutes. After this was about 45 minutes of Buttercup being sewn and stapled back together.

She was finally here. My beautiful baby daughter.

Baby Lentil

I would like to thank all the staff of the Rosie Maternity Hospital for being so amazing throughout this time.

Pregnancy Jitters Pt 2

Well, after our scare the other day ( Pregnant Jitters ) Buttercup was not induced as the ward was full and actually closed to new arrivals / inductions. As Lentils movements were back to normal, and the midwives and doctors were happy with everything, we were actually discharged, and we were told that Buttercup would be sent for a scan, just to make sure everything is fine, and she’d be sent a letter confirming when this scan was. We assumed that has they were not sending her for this scan immediately, it was nothing to be worried about, just a precaution.

As a result Buttercup made the decision that she wanted to started her maternity leave early. To be honest, she was due to work the Monday and Tuesday and be on leave Wednesday (today as I am writing this post) so she’s only actually gone on leave two days early.

Sunday came and went, we took it pretty easy, trying to relax as much as possible.

Monday came and went, no sign of this appointment confirmation.

Tuesday, Buttercup went in to town to do some bits, came home as the postman was delivering, checked the post: Nothing.

So she phoned the Rosie hospital and spoke to the assessment line and it was confirmed that no appointment had been made. So they booked an “emergency” one at 5.15.

Cue the phonecall to work. Fortunately Buttercup has our managers direct dial, and my desk is situated right next to our manager. At the time the call came through, I was actually with two of the other managers nearby, in fact immediately behind my managers desk. I’m mid referral and get a tap on the should, a phone thrust in my face and am told:

Your birds on the phone, nothing to worry about.

What do you mean nothing to worry about. After the weekend, of course I’m worried. I am literally on edge all the time.

Anyway, Buttercup tells me what she told our manager, that the appointments been booked, and it’s arranged for me to leave work a little before 4pm to get to the hospital.

Scan was absolutely fine, but it indicates that Lentils current weights is about 4,111g (or 9lbs 1oz), so getting quite large, so the midwife wants us to see a doctor about this.

A little over four hours to be precise to be seen by the doctor. Having had a look over the notes in Buttercups maternity file we were advised he wanted to induce the pregnancy. On Christmas Eve.

So, there’s a very real chance we will have a Christmas baby, and an even bigger chance that most of Christmas may well be spent in a hospital doing very little other than waiting.

As a result we are now doing everything we can to induce the birth ourselves.