Monday, 24 May 2010

You've come a long way baby........

Yesterday Bushman returned from Jamaica. His bounty consisted of nine bottles of Wray and Nephew White Rum (63%) , three bottles of Appleton Dark Rum Estate VX, six mangoes, two ‘bammies’ and twelve fried fish.


Twelve pieces of fish on a 10 hour flight.

"Yuh waan fish?" he says to me, when I mention that I'm peckish.

"Errr...." I say, "Perhaps not. I'm not sure whether it's the 10 hour flight they've been on or the fact that they are staring at me. I think I'll have a bacon sandwich instead."

Bushman tells me that there is nothing wrong with them; that the methods of cooking and preserving means they are perfectly safe to eat. Still.....I'm not convinced. He gives them a good sniff and eats two. His nose is his 'best before date'. I am both disgusted and in awe of him at the same time.

And so my two week stint as a pesudo single/stay at home mum comes to an end. Thank god. It’s either complete selflessness bordering on saintliness, or insanity, which drives women to be ‘Stay at home Mum’s’. For those of you who do it, I salute you. You are better women than me.

When I started this blog I was on the brink of returning to work. I found it really tough going back and often wished that I had the luxury of staying at home. This fortnight has taught me a lot. Namely, that I'm too damn selfish to devote myself entirely to another human being. Frankly, I am exhausted and bored by the monotony. It’s at this point that I’m supposed to say that’s it’s also been wonderful, thus reconfirming my love I have for my son. Well I think it goes without saying that I love my son and naturally there have been moments of pleasure but for the most part, being pregnant and raising an 18month old is just generally knackering (and it's not even like I haven't had any help).

There have been upsides to getting up at 6 every morning..... like getting hold of these.

Early strawberries from Ripple Farm Organics. I was at the Farmer's Market before it even opened on Saturday Morning, which meant I got one of the last four boxes. Delicious and clearly like goldust.

I also went all 'Make Do and Mend' and got out my sewing machine. I turned two vintage items of clothing into maternity skirts (looked at the clock and it wasn't even 9am). I turned a double duvet into a single one, fixed a tea towel, made a skirt for my unborn daughter, created three cushions and a picture of a turtle for my son. I also dyed some of his old clothes purple, thereby making them suitable for his sister. I cleared out loads of old trimmings and textiles from my sewing I boring you yet? Just to reiterate....I've been fucking productive for a knackered out old witch. I've looked like shit of course, but you can't have it all.

As Bushman complains that his clothes smell of fish and rum and we discuss the several loads of washing which need doing, yet another march against gun and knife crime parades past our flat. This week everyone on the march looks white, possibly Turkish? A few weeks back everybody on the march was black. I can't help thinking that if they all got together this marching business might be more successful. Ironically, one of the placards being held aloft says something to the effect of "The Met Police aren't protecting our young people". This is ironic because as they march proceeds down the street they are flanked by police putting out and picking up traffic cones and blocking off traffic so that the marchers are safe.

Bushman is unmoved by this.

"De whole a town run red." he tells me.

Translation: In Kingston, Jamaica the streets are running with blood.

He's not exaggerating. The U.S are trying to have Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, a questionable 'Robin Hood' character/gang leader extradited and a state of emergency has been called. Police are being killed, fires are being set, politicians are resigning and women and children are being evacuated from the capital. As usual, in Jamaica, drugs, guns and politics are mixed into a lethal cocktail.

I'm thankful that Bushman is a country man and for the most part, kept away from the troubles. But I'm still bloody grateful he's home safe because Jamaica can be a beautiful but deadly island (unless you are holed up in a Sandals resort).

I look at the piles of stinking washing and the fish heads in the fridge and feel very lucky and strangely content. I don't imagine that this feeling will last long, so I decide to savour it all the more.


  1. I am a stay at home mum - most of my friends go to work for a rest.

    My home life with four kids is so boisterous when they all get home I need some peace and monotony by day.................... I do a lot of make do & mend!

    I am shocked that you got to a farmers market before it opened- is that legal? I would have imagined at that hour it would be populated by people coming home from a night out or old people who always get up at dawn -

  2. I had it drummed into my head as a child that oily fish make you clever and do the same to my three now ! The fact that you were able to do ANYTHING at all whilst pregnant and looking after an 18 month old is really quite astounding. My boys are twenty months apart,I spent the whole of my second pregnancy cooking with my son, buying food, eating or napping. Good on you xx

  3. Would that not have been a serious fine, if the fish had been found in his suitcase by immigration? We weren't even allowed to bring any beef in from Belgium.

    You have been ridiculously productive. You are shaming me into considering perhaps doing something house-y later. Perhaps.

    Glad your man got out okay. It does sound like a scary situation over there.

  4. Have been thinking of you and the situation in Jamaica this week. I hope no-one your partner knows has been hurt. It was strange hearing all about it on the news again and again and knowing that I had read all about it on a blog first.

  5. Thanks for all your lovely comments. Everyone we know is safe as they are mostly in the countryside.

    Justherdingcats - our farmers' market opens at a slovenly 10 am.

    Belgravia Wife - to be fair this was a blip in my otherwise sedentary pregnancy....

    Mwa - All of it totally illegal. I have found that British people love rules and laws and that Jamaicans are not so preoccupied with this. If caught he would have shrugged and paid the fine and probably kissed his teeth.

  6. You fixed a tea towel? You fixed a tea towel! I am both impressed, astounded and confused. Firstly, how does a tea towel break? Secondly, if it does break, who honestly 'fixes it'? I mean, don't you just use another tea towel? Or did you use that to make the skirt?

    You really need to step away from that sewing machine NOW!

  7. Dear Dawn,

    You are the only one who pointed out my tea towel insanity moment. In my defense it was a vintage tea towel belonging to my grandmother which, like most old things, is of far superior quality to the crap we get nowadays. It was simply frayed at one edge and I lovingly restored it with some navy bias binding. the label said 'Empire Made'. Can provide photo if required. I hope this is redeeming.


    P.S Sewing machine is now locked away.

  8. OK - you are forgiven for the tea towel. However, I am now slightly concerned that you even know what 'navy bias binding' is. Locking away the sewing machine may not be enough. Suggest you also flush the key.