Pregnancy Diary: 26 weeks

Today I am 26 weeks and 2 days pregnant.
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image(Sorry the pictures are so huge, I can’t work out to resize them – still a bit inept at this blogging malarky!)

Baby is now apparently 36cm long and their hearing is getting better as the network of nerves to his or her ears are almost complete. I don’t doubt this for a second as bubba moves the most when the kids are curled up chatting incessantly as I read books to them! I still have absolutely no inkling as to whether it is a girl or a boy. Sophia is rooting for a boy as she wants to have her own room forever and Isaac changes his mind on a daily basis!

I’m feeling a bit blah this week. The acid reflux hasn’t been great and my hips and pelvis have been quite painful, probably due to the move. None of this is particularly helped by Isaac waking up 2-3 times a night after having just mastered sleeping through before the move. By the time evening comes, I just want to veg with trashy shows or a book, I feel like I should be being a bit more productive! But I’m hoping once we’ve set up the weight bench in the garage I can get back into lifting a bit (having not for two weeks due to the move) as that tends to help both my energy levels and mood.

I’m also aware that my mood is mirrored in the kids so am trying to make a conscious effort to be a bit more positive and focus on the good….like going to look at new beds today at Dreams – our current bed is almost 14 years old and has definitely seen much better days!! Hope you all have a very cosy and chilled Saturday on this wet and dreary November day.

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Home Sweet Home

Between birth and turning 18 I moved house 7 times. Since then I have moved a further 7 (I think). That means on average I’ve moved once every two years since arriving in this world. Of course that’s not actually been the case as I’ve stayed longer in some places and much shorter in others. But the point is, I’ve moved a lot.

So on the completion of our most recent move it’s got me pondering about what home means to me. I’ve obviously been lacking a strong attachment to any one place and have inherited the Watson gene of eternal optimism and seeing the good in every situation (and therefore, every move). This combination means that up until now, I have had no strong desire to settle down, plant roots and stay put. But maybe I was just waiting for the right place?

Because almost as soon as our furniture and boxes were brought into this new (slightly run down) house, I’ve felt like we’re back at home. The idea of living anywhere else for the foreseeable future is one I really dislike. For better or worse (though I suspect the former), I’ve found a home in Topsham. We all have.

I can’t quite tell you exactly what it is about the town that fits us so well, it’s a combination of factors really. It’s small enough to get to know your neighbours and local community but big enough to have good transport links and utilities like the parks, pubs, independent shops, library and swimming pool. It’s next to the river and not far from some lovely beaches and Dartmoor. And probably most importantly, all four of us have made some really good friends here. Friends that we’ve still seen during our brief time away in Thorverton but who we’ve missed and who we’re looking forward to seeing much more of now we’re back.

So although we have most definitely downsized from the beautifully converted and spacious barn with huge gardens and views over rolling hills to a small three bed mid terrace in need of some TLC and in possession of a small concrete garden, we have no regrets. We felt almost instantly settled again and like we’d never left. I’m not saying we’ll stay here forever, only God knows what our future holds. But for now, we’re exactly where we want to be.

It’s good to be home.

(I can’t talk about moving though without giving a HUGE public thank you to Jo and Matt for sacrificing their half term and precious family time to drive four hours along the coast and work insanely hard with Dan to move us back to Topsham. We bloody love you guys!)

Not so impartial after all

I was going to write a post about our move today but after seeing an article trending on Facebook, I decided to write about something much more important. Namely, the media blackout of the Green Party by the BBC and many of the mainstream newspapers. The article in question was by the Independent and reports that the Green Party is considering legal action against the BBC after being left out of election debates.

Given that the Green Party have just as many MP’s as UKIP and are currently ahead of the Liberal Democrats in the polls, it really doesn’t make any sense why they would be excluded from the televised debates when the latter two parties will both be joining Labour and the Conservatives on stage. But this isn’t the first time this has happened; during and after the European elections earlier this year, there was widespread criticism and outrage at the lack of coverage that the Green Party received. And this exclusion is primarily from the BBC, our national broadcaster whose own guidelines dictate that they must “treat matters of politics and public policy with due accuracy and impartiality in news and other output” and that they “must not express an opinion on current affairs or matters of public policy other than broadcasting or the provision of online services”.

In fact, the BBC Editorial Guidelines go as far as to acknowledge that “the UK has diverse political cultures in the different Nations and representation at Westminster is not the only basis for assessing relative political strength in a devolved structure” (from Section 10.4 which can be found here). So even though the Green Party only has 1 MP (the same as UKIP), the BBC should be acknowledging their significant presence in local councils around the country and giving them appropriate media coverage, which I would argue, would include inviting them to take part in the planned televised debates in the run up to next years election.

I say that their exclusion doesn’t make sense but actually it does. They are being excluded because they represent a dramatic change from the political status quo and because their gaining popularity is a threat to what the political and business elite have grown accustomed to in this country; namely, an easy ride at the expense of the rest of us. If you look at some of their major proposed policies it’s easy to see why the ridiculously wealthy are keen on keeping them out of the spotlight. The Green Party propose raising the minimum wage to what they call a living wage, to keep the NHS public and stop making profit out of it, to nationalise the trains and to invest more money and technology in reusable energy sources. None of these policies will be keeping the rich richer…quite the opposite. The Green Party really are a party for the people. They are passionate about looking after the country that we live in and the people that live in it. Their primary motivation is not money or furthering our damaging capitalist culture. They are not racist or exclusionary.

And people like them! An article published last month by the Huffington Post claims that recent polls put them at 8%, overtaking the Liberal Democrats (who are at 7%) and that “an astonishing number of young people, 28% of 18-24 year olds, are planning to vote Green” (although the poll was relatively small). No wonder the mainstream media is trying to close the door on them! Once people start recognising them as a real option, their popularity is bound to grow further. I think that historically, their slowness in getting their foot in the door of British politics is that people haven’t thought that it’s worth voting for them as they are such a small party and it wouldn’t affect the overall result. But if people start to see them as a viable vote, who knows what might happen. The more people that speak with their vote and choose to vote Green, the more chance there is that the United Kingdom might be able to experience real and meaningful, social, political and economic change.

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You can sign a petition calling for them to be included in the debates here and read more about their policies and why they are a party worth voting for by visiting their website:  http://www.greenparty.org.uk/.