Moata's Blog Idle
I didn't watch the first instalment of earthquake drama Hope and Wire as it aired. Rather we recorded it and I watched it in the weekend. It had got a bit of stick from people on Twitter when it aired on the Thursday beforehand so I didn't expect too much. Perhaps it would be awful... but I love a bit of bad television almost as much as I like the good stuff.
However Hope and Wire could never really be entertainment. A dramatic rendering of a catastrophe that you've actually lived through is never going to provide much in the way of escapism. Rather it left me with a queasy feeling in my tummy and I was out of sorts for the rest of the afternoon.
I have to admit, I was surprised by this. After all, the events depicted, though dramatic, were over three years ago. A lot has happened since then. My life is very settled now. I hardly ever think about the earthquakes themselves and when I do it's like remembering something that happened to somebody else.
But what I discovered as I watched Hope and Wire is that it's all still there, just below the surface. Waiting for you to do something silly and scratch at it.
I was crying by the first ad break though couldn't really say why.
In every life there comes moments of hilarity and wonder that you wish you could bottle or keep in your pocket for a rainy day (like that time I took the baby out for a walk on a gusty day and I swear he looked like he was actually trying to eat the wind - babies, not smarter than your average cocker spaniel, evidently). Where was I? Oh yes, things that make you go "squee!". But of course the flipside is also true. There are also things I've come across recently that have just made me go "urgh" and roll my eyes in an overly dramatic fashion which is, let's face it, my "signature move"*.
In the interests of ending on an upbeat note let's start with the urgh-iness.
Things that have made be go "urgh":
David Bain is to be a father. Now, don't misunderstand me, I am not in any way offended, grossed out, or otherwise bothered by David Bain becoming a father. I just don't understand why this information is being presented to me as if it's something I should care about. I don't want to be the kind of person who yells "HOW IS THIS NEWS?" every time something that isn't personally relevant to them is reported in the media but in this case I have to wonder. I mean, if David himself were pregnant I could see that definitely being newsworthy (and assuming that his taste in sweaters hadn't improved in the last 20 years, boy would I have the christmas-themed maternity outfit for him) but otherwise ...meh. Two eyerolls and a "tut tut" from this reviewer.
His and hers placenta or breastmilk ring set. I'm going to give you a second so that you can re-read that last sentence because frankly, it is a concept that takes a bit of added brain power to absorb.
Before I got pregnant the most time I had ever spent in a hospital was in the late nineties when I worked across the road from a teaching hospital. Teaching hospitals have student doctors and student doctors have parties... inside hospital buildings.
You haven't lived until you've drunk something called a "Green death"* and then stumbled out into the night via A&E having made sure to turn left and not right at the hospital chapel.
Where was I? Oh yes, hospitals. I've never spent very much time in one as a patient but when my son was born, suddenly I was recovering from surgery and he was a little undersized tiddler strung with tubes and wires. We got to spend a LOT of time in hospital after that.
Having your kid in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (or NICU) is a very strange experience. You have a newborn baby but you also get to actually sleep because they're in the hospital and you're at home. So you can do things like go to a party or whatever.
Which sounds great, I'm sure. But it's not. When your baby is in NICU it's kind of like they're in jail except you have no idea when they'll be eligible for parole.
Hair. It sprouts in differing thicknesses and lengths from almost every surface of the human animal. It can differ in colour and texture but all of us (excluding those with alopecia universalis) have some.
It is a thoroughly mundane, and one would think, uncontroversial substance.
But not so. For hair is a highly politicised bit of the human body and the latest kerfuffle over schoolboy Lucan Battison's locks only proves this fact.
In case you missed it, Battison was recently suspended from St John's College, a Catholic boys' school in Hastings, for having long hair. Lucan and his parents are currently fighting this suspension in the High Court. Their argument is that with his hair tied back, Lucan adheres to the "out of the eyes and off the collar" rule that was in place when he enrolled, and that this is actually a tidier way for him to wear his hair than if it were short (anyone with an abundant head of curls will be familiar with the notion of "short" equalling "puffy mess").
In the court of public opinion much has been made of a school's right to make rules which students, for the sake of learning boundaries, and general orderliness, should adhere to. As well, this story highlighted the underlying sentiment that some people hold that young people, especially teenage boys, should just bloody do as they are told and not have tickets on themselves.
In every life there are certain weeks or days that stand out as phenomenally more difficult than the others. The week before your thesis is due. The day your father died. That time you got your heart broken. A massive earthquake damn near destroys your city. These are what we call Tough Times and once you've made our way out the other side you can quite rightly feel proud that you got through with your sanity intact.
Sometimes it's a single momentous event that makes normal life impossible for a while. If you're really unlucky a whole bunch of things happen at once or in rapid succession in a veritable cascade of catastrophe.
This is the story of one such week (and a bit) in my life.
Saturday: Had a baby! Whoop! In the course of having said baby have to have major abdominal surgery. Am weeing into a plastic bag attached to the side of my bed. Am afraid to touch my own stomach. Am in love with whoever invented codeine, for it is a miracle drug.
I have no milk to feed the baby with. Nurses come in periodically to "milk" me. The last one couldn't even fill a 1ml syringe. Massive fail. What is the point of having huge boobs if they can't even do what they're designed for? And I don't mean "bringing all the boys to the yard".
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