Sunday, 28 April 2013

This week baby is the size of...

When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately started looking at baby sites. And believe me there are countless ones out there. But I didn't want to become obsessed with looking at all of them.

I finally settled on The Bump - a fan of its sister site 'The Knot' (a fantastic site for weddings), it seemed a natural progression. When you sign up they send a weekly newsletter filled with different articles that, as a new mom-to-be, you'd like to know.

And the main article in the weekly email is - You're Belly : Week X

It's a great, informative snapshot of what baby is doing as she's growing as well as what's happening to you, the mum. I'm fine with all of this, happy to read them. Except...the comparison to fruit and veg of how big your baby is.

Now maybe I need to take a step back and just accept the news that baby is the size of an onion at week 17. But the cook in me just had to say 'eh? An onion? Are we talking shallot, white, yellow, Spanish?' There are many sizes of onions out there. At week twenty, she's now the size of a banana. Again, we've all seen countless sizes of the potassium filled fruit, so it is a tad difficult to make a comparison. Nonetheless, I should stop being pedantic; it's a lovely little bit of insight and I'm looking forward to the email that says she's the size of a watermelon, but obviously not one that's been grown for the county fair's 'largest watermelon contest'...

Oh and I can share this produce fact with friends and family on Facebook - but I'll spare you that joy and just create a shopping list from all the fruit and veg. And when the little one arrives, as I chop away at a courgette/zucchini, I can tell her 'you know you were once this size...'

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Boston Strong

After a winter that didn't seem to end, the sun shone brightly on that April day. As people basked in the warm rays, countless people cheered for those who spent the best part of a year training to run twenty six miles. Whilst others, cheered on the Red Sox all silently praying, 'this will be our year'.

And then the mindless act of two people shattered the lives of so many there at the marathon, even those safely watching the event at home.

How can any individual or organization justify taking the lives of innocent people? People who are consumed with their own little part of the world not religion, who may sympathize but have to get up to go to work, school, college. Questions are still being asked but until the second terrorist makes a full recovery will we ever understand their motives?

I've only lived in Boston for three years, but like to consider myself an honorary Bostonian. It's a great city, brimming with vitality and people from all walks of life. Boston is making its recovery, slowly but surely - and I couldn't feel more proud of a city and it's people who are not going to let this tragic day stop them living their lives. I'm glad we stand 'Boston Strong'.

One Fund - a charitable fund set up for those victims of the bombings.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Times Crossword

I love a good puzzle but always shied away from crosswords often because I'd read the clues and think "what in heavens name are you talking about?" Bizarrely enough, whilst I found crosswords difficult, I'd skip through 'codewords' like Mary and her little lambs on a spring day.(Codeword is a crossword grid with two starter letters and using the alphabet you break the code to find the remaining words).

The nearest I'd get to them would be the Daily Mail's back of the page brain teaser. But as soon as I lifted a pen to fill in a clue, Mother's radar would go off in her brain and she'd yell from whichever room she'd happen to be in with, "you'd better not be doing the crossword!" Reluctantly, I'd put the pen down and hunt for the codeword mumbling that I was just going to fill one in...simply because it was the only clue I got.

Nowadays, I'm a fan of the Times' efforts on this puzzle. At first I'd get about five answers out of the thirty odd clues. But as I got used to their quirky hints my prowess improved and soon I'd be left with three pesky answers that eluded me.

On the days I'd just stare at the black and white squares I'd search the internet for some help. And this is when I came across Crossword Solver, an absolutely brilliant site to help answer those clues that just bug you. And it was here that I came across the Forum.

Most days it's very helpful as often the clues I'm stuck on so is everyone else. But of late it's been bugging me as I'm increasingly seeing, "it's my last clue!" and "oh thanks for that, I'm finished," which is fine except I'm still looking at a lot of blank squares.

It certainly does nothing to alleviate the grumpiness that occasionally rears it's head. So whilst I sound like Mutley as I read, "just need the answer for 23 Across to finish", when I've just started the bloomin' thing, I try take a zen approach and say thank you for at least not leaving me with the final three pesky clues and you've helped me finish in 34 mins or less and not 12 hours. Yeah, whatever...anyone know 1 Across?...