juliet: Avatar of me with blue hair & jeans (blue hair jeans avatar)
My investigation in November into "taking more time off" was positive in that I felt better for it, and have tentatively concluded I should do more of that. (Where "that" is "having at least some time where I am not staring down a to-do list".) Actually doing it, as ever, proves harder. I'm experimenting now with ways to fit more work achieved into work days and thus have more time off. As Leon gets bigger (and so doesn't demand me as often) in theory this should be easier as I can be less interrupted and therefore more efficient. I am also hoping that lovely new noise-cancelling headphones will help a bit with focus (rather than, say, listening to everything else that's happening in the house at the same time.)

Read more... )
juliet: (Default)
I hate editing. (She says, 8 pages down, 16 to go. Deadline Monday, which really means today or at most tomorrow for practical reasons.)

I keep not blogging here, because I haven't blogged here, because (insert customary spiel re catching up and not feeling able to catch up and...). I blog over there sometimes and it propagates magically over here, but I am less inclined to write personal-ish posts there.

Anyway! Stuff! Things! Leon is 2, using more and more complicated language structures (pronouns are very tricky), and obsessed with the written word (with particular reference to tube station names). I am writing about computer history for Linux Voice which is fascinating and great fun; trying to write more fiction; and doing more permaculture work. Yesterday I gave a talk at the Edible Gardens Show, which I think went OK, and will probably blog about next week. Bloody terrifying though; it's the first time I've spoken in public for years&years. I doubtless talked too fast.

Time is elusive. I am sure there used to be more of it. Or I used it better? (Every time I angst about this I remind myself that I used to not have a kid, and children are kind of time-sinks. In a good way, mostly.)

I am making more things, though. Sewing especially. I still love knitting, but sewing is quicker.

So. Things. Misc. There you go.
juliet: (waveform tree)

Mirrored from Twisting Vines.

Twisted Boulevard (featuring ME) now available from Amazon UK. (As far as I know this is the only UK online retailer; although your local indie bookshop ought to be able to order it in for you.)

(I still haven’t seen my contributor copy, but looking forward to reading it when I do.)

In other news, I have had a lovely weekend up in Manchester. Leon was particularly fond of this train, where by “particularly fond of” I mean “refused to get off until it stopped running for the day”. After that there were ducks, and vegan curry; an excellent day all round.

This week: lots of writing to be done. Story to edit for another forthcoming anthology; novel to work on; Linux Voice article to finish.

juliet: (waveform tree)

Mirrored from Twisting Vines.

Natural Parents Network: Recycling Rubbish Into Toys for a ToddlerI wrote a post over at Natural Parents Network about recycling ‘rubbish’ into toddler toys.

However much we try to reduce the amount of packaging that comes into your house and waste that goes out of it, it seems that we are still constantly throwing things out. Meanwhile, the baby wants something to play with… In true permaculture style, I can solve two problems at once by diverting some of the ‘rubbish’ from the recycling bin to the toy box. Read on over at NPN for a few suggestions that have gone down well with Leon.

juliet: (waveform tree)

Mirrored from Twisting Vines.

Busy times over here, with Leon starting to walk and lots of summer fun stuff happening.

I’ve harvested my garlic, and for the first time ever got a really decent crop (14 bulbs) which look like they’ll be very usable. Unfortunately I left it a week too late and the stalks are too dry to be plaited and hung to dry, so the bulbs are drying on a plate in the kitchen and being turned occasionally. I planted these garlics from a bulb (sold for eating) from the Co-op rather than buying proper seed garlic and they’re my best ever, and I’m not quite sure what to think! I’m debating whether I should save a bulb for next year (usually discouraged I think if you’ve planted supermarket seed?), buy another Co-op bulb next year, or buy a ‘proper’ one.

Depressingly, though, my grape vine has died altogether. It got heavily munched by snails/slugs, but when I wrote to the nursery they thought it would recover. Sadly not. I am probably going to try again next year, but in the meantime I need a plan of action for dealing with the slimey beasties.

I’ve also started work on my Permaculture Diploma, which is exciting. I’m using the Back Garden Project as one of my designs, so have been pulling posts together from that and writing up my analysis more formally. Other projects on the horizon include a mini greenhouse for the back garden, a plan for the balcony and the front porch, and very excitingly, a plan for my friends’ new allotment.

I’ve also been writing about mastitis with an older baby over at Natural Parents Network, for World Breastfeeding Week.

juliet: My rat Ash, at 6 wks old, climbing up the baby-rat-tank and peering over the edge (ash exploring)
Leon, at 17 months on Saturday, is definitely an actual toddler now, even if he still spends quite a lot of time with his hands up in the air, still busy keeping his balance. It's a bit weird -- where did my teeny tiny baby go? -- but also kind of awesome. Some things, today, in no particular order.

cut for babystuff )
juliet: Needle, thread, and scissors (sewing)

Mirrored from Twisting Vines.

I have a stack of old T-shirts in my fabric box waiting to be turned into baby shirts (ones that are no longer fit for adult use but have enough good fabric in them to be worth chopping up), and this week made my first attempt, with an old Belle and Sebastian shirt. Lots of pictures after the cut.

Read the rest of this entry » )
juliet: (waveform tree)

Mirrored from Twisting Vines.

Thirteen months in, we’re still managing Leon-wrangling without a pushchair, which definitely makes public transport more straightforward. This week I wrote about getting started with woven wraps for A Little Bit of All Of It‘s babywearing series.

Pystrance festival babywearing!

Psytrance festival babywearing!

juliet: (Default)
Bit belated on this one, but I think I can still remember what Monday looked like...

Leon woke up around 7.30, roughly when [personal profile] doop brought my breakfast up. Handed Leon over to him as soon as I could detach him and escaped with my slightly cold toast to read the internet, have breakfast, & shower.

doop headed off to work around 8.15. Leon and I played on the floor a bit, chatted to [personal profile] dogrando, got ourselves rocket-suited* and booted and slung up, and took the dog for a longish walk in the park. We met Sidney's doggy chum Box (so named because he was found in a cardboard box as a puppy) and they ran roundandroundandround until they wore themselves out. Score.

Got back around 09:30. Leon had a very long feed and fell asleep. Woke up a bit later for another feed and fell back asleep. I read for a bit, knitted for a bit, sorted our stuff out for going out just before 11, and then fretted about whether to wake the baby or to be late. Eventually tried just picking him up to put him in the trike, but he woke up and had to deal with pottying him and attempting to make him less grouchy at being rudely awoken. Gave up, strapped him into the trike, and hurtled down the road to Sing & Sign.

Where we arrived at 11:15, so only 15 min late. Sang and signed until 12. Leon fed a few times (he is back in a 'feeding like a newborn' stage), and careered round the floor of the hall at high speed and climbed onto the radiators, as per. Most of the other babies aren't mobile yet so it's him and one other little boy exploring while the teacher person makes reassuring noises about kinaesthetic learners. (Which is good; if she was the sort of person who insisted that they sit still, we just wouldn't be able to go, as I'm not prepared to force an 11 month old to sit still in that context if he doesn't want to and he's not about to damage himself or anything else. )

Got back home at 12:15, and Leon emptied out one of the kitchen cupboards while I put a cauliflower and some potatoes on to roast for lunch.

My mum came round at 1, so I made tea, and she and Leon played upstairs while I did some tidying up and washing up and steamed some carrots and other such excitements. Chatted to Mum, eventually had lunch. Leon can now use a plate without tipping it all over the floor (until he gets bored at the end, anyway), which is civilised progress. Utensils are still beyond him. Another cup of tea with Mum, then took the dog out for her afternoon walk while Mum and Leon stayed home.

Got back just after 3 to a slightly overtired baby (he won't sleep when exciting people are around). Mum headed home, we waved her off, then Leon had a nice long feed and napped I think until 6 ? With intermittent rousings to feed and go back to sleep. I did a bit of writing, read a bit, knitted a bit... He still sleeps either on my lap or on the sofa next to me so there's a limit on what I get up to during his naps. If I put him down in a bed he'll just rouse after 45 min and I'll have to resettle him anyway, so I may as well just grab the iPad and do stuff on that.

Once he woke up I think we just pottered a bit. He played on the floor, I knitted, he brought me a book to read, he had another feed, he wriggled off my lap to go play some more... Then he had another go at coming down the stairs (a skill he has been working on for weeks; it's more difficult because the stairgate at the top of the stairs has a lip to get over), and finally cracked it. He went all the way down the stairs, into the kitchen, and was busily playing with the cupboards when doop got in (later than usual as he had an interview), whereupon Leon belted enthusiastically over to him to be picked up, and I ran away upstairs to do the Treasurer's Report for the AGM of my local nature reserve.

doop and Leon brought me tea and toast, and I finished off the report. doop made dinner. Pete came home at some point and we all had pasta. I fed Leon to sleep at around 9.30, then did a bit of knitting (making a shawl for d's sister for her wedding) and reading, and possibly had a bath? was that Monday? Went to bed around 11. It would be better to go to bed earlier, really, especially as Leon is waking 2 or 3 times a night on a good night. But I like doing some stuff by myself in the evening, so...

* Leon's snowsuit has ROCKETS on.
juliet: (Default)
Leon was 3 months old on Sunday, to celebrate which an awful lot of boats came past our front window. Or possibly that was something to do with some elderly woman in a big hat.

growing BRANES )
juliet: (Default)
I have a story out in issue 3 of the Journal of Unlikely Entemology! It has bugs in.

I have been meaning to do a proper baby-update for ages; this is not it. He is currently asleep on the sofa next to me, having been asleep (bar two snoozy feeds) since 11 this morning. This is Unusual, but as he spent most of yesterday feeding, I conclude that this is the post-growth-spurt rest. It's hard work, growing. He is generally delightful in all ways and has just started being *interested in the world* (who knew that the panels on the wall at Westminster tube station were so TOTALLY AWESOME? They have DOTS, you see. MANY DOTS.). As 11wk old babies go, he sleeps pretty well, but the sleep dep is nevertheless beginning to catch up with me a bit. Of course, despite this, I am spending this unexpected nap catching up with my to-do list rather than eg sleeping, because I am an fule.
juliet: (Default)
The splendid "Tales of the City", Obverse Quarterly Year 2 Book 2, is now available for pre-order (a little way down that page) for £9.99. (Or you can subscribe to the whole year's worth of books for £28 on the same page.) That's for the paperback; ebook will be available but can't be pre-ordered.

All the stories are great, which I know because I got to read it in advance due to one of them being mine. They're all set in the City of the Saved, the description of which I shall pinch from the pre-order page:

"Beyond the end of the universe exists a city the size of a galaxy, packed with every human being that ever lived, from the first Australopithecus to the last post-human, resurrected in a city in which nobody can die...or rather, that used to be the case."

A couple of trailers are available on the blog of the editor, Phil Purser-Hallard: for Blair Bidmead's story and for Elizabeth Evershed's story.

In other news, Leon is doing splendidly and if I'm not mistaken, is about to wake up and demand feeding...
juliet: (Default)
Announcing the arrival into the world of Leon Patrick Chin-Kemp, born at home, 12:25pm on Sat 3rd March, weighing 8lb6 (3.8kg). Photo here until I locate a better one.

Unfortunately I had a bad tear & had to transfer to hospital for repair and an overnight stay, but we got out again on Sunday. All doing well now if a bit knackered!

In case there's anyone else on my FL who might appreciate this: it turned out that my midwife, who was AWESOME and very much in tune with what we wanted, did a week-long workshop last year with Ina May Gaskin on the Farm :)

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