27 weeks: cake comas, bus rage and realising you weigh the same as a small family car

On the scales finally catching up with me – I kicked off the week, and the third trimester, with a quick jump on the scales and a mild panic attack at the realisation that I’d put on about 16lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight. I’ve not weighed myself since moving in to the new house, so I have no idea how they link to what I used to weigh on my old bathroom floor before I got pregnant.  Mind you, I also got 5 different readings from 5 different spots on my bathroom floor, so I vowed to: a) eat less biscuits and b) save any full blown panic attacks for when I’d jumped on the midwife’s scales that I actually trust.

…then I had a chocolate croissant. Start as you mean to go on, like.

But that’s not where the nutritionally dodgy choices ended this week. For the rest of Friday, I hot-footed it down to London and a leaving do for a colleague. There may/may not have been haddock and chips, Krispy Kremes, carrot cake, nachos and pizza involved. Still, I stayed awake long enough to get OFF the train when it rolled back in to Nottingham at 11:30, so I’m going to count that as a win all in all.

Also ensuring I got my five (slices of cake) a day, this weekend bought the last cake club of 2012 at the Malt Cross. This was our Christmas-themed event, and as ever, we were spoiled for choice. The photos, as ever are all stolen from Cake Eaters Anonymous. 

The cakes, including Kerry’s warm chocolate Guinness cake second from front. Booze is allowed when it’s in cake form, right?

Liana (Starbakery’s) phenomenal chocolate gingerbread house (BEFORE SHOT)

AFTER SHOT: This is what happens when you let Liana’s son, a knife and me loose on a house made out of chocolate.

On nicknames – This week, after a conversation where I told Neil that I wouldn’t have changed my name when we got married if it was something crap like ‘Bacon’, he’s taken to calling me ‘Mrs Bacon’. Sincerely hope this is an attempt at humour and not a passing judgement on either my newly acquired appearance or my eating habits.

On baby and bus related developments – Baby had hiccups for the first time on Tuesday AND Thursday, and Neil was around to feel it.

Related: may or may not have missed the bus to work due to much faffing and stomach prodding. To be fair, there was a bus pulling in to the bus stop as I turned the corner of my road, but Pelvic Girdle Pain and a heavy handbag do not make for a graceful or swift Kate. The bus left it’s doors open until I was approximately 1 meter (10 meters) away, then flounced off in a smug fashion. Of course, the next bus was an infuriating 20 minutes late. If I didn’t hate other people’s public transport-related tweets quite so much, I would have done some excellent bus rage tweets this week.

In other bus related news (oh goody!) I’ve now got to the point where people offer their seat on the bus, which is pretty cool. The next step is losing my polite British exterior and ACTUALLY accepting their offer rather than clinging to the bars for dear life around the roundabout.

On impending motherhood – Currently feeling like I would quite like to take the baby out for a quick cuddle, give it the once over, then put it back in for another three months for safe keeping and to finish cooking. Three months seems like an impossibly long and ridiculously short length of time all in one.

On baby books – This week, I also finished one of the most refreshing baby-related books I’ve read in ages. I’m mulling over a bigger post about all the baby books I bought for a penny on amazon, and how stoopid the vast majority are. In the meantime, if you can get past the anti-everything-remotely-medical stance, the tofu and the cave metaphors (FYI ‘cave’ is never going to be an acceptable way to describe ladies’ nude-y bits), Ina May’s “Guide to Childbirth” has a really interesting perspective on how we condition ourself to feel pain and anxiety in labour. Whilst I’m not quite ready to give up bacon and move to a birthing commune, I did take a lot from it – like the concept of “letting your monkey do it”. If you do read it, it’s a good idea to read the second half of the book first and then go back to read the birth stories at the end – it made a lot more sense to me this way around.

Speaking of books, this week was Broadway Book Club‘s November meeting with author Damien Seaman, author of the Killing of Emma Gross. In the past, I’ve not enjoyed the book clubs where the authors attend, largely because I didn’t like their books, but I couldn’t find a constructive way of saying it, other than ‘IT WORRA BIT CRAP’. This one was different, because the book was good (I say that as someone who doesn’t really like crime books OR historically based books, and this was both), and the author had a sense of humour, and was interested in what we had to say. So, if the Weimar Republic and crime novels are your thing, check out his book for the measly price of £1.98 on Kindle.

On bump shots – I got a text from my best mate this week complaining about the lack of  bump shots on the blog of late. Apparently posting a picture of your cat instead doesn’t quite cut it? In my defence, by the time I get home of an evening, I usually either look or feel like crap and have my PJs on within 10 seconds of walking through the door.

So, with drizzled on hair and very little make up, I present: week 27:

27 week bump shot

I’ve now got to the point where my belly is significantly larger than my boobs, which I don’t think I ever thought would happen. And YES, that is the dress that I said I would put away to wear on Laura’s hen do. I wore it AGAIN.

On countdowns – Oh, and one more thing: You know those countdowns that only the person counting down actually cares about? I finish work in 10 weeks time. No big deal.

Next week – I’ve got lots of exciting things planned like Pelvic Girdle Support Group (funsies), getting weighed at the Midwife’s and a Christmas party in Islington.

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On over-sharing

Getting pregnant and having babies seems to be this amazing time where women bond and support each other in a really amazing socio-biological way. It’s also a time of TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

There are two distinct types of TMI associated with this:

1. Pregnancy gripes oversharing

Before getting pregnant, I was amazed at how other pregnant women would have no problems in telling me their stories of conception, leaky boobs, lack of sex drive and bowel movements. It flabbergasted me.

Fast forward to MY pregnancy, and not only do I regularly find myself regularly telling people stuff that they didn’t ask to know and would probably scar them for life, but I also WRITE A FREAKING BLOG DEDICATED TO THE SUBJECT.

Guilty. Guilty as charged. Sorry about that. I blame the hormones..

Still, the most gross parts (labour, breastfeeding and baby poo) are yet to come, so if you’re not up for a teensy bit of over-sharing in the future, I suggest you find the ‘unsubscribe’ button now.

In my defence, I think there’s a time and a place for this stuff. I love reading pregnancy forums and blogs where people congratulate each other on sleeping through the night without getting up for a wee and talk in depth about gross things like mucus plugs and colostrum-leaking nipples. It’s a good way to prepare myself for things to come, so it’s not a massive surprise and I can take it all in my stride.

I DON’T, however live-tweet/facebook how difficult it is to get my pants on in the morning when my pelvis feels like it’s going to break in half, or exactly how many inches long my unborn child is this week because, frankly, no-one cares but me and Neil. And sometimes even I’m not all that interested. PS. it’s 15 inches long if you ARE actually interested

…plus, I’ll probably write a blog about it later. I bet you can’t wait.

2. Overly dramatic birth stories

The OTHER type of over-sharing seems to happen the moment people find out you’re pregnant. Out come the stories of 72 hour labours, epidurals that don’t work, babies that come out sideways, inductions that go on for days, and degrees of tearing I didn’t even think was possible. Some people I know have even chuckled through stories about how they lost so much blood they nearly died, and one person decided that at 6 months pregnant, I really needed to know that someone THEY knew ACTUALLY died whilst having their baby.

Oh blimey, it’s all gone a bit “Jack and Sarah”, hasn’t it? I think I might have a tiny cry.

Why do they think I need to know this? Are they genuinely trying to prepare me for the horrors of labour, or do they just enjoy the facial expressions I pull when they recount their tales? Why do people never say ‘oh, it wasn’t all that bad, you’ll be able to cope fine’, or ‘you’re pushing a BABY out of your body, it’s not going to be a walk in the park, but overall, it’s an incredible experience’? THOSE are the things I actually want to hear.

Just like people are FAR more likely to say ‘Kids, eh? Well, look forward to NEVER SLEEPING AGAIN EVER’, than they are to say ‘Kids are pretty hilarious, it’s definitely the best thing I’ve ever done’. There seems to be something innate within us that makes us turn in to right grumps when it comes to babies and children that you just don’t get with other life milestones.

On your 18th birthday, you get presents, people congratulate you on reaching adulthood  and being able to legally get a bit squiffy. No-one sits you down and says ‘adulthood is not all it’s cracked up to be, you’ve never got any money and your job is probably going to be boring and you even have to wash your own pants’, do they?

When you get engaged and plan your wedding, no-one enjoys recounting tales of spilling a bottle of red wine down their £2,000 wedding dress and getting divorced 18 months later, do they*? They get all misty-eyed and talk about it being ‘the happiest day of your life’ – why are babies any different?

*I DO however, love to recount the tale of Neil getting accidentally drunk at our wedding and going for a nap in a room upstairs at the reception venue. AND the one about me getting stuck in my wedding dress and eating a Big Mac in our hotel room with Neil snoring loudly beside me – so maybe I’m the exception to the norm.

FYI – despite this big long rant about other people that do this stuff, I WILL probably end up posting a version of my own birth story eventually, which I’m sure will be guilty of EVERYTHING I’ve just said. I will probably also then repeat the story to everyone I know for the next 20 years so that other first time mums can pull faces when I revel in the finer details of birthing what will undoubtedly be the biggest baby anyone has ever seen.

I’ve now ranted around this subject for so long, I’ve forgotten the awesome ending I thought up earlier. When I remember it in a few weeks time, I’ll come back and edit this post to make it look more succinct and profesh. In the meantime, if you actually LIKE your children, or had a birth that wasn’t overtly traumatic and resulted in you nearly dying, could you let me know so I can start freaking out slightly less about childbirth and childrearing in general? 

(Side note: I’ve been mulling this blog post around in my head for a few days – apologies to the WI book club who heard parts of this particular rant first hand on Tuesday night)

26 weeks: ice hockey, Caitlin Moran, acid reflux and the end of the second trimester

I don’t want to freak you out or anything, but this week happens to be THE LAST WEEK OF THE SECOND TRIMESTER. As in, TWO THIRDS DOWN, ONE THIRD TO GO. As in, BABY R IS SCHEDULED TO MAKE AN APPEARANCE IN 3 MONTHS, NOT AT SOME ABSTRACT POINT SOME TIME NEXT YEAR. As in, SOMEHOW WE’RE GOING TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS WHOLE OTHER LIFE. Got all that? Goodo. Anyone else freaking out? Just me, it seems.

I had a dream this week that we had a baby and we’d just bought it back from the hospital. Weirdly, it looked exactly like my friend Kate’s baby. Kate’s baby is also about 8 months old – I expect to have a big baby, but if it could NOT be the size of an 8 month old, that would be AWESOME. Anyway, in my dream, I’d realised that we’d not changed the baby’s nappy or fed him for 24 hours, and I had an overwhelming feeling of not having the foggiest idea what to do. I woke up in a teensy bit of a cold sweat and couldn’t get back to sleep.

Side note: Don’t you just HATE it when people tell you about their dreams? Boooring.

So, this week:

You know those things that you always meant to do but never quite got around to it (you know, like ironing…anything…ever)? Well, this week, I ticked one of them off my list. We went to see the Nottingham Panthers with our friends Kerry and Matt.

This was the face off/ceremonial puck drop. Or something. This was about where I lost the ability to tell what was going on.

Over the weekend, I also went and got a much needed haircut. You know the LIES they spin you about your hair being all full and bouncy and never falling out when you’re pregnant? Load of rubbish. My hair looks a bit lank, is covered in split ends, and the other day, I had to cut an actual dreadlock out of it. NOT COOL. I would take a photo of my post-haircut hair and post it here, but it looks exactly the same as it did before, just with marginally less split ends.

Family from Wales also came to visit the ‘new’ house, which is really not all that new any more. They bought biscuits. They know me so well.

Neil was away for a few days on various shoots, which meant I had to do FENDING FOR MYSELF stuff like putting the bin out, feeding the cat and unloading the dishwasher. Not cool.

I also went to the WI Book Club meeting at the Malt Cross. Many Skittles were eaten and many laughs were had. We also got tweeted by Caitlin Moran, whose book we were reading that month. I did a little squee! at that, then pretended I didn’t as Caitlin probably wouldn’t think that was very cool.

I also had a well-documented hormonal breakdown in the office, which was very embarrassing  although enough time has now elapsed for me to see the (almost) funny side.

This week has also bought two new and exciting pregnancy gripes which I will now proceed to moan about in great detail. I bet you can’t wait.

1. Acid reflux and heartburn

Apparently this is something to do with the baby getting fatter and jiggling your stomach northwards into your lung space. I’m not really interested in the geography/anatomy of it, but I can tell you that constant sick burps are not a good look. Being woken up at 3am with crippling heartburn is not very cool either. You know what is cool? Swigging Gaviscon from the bottle like a boss.

2. Pelvic Girdle Pain

Probably the LEAST glamorous sounding pregnancy-related ailment (OK, maybe second-least-glamorous behind haemorrhoids) is Pelvic Girdle Pain, or PGP as all the cool kids (don’t) call it. Actually, scrap that, I’ve just remembered that when you get really really pregnant, you wee yourself a little bit when you sneeze, so PGP is THIRD least glamorous sounding pregnancy-related ailment. Got that? Right. Where was I?

Ah yes, PGP. When you feel like your pelvic bones have turned to cheese strings and bend in the middle causing stabby pains in your general pelvic-region when you walk. Or roll over in bed. Or get up off the sofa. Or put your pants on.

I called a physio helpline at my local hospital who booked me in for something called ‘Pelvic Support Group’, which sounds like a laugh a minute, and told me to listen to my body, and that if something hurt, don’t do it. That’s all very well and good, but I’m not sure my colleagues would look favourably on me turning up for work with no trousers on, so I’ll have to be slightly selective about taking on that advice.

She also gave me the following tips (annoyingly, most of which I was doing already)

  1. Put a duvet underneath you when you sleep for padding (OLD NEWS)
  2. Put a pillow between your knees when you sleep (I INVENTED putting a pillow between your knees when you sleep)
  3. Sit down to put your knickers on (DOES help, although you can’t help feel like a bit of a Nana doing it – would also be useful to have one of those litter pickers to put your socks on like they have in old lady magazines that sell gadgets to help you open jamjars, can someone arrange this for me, plz?)
  4. Sit on a yoga ball instead of the sofa (works, but I DON’T WANNA)
  5. Do your pelvic floor exercises (I have a continence nurse for a mother, I’ve known about the importance of pelvic floor exercises since before I knew what a pelvic floor exercise was)
  6. Tense your pelvic floor when you’re getting up/sitting down (this was a new one on me and definitely helped)
  7. Pull your belly button towards your spine, tuck your tailbone under slightly and lightly squeeze your pelvic floor muscles when you walk (this is a LOT harder work than it sounds, but has definitely decreased the amount of pain I’m in when I walk about)
  8. Wear a pelvic support band (as glamorous as these sound, I’m holding out for the Pelvic Support Group dishing NHS issue ones out because damn, those things are expensive)
  9. Do squats, but be very careful that your pelvis is in a neutral position when you do them. These are apparently incredibly good for strengthening your pelvic floor and other supporting muscles, and are also good for getting your body ready for birth. Gone are the days where I used to be able to do a hundred, standing in a muddy field being shouted at by army trainers, 10 shallow squats whilst holding on to Neil is all I can manage these days.
  10. Give birth – getting rid of the stone of baby weight you’ve been carrying on your belly usually does the trick (thanks for that one, not really practical at the minute though, ta).

So there you go! Everything you wanted to know about avoiding PGP, and probably a few more things beside.

I didn’t take a bump picture this week, but I did take one of the cat, so that will have to do:

Cat arms

25 weeks: hypnosis, cinema trips, new dresses and getting my craft on

Although it feels like the grand total of 5 minutes since I wrote my last update, another week has apparently whizzed past. This probably means I should stop faffing about and get my Christmas shopping done.

On Mindfulness – Many moons ago, I found a day course run locally which taught techniques for relaxation and self-hypnosis for labour. I’d read a little about the concept of hypnobirthing – it made sense to me in principle, especially the stuff around feeling pain more if you’re expecting to feel pain, but it was all a little too hippyish/chanting/placenta-eating for me to take 100% seriously. This was a bit of a happy medium – it had the theory behind hypnobirthing, but I didn’t get the impression that they would judge you if you preferred a hospital environment and dropping a few f-bombs over giving birth single handedly under a full moon whilst snacking on organic berries.

This course took the techniques and some of the science behind hypnobirthing and taught it in a really accessible way so you could apply it to your own circumstances. There were 4 other couples in the class with us, varying from second time home-birthers, anxious first time mums to a couple with gestational diabetes who were going in for a pre-term induction. I learnt a huge amount about how your state of mind, environment and the support you have around you can help, and would recommend it to anyone who’s in the family way and even half interested in finding out more. Blimey. That was almost serious for a minute then. Inane drivel commences now:

The Sapphires – My friend Kerry and I pick’n’mixed ourselves up in the cinema on Sunday watching The Sapphires with Chris O’Dowd. It’s the story of an aboriginal girl group who go to entertain the troops in Vietnam. Well worth a watch.

Also, Broadway cinema does hot chocolate that looks like this:

What you can’t see is the layer of marshmallows UNDER the cream. HELL YEAH.

Isabella Oliver dress – This week I also treated myself to an Isabella Oliver dress via ebay, which was a complete bargain at £19.73 with free delivery as she lived around the corner from me. Especially considering its £105 new, and you can’t tell the one I bought second hand has even been worn. I had visions of putting this away and wearing it for Laura’s Hen Do in February. Not sure how well this plan is going as it’s so flattering and comfy, I’ve worn it twice already this week. Oops.

Getting my craft on – I am unashamed to say, the least crafty person to walk this earth. I didn’t learn to catch a ball until I was 10, so my hand eye co-ordination rarely extends to things like sewing, or knitting, or crochet, but this week, I’ve surprised myself.

Neil set me a challenge of finding him a red velvet cushion with gold trim, and a pair of minature red velvet curtains to be used as props on a shoot next week. After considerable ebay research, I admitted defeat and suggested he got himself over to Victoria market to buy the materials and I would ‘throw something together’ myself.

So I did what every self-respecting crafting idiot would do. I went around to my mums under the guise of ‘borrowing the sewing machine’, and got her help to make the cushion cover and curtain.

Of course, the cat thought we’d just made her a new cushion.

…fast forward a week and I realise this blog is still half written and sat in my drafts. I can’t even REMEMBER what I did the rest of the week, so we’re just going to have to leave it there. 

Hormones 1 – 0 Kate

I’m the kind of person who cries at the news . I cry at people’s weddings, even when I’ve been invited as a +1 and have no idea who they are. I DEFINITELY cry at Grey’s anatomy. I am trulely one of life’s great blubbers.

…but since finding myself in the family way, my blub-o-meter seems to have gone on a bit of a holiday, bar that time when Jenny had a baby. And that time I had a third of a glass of Prosecco and had a little cry because it tasted so good.

Oh, and that time I cried in the kitchen because I was just so damn happy.

SO OTHER THAN ALL OF THOSE TIMES, my emotions have been really under control.

SRSLY, you should have seen me before.

ANYWAY BACK TO THE STORY: Today I impressed even myself by having a full on breakdown at work. I felt like I was letting my mum down, I’d been a bit stressed about it for a few days, and I really got myself worked up to the point where text my best friend 15 times then ran in to a meeting room to call my mum and have a good cry FOR THE MOST PATHETIC REASON IN HISTORY. Behold:

My family had been (kindly) invited to Centre Parcs for the day by my aunty.

I didn’t want to go.

I even feel a bit pathetic just typing that out. I can’t really explain it and I definitely can’t justify it. I didn’t want to sit by a pool on a plastic chair all day, and what’s the point of getting in the pool if you’re not allowed on all the cool rides? I wouldn’t be able to do anything outdoorsy if my back and pelvis feel the same as they do this week, and I can’t even go to bloody Aqua Sana.

In summary: Wah wah poor me, no flumes, whine whine whine.

In my head, I really felt like Mum was pressurising me in to going, and by not going, I would be somehow letting her down and being a terrible daughter in general – to the point where I rang her in tears from a meeting room on my lunchbreak wailing ‘I JUST DON’T WANT TO GO TO BLOODY CENTRE PARCS WAAAH’. Definitely not my finest hour.

Needless to say, she wasn’t bothered in the slightest, I’d made the whole thing up in my head, and 10 minutes later, I still had puffy red eyes, but I had a smile on my face and I’d officially ridden the Centre Parcs pregnancy hormone storm out.

…and then I sat and typed the whole thing out to be recorded for all eternity, and in the hope I can look back on my ridiculousness in years to come and have a little chuckle.

 

24 weeks: bump growth, midwife appointments, and reminiscing about Indonesia

Let’s kick this week’s roundup with a bump shot, then shall we?

For the love of all things bump-shaped. Where did that come from?

After Neil took this, I asked to flip through all the photos, because I assumed this was just one taken at an angle that made me look a bit spectacularly pregnant. Nope. Turns out I just AM that spectacularly pregnant.

And, because I spent 20 minutes faffing about with it in photoshop, here’s a 18 week / 24 week comparison. I am also hereby forgiving myself for the sleeps and the biscuits over the past 6 weeks, because I’ve clearly been doing some excellent belly growing:

This week, I’ve made up for all the bustling around I did last week, by doing a lot of sitting, a lot of Professional Masterchef watching and book reading and by getting lots of beauty sleep.

I also went to see my midwife for a checkup, who told me that (surprise surprise) my fundal measurement (they measure the size of your belly from top to bottom to guess the size of your uterus) is coming up big, and that she thinks I’m going to have a tall baby. With me and Neil both being around 6ft tall, this didn’t come as much of a surprise.

She also tested my wee, which she said was EXCELLENT. I hopped on the scales and was told I’ve put on 2.5 kilos since I got pregnant, which is apparently also VERY GOOD. My blood pressure is the same as it always has been, which was fine in the first place, so ANOTHER BIG TICK THERE, and she got the doppler out to have a quick listen to baby. It sounded all good to me, but she looked at me a bit strangely when I suggested it sounded like there was a small galloping horse in my tummy. Whatevs. IT TOTALLY DID.

I would hereby like to put in a petition to press pause on this pregnancy for a bit. I’m sleeping good, my clothes look better with a bump in that they ever did with no bump, I can still run for the bus if needs be, and my boobs look good. Can someone arrange this for me PLZ THX?

This week also marked 6 and a half years since me and Neil got together, and six months since we said I do. I’m not really one for getting sentimental over little anniversaries, but I’m a bit flabbergasted by how much has changed in the last 6 months.

So, in honour of the fact that I’ve done some excellent eating (to the extent that I’ve put myself on a twitter ban until I can find something OTHER than food to talk about) and sleeping this week, but not a lot else, I thought I’d have a look at what I was up to 6 short months ago in Singapore, Bali and Lombok instead. And yes, there is food porn pics. What else did you expect of me?

You know all those things you’re ‘meant’ to do when you go to Singapore? Raffles? River Cruises? Shopping? We did none of them.
When we arrived, we ditched our cases in our hotel room and left in search of food. We got as far as the end of the road when we realised we’d massively underestimated how much water we would need in the heat, and how far away the centre of Singapore suddenly felt. We did the only thing we could think of, which was to sit down and eat our bodyweight in unidentified Singapore cuisine.

Absolutely nothing about this photo portrays how hot and sticky Sinapore was. 42’C and 90% humidity came as a bit of a shock to the system after a standard 10’C May wedding.
Shortly after this photo was taken, we jumped in to an (air conditioned) taxi and went back to the hotel for a jet lagged nap which went down in the record books as one of my top 5 naps of all time.

I naively thought the heat might get a little easier to bear when the night came. I was grossly mistaken, ’twas still hot as hell. We went for dinner in Chinatown and took a walk down to the marina to see this cool hotel with a boat on top that people had told us so much about.
…No-one had factored in quite how jetlagged/sweaty/grumpy we would be at this point. I may/may not have uttered something about not giving a crap about a freaking boat hotel at the time, but looking back on the pictures, it was pretty bloody awesome.
There were some actual photos of us in Singapore, but to be honest, that amount of frizz doesn’t need to be seen by anyone.

By the time we arrived in Lombok, we were JUST about getting acclimatised to the heat. I had also realised what a grave mistake I had made bringing hair straighteners, make up, scarves and the odd cardigan with me in my suitcase. They all went out the window, and a uniform of hair scraped back in to a bun, no make-up, shorts and t-shirt quickly ensued.
This is the view that greeted us as we walked out of our room and on to the beach. Oh, and a two course dinner and all the Bintang you could drink never cost us more than £15 in total, a night. It was tough. Real tough.

After we took the last photo, we wandered round the bay, and I pointed out the weird mountain shaped cloud in the distance. It took us a while to work out that this was the same mountain in Bali that we’d arranged to trek up. At night. Suddenly, my ideas about a romantic stroll up a mountain in the dark, and of watching the sun rise together didn’t seem quite so appealing.

We went on a boat trip to do some rather amazing snorkling over some incredible reefs. I’ll spare you the photos of me in a snorkle and mask, because no-one has EVER pulled that off as a good look. Instead, here’s a picture of the tiny island they dropped us off at for lunch. A fisherman arrived and showed us the squid, barracuda and snapper he’d just caught and asked us which one we wanted for lunch. Neil proved he was the one for me by replying ‘all three’.
We sat and had a beer on the beach as we dried off.

This was our lunch, cooked on the beach. It was as awesome as it looks and we ate every last bit.

I thought it was only proper to include some pictures of something other than sunsets and food, so here’s a shot of some paddy fields in Bali. I was probably asleep in the back of the car when this was taken.

Ubud in Bali is probably my favourite place in the world. We did lots of beer drinkin’ and food eatin’ and poking around in markets and temples. We had, also, vaguely acclimatised to the heat by that point, but still not enough to look half way presentable in any of the photos. I had also, by this point, admitted defeat with my holiday wardrobe and bought some cheap cotton kaftan type things from the local market which looked ridiculous in all photos except this one.

We got lost for approximately 36 hours in Ubud Market. There is seriously nothing you can’t buy there, and there’s some great haggling to be done. Except if your name is Neil, in which case, there is lots of getting-ripped-off to be done. My new husband has lots of impressive skills. Bartering is definitely not one of them.

One of the benefits of the sun rising at 6am and setting at 6pm is that the prospect of running down to the beach to watch the sun come up over the sea isn’t too much of a daunting prospect. And, as Neil’s feet was bruised and swollen to the point he couldn’t get his walking boots on (from a spectacular bail off a surfboard), this was probably the closest we were going to get to trekking in the dark to watch the sunset from the top of a mountain.