Another broken biscuit assortment

Item – Right. I went back to work. There was a lot of it. I did it. The people who picked up the emergency slack for me while I was Indisposed refused all my offers of shift swaps and so on, saying I’d do the same for them. Which is true, but they don’t have Inner Organs of Recurrent Doom, so I don’t get the chance to do the same for them. Not once an emmineffin’ month, anyway. Am verklempt. (As H pointed out, it doesn’t hurt that I always go back to work after an Indisposition, disgustingly pale with fetching navy-blue under-eye pouches. I think they all treat me very gently for a couple of days in case I really do actually shatter into a gadzillion shards and the whole office has to be evacuated for clean-up).

Item – H, whereas, is coming down with another cold, and is skulking in the study in his dressing-gown and a slight fever. Poor bastard. Stress really does hold your immune system’s head down the pan and pull flush, doesn’t it?

Item – I think, finally, I have come to the conclusion that H and I really are not going to get pregnant the fun private way anymore. 12 cycles since I was last pregnant (actually, 13, but we carefully didn’t try for one of them as I was having surgery, so it doesn’t count. Clearly, that was the cycle we would’ve conceived Baby Einstein Prime Minister Nobel Prize for Literature). We’re back to being infertile, as well as recurrent miscarriers.

Item – You will see from the Ticker of Shame down there on the right, the combination of holidays, bereavement, The Chocolate Festival, and anxst, has embiggened my bottom, and we’re back at square one. Excuse me one moment… [AAAAAAAAAAAAAUGH]… So. Anyway. Given that I have Officially Lost All Faith in my body’s ability to produce an egg with any sperm-related social skills at all, IVF it is. And I have to lose a few pounds again (again (again again)). So close, and yet so utterly fucked up.

Item – Next quest (to go along with the Salad, You Shall Eat It one), actually do more of the things that cheer me up, and a lot less of the things that piss me off. To which end, a list –

Things that cheer May up:

  1. Knitting – I have raging Knitting Attention Deficit Disorder, caused, or so I like to think, by having to jam projects in and around commuting, work, and being tired and vague (this last being pretty much a full-time job in and of itself for the likes of me). *sigh*
  2. Reading – I don’t read as much as I used to. I always think there’s something better I ought to be doing, and that reading would be self-indulgent, and then I fribble my spare time away on nothing very much and just think! I could’ve been improving my mind with a good book!
  3. Writing – The more I write, the happier and more balanced I feel. And yet, it suffers from the same sort of fribblage that messes with my reading time. And, also, an ugly feeling of ‘there’s no point writing anything unless it’s brilliant, and it’s not going to be brilliant, so don’t write’. What is this crappy inner monologue in my head for and how do I turn it off?
  4. Cooking – This happy habit came completely unglued in the Recurrent Miscarriage Years of Soul Destruction. I used to do most of the cooking, I enjoyed it, and I was pretty good at it. Now H does most of the cooking. It started because I would go through weeks and months of being utterly flattened with apathy and depression after each miscarriage – I’d get home from work every evening so very tired I could barely eat without crying with exhaustion – and then I’d miscarry again just when I was starting to get a grip and perk up. And now, my periods make me really ill and weak, which doesn’t help. My plan is to do more of the cooking at weekends, and do more of the sort of thing that can be put in the fridge/freezer for later in the week, which will still allow me to be completely apathetic on Thursdays but take the pressure off H.
  5. Art galleries and museums – I work in a big city. I could really truly go to a museum for a quick brain refill during my lunch-break. Why don’t I?
  6. Films – OK, we don’t do too badly on cinema-going.
  7. Long walks – This, we fail on miserably. But I like them!
  8. Restaurants – A couple of times a month, H and I go out to brunch. It makes me happy. As does meeting H for dinner in town after work but before cinema. As does saving up to treat ourselves to a special meal somewhere fancy on a birthday or anniversary. Again, this sort of thing falls victim to Depressed Apathy. I hate Depressed Apathy.
  9. Sex – Specifically, the sort of sex we have because we’re both in the mood for sex, with absolutely no reference whatsoever to the time of the month and whether or not we can just do what is sweetly referred to by our American friends as ‘heavy petting’ instead. That might be one good thing to come out of setting our sights on IVF, ironically. Better sex. (You said ‘come’! Teeheehee!)

Item – Another thing that makes May happy, in a weepy, over-joyed, hopeful, heartful sort of way: Long-time blog-friend and all-around witty, lovely Liz at Womb for Improvement is, well, she’s… you know

Item – It’s been a bit of a week for pregnancy announcements. I have another good friend, who I know has been trying for well over a year and who was starting the whole sad grind of going to doctor’s appointments and having tests, also struck lucky (yay!). So that was nice.

Item – Booze I can no longer have because I have developed allergic reactions to grapes, wheat, barley, rye, and, clearly, fun: White wine, champagne, rose wine, sherry, brandy, beer, Guinness (I was totally a Guinness drinker, from the age of 16), lager, whisky. This is why I’m obsessed with gin. It’s the only thing I can still drink. (Yes I know gin is sometimes made with wheat mash. It’s triple distilled, and has pretty much no wheat proteins left in it by the time it’s bottled. Also, many British gins are made with corn and sugar, so. Here endeth the lesson). For those of you bouncing with eagerness to mention rum – the first time I got pukathonic drunk it was on rum & coke. Rum is dead to me. Tequila, I could get behind.

Item – Nobody ever gets my clever references to Milton and his ilk in my post titles. I feel such a colossal dork. But your indifference will not stop me! I have a mind not to be chang’d by place or time. And again I say:

For who would lose,
Though full of pain this intellectual being,
Those thoughts that wander through eternity
To perish rather, swallow’d up and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated night?


17 responses to “Another broken biscuit assortment

  • Dr Spouse

    Teeny tiny knitting projects (socks! cowls! a Calorimetry!) are fab for commuting/feeling accomplished on the sofa. And I find myself very pleased when it is nearly bedtime so I can read a book or magazine in the bath followed by my Kindle in bed. Sometimes I even go to bed early to read. Or spend an hour in the bath.

    I’ve just found this but I need some more recipes. Do share if you have any you like. I did sit with that window and Sainsbury’s delivery window open and got all the ingredients into the house as otherwise I would have gone round and bought all the wrong amounts.

    I think we swung back and forth between “yes we can get pregnant on our own” and “no we can’t” and it’s very unsettling.

    • May

      I currently have on the needles (on many sets of needles), two scarves, five pairs of socks, three adult sweaters, two baby sweaters, two lace shawls, two pairs of mittens, and a partridge in a pear tree. I carry a pair of socks-on-the-make with me wherever I go. But even I can’t knit standing up on a train or bus with my face jammed in someone else’s armpit and a stranger’s groin pressed lovingly against my satchel. MInd you, on the rare occasions when I do get a seat, knitting is an excellent way to ensure the seat next to me is the last to be sat in as the bus/carriage, as the sight of five steel needles in my hands seems to intimidate hoi polloi. Ha!

      My main batch recipe is ragú (the proper name for the sauce the British insist on calling bolognaise, which isn’t even an Italian word, ffs). I can do that one in my sleep. I need to expand the ol’ repertoire a tad.

  • QoB

    May I suggest poitín, if you can source any? Ooo, and oude jenever, which is also gin… a good excuse for a quick trip across the waters either way…

    I’m also fully behind Plan Cheer May Up. It sounds full of excellence.

  • a


    I also have Knitting ADD. I start a project, get sucked into the internet and the next thing you know it’s bedtime and I have accomplished nothing. Also, I have a scrapbooking/genealogy project going. And I’m reading 2 books, with a 3rd waiting for me. I’ve also taken the complete set of Black Adder out of the library, so I have to watch that. Fortunately, there’s not a big rush on that one, so I think I can keep renewing it indefinitely.

    I don’t get your Milton references because I failed to read my MIlton, although my aunt tried to get me to read it. I recognize that it’s not likely your brilliance in the titles, due to the language style, but I’m not that literary.

    Good luck on the Cheer May Up Project!

    • May

      Luckily, I can knit and watch telly at the same time. Also, am seriously considering getting a kindle or iPad (H votes for iPad. He votes early, he votes often. He already OWNS an iPad) just so I can read and knit. Doesn’t work with real books, I can’t hold them open/turn pages and keep a grip on the needles. Eheu.

      I often make ‘literary’ references in my posts, for my own amusement. And partly in snarky protest, because in Britain it’s considered very uncool and naff to have read anything at all and/or have an IQ above room temperature. And I’m a colossal geek. And I spent many many years studying English Literature at ever higher levels until I finally face-planted half-way through a PhD. Quotations come automatically to everyone, but my brain is therefore full of English Renaissance literature, rather than TV and movies. It’s not that I don’t watch TV and movies, I do, but my quote files are too full to take in anything more up-to-date.

  • Kylie

    Shochu, it’s a form of Japanese distiller spirit, sometimes made with potatoes, sometimes with barley, sometimes with something else ( rice?). Taste varies from nothing to distinct barley flavor. Became very trendy a couple of year’s ago, so should still be some dusty bottles on the shelf in bottle shops.

    On the knitting front, small projects is good ( are good?), I have also found crochet ( a new skill, surprisingly easy) good for this. For this I have found Mollie makes ( a uk magazine) quite useful in supplying small projects

    • May

      I’ve never heard of shochu. I shall look into it, ta.

      I learnt to crochet before I learnt to knit. I’ve just found a dearth of crochet projects that don’t make my teeth squeak with supressed cute-induced sugar-rush. I’d never heard of Mollie Makes – another thing to look into asap. I am longing to make a crochet tiny Great Cthulhu – I’m sure I saw a pattern somewhere…

      • kylie

        mollie makes does tend towards the cute- but sometimes it is the ideas that trigger the other ideas. And d’oh- just noticed a few of the lovely grammar mistakes on the preevious comment. It’s the iPad’s fault.
        One the kindle front (or the kindle vs iPad front)- I have both (the iPad is courtesy of work). For reading, I love the Kindle. lightweight, a million books in the package of one, and fairly easy on the eyes. can’t be read on its own in dark spaces, true but neither can a “real” book. iPad is good for timewasting games and graphic design reading, also crafting instructions, but kindle is the choice for reading in general.
        I say this as a dedicated “physical books until i die” person, who acquired a kindle and is now willingly shoveling much of the “book collection” out the door as surplus to requirements.
        on the negative side, while we all know that i devices have a tendency to break when dropped from height onto unyielding surfaces (such as bathroom tile), my husband unfortunately proved that it is possible to do the same with a Kindle. naked kindle + tile = cracked screen

  • Womb For Improvement

    Swap knitting for crochet and I am in absolute agreement with you on the things that make me happy. And thank you for the honourary point 10, I hope IVF is imminent and successful for you.

    I use to drink tequilla, soda and lime as a long drink.

    Oh and I totally got your Milton reference in this title, i always loved his writings on biscuits.

    *think I got away with that, starting to look pretty damn smart*

    • May

      Just for you, a Milton quote regarding biscuits (from his ragings on the matter of the Catholic Church (he was anti, in case you were wondering)):

      ‘… whilst the obscene and surfeited priest scruples not to paw and mammoc the sacramental bread, as familarly as his tavern biscuit.’

  • Verbatim

    More writing, please! You are such a talented writer. I mean, if I so enjoy reading about your periods, think of how fascinating your novels will be! (Or is it poetry or non-fiction?) Make “shitty first drafts” your mantra and write every day! Don’t think of it as self-indulgent. What’s really self-indulgent is depriving the world of the beautiful words you can put out there.

  • bionicbrooklynite

    so ju (i’m guessing japanese sochu above is a version of same, but i’m used to this spelling and associate it with korea)? bourbon really made from corn? that’s what i’ll be putting in your juleps, anyway.

    re: #9 i can say from experience that there are some advantages to knowing (or strongly suspecting, in your case) sex won’t knock you up. enjoy them.

  • Anonymous

    I’m lucky enough to work really near a lovely museum and on rainy lunchtimes often pop in for a quick drift around – I love it! On sunny lunchtimes when I’m too lazy to go for a brisk stroll, sitting in the sunshine with my back against the warm stone of the grand entrance, watching people explore the outdoor sculpture, is even better. Daisy x
    ps it won’t help you with the shrinkathon, but checkout Warburton’s gluten free range – yummy muffins, and the fruit loaf is lovely.

  • Phil

    Milton, you tease. There I was seeing a reference to broken biscuits and thinking Cocker

    We won’t use guns
    We won’t use bombs
    We’ll use the one thing we’ve got more of…

    I also thoroughly endorse getting yourselves to Ireland. Now if I could only get my other half to take me somewhere other than the far end of a far flung land with nothing but the ocean to the south and west

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    Getting pregnant the fun private way is nice. It’s helluva lot cheaper, too, natch. I absolutely think it WOULD happen the fun private way, but perhaps not soon enough. But all I can say in consolation is that the IVF pregnancies have not felt in any way different, or less legitimate, or less natural – which I know you already know. Sigh. Setting one’s heart on something and it not happening, sucks donkey balls.

    In terms of waiting to jump through the weight hoop – curse the chocolate festival! – I would be awfully tempted to ring them up and just tell them that you are At Goal – because by the time they see you, you will be, because you’ve told them you are. If you see what I mean. Do or Do Not, etc. I am your fellow sufferer, btw: I have to shift 3lbs a week, EVERY week, between now and June, or A) I will not be the weight I promised myself I would start IVF at, and B) I won’t fit in my dress. So: There Is No Try!

    Your list of allergies makes me weep, dear girl. WEEP. What on earth has brought all this non-tolerance of the good stuff on? And what can we do about it?! Hurrah for fun stuff! We like fun stuff! Moar fun stuff!

    I couldn’t quite place the quote – my Milton has rusted sadly since A levels – but I DID immediately google it, because if you use it: tis apt.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent idea to do more fun stuff!

    I’m with HFF, tell ’em you are there with the weight loss. It would be a great motivator and anyway, as she so rightly says, by the time that they get round to seeing you, it will be true.

    Can’t help you with alcoholic suggestions as I cannot abide the stuff, but “oude genever” is Dutch, so perhaps a trip in the opposite direction to Ireland would also be in order? Come and look at Van Goghs!

    I also like a bit of knitting, but am in awe of anyone who can crochet. How? It’s all holes; I’ve tried books and even a DVD but I just can’t seem to get the hang. Which is a shame as I like the lacy-ness of it. Am in the market for a football supporter item; the more 70s and ghastly the better as it’s going to be a joke present for my brother-in-law. Does anyone have a good pattern site?

    Sadly Milton resides with Spencer, Joyce and Peake on my “Things I can’t get on with at all” shelf. One day I’ll get back to them and give them another go. Perhaps I should do it soon, as I shocked myself recently at allowing myself to get sucked into the “Twilight” books. I can’t explain it; it’s not at all my sort of thing, but I read the lot like a demon over a single weekend. Have highly unsuitable and unseemly crush on Edward Cullen. Am pathetic!

    Hope you (and H) are feeling a bit better. Would help if it would stop bloody raining, I’m sure!

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