Friday, 26 November 2010


Aside from all things stretch and grow, there is a recent recurring theme in my life.

Watching this documentary recently changed our eating habits drastically, and, I think, permanently. It would be nice to keep buying chicken from the supermarket, and I'm sure there are many people who would prefer we continued to do so, but it's probably not worth it. Especially now.

Another example is the art school that wants to keep my 600 Euro deposit for a masters degree I can't complete because of my pregnancy. 600 euros is a lot for me, not far off a month's wages, but it's not HEAPS of money. I mean, it's not 1000 euros... and they do say the money won't be returned under any circumstances on their website. I suppose they'd prefer I just not be bothered to go to Spanish consumer affairs and check if they can keep a deposit when there was no contract signed, my inability to follow the course is due to their own discrimination, and quite simply, I'm not recieving the service I paid for.

The fashion school that AzzBAnd performed for in May this year, (the show that we arranged 3 songs and composed another especially for) should have paid us in July. They were obviously hoping we'd forget about it. Or be too lazy/embarassed to ask about it later.

There's a lot here about money, but it's especially important. I need it now, right? So many prams, disposable nappies and packets of formula to buy. Even if I go the earth mother route, still a whole heap to spend in organic slings, butt cream and breast-feeding apparel. Things that I need to buy (new), apparently, in order to be a good mother.

If my pregnancy has had one thing to teach me, it is that there is freedom in knowledge. That might be why so many pregnant women become experts in anatomy. The more you know, the less you can be controlled. That is the theory behind censorship. That is why so many infamous leaders held book burning parties in their capital cities.

That is what I feel the Spanish public healthcare system wants to do. I feel that they would like to go through all the books on childbirth and cross out the words that fit in anymore. I feel like they would like to smash the antique ceramic birthing stool my midwife showed me into a thousand pieces, and with it the beautiful ritual women have been performing since the beginning of time. They have convinced great-grandmothers, who once knew better, that pregnancy and birth is a scary, dangerous game.

That's the theme. It's not a paranoid conspiracy theory or anything. Just a weird feeling that ignorance and laziness allows us to be completely controlled by individuals, society, and multi-national corporations. I want to refuse to be controlled by fear or ignorance.

My yoga teacher says that everyone's views are the right views. Because everyone speaks from their own knowledge centre. But what if their knowledge centre is narrower than yours? My goal for the next few months is to expand my knowledge centre as far as possible.

Another quote that resonated recently is "Never ask a barber if you need a haircut" So I'm going to learn to look in the mirror and assess exactly who I am and what I need, just so I can take that advice.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

To-Do not Done.

To Do.
1. Book midwife appointment.

2.Book doctor's appointment for medical (read proof of pregnancy) certificate, begin legal process against school who will not refund pre-enrollment fees due to pregnancy and subsequent inability to attend art-therapy master in Barcelona.

3. Begin new translation job, work on website.

4. Organise obtaining business tax-number from some European country (see #3 and #10)

5. Borrow/Buy remaining baby-care tools. (Bath, Mattress, Cloth Nappies. I'm sure there's more...)

6. Organise baby space. (gently remind S of his undertaking to make the cot, perhaps with a calender or a daily automatic email headed "Days left to make cot" Granted, they are many, but we are talking gestation time, which is scientifically proven to run both painfully slow and excruciatingly fast at the same time...)

7.Band practice with Yurlak for concert on Friday night. (Find something to wear for said concert. Or buy something. Don't cut tags, Keep receipt....)

8. Band practice with AzzBand for concert on 2nd December.

9. Update portfolio with images from Red Paintings exhibition.

10. Finish writing children's art workshop plans, translate them.

I'm sure there's more.

This is what you want. A weekend where you don't really leave the house, but that is good. First in-house yoga session in about 8 years. Meditation. Cups of rooibos. Falling asleep at the beginning of excellent films. Hearing about them later.
Porcini mushroom risotto, not actually attacking the to-do list, but making one.

On Saturday morning I woke up, laid a mat on the floor and breathed for 15 minutes, moved into various yoga postures for another 15, and spent the rest of the day wondering why I don't do that every day. (I also tried and failed with #9, as there wasn't really great light for photography, but not even the frustration from spending an hour without one decent shot was going to get me down...)

This morning I woke up, drank a coffee, put on some music, sat on the floor and cut scraps of fabric into triangles, sewed them together and completed the first project with my sewing machine that is not square or cushion-filled. I made a risotto from the dried porcini we brought back from Italy, then more music, more sewing.
Unless you consider #6 at a stretch, (those vintagey triangle shaped prayer flags looking things aren't exactly vital for the baby's corner) it was a project that wasn't on the list.

But it was just nice to complete something, and today was Sunday, so..

Tomorrow I'll get to the list.