Friday, 30 January 2009

Why can't people spell and punctuate properly?

Yesterday, I spent some time chuckling at this. It's the now rather famous Virgin Atlantic complaint letter about the food on board from Mumbai to London. It's hilariously well written, but I must say on closer inspection something began to grate. Why oh why can't people seem to punctuate and spell properly anymore? For example:

"What sort of animal would serve a desert with peas in?" Hmmm - there MIGHT be peas in the desert, I suppose, if there were a greenhouse and good irrigation?

"Could bring it crashing to it's knees...." Arrrggghhh! The misplaced apostrophe. This particularly gets my goat. Its is the possessive, and with an apostrophe it of course means something completely different. I also have a major gripe, whilst still dealing vaguely with aviation, about the use of an apostrophe in the shortening of Flight Attendants, FAs. Why on earth would anyone want to put an apostrophe there? It's a plural, my dears. You're not talking about the FA's suitcase (singular), or the FAs' uniforms (plural). This rule also of course also applies to CDs, DVDs and PCs, etc.

And don't get me started on your and you're, their and they're, and the random use (or complete absence) of commas, colons and semi colons.

I just wonder whether schools (except mine) actually ever teach these things. Can you tell I used to teach English?

Ok, end of rant. I feel better now.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Farewell tour

At the moment I seem to be on an endless farewell tour of friends and family. It's quite a painful process, saying goodbye each time, not knowing when I'll see them again. It all seems so very final. At the weekend I'm going to be visiting (and saying goodbye to) two of my closest friends, and that's going to be extremely hard. I also have another close friend who lives in Italy, and I don't think I'm going to have time to see her before I go. I just don't seem to have the time to do everything I have to do before the off.

My mum came to visit at the weekend and we blitzed the house, redecorating bits and bobs, taking stuff to the tip and giving it a marathon clean and tidy. She left with a car stuffed with our things, but there still seems to be a lot left behind! I've got to get into sorting paper in a serious way. Brilliant. On the plus side, my colleagues are loving my free giveaway of books, clothes and perfume!

My husband is now settled in our new apartment, which seems very nice. It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and is in a compound with a great gym, cafe, restaurants and several swimming pools. It'll be all the better when I've shipped out some of our personal belongings so that it becomes "ours". He's also started his type rating, which is very hard work, but at least it's keeping him busy.

Hopefully it's less than a month now until I'll be out there with him. I can't wait, although the next month of endless goodbyes will be horribly sad, and I know that I'll miss everyone terribly when I've left. Bittersweet, indeed.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

My body sort of works

I'm celebrating a little feat of wonder today. My broken hormones have managed a small miracle. For the first time in about 11 years of being on the pill, and five months after coming off it, I'm having what seems to be a period all on my own.

This won't seem like a reason to celebrate for most people (in fact, the very opposite for some!) but for me it's a sign that things are starting to work "normally" again, so it's great news. Now I'll have to see what happens next month...

Thursday, 22 January 2009

A tearful goodbye

I saw my husband off at Heathrow this morning. It was a moment we'd both been dreading, and true to form, I wept rather embarrassingly as we said goodbye at security. He was pretty miserable too. I know, of course, that it's not as though I'm not going to see him again, but it felt pretty gut wrenching anyhow. It's going to be a very hard, very long month.

When I get home tonight I'm going to be confronted by a total and utter mess. We've been having our bathroom replaced, so there's dust and mess everywhere, and my husband has managed to create piles of stuff all over the house! I certainly have a massive job ahead of me clearing out the house and getting everything ready for letting.

In the short term, though: I've had a sausage sandwich, I've reapplied my make-up, and I'm going to have dinner with a friend. I'll survive...

But I miss him like hell.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Round one of fertility treatment - over and out

I'm beginning to feel depressed about the whole infertility journey. I know we're pretty much at the beginning (many people try for years) but I just feel like it's never going to work.

A blood test I had done last week showed that I didn't ovulate on Clomid. This will probably mean that I will have to go on twice the dose next cycle (nice). As it stands, I just don't cycle at all. Somehow my body's got so confused that all the normal signals that should be being sent around about hormone levels just aren't getting through. Damn and blast being on the pill for years. I think that must have had something to do with it, although my PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is obviously playing a part too.

I just can't imagine a future where my husband and I can't have a family. It just seems so unfair. He would be such a wonderful father, and I desperately want to give him the opportunity to be a daddy.

Sometimes I just can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Friday, 16 January 2009

There are TWO pilots on the plane, damn it...

First of all, congratulations to the crew of the US Airways Airbus A320 who managed to successfully ditch in the Hudson yesterday. Amazing pictures, and a timely reminder for us all to pay attention to the safety brief! Here's the BBC story about the incident:

Secondly though - is it just me, or is the continual reference to the "hero pilot" rather annoying? Given that, of course, there were TWO pilots on the flight deck - a Captain and a First Officer. Either one of them may have been flying it at the time, and anyhow, the pilot not flying would have also played a crucial role in the handling of the emergency. It just makes me cross that the First Officer isn't even being mentioned.

Ok, end of rant...

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

"All pilots cheat" and other, more important matters

I got a long and pretty bitter comment the other day on this post. It was from a woman whose pilot husband had cheated on her, despite her conviction that he just wasn't that "type" of man. This lady seemed to think that I needed to learn from her experience.

Errr... Sorry, but no. As a pilot's wife, I am, by default, often challenged by doomsayers about the "girl in every port" stereotype. I rejected it a long time ago, because, quite simply, you just cannot tar one hugely diverse group of people with the same brush. As I mentioned in that post, if you are the sort who wants to cheat, then aviation is the business for you. It's very easy to get away with it if you want to - I know several women whose partners have strayed - but that doesn't mean that you will. I'm sick and tired of people lumping all pilots together and insisting they have the same characteristics and behavioural traits. They're individuals, people!! I really am sorry that your husband cheated on you, my dear, but he was YOUR husband, an individual in his own right, as we all are.

Enough of that, I think. Please feel free to contribute to those comments if you have something to say!

On other issues - my husband has only a week left in the UK before he heads out to the Gulf. I'm already anxious about him going. I'm rubbish without him, and I know I'm going to cry for Britain when he goes. Still, only one month more and I'll be out there too - and there's so much to do before I go. I'm going to try to keep busy so that the month goes quickly. I have lots of friends and family to catch up with, including my very elderly Grandma.

We're also going to find out shortly whether this round of Clomid worked. I'm not sure really - I just hope that, eventually, all the side effects are worth it!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Infertility: No-one told me...

I found this on an infertility forum, and it really struck a chord with me, so I thought I'd reproduce it here, with some editing. Feel free to add comments if there are things you've experienced:

No-one told me.....

* That a fertility doctor and a baby doctor are the same thing, so every doctor's visit you're surrounded by pregnant women gushing and glowing.

* How hard it would be to log onto Facebook and every single day and look at other people's baby photos.

* That fertility drugs would make me feel simultaneously like a menopausal woman and a hormonal teenager.

* That I would be jealous of everyone who falls pregnant - particularly by mistake.

*That I'd find it extremely hard to visit pregnant friends, or friends with new babies - and that they similarly would feel awkward around me.

*That I'd cry whenever I watched films with babies in them. Seriously, all of them...

* That it can sometimes take YEARS to get pregnant. (And I expected it to happen the very first try!)

*That we could eventually become that 'infertile couple' in the corner that everyone whispers about, and tip-toes around because they are afraid that if they even mention the word 'baby' you'd have a melt-down and cry!

*That I could end up feeling like a failure.

*That I'd have more than two pregnancy tests in the house at one time... in fact, many more than two!

*I would spend years on the pill desperately trying NOT to get pregnant, and when I wanted to get pregnant it would be so hard!

* And that I would cry tears of joy over mucus (if you don't know what I'm talking about my dear male readers, I'd suggest a fantastic book by Zita West called "How to get Pregnant"!)

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Out with the old, in with the new

We went for a walk today along the river. It's one of our favourite places, and it was so beautiful in the winter sunshine. It was an ideal place to recount our memories of last year, and to try to think towards the adventure that's to come.

Last year brought both joy and despair. We decided to have a baby, and then discovered it was going to be difficult; I got a great new job, but my husband lost his - and then found another better one, but thousands of miles from home - so I resigned from my job. Still, despite the inevitable tears that those things brought, it was another year full of laughter, family and love, so on balance, still a wonderful year.

This year I know will be a challenge. Things seem to still be moving very slowly on the moving front. We're still waiting to find out exactly where we're going to be living and how exactly we're supposed to send our stuff out there, so it's hard to pack when you don't know what to pack it in, and where to send it! We're also having masses of work done on the house before we go, which inevitably I'm going to have to take charge of once my husband's gone. The joys of work men, you can't beat them, eh?! Oh yes, and the MESS they make. Can't wait for that one.

We're also crossing fingers we'll be able to get tenants soon. The market is just flooded with people who are renting their properties out rather than selling... It's depressing even thinking about how much our house has gone down in value! What a nightmare the economy's going through. Still, even if we don't get tenants immediately, our accommodation in the Gulf is provided free of charge, so anything we get from rental here is a bonus. Thank goodness.

(On a side note.. it never ceases to amaze me how often you see accommodation spelt wrongly on signs advertising accommodation! But I digress.)

Tonight I'm going to have a big sort out of my clothes as a first step to what we're calling The Big Clear-out of 2009. It's going to be a long job! We have so much extraneous rubbish lying about... This is just like our last house move, but worse, because we can't take it all with us!



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