Little miss

Home Improvements

Finally, after having had a HDMI cable tacked up the wall & ceiling for the last 5 years or so, we got around to cabling it and some other elements in properly. I took a few shots, there is one more to add here of the final stack and shelves when we finish painting and assembling that, but for now there is enough progress to show I think: Final shot (for now) added. May still clad the stack but everything is back in and working, all cables are hidden in walls/ceilings, all AV equipment is out of reach of sticky fingers, the lounge is painted, the carpet is shampooed and (as of right now) the toys have yet to move back in so I get a few hours of blissful beautiful adult room!

Little miss


The BBC has a page with some of the international coverage of the riots. I loved this one:

Isna students news agency (in English), Iran

Iran called for London police to exercise self-restraint in dealing with protesters in Tottenham, north of London. Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast referred to Saturday night's massive protests in Tottenham, which came following [the killing] of a young black man by Scotland Yard police and called for the UK government to avoid any police's harsh treatment with protesters. He stressed return of peace and calm to London through talks and examining demands of the demonstrators. Mehmanparast expressed hope independent human rights bodies would take measures to make clear facts behind murder of the black man soon.
Little miss


Habiba's situation has finally been covered in mainstream UK media: here in the Guardian. I had tried to tell Christopher Booker (of the Sunday Telegraph) about it because whatever his other opinions, he has been a strong champion against the secrecy of forced adoptions in this country. I totally failed to get his email address though and contacting the sunday telegraph resulted in absolutely nothing too. So I'm glad someone got someone interested anyway!

Some people are a bit bothered about sharing this article because of the last paragraph. It could be better, there could be a subsequent paragraph that does a little interpretation and then the article would be totally excellent. I hope (perhaps a little optimistically) that people can work things out for themselves though.
Little miss

How to help

I've just failed to go to bed tonight, because as soon as I cuddled up with G I burst into tears. I know some of it is pregnancy hormones, but I just am heartbroken about this poor lady and her poor poor daughter in Spain who have been so badly treated because of wanting to mother just like we do. I've been following her story for 5 days? It feels like longer. It must feel a lot longer to the people involved. It feels like nothing is happening.

Recent update on medical report

That last link is why it is hitting so hard I think, because everything they have 'accused' her of is based on exactly what I choose to practice, breastfeeding on demand, extended breastfeeding, attachment parenting, co-sleeping, baby-led weaning...

This lady is 'me', without the advantages of my education, wealth and family support. Her daughter is mine, with a different roll of the dice. 'There but for the grace of god' would be my baby, crying her heart out in an orphanage wondering why mummy doesn't come and then, giving up because she doesn't.

I want to do something to help. I've signed the petition but that's not having much of an effect. I've asked if there's a way to donate financially to help with legal bills or hopefully even let this lady have some means of escaping authority interference when she gets her baby back. I've no idea how you get the media to be interested in a story like this, particularly when the aforementioned practices would tag her as a 'freak' to most people here too.

I know there are other babies and other mummies out there who are having just as bad a time (if not worse). But I've heard details about this case and it just resonates so much, and I just feel so impotent.
Little miss

Misselling Science

We're being offered (or perhaps 'pushed' is a better term as there is obviously sponsorship going on as the admins are posting and 'bumping' the posts on most of the groups regularly) a 'Freebie for labour' over on babycentre.

BabyCentre is helping OPRO distribute free samples of their Laboraide Mouthguard.

OPRO recently did a clinical study that suggested using the Laboraide Mouthguard during the second stage of labour may reduce the duration of labour and the need for caesarean, ventouse or forceps.

OPRO would like you to try the mouthguard and tell them what you think of it. There is no obligation other than to fill out a short online survey to give your feedback on the product. The survey will be emailed to you so you can complete it after you’ve had your baby.

This offer is first come, first serve. If you are interested in participating and receiving a free sample, please click on the link below:

I missed it the first time round, but the publicity does include a link to the Scientific Background which includes full details of the Clinical study they carried out.

It seems on reading the detail that all of the 64 (total) subjects in the trial had epidurals and all of them delivered lying on a bed on their backs with their legs in stirrups! So not exactly comparative with 'normal' labour then for this 40% reduction in pushing time/ 50% reduction in c-sections.

It annoys me that it is ok to promote products with this kind of misleading science.
Little miss

Access to journals

Someone on here will know the answer here surely.

I'd like to get access to scientific journals back to be able to reference stuff for this book. Athens is a purely education thing I believe, but are there any options to subscribe to journal access as a private individual? I'm struggling to find anything other than the ability to buy individual article access!
Little miss

World Book Yesterday

Thursday's are a bit frantic :)

The book I am reading: About to start Jasper Fforde's 'One of our Thursday's is missing'
The book I love most: How can I possibly choose? Oh ok then, Diane Wynne Jones - Howl's Moving Castle.

The last book I received as a gift: Stepen Fry - The Fry Chronicles, got two copies for christmas (returned one) and haven't started it yet.

The last book I gave as a gift: Deborah Jackson - When your baby cries: 10 rules for soothing fretful babies (and their parents!)

The nearest book: That Stephen Fry as I'm WFH and it is on the mantlepiece with the christmas cards still!
Little miss

#1 - Shades of Grey, Jasper Fforde

I wondered when I'd finished it what number book I was up to and then realised that I was thinking of my 2010 list and that this was actually the first book I'd read this year. Not expressing at work any more has seriously impacted my reading time!

Having been prompted that he had a new Thursday Next book out I'd gone to Amazon to buy it, intending to get it for Kindle as I have the rest of the series on there now, only to find it was £8.99 for Kindle or £7.49 for hardback. That kind of thing really grates. Why they can't at least bundle the two for hardback price + something appropriate I don't understand.

So I bought the hardback, and in the 'also recommends' type things it mentioned another book of his I didn't recognise, The Last Dragonslayer, so I did likewise with that (similar pricing) and finally this paperback. I have obviously not been paying enough attention!

I decided to read this one first and I read the first 372 pages on Sunday. George and I had a quiet day as she was a bit under the weather, so whenever she was watching a bit of Danger Mouse or sleeping I cracked on and I only failed to finish it that night because she struggled to go to sleep so I only got back to it at 9pm. I finished it on Monday evening instead.

One of the reasons I was reading it so quickly is that it used that tactic of opening with an event and then restarting the story from an earlier point leading to that event. I find that quite a difficult style to work with, I feel like I'm racing to get back to the start point of the story and I can't relax until I do. I also found it hard to grasp the world the story was set in, partly because it was confusing and the explanations evolved rather than spoon fed but also because I kept trying to work out what the 'twist' was going to be and how it related to our world - without success I might add.

While identifiably Fforde, it wasn't the same as the Thursday Next or the other ones in that spin-off semi-series. It felt very science fiction actually, and reminded me of shorts I've read in SF anthologies. The end didn't feel like the end and there was a mention of two sequels so I'm guessing that this is hopefully the case and there will be more of this tale to tell. I'm looking forward to reading them.