NEWSFLASH: Kate Middleton has NOT had a baby

As I write, Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge – has NOT had a baby.

This should not be news, but in the frenzied build-up to the new heir’s  birth, speaking as someone who was due, as Kate is, to have a baby ‘mid July’ (my due date was 17th) but gave birth nine days early, and as someone who has felt rather frustrated by the media coverage of the ‘impending birth’ over the last nine months, this morning I feel huge sympathy for her.

Look at the ladders. See the reporters drink their tea. It is a zoo. Someone has even put a sign up outside the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, saying ‘do not feed the photographers’.slide_307666_2678989_free

And in the meantime, we as the waiting public are ‘fed’ snippets: the Queen wants the baby to come before she hot-foots it to Balmoral. Camilla wants it ‘by the end of the week’. Carole has ‘indicated (the baby) will be a Leo‘, suggesting the birth date could not be due before 22nd July.

article-2367618-1ADBBC3A000005DC-521_964x689Ease up everyone. I’m quite sure Kate has had enough of all this. am quite happy to have had my baby before his or her royal highness popped out simply because it means the name I have chosen is obviously not a ‘copy’ of Kate’s, as I feared it might be. But the surprise and relief of having a baby a little bit early, compared to a friend of mine whose due date is also 17th July and who has still not had it is immense. Not only would it be fairly hideous still to be pregnant in this heat; the expectation and enquiries from well-wishers would have me grinding my teeth even if I wasn’t the Duchess.

urlI hope Kate is comfortable, not too scared about the prospect of birth (it’s fine. Really.  Gas and air, Lucozade and a strong-armed husband – which I assume William is – went a long way to help me) and getting lots of sleep. Because whilst the baby will likely want for nothing, if we are to believe what we read about Will & Kate being ‘hands on’, that’s one thing Kate can never get enough of.


Maternity leave matters

In just over a week, I will be staring maternity leave  firmly in the face and, whilst I’m undeniably excited, the thought of putting my career on hold for a few months is panic-inducing to say the least.

Although I no longer live in London, doing without the buzz  after ten years in the capital is something that will take adjustment. When not in the city, I have been in the classroom: again, not a job conducive to having time on my hands. url-4The indications are that having a baby will be the toughest job in the world and I won’t have time to think, sleep or eat, let alone miss working. A man on the train (bearing in mind this was First Class)  told me yesterday to get a maternity nurse. “Best money (they) ever spent.” I smiled and nodded: a nice thought that within days of giving birth I might be able to watch The Apprentice and go to bed for eight hours, blissfully unaware of nocturnal disruptions … but not an option.

Everyone tells me to enjoy the lead up as it’ll be the last opportunity for a while. So this is what I plan to do:


Yes, the writing has taken a back seat whilst I sort out the car one, etc. But whilst blog posts have dwindled, I HAVE been working on book number 3. It’s called Foxtail Lily – there’s a bit to do still but, well, watch this space …

I am also investigating getting Rosy George (still a total bargain at 77p) and To Be Honest available as print on demand as there has been aphoto-2 lot. Thanks to all my readers and everyone who has enquired: these little gems are mine and have pride of place on our new (straight!) shelves but with any luck, soon there will be enough for anyone to order a hard copy. In the meantime, do your bit for the environment and restrict your purchasing power to t’internet:


Pol moses basket 002The Great British Sewing Bee (yes, yes, somewhat deludedly I applied: my rouleau straps are more tagliatelle than spaghetti) but that Threadneedle Street studio looked so amazing and the tasks so tempting, I had to give it a go). Anyway, I’ve made a few things and, inspired by my friend Katie, set up an Etsy shop, LittleBearStitches. The photos are crap but it’s a work in progress. My current favourite thing to make are personalised, monogrammed hats. Very therapeutic. (Katie’s wonderful shop can be found here).


Forget the ‘new parent’ books – there’s only so much conflicting information I can take. But I came across a new mother’s thread about people wishing they had read more for pleasure before having a baby. So I have gone out and borrowed / bought:


I’m not a massive fan of TV – unless it’s The Great British Sewing Bee. But despite agreeing with most of the content on Stylist magazine’s top fifty box set list last week, the ones I’m interested in aren’t all on it. I’m going to imgres-21get Jeeves and Wooster (which I see is coming to the West End with the lovely Matthew MacFadyen), re-watch Summer Heights High and My So-Called Life (which did make the list). I recently finished watching the only ever series of Freaks and Geeks, which I can’t rate highly enough – watch it.

That’s the plan. Of course, in the famous words of the Duchess of Cambridge, ‘babies have their own agenda’. So we’ll see.


Why Kate Middleton means sun for 2013

Those people who know me well will know also that I love Kate Middleton.

And I can’t fully explain why. Although I tried valiantly to do so to my brother at Christmas, the best I could come up with was that a) she’s the eldest sibling of three: two girls and a boy (like me), b) she loves dogs (like me) and c) she seems like a really nice person (I’ll leave the next bit blank). Hardly compelling reasons for what has grown, over 2012, to be an almost embarrassingly intense obsession.

imgres-13I have followed her wardrobe, nudity scandal and pregnancy sickness like Lupo sniffing out sausages at a children’s bazaar in Mayfield. I am a daily reader of WhatKateWore.com. For my work hen do this summer, my colleagues ran a ‘Kate quiz’ for me. Quite apart from the usual trivia, I know that the latest sighting has been of Kate buying a packet of mini cheddars at a petrol station in Buckinghamshire. I know that she is craving lavender shortbread and scones with cream and jam.

But as the year draws to a close (and what a year it’s been for us both), I will enter imgres-142013 defending my obsession ferociously. After twelve months of a wholly miserable UK climate – economical and environmental – Kate, together with the Olympics and Wiggo, have been rays of sunshine for us all.

I hope 2013 brings sun this summer. No doubt for Kate it will (either that, or a daughter).

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone.