Tuesday, August 26, 2008


It's surprising how many people, otherwise seemingly sane people, have found out we're having another baby in early January and have said 'oh, you're having a Capricorn, good luck with that', or 'hmm, a Capricorn they'll have a lot of energy and drive' (to which I was thinking, well someone in this family could do with some).

Six months ago if you'd have asked me what star sign early January was, I'd have drawn a blank. I know Virgo (me), and Taurus (LK), and I know that Anna is a Gemini for the same reason that I now know creature #2 will be a Capricorn - because people told me. I also know that Virgo and Taurus are a good match, and hey we have 11 years of blood, sweat and tears to prove that.

I have this smug dismissive disinterest in horoscopes. Claptrap. This is despite the whole Virgo/Taurus lurve-match thing, and despite the fact that if I look up the characteristics of a Virgo (precise, meticulous, anal-retentive) it is ME, ME, ME (shrewd, witty, clever - seriously I'm just quoting the heavens....). Despite those uncanny accuracies I do not consult my horoscope, and will only read it if stuck in a doctors office with nothing better to do.

Fortunately for me, my latest rounds of tests and appointments and general medical shenanigans have left me plenty of time to exhaust this month's supply of People magazines and move on to something different. In fact, I was so aware that I would be stuck with June's 'Parenting' magazine at yesterday's OB appointment that I thought ahead and packed my own *guilty pleasure* Hello! (As a side note it is ri-dic-ulously expensive over here, but I share it with a Danish lady who works across the hall from me, she buys it one week, I buy the other. Fascinating.). It was a good job I'd packed it too as Dr. Beaver was called away to an emergency C-section and I was there for nearly an hour.

Anyhoo. This was the gist of my horoscope for the week:

"Don't argue. Just do as you are told. Knuckle under. Acquiesce. Agree. Surrender. Why are you so reluctant? Show a little gratitude and humility. Bow, curtsey or touch your forelock. If you won't demonstrate due deference to your superiors, you deserve all the trouble and conflict you are likely to get this week".


My mother-in-law arrives tonight for a three week visit.

What the chuff?!! Likelihood of advice being followed: nil, but still, a little close to home I fear. Maybe there's more to this mercury ascending stuff than meets the eye.

What about you lot? What are you, and do you believe?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Polo - Explained

On our way to the pool the other morning we happened to drive past some Polo players warming up before a match (it's a hard life, living in Santa Barbara, but someone's got to do it.....)

Me, lusting after those Argentines in their boots: "Mmmmm"

Anna, giggling: "Look Mummy, that's silly, those horsies are playing golf"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Doing The Right Thing

Yesterday I read this lovely, thought-provoking post by Wife in the North. I was instantly reeled in because it was set in a tea-shop in York. Oh to be transported back to a Fat Rascal for a morning! Why am I yearning for a drizzly morning's cup of tea next to the Ouse when I am minutes away from a palm-tree fringed beach breakfast? Obviously those Chelsea Buns from my internationally famous actress friend have started something at the DNA level!!

The post, along with the comments, made me think about how often we see the right thing to do, but avoid it because it'll be too time-consuming, or potentially embarrassing (a very knee-jerk English response). I know lots of really lovely people, those that are always ready to lend a hand, proffer a Kleenex, ask the right questions, to friends and strangers alike. I am not one of those people. The other day I let a bloke go in front of me in the queue at Trader Joes because he was only buying 4 things and I had a full domestic-diva trolley-full. I spent the next five minutes avoiding his gaze in case he thought I fancied him. Nuts, me.

As a whole though, I tend to shy away from confrontation, from getting involved with other people's lives. I will always listen but I very rarely ask. I'm very rarely the person who steps forward if I see a toddler wandering around by herself in the street, or someone who needs help. I'm always praying someone else will step in first. The situation arises all the time in the office where I work, people need help getting their elderly spouses in and out of wheelchairs, christ, opening doors, how hard is that?

As all good posts are, this one of Wife in the North's was both well-written and thought-provoking. It also reminded me of my brother. My favourite memory of him (can I say memory, when he's alive and kicking and probably right this minute in the pub?!) is when he helped an old lady with a run-away rockery.

LK, my brother and I were walking in to town to meet his then girlfriend for lunch. We were chatting away, strolling past the huge gabled entrances to some of the formidable Victorian homes along Harrogate's Stray, when we noticed an elderly lady struggling to move a massive boulder that had made a bid for freedom from her rockery, and was now in the middle of her drive. I remember my brother doing a comic half-step, a swift turnaround, and all of a sudden he was taking over and rolling the stone back in to position. Such a simple action, completed before we'd even had time to adjust our pace.

I remember how effusively he was thanked 'what a lovely young man', how the red crept up his neck to his ears. I remember thinking what a top bloke he was. I did see the old lady, but it never even occurred to me to help. I tend to blame innate shyness, or awkwardness on my part, but that is, as you Americans would say, a very 'lame' excuse. I need to step up to the plate more. It is a trait I very much dislike in myself. A trait I would not like Anna to inherit, so I need to lead by example.

Oh the horror.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Single Umbilical Artery


She's. Utterly. Appropriate.

The results are in and she's fine. I feel like screaming "I'm going to have a baby!!"

Huge sigh of relief. We called everyone we could that were in appropriate time-zones and then I collapsed in complete exhaustion, the released pent-up fear of the last week (months?) leaving me like a punctured blow-up doll.

It was so disconcerting to feel the squirms and kicks of this daughter-to-be whilst not knowing her fate. Almost as if I couldn't allow myself to continue bonding.

It's amazing how quickly that feeling of euphoria at the results was followed by a sudden willingness to accept the cold, hard facts of the situation. Well of course everything was fine, the doctor said as much, and my bloodwork was excellent. Why the anxiety? The fact that I may still have a small baby (ha!) or an early baby (please not Christmas) or that she may have kidney problems seem so trivial, so, fixable that I am on cloud nine.

I'm having a chuffing baby!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


They say there are no atheists in foxholes.

This would have been a good week to believe in God, but I don't, so I have to cling to what few strange beliefs I do have.

In times of trouble I tend to look at my engagement ring that used to belong to my Nanna, and I ask for her help. I'm sure she's not happy that we mostly talk during turbulence on aircraft. I asked for her help when I was lying on the exam table not looking at the amnio needle. I knew that she would certainly listen to a plea offered up on behalf of a baby.

I have been thinking how reassuring it would be, in these interminable 10 days (10 working days, 10 earth days? what? when?) to have the security of faith, or a belief-system. It must help to put your trust in some higher power, it would certainly take the pressure off a little. It is hard to derive the same amount of reassurance from a belief in your statistical chances of a good outcome. I know a lady through work who recently had to undergo a termination as her baby was diagnosed with a terminal condition. She wryly said she believes she took the 'statistical hit' for all pregnancies in Santa Barbara, as the chances of a baby with her condition were 1 in tens of thousands. It was nice of her to say that. It would be nice to think that. That lightning won't strike you if you know someone who's been struck. Statistics don't work like that though do they.

I will admit to being an agnostic. I don't not believe, I just don't believe in any set doctrines. I certainly believe in the power of positive thinking. That all of you fantastic people who have written such lovely things, who have offered up hopes and prayers on my behalf are doing your bit to sway the cosmic outcome.

Then of course, there are those lovely people who have sent these in the last couple of days:

Chelsea buns direct from Fitzbillies in Cambridge with a note that read:

'Nothing in life is so bad that it can't be fixed by a Fitzbillie's Chelsea Bun!'

.......and Laker flowers from Fluffy.


How can you not smile when you see these?

It has been so helpful to read of other people having gone through tough times with their babies, their families. I cried when I posted a question on some random internet message board about SUA and got so many messages back of personal stories, hope, and positive outcomes. I also cried while out walking yesterday and heard a song that said 'I've built my dreams around you'. I am a mess. If you can burst in to tears while listening to the Pogues you are a certifiable muppet.

So, no religion, but what I do pay credence to, stupidly, are 'signs'. It's embarrassing to admit, but I've always been obsessed with childish games like 'if I can get through this traffic light without it turning red things will be OK'. Smart huh? If I see a clock that reads 9:11 it means bad luck. 9.10 means good luck.

On the way to my perinatal appointment I was flicking through the radio channels and was horrified to catch a song 'baby I'm gonna lose you'. By the time I got to my appointment I was convinced something was wrong, and my pulse was over 120 - which the nurse picked up on. LK gave her this look like 'no, she's not ill, just insane'.

So far I have managed to convince myself that things will be OK, that we will be able to handle whatever is thrown at us, and that perhaps I need to relax and laugh a little more. Something I discovered when I went to our office storage facility this week. A place where we keep old patient charts, filed alphabetically of course, a place I go at least once a week and until now have never spotted this gem:

Someone somewhere is telling me to relax and laugh a little I think.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What Were You Thinking?

*****I wrote this a few days ago, before the whole single uterine artery ultrasound debacle. The good news is, everything else we're dealing with is certainly helping to distract from the 'what ifs' of waiting for our amnio results. If you needed telling though, this post goes a long way to explain how attached I am already to this fledgling creature of ours, how devastating a blow the news was on Monday, and how much we have vested in her health and survival.

Thankyou all for your overwhelmingly kind thoughts and personal stories (by way of iVillage). I may have dissolved in to tears at the mere mention of this with some of you, (isn't it so much easier to hide behind a computer?), but I have appreciated your support nonetheless.********


One question I'm surprised I haven't been asked during this pregnancy is, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!

Or maybe it's just that no-one's said it to my face.

It would be perfectly understandable, given how much time I've devoted lately to bemoaning our financial state of affairs and generally uncertain future.

Why would anyone choose to have another child when things were looking so grim? And yes, we did choose to get pregnant. As I once said to LK 'what if I accidentally get pregnant?' and he replied 'Mrs K, I've seen how you behave with our bank account, you're never going to be accidentally anything'.

That is the crux of the issue believe it or not. No, it's certainly not the best of times to be adding a new addition to this sinking ship, but given how long it took to add this creature I can't for one minute feel bad about this pregnancy.

Getting pregnant with Anna took all of 14 days. We'd decided to 'stop trying not to get pregnant' after I finished the SB Triathlon - I'd decided I didn't want to run the race pregnant after all, I'm physically challenged enough as it is. Literally 4 weeks after the race I told LK we were knocked up and he could not believe it. Dreams of months of 'practice' suddenly turned in to months of 'don't touch or I'll slap you'.

Me saying 'he shoots he scores' was poor consolation.

Naturally, when it came time to think about a sibling for Anna we were cautious. Old fertile Myrtle here could plan sprog-dropping to the very week. Or so I thought.

One year plus of failing to produce was probably a very long-overdue wake-up call, teaching me to respect the miracle that is conception and gestation.

I can say that now of course. For an entire year, I smiled but couldn't quite look in the eye the countless millions of pregnant women I encountered on a daily basis. When people would ask if we were going to have any more I would say 'yes, but not right now', and would then have to sit through their well-meant assvice about siblings not being too far apart in age etc. In actual fact I would have loved Anna to be closer in age to her brother/sister. My brother and I are only 13 months apart, and after 16 years of blood, sweat and tears we are now close. Or maybe that's just because we're 8,000 miles apart?!

I also had 'suggestions' that while our decision to have children 'later' in our marriage 'on many levels looks like a good idea, no-one who does that ever thinks about the grandparents and the fact that they miss out on seeing their grandkids grow up'. What a fantastic guilt trip. Maybe we were thinking about the grandparents during conception. Maybe that was the problem....

More likely the issue was stress. That would certainly explain why I finally got pregnant within days of coming home from holiday. Or perhaps it was the fact that Anna was sleeping in our bed until just before she turned 3.

Either way, finding out you can't get pregnant when you want to is soul-destroying. Many finer writers than me have more eloquently described their battles. Fertility issues that make our year-long silent struggle a blip on the radar, a petulant cough in the face of full blown pneumonia. This brilliant card from the amazing a little pregnant continues to crack me up, especially as it now sounds rather like us.

How easy to write about it now. It feels a bit like cheating really, and I know that what we went through is absolutely nothing compared to the lengths some people have to go to in order to conceive a healthy child. I stopped going to my Mum's group because after the first year it became BYOB (and not the good kind). I think there were 3 Mum's out of a pool of 40 who were not pregnant within 2 years of having their first. The Bring Your Own Baby crowd rightly needed each other, but to my insecure mind it became an impenetrable fertility club.

I kept telling myself that some of my very favourite people came from families, close families, with 5 year plus age gaps between kids, or no siblings at all. Hi Mooks! Hi Jen! It is so hard to maintain perspective though. Something I've realized now that our kids will be 3.5 years apart and so many people are seeming to crawl out of the woodwork with the children of the same age gap. Where were you all six months ago? It's not that they've suddenly appeared, they were just hiding in plain sight. I could not see them because I'd become so obsessed with not conceiving.

I can't imagine what if must be like to not be able to conceive and carry a much-wanted first child. Unless you had problems first time round no-one ever assumes a second child will be an issue. A 3 year plus age difference is assumed to be a willful act. Unless you advertise the fact that it's not all plain sailing, people will assume you've made the decision not to have another child straight away. I had one Mum at Anna's preschool describe her as an 'only child' when she wasn't even 3. A throwaway comment to her no doubt, but it just added to my feeling of panic. With each passing month I would see Anna's chance of a meaningful relationship with her future sibling become more and more unlikely.

I made the fatal error of researching fertility on the internet. There is an entire class of infertility called 'secondary infertility' for the unexplained inability to conceive a second child. A type of infertility that makes up 60% of all recorded cases. How's that for scaring you shitless?

So I booked an appointment with my doctor to discuss our 'infertility' and promptly arrived at her office, the requisite 6 weeks later, pregnant with this creature.

There have been many times within the last two years where I have been very thankful that we have not added a screaming infant, another childcare payment and time off work in to the mix. Who knows if it's pregnancy hormones, or just a long overdue sigh of relief but I have not once thought twice about this creature nor looked forward to it's arrival without immense joy. It's even more sweet given what we've been through, especially because I spent most of my pregnancy with Anna in bewildered apprehension about what was to come.

I realize that we still have a long way to go until I have this little one in my arms, but I could not be happier at the thought.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tempting Fate

Well, we didn't quite get what we were hoping for with the ultrasound.

It's a girl, which makes me very happy.

Unfortunately there were issues present which resulted in me having an amnio this morning. We discovered the baby had a two vessel cord, or single umbilical artery. A link not for the faint of heart I might add.

My blood test results were fantastic, apparently I screen as if I'm a 19 year old woman (a fact that caused a raised eyebrow from LK I can assure you). The other potential markers for abnormalities were good. Baby K looked like a perfect little foetus, all except for that umbilical cord. An amnio was given as an option, but not pushed on us. The doctor and staff were lovely. It was an incredibly hard decision to make, but I knew that I would not be able to stand the uncertainty of the next few months, and LK with a wry smile admitted he would not be able to live with me if I did not know.

The procedure itself was *holy fucking shit* painful. It's not supposed to be that bad unless you are gripped with contractions, and I won the lottery on that one too.

I have so many conflicting emotions right now. I am uncomfortably numb. Obviously there is nothing to do but keep our fingers crossed. Much, much worse things have happened to far nicer people.

I was in half a mind whether to write this, but I will tempt fate and put it out there for the record, hoping that in 6 months time someone else will google this and will come away reassured that we were one case where everything turned out fine.

Or maybe our story will provide support for people that are faced with having to make an unthinkable decision.

I can't tell you hard this is to write when Anna is bouncing next to me explaining how we 'get our babies out by jumping super high and then pooping them out'.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Pink or Blue?

We are approaching D-Day, the big ultrasound. The one where you find out the flavour of the child-to-be. Pink or blue, hamburger or hot dog.

We didn't find out with Anna and believe it or not that was an easy decision to make and stick with. I had a few harumph moments when stocking up for the baby-to-be, but mostly because the vast majority of parents find out the sex of their child in this country, so newborn stuff comes in pink, blue or ducks. After a while I tired of ducks.

I think we may break with principle this time and find out, although in all honesty all I want to discover next week is whether the creature has an appropriate number of limbs, heart chambers etc. A skinny neck would be a plus too.

The reason we may find out is for Anna's sake. We think that it will help her warm to the idea of a new sibling if she can talk to baby Pink or Blue as a future sister or brother. Thus far she has been heart-achingly wonderful about 'Fa'an' as she has called my bump. Chattering away to my midriff about teaching 'her' to paint, to bead, to hunt for bugs. All life's critical lessons. She has decided that I am having a boy, that she is having a girl, but interestingly always refers to Fahan as a she.

On the cusp of finding this out, what do we think, and more importantly do we care if we're faced with a hamburger or a hot dog?

The obvious answer is no, other than a complete and healthy foetus we don't care in the slightest. I am surprised at the number of people who have told us their hopes that we will 'get our boy'.

I think secretly LK would prefer a boy, he is after all the last male K, and I know for certain that his Dad wants us to have a little lad.

I have enjoyed having a girl so much that I would err on the side of girl. We have the stuff, Anna would possibly bond with a female sibling more readily, and I see how close my Mum is with her sisters and her Mum and I would like that in my future. I miss my Mum. Plus ALL of our friends in town have girls. All of them. It would appear that LK's High School class is incapable of producing a solid Y chromosome between them. Oh, and I also don't want to have to make this decision.

So what do I think next week's tests will show? (Hopefully not LK's prominent Scandinavian jaw if it is a girl.....). I suppose one way to answer that, a question posed to me a lot recently, is Do I feel different?

Have I been sicker than last time? I would say yes, but I attribute that to stress and fatigue more than hormones. Have I mentioned the stress lately?! Plus I only threw up once with both pregnancies. Weird but true, so that would make it a girl.

Am I carrying lower? Yes. Which would make it a boy (allegedly), although I think only my bladder and existing scar tissue are stopping my uterus from hanging around my knees after birthing our first watermelon of a child.

Am I craving sweets or meats/cheeses? Yes. Which would make me a fat cow. I've been craving the same as last time really, yogurt. Mmm yogurt. The only difference being last time it was strawberry or cherry and now I'm favouring peach. I've also gone off meat, particularly roast chicken and red meat, same as last time. Which would make it a girl. I also had to break off from writing at this point to go and get a yogurt. Mmm.

Rapid growth of the chest? Yes, or rather HELL YES. This is apparently also an indicator of a girl.

Headaches? Definitely more than last time. Which means a boy apparently. Although it might also indicate the height of summer in Southern California and me never remembering to drink enough water.

Carrying out front or on the bum and hips? LK will confirm that I have officially 'never had an arse' so out front again. Apparently this is a girl.

Heartrate? I happen to think this could be an accurate marker of the sex (Anna's was always very high), this creature's was also high, but I only got one reading very early on so not a definitive reply I'm afraid, more of a faint girl.

Sod's Law? I have a girl's name already chosen so sod's law dictates that this must and shall be a boy.

Genes? Family history would tend to indicate a girl followed by a boy, especially on LK's side, which is after all the genetically critical side.

So in that brief and highly dodgy survey the results are:

Pink Team = 5, Blue Team = 4

What's your guess? Any gut feelings? (pardon the pun). Any old wives tales suggestions that I've missed?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Shadow Play

Viva La Fiesta!

Vegas, Baby

I love Las Vegas.

For about 36 hours then I'm done, done, done. I angrily snatch up my remaining coins and even the marathon 6 hour drive back home through the desert seems better than one more minute in an air-conditioned den of thieves.

That's right, I didn't win.

I still remember that time I did though, every time I sit down at that slot machine I remember July 2003. I was waiting for some friends at the front door of the Flamingo and we were heading on to the Strip. Someone gave me $5 and I was sitting by a $1 slot machine. I never play $1 slots, that's for you 'high rollers'. But this wasn't my money so it was fair game. First try I won $20, second spin I won $230 and I kept crying, 'holy shit, this isn't just quarters, this is dollars, this is real money'.

My friend Christy sauntered up and I gleefully relayed my news; she said 'you fucking bitch'. Spoken like a true friend.

Not this time though, even though I try and replicate the moment by playing machines near a doorway (guaranteed higher odds due to higher visibility winning!!) and at about 8pm (peak time!!). It's all a load of rubbish isn't it? I should know, I got my A in Maths with Statistics. I can throw down a Poisson Distribution with the best of them. I get lulled by the enticing burbling of the machines, by the omnipresent 'ca-ching-ching-ching' of someone else striking it rich (no doubt piped into the room along with the oxygenated air). Fortunately this time I'd blown most of my play money on Anna's trip to the ER so I was saved the ignominy of LK going 'see all that construction going on, all those new hotels? Paid for by my wife everybody. Thankyou muppet, please come again'.

So much for the recession I thought. Vegas was packed, and people were still happily pouring their money out on to the tables or into the machines (ca-ching-ching-ching). So much for the sub-prime mortgage crisis, that apparently was only our concern. Until I noticed something. There were not very many Americans there. In fact, the place was crawling with Brits. Apparently the sliding dollar is enticing them here in droves.

Do you know how you can tell a Brit from an American?

The accents.

Oh ha ha, or the fact that they're asking the bemused Starbucks 'barrista' where the 'serviettes' are (I stepped in on this one - translator extraordinaire that I am).

No, the dead give away that you're looking at a Brit in America is that they're not wearing socks with their trainers/sneakers. Before I moved here I used to think all Americans were hopelessly unfashionable with their obsession for wearing white socks and trainers with everything. Now I take one look at all those pale British ankles in their Fila trainers and I think - that might work in Kirklees when it's a constant drizzly 55º in summer, but in 105º heat in Vegas, dear God man let me buy you some socks.

Despite all that, and even being pregnant and with a 3 year old in tow, we still had a good time. 36 hours in Vegas is perfect. Long enough to have fun in your hotel room (even 3 year olds sleep occasionally), long enough to show Anna the real! live! lions! at the MGM, LK taught her to say 'that's fake, that roaring, that's fake'. Our little party pooper. She loved the pools and I tried to blinker myself from the seductive looking bars with their luscious overpriced martinis and consoled myself with the thought that for once, I could out-boob anyone. Take that Vegas! Thanks for the mammories!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Shaken But Not Stirred

Loved the comments on my last post. Almost American, I had to laugh when I read what your brother had written, because it reminded me of the London bombings (not funny) and everyone in the States asking me 'if my family was OK' when they were comfortably hundreds of miles away in the wilds of Yorkshire. Or so I thought, until I got an email from my brother who'd been down in London on business or some such and wrote a rather clipped email along the lines of 'don't worry everyone, I'm fine, in case you cared of course....'. Apparently he'd spent the entire day with colleagues who'd been barraged with phone-calls from concerned relatives, and he hadn't received a peep from any of his clan.

Anyway, your comments brought up a good question - how do you 'live' with the idea of the constant threat of earthquakes? I'll admit I used to think the same thing when watching some National Geographic documentary about the San Francisco quake, or Northridge, or some other recent disaster. It's the same with people living on the slopes of an active volcano. Muppets, right?

I liked Skeletor's rationale, that yes, the Big One is statistically going to hit at some point in the next 30 years, but California is vast, and the chances that you will be at the epicentre, slim. Plus I know two very good friends who've lived through a big earthquake, and even though in one case their home was completely destroyed (hi Chilly!), they still live in California and are able to make great dinner conversation. After all, would you rather get flattened in an earthquake in gorgeous Santa Barbara or hit by a bus in Bury?

Hovering over a fault line as we are (one runs straight through Santa Barbara), how much time do we devote to thinking about earthquakes? Are our large pieces of furniture strapped to the walls? No. Do I have an earthquake kit? No. Idiotic I know, but I used to console myself that we always had a flat of water in the house, but ever since drinking out of a plastic bottle became tantamount to clubbing a baby seal to death, the only liquids we have are chocolate milk and wine. At least two thirds of this household would be happy in the event of an emergency....

This is as much thought as I give to earthquakes on a daily basis:

  • I always think about them when stuck in traffic under a freeway overpass.
  • I always think about them when standing next to a large plate glass window, or a shop full of china and glass.
  • I keep my fingers crossed that one doesn't hit when I'm in labour.
  • I always think about them if I go to bed naked, or plastered, or in any way compromised should 'the big one' hit. I have a morbid fear of them pulling my pasty, naked body out of a pile of rubble bum first. One must always dress for earthquakes.
  • I try not to think about them now that Anna is sleeping in her own bed on the other side of the house, or when she's not with me.
  • I should have at least a rudimentary earthquake kit. That does NOT include me 'knowing where the candles are'.
  • I have asked LK where, structurally, he would recommend I stand if one hits and I'm at home (after watching countless Blitz films, I thought under the stairs, but he says our house is practically made of out of papier mache and feathers, so it's much better to stand under the big steel beam in our living room).

That's about it really. Hopefully I'll never find out , but it's not looking likely.