The Velocity of Honey by Jay Ingram

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Book about the science of every day life. I picked it up to pass the time in a bookshop a few months ago and found the first few chapters very entertaining. Then I spotted it in the library and decided I might as well finish it but didn’t enjoy the rest of it half as much as I thought I enjoyed the beginning.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.

the cost of a baby?

babies cost £1560 before they are even born apparently. which sounds like loads more than i think we spent. so here goes:

  • car seat (a birth to 4 year old rear and forward facing britax one) £90 (which was 25% off in the sale)
  • moses basket & a few new sheets and blankets (most were hand me down pram bedding) about £100 altogether
  • ton of newborn sized babygros and vests, all in super nick off ebay, no more than £30 for everything.
  • cloth nappies, wraps etc with nappy bucket and other changing accessories, along with a couple of packs of disposable nappies; this was around £250.
  • nursing bras, two packs were £25 and i ended up buying two lots.
  • maternity clothes, i can’t remember exact prices but there’s no way they amount to more than £200 and that’s a high estimate.
  • nct antenatal course was about £130
  • wilkinet sling, £40 (and though the survey says that baby carriers were one of the biggest wastes of money ours was worth it’s weight in gold – if you want one get a good one and not a back breaking brand sold on the high street!)

we spent more after miranda arrived obviously but i think that’s all we’d spent when she was born. about £865 altogether.

even if we add in things we bought after she was born i don’t think i can find the other £695 we need to spend to be average. large purchases like her pushchair and cot were presents from grandparents (both after the birth). bits and bobs like breast pump, toys, clothes add up but we’ve got the majority of things going cheap or secondhand.

plenty of things the survey mentions like health supplements, beauty treatments, books, magazines we spent nothing on. pushchair was less than £200 (even though it was a present) – we knew that all those expensive silver cross prams are in the loft by the time the baby is three months old! miranda’s ‘nursery’ was still an office until she was four months old so no expensive redecorating there either.

on the whole i feel like we did pretty well, it’s not like miranda’s wanted for anything, or has been bothered that she’s been wearing last season’s ‘newborn at next’ clothes from ebay rather than this season’s bought new!

road tax

oh, how fab is it that you can now apply to renew your road tax online! no more hunting for mot certificates and insurance cover notes! it makes so much more sense for them to check my car has all the right ticks in the right boxes in online databases rather than me supplying the post office with a couple of scraps of paper.

except you need a “new style” mot certificate. and my car only has an old fashioned handwritten one, bah! not fair.

i had the renewal notice in my hand and i found the mot certificate filed exactly where it should be. no sign of the insurance. half an hour of hunting later i found the insurance, hurray! except in the flurry of paperwork and post i’d mislaid the renewal notice. hunting through every possible place it could possibly be, turning out the recycling bin, etc, it eventually turned up wedged down the back of a shelf i didn’t even realise i’d even been near. urgh.

next time i get my car mot-ed i’m going to check i get a “new style” certificate before i take it in! the story is much the same every year. (except i actually thought i was being organised this year, i’m usually doing this half an hour before the post offy shuts on the 31st.)


i signed up for the sockapaloooza sock exchange! really looking forward to knitting someone else some socks and having some made just for me. knitting starts in february and needs to be done by the end of april which sounds like the kind of thing I can manage. i find so many online knitters seem to crank out knitalongs and exchanges in days rather than months which is too much for me to cope with with a mini-toddler and a business to keep up with. so i usually just watch from the sidelines but i thought i could manage this one. will keep you updated on what socks I choose to knit for my pal.

Light on Snow by Anita Shreve

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I’ve found some of Anita Shreve’s books to be dense and involved reads but this one was exceptionally light. The story concerns the emotional fall out after a newborn baby is found wrapped in a sleeping bag in the snow. The narrator is Nicky, the 12 year old who found the baby along with her dad while walking in the woods. It’s mentioned that she’s looking back on the events from the age of 30, but this doesn’t really make much sense as apart from talking about things that would have embarrassed a 12 year old there’s nothing added by this device and we don’t find out anything that happened to the cast of characters after the week of the story.

Not my favourite of Shreve’s books.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 10th January 2006.

surname history

the surname history profiler gives a fascinating look at the distribution of a surname across britain and how that distribution has changed between 1881 and 1998.

it comes as no surprise to me that most of the darbyshires are concentrated around lancashire. that’s what my family have always known. no one in southern england can spell the name correctly; go north west however and people have heard of the name and not just the misspelt county.

Darbyshires in 1881

and by 1998 they have spread out across most of northern england and north wales too, but still with a hotspot in lancashire.

Darbyshires in 1998

my darbyshires all come from birmingham though. the thing that has surprised me most when researching my family history is not finding a link back to lancashire. i thought i’d got the family traced back to yorkshire at one point but when i stepped back another generation i found them back in birmingham again.

Justice Hall by Laurie R King

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I got put off this series after finding the last couple of episodes pretty tedious. That was over three years ago and for some reason, I’m not quite sure myself, I thought I’d give Mary Russell another chance. And I’m very glad I did because I really enjoyed this book.

Mary and Holmes get caught up in untangling the inheritance of the seventh Duke of Beauville – in the beginning the plot seems pretty thin and there isn’t really much mystery about it. It develops into a decent story though and I found it to be a good page turner towards the end.

Hope the next books in the series are as fun as this one.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.
Purchased on 10th January 2006.