The End

This blog is now closed. The story continues over on Flip Flops and Flying Carpets.

Thank you for reading.

The BIG Scan

Just back from the BIG scan!

Following a few days of constant movement, Baby decided it would choose today to have a niiiiiiice long rest. The sonographer had a pretty hard time getting all the necessary measurements, and after an hour, gave up and sent me off for a walk. Cue ipod headphones carefully positioned on my stomach at full volume, and a bakewell tart. It seemed to do the trick. Back on the table two hours after our original appointment, Baby had regained some of the energy I'm used to feeling. We got all the measurements needed, declared Baby healthy as far as the scan can tell and sent us on our way. Happy faces.

And of course, we also now know what Baby is. I am dying - DYING!!! - to tell you all, but for a few more days it'll remain David's and my little secret. We were having a little get-together this coming week and, pretty much inspired by Maria Fe over at Layers of Meaning, we are going to use that occasion to anounce the gender to our closest friends and family before anyone else. I'll announce it here soon enough :) (Boy do I feel mean!!!)

But in the meantime, why don't you go ahead and place your bets? What do you think? Boy or Girl? :)
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London, An Elevated View

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When we first arrived in England, back in 2006, we said we'd do one of those hop-on-hop-off bus tours of London, but never got round to it...

Almost five years later, we used our second wedding anniversary as an excuse to finally make it happen. Last weekend, in an early celebration (our anniversary is actually the 4th October), we headed into London. We started with an early lunch at Wagamama, then found a bus and hopped onto it.

It was cold, but the weather cooperated. And it was lovely. I'll leave you with a quick glimpse of London - as seen from the top of a double-decker bus.

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Ten...

Very exciting week. But it's not that that I'm writing about here. Ten years ago I was also experiencing an exciting week: I was about to start university. There's no denying it - even just the thought of that makes me feel suddenly old. Ten years? How am I even able to say that? It may as well be yesterday!

Fresher's Week was about to start. There were talks and meetings to go to, stands to see, bank accounts to open, and everywhere we turned, people trying to sell or make us join something. Typically, I avoided most of all that although I did open a new bank account simply because of the freebies that came with it. (I've always been a sucker for a good freebie.)

Soon enough, lectures started. I was all geared up with brand new stationery that always makes me feel fresh and studious. It worked for a few weeks. There were certain subjects I loved. Gender in the Media, Socio- and Psycholinguistics, ironically most Sociology subjects despite the fact that I was actually supposedly reading a degree in Communications with Sociology only as a secondary area. I was very confused throughout university... never really sure whether I was happy with what I was studying.

Don't get me wrong - I went into it determined to end up in advertising. It was as clear as day in my mind. I loved and still love the creative aspect of advertising. I hate marketing. Sure, I love the psychology of it, but numbers? No. Eventually it became clear that somewhere along the way, I'd missed the advertising boat and was somehow on a marketing boat, which I really didn't want to be on.

Still, I have no regrets. I made some great friends in those few years. And by hook or by crook, I got that degree and to this day I don't know what other course I might have chosen had it not been Communications, so I can only conclude that it worked for me.

I wouldn't say that university holds my most cherished memories. I know that many people say that it was the best time of their lives - for me that title is proudly held by my 6th Form years. It was 6th Form that was character-forming, for me, not university. But I can't help but smile when I remember how exciting it all was, looking ahead. Now we were adults, the world at our fingertips. No one and nothing was going to get in our way!

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The Calm Season

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Well it's officially not summer anymore. As I've made very clear before, this isn't a bad thing. I've always had a love affair with autumn. The crisp air, the need for longer sleeves (but not yet jackets), the beautiful colours. My birthday... along with another four family birthdays. Autumn always meant parties, presents, smiles. It also meant getting ready for school, which after a long hot summer was never entirely a bad thing. Fresh books, new stationery - everything made the idea all the more exciting.

Nowadays, school doesn't feature any longer. But it still means birthdays and family and parties. It also starts to mean subtle Christmas preparations - although the shops aren't being so subtle and already have their turkeys and puddings out, and pubs and restaurants are advertising Christmas lunches.

I love autumn because it's a season of anticipation. A season of calm excitement, when the world is toning down and preparing for the long, cold winter ahead. It's a season of spices and apples and cinnamon. It's a season of blankets and books and warm mugs of tea, outdoors. It's a season of loved ones and friendship and second chances. It's perfection, in every way possible.

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To Kindle or Not To Kindle...

I love my bookshelves. I love seeing them stuffed with books. I love the feel of those books, being able to flick through the pages and smell the paper. I've always been very unforgiving of the idea of an electronic reader, have always shot down the thought without a moment's hesitation. As much as I am a gadget person, that's where I draw a line.

Or do I?

Deep in conversation with a good friend of mine just the other day... she was one of my reading buddies when, aged 13, we smuggled Danielle Steel novels into our English Literature school books and, the rebels we were, read them during lessons. Until we were asked to read aloud in class and that caused all sorts of problems. But that's another story.

I thought she was like me. She'd never betray The Book. And yet, she's just ordered a Kindle. I was horrified and I told her so. How could she turn her back on the beloved book?

Yet within minutes, I was asking questions. What made her decide to do it? How was the reading experience? Was it like reading a book off a computer screen? Didn't it make her feel like a traitor? Like she was partly responsible for the eventual collapse of bookshops?

She was very patient with little old-fashioned me. She mentioned things like the speed and ease of buying a book and having it there ready to read within minutes. She mentioned the weight issue - she can carry around several books in something that's lighter than a single paperback. And apparently, it's not like reading off a computer screen.

I have to admit, I'm curious. And tempted. But I don't know if I could ever go through with it. I'm a traditionalist at heart.

My friend has reassured me that she won't be giving up books entirely and still intends to buy them every now and again. I guess that's some consolation. I still think I'd feel very "Brutus" browsing a bookshop, as I love doing so much, with a Kindle guiltily hidden away in my handbag... Wouldn't you?

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Kick Thump Thump

Lately, at around 10 o'clock every morning, I get a "good morning" message by kicked morse code. At 5 o'clock in the afternoon, my little tenant gets inexplicably excited over I can't imagine what and jumps around - a lot - for about an hour. I can still feel him/her moving around throughout the day, but these two times of day I can almost set a clock by... and they are the highlights of my day.

I am head over heels for this child and I haven't even met her (him?). But just feeling her little movements throughout the day has made it so much easier to bond, as I knew it would - it's just not possible to imagine to what extent.

When I'm using the heart monitor, she's mostly quiet until I start talking, or singing along to the radio. Suddenly the pace picks up. David even got to hear her jumping around the other day - nothing could ever quite describe that look of pride.

It just seems impossible not to fall in love with this little person who seemingly already knows the sound or feel of my voice. Who will eventually even recognise our touch on my belly. Who will, moments after birth, be able to pick out mine and David's voices over the other sounds in the room. It's not just one big miracle, it's thousands of little ones every day.

Can't wait to meet you, little one x

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By Popular Request

A few people have asked for Bump pictures... and I will gladly oblige :) I haven't been very good with weekly photos, mostly because there hasn't really been that much to photograph until the last couple of weeks - especially the last week, when I seem to have had two very distinct growth spurts. Last Saturday, I'm quite sure that had I sat there watching my tummy all day, I'd actually have seen it grow.

Here, ladies and gents, is Bump today at 19 weeks!

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(Please excuse the very pasty look - I hadn't quite woken up yet...)

My appetite has grown with the bump. Which is a good thing now that the nausea has finally subsided. I've barely put on a kilo since I got pregnant, so it's about time that changed slightly!

Today also marks a very special day as I believe I've just felt the baby move. I've been getting very impatient waiting for this moment and I can't quite believe it may have finally happened! Words can't describe...

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(From Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Lesley Regan)

... 3 weeks till we find out whether it's a girl or a boy!

accidentally, kle: A Brief History

It all started in 1999. I knew little about web design or html but my uncle spotted my enthusiasm and provided me with the tools. The rest, some would say, is history.

The original site was warringtons.net - it no longer exists. It was a collection of family websites, and it was my job to coordinate and actually get it all online. Unfortunately, by 2005 the hosting company closed down and warringtons.net went offline. A while later, electronic kle (e_kle) came into existence. The site is still online and will probably be left there until the internet gods decide its time is up. Feel free to have a look around (but keep in mind that it hasn't been updated since 2006 - a LOT has changed since then).

After the move to England, I felt the need to have something dedicated to keeping friends and family updated, as well as to provide me with a fresh start to the website project. And after much deliberation, accidentallykle.com was born and was mostly a photo album website, with some other information and a link to the blog, then hosted by blogger.com.

Over the next few years, my interest in the website dwindled. I still love the design element, but my heart was no longer in much other than the writing. So in 2009, the entire website became the blog, and here we are today :)


(the original header)

The name 'accidentally kle' only came to be in 2006. Apart from needing a change from the original 'electronic kle' theme, 'accidentally kle' seemed more than a little appropriate. My life has a habit of twisting and turning in ways I could never imagine. The name just fit!

As for the nickname, kle, that came about one night at a bar in Paceville, Malta back in 2001. Giselle, Tonio and I were seated around a table having a very inspiring conversation about phonetics (!!), initiated by Giselle who'd recently been studying phonetics at university. We decided to spell everyone's names in phonetics and personalise our cardboard coasters. And well, it kinda stuck.

The actual pronunciation then (and I've heard a variety of versions over the years!), is the way you see it: kle, like Clare.

The Last Day of August

On the last day of August, I finally got my summer. Do you ever feel that sometimes, one day can be everything? My summer's been rather unfortunate. I've been too unwell to truly enjoy it so it's kind of passed me by. I don't mourn it - I love Autumn. But on the last day of August, I got the one wish that I had for summer.

Four neighbourhood friends (Maria, Zoe, Rachel and Tajana) were due to come over that evening, to catch up. The day had been good - no pregnancy sickness whatsoever in addition to the greatly increased energy levels that I'm (sometimes) finally enjoying. I'd made my favourite soup for lunch, and later prepared some muffins for when the girls came over.

And somewhere along the way, it occurred to me that as it hadn't rained in a few days and wasn't due to for a few more days, I could technically take the opportunity to entertain outside. So I finally took the winter cover off the umbrella, set up the tea lights and lanterns around the garden, and the fairy lights under the umbrella. It looked magical, just as I'd wanted it.

We had an excellent time, wrapped in my little collection of airline blankets, chatting and nibbling away well into the evening.

The evening defined my summer. It was good company, laughter, yummy nibbles, candle light and fresh air - exactly the way I imagined it to be.

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Of course, Nosy Neighbour made a few appearances at the window... but then it wouldn't be an evening in my garden without that ;)