Like Cartman I’m not a big fan of hippies. It’s a mindset rather at odds with my own. If I was living in the 80s I’d be a yuppie. It’s not that I don’t relish in authentic experiences (my favourite things include family meals, day trips with my stepsons where we collect pine cones or take photos of cranes and playing board games) but I’m definitely aspirational. I daydream about plans to pay off the mortgage early, to build a fabulous garden room and decking area, to buy rental property to develop a portfolio for income streams that are relatively passive. I muse over business ideas and have the habit of referring to the plans for ours and the stepkids future as building our empire.

Still, it’s been interesting how my friends have been changed by parenthood. Or rather, how beneath the veneer of high heels, make-up and ambition most of us seem to have similar ideas on the subject of breastfeeding, slings and co-sleeping (pro on all three counts). To be honest, my views are largely that the ‘natural’ approach coincides with what seems logical and sensible. Feed the baby what we evolved to feed it and keep it close. We’re just animals after all.

The theme of this weeks column is about what is natural and normal. And something natural and normal (within the animal kingdom) is eating your placenta. For the squeamish, my fabulously pregnant friend Samantha* sent me the link to a company that can provide the kit so you can dry it and make it into easy to swallow tablets at home. DIY vitamins just went hardcore!

Now Samantha’s argument is partly that eating your placenta stops predators smelling blood and coming to eat you and your babies so possibly not necessary in 21st Century Britain among humans. Similarly I got a bit anemic this year and rather than drink and bathe in the blood of serfs like Erzabet, Countess of Bathory (no single links covers this fascinating woman enough for my tastes so please spent half an hour looking into her bizarre story) who quite possibly got genuine health benefits from the replacement of lost iron in her body or go low key and drink my own menstrual blood I take a supplement. It lacks a degree of drama but doesnt scare the builders. And I get points from Boots!

I guess I just think that while placenta is quite possibly a superfood, I can probably manage without it (not that this will stop the fiancé and I from serving pate with Chianti at every dinner party for the following year and winking at our guests). Breastfeeding is commonly agreed to be natural and normal, making your own placenta pills is definitely in the “quirky” camp. Where do you draw the line between sensible and crazy hipppie? Co-sleeping is fairly contentious for example. Why do I see keeping your baby close as a good thing (I know I sleep better with another heartbeat in the room) but washable nappies as sounding like far too much like hard work?

The idea of natural and normal reared its head also on this mumsnet thread about face slapping. I doubt many of you will want to read the whole thing, in which case I want to include the gem of a link to the 80s where Victoria Wood sings ‘Beat me on the bottom with my Woman’s Weekly.’

I was quite staggered by the fear and disgust people can have of something they aren’t into. I mean, I get that people read comics in their thirties and wagon spot (such people are apparently teased by the “cool” trainspotters) but frankly I don’t care. Now, I’m not going to pretend I’m vanilla because far too many of you have spoken to me about my love of underwear and I’ve posted a picture of my corset so obviously I’m not a pack of five big pants from M&S and sex with the lights off kind of girl but equally I’m not on the scene. While I have an interest in attending SWAMP, when it comes to it what really turns me on is the idea of the fiancé with a pizza, some good red wine and Dr Who in the telly.

Sorry to let you down there Delphi sweetheart x

So I see myself as a bit on the fence. I’m fully aware of a quite extraordinary range of sexual practises and the fiancé used to send me video clips in a ‘do you reckon you could do this’ kind of way as (I think) a form of flirtation.** But equally, I don’t think I’m skewing the bell curve of British sexual practises and frequency.

A bit like the breastfeeding but disposable nappies please. A nod towards hippie values in a Tory household and a... ok mentioning being a Tory in a blog about sex no matter what I say now you’re going to assume I have him tied to the radiator and am hitting him with a Dulux**** paint chart whilst I type.

I’m in a bit of a corner here.

Just... what is natural and normal is subjective m’kay.

* She was also pretty fabulous when barren of womb (note to self: stop reading links to Daily Mail articles, you’re using their psycho- misogynistic language in irony now but they will slowly destroy your capacity for thought).

** Answer: What the fuck, I’m not a gymnast! I’ll try anything twice*** but you get I’m a short dumpy Yorkshire lass right?

*** Did you like olives the first time you tried them? Exactly, give it a few goes.

**** I wasn’t brand loyal prior to Charlie but I love the colours in the house and who am I to argue with my (amazing – if you need one USE CHARLIE) decorator?

11/24/2011 06:46:15 am

No-one is being tied to any bloody radiators. I've only just hung them, I'm not risking them being pulled off the wall.

11/24/2011 06:59:05 am

Get back in the kitchen!

Did I say you could play on the internets tonight? Did I?

You know this means the whip with the spikes!

12/1/2011 12:40:02 am

Sorry, just got round to reading this one. Whilst I'm immensely flattered to finally get a mention (albeit in the guise of my Evo alter-ego), I'm really NOT the colossal pervert and internet stalker some may portray me to be!*

BTW I didn't see any sentence ending with *** which means I'm not sure what you meant by the olive reference!

*Although as you point out, definitions are somewhat subjective!

12/1/2011 02:48:31 am

Of course I mentioned your alter ego. It may be a touch inappropriate accusing respected members of society of being colossal perverts and internet stalkers!

The truth is I sometimes get the feeling you think I'm more interesting than I am (probably because I'm a desperate attention whore).

Regarding my poor editing, I so often write these with little planning or reviewing that now I cannot imagine what the *** was about. I suspect it was my theory of trying anything twice rather than once.

12/1/2011 08:05:00 pm

Respected member of society? Hang on there, missy! I'll not have you slander me in such a vile way! ;)

I guess that's entirely a matter of opinion. You have chosen to share a good deal of your life on-line and your blog is one I read regularly, but I treat it more as a friend telling me what's been going on in their life in a catch up session than anything else. Whilst not all the subject matter is enthralling, I find your writing style makes it an entertaining read (and a distraction from getting some work done).

Not sure if that makes me weird or not!

12/1/2011 09:03:57 pm

I have a two scale definition of weird.

Level one: Cross-referencing the garage in the background of a photo with Google Earth to work out exactly where the person in the photograph lives.

Level two: Being the subject of this investigation, taking it as a compliment and deciding to marry the person.

I'm level two kind of weird.

12/1/2011 09:48:03 pm

Well I'd do neither of those, so I guess that makes me "normal"! Although I suppose we all have our little proclivities!


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