My Bundle Of Joy: Part Five

This is the fifth part of a fiction serial, in 750 words.

After a lot of arguments about what to take to the new house and what to recycle to charity shops, Olly decided we would take the lot, and sort it out later. He got some estimates from removal firms, and decided to splash the cash on one that came in and packed everything carefully into boxes. To be honest, that was a relief for me, as I was now getting to the stage of feeling unreasonably tired when I had done next to nothing.

When the paperwork started to come through regarding the sale and purchase, it was something of a revelation. Moving to a cheap house in the suburbs was going to make us comparatively rich. Don’t get me wrong, we were already lucky enough to not only cope well, but live a very comfortable life. But our mortgage was going to be less than half of what we were paying then, a lot less than half, once we used some of the crazy profit from how much our flat had increased in value.

With the move imminent, I was starting to feel a tightness in my clothes, and noticing the considerable bump appearing above my knickers. As well as the natural weight increase allowed for carrying an admittedly tiny baby at the time, I was eating as if the world as going to run out of food at any moment. And with Olly resisting the urge to complain about eating crap like doughnuts and pretzels, I was stuffing myself like somoene heading for a gastric bypass.

Leggings became my friend too.

Once I realised that skinny jeans and pencil skirts were no longer going to cut it, I went down the route of ‘comfortable’ flared skirts and maternity tights. That didn’t last long, and soon I was embracing cheap leggings like a single mum of four on a council estate in Manchester. And then my only maternity craving kicked in, when I least expected it. I thought it had arived too early, but my mind and my mouth both told me it was the perfect time.

Fish and chips. Something I hadn’t eaten for years, and certainly not since meeting Olly. Not only the fish and chips, but the huge gherkins and pickled onions that went with it. Then I covered the whole lot in salt, until it looked as if I had dropped my dinner at the beach. I could scarf the lot down like I was a refugee or something, and it wasn’t unknown for me to add a battered sausage to the order. I was sure our little girl was depriving me of fat and salt, and it was very easy to ignore Olly’s head-shakes of disapproval as he slowly ate a sensible salad.

I didn’t give a shit.

Of course, names came up. My mum was delighted at the prospect of a granddaughter, and knew enough that it would not be named after her. She tried the names of so many relatives on me, I asked if she was just reading them out of her address book. To be fair to Olly, he said he would leave it to me. But only after I rejected his suggestions based on female names in The Lord of The Rings. I wanted something short, and easy to call out. I mean, who do you hear shouting “Stop that, Philomena” in a supermarket? Unless you live in Chelsea or Weybridge, I suppose.

One morning, I woke up, and had the name in my head. Leah. You couldn’t really abbreviate it, and it was easy to say. Not that it was that rare, there were quite a few small Leahs around. But it seemed to me to be perfect. Olly actually liked it, even though he thought it didn’t go with the double-barrelled surname. “Leah Mackie-Woodman, does that work, Ang?”

I replied instantly, in the affirmative. “Works for me, Olly love”.

My mum loved it, Olly’s sister loved it. And my brother couldn’t pronounce it when he saw it typed on a text message.

When the men arrived to start packing up the stuff, they said we could go and leave them to it. But there was no way someone like Olly was going to let that happen. It took hours, and when we were finally following their huge truck into the suburbs, I decided it was time to give Olly the bad news, something I knew he was dreading.

“This Citroen has to go, Olly. It’s just too unreliable”.

39 thoughts on “My Bundle Of Joy: Part Five

  1. I enjoy the references to different places, and it must make your British readers smile knowingly. A dear friend who hails from England announced the she had finally found a restaurant that serves authentic fish and chips. Of course we went there to eat. Yes, they are really good!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Funnily enough, I am not a huge fan of battered fish and chips, Jennie. My wife loves it, but I often find it too greasy. By far the best fish and chips in my experience is to be found in the northern town of Whitby. Ask your friend if she has ever visited that holiday town. 🙂
      https://www.quaysidewhitby.co.uk/
      I have kept location references to a minimum in this serial, as they will only have any relevance to British readers. It is set in a ‘city and its suburbs’, and that could be anywhere in the country.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I will definitely ask my friend. She’s from Sheffield. I love how she says “me Mum” instead of “my Mom.” I understand keeping the setting to city and suburbs, although I did enjoy the references you made. Best to you, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the part about cravings. In pregnancy, I could not eat the home cooked food because the smell of cooking meat made me nauseous. So I took to biscuits…too many of them to be healthy. And boiled vegetables…i still kind-of like it! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a great chapter, Pete…the physical outside world and the inner workings as she goes through these stages of pregnancy as well…name sounds great to me, so just to confirm: she got the name and he lost the car!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good to hear we not supposed to like Angie(yet), Pete and poor Olly so far he has got the short end of the stick… should we tell him that could get worse? I wonder what surprises the new house will reveal …so far so good…:) x

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  5. (1a) When it comes to moving, it’s easier to take the house than to take the lot.
    (1b) “I could scarf the lot down like I was a refugee or something.” Refugees eat dirt?
    (2) I’m reminded of an old joke I came up with many years ago: “When I’m next to you, I feel like I’m next to nothing.” (How do you interpret that?)
    (3) Out of the flat, and flat out rich.
    (4a) Angie wrote down “pencil skirts” on her shopping list, and then erased it.
    (4b) Gender Studies 101: “Girls don’t have pencils.”
    (5a) Bad citation: “A single father of four on a pencil estate in Womanchester.”
    (5b) Gender Studies 102: “When Chester became a woman, he lost his pencil.”
    (6) “I didn’t give a shit.” it wasn’t the fish and chips, the gherkins, the pickled onions, or the battered sausage that gave Angie a severe case of constipation. It was the salt. Always blame the salt. (You can take this comment with a grain of…)
    (7) I would have named the baby Jackie because…Jackie Mackie-Woodman works for me.
    (8) “This Citroen has to go, Olly. It’s just too unreliable.” Angie has already got the ball rolling by getting rid of the tréma. Next, she planned to get rid of the e beneath it. The car would then be a citron, even though Olly insisted it wasn’t a lemon. Finally, she intended to get rid of the ci. But Olly said he didn’t want to ride a light cycle inside a Disney computer.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was feeling a bit sorry for Olly until he ate that salad, slowly, while she was gobbling her fish and chips. I kind of went off him a bit then. Angie? It looks like the jury is out on her at the moment. You’ve got us all gripped, anyway – even with anyone getting killed.

    Liked by 2 people

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