Sunday, December 16, 2012

For the love of chocolate


Gentle readers, while you swoon with desire over the offerings above, let me say that the pic was taken over 3 years ago. I only have a 1kg slab of Dairy Milk and a monster bar of Toblerone in my 'fridge.


Anyway, here's some seasonal cheer for all my readers....

Chocolate is actually good for you!!!

Many thanks to Medscape and my friend Dujeepa for this heart warming compilation.

Slide 7.

Perspective (the small print)

In a commentary on Medscape,[35] Henry Black said, "What does that mean to us? Does it mean that we should start eating chocolate? Does it mean that we should prefer dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate or white chocolate? Perhaps. If we are going to recommend eating chocolate, we would like to be sure that we get the right kind. It is possible that there's something here that we actually like to do. We have to make sure that we watch the calories, that we don't gain too much weight, because we're pretty sure that eating too much isn't good for you either."

As for the Nobel Prize-winning chocolate eaters, Dr. Black added, "This is a bit tongue-in-cheek, and I want to congratulate the New England Journal of Medicine for having a sense of humor."

  1. Flammer AJ, Sudano I, Wolfrum M, Thomas R, et al. Cardiovascular effects of flavanol-rich chocolate in patients with heart failure. Eur Heart J. 2012;33:2172-2180. Accessed November 19, 2012.
  2. Golomb BA, Koperski S, White HL Association between more frequent chocolate consumption and lower body mass index. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172:519-521.
  3. Brown T. Frequent chocolate consumption linked to lower BMI. Medscape Medical News. March 26, 2012. November 19, 2012.
  4. Zomer E, Owen A, Magliano DJ, Liew D, Reid CM. The effectiveness and cost effectiveness of dark chocolate consumption as prevention therapy in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease: best case scenario analysis using a Markov model. BMJ. 2012;344:e3657.
  5. Grassi D, Desideri G, Necozione S, et al. Protective effects of flavanol-rich dark chocolate on endothelial function and wave reflection during acute hyperglycemia. Hypertension. 2012;60:827-832.
  6. Messerli FH. Chocolate consumption, cognitive function, and Nobel laureates. N Engl J Med. 2012;367:1562-1564.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Back... and more!

Dearest readers... many apologies for my long silence, 3 months and more as reminded gently by Megs.

In summary though, I went to TN, came back completely unscathed and then drowned in a load of work and baby stuff. I completed my UK accreditation in higher education and submitted my portfolio for my postgraduate exam. The little Bumtrinket turned 1 and there was much joy and celebration. My finances lie in ruins due to big bash and indiscreet spending on luxury items for self. The Nanny abandoned us and I have been struggling for nearly 3 months without any household help... the one candidate we did find ran away (I kid you not) 2 days later and there was the whole shebang of filing police reports and what not.

So yeah... here I am a shadow (only figuratively - still am overweight  of my former self. Let's see if I can get this blog back on the role...


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Strange times

I guess many of you know about the deplorable events that took lace in Tamil Nadu and the travel advisory issued on travel to that state.

Um... so.... yeah....

I'm in Tamil Nadu...

Await updates!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Past few months...

ZOMG... where has all the time gone? I can't believe it has been over three months since my last post and so so much has happened! Ok, so this is just a peed post to get everyone (if there are any readers left) up to date...

  • The little Bumtrinket is 10 months old (TEN months, you guys, ten whole months!). She's gurgling and laughing and has just started to get teeth and pulls herself up to standing position and then flops down. Cannot yet differentiate between "Ammi"  and "umbrella".
  • I am worked off my feet, planning 3 big conferences for the latter part of the year... wish me luck!
  • Have lost a grand total of 3 kg and have like a gazillion more to lose. Am terrible about working out on the orbi, and Darling keeps saying "no pain, no gain" while my take on it is "no pain, no pain!" But 3kg is good, right?
  • My mum is back in SL - for good... this is SUCH a relief. We all need the mummy touch now and again.
  • I have not (repeat, NOT) completed either of the 2 PG courses I simultaneously (and recklessly) commenced last year. The final extension for both is September... wish me luck!
  • Someone very close to me passed away recently. I did all I could to save her, and yet keep getting haunted by feelings that i should have done more. Still tear up at the memories... :(
  • I've discovered Pinterest... loads of time wasted spent on the boards, and have finally started pinning myself. Await an overload of cuteness!

That's just a precis my friends... await more mediocre posts awesomeness soon!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Linguistic woes

Image from here

I had a great strategy for IELTS. I paid the exam fees and borrowed a stack of books and CDs, and planned to prepare leisurely over 2 months. As with most things in life, other matters got in the way and one week prior, I was yet to touch the stuff. Well, the solution was simple... I would just postpone the exam. Unfortunately, not only did this require an additional payment, it would be done only in the case of illness, death of a close relative or being the victim of a crime. 

I just couldn't bring myself to submit a fake medical, so I ended up speed reading through the sections and hoping for the best.

The written test went ok, except for a section of the listening test which involved a chap with a thick Scottish accent explaining how to get a fishing licence. The spoken test was the following day and having looked through some past papers, I was well prepared to speak about my hobbies, books, a favourite movie or TV show etc.

The examiner was pleasant enough, despite having to be there in the midst of a sudden downpour, and undoubtedly suffering from the effects of wet socks. I beamed at him, eager to show off my  superb linguistic skills. After the general chit chat, he proceeded on to the main topic.

John*: What are the principal export products of your country?

Angel : (on autopilot) tea, rubber and coconut**
(dammit! this is what we get from our rote learning oriented secondary education... parrot like repetition of what was learnt 15 years ago)

John : And where are there products exported to?

Angel : (wildly improvising) Um... tea is exported to China the Middle East and Coconut to Singapore and Malaysia. I really cannot remember where rubber is exported (hopes desperate smile will evoke sympathy).

John : Ah... and do you think your country needs to rethink its export policy? One would imagine that there are plenty of coconuts in Malaysia.

Angel : (swearing silently) Errr... we only export the coconut oil to Malaysia. Because of the palm oil industry, they don't produce coconut oil there (at least this is partly true)

John : Quite so. Shall we move on?

Angel : (relieved beyond measure) Of course.

John : Can you name a product manufactured outside your country that you would like to purchase?

Angel : (glibly) oh, I loved the silver earrings I bought in Bali... I would love to buy more!

John : Ah. Can you speak for 2 minutes on that product and why you wish to purchase it?

Angel : (obscure four letter words running riot in head) Um... errr... well... what I like is the intricate filigree work, which is, you know, very intricate (patriotism kicking in) but of course Sri Lankan silver is quite intricate as well and has very delicate filigree work too and... (remembering topic) ... ah but Balinese silver doesn't tarnish (mental facepalm) and the filigree is very intricately delicate too... and (thoughts going haywire) ... errrr... the Balinese silver doesn't have embellishment with gems as seen in Sri Lankan jewelry, but only delicate filigree work which is wonderful because I don't like wearing gem stones (remembers that earrings crusted with the despised gemstones are currently adorning ears) and  ...uh... it's very unusual and I like it, as all women want to wear unique accessories because then all their friends can envy them (realize that have single-handedly sent back the status of women to the 18th century). Um.

John : (eyebrows raised) And do you often purchase this product?

Angel : (completely disheartened) Um... no. Because of the state of the economy, i can't afford to go to Bali.

John : (with indecent haste) Yes, I think we should conclude.

Angel (insincerely) Thank you.

So, after that completely humiliating experience (I mean, how many times can one person mention the words "intricate" "delicate" and "filigree" in a single breath?) I came home, vowing to re-take the exam, even if it meant parting with close to half my salary.

I got my results a few days ago, and unsurprisingly, have scored the least marks for the spoken test. In fact, I was rather insulted by the paltry marks given by the examiner, who obviously does not understand that the auto-wittering is entirely involuntary. Besides, he should not have marked me down for lack of content when my vocabulary contained great words such as "filigree", "intricate" and "delicate".

 However, I seem to have compensated well, as my overall band score is 8.5 (hurrah!)

All's well that ends well... I guess!

* Not his real name of course
** No gentle readers, I did not remember garments. Even though Darling worked in the garment industry for years. JP's post was just too late!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Once upon dream

I had the greatest dream last night...

I dreamt that I had enrolled in a clinical trial designed to test three different types of (heavenly smelling) bubble bath in order to find out which was most effective in shedding off extra fat.

Image from here 

This would mean that I would get paid to spend a couple of hours everyday soaking in a hot, luxurious bubble bath, and end up with a wonderful, toned body to boot...

Why, oh why is my real life nothing like this?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Too much!

I remember rolling my eyes at the Aunty Brigade countless times... and never more so than when they're discussing the cheeky and charming antics of their twee offspring and twittering that "Aney the little one is too much, you know!"

And now I find myself in those same (slightly dowdy shoes). My little Bumtrinket is "too much"... just too mischievous by half. She's constantly making me giggle... and constantly testing her limit (like most kids). She's sitting up and rolling around and just starting to crawl... but hasn't quite mastered the skill. This doesn't seem to faze her and she moves by plonking her face on the bed (or mat or whatever) and squirming forward, bottom in the air, rather like a worm wriggling ... it's hilarious!

The little Bumtrinket has also learnt how to undo her diaper. She scratches at the adhesive tabs and gleefully rips them off. This is usually done when she is on our bed and needs to pee. She undoes the diaper... then rolls out of it and on to the bed... relieves herself... and then rolls over again. By the time I notice, the diaper is on one side, there's a large wet patch on the bed and she's on the other side, butt nekkid and grinning toothlessly at me.

At other times, she just eats her diaper. That's right, my daughter eats her diaper. I have caught her countless times... tabs undone, diaper pulled up from under her bum and her excellency chewing thoughtfully at the border.

I tell you... my child is just too much!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tummy blues

I've just been discharged from hospital.

After getting food poisoning... again.

Last time was Shigella in all its bloody horror, that nearly resulted in a miscarriage. So actually, this episode seems like a cushy ride in comparison.

This time of the year is just bad for me and my alimentary tract.

Maybe I just need to change my food choices...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Lost in translation

I recently bumped into a batch mate B... we weren't the greatest of friends in Uni, but it was amazing how pleased I was to see him.

He - typically - had a comment to make about the extra weight, and jokingly said I had lost my "cute mousy look".


And then I remembered. 

New experiences do not generally faze me. During the first few weeks of Uni, much of the time reserved for dissections was spent wandering around the dissection halls, plugging into random conversations and generally making friends.

On one occasion, B was telling a story about himself... hilarious and told with much self-deprecating humour. After I finished wiping tears of mirth away, I patted him on the cheek and said ඔයා පවු (poor you!). Trust me not to realise that this can be taken as an incredibly personal gesture. Soon afterwards, he blurted out ඔයාට අය්තිකාරයෙක් ඉන්නවද? (do you have an "owner", i.e., boyfriend). The tubelight clicked, I mumbled a confused no, and then scuttled away.

B later told another (new) friend that " Angel මී පැටියෙක් වගේ cute" (Angel is like a cute little mouse). The friend decides to report this exciting new development, but unfortunately chooses English to convey this message of (what she assumed was) ardent admiration. She said:

"Angel, B said you look like a rat".

I spent the rest of the year giving B the stink eye.


Yes, some memories will make you cringe no matter HOW many years have passed.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


So... I'm never ever  going to talk about blogging more.

Because we ALL know how that works out...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 7 progress report

Alright everyone... this is me trying to a) avoid loneliness and b) keep motivated

  1. Number of blog posts - 2 (needs improvement)

  2. Number of days went on the orbi - 6, number of times collapsed after 2 minutes - 3, time spent on orbi - between 4 -12 minutes a day (hurrah!)

  3. Number of times snacked on fruit - 1 (not v.g.)

  4. Number of times snacked on buttercake - 0 (hurrah!)

  5. Other snacks - fish pastry (1), fish roll (1), biscuits (daily), kavum (2), kokis (7), mung kavum (1), curd and treacle (3) - but surely allowed as family alms-giving?

  6. Number of times fantasized about extra-cheesy pizza, spaghetti carbonara and submarines - 127 (terrible)

  7. Number of times ordered from above places - 0 (exemplary)

  8. Progress on IELTS - ridiculously large sum plonked down as exam fee (not v.g.)

  9. Strain on credit card - almost at limit (impending financial crisis)

  10. Progress on diploma, world peace and lunar excursion - none (not v.g.)

  11. Number of times emailed pics to Darling - 6 (excellent)

  12. Number of emails from Darling - 0 (sad)

Stay tuned for more updates...

And yes, I AM chanelling the spirit of Bridget Jones (v.g.)

Monday, March 12, 2012


My father and brother have both ingested cyanide.

Please read the info-graphic below while I have a meltdown.

How did this happen? I spent most of this morning pacing up and down... asking myself this question, asking my father this question and yelling this question out to the multiverse in general.

My aunt had sent a food supplement* from abroad... and my dad mistaking it for a fruit snack, ripped open the packet and was liberally offering it to all at home. I declined the first time I was offered, and the second time, my brother told me it tasted vile and was best avoided.

On a chance phone call with my aunt, I find out that this product is actually meant for a relative with cancer, that the active ingredient ("vitamin" B17) is actually cyanide. In addition, there was a warning message on the back of the pack stating "eating 2 or more kernels can cause acute cyanide poisoning".


By this time my dad has eaten six, my brother two and the Baby's nanny had popped three in her mouth but spat them out because of the taste.

From that moment, I was hyperventilating and in a total frenzy, reading up on the internet, making frantic calls to the National Poisons Centre and blasting my dad for not reading the package or the instructions that they were meant for our sick relative.

Happily, none of them had any acute effects, but I loaded them with vitamin B12 (antidote, usually given by injection) and will be getting their blood tested for a couple of weeks and keep an eye out for nasty effects.

What gives me the shivers is that I could easily have eaten it and it would have passed on to the little Bumtrinket, with disastrous effects. We would have known nothing until she suddenly stopped breathing or her kidneys packed up or something. I was shaking all the time and didn't stop until I burst into tears, hugged her and let all the misery and fear out.

Today's lesson: always ALWAYS check what you eat, especially if it is something new or unfamiliar and keep yourselves safe!

* I am not naming it for ethical reasons, i.e. someone may be tempted to try it

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Impending doom...

... is the feeling I get when Darling has to be abroad for 3 weeks (no.... NO....!!!!) with me and the little Bumtrinket left behind, all lonesome.

Darling is my emotional bolster, my persistent motivator and my kindest cheerleader. Without him, I have a tendency to fall into a rut of misery and wallow there for ages. In an attempt to remain positive, I have decided to draw up a list of things to do and not to do and paste it on the wall, to keep me chipper over the 21 days.

  1. I will not mooch around the house eating krisco and del chips
  2. I will not order daily deliveries from Pizza Hut/Bayleaf/Dinemore
  3. I will use the orbi for at least 10 minutes everyday
  4. I will not use the orbi as a convenient clothesline
  5. I will blog more
  6. I will finally get around to submitting an article to the Reader's Digest
  7. I will take daily pics of the Bumtrinket for D's viewing pleasure
  8. I will snack on fruits instead of buttercake
  9. I will brave the next clinic visit - solo
  10. I will finish my diploma
  11. I will sit for IELTS
  12. I will promote world peace
  13. I will single handedly place the Sri Lankan flag on the moon

Um... so, yeah...

Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Magical moment

I needed to change my top, so went and grabbed one from the cupboard. As I shook open the folds a lovely butterfly flew out! It was bright yellow and about 2 inches long and went fluttering around the room until I opened a window and let it out. I had no idea how it got there or for how long it had been there...

...but isn't that delightful?

Certainly made my day!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Quotable Quotes - part deux

At the risk of turning my blog into an everlasting "I am sooooo fat" whine, I just have to share these...

You've become so fat I didn't recognise you from behind
- Baby cousin on why he passed me on the road without offering a lift

You've doubled in size... I didn't recognize you!
- Family optometrist, while checking Baby's eyes

Are your hormones ok? You're abnormally fat
- Family dentist, drilling into tooth - sans anaesthesia

You haven't gained weight proportionately, your tummy is much flabbier than your butt
- Boss's secretary, trying to find the cloud in the silver lining

I'm not giving you any increments until you get back into shape
- Boss, adding to injury to insult

Seriously... everyone seems to be an expert on my flab.... :/

Thursday, February 16, 2012


It's been a messy week... and TGIF is all that I can say.

image from here

The Bumtrinket developed an eye problem and even though some people went "nah, can't be!" I was antsy until it had been properly assessed. I mean, it's her vision for goodness sake, how can I risk being complacent? So anyway, that meant a lot of worry and substantial time on hospital and a few more tests we have to get done this weekend.

I then had to turn in a couple of assignments, and two more are due by the end of today.... gah! Having a lot of trouble concentrating and on again-off again headaches.

Worst, I have to go back to work today as my maternity leave is over! Can you believe four months have passed? I should be able to get my leave extended... I'm hoping and praying. It breaks my heart to have to leave her and go and it's been a mad rush to bathe her and express and store milk, worrying all the while. Darling has put leave so that went a long way towards allaying my anxiety.

Adding insult to injury, none of my saree jackets (which fit throughout the pregnancy) fit me any more! I'm just too frazzled to alter them. Thank goodness for ready made jackets!

Will be needing a lot of positive energy today!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Waffling around

Does anyone remember Waffler's? That place down Duplication Road just before you reach the British Council? They used to serve delicious savoury waffles and had an open kitchen so you could see all the yumminess in the making. No? Oh well....

So yes, I had a great birthday, and thank you to all my friends who commented and wished me!

Yes, there was cake, the absolutely scrumptious type made by Mrs. G at Carlville Place... all soft and moist and slathered in chocolate icing. The Bumtrinket couldn't take her eyes off it, and I swear she was drooling all over her little shirt because I was too mean to share it with her! :) Some of my dearest friends popped over, and we had a great time talking about the "good old days". Better yet, Darling remembered how much I love cheese eclairs, and ordered some from Sponge, so my cup was full and overflowing.

Throughout the day, I was craving waffles. I loooo...ove waffles, the savoury ones for preference and used to be a devoted client of Waffler's. Perhaps they went bankrupt after I failed to drop by on a weekly basis. I make nice waffles too... used to, anyway. It seems too much of a hassle these days to clean out the waffle iron, search for the hand mixer, measure out the ingredients etc.

Colombo has many places that offer up waffles, but few that meet up to what I truly desire.Coffee Stop does an ok one, but it's very thick and only has sweet toppings. Thaprobane also offers up waffles during their Sunday Brunch, and these are much thinner and crispier and you have the option of walking around the buffet in search of creative toppings. But this would mean springing Rs.2000/- for the whole buffet and a bit of a waste if you're only interested in waffles.

Coco Varendah serves up a savoury waffle topped with sausages, bell pepper and cheese which is just awful! The dough is heavy and the waffle is hard so you have to chew through it untill your jaw aches. Sensal (Nawala) has freshly prepared waffles which are very nice, but also only have the sweet toppings. Oh, and avoid the caramel sauce at all costs. The Commons also had nice waffles, but the quality has gone down as of late. Waffles etc. at ODEL was also a bit of a let down. I mean, these aren't too bad, but a waffle is basically flour, butter milk and eggs. if you're dishing out Rs. 300-500/- for a waffle, there has to be some value for money.

After much... er... waffling, I decided to give harpo's another chance and try Park Street Mews.

ZOMG!!! Their ham, mushroom and cheese waffle is the best I've tasted... ever! It's quite large and filling, the waffle is crisp around the edges and soft in the middle. The cheese oozes over everything. In the words of Elizabeth Gilbert, I love that waffle so much, I believe it loves me in return. Waffles are only available from 3-7pm, BUT they were nice enough to make a couple from us "after hours".

If you like waffles, then this is a must try!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


... and counting...

And first as a Baby Mama!

Happy Birthday to Me...! :D

Thursday, January 26, 2012


... is when you you get the most terrifying toothache and you're shrieking with your entire jaw on fire

... and the dentist realises that local aneasthetic is not safe for breast-feeding mums

... and then drills through your tooth anyway without aneasthetic!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Back in hospital...

... the Dutch hospital, that is!

Took a leaf off Indi's book for this image, as all others I found were copyright

After weeks and weeks of hearing, reading and looking at pictures, I finally managed to go and check it out for myself. First impressions were like "wow, Colombo cleans up nice!" as I made Darling drive round and round the environs with me hanging out of the window in true Banda (Bandi?) Kolamba giya style.

The Dutch hospital was simply breathtaking, with the tall pillars and the massive wooden beams. With Bubs firmly strapped on to my chest, we proceeded to walk around, drinking in the colours (especially at Odel and Barefoot) and the smells (not such a fan of the cigarette smoke, though).

My second impression was an eerie flash back to the days spent in training at the Angoda mental hospital, now the National Institute of Mental Health. The same high vaulted ceilings, the same inner courtyard, the same massive walls and large windows, albeit with stout iron bars across them. I could just imagine how it was, centuries ago as pallid seamen and other patients lay on mats against the walls.

I loved the decor at the Hilton run restaurant ... and decided to order from their somewhat limited menu. All I can say was that I was really disappointed with the chicken schnitzel, the meat had been pounded so thin it resembled not so much a fillet than a slice of salami and the accompaniments were kinda meh. It compares very poorly with the one served at Urban Kitchen (Arpico, Hyde Park), which is not only nice and meaty, but comes with delicious hummus, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and cheese. Dee has a review of other foods here.

We then went to check out the Heladiv tea club, which was charmingly decorated (a blue chandelier, I kid you not!) and smelled amazing. We decided to skip the tea and just take some dessert home as the Bumtrinket was going all kolavery di. The death by chocolate cake made a serious attempt to live up to its name. Although slathered in nice gooey icing, the cake itself was unbelievably thick and heavy (helloooo, baking powder?) and I swear I could feel it sitting like a rock in my stomach a good hour later. The chocolate eclair was slightly dry and an absolute rip off at Rs. 190/-., even though it had a fresh chocolate cream filling. Galle Face Hotel does a larger eclair with fresh chocolate cream for Rs. 50/- which is heavenly as long as it is fresh (choux pastry is nasty when stale). CJ sampled some other stuff on their menu, and his views can be found here.

On the way back we popped into Chocoluv, which had opened an outlet at Gregory's road. The ambiance was marvelous with shiny piles of frerro roche chocolate, fresh flowers, lots of mirrors and butterfly cutouts suspended from the ceiling. We had a frerro milkshake and a kinder milkshake, which were absolutely scrummy, and at Rs.250/- value for money.

Yup, that was a pretty good day! :D

Monday, January 16, 2012

Quotable Quotes

Image from here

- Angel accusing the weighing scale of unjustifiable bias

How come you still look pregnant?
- Darling, throwing all sense of self preservation to the winds

No abdominal exercises for 4 months
- Gyno, disregarding impassioned plea by Angel

You don't look like you've ever done crunches
- Gyno, adding insult to injury

It was the baby!
- Darling, trying to conceal the true origins of a large burp

You're a thumb-sucking "Choo"-bacca!
- Angel, looking at the 15th wet nappy for the day

Apologize immediately!
- Darling, voicing outrage at the flippancy

To the Bumtrinket, or to Chewie?
- Angel, seeking clarification

You're a very hydrated young lady
- Darling, trying to minimize the emotional fallout

Someone - and I'm not naming any names - has done the poop
- Angel, detecting a certain pungency in the air

Yes, all stinky-poo
- Darling, adding his 2 cents

She's the most gorgeous girl in the world!
- Darling, watching the Bumtrinket smiling toothlessly

Yes she is!
- Angel, relinquishing her title without a moment's regret


Inspired by The Circus

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

7 dead bodies...

... lay there under the harsh light, waiting to be disposed. All victims of the same killing spree, they had died within minutes, if not seconds of each other. Limbs were crumpled against their still forms, yet even in death, their torsos sowed the bloated evidence of their bloody and parasitic existence.

Image from here

Gentle readers, I killed three mosquitoes yesterday. So what, you may ask, it's three less mosquitoes, but no big deal. It was a big deal for me though... it was the first time in seventeen years that I had deliberately, with malice aforethought, killed another creature.

Yes, I'm one of those* people. I let mossies suck my blood while I move to a window or doorway and flick them off. I fish spiders out of toilet bowls. I catch roaches in silisili bags and throw them out. I painstakingly remove each little ant before I wash a neglected teacup.


Yesterday morning, my baby woke up with nearly 20 livid scarlet bumps all over her little body... on her face, arms and legs. Despite our best efforts, a bloodsucker had got in through the defenses of her cot and spent a merry few hours feasting on her. I was heartbroken at her plight and furious with myself for not detecting the creature before such damage was done. By evening, she began to develop a reaction around the bites, and her entire skin was turning a deep and angry pink. The poor little thing was quite distressed and cried for nearly an hour, and worse still, refused milk.

In my paranoid state I was thinking of all the dire possibilities from some sort of mutant dengue, to chicken pox to Kawasaki disease. Her doctor confirmed that yes, these are nasty insect bites causing an allergic reaction and she was then slathered in calamine lotion.

I covered her with her net, checked that the edges were firmly against the bed and went for dinner. When I came back, a fat, bloated creature had somehow wriggled inside and was buzzing around, clearly replete. I felt nothing but sharp clear fury (not my daughter, you bitch!**) as I squashed it to oblivion.

Later, as the body count mounted, I felt a sort of sick remorse... but my daughter is more important (to me) than a swarm of pests.

Where do you draw the line when in comes to avihimsa (non-violence?)
* no, I'm not vegetarian, but I do try... I eat meat maybe 2-3 times a week, usually in the form of pastries and pizza topping.

** Molly Weasley, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows