Keeri who loved humans

Keeri who loved humans
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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Child-birth

Child-birth - No, nothing medical about this one. This, I am writing for Mellisa who is going to become a mother for the first time, probably on the eleventh of August:

   I had my first baby at home in India. All I remember is my lack of faith in the family faffing around and trusting only to the mid-wife, who came and went. She must have had several on the go that day. The doctor, a lady (what else in India?) turned up twice during labour. She was newly qualified and a friend from school-days. That visit felt more social then professional. 

   Afterwards I had a feeling of messiness and not enough disinfectant, though the house smelled of Jeyes fluid for many days after. I always felt unclean, with the primitive sanitary arrangements. My son wet my bed and later, soiled it constantly and I had to find the dry spots wherever. Never again here, I said to myself.

   My doctor visited again after a month and left a baby-book by Benjamin Spock, from which I learned to do up a nappy properly. Dry beds after that, thank God.

   I had luck on my side - and I hope Mellisa is also blessed - in that I did not have to have stitches or Caesarean or any intervention at all. The labour was long as you would expect of a primie. But being India, I was not to mention it to any man who came by. When the next-door man came by, I had to pretend that I had no contractions. He had too much to say that day, all of no consequence, while I winced and prayed for him to go, go GO!

   My second child born in Sree Lanka took all of one hour to appear. The doctors did not expect him quite so soon and I had to shout for assistance at the last minute. But there were many doctors and nurses about in Dr Abeyasinghe's pristine nursing home. I had no complaints. Except, my husband struggled to pay the final bill and I had to wait an extra day in the hospital while he borrowed the money at high interest.

   The third baby, born in a remote bush-hospital in Anua, Eastern Nigeria, was a revelation. She was two weeks late and arrived calmly. She was a happy baby who rarely cried. The Irish nuns made me feel that nothing could go wrong and nothing did. I listened to the noises of a woman suffering eclampsia in the early hours of the morning, in a room not too far away, but the Sisters there were so unruffled I knew she would be alright.

The fourth was a painless labour, because I had learned the method from a book I had picked up in W H Smith's in Victoria, by Erna Wright. I was in a lovely nursing home in Enugu and there were four doctors in attendance, who simply could not believe that there was no pain. The pain came later - I had three days of depression and hysteria after the birth. I think my uterus had had enough and I decided to give it a rest for good.

I enjoyed all the babies and think of those months as the happiest in my life.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

In theThroes of Labour

I have to laugh! America is scared of Socialism - when did we go the same way? For Heaven's sake! Members of the labour party are running scared - a few threaten to leave. 

   Of course the ones who find Socialism unpalatable should leave; they have no place in a Labour party committed to economic and social justice. They'd probably flourish amongst the Tories or even Nick Clegg's handful of Liberals. 

   Indeed a purge of the Party of all those who do not believe in the fundamental principles of original labour - the labour of Atlee, should be send on their way with relieved blessings.

   It appears we have three right-wing parties in Tory, Liberal and New Labour these days. The anything -to- get-into-power brigade. Abstaining on the Welfare Bill? That tells you how frozen-in-the-headlights they are. Sad.

   I do not believe the first priority of a Party is to get into power, the argument being, how can you achieve change without wielding the power? Stuff and nonsense! A Party is about representation - speaking up for the people and principles. For Labour it should be about the working class and the downtrodden. Eventually, the message will trickle into all sorts of nooks and corners of established blinkers and votes will begin coming.  Allegiances will become forged.

   At eighty, I shall probably never see another Labour government. But, if Labour comes into power, it has to be the right kind of Labour. And that is what Jeremy Corbyn is offering. We need staunch opposition, based on conviction, not expedience, in Parliament. We need a Party, which can excite the imagination of the young and the thinking. We need an opposition that fights iniquity every inch of the way, whether it comes in the shape of Boris' crazy plans, which benefit no one but his cronies, Osborne's efforts on behalf of the already rich, or silly Cameron's fumbling, dissimulating and fudging.

   I believe Corbyn is giving new hope to people like me. Go, Corbyn, Go!