"At the beginning of 2010 I came across my diary from last year. I had a quick flick through and was hit with the realisation of exactly how much my life has changed since January ’09. My diary is littered with words like ‘Golden Globes’, ‘Baftas’, ‘Brits’ and ‘The Oscars’ – all of which my working life revolved around...

Fast forward a year and my January is barren. The pages are a wasteland of days and dates and woefully empty pages. My poor, poor moleskin must have been sobbing into its perfectly intact spine at such a pitiful sight..."

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Bright Futures

One of my most favourite people in the whole world had a beautiful baby girl today. Welcome to the world, little Isabella Burl, to a future full of endless possibilities with your incredible mummy and wonderful daddy.

This time last year thinking about the future for me was too much to contemplate. The thought of housing a real, actual person, no matter how small, was enough to send my brain into meltdown. And imagining the task ahead – of expelling said small person out of my body and into the world was just too major to comprehend.

This year the future is all I can think about: Weaning, teething, coming off the boob, going back to work, nursery, pottery training, walking, talking, schools… But it doesn’t stop there. My mind runs away with me and before you know it The Baby’s a delinquent teenager and I’m on HRT.

Woah Nelly, right? But I just want what’s best for her, as every nervous new parent inevitably does for their first born. And while my future contemplation is magnified by the forthcoming move out of The Big Smoke, I wonder, does it ever stop? Or will my life forever be full of thoughts constantly bouncing two steps ahead of the next?

The Moon Pig is thankfully oblivious to such deep thought. All she needs to concentrate on is the next mouthful of mashed banana, or how many dogs we’ll count at the park. Her future’s so bright she needs herself some sunnies. And as long as I can keep it that way, I suppose we’ll be a-OK.

What's In A Name?

Kaila-Rose Coral Colombus currently has nicknames a-plenty: Babysaurus Rex, Little Lady Norks-a-Lot, Trumpet Bum, Monkey Bum, Splodge, Midget, Moon Pig, Squishfest, Tiny Dancer, Gypsy-Rose and Kiki, to name but a few.

But her first ever nickname comes to mind today…

On this day last year I thought I was going to lose my baby. I was nervous. I didn’t know what was going on. The receptionist at the doctors told me there were no appointments, and I started to cry. When I told her what was happening she called a doctor who was on her lunch break. The doc saw me, gave me a reference to the Royal Free, and told me to get there immediately. Anyone who’s ever been to the Free knows how much ‘immediately’ can turn into three hours, but within 20 minutes I was being seen by a midwife. On the drive there I tuned into three different radio stations, all of which were playing Pink’s Please Don’t Leave Me. I sang along with tears burning my cheeks and a pain in my heart that I’d never felt before.

That was my first pregnancy scan, and the first time I really realised I was going to be a mother. When, after what seemed like an age, but in reality was only a couple of minutes, I was told there was a heartbeat in my belly, I burst into fresh tears. A whole new world of indescribable feelings swept over me – relief, thankfulness, protectiveness, sureness and love. I looked up at the screen, saw a tiny round blob, and called her Peanut.

Handbags and Gladrags

There was a time when handbags were most oft used for dancing around. Gone are the days where I could chuck in a lipstick, cash and keys and bowl out the door, ready for a night on the town. I can’t even remember what I didn’t have in mon sac last year, but my-oh-my, it was tiny. Sometimes I even left the house with a clutch purse! Imagine!

These days I pretty much need to haul around a suitcase alongside la bebe. We are prepared for every eventuality, from poo stained attire (change of outfit, inc. vests and socks in case of major butt explosions) to ravenous mummy who didn’t have time to eat lunch (granola bar/chocolate buttons). There’s a change purse, real purse, bib, baby wipes, muslins, nappies, sudocrem, toys, teethers, hats, shoes… I could go on. Not even Mary Poppins is prepared as I am these days.


This time last year I was probably starting to pork out a little bit, with the beginnings of life starting to blossom in my uterus. I wasn’t chubby though, and you defo couldn’t tell I was preggers. Up until about this point I had enjoyed being a gym-going, diet-loving size 8.

My, oh my, how things have changed. While my booty was beginning to enlarge a year ago, now I have enough junk in my trunk to travel the world. Twice. Baby got back. (Me, that is, not the actual baby. Her flab folds are cute as opposed to repellent). Seriously though, KR, yo’ momas so fat she go to the cinema and sit next to everybody.

My hen night dress was a size 6! And while I admit there may have been a little pre-wedding starvation going on, it’s a good story to tell the grandkids ain’t it?

I jest. You may be able to tell in my past life that I really cared about things like flat tummies and non-wobblesome bot-bots. Now, I wish I could travel back in time and give that slender, toned biyartch a slap upside the head and tell her to chill out and eat some chocolate. Life’s just too short.

The Most Dangerous Place In The World?

I had to call the police today. On my way to Hampstead I walked past a young blonde woman viciously beating an old Asian man. I panicked – I had a baby with me, what should I do? If I go over, Kaila-Rose might get hurt. If I don’t the old man is going to get even more hurt. I shouted across the road and the blonde stopped kicking and punching, and made towards me.

Thank god for traffic. It’s just a real shame that out of all the 50 or so people driving past, craning to get a look at what was going on, not one stopped to help. I turned to a guy sitting at the bus stop and asked him to do something, or call the police. His response? “Nah mate, I’m just watching.” I turned back to see the blonde headbutt the old guy. Blood was pouring down his face. Bus stop guy said: “She’s gone mental. F*ckin’ brilliant innit”. I called the police.

Around this time last year I called the cops too. It was 3am and a man and woman were fighting just outside the flat. She was kicking and hitting him, screaming “Why don’t you just f*cking hit me then!” Eventually, he did. I called the police.

When we first moved into the flat, we called the police. Within a few days of being here we came home to find our home broken into, trashed, and robbed. They took all the jewellery my Nana left me.

I am sick of this sh!t. Of the crack houses, the dog-fighting, the gangs, the smack heads outside B&Q, the pikeys in the pubs and the local schools with metal detectors.

That all might have been OK when it was just me that ran the risk of danger.

Thank god for the traffic – if that woman had come anywhere near me and my baby, who knows what I would’ve done.

Cricklewood isn’t the most dangerous place in the world, but the ground between mother and child most definitely is.

On The Right Path

Today when I was walking down the road, pushing the Moonpig in her buggy, there was a single feather in our path.

It reminded me of when I first arrived in Sydney, fresh off the boat, penniless and slightly burnt out after some serious South China travelling. I hadn’t yet met up with any friends, was pasty and unfashionable in stark opposition to the bronzed Bondi beach goddesses, had a bed in a dorm that smelled like vomit, a rucksack full of cockroaches and a vague snobbery about the Australian 18-30s-esque travelling scene.

While mooning around Glebe I met an aged hippy (y’know one of those leather skinned, Tibet flag waving, yoghurt weaving Aussie types) who stopped me, picked up a feather that I was about to tread on, and said “There’s a feather in your path. That means you’re on the right path.” He said that it was from a spirit guide. I was a bit like “Err, I have to go and… stand over here now…” and brushed him off as being a loon. But what he said stuck with me and I remember him better than I remember the scenery of the Blue Mountains, the 4-wheel drive on Fraser Island or the yachts in the Whitsundays. I obviously was on the right path back then in 2002, otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am today, married to The Kiwi and with a down-under half-breed inhabiting our lives.

This time last year the only thing in my path was a foot – one in front of the other. Plodding along on the same old relentless routine: Morning news, news on the radio, newspapers, newswires, Sky news, news briefs, news meetings, writing news, editing news…

It’s true that you lose part of yourself when you become a mother. But I think perhaps I lost myself before that, amidst the coffee cups and post-it notes; red carpet invitations, film premieres, press releases and invitations to Bungalow 8.

Perhaps that feather on the streets of North West London was nothing more than a rabid pigeon shedding its filthy winter coat, and perhaps that old yoghurt weaver was just a stoner with an avid imagination.

But a little part of me likes to think that maybe, just maybe, this is my destiny.

GUEST POST: Where Did I Go?

By Louise Perkins

About this time last year I was 35 hours into labour with my first child. The nurses wheeled an empty crib in to my room. Apparently, my bub was going to be placed in it sometime in the near future! It sat across the room from me and I’m sure it winked. I was thinking: “Sure I’ve spent 9 months working up to this, but it can’t actually be true? Me a mum? My bub in that crib? Woah!”. I was still battling to place it in my mind as another contraction took hold…

Finally, after an epic 42 hour labour there she was in my arms, a perfect baby girl. Moments after the birth, the midwife squeezed my boob very unceremoniously. Miraculously, out came milk and bubs munched happily away for the next hour as if she’d been doing it forever, and as if nothing insanely traumatic had just happened to both of us.

So what next? A nice Becks and lie down? I think not. All I can say is, pregnancy is like 9 months of being on that up-hill climb to the pinnacle of a massive roller coaster. From birth on (and that’s the moment you give birth, not a nice 12 hour nap afterwards when you’re rested and ready, thanks very much!) it’s all free fall and you have absolutely no control over your life any more.

I won’t bore you with the typical sleepless nights, stinky nappies and sore nipples stuff, which although very near killed me, honestly speaking, was not what shocked me the most about motherhood. What shocked me the most, and I guess still shocks me a year on, is figuring who the hell I am now? I no longer have a minute in the day where I can be ‘me’ any more. I am a 24/7 robot programmed to serve the needs of its master. I have no choice in the matter, my life as I knew it is irrelevant. I’ve just got to do whatever it takes to keep my flesh and blood, fed, clean and safe at all times. Nature seemed to have neglected to consult me before setting the wheels in motion on that one.

This time last year, who was I? Well, I was someone who’d travelled the world more than once, had worked as a tour guide in Asia, started writing a book, rode camels in the Sahara, drove a beat up Kombi van around the coast of Aus, got a degree, taught at University, got her nosed pierced (several times), ate rats, snakes and pigs brain in the Mekong, survived dysentery alone in India… and Nepal, loved to read, loved talking philosophy, saw live music, ate out every other day, phoned my friends… more than once a month… actually socialized… in person!! And now…

Well now, who am I? I work harder than I ever had, have longer days (and nights) than I’ve ever known before. The thought of travelling again is a reality that’s slipping through my fingers a bit more every day. I’m now know as someone’s Mummy and ‘primary carer’, not a jet setting adventurer who follows her own path in life, not the Cultural Anthropologist, guitar playing, hippy, wanderer of the world, free spirit and muncher of Asian oddities. Just a typical Mum, living in the burbs, changing stinky nappies, rinsing spew off her fresh clothes, then getting spewed on again 3 seconds after changing… you know the drill.

Talk about identity crisis. One I’m yet to figure out to be honest. But ‘losing myself’ has bought me the greatest privilege I could ever know. In getting lost, I found the most amazing person I know. Every day she changes and evolves. Every day she eagerly learns a plethora of new things, she has life milestones every week, she trusts everyone she meets, she wakes up smiling and is the most honest and true being ever to cross my path. I challenge anyone to compete with such a list of achievements! Every day I’m amazed and filled to bursting point with love for my gorgeous girl. To my recollection I can’t remember a single thing that came even close to this feeling in the 28 years of my life prior to Motherhood. Identity crisis, yes… but worth it? You bet!

Brangelina Vs Bath Poo

Things I said this time last year:

“There’s a rumour that Amy Winehouse is going back into rehab… Can someone please get onto that asap? Need a reputable source to run with it. Get onto it please.”

“Just heard that Brangelina have got married in secret! Check it! Need pictures! GO!”

“Apparently Britney’s got a new boyfriend – someone get on the phone to LA ASAP! You have 30 seconds to get this story up! LESS CHIT CHAT MORE WRITING!”

Things I say now:

“There’s research that babies shouldn’t be weaned until 6 months though… Can you Google that? What does Annabel Karmel say? Can you check now?”

“Kaila’s sitting up for the first time by herself! Check it out! Get the camera! GO!”

“Apparently it’s fun to poo in the bath. Uh-oh, that’s a lot of poo – can you get me a towel ASAP! You have 5 seconds until our baby is engulfed by her own poo. It’s spreading! TOWEL!”


Last night was spent watching Lost, the ninety millionth episode of its seventy fifth season. Or thereabouts. Last year I was doing the same. This year I’m all, “What? What did he just say? What does it mean?” Last year I was saying the same thing. In fact trying to work out what the hell all these freaky dudes are doing on this random Island has been keeping me awake at night since I was 24 years old. The only difference this year is that I’m not sure how fit Sawyer is anymore. He used to be number one in my Top 5… Now I’m not sure if it’s me that’s changed, or if he just isn’t the hunk he was in the olden days.

Anyways, the end is in sight (23rd May, to be precise) and just in case you haven’t managed to keep up with the ridunc-a-dunculous plot, I thought I’d be nice and summarise it for you:

Season 1: A plane full of well fit birds and blokes crashes on a tropical Island and it’s all crazy and exciting. Something about giant polar bears and OMG Sawyer is the most delicious thing you’ve ever laid eyes on.

Season 2: Crash survivors, make-up still intact, fight with dirty, sweaty land-clan, aka The Others. Something about a hatch and Sawyer becomes a permanent Top 5 fixture worldwide.

Season 3: Is this about heaven/hell/purgatory or the science of time travel? Do we care? Or is it more important that Sawyer gets all hot and sweaty and takes his shirt off?

Season 4: An escape off the Island and Sawyer’s shirt is back on. Bah.

Season 5: A whole lot of time travel, mascara still intact, and are we nearly there yet?

Season 6: Too many crashes, Others, time travel escapades and romances with Kate than my poor brain knows what to do with. However, the end is in sight. I’d like to say I’m excited, but quite frankly this programme is more exhausting than bringing home a new baby.