Other than a baby, the only thing I really hoped for this month was that my cycle would calm down into a more predictable beast. Call me an impetuous and crazily optimistic fool but I was simply hoping that a good diet, no caffeine, no alcohol (ahem), accupuncture and agnus castus might start retraining my body to be a good little child. But instead, I am replicating the patterns of last month by today commencing the first in what will be several million days of spotting before the real flow gets under way some time in 2011.

Meantime, I have returned from my week’s retreat away from the humdrum panic of baby making and I can honestly say what a real-treat it was – I’m here all week. I squirreled myself away in a deep valley with no mobile reception and only a vat of jaffa cakes, my novel and fifteen women over the age of sixty for company. When I next moan and moon about being lonely in the company of my bootee-obsessed friends from whom I feel perennially estranged, please remind me that women of a more geriatric nature are much more relaxing. They have either had their children and moved on with life, or their chance of having children has passed and they have moved on with life. It is as refreshing as a dip in a Hawaiian waterfall to have a week’s conversation about bread, jam, writing, politics (the comparative advantages of The Conservative Party’s Daniel Cameron to The Liberal Democrats Norman Clegg – if there’s one thing a woman over sixty ain’t so hot at it’s remembering names) and people you hate.

From now on I’m joining the ranks of the old and wise and greying woman; literally the grey-silver lining on this month’s otherwise water-logged cloud.

Happy first year of trying to have a baby, to me.

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