The cherries and the elf

It’s past 10.30pm. I can only take my blood pressure medication – 500mg Hypotone, a magical yellow disc that fixes almost everything – at 11.30, so I need to stay awake until then. That’s perhaps just as well; I’ve slept a lot today – a response, possibly, to the relief about yesterday’s uric acid levels and the drowsiness caused by the increased medication. I managed to get some work done on a shower gel overview, but I can’t claim to have been especially productive.

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 10.52.22 PM


Cherries, my husband and my mother have determined, can reduce uric acid levels. There are none in season, so I’m eating tinned cherries until they’re coming out of my ears. I open the tin and rinse out the syrup, then scoop them out with a plastic spoon that came in my Netcare baby goodie bag (along with bum cream and baby shampoo). In the absence of being able to take anything – blood pressure can be treated with medication, but not uric acid – the cherries have taken on a magical quality. Edible amulets, if you like.

To pass the time this evening, I have been painting. Earlier this week, I painted a commission for a client’s birthday, so I have my lipsticks with me. Tonight I used them to paint a portrait based on one of the 4D scans from Tuesday. It took me ages and ages of fiddling, trying to get every line exactly right.

Cherry Elf

I create a patch of colour, then rub at it with one of my makeup wipes, then replace the colour, then rub. It is a slow, iterative process. The slightest mark changes everything. Around her face, I wrote a message reminding her that I’d like her to stay exactly where she is right now. There are butterflies, a bateleur eagle and a couple of tiny galloping horses.

Tomorrow morning, early, someone will come to take blood. I hope the results are good. To our dearest little elf: all I want is to give you the best possible start in life. The thought that I might not be able to is what makes this so hard.

Here’s holding thumbs.



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