Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year

Sorry - I've disappeared to the wilds of the highlands of Scotland to celebrate Hogmanay with O's family which is why I've not been in touch. Will return to tell all in the 2010.

Hope you all have a wonderful time...........

I can't wait for 2010 we're getting married eeeek!!!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas


(mistletoe from here)

Mwahhhhh mwah
(thats kisses not evil laughter)

Wishing you a very merry Christmas

lots of hugs and kisses
see you on the other side!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Wherever I lay my head that’s my home….

When I talk about going home for the holidays or the weekend I’m talking about going home to Leeds. For the last 20 odd years my parent’s house has been my home although I’ve not lived there for the last ten years and O and I have owned our own flat for the last 3 years. I think this may largely stem from the fact that they’ve been in the same house for the last 35 years and so I was essentially born and bred in that house. Where is home for you? And if it isn’t still your parent’s home then when did this change?

O is home with me for Christmas for the first time, this is our first Christmas together - I'm quite nervous/excited I hope he will enjoy himself.

*I hope you don't get this about 3 times it published before I was ready (like 4 days before I was ready)

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Driving home for Christmas


(from here)


Tonight we are driving home for Christmas, top to toe in tail lights....

In our new car (new to us).

We were sad to let the old car go but not too sad as it has not been very reliable. Very grateful to have a new car considering the amount of driving we will be doing over the next week.


Weather permiting that is, doesn't look hopeful at the moment!
Please don't burgle our house there will be two scary (scared) cats there to look after the place.

When I'm at my parents I won't have easy access to the internet and they don't know about the blog so please excuse me if I don't respond to your comments or leave comments on your blogs I will catch up when I'm home.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Christmas memories

So the lovely Rebecca at Daydreams in Lace has started a little tag for anyone and everyone who wants to join in. All you need to do is visit her blog read her great post about Christmas memories and write a post about your favourite Christmas memories on your own blog – be sure to let Rebecca know when you’ve posted so that we can all enjoy.

Here we go then…….

I’ve a feeling that Christmas is going to be a bit strange for me this year. It is the first year that O and I have spent Christmas together so we need to start some new traditions.


Singing – for the last 5/6 years we have been visiting York Minster for the 9 Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve. We might not be a religious family but we are respectful and it is nice to be reminded that this holiday means a lot more to many millions of people than just gifts and over indulgence. #2’s boyfriend came with us for the first year, last year and bless him he was quite nervous about it. “I can’t sing” he said, “excellent, you’ll fit right in” we can’t hold a tune, we are trying to figure out where my nephew has come from (he is head chorister at his school although that may all change when he hits puberty). Getting to the Minster is like a military operation. The service is, understandably, very popular you have to get there about 2-3 hours early to bagsy your seats. We take the Christmas crossword with us, wear lots and lots of layers and send members of the party out in shifts for the toilet and hot chocolate.


Christmas stocking – we always get a stocking, until I was about 17 it would miraculously appear at the end of my bed on Christmas morning, my Mum would wait up until everyone was asleep and sneak in like when we were tots (usually without waking us). She has stopped sneaking into the bedroom since we’ve either been working Christmas Eve (pulling pints in the local pub) or there are boys in our rooms. The stocking presents used to be really fun, but as we have gotten older and life and presents have gotten more expensive the presents haven’t been quite as successful and so they have now become a bit of a family joke. Ever since we got the ping pong ball gun we’ve not really taken them seriously, last year I got an electric eye lash curler – I’m terrified of it. Guaranteed though there will be a tangerine, chocolate money and a shiny 2009 pound coin in the toe.

Opening presents, before boyfriends/husbands came along, we would sneak into my parent’s room and clamber into the middle of their bed to open up our presents. This year we’ll open the presents downstairs in front of the fire.

Food preparation – it is my job to prepare the sprouts. Chop the end off, peel back some leaves and make a cross in the bottom. Not at all difficult, the only problem being that I hate sprouts! My parents work like Trojans preparing the Christmas dinner so it is all hands to the deck for the clear up while they go and put their feet up.


Christmas cake – my Dad is in charge of making the Christmas cake (and Christmas pud) and we usually indulge in a slice in the evening after the earlier meal has subsided. Now here is an interesting bit, we have a slice of cheese (cheddar or Red Leicester) with our Christmas cake. I think this is a North East tradition that my Mum has imposed on us. The only people I have ever found who eat cheese with their Christmas cake are members of my family…..anyone else? No? You should try it, ‘tis lurverly.


O and I went for a walk in the snow yesterday and we were talking about Christmas day.

What time do we eat? Around 2pm sometimes later, generally the plan is that you eat as much as possible so you don’t want any more food in the afternoon. O’s family start eating at about 5pm.

Apparently O likes to go for a run on Christmas morning. That caused me to pause and give him the am I really marrying you look? Weirdo! Run on Christmas morning, what before or after the champagne and croissants. Actually from me it is more of run at all? Ever?

image of york minster; image of Christmas stockings; image of Christmas cake;

Friday, 18 December 2009

Weekend


(from here)

Happy weekend everyone - especially Rebecca who I hope (fingers crossed) is having the weekend off to get her "dress". If you don't already read Rebecca's blog Daydreams in Lace then please go and have a nosey.

This is my 100th post. Who'd have thought I would have so much stuff to share. Thank you to all you lovely people who are here reading and commenting.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Should you blog about love?

I was reading Glamour on the train this weekend and among their survey results I saw this:

Should you blog about love? 69% of Glamour readers say no

Hmmmm considering I'm blogging about my wedding, love tends to have a way of creeping in - or why the hell am I putting myself through this?

O knows about the blog and although I don't check what I post by him, if he didn't like what I wrote it would come down immediately. I'm pretty sure I know O's boundaries well enough to know what he would and wouldn't be happy about me making public.

Do you have any such concerns? Do your posts impact your relationship at all?

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Suggestions please.....

O is vegetarian, I'm not and none of my family are. O is coming home to my parent's house for Christmas for the first time this year. The first time we went home to my parents, which was probably the first time my Mum had ever had to cook for a vegetarian she made him potatoes. 3 different types of potatoes, I think there was dauphinoise, boiled and stuffed potato skins but essentially just 3 lots of potatoes - thankfully O likes his potatoes. My Mum has got much better since then - she makes a mean veggie lasagne. However Christmas dinner is quite a big deal and I don't want him stuck with potatoes again!

So lovely readers I'm looking for suggestions for your favourite vegetable dish at Christmas time, one that we can all enjoy (to take some of the stress away from my parents).

Oh and if anyone has a suggestion for veggie gravy (other than a jar of dried powder) - I'm sure I read a mushroom gravy recipe somewhere but I can't find it and can't remember the instructions.

Many thanks in advance....

Monday, 14 December 2009

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree



Our little Christmas tree, O got this tiny branch from nearby woods. He made a stand and decorated the tree (and the lamp behind) on Saturday while I was out "dress" shopping.



What I love the most about our little tree is that it is vanilla scented! In with the Christmas decorations there was some potpourri (no idea why). O didn't realise what the potpourri was and used it to decorate the tree! After I recovered from my fits of laughter I decided to go with it. O did say that he wondered why there were no strings to hang these scented baubles from the tree! Do you like our potpourri snowman which tops the tree?

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Hands Up


(from here)

Hands Up everyone who loves the weekend.
I'm especially loving this weekend as I'm off work for two extra days.
Hurrah!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Home decorating – don’t get too cocky you never know what is round the corner

O and I are good with our money (a whole other potential post topic), some might call us tight (I’m from Yorkshire it’s a term of endearment down there). We have a good amount of savings and we shop around and think through purchases before we buy. So early last year we got a bit cocky, we had quite a bit of money left over one month and it was our two months free from council tax (our council allow us to pay our council tax over 10 months so we get 2 months free every year – obviously not free free because we pay more for the 10 months but it feels like they are free months). So one Saturday we decided to go a bit crazy and buy a Nintendo WII, we’d played at friends' houses and really wanted one. We did very brief research and found the best deal at the shops near us. We excitedly walked to the shops, picked up our WII and took it home, unpacking it all and spending a pleasant evening playing.

The very next morning I was on my way to the loo minus glasses so the world was a bit blurry, I glanced into the living room and noticed a strange blurred patch on the wall that wasn’t usually there. I went and got my glasses and O and I went into the living room to discover black dirty patch on our wall. The rain had stopped, so the water wasn’t running at that moment but it clearly had been. O went into the loft to explore and found some very wet patches in our loft. So having been so smug in our cleverness with money we had to pay out roughly the cost of the Nintendo WII to a roofer to come and patch up the cracks in the chimney stack and replace the few loose slates that we’d lost in the wind. I believe this would be commonly referred to as sod’s law! Oh and to add insult to injury we don’t actually play the WII, we did for the first couple of weeks but we just aren’t computer console type people – we should have realised this as it is the first console either of us have owned.

Today's lesson - plan for emergencies and don't get smug because the world will kick you in the ass.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Give Blood



(from here)

O and I gave blood today, we aim to give every 3 months. There is no donation centre in our town so we need to wait for them to come to us. It gives me a good feeling to give. Not physically good as I'm usually tired afterwards but emotionally good like I've done something to help a stranger. It also makes me good to see the queue out of the door of people wanting to give. They come from all walks of life, students wait next to builders and people in business suits. We are all there for a common purpose and we wait in a friendly patient manner until it is our turn.

Oh and there are lots of free biscuits!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Home Decorating – Don’t let my Mum out the house

I love my Mum and her and my Dad have worked tirelessly to help us with our decorating. She does also have a penchant for embarrassing her daughters – I firmly believe that it is every mother’s right to embarrass their children and I intend to continue the family tradition to the fullest extent when/if our own children come along. So how do you combine decorating with my Mum’s skill at embarrassing me?

The decorating machine had moved on to thinking about the bathroom – O and I both love bubble baths and were desperate to have a bath in the tiny bathroom that we have. We knew it was possible as we were told when we bought the property that they had removed the bath and put in a shower cubicle to make it safer and easier for the little old lady that lived there. We had a vague idea of how it might all fit in but the maths wasn’t really stacking up. How do you fit a bath, toilet and sink into a room that is the length of a bath and the width of two baths? We had tried a couple of bathroom designers to see if they could come up with any creative ideas of how to fit all these things in – they all asked if we really wanted a bath, seriously why do they do that? We are the customer we are telling you what we want why are you questioning our sanity when we want to reduce the floor space of our bathroom to about a foot?


(we joked about trying to find something like this to maximise space
- I didn't realise it actually existed! From here)

My Mum then came up with the great idea that we should go and look at the neighbours’ bathrooms to see how they had fitted everything in. At this point we’d lived in the flat for over a year and we knew the neighbours to wave to, we’d say Hi but we’d never been in their homes, and I didn’t know the names of most of them. O at this point refused point blank to go anywhere with my mother (she has to become mother now to illustrate how mortified I was). Take note that we’d been decorating in another room for most of the day so were in old filthy clothes and looked like we’d been dragged through a hedge backwards. Seriously if some mad looking woman turned up at your door and asked to see your bathroom what would you do? Slam the door in her face would probably be my reaction! But no our neighbours are amazing and they all said yes, please come in (there were some very strange looks and quite a bit of hesitation), as I trailed red-faced after her.

There is unfortunately no denying that there has been huge benefit from this ordeal. We have completed the bathroom renovations (although it didn’t go smoothly) and are starting to look at the kitchen (probably after the wedding) but I now know what my neighbours’ kitchens look like (once she was in their houses there was no stopping my mother) which is helpful when planning our layout. I know all the neighbours’ names and although I’ve never been invited back into their homes (strange that) we are much friendlier in our waves.

So today’s lesson – my mother has no shame but she gets the job done.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Home Decorating – Don’t get comfortable

First of all some background for you, we live in a 1920’s four in a block ex-local authority 2 bedroom upstairs flat. Ex-local authority = big rooms (except the bathroom).

There was nothing “wrong” with our flat when we moved in, the walls were all structurally sound, the heating had been replaced 2-3 years previously and a new kitchen and bathroom had been installed around the same time. It just wasn’t to our taste. Which is apparently my taste, it is amazing what you learn when you start living with someone, we’d already lived together for a while before we bought our own place but it was a furnished flat that we couldn’t make changes to. So what I discovered when we moved into a place that was ours, where we could add our own stamp, was that O doesn’t understand decorating. He didn’t see much wrong with the nicotine stained wood-chip wallpaper and 4 different colour carpets we have over a relatively small square footage (can you tell I over-reacted in total dismay). He is not lazy at all he just didn’t understand why it needed changing, so I just told him what needed changing, how to change it and he got on with it. I’ve had to explain to him a few times the difference between living in a place and enjoying living in a place and making a place lovely to live in.

But still, we have been very slow with the decorating, partially because it was our first home and DIY was new and scary. My Mum and Dad have been the biggest instigators of the decorating activity and without their constant offers of help – and them actually just turning up at the door with dust sheets and a wallpaper stripper I don’t think we’d be as far along as we are. You see we just seem to make do. We have two huge rugs, one of which has covered the horrendous carpet in the kitchen since we moved in the other is a recent addition and covers the carpet in the living room. We have an extra dresser type cupboard (I’m trying to make this sound nicer than it is) in the kitchen to make up for the lack of storage space. And we have a map on the wall in the kitchen to cover the boiler shaped hole that was created when we moved the boiler – it wasn’t making a great feature in the middle of one wall.


Decorating is very expensive especially for the big things like carpets or kitchens and I would not recommend getting into debt to renovate a house that is perfectly liveable. I have a friend who is still paying off the cost of her decorating 4 years after it was completed – she is likely to have moved to a new house before she manages to pay off the work on the previous one. However don’t get comfortable and don’t make do. Or perhaps just be more motivated than O and I.


(Not our house, I wish our map made the room look as good as this - from here)

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Baby's perfect Christmas present


(from here)

Please buy these for any new baby that you know
They are foot finder socks, for when baby starts trying to get their feet into their mouths
And a rattle which can be attached to the wrist
I went to visit my new Mum friend recently and her baby boy loves them

Friday, 4 December 2009

Changing the Subject


(image from here via here)

So I think I might have overdosed on wedding posting for a while – I promise to update you if anything major happens but generally I’m just contacting suppliers, getting quotes and fiddling with our budget spreadsheet.

Trying to figure out how to make one day reflect us, our personalities and our relationship is quite a challenge – we’re very different. O and I have different hobbies (in that he has hobbies and I watch TV). We have different groups of friends, not sure when this happened probably not long after he left University. We used to be part of one huge group of friends (which is how we got together in the first place) but now these people have become Facebook friends – and even then Facebook is telling me I haven’t contacted them for a while and maybe I should write on their wall (none of your business Facebook back off, my relationship with my SISTER is just fine!).

I think I might just make the day represent a marriage ceremony and a party and if we attend then we’ll add our personality as the day goes along.

Sometimes I think about how different we are and wonder how we have kept this relationship going for so long, but then I just think maybe it is our differences that have kept us going.

Are you different from your partner? Do you do everything with your partner? Do you pursue your own hobbies or do you have joint hobbies?

Anyway what I wanted to say was that I’m going to change the topic for a while – hope that is ok?

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Big Nana's Chocolate Cake

After Miss T's comment on this post about her Bikki Grandma and Grandpa I thought I'd share with you my big Nana's chocolate cake recipe. First of all please let me clarify my Nana was a baking legend. She used to make cakes for charity sales and people would queue up early to buy her cakes. I’m not sure I would have made as many friends at University had I not been sent up north with a food box from my Nana. Her cakes were so delicious I can’t describe them appropriately.

All of the women in my family have made this cake – none of us can make it as light and yummy as my Nana did.



(image from here via here)

Recipe:
7oz self raising flour
8oz castor sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1oz cocoa
4oz soft margarine
2 medium eggs
5 tablespoons of Evaporated milk
5 tablespoons of water
Few drops of vanilla essence

Method:
Sieve the flour, cocoa, salt and sugar and mix
Rub in the margarine
Stir in the egg, evaporated milk, water and vanilla essence
Beat well (the mixture is very runny but just go with it)

Grease and flour two tins and divide the mixture between them
Bake for 30-35 minutes at gas mark 4 (I think this depends on your oven, usually takes longer than that in our oven).

Sorry these are the only instructions we have, my Nana didn’t measure anything. I’m not sure who managed to get these details from her, but I can’t imagine it was easy.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Love Stories - My Parents


(image from here via weheartit)

When it comes to marriage my parents are a huge inspiration to me. They had a horrible start to their marriage but they made it work and they are a true partnership.

My parents met very young, my Mum was 18 and Dad 19, they hadn’t been together very long when my Mum fell pregnant. (It is one of my Mum’s biggest parental achievements that she got her three daughters past 19 without being pregnant, we had safe sex drilled into us). My Dad immediately stepped up to the mark and was willing to stand by his woman – they’d made a mistake but he wasn’t going to run away. My Mum however didn’t want to pressure him into the marriage. She refused to get married and dug her heels in. Unfortunately my grandparents were of the old fashioned variety and kicked her out of the house. What she went through in those few months make my heart ache every time I hear about it (horrendous bed-sits and a very strange land lady). She eventually was just too exhausted and talked things through with my Dad and they agreed to marry. They agreed that they would divorce after one year and my Dad would have as much access to the baby as he wanted.

So at 19 years old and 6 months pregnant my Mum met my Dad at the registry office and they made it official. There are very few pictures of their wedding because it was such a horrid time for them both – they have only just started celebrating their wedding anniversary (and as they don't know about the blog I can't really ask them for photos). The pictures that there are shows my Mum in a bottle green skirt suit – and when I say skirt, only just. This was the late ‘60s and my Mum at 6 months pregnant wore a mini skirt to her wedding (to be fair she barely had any bump and she looked fantastic). During their first year of marriage my Dad worked 3 jobs while studying for a degree. My Mum tried to cope with a new baby and study for her own degree. I guess they never got round to getting a divorce. They are still together 42 years later, I think as time went on they fell in love, and their love has continued to grow. They have had some really tough times, when I left for university, leaving them with an empty nest I thought they would split up.

However what actually happened was that they suddenly started to enjoy each other a lot more. They holiday a lot, they both work from home (although they are both allegedly retired) they just seem to have a great time together. (My sisters and I joke about them spending our inheritance but we are all just happy that they are happy).

I want to have a marriage like my parents although O and I have had a significantly better start. What I want is the partnership that they have, the belief that you can go through some tough times and still come out the other side with a happier and stronger marriage.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Happy St Andrew's Day


O don't read - Still no dress

First of all apologies for the very short post on Friday I had guests arriving any second and wanted to get something posted before they got here. I hope you all had a good weekend.
We were pretty busy, O’s sister and her husband stayed Friday night they are expecting a baby boy at the end of January and were down to buy baby stuff. On Saturday I met my Mum and Dad in Edinburgh – they drove up that morning. O and my Dad went to see the rugby, unfortunately Scotland didn’t win and they got extremely cold.

The dress dilemmas continue – short version I still haven’t found the right one and need to continue looking.

Long version -
Firstly we went to Rachel Scott, Rachel was really lovely, we were the only ones in the shop so received very personal service. I liked two Alan Hannah dresses, the bodice of one (Bella) and the skirt of another (All that Jazz). Apparently we could get the two combined however they were both £1,800 dresses (way over budget) and I think I'd have come out with the Maggie Sottero Adele in the end anyway - although they were much lighter weight.

Then we went to Berketex and found a really lovely dress. It has straps, its light I'd be able to dance all night long in it. It's much more what I had in my head when I thought about my dress. It isn't perfect though, the sample dress was too big so I don't think it was an accurate representation. It is made with satin, and hides absolutely nothing - you can see the outline of my belly button piercing through the fabric which I don't really think is appropriate! But it does make me feel beautiful and elegant. Unfortunately they wouldn't let us take pictures and I can't find a picture of the dress online. It is by a designer called Christina Sposa called Bali.

Finally we went to Emma Roy to show my Mum the Adele. Unfortunately the shop was absolutely heaving (think my Mum might have been a little overwhelmed by this point and all the dresses were blurring into one) there were women and dresses everywhere. There was also a girl trying on the Adele which was off putting. I tried it on again and I do still really like it but it was much stiffer and heavier than the Alan Hannah dresses I tried on. They can remove some of the net underskirts to make the skirt less full. But the skirt is made of a very heavy fabric and that can't be changed.

It is killing me that I can't ask O what he thinks but he doesn't want to know anything about the dress.

So the search continues…………………………….

Friday, 27 November 2009

Happy Weekend Everyone

I'm busy busy.

Got my sister in law to be and her husband staying tonight and then my parents for the rest of the weekend.

I'll be back on Monday - hopefully with some pictures, feel like I've been a bit wordy this week!

Hope you have a great weekend. Let me know what you are up to.

x

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Wedding Traditions

I love reading overseas blogs, and I love having bloggers from overseas read and comment on my blog. It is great to have such a wide variety of opinions.

Earlier in the week Stacy from the delightful blog You Can't Take It With You posted about this gorgeous card box she had found. And I sat reading the post going: What is a card box? Do I need a card box? What do you use a card box for? Where will I find one? That is such a pretty box.......

May be I'm just a being a bit daft here......but What is a card box?

But there are lots of different traditions that we are embraced all over the world. I mean please could someone explain to me what Escort Cards are - I've seen lots of lovely ideas for different ways of doing them, I've just yet to figure out what they are used for.

And I imagine the tradition of having a chimney sweep at your wedding doesn't mean much to those overseas - in fact it doesn't mean much to me, anyone got a clue? I also imagine I will get horse-shoes from friends at the wedding - to wish us luck. Anyone having a scramble? We went to a wedding last year where they had one and it was hilarious.

So I thought I'd use this opportunity to clear up some mysteries about wedding traditions - tell me about some traditions you don't understand (hopefully we'll get some answers), some you are adhering to (why and what they mean to you), some that you aren't going to adhere to.

Some traditions are becoming wide spread, for example Save the Date Cards seem to be taking off in the UK.

My Mum really wants to send out Save the Date Cards (her bf's daughter got married earlier this year and they had Save the Date Cards - I've a feeling there could be quite a bit of comparison going on).
We're not all that fussed, we don't have guests coming from overseas and we have spread our date through word of mouth - so I told my Mum if she really wants them she could just write a note in her Christmas cards (which will only go to my side of the family). Her exact words - "I don't want to force the issue, it is your choice, but I really think we should send them, just a little card in the Christmas cards would be fine" - ok well if you really want to send them, I won't feel pressured - but you'll need to come up with the little card yourself because I would have just used a pen and written it on the Christmas card (sorry did that sound like petulant ungrateful child oops).
My Mum has been very good so far, you can tell she is itching to jump in and take over but she has been very restrained.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Love Stories - My Grandparents


(From here via We heart it)

One of my biggest regrets is not paying enough attention to the stories my grandparents’ told. However there are some special things I do remember which make me smile.

For my big* Nana and Granddad (my Dad's parents) their fourth date was actually their wedding day (we'll be getting married on what would have been their wedding anniversary). They met during the war and somehow managed to keep their fledgling romance going while my Granddad was deployed on service, only seeing each other while my Granddad was on leave. I can’t imagine marrying someone I’d only met three times previously.

With my little* Nana and Granddad (Mum’s parents) my favourite story was my Granddad’s chat up line the first time they met (so typical of him, he was a huge flirt). My Granddad was walking his Alsatian, Flash, in the nearby park, he walked past my Nana (a woman he’d never met previously) and Flash barked and went to sniff at my Nana. My Granddad pulled the dog back saying “Down Flash you’ve already had your breakfast”. He went home and told his Mum that he’d met the girl he was going to marry. From that brief encounter he knew – must have been love at first sight.

*we distinguished between our grandparents by height.




Tuesday, 24 November 2009

O don't read - More on the dress

I feel like I've lost my mind!
So something bad happened this weekend - I went dress shopping with two of my friends we went to Emma Roy and Pretty Woman (I have to say the service in both shops was excellent). I tried on about 15 different types of dress in different colours, shapes and materials.
The bad thing that happened is that I think I might have found "the one". Bad because it totally contradicts everything that I previously expected about my dress. The list has gone totally out of the window and that is messing with my head. My list was based on rational, sensible, logical decisions, and yet I had an emotional reaction to this dress (yes I realise how ridiculous that sounds, it's only a dress, but I didn't want to take it off).

Remember the disclaimer – I reserve the right to totally change my mind after trying on more dresses.

This is the dress Maggie Sottero - Adele

So lets have a look at the list;

The Wedding Dress List: Comfortable, No train, Not too big, Affordable, Off the rack or a sample, Structured but not too structured, No bling

Adele - has a train (which I would have cut down a bit), has a big skirt (felt big to me), is much more than I wanted to spend (but not more than I can afford) - then they charge you for alterations on top of that, not off the rack - will take 6 months to come in (the wedding is in July so just have enough time), has a full corset, no straps and the skirt is quite heavy, it was comfortable for the 10 mins that I stood staring at it but I'm not sure how comfortable it would be after a whole day. I think the only thing I've stuck to is the no bling (and even then it does have a tiny bit of bling).

A Tia (Benjamin Roberts) dress came a close second - see pictures of me in it here (hope the link works). I just didn't like it as much (perhaps because the sample was too big for me so I couldn't get a proper idea of how it fitted) - even though it is a much more light weight dress.

My Mum is coming to visit this weekend so she can see the dress.

So do I;
(a) Go for it (feeling extra pressure because they are offering 15% off if ordered before the end of November). Or,
(b) Go to a lot more shops and continue trying on - trying to stick to the list

I guess it is a head over heart issue - not sure which to listen to.

Apologies for the bracketed inner dialogue as always. Feel like I've got bad fairy/good fairy on my shoulders nagging in my ears - bad fairy saying go for the Maggie dress - good fairy saying explore your options and be sensible.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Don't install a cat flap!

(I should probably explain that we live in an upstairs flat - so our flight of stairs is right at the front door)

So there is no denying that our cats are a pair of big girls blouses who wouldn’t say boo to a goose and regularly get bullied by the other cats in the neighbourhood.

However it is very rare that they will allow another cat into their house (their territory starts inside the cat flap)! But on Sunday morning (4am) we had an intruder, I was woken to the unmistakeable sound of cats growling and screaching at each other, and it was definitely inside the house. So to prevent the further flying of fur I leapt dragged myself out of bed and went charging through to the living room shouting and hissing hoping to scare the b’jesus out of our intruder and get this monster out of our house (I should probably mention that I hadn’t put my glasses on and so couldn’t see a bl**dy thing). I managed to scare my own cat into the other room but on not hearing the cat flap rattle at a rate of knots I figured the intruder hadn’t gone anywhere – and right enough there was a whitish blur still under the couch. So more shouting, hissing, growling, clapping and stamping (our neighbours love us) from me resulted in the cat getting to the stairs, down the stairs and to the cat flap. More shouting from me and it made some pitiful attempts to get through the cat flap but failed so started coming back up the stairs meowing pathetically like I was hurting it! So I shut the door at the top of the stairs and went to get my glasses so I could see the imbecile that had broken into my house. Thinking that there might be something wrong with the cat flap (maybe it had locked itself shut?) I went down the stairs – nothing wrong with the cat flap – so I held open the cat flap and the intruder escaped with a skelped arse from me as it went past.

I object to foreign cats coming into my home to terrorise my cats
I really object more when they are too thick to let themselves back out of the house.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Random Question I

Ok so this isn’t so much a question more of a discussion point. I’m 7 months older than O. I graduated University the year ahead of him and he is born in a different year to me (not sure why I highlight this but it seemed important). When we first got together we got quite a few comments about him being a toy-boy and my being the older woman. 7 months people!! Not exactly a big age difference and I firmly believe that if he were older than me it would never be mentioned. I’ve never seen a relationship where age difference is an issue except for those outside the relationship.

Is there an age gap in your relationship? Does it make any difference to you? (Sorry these are very personal questions I may have overstepped the mark). Do you know relationships where the age gap is an issue?


(from here)

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Because I'm a big tease

This is not our venue, this is Fernie Castle. But I was seriously considering it for the TREE HOUSE!! Sorry I had to shout that bit but how cool is the Tree House. Do you think I can ask for a night there as a wedding present??!!:




Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Love in the modern era

O and I have been together for 6 ½ years and in that time we have seen some pretty big leaps in technological advancements. I went to University 10 years ago and took with me my very first mobile phone – which I mainly used for phone calls to my parents. I don’t think I sent my first email until I was at University either.
O and I would not have got together without the assistance of text messages. I got horribly drunk and made a fool of myself, using this as an excuse, I got O’s number from a mutual friend and text an apology which sparked a text conversation which led to a date and the rest as they say is history. If we had got it together a year later we would have probably communicated via Bebo before graduating to Facebook and then Twitter.

When we’d only been together for 5 months I left him with his studies and I spent two months travelling across Canada. We communicated and kept our relationship going through email and the occasional text, we literally didn’t physically speak for two months. When we started going out we didn’t talk on the phone very often at all. O still is scared of the phone – he hates talking to people he doesn’t know very well on the phone. He says it is because he can’t see their facial expressions so never know what they are really thinking.

I didn’t date much in high school and I was thinking the other day how difficult it used to be to talk to boys! Because you literally had to ‘talk’ to them, you couldn’t just text, poke or tweet them. You had to endure the awkward pauses in conversation where you desperately tried to come up with something witty. It took O and I a long time to get together and without text messages it would have probably taken much longer. What would we have done while I was in Canada?

Don’t get me wrong I love receiving letters through the mail (especially those that aren’t from the bank). I’ve still got all the letters that my family sent me during my first year at University. But now life is all about text messages, emails and for me blog posting. I still send O at least 2 texts a day and if he worked at a computer it would be a lot more emails. It is the instant thoughts that I want to tell him about and don’t have the patience to wait until I get home (plus I forget). Life is about instant communication, but also about thought through communication, you can take your time when responding to an email or text to make sure you really are letting your wit and brilliance shine through. Rather than in telephone conversations with boys where you just had to go with the first thing that came into your head. I’m glad I don’t have to worry about these things anymore.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

O don't read! My Thoughts on the Dress

So huge respect needs to go to Buhdoop for her series of dress posts here, here, here, here and especially the beautiful dress she has chosen. Here Buhdoop freaked me out, the day before I read this post I was writing this list in my head!
Disclaimer – these are my thoughts on the dress that would be suitable for me and our wedding. I have only tried on 3 wedding dresses so I reserve the right to totally change my mind after trying on more dresses. You never know I might end up with a huge pink meringue but somehow I doubt it.

The Wedding Dress List
(not in order of importance)

Comfortable – There is going to be some wild ceilidh dancing at our wedding and I need to be able to burl with the best of them. I was bridesmaid to one of my best friends and she was begging to be able to take her dress off by 10pm as the dress was too heavy. Luckily we managed to persuade her to keep it on until after the last dance, although it would have been funny having her finish the dancing in her pjs.

No train – I don’t want people worried about standing on the dress and I don’t want to trip over it while I’m dancing.

Not too big – I want people to be able to get up close and hug me on our wedding day, especially my new husband. I don’t want hoops and underskirts meaning they can only hug me from the waist up.

Affordable – I don’t spend a lot of money on clothes and I don’t especially want to spend a lot of money on a dress I will only wear for one day. I want a new kitchen more than I want an expensive wedding dress.

Off the rack or a sample – my friends are making me panic that I’m not going to have enough time to find a dress, I’ve been told it takes 6-9 months to get a dress made. In which case I need to find the dress now! Like right now.

Structured but not too structured – I need to keep the boobage under control but I still want to be comfortable with out too much scaffolding. (Thanks to Gee for the warning about buying a dress for the more well endowed girl). I’m kind of leaning towards straps.

No bling – I don’t seem to suit bling, and our wedding isn’t going to be very bling, we just aren’t bling people.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Our Venue

So we have chosen our venue, booked a date and the registrar is organised. Not too much more to do right?

Anyway I promised to tell you about the venue. I’d rather not reveal the exact location so I’m going to try and describe it. I thought this would be easier than it is, I’ve spent ages trying to write this and it’s going no where fast.

We are getting married in a castle! It’s a bit of a shabby chic castle – not sure the owners would like to hear it described as shabby but what I’m trying to say is that it isn’t Disney perfect and therefore just right for us. It is a tiny little place with 10 bedrooms built on the side of big hill. We get exclusive use so it will all be ours – handy when both families are travelling over 200 miles. The dining room is beautiful for the ceremony and hopefully the meal. I say hopefully as we are trying to persuade them that we will all squeeze in or we will just have to invite less people. There is a big hall where we will have a kick-ass party with lots of dancing and where the meal will happen if we can’t decide who to cut off the guest list. Although there isn’t a huge amount of land or garden there are plenty of places for photos both inside and out. The management team are sarcastic and down to earth – which also makes it perfect for us. We have managed to forgive them for the date mix up although it is fun to watch them squirm every time we bring it up.

Apologies that this is such a poor description, all I keep thinking is – oh it’s our venue and it is so perfect for us!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

The Joys of Cat Ownership I

The Owl and the Pussy Cat get on very well which is apparently quite unusual, both of them are dark tortoiseshells (their fur is black, brown, orange and blonde). The Owl does have a white bib and paws but the Cat is all dark. When we first took them to the vets we were asked if they were feisty. Feisty? They are about as far from feisty as you can possibly get. According to the vet dark tortoiseshell cats are the red-heads of the cat world. They tend to be fiery in temper and don’t play well with others.

Our cats are a couple of big pansies and regularly get bullied. How do we know that they get bullied? Because they get chased home. The cat flap rattles and you hear the thundering of paws as one of the cats reaches the safety of the top of the stairs. What you then hear is the bully cat outside battering at our cat flap rattling it back and forth as if saying “Come here and finish this you big pansy” (or so it is in my imagination). In the middle of the night it sounds like someone is trying to break into the house – not a good way to wake up.

Friday, 13 November 2009

I'm back & its the weekend

So I'm finally feeling more normal after being poorly last weekend.

Things I'm loving this week:


(From here via here)


(From here)

O bought me this jacket for my Christmas last year and I lurrrrvvvee it!! So cosy!


(from here)
Really like this centre piece

There you go, that is your insight into my totally random thoughts this week. Finally got some blog inspiration so coming up this week:

The Joys of Cat Ownership I
Our Venue
My thoughts on a Dress
Love stories
Another random question

Please let me know if you'd like to hear about anything else.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

It is the season for giving

I feel like all my Christmases have come at once.
 Buhdoop gave me this lovely award – thank you:




In this award I am supposed to detail 5 things I am obsessed with and then pass the award on to 5 other fab blogs:
1. Blogs and blogging
2. Strictly Come Dancing
3. Cats (I’d be a crazy cat lady if O let me)
4. Tangerines, Satsuma or Clementine
5. Woolly socks

From Rebecca gave me this award and the one below too:
 


For this award I get to answer all these quickfire questions about myself, and then pass it on to other people that I'd like to find out more about - I want to find out more about all of you so please jump in and answer. Here goes...
1. Your hair: curly and usually tied back
2. Where is your cell phone : beside me
3. Your father: practical and supportive.
4. Your mother: is the best.
5. Your favourite food: Italian
6. Your dream from last night: I don't remember
7. Your favourite drink: Hot chocolate
8. Your dream/goal: to see more of the world
9. What room are you in: living room
10. What is your hobby: swimming/Pilates
11. What is your fear: Going blind
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years: Having fun
13. Where were you last night: at home. Would have liked to be at the cinema seeing Men who stare at Goats but still coughing too much to be out in public
14. Something you are not: I’m not good at going with the flow, I like to have a plan.
15. Muffins: Chocolate
16. Wish list items: new handbag, cleaner, wedding planner, new sofa, new kitchen, new car, new carpets
17. Where did you grow up: Leeds
18. Last thing you did: went to work for the first time in a week – I hate being sick
19. What are you wearing: black trousers, black t-shirt and a fluffy grey cardi which sheds everywhere
20. Your TV: Spooks, CSI Miami, Strictly Come Dancing
21. Your pets: 2 cats The Owl and the Pussy Cat
22. Your friends: Brilliant
23. Your life: Good
24. Your mood: Tired
25. Missing someone: my Nana, she’d be so excited about the wedding plans.
26. Vehicle: a piece of crap! Which lets in water to the extent that the carpets are damp and the windows are always steamed to the point that you need to scrape the inside of the windscreen more than the outside!
27. Something you're not wearing: a necklace as I’ve a big scarf on instead
28. Your favourite store: Next for clothes
29. Your favourite colour: Blue edging towards grey
30. When's the last time you laughed: last night
31. When's the last time you cried: at the weekend being ill on your own sucks!
32. Your best friend: Going to become my husband!
33. One place you go over and over: Whitby
34. One person who emails me regularly: Nigerian Princesses wishing to give me lots of money in exchange for my bank details
35. Favourite place to eat: on the sofa

This award is Portuguese and translates as “Your blog is super cute"
Thank you Rebecca and Gaynor

Now to pass on all the love:

Lila Puppy
Everybody says don’t
What Helen did
Witty Title Pending
Red Boots

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Remember

This poem was among my Granddad's belongings.
The family story is that the poem was written by a man who was in the same hospital ward as my Granddad when he was injured during World War II.
(If anyone knows any other history to this poem I'd love to know)


A Moment of Silence


(image from here)

Today is Armistice Day and at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month I will be observing a moment's silence.


Today it is also 5 years since my Nana passed away. I can’t believe it has been so long. I miss her everyday.


Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Random Question

Which side of the bed do you sleep on?
Last week O and I watched the first episode of the BBC series Wonderland, The British in Bed (via iPlayer). The programme interviewed British couples, about their relationships, while they were in bed.




We both loved the elderly couple who had been married for 40+ years and were absolutely hilarious. Almost as soon as the programme started O noticed that some of the couples sleep on the wrong side of the bed, by wrong I mean different from us.

As you look at the bed I sleep on the left and O sleeps on the right (opposite to the picture). This is the same as both our parents and about 99% of the other couples we know. My sister #2 is actually the only person I know who doesn’t sleep on the right (i.e. left) side of the bed.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Remembrance Sunday

I’m not sure I have the words.
It has been a horrific week for those in the armed services and my thoughts are with them and their families.

I disagreed with us entering this war but we are there now and I would never want to take away from the amazing work that is being done. These men and women are doing work I can not comprehend with bravery and dignity I would not be able to muster.

Today I will remember those who fought and were taken, those who fight on through injury and adversity and those who are on the frontline.

Thank you

Friday, 6 November 2009

Poorly* Sick

I’ve had the** cold all week, I thought I was successfully battling through but then after three nights of barely any sleep I was hit by a fever yesterday. Having a high temperature has made me feel unbelievably pathetic. I’ve taken obscene amounts of paracetamol to try to control it to no avail. O is away this weekend which is not helping the patheticness – means I have to make my own chicken soup and fetch my own hot water bottles.

And yes I’m blatantly fishing for sympathy.


(from here)

* According to O I don’t pronounce poorly correctly. I say pauly (which I think is the Yorkshire accent) where as O says poo-rly.
**Scottishism, the Scots seem to have ‘the’ cold rather than ‘a’ cold.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

It has taken me a while to write this post. (This is not about anything that has ever happened to me).

My friend Sarah* is the oldest of three sisters, she comes from a loving family and has what most people would call a normal happy upbringing. She is a strong, independent and courageous woman as is her younger sister. However her youngest sister Nicola for some reason has always been troubled. She was badly bullied at High School and left home at 16 claiming to have been kicked out (not true). She has never gone back to her parent’s home and moved in with her older boyfriend, she is now 19.


When we got off the plane in London last week I received a text message from Sarah to say that Nicola had been beaten unconscious by her boyfriend. It made me feel sick. But I knew that this wasn’t the first time he had beaten her. Sarah has agonised about how to get through to Nicola.


She told me about a conversation they’d had when she begged Nicola to leave and asked why she stayed. Nicola’s response – “I love him and it happens in all relationships doesn’t it. I mean can you seriously tell me that Chris (Sarah’s boyfriend) has never raised his hand to you?”


Nicola is lucky to the extent that her friends had been in the house earlier and had seen that things were not going well. When Nicola’s boyfriend kicked them out of the house they called the police. Nicola came round to the police light being shined in her eyes. He spent the weekend in the cells and was up in court first thing on the Monday morning. Sarah hopes that this will be the wake up call that Nicola means to get away and stay away – even though Nicola is stubbornly independent and after being discharged from hospital she insisted on going back to the flat that they shared, as it is her home. The system however seems to be mixed up. Firstly the police called Nicola and asked that she bring fresh clothes and belongings for his court appearance. This just seems ridiculous to me, of all the people to call, his victim? Secondly he has been released on bail because he pleaded not guilty – I don’t know the legal system and I’m coming at this from a purely emotional stance. But a man beats a young woman unconscious and he is allowed to walk free from jail after two days because he says he didn’t do it. Sarah has learned from their lawyer that this is a legal loophole at the main hearing he will probably plead guilty for a reduced sentence.


It makes me angry that a young woman believes that being hit is part of a loving relationship. It makes me angry that the legal system doesn’t seem to be able to protect her. It makes me angry that there is nothing I can do to help. It makes me angry that I can’t make him feel as scared and powerless as he has her. It makes me appreciate the loving, supportive relationship that I have with O. It makes me appreciate the fact that, to my knowledge, my Mum, my sisters and my friends have never been victims of domestic violence. It makes me grateful for the shelters and women that support victims of domestic violence.

* I’ve made the names up but the story and emotions are real

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Blog Award

Thank you to the lovely Rebecca for this award.


10 things about me - physically

1. I have very thick curly brown hair. From when I was born to approx 6 year old I had blonde curls (I remember the dinner ladies at school calling me Goldilocks), from the age of 6 to 10 I had mousy brown, straight with a kink hair. When I was 10 I had my hair permed (it was the fashion). The perm never went away and I’ve had curly hair ever since, I’m just about coming to terms with the fact that I was pre-destined to have curly hair and it wasn’t the perm’s fault.

2. I dislike my curly hair but O loves it. I came home having had my hair straightened at the hair dressers, he saw me with straight hair for the first time and freaked out. He refused to look at me because I looked so different.

3. I have dark blue eyes. O has incredibly piercing pale blue eyes (they make me swoon).

4. I have my Dad’s nose which handily comes with a shelf for my glasses to sit on! (If I were to ever have plastic surgery it’d be a nose job).

5. I have large hands. I should be good at the piano however having tried to learn for many years when I was younger I just don’t have any musical talent.

6. I have deceptively large tatty bojangles that I don’t like showing off. (Love Russell Howard)

7. I have a long torso. I discovered this while lining up for school photos. We had to line up in height order and then when we sat down I had to get moved as I was taller when sat than those next to me.

8. I had my belly button pierced when I was 18.

9. My skin is a very pale blue colour. I don’t tan. The only time I have ever tanned, to the extent that you would notice (rather than just comparing the white bits) was when I spent 3 weeks in Italy after 1 week on a water sports holiday in France. Seriously 4 weeks in the sun and I managed a vague tan.

10. My second and third toe on my right foot are slightly webbed (no it doesn’t help with swimming). Do you remember the socks that had individual toes? They were a total nightmare for me.

So I now have to pass this on to 10 other lovely blogs:


Anna and the Ring (welcome back)
Our day by Design
Some Vague Utopia
Seven Weddings (Gee’s getting married this month eeek! Congratulations)
Dreaming of an Aga
Adventures of a lady in training

Now I'm going to cheat because some of the blogs that I love most, that along with the above blogs I will always read first have already had this award (Thank you ladies).

Buhdoop
Conversation Pieces
You can’t take it with you
Daydreams in lace