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New Year, New Beginnings?

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Image courtesy of Google Images

The long exciting build up to Christmas ultimately culminates in a few days which fly past at the speed of light and generally fail to meet expectations.  We all put pressure on ourselves to achieve the ideal Christmas and I wonder whether this utopia is actually possible in reality?  I for one have spent more than a couple of Christmas’ ill; then there have been the inevitable family disagreements, not to mention tears over inconsequential incidents.  We all eat and drink too much, have this imagined pressure to enjoy ourselves and added to this explosive mix an extra ordinary amount of time spent in close proximity to all our family.  No wonder January is the busiest time for people filing for divorce!

Christmas eve, I gave myself an impossibly long list of jobs; however I did mostly enjoy these final preparations.  I made paper chains and some paper snowflakes; which took me right back to childhood.  Mum and I used to make these together and then Mum would pin the chains up in the hall with balloons in each corner.  One year she accidently put a drawing pin through a balloon and made us all jump!  I embroidered initials on stockings for my niece and nephew on my partner’s side.  I don’t think sewing is one of my strong points, especially when time is not on my side!  I then decorated my two tiers Christmas cake before finally relaxing with my other half over a well earned bottle of fizz.

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Christmas day was spent at my parents which was relaxing and enjoyable.  I was lucky in the respect that Santa brought me all I asked for.  My brother came over with his partner and my baby niece.  It was lovely to see her little face with all the presents.  I am teaching her labels young, letting her hold the small Chanel paper carrier bag which my perfume came in!  Boxing Day was rather less relaxing.  My partner and I had all his family over for the day.  First thing I was making sausage rolls and mince pies and once people began to arrive, I found myself icing a chocolate log with an audience!  Neither of us had anticipated the work involved.  We played the Mr and Mrs game which was great fun although I was rather embarrassed when as game host I had to ask my future in-laws how many times they had had a bath or shower together since they had been married!!  The day went off fairly well with only a few upsets but I was sure glad to have my peaceful house back afterwards.

Before you know it we are at New Years Eve.  My partner and I decided not to go out this year; I resent the fact you have to pay exorbitant rates to get in places and then spend hours queuing at the bar for a drink, I know I’m getting old and boring.  Plus we are back to that pressure to have a fantastic time.  Instead I made a Biryani which we followed with bubbly and party poppers at midnight whilst watching the London fireworks on television.  New Year has a kind of contradiction about it I always feel.  In one way it is an opportunity for a fresh start and optimism but it also can be a bit depressing when you analyse the life goals you have still yet to achieve.  New Year celebrations may well have their route in the Janus, the God of new beginnings, doors and gates.  This God had two faces; one which looked into the past and the other in to the future.

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Image courtesy of Google Images

My boyfriend and I joined in Auld Lang Syne on the television at the stroke of midnight which got me thinking as to how and when this became a tradition of New Year.  The words are part of a Robert Burns poem which was then put with a traditional folk song. The tradition began in Scotland but is now used worldwide especially in English speaking countries and has been for more than a century.  The song is generally thought to be suggesting that we remember old friendships which is something important to me; I always send a text to all my friends whether I see them regularly or not at New Year.  This custom of mine ultimately led to my partner contacting me again after some years apart back at the start of 2009!

Now January is upon us.  I always find it quite a depressing month and it appears I am not the only one being that Blue Monday (the most depressing day of the year) falls in January.  The scientists have even come up with a formula for it.  The contributing variables are apparently the weather, debt, time since Christmas, lack of motivation and the failed New Years resolutions.  That takes me on to these impossible targets we set ourselves year after year.  It is thought this idea may have religious origins with the ancient Babylonians being the first to make them.  It centres round looking for self improvement each year.  The majority of resolutions fail but success is improved by sharing them with friends.  According to an article in the Daily Mail, 9th January is the day most people give up on their resolutions.  In hope of improving my success; I shall now share mine.

  1. Get a job (thankfully this can be ticked off already which gives me some motivation for the others)
  2. Lose weight (this is probably the  one with the lowest likely success rate)
  3. Improve my appearance for work (an excuse for shopping, not that I need one)
  4. Stop mentioning marriage and proposals to my other half
  5. Stop worrying so much (hang on I am already worrying about breaking number 2, 4 and 5!)

My cure for this dismal month is simple; fill the calendar with things to look forward to!  I already have two weddings to go to which gives me justification for two new outfits.  I can’t wait to book a holiday so am enjoying researching places to go.  In the meantime a bit of retail therapy should brighten my spirits; after all my shoe queen crown is slipping; so far in 2012 all I have purchased is one pair of shoes and they are for work so don’t really count.  Perhaps resolution 6 should be to buy at least one pair of beautiful shoes each month; I’m sure I can keep that one.  This pair from LK Bennett may even have to be my reward to myself for my new job!

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Happy new year to all my readers and best of luck with your resolutions!

Childhood Revisited

The last month has been an opportunity for me to reflect further on my childhood and adolescence along with considering our commonly held understanding of the notion of childhood.  The Oxford dictionary simply defines it as ‘the state or period of being a child.’  It defines a child as ‘a young human being below the age of puberty or below the legal age of majority.’  This dictionary definition appears to concur with what was the generally held belief in history until the advent of romanticism; children were small adults.  In history, children were expected to work and to dress as miniature adults (something which appears to have had some what of a renaissance in recent years but not without controversy; why a child needs to wear a thong I will never know!  Mini Ugg’s however are a must!).  Academic education was seen as a luxury which many could not afford up until the Victorian times when education up to the age of 10 became mandatory in 1880 and became free in 1891.  The years following this led to the age for mandatory education to be raised and in Britain today it is now 16.  Nowadays, no child can work (excluding in the arts and family businesses) part time until they reach the age of 13 and full time work is only allowed post 16.  Elders will always suggest that children grow up much faster these days but in fact, children are now entitled to a childhood which hundreds of years ago didn’t exist.  The twentieth century is commonly thought of as ‘the century of the child.’  Over the years the way children are brought up along with the toys available, have gone in and out of fashion and if anything children have greater control over their lives than they have ever had.  Sylvanian Families appear to have been given a new lease of life.  I loved these as a child, getting my first as a present for my bravery.  The girls at the school I recently did my work experience at were very in to them and even asked if they could have my collection but I can’t part with them; they currently clutter up Mum and Dad’s loft!  It’s amazing what you can now get for the Sylvanian’s too, I used to have to improvise and make accessories for them.  There are so many toys now, I do wonder if children have the same imaginations as we used to have?  I affectionately recall hours of fun in the garden with a simple sheet to make a tent.  Most people are lucky enough to be able to look back on their childhood with fond memories and I am grateful to be one of those.

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Since 1928 when Mickie Mouse was first unveiled, one thing that has endured is children’s love of Disney.  One of my favourites has always been the Lion King so it followed that I dragged my partner to the cinema to see the new 3D version of it.  I enjoyed it as much as I did as a ten year old and also watched Beauty and the Beast on DVD with the children at the school during their golden time.  Sometimes I really wish I was Peter Pan or even that I could go back and do things differently.  Mind you our past makes us the person we are today so perhaps I wouldn’t want to change it.  As Walt Disney said ‘Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.’  I still long for a trip to Disneyworld Florida.  My best friend recently went for her honeymoon there.  The Disney legacy along with the general love of fairy tales means that for girls at least, we grow up believing that one day our prince will come.  Thankfully mine did eventually although I had to kiss a lot of frogs first!

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Image courtesy of Google Images

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Image courtesy of Google Images

When I entered the reception classroom on my first day volunteering at our local independent primary school (originally built in 1906 as a council school), the first thing that struck me was how small the chairs were; it was like I had walked into a dolls house!  The children had swimming on my first day so you could say I was thrown in the deep end (pardon the pun).  Trying to get a swimming hat on a bouncy, excitable child is like trying to stretch an elastic band around a large ball!  Now I know why my Mum hated it so much when she helped out with swimming when I was at primary school.  The children were adorable and it was so satisfying to see them understand different concepts.  I was amazed at their French skills.  I especially enjoyed reading to them.  I loved books as a child and my Dad would read to me every night, doing his special voices and adding his own bits into stories.  I’m sure he knew ‘The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark’ off by heart!  When I was recently ill with my eye again meaning that I had to cancel my greatly anticipated Halloween party; I couldn’t watch TV, read or use the computer and I longed to cuddle up to my Dad whilst he read me a story.  Children bless them are so observant and honest.  One little boy asked me if my hair was turning blonde; definitely time for a trip to the hairdressers!  Mind you it could have been worse; at least he didn’t ask if it was turning grey!

Anyway I came back to earth with a bump after the two weeks at school and returned to the office.  The experience had confirmed to me, what I was already certain of; teaching was definitely the right road for me.  Consequently this blog has been somewhat delayed because my creative writing talents have been focused on my personal statement for my teacher training application.  I’m sure like all teacher’s I shall amongst everything be teaching children the importance of reading the question; advice which apparently I was incapable of following myself being that the first draft of the personal statement I did was some 4000 words instead of the required 4000 characters!

Despite my attention being swallowed by my application, I did however still find time for some therapeutic internet shopping and purchased this years must have; a tuxedo jacket.  The tuxedo dates back some 125 years when it was first introduced as a less formal alternative to the tailcoat.  The women’s masculine look is widespread this season.  I shall be wearing mine with a glittery top, black shorts and of course sky scrapper heels!

Talking of shoes, I was less than impressed when a navy suede pair I had hardly worn became collateral damage of a girly weekend in Cambridge.  We went up there for a friend’s birthday; had a meal, drinks and then on to a new club called LoLaLo.  It was lovely to catch up with my friends and the majority of the time was most enjoyable.  It was lovely to see my friend enjoy her birthday so much.  However call me boring but I am failing to see the attraction of being squished by people with less than perfect personal hygiene when you are trying to dance, overpriced drinks and a floor sticky with spilt alcohol; clubbing is definitely something I seem to have grown out of.  Even worse than this however was a guy throwing up in the middle of the dance floor, making no attempt to try to go to the toilets; hence my ruined shoes.  I guess that’s students for you.  I can’t say too much though as I was some what of a hedonistic wild child during my short stay at Newcastle University when I was 18.  Recollections of that time came flooding back when my boyfriend and I went up there on Guy Fawkes weekend.

I chose Newcastle for university partly because the place felt like home (my Grandad was from the North East) but mainly because I wanted to get away and have the freedom to go where I liked, rolling in at anytime of the morning and trust me, rolling in is an apt way to describe it!  Once given this freedom, I was not only off the rails but a total train wreck.  Keeping Kookai in business single handedly, having my nose pierced and an ambulance picking me up drunk were a few of my antics along with attempting to steel a traffic cone!  What I was going to do with such a thing I have no idea but it seemed that the student trophy was either this or a road sign!  I finally got to see my beloved Newcastle United FC at St James Park for the first time on this latest trip and it was an historic game being that it was the last game played before the stadium was renamed after over 130 years, the Sports Direct Arena.  We won 2-1 against Everton for those of you interested and were second in the league for a matter of hours.  My initial reason for supporting Newcastle was fancying Alan Shearer but that is of no consequence now.  Whilst up in Geordie land I visited one of my friends who has just had a baby boy.  This made me even more broody as did the other weekend when my brother, his girlfriend and my niece came to visit us.  I guess being a mother is someway off though being that I have not yet had the joy of becoming engaged.  I cheered myself up however with a new addition for my wardrobe; a navy polka dot silk dress.

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I want to take this opportunity to wish a happy thanksgiving to all my American friends.  Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November each year.  The ceremony is an occasion to give thanks for the harvest and a hope of good growing conditions in the spring, much like our harvest festival.  I was involved in the harvest festival at the school I volunteered at, helping the children to make apples and seeds.  For days afterwards I was still singing the ‘Johnny Appleseed’ song!  The festivities for thanksgiving are much like our Christmas ones in the respect of a turkey dinner; however this is generally followed by pumpkin pie, rather than a Christmas pudding.  In fact in the USA more importance is put on thanksgiving than Christmas itself.  I would love to visit New York during thanksgiving or Christmas; I bet central park is stunning under a blanket of snow!  Perhaps I would even get a nice surprise from Tiffany’s and a skate in on the central park ice rink.  Mind you given our experience in spring this year on the ice rink there, I think my other half and I would both end up on our knees and not because he was proposing!

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Image courtesy of Google Images

Talking of Christmas, it is just around the corner now; 27 days for those of you counting!  The festive songs are beginning to be played on the radio.  This is my favourite time of year, a magical time and definitely all about children.  I am a big kid myself though; the advent calendar for 1st December is ready and waiting, mind you as Dickens said ‘if you let the child in you die, you are in effect dead.’  I will definitely be taking a trip to Hamley’s and I must start looking for the elusive party dress!  This year as in previous years I took part in Operation Christmas Child.  For those of you who don’t know what this is; the initiative is run by Samaritans Purse and dates back 21 years.  A wrapped, gift filled shoebox is delivered somewhere in the world to a child in need.  After all Christmas is all about giving and children and imagine the smile you could put on a child’s face.  Unlike children in this country, the shoebox will probably be the only gift they get.

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Image courtesy of Google Images

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I shall sign off now and continue searching for a replacement for my shoes, not that I need an excuse to buy another pair!  Happy Christmas shopping!

Ik hart Holland (I heart Holland)

Mum and I decided on an impromptu trip to Holland as my uncle was doing an opera there in Enschede and so had a place we could stay with him.  I thought it would be a nice chance to spend the quality time with my Mum that I have been missing since moving out as well as an opportunity to add another country to my list of travels without breaking the bank.

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My boyfriend walked me to the station to get the train to London where I would meet my Mum.  As we walked up I noticed a beer delivery lorry from the company my ex worked for and there he was.  How strange that he should be delivering locally to me, just at the time I was walking past and on a Saturday which he wouldn’t normally work.  Some people would say this was fate working in mysterious ways and once upon a time I would have chosen to see it as some sort of a sign; nowadays however, I would call it pure coincidence and I think my boyfriend found it most uncomfortable.  On the journey to Holland I read ‘One Day’ and I couldn’t help but see a comparison to the relationship I had with my ex.  Together, not together, together, not together, seeing everything as fate.  There’s one difference in our story though, I’m glad we didn’t end up together as it meant I met my wonderful boyfriend, who is perfect for me.  I felt quite sad waving goodbye to him as the train pulled out, knowing I wouldn’t see him for nearly a week.  He said it took him back to when we weren’t living together and had to wave goodbye to each other after the weekends.

Mum and I got the Eurostar from London to Brussels and had a bit of a wait there for our onward train.  Naturally my nose led me to a shoe shop.  I saw a gorgeous pair of shoes but sensibly decided to wait until my journey back, when I did indeed purchase them.

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Mum and I had a pleasant lunch with a glass of wine and I got to exercise my French vocabulary before we joined the TGV to Schiphol airport.  Once on the train however, we were told that due to engineering works we would have to go to Amsterdam and change there for a train to Enschede; it’s refreshing to know we are not the only country in the world to suffer engineering works on the railway!  Anyway we eventually made it.

The first day we went to Arnhem.  Arnhem is a place of historical importance since the battle of Arnhem during the Second World War.  We visited the bridge which the battle was centred around.

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We then went on to view the British war graves in nearby Oosterbeek.  It was a very moving experience.  What a waste of young lives.  Even sadder are the dead who were never identified, whose tomb stone simply says ‘a soldier of the 1939-1945 war, known unto God’.

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The following day, we ventured to Amsterdam.  As soon as we got off the train and into the centre of the city, the air was perfumed with cannabis and bikes weaved through the streets whilst a waterway, lined with canal boats broke up almost every block.  We started at the Nieuwe Kerk in Dam Square, which just happened to be holding a fashion exhibition.

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The architecture is beautiful too as is the 1655 organ and a stained glass window depicting Queen Wilhelmina to rival the famous window of Notre Dame.  Well worth a look.

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Next stop was the Anne Frank house.  We walked around the annex where the family hid from the Nazis; the entrance to which was disguised by a bookcase.  Cuttings from magazines of the time which Anne herself stuck on the walls still remain which was extremely emotive.

Being that Holland is so well known for Tulips, we visited the Tulip museum where I purchased some tulips to plant at home; actual ‘Tulips of Amsterdam’.  Next stop was Begijnhof which is an inner court, which once housed religious Catholic women rather like a convent.  To this day only women live there.  Inside this court yard is one of the oldest wooden houses in the Netherlands which dates back to circa 1528.

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I must admit whilst in Amsterdam, I was curious to try one of their ‘coffee shops’ but being with my Mum that was really out of the question.  Mum felt most uncomfortable when I took her on the quick walk of the red light district which was suggested by the Lonely Planet City guide.  The area does have to be seen to be believed with women in bikinis posing in shop windows.  It is worth the walk though to see the Oude Kerk which is Amsterdam’s oldest church dating back to 1306.

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We finished the day with a canal boat trip and a nice meal where I tried the local delicacy of herring.  I left Amsterdam wanting to see more.

Munster was our next stop the following day.  Being that Enschede is very close to the German border; I thought I might as well use it as an opportunity to visit Germany for the first time. Munster was what you imagine a typical German town to be like and we had a very pleasant lunch sitting in one of the squares.  I stopped off to buy a beer to take back for my other half at the local Pinkus brewery.

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We made the most of the nice weather and sat out in the garden when we got back to my Uncles, sipping wine and eating prawns and other snacks whilst listening to the country sounds of the cows being herded in for milking.

Our final day in Holland, I convinced Mum to join me in a return trip to Amsterdam on the proviso that we would get trams around rather than attempting to walk miles like the previous trip!  We visited the Rijks’s museum which everyone says is a must in Amsterdam and saw the famous Rembrandt Night Watch masterpiece.  We also visited Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s answer to Central park.

Now my cultural interests had been attended to, it was on to a more apt museum; the diamond museum, after all diamonds are a girls best friend.

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Following that we visited the handbag museum; can you believe they have a whole museum dedicated to the history of handbags?  The only thing better would have been a museum dedicated to shoes.  An interesting fact I learnt from the museum was that the need to make stronger bags from materials such as leather only arose with the advent of train travel becoming popular.  By far the best exhibit in my opinion was the cupcake bag as seen in the Sex and the City movie.

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Now no trip to Holland would be complete without seeing a windmill which was our last stop in Amsterdam.  We enjoyed a nice glass of wine in the bar underneath it.

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We rounded off the wonderful holiday in Lucius fish restaurant which I highly recommend.  You can enjoy your seafood whilst being entranced by the fish tank.  There’s an irony there!

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After a good nights sleep, we headed back on the train to Blighty, without a souvenir pair of clogs which my boyfriend expected me to bring back.  If you ever get the chance, Holland is well worth the visit.

Love Hearts

Last weekend, I decided that preserving would pay off and we headed back to Chatham dockyard where I finally got to try on the heart of the ocean necklace, as worn by Kate Winslet.  I struck the same pose as she did in the film for my photo; the only difference being that I was fully clothed.  If the photographer had been Leonardo DiCaprio though, it would have been a very different story!!

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What with the necklace and then when I was eating a packet of love hearts; which you may be interested to know were invented as long back as 1933; I got thinking about the use of the heart symbol as well as the different meanings of the word.

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The heart can mean the physical organ, it can represent a person’s soul, is used to mean the core of something, as in the heart of the ocean and to mean love.  The heart symbol was used on Valentine’s Day cards as long ago as 1910.  Its resemblance to the human heart is vague and it has been said to have derived from the female buttocks.  The heart symbol is now included in the latest addition of the Oxford English Dictionary after the increased use of the symbol to replace the word love, for example I ♥ New York.

I also started to think of the different types of love in my life; romantic love, family love, parental love and love of friends as well as love in terms of passion for things.

Family love was in high amounts on the Sunday when my boyfriend and I took his niece and nephew for a day out at Diggerland.  They were an absolute pleasure to take out and it was lovely to see the joy on their faces.

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It certainly increased my maternal urges even more; not that they need much assistance.  I did however somehow manage to put his niece’s nappy on back to front and when the two of us tried to collapse the buggy, it was like the Krypton Factor but hey you live and learn!

During the week, my boyfriend surprised me with some romantic love and created a ‘date night.’  This is a wonderful way to keep the romance alive.  He created a menu which he printed and placed on a laid table and then cooked and served.  The food was delicious.

As the old saying goes, love makes the world go round so whatever love you have in your heart, embrace it, tell your love ones that you love them everyday and as my Grandma used to say, never go to sleep on an argument.

‘A Bridal Shower’

The day of one of my best friends wedding is almost upon us.  I took the day before off work and treated myself to a set of false nails.  I used to get these done regularly as my nails have always been a bit brittle but this is the first time I have had it done in years.  I was suitably pleased with the results and the price; £20 for a full set!  Apparently for some people this is still too much as whilst I was in the salon, a woman left without paying! People’s mentality never ceases to amaze me and on my walk home, I saw another example of it.  One of my elderly neighbours had fallen and before I got to her, another girl just looked and kept on walking!

I took the opportunity as I was at my parents to visit my favourite boutique, Torza and came out with a beautiful pink maxi dress with pearls around the neckline.  I can justify it as it being bought with my birthday money, although I have a feeling that this birthday money is going to be on a bit of elastic!  I also went into the shop called Vintage and found the perfect bag to go with my bridesmaids dress.  It must have been quite a find as on the day even the blokes commented on it!

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Finally the big day was upon us.  I was so excited but couldn’t believe that after all the beautiful weather we have had, it chose to rain on today of all days.  Superstition has it that this is good luck.  I had a read up as to the reasoning behind this and found various suggestions.  It is thought by Hindu’s that it represents a stronger unity, being that a wet knot is harder to undo.  There is also a belief that it will be a healthy and fruitful marriage, due to rain being essential for good crops.

The other bridesmaids and I met at the bride’s house early and the hairdresser started on our hair.  I was determined to get my signature butterfly into my outfit somewhere so chose a butterfly slide as a hair accessory.  I love to have my hair done, don’t you?  It’s so relaxing.  The Cava was cracked open early and we had a lovely time getting ready.

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As we helped the bride into her dress, I thought how amazing she looked.  It was a stunning dress with lots of lace.  The bouquets arrived and then before we knew it, the time had come to head to the church.

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The service was lovely and the priest made it really; he was a little on the eccentric side to say the least.  I got through my reading without tripping up on my way to the stage or stumbling on my words thankfully.  As we left the church, we bridesmaids were on duty to ensure the bride’s dress remained clean and dry.  On arrival at the reception, the sun finally came out and the bride relaxed at last.

The father of the bride speech was so moving and it got me wondering what my Dad would say if I ever get my special day.  The cake was a tower of cupcakes which must have taken the bride’s friend ages, but it truly was stunning.  If you ever want a knock out cake, I highly recommend her.

http://www.sweettreatcupcakes.co.uk

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As the drinks flowed, we all danced well into the night and I managed to brave it out and keep my new sparkly heels on all evening; the price we pay for fashion!  The photographer went up in my estimations when I noticed she was wearing a Kookai shirt, much to her amazement.  Kookai was always my favourite shop but sadly only exists as a concession in stores now.  The clothes are timeless though and unusual.  I still have stuff from there that I bought over 10 years ago.

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The bouquet was thrown but sadly I didn’t catch it.  My other half did start to talk about marriage though as did another of my friends boyfriends.  Not sure if the excitement of the day or  the sheer amount of alcohol brings on this conversation though!

Over a year of planning and the day seems to be over so quickly.  Everything was perfect down to the last detail though.  Here’s hoping the marriage will last forever and that the weather was a good sign!  Congratulations to the happy couple!  Enjoy the honeymoon and thank you for the privilege of making me maid of honour.

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‘Just Friends’

I would like to think that you had been on the edge of your seats anticipating my next instalment but I guess that would be wishful thinking on my part.  I would however like to apologise for the tardiness of this new blog; its writing was impeded by my eye problems.  The so called experts are still no nearer to really knowing what it is.  The latest guess is a viral infection.  Anyhow it has caused me to be signed off sick for the first time in my life.  As a result I have become quite well acquainted with daytime television.  I have now had my fill of property ladder, a place in the sun and wife swap plus some reruns of great British comedy; My Family, Keeping up Appearances and One Foot in the Grave.  It did also give me the opportunity to finally watch a DVD I got for Christmas called Priceless which I greatly enjoyed whilst eating a remaining Easter egg!  All of this was watched through one eye though which was not greatly comfortable.  My boyfriend attempted to make me an eye patch but unfortunately it wasn’t a great success and I resorted to just putting my hand over my eye.  A couple of friends suggested I could make a fashion statement with an embellished eye patch and perhaps make my birthday BBQ a sexy pirate theme!

The Sunday before last saw my first Sunday morning without the News of the World.  My kind boyfriend still made me a sausage sandwich in bed and as it happens my eye was so bad that I wouldn’t have been able to read it anyway.  The best bit of the paper, ‘Fabulous’ magazine appears however to come with Saturdays ‘Sun’ so all is not lost.  My theory is that they started providing magazines with newspapers so that men could read the sport in the paper uninterrupted!  I am however fed up with the news being dominated by the News of the World phone hacking scandal; is there really nothing more important happening in the world?  I regretted asking this rhetorical question this weekend though when the phone hacking became old news after the terrible atrocity inNorway, followed by the death of Amy Winehouse.  It is so sad that she is the latest addition to the so called 27 club, which for those of you who don’t know is the result of a number of musicians dying at 27; Kurt Cobain being another.  I titled my blog this week in honour of her as one of her songs was ‘Just Friends’.

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It is also rather ironic that I left 27 behind this week and became 28.  The day of the birthday BBQ finally arrived and thankfully the weather held out as our house would have been very cosy with nearly 30 people!  We definitely lined Tesco’s pockets for the weekend!  I was really touched that so many of my friends made the journey down and greatly enjoyed the celebration, despite my eye condition which was not helped by the BBQ smoke and also meant that I couldn’t wear eye make up.  I made up for it though with some statement 4 inch glittery gold shoes!

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I rolled back the years with some Bacardi Breezer’s too.  Mum made me a wonderful cake with a shoe; very fitting.  I enjoyed showing off my finished wardrobe with the new addition of pink fairy lights which my boyfriend kindly fitted that morning.  One of my friends commented that my wardrobe was a shrine to clothes!

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As the party died down and there were just a few of us hard core partiers left; my boyfriends friend started to tell us about his PHD in engineering ceramics.  Us girls were looking a little confused, are ceramics not pottery and tiles?  Apparently he says ceramics are used in kitchen knives, thinking we would understand this association.  I then said is it like in hair straightner’s and suddenly we were all back in the room!

My boyfriend went away again this week for work.  This doesn’t get any easier for me despite it not being the first time and only being a couple of days.  What was worse was I was awakened from a deep sleep by a loud bang which sounded like a bullet out of a gun.  Turns out it was in fact a balloon from the party popping!  I did feel silly.

I was spoilt on my actual birthday with many wonderful presents.  It is lovely to see that my friends and family know my tastes so well.  Most cards were shoe, shopping, cocktail, VW Beetle or butterfly related!  I share below a picture of one very apt card which sums me up.
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 My boyfriend left a huge bunch of flowers on my dressing table in the morning which was very romantic.

NEW Stuff 492

Anyways, I’ve bored you long enough, plus I need to check out some shoe sites to spend my birthday money on!  Until next time…….

Broke and Home Alone!

I checked my bank balance last Saturday and wished I hadn’t, it was not a pleasant surprise shall we say and still two weeks until payday!  What made it even worse was that it was only that morning I had taken scissors to my credit card.  It had been a necessary operation, not least to protect my relationship! (Note to self, sneak in last parcel very carefully and when wear the playsuit and/or wedges make sure at least £10 is knocked off their price!)  Women have been doing this trick for years; men just don’t recognize good investments when they see them!  A girl at work also suggested another good tip; when they say they haven’t seen an outfit before just say, ‘I’ve had it for ages, you mean you have never noticed me wearing it before?’  Trigger a guilt felt apology and your secret is safe. Why is it when you have no money it becomes even more of an urge to buy?  Emails promising 20% off shoes and free delivery keep hitting my inbox.  The latest addition of Glamour arrived and advertised a website called Vivien of Holloway which sells vintage clothes.  I have already fallen in love with a 50’s style dress on there which could hopefully flatten even my curvaceous figure (as my boyfriend delicately puts it.)  Asos is auctioning Cheryl Cole’s outfits and the biggest sale in the news at the moment is Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dress from the film ‘The Seven Year Itch’ which has sold at auction for $4.6 million.  Its torture I tell you.

My boyfriend had to go away for this week to work.  You would think that this would be a nice bit of space from each other but in reality it was horrible.  Suddenly I had a whole house to rattle around in with only Rufus for company.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Rufus to bits but he can’t protect me from would be burglars!

rufus

Burglars were the least of my worries it turns out.  I had a very different kind of intruder to deal with, an unwelcome visit from a slug.  There I was making my hot chocolate before bed in my pyjamas, not bothering to put the kitchen light on (I know old age is setting in, lol) and then I saw it out of the corner of my eye on the floor; it was mere luck I hadn’t inadvertently stepped on it.  Panic rushed through me, I hate the slimy things and there was no boyfriend to call to deal with it.  I grabbed the salt out of the cupboard and showered it with it.  Mean I know but at least it stopped it in its silvery tracks.  I then shoveled it outside and cleaned the floor.  I half expected to come down to more in the morning but thankfully it seems to have been a lone ranger.  I had to put the bins out myself too.  Isn’t it funny how despite our feminism; there are still certain jobs we class as the mans?  My boyfriend shares the cooking and the housework whilst I assist in the DIY, albeit usually getting more paint on myself than the walls!  When it comes to the spider removal, the bins and other dirty jobs though we still call on the man!  My boyfriend is my hero.

Absence definitely made the heart grow fonder in both our cases.  We went out this Saturday evening with another couple to enjoy a meal at TGI Fridays and the next installment of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’  The film was certainly not a let down, just as good as the other three in my opinion and Johnny Depp still looks just as sexy as Captain Jack Sparrow; we know we shouldn’t fancy someone dressed as a pirate but we cannot help ourselves.

Talking of our male hero’s, today is Fathers Day.  What better time for us to celebrate the first man in our lives?  My Dad was always able to wipe my tears away, fix my toys and make the world seem a better place.  Even now I call on him for certain jobs, such as wallpapering and building a book case.  He did kind of talk himself into these jobs though when he commented ‘that’s not difficult at all!’  My brother and I often refer to him as the oracle as he can generally answer any question or if he can’t, knows where to look for the answer.  In recent years even Dad’s fashion has improved.  I never thought I would see the day he wore a pair of jeans; this was the man who used to wear a shirt and tie to the beach!  They do say that women look for a man with qualities like their father and men look for women with qualities like their mother.  I’m not sure how true this is but I will say my boyfriend, like my Dad is pretty good with his DIY and not so hot on fashion, lol!

Anyway I will sign off here, Happy Fathers Day Dad.