Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Wedding Planning Pt.5

 Image courtesy of the Internet
Image courtesy of the Internet
One of the best things that I have discovered during the wedding planning process is other people's opinions on what we should be doing, or focusing on, what we must have or do, on the day and who we must have attend.
I have to say, that my family may have not been great financially, luckily, they've been terribly supportive when it comes to our plans, ideas and invitation list. As has Ro's Mother and Sister.
However, not everyone sees it that way and this has caused the largest rift known to one family. Ro has a family member who at times has caused upset before: emptied his Mother's house of her belongings (following his Father's death) as she was moving to a smaller house, whether she had hoped to sell or retain those items; told his pregnant Sister that she'd probably miscarry during her second trimester or could always have a still born birth; and insisted on scattering Ro's Grandfather's ashes without his Mother, him or his Sister present, citing the tidal timetable as the reason it had to be right then and there, and not even giving their Gran the chance to prepare emotionally, or mentally for the event.
These are just some occasions where people have been upset, and I believe this particular person doesn't do it maliciously or with intent to upset, I really do believe they mean well, they just fail to see why others may not be happy or agree with their decisions. They lack forethought and consideration, but that is all it is, for some reason it has never been raised before and therefore they've continued to behave this way without ever questioning whether it was the right thing to do, or the right way to approach the situation, etc.
Due to the above occurrences, we did not want them present on our wedding day. My parents had a wedding run and controlled by my Mum's Mum, and my Mum has always said that our wedding is ours and that they won't get involved, and they have lived up to this, one of my brother's eloped and they didn't blink an eye, and in regards to all of our decisions (so far) they have been 100% supportive.
We had hoped that we would be able to not invite them and be left to it, I did suggest first of all that we send a card explaining but Ro didn't want to. Skip a month later and we've had three different family members trying to find ways to make it so that this family member can be present...totally ignorant of our wishes. We were left with only one approach, to be mature and contact this particular family member directly explaining our decision. Ro's Mum was hesitant to give us their contact details but did so. We didn't want to discuss it over the phone as conversations can be misquoted and can become heated very quickly. So we felt email was best, we wrote and rewrote the email, a lot. Which was wasted energy, as it transpires that whatever we did, it wouldn't have been well received, we could have wrapped it in gold, put it in a Tiffany's box, written it in the sky and we would always have ended up the terrible villains.
So now we haven't just gained two seats from other members of Ro's family not being able to attend, we have gained an additional 4 seats, possibly 5, all because this particular family member has decided that if they can not come, no one else should.
To make matters worse, Ro's Gran hasn't once phoned him or tried to find out why he didn't want this family member present, she has automatically decided he is an awful person and has disowned him, which is such terribly upsetting behaviour, especially for a Christian. During this time, I haven't seen any understanding, forgiveness, or acceptance, just judgement, vengeance and disregard for his feelings.
The most upsetting thing is that Ro just wanted his Gran present, especially as she missed his Sister's wedding. He doesn't get to see her often and with the loss of his Granfather last year, it would have meant so much. Aren't families, and weddings, wonderful?!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Wedding Planning Pt.4

 Image courtesy of the internet
Image courtesy of the internet

One of the hardest parts of wedding planning is that everyone else isn't as excited as you are. 
I tried to arrange all of my bridesmaid to come to London to go wedding dress shopping, I had three responses saying 'yes, let me know when', one telling me that they were super busy and if it as a practical time, they'd attend' and one saying that 'they were coming to London with their baby soon and she'd let me know how it went'. I decided to put the last two comments down to lack of sleep. 
In regards to the wedding, Ro has had various responses, not all super positive and supportive. However, it is slowly coming together and if I have to drive to people's homes to get proper commitment from them, I will. I think if it was a simple day wedding, we would experience less stress, however we chose a weekend event...why did I always dream of spending the weekend with our friends and family?
The good news, is that we have had some great responses and amazing offers of support: free dining linen, bouquet, suit, photography, music (DJ and live) and general ears and advice. It has definitely been a clarifying experience, where we have had the chance to review certain relationships.
My advice to anyone else would be 'do not pin your heart on certain people reacting as you would like them to and if they don't, it isn't necessarily a bad thing, they may be distracted, have personal shit going on, or maybe just don't feel it's as important as what else they have going on'.
There is no point driving yourself mad about it, just find someone who is excited and do your favourite things with them, you'll probably have more fun and a better experience than dragging those who can not assist around with you, and this is exactly what I've done. It was too stressful trying to arrange all five bridesmaids, four of whom don't live in London, so I arranged my one London bridesmaid and a good friend to come with me to go dress shopping. Additionally, I hoped to go ugly wedding dress shopping with one of my bridesmaids but she's snowed under with her children and home improvements, and I don't want to add to her ever growing list of things to do, so I am going with my cousin and a good friend...and I can't wait.
It is upsetting that you have to change the people you want to spend time with, but I came to the conclusion that I would hate to add extra pressure to their lives and therefore would rather carry on, instead of not getting to do what I wanted...which I know sounds selfish, but I have a limited amount of time to do certain things, especially as my wedding date isn't going anywhere. I've always tried to be there for my friends when they've needed me, but if they can not be there for me right now, I'll enjoy them when they can and enjoy everyone else in the mean time.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Pregnancy No.3

I'm pregnant again. Yes, yes, I am. I really didn't think that September would be the month...I even bought tampons in advance of my periods arrival, and then it never came.

I did two tests, the day after my ever-prompt period didn't show up, and two days later I did it again, both were negative.
On the Saturday, I bought my wedding dress and on the Sunday I did another test which finally showed a positive result, "oh!" was my instant response, I almost didn't believe it. I then spent the next few days doubting whether it would stay but filled myself with positivity and hope, but bought super massive pads just to be prepared.
One week later, on a Tuesday I had spotting and cramping, Ro took me to the EPAGU at St Thomas's. I was convinced this was it and we were going to experience last July all over again...filled with hope but mainly feeling numb, we shuffled into the ultra sound room to be told that our egg was perfectly implanted and happy...and asked "have you ever been told your womb is split?", "no" was my answer, to which the Sonographer said "there is a second sack, which may be a failed pregnancy or the beginning of a second pregnancy". What the fuck?!
This was incredible news, as this pregnancy has had the same symptoms as my second one: boob achiness going up and down, cramping, and general achiness. I had assumed it wouldn't work out, and it may still not, but here's hoping.
A week later I have had another two days of spotting with cramping but I am still staying hopeful, especially as I have had two days of sickness (feeling hungry every two hours, almost ravenous, some times to the point of feeling sick), peppermint tea eases it a little, as does Coca-cola.
I am keeping positive as much as I can but not telling anyone has been impossible, as I'm normally a very open person; I just don't think I can face letting everyone down again (I do know this isn't the case but it is how it feels), should the worse happen. I have a follow up scan next Tuesday and we hope to find out that our little egg is now a little content embryo. Our approach is that one is a blessing, two would be incredible, and if it's not to be, ce le vie! It'll be hard but we've managed before.
---
One week later...
Today we had our follow up scan, we got to see our little squiggle and it's heartbeat pumping away. They've booked me in for another scan in two weeks due to my history, which was very kind. Additionally, we had it confirmed that our second sack is benign, they can not confirm whether it is a clot or a failed pregnancy; I think I'd rather not know. One healthy squiggle is more than enough.
Along with everything being confirmed, I became 2795 of 4150 of the PRISM trial to see whether Progesterone actually assists with pregnancy or not. There are little to no downsides and potentially helping women with their future pregnancies is a wonderful thought.
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The Progesterone is interesting, it's two pessary white tar filled pods inserted twice a day and then spend the day / night working their way out. I've never used so many pantyliners, or washed my PJ bottoms / trousers so much.
Otherwise, it's been a kind of blessing (other than causing havoc with our sex life), as it has given me something else to think about.
I did discover that inserting them too high results in 19 hours of intense cramps...luckily it was just my cervix kicking off!
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During our third scan (9 weeks) 'Shithead or Shitbag' (as we've Christened our future offspring) did a little dance for us: Jazz Hands & Feet! Super cute and reassuring.
The EPAGU have been amazing, as always. They were wonderful last time round and excellent this time. The receptionists there often have stony faces but once you get past them, the Nurses, Doctors and Sonographers are ever so caring.
---
On Wednesday we had our twelve week scan at the Fetal Medical Unit. Unlike the EPAGU, they have a massive screen for you to look at, and Shithead wasn't too keen on moving as he was quite contempt to be face down and snuggled up.
Our blood tests screening and scan said we are low risk, which is promising, however I was consuming Vitamin A during the first eight weeks, which could cause problems. This has been a concern of mine but I've been advised to speak my midwife about it.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Wedding Planning Pt.3

 Image courtesy of the Internet
Image courtesy of the Internet
The Dreaded Wedding Dress Shop Visit
Firstly, I feel that I should tell you that I am not a girly girl, I like pretty things, I am a magpie with sparkly things, but I do not generally covet clothes; hats? yes; dresses? no. Therefore I am not really sure why I thought that I would walk into a dress shop and fall head over heels in love with one, to the point where I want to spend £1000+, especially for one day's wear.
My initial plan was to spend around £300-500 on a dress, which I can adapt for everyday use afterwards. Although, I always assumed it would be £300 over £500...I'm such a cheapskate, but I think the real problem is that I know the worth of things, so I can justify £600+ on a handmade dress made in Britain, but not necessarily one which is mass made in a factory; working behind the scenes of fashion has ruined me.
On Saturday, I went to a lovely shop filled with gorgeous 50's style dresses, a welcoming environment and the staff were a dream. It was an incredible experience and for them to break my 'Wedding Dress Virginity' was a huge compliment to me. They are extremely accommodating and have a lovely selection. All of their dresses are made within the UK and most sections can be interchanged and made from various colours and materials. It was amazing and I did love some of the dresses, however I felt underwhelmed and indifferent about the entire experience, which in itself felt very uncomfortable. My friends were gushing but never once did I think 'yes, this is it'. 
Due to this I felt like a weirdo, as though something was terribly wrong with me...stupid I know, but when you see other women bursting into tears and brimming with excitement, it makes you wonder whether you're wired incorrectly. My friends who were present celebrated on cue, however I didn't feel it. One of them is married and other is non-plus by the concept, and it was amazing having them with me, but I never once felt that 'whoosh' of nerves or emotion. And it felt awful, I felt bad for the person in the shop, was I supposed to be more brimming, or does she just know how people behave and therefore I'm completely normal...maybe she trusts me more, as I am quieter? Who knows? It is such a foreign scenario.
Having finished the experience and coming to the realisation that I'm not willing to part with £1200 for a dress, regardless of the occasion. They are well worth it, absolutely gorgeous, and if it was within my budget, I probably wouldn't think anything of it, however it isn't and I won't pretend it is.
Afterwards, while speaking with one of my bridesmaids, she admitted that she also felt relatively dead inside while trying on her dresses and how she ended up picking the dress that she liked, with an appropriate price tag and suitable for a Thai wedding. All of a sudden I felt normal. I didn't feel like a leper and we agreed that Film and TV play a huge part in creating this ridiculous farce that every girl spends her life dreaming of that perfect dress...I never did, I spent my life dreaming of a great guy who cares a shit ton about me. The dress just serves a purpose, and that purpose is to ensure that I am not naked on my wedding day.
One of my bridesmaids came over the other night to flick through some Wedding magazines I'd been given and we were both aghast at the price of some undies: £900 for a bra, knickers and robe, you could have matching shoes but they were 'price on application', now that is some crazy talk. If you are going to be spending that much on your under garments, what the hell are you spending on your dress? And if I was to spend that much on undies, I'd want them to be the most bloody comfortable things in the world, which are accompanied with a chauffeur to wipe my bum for a month, and I would wear them to work as my outer garments.
---
A week later, I received a message from the shop offering me 50% anything in stock, so off I set to visit again. I ending up spending £180 over my revised budget, however I've made a saving of £330 (original pricing given to me), or £660 (based on the revised pricing I was given in the shop). Either way, I'm slightly over but have a dress, so that can be ticked off my list.
Having completed that task, I still feel terribly indifferent about it. My dress is lovely and just as I imagined it would be, however it is just a dress. Friends are lovely, kind and positive about it when they see a picture but I find it impossible to get truly excited.
But, I am excited about the entire day: from music we will have playing, the friends and family will be get to see and celebrate with, and the food we get to devour. I guess there are some girls who pine for dresses and other who dream of food, dancing and playlists.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Apple blinking technology

 Image courtesy of the internet
Dearest Apple, you really are a bunch of imbeciles!
I thought it was bad enough when you decided you were bigger than the government who you don't pay taxes too...however, this is a whole new level of moronic programming.
You replaced my screen in April, as I dropped my phone and smashed it, I sat at the "genius bar" for over an hour, even though I had a scheduled appointment...it was eventually dealt with and off I went again with my newly fixed phone and £100 lighter!
However, last weekend my phone screen decided to become intermittently unresponsive just before I took a long journey, "great, I thought, this is handy being in the wilderness and not having a phone to rely on as I drive around but you know, we all coped up until the invention of car and mobile phones, so I can walk to the SOS phones which line the motorways and dual carriageways of Britain. No biggy!".
I finally reach my next destination and thought I'll hard reset my phone to see if it's a temporary blip. It wasn't, so I decided to book in to the "genius bar" for when I returned to London next week...however, when reporting to the Apple Store booking form that my phone was unresponsive and I wanted an appointment, the only way to confirm the appointment was to type in a verification code, however my phone was unresponsive and I couldn't input my code to unlock the phone, so couldn't see any text messages coming in. Which is pretty dumb. I wrote a sarcastic comment on Facebook about it and hoped my phone would eventually wake up and do what it's supposed too. It did, thankfully, however by that time I remembered that there is no point in booking an appointment, as I'll be waiting around for over an hour anyway...
Then this evening, back in London, I felt that I should do a complete reset of the unit, in case it is software issue, not a hardware issue. I had my partner's trusty Macbook to hand. Why his and not mine? As you've made my First Generation Macbook (still going strong and with plenty of capability), obsolete, as it's too old and therefore you're hoping that I'll buy a new one from you (fyi, I won't. And I'm really stuck between a rock and a hard place, as I hate Microsoft and you the same amount now-a-days, and don't think either of you deserve my hard earned money).
So, here I am computer up and running, and I realise that it's probably going to be better if I recover my phone contents from my iCloud, as that is why it's is there and you constantly sent irritating 'too full' messages in regards to it. So off I go (by the way, this is what it looks like to reset a phone from iCloud without other 'devices' to hand):
Hello - swipe right to reset
Language?
Country?
Setup a code?
Wifi?
Restore options
iCloud Sign in
Enter verification code that we've sent to your device, which you're setting up and can not access until the set up is complete.
Did not get a verification code?
Code options?
Enter all your details in and give us another mobile phone number for us to send a code to? GAME OVER
I have tried since to use my partners phone, but low and behold his is locked to a separate network, as the phone networks are as tight as every bloody company afraid of healthy competition.
Then "lightbulb moment", login to my iCloud account and change my number. Nope, as my iCloud account is now locked until my verification code has been entered...so.......
Fine, I shall back up from iTunes to a back up from February and then I will lose 7 months worth of back up, as my phone will update my iCloud and delete everything since February: GREAT!!!
Then I think, 'Apple can not be that stupid, surely, it must be me', maybe I can get a phone call with the code, even though I have not setup my phone properly...yes, I can, oh my golly this is great. Oh no, what's that Apple my iCloud has no back ups and I need to back up from iTunes (February) or setup as a new phone. Maybe, it's because my iCloud account is locked, so I unlock it and try again. Oh no, that's right, I have no iCloud back up what so ever, even though before I started this godly awful process, my phone told me it was backing up to iCloud and up to date - cheers technology!
Now, I am stuck living in February 2016, on the upside the scourge of 2016 hasn't started yet; Bowie is still dead but this seems to be the worse thing to have happened this year so far.
30 minutes later...
In fact, iTunes has loaded my partner's phone backup and won't let me do anything on my handset without putting in his Apple password, which means I'm not living in February 2016, I'm living as though I've never had an iPhone...I think I joined on generation three. That shows me for sticking with one bunch of arseholes, over others for the last ten years or so!
Now I'm trying to sign in to my Apple account within iTunes to see if my profile will setup from it (yep, clutching at straws) and your demanding that I enter a verification code which you haven't sent! This is beyond a joke. I just want a phone which works and does what it is supposed to, how is that SO hard? Also, isn't it my choice if I want a slow computer: none of this bollocks happened when I could regularly back up to my computer, but no, my iPhone won't see my Macbook, you "Mary Poppins 'penny pinching' bunch of bankers"!!!
I'm officially sobbing over the most stupid of things, as you've broken me! I am sobbing that my entire communicational existence (yep, pathetic I know) has just gone in the blink of an eye. This is ridiculous! I want to crawl out of my sobbing body as I hate myself for being like this but you've worn me down, I can't take it anymore...I feel disgusted with myself but I'm too exhausted to care...I just want this endless situation resolved and a phone which works (I was trying to help, as if this screen issue persists, you'll ask me irritating questions like 'have you restored your phone?', 'have you performed a hard reset?' 'have you called your Mum today?').
Therefore, in my final statement of the most emotionally challenging restore of a device known to man: I have reset my phone as new and loaded my iCloud, which had most things other than the last week, and any text messages (all of my messages of the last decade have gone), as have my notes (inclusive of my potential wedding vows, oops) but I feel that it is cleansing, for when I move away from Apple I wouldn't be able to keep them anyway...it has actually helped. Really it has. Therefore, thank you Apple for helping make my future transistion away from you much easier.
24 hours later...
And my screen has become unresponsive again. At least I can now tell the 'Genius Bar' that it's not software related. Although, I still have to visit the bloody place, great!

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Wedding Planning Pt.2

  image courtesy of the internet
image courtesy of the internet
I'm being terribly sensitive today, I know it but I can't help it. I was innocently showing a colleague one of the potential fascinators I'd like my Bridesmaids to wear and it was met with a comment similar to 'are you serious? Surely they'll never wear them, or remove them as soon as possible?'. This comment wasn't meant negatively or rudely, I think they were just highlighting that what I want isn't necessarily what others want. Which of course I understand...however, during my friend's weddings I have worn colours and cuts not suitable for me, been the bestest bridesmaid ever (and also the worst, sorry Gemy). BUT I'm not asking for the moon on a stick, I have said they can wear whatever they want but in a certain colour and yes, I have now changed that colour, but we have six months to the day and I doubt they've bought anything yet, as all the dresses available are summer and I'm having a winter wedding and if they have, I'll feel shitty, but I've been a hoping and a praying that nothing has been purchased as of yet. Oh fuck, what if it has?! I really am a Zilla Bride!
I had been feeling very isolated from some of my bridesmaids, so I've setup a new chat group with a funny "bridezilla" motif (above), so I can chat with them about anything (other than 'Hen Do' related stuff), as I do want their input. I had hoped to go 'faux' wedding dress shopping but it deemed too hard to find a time for all six of us, and get available appointments, so I've scrapped that plan. I may go with a couple of friends another time, for shits and giggles though...as when else will I get to put on ridiculously large dresses with multi petticoats and a corset, and have help in a dressing room from a stranger, ok maybe the latter will happen randomly but definitely not the rest, that's for sure.

Blimey, there are a lot of justifying 'buts' in this post... 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Wink gif

My first ever gif: wink!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Spinning & me

  Image courtesy of the internet
image courtesy of the internet

Three weeks ago, I ‘span’ for the first time. I’m not sure if you can use the past term for the word Spinning or not, but I’ll rock n roll with it!
Now, I think the main thing was that I used to cycle around Oxford, therefore I’m used to being able to free-wheel, have a comfortable seat and handlebars, and it was the bestest thing in the world.
Spinning is not cycling, that is for sure!
My first class went like this: there are far too many moving parts on the bike, the seat is the most uncomfortable thing, the pedal cages are impossibly uncomfortable and restrictive on your tootsies, and the momentum of the bike makes it impossible to ‘just stop pedalling’…you near break an ankle every time you try to stop peddling without using the brake. It's not natural to have the brake down the frame between your knees!
So, I'm in my first class, I've set the bike up accordingly, I think, I sit on my hard seat and start pedalling casually. Due to having ridden a proper bike, I set the resistance to a normal setting for riding around town...this was a HUGE error! Never do this, however it's not natural to cycle in a high setting with nothing to press against, it makes it impossible to actually cycle like this.
There am I cycling away at a normal gear, but wait they ask me to add, add, add, wait what? Add more?! Madness! It's like cycling through thick soup, a lower gear and lower again...fuck a duck!  This is awful!
Stand up? What?  I never stood up while cycling, unless I was free wheeling down a hill and then I wasn't pedalling...so I give it a go...nope, I nearly broke my leg, as I automatically stopped peddling as I stood up and my entire body nearly went round and round. If I was a cartoon, that would have happened. I check the clock every five minutes...this is horrid and hellish! 
Now, as I know that I'm a career gym quitter, I know that I need to give everything two chances and being spurred on by others is best. Therefore I book in again, this time round I love it!!! 
This time round, I find it easier. The session is more accessible, we get to go down the hill as well as go up, we get to decrease resistance, as well as increase, it's in lots of little bursts and some resting. I stand up and stay up, I increase the resistance and rock side to side like a pro, I am a pro! At the end of the class, I'm buzzing!  I love it! I want more! So much so that this week I went two days in a row and I'm still loving it!
I don't know how long this will last, I generally detest most exercise but right now...long may it live! 

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Sleep Walking

I woke up this morning complaining to Ro about his waking me up last night and how it wasn’t fair as I was unable to get back to sleep, and this isn’t unheard of, as he does have nightmares and vivid dreams and wakes up with a start. However, this time he refuted the claim and told me that I had woken him by talking about security and then insisting on checking on the front door, which is such a creepy thought. Especially, as I thought I hadn’t slept walked in years, except once while drunk which Ro likes to remind me of a lot, especially as I tried to have a wee in the living room during that experience, and then stripped off and got into bed, regardless of our guests at the time.
Anyway, there I am freaked out and confused and disbelieving in Rowan’s story to walk to the top of the stairs and find the front door double locked. Bugger! He was right!
As creepy as it is, I’d rather be right…now I’m doubly creeped out! 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Eurovision 2016

I LOVE Eurovision! My parents never really watched it, however my friend's parents did and I used to stay during that weekend. I'm not sure if it is the cheese factor, poor song writing, excessive costumes, but I adore it!

Now, since Australia were invited to join, they appear to have taken it a little seriously...which will need to rectified. We must ensure that someone sends them a memo stating that it's never to be serious and terrible is much more appropriate. I'll start writing it up as soon as possible...they should know.Additionally, this year they nearly won, so I guess we should discuss where they will host it, if they do win in the future, as let's be fair, it can't be hosted in their fair country. I guess Scandinavia or Britain would be best. I'd suggest Ireland but they've been purposefully not winning due to finances, or should I say the lack of them!
Many people joked about Australia being part of Europe, check out this helpful map:



European Map
image courtesy of the internet


I joked that Australia were invited out of kind one time and didn't realise that it wasn't a repeat invite...however I'm enjoying that it is becoming a bigger thing.
This year, Sweden's production value was far too high and Justin Timberlake shouldn't have appeared, but all in all it was a good evening. Even the new, maddening scoring was filled with tense and nail biting moments, I hope it continues through to next year also!
My other hope is that if we continue to extend invites to other countries that we never, I repeat never, let America in. They will just ruin it for everyone, however Canada, you are welcome any time! I can see it now, Mounties flying across the stage and the singer dressed in Ice hockey gear and a Moose climbing a mountain...while writing to Australia, I may write to Canada also.
For anyone interested, here is a map (I believe it to be accurate) explaining when certain countries joined the wonderful evening of celebration, nothing political and national humiliation:

Eurovision Map
image courtesy of the internet

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wedding Planning Pt.1

I fear that these posts will become Wedding Planning Pt.4879 very soon, so in advance I apologise! Gees, do I apologise, I've only been at this for a few weeks and am already over it. In fact, when I started looking into it, I was over it.
Since last spring I have been popping in and out of potential wedding planning, like I said above: ugh! Ro and I have investigated having it hosted in Wales, in Oxford, in London, in Oxford, in the Cotswolds and back in Wales to never ever it's too much work!
We found one place which seemed perfect and I spoke briefly about it in a post from November 2015, however once we contacted them, they requested £8000 for the hire of the venue for the weekend and food, our guests were then expected to part with £200-450 for accommodation, plus we needed the registrar, license and booze. Their website told tales about being home grown, organic and yet when we asked if there was a corkage fee for homemade Elderflower Champagne, we were told £11 per bottle! Homegrown, my arse! Typical capitalist wankers who spout organic lifestyle but made their riches in London being exploitive and continue to do so in Wales. It really irritated me greatly and once I received that email, it made my mind up to delete the venue from our shortlist.
After that, we considered doing it in London, hiring a rental space and bringing everything in, or getting married in a town hall, having old Routemasters to take up to our reception in the private room of a pub or restaurant. I contacted a couple of bars about renting them, they're minimum spend was £25k exclusively, or £10k and opening to the public at 10.30pm. I think it is safe to say that they had no interest in dealing with weddings. We worked out that renting a space and loading everything in would cost a fair penny and I'd rather not spend a deposit for a house on a piss up with friends and family!
We did find this: St Dunstan in the East and thought it would be a wonderful place to get married and then realised this is England and it would most likely rain, no matter what month it is and we'd still need a reception venue afterwards.
So, we gave up for a while and then, one day while looking online I stumbled across a Charitable Trust Nature Reserve in Somerset and fell in love! We hope to get married there in the future and look forward to planning our BIG day with you all...that is if we don't break up during an argument on what colour the ribbons on the fence posts should be?! As that sounds plausible from the tales I've been told about wedding planning.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

New Website

Come find me here!

It's a work in progress, so please be kind and patient.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Lilacs


image.jpg

Our entire building is upside down due to it's facelift: painted windows & doors, freshly plastered & painted walls, and the brickwork washed - it's going to look dead posh very soon! 
However, I fear our front garden will pretty much remain the same: patchy weed filled grass, over grown trees & bushes, and general crap from neighbours who don't respect the neighbourhood or the environment. But I was delighted to see that the lilac bush has flowered and developed some beautifully scented flowers this year, so much so that I've taken some cuttings for our living room!
Our tiny section of London isn't that bad really, the Lilac and Rosemary bushes can almost make you feel like you're in the countryside.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

London Politics

I am a Sadiq Khan supporter. We have had our fun with Boris. He was light entertainment and a great relief from the shitty situation most of us had found ourselves in, post the financial crash of 2008. However it is now time to get London back on top. It is time for the poor to know that they are not just an inconvenience; for the elderly to feel safe in their homes; the young to get the right education and opportunities they deserve; and for everyone to have a London to enjoy, rather than feel excluded from the majority of it.
I recently read the above article and was reminded of the time when I first moved to London. During that time, I had a flat I couldn’t afford, no proper job and a partner who was suffering from depression, or an inability to be sure of his situation; I’ve no idea but it wasn’t necessarily the rainbow and roses I had hoped. As everyone does, I painted a happy picture on my face.
My first proper jobs were temporary positions and I was paid weekly. Due to this situation I had to choose between food and electricity; getting up earlier to catch the bus, as I couldn’t afford to get the tube to work and eat; not attending certain events with friends as I couldn’t afford to get there and eat / drink; and always working out how many journeys I would make that week verses that month, to see if the weekly / monthly pass would work out cheaper. On various occasions I didn’t attend weddings of friends and missed my cousin's funeral all because I couldn’t even afford the train/coach, accommodation, or flights, and I still feel crappy for missing out on such life events.
I’ve always been overly generous but during that time I had to become the person who paid for their drinks separately and avoided rounds, asking to be taken out of the bill split at the end of the meal. I hated it, it wasn’t me. Sometimes I tried to not be that person and during those times I would pay via credit card, this resulted with me getting into £5k in debt over two years…an amount which felt impossible to pay off and to this day I am still paying off. And this is why I have sympathy for those who are not in comfortable situations. It is so easy to forget that others don’t have it like you do and that once upon a time, you were not as comfortable as you are now.
I am pleased to say that I haven’t been in this position over the last few years, there have been times but never that bad. And yes, I would definitely claim I am bad with money, but it is because I have little respect for it: it is far too easy come and very easy go! Therefore, I enjoy it for what it is. I do not save and save and never have fun, but I also do not spend everything and live from nothing for weeks at a time. I am lucky: I have had support from my family and fiancĂ©e, I have a fantastic loving support network of friends and now have an incredible job and feel more appreciative than ever for my lot.
Due to this, I want others to know what this feels like. I’m in the belief that Sadiq Khan can help to do this. For too long, London has been run by politicians influenced by corporations and greedy friends. We are becoming more like America every year and I cannot stand it. Having watched Zac Goldsmith’s PR team constantly throw mud at Sadiq Khan has been shameful. These are not the movements of a strong, confident candidate, these are the actions of someone who is fearful that they’ve lost and are desperate to drag someone else down with them. And that is not the type of person who should run a City such as London, the constant attack that Sadiq Khan is a supporter of terrorism because he is Muslim, are like the constant questions about juggling family and work life that Women in the public eye get asked. It is shameful.
Therefore, I have voted Sadiq Khan, as he hasn’t thrown mud at anyone, and has time and time again stated his promises and hopes for the future. My only hope is that he lives up to the hype and delivers what he has promised. Time will tell.
x

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ro & his MS

Recently Ro had an MRI and had the best news you can get when it comes to MS, his legions have faded nearly completely and he's considered in the clear: 100% remission. 
This is incredible news all round. It appears that the Tecfidera is working, although due to the nature of the drug he will need to have regular blood tests to ensure his body is aligned.
For all it's worth, it's a huge sigh of relief and long may it last! 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Kev the Peace Lily

In December 2014, Ro and I moved into our beautiful home and with him, Ro brought Kev, a very down on his luck Peace Lily who had seen better days. When he first arrived, my only hope would be that his leaves would turn green and he may get more than 5, ideally he would grow flowers but my hopes were low!
16 months later, we have our first flower! I am over the moon. Due to our Ficus being bear and fed up, we've moved him to our bedroom which gets more light than the living room and Kev is now in his element in the humid and warm kitchen. Maybe I do have green fingers after all? Probably not, it's probably just luck and circumstance!


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Creations: crochet blankets

Look at this sexy picture! Ro let me use one of his fancy, proper big people cameras to capture my charming crocheted wonders! I took most images on the sofa (in situ), however Ro felt that this shot would be more attractive and he was right, bloody professionals!!!

I can't wait to upload these all on to my new sparkly website, where my ramblings will be hosted, etc...new horizons are within view!


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Ro's new hat


While in Austria a gentlemen spoke to Rowan in German thinking he was German / Austrian due to the hat, until that point they'd all known to address us in English...oh how we laughed!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Today's apology

I need to apologise to the gentleman who was hard of sight, who I helped this morning.
You were perfectly happy and I offered a little assistance to you to cross a busy road. You were grateful for the help. Once across I asked where you were heading next, you said the building we were outside, the second revolving door, you then asked if I could get you to that door and I was ignorant, stupid and didn't just say 'of course' and leave it there, instead I said 'of course, I'd wondered how you'd get there'. How insulting and rude of me. You cope, and have coped for many years without the assistance of others and here I am, an ignorant person of sight judging that it must be impossible to live a "normal" life with sight difficulties. I am sorry for that short sighted comment, I should have kept it to myself and I didn't. I now know and I promise to never say such a remark to anyone else who is challenged, I have felt foolish and insulting all day and all I'd like to do is apologise to your face. So from the deepest depths of my heart, I am sorry for my comment, it wasn't meant with any ill will.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Holiday: Salzburg / Berchtesgaden

Rowan and I haven't been on holiday since our EPIC French camping trip to the South of France. You may all remember it from our numerous miserable holiday snaps - contrary to popular beliefs we actually have an incredible time then.

We decided to grab the BA Black Friday flights by the balls and booked flights to Salzburg. Ro has wanted to go back to Berchtesgaden since he visited there back in 2010, and this was the perfect chance. I've never been to Austria or Germany, so was far too excited about everything. I bought a phrasebook eight weeks in advance and started to host 'German word of the Day' at the office.

Anyhow, on with our holiday...we set off at 4am to Victoria Coach Station, to catch a 7am flight from Gatwick, I had never been there before so was terribly excited, of course. It's the little things...
Once at Gatwick, we did a little shopping and headed to our flight, we had to miss the compulsory Airport Pint, shocking behaviour, but I'm glad to report that Gatwick North has a Weatherspoon, just like every Airport in Britain. We did however have our breakfast booze on the flight, we and a guy behind us made the Air Stewarts open the bar at 8am, oh well we were on holiday.

Once landed in Salzburg, we were greeted by snow capped mountains. Off the plane we got and on to the bus to town we got. Due to arriving early we had to pitch up in a pub opposite the Train Station, upon entering the pub we were greeted by a 'Smoking Bar' and a pint...and...relax! Smoking Bars were a random experience, it's been years since I've been subjected to smoke and beer in a public place. Once checked in to our lovely hotel, Hotel Hohenstauffen, (highly recommended), it was friendly, warm and had wonderful 80s decoration, a flowery wallpaper; the four poster bed had flowery wallpaper on the top of the bed, it matched perfectly.

Flowery Canopied Four Poster

After our nap, we headed into town to have a potter, I got us lost of course by insisting that I knew best, however I didn't and then I was in a grump due to it. After a little walk around, Salzburg is very pretty, we headed to an Austrian themed restaurant and headed home for an early night.



On our first full day in Salzburg, we walked up to Kapuzinerburg. At 11.58 lots of sirens started going off, we concluded that we were about to be bombed, followed immediately by midday church chimes. We concluded that Salzburg celebrated in true style everyday midday! Shortly before this Rowan insisted that I never question him again, do what he suggests, go where he suggests and do EXACTLY as I say. Oh, it's like that is it...BLOODY MEN!!!

Graffiti, Salzburg & Ro

We ended our first full day in an Irish bar, drinking and being merry. Ro decided that we should go for dinner in a traditional restaurant, although I was shitfaced at this point and felt particularly ill halfway through, not a high point...in fact, a terrible low point!

The next day I felt dreadful to say the least. We had to pack up and head to Germany, it's always great to travel while hungover, isn't it?! After a train ride we arrived in Berchtesgaden, Germany! We were staying with Simon, via Air BnB. The apartment was large, airy and had enough space for 6 to share easily. Simon was warm and friendly with great local advice and a dry British humour.
We popped to the local supermarket for some provisions and booze and propped ourselves up on the balcony with some rotwein to watch the world go by...we eventually headed into town and ate some delicious Italian food, heading back to our spacious pad for an early night!


Ro fell asleep before me, as always and jumped so high in his sleep, it startled me and made me laugh...

We had planned while in Berchtesgaden to head up to Kehlsteinhaus and to Konigssee. However, The Eagle's Nest is shut during Winter and the ferries at Konigssee only run half of the lake, to St Bartholomew. So instead we walked along the Konigseer Ache to Konigssee. Along the Konigseer Ache there are plenty of biergartens and according to a local, they don't mind if you eat picnics in their gardens, which I look forward to doing one day.

Once at Konigsee, we awaited our ferry and once on, you get to see sights like the below. Isn't it glorious!

Konigsee

Once at St Bartholomew, we enjoyed the view and four 1 litre steins, much to the bartenders surprise and took in the breath taking views!

2 Litres of BIER!

St Bartholomew, Konigsee
We caught the last ferry home and decided on one more drink before we headed back, we missed the bus and had to ask McDonalds employees to call us a taxi. Everyone in and around Berchtsgaden were so friendly and accommodating. It's all so nice and I look forward to going back very soon...with friends. Once back near our pad, we popped into the new bar at the railway station (apparently once Hitler's private waiting room) and enjoyed a pint and the distance sound of bowling pins skittle across the shiny floorboards above.

The next day we needed some RnR, so headed to the Spa, had massages and floated around in the salt baths. Being able to eat and drink booze by the pool side felt strange but nice. Afterwards, we set off back to Salzburg, realising that the bus is much quicker than the train, so off we popped. We went through some lovely looking towns / villages and found our way to our new hotel, Hotel Amadeus. This type of hotel isn't quite our cup of tea but we really enjoyed staying there and the rooms were large and welcoming. The hotel runs an honesty bar at night which was refreshing and far too easily accessible - as we discovered later on that evening! They also had The Sound of Music accessible on the TV, however it was in German, which I clocked as soon as Faux-Maria started singing...


Also that evening we ate delicious Sushi at Nagano, it was a-ok! Where we received fortune cookies, Rowan's was empty :( , mine said: 'Du nimmst ohne zu zogern jedes noch so schwere Problem in Angriff', translated to: 'You take without hesitation even the most serious problem in attack'.

SNOW!!! Only a little snow but snow still, it's been decades since we've seen snow! It was so exciting, although it didn't settle! BBC Europe has constant re-runs of terrible TV shows, Blackadder and a TV show by Julia Davis, which I hope to watch at a later date.
Rowan bought an awesome hat (and was mistaken for a German) and we then discovered the stairs up to the Fortress, it was a hard climb but we bloody did it and were glad we did. Once up and in the Fortress, we enjoyed the view, the history, the tour and the marionette puppet exhibition.

The Bavarian Alps from Fortress Hohensalzburg

I don't remember Mr Von Trapp being so old!

Salzburg from the Fortress

Our last night in Salzburg was spent eating Japanese, I really fancied a Ramen and was heavily let down by it: £18 for Seafood Ramen. Seafood = a piece of cod, three medium size prawns and some mussels, plus the vegetables included in the soup were of the frozen variety, very disappointing. Ro's sushi was ok, although he felt that some of his rolls had been kept chilled, instead of freshly made. A very different experience from the night before. However, we wouldn't let that dampen our holiday, it was blinking brilliant. We had a super time and for my first experience of both Germany and Austria were wonderful. I can't wait to go back...

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Comfort of Escapism

My natural coping mechanism is to talk about everything and yet, recently, I haven't really wanted to talk about anything to anyone; in fact my greatest company of late is that of strangers, strangers don't want to know how you really feel, strangers don't care about your problems, strangers want a smile and a 'fine thank you, and you?' and that has been the greatest of comforts lately, however the problem with comfort is that it doesn't last for very long...it's like crack, you constantly look for your next hit and then you become an addict and if you surround yourself with enough strangers you can escape your own life for as long as you deem necessary, which makes you feel good about yourself for a short while but doesn't actually fix anything.

What does fix things is dealing with the issues at hand but dealing with the issues at hand mean that you have to process our feelings and talk things out and find solutions to things, and that hurts and is painful and takes time.

I would normally talk to friends about it but when it is something so sensitive, it's impossible to start that conversation, a couple of times when I did raise it with friends I burst into tears and then brushed it off with some easy quips and lighthearted comments. There has only been two times that the conversation has been met well, once with a friend who is going through a dark patch also and commiserated with me in feeling isolated and shitty, and the other with a friend who just gets shit and understands and asked the right questions and didn't judge and gave the right responses, I can't explain what it is but she just gets "it".

Rowan has been incredibly supportive, kind, patient and loving and he understands what I'm going through and he also knows that I need to talk to others about it, however I've no idea how to broach or deal with the matter at hand. I basically need someone to walk up to me and tell me to talk and that they'll listen and not pass judgement, as I think right now the judgement or lack of understanding is what frightens me the most. The fear that my friends are too busy, won't understand, don't have time, or can't comprehend and therefore will try to fix things, instead of just listening and saying 'that's shitty'. More so, I'm afraid that they won't care and that kills me and makes me feel worse. I already feel alone and the idea of being rejected or misunderstood is enough to make me not want to bother trying.

I think one of the hardest things about growing older is that you and everyone around you get occupied with their own things and you find that have less and less time to worry about anyone other than the ones immediately around you and so people drift and grow apart, and you find it hard to really talk about the ongoing issues in your lives as you don't want to bother your friends with the shitty parts of life, especially when you only get to speak for short bursts, you want to gloss over the issues and focus on the fun and entertainment, so that your friends call you back next time. Life shouldn't be like that, life should be that you talk about everything, as your friends will want to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly but it isn't always so and the more it becomes like that, the more we lose the time to talk about what really upsets us and deal with the issues at hand with friends.

Randomly I have spoken to my family about it at length, having my family there has been a saving grace as they know what I'm like and allow me to discuss it exactly how I need to without asking questions because they feel they should.
My brother Jules said that it's best to take it day by day and to allow my inner self to lead how I act on the outside, which has allowed me to feel as though I should accept that I feel like this and not fight it anymore.
My brother Adie listened for hours and then said 'I alway judge life by Les Mis, it could always be worse you could spend 19 years in jail for stealing bread to feed your starving family', which as stupid as it is made me laugh, a lot.
My Mum meanwhile just listened and laughed at stupid things and told me how silly I am about everything, she also added silly titbits about my Dad or other stuff that is going on.
And my Dad, he just talked to me about rugby and for him to discuss anything at length on the phone is always a win (bloody Dads).

The best thing to come out of all of this is that having my family and Rowan in my life, I feel as though I can conquer anything and I will get through this, I just need to take it a day at a time and remember that I'm lucky to not be Jean Valjean, during the majority of Les Mis.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Depression Update

I've been to the Doctors and will get a referral, Ro things that maybe it is my emotions being misplaced and materilising through anger and impatience, instead of tears. We shall see, it is definitely an option...what ever it is, I hope it changes soon, I'm fed up of being angry, bitchy me, who hates seeing people she loves, feels isolated and spends her time surrounded by people I hardly know so that I don't have to talk about me.

In fact on that note, I saw a friend for lunch today and we discussed miscarriages and death, she lost her Father last year. We spoke about how bad people are at dealing with people who have lost and how they over think everything, rather than allowing the bereaved to lead conversations and to carry on as normal, letting people come to them if they want to. It is so funny how we all experience loss over and over again and yet we are generally terrible at talking about it and knowing how to support people who have been affected. We agreed that if we all just opened up a little and discussed it in a more open forum then we could be more effective and helpful, maybe one day.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

A happy little Otter

Rowan bought this for me this weekend in Grantham, I adore my happy little Otter...


...and I bought this for myself (sans frame), it is a 1930's postcard from Germany, I couldn't resist it.


I love postcards and can spend hours sifting through all technicolour postcards and photos of any and everywhere, in fact Rowan and I bought the postcard below from Hastings, last year, as it was of the Los Angeles Irrigation Canal as we thought it was hysterical, we'd love to know who thought it was a good idea, or more to the point who bought it???


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Crazy lady

The other evening I was on handsfree talking to my Mother and on her end of the line she was talking to my Nephew, so there I was walking down the street screaming 'talk to me' repeatedly with my hands in my pockets and insanity in my eye!

If it had been busier, as my Mother joked I may have had an ambulance called and a strait jacket donned!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

War and Peace

During Christmas 2014 I was given Tolstoy's War and Peace, the novel by my future mother in law, she accompanied it with the Audrey Hepburn film on DVD. I started to read it last December, having got 200 pages in before the BBC adaptation aired. Giving up on lugging 'the brick that is...' around in my bag, I accepting that some books take years to complete, I started to watch the BBC's version. 25 minutes into the first episode the 200 pages I had read were done and dusted and they'd only missed out a dull dinner party, an 8 page discussion about who should blow up a bridge and a war, nothing to it.

The adaptation is very nice, however I do wish I had continued with the book, maybe if I find myself laid up for some time I shall commit, along with 'Notes from Underground' which I just couldn't wrap my brain around on the tube or before sleep.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Depressed, me?! Maybe...

I have a lot to write about, over the last three months...however I'd like to be self indulgent and talk all about how I feel: me, me, me!

Excitedly a lot of my friends and family are expecting babies during the first two months of this year, some of which are first time parents and I'm over the moon for them, however I also keep on bursting into tears sporadically, 'over the moon for them'  indeed!

I think one of the biggest issues is that I haven't actually completely dealt with my grief attributed to my previous experiences, additionally not being able to attain one of the things I've ever wanted from a young age, is proving to upset and frustrate me beyond belief.

I know that all of the old adages apply and eventually it will happen, but what if not? And why me? And how come it appears to pick certain people and not others? And why do so many people think that it's irrelevant and not worth mourning over; the list of questions is unending, typically.

I watched an interesting Ted Talk about Depression, here is the link.

I had always thought that depression is exactly what most people think it is: a constant darkness and an unending feeling of despair, however Kevin explaining that the not knowing why you don't want to get out of bed because everything in your life is peachy, actually rang true and resonated with me. I hadn't realised it, but I have been suffering from a bout of depression...I am depressed.

I spent most of my time trying to push the upset, hurt and endless questions to the back of my mind, I spent most of my time distracting myself, projecting my issues on to silly projects and dreams of 'one day', but what if one day doesn't happen and I am still struggling to keep my head above water. I know that I have a good family and a great selection of friends, I know that my job is good, I have my health, a loving partner, etc., but I also want to cry, most days and for no real reason at all and that is what is so hard about all of this, the admittance that I am depressed.

The BIG reveal took a massive argument with Rowan while driving through Gloucestershire for me to finally admit, he had known it all along. I'm a lucky lady to have him and I thank my blessings daily.

The next step, after admitting to things is to look to fix or mend them, off to the Doctors I go...

Sunday, January 03, 2016

New Years Eve 2016

This year we waited for an invite to any, all events, a letter opening even. Did we receive one? No.

During NYE 14/15 we hosted a dinner party for 12 people, invited about 16, and had a mental pissed up photo shoot in Rowan's photography studio, good times all round!

This year we were sure we would receive something, so we made no plans and waited, alas it wasn't to be. So we planned to spend it in, or at our local, potentially heading to Lambeth bridge to watch the fireworks, if we were still standing at that point. And we did just that, we had a couple of drinks at home, headed to our local drinking beer and watching the tattoo at Edinburgh Castle on TV, eventually around 11.15pm we ordered a car and headed to Lambeth Palace Bridge, however our Dickhead driver thought he knew best, choosing Kennington / Elephant & Castle which fucked me off, as that is not going to help anyone. Shockingly, he couldn't make it to LPB and turfed us out at the Imperial War Museum 'great'.

This irritated me, I hate Taxi drivers who think they know best and us mere mortals know nothing, I hate people who take advantage, I hate people who are only out for themselves and to gain, etc. Therefore as we started walking towards Waterloo (not where I wanted to be) I ranted, I ranted within an inch of my life, I ranted so much that some arsehole Policeman approached us and said 'excuse me Miss, can you stop swearing as I'd hate to have to lift you'. In my head I was dumbstruck and thinking 'Lift me? Lift me? Who on Earth says 'lift'? Did you learn the lingo from the Policeman of London handbook? Did you see it on a film and thought it made you look big and clever? Dick!', during this entire time my face must have been one of confusion, mean while Rowan says 'it's ok Officer, she's a little upset but she'll calm down now', I'm still dumbstruck. Mr Officer then says 'There are lots of families around tonight, I'd hate for one to complain and for you to spend the night in a cell', once again I'm dumbstruck and in my head chuckling now, as this guy obviously thinks he works for Sunhill in the 90's. Once again Rowan steps in and is terribly polite, he's such a legend, all the while I'm suck surprised by the whole event.

We eventually walk off and head to stand at the back of Waterloo, seeing approximately none of the full spectacle, as you can see below:

c/o instagram.com/rowan_cr2/
However the crowd were fun and it was nice to be able to say 'we saw London's NYE fireworks first hand'.

To see the spectacle in it's full glory and synchronised to music, click here!

Here's to 2016, may it be 1000 times better than shitty 2015!