Saturday, 28 July 2012

I once got my head stuck in a cat flap

There’s nothing like a posh picnic, with cucumber sandwiches and very large strawberries, to encourage your friend’s to reveal their grubbiest and maddest stories.
If it hadn’t been for last Saturday, in a park surrounded by a rose garden, with a gazebo in case it rained, and stripy deck chairs for those who'd like to perch on a chair rather than a blanket, I may not have known many a weird and wonderful tale from my friend’s murky pasts.
I would never have guessed my hairdresser once snogged Robbie Williams. This was back in the early days of Take That! and apparently when he was a sloppy kisser.
I'll admit to being gob-smacked to learn my future sister-in-law accidentally killed her pet fish by insisting it competed in her home-made obstacle course. Oh Katy, don’t worry my love, your secret is safe with us.
Not to mention the cat flap story. But clever me guessed the guilty culprit behind this sordid confession, and for my accurateness I was awarded a black and white T-shirt.
But it wasn’t any old black and white T-shirt. Oh no. This T-shirt was an exceedingly special item of clothing. For it bore the words, loudly and proudly, for all to see: Keep Calm And Listen To George Michael.
And so the theme was set. Wearing this item, and eating chocolate cupcakes decorated with pictures of George’s face, we bopped away to his dulcet tones, from the speakers on the tartan picnic blanket.
And the best forfeit I could ever possibly have imagined, for forgetting my friend Annie walked into a glass door playing hide ‘n’ seek during her 30th birthday shenanigans, was to wear a George Michael mask, singing the words from Faith to a unsuspecting stranger.
Unfortunately the stranger I chose did not have a clue who this mega pop star is, or what I was singing. Can you believe that, dear readers? He was Mexican and it seemed George’s amazing music had not reached this unlucky foreigner.
My dear friend and posh picnic organiser, Caron, had to explain I was singing Mr Michael’s lyrics as part of a forfeit.
“Who’s George Michael?” he asked.
“I’m George Michael!” said I, pointing to his face I was wearing.
The fun continued at a fast pace. Following months and weeks of careful and exciting planning, 22 of my friends were assisting with celebrating my hen day and evening.
After sucking on a rather fowl garlic sweet (another forfeit from Caron and pay back for the garlic sweet I forced her to eat during her hen do), opening lots of fab and thoughtful pressies, and scoffing cheese and sipping Cava, part 2 of the event unfolded.
We'd finished laughing ourselves silly over guessing and unravelling tales of the unknown, and some known but forgotten and glad to be reminded of!
Part 2 was cocktails and a three course meal at a rather glamorous burlesque club. There was seductive singing, a penny farthing performer, a big band, and chocolate and cherries. What more could a girl ask for?
Apart from goody bags containing make-up, black satin gloves, a sparkling tiara, and a feather boa. And posing, for lots and lots of photographs with all my brilliant friends. My fabulous friends who literally gave me one of the best days and evenings of my life.
Especially one special friend and my future bridesmaid. Caron was the brain box behind the ‘I once…’ game, amongst many, many other delightful things.
Sometimes someone comes into your life and you just know it was meant to be. True friendship is a magical and blissful blessing.
Who else would think to buy me a George Michael mask? Someone who knows me very well, a friend who knows exactly what makes me tick, and has been there for me through thick and thin during this unpredictable, often strange, but truly unforgettable life of mine.
And let’s not forget, I also have a friend who once got her head stuck in a cat flap.

You gotta have Faith!


Friday, 6 July 2012

These are a few of my favourite things

What makes a house a home?
Of course it's the person/people you share it with.
It's the laughter, the love.
It's also the little things, wouldn't you agree?
The memories you create, the things you buy and are given to fill and decorate your home, and the stories behind the little things.
Here is a selection of my favourite things.

Pink tiger lilies. One of my fav flowers. My mum has always surrounded our family home with fresh flowers. And I remember thinking, many moons ago, that I would do the same when I was lucky enough to have my own home. And so I have, I do.

A cream rose, with silver glitter. It's not every girl who can say she has glitter on her rose. Lovely boyfriend bought me these flowers as it's my brothers 21st anniversary today. I've mentioned him again. Mark encourages me to talk about him, understands my grief and my reluctance to sometimes talk about him. I feel I've come on leaps and bounds since I met Mark, with facing the demons and awful memories from July 6th 1991. And this rose is a respectful reminder of my dear brother Lee, and how caring Mark is.

The vintage cake tin. One of the first things I bought from the delightful gift shop a few steps away from our polka dot home. Because I can bake now! And this is the tin to carry my cup cakes in.

The pretty cake stand. My friends in the office thoughtfully bought this for me on my last birthday. Hopefully they appreciate the cakes I've baked for them, and they knew I would love this to display my baking in the home! At present it has no cakes, the wedding dress countdown has begun.

The teddy family. See how they are posing for you! They've been on quite a journey with me, and I reckon they love keeping guard on the wicker basket in our bedroom, realising I am the happiest I have ever been in my entire life. They were presents from my mum and my god mum. Two special people.

And a mother is a precious gift. A Christmas present from my fab mum.

The vintage dinner set I bought one lunch time not long ago. I popped out to buy shampoo and excitedly came back, arms aching, with my charity shop find. It's served many a family Sunday lunch, and here's to many more.

The grandma recipe book my mum bought me. I adore this book and the idyllic photographs. Notice the strawberry cheese cake easy peasy recipe, I shall be sampling this for the first time for family lunch on Sunday.

I love old fashioned tins. The first tin caught my eye during a weekend trip to a charming Suffolk village, Lavenham, with Mark and my parents. ( Incidentally, it was Mark and I's first weekend away.) It was spotted in an antique shop just around the corner to the cottage we were holidaying in. The next two tins are from Lille, an extravagant birthday day out with my friend Claire.

I purchased this on the day I chose our lace themed wedding invitations, at a craft centre with my mum and dad. It's now displayed in our bathroom. I wanted to do something to mark the occasion. Happy days indeed!

The retro radio. I'm a big fan of retro stuff. And when I look at this I smile. Lovely boyfriend used it for the first time on the day of his stag do. He sipped a beer in the bath, whilst listening to music and nervously wondering what his friends had decided to dress him as. It's tradition amongst his friends apparently. And for the record - he was the only gay in the village! (Character from popular British comedy!) Only 2 weeks until my hen do, expect more pictures, dear readers!

I hope you've liked stepping into a glimpse of my world, our home.
So, do tell, what are your favourite things?

RhCHST_yf6c/T_dj7Nc5e4I/AAAAAAAAD0A/_Ss7yYU9oOo/s320/Retro%2Bradio.jpg" />

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Who was he?

The bright green invitation landed on my desk.
My eager eyes lapped up the details of a champagne reception in the marquee of one of the UK’s finest country clubs.
I read aloud to my colleague the information regarding a certain famous television presenter, who would be providing questions and answers with the sports men, whilst a three course meal was served to the chosen guests.
We made suitable excited sounds when I mentioned the afternoon tea scheduled to be sampled on the patio.
And we couldn’t help feeling impressed when we discovered the sponsors of the event were respected British jewellers, Boodles, established in 1718.
We flicked through the contents of the glossy invitation, admiring the photographs of the magnificent 37 carat Burma sapphire, and the immaculate grounds hosting the occasion.
It was summer entertaining at its most exclusive!
Oh yes and there would also be tennis matches viewed from our hospitality box, watching tennis players whose names still escape me.
I’ll be honest, I’m not really a tennis fan.
I would even go as far as to say, I don’t particularly like watching tennis, or have even really bothered to learn the rules of the game.
I apologise if I have offended anyone who is passionate about game, set, and match. Excuse my ignorance of world champion’s names and ranking. The only player I can really recall is John McEnroe, the former no.1 world champion who was famous for his serves and quotes of, “You can not be serious, the ball was in!” I’m not even sure how many times he is supposed to have said this, but his quibbles with the umpire are the only thing I can really remember or find interesting about tennis.
And the mentioned actual day did not disappoint or fail to meet our high expectations.
The smoked salmon, beef Wellington, and lemon mousse were delicious.
The sun made a rare appearance after continuous, gloomy, wet, days in the UK.
The champagne and wine were generously flowing, but again I congratulated myself for being disciplined and not wishing to act like a fool in the presence of the mailing house who had invited my colleague and I to such a prestigious event. And I admit to feeling slightly shocked and amused by two strangers conversation in the portaloo, “All this wine has gone to my head!” one lady slurred to another whilst trying to apply lipstick in a neat fashion. “All this wine has gone to my legs!” said the other woman, trying desperately to walk in a straight line.
And I confess to gasping, and then giggling, when a question from table ten was presented to one of the famous tennis players, “What colour pants are you wearing?” Yes the wine and champagne were perhaps being enjoyed a little too much by various attendees.
Even the tennis matches weren’t too bad. I felt quite glamorous perched in our box, taking in the neat grass and the tall player smashing the ball with his racquet, thinking this must be rather like visiting centre court at Wimbledon.
Kind of.
I still can’t remember who the very tall famous tennis player was.
At least I’m consistent, dear readers. You can’t change a habit of a life time over night. You can’t really pretend to be impressed about tennis when you don’t really know anything regarding the sport. Or the players.
But tennis fan or not, the bright green invitation which landed on my desk, certainly surpassed all of its offerings.