Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The good, the bad and the ugly

It’s been a romantic year, what with the daughter’s engagement and then the wedding. The husband decided it was our turn – so he whisked me off last weekend to Paris by Eurostar. (You may not realise how romantic a gesture this was on his part unless you happen to know that on Saturday he was missing England playing cricket, the rugby world cup and something else, probably football)

The good:
*Going by train – so much more civilised than queuing at airports – and I could take all my make-up and moisturisers instead of doling out tiny portions and sticking them in a see-through plastic bag.
*Being turned away by a snooty greeter at a restaurant we’d booked after seeing it recommended in the Observer – it looked like an overlit, overblown tourist trap so thank goodness they had muddled up the reservation. We found a much more interesting place to eat nearby.
*Getting upgraded to a junior suite at the hotel – but only because our room wasn’t ready for us to check-in until tea time.

The bad:
*Housekeeping at the St James & Albany – which was 4-star, not cheapo fleapit and therefore inexcusable.

The ugly:
*Having our Visa card refused on the Metro and again when it came to checking out of the hotel. Then, back home - on finally getting to talk to someone at Lloyds bank to see why this was - being told the card appeared to have been cloned and used illegally in the UK.

Now Lloyds say the whole matter will have to go through some kind of dispute procedure and we will have to prove that we couldn’t have used the card in Norfolk or wherever on Saturday because we were in Paris! Good thing I kept that restaurant receipt.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Dress Dilemma

I didn’t wear a conventional wedding dress on the day I got married, so the question of what to do with it afterwards never arose. And I have no idea what my daughter plans for the ivory and gold number she wore on her wedding day.

It wouldn’t surprise me if she shortened it or dyed it black to get more wear out of it –she’s not usually sentimental about possessions. But I suppose she might wrap it in tissue paper and store it at the back of the wardrobe.

So what should you do with your wedding dress once the wedding is over? Give it to a charity shop? Sell it on ebay? Dig it out to raise money for charity on National Wedding Dress Day like the readers of Take a Break, some of whom are pictured above?

This week I read a news story about a wedding dress that had been passed down through four generations and worn by six different brides. That’s what I call recycling.

My mother was a war bride. I have no idea where she managed to lay her hands on a wedding dress or what happened to it afterwards. Sadly, she’s no longer here to ask. But she was so slim in the 1940s that, forty years later, I would never been able to squeeze into her gown even if she had mothballed it for me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

An atom of meaning?

I’ve done jury service once. My husband was recently called for the third time. That makes once for the coroner’s court and now twice for crown court – although it’s a different London crown court this time.

We discussed his deferring it, but in the end decided he might as well get it over and done with. (It appears to be much harder to duck out of altogether than it used to be.)

So he duly pitched up a week ago yesterday – and he hasn’t had a day in court yet. At first he was sent away in the early afternoon. Now he simply rings up between 3 and 4 and asks if he will needed the next day.

My fear is that on Friday he’ll be chosen for some complicated case that will go on for weeks. Surely that won’t happen, will it?