Friday, December 26, 2008

Much Ado

New baby Bea made her arrival on Christmas Eve afternoon just before three. Bless. The very special delivery weighed 8lbs 3oz and the daughter is feeling fine.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Present

It's Christmas Eve. The presents are wrapped and under the tree. The turkey is in the fridge. I will peel the potatoes and carrots later ... but for now I am hanging by the phone waiting for news.
The daughter who was the bride who inspired this blog is having a baby. Probably today. The birth pool has been filled. The midwives have arrived. The TENS machine hasn't given up the ghost yet.
And all those of us miles away can do is wait, hope and pray.
(And stick a bottle of bubbly on ice.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gee Whizz

I may only post intermittently but I regularly check out my favourite bloggers. Some are more prolific than others – and some write something every day (which certainly puts me to shame). Today Z ( wrote about ten things she loves that begin with the letter R. She also invited her readers to take part in the exercise. It goes like this.

You are given a letter. You think of 10 things you love that start with this letter. You explain your choices on your blog. Then anyone who comments can also ask for a letter and so it goes on …

My letter is G. So – 10 things I love that begin with a G

1. Garibaldi biscuits. As children we called them dead fly biscuits. They are not too calorific and I can always kid myself that they might even count towards my five-a-day.

2. Garnets. My birthstones. I never exactly got engaged but, long before we married, the man who is now my husband bought me an antique gold ring with five garnets in a claw setting. I don’t wear it as often as I’d like because it tends to catch on things and if I don’t take it off to wash my hands, the soap clogs up the claws. But I still love it.

3. Grannydom. I didn’t think becoming a grandmother would make much difference to me. I have never been a cootchy-coo, baby-mad kind of woman. I used to say I preferred infants once they could walk and talk. But although my first grandson is (as yet) doing neither, I am besotted. And I don’t mind how many times I have to read Elephant Wellyphant to him.

4. Guinness. With or without added brandy or champagne.

5. Geraniums in pots (and I know they are properly called pelargoniums, because my mother, God bless her, would always correct me). We always have lots in the garden, but they never look quite as splendid as the ones you see in planters and window boxes in France.

6. Georgette Heyer. If I’m feeling really ropey I’ll take to my bed and re-read one after another of my teenage favourites. Faro’s Daughter, Black Sheep, Charity Girl – all full of delights such as this (not to mention the proper use of the colon) “I started in the petticoat line at Eton: that’s why they expelled me.” And where else do you come across words like fribble or coxcomb these days?

7. Girona airport. In that it is the gateway to our Catalan bolthole near Sa Tuna on the Costa Brava.

8. Guy Fawkes Night. Bonfires, fireworks (probably rain – but that’s OK unless it’s a total washout) bangers and beer. Much more fun than all that imported trick or treating nonsense.

9. Gaudi: Parc Guell, La Pedrera. La Sagrada Familia …. need I say more

10. G my son. Even when he is infuriatingly wrong - and when he is even more infuriatingly right.

PS Just asked husband for his 10
H said: G (the son); the Gunners (Arsenal); G-strings; G-spots; Geography: Gastronomy; Guitars; Goodness; God; Gym Girls Naked (I didn't dare ask!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Virtual weddings

You’ve probably read about the wife who sued for divorce after she caught her husband’s avatar cheating in Second Life.

If not, all the details can be found online (you could try
for example).

What interested me was not the cheating/divorce part of the story – a love rat is a love rat no matter where he operates – but the idea of having a virtual wedding as well as a real one. It struck me that in these belt-tightening times, it would be a perfect way to indulge your wildest dreams without breaking the bank.

You could arrive at the church/woodlandgrove/funfair in a vintage Bentley/winged chariot/customised Harley Davidson, dressed in head to toe Szarovski crystals/leather and black lace/nothing at all.

You could invite whoever you liked without worrying about upsetting family or friends. You could pick a venue and a menu for the wedding feast that wouldn’t involve snooty caterers. And so on.

At least, I assume that’s how it works. Anyone know different?

Oh - and this is not a picture of the love-rat's wedding on Second Life. It's Laurelyne Laville getting married to the wonderful Del Hotaling.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Far Pavilion

It’s nice that weddings are for the young at heart as well as the young.
Last week the neighbours who have lived two houses away from us for the past twenty-odd years tied the knot. (Their semi is almost exactly the same as ours, given that the two pairs of houses were built by the same builder in 1911, but that’s another story.)
The ceremony took place at the Ladies Pavilion in Central Park, the witnesses were their two grown-up children and, according to the groom, ‘the rest of the congregation comprised a variety of ducks and some basking turtles.’
Afterwards they all (bar the wildlife) went for lunch in the Union Square Café and then spent the evening at the Blue Note Jazz Club listening to the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars.
It sounds wonderful – and so much classier than tying the knot in Las Vegas.
The Ladies Pavilion looks very romantic but has had a rather chequered history.
It was originally a shelter for people waiting for the trolley at 8th Avenue and 59th Street and was moved from its original location to Hernshead around 1912, probably to clear the way for the construction of the Maine Monument.
By the late 1960s – perhaps around the time our happy couple met – the pavilion had fallen into a state of severe disrepair. In 1971 vandals knocked down what was left of it and the bits that could be salvaged were kept in storage until funds were found for reconstruction. The opening ceremony took place on October 30, 1973.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Candid camera

On rainy days I cheer myself up by checking out the weather on two beaches near our place in Catalonia. If it's sunny - even at this time of year - there will be people sunbathing or paddling in the sea. Just as there are today.

I bet most of them have no idea that they can be seen by anyone who logs on to

I expect I will visit one or both of the beaches when I'm out in Spain next week and, as usual, I won't be able to resist the temptation to wave in the general direction of where the webcams must be.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It's a jungle out there

A whole month has flown by since the last post. Partly because I’ve been busy, busy, busy – but also because I was feeling ever so slightly inhibited.
My own fault, of course. I tend to assume no-one reads what I write – not on this blog, anyway. But it seems they do.
So … I’ve been to a wedding, but I am not going to post anything about it other than to say it all went wonderfully well and that mother of the bride (and her husband) deserve a pat on the back for a job well done.
I don’t think any more invitations are in the offing - not because people think I might blog about their impending nuptials but because no one I know, young or old, appears likely to take the plunge into matrimony in the near future.
My diary isn’t completely empty, however. I’m going to a speed-hacking evening (a cross between speed-dating and journalism training). A firm I freelance for occasionally is having a birthday party at Ronnie Scott’s. There’s the press club ball with the dinosaurs (real ones, not just old journos) and a girlie trip to Spain with one of my best mates in the hope of catching some sunshine before we batten down the hatches for winter.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wedding dress day

The magazine I write for is full of wedding stories at the moment. I suppose it's that time of year.
There's a feature based on a study that claims one in four weddings ends with a friendship in tatters. There's the tale of the bride whose wedding dress measured thirty-five and a half feet around the hem, was covered in Swarovski crystals and weighed 28 stone. And there's a reminder that tomorrow is Wedding Dress Day.
The idea is to dig out your wedding dress and wear it to work (or whatever) raising money in aid of charity. I didn't have a wedding dress as such. My outfit was a natty mid-80s polka dot dress with big shoulders, so I am in no hurry to resurrect it, even if I could still get it over my hips (which I doubt).
But if anyone out there is interested, you'll find more details on
PS: Memo to self - relearn how to do click through links

Friday, August 15, 2008

Physic and pipes

Wedding news as follows:
*We have been upgraded on my old friend’s daughter’s guest list. That is to say, we weren’t on it at all to begin with (because the young couple wanted mostly their friends), now we are on the reception list. I’m not entirely clear as to what has been going on behind the scenes – the usual horse-trading, I expect - but the event will require stamina. It kicks off at 2.30pm and the invitation says carriages are at midnight. However, I expect this is code for: oldies welcome for the sit-down meal, but also welcome to make yourself scarce when the music and dancing starts. And young people please note that the neighbours will complain if the noise goes on too late.
I also detect a certain undercurrent of family politics in this note on the back of the enclosed directions. It reads: Please let us know if you’d like to bring your children so we can be prepared. Be aware that the garden opens onto both a canal and river so please don’t let them wander round the garden unsupervised. There will be a nappy changing area available. Translation? Babies ok, but if you have anything walking and talking, don’t bring it. And if you do, don’t expect us to do CPR.

*I had a lovely day out yesterday (a treat masquerading as work) which included an Indian head massage, a Bach flower remedy consultation, lunch in the courtyard of the Wallace Collection (nice food, dreadfully bossy waiter) and a trip to the Chelsea Physic Garden. The heavens opened as we arrived so we drove round the block once by which time the rain had slowed to a drizzle. Despite the dampness it was enchanting and I intend to return. En route a colleague told me she was soon off to a weekend wedding in Poland. At first I thought she meant she was going to Poland for the weekend for a wedding, but she says that the wedding itself will last all weekend. So she will need even more stamina than me.
She also said the detailed programme of events she’d been sent, indicating what would happen when, mentioned drinking vodka quite a lot. The English set of parents are now fretting that there won’t be any champagne at all – and that the English friends and relations won’t feel it’s a proper wedding.

Family news:
*Daughter, husband and baby now in Scotland. The baby has more teeth and is cruising round furniture. I will have to stop calling him the baby – especially as baby no.2 is on the way. I went up to help unpack and was taken to the Bridge of Allan Highland Games, which were a cross between a sports day and a fete with the added bonus of men in kilts tossing cabers and bands of pipers marching and piping.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Food for thought

Being a granny is more time-consuming, I am discovering, than being mother-of-the-bride ever was. Today I'm feeling a little sad that the not-so-newly weds and the baby are soon moving to Scotland - it seems such a long way away. But I'm also feeling happy because the daughter and the grandson are coming to stay for a few days.
We have (we think) babyproofed the ground floor and I've unearthed various toys. Now I just need to brush up my cooking skills. Judging from the expression on the young man's face, we seemed to have hatched a budding food critic.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Going down a bomb

I don’t know why it hadn’t dawned on me that Sex and the City (the film) is about a wedding. Anyway, I went to see it with a girlfriend last night which is when I realised that I hadn’t been paying attention to all the publicity.

So did I enjoy it? Sort of. I was never a great fan of the tv shows (too old, if truth be told - and why do younger generations always think they were the first to talk dirty and enjoy sex?) Still, there were some clever lines and Carrie’s outfits were fascinating in an “how could she possibly go out dressed like that” kind of way.

The film was more of the same, only too long and less well observed. But I loved the Westwood wedding dress and the dead bird hat. And it’s clearly going down a bomb (which is more than Samantha was, for once).

We went to the early evening showing (another sign of advancing years) and had the cinema virtually to ourselves. Apart from two brave men with their partners. the rest of the audience was made up of a handful of women of a certain age plus a couple of ladies who I doubt will see 80 again. They thoroughly enjoyed the naked sex scenes, tutting vigorously and muttering to each other.

When we came out, though, there was long queue snaking round the foyer. All women. Mostly 20, 30 and 40-somethings. Clearly the film is a hit.

I was tempted to suggest we found somewhere to sip a cocktail or two. But you’re more likely to find cola than cosmopolitans in the gastronomic wasteland that is the Finchley leisure centre and no-one had had the entrepreneurial drive to realise that a special promotion to link with the film would have had the cash registers ringing, given that so many females were on a girlie night out.

So we went home and opened a bottled of rioja instead

Friday, May 23, 2008


Exam time is in full swing and I wonder how my meeja students are doing. I hope none of them has been cheating.

Apparently, two students (no idea which department) have been reported for using mobile phones during their exams. The invigilators believed they were using their phones to view notes – but the uni couldn’t confiscate the phones as evidence.

Staff were alerted in a email which continued: 'However, the introduction of a mobile phone into an examination room is an office in itself, as is failure to comply with the instructions of an invigilator.'

Mobile phone an office? Must have been a smartphone.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bears of very little brain

I don’t know why I’m hooked on The Apprentice, but I’m looking forward to my fix tonight. Last week’s episode had me in stitches – it was a brilliant idea to send them all off the National Wedding Show at the NEC where they were clearly so far out of their depth that they should been broadcasting a Mayday from the start.
One bride-to-be looked on the verge of tears as Michael piled the pressure on in a bid to sell his wedding cakes, telling her that a traditional choice would look dull and be a disaster (or words to that effect).
I’m not surprised that no-one was prepared to put a deposit down on a wedding cake then and there. But I was surprised that Michael clearly thought his cupcake version was something special or different. Googling wedding cupcakes produces about 145,000 hits.
It would have been different if he had been flogging a cake made out of tiers of cheese. That, according to deli owner Nick Lindley, is the latest ‘in’ wedding food.
There’s a picture of one on the website. It’s apparently made with a base of Brie Meaux, topped by a Cornish yarg, a Colston-Bassett Stilton, an Italian Pecorino Rossa, a local White Nancy goats’ cheese and a soft Langres cows’ cheese from France.
I had to look up yarg. It does exist. But I am unconvinced that any bride worth her salt would rather plump for yarg than icing, chocolate, or even cupcakes.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Glass half empty?

I always suspected I was by nature a pessimist but this was brought home to me on Saturday when we arrived home after a trip to get an old buggy new wheels (joys of grannydom) and saw a pair of black, be-plumed horses waiting patiently in the street. “Must be a funeral,” I said. Then I noticed that the black horses were wearing white plumes and were harnessed to a carriage not a hearse. “Ooh, no, it’s a wedding,” I corrected myself. And indeed it was.

We have lived here for nearly 27 years (we moved in two days after the daughter was born, which was interesting) and this is the first time I can recall a street wedding. My daughter had already moved away before she married, as had the girl next door, and so far none of the other youngsters who are now 20- or even 30-somethings have tied the knot. But the block of flats opposite is now full of young couples who – unlike us back in the early 80s – cannot afford to rent, let alone, buy a house in London.

Quite of few of the neighbours came out to watch and wish them well. We think it was the bride’s mum in the pale green outfit with matching shoes and hat. The bridesmaids looked lovely in strapless, full-length garnet dresses. But the bride was truly beautiful in pale gold, with little lace cap sleeves and a bouquet of deep red roses.

We all clapped as she climbed into the carriage and the horses clip-clopped off towards St Barnabas’ church which is just round the corner. And I wasn’t the neighbour who observed that if I’d been the bride I’d have got them to go the long way round to get the most for my money. She just said what I was thinking.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hatch, match, dispatch

Two weddings have been announced this week, by daughters of friends. The friends have already apologetically made it clear that we won’t be on the guest lists.

My old room mate from uni says her daughter and the intended have announced they will be inviting only those who share half their genes to the ceremony (and partners one assumes). Children will be banned.

They want a drinks party in the evening for their friends – with the emphasis on drink not food. The father who is footing the bill is not entirely happy about this and the elder brother has declared that a wedding isn’t a wedding without speeches and a sit-down meal.

The other friend – the mother of one of my daughter’s school friends and a founder member of our book club - says their happy couple has decided on a small ceremony at the local town hall followed by a drinks and nibbles reception to satisfy the crumblies (they are up to 60 on the FOTB’s side of the family alone), and then a party for the bride and groom’s friends in the evening.

I am very happy for both sets of mums and daughters and I’m sure both weddings will be wonderful, but it’s also a sure bet that will be plenty of drama between now and then.

The other exciting news this week is that the daughter of another friend is expecting her first baby – and she invited Mum along to see the grandson or daughter on the scan. A nice gesture, I tbought.

So that’s hatching and matching – and sadly there’s also been some dispatching. This week I made a donation to the Woodland Trust in memory of a writer I met relatively recently, but who will be just as fondly remembered as the journalist I worked with back in the 1970s whose rather jolly wake took place in an old Fleet Street pub.

Anne Robinson came which was rather unexpected, arriving with one of her ex-husbands, which was even more so. And nobody got drunk enough to quote her catchphrase in her hearing, which shows how much we've all grown up in the past 30-odd years.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What we wish for

The daughter has always been on trend. When she was little her bedroom was a shrine to My Little Pony and Care Bears. As she got older we all learned to live with her enthusiasms. Witchery, purple hair, tattoos, piercings.

Stuff mattered to her. A lot. Indeed, she once ditched a boy because he wore the wrong trainers. So I shouldn’t have been surprised by last year’s wedding. According to a survey just published by More magazine, getting married is what every young women now aspires to.

More specifically, today’s young woman wants to marry a man called James, who earns at least £25,000, by the time she's 25. Apparently, if she hasn’t nailed her Mr Right by then she fears she never will.

When I was 25 all I was interested in was making a success of my career, having fun and earning as much as I could in my own right. The last thing I wanted to do was settle down with one man and start nesting. Looking back, I suppose I was just following fashion, too.

Anyway, the daughter doesn’t seem to have lost her feeling for what’s hot and what’s not. She was 25 when she married, the man in question earns more than 25k a year – but he isn’t called James.

It’s good she’s retained some sense of originality.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Trials and Tribulations

Back from (not-so-sunny) Spain and catching up with the news.

I see Ivana Trump’s wedding was suitably OTT. But it’s a story on the bbc website that has caught my eye.

A young lady from Birmingham called Ramona was all set to marry her boyfriend Wayne in July. The wedding was going to cost around £5000 – but then the bride-to-be lost her job. So how could Romana make her dreams come true?

Apparently she has been taking part in not one, not two, but three consecutive (one hopes) clinical trials. The fees she earned will pay for the wedding. Luckily she has not swollen up, turned black or had any parts of her anatomy fall off. She did get a rash at one point but it wasn’t serious. So that’s all right then.

The story didn’t make clear what contribution Wayne was making. Or why they decided to spend so much on one day in their lives when money was so tight. But then when has commonsense ever had much to do with weddings?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Poc ennuvolat

We are off to Catalunya tonight with some friends. The weather is not looking good. There will (probably) be no snow – but no central heating either.
Last week temperatures were in the T-shirt zone. This week they may be dropping into the thermals.
By obsessively checking the local weather forecasts I’m at least learning a few more words of Catalan. I think poc ennuvolat means a little hazy.
The number three son is to be left in charge. I will leave a list of Things To Do which he will, no doubt, ignore. As these include the ritual of putting out the recycling bins and bringing them in empty before they go AWOL, I expect any benefits of a week away will quickly dissipate on return.
The daughter, husband, grandson and two rugby-fan friends are coming to stay overnight at the weekend. They may also bring the mad dog. I have made up the spare beds and put out clean towels - and washed the dog's duvet.
It's hard to believe that a year ago I was counting down to the wedding. Probably because these days I'm poc ennuvolat.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Brides with bumps

Regular readers (well, one is always hopeful) may recall that last October I introduced my grandson, the reason why my daughter’s wedding was fast-forwarded a year.
I have no idea how many brides are pregnant when they marry – it’s not the kind of statistic the ONS supplies – but it must be a fair few. So it was a surprise how difficult it was to find a dress that would accommodate the daughter’s changing shape and still look stunning on the day.
We both surfed the net and came up with a few mail order possibilities. I held out great hopes for the yummy mummy sounding Isabella Oliver Belle Epoque dress but when it arrived (beautifully packaged) it was far too big, looked like a nightie and was not in the least bit flattering.
The main problem was not the bride-to-be’s expanding waistline (we could work out roughly how much bigger it would get by the day of the wedding and we used a cushion to simulate the bump) but her bust.
OK, it wasn’t exactly Katie Price proportions, but on someone who had been a 32A it might as well have been. And it was getting bigger all the time …
In the end we found a lovely Empire-line dress in gold and cream from Monsoon and with a little nifty needlework (by the mother-in-law as I pretend not to know one end of a needle from another) it looked a treat. Problem solved.
Skimming through the Daily Mail today (it’s work, honest) I spot a headline: Gowns for the bride with a bump.

It turns out that Tracey Wilkinson also had problems finding a maternity dress for her wedding. Seeing a business opportunity Ms Wilkinson has now set up Expectant Bride ( which makes designer weddings dresses for mums-to-be.
Ann Widdecombe apparently thinks it’s a sad sign of the times. I think Tracey’s business will blossom.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Something borrowed

The need for diversions to alleviate wedding withdrawal symptoms is not quite as strong as it was. But anything about brides, grooms. mother-in-laws or receptions - especially bad behaviour to do with any of the afore-mentioned – is still compelling.

Throw Torchwood into the mix – and how could I resist?

It was all complete nonsense, of course, with shapeshifters and alien babies, not to mention Jack bursting in to stop the wedding as Gwen was about to make her vows. But Nerys Hughes was a joy to watch, especially as I noticed (rather cattily) that since the heyday of the Liver Birds she has accumulated even more wrinkles and poundage than me.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Here comes the bride

As you may have gathered, I have added some music to this blog. It seemed a good idea at this time but on reflection I think it may become rather tedious - do let me know.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The long-suffering bridesmaid

Emily Perry - who played megastar Dame Edna Everage's silent and much-put-upon bridesmaid Madge Allsop - has taken her final call.
But like the good trouper she was, Emily first notched up her century.
I interviewed Emily in the late 80s (for Radio Times, I think). We met at her home near Crystal Palace, I was introduced to the poodle of the day, and then we went out to a hotel for lunch and a drink.
Out of character Emily had plenty to say and was clearly enjoying her celebrity. And unlike Madge, she was immaculately turned out.
So cheers Emily – every time someone plonks a sticker on my chest I’ll think of you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Suffer the little children

I'm not sure if arranging a wedding in ten weeks for a much-loved daughter counts as a moving personal experience in the grand scheme of things. But I've sent in a little bit of the blog to be considered for inclusion in a book that's being published to help this charity.
More information can be found at - there's still time to enter as the deadline is Feb 29.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love is like a butterfly

Yes, I got roses (2 in a mixed bouquet). And chocs (3 little hearts because I’m meant to be on a diet). A pot of that champagne Marmite (he knows I love Marmite). And a bottle of pink champagne (lovely bubbly). But best of all I got a cooked breakfast of mushrooms on toast (my favourite).

I’ve been trying to remember our first Valentine’s Day, but it has been lost in the mists of time. I still have some of the first presents he bought me – a pair of tiny butterfly earrings and a cream butterfly on a silver chain. And I still have some of the first love letters he wrote me. But I’m not sure I could lay my hands on the very first Valentine card and I can’t remember if we went anywhere special – or just stayed in.

I do remember the first time I cooked for him. It was one of those seventies dishes with cream and butter and pork and peppers – and it gave him an upset stomach. No wonder he now does most of the cooking.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Second Thoughts

If you're planning a wedding this year, now may be the perfect time to lay in a stock of champagne.

The supermarkets appear to be competing to see who can offer the best deals.

So never mind Valentine's day, stock up now while you have the chance. It might not be romantic, but listen to your head not your heart.

Valentine thoughts

Forget the commercialism. You don’t have to buy champagne and roses.

But we all need to be reminded at least once a year to make time and space for love and romance. To remember what you saw in each other in the first place. To count your blessings.

This poem - called The Wife's Tale - is a timely reminder

You crept between the cracks in a marriage and made yourself at home.
I was tired, worn down
by years of homework and school holidays.
I had heard his stories many times, no longer listened.
But you said, ‘You have done so many fascinating things.
I can imagine that you are very good at storytelling,
especially at bedtime.’

I saw a man with a thickening waistline, high blood pressure and athlete’s foot.
You saw a dreamer, a poet, a lover,
You saw the man he always thought he would be.
I dashed his dreams with reason’s cold water,
I cut him down to size.
But you said, ‘I have no doubt that you can do anything you want.
You are so clever and I am so proud of you.’

I sat in restaurants in silence because words were traps for the unwary.
But you said, ‘I'm never too busy to spend time talking to you.
You are such an interesting man.’
I turned away in bed, picked up a book, switched off a light.
But you wrote, ‘I cannot wait to see you it is such, such torture.
We need to make love, long passionate love,
with no clocks in the room, please, and no mobile phones.’

I black-binned his clothes, changed the locks, cried with friends.
You said, ‘I thought that no-one had to be aware of my presence for a while.
‘I don’t want to be the scarlet woman.
‘You have to sort things out without me in the equation.’
He did his sums in the guest house bedroom and came home.
You said, ‘Ever felt that somehow you lose all the things you care about?’
Almost, I thought, as he unpacked his bags.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lucky, lucky, lucky

It was brought home to me yesterday how lucky my husband and I were to have been so closely involved with the daughter’s wedding.

Chatting on the phone to one of my Christmas cards friends – the ones you’ve known for more years than you both care to remember but now only see once in a blue moon – I realised two things:

a) we got off very lightly in terms of the overall cost (my friend said that the daughter had spent more than £2,000 on the dress alone and that the husband had earmarked £30,000 for the event)

b) it was lovely having a chance to do the girly things that I never did for my own wedding – helping to choosing all the little details from the style for the invitations to the colour of the canna lilies and the bride’s dress.

My friend says the bride and groom – who are in their thirties – are organising everything themselves. That’s how it is these days.

After our daughter’s wedding she sent us a lovely card thanking us for making the day so special. Now I feel I should have sent her one – to thank her for giving me the chance to be so much a part of it.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Forward Planning

The copy for the meeja students' magazine Hitched is in and it's a pretty mixed batch. Some good ideas just haven't been explored properly.

One student wrote about the trend for vintage (or vintage in style) wedding dresses. She spoke to a vintage clothes collector and a make-up artist who specialises in retro looks, but she didn't find anyone to talk to about the evolution of wedding dresses themselves (although she did rewrite some of the info she found on various websites).

I felt sure there were collections in various museums that she could have mentioned, and curators who would have been happy to share their expertise. Indeed, when I Googled around a bit, I found several possibilities from Leeds to Dawlish .

I also found a treat for the future - a wedding dress exhibition to be held at the V&A in May. I doubt any of my students will be there.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Backsliding already

So how am I doing with my NY resolutions? Clearly I’m already failing to post any more regularly, probably because cuddling the young man on the left is more fun than tapping away on a keyboard.

But I am doing better on the ‘must finish more books’ front.
So far I have read:
The quite clever and somewhat touching Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
The much better Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (Thinks: Is this kind of title all down to the success of Short History of Tractors ….?)
The very funny (and useful) Pardon My French – Unleash your Inner Gaul
The Bard meets the Da Vinci Code in The Shakespeare Secret
And I’m halfway through One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
And although I’m nowhere up to dovegreyreader standards, I am working full time and it’s not the end of the month yet.

I don’t wish to say anything about the diet, except I would kill for a glass of wine.

As for my new batch of meeja students, I haven’t yelled at them yet. The module I take them for is one in which they have to come up with a concept for a 32-page A4 magazine, write all the copy for it, arrange all the pictures, design it and get it printed. In 12 days. It’s a tough task which requires sticking to deadlines – a concept young people often seem to have trouble understanding.

However, by some freaky coincidence this group has chosen a subject dear to my heart. They have decided to produce a magazine all about weddings.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sort of resolute

This year I will:

AIM to post more regularly on this blog – although I am still trying to readjust to the change of persona from Mother of the Bride (who can perform wonders by arranging weddings in just three months) to the granny who is completely out of date with modern methods of childrearing (no, Mum, you only give one breast at a feed so that they completely empty it …) Amazing that either of my two survived infancy really.

FINISH more books (especially the ones set by the book club, even if they are not and will never be to my taste because it’s meant to be a mind-expanding experience, not just an excuse for a glass or two of wine and a gossip). Incidentally, I expect everyone else who belongs to a book club has already read it but, if you haven’t, Tim Dowling’s column in the Guardian on October 20,2007 is spot on.
It starts: 1) This novel is filled with intriguing characters. Which character do you most identify with and why? Can you remember his or her name? Perhaps you should just let someone else go first.
I particularly liked: 11) The white wine has run out. Is your host going to get another bottle or is she going to keep going on and on about the symbolism of the frigging wind chimes? There’s plenty of red left. Should you switch to red?
Read the whole thing at,,2194153,00.html

LOSE 2 stones in weight (well, maybe half a stone)

BE NICER. Especially to my new set of meeja studies (journalism pathway) students even if, like the batch I had last semester, they cannot spell, punctuate, or recognise when a sentence is nothing but gobbledygook - let alone write a feature.