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.