Monday, July 20, 2009

Rain, rain go away

Back from a week in Wales. Now I remember why those first package holidays were so wonderful. Sunshine. And paella.
In Wales we had a meal in one of the ubiquitous Farmers' Arms pubs that was memorable for all the wrong reasons - the chef had decided to serve the (burnt) crab cakes with a dollop of coleslaw and some very vinegary beetroot, on top of two old large lettuce leaves. Then s/he added a slice of orange and a slice of kiwi fruit. In my head I could hear Gordon Ramsey shouting four letter words.
The new potatoes were fine but I think that was enough staycationing for a while. Did I mention we had five and a half days of rain?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The long haul wedding

If you’re a MOTB – past or present – then you’ll be no stranger to the way in which weddings have changed since the days when your generation tied the knot.
As Imogen Edward-Jones (co-author of a book* I keep meaning to read) observes in the Times today: ‘What used to be a nice glass of champagne and a slice of cake in the village hall, with all the guests getting home at 6pm has morphed into an epic event.’
Or, as psychologist Oliver James puts it: ‘It’s like going on some long-haul flight. It starts at lunch and finishes somewhere after midnight.’
A former uni classmate of mine, Bel Mooney, is also writing about weddings today – this time in the Mail.
Her daughter is getting married and – unlike her mum who toddled off to the register office virtually between lectures with the minimum of fuss and bother – Kitty wants the big white deal.
Looking back I realise we were lucky that while our only daughter wanted a special day, she wanted one that was special for reasons that had nothing to do with extravagance or showiness. And we were probably lucky, too, that she didn’t have months and months to plan and dream and read all those wedding magazines.
So why do so many young women get carried away with planning their marathon weddings?
Edward-Jomes suggests it’s because a generation of women has grown up with the I’m Worth It syndrome, in a society that celebrates the cult of celebrity where we all want our five minutes of stardom.
James says its because ‘little girls have been infected with a pink princess culture’.
Either way, I can’t help feeling it’s all got out of hand.

*Wedding Babylon

Monday, July 6, 2009

Four weddings and a catfight (with thanks to the Daily Mail sub who wrote this headline)

There’s a new show on tv tonight all about weddings. But I don’t think I’ll be tuning in. It appears to be to be based on the worst side of human nature – whereas I prefer to think of weddings as happy, joyous occasions that can bring out the best in us. (I know, sentimental old fool).

Anyway, the format is that four brides go to each other’s ‘perfect day’ – and afterwards are encouraged to tell us what they thought, no holds barred.

No weddings for us at present (although my thoughts are with other MOTBs who are in the final countdown) but we did see a painting of a wedding on Saturday when we went to the Futurist exhibition at Tate Modern.

It’s by Leger and I probably wouldn’t have realised it was a wedding unless I’d read the info (incidentally, why can’t galleries use larger print when they do those captions they stick on the wall – it’s not just my generation that has to get really close to read them).

Interestingly, the acerbic exchange of opinions between Futurists, Cubists, Surrealists and all the other – ists of the art world leaves most of today’s reality tv backstabbers in the shade.