Saturday, 23 July 2011

Can't cook? Won't cook!

The other day, I was asked to contribute to someone special's* Hen Do Recipe Book. This was problematic as I don't have any recipes and I don't bother to follow recipes that belong to other people  - because I don't cook. I can cook, but I just don't want to. I'm not interested in cooking or the mess it creates and the outcome is just never great enough to warrant the stress and mess. The only time I seek out kitchen implements (and there are many in our kitchen) is when I'm getting creative with the cocktails. Cocktails are my passion. I'll go to the end of the earth for a good cocktail. So that is what I decided to contribute to the book, but with a Sugar Plum Slipper spin. The below is what I submitted to the Hen Committee and as a wee tribute to the Bride-to-Be, I'm including it here... remember, please drink responsibly!

Victoria's Perfect Wednesday Night Cosmopolitan
Share with friends or enjoy alone!


(makes one)

2 measure Finlandia lime vodka
1 measure Cointreau
1 measure quality cranberry juice
squeeze of fresh lime
ice cubes


  1. Check through draining board debris for cocktail shaker, locate lid in cutlery drawer.
  2. Check vodka optic to ensure it's not empty after last weekend's party,
  3. Put all ingredients into the cocktail shaker. Add an extra shot of each, it's been a hard day. Shake, checking the windows to make sure no one's watching your Tom Cruise moves. Good job that lid's on tight.
  4. Struggle to get the lid off, spill a good mouthfull all over the floor in the process. Make a note to tidy that up later.
  5. Add more ingredients to replaced spilled content, but hold the cranberry - the fruit acids are bad for your teeth. Shake some more.
  6. Pour one serving in to chilled martini glass and place cocktail shaker with remaining mixture in the fridge to stay chilled. Remove items such as milk and cheese to make room.
  7. Garnish with fresh lime and a short straw (snip a big one down to size if necessary).
  8. Place oneself demurely on the sofa, keeping glass within easy reach, and settle in to catch up on the news and other current affairs.
  9. Slurp
  10. Return to kitchen for second helping, add another serving to the shaker, just in case you fancy a third, and maybe a fourth. Spy the cheese on the worktop. Snaffle it for dinner. Return to sofa.
  11. Slurp
  12. Return to kitchen for third helping, slurp whilst seaching for crisps.
  13. Top up glass with remaining mixture and place shaker on worktop for washing up. Make a note to clean the floor when you do the washing up. Return to sofa and find some "choooooons" on MTV Dance, update Facebook status with various comments. Be sure to include the words "old school", "reminisce" and "besties" in each. Slurp.
  14. Return to kitchen to make a further two helpings, mainly just to finish the cranberry juice carton. No point putting it back with just that little bit left. It's not OCD, it's just good sense. Notice your teeth start to feel a bit sensitive. Resolve to book a hygenist appointment the next day.
  15. Think better of pouring in to martini glass, they're just not stable and this one has a leak - it's dribbling everywhere. Find a long straw and return to sofa, with a packet of biscuits (dessert, obvs)
  16. Slurp direct from cocktail shaker, straw optional. Check work emails. Send highly witty responses but don't bother with spell checker. It always replaces business acronyms with silly words. Leave voicemail for yourself to call IT about removing the spell checker option on your blackberry.
  17. Wake up face down on sofa, peel cheek from leather and thank the Lord for wipe-clean, soft furnishings
  18. Phone hubby to tell him how much you love him. Apparently he came home an hour ago and went to bed.
  19. Stagger to kitchen, survey mess. Choose to ignore. Lightly rinse the cocktail shaker, fill with tap water making attempt to be as quiet as a mouse and extremely tidy. Leave sock behind when it gets stuck to the sticky cranberry/cointreau patch on the kitchen floor. Take cocktail shaker to the bedroom and place on bedside table, remove clothes, remind hubby that you love him.
  20. Slurp the sticky Cointreau flavoured water vigorously through the night, praying for Tube Strikes in the morning.

* the wedding is this weekend - SO excited!!! It's going to be beeee-ooootiful x

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The end of an era

Ten years ago I read a feature in the Sunday Times colour supplement about the first Harry Potter film. I’d heard about the books, and the audio books, as I had younger cousins and my mum’s friends had much younger children, but I hadn’t paid much attention. But on reading this feature my interest was piqued and I thought I’d check out the stories. Luckily my dad had thought the same and purchased the first book (Philosopher’s Stone) at an airport that week so I nabbed it and settled in for the evening with a cuppa, and probably a packet of Maryland cookies.
And I didn’t put that book down until I had finished.
That first book with its fantasy storyline and childish front cover pulled me in and I haven’t looked back since. I fell in love with the characters, the simple themes of love, courage, friendship and loyalty and the world that JK Rowling created. I finished it in under 24 hours, having read until the sun came up, and the minute the shops opened I was out there buying books two (Chamber of Secrets), three (Prisoner of Azkaban) and four (Goblet of Fire). I didn’t come up for air for a week as I devoured them with a passion I hadn’t experienced, since… well, I’m not sure I’d loved anything that much at that time. And in a way I’m not sure I ever will.
I think that western society can be divided in to three groups: those that love Harry Potter, those that don’t and those that haven’t read it.
I respect the opinions of the second group. But quite frankly, they must have missed the point, or not read them properly. How can they not love them? And the last group? Well I feel sorry for them. I feel sad that they missed out on, what I think, is one of the best fairytales in history.
I wasn’t there from the beginning, I’ll admit that. I read the books after seeing the pictures of the first film in that colour supplement feature, so to me the characters have always been the people that portrayed them in the films. So that means I couldn’t imagine anyone better for the parts. Harry, Hermione, Ron and Snape have always been Dan, Emma, Rupert and Alan, and vice versa.
So anyway, I virtually inhaled those books, I created a new family tradition whereby the while family went to see the films on opening night, I queued up at midnight for the newly published books, I purchased every charity and special edition book that was released, I read through the night, I missed my stops on the train and spent lunch hours hunched over the book in the rain with an umbrella outside my office willing time to slow down so I could get one last chapter in. I even bonded with my future husband over the love of the stories (Personally I think that was the clincher!). The last book was launched the weekend before I started a new job at Lehman Brothers. I was so upset that I wouldn’t be able to skip out at lunch with my precious volume and immerse myself in the gloomy setting of the Deathly Hallows on my lunch break – it was Harry Potter or my career…. Eeek? I needn’t have worried. The Senior Vice President of my team had flown in from NYC to welcome me, and had read it from cover to cover on the flight over. She understood my obsession, as did at least three other members of the team (at various levels) who were also so crazy about it that they were reading it at their desks when I arrived (maybe this is where things went wrong for the Firm?). I instantly felt at home here. I made new friends and found fellow HP kindred spirits and despite being at the four corners of the globe, we are still infinitely bonded by our love for the Harry Potter story.
For the last ten years I’ve spent my life in a constant state of anticipation, awaiting the next book or the next film, and this weekend that all came to an end.
And it was eeee-moooo-tional.
That music has always given me chills. Chills and goosebumps. Chills, goosebumps and tears in my eyes. But when we went to see The Hangover: Part II and the final trailer came on, I just lost my composure and I cried. Nay, I sobbed. I haven’t sobbed like that since Titanic came out and Kim and I clung to each other and sobbed and wailed as Leo, sorry, Jack, sank to the bottom of the Atlantic (“don’t let go” – sob). It was a comedy and I walked away feeling glum.
It’s not just the sad things that happen in the film, it’s the happy things that happen. And the bittersweet ending. And the way we’ve seen the storyline and characters develop so beautifully. Not to mention how much I’ve fallen in love with those kids… that are now men and women. I love Dan, Emma and Rupert as much as I love Harry, Ron and Hermione.
It’s the way that the story is timeless. It’s contemporary, but also old fashioned. It’s set in the modern world, but there’s no mention of anything more modern than electricity, dentistry or motorcars. It’s a story that doesn’t have to include sex, drugs, violence and sensationalism to draw the readers in – and keep them there. Every story has a moral without preaching. Every character learns a lesson about themselves and the society in which they live, and the reader learns those same lessons along with them.
I learned that a hero doesn’t have to be a hunk or a muscle man. I learned that hard work is how you succeed, not through short cuts. I learned that strength of character is more important than looks. I learned that EVERYone is beautiful in their own way, and our individuality is what makes us invaluable to society (Lady Gaga also taught me that one). I learned that everyone can bring their own unique offering to the table, and that united, those offerings give us strength in diversity. I learned that love exists in numerous forms, and every single one is necessary. I learned that human compassion, loyalty, bravery, courage, standing up for what you believe in is what life is actually all about.
In a time of Pussy Cat Dolls, X Factor, Barbie, Nintendo Wii, football thugs and WAGs, Harry Potter gives me hope for my future children, in that they will grow up with stories and characters that teach these lessons. Because I can’t wait to live and breathe the stories all over again as I read them to enraptured little faces and see them experience these books for the first time.
That is how they will live on for me, by passing on the love to the next generation. Until then the only thing for it is a trip to Florida to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter… and maybe Googling pictures of Neville looking all newly grown up and, erm HOT all of a sudden, to make me feel better about it all being over. Hello Gryffindor’s Champion!
So, like I said– it’s the end of an era. And, just like in the story itself, though it’s sad to say goodbye, the fact that the door to the past closes means that another door to the future opens:
And so, to finish, I would just like to say, some thank yous.
Thank you JKR for gifting your stories to the world. I can’t imagine my life without them.                      
Thank you to Bloomsbury for understanding why JKR’s gift was one that had to be shared.
Thank you to Warner Brothers for making JKR’s vision become an almost-reality. I didn’t always agree with the translation from page to screen, but ultimately I recognise why the sacrifices were made.
Thank you Dan, Emma and Rupert for portraying the perfect Harry, Hermione and Ron. You did it with class and humility and I love you for making those characters live and breathe.
And now excuse me whilst I have another little cry…

Monday, 18 July 2011

Outfit arithmetic

Am I the only person who constructs spreadsheets of outfits? I have so many events come up and with the advent of Facebook, I can’t possibly be seen in the same outfit twice, well maybe twice, but defo not three times. So with all the events, weddings, parties, lunch dates and trips I have planned I had to do some serious outfit spreadsheeting… no last minute outfit decisions for me. 

A-list-worthy bargain!
Obviously, this required a few purchases, you know, just to fill in the gaps... So Olivia Palermo (a new addition to the Girl Crush list) rocking this Topshop dress helped me out.  A-list style for under £50 – praise be to Topshop... shame the rest of the outfit (clutch, shoes, necklaces etc take the outfit total cost to a little over £1000. I'll just stick to the dress. Maybe pop to New Look for some necklaces... hmmm)
A slightly less successful part of the planning included a wee trip to Warehouse one lunch time where I spied some lovely frocks. I purchased said frocks – a green dress (GD), a blue dress (BD) and a patterned dress(PD).
Round 1 Dress tally = 1 x GD, 1 x BD and 1 x PD
I then return to my desk and find an email from Warehouse with £20 off the same dresses. So I purchased them again.
Round 2 Dress tally: 2 x GD, 2 x BD and 2 x PD
And then I start to wonder if I’ve bought the right size in the GD, so I order it in the next size down
Round 3 Dress tally: 3 x GD, 2 x BD and 2 x PD
And then I thought that one of my friends might like PD, and it’s her birthday coming up, so I got her one too…
Round 4 Dress tally 3 x GD, 2 x BD and 3 x PD
All is well with my dress maths – as soon as the discounted dresses arrive, I’ll take the full price ones back to the store.
And then I get an email from Debenhams about their Blue Cross sale. A quick calculation suggests that 25% off the dress price is actually more of a discount than the £20, so I purchase them again. But to make sure that I get the right size I purchase two of the GD again, just in case they sell out of the one I need.
Round 5 Dress tally: 5 x GD, 3 x BD and 4 x PD
Excellent. I feel pleased with myself as not only do I now have the perfect outfit solutions, I got myself a bargain. Nothing pleases me more than a bargain. So I settle myself and wait for my free deliveries to arrive.
L - R: Green Dress, Blue Dress, Patterned Dress and Stripy Dress... Obvs.
And they arrive on Mr G’s day off. He shook his head like usual when I came home with my new dresses, that solved my “absolutely nothing to wear” issues (if you’ve ever seen my wardrobe, you’ll understand why he tuts and shakes his head). So anyway, there is a knock at the door and the Round 2 dresses arrive, but he’s not sure what’s going on – he’s pretty sure that these dresses at the front door are the exact same dresses as the ones hanging on my wardrobe door from the Round 1 purchasing.
The same day the Round 3 delivery arrives, just to confuse things, it’s exactly the same (GD) as one of the dresses in the Round 2 delivery and the Round 1 purchases.
The next day, the Round 4 delivery arrives. And once again it’s the same dress as before (PD). He’s starting to wonder if it’s Groundhog Day?
Later that afternoon the Round 5 delivery arrives and he really starts to think he’s lost the plot, and he calls me.
Mr G: have you been hacked?
Me: no. why?
Mr G: ok, so are you setting up an online dress re-sale business?
Me: no. Why?
Mr G: because we now have 12 dresses, hanging on your wardrobe, five of one style (GD), three of another (BD) and four of another (PD). What’s going on?
Me: I’m not sure what size I needed, so I got both sizes.
Mr G: I’m sorry… how many sizes do you actually need to try on Victoria?
Me: weeeeeelllllllll.......
I don’t need to tell you that trying to return all these dresses wasn’t quite as easy.
Store salesperson: I’m sorry, but I don’t understand it. It’s clearly the same dress as the delivery note says it is, and the serial numbers match up, but for some reason, it’s just not registering. I don’t understand it.
Me (with feigned ignorance): me either. I just don’t know what’s wrong. Sigh….
Don’t worry, it all got sorted in the end... and all completely above board! Problem is, now all of those dresses are a fraction of the price in the sale. I should have just waited.
Did I learn my lesson? Uh… shall I tell you the story about stripy dress (SD) another time perhaps…
[(5 x GD) + (3 x BD) + (4 x PD)] – [(4 x GD) + (2 x BD) + (2 x PD)] * (1 x pair Louboutins) + (3 x assorted fascinators) = 3 x event outfits
And I’ll share them all on here shortly… unless I find something else in the meantime that is….

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Back to school

Can you spot me?
I was talking with a friend the other day about my post on getting old, and she revealed that she’d told a 12 year old boy that he should make the most of school as “school days are the best days of your life”… christ.

You remember your “old” rellies telling you that as child at grown up parties, don’t you? You know, the events where you managed to blag lots of wine and beer by sweetly asking strange adults (that you assume are you friends or relatives of your parents, but you've never seen before) to “try their wine, to see if you like it” or snaffled it from half empty glasses left on buffet tables. Where you ate all the cake/chocolate/sweets/vol au vents/liqueur truffles/strange foreign cheese you could find and then ended up being sick and realise that all you can do to ease the pain of your throbbing head and churning tummy is curl up under a stray chair and whimper. Then one of smaller kids grasses you up to your mum and the grown ups all gather around and coo and say “oooo all that rich party food, and all that running around…” then you start to see double, and you start to slur your words and they start to cluck “oooo, I bet she’s over tired, all the excitement of the party” and suggest an early night (it’s 2am and the grown ups are doing boat races in the kitchen so there are no volunteers to take you home to bed even if you wanted to) and they start to joke that you “would put match sticks in your eyes to stay up late” (but at this stage you’d stick them anywhere to relieve the throb in your head) and so you stay on and watch the adults getting drunker and drunker and spraying you with red wine saliva as they tell you to "make the most of your school days".
What they don’t realise is that, with all the wine you’ve snaffled from the glasses, you’re just as drunk as they are and you couldn’t give a toss about school days, and quite frankly they know nothing because they are old, they are drunk and they have red wine stained lips. And, more importantly, you are having your first ever hangover, at 3am in some strange person's house* so you JUST DON'T CARE!
Just me and my parents then.
So anyway, that got me to thinking about my school days and whether they were the best days of my life and I came to the conclusion that although they were fun and I loved them, and I look back on those days with feelings of nostalgia and happiness (and often acute embarrassment), I think I’ve had better days since leaving.
I wouldn’t change a thing about my past. I don’t regret a thing I’ve done, as every little thing I’ve done has shaped who I am today and I like who I am today. So there.
However, should Dr Who or Blackadder, or anyone else with a time machine turn up on my doorstep, I’d find it hard to resist a wee trip back to Sandon and give my teenage self a few words of encouragement (and slap a few faces)… so what would those words be?
  1. Staying true to East 17, Shampoo, The Prodigy and the Spice Girls is all very admirable, but in fifteen years you will be attending a Take That concert, and it would be helpful if you knew the words, otherwise you are going to look like a complete weirdo in front of all the crazy fans. Yes, YOU will look like the weirdo, not the women aged 30+ with the inverted double Ts painted on their cheeks, screaming and crying and throwing their bras at the stage. Yes, Viki, YOU. So learn the words to Babe and save yourself the embarrassment!
  2. Be nice to that empty chair two seats down in Mr Stancer’s form room. That empty chair will one day become your husband. And he will probably propose a lot quicker should you actually remember that he sat two seats down from you.
  3. Do not stay with a completely unsuitable boyfriend for five years, just to prove to your mother that actually you are very well suited, completely in love and will one day live happily ever after. There’s cutting off your nose to spite your face and then there’s being a complete IDIOT and wasting a hell of a lot of time to prove you’re right, when actually you are very, VERY wrong. Whoopsie.
  4. Do not choose said boyfriends on the basis of the cars they drive. 18 inch alloy wheels (probably stolen) and a “phat” sound system (definitely stolen) does not a perfect boyfriend make.
  5. When choosing subjects in which to sit exams, that will then define your educational status for. Ever. More. Listen to the educated, employed, well-paid adults who suggest that if you want to work “in the city, in PR, journalism or marketing” (as I did), do not take drawing (Graphic Design) and colouring in (Art) as GCSE subjects! These subjects are fine, in fact ideal, for those considering art-based careers. If you are not considering this direction as a career (I was not), you will one day look back on GSCE Option Decision Day and wish you’d paid attention to those adults, who probably actually do know better than you.
  6. Do not hand in an incomplete Business Ethics paper just so that you can hit the road quicker to get to Great Yarmouth to see Girls Aloud perform on the beach. It will bring down your average so you only graduate with a 2:1, instead of the First you were predicted from the previous five semesters’ grades. Girls Aloud will mime, it will rain and you will forever be in the 2:1 Club at the Christmas dinner table and will never be able to lord it over your aunt and little brother with your (now non-existent) First.
  7. Heather Shimmer, Coffee Shimmer and Blondie are not the only lipstick shades in Boots.
  8. When in Boots looking for new lipstick shades, do not purchase the dark purple eyeliner and glittery pale blue lipstick.
  9. Do not apply the dark purple eyeliner as a substitute for lipstick and do not dab the glittery blue lipstick on your cheek bones.
  10. When plastered in dark purple eyeliner/lipstick and glittery blue lipstick/highlighter, do not answer “no miss” when Mrs Hall asks you if you are wearing make up. You will have to write lines.
  11. When in lunch time detention, tasked with writing lines, do not make up your version of the lines to write. The teacher will not think that you are clever, witty and deserving of a creative writing scholarship. They will think that you are precocious little sh*t and will write letters to your parents detailing exactly why.
  12. When your mum buys you a new school skirt (non-regulation, highly fashionable** mid-calf length pencil skirt with buttons down the side and a detention-worthy slit up the back), do not chop the bottom off in the art room, so that it is shorter than your blazer (again non-regulation) and staple up the hem on the second day of a new term. You will (a) snag your (non-regulation) fishnet tights, (b) get sent to Mrs Hall’s room to roll the skirt down, (c) get detention for not just rolling up it up, but chopping it to pieces, (d) get sent home with a letter about the detentions, (e) have to pay for a replacement (regulation) skirt out of next month’s pocket money (this month’s having already being spent on dark purple eyeliner and glittery blue lipstick) and (f) have to wear the regulation skirt until the end of term. Well sad. Innit.
  13. Keep your mouth shut when the nasty b*tches in the year above start with their bullying, name calling, Coke can throwing and corridor shoving. They will end up fat/in prison/ugly/lonely/with snotty-nosed kids and will bump in to you, whilst looking minging and try to be your friend. That will be your biggest revenge. Thus, never, ever, EVER leave the house looking minging just in case they see you first!
  14. Those boys that call you names, tell lies about you, make you feel awful about yourself and attempt to play mindgames with you because you won’t have sex with them (they will tell people that you did anyway) will still be trying to pull you years later, and you will pass them by with your head held high and not give them a second glance. You will then turn around when they shout out an insult, walk straight back, take their drink from their hand and throw it in their face.  This type of reaction will work in various scenarios. Use it wisely.
  15. Dirty Pints are not an acceptable beverage for the nights before big family occasions. Neither is Cinzano, Southern Comfort (Neat), and especially not JD straight from the bottle (your father’s). It’s also expensive when you have to replace it, because your parents aren’t stupid enough to fall for the topping up with water trick.
  16. When throwing a house party, do not be under the impression that having your parents come home at 2am will stop people trashing your house.
  17. If you give 16 year olds a freezer full of pizza, they will not think “ooo, I shall eat this to make sure that I have some food in my stomach so I do not get so raucously drunk”. They will in fact think “oooo, I will throw this at the ceiling and see how long it sticks for” and then will create a championship around this game whereby they invite others to get involved to add to the competitive nature.
  18. When your parents go away for the weekend, do not decorate random parts of the house. They will not appreciate it. Your parents do not want a Little Mermaid/Under the Sea themed downstairs toilet. They will not like the bright yellow you paint all over their bedroom and they will not be impressed when you rip up your carpet to expose the floor boards (and the bricked off chimney vent in the floor that no one knew was there) because you “fancy a change” and “need somewhere to practice your pointe work”.
  19. When throwing up noisily in the kitchen sink at 4am after your shift as an underage bar maid at a lock in, do not tell your mum that you’ve “had [insert boy’s name] and Malibu all night” between retches. She will remember (you won’t) and she will ask you, when your guard is down, “who exactly is [insert boy’s name] and what exactly you were having?” You will be entirely innocent, but no one will believe you.
  20. Foam antlers, with mistletoe dangling off them are not acceptable school attire, whether it’s Christmas term or the middle of June.
  21. Other inappropriate school attire includes:
    • Knee-high 7-inch platform boots
    • Black whale-net tights worn over turquoise swirly-patterned tights
    • Sunglasses, once inside the building
    • More black eyeliner than Amy Winehouse
    • Beetlejuice-style stripey knee-high socks with pink dolly shoes
    • See through wrap-over skirts that are slashed to the waist (even with blue and white stripey hotpants underneath
    • Giant pink flowers in your bunches
    • Bunches in general once leaving year 6
    • Ties borrowed from the year 11s so you can leave the school premises at lunch
    • Puffa jackets/bomber jackets/Nickelson jackets borrowed from random boys with cars.
  22. Sun In is evil. Stay away from it. Do not attempt to make your dark, dark, dark brown hair blond by applying super strength Sun In in the middle of the night and then to activate it so you go blond before morning (when you have a family portrait session) start frazzling it to death with every heated styling appliance you can find. Your hair will go orange. Bright orange with a straw-like texture. It will not look good.
  23. Do not try to cover up the Sun In mess with Wella Colour Mousse. Your hair will go purple and you will get a detention.
  24. Do not leave these mistakes to grow out for six months without seeking professional help. The colour blocking look will not become fashionable until 2010/11 and even then, it does not apply to hair.
  25. Dip-dyeing your hair with primary colours should be left to Baby Spice.
  26. Getting drunk in morning registration is not big, and is not clever. But it is fun.
  27. If you have a male form teacher, the excuse “girly things” will get you out of every afternoon’s registration period so you can catch the bus to town to shop for dark purple eyeliner and Wella Colour Mousse and still be back in time to catch the school bus home. In fact saying “period” a few too many times will get out of registration for the whole year.
  28. When answering essay questions on Wordsworth’s poem Nutting, don’t think it’s clever to explain to the examiner that this poem is actually about Wordsworth’s desire to have sex. If Mrs Toffell told you it was about nature and to focus on the fact that it is an Iambic Pentameter, then, seeing as she is head of the examination board and you are lucky enough to have her as your GCSE English teacher, DO SO! Your English Literature GSCE is not the time to display the maverick ideas of the boy you have a crush on in the sixth form. He may have done his research well, and he may be right. But if GSCE students were supposed to answer the questions as such, then it wouldn’t be being taught to 15 year olds.
  29. It is perfectly acceptable to claim that watching Leo in Romeo and Juliet three times a week is homework. If it means that you are able to recite Shakespeare word for word then what is the problem?
  30. Do not get drunk right before your year 11 photo. Your mother will purchase the photo as your punishment and will display it for eternity on the mantelpiece.
And the biggest piece of advice that I actually wouldn’t need to give to myself, because I think I already knew it:
The friends you make at school will be your besties forever. They will be your comfort and your means of finding sanity in times of madness. You will love them dearly but still may be infuriated with them at times. They will make you cry with laughter and hold you when you cry with sadness. They will push you up when you need to soar and they will pull you down when you need to be grounded. They will stand up for you when you're right, and often when you're wrong. They'll sacrifice things for you, they'll go the extra mile for you and no matter where in the world they are they will always be there for you when you need them. Cherish those friends because, as a wise greetings card company once said, “Friends are the Family that we choose for ourselves”.

Having re-read this post, I pray to the Lord above and beg that he is merciful and blesses me with sons.


* that's the first time, but it won't be the last time!
**  at the time
*** no offence intended to any friends missing from here - i just couldn't find electronic copies to use. I love you all! :-)

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Solar Powered

I think I’m solar powered because as soon as the sun comes out, I speed up, fill up my diary, smile more and generally feel much happier. This last month has been full of goodtimes, and I can’t wait for the rest of the summer…
  1. Katie Jane came home and we had a good old girlie catch up… with more to come!
  2. The sun came out and we had a wee baby sprinkle for Mrs Sones which included afternoon tea and a back-garden family afternoon, some chatting, a slightly competitive element (mainly just for me) and some creativity. Perfect Saturday afternoon.
  3. We got an invite to the Savoy and blagged some free champagne in their bar. £38k's worth of gold leaf in one alcove... thank god the bubbly was free is all i can say!
  4. I did some mild breaking and entering to scout locations for my trash the dress photo shoot. We freaked ourselves out and made a swift exit, leaving a chunk of my DNA behind on a fence post for the mutant cannibals who were blatantly inside the derelict building watching us, to track me down. Eeeeek.
  5. I went to London, Claire bouffed my hair and Jasmine snapped snapped snapped while I trashed the dress, rocked the frock and got down in the gown. Some sample pictures here!
  6. I caught up with some of my Tea Shop luvvies. Nothing makes the hours fly more than dinner, bubbles and gossips!
  7. I went to London Zoo with the girls for Sarah’s birthday. It pi**ed it down with rain the entire time, I ruined the second pair of ballet pumps this summer, we got split up from the group and we missed the silent disco but we had mucho fun in our plastic macs, mistaking camels for giraffes (you know who you are) eating ostriches and sneaking in to the hyena enclosure. Defo in for next year!
  8. My beautiful goddaughter turned three and she hosted a wee party to celebrate with all her family, and me! We partied British style, i.e. mingling in the garden in the sunshine, in between rain and hail showers and scooting back indoors with various plates of food and soft furnishings.
  9. Mummy Bear turned 60 and we celebrated with lashings of patisserie and a big family trip to Paris (a trial run for our grand Hale-Griffith-Harvey excursion in September). It was a complete culture and food-fest and the weather was glorious. Happy days.
  10. Free tickets to Glee landed on my desk. I sang my heart out, screamed for the Warblers and danced like a crazy person. I’m such a Gleeky Gleetard
  11. Take That made it The Greatest Day with a Wembley concert but Robbie really Entertained Me. Defo still Team Robbie!!!
  12. We had a trial run for Liz’s hen do at the Covent Garden hotel, some competitive running around London, champagne in the sunshine on a rooftop bar and yummy bistro dinner. Perfect girly day out!
Roll on the next few weeks… Polo, weddings, festivals, trips round the Med, lunch dates and cocktails.
I heart the summer!