Friday, 31 July 2009

Thank Frock is Friday

Off to party in a field with friends old and new this afternoon - the car is full, not just with tents and wellies but also almost our entire bedroom. N and I don't really do capsule packing - we'd rather sleep in style and comfort so duvets, pillows, inflatable mattress, Turkish floor rugs, lanterns and camping chairs all get brought along. Now we just need to pray it doesn't rain .. too much - but we'll party on regardless of course.

Next week I'm going for my first proper wedding dress trying on session. I have collected a lot (I mean A LOT) of pictures of pretty dresses but really have no idea what I'll end up going for.

This is one I found on Sugar Love Weddings - love it's beautiful vintagy floatiness; delicate without being prissy. The dress is by Hanna Kossowska and the bride in the photo shoot couldn't look more gorgeous, no?

Right - hitting the road to festival fun - see you next week! x

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Tuesday, 28 July 2009

More Awesome Advice

OK, not so much advice as just a really cool thing my boy said to me that made me feel better about a lot of things.

I've bit feeling a bit, sort of, I don't know, weird about wedding planning. For some reason I'm resisting getting excited - as though I don't want the day to be an anticlimax or I don't want to be bored of it before it even happens. Also, there is a little bit of me that isn't sure I deserve a big fuss and so don't want to seem as if I'm making a fuss - does that make sense?
I don't know where these paranoid thoughts are coming from ... it could be slightly to do with the length of our engagement, maybe it's the intolerable Bridezilla label that gets thrown around, or possibly it's someone giving me the exact opposite of good advice who's put these thoughts in my head (I'm not going to dwell on that.) Possibly it's because I'm not really feeling real about it yet - or maybe, the most likely scenario if I'm honest, I'm just over thinking it. (A common failure I'm afraid)

So I let slip some of these thoughts to N and also might have mentioned that I had been "advised" not get overexcited about a one day event because it'll make married life seem disappointing afterwards and it'll drive a wedge between us (yup - still not dwelling...)

N was of course irate - not just on my behalf but also at me for even considering this as a valid opinion. His words, after a bit of swearing were - "do get excited - get as excited as you bloody well want - this is an exciting thing, and it'll only happen once and it's really really exciting!"

Thanks hon!

He also said that if we do get gloomy afterwards, or overwrought before, we'll deal with that when the time comes - and not by imaging it before.

And those are sound words and ones I intend to pay heed to.

Friday, 24 July 2009


A good few precious pearls of wisdom have come my way over the last six months of engagement (often from the wonderful world of blogs) but recently they have been coming thick and fast from people around me.

I am determined to keep these in mind over the next eleven months (and beyond) so onto the blog they go..

The first is from a colleague who was married at the end of last year. (In fact, I hardly know her - I'm not even sure of her name although we always bump into each other in the kitchen and she's very friendly - I've reached the point where I feel I can't ask anymore!) Anyway, she spotted my ring and after the usual congratulations and when? where? and have you found a dress? questions she said what so many recently marrieds say and which never fails to annoy me - she told me how stressful the few weeks before her wedding were.

Why do almost strangers have to tell you this?

I have felt as though they want to knock my down a peg;
"don't be too excited, don't be too happy"
or they are asking for sympathy for a traumatic event.

My annoyance must have shown on my face because she then said this:

"don't worry, it's good stress - you're organising something so wonderful and anything worth doing is worth getting a bit stressed over. I wouldn't swap those stressful weeks for anything."

How fabulous is that?! Stress gets bad press but she's so right - really it just means you give a damn.

Her name is Jenny - she's worth me making the effort of finding out!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Hard at work

(originally written 21st June)

This is definitely a holiday and not a wedding recce but obviously we are trying to get a bit of planning done especially since we've got la Mama and her Italian skills here.

We've pencilled the Rocca after a pretty successful meeting with one of the managers and N is now priming himself for negotiating prices. It shouldn't be too hard to knock them down a bit as most tourist based businesses here are seriously struggling at the moment. The local town, a Mecca for Chiantishire, was eerily quiet on this, the first weekend of the high season. It may sound a bit crass to be making the most of other's misfortune but until now a lot of them have been charging silly money and getting away with it (a newly opened but distinctly average build to let villa we considered renting for our guests quoted us 5,000euro a week - it sleeps 8! - err, no thanks!). Negotiating money makes me feel a bit queasy but luckily N's pretty good at it. We all have out strengths...

What is proving more complicated is the actual marriage part of the wedding - who do we speak to book the church? And exactly what paperwork do we need to marry in a Catholic church? We keep making little steps forward but not really getting to our intended destination which is locking down the date. So far a woman from the local council has promised to fax me something and we've got the phone number of someone who runs the church diary but who is currently on holiday.

Right, that's enough hard work - back to the real purpose of our being here...

Friday, 17 July 2009

Molti Fiori

[originally written 25th June 2009]

So one of the tasks we've set ourselves on our trip out to Italy is to make a note of which plants and flowers are out and at their best at this time of year. As I mentioned in a previous post I've been pretty keen on using wild, seasonal and indigenous flowers for our wedding. Well of course at this time of year, before the burning heat of July and August, we're spoilt for choice.

It seems however we are not going to have a choice in the colour scheme. To my surprise it's not cornflower blue or Tuscan oranges and yellows that dominate but ... pink.
Soft, pretty blousy pink. I'm not against the colour - I quite like the paler shade's shabby vintage qualities. But I wrote it off for our wedding as way too girly and cute and not N's cup of tea at all. (Plus the brighter shades really do not suit my colouring at all.) But really, we honestly don't have a choice - it's everywhere! Climbing roses, hydrangeas, geraniums, oleander, and wild sweet peas by every road side. If you can't beat it ...

can't stand the rain, 'gainst my windows

[originally written 23rd June 2009]

Err - I don't want to sound like a crazy Bridezilla - but this weather is not OK and someone up there better do some serious shaping up before this time next year or I'll show you some thunder and hail storms!

Jeez - it's nearly July, it's just been the longest day of the year and we're in god damn Italy. Sure when the sun is out it's glorious and the occasional cloud can bring some much needed relief from heat. Even when it's raining it's warm enough to swim but the lower terrace has flooded twice, the view looks like Scotland in March and we've had hail stones as big as olives!

To the amusement of all - I am not amused. Everyone keeps telling me it's a freak occurrence that can't possibly happen two years in a row (but what about Wayne and Coleen Rooney last year?!) Or that the only way to guarantee clear skies is not make any bad weather contingencies - hmm. I not a gambler; turns out I'm a worrier!

So this is kiiinda ok - I can deal with this - sort of

this is NOT!!!

and what the hell is this??! hail - what f*%# is it doing on my holiday?!

my mister wondering when Argyle got Olive Groves?...

what ever you think of them you have to feel sorry for this - right? [via the Sun]

but just in case you thought I was all doom in gloom - here's me dancing with a salamanda in the sunset - and you need the sun for a sunset! yeah you do!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Oh, only three hundred and sixy-five days to go ...

[Originally written 27th July 2009]

It's now officially less than a year until "the Big Day". I'm still veering between blase and mild panic.

N and I celebrated our minus one year anniversary by going out to dinner in Florence - we went to Zar Zar's near the Marcato Centrale and sat in the Piazza on their mismatched colourful chairs under twinkling fairy lights. I wish I had taken a picture but we were really just lapping a moment alone together. Apart from a few baking but tired hours on the morning we arrived, it is the only time we have had to ourselves. That's no complaint as it's been a great holiday so far - Mama & Papa, a little sister and various cousins are here. But the family fun might explain why we haven't yet got around to doing a little task we had lined up for this milestone...

A few months ago we heard a feature on Radio 4 about people who have written letters to themselves in the future. It was very moving; sometimes poignant and sometimes funny and it gave us the idea to write letters to each other and ourselves to be read at some point in the future. The first one will be written now, to be ready on our wedding day in one year's time. Once we've wed we'll do some more for further in the future - possibly 10 years although will I be able to wait that long!?

On another note though - how fit are fairy lights? Must definitely have them next year ....
[some of my favourite images via Style me Pretty]
(I think - haven't been very good at recording where my images come from - sorry!)

Old Posts from Italy

So these are the posts I failed to upload before - either because of dodgy connections while there or frustrating RSS issues here. I feel like such a blogging blond - hopefully all is fixed now and I'll start getting the hang of this thing!
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Friday, 3 July 2009

Too much to do!

Isn't it wonderful that such romantic looking fruit is also so sweet and tasty! Particularly when you have grown them yourself in your own window boxes! Tomatoes on the way....

So I know I still haven't managed to up load my Italy messages - the photos need sorting out still and I am up to my eyeballs at work organising a shoot that seems to be escalating every second. Surely organising a wedding (with a fraction of the budget, cast or movement order and loads more time and friendly faces) can't be as stressful.

In the mean time I found this which I love - via Credit Crunch Bride.

It's Charles Darwin's very practical and empirical notes on marriage which end with such a heartfelt exclamation! - apparently he wrote all sorts of his thoughts about career and prospects while jotting down his daily notes on animal breeding. This is scribbled on two scraps of paper titled Marry and Not Marry.

Notes on Marriage by Charles Darwin

Not Marry?
Freedom to go where one liked
Choice of Society and little of it.
Conversation of clever men at clubs
Not forced to visit relatives, and to bend in every trifle
To have the expense and anxiety of children –
perhaps quarrelling –
Loss of time –
cannot read in the Evenings –
fatness and idleness –
anxiety and responsibility –
less money for books
if many children forced to gain one’s bread (But then it is very bad for one’s health to work too much).
Perhaps my wife won’t like London, then the sentence is banishment and degradation with indolent, idle fool.

Children – (if it please God) –
constant companion, who will feel interested in one
(a friend in old age) –
object to be beloved and played with – better than a dog anyhow
Home, and someone to take care of house
Charms of Music and female Chit Chat –
These things good for ones health but terrible loss of time
My God, it is unthinkable to think of spending
one’s whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working, and nothing after all
No, no won’t do
Imagine living all one’s days solitarily in smoky
dirty London House –
Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa
with good fire, and books and music perhaps – compare this vision with
dingy reality.
Marry! Marry! Marry!