Sunday, 29 November 2009

Present Prospects

Less than a month Christmas and December has really snuck up on me. I bearly know what I'll be doing for the festivies let alone what I am getting anyone, especially Nick (ahh – boys are so hard to buy for!) and the crowds on Oxford Street are already making me hyperventilate with fear. And I’ve got all the prospective in-laws to buy for too as well as my own over-large family. Humph!

I usually do a massive round of baking and making during advent with the premise that home-made edible goods are more loving and much more valuable than the usual Christmas tat (and a bit cheaper!) However this year work is so overwhelmingly busy that I get home at nearly 10pm and have just about enough energy to drag myself to bed and it doesn't look like it will let up until it's too late. Actually, it’s not so much the baking I don’t have time for but the buying of ingredients – I just can’t face the shops. Maybe I’ll order a delivery from the supermarket and put my pinny on during a Strictly and X-Factor marathon.

Of course the thought of presents for friends and family naturally leads my mind, selfishly, to their presents to me (I mean us – sorry) in the coming year. Yup it’s the dreaded Wedding List (cue horrified scream here!)

Do we, don’t we? What’s reasonable, what’s achievable? Do we even need anything? Can we fit any more stuff in our little flat? How do we know what we’ll need in the future? And if we do go ahead with one, where is the best place to go? I know which one is the most obvious choice but I sort of feel everything from John Lewis looks like, well, that it’s from John Lewis.

As for what to put on this list, if we have one, I already have more kitchen gadgets than our house can handle and have inherited crockery and bowls and things so the usuals are covered (although I do yearn for a Kitchenaid!)

ooh - blue to match my pots and pans!

I think what we'd like most on our wedding list is good bed linen - Peacock Feathers was recently blogging about Dorma, one of the nation's oldest bedlinen brands, which made me think what a good present that would be. It’s quite symbolic - the marriage bed and all that - and definitely for both of us together. (I’d be lying if I said Nick would appreciate a Kitchenaid as much as I would.) Plus is there anything more delicious getting into a freshly made high thread count sheeted bed?

image via Dorma - I usually prefer plain white sheets but Darcey is slso so sweet!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Winter Wonderland

So this wedding on Style me Pretty is pretty much as different from the wedding we have planned as it is possible to be but it's somehow given me brand new hankering for a snowy winter wedding. Impossible - we'd either have to be married next month or wait another year (nooo!), where could we have guaranteed snow? plus I hate the cold and don't want to be so formal but ..

for a day dream wedding ... ahhhhh, so romantic!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Save the Dates - a sneaky peak

Our Save the Dates should be going in the post this weekend.

Big step!

We weren't really sure how best to go about doing these - it's not as if we have received many in the past, not really being normal practise in this country to send them. But since we're expecting our guests to fly out for our wedding we needed to give them more of a heads up than the traditional eight to six weeks of an invitation, as well as information on where to fly to and where to stay etc.
Littlest Sister had promised some artwork for us but she has been frantically busy so instead offered us a painting she had done a while ago. It's a lovely Tuscan scene but not of our house or our church so, unless we clearly explained that Sister had painted it, not very personal.

What to do, what to do?

Then we had a brilliant idea™ ...

On a trip to Berlin a few years ago Nick and I came across a restored 1950s photobooth that took proper old fashioned film strips with four different pictures. We've had that little strip of us mucking about in the booth on our wall ever since and it occurred to us that something like this would make a great "Save the Date". We could hold cards with the words on and it would be personal without being cheesy. Yeay!

Everyone remembers these booths from their childhood (or Amalie!) but they have disappeared from streets and stations. Now they’re all digital and often just duplicate the picture four times – not fun. I googled “old fashioned photobooth London” but all I could find were other people looking for them and references to that one in Rosa Luxemburg Platz Berlin. Then suddenly at the tail end of a photography chat site I saw a message left this summer from the very Germans who’d restored that booth saying they were planning to come to London for a few months – were they still here? I clicked on the link and emailed them. A reply came minutes later – yes, the booth was still set up in Cargo’s beer garden. What luck! Two days later we made the trek east with ‘SAVE’ ‘THE’ ‘DATE’ ‘26.6.2010’ written on cards (in four different fonts as we couldn’t decide on our favourite) and even changes of outfits (don’t laugh.)

Disaster – a big “out of order” sign on the booth! Oh no! Now I know east London isn’t as far as east Germany but it was still some effort and we were devastated. But that email ... it had a phone number on it! I called. Alex answered. 10 minutes later he was there. Another 10 minutes and the machine was fixed. Several hours (and beers) later we had tons of strips and everyone in Cargo from the bouncers to the bands were laughing at what we were doing. We’re so happy with the results.

Once our guests have received them I’ll show you the final result but in the mean time here’s a little sneak peak

A big thank you to Alex from Photoautomat (look, that's him below fixing the machine for us!) and the dudes at Cargo who kept us supplied with pound coins and beer.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Remember Remember the 9th November

Twenty years ago my uncle was woken up by a phone call

"they're pulling it down - the wall is coming down!" said the voice of a good friend "let's go!"

So on the 9th November 1989 my mother found out that her brother had spent the night celebrating with all the population of a city that they never dreamed would be unified in their lifetimes.

As I child I can't remember really wondering why that wall was there or what the world was like before it existed but I do remember it. And luckily I was old enough, on the night it came down, to remember that happening very clearly and how astounding and emotional it was for my mother.

So not about the wedding - but a bit about the people who will be there and about a wonderful city I love very much.

[ a terrible picture but it was taken almost exactly five years ago, when I introduced my boy to Berlin, and he fell in love too]