Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt, May 2011

I got there! It was quite a difficult list this month, but I was pleased to have completed them. There were two missed opportunities for snaps: I had a lovely picture set up outside the Doctor's Surgery, with a beautiful Lassie Dog tied to a bicycle, parked up and waiting patiently- it amused me slightly, but the owner returned, and he did not seem like the type of chap that I could ask a photographic favour from! Similarly- the emergency vehicle... Little Guy's nursery is pretty near a fire station, but I didn't manage to pluck up the courage to take a pic of them behind the consertina doors, even less so when they were being washed (yes- when I collect him on a Wednesday lunchtime the firemen are often to be found soapily scrubbing the engine. Dammit!) Maybe this is part of the exercise- building up your confidence to take the best shots! Here we go:

A Local (ish) Building: A complete post about my day here recently will follow shortly!

A Bicycle: well, two, stacked up in my garage:

A Butterfly: (albeit upside down) on my glasses.

A Cartoon Character: Have two- this was a close contender for 'vintage'! My Woofits duvet cover.

Portrait in Black and White: A cheat here, because none of my moving subjects were willing, and this little chap has been hanging about since Pickle Missy's Birthday Party (pin the bow on the Cat In The Hat).
A Red Door: Quite embarrasing to take, but I pretended I was waiting on a text message, and took a quick snap of somebody's front doors- a pair, that both say '14'. I thought they looked interesting.

Sign of the Zodiac: Inspiration hit me whilst looking for cheap alchocolic beverages. My fave tipple for this weather is cider.
(Ha! Upside down, I've just realised. How apt!)

Street Light:

Emergency Vehicle:

Something Blue: My larkspurs, which are doing beautifully!
Think 'Vintage':

Texture: I couldn't bring myself to crop these down to one flower. They're hugging :)


PS- I was sad that I couldn't manage last month's Hunt completely. I had some lovely photos put by, but didn't complete, and didn't want to post so late after all of the others. No matter- I mention this only because of my contender for 'an interesting shop name': I was going to try and aquire a photo, somehow, of a Newsagents my sister used to live near. Fags and Mags. Genius!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Handy tips for Mediation!

I'm all done with it- Yey! Once things have been signed, I will allow myself to relax, and feel good for a bit, with the relief, and channel this positive energy (I now have it in spades!) towards enjoying the rest of 2011. But first, some light-hearted hints and observations:

1) Power shoes! No, seriously, walk tall and do your hair, and wear something like these:

2) Listen to music that gives you confidence, and if absolutely neccesary, play the words to a Destiny's Child song in your head on the journey over.

3) Keep yourself positive and don't let despair and nerves set-in between appointments, or when the mediator is in the other room, talking with the other person. (Who incidently asked me to mediation, then refused to sit and talk with me...)

4) Which leads me to the next point- see the humour in things. Ridiculous can be laughable rather than massively frustrating.

5) Get the most from the situation- if neccesary take a book, or a cheap gossip magazine, or write a song in your head (remembering paper so that you can write it all down!) There may be lots of alone times.

6) Be prepared for all eventualities- go with your feelings clearly defined, and equally leave yourself open to positive ideas from unlikely sources.

7) Remember that the mediator is supposed to be there for you, as much as she is there for the other person- make sure your opinions count.

8) Be resilient- there are few other times in the world when I've felt this alone (possibly only second to overnight hospital stays when I tend to feel pretty depserate and vulnerable). There will be nobody to hold your hand- you're going to have to be strong for yourself, and it can be done!  (Oops- this is supposed to be light-hearted... I digress)

9) Do your best- that is pretty much all that you need to do- and in the tough times, remember what this is all for, and more importantly, who it is all for. Thinking about this will give you smiles.

10) Allow yourself recovery after the bad appointments, but don't let other people dictate how terrible the days that follow might be. You're in charge of yourself. (I learnt this the hard way after my reasonably disastrous Royal Wedding Weekend! It was mostly a disapointment to me because I wasn't feeling happy).

11) Who said lists should end neatly on an even number? Give yourself things to look forward to, and rewards, however small they may be. I bought myself a packet of celebratory sherbert flying saucers yesterday. I truly deserve them!

Its so nice to be free of all the stress for a while! I'm not daft- this isn't the end, nor is it the beginning of the end, but it is a lovely sense of 'semi-closure'. I'm determined to look ahead. Now I can start to prepare for, and smile about:
the folk festival, 
the summer holidays (both finding lovely things to do with my Little People, and getting away mysef for a while- in the words of one of my closest this week, 'you NEEEEEED a holdiay!'), 
catching up with friends and returning phonecalls, 
and a little Birthday Celebration for somebody's 29b...

Sending positivity and smiles towards everyone that needs it today.


PS Thank you all so much for your support about the poo times in the Single Mummy Zone! You all say such lovely things, and its wonderful to feel that other people understand, especially when my own family and friends are not nearby for regular natters and hugs! Blogger managed to get rid of lots of comments recently including those I had left on other people's blogs to express my thanks, and those I had made on my own posts in response to my reader's kind comments. Please consider yourself fully appreciated! It has made a real difference recently. Thank you!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Things to Remember, Part 2.

It is good to keep a record of the sweet and silly things that Little People around me say and do. I'm a big fan of their logic, and am forever jotting quotes down. I've heard some more recently, and thought I should share:...

(In Little Guy's link-book from Nursery:) '...he has enjoyed dressing up as a policeman today, and he even arrested Spiderman'. 

Baby Jellies     Jelly Babies

'Oninge is my favouritist colour'.

Crying Bears     Grizzly Bears

'Its lovely to eat potatoes with ketchup'. 'I'm glad you like it'. 'I don't just LIKE it mummy, I LOVE it'

 'I'm going to let my hair grow longer and longer to my toes mummy, and then maybe I'll let you take me to Little Guy's Barbeque (Barber) and he can cut a little bit from the end'.

£1              A pound-pence

'I love you as much as little bunny rabbits who have a secret surprise just for you'.

'Gosh mummy, that cycling lady is going very fast'.

'I'm surprised that I've walked all this way and not said my legs were tired yet...'

'When I am big, I am going to have a motorbike, and a car without a roof, and a TRACTOR!'

'For the party I am going to wear: 
A pretty pretty butterfly dress,
My best shoes,
A bracelet,
A necklace,
and most of all, my princess hairbands and crown'.

Hope you're all keeping well, and are enjoying the last bit of May. Its been a busy month Here, and next week will be no different! I am away doing nice things in London this weekend, then I am returning with an extra Little Person. No not one of my own, but one that I am hoping to get to know a little bit better: my neice. I'm giving my sister a little break, and looking after Mini-P for a few days. She's two and a half, and in the full throws of toddler-enthusiasm and potty training. Am I mad? Probably!


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Its inevitable

Returning home, and seeing my parents in their setting, 11 years after I moved out, always makes me feel a bit... you know... funny. Sometimes things have barely changed at all- the road that they live on remains unchanged, and it takes a while for things to alter around their house, which is the same one they brought me home into as a newborn from hospital. The cat will still throw up in the middle of Sunday Lunch, and mum will still threaten to box my dad's ears if he doesn't get 'those papers' that came in from work with him, outta her kitchen. (Multiple piles of papers to be fair).
Because those details are the same, you can be lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that other things that have always been there, or always happened in their particular sequence will remain the same. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that its been a decade since I started my new life away from the family home.

Then occasionally, we'll be driving about and I'll say
'ooh, this road never used to have a one-way-system', and dad'll say 
'its been like this for 7 years', or something. 
Or if the local garden centre has suddenly changed the entrance, and you have to 'come in' through what used to be 'the 'exit' (especially if you used to work there, and you thought you knew the place like the back of your hand...) its an unwelcome change. Or, I say
'Thats a new restaurant'
'No it isn't, we went there once before with such-and-such that time... oh actually, you didn't- you'd moved away by then'.

I get indignant.

Why has my Middle School been knocked down to make room for 1 bedroom flats that none of my friends could ever afford? (This is entirely true.)

That sorta thing.

Well theres also the times when you are chatting away on the phone, and a parental will say
'Oh, its the funeral on Thursday- you knew she was ill, no?'

And I usually didn't.

When I was growing up, many of my parent's closest friends were a contingent of single people in their 50s and 60s, from their church, who we used to sit with at functions, or get to know doing our things around the church (Sunday School, Serving, Choir) get together with, watch the installments of the televised Sunday night Narnia dramas (in the '80s) with a hot ribena with, make special Birthday presents for, take out or visit, and in later years invite over for Easter and Christmas. Whenever I returned, these friendly souls would greet me like a long-lost grandaughter, and there would be genuine concern in their voice when they enquired after my health, my new life, the children (who they also loved). There would be hugs and kisses aplenty, at the door of the church, on the rare Midnight Mass, Palm Sunday or August-visit that I rocked up for. We didn't keep in touch apart from that, and I suppose in many cases I never really knew them that well, but that was how it was. And it was fine.

Well I suppose, if that was then, and this is now, and time doesn't stop in your home town, when you move out into the big wide world, its inevitable that these people will become increasingly frail, poorly, dreadfully ill with parkinsons or heart conditions or breathing problems, or even pass on into the next room/ to meet their maker/ return to the earth/ be promoted to glory.... however your beliefs subscribe that you see it.

I see it as terribly sad, and a little shocking, that there are fewer and fewer of those wonderful people around, and each Wintertime, we lose more of them, sometimes quite unexpectedly. I can do the maths- and we can't take on old-age and win, but they were people who I thought would always 'be there'.

My dad went to one such sweet lady's funeral recently, and in this very old-fashioned medium-high (if you know what I mean) Anglican church, it must have made a refreshing change to see such raw emotion, and perhaps Joy, for such an occasion. He was telling me about it the other day- how dignified, wonderful it was. How in her beautifully lined resting place, in the most intricate and amazing dress, her family from abroad had payed very good money for the most superb send-off, and that their feeling was that she was, (complete with an open bible where she lay), 'ready to meet Jesus, in the most awesome resting place'.

It prompted this post.

I hope that the Choirmaster, the Head Server, the Church Wardens and Sidesmen, the Sunday School Teachers, and the Summer Club leaders who we learned so much from, and loved so much, did not suffer, and were ready to go. I don't have the same strength of faith as all of these wonderful people, but I do hope to meet them again some day, in some way.



This little post has sat around the drafts folder for a good few weeks, waiting for a quieter time to post it, while I tinkered with it. As I sit here contemplating two more Sympathy Cards, for those left behind by people that were taken cruelly, or just too soon, it seems... right. As an extra thought, it surely is also inevitable that as you enter your thirties and beyond, the older people of the family who once helped to raise you, also go. I've spent time recently with somebody who lost their father over a decade ago, and who is still blatently coming to terms with it. I suppose some people never do, but then I suppose that means that those who go are not forgotten....

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Its not you... (and a Grown-Up Eating Weekend... and a Recipe)

...and to be honest, its not really me either. I mean- not my intention that I should get quite behind with posts, not particularly my fault either, eh Blogger?!

Lets not bite the hand that feeds, but it was updating, and unavailable for a few days, and now it appears to have lost lots of my comments, including those I have made on other people's posts, and its no longer my friend :( So sorry if its been unusually quite at We Are Here, and thank you for your lovely comments, whether they are added to the main blog or not- they all come to my email address, and always give me smiles.

Putting the Grumpy Blog Lady part of me to one side now, its been a nice busy few days on the whole.
Where to start?
Well the children were with their dad for a couple of days, so Friday afternoon I went with my lovely fella to have a meal at his friend's house. A three course one no less. It made me feel all grown-up!

Bruschetta with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and basil,
Roast chicken with garlic and rosemary potatoes and carrots,
Eton Mess.


On the Saturday, we went to visit his sister who was doing The Moonwalk that night, on a 'wishing Good Luck' mission, to find that she was cooking a curry dish (King Prawns in a medium curry sauce), to take to the lane behind her house. Theres a wonderful little community spirit, alive and well, in their small corner of the world, and around 12 houses of neighbours get together a few times a year to do a 'bring and share' event. Four long tables were set out, and residents brought a curry dish, a chair, and a plate and cutlery.
There were lots of lovely things to sample, all for a small donation, to raise money for the Church Hall. Our timely impromptu visit meant that we were invited across to join them (the boyfriend being a fairly regular face around the area too...) Wow! Lots of lovely lovely things to try, and everything was homemade: pilau rice, chicken and beef dishes, bombay potatoes... and the puddings, including a 'Sweet Almond Slice', which was stopping eaters in their tracks, from a traditional Indian recipe, which I'm told was devine (I opted for the ice cream because I'm not much of a nut-eater). What a wonderful idea.

Onto another friend's house to watch Eurovision, which was highly entertaining as always!

On Sunday, my fella's mum made us a Tomato Tarte Tatin- something like this, only an Ainsley Hariett version I think. It was beautiful, served with a little salad, and on a warmish-tiredish-Sunday when all that it seems worth doing is relaxing, and watching a bit of Motorbike racing, it filled in the gap between breakfast and dinner. It reminded me of a recipe I used to use a lot, from dear Delia, but I think I'd watched it on the television and re-produced it with a limited choice of ingredients, and with vital components missing. I never looked it up, and I've probably done it differently every time. I'm not really a caramelised onion kinda girl, and when you see that this is the main ingrediant, it sounds a little off-putting... but its definately worth a taste. I used to use ghee instead of butter, and pizza dough instead of pastry sometimes, and I experimented with herbs and spices. The most important thing is the 'slow cooked' taste, and thats so true of tomatoes too. Lots of ingredients in fact- Such a lovely flavour!

Which jogged my memory, and jolted me into action somewhat.This weekend of lovely home-made creations made me feel annoyed at my recent limited cooking repertoire. When we were given some extra (uncooked) chicken fillets for Monday. I was determined not to cube it and stick it in a curry, or a mexican wrap. We looked through the cupboard, and had a look at some recipes for inspiration, and heres what we came up with:

Chicken with Tuscan Beans

2 medium chicken fillets.
2 tbs tomato puree
2 small onions
1 tbs lemon juice
1 whole lemon, sliced
2 cans mixed beans (we used chick peas and butter beans)
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, and parsley
1 tsp mixed fajita-type spices
1 jar passatta
3 sploshes of Reggae Reggae sauce

Set Oven to a medium temperature.
Prepare chicken fillets by flattening out a little on a board- They need to be thin and able to 'roll up' with a filling.
Mix in a bowl: tomatoe puree, lemon juice, 3 segments of crushed garlic, fajita spices, and spread evenly over one side of the chicken pieces.
Roll up the chicken, pop into a greased oven dish, and add a chopped onion and a sliced lemon, and some thyme (sprinkle on and around)
Cover the dish in foil, check throughout cooking to make sure it is not drying out, and cook thoroughly for about half an hour.

Onto the beans...

We drained, washed (essential!! Think poisonous if undercooked, and nasty gases if left in their own liquid!) the beans, then gently boiled them in fresh water first.
Fry the onion, and more crushed garlic, and add the pasatta, reggae reggae sauce fresh herbs, simmer then add the beans.
Cook on a low heat (or even transfer to the oven- just make sure its in there a while!) for the duration of the chicken's cooking time, making sure to stir a little (and taste a little, adding this and that) regularly.

Serve up with a glass of something lovely, with some crusty bread and a fresh rocket salad (you'll have to imagine those bits- I was too busy eating to take photos once it was ready!)


Thursday, 12 May 2011

Three-Photos-Thursday, 12th May.

Find a penny, pick it up,
All the day you'll have good luck!

It was certainly true for Little Guy recently, who found a 50 pence piece outside the supermarket, and what do you know? The coin was just the right size to let him do this:


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Blog Update: Beautiful Things for May.

Hello! Sorry its been a while, but yes, I have indeed been doing Beautiful Things.

I've seen more of my lovely fella recently than I have in ages, as a big job of his has eventually ground to a halt. It was a little drawn-out and stressful, but thankfully he's in one piece! So he's been about, which means that
a) my garden is a little thirsty
b) I have seen a lot of CSIs recently (but I do like them, especially when accompanied by sofa snuggles and cider)
c) my laundry pile is growing ever-more precarious.

But I don't much care. For also we have explored a lovely 'new' (new to me) Beach. And this morning, we had The Eats:

We indulged in a fantastic meal. Here is my breakfast:

I hardly ever eat breakfast, but the very occasional brunch is all good by me. We went to a fab little cafe on a quiet High Street, with the most adorable tables (can you see the home-made table printing?!) and friendly staff, and lovely music, such as Jamie Cullem and Tracy Chapman, and white walls, with black writing, also decorated with painted eggs and sausages and tomatoes etc. (Do I make it sound like a low-budget ice cream van or children's ward window,?...with those well-meaning but terrible pictures of familiar characters, that really don't look like original Mickey Mouses and Donald Ducks?! Well its not- its a little bit fabulous!) And beautifully cooked food. Can you believe I ate all of this? This is a 'small breakfast', not a 'large breakfast' or a 'Hank Marvin breakfast', which are also to be found on the menu. Random fact: I lived with my ex, a vegetarian for 8 years, and became gradually unaccustomed to the sights , and more particularly, smells of non-veggy food, finding that I couldn't stomach the thought of it... and here I am eating bacon again! It seems quite wrong but also, this morning, a little bit right.

So, to the Beach:
It was beautiful, so we ventured out to the sea, but not to my normal beach- to one that was a little drive away. I had to keep Pickle Missy off from school for two days because she was sick on Sunday, but as it turned out, past the initial 3 hours, there was really not a lot wrong with her (thank goodness!) I wasn't allowed to send her back into school though, so as she was bright as a button, she came too. We looked at the boats and imagined where they might go, and collected stones, and climbed over the breaks, until we found a patch with smaller pebbles, and, at last... sand!
It was a gloriously sunny day, and there was plenty to see. I loved the pure colours of things, and the effect of blues on greens, on browns, on whites.

Custard came too, and there was a picnic of Hot Cross Buns (they're still going in our local shops, but then again, they're still selling off Easter Eggs too, like I've never seen before!) and fruit. We indulged in a little ice cream too.

We liked the feel of bare feet against the sand and stones... and in the sea! And we also made a friendly little wriggly chap out of  things we found. My sister, Pootle, says 'Andy Goldsworthy inspired'. I say 'Eric Carle'!

We also went on a third adventure recently, but I'll pop back to tell you about that one another time soon. Less is more... or something! Hope you're all havng a sunny week!


Thursday, 5 May 2011

Three-Photos-Thursday, 5th May,

I did promise I'd be back with a happy post, and I'm here, and I'm smiling. Things actually got worse again, but for some reason I felt a great deal better immediately. That probably has less to do with the added doom and gloom after a meeting yesterday, and more to do with the support that I have found around me as a result of it.

The three photos today are of happy things given by kind people, to cheer me up this week. Which they have. A great deal. In fact, there were more than three acts of kindness, but I'll have to save the others for another post.

I'm a lucky girl. Yey for smiley faces again :)


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Bad Habits*

*Please come back another day for more lighthearted posts, if stress-bunny habits and sad faces aren't your thing (why would they be?!) I have some happier things lined up to talk to you about later this week,
Brownie Guide Promise. 
I don't indulge myself very often, but if you fancy having a quick read of this, then here are the truths of the last few weeks months. Maybe it will be of help to people in similar situations.

I am stressed in the Single Mummy Zone. The problems I was experiencing before I left my marriage, and all of the ones just afterwards, have reappeared. I am having to go through mediation, because the ex is challenging access (he wants 'half' of the children, ie, he wants them to live with him every other week) and money (he wants to pay none on a regular basis, as opposed to the 'none' from the money that he stopped paying last year) and he's not backing down, and its hurting me.

The sensible take on it would be: I have nothing to hide, and it would not be beneficial to let this 'get' to me, so bring it on... which is kinda what I'm aiming for, and some days I even succeed.  But lets not forget that this was a difficult relationship to say the least (have a look at the link in the first paragraph of this second post if you're in need of people who can help you, like they did me).

So hey ho, love and war and all that, moving on...

Which is kinda what I'm trying to do here- move on. Only I know that pattern only to well. Before moving on, I have to go through a process, a bit like the the stages of grief thingy.

I exhibit these stages when the children are away**, (see below if you fancy an insight into the times when they are here) and I think I do okay, (even if I do say so myself), when they are around to be as normal as I can be. Don't laugh- I can be normal! The stages look something like this:

1 stress out, feel nauseus
2 panic, cry
3 get into bad habits
4 rest, sleep, gather myself
5 move on.

Yes, you read that right: the sleep doesn't really happen succesfully until stage 4! This isn't a clear formula. Yesterday, for example I was between 1 and 2, and today I am doing 1, 2, 3, just like I did for the last 6 months of the relationship, and the first 4 months of my new-found singleness. I manage to find good coping mechanisms on the 'in-between lots of stress' times. So I know I'll get to 4 and 5 agan, just not until the mediation has failed, he's taken me to court, thrown all he has at me and leaned on me to give up my job. Then someone else can make a decision. Scary but true- I'm a realist.

Stress provokes naughtiness don't you think? I seem to know just the best worst reactions to give when I'm in a panicky situation. Some less pretty examples of my bad habits are:

problems keeping it together,
random tearfulness
forgetting to eat, then
eating marzipan from a cake decorating block (and I've run out!)
staying up far too late
being unsociable (I have a rare invitation out tonight where I could potentially meet new people, but do I want to go? No.) 
fidgeting, and getting a shaky knee, and a flicky eye (Mmmm- attractive!)
getting short of breath and experiencing claustrophobia
craving bad cravy things
assaulting my piano (poor piano, he endures Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart when things are very bad, and when I'm more relaxed he puts up with Vaughan Wiliams, Debussy and Ravel)

However I also need to exhibit stage 5 today. The 'move on' aspect is where I'm aiming to pretend I am, so that I can put my woes behind me and do a thing this afternoon, for people who are so much less fortunate than myself. I'm not that much of a Genuine Good Samaritan, because I thought twice about it (naughty) but I owe some people a favour, and I feel I need to help. Reality is good: knowing that I need to be sensible because others are 'going through it' (bereavement in this case) is a welcome reminder of the world outside of the Single Mummy Zone, and I can't afford to be selfish. Here goes.


**When my Little People are here, or I can't let on for another reason, and I'm stressed, its kinda like this:  I badly burnt myself on Mothering Sunday when I was 7, trying to make a breakfast and tea for my mum. The hot water from the kettle came cascading over the work surface, badly scalding and scarring both of my arms and my stomach. I had 4 weeks off from school, and many many weekly trips to the burns unit for dressing changes etc. One particular time, the dressing (or something odd that looked a little bit like a net that you find around satsumas anyhow) wouldn't come away from my upper arm. They had to take me into the shower and ease it off, with water. I remember the agony. My mum told me recently that she couldn't believe that I sat there in the bath silently, letting the tears roll down my face because I didn't want to make a fuss. I remembered this again recently, and that is what I feel like I'm doing when I have to get on with it nowadays- when its expected of me to be ok. Thankfully this isn't a continuous feeling, its only during the worse times. Someone could offer the ex a truck load of cash and a one way ticket to somewhere far far away, and I'd feel even better :)

Monday, 2 May 2011

And now for something Completely Different...

I've caught this little bug, the one that has been milling about recently. Symptoms include:

itchy fingers
the need to create
pestering more crafty family members, for advice, support, spare equipment, and lessons
hunting around charity shops for useful fabrics and books
emitting squeally sounds when you feel an especially expensive yarn (or wool as I'm used to calling it- sorry!)

There are some quite serious cases of it in Blogland, so I kinda hold you people accountable. And theres that little matter of my 30s list- this new sickness is just the right kinda thing to tick off, numbers 5 and 9.

I've aways enjoyed making things: cards, cross stitches, and I love drawing and painting, so perhaps the signs were there. I've mentioned before that I grew up in a house of crafty-ness. I felt a little inept when it came to making costumes for Pickle Missy's World Book Day recently, so something had to be done. (The sewing machine is being dusted off, and there is a fabulous project ready to start, thank you once again, Lucy). It used to be unfashionable to make things, and you'd attract comments about lack of money if you sported lovingly created hand-made jumpers as a child (from other children of course). I wouldn't dare mention to my school friends that I got one of these!

 I can still remember what I made for the big project: an adult sleeveless stripy jumper in a kinda aqua marine and navy, with buttons on one shoulder. Beautiful!!!! It was the '80s, people, therefore, this is an acceptable design and colour combo.

A new era has come. I have one of these noodles, (that is what Pickle Missy calls them, and that is therefore what they will be known as!) and I'm ready to go.

You see? I read blogs from proper crafters- I understand that we are supposed to find the prettiest fabrics to photograph things on :)

In fact, truth be told, I've started. Mum tried to teach me, but proclaimed me un-teachable, so she found me a couple of books and some remnants and told me to set out into the big crochet world unaided, for that is truly the way forward (and her mother had decided that she couldn't be taught either, so that is the route that she also took) ...or something to that effect. I can now proudly make round things, and long things, and wormy things.

So anyway, how does this sound so far?....


Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Wedding of the Year: Its All Over!

Which makes me a little sad! No more chances to buy the merchandise (very upset that I couldn't get to town for an Accesorize necklace!) and no more wondering about the details of the day. Its been, its gone, it was wonderful.

Unlike our trip to London! In the interests of complete honesty on here, which is afterall the policy I adopt in my non-blogging life too, it was rather a disappointing experience. I had some rotten news on Thursday, which I'll probably post about another time. I was feeling quite low as a result. We couldn't leave my parent's house at the time we were supposed to for reasons that are... well something if you grew up in that house you would understand... which meant that although we could soak up 'atmosphere', there really isn't a great deal of 'soaking' you can do with two small children who are bored because they can't see anything significant. We were a good 8 rows back, lining the route near Banqueting House, with two very grumpy small people, 6 flags, and a large rucksack. Such a shame.

I'm almost certain we were in the wrong position really. We went to Whitehall, at the advice of experienced Londoners who said that the nearby station had facilities for small people, and we'd see alot. As it happened, with the community spirit vibe going on, I think most of the restaurants and pubs were accomodating to those needing to visit the bathroom. Although I can't say for certain that our experience would have been different, I have friends who were on The Mall, and at Big Ben, who had a fabulous time. Once we were in our area, we were kinda commited, because the routes to elsewhere were shut, or un-walkable with our small companions. My parents worked out the details of the day, it was their trip, albeit on my behalf, and I couldn't adapt their plans. I was soooo looking forward to it! Poo.

We were dressed in patriotic colours, and raring to go!

Was I naieve? I really don't think so: I realise that its only the hardcore campers near the palace that get the complete best out of the experience, or at least those who arrive more than an hour and a half before the action starts. I was expecting the crowds. And I know what its like to have two small children, who are quite possibly over-excited and tired, and who constantly need the loo. That was all accounted for. I couldn't have predicted quite the tearsome rage that Little Guy would have been sporting for the duration of our stay, or the security tightening up more and more throughout the day ('You can't go there', 'Who sent you this way?...because you can't get through here either' and 'Those toilets are now shut'). I felt like we were being herded around like cattle, and I couldn't help but say feebly and sadly to my dad, who came with us 'Lets go home and watch it on the tv tonight'.

We saw some goings-on through a pub window, and caught our first glimpse of the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. I rather liked this bunting, waving in the breeze...

Thankfully he ignored me. No, don't get me wrong, the day was a little bit broken and I didn't feel fully ready to grin until I saw the carriages in the news report that night, but I was happy that we pesevered, bided our time, and pushed our way through to meet my mum on her tea break, where she works, and managed to pose with soldiers, and stroke the odd Household Cavalry Horse or two.

My mum had a great view, and took a couple of  fab photos. Here you are:

 One Catherine Middleton!...

Note the primrose yellow: The Queeeen!

Blues and Royals.

So I think I might stay at home for Prince Harry's wedding, because apart from anything else, when this didn't meet my expectations, I also felt like I'd missed out on the experiences closer to home. There have been street parties around my local area, and a couple of do's at nearby venues, including the train station, and 2 invitations to parties that I couldn't accept (one on Thursday, one today, Sunday), because I was comitted to my London trip.

Despite it all, looking through my terrible photos has cheered me up no end- seeing the excitement in the faces, and having another look at the crowns that Little Guy made himself and is sister to wear, and their homemade Flags. I've realised that although it was disappointing, it was still a nice trip to London. Here are a few Bank Holiday Highlights, which have since given me that grin too.

Seeing Pickle Missy and Little Guy dressed for the day, and being asked to pose for other people's photos. 

Enjoying a moment of time to savour the goings-on, as we picnicked and listened to the ceremony, then heard Jerusalem. 

Loving the Bride's dress, well, dresses, because that evening gown was sensational, even if the Wedding one was a little reminiscent of the one my friend got married in last Autumn! Royalties (ha!) please!

The wonderful Music.

Seeing Prince Harry share jokes, and put people at ease. Yeah, he's made terrible mistakes, and he's quite often unpredictable and immature (don't forget who his Grandfather is), but I liked his quirkyness, and his manner with the little ones.

Watching a group of six mid-twenty-something girls go past us in London, arm in arm. They were dressed like they were on SATC, complete with gorgeous shoes, and champagne, and hampers, obviously thoroughly enjoying their day, and their friendship. 
Wondering at little Grace Van Cutsem, the angelic curly-haired bridesmaid, with a face that could turn milk. (If we thought we had a bit of a time of it, looking at her, we knew nothing of the agony!) 

Seeing the outfits of the celebs and Royal Family members. What on earth had Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie done to upset their designers? 

Picking up a piece of practice-writing from my eldest (5) who had been pestering her Grandmother to teach her to write 'William' and 'Kate'.

Enjoying the cheerfulness of a Little-Prince-William-Lookalike, (from way-back-when: blonde hair, cheeky grin) Master Tom Pettifer. He looks like he has a contagious giggle. 

Seeing Prince Charles and Camilla lift up her Grandaughter on the balcony.

Observing Pickle Missy's reaction to it all, and her wonder over the gorgeousness of the 'New Princess'

Thinking back to a recent close friend's wedding, with her array of small bridesmaids and page boys, including my two Little People. 

The Britishness of it all- in every good way!  

Watching Little Guy grab his Great Grandad's newspaper, with a photo of the crowds and say 'We were therrrrrrrre!!!'

Loving the happiness of the Very Happy Couple, who have their whole lives ahead of them. I'm all for a nice ending (in that the Prince got his Princess, Kate got her man), and the new start. How exciting!

May they live Happily Ever After.