Miscellany and detritus, from the writer of Is This Mutton?com

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Just a perfect day

J and I have now done the deed and Got Married.
It was a perfect day: everything went smoothly, we were relaxed and happy, and our 18 guests - family and one of my friends Wendy - enjoyed themselves.
I woke up at the Paddington Hilton, adhering to the tradition that the bride and groom don't see each other the night before. After a slap up breakfast (no nerves!) I was relieved to hear J was in the cab on his way to the hotel, writing his speech on the way (!).

We were a little early at Westminster register office - Marylebone Town Hall - so we went round the block a few times in our white London taxi with ribbon.
The service was charming, conducted by Tracey Zimmerman (we think she was South African). We then had photos taken in the beautiful building and outside, and went to the reception at a nearby bistro where we had a private section. I loved the fact we could offer a menu and choices to the guests. Angel Flowers really surpassed themselves. My posy was freesias and sweetpeas, and at the restaurant there were goldfish bowls full of purple and lilac sweetpeas, stocks and freesias and a tall arrangement including purple hydrangeas.
A very enjoyable lunch ensued: both the bride and groom gave a speech. We cut the cake, from London Cake Company, and in late afternoon sunlight bade farewell to our guests. In the evening we went to see Jersey Boys.
The official photos are great. Here are a few taken by myself and others. We're off to Greece now. Kalispera!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Come On My Son...

As Mrs Doyle memorably said in Father Ted, the one where she and some other redoubtable ladies were watching the clerics' football championships.

I was determined this time to try to get with it. To try to watch the football. At the time of the last World Cup, we were in Ischia, an Italian island. J dragged me along to see a match in a bar and I zoned out, so that when he turned excitedly to me and said "did you see that?" I had to admit I hadn't, and he got quite annoyed.

So this time I have been eagerly reading the breathless prose, wondering about the 4:2:2 and if Fabio will use it, and wondering also how Sven-Goran managed to get another international gig (this time with Ivory Coast.) None of us, least of all the players, could probably take SG seriously after the Ulrika Jonsson accounts of his stacked heel shoes left neatly outside the bedroom.

Anyway, back to the football.

I promised J last night I would sit in the same room when the England match was on, but I would be reading because I find watching England too stressful.

Sadly dear reader, I was right.

The early Gerrard goal, well, even I put my book down. Was this a sign of a newly reinvigorated Fabio super side? One that would get the goals in, fast and confidently?

But then it all limped into the usual tragedy, where you hope desperately someone will get their act together and score, and all you get is a goalkeeper's schoolboy error and that dejected look we remember so well from years gone by.

I feel so sad for all the fans who got so excited.

J keeps stoutly telling me that they could still finish second in their group and go through to the next round, but I'm thinking that Brazil, Spain and Germany are hardly quaking in their boots now that we can't beat the USA.

Next week we will be watching the Algerian match in a Greek bar and I will try to pay attention. Maybe Fabio will try the 5:2:1 with Rooney on his own up front (he sometimes seems like the only one that can be arsed.) But I'm having one of my premonitions that Slovenia are going to do quite well, and this doesn't bode well for England......

Sunday, June 06, 2010

A good year for the roses

The roses are magnificent. In full bloom and untroubled by any diseases or pests, they lift my heart every time I come home.


Thursday, June 03, 2010

J shows his romantic streak

Now with just over a week to go before our nuptials ("a step in the right direction," said Uncle Teddy), J has often felt unfairly maligned in these despatches for his unromantic nature. Although he is quite fond of rom coms, he is not the type for spontaneous or lavish gestures. He has never sent me flowers although he did once buy me a spade for the garden and he is methodical about working his way through a Christmas list.

He has always been at pains to point out that lavish gestures are often meaningless, whereas he is a man of action who will do things, or buy things, thoughtfully for me. And do you know, I think he's right. I can imagine that Sgt Troy would have been the type to send extravagant but essentially superficial bunches of flowers, whereas Gabriel Oak did more vital work like saving Bathsheba's hay ricks and sorting out her sheep when they had bloat.

Back to J.

On Sunday he was very excited about a surprise he said was heading my way. Yesterday he was crushed when the postman failed to deliver.

Today two jiffy bags arrived and I asked if I was supposed to open them. Out came an ipod charger for a car and a strange looking cable which, on closer examination, had an iPOD wotsit too, for connecting to the "aux" in my car. J assured me that I would be able to listen to podcasts at normal volume with this road warrier kit. I've been omplaining bitterly that when I'm on the motorway the volume of podcasts becomes too low to listen properly (and no I'm not mutton.)

By jove he was right so I'm now able to enjoy my favourite podcasts: Woman's Hour, Learn French by Podcast and Claudia Winkleman's Arts Show.

J is cockahoop about his thoughtfulness, and I think he's hoping that I've forgotten the observation in Wedding magazine that the bride and groom normally give each other a present......

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Back to the 70's: Bournemouth, 1974

I'm very glad that I was an inveterate documenter of my childhood and that I managed to hold on to "my archive" despite my mum being an inveterate thrower-outer.

In 1974 we stayed in a hotel for the first time for a week's holiday in Bournemouth. Mum had started working part-time and she used her wages to fund our holiday treat.

I faithfully documented everything, from the colour of the wallpaper and carpet in the two bedrooms to the menu for the week and the impressions that Mike Yarwood did.

We had a very busy time in Bournemouth. Every day is filled with activity, from going to three shows and the cinema for The Three Musketeers, in the evening to taking in the delights of Corfe Castle, Tucktonia and Compton Acres by day. We only had one day on the beach and it was a grey overcast day with just one person swimming: me.

The hotel was called the Hollyhurst. There were no TVs in the rooms or en suite bathrooms. Guests were summoned to breakfast and dinner by the sounding of a gong by the waiter we named "Carlos Alberto," on whom I had a bit of a crush. I was devastated to see him hanging out in the park with his girlfriend.

The menu highlights were: orange juice starter (!) followed by roast chicken and trifle for pudding. Very 70s.

Everyone watched Top of the Pops in those day and  remember all the guests crowding into the communal sitting room to watch The Three Degrees, who were number 1.

Time: 8.45am. Destination : Bournemouth
The intrepid party climbed into their red Ford Cortina eager for the off. They had ample luggage, four suitcases plus bags and buckets. The journey took six and three quarter hours. The party passed through Exeter, Honiton and Axminster. Unfortunately the anxious holidaymakers were held up at Dorchester for over an hour. They also had to push the car, which was in a very stubborn mood.
Once in Bournemouth, another incident befell them...they couldn't find the hotel! After half an hour of map poring and arguing, they found the Hollyhurst Hotel in West Hill Road, firmly sandwiches between the Kiwi and the three-star Tralee, famous for its clanking of dishes in the kitchen,
Opposite was the salubrious four-star Savoy, complete with pool.
"Looks better than it did in the book" remarked wise Mrs Tyler, a woman of medium height with hair of an undecided colour.
Out came the cases and in marched the Tylers. They collected their keys - no 19 and 22 - and climbed up the two flights of stairs......
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