A Little Pea and Little Wisp sleepover and the lessons of spicy toothpaste

It was a Little Pea and Little Wisp sleepover the other week.

With so few weekends to choose from, it ended up being one where Himself was away on an expedition that involved making fire and building camps (it’s probably best not to ask).  So that meant it was me, them and Percy.

And it turns out that is EXACTLY as chaotic as you can imagine.

I mean,

It started well.  I drove to Bumpkinsville and picked them up…

…and we drove back to one very, very excited pup.

All was good, we unpacked, established that Willow had no sponge bag or bedtime books, had tea, found a spare toothbrush and went to the playground.  Because that is a perfect way to calm everyone just before bed, isn’t it?

Apparently not.  We got back for pre bed showers and the bathroom was accidentally close to flooded, there was an almighty meltdown that toothpaste in this house (and also the one bought by her cousin) is too spicy to actually put anywhere near your mouth and – presumably because he was feeling left out – Percy threw up all over the (still very wet) bathroom floor around all three pairs of feet dealing with the toothpaste meltdown.

We survived all that though, then went upstairs to read books.  I then had to rush down to the hypno hut to find the only ones I could use (children’s stories I use with clients rather than text books, you understand).

But finally (after Percy gave away that they were chatting and I reminded them that the longer they chatted for the longer they had to stay in bed in the morning so they had enough sleep for our expedition… ‘sorry Auntie Pog!’:

But what actually work us all up at 5.15am was the smoke alarm telling me the battery was running out by beeping intermittently every 20 seconds.  And out smoke alarm is plugged into the mains and I didn’t know that’s what it was telling me, so in an effort to fix it I set it off.  And we decided we might as well get up.  Luckily, we discovered that when you pretend to be a tiger spicy toothpaste is actually not very spicy and just makes you laugh a lot..

And an epic day of dog walking, more playgrounds, bus riding (top front of the double decker, obviously), pier rides and arcade games and a visit to the duck shop ensued:


And Auntie Pog discovered that it’s not just teenage boys who can eat all the food; it’s just boys in general.

And Little Wisp shared her insight that when we die we turn into stars.  With eyes.  So we can watch people.  And she wondered if the queen had suddenly opened her eyes in the sky and wondered ‘what AM I doing up here?’.

And Percy had The. Very. Best. Time.

And Auntie Pog and Percy were pretty much asleep on the sofa by 8pm and (as we’d walked a startling 12km together), they suspected Pea and Wisp might have done the same…   :o)

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A little teasing can go a long way

Acceptable things to tease about in this house:

  • That Brighton football team are rubbish regardless of how well they are actually  (me to Smaller boy, who might just be their biggest fan)
  • That Bigger boy has no common sense, despite being incredibly intelligent (me to him, which he totally accepts)
  • And that I am terrible – and I mean really terrible –  when it comes to numbers (despite getting a B at GCSE, which just goes to prove that those exams don’t actually mean very much in the grand scheme of things).

Anyway, over the last few years in particular, the boys sense of humour has really developed.  Smaller boy still gets infuriated 90% of the time when I tease him about his team, but every so often he realises what I am doing and comes back with a funny.  Bigger boy though, has the ability to really make me laugh.  This weekend was one I want to remember, so…

Himself was at the bottom of the garden with Bigger boy making fire for the last barbecue of the year.  I was in the kitchen making the million extra bits that are required in these circumstances.  Bigger boy walked in with a load of empty bowls.

Him: ‘I’ve bought these up now so when the food is ready Dad and I can carry it all in one go’.

Me: ‘Great!  That’s very organised, well done!’

Him: ‘I know.  I used some common sense there. It was entirely my idea too.’  <Pause>  ‘Oh God…do you think I am turning into you?’

Me: ‘Would that be so terrible, Bigger boy?’ <Grinning, thinking it actually probably would>.

Him: ‘Well, yes, kind of.’

Me: ‘A-hem! Why?’

Him: ‘Because I’m starting college tomorrow and…you’re terrible at maths!’

(He’s doing computer science and double maths a-level)

He ran back out the back door sniggering while I laughed.  A lot.  We’ve come a long way from the boy who used to refuse to make eye contact with me.  Thank God.

:o)

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Sauce, anyone?

There are moments when I – and I am sure you do too – feel like I know nothing; like I am a fraud in my job, in my life and it makes my mouth dry and my heart pound.  I imagine you know exactly what I mean.

And then there are (less frequent) moments when I know that I know my stuff.  I know that I am in control, and I can absolutely do what it is that I’m doing.  I’m sure you’ve felt that too.

Last week I had been asked to do a lunch time ‘Facebook live’; a live video in a big Facebook group where I’m about to become the expert coach on a course to help people manage anxiety.  These people have paid good money and the video was to introduce myself to them and anyone who was thinking of signing up.

I’d had the imposter moment – I am not good on video and don’t come across as the calm professional I imagine most people expect they will see in that scenario.  I am very much me.  But then I had a word with myself, reminded me that I do the talking part to people every day, many times a day, and talking through a few scenarios and one technique with the lady who runs the group was hardly going to be difficult.

But (and there is always a ‘but’ in these stories, isn’t there?), I decided to attempt to sound more knowledgeable than I usually do…

(It’s called a physiological sigh, by the way – it’s brilliant because it gets rid of the physical symptoms of stress in your body in seconds and is a physical thing – no reliance on your mind here.  What you do is breathe in – a full breath.  Hold it a second, and now breath in a little bit more so your lungs are really full….and now slowly exhale.)

I should have stuck to that, as I’ve found most people don’t care why something works, just that it does,  but I decided to explain what happens in your lungs.  And what I should have said was that when you are stressed the air sacks in your lungs – the alveoli – collapse, and the double breath in reinflates them and quickly removes the excess CO2 really efficiently, which allows you to feel more relaxed in seconds.

What I actually said was that the double breath in changes the aioli in our lungs… (And yes, aioli is a sort of garlic mayonnaise that is great for dipping chips in and livening up a salad but nothing to do with breathing…)

Luckily, or possibly not as I could have got away with it, the person I was doing this live session with is a nurse and managed to correct me quickly.

And I really don’t know if the moral here should be not to try to sound knowledgeable, to be A LOT more knowledgeable and learn these things backwards, or just not to do live videos at lunchtime when your hungry has woken up.  I’ll leave it to you to work out… :o)

This is the Hypno Hut where my colleague and I do our best to be professional…

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That back to school time of year

There’s a week or so in September that can be slightly tricky if – for whatever reason – you don’t have children.

You might have guessed it; it’s the week schools go back and social media gets flooded with images of small humans in uniform that’s usually slightly too big in a door that often looks familiar (you’ve seen it every year in this exact way or in real life) as they start a new school year.

I can’t speak for other people, but I have occasionally had the conversation with other non mums and the thought process seems similar and it goes something like this:

  • Oh God, not again
  • Oh, it’s cute though
  • Don’t people have anything else to talk about at the moment?
  • No, no, that makes me mean; let them enjoy their new start moment
  • But seriously, haven’t the schools all gone back now?
  • (then the one that’s a bit ouchy: ) Ok, I admit it, this is making me feel a bit sad / jealous / empty that I’ve never got to do this
  • Oh thank God; it seems to be over for another year
  • It wasn’t that bad really, I suppose

Some years it’s harder than others.  One year I drew on a photo of Norman and gave him a tie and a briefcase, posting it as his going back to school photo.  I’m not sure which phase of the above I was in at that point…

Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not on some tirade that because this is tricky for some others shouldn’t do it.  It makes me sad when I see posts implying that, as I think it would be daft – it would be like cancelling any other celebration day because some groups were not part of it.

So, I thought this year I’d take a slightly different angle which sometimes is a bit tricky in itself, but for which I have a really good teacher right now: One of my hypnotherapy trainers is very poorly right now; hers isn’t my story to tell, but she is a lesson in living in the moment and seeing the good even when that might feel really tough.  And flippin’ heck; if she can do that in her situation, I can damn well enjoy the smiles of small humans and their parents for a week without letting any negative feelings creep in and take over.  So that is what I will do.  And I wonder if you might do the same?

And I don’t mean just if this is the week every year that highlights what might feel like a bit of a gap; I mean with life in general.

What if we all genuinely celebrated each other and each other’s achievements without comparing them to what we have / don’t have / would love?  And what if we focussed on all the happy bits in our lives without the ‘yes, but…’s’?  I wonder if it would help us all be a bit more smiley-er?

I don’t know.  I could be wrong.  But what if I’m not?

So for now, I give you my fur babies:

The many positions of Norman:


And the ‘every day is Christmas day’ happiness of Percy:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, show me all those small people going back to school and I will celebrate their new starts with them and the fact that you got them to yourself for a whole six weeks (or the fact that you now get to set them (and yourself!) free after six weeks) :o)

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Top 10 teen holiday observations

We did it!  We did a week away in France – including a 600 mile drive there and 600 miles back – and nobody died.  (And I didn’t get refused entry in or out with my dodgy passport photo!)

So, in the interests of other step mums out there who might appreciate a bit of insight, or who just want to feel like they aren’t the only one, I’ve put together my top ten observations on what to expect on holiday with teen boys.

(Mum’s might also nod knowingly at this, but I obviously have a soft spot for the Steps among us as 1) we get thrown in without a gentle introduction from cute baby and just arrive at boy lump, 2) there are tricky bits I think only step mums will get when it comes to ‘shaping’ teens as ‘you’re not my Mum’… and 3) being really honest, there can be complicated feelings from our side too.)

Things I learned on holiday with two teenage boys:

1. There is a bubble that exists between the boy teen and the world and it might as well be a physical thing. In the bubble is them, their food and their phone. Even on holiday only really significant things (beach, water park etc) can extract them willingly from said bubble.

2. Teen boys are unable to hear the volume at which they are communicating. Significant communication efforts take place at either barely audible muttering level or almost shouting*

*Note:  the shouting isn’t necessarily in anger – it’s just an apparent inability to talk at a normal volume.

3. Some things are no different to home: It takes forever to get them into the bathroom. And takes forever to get them back out.

4. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING is responded to with either “I know’, ‘I was about to say that’ or ‘I was about to do that’. (Clearly my timing has some telepathic link as there was absolutely no exception to this with the older one).

5. Either they put nothing in the washing pile or everything in the washing pile. Two teen boys do not wear anywhere near the same number of pants or socks over a week.  (Go figure).

6. Teen boys eat. And eat.  And eat. And it just does not stop.  And unbelievably they manage to eat even more on holiday.

7. Probably as a direct link to the above, it’s best to avoid a shared bathroom as much as is humanly possible with teen boys and when you have no choice, breath through your mouth only.

8. When asked to help unpack the shopping / the beach bag / make a sandwich/ do the washing up etc, at least one teen will urgently need the toilet for exactly the amount of time it takes to complete the task…

9. Teen boys can talk about a pet subject for hours and hours – football and You Tubers are the topics of choice with these two. Top tip: as step mum, you are not actually required to input to these – a bit of nodding at the start of the conversation and when it gets more detailed they either zone out everyone except each other anyway, or can carry a monologue while you get lost on your own thoughts…

10. Man flu starts early. Sixteen apparently.  And it’s bad – it goes to full blown man flu right from the first sniffle.  It requires an entire box of tissues and a full kitchen roll over the space of three days, a lot of lying down – especially when the washing up needs doing –  and involves a HUGE amount of sighing and grunting.  It does not, however, impact appetite even a tiny bit.

But, like I said, we all made it through.  Some of us may have ground our teeth to powder a few times and may have got REALLY good at taking a few deep breaths and doing a big smile, but I’m sure that wasn’t just me.  And there were some great moments too – watching them try escargot, their eyes lighting up when they were handed a bubble waffle (huge waffle filled with ice cream and vast amounts of sugar-y stuff), and being told I have an ‘actual evil step mum laugh’ are just a few.

And they’re 13 and 16 after all – it has to get easier quite soon, right?  Right?!

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Houdini Norman

We’ve lived in this house – Our Towers (rather than Pog Towers, where I used to live on my own) –  for almost 5 years.  One of the ‘things’ a lot of houses in this area have is glass doors in the bedroom that open onto the roof of the floor below.  These are supposed to have a sheet of very thick waist height glass to stop you climbing out, but for some reason the previous owner had removed this and stored it under the house.  We then put all of our boxes and ‘things we’d see if we really needed’ in front of it and thought no more of it.

In summer time our room got quite hot, but I wouldn’t sleep with the doors open as it was very likely Norman would go exploring, get stuck somewhere and wouldn’t be able to get back.  At Pog Towers he got stuck on the shed and conservatory roof a few times so it wasn’t that unlikely.

Because of this, we rarely opened the doors.  Until a few weeks ago when it got silly hot here in the UK, and we realised that we might actually cook in our sleep if we didn’t do something.

We found that glass hidden behind stuff we’ve barely moved in five years and prepared to get it up to our room.  It was SO heavy.  I had to stop a lot.  And when we finally got it up on the roof it didn’t fit any more as all the rubber holding it in places had swollen and solidified.  Mr R did some magic though and we hefted and hefted and finally got it in place.  Hooray!  Then we realised we had trapped ourselves on the roof as neither of I us owns four foot long legs to climb back over.  We hefted the glass back out, and realised we couldn’t fit it from the inside, so long story short, we had to get a step ladder and Mr R stayed on the roof to fit it and step laddered himself back in.

All good.  We could now sleep with a breeze and no danger of Norman escaping.

Until Norman escaped.  Apparently despite now being 12 and mostly enjoying the quiet life, watching the world go by from the front garden and sleeping slap bang in the middle of our bed at night, there is nothing more challenging than a three and a bit foot glass wall…

I was sure I’d seen Norman come upstairs but he wasn’t in our room or the Boys room.  I must have imagined it.  I got into bed and heard him miaowing though– a sign he requires you in some shape or another…

He was on the roof, the other side of the glass.  We had to get the step ladder back out.  I had to get on the roof and use all my stealth because Norman doesn’t like being picked up and if he thinks you might be about to, he runs…fast.  And the only place to run was onto next doors roof outside their bedroom.  My stealth moves won out, we got Norms back and we shut the doors and cooked.

Night two we kept the doors shut and went back to our old plan of having the windows in the Boys room open and all the doors between open so we could get some through breeze.  Again, I saw norms trot upstairs.  Again, he disappeared.  I went into the Boys room and – clearly having a taste for it now – Norms was climbing out onto the slanted roof.  I grabbed his bottom and pulled.  He dug is claws into the roof tiles and a battle of wills ensued.

‘Come back you little fucker’ I whispered in that sort of stage whisper that carries for about ten miles.  Well, maybe not ten miles, but certainly as far as the people just outside the house giving their dog a night time walk.

We did a bit of wrestling.  It wasn’t dignified.  The people on the pavement kept glancing up nervously as I reassured them ‘ it’s ok – it’s my cat’….like it was going to be anyone else’s.

I won, eventually.  Normans pride was dented.  We all cooked.

The irony is Norman never tried to get out when the barriers wasn’t in place.  There’s probably some deep and meaningful message about life there.  Or maybe he is just a very contrary cat who is determined to prove that he’s still got it. :o)

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Holiday planning

OK, so I might be Mrs R now <eeek!>, but rather than marrying into the sensibleness and grown up-ness I thought I had, it seems I might have just dragged Himself deeper into the world of Pog.

Let me tell you about it…

Mr R has two children.  Which means I am now an actual step mum.  I was a bit naive about how that whole thing would work out, but maybe we’ll talk about that another day.  I used to call the boys Smaller Boy and Bigger boy, but at 13 and 16 I’m not sure that’s particularly accurate anymore, so we’ll go with the marginally better Little R and Bigger R.

Himself takes the boys away on holiday every year – as he should.  I’ve been on a few with them, but over Covid times a tent was bought and a love of camping discovered.  Their love, not mine.  Definitely not mine.

On our one week holiday to Devon after countless incidents including a storm that took out most of the tents in the field, but ‘just’ flooded ours, I actually spent a morning working out how to get home via the eleventy billion trans it would take.

So, since then it’s been easy: Himself and the boys pack up the car, drive, pitch the tent in a field with as few facilities as possible and I…I stay at home with a flushing toilet, warm shower and no need to traipse across a wet field in the pouring rain for my middle of the night wee.

It turns out though, that things are different now.  The world has opened up and the boys don’t have to stick to the tent, and now we are an actual legal family, I don’t have a get out clause anymore.  So, I started a search.  I based it on going abroad but not needing to fly so we didn’t get caught up in the overselling issue, being somewhere warm, and somewhere that had access to a beach, a barbecue, stuff for teens to do and wifi  (obviously).

Somewhere came up that was fully booked other than the week we can all go.  It was meant to be.  We booked in a flurry of excitement.

And then we read about the wildfires.  Which are very, very close.  We’re not going for a few weeks though, and the situation seems to be improving so it might just be a bit…smoky.  But then we discovered the big issue:

Little R’s passport has gone walkabout since his school trip to France pre Covid.  And I’m not changing my passport before we go (despite the story in my last post) as there is an up to 10 week turnaround time.  But Himself said that was fine because Fast Track only takes two weeks so we could at least sort his out.  I pointed out that fast track requires an in person appointment – usually in some God forsaken place if you left it late –  but Himself was pretty sure the rules on that had changed.

The rules on that have not changed which is why tomorrow Himself will be doing a day trip to Durham for a 30 minute appointment to get Little R a new passport so we can all go away together, wild fires and ferry queues permitting…

So there you go – a Pog escapade and we’ve not even left yet.  And did I mention that as we’re driving through France and it’s a rather long way I need to do some of the driving?  Which means after only driving teeny tiny cars my entire life, I now have to learn to drive the monster of a car that Himself has?  And I’m not sure who is more scared about that…him, me or the boys…

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Stuck in No Man’s Land

I mentioned the slight Pog shaped incident on the very last leg of an amazing honeymoon in a previous post, but forgot to add the story here.

My passport is seven years old and I do look quite different in its photo.  Not in a plastic surgery sort of way (which is one of the few reasons you’re asked to update your passport photo), but in a ‘I had very different hair back then and it was a very bad hair day when I had the passport photo taken’ kind of a way.

Our honeymoon involved a number of different flights and I did get a few double takes, but ultimately every passport control waved me through (I was going to say ‘with a smile’, but passport control people don’t really seem to smile, do they?). Anyway, there were no big issues until we came home.

At passport control coming back into Gatwick, the digital passport thing didn’t work. It wasn’t the chip that was the issue – -it turned out it couldn’t match my actual face with my passport photo, so I was sent to another queue to see an actual human.

Despite the fact that (presumably) this is a job where you’re trained to deal with recognising that an element of change can take place over almost a decade, she also didn’t believe it was me,  so asked me to use a different camera which (again, presumably) can identify the key features and compare – nose, chin, eyes etc. I failed. I also failed the third camera they tried…

She asked for additional photo ID. I had nothing.  In slight desperation I showed her my Facebook profile and then realised that the name didn’t match my passport.

I told her the man in my profile photo was my shiny new husband, and he was standing over there – look – over there, waiting for me.  She didn’t even turn round.

I offered my selfie photos on my phone as they went back more than seven years so she could see how I’d changed. Apparently that wasn’t terribly official.

She got her manager. Her manager made me tuck my hair behind my ears and stare straight at her while she scrutinised me and I panicked a fair bit.  By this point lots of people were watching with interest…

Eventually she decided she was pretty sure I was the person in the passport and finally let me across that magic line between no man’s land and the UK.  The comment from Himself after watching the fun and games? ‘Well, that photo is a bit Myra Hindley… ‘

I have been saying that my passport isn’t due to run out until 2025 so I am REALLY pleased a new passport is one of the things I need to update with my new name BUT, we’ve just booked a holiday with Himself’s kids next month, and the turnaround time isn’t fast enough to get my update done before then.  I’ll take my driving licence with me this time….but that has the same photo too!  Who knows what will happen then…. :o)

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Speech-ing

I did a speech at my wedding.  Of course I did :o)

I thought it would be easy as it was a relatively small group of very lovely friends, but I was still very shaky and nervous, although I did come up with the great bribe that if the kids kept quiet for all three speeches they could have a bag of sweets from the sweet trolley afterwards.  There was a queue by the time we finished…

I know I will loose these words if I don’t post them here, and it fills up a few gaps, because a lot of this has never made it to the blog.  Here goes:

 

Five and a bit years ago, Himself asked me to be his girlfriend.

I thought it was a terrible idea, so I said no.

You see, for those of you who don’t know me well, or haven’t known me long, or have very short memories….

I was finally content with my rather small life in my very small house, with my rather large cat and enormous (slightly unhealthy, some would say), crochet habit.

I didn’t need anything else, and with the changes happening in his life at that point, I was pretty sure Himself didn’t need me.

After much discussion, we compromised.  I would be his girlfriend but only on a 28 day no quibble returns policy basis.

I knew he would see the light.

He didn’t.

And that is why there is a 28 day gap between our views of when we got together…

 

We decided to take it all REALLY slowly.  Like snails.

Really, really slow snails.

So less than six months later I’d sold my house, moved from Kent to Brighton and we were renting together.

You may have noticed a ‘Top of the World’ theme going on here today.  That’s because we seem to spend a lot of time going to high up places.

Whenever I was missing being around the corner from my family, or terrified about the prospect of step mumming or anything at all really, Tony would arrange to go somewhere on top of the world,

Usually a walk or a bike ride, with a banana sandwich, a cup of tea or a cider and beer.  Because you always feel great when you’re on top of the world.

 

So, I’d like to take you back in time – a year and a day to be exact.

We’d talked about getting married one day ,a fair bit (that snail thing didn’t go so well) and we were in the Lake District.

Tony wanted to climb Scarfell Pike.  It’s the highest mountain in the UK.

It is the top of the UK world – you don’t get higher.  We had Percy with us though, and I didn’t think he’d make 4 hours up and four hours down (I clearly didn’t know my puppy very well back then).

Instead, we decided to climb Old Man Coniston.  It would be the highest we would have been together.  I had a sneaking suspicion…

But no.

We went up.

We had a cup of tea. From our thermos (we’ve now established this was the holiday where we got old).

We went back down.

I just assumed I’d read it wrong.

And the next day – exactly a year ago today we went for our final walk of the holiday.

Himself said there was a smaller top of the world there, but we missed the path and had to wade though bracken to our necks, we lost Percy, it was a bit fraught.  But we got there.  And we could see Old Man Coniston.

And Himself asked if I wanted a chocolate biscuit.

And then told me the last one in the packet was the best one.

So I scrabbled around, and there was my Haribo ring

(because I always said if he proposed it had to be a white and red Haribo ring, partly because I was worried if left to his own devices I’d end up with a huge ring I was too scared to wear, and partly because I was interested to find out if he ever actually listens and remembers)

It was red and white.

This time it didn’t seem a terrible idea.  And I was on top of the world.

 

And exactly a year on, we’re here which means there’s only one real date to remember now.

I did ask what he’d have done if I’d not fancied a chocolate biscuit.

Apparently ‘that would never have happened’…

 

So anyway, I’m not sure speeches are actually for stories, but those of you that know me, know how I like words and (hopefully) making people smile through weaving them together.

But I think I’m actually supposed to be thanking people.

I’ll leave the proper stuff to Himself, my husband :D

 

But from me, I’d like to thank:

My mum and dad and sisters for listening to all my hair-brained ideas about this wedding and helping with everything from collecting seeds to talking about nails to me over and over to doing my hair and make up to making one of the amazing cakes and putting together all the decorations here today.

All the R’s for letting me share their name.  Even if none of you were any help in devising a new signature…

XXX, because you now have me as a sister in law.  Sorry about that.

And Himself, as you now have my sisters as your Sisters in Law.  I’m really sorry about that.

And to all of you who took time off work, or just time out of your lives to come down here and celebrate our day with us – it means so much.

And of course, thank you to XXX and XXX for being reasonably ok when it comes to being teenagers.  Now I really am your evil step mum…

Himself, that was for them.  This is for you:

Like it says in the song:

‘No one can lift me, catch me the way that you do’.

I am so bloody lucky that you are strong enough to catch me.  And that you always have been.

I’m still falling for you.

(Just to be clear – there is still no lift in the dance though.)

Let’s stay on top of the world together, forever.

:o)

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Best. Day. Ever.

It’s been a while.  Three months exactly, apparently!

And now I’m writing this as a married lady – in theory that Bridget Jones persona became a thing of the past almost three weeks ago.

On the 24th June I married the most amazing, lovely, loving man I have ever known and became Mrs R.  (Mr R is ‘Himself’ first referred to a good few years back on here, just for reference). But it turns out that there is still a huge portion of Pog left behind, so the blog will continue…

I know people say that weddings are high stress and keep you busy.  I couldn’t work out quite what was the issue, so in true Pog style I kept on adding bits and bobs that I wanted to do to make ours a bit more unique. It was a small wedding so I figured it would all be relatively simple….

Wedding favours?  No, I decided to do party bags.  Obviously, I made the party bags (reclaimed silk Japanese knot bags for the ladies, material sandwich bags for the men), and then had to work out what to put in them.  Dad and I gathered seeds from our respective Love in a Mist flowers from last year and I made a little package of them for everyone.  Then I made a lavender heart for each person (plus more for decoration), and of course you need something sweet, so homemade ginger truffles it was.

I had to make the truffles the day before the wedding so they were fresh and I was making one of the three wedding cakes on the same day, but of course managed to forget this when I booked my spray tan for that morning and was then told not to wash my hands too much for the day or I’d wash off the tan before it took.  That was an interesting cooking session…

And of course, the children wouldn’t want the party bags so I made them Pogimals (the sock animal toys I used to make a lot of for fairs) instead.

My Mum and my now Mum in law had carried something in addition to their flowers down the aisle (horseshoes I think were the thing of their era), so I made myself and my two big bridesmaids a button ball each as a nod to that.  Mum has also carried three coins in a little bag (we’re not sure why!) which weirdly we found without even looking for them, so I carried them as well, alongside a gold teddy charm from her charm bracelet – the first charm my dad had given her when they were married.

Around April I’d decided to crochet my own cake toppers, but am a little out of practice, so they took a while to make… but I finished them about three weeks before the wedding.

And then I couldn’t think what to get as gifts for my bridesmaids and wondered if I could make replicas of the three of them in the three weeks left, so I did that too.

And then it was Mr R’s aunts birthday the day after the wedding, so obviously I had to make a cake for her too.

And that was before having to reprint the table plans three times as people couldn’t make it / could make it, the rejig the afternoon before as my oldest friend and her family had the joys of Covid land like the plague, and the other rejig between the service and the meal when two people just didn’t turn up at all!

And we had to decorate the venue the night before and the morning of the wedding.

So, all the plans to keep it low key and low stress didn’t go quite as I’d imagined.  But I didn’t go into melt down at any point, which frankly is quite an achievement.

Our first dance was a song called ‘Still falling for you’ which we love (and slightly ironically was in the last Bridget Jones film).  We thought we’d be able to come up with some sort of shuffle ourselves.  We couldn’t.  We did a You Tube tutorial – pretty much every night for three weeks with an increasing sense of panic.  We (eventually) nailed it.  I knew exactly where to be in our lounge at all the different key points.  Only our sofa / tv / fireplace didn’t appear on the dance floor of the venue, and we lost it a bit.  Then a lot.  So, I stopped and asked the DJ to start again.  Later, the photographer took us outside to take some more photos and muttered that he’d ‘never seen a dance like that before’.  I felt rather proud and told Mr R so.  Mr R informed me he was pretty sure the photographer was referring to the fact that I’d stopped and restarted it all…

There may have been a few panics and unplanned moments, but I can bring back every detail of that overwhelming happiness as I walked down the aisle looking at the man I love more than anyone I have ever loved before.  I can still feel the giggle that bubbled up from my tummy and escaped each time the registrar said ‘husband’ or ‘wife’. And I can remember the utter contentment that settled over me as we were hidden around the corner after the ceremony while the guests were assembled to throw confetti as my shiny new husband snapped this selfie of us:

If you’ve been reading this blog a while and have come along with me through my days of internet dating, single independent woman holidays, distractions from loneliness, moments of only just managing to adult, changing careers, and times of utter lunacy you will already know, but if you’ve not, trust me on this:  Life doesn’t always pan out the way you expect it to.  If you’d given me a crystal ball and shown me where I am now ten years ago, I’d have assumed it was faulty.

But there will still be moments of Pog – I don’t doubt that.  There was one on the way back from our honeymoon, but I’ll add that as another post as this has been too long already.  But I hope you understand why :o)

Love,

Mrs R. x

Posted in crochet, Pog Life, Realtionships, wedding | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments