Monday, 26 November 2012

Wife after wed.

Reader, I married him.
And that’s where it ends, doesn’t it?  It’s the culmination, the peak of feminine endeavour.  And yet, it’s not the end of the story.  Pretty fortunately really as otherwise no one would ever achieve the dizzying excitement of their paper wedding anniversary!
We’re now 3 weeks in.  We’re still re-living bits of the day but having spent the entire drive up to York, just going over and over it, we’re kind of short of things to repeat.  Although I still love the bit when I was dragged out of my pre-wedding nerves in the car over to the ceremony by my godmother asking my niece what her favourite bit of school was; “Lunch” my niece firmly replied.  Like aunt, like niece....
Does it feel different?  Well, it does a bit.  It’s not as if, after 17 years, we were in a flimsy relationship but somehow it feels even more solid and secure.  Which is of course, lovely.  I’m warding off the post-wedding blues by focussing on Christmas, but I suspect my usual post-Christmas blues will be positively navy in colour.  That is when I’m going to start booking our honeymoon proper though, to try and lighten the gloom. 
So, the mini-moon.  It was good in parts (like the curate’s egg).  The York Hotel de Vin was lovely – although we’d signed up to a deal which was supposed to upgrade us to the best room available, we were in a basic room I suspect.  But it was perfectly nice.  What made it lovely was the staff – they were like people who worked for a standalone hotel in which they had a stake.  They were so friendly that we were quite disarmed.  From the free bottle of fizz they sent up within minutes of our arrival, to the very knowledgeable and enthusiastic sommelier to the waiting staff that were absolutely happy for us to go and watch Homeland between main course and pudding to the lovely front desk staff, we felt really privileged to have such warm and friendly service.  How can we do anything but go back?  Luckily, we liked York enough to want to go back anyway.
It made Northumberland a bit of a rude shock: we arrived at our cottage in the pitch black to find it cold and unwelcoming.  We spent ages firstly finding boiler instructions and then trying to coax it into life.  Eventually we discovered that the gas bottles in a shed to the rear of the property had run out.  Not the welcome we’d become all-too used to.  When P finally threatened to put the log basket on the fire to keep warm, things finally started to happen.  But I’d picked the village as it had a good pub and a restaurant so we could just walk to dinner.  Both were closed.  In fact, Northumberland was generally closed.  We couldn’t find a single castle or place to visit that was open.  The scenery was glorious though and we’ll have to go back when it’s open for business.  We won’t stay in that cottage or with the badly named Grace Darling holidays at all though – they were very graceless in my dealings with them and not darling at all!  It’s unusual to find a small, local firm as resolutely disinterested in engaging. 
Overall, I’m glad it wasn’t the honeymoon proper.  But the key lesson learnt is not to break my heart over things not going perfectly for the main event.  No matter how much I plan and hope and dream, the honeymoon won’t necessarily be perfect.  I have a real perfectionist problem, P hates it as he has to deal with my disappointment and self-castigation when it doesn’t work out.  Hard to see how it would be possible to not have a fantastic time in this case though!
Unless I can’t fit into any evening frocks on the liner.  Really need to stop eating as if it’s Christmas.  Oh I wish it could be Christmas every daaaaaayyy....

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Playing footsie

The Reader with a good memory and a keen interest in shoes may remember that I bought an eye-wateringly expensive – if extremely beautiful – pair of shoes for the wedding. 
Exhibit A:

It was a struggle wearing them in but I persevered, even risking the blood supply stopping to my feet by wearing them with socks to soften and stretch them in the evenings at home.  It’s a wonder P still married me, confronted with that pretty picture every night.
But those shoes still killed me.
And 10 days later I still have no sensation in my middle toe of my left foot (a very odd, dead flopping toe feeling) and if I try to put (other) heels on, I get shooting, stabbing pains down my toes.  Hopefully this will wear off but this is taking suffering for beauty just too far.
I did succumb and put my jokey cowboy boots on for the evening – I couldn’t even stand in the shoes by then, far less dance in them. 
P is convinced I will never wear Shoes of Beauty and Pain again but I will, I will.  I want to have them dyed ballet shoe nude and wear them on the honeymoon cruise.  He’s worried I won’t be able to hike Yosemite etc afterwards as my feet will no longer function pain-free but I figure I just need to put more effort in.  Maybe.
So, wedding presents.  It’s very odd (not a natural segue there but go with it).  The majority of our guests were really generous; not everyone gave us a present but we did word it on our giftlist cards that they didn’t have to.  I confess with a certain amount of shame that I was still mildly surprised by people who came to the full day, that we fed twice and provided a non-ending supply of very good cocktails, wine and beer for, and who didn’t even buy us a bottle of wine.  But hey.  On the flip side, we didn’t tell any of our evening guests about our wedding list and many of them bought us gifts anyway – both on and off our list.  I slightly have the knock with P’s sister, whose partner is always boasting about how much money they have, who put almost the lowest sum possible in – and she alone drank double that, let alone the rest of her family of four adults!  It’s just that she’s his SISTER for heaven’s sake – and if they struggled financially, I wouldn’t think twice but they don’t; she doesn’t even have to work (jealous?  Moi?!).  She also got so drunk she was embarrassing so I still feel a bit sore about that too.  The weirdest thing is people who instead of things on our list, bought us vouchers.  I really appreciate the gift but I’d have expected anyone who went off-list to do so because they had a clear idea of something they really wanted us to get.  John Lewis vouchers don’t really hit that.  Still, I am sure we will find something to spend them on!  P suggested canapés for Christmas – I seriously cannot resist all the Christmas canapés in M&S and Waitrose, mini burgers!  Mini pies!  (And I don’t actually like full size pies so why I like these is a mystery).  Mini coquille St Jacques!  Mini Yorkshire puddings with beef!  Okay, I’ll stop now as I suspect you get the picture.  None of these make for a mini me, sadly.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


Well, I’m back.  Spliced, hitched, be-knotted.

I think there’s more to say than a single post without writing a piece so long that it would try your patience, dear Reader.  I won’t tease though and start on the day before – today I’ll talk about the wedding.

It was a wonderful day.  I have to say, without the bias I obviously feel, it was the best wedding I have ever been to.  This was essentially because the food and wine was of such a high quality, rather than any super-hosting skills.  Although the ceilid band helped (think carnage on the dancefloor).

We kept the newspaper after all and I think it went down really well.  Who knows if people wondered if I was up the duff?  We did write “(not the)” in front of ‘shotgun‘ which people seemed to take as an intended joke.  I have seen a couple of photos from a friend of P’s and I certainly look fat enough for people to believe I was about ready to pop out a sprog or two.  But on the day I felt pretty good.  Initially I felt a bit anxious, but even the most suspicious person can’t help but be disarmed by such a torrent of compliments – even two women dashing off the street as I got into the car to tell me I looked “beautiful” and the registrar saying it was the most beautiful dress she’d seen in 10 years of being a registrar.  I did voice to one friend that no-one says to a bride “not a great choice there, love” but she said she’d be just less effusive if she hadn’t liked it.  Thinking about it now, it was probably the dress that knocked people for six – I certainly didn’t do it justice.  In fact there was a girl trying on the sample when I picked mine up and she looked lovely in it (I think she was a size 10) – I was definitely the sow’s ear masquerading as a silk purse but who cares?!  P thought I looked beautiful and, he told me firmly, ‘not fat’.  Although the photographic evidence shows he’s wrong, I’m just glad that that’s what he thought.

And the ceremony was lovely – really emotional and meaningful.  I had been worried it might feel impersonal and perfunctory as I have been to civil ceremonies like that, but it was anything but.  I felt so happy I coped with the photography and videographer because I really felt like I wanted a record of the day (having now seen a couple of pics, I may live to regret this).  Really I want to see everyone else though.  My bridesmaids looked AMAZING – they really did look stunning and I was so proud of them.  I enjoyed their transformation far more than my own!

And the sheer overwhelming feeling of everyone there for us, wishing us well, it was humbling, intoxicating and magical, all at once.  I wish I could go back in time and relive it over and over, scooping up the details I missed (I have NO IDEA what the cake looked like, or the cheese stack).  And annoyingly, I hardly ate or drank a thing so would like to go back and rectify that error!

I’ve made up for it since.  Got to get off bread and sugar and back on the wagon – a subject for another post perhaps.

Thursday, 8 November 2012


So, this is my last post before I get married on Saturday.  I've learnt a lot during this time - firstly, it's not possible to do every little touch you see on wedding blogs (HOW do they have the time?), secondly, Sod's Law will mean that work becomes ferociously busy just when you could do with having a lunch hour, leaving on time and sneaking a bit of wedmin into your working day and thirdly, an engagement ring does not mean that you will be a different person.

By that I mean that I had, somehow, thought that this might be the way I finally lost weight.  But that would only have worked if I had not really been trying; if my barriers were mental rather than physical.  I confess I am bitterly disappointed in myself even though I do know I tried as hard as I could.  I feel ashamed of myself as a bride, sort of apologetic that I don't fit the ideal.  Or even close to that ideal.  I am working very hard on getting over this and still enjoying the day.  I am determined that although I will be a fat bride, I will be a happy one too.  Although I seriously fear the cameras.

And I've made things worse for myself too.  As a surprise for P, who is a media hound, a journo friend and I wrote a spoof, silly paper to give to people when they arrive for the ceremony.  I gave it to P in advance in the end as there were similarities to his speech and I didn't want it to spoil that and for him to find himself repeating things.  He didn't like it.  I should have known really as he doesn't really like my humour (he doesn't find it very funny).  I am really disappointed that I failed to give him the lovely surprise I'd hoped to.  But it gets worse.  I had as my headline "Peridot and P in shock shotgun wedding".  I didn't realise that shotgun weddings were because of pregnancy - I thought it could be but that it was essentially a sudden wedding.  We've been together 17 years, that was the joke.  Except it's now not funny.  And people will think I'm pregnant (never a good thing but especially for a fat girl).  P's distinctly unimpressed, partly because he knows I'm so thin-skinned and partly because he can't see how me and P (yes, another P!) could be so dense ("fucking idiots" is the phrase he actually used).  I can't decide whether to just scrap the lot (£80 worth - but could be worse) or tough it out.  Either way, it's spoilt for me because I had envisaged a different reaction from P.

What do you think though?  Would you think it was a joke or would you think I was pregnant?