“Holy Shitballs we’re about to get married”

That, ladies and gentlemen, was what was written in big letters on our fridge at the beginning of October. That was the point we were at. We had reached the ‘holy shitballs’ level of panic.

The problem with wedding planning is that for 90% of the time, the only thing you need to do is to respond to the question: “So how’s the wedding planning going?”  with: “Yeah, really well thanks” and then you have about ten minutes to do ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD OF WEDDINGS.

The seating plan for example, caused a massive amount of stress. We had days worth of conversations like this:

“Why don’t we put Guest A and Guest B on the table with Guest Y and Guest Z?”

“But then what about Guest L? They can’t be without Guest A and Guest B because otherwise they won’t know anyone.”

“Oh yeah. Bollocks”

“Ooh, I’ve got this. If we move Guests N, O and P, we can put Guests Y and Z with Guests C, D and E and then Guests N, O and P can sit with Guests A and B?”

“By Jove, I think you’ve cracked it… hold on”

*stares intently at table plan which is by now a dog eared piece of paper covered in crossings out and expletives*

“We forgot Guests J and K. They are now sitting at a table on their own”

“Holy mother of God. Why is this so difficult?”

*splashes Tippex all over the table plan dramatically*

“That’s it. I’ve had enough. Can’t we get some long trestle tables and just plonk everyone in a line?”

“They could just all stand up?”

“To eat soup?”

*exasperated sigh*

By the time we reached Wedding Eve (like Christmas Eve but with fewer reindeer jumpers) we had this attitude:

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“Ahhh..We don’t seem to have enough napkins.” “Oops, I’ve spelt this dude’s name wrong on the seating plan.” “Oh man, the ink in the fancy pants pen has run out.” “Erm…I appear to have broken a glass.”

I DON’T CARE.

GIVE ME WINE.

***

And then the wedding happened.

6 October 2016 flew past in an awesome blur of joy, relief, delight, pride, happiness and…ahem… Prosecco.

You will all be pleased to hear that Brad eventually got himself a suit and did not have to say his vows starkers. The lovely staff at Next managed to remain incredibly professional when we went in, scarily near to the wedding date, to pick Brad’s outfit. One lady in particular put on a twinkly customer service smile and told me about the time that a best man came into the store on the day of the wedding to buy his suit. Unfortunately, Brad took this to mean that he was some sort of hero because he’d nailed his suit purchase a whole two weeks earlier than the lastminute.com best man.

Brad’s usual outfit of choice would be some sort of sportswear, and I mean comfortable tracksuit type sportswear, he’s not one for physical exertion if he can possibly help it. So I confess that seeing him all smartly dressed was really very special for me.

Men however, respond differently it would seem.  Upon seeing me in my wedding finery, my Dad, who is not known for grand displays of affection said “Alright? Have I got the right time? Do you want me now?”…. pause (where he seems to suddenly realise that I’m in a fancy frock about to be wed)…”You look nice, Jo”. Mind you, that is pretty dramatic sentiment for my old man.

I cried my way through my vows. To clarify, I was overcome with happy emotions not forcibly entered into an arranged marriage.

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Uh-oh, she’s going to cry…

The problem with crying of course is that it is highly contagious, particularly amongst the female of the species. If there is a wobbly lip or anything resembling a sob, however joyful the reason, you can guarantee an epidemic of tears, Mexican wave stylee; a Mexican weep if you will.

Once the formalities were over and everyone who needed to had double checked that their mascara was as waterproof as it claimed to be, it was time to eat, drink, be photographed 746 times before being merry and it’s fair to say that we had a ball.

My Nan, who is over ninety, took quite a shine to my new father-in-law. Flirting is a timeless skill it would seem, the minx. Not sure that her flirting technique of telling him how old she is “I’m ninety two you know” and getting it wrong; she’s ninety three, is going to catch on, but got to give her credit for trying.

My seven year old niece and flower girl extraordinaire caught the bouquet, much to the horror of both her Dad and my twenty eight* year old bridesmaid who was about fifteen seconds away from rugby tackling the poor girl and snatching the bouquet out of her tiny hands

*she wishes

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Bouquet throwing action shot

Wedding vows aside, we smiled all day long. Our faces hurt from grinning at each other, our amazing families and our fabulous friends and if we’re being really honest, also from knowing that we never have to write another sodding seating plan ever again.

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Happy Camper

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I went out for cocktails with some of my lovely friends and family over the bank holiday weekend which was great fun. My blog came up in conversation, mainly because my mum was there and a friend (and very loyal reader) asked me if she was the lady who owned shoes that fastened with Velcro. After the slightly awkward moment when my mum glared at me, mentally removed me from her Christmas card list and started practising the phrase “Me, children? Yes, I have ONE daughter”, she showed off a pair of very stylish and most definitely not fastened with Velcro shoes.

This also prompted a conversation about my writing. My friend said that he very much enjoyed my blog and referred to it as “mainly consisting of you writing about things that make you angry”. It was not supposed to be an angry zone but I had to agree with him in spite of myself. In order to rectify this, today’s blog entry is about the little and obscure things that make me happy.

Waking up early

Don’t be alarmed, the title is slightly misleading. I am famously not an early riser. I have managed to spend most of my life being completely unaware of the existence of another five o’clock; one that doesn’t signify home time. What I am referring to is that wonderful experience when you wake up after being asleep, think that it’s almost time to get up and realise that it’s actually 1.00am and you’ve still got six and a half beautiful hours of sleep ahead of you. An unexpected dozing dividend. Bliss.

Word play

I love anything that involves playing around with language, either deliberately or by accident. Some of my favourites are the removal company called “He Van Movers of the Universe” and the ordering of the famous Chinese dish “Automatic crispy duck”.

On the theme of incorrectly ordering in restaurants, I was out for dinner at an Indian restaurant with family a few weeks ago when one of the party (who shall remain nameless to protect their dignity) wanted to order a desert called a BNW which stood for Black ‘n’ white; dark chocolate shell containing white chocolate ice cream. Quite a simple and straightforward action you would think. You can imagine everyone’s horror when the Indian waiter arrived to take our orders and was asked for three coffees and a BNP.

My sister and I once had quite a serious argument about the name of our dance teacher, Lorna Roff. My sister got very cross when I tried to explain that her name was not Lorna Off as she had believed. Particularly as the conversation went a bit like this:

My sister: Her name’s Lorna Off

Me: No, it’s Lorna Roff

My sister: Yes that’s right, that’s what I’m saying, Lorna Off

Me: No. Lorna Roff. Roff

My sister: No, Lorna Off. Off

Me: Lorna Roff

My sister: Lorna Off

It continued like that for quite a while…

My most favourite word play (because I’m super childish) is the web address of a company that sell “elegant writing instruments”, finest quality, one of a kind pens as gifts. The company is called Pen Island Pens.

Unfortunately, the web address is http://www.penisland.net.

If only they’d added a hyphen.

Thursday

As week days go, obviously Friday is my most favourite. However, I think that Thursday should also be given credit for being so much more marvellous than Monday. When I was a child, I used to go to disco dancing lessons, with Lorna ROFF, on a Thursday and I always looked forward to that day of the week. When I was in my teens, a sneaky night out on a Thursday was a regular occurrence because you could get away with disguising a ‘hangover recovery’ bacon sandwich as a ‘it’s Friday, let’s treat ourselves’ bacon sandwich.

If I’m going to stay up late, I can always justify it to myself on a Thursday because I’ve only got to get through one more day. Plus, people like to take long weekends or only work four days per week so there are less staff at work on Friday to notice if you’re not performing at 100%. I’d just like to take this opportunity to say that if my boss is reading this, I have never not worked at 100% and I was just imagining what it would be like to do so for the purposes of this entry.

Thursday has been overshadowed by Friday for so long that I feel a bit sad for it. If Monday was more Thursday-ish we’d all be a whole lot happier on Sunday night. I think we should nurture Thursday a little more and recognise how great the achievement is to get to day four without quitting / punching someone / breaking something / crying / having a breakdown. I love you Thursday. You make me smile.

Chairs with wheels on

Even as an adult, I have been known to spin around on an office chair or scoot from one side of the office to the other without leaving my chair, it’s so much more fun than getting up and walking across the room. Why do chairs have wheels, if not for this purpose? I posed this question to Brad last night. He said “Erm, so that they can move in and out of desks easily?”. Hmmph. Spoilsport.

Telesales

No, I don’t really love the people who phone me up to ask me if I’ve got 15 minutes spare to take a survey about my shopping habits or to tell me about all that lovely insurance money that’s due to me after the accident that I didn’t have. Oh and whilst I’m on the subject, those PPI people can PPI-off as well.

I have found myself on the receiving end of a number of these calls to my mobile recently, I’ve obviously managed to fill out a form where I’ve forgotten to tick the ‘I’d rather stick hot needles in my eyes than have you call me incessantly’ box (I may be paraphrasing) and have managed to get my mobile number stuck on a telesales list somewhere.

In order to make the experience of being telephoned by either a computer, a minimum wage earner called Dave from Liverpool or a chap from India, strangely enough also called Dave, more bearable. I have saved all telesales numbers in my phone under one contact which is titled “Some cock trying to sell me something”. It gives me the joy of not having to answer the phone (I already know not to waste my time because it’s only some cock trying to sell me something) with the added bonus of my not getting angry when they call and instead chuckling to myself every time the words flash up on my phone screen. Give it a try, I highly recommend it:

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