I have soooooo many things to tell you about and I'm not sure where to start, so I'll begin at the beginning (a couple of weeks ago) and split it into two or three blog posts. (If I forget anything I'll come back to it later...)
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The Friday evening before last I went to my cousin, Becky's, wedding reception. It was lovely to see her and her son, Jake and finally meet her new husband, Jordan. Her parents, my Auntie Sue and Uncle Andy and her 'little' brother, Jamie (who's about 8ft tall!) were all there, of course but so was my Auntie Jane and Uncle Gordon and their daughter, Tabitha.
It was so fantastic to see them all and have a bit of a catch-up. I had great conversation with Gordon re; photography and creative worship. (Gordon is a Church Army captain.) They both live in Brighton - one of my favourite places on the planet! - and have invited us to stay with them sometime soon. I can't wait!
The wedding itself actually took place in Antigua a short while before (jealous? Moi?!) and Becky wore her dress again and frankly she looked stunning! Honestly - it was an absolutely gorgeous dress and she filled it out beautifully, especially with her tan!
My Dad wasn't able to go due to work commitments so Mum was going to jump in our car; then, at the last minute, her illness flared up and prevented her from being able to go. She was gutted as she desperately wanted come and had particularly looked forward to seeing her brother (Andy) and sister (Jane) whom she hadn't seen for far too long.
The evening made me realise two things:
1) I have a gorgeous, loving family. I am truly blessed by that.
2) We need a Woody-do and soon!!! (Wood is the family name...)
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On Saturday I went to my friend Louise's hen do. It was such a great day!
In the afternoon we all met in London and went up to the Paradise Gardens Festival What a fantastic place! Music, fancy dress, all the usual 'interesting' festival-going-types, good food, drinkies and dancing...all in generous amounts and all for free!!! (Well,...alright, you did have to pay for your food and drink but that's fair enough!) There was even a funfair and a Wall of Death! (Video to follow!) At one point somebody said 'fancy dress' to me and I found myself making my way, trance-like, to a corner of a tent where you can dress up for free and for £1
they take a photo of you on a bluescreen background then add a fake background. Jen and I went for it in a big way! We had a shot of us together as mermaids and I had another in a Carmen Miranda-style outfit and headress! The resulting shots were so cheesy they were practically dripping with mozarella - and my solo pic was simply awful! Great fun!!! I did have a little wobble though, thinking how much Heals would've loved it...
One of the best parts of the day was the time spent in the Parlure Spiegel Tent - it was like stepping back into the 1920s! As the Pimms flowed we were given a few lessons in jive dance and opportunities to watch the professionals then give it a go ourselves! The 'tent' itself is a work of art, too - a must-see!
In the evening we went to this odd little place in Soho. It's one of those places that can't quite make it's mind up what it's supposed to be, so it seems to have settled with being whatever brings the most money in - which is, inevitably, a club. This means they can charge a £15 cover charge, then charge you for food and drink on top - not even a first-one-free deal! Just as the conversation was starting to run a bit dry the 'entertainment' started. A kind of blues/funk scratch band took to the 3/4 square-inch stage and kicked off with quite a decent attempt at some blues numbers. Maybe I've been spoilt over the years, but I remember frequenting many blues clubs across London and Copenhagen and they were...well...not brilliant. The lead singer had tons of great, fun personality, the trouble was most of it belonged to Prince. And there's something about a very camp, petite twenty-something mimicking Will Young that just doesn't suit the blues!
The rest of the band were pretty good though. The whole outfit had that typical 'working-the-circuit/whoever turns up plays' thing going on - which in my experience IS very blues! I suppose that way if the gig goes belly-up, they can always just look at it as an impromptu jam session?!
BTW; I shared 3 pitchers of sex on the beach cocktails, yet sobered up significantly throughout the evening. Magic, perhaps? A physiological phenomenon? Or perhaps merely a distinct lack of actual alcohol in the jugs...? Hmmmm...
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While Amber and I were with Lou and co, Healey and Wills drove up to spend the evening with Martyn. They've both been through a huge ton of crap recently - not my place to divulge - but as Heals and I have also been through the mill we thought that, as we girls were having fun, the menfolk should get together and have a boys' night in. The tell-tale smell of curry as we got through the front door at 2:30ish told us that they'd probably had a very nice evening, thank you!
I didn't sleep a wink that night (only slightly unsusual for lil 'ol insomniac-me) but I felt fine the next morning and even had some breakfast - shock horror! But it was a brioche so there was chocolate involved...
William played in the garden for a while and made me feel depressed and guilty all over again that we don't have one. I'm growing increasingly less fond of this masionette all the time...
Anyway - a great weekend was had by all! Amber took Martyn back to the festival on the Sunday and I went home with my boys and finally zonked out at 1pm!
Next year, I'm definately going back to Paradise Gardens with Heals and William. Who's coming with us...?!!