Festivals and fallow deer

After an unseasonably chilly spring, it would now seem we’re getting some summer weather thrown our way here in Old Blighty. Woke up to bird song and bright rays of early morning sunshine flickering their way through gaps in the curtains and although I don’t need sunshine and bird song to remind me how much I love this patch of west London, the school run and drive to work were nothing short of glorious. After over 10 years there, I always thought Chiswick was the most wonderful part of London, but it’s taken me less than a year in leafy Teddington to know that where we are now is even better. Tree lined streets, independent boutiques and cafés that populate the cute high street, Bushy Park with its fallow deer and the river still within a stone’s throw we really do want for nothing. And I love our home, our bright and spacious apartment where the days of renting and ugly carpets are a distant memory, every piece of furniture ours and scope to make whatever changes we want.

Although both fairly new and fresh, I can’t wait to get the kitchen and bathroom done. Our beautiful pink Smeg fridge freezer is going nowhere but although a lovely kitchen, whoever planned it has made a dog’s dinner in terms of utilising the space. The bathroom I believe was completely new, but the shower is over a bathtub and so the tub needs to go and sort out a shower cubicle – I quite fancy just a slight slope in the floor and not your traditional cubicle but rather just a partition so it’s all sort of open. But I am ahead of myself now. We’re getting hitched this year and also went to New Zealand in February taking our three boys, so we’ll need to build up again before embarking on home improvements. And it’s not like there’s any rush – the above is just stuff that is perfectly fine and the changes we’d like would just take it from ‘amazing pad’ to ‘dream apartment’. The only thing I don’t love about the place is the livingroom curtains, a standard, ugly magnolia coloured set that I can’t stand. Still no rush but those are the first thing I will change as soon as I can.


Driving into Chiswick to drop Monkey at school still has me noticing what a lovely area it is – it’s beautiful – but Teddington has something of an authentic, quirky charm that Chiswick seems to have lost amongst its TV presenter and posh family habitants. Nah, wouldn’t change back for the world. Having said that, Chiswick riverside remains a firm favourite and given its sentimental value (we met there and it’s where B proposed too), we’re heading back in just 10 days. In exactly that time, at around this time of day, we’ll all be getting ready to head to the ceremony. Me probably mid-makeup. The boys probably adjusting ties and cufflinks. I can’t wait! The wedding rings have lived in their box in our wardrobes for over a month and I just want to wear mine and B his! 10 more sleeps!

I think we’ve got everything done that we need to. It’s all fairly low key so it was never going to be frantic, but there has still been what seems like a staggering amount of things to organise. Doesn’t help I suppose that we’re having one get-together here in London after our ceremony, then another in Sweden late July – that little arrangement obviously meant more to sort. It’ll all be great though and between the two we’ve managed to get almost all the people we wanted there as of course like with anything it’d be rare for absolutely everyone to make it. There’s Lopez – my best friend from Canada, who sadly moved back there a few years ago – who has a young family and is in the middle of home renovations, who just can’t make it work. Sad not to have my best mate in the world there, but my ‘borrowed’ is hers so she’ll sort of be with me. My other five closest besties can between the two get-togethers all make it so it’ll be fantastic. M has already given off several evil giggles at what she may or may not include in her speech.

Good, ol’ M. As the Swedish saying goes: true love never rusts. It could have been just yesterday that she and I rode bareback on her horses, Brandy and Tanja, in metre deep snow up the mountain, singing ‘It’s Been a Hard Day’s Night’ on top of our lungs so that it echoed through the snow covered pine trees. Just like it could have been yesterday that we danced wildly, like maniacs and TRULY like no one was watching, when the Levellers performed on the final night of the Roskilde festival in 1994. Well, that’s M – unbridled, amazing, exuberant and so very real. Friends like that are the friends you hold on to, and like Lopez (nicknamed due to her gravity defying backside – I started calling her Lopez in 2004 and see no reason to change her moniker as it still accurately describes her arse), M, Foxy, Mother Hen and my sister-in-law are those people you hold on to and nurture. Others come and go, some you have to close the door on, but the real friendships don’t, well, rust. They’re as shiny as they always were. I’m so blessed to have all these amazing women in my life.

Well. Enough of happy-happy schmaltz!

Given it’s customary to diet before you get hitched, with 10 days to go I have succumbed to the curse too. B and I are doing the 10-day Master Cleanse. It’s more to detox and be good for your digestive system but if I lose a couple of pounds that’d be OK. So, this foolish and probably unhealthy fad diet CLEANSE means that for its duration, all B and I can consume is a mixture of water, freshly squeezed lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. It’s 10.30am on day one and I am hallucinating as you might in the desert after days of hunger and thirst, seeing imaginary hazelnut crossinis (that I’d normally have mid-morning at work) circle my head. Bite us, bite us! Doubtlessly, I will be very hangry before I even get to the other side of noon. At the same time I am a very stubborn girl, so who knows.

10 more sleeps…. In fact, in 10 days, one hour and 55 minutes, the ceremony will start….


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