There's a reason I'm not a poet

Archive for July, 2015

Tie the knot

So it’s been two weeks or so now since my sister entered into the Super Grown Up world of married life! No more singe pringle ready-to-mingle for her. As he’s moved over to the Emerald Isle, the deal was that the two of them would get married where he’s from in Wales. And I’m not talking about Cardiff, I’m talking about the type of Wales where the family potatoes are served at the wedding (and great potatoes they were mind you)

As there was a lot of wedding stuff to bring, between various dresses, decorations and the like, and so we brought three cars over with us. Which meant we got to have a great amount of driving around the countryside and see the place. When the weather was nice it made for some beautiful scenery.

But yes let’s focus on the day itself. One brilliant aspect of the day was that family had gathered from all different parts of the UK, and people had come from other countries just to attend! My uncle came from USA, and my cousin with his family from Japan. So it was a great atmosphere because everyone was specifically there for the day, and our family pretty much took over every single B&B and pub in the area. The welsh contingent were so welcoming and there was just such a lovely vibe around the whole week.

With all the build-up and preparation that went into the wedding, I was expecting my sister to be quite stressed, trying to make sure that everything happened according to schedule and that nothing went too drastically wrong. But in her own words, she wasn’t so much Bridezilla as Bridechilla: I was so impressed by how relaxed she was, and she spent the day walking about with the biggest most genuine smile on her face, really seeming to enjoy herself. Spinning around with your veil while dancing to Robbie Williams’ Angels seemed to be a fun point.

But the whole day did (generally) go to plan very nicely. I’d made myself a chronological list of usher jobs and worked my way through them as the day went on, and thankfully all the effort my sister and mum/her bridesmaids put into the day paid off swimmingly. Apart from the minor issue of showing up at the church without any rings- I think that one caused a bit of stress. But thankfully they made their way up the aisle just as the priest was about to bless them, so no harm done.

The day was filled with so many personal touches, with references to Audrey Hepburn (my sister’s idol/hero/obsession) in the order of service, the groom’s dad getting up and singing Myfanwy & Danny Boy during the mass, and the venue sporting a 1897 steam engine that the groom’s dad had painstakingly restored and polished brilliantly! The speeches obviously had my mum and other sister bawling, and the food obviously had me making good-food-noises. Oh man the food, highlights include creamy garlic potatoes, cranberries and a huge platter of mini desserts that suddenly arrived and had my attention for at least 20 minutes. Apparently the caterers for one part of it recently catered for the Queen. Only the best for us of course.

There was a ceilidh, a band fronted by the groom, and a crapload of dancing. Needless to say I had to step outside to cool down from all my boogieing about five times throughout the night, and after we made our way through the choruses of Tell Me Ma, B*witched’s C’est La Vie and The Corrs’ What Can I Do To Make You Love Me (spot the irish wedding) the music came to a close at three in the morning. My feet were delighted but my sister was a bit heartbroken it was all over so didn’t let us go to sleep for another two hours.

Then the next day the two of them headed off on a tour of the west coast of America and a cheeky wee flight to Barbados. I’ve never liked them.

M

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Wey Aye Man!

Last weekend I was over in Newcastle visiting two friends of mine who are currently working over there. One of them went to school with me, so I’ve known him for a fair amount of time, but obviously as we’re now living on different islands I don’t tend to see them as much as I’d like. So, I decided to take the opportunity to play the rude card and invited myself along to stay with them. (Thankfully they didn’t seem to mind)

They’re both Real People now, with jobs, a mortgage and two cats. The set-up they have there is sweeeeeeet, living in a really nice apartment in a new development with a bunch of their friends living nearby and some fruit and vegetables growing on their balcony. We spent the first wee while catching up and chatting before playing some Super Smash Bros (standard) and heading out for some cake (also standard) in a wee tea house in a nearby town. Such yum.

I didn’t really know much about Newcastle before I went; all I’d really heard about the city was that it was a really fun place to go to university in, so I’d kind of envisaged a 1970s-style city filled with block-like grey buildings. Which was wrong: because of the Tyne River, there are a whole load of bridges around the place, which actually run through the city, so you can end up walking along streets underneath these humongous adqueduct-style bridges, which cut an impressive shape next to all the sandstone buildings. So yeah, it made for a very nice city.

But it is known for its night life, if the number of hens and stags you see traipsing about in tiaras and fairy wings are anything to go by. So we went to a pub on the Friday night, which is one of the oldest/if not the oldest pub in the city. It used to be a market and so is filled with apothecary drawers and more nooks than you can shake a cranny at. Because I’d ended up staying up late pretty much every night of the week playing Final Fantasy, it ended up not being too late a night out.

We got up the next day and after I had some caramel cake from the tea house for breakfast (ideal) we headed out to Beamish, an outdoor museum showcasing the history of the North of England, looking specifically at how life in towns and the country was around the turn of the 20th century. With coal mines, a pre-war school, ye olde sweete shoppes and a Freemason hall, it made for some good viewing and was great fun. They were also running a 1950s day, so lots of people had dressed up specifically and were getting their hair did in the style of women back then: it was all very impressive!

Carrying on in that theme, after a yummy Chinese stuffing-of-the-faces that evening we headed out to a swing dance night! One of my friends’ pals is into swing dancing, and the group she’s affiliated with were doing an event for people to come along and learn a few steps before a swing band started for people to practise their moves. People were encouraged to dress up so I pretty much just wore my oldest-timey work clothes and dance my little white boy heart out. Turns out it was some serious fun. It ended up being one of the sweatiest nights out I’ve had in a while what with all the jumping about and lack of air con, but I ended up being pretty decent at it and had bucketloads of fun.

So yeah: Newcastle is officially sanctioned by me!

M