peas on toast
A few months ago, I noticed that my favourite age-defying, skin-transforming, organic as fuck, made with the tears of semi-extinct alpacas, face cream, disappeared.
And yes, it was more expensive than the sushi at Nobu.
It's like it had fallen into a black hole of nothingness, down some invisible tract in our bathroom cabinet, by a force of the paranormal. After much searching, because I know I'd definitely left it in its rightful place, I gave up. My cream had gone on its own little life mission, never to be seen again. I thought maybe the Brit had eaten it, or thrown it in the bin, or maybe 'someone' dropped it and just didn't want to own up. Perhaps it was now plastered on the face of another thirtysomething who was wrinkle-averse.
I let it go. All £80 worth of it. Almost full jar. In case you're wondering.
Fast forward to Saturday morning - chaos as we run amuck our house cleaning up our wine glasses from the night before.
I know, to quell this beast of a wineover, I'll wear my favourite scarf, the one hanging again, in it's pride of place, and I'll just reach out and gra...where is it?
Well isn't that extremely irritating. It's not where I left it this morning.
It was my favourite one - it's the one I wore when I am powerscarfing at work. When I need an air of Women Demon Machine that shouldn't be fucked with. The one that derives gasps of fear and delight when I enter a room, scarf around my neck like a silken python.
Please, dear God, may 'someone' have accidentally used this as a dish cloth?
Maybe it was bottom of the wash basket? Nay. Again, searched everywhere. Now annoyed, told the Brit that the scarf was missing.
He put it down to it being somewhere.
Then it all started unraveling.
My lovely pearl earrings, given to me by someone as a wedding present - sentimental as fuck basically - gone. And I definitely knew where I put those, as I take them off every night and put them in their own little container.
Scarf, cream and other bits aside, not the fucking earrings.
These items, alongside a few others, had disappeared literally from less than 20 hours earlier. In between that time, there was only one person in our house: our Polish cleaner.
So I made the phonecall. Have you taken them? Be honest? Tell me where they are then? Still denying it, when the ultimate and forensically logical conclusion was, "You have been the only person in my house over the last day. So YOU are the last person to see these items."
She doesn't speak pretty much any English except for saying "One sec," repeatedly and then putting the phone down on me.
I was having a small fit, sure.
After much back and forthing, she admitted that she had, in fact, outsourced her job to her daughter and friends and therefore she hadn't been the person in our house cleaning all this time. In fact, the rest of Poland had.
And they'd taken our shit. Bit by bit, hoping we wouldn't notice.
I was fee-you-rious. We should never have trusted her, but when our original cleaner went on maternity leave, she recommended this woman. Who then let strangers into our house.
The Brit went into DIY-mode and deftly changed our locks. He-Man.
I told her to please give me back the earrings, she could keep the rest of the stuff. Pop them in the postbox while we visited the Brit's parents in Hampshire.
Well, they're still not there. And yes, she's fired.
So. While people complain of stealing in South Africa, it happens here too. To conclude: don't trust the Poles. Unless they have a reference.
I then spent the whole of Sunday hunched over my computer, with a phone on my ear, working from my in-laws office while everyone had a braai outside.
Then woke up at 4:30am to do briefings in TV channels across the city.
What a fun weekend.
Went out with two friends last night that I haven't seen in years.
One is out from SA, and it was just the best sitting with them and catching up after, like, ten years.
Drank far too much red wine, and spoke about everything from our childhood holidays together, nipping behind the shed to smoke cigarettes at boarding school, our first snogs, and the mischief we used to get up to.
Finding mates you have a long history with in London is difficult. But it's so crucial that you find them and make the effort. Because when you move to a foreign country, your context, history and views don't come with you. No one really cares, and it's difficult to really get to know people if they don't have that in mind.
Many of my mates that were here did the mass exodus over years ago, when I was still high-heeling it up in Johannesburg, kissing frogs and running from party to party. Most stayed a few years, but many went back to SA, or fucked off to Mars Australia to live [very boring lives?]
So there are very few Saffas I know from way-back-when left in this town, and it was so nice to connect with long lost friends again. Years can pass, and yet it's still the same.
It's cheered me up considerably.
That and knowing we go on honeymoon in exactly two weeks.
PS: Speaking of old friends, found this in my inbox this morning, from Dove. With a, "We'll be these people when we're old and mad." Yes we fucking will.
The one-way kind. That you cannot, ever, get out of.
There are three distinct types.
You know the type. The "Oh you just had a baby/got married/have huge news? Instead of pretending to take interest, I'll just tell you about all the amazing things I'M doing."
These peeps are massively insecure and over-compensate for this by incessantly namedropping, bragging, complaining and never, ever, asking about you. They just don't care.
They put you in a corner and give you an hour long rhetoric. You cannot escape.
Where the above types lack any kind of depth or substantial feeling, these guys are just as self-centred. They need you to know how STRONGLY they feel about something; how much feeling they have, and they'll nail you down and gore your eyeballs out with their long, profound stare, and you'll leave feeling completely drained.
The topic doesn't really matter; although it usually involves politics, religion (conversations you should avoid with strangers anyway), children, animals and feelings on goji berries.
They don't talk to you, they talk at you. And it's pretty exhausting. Especially if it's a small-talk conversation where you have to be polite and pretend to be happy about listening to a barrage of jibber-jabber about why tables discriminate against chairs.
Self-explanatory. They're mad. Met quite a few of these lately, and walked out of all the conversations thinking, "What the fuck just happened."
They simply don't talk sense. But they do talk a lot. In fact, they simply cannot stop talking at all. And nothing adds up. They'll fly from one tangent to the next, stringing words together with cackles. Logical topics, reasoning and context don't resonate here.
Having a business meeting with them is particularly trying, as you have to be patient, and you have to ensure they understand what you are saying. Except that they never let you get a word in edgeways, so you leave wondering what the point of the meeting was about at all.
So. To conclude.
None of the above are, actual, conversations. What they are is verbal assaultage, which takes on three very dysfunctional strains.
The thing with all of them is that, you don't actually get to talk at all.
People have got more and more self-centred - if that's even fucken possible - as they are actively encouraged to be. (For example, pictures of oneself hashtagged "selfie," or millions of status updates a day about their boring lives). As a result, people are simultaneously getting more, frankly, mad.
The need to be found amongst the constant online noise, ever-increasing, needing desperately to be found in a medium where everyone has a voice is making many people completely oblivious to other people's voices. All they hear and want to hear is their own.
If you think I'm being over-dramatic, consider this. Ever feel like you're talking into a hairdryer with some people?
Lately it's been relentless. Makes me kind of super pissed off. I have less tolerance for people's verbal diarrhoea than ever before.
All of you just shut up. And start listening to others for a change.
Wedding favours. Pwned.
Weather. Delightfully unScottish.
Flight. Only one hour.
This weekend I wanted to be Scottish.
(Even though my grandfather was, it's pretty piss poor lineage to claim full Scotsmanship, but it did go far enough that my bridey friend said I was more Scottish than her as her relatives aren't Scots. Am also 8000% more Scottish than my Brit. Who is pure, unbloodied English back as far as his first ancestor. If that counts for anything. )
I digress. Scottish people have the best weddings.
I don't think you quite understand.
We might have bouquet throwing (which they don't seem to do), but they have a first and a last dance, and they have the most dramatic music you've ever heard. It's amaaazing. And it made me cry like a baby.
I usually cry at weddings anyway - when the bride comes down the aisle, you can feel the nerves, excitement, love, the overwhelming emotions flying everywhere. Hell, I cried down the aisle as I walked towards the Brit.
The Scots tend to infuse dramatic music into their wedding throughout the day. First there was a man playing bagpipes, surrounded by men decked out in kilts (The Brit was a minority in his pant suit).
No seriously. One might think a bagpipe melody makes you want to stuff your earlobes with Bose surround sound, but actually, it was just perfect. He was stood, in the baking sunshine, in all his finery - red tartan cape, velvet jacket, the woolly socks, kilt, basically gear that makes you sweat. And played us all a little song.
The thing Scots do at weddings is ceilidh dancing. (Pronounced kay-lee.) It's just the most ridiculous fun you'll ever have. Everyone stands in a line and does that sort of Cotton Eye Joe dancing together, with lots of clapping hands and spinning around to traditional music. You do a bunch of these throughout the night, and I was literally in heaven.
I love organised group dancing. Specially after a few drinks. It's like the time I went to an old Irish bar in Dublin, and they shut the doors and everyone started breaking it down to the music baby. Irish dancing is more haphazard and you kind of just dance with everyone, whereas ceilidh is more structured. Same kind of vibe though.
The Celts know how to get everyone involved, and it's through the medium of dance. Why can't us Anglophiles do the same?
It goes a little something like this.
Then, as a final touch, at the end of everything, the bride and groom have a final dance. Everyone stands around them in a circle, holding hands. Only one song is used, the 'Loch Lomond.' (Apparently a lovely looking loch, written about in songs and poems for centuries).
And it's all very beautiful, and everyone sings and moves in the circle.
Can't we get married again and have a Scottish wedding please?
Edinburgh is beautiful, by the way. And it was so sunny, I even got a bit of a tan on ye olde face.
I tried doing the accent all weekend, but no one was overly impressed. ("Bot I doonae what's ye is tokkin aboot!")
Lots of dudes playing bagpipes in kilts on every corner though, that gets slightly a bit much.
Cockburn Street. Hee hee. Someone said "cock."
In Princes Park, next to Edinburgh Castle. There are the old bonnie floral trousers again.
Real sun and rolling green lawns. Och!
Why did I come back to London?
Somewhere in a park in Scotland.... Bantah.
Literalleh going to Edinburrah this evening.
Currently the sun sets there past 11:30pm, because it's almost the summer solstice and it's so far north it might as well be on the polar caps.
Except there are castles, and mounds, and rickety pubs, and cobbled streets and churches and bagpipes and kilts and men without underpants and giant steaming plates of sheep stomachs.
My grandfather was Scottish; it's like I'm sort of going home.
At a stretch.
I am so excited. This will be the first wedding we are going to after our own, (6 weeks of marriage, hooray!), so am excited to look into the doeful eyes of my husband and be all:
"Aw, isn't this romantic..? Remember how we walked down the aisle, and how the candles flickered at our tables...an-PARRRRRRRRRRRRP-EEEEEEE-OOOOOOOO-EEEEEEEEEE-EEEEEEEEEEEEEE......EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE...EEE...EEEE....EEEEEE"
Reverie broken by offending bagpipe?
The wedding is set in the countryside, about 20 minutes from Edinburgh, so we will check out the city on Sunday.
Now. How to leave the office earlier today to catch the flight up there.
That's a whole other thing I have to figure out before 4pm today.
WHY do people stop at the top of an escalator when there are - on casual observation - 8000 people behind them, piling up like Tetris pieces?
WHY is the world obsessed with sites like catsrofl.com or kittylulz.com?
WHY do I buy shit magazines just because there's a free nail polish [in a colour that I never use] inside?
WHY are people so flaky sometimes? [Make plans, then change them, then remake them, then change them. Fuck. Off.]
WHY is the decibel level of my voice such that when I am talking in a particularly acoustic-bouncing environment, like a board room or a loud pub, nobody can hear my voice?
WHY is this getting worse with time?
WHY did I not know that when I run in the gym and I'm listening to Rythym Is A Dancer and Reactivate 9 with the current earphones I'm using, everybody can hear exactly what I am running to?
AND on the train?
FOR the past year?
And the Brit only told me now?
WHY are chavs so self-entitling and annoying?
HOW do people get their work done when they talk so much crap? Not stupid crap, per se, but just 'blah blah blah totally-irrelevant-to-this-conversation-crap?
HOW will I be shaggy boombastic in my bikini in Borneo when carbs have found me again?
WHY am I so excited about this weekend?
BECAUSE we are going to Scotland for my friend's wedding.
BECAUSE we are flying to Edinburgh on Friday and staying nearby in the countryside to see a load of celebrating kilts and hear the sounds of a thousand bagpipes.
WHY am I so excited to hear the sounds of a thousand bagpipes?
BECAUSE I have never been to Scotland before.
WHY am I also scared to go to Scotland, bagpipes and haggis starters aside?
BECAUSE work might blow up.
WHY do Brits insist that they enjoy - and continue - their holidays in the rain?
WHY is the answer to this question, "Because we made a bunch of sandwiches for the roadtrip down to Southend...and we had a tent to pitch."
WHY is this the British answer to everything actually?
WHY do they actually love being a little bit miserable?
WHY do I tap my Oyster Card over and over again on the Underground even though I know it won't work?
WHY am I reading a very botched-together biography on Jimmy Savile and the unraveling of the BBC?
WHY do people leave voicemails when they can text?
WHY don't people listen to more Phil Collins?
WHY is it not because he grew up in Hounslow and not because they don't like Groovy Kind Of Love? (Next to the airport? Heathrow's answer to Kempton Park?)
WHY don't I wear sunglasses to work? Anyway? Even if it's cloudy?
WHY can't someone have a Bridal Braai where we all get to wear our wedding dresses again?
WHY haven't our professional photographs arrived yet, WHY GOD WHY?
WHY is it posh to say 'geographair' and not 'geography?'
WHY do I watch The Kardashians so much when the Brit is away?
WHY can we hear the upstairs couple shagging at 2am all the time suddenly?
WHY have they seemingly removed several layers of their bedroom floor?
WHY do the trendiest flats du jour look like Hugh Hefner's slippers?
WHY is the smell of sizzling pork so fucking incredible?
WHYcan't the new Bridget Jones book be ready NOW, why Helen Fielding, why?
WHY did our cleaner add me on Facebook? (We leave her a key, don't see her ever. Purely transactional relationship)
WHY is Annie Lennox's song called Why?
WHY can't I wallpaper the bathroom using my leftover washi tape?
So I'm going to level with you.
My work at the moment? It's freaking insane.
I work for a big multinational, and my job is to help defend its reputation in the UK. At the moment, there is a lot of stuff going on in the country in general - paedophiles, terrorism and tax evasion.
All the delightful topics above we have been pulled into - and daily these have become a fighting battle for me and my colleagues over the last few months.
Battles that involve rows with journalists at 5am in the morning, battles that involve fighting back on incorrect headlines, or being heard among large claims. It's been extremely tough. It feels like we are all in the trenches, wearing tin hats, and staving off bullets.
And it's not stopping. I never thought my day-to-day work and my life would merge as one thing, and it has. Weekends have been somewhat overtaken by work, constantly being vigilant about what is being said, and fight, fight fighting back.
I believe in the organisation for whom I work, and I believe in the good that we do. But it's hard. Anbd when running around London last week from news room to news room, it was hard to describe after such a day, even to my Brit and parents, what work is like right now.
So. Bear with me if you don't see many blog posts. Or if you think I have nothing to say. When work is everything - whether I like it or not - I can't help but live in a very one dimensional world.
Honeymoon. One month. Then I can start replying to calls and emails from family and friends outside of this world.
Albeit, in between the last crazy weeks - things happened yesterday.
1) I got wasted. By accident.
2) I made a decision to enter every single competition I see in a magazine/on my phone/advertised. Ever. If we are going to buy a house, we are going to need some money. So I am literally, from yesterday, entering every competition I see.
With probability set to 1 to 99 say, I might win something every 100 tries?
I tried both of these. A load of times. Twenty even.
We went to visit some friends for a bit of birthday cheer, and it was a lovely sunny day yesterday. Didn't even wear my thermals. Wore totally breezy t-shirt.
LOLZ. In England.
Buildings look so beautiful in the sunshine in London.
Georgian perdio archicture on our road. Our house isn't nearly as pretty; but this is why I'm entering competitions like a cray teenager with a new databundle. So we can shack up in one of these.
Church on our hill.
Cracked open a few light and crispy bottles of vin blanc. Sat in the outdoor garden of The Captain Kidd, overlooking the river, and generally playing the fool. But being sensible and constantly checking my phone for work calls.
(I've had to start apologising to friends I see for dinner or drinks beforehand. "Soz. Gonna have to be looking at my phone every 4 minutes.")
The Brit left earlier, and I carried on; it was so great to be outside and with friends.
Well. How did I get home? It was light outside and I boarded a train - clearly - because I did eventually arrive at my front door. I must've been hit by the alcoholic lightning that is the sun+wine. But holy moses, I have no idea what happened next.
The next thing, the Brit was drip feeding me aspirin and water out of a sippy cup, and carrying me to bed.
Crisis. Hangover on a Monday with all this going on?
What a good idea that was.
Now that we are all married up and all, we have been thrust into the world of grown ups.
It's not a bad place to be, really. The rite of passage - signing marriage certificates and pledging our lifelong commitment to each other - is a, let's be frank, good base point to start.
Had I not lived a life in my thrumming twenties and early thirties, I might've felt like there was more to be done. I've been lucky enough to have travelled, sown my wild oats, focused on a career and got drunk. A lot. Many times.
I am a late settle-downer. And I consider myself amazingly lucky that I am. I really appreciate being married now, and having a husband that I could just squeeze I love him so much.
Anyway, we have a lot of stuff we are going to be doing for the rest of the year. A honeymoon, bit of Mediterranean travel (all booked and paid for. Phew!), but also things like:
1) Buy a car. Finally.
The Brit's student car - the Ford Fiesta Molesta - has been great. But we've decided the time is nigh. If we don't buy our car now, who knows if we ever will. Hello big German hunkmobile.
Getting a two door - my endless dream - would be slightly impractical. So we are going to go for the guy with the five doors. He wants the quattro; I don't care. He wants the special wheels and other gadgetry as he's a geek; I don't care. I just want a good sound system and the ability to cruise those English roads.
2) Upgrade to a house.
We love our little flat, but living in a shoebox has become tiresome. We have nowhere to put our stuff anymore, including visiting friends. We want a garden and a second bedroom. So we're saving for a mortgage like never before.
I obviously want to live in Primrose Hill, but we aren't Gwen Stefani. I am lobbying for north London though. I have a feeling that I'd really feel in the mix on the other side of the river. I need to make a case though (ie find the perfect house) for the Brit to want to. So we are looking north and south. Sort of. Will get properly on the case when we know what kind of house we can afford...
Now, I am aware that after you get married, the questions start coming in. You know, the questions. "Are you going to start a family soon?" "When do you think you'll want to get pregnant?"
Apparently the questions come once a week after you've been married for 4-6 months.
For now, I don't know. I have endometriosis; I have a career. There's tons of stuff that comes with all of that.
I don't want to plan too much. Planning comes with expectation and with disappointment if it goes wrong/doesn't happen.
It would be nice, at some stage, but it's not something I want to make a big deal of.
So. Grown up stuff happening. In between buying floral pants and drinking in the park.
On a completely different topic, is Britain the new Belgium? Tom Bridger, Stuart Hazell, Jimmy Savile and now, allegedly, Max Clifford.
I am living in a country filled with paedophiles. What the fuck is going on?
It was like Jesus had arrived, sprinkled the nation with gold dust, and then made everyone drink from a chalice of pure MDMA.
It was a bank holiday yesterday, so Sunday was the new Saturday, and so we took off most of our clothes and lay, legs astride on a blanket on the common All. Day. Long.
We illegally braiied meat on one of those disposable barbeque thingies, drank pinot grigio and lapped up the sun like a right bunch of motherstickers.
It was amazing.
And now it's raining and I want to leave again.
Illegal braaing. Stealth-mode. The cops actually come over and fine you if they see you braaing. I thought we should fucking do it anyway and apologise later.
This is Britain.
Above is a dude who has come back from an all night trance party at The Church, bought himself a McDonald's family feast, peeled down his lycra Union Jack onesie, to reveal a white chest that he wishes to expose to some UV, while passing out mid-meal, leaving discarded drink to the side and the offending aforementioned bag between his legs, which are slightly a-kimbo.
Now, he might not have actually been at The Church, but there's a 99.9% sure-as-fuck speculative chance that he was.
That, in a nutshell, is the average day/night for a Caucasian male living in Clapham. In case you wanted a lesson in twentysomething British debauchery.
More home-made beef burgers on the disposable barbeque. What good, sunny days are made of.
Annnd he's up.
New Zara sandals I bought for Borneo and Malta. Make an unforseen and rare debut trip out onto the British streets and in the park.
Just 24 hours of sheer, beautiful, uninterrupted natural sunlight, and everything for that one day, is absolutely amazing.
One thing about the general English population that both astounds me, beyond the fact that they like eating things like black pudding and wearing Uggs, is the whole torturously unreactive passive-aggressive thing.
Everyone knows that no one talks on the tube, and generally, that's great. Because I don't like talking to people on tubes either. But it's when they're openly confronted, and they don't say anything, that really baffles the befuck out of me.
To make matters worse, since living in Britain, I've found myself becoming more passive-aggressive as time goes by too. It kind of starts to seep through your skin. ("Ooh no don't say anything/pretend you didn't see that/it would be rude to stare/don't argue it'll just make matters worse/avert your eyes avert your eyes!")
Bullshit. This is just not my natural style. And yet, I find myself being that way more and more. It's infuriating.
So. How British are you then? It's not what you eat, what you laugh at or whether you say things like, "I really worked hard today I did," or "I was sat next to a roight geezer this morning I was."
It's how you'd react to the following situation:
A Brit: "I was in the lift the other day, clutching a Starbucks freezachino, and the straw was sticking out to my right. Some tosser standing next to me took a bloody sip from my freezachino. Standing next to me. Just like that. Can you believe that?"
Peas: Well, what did you do?
A Brit: I...didn't do anything. I just climbed out at the next floor.
Peas: WHAT? You didn't even say, "Hey dude, what the fuck you doing with my drink?"
She Who Also Wears Tweed: I wouldn't say anything. Way too awkward.
Tweed: No ways man. Closed, confined space. I'd just pretend nothing happened.
[And herein lies the problem. To so many things.]
Peas: You people astound me. That is just crazy.
Another Brit: I'd do something, but I wouldn't say anything.
Peas: What would you do then? Punch him in the face?
Other Brit: Oh God no, don't be ridiculous.
Other Brit:...I'd tut.
Peas: Jesus. I worry about this nation, I really really do sometimes.
The Quiet American: Yip, that just about sums it up. She'd ignore him, he'd tut, I mean what the fuck man?
Peas: I'd say, "What the hell are you doing?"
Another Brit: I would go so far as to say, "Dude, are you serious?"
American: Oh I'd say something. That's my fucking drink you're helping yourself to, man.
[Later went home and asked my Brit what he'd do. I was really concerned now.]
My Brit: "I wouldn't say I thing. This is what I'd do: I'd look at him, slurp up the rest of my drink up in his face and then throw the empty cup at him........[pause] then storm out of the lift."
OK. Not all Brits then. And that's why I married him, see, amongst other things. He's the easiest man on Earth to wind up. I was fucking worried there for a second; that this kind of unreactive hell-bent stoic behaviour was the entire population and not just an exempt few.
The Brit once shouted at someone for pushing me into a crowded tube. He said, "Was that really necessary?" loudly enough that I cringed. And then we all stood there, avertign eyes, pretending nothing happened, while we stood right up in each other's faces in a packed carriage.
It was so awkward, I nearly daad.
However, I'd rather feel devastatingly awkward than have a husband who is too scared to say anything at all.
British and [sometimes] outspoken; he's a rare breed on this island.
In other news, this has been circulating our press office this week. Touche.
Weddings, no visa, chaos at work, well, something's gotta take a back seat. But I'm not going to see all 100 countries before I die by just sitting around am I?
So. Back to focusing on the plan. I'm currently in the process of sorting out a Schengen visa (with a little advice from friends and lovely strangers who have both suggested I go through France as they're the nicest and give longer visas apparently) and then I realised being married came with a surprising little perk: Enter the EU SPOUSAL VISA.
Instead of having to give the embassy a rainforest-sized stack of paperwork, I only have to show them our marriage certificate, the Brit's passport an three photos. No hotel bookings or flights or other crap, just those three important things - and apparently they usually give me a year-long visa!
Just for being married to a Brit. Good Lord my husband is so goddamn useful. And beautiful.
The Dove (with her little British passport) is coming over in July/August, so as I do, I opened up a Google map and set about looking at new places my Schengen hasn't taken me before. Research.
We are planning one of our annual trips, and was hoping to do one of the ex-communist, cray, insane noone-else-wants-to-ever-go-there-but-we-love-them countries, but none of them are on fucking Schengen. Yet.
Bosnia? No. Serbia? No. Bulgaria? Pending approval. Romania? Pending approval. Macedonia? No. Albania? No.
They all need separate visas. Which I just haven't the time, money or capacity to do. I'm trying to save for a house in Primrose fucking Hill, for Christ's sake.
So we are choosing a Schengen country that we both haven't been or seen yet. Ref. my picture above.
Red ticks where I've been, yellow ticks random ex-communist countries I NEED to go and pink means these are Schengen places I haven't yet been.
I have been to pretty much all of the Schengen countries (high fives!), bar just the following:
Iceland - northern lights, country is run on thermal energy so lots of hot springs and sauna vaabs, maybe hit up a Bjork concert dressed as swans?
Finland - Helsinki is the new Berlin. Some Russian told me that in an Estonian bar, so the source isn't a reliable one. We almost went last year, but were too hungover to climb aboard the ferry to cross the Baltic Sea.
Cyprus - still teetering on the brink of economic collapse. Wouldn't be a great holiday if we were there when it finally happened.
Slovenia - Apparently Lljubljana is not shit. In fact it's the shit. And is listed up there with Sarajevo as the new cultural city of the year or something.
Malta - come to Mama. My paternal grandmother was born here, and according to Dove, her mother nearly married a hairdresser here called Manuel until her mother intervened. Deemed 'the most Mediterranean place on Earth' (by the Maltese Tourist Board, to be fair). Beaches. Cobbled streets. Amazing food. We could get drunk on the beach all. Day. Long.
And given I still haven't had nearly enough sunshine this year - our thoughts were uninimous:
Let's go to fucking Malta. And find Manuel and your grandmother's birthplace.
We are 'gnising it as we speak. It's not Ukraine, sure. But it'll definitely do.
That'll be country 48. Just after country 47, Singapore, which we will go to via honeymoon to Borneo. (Borneo doesn't count as a new country for me; we are going to the Malaysian side, and I've been to Malaysia. The Indonesian side of Borneo is practically jungle and pirates, and the honeymoon company won't take us there. Pussies.)
I guess the rest of the beautiful stark, grey, undiscovered Eastern Bloc is going to have to wait until I'm actually British.
I went to see The Quiet American on Saturday, finally, and to get to see his 'neighbourhood' after years of telling me how great it is.
So I got on a train and ventured north, after buying a pair of your grandma's curtains to put on my legs.
This is what's happening here. In the world of pants. Go to any Zara and you won't be able to buy pants that don't have patterns, floral or your Nan's sofa on all of them.
Plain pants are done, people.
This fine pair is one of the more subtle varieties of trouser, trust me. There are all kinds of geometric and chevron shapes, paisleys in cray cray colours going on this summer.
Anyway. Where was I. So I pulled on the chintz pants and headed up to Chalk Farm station. One beyond Camden.
Doesn't sound like much does it?
Well. Chalk Farm is the station you get out at in Primrose Hill.
WHICH IS SO GOBSMACKINGLY AMAZING, I AM NOW OBSESSED WITH IT.
I just can't believe I haven't explored this area before. What. A Knobhead. For if I'd known a place like Promrose Hill existed - the village and the hill itself - I wouldn't have ever bothered with hanging out anywhere else in this town.
So obsessed and blown away by its sheer, ridiculous perfectness I was, I dragged the Brit there on Sunday to see it all over again.
Peas: "Right. How can we live here, we have to live here, we need to win the lottery, we need to make a PLAN, MAN."
Brit: We need to be billionaires. Or a rock star. Rock stars that have Hollywood star, live here Peas.
Peas: I KNOW. According to Wikipedia, we are talking Jamie Oliver, Gwen Stefani, Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow. HOW can we make this work for us?! WE NEED TO MAKE THIS WORK, ANYTHING, ANYHOW.
We had this type of conversation ad infinitum while we toured the streets.
I can gush all day, but really, this is the London that I was meant to have been born. This is where the sun shines even when it doesn't.
THIS is why Primrose Hill is, hands down, without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite favourite part of London and I will aspire like a motherfucker - for the rest of my non-rock star life - to live there one day:
Because you can see the whole of the moving, swarming city from the top of the Hill.
Because there are tons of little mews, garden tea shops, beer gardens, nooks and crannies - all independently owned, and all wonderful and filled with intellectual, arty people.
Not starving intellectual arty types, oh no. The types that have actually made it. And have published novels. Or have a rock band that's not in their garage.
We stopped at this one for tea and to people watch. While I kept banging on about how we are to solve this: how the Brit-On-Toasts (See that? Our new double-barrel surname. Very Primrose Hill) will find enough cash in their lifetimes to live in this paradise of a place.
(By the way, I wasn't high. It might sound like I was, but I wasn't. I am sober gushing.)
The other thing is the size of the pavements and streets. London is a crowded place. Mostly tourists and chavs clog the streets; and my tolerance for both is at an all time low.
Tourists don't know about Primrose Hill. They go to Camden, 15 minutes to the left.
Chavs don't go to Primrose Hill. I did not see one chav the whole weekend.
So while there's a strong community spirit and lots of buzz going on, it's not overinflated by people that generally annoy me. It's just the locals; and as the streets are wide and the pavements - you're not bumped, or hassled or continously have to watch your feet wherever you go. This is a BIG thing.
The streets are also impeccably clean.
Yeah. We were in heaven.
Myself, the husband and my Nan's Laura Ashley cushions, took themselves to the hill to catch some afternoon sunshine (the sun shines in Primrose Hill. Of course it fucking does), and laze about looking onto London Zoo and Regents Park below.
The grass is not manicured to perfection on the Hill - it's all tufty, soft and green. So help me God.
Now. The trees. The other startling realisation in this area is the abundance and establishedness of the trees. Huge, mightily tall Oak and one's that look like Magnolias, but aren't, as I understand it.
Huge trees that rise up and make normal-sized trees look like tumbleweeds.
Again. I wasn't tripping.
The cafe culture pavement vibe is worth mentioning - you can actually get a seat if you look hard enough. No endless queues.
The trees, the park! Primrose Hill is north London's Chelseafied version of itself. The only difference is you're far from the madding crowd, and there are less cunts walking around in red trousers.
It's intellectual-exclusive, but not crazily snobby that you feel bad for not being born with a trust fund.
Pity that a house like the one above would cost anything from £1.2million and upwards.
What, oh dear sweet, merciful Christ above, ARE we to do? Because by the looks of things, we can't afford to buy a paper bag in Primrose Hill.
The Brit-On-Toasts are wracking their brains and looking at rentals instead.
People watching. Look, the lady behind is ALSO wearing her Nan's curtains!
WE ARE SO ON TREND.
Things I learnt about getting married, for those out there preparing for your big, bright day:
I've been married 20 days today!
You won't eat the week you get married
You'll want to. But you won't have time, the adrenaline will make you a bit meh about the burger sitting on your plate, and unless you force yourself, it's going to be hard.
So if like me a full course meal makes you sweat, eat tons of little snacks and meals all day. Take anything that comes your way, because you will lose weight.
On the weight
I'd spent 6 months prior to our wedding getting primed baby. I was eating healthily, gyming, all of that. (And still am, have you know.) I had hit my ideal weight - the one where my dress fitted fucking perfectly, and my ass was looking the best it could look, quite frankly.
Then I went and lost two kilos and my dress was slightly loose around my boob area.
It was fine, but did worry that my boobie would pop out when I was throwing shapes to Usher's I Wanna Make Love In This Club.
So. Don't diet like a crazy person. Your wedding gift from nature will be those two kilos that drop off you from stress, nerves and excitement.
Your bridal party will pull together and make the day amazing for you
If they don't down a bottle of cane before the speeches. My bridesmaids offered to be my wedding slaves. They kept me calm, made endless pots of tea and gin and tonics and generally helped everything be smooth and amazing. The Brit's ushers/groomsmen were the same. Everyone looks after you.
People will stand and get caught on your dress. A million times.
Little things go wrong, but nobody cares
You'll probably be the only one that notices.
Take a long, hot bath the night before
I loaded a bath with bath salts and lavender, after a final chat and kiss with the Brit (Conversation: "We are going to look after each other forever, no matter what happens, we're in this together, yeah?")
And just soak.
You won't sleep helluva well a few nights before
But weirdly, slept really well the night before the big day. Twas the bath.
Take sleeping tabs if you need to - you need the sleep, to think rationally if anything.
The photographers are bossy
They know how you should stand, put your hand there, stick that out there, look that way, etc. They will bark orders to you. Continuously. It can be painful. Just keep smiling. And have someone ready with drinks/coolerbox. Our groomsmen bought along champers in a coolerbox for us for the photos, which was a lifesaver.
I had a bead of sweat trickle down my arm during our ceremony. Our hands shook and fingers swelled. (Had to literally push and twist the Brit's ring on). You'll also sweat under your dress.
You'll probably be tired of all that smiling by the end of the night
..but at the same time, you won't want the night to ever end. Your face will be sore.
You need someone on standby with lipgloss
All the smiling, photos, and you'll have your hands full - make sure there's a stray lipgloss floating around near you at all times. My lips started to crack. Attractive.
Eat your dinner
"No one likes a trashed bride."
A friend said that once. No doubles, just singles. Even so, it's rare you see a trashed bride (unless you watch British bridal documentaries), because you're so busy flitting around you leave your glass everywhere and you just don't get drunk. That said, was wobbly when I stood on the chair to throw the bouquet and garter.
Our retro photobooth was a hit
I could've spent all night in there. Most people did. We had a table full of props, and the photos print out so that people can take the strip home and we get to keep one for the guestbook ourselves. They are hilarious.
I managed to speak to most people
Or jam with them, one way or another. A few I regretfully didn't get to spend much time with, but hopefully most people understand and had fun anyway.
Send the DJ a list of mandatory songs
He played most of them, and at the perfect times. All the cheesy shit that you insist has to be there. Hello Monster Hits of the 90s. And Usher. And Def Leppard.
You have this need to be in and amongst it all the time, but take time to sit, kick off the old heels and chill with some friends at a table.
When you need to pee, take a mate
I was like a big white truck reversing. [Beep beep beep] Lifting the dress up, reversing into the toilet cubicle. You need assistance. Just to find the seat.
Celebrate [just] with your husband
We took a few moments together to absorb all the vibes and love and people around us and marvel in it. "We did it!" with a mini toast just to us. And he'll look more handsome and amazing than you've ever seen him.
You'll feel very secure, happy and loved
'Sno joke. Something does change when you get married. You know you're in this together. You have a partner in crime for everything. Everywhere. Anytime. Someone is with you on this ride. It's fucking cool. And it feels very unique. (Even if it isn't.)
Finally, my favouriet wedding scene. Catherine Tate. If this doesn't happen, then consider everything else a success:
I'd been told by other ex-brides that after the big day, you're absolutely knackered. Good enough reason for couples to go on honeymoon right after it all happens.
I was also told:
1) You'll be too drunk/tired to do anything kinky on your wedding night, apart from try to wrench yourself out of the dress
2) That until you do this, you can have your marriage annulled (only after you do it, is it divorce. So sex suddenly makes everything really expensive if you were to split, basically.)
Having an outdoor bathroom does help, though.
I'll get to the actual wedding day eventually - and how unbelievably full of love it was, and all the jitters and craziness that a wedding day comes with, plus the professional photos.
For now, I wanted to share our familymoon.
People do this nowadays - familymoons and buddymoons, especially when they get wed in a place far from home. We opted for familymoon, as I rarely get to see my extended family in one place, and Mum had organised a kick-ass four days in Kruger for all of us.
A lion. Eyeballing me.
The Brit has been to the bush before, but never to the Big Daddy. The Glastonbury of game parks, if you will.
Lazing. And chilling. And eating. And reading. And drinking. And sunbathing.
It was truly sublime. We had our own private camp in Sabi Sands, and for four blissful days, did the following:
Slept. A lot.
Went on morning and evening game drives, spotting an abundance of big-ass game, save a leopard. We saw lots of lion, but no leopard.
Ate fuckloads of biltong.
Sat around a big bonfire everynight, telling stories and drinking gin and tonics.
Chilling with family.
Getting used to being a waaf.
Husband and wifey and ring collection. About 30 elephants cruised into our camp one morning. Trumpeting and, well, doing things elephants do.
Warthogs. The world's underrated animals. They don't really give a fuck do they? They kind of do their own thing, and unless something is actively trying to eat them, they don't seem too stressed out at all. They laze around, enjoying mud baths and direct sunlight, pop their aerial tails up, and are basically, hilarious.
I want one. I'd called him Duncan.
Buck and stuff.
Another eyeballer. Giraffes have the funniest mouths. They chew cud like demons.
There's that sunset I miss.
Our REAL honeymoon is in T-minus 6 weeks.So help me God, it feels like a lifetime away.
We are going to BORNEO.
Dude. Holy Jesus and all his prophets, we are going trekking in the jungle.
Axe-murderers - they're a very real thing in this world.
Short-man syndrome - it's a very real thing in this world.
Post wedding blues - it's a very real thing in this world.
I have the third one. For those of you who have/are all three of these, you must be one crazy motherfucker.
Seriously. Can't motivate myself to do anything except eat cake and stare out of the window wondering whether I'll need to write postcards to the sun because I don't know when I'll see it again.
Did go to gym twice. Not sure how I managed that. Perhaps I had an outer body experience.
This Mrs officially has the post-wedding blues. I thought I was too good for PWB. I'm not. I'm feeling more blah than Blah Blah MacBlahberson.
And so does my husband. We drank the last bottle of our wedding wine this weekend with some friends (Diemersfontein Pinotage obviously), and cleaned - no, but cleaned - but cleaned like Mary Poppins with OCD and on methamphetamine cleans - our flat. From top to bottom.
We also watched our wedding video footage from start to finish. Again.
We didn't get a videographer; we decided to spend more money on topnotch-crazy-beautiful photography. (Which I wait for, like a dog at a door, with a cocked head, everyday.) Instead, we had the groomsmen and uncles pass around a video camera throughout the reception, and take footage of us all getting ready, the ceremony, the speeches and the full-on party at the end.
We plan to edit it someday, maybe. But for now, watching the raw debauchery and wonderfulness of our wedding party isn't old yet. And frankly, it's at least half gratifying to watch it all and discover new things. ("Hey......I didn't realise my bouquet hit the ceiling fan?")
Wedding videos (unedited, raw, free, unprofessional versions) hold so many secrets. It's genius, I tell you, genius.
Friends giving us their well wishes, to sound advice, to people licking the screen and giving us beautifully inappropriate - yet heartfelt - tips on how to bring up a child to roll the perfect joint.
(Thanks Dockers for that.)
It's like being in your own reality TV show, in a big white dress. Watching the dynamics of the night that you couldn't really observe as you were running around talking to everyone. Couples having a barney, to couples in the photobooth, Jaegerbombing, people hovering around the dessert table.
Now we are like, "Hey hey hey, look at Roland. He's properly chatting up Cynthia...and there it is.. oh yes...he's leaning in...and...a cheeky kiss."
"Ah look, bless, Dudley is on the John Deeres - look. And he's just ordered another one. Has no idea what he's actually drinking does he?"
"Luke is jammin'! Oh yes there goes his arm...and he's wiggling his ass. He's totally wiggling his ass and has no idea there's a camera watching."
"Oooh! Look at me, look at me! Look! There we are! My dress is pretty hey babe? Tell me again how pretty my dress was."
"You're so handsome in your morning suit. Can you put it on again today? How about we scrub the bathroom wearing our wedding clothes?"
It's rather nice being married. And having a detergent party with your husband in the kitchen. (Spray fights with the nozzles on the Dettol Surface Cleaner, sponging down the dining room tables together, putting toilet duck in the bowl....it's just groovy.)
Seriously. I'm getting used to saying, "Husband! Shall we watch our wedding footage again?"
As one person said to me, and it's so true: you wish you could be a guest at your own wedding.
Our wedding video has helped us to do just that.
Most wedding favours are usually something like this or more traditional, like this. Many people now give away teeny tiny potplants or seeds to grow, or even little ornaments. I've been to weddings where the new thing is to now donate money to a charity on the guest's behalf. Either way, I couldn't make 80 potplants to bring to South Africa.
And I figured almonds in a bag was overkill - there were loads of other sweet treats at our wedding already.
I had to make something light, that people from all over the world could take back with them, and something that was crafty and unique.
Those that know us, will know that we have an entire cupboard at home stuffed with tea. All types and kinds. We are tea people. And tea is light and lovely.
So, I set about sourcing teas that reflected the moment - love. Many infusions/herbal teas are often called names, so I set about finding teas that were called 'love' by name.
I found three. All high quality, wrapped in beautiful little sachets, all pink, from various parts of the world.
I found 'LØv' tea, from Sweden, which comes in little muslin bags, and Kusmi's 'Sweet Love' tea. Quite spicy and fruity. Sourced from Paris.
Then finally, I found a third tea, good old English Pukka, entitled simply 'Love.'
Everyone got one of each.
Our wedding theme was 'vintage travel.' Our relationship started on this basis; having to meet in foreign countries over an extended period of time. We also love to travel (OK, I love to travel - majority passion), but it's a big thing in our relationship and wanted to reflect this in the pacakaging.
So I bought me some baker's twine. It's not 'airmail' twine, but pink, as that was the main colour of our wedding vibe.
Then I found a little shop on Etsy, a woman from Canada that sold vintage stamps. There were 100 stamps for £5 - all used, but in good condition and from all parts of the world.
I had SO much fun sticking these onto little beige envelopes. You have no idea how therapeutic it is.
Then I ordered some vintage travel luggage stickers from a woman in Singapore. Two tins of vintage stickers that I could mix and match with the stamps.
Etsy packages were arriving at my desk daily - it was amazing. All handcrafted, with cool things like strips of washi tape down the side and little notes saying thank you.
Honestly, Etsy is amaaazing.
Luggage label stickers!
Then, the final detail was a little 'thank you' note or 'with love,' or whatever to attach to the wtine on the package. Also ordered these from Singapore on Etsy, cheap cheap.
How fucking cute are they?
The main result being...
...on everyone's side plates, which can be slotted into a pocket and enjoyed the next day when extremely hungover.
It was incredibly difficult to leave. Best two weeks of our lives? You could say that.
Here's where it all began. This is my suitcase, crammed full of wedding dress, at Heathrow Airport.
Now, the dress had been in here for two weeks. And yet, when I finally released the captive dress, it just popped out without a crease or a anything. So that was pretty surprising.
After my hen do, I set about tanning my rump. I decided in the end not to go for a spray tan or a cancerific sunbed.I decided that looking orange was far worse than looking pale.
Pale might not be the most flattering colour in an ivory dress, but it's way fucking better than looking like Amy Childs out of The Only Way Is Essex.
I managed to get a substantial amount of colour in the week leading up to the wedding, just by sitting in a sun a few hours, on and off, every day. I drove down to Natal with my bridesmaids - The Ant was driving so it was a particularly hairy Italian experience - but it was great. I got to catch up with the girls and take in the the Free State scenery.
We stopped in a dorp, ate a fuck off breakfast in this little place below. Dude. They served us coffees with real doilies. Real, knitted doilies.
This is our venue. Us, the bridal party and our families stayed here for three blissful days.
I'm not a religious person, but I did say a little prayer on the night before the wedding and to say thanks. As we had THREE FULL DAYS OF BRILLIANT, BEAUTIFUL, FLAWLESS sunshine. Seriously. The Brits had thought they'd died and gone to the ninth level of heaven. Like, they didn't want to leave. Some stayed extra nights.
The irony is, our first choice of date was the weekend before. But it was already booked. Apparently it pissed down - sheet rain style - the whole weekend. So if I'm a little bit all "oh my God, we are so blessed!" and "Oh my God, there actually might be a God," then it's because someone, something, orchestrated the most beautiful weather - highlighting everything that I love so much about the Midlands.
Being back in the Midlands always evokes various emotions for me. It was my home for 18 years, and it's the one place on Earth that I've lived the longest [thus far.]
The ladies set up a little kitchen tea where all the aunties and grannies and cousins could come, in Nottingham Road. That sunlight burning out the retinas in our eyeballs? Check it.
Then we got our nails done.
In lots of different colours. Personally - and I realise this is subjective as fuck - but I think I was actually quite a chilled bride.
I know. Really. Mostly. Maybe 80% of the time.
I didn't do one of those French manicure things. My mother hates them ("They look so...Edenvale!"), I disagree and given every bride on the planet gets one, that kind of offends the whole of bridekind. But I wanted just a pale alabaster (yes, it's a hue).
Morning of the wedding was great. We ended up lolling about having our faces and hair done while drinking 8000 litres of tea.
The Brit and I exchanged gifts (one of the husband's was a runner between each place), and I got this amazing vintage bracelet from the Brit that matches my ring. (Not diamonds and platinum though, but just as beautiful.)
It came wrapped in this little box. God he's a doll. How did I ever get so lucky?
I ..handcraft wrapped mine. Not my best work. (That's still coming!) With a roll of love sweets and a bespoke handmade British leather wallet inside. A more practical gift. (Is that shit?) He really loves it though, as his other wallet was broken and this one is seamless with a Union Jack inside.
Then I had my hair done, after my four bridesmaids. I opted for a "messy but neat romantic updo."
"Messy but neat" is a really important part of this job. I didn't want tendrils or weird shit coming out of it.
Check it out, with my roses. I kept my 'do in for 48 hours. That's two days if you're not concentrating. After the wedding we headed to the Oyster Box for a night, and by that stage it looked like seagulls had taken residence in my rat's nest, but it was held together with 67 bobby pins and I just loved it.
My old house. I grew up here. That's a snapshot of my childhood right there. It's a heritage site now, as the house was built in 1875. There was a cafe attached it a few years back, but now it's a just a home again. I had to take my Brit.
I always cry when I go there.
Winding, Midlands Curry's Post road.
We are freakin' married; sweet Christ, I'm a spouse.
We've been galavanting across the country on familymoon (Kruger Park -totally amazebollocks) and now back in Jozi for one last hoorah with friends.
It's all been incredible.
More later when my feet hit the ground.
...slept for about four days. I want to, make no mistake. But I just can't - too much excitement and nerves going on. Brides-to-be: be prepared and buy some industrial-strength sleeping tablets. I thought I'd be fine; I'm not.
About to embark on a road trip with my bridesmaids down to the Natal Midlands. Bring on the Wimpy.
Later I meet up with my Brit who has been tanning his rump in Umhlanga for the last few days with his family. I have been chilling with mine, catching rays and doing admin. We have to go to Home Affairs today. In Maritzburg. The Brit will have his first slice of awesome South African bureaucracy, and I don't think even I am mentally prepared for this. We have to go and show we are legal, unmarried previously and have intent to marry. On Saturday.
So. Today is going to be fun fun fun, with a lot of gin and tonic at the finish line.
Can I just tell you how my bridesmaids pulled this one out of the bag?
I arrived home first, unpacked, spent some time with mum and had, like, half a kilo of biltong and a home-cooked meal.
Then mum presented me with this package that was delivered by The Dove's boyfriend; filled with props.
The note inside said something like, "Hi bezzy M8. We iz well x-itd 2 c u, but 1st u must dress up lyk a chav, wear it on the Gautrain & we wll meet u there."
It was raining in Joburg; I barely noticed.
There was a fake Burberry hat, a fake Gucci scarf, some terrifying looking nail thingies and some fake Burberry earrings.
I knew it. I knew they'd dress me up like a chav, I had a feeling this would happen. They hit the nail on the bladdy head, and now I had to wear it all on public transport. In South Africa. Where people used to know me. Fuck it was great.
Got on the train, butterflies and craziness, it was my actual HEN PARTY. I was about to see my best mates, and I was on my actual hen do. The craziness, the insanity, I was shaking.
I met Dove, Poen, E and Ant at the Gautrain station and amongst the excitement was whisked off to the Westcliff for some high tea at the Polo Lounge. All the while wearing my garb, you understand. I got to catch up with them over a few chocolate eclairs and cucumber sandwiches, and then Dove took me for a pedicure at the spa there. Amaaazeballs. I was just bitching about how 'London' my feet had got, and a pedicure, especially at the Westcliff, was literally, genius.
Was so nice to catch up with my bridesmaids before the big party. I was literally bouncing off the walls with excitement and disbelief that this was all actually happening.
Then the Dove pulled out something that nearly made my eyeballs bleed. "You didn't think you were just gonna get away with a hat and a scarf did you?"
A purple, velour, diamante tracksuit - embellished with fake leopard print on the cuffs and gold weaved rope in some areas. I have never seen something more hideous, and yet so beautiful at the same time, in my life.
Plus a shirt that they had made with 'I heart Essex' across the front of it. Amazing. They know me so well it's frightening.
A tot glass with a plastic penis in it was put around my neck, and we were off. E picked us up in her car, which she had put a large ribbon on front of the windscreen that said "Peas' Chav Chariot" in diamante.
The details, people. My bridesmaids are details people.
They dropped me off to a bunch of my friends, also all dressed up like Brit Trash, at a place in Greenside - think it was called Mish Mash? Where they had decorated the entire venue, from floors to walls. Well, I just burst into tears. They had bought a man in - Melvin - who played the decks, had a travelling karaoke machine and a smoke machine. They had painted banners for the walls, like "My Big Fat Hen Party" and a mural of all the things I love (this is what made me cry.) Things like 'Hammond, Mazza Thatcher (genius), Diemersfontein Pinotage, Communist Buildings," (no jokes).
Plus made everyone CDs with my favourite karaoke choonz on it, with ribbon and a rubik's cube, the details were amazing. I was so overwhelmed and blown away.
They even bought in carpets and bean bags to jazz up the vibe.
We played pass the parcel where I had to answer questions posed to my Brit, and some kind of plastic penis would come out of each layer. It's amazing what kind of paraphernalia people can make out of a plastic penis. We pinned the penis on the Brit - a huge cardboard cut out of him. The Dove said a speech that also made me cry.
And got verah verah drunk. The bridesmaids were proper troopers - running around with Jaegermeister, filling people's glasses with champagne, fuck me, I just felt so special. Crikey.
We sang karaoke and got motherless. Then when I thought we'd all wind down and eat a sandwich, a freaking stripper entered the scene.
I jest you not, I needed about 6 shots just to man up. The man had a ponytail and one large chest that he made me stroke. He was a gracious stripper though - telling me that he'd now put my hand 'there' and there. I did not see his willy, just his little pants. It was so funny, crisis.
Ended up passing out on a table with everyone and then bundles into a taxi at an ungodly hour. Bought the cardboard cut-out of the Brit with us. What a night. We all stayed at E's, and ate her out of house and home after raiding her fridge.
Just the most perfect hen's party. Blew any expectation I ever had. Fuck I love those girls. It was amazing to see my best mates, all in one room.
And still recovering, FYI.