Sunday, 13 February 2011

I love holidays

I love going on holiday. If I were lucky enough to win the lottery, holidays would definitely be at the top of my wish list. The actual going away bit is exciting enough, but I have to say that I really enjoy the planning stage just as much. I can easily spend many a long hour  persusing the internet looking for the perfect location, best accomodation, easiest routes, best places to eat etc etc. Holidays can mean a one night or several weeks away, camping trips,gorgeous hotels, city or beach breaks. I'm  happy to give anything a go.What ever we do will be an adventure.

My favorite city has to be Paris. I have been there four times so far, and of course it's the city where me and Mr R got properly engaged. I enjoy doing "The Sites" but for me Paris is about wandering away from main tourist areas and discovering the real Paris. We've toyed with the idea of renting an apartment there this summer, but the city can become incredibly hot, and without air conditioning sleeping is almost impossible. Sadly affordable apartments come sans air-con so it's doubtful if we will go. Having long holidays is a great perk when you work in a school. What's not so great is that you are tied to going away during the hottest, busiest and most expensive holiday season. Hotels in Paris can be cheaper in August because half of the population shuts shop and disappears off to the coast or countryside for the Grand Vacance knowing that to stay would mean putting up with the stifling heat.

Mr R and I have a good idea of where we would like to spend our honeymoon. No lounging around pools in far off places for us. For a start the most flesh I would ever expose is the odd bare arm and maybe an ankle or two. Any more and the sight of my barely covered bod could traumatise people for good. So no poolside sunbathing for me. And secondly, Mr R isn't a keen flyer and would prefer to keep both feet firmly on the ground. No, we would rather stay a bit closer to home.
Last summer we drove down through France to the Med and stayed in a wonderful little town in the foothills of the Pyrenees and a stone's throw from Spain. We rented a gorgeous apartment in the picturesque old town two doors away from Picasso's studio. Art is everywhere in this little town. It even has it's own museum of modern art featuring works from it's most famous resident.
We instantly fell in love with the beautiful area. Leave the town and turn left and you go up into the mountains. Turn right and you are on the coast. Go either way and you are in Spain 20 minutes later. Day's were spent either exploring or soaking up the sun reading books on our terrace with views to die for. Evenings were spent eating alfresco in one of the many restaurants and then listening to live music playing in the town's streets.
To us, it's the perfect place to spend the first weeks of our married life.

Ceret....Perhaps a honeymoon destination 

Go one way and you are in the Pyrenees

Go the other way and you reach the Med.

I'm getting rather excited at the moment. On Saturday me and Mr R will be winding our way down to Mousehole in far west Cornwall for a weeks R and R. I love Cornwall at this time of the year. There are no crowds to contend with and if you are lucky, you can witness some amazing storms. There can be days when it's positively spring like. I remember when the boys were little and stripped down to their undies tp play on Porthcurno beach in February! You  usually get to see the first daffodils in bloom as it's just that little bit milder being further south.

We have booked a  sweet little cottage close to the harbour. It had to have a woodburner so that the evenings can be spent warming our toes with a glass of something red and yummy.When we can't be bothered to cook there are great restaurants and a super pub all within a stone's throw away. Yesturday Mr R treated me to a pair of walking shoes so that we can go off on the odd hike or two, hopefully with a pub somewhere en route for a pasty and a pint! 

Our little cottage

Take care and lots of love

Brigitte xx

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Introducing Mr R

Let me introduce you to my very lovely Mr R! It's about time that you met him and found out a little about him. I have forwarned him that I'm writing a blog post about him, and have promised that I'll only write nice things about him. And I always keep my promises.......well, nearly always!

Mr R and I met on an internet dating site about two and a half years ago. I have to say that I instantly liked his photo and despite his rather naff profile, (he talked about his maths degree and hip replacement!!!) I was rather taken by him. After a few weeks of emailing backwards and forwards and me making a few gaffs along the way (France, lips are sealed.!!) we made plans to meet at a country pub.
The first words Mr R uttered to me were "Gosh, you're tiny!" Well, I am only 5ft tall and to a 6ft 6er, I really must look very small. He certainly looked very big to me, but it's funny how quickly you forget the huge height difference.Not that it ever bothered me anyway. I do wonder how our wedding photos will look. I'm quite prepared to carry a soap box around with me, and any slow dances may end up with poor Mr R with back ache and me with a sore neck! That first meeting lasted six hours. We never stopped talking then and haven't stopped talking since.

I have always enjoyed listening to classical music, but only in a Classic FM sort of way. Mr R on the other hand really really like classical music and has hundreds of CD'S and is very knowledgable .He has taught me to really listen and appreciate classical music and be a little more adventerous and listen to other pieces rather than Cassic FM top hits. He's a bit of a Beethoven fan. I find him a bit boring. It's good to have different tastes. I definitely have an eclectic taste in music. I'm as quite happy to bop along to Take That  as I am to sit at a concert taking in a requiem. Mr R has now widened his musical tastes, but I am yet to convince him that bopping along to Barry Manilow is ok (perhaps that is going a little too far!)

My Mr R has had a hip replacement, not because he is decrepit, but because he is a bikie and a few years ago had an accident which resulted in a rather nasty hip fracture. He loves to don his lycra and go off on 60 mile jaunts. Sadly he hasn't been able to persuade me to get on my rather rusty hand me down bike. My excuse is that I can't reach the peddles and I am sticking to it!

I have to say that Mr R had a rather dubious taste in clothes when I met him. Jumbo mustard coloured cords with turn ups and pleated waists were the order of the day along with oversized chunky jumpers and fleeces. What he needed was a little guidance in the right direction and some retail therapy. I took great delight getting rid of  his awful wardrobe. My man is now stylish and loves buying new clothes. When we shop, it's me that has to wait whilst he tries on clothes and not the other way around!

I can't wait to marry my beloved. He makes me so happy and really is my soulmate and best friend. And it goes without saying that I love him to bits. Yes, he does infuriate me. He loves his bed and lolling around, whilst I like to be up and getting things done. Yes, he does go on about football expecting me to understand what on earth he is talking about. He has the patience of a gnat whilst driving and becomes a Tasmanian Devil behind the wheel. When tired he's a miserable bugger and  it's best to leave him be. But he is caring, funny,generous and loving, and I think that I am so lucky to have met him and am now going to spend the rest of my life with him.
 Oh yes, I really am one lucky lady.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

A plea to the wedding industry

Image  Corbis images

I have to admit that I am beginning to get a little frustrated that us brides who are no longer enjoying the first flush of youth and are embarking on marriage for a second time (or more!), seem to have been forgotten by the wedding industry. I am addicted to wedding magazines, blogs and wedding TV just like countless other brides to be, and spend too many hours drooling over wonderful dresses for both brides and their maids, sumptious venues, amazing cakes etc etc. More than anything, I love looking at the articles on Real Weddings. Nine times out of ten they feature young beautiful couples celebrating their special day the traditional way complete with bridesmaids, groomsmen, speeches, first dances and so on. Of course I understand that I am in the minority and of course the wedding industry is geared up to meet the needs of the younger, first time couples planning their big  day, but couldn't there be something now and again for the likes of me and my fellow later in life brides to be?

How will our wedding be different from the traditional ? Well, for a start, it's unlikely that I will have any bridesmaids. When I think bridesmaids, I picture young women wearing something gorgeous to compliment the bride. No offence to my friends, but I've a feeling that none of them would consider themselves as maids. That's not to say that I would really appreciate the support that is the role of the bridesmaids! Nor will I not be walking down the aisle with my dad. He's done it once before, and now in his 80's would find the whole experience too overwhelming. I would rather he  just came and enjoyed  himself. I am pondering whether to walk down the aisle alone or be escorted by one or both of my sons. Mr R may well not have a Best Man.He's more than capable of getting himself to the church on time and can be entrusted to look after the rings.
We want our reception to be a low key affair. What we have in mind is a celebration with our nearest and dearest enjoying good food, wine and good company without the formality, so no receiving line,speeches to speak of, no favours or formal flower arrangements, no cutting of cake and definitely no first dance.

Forget the first dance!

Honeymoon advice please!

So, please fellow bloggers, magazine editors and TV producers, would it be possible to occasionally include articles on the following..... wedding dresses to suit the not so young, or perfectly shaped bride, beauty and hair advice,real weddings featuring fifty something (or give or take a few years) couples and honeymoons not geared to spending a fortnight on a beach wearing a skimpy bikini. But for your information, we are not ready for Saga holidays just yet!!! 

Ok, I've got that out of my system. I will  of course continue to ooh and aah and go dewy eyed looking at gorgeous weddings. Mr R will continue to roll his eyes at yet another magazine purchased, or Wedding TV programme watched, but what a lovely surprise if once in a while I were to come across something that was appropriate to me, Mr R and our fifty something wedding.

Take care and lots of love

Brigitte xx