Thursday, 26 July 2012

Time to say goodbye?

This morning I made a phone call that I've been dreading having to make. I had no option but to make it. Not to do so would mean me breaking the law !
Sounds serious doesn't it! Well, to me it is, but to the majority of the populus the reason for making the call is an inconvenient and potentially costly neccessity but nothing more than that! What's freaking me out then? It's that time of the year to book my car in for it's annual MOT!

My little Ford KA is a great little runner. She (of course it's a she) gets me from a to b without a complaint,is totally reliable and in car running cost terms, cheap. But she is elderly and a Y reg, so it's very likely that her poor little body and workings need seeing too, and as we all know, that doesn't come cheap! But I love my little car, even if I can't get in from the drivers side and that the lock on the boot can be tempremental from time to time! She's at that stage where any repairs cost more than she's actually worth. Could her next trip to the garage be her final one? Is she destined for the scrap yard? It's an awful prospect!

Now, Mr R and myself are having a little difference of opinion regarding said car and my driving future at the moment. Not the sort of difference of opinion that has us facing opposite directions in bed at night whilst having a mega sulk, but enough to slightly blight the honeymoon period of our fledgling marriage.

Mr R believes that I don't need a car as my total milage is around 12 miles a week. Granted, this is hardly worth retuning the radio for, but it gives me my independence and freedom to get about whenever I like without relying on anyone or the not so reliable public transport system.He wants me to walk to and from work, which is around three miles every day. Hardly a marathon, but there are days that I need to take a whole pile of things in with me, work late or visit the shops en route home. It would mean waiting until the evening for Mr R to get home from work so that we can  go to the supermarket, rather than me have it done and dusted by the time Deal or No Deal is on the telly!
Besides, I would never want to have to do the food shop with Mr R. Love him as I do, he's a total nightmare in a supermarket. He has the patience of a gnat and makes it very clear that children and old people should not be shopping at the same time as him!

Everyone that knows me, knows that I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to driving. Getting from home to work or even to the local Sainsburys is ok,but after that, my nerves start to kick in.If someone offers to do the driving, then I'm always quick to accept.
 I've almost always had a "thing" about driving. I learnt in London, and was quite happy to tackle the likes of Hammersmith Broadway or the North Circular. Then I moved to the country, and a traffic jam consisted of waiting for the odd duck to get off the road! Husband number 1 liked to take the drivers seat when out and about en famille, and I was more than happy to let him. So I grew rusty (my driving that it and obviously not me!) and turning right, roundabouts and slip roads would have me trembling long before I reached them.I've been known to go on a huge detour just to avoid a particulary tricky roundabout! I've even been known to close my eyes and hope for the best getting on the M25. Please, never, ever, try that.ITS VERY DANGEROUS!!

Mr R would love it if I shared the driving down to the bottom of France, but he knows that he's onto a no hoper there. If I become a trembling wreck driving on the left, then driving on the right is going to send me into total looneyville territory!

So I can see Mr R's point, but I'm just not ready to hang up the driving gloves just yet. However from next week I may have no choice if my poor little car is put out to pasture.....or worse!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Thirteen hens, one old broiler and a bin bag go to Bristol !

Wow! Has it really been that long since I last blogged. I do hope that you haven't given up on me, but I have been somewhat busy over the last few weeks with this wedding business malarkey. But all that's done and dusted because, dear readers, we've gone and done it and I'm now a fiftysomething wife! Yep! The deed is done and me and the rather delectable Mr R are now a Mr and Mrs !
So what to tell you first? I should really go back a few weeks and let you all know about my rather fabulous hen do with my rather fabulous friends.
You may recall in a previous post that I was umming and arrhing about just how to celebrate my last few weeks as a rather mature singleton. My dream hen do was a weekend in Paris, but that was deemed too expensive. Then, there was the weekend glamping. That too was poo pooed. The girls wanted to wear heels and not wellies! I wanted an adventure. They wanted cocktails and glamour. I was out voted so an evening of sophistication it was then!
I made it very clear from the onset that pink tutus, deeley boppers and anything willy shaped was a total no no for the do. They might look vaguely ok on a twenty year old, but on me..well, just use your imagination! It's not a good look is it!

I have to say therefor that I was ever so slightly suspicious when my friend arrived at the station with a rather heavy bin liner. Had my request been flagrantly disregarded? I rather hoped not. Despite pleading to take a peek inside the bag, I was told in no uncertain terms to keep my mitts off of it!
We arrived in Bristol with time to spare before needing to be at our first venue, so a quick trip to the nearest watering hole was in order. One of my bestest friend's who is, shall I put it politely, rather choosey, refused point blank to set foot over the threshold of a Wetherspoons!  We assured her that she would survive the ordeal and come out unscathed, and dragged her almost kicking into the bar!
Four bottles of wine and twenty minutes later, we almost rolled our way to the taxi rank and went in convoy to our first official port of call.

I had always fancied a vintage tea party so was rather excited about endless cups of tea and plates of yummy cakes and scrummy sarnies at Cox and Baloney .Since I came up with the idea of a vintage wedding theme, I've been rather taken with the whole vintage scene. Instead of lusting over the latest contempory designs, I've been going gooey eyed over prettiness and twee. Give me a mismatched set of teaplates any day!

Cox and Baloney did us proud and pulled the stops out to make sure only the scrummiest of goodies graced our table. My hen's tucked in and we had a ball. I felt a bit like the queen bee and I was lapping up all of the attention from my gals. I had  lots of fun fun filming them stuffing their faces on Mr R's brand new never been used camcorder!

Time passed all too quickly and we needed to bade farewell to our lovely hosts and hopped into the nearest taxi to take a five minute ride to my fabulous wedding venue Goldbrick House for a cocktail or two. We needed something strong to get over the shock of being ripped off by our taxi driver. Eighteen pounds for a five minute ride !!! Flipping heck that's just totally scandalous! Keen to show off where we were due to tie the knot two weeks later, I took guided tours of our venue which is a rabbit warren of rooms and stairs. It's one of those places that you need to lay a trail of stones or something to find your way back from the loo. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were a few poor lost souls still trying to find their way back to their tables hours after needing a quick wee!

After an hour we were off again. We stumbled down Bristol's mega steep Park Street in the pouring rain (Stumbling due to wearing heels on a wet slope, and nothing to do with guzzling those cocktails you understand!)The bin bag by now was almost in tatters and the poor fellow hen lugging it around was huffing and puffing somewhat loudly! I meanwhile had less than a good vision of me wearing a soggy floppy tutu and droopy willies!

Oue final destination was the newly opened  Harveys Cellars. Harveys  used to be a Bristol institution. A posh restaurant deep in the cellars behind the Bristol Hippodrome. I was always curious to know what it looked like inside but it was too posh for my family to dine there when I was growing up. We were more of a Berni Inn sort of family. The old Harveys closed down several years ago and recently reopened as a rather sophisticated cocktail bar and tapas restaurant. There was never any question of it not being part of my girlie day. Now, at last, I would be able to satisfy that curiousity !

You can't imagine how excited I got when we were shown into the VIP lounge especially as it had one of those big red ropes to stop the hoi polloi from gate crashing our party. We had our own (rather hunky) waiter who treated us like VIPs.even if at this point we all looked a bit worse for wear due to the rain. The cocktails were I have to say amazing and the tapas fab. At last it was time to reveal the contents of that bin liner. OMG..here goes. Time for total humiliation ! But of course my lovely girlies would never do that, and delving into the bag I pulled out goodie after goodie. All brilliant gifts carefully chosen to enhance our honeymoon. Some of my lovely  pressies were edible, but  I'll say no more than that subject!!

So that was my hen do. A huge improvement on that glass of chardonney with my mum and sister before wedding number one. I had the most fabulous time ever. I should be able to relive it and enjoy watching the video lovingly filmed on the camcorder. Only problem being is that I forgot to press record...duh!