Goodbye, Jan

I never know how appropriate it is to write about these sorts of things, but as this space is my own to be able to record my thoughts and feelings, I wanted to be able to acknowledge someone very special to us.

The death of a loved one is never easy for anybody, but when it’s sudden and completely unexpected it comes as a devastating blow to everyone who knew them.

We attended the funeral of our friend this morning – a wonderful woman who had joined us at our wedding celebrations just a week before she passed away. The Bloke and I were her colleagues at my former school – she had worked as an English teacher before retiring a few years ago – and the number of friends, colleagues, staff and former students that attended (to the point where it was standing room only) was a sheer testament to how much she was loved. The amount of messages I’ve seen across social media from ex-students (many of whom had particularly difficult circumstances) demonstrates the impact that she left on them all these years later. Continue reading

The Wedding!

My napkins on each place setting

After a lovely weekend it’s back down to earth – The Bloke is now back at work for a while before we go on the honeymoon and I have returned to the the online world. It’s been more strange than I expected in the fact that it hasn’t been strange at all – I was told by numerous people that I would feel different, but I don’t at all, apart from the fact that I greet him with ‘hello, husband!’ every time he walks through the door…

The wedding was lovely. I was told to expect something to go wrong, but absolutely nothing did – our duty manager for the day, Derek, kept things running like clockwork (he’s ex-military so that helped) and everyone seemed to have a great time. Continue reading

Mr & Mrs Bloke: Suzie Gets Married!

After months of planning and organising, I put on my dress and walked down the aisle to Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ (what can I say, I like to keep things classy…).

The Bloke looked very handsome and the day was amazing. I will do a more detailed post later this week but I wanted to say thank you for all the messages and best wishes, and share a pic that my awesome photographer sent me yesterday evening…

Mr and Mrs Bloke

A massive thank you to our fabulous photographer – Andy Vokes

Suzie Goes Wedding Dress Shopping!

Have you got your dress yet?
Have you got your dress yet?
Have you got your dress yet?

If I were given a pound for every time I’ve been asked that by increasingly concerned family members and friends in the last six months the wedding would have been paid off by now and then some.

I’m getting married at the end of October and of all of the things on my wedding ‘To Do’ list the dress was far from what I deemed to be a priority. While a number of my friends who have become engaged or got married in the last eighteen months bought their (stunning) gowns fairly early in their planning, I have waited until the last minute. Admittedly, it was more about the lack of body confidence than the money – I had a horrible imaginary scenario in my mind of not being able to find a dress that fit (or only finding ones that would make me look bigger) and having to walk away feeling worse about the whole thing than I did before. I also didn’t want to spend an enormous amount of money on something that I would wear once. Continue reading

Dougal, Dinner for One and Dolph Lundgren

I haven’t been on the blog much at all over the last week or so, mainly due to this:

This is Dougal, my sister’s dog, who I have been looking after while she went on holiday. My sis lives quite a distance from me, so I moved into her flat where (for the first time in about nine years), I was living on my own for an extended period of time. Continue reading

Goodbye Glen

Glen’s music has been prominent within my life since I was a child. My mother has been a lifelong fan (and a UK groupie in the 1970’s) and it wasn’t uncommon for our weekend activities to be accompanied by his albums blasting through our speakers at home. As children, my sisters and I hated it, considering it to be old and boring in comparison to the latest Stock, Aitkin and Waterman artists that were dominating the charts in the late 1980’s. At the time I had no idea of his endless musical accomplishments and success – a member of The Wrecking Crew, 70 albums, 45 million records sold and endless amounts of awards – he was responsible for some of the greatest songs ever made… Continue reading

Free Things to Do During a No Spend Challenge

No spend challenge - thrifty ideas

It’s the summer and with wedding preparations well under way I have found that my finances have taken a bit of a beating, almost to the the point where I almost expect the ATM to laugh at me when I try and take any money out. Consequently, I’ve been on a no spend challenge for a while (more on that in a later post) to avoid wasting money on frivolous nonsense. Over the last few weeks I have been looking at ideas to do things that make me happy, but don’t involve spending money… Continue reading

Wedding Prep, a Birthday and Wagamama

Last week was my sister’s 30th birthday, so we made plans to meet up as a family for lunch yesterday. As my sister lives 100 miles away, I got the train up north on Saturday and stayed at her house. It was also the perfect opportunity to spend some time with my brother-in-law and Squidge (my niece) who is now 5 months old.

As always, traveling up in the afternoon is always busy, and it didn’t help that my train was severely delayed, but by the time I arrived I was met with this gorgeous face, which made it all worthwhile. Her hair is beginning to grow so she is looking less like Grant Mitchell from Eastenders now, which is always a bonus!

 

Saturday night was fairly relaxed – the delayed train and the awful traffic meant that we didn’t get home until late – and my brother-in-law was out with his own siblings so after Squidge had been put in bed my sister and I over-indulged on the snacky treats and watched our favourite chick-flick – Only You – while catching up and generally talking nonsense. To save her the time and effort of setting up the airbed I stayed on the couch (which happens to be the world’s comfiest) and enjoyed the luxury of Sky TV, which The Bloke and I don’t have. Continue reading

A Party, a Squidge and a Time for Reflection

It’s been a busy few weeks. With a mixture of supply, invigilating GCSE examinations, freelance music, social media management and time spent with family and friends, every day has been different. I went to visit Squidge a little while ago, who is now nearly five months old and stayed with each family member so I had a chance to catch up with everyone, continued with my wedding planning, I have met up with friends for lunch and at the weekend I crashed an 18 year old’s birthday party, which at 35 years old felt a little silly, but it turned out to be a fantastic night. Continue reading

Notice of Marriage Shenanigans

So, can you tell me if you are related to your fiancĂ©?”

Yesterday The Bloke and I went to the neighbouring town to declare our Notice of Marriage.

The process is essentially there to legally declare our intention to marry within the next twelve months. However, as simple as this initially sounded, I soon discovered that it would be a little more complicated than telling someone and getting a certificate.

We live in a small town on the outskirts of Birmingham. We’re getting married at a venue in Birmingham and because neither of us have a religious faith we have opted for a registrar from Birmingham Register Office to officiate the ceremony instead of a vicar. Continue reading