Notice of Marriage Shenanigans

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

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

Why Children are Not Invited to Our Wedding

 

Why children aren't allowed at our wedding

It’s six months until my wedding day and while I have a few things still on my list to tackle, the large things are now booked and organised. Most of it (despite some of the horror stories I have heard over the years from friends and articles I have read online) has been an exciting experience. However, one thing that I found difficult was the guest list.

Why?

Because children are not invited to our wedding, including my own niece.

The Bloke and I don’t have children of our own. I have a very small family – mum, two sisters, one sister’s long-term boyfriend, a brother-in-law and a niece, who will be 10 months old on the day of the wedding. The Bloke’s family is considerably larger, but don’t have young children – the youngest are older teenagers, so it wasn’t a family issue to consider. However, my friends have lots of them. Continue reading

Meet Baby Squidge!

After a traumatic two-day labour, Baby Squidge arrived on Tuesday.

She and my sister were kept in hospital for a few days, but thankfully everyone, including my amazing brother-in-law (who was an absolute legend throughout the whole thing) are doing extremely well and now they are at home – happy, healthy and downright gorgeous!

My sis sent me this picture and gave me permission to share with everyone in all of her squidgy glory…

1, 2, 3… Awwwwwwwww!

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Things I Want My Newborn Niece to Know

Advice for my newborn baby niece

My youngest sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl today. Perfectly formed and weighing 7lb 5oz after a 40 HOUR LABOUR, Baby Squidge (as she will be referred to from now on on the blog) is the first baby and grandchild in our small family of four. As my first and only niece, these are the things that, on the day of her birth, I want her to know.

You are loved and will never be alone. No matter where you are and what you are doing, you will always have a family that you can call on for anything.

Unfortunately, you may meet people that don’t like you. You will meet people who try to validate themselves by trying to tear you down. None of it matters. Love yourself and who you are – it will be one of the greatest lessons you’ll ever learn in life. What others think of you is none of your business.

Be nice to your parents. Say thank you.

Keep the confidence of others, but don’t tell anyone anything that you wouldn’t mind the whole world knowing, unless they prove themselves trustworthy. Continue reading

How to Stop Being a Doormat

How to stop being a doormat

It’s nice to be nice. It’s nice to do nice things for others. However, when nicety is unreciprocated, taken for granted or turns into an excuse for others to be dismissive of you as a human being, then it becomes a problem.

It occurred to me a few years ago that I was held in a very different regard by others to what I had always assumed. Activities and meet-ups often involved multiple changes that would inevitably make it more inconvenient and expensive for me. I spent hours waiting for people to turn up. I was repeatedly interrupted. I was owed money. It wasn’t uncommon for me to receive messages or have conversations that began with a phrase that I have come to loathe:

Can I ask a favour?

The favour. The seemingly easy and straight-forward request that would always turn into a complicated mess and leave me feeling stressed and resentful, particularly when there was no acknowledgement or thanks afterwards. And yet, the one time I remember needing help which would have meant someone having to go out of their way, not a single person responded. Not one. Continue reading

A Christmas Eve Message to You All…

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It’s been a lovely few days. The train journey was uneventful and quick, my mum met me at the station and we have spent most of yesterday and today talking nonsense, sleeping, eating snacky food and competing in a battle of wills over control of the television. Inevitably, Mum is in the lead and as I couldn’t face any more soap opera nonsense (really – the most depressing, soul destroying things ever) I went and had a long bath.

I’ve said it many times before, but I’m incredibly lucky… So many can’t say the same. Continue reading

The Obligatory Christmas Train Journey Post…

It’s 7.30am and I’m on a train up north to spend Christmas with my family. I feel like I’ve written that sentence so many times…

I discovered that tickets to Manchester – my usual destination – were really expensive and there were no connecting trains to Bolton, so I managed to bag one to Wigan instead for £8.50. The only trouble is, it was at 6.15am. It’s worked out well so far – there’s a storm set to hit the north later on this morning, by which time I should be happily relaxing in my jammies at my Mum’s house. The carriage is pretty much empty, so I’ve taken advantage of that and sat at a table with a power socket to charge my phone. There’s the usual whinging toddler (“But whyyyyy? Nooooooo, I don’t want that! Muuuuuum I waaaaant thaaaaat”) so I’ve put my headphones in and am listening to The Backstreet Boys. They’re not normally my travel music of choice, preferring 80’s rock anthems usually, but it feels like a Backstreet Boy kind of day. Continue reading

Family Birthday Celebrations

imageIt’s been a really lovely weekend.

I received a package from the lovely Hugh in the mail. He had put a picture of his Christmas ducks up on Facebook and I left a comment that asked where I could get some Christmas ducks of my own. A few days later, some arrived in the mail! Thanks Hugh!

After setting off at ridiculous o’clock yesterday morning, The Bloke and I travelled up north. It was my mum’s 60th birthday and I was also meeting up with some old friends from my college years, so we were staying at my sister and brother-in-laws house. It was a good opportunity to spend some time with my sister before Baby Squidge arrives next month. Continue reading

Lego, Steak and Waiting for the Mailman

It’s The Bloke’s birthday today, and before midday I had a bit of a bad start to the morning. While he isn’t particularly bothered about his own birthday, I like to make a fuss because he looks after me all year and I was a bit frustrated because his presents hadn’t arrived in the mail yet. I also managed to forget my purse when I went to the shop and then I burnt his birthday bacon butty, so combined with the fact that I was looking out of the window every five seconds for the postman it wasn’t exactly the day that I had planned. Continue reading

Goodbye Daisy

imageI lost another little friend today… The only bad thing about having a pet is when they leave you, and it never gets any easier.

I’ve had Daisy and her brother since they were 5 weeks old. Normally, that would have been far too young and I hadn’t intended on getting two more cats at the time, but the state that they were both in meant that if I didn’t take them in they would have almost certainly died. She was so small that she could fit in the palm of my hand and I used to laugh at her enormous ears, particularly as she looked like the love child of Yoda and Gizmo the Mogwai. Continue reading