Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Family Wedding

We are soon to go to a family wedding, he is the oldest nephew in the family and is marrying an English girl, the English girl has been married before and has 2 children, they have gone on to have another 2 children together and now decided to marry. All very nice, a family wedding, everyone loves a family wedding - don't they?

They are getting married in Comlongon Castle, near Dumfries, which is set in the most beautiful grounds, a picturesque, perfect wedding setting. As they are marrying on the Sunday at 2pm we are travelling down on the Saturday and staying in a Travelodge the Saturday and Sunday, to avoid arriving crumpled on the day of the wedding, £120 ca ching!

When it was his sister's wedding, the first of the nieces/nephews to marry, we went all out, I must have spent nearly £200 on my full outfit, shoes, hat, bag etc, my daughter was a flower girl and my son a page boy, all the cousins were involved in the bridal party, I felt it a bit ridiculous, there were 4 bridesmaids and 6 or 7 flower girls + page boys. I made very good use of that outfit as I had many occasions that year, all with different company, so I definitely got my monies worth. This time I have no inclination to go 'all out' I grudge the money, mainly because I don't have any! Two years ago when it was my son's and my niece's communion, within a 3 week period, plus my son's confirmation we had to shell out for 2 suits for the hubby and 2 outfits for me + shoes, bag, you know how it is! I managed to get a nice white trouser suit, from Tesco, after hunting all shops known to man for a nice trouser suit, I saw this suit while doing my shopping. I wore the trousers, a nice red top with white crochet cardigan, lovely wedged red patent sandals & white bag for my nieces communion and then 3 weeks later for my son's I changed the top and added the jacket and nobody noticed it was the same trousers, shoes and bag!! Or nobody cared. This year I have the wedding and my daughters communion and the hubby's 40th, so I am thinking of wearing the white trouser suit to the wedding and then I can worry about my daughters communion when I get back. I thought I might add one of these pin on cloth flowers to the outfit, in red, to make it more weddingy and save myself a fortune.

So we have the cost of
  • the Travelodge - £120
  • the dinner for 4 + drinks on arrival - let's say £60.00
  • hubby's kilt - £47.00 + insurance £4.50
  • son's kilt - £40.00 + insurance £4.50
  • daughters outfit + shoes - £??.?? still to be bought
  • my pin on flower - £?? still to be bought
  • haircuts all round - £20.00 (girl comes to the house)
  • nails done - £? (hairdresser who comes to the house also does nails, I have no idea how much as I am never this vain, but decided if I wasn't getting an new outfit I should have my nails done)
  • eyebrows & moustache waxed - £10.00
  • half bottles of vodka to take to wedding, due to excessive prices of alcohol in Castle - £12.00
  • drinks at wedding, that we can't avoid - ca ching, ca ching, ca ching!!

On a plus point the bride and groom have specifically said on the invitation that they are not accepting wedding presents due to the expense of having to travel and stay in accommodation - RESULT. But oh no sorry, can't possibly go without a gift of some description + a card and some very nice wedding paper - £20

I am hubby family partied out, when you have 6 sisters and 2 brothers this inevitably leads to many nieces and nephew's and more outfits. My hubby is 8th out of nine children and as the family stands at the moment his oldest sister is 53 and youngest brother is 34, oldest nephew, out of 19 grandchildren, is 29 and youngest is 8 (my daughter), 2 great nieces age 3 and 2 and 1 great nephew, nearly 1, not forgetting the 'add-on children' who come with a parent who marry's a member of the hubby's family of which there are 6. So every year brings a mass of celebrations of varying kinds, 50th, 40th, 30th, 21st, 18th, special wedding anniversaries, communions, we reach the last communion hurdle in May and just when you think there can be no more, the mass of children in their 20's start to meet people and want to marry!

As well as the money and the outfit dilemma, I am apprehensive as the 'sister-in-law' who caused all the bother will be there and she makes my blood boil, that coupled with the fact her husband, the hubby's brother, is being a complete TIT can send me into a complete rage. My sister-in-law who stays at home with her mother has had an operation, I took the kids to visit her when she came out of hospital, one of the 'add-on children' was there and was due to be collected by the TIT, her stepdad, he saw my car outside and phoned into the house to have the 'add-on child' sent out. He is not man enough to come in and face me, he thinks I have done all these terrible things to him and his wife, because his wife said so. I find this deeply offensive considering he has known me for near on 17 years. I wanted to run outside the house that night and scream


aaahhhh does that feel better. But of course I wouldn't lower myself to using such language in front of the children and my mother-in-law might have something to say.......

But I am an adult, I will stand tall, I will smile and I will enjoy myself if it kills me. I will not let these underhand, lying individuals get the better of me.

I came home to discover one of hte nieces has just got engaged - hooorrayyy another family wedding - eventually....can't wait.

Friday, 14 March 2008

I confess to almighty God.......

.....that I am not a Roman Catholic but indeed Church of Scotland stuck in a dilemma.

I religiously attended my church (that being Church of Scotland) from Sunday school, right up until the tender age of 16 when I decided staying at home on a Sunday and having a cooked brunch ready for my dad coming home from work and my mum from church was a better, cooler option. When I meet my husband-to-be at the age of 19, who did still attend his church (Roman Catholic) I used to go with him, just to be with him - young love aahhhh, he has such a big family with occassions happening every other week, I found myself never away from the Roman Catholic church. It seemed only natural we should marry within an RC church, however we ommitted the full mass. We went to the class for engaged couples, we married, our children were baptised and I attend with my children on a regular basis, while the hubby works, this until now has been a way of life, no concern to me, I discuss with my children the way things are done in 'my church' and all of a sudden it has become a problem.

Given that I am nearly aahem 36, attended my church for 16 years and starting attending RC church at 19, I have infact, if you haven't worked it out already, been attending said RC church for 17 years! This in itself is not the problem, this is commitment, however, it recently became clear to me, once my daughter receives her first holy communion in May, my family will all receive communion - apart from me. This my dear friends is the problem. I do not feel it necessary to convert and become a catholic. I believe in faith and one God and prayer, I consider myself a good christian person and I don't mean 'christian' person, but what I would like is to receive communion, anywhere.

I have been to many RC churches where the Priest actively encourages anyone, who cannot, for whatever reason, receive holy communion to go up and receive a blessing, the children who have not yet taken their first communion are all blessed and although I have never done it, again, as I didn't feel the need, I decided I would like to receive a blessing at least. There lies another problem, our Priest - God Bless him - is a very ill, older Priest and he has never mentioned 'blessings,' the children who go with their parents for communion simply step aside. It started to bother me, so I decided to speak to the Priest. Priests scare me, I'm always frightened I get my termanology wrong and give myself a showing up. An ideal opportunity arose at my daughters information evening about her confirmation/communion, but before I spoke to the Priest I ran it by a friend, who's brother happens to be a younger, more hip Priest in the next village, advice taken and I approached Father C, I was direct and to the point and more or less said because I couldn't receive communion, being Church of Scotland, but defending myself with the fact I had married and had my children baptised in an RC church, and given that it is openly offered in other RC churches - perhaps that was too far! I would like to receive a blessing. It was difficult to tell how he felt, he simply said in a tone that made me feel as though I was about 6 ' as long as you make it perfectly clear you don't want to receive communion and you would do that by crossing you hands across your chest' Did I have his approval, I'm not quite sure, he said it would be acceptable, I got the feeling he didn't approve. And it's not as if I don't want to receive communion. I discussed it with a group of the mothers to see what they thought, some were non commital, others felt a blessing was appropriate.

My daughters confirmation was last Thursday 6th March, my lovely 19 year old niece was her sponsor. The young hip Priest was present and I decided it would be a good time to try out 'the blessing' check it out before the communion. I'll head for Father T I told the hubby, I'll try the young Priest first I thought, he must have heard me and headed straight to the back of the church leaving me to face Father C, I did, I'm an adult and I deserve a blessing, after the hubby and the 10 yr old. I crossed my hands across my chest and the sign of the cross was drawn on my forehead, I had to stop myself doing a lap around the aisles, who knows where 'our church' will head now, blessings it's a revolution.

I was very proud of my daughter who sat as straight and still as she could the whole service, she light her candle well and was proud to have her big cousin to share this moment with her, I sat chest puffed as I watched her and my niece take their places at the alter, I glanced at my mother-in-law, as she watched her youngest grandchild, last to be confirmed with her cousin by her side, I caught her glance at the hubby. It was a beautiful, special moment. My daughter was so neat and tidy, school uniform, boots shining and hair in 2 even french pleats, meeting into one school bobble (a bobble that matches her tie) Her hair was neat and tidy for fear that the boy sitting behind her would set her hair alight with his candle, it was 'even' that was luck, I'm not 'all that' at french pleating and it met into one bobble, because that's all we could find!

We collected the children and the sponsors from the church hall after the service and 2 mothers mentioned my blessing, perhaps I've started something right enough. I would perhaps like to speak to the Priest further and see what my options are, is it too much to ask that I should be able to receive communion, anywhere.

Oh the dilemma.....

Thursday, 6 March 2008


I have been once again looking at my stats on http://www.statcounter.com/

Once again I find myself with many Google searches over the last few weeks for plain clothes/plain baby clothes. So I plead to those who come across me in search of plain clothing, please assist me with my research and tell me what you are looking for - garment, colour, size and any other relevant information you may want to share.

I want to up my eBay shop to include a range of plain baby clothing and although I could go down the trial and error route, I would rather know what you want!

So if you can't find a garment or would like to buy online - speak to me.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Time out

I have just had the most wonderful weekend in London with my mum.

I thought perhaps it might not go to plan when my daughter developed an extremely high temperature on Thursday night, so much so that her bed sheets were wet with sweat during the night. I decided that my husband would just have to be capable of looking after her, so I left him the medicine and instructions, NHS 24 phone number and their dates of birth, I knew he would remember their birthdays but thought perhaps when he was bombarded with personal questions about the children, he might not actually remember the year they were born. She was much better in the morning so this put my mind at rest and she got the day of school and came with us to collect my mum and take us to the train station. I though she might be deeply upset that I was leaving her, she wasn't!

We took the west coast from Glasgow to Euston station on a very nice Virgin train. The journey was very pleasant and relaxing and on time. We were met by my mum's friend who we were going to visit, she has moved to London to sheltered accommodation to be nearer her daughters and grandchildren, she gave us our Oyster cards and we set off on the underground. We stayed in a guest room in the sheltered accommodation.

On Saturday we went to Covent Gardens and spent time taking in the shops and the entertainment, it was like being abroad, the weather was great, the sun was spliting the sky and there was a fabulous atmosphere. We walked over the Hungerford bridge to see the London Eye, we didn't go on it, I just wanted to see it. There was loads going on - painted men, street dancers, men miming and we watched two young boys, possibly 15-16, of Chinese or similar origin doing 'keepy up' with a football, I stood and recorded them for the full 5 minutes on my phone as my son loves all these fancy moves and even gave them money, something that I never do. I took pictures along the way to show the kids, thinking all the time, how much they would enjoy themselves here, but at the same time enjoying the fact I didn't have to be responsible for them. Our last stop was Trafalgar Square, which was lovely and clean, there were tourists sitting on the lions having their photo's taken, the fountains, apart from some gravel in the bottom, were clear and working. In Glasgow the fountains don't work, the water is green and slimy and usually full of beer cans and the statue of The Duke of Wellington has a traffic cone on its head, although this is now part of it's history, every time the authorities remove the cone it is returned, so they have given up and decided it should remain part of the landmark. Perhaps that's why Nelson's Column is so high up, to keep the Glaswegians from crowning him with a police cone!

We spent the evening at home sipping wine, eating pizza and chatting, I have to say I did most of the chatting, after 2 glasses of wine and it was only Lambrusco, my tongue just wouldn't stop. It was a tiring day, all that fresh air, exercise and underground hoping, but thoroughly enjoyable.

On Sunday morning we walked to the local park, which was a laugh, my hips were sooooo sore, although I never sit down, I don't actually walk anywhere and the previous day had worked areas that quite clearly had not been worked for a while. We met with our friends daughter, who I grew up with as a cousin and her children who are 3 and 15 months, it was only for half an hour but it was too long a way to go and not meet with them.

We then made our way to King's Cross station for our return journey home via the east coast, there had been a freight train accident on the west coast, so our Nation Express train, with not so quite nice a toilet, was very busy, we got back to Glasgow at 8.36pm, on time and I was home for 9.30.

I have learned from this trip that public transport is not a problem and I should try using it more, I did not miss my kids as much as I thought I would, although I did speak to them every day. I did need the break. My mum, although good company, is a pain in the arse - she didn't have enough space, didn't have a shelf in the bathroom to put her glasses on, couldn't work without a routine and took much longer to get ready than me. I am much more adaptable than my mum. Taking 2 pensioners out for the day is worse than taking 2 children, simply because the children hear you and ignore you, the pensioners really just can't hear you and you spend the time, repeating your own or worse still the other pensioners conversation. My mum will go from now on, on her own. I dread the day when she is to old to go on her own and I have to start taking her! And finally I need to learn to work my phone as the 5 minutes I spend videoing 'the football boys' had not saved on my phone and I was deeply disappointed!

I though perhaps taking a trip away would change the children's behaviour - NOT. The hubby did iron the school uniforms, exactly what they needed for Monday and polished my son's shoes, I was quite impressed and happy that I polished my daughters shoes myself. And the house - it was as dirty as I had left it......