Monthly Archives: November 2009

Wedding Stuff

I currently feeling reasonably organised with all the wedding planning. We’re getting married in July and we’ve sorted the church, reception venue, transport, my dress, Mr B’s suit, his shoes and the entertainment. Which I think is fairly good going.

The venue that I previously posted about, we rejected when I realised that even if we managed to get our disabled guests up the two flights of stairs, the toilets couldn’t fit a chair in (when we’d asked about a disabled toilet, we were informed that ‘the toilets are on the same level’, but not that they will actually fit a wheelchair in!). We managed to find a venue with beautiful gardens, a large hall with enough tables for everyone to eat at and full disabled access. Basically, it ticked all the boxes, so we went with it.

Mr B sorted his suit back in October, because a high street shop was offering half price on made to measure suits, which he’d decided he wanted. And then he managed to get his shoes from the same shop, again 50% off. So he’d done very well, but it was making me feel disorganised because I hadn’t done much about my dress! Last weekend I went to London to visit a bridesmaid and had fun trying on dresses in a Barnardos shop which specialises in selling designer wedding dresses that have been used in photoshoots or as a sample in shops. Its a very good scheme, which Oxfam also offer in some shops, but you have to be able to find a dress that you like and can fit into. If it’s a bit too big, it can be made to fit you, but you can’t make the dresses any bigger. But obviously, they were good value. During the week I was at my parents house in Manchester, and went to proper bride shop with Mum, where they have designer dresses which they can order in your size, and then they adjust it to make it *properly* fit. I had thought that I would prefer not to go through all the faff of having fittings, etc, and if I could find a dress that worked (and I liked it) in Oxfam / Barnardos, then that would be preferable. But I don’t have a typical sized body – certain bits are proportionally bigger than the rest of me, so trying to find ‘the perfect dress’, without getting it properly fitted, would be difficult. And there was one dress in the shop in Manchester that I really liked. I’d decided that it was too expensive, but I then couldn’t get it out of my head. I’d look online and think ‘but none of them are as nice as that one in Manchester’. My Mum was with me then, and she really liked it too. So, I juggled my finances a little, went to this same bride shop but in my home city, tried it on again, got properly meausured and paid for it! It was very exciting! 😀

The thing is, I’m trying not to buy into the whole bridal / wedding expectations. Like it’s expected that I’ll wear heels on my wedding day. I don’t do heels. I can’t walk in them and I have never found a pair of heels that have been comfortable. I would like to be able to walk on my wedding day, without cursing my shoes, so I intend to find a nice pair of flatish, comfortable shoes or sandals. The dress can be shortened with this in mind, so I don’t see the problem. There just seems to be so many traditions that surround weddings that you’re expected to follow – why? What’s the reasoning behind it? Can’t we do it a different way?


My Grandad was a postmaster. And he had a passion for collecting things that he thought might be worth something someday. So, as you can imagine, he owned a fairly large stamp collection. In his Will he specified that when he died this collection is to be sold and the money split between his four grandchildren. Given that my auntie has enough stuff to deal with in Cornwall, after the funeral my parents brought this stamp collection home to work out what was there and to get it valued. The whole thing intrigued me – all my life I’d known there was a stamp collection up in the attic at Gran and Papa’s house, but apart from the small fraction he’d given to Big Sis and I as children, I’d never seen it. So I offered to spend a couple of days at home, going through it all.

It was a good job that somebody did go through it before sending it off to be valued, as I also found hundreds of slides, photographs and personal family items. There were also numerous albums, 2 boxes of loose stamps, a box of old books about stamps, a suitcase full of first day covers, a fairly large number of mint condition stamps, a massive pile of unusual envelopes, a collection of postcards and a small collection of coins. Some items dated back to the beginning of last century, and some even earlier.

I have absolutely no idea how much it is all worth. But it was absolutely fascinating to look through it all – you never quite knew what you were going to find next. Reading letters which were sent over 50 years ago, and are part of my family history, was really interesting. For example, my Dad came across a postcard that had been sent from my great grandad to my great aunt, when she was 10.

Anyway, I have removed all the personal items, separated the coins and postcards which I believe will go to a different specialist, and packed it all back up again. It’s going to a friend of a friend who can value it and knows people in the stamp collecting world who might be interested in buying some of it. In a way, it would be nice to keep it for our future generations, but the practicalities of sharing a stamp collection four ways, is impossible. And none of the grandchildren have a particular interest in keeping it going, so it makes sense to sell it. We just have to wait and see how much it’s worth.

Odd Socks

Everytime I do any washing I acquire more odd socks. I currently have 13 in my drawer. And it drives me mad! Unless they’re only different on the bottom or underneath the shoe line (like black socks with coloured toes and heels), then I can’t wear them, because it would just annoy me. And so I’m always running low on socks that match! I would buy loads of plain socks, where it didn’t matter whether they matched or not, but I like matching them up, and I like having patterned socks… I keep hoping, with every wash, that the number of remaining odd socks will be significantly reduced. But it never seems to happen! I just don’t know what’s happening to all these socks!