Tuesday, 30 June 2009

A wonderful day....

Despite being beyond hot two things have happened today that have really made me smile.

Do you remember a while back I told you of the letter from a Yours reader about her granddaughter the lesbian and the fact that she couldn't bear the thought of attending her wedding - if you need a reminder you can read it here.

Anyway - we printed the letter on our problem page with a reply from our resident wise woman Marion Clarke - this is what she said:

This is a problem that really highlight the generation gap and how much attitudes towards gay relationships have changed in the past 20 years or so. While you and your husband are not comfortable with your granddaughter's sexuality, it's clearly not something that troubles her friends or even her parents.

Before turning down the invitation too hastily, ask yourself what is to be gained by not attending the wedding? Your absence won't alter the fact that your granddaughter is gay or persuade her to change her mind in any way. The only thing you are likely to achieve by boycotting her big day is hurt her feelings - something she (and her parents) might find hard to forgive.

You are lucky to have a granddaughter who feels she can be honest and open with her family.

A wedding should be a joyous occasion that brings together all the different generations to wish the couple well. So go on - buy a nice new hat and be glad that she has found someone to love and who loves her in return.

Today we has a reply from the lady in question - who's name - for the record is Lyn.

Dear Marion

I would just like to say thank you for printing my letter about my granddaughter being a lesbian and getting married. I feel much better now about accepting your advice and her invitation. I love Yours and would never miss a copy.

Thank you again


Now there's something to warm your cockles - I'm glad that somewhere out there some other bride will now have her grandma at her wedding.

Item number two of the things to make my day is that my very good friend Miss Nancy Bostock is going to stop saving lives in Malawi (she's a doctor don't you know) to come home for our wedding. I haven't seen her in months and I'm so excited that she will be there on our big day. Hurrah. Yay, Excited.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

The Hen

I'm home from my marvellous hen weekend and you'll be pleased to hear that I did not have to get dressed up as a devil/french maid/cowgirl/hooker, and I did not have to wear bunny ears, a net curtain on my head or L plates.

Instead the wonderfully crafty maid of honour made me a beautiful sash - that I shall treasure forever and that I wore with pride. We lost many pennies betting on horses that had a tendancy to come in last, drank champagne, tried canned pimms and G&Ts (who new such things could be gotten so conveniently?) and daintily sipped a few cocktails.

Everyone looked beautiful in their matching corsages and we danced on into the night to the most amazing Michael Jackson tribute night. I'd like to apologise to all those who had to witness my version of "Thriller", to those who had to hear the maid of honour and I sing (read wail) "Ben" at the tops of our voices down the length of Regents Street. And also to anyone who was slightly confused by Mrs Silva Medd telling them in no uncertain terms that Mr Jackson is indeed alive and well and is currently resident in the Castle spinning a few of his favourite tunes.

I would also like to make a few excuses for my hair - you see it doesn't really mix with humidity and spent most of the weekend toying between going frizzy or incredibly flat and greasy looking - despite my best efforts.

I slept not one wink (well for about an hour) on Saturday night, but jumped up bright eyed and bushy tailed for our punting trip. The only bone of contention of the entire weekend was caused by my refusal not to take charge of the punt. I felt that I'd done more than my fair share of dares - including niftily whipping off my brassiere without removing any other item of clothing, while seated at the dinner table in Browns (I'd like to apologise to my fellow diners for this unsavoury display of hen like behaviour) - and having watched our expert punt guide teeter on the very edge of a ducking twice during our ride, I didn't much fancy giving it a go.

Post punt our picnic was very kindly delivered by Mr Birkett-Smith and we tucked into a rather tasty lunch of crostini, salad and salmon, topped off with socnes, cream and strawberries, whipped up by myself and my culinary side-kick. Recipe requests will follow at a later date.

I had a lovely time and I'd love to thank my hens (including those who were unable to physically join us) for their lovely gifts - the cds of songs that remind you of me did bring back some memories and Mr Jones and I will look forward to trying out all of your favourtie recipes very soon. Thank you so much to Mrs Everard and my lovely sister girl for their hard work in putting it altogether with so much thought.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Hen do = t-2 days

I'm becoming slightly twitchy about the old hen weekend - not least because winding me up about it seems to have become everyone's favourite past time. I am trying not to rise to it, or believe any of it or start to panic about it. But it's getting rather tricky. So I'd just like to say this to all those involved - a friendly reminder if you will:

Your favourite hen is a control freak, she is not a fan of surprises - especially of the naked man variety. She hates anything tacky and abhors the thought of parading around Cambridge dressed as a bunny girl/cow girl/angel/devil/burlesque dancer or any other hen do incarnation. She didn't find the Beck's B*&%es t-shirt joke funny. She also upholds the right to refuse to play along and will get stroppy if coerced.

That said I am very much looking forward to dressing in my best frock and heels, drinking pimms, champagne and many a cocktail, winning lots of money on the horses and possibly having a good dance if anyone is able to find somewhere that plays enough cheese (I don't do cool music so don't try to make me dance to it - if you don't like cheese do keep in mind that it's my hen do and I'll "cheese" if I want to!).

I am sure Mrs Everard has kept the rebel factions of the hen do committee under control and that I am worrying unnecessarily. I do hope I'm right. xoxo

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


After being beyond excitement about the fact that Mr Jones had found a saxophonist today we have been disappointed. We'd chatted to her about music, she was happy to lower herself to Take That and I was dreaming of walking down the aisle to the notes of a saxophone on the summer breeze. But alas it's not to be. Clearly an airy fairy artistic type (who doesn't have a brain for dates and times) the poor dear has suddenly discovered that she's on holiday from 17th-24th August. Typical.

Luckily this has happened this week and not last - when my mental state was teetering on the edge of insanity and there was a lot of crying. I fear for what might have been had I had to meet with this disappointment during one of my very Victorian periods of nervous anxiety. However going slightly mental does seem to have had some form of effect on Mr Jones - on Sunday he helped to make place tags and do a provisional seating plan without one word of complaint - it was lovely.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Mr Jones gets drunk....

Last saturday night I went out with the girls and Mr Jones went out with Mr Medd. My evening of girly chat was disturbed by the sudden and rather unstable appearance of the aforementioned gentlemen (or drunken blackguards depending on your perspective).

Mr Jones, grinning inanely, presented me with a piece of paper - "Look - I got a girls number!"

There's an audible gasp from the assembled womenfolk. I look at him. wondering if his self esteem has taken a knocking recently and this is his way of dragging it out of the gutter, or whether he really is that drunk and that stupid that he thinks that I will in some way be impressed by this show of his manly prowess. I raise one eyebrow.

"This number is going to score me so many points, I won't get into trouble for ages," he boasts.

I am swiftly coming to the conclusion that his brain is indeed addled by gin. The eyes of all around the table are on me, I'm starting to wish that the toilets of the bar would provide a more ameniable refuge - I weigh up my mortification with the possibility of holing myself up in the urine and toilet roll filled cupboard with a cracked mirror and a couple of teary Stamford school girls who have been similarly treated by their boyfriends. (I'm not that mortified yet).

Mr Jones doesn't seem to have noticed the storm clouds of rage gathering behind my eyes and is barrelling on with his story.

"We were standing at the bar chatting and drinking and the barmaid was talking to us too," (Oh god - a slutty barmaid - brilliant). "I asked her what she did..." (other than serve drinks to drunken idiots and try to steal other people's fiancees?) "...and it turns out that she's a music teacher just out of university..." (The clouds start to clear). "...so I asked her if she plays the saxophone - and she only bloody does." He grins at me inanely as I sit there open mouthed. "And," he says proudly, swaying dangerously to one side. "She'd love to play at the wedding as you walk down the aisle."

I have to admit that I am impressed and give him a big kiss to say thank you. As a precautionary measure I take the number for safe keeping.

Mr Jones was, however, wrong about one thing - that putting me in possession of a saxophonists number would absolve him of all future wrongs. You see, drunk Mr Jones and relatively sober Mrs Jones-to-be don't like each other all that much. So the night ended with a row, followed by Mr Jones being violently sick, followed by him apologising profusely and asking me to make him feel better.

On Sunday we didn't speak much. Mr Jones recuperated on the sofa and I proved that gardening is indeed a panacea for stress and anger.

On Monday morning I gave Mr Jones the barmaid/saxophonists number and asked him if he could call her. He looked blankly at the piece of paper - "what's this?" - then after a few seconds "Oh yeah - I'd completely forgotten - how cool is that?"*

*Mrs Jones-to-be would like to remind all her readers to drink responsibly and doesn't recommend that anyone try getting this drunk at home.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Le Bonne Maman

I am the proud owner of 19 Bonne Maman Jam Jars - thankfully Mr Jones and I didn't have to eat all the jam ourselves. Most of them were donated by kind Freecyclers - a marvellous lot. If you haven't tried it, do - you can swap all sorts and all for free.

My friend Miss Simkins spent a jolly afternoon cycling round South London collecting jars from various lovely freecycle folk (thank you ever so much Em) and the Mother of the Bride and I took a trip to Oakham for more. The Ladies of Rutland do seem to like their Bonne Maman.

We're still after more, so if you have any do get in touch.

PS for those of you who are reading this via Facebook - my notes are linked to my blog - for the real thing visit http://becomingmrsjones.blogspot.com/

Friday, 12 June 2009

Knee update

Today I can walk pain free - although it still doesn't do stairs. The other knee however is a spectacular shade of green with purple highlights. It's beautiful to behold.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Mrs-Jones-to-be and an unfortunate incident with an aerobics step....

Picture the scene - it's 6.45pm in the aerobics studio at the gym. We are half way through super perky Bree's excrutiating bums, legs and tums class. The room is filled with a mix of old women in far-too-tight-lycra that makes them look like over stuffed and slightly wrinkled sausages, and lithe, tanned gym bunnies with blonde hair and buns of steal - and of course me and Mrs Silva Medd.

I am at the front - right beside all-American Bree, prancing and dancing and jumping high in an effort to burn off the curry I ate on Sunday night. I'm in the middle of a reverse basic (for those of you who aren't step-aholics this involves turning backwards on the top of your step) when I manage to lose my footing and suddenly see solid wooden floor in close proximity to my face. The gym bunnies gasp and the old lycra bats look on with a mix of distain and gratitude (thanking the Lord that they aren't in my place)

My left knee has twisted rather nastily underneath me and my left saved me from falling on my face and is now black with insta-bruises. I plaster an enormous grin over my face and laugh "I'm fine, really, I'm fine," I say, thinking all the while "F&^k, F%*k, F&^kity, F%*K this really hurts." I insist on finishing the class, despite being in agony - I have a rep to protect after all and would hate to be known as the-girl-who-fell-off-her-step.

However - moments later I stumble again as my injured knee protests to being forced to do hop turns, jumping jacks and reverse anymore. Bree trots over to my step, daintily puts her hand over her mic (she's aware of my rep) "Maybe you shouldn't do anymore reverses, I mean I know you can do them, but you don't want to hurt yourself - so maybe give it a break for today?" I smile and nod and try not to look too embarrassed.

At the end of the class I can hardly make it up the stairs. By this morning I could hardly walk and I had to force Mr Jones out of bed at 5.30am to take me to the train station. I have spent the day eating Ibuprofen in the same way a very overweight and greedy child eats chocolate buttons. I am now relatively pain free - in a chemical way - though my right foot hurts because it's been carrying my entire body weight all day. I am hoping to be truly mended by Saturday for a double marathon of spin and aerobics - otherwise I fear the chicken kebab I had for dinner may sit on my arse for all eternity.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Mr Jones and the horses

Before there was Mr Jones, there were horses. Beautiful lovely horses. They took up my weekends and my evenings and they cantered through my dreams. When everyone else was getting married and Mr Jones still refused to put a ring on my finger - I ran off to become a cowgirl (yep that's me in the hat). And if I hadn't been quite so in love with him I probably would have stayed to round up cattle on the pairies for the rest of my days.

Mr Jones doesn't care all that much for horses - they don't have engines. I got him on one once. It was when we first started going out and he was still trying to impress me. He whisked me away for a weekend near Bath and we went riding one day. Problem was, I went in the advanced group and he got stuck with the beginners. I laughed at him because he had to wear pointy jodphur boots (in those days he always wore skater boy trainers - so it was quite a fashion departure for him) and they struggled to find him a hat to fit his lovely big head. He's never been back on since.

But I've just found this - horse riding on the beach in Cape Town. I can't think of anything I'd love to do more. So Mr Jones - will you come with me, just this once? I promise not to laugh or canter off into the sunset leaving you trotting behind me.


... I'm not sure what's going on with my feet - or should that be my trotters? They seem to keep growing in size, swelling to gargantuan proportions and have developed the ability to turn even the most comfy of shoes into instruments of torture.

I can think of only one reason for this. Primark. I failed to be seduced by their tatty clothes - but I will admit to becoming slightly delirious in the shoe section. Did you know that you can get a pair of pumps for £3.91? Yes £3.91 (of course you're not meant to think about from what they are made, or which small blind pigmy child sits steadily stitching your oh-so-cheap shoes with their bloodied, swollen fingers in a sweatshop nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas).

I bought four pairs and a pair of sneakers and two handbags and four pairs of socks - all for the princely sum of £31.82. There are only about four things in Mr Boden's catalogue for that - and they're all in the sale in a size 18.

But it seems that my feet have developed a conscience and have been punishing me ever since. The maid of honour insists that they'll get over it and very soon I'll be skipping down the road in my bargainous shoes and begging her for more Primark trips. I must say - I wondering if I shouldn't have got the white ones too?

Starting to get excited

Despite my best efforts, as yet I've found it a bit hard to get excited about the wedding. Anxious yes, stressed yes, panicked yes - but excited no. I think this possibly stems from the fact that I still don't really believe it's going to happen.

After eight (long) years of waiting, I haven't quite come to terms with the fact that Mr Jones has asked me to marry him. So I'm still waiting for someone to turn round, pull the rug out from under me and go "ha ha ha - this is all a big joke - isn't it funny" (just for the record - it really wouldn't be!).

However - this weekend I did get a bit of the fluttery stomach and tingling back that usually come hand in hand with excitement. It was the hair and make-up that did it - it looked amazing and I actually felt like a bride for the first time. I'd love to share the pictures with you - but the matron of honour has utterly forbidden me from sharing, so that it can be a surprise.

Happily I look neither like Julia Roberts in Steal Magnolias or a Conehead - hurrah.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Hair trials and tribulations

Tomorrow I have my hair trial and I am slightly terrified. Given that my hair and make-up stylist is a good friend and colleague I shouldn't be scared at all, but when you've had a history of hair disasters like mine, you probably would be too.

The horror of the misguided perm at 13 was only added to by the updo I chose for my prom. I wanted Julia Roberts from Steal Magnolias

What I got was an enormous bouffant which made me look like something out of the film Coneheads with a few curly tendrils. I spent the whole night trying to squish down the offending bulge - but alas, half a can of elnett meant it stayed in place all night.

Since then I've avoided all thought of an updo and I was planning to have my hair down ala Mrs Costner:

but that idea has been poo poo'd by friends, make-up artists and dress designers alike. So an updo it is. Fingers crossed I don't look like some 1980s horror or something from Arthurian Legend.

A cake for Mr Jones

I feel like I've hardly seen Mr Jones this week - so I've baked him his favourite banana cake. Slightly less banana-ery than usual because we only had one banana, but I added extra dried cranberries because I know he likes them. I would share the recipe but it's a closely guarded family secret - sorry.

You'll be pleased to know that this baking effort didn't end up on the kitchen floor a la this one.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

This week we have...

... despaired at the lack of rsvps (so rude)
... received four compliments upon looking slim (hurrah!)
... had the beautiful engagement ring shrunk so we (Mr Jones) no longer fear that I will lose it. (It's rather handy really because I was worrying about get arthritis in my ring finger joint due to it being constantly bent to stop the ring falling off - now it fits nice and snuggly - and is a permanent reminder of why I shall never be able to get fat again)
... bought the same issue of Cosmo Bride twice - they all look the same, how am I supposed to remember which ones I have already(?)
... swapped proposal stories with other brides-to-be - always so nice
... written a to-do list the length of my arm
... promised to go to Primark at the weekend with the maid of honour to buy honeymoon clothes (so not Boden and so not funny - but she promises me I'll love it - I doubt it - the trials and tribulations of wedding induced poverty, see what I'm reduced to?)
... become addicted to antiques shops - you wouldn't believe the jewels - 1930s rhinestone here we come.

And it's only Thursday!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Currently addicted to...

This marvellous salad of my own creation (sorry to boast but it is rather lovely). It's a wondrous mix of crunchy chopped fennel, french beans, soya beans and peas with a mustard vinegrette. I serve it with a piece of oven poached salmon for the perfect mix of protein, fibre and essential fats and it keeps me full until dinner.

It tastes even better when eaten in the sunshine while admiring the garden you created in the last week with your husband-to-be. You should try it.


Now, I know it's French - but really, répondez s'il vous plait has been around a long time now and is generally used by Englishmen up and down the land. It means - please do let me know if you're able to attended - (or Goddamn you, tell me if you're B&*^dy well coming to our wedding!)and is usually followed by a date.

On our wedding invitations that date was 1st June - which is today's date. Why then am I still waiting for RSVPs from half of our guest list - or am I to assume that you're not coming?
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