Friday, 27 July 2012

A big white tent, lots of roses and two peas in a pod!

My little brother got married! He got himself a gorgeous wife! The wedding pretty much kicked ass!

It was our first family wedding, by family I mean the ones who lived in the same house as me for quite a long time. You know, THE family! Out of the three of us, my little brother was always going to be the first to get married, that much I always knew. Just like he was always going to be the high flyer - somethings are just obvious. But, who he married and how amazing the day was, completely blew me away.

First of all you need to know the background... A couple of years ago him and his girlfriend went to work on the other side of the world, whilst they were there he popped the question, she said yes and they set the date. They planned to work in Oz for a couple of years, then do some travelling, then come home and get hitched.

So when most Brides-to-be are nil-by-mouth and stressing about whether the bridesmaid dresses are going to clash with the centrepieces, these two were doing this...

Bringing in 2012 in Oz; the year of The Wedding.

But they did come home eventually. And when they did it all came together.

As one of the bridesmaids I had taken it upon myself to send them lots of e mails with ideas on centrepieces, decorations etc. You know, being one of those "helpful" future sister-in-laws. I'm pleased to say they didn't do any of them, because what they did do was just perfect...

How to have an amazing but unpretentious wedding by Pip and Claire.

You will need:
  • a bride who is as far removed from a bridezilla as possible
  • a laid back groom
  • easy going guests
  • to let the bridesmaids and grooms choose their own suits/dresses
  • to make your invitations whilst travelling and send them  postcard-esque from the other side of the world
  • to buy your centrepieces from M&S the day before
  • to send a few e mails from a camper van in Australia to the guests/venue/caterers
  • to remove the "night do" invites - if guests are coming they are coming all day!
  • to encourage people to bring their children       
  • to write name places on luggage tags
  • to write the seating plan on a chalk board that happened to be lying around at the venue.
  • to donate the money you would have spent on wedding favours to a charity
  • to have your Dad turn up with a cake he had iced himself because it "was better than nothing"
  • to ask some of your friends,who are nifty with a camera, to take the pics
  • to not have a top table, just sit in amongst your guests
  • to most definitely NOT have a theme
  • to ensure you have a 3 year old page boy to blow out all the tea lights you had lit in church
 Basically throw all of the above into a big white tent, with some great food and a stunning location and it's pretty much gonna be a blast! Mix in plenty of booze, stir it up, play some classic "tunes" and sit back and enjoy!

As weddings go, Mr and Mrs P you totally nailed it!

I've got some pictures of the day, not many though, because I was too busy having a fabulous time whilst keeping half an eye on the boys. But I've got what really counts, great memories, of a great day...

But just in case one day my memory fails me, this is what I hope to never forget...

... How honoured I felt watching Claire get ready to marry my brother, her beaming smile, the wonder in her eyes as she effortlessly put together the pieces to create this...

Pink champagne! Cheers!

...Walking down the aisle, holding my eldest child's hand, a blur of faces in the pews and suddenly catching sight of Pip at the end, no longer a boy... a handsome, successful man. A husband.

Leaving the church as Mr and Mrs.

...How even as a bridesmaid you can do the following: breastfeed in a church; cry all your make away with happy tears; play hide and seek; fall over in the mud; and flash your knickers to passers by with the aid of an unruly breeze!

That's me in the green, you can't see because of the gorgeous bouquet but I'm actually flashing my bra!

... My brother's speech; his words, our laughter, her smile!

His Speech

Her smile.

...The pair of them dancing to Bruce - completely unchained from inhibitions. 

Even if we're just dancing in the dark

...Meeting new people, welcoming old friends, knowing they have great people around them.

...Catching up with family, realising that my Dad's cousin Sheila is still one of the coolest people we know and she can rock a pair of skinny jeans with the best of them!

Long-lost cousins

...Laughing, dancing, crying, smiling. Not wanting the day to end.

Still smiling.

Still dancing.


...Waking the next morning at 4.30 am and being gutted it was over.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time I was a Chalet Girl!
That’s right.
I was.
Me? The Chalet Girl?
Yep, this girl woman you see before you with baby sick on her jeans and a mascara smudge on her cheek, once upon a time lived the dream in The Three Vallies
Once upon time I lived in France (and never spoke French); my boss was a Lady (as in the title); cleaned the bogs of the rich and famous (well someone off Corrie and the drummer from Status Quo); necked a toffee vodka shot daily (warmed you up); skied whenever I wanted (not THAT much) and woke up to this…
That fresh air did wonders for a hangover.

Me and Soph; Chalet Girls!
 And I got to share it all with my best mate!
The chalet we worked in was beautiful! And an absolute bitch to clean. It slept twelve, not including the two bedraggled and inebriated chalet girls who slept in the cloak room.
(Seriously, when the chalet was out of season the family who owned it used our bedroom as a “Cloakroom”). 

Thankfully we had been best friends since we were 11 and knew each other very well, as that small space tested us, our friendship and our sanity!
But that tiny room was for just for sleeping. We were in Meribel baby! The rest of the time we partied… And skied… Of course! Oh and cleaned and cooked – we did that A LOT!

There I am - ski jumping!
 But what I remember most was the freedom… The freedom of the cold, thin air against your face as the skyline raced past as a blurry snow-topped mountain. The freedom of space, space that can only be found when the world around you is trapped under snow. Freedom from deadlines, bills and paper. Freedom from magazines, Television and fashion. Freedom gained by being frozen in a time, a place and a moment. We were frozen from when we arrived and the first snow fell till it melted away and we left.
Once upon a time I was a chalet girl… I watched decent live music every night of the week, I had great skin that only a high altitude can give, spent my free time on a pair of skies, ate the rarest steak known to a Briton, danced in ski boots, snogged a stranger in salopettes, laughed hysterically in a cable car, found friends in strange places, came home with the bread van, went to a bin bag ball and watched the world from a mountain top!

 Once upon a time that Chalet Girl was me!

Check out the brains behind the badge for "Once upon a time..." at Older Mum in a Muddle.

Once Upon A Time