Friday, 30 September 2011

First Dance Friday: The Technical Edition

As I was reading Any Other Wedding on Tuesday (and you should go look just to check out Aisling's jaw droppingly beautiful garden wedding), I noticed a mild level of discombobulation in the community regarding editing music together. I figured it might be useful to cover a few really basic tricks we used at our wedding to help in the music department.

Now, normally Sam would be in charge of this sort of thing. However, about a month before the big day I realised none of the techy music stuff had been done, and I would have to do it myself (or risk my brain exploding from the stress of it being done the day before the wedding). So Little Miss Technophobe got her shit together.


This is free downloadable software for editing mp3s. It's totally easy to use, and you can get it here. This is what it looks like....

It's not as complicated as you think, I promise. You basically load up one song in the top (squiggly blue line), and one in the bottom (other squiggly blue line), and physically move them around til they intersect at the right  moment. Either overlap them by dragging with your mouse (you can then crossfade with the controls) or just drop them next to each other. You then save the new file you've made into a new mp3, and presto! You are a DJ. Sort of.

You can use this to edit a few tracks into one mp3 (eg. to use with Picasa in a slideshow, which was what the girls were doing on Tuesday), or you can actually cut into one song while another is playing. This is what I did for our first dance, cutting from The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson into Technotronic's Pump Up The Jam, so we didn't have to dance for the whole song before it started getting fun.

Spot the groom with a head made of tulle

You can also really mess about with songs if you're feeling fruity. Sam came in at the 11th hour and used this software to make an interesting re-edit of our recessional music (Tenderoni by Chromeo) by basically sticking the same track on top of itself, but slightly out of line, so it sounded different to the original and the key line "You and I, baby we go side by side" was more prominent. You definitely couldn't do this with every track, and you'd need spend a bit more time synchronising the beats, but it just goes to show what you can do with this awesome and totally free programme.


We couldn't afford a DJ and didn't feel we could ask our mates to do it, so we made two master playlists in iTunes (one for the start of the reception with a lot of oldies, and one for later with the party tunes on) and used the iTunes crossfade function to mix the songs in each, thereby avoiding any awkward pauses between tracks.

This is how you do it:

-Go into iTunes, select EDIT, then PREFERNCES

-A dialogue box will open, select PLAYBACK.

-You will see an option to crossfade, check the box if it is unchecked, then use the sliding tool to select how long a fade you want. We used 6 seconds but you might want to play around a bit and see what works best for you.

I then listened back to the playlists with the crossfade to work out which songs started suddenly, ended quickly or had over-long intros, and used Audacity to trim or extend the tracks accordingly so they worked together. Yes, it was painstaking, but the whole thing sounded GREAT. And it's not difficult, it's just time consuming, and if you're on a budget it could save you a fortune (not to mention avoiding Terry's Mobile Disco clearing the dancefloor in seconds with a Black Eye Peas medley).
 Our friends like to dance, probably even to BEP - they're not classy. Don't let those fancy frocks fool you.

Good luck with your music, whether you're planning your wedding, a party or just want to make your iTunes shuffle sound a bit more sexy. Computers may be confusing and annoying, but ultimately they are facilitators.


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Stepping Stones

Regardless of how long an engagement you have, or how lavish and involved the affair it culminates in, it is inevitable that the months and weeks leading up to the big day are going to be filled with The Wedding. When you eat, sleep, breathe, work, watch the latest Big HBO Thing Everyone Is Watching, it is probable that your thoughts are going to stray to some aspect of planning, logistics or related emotional turmoil/excitement.

I hesitate to say it takes over your life, but, well. It's definitely there.

So what happens when it stops?

Suddenly, you have space.

For me, space is not always a good thing. Not when it pops up suddenly because something lovely has ended. So it's useful to find things to bridge the gap.

Stepping stones. Things to look forward to. Not wedding-sized things (you've had enough stress for one year), but definitely more Life Stuff. You've created all this events manager momentum in your brain, and now you have time to capitalise on your new found organisational skills.

This is what Penny did next:


This bit is very important if future ventures are to be successful. Our wedding day (and the week leading up to it) was more physically and emotionally exhausting than we ever imagined. Immediately after the wedding we went away for three days to North Yorkshire for a short break. We ended up in bed by 9:30pm most nights, not for sexy reasons, but because neither of us could keep our eyes open without matchsticks in them. Rest is critical for the effective application of any endeavours following your wedding, so get that done first. Please. Before you collapse.


 The minute I got back, I threw myself into every aspect of my business I had neglected during our 5 months of wedding madness. Flyers got made, new classes got arranged, new work taken on. Filling the void with productive, important stuff is useful, and much better than gazing wistfully at your pictures for months on end (although I definitely did a lot of that too).


We postponed the honeymoon for a few months because we had a registry, and so couldn't even book anything until a few weeks after the wedding. This delay was actually brilliant, because it gave us another two months of planning, research and getting very excited about going to New York. But then we came back (and had a much worse comedown than after the wedding) so it was time for....


Some people get married and then satisfy their broody urges by having a baby (I know! Madness!). Not if you're crazy cat people like us -  you just get another kitten. Spooky is even better than a wedding. Spooky is better  than everything. Apart from Granville, who we love equally, or possibly even more now he does that grumpy face when she's playing near him.

So there we have it.

Next on the list: de-cluttering the house (following in the footsteps of the lovely Kirsty), painting the dining room a roaring deep red, doing wedding crafts for friends' nuptials, and redeeming one of the most triumphant wedding gifts ever given - our December trip to All Tomorrow's Parties.

I guess this is what being married (and life in general) is about - keeping the fun/busy quota up so you're always engaging with something, always having something to look forward to, thereby making the difficult or boring bits easier to deal with. Not only is bonding over shared projects really lovely when you're still in that newly-wed fuzzy wuzzy bubble land, but every step you take together is another step in defining what your marriage is, and what it means to be on your team.

Go on.

Knock through that fireplace.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A Tale Of Two Kitties....

Once there was a big hairy boy called Granville, who liked cuddles, tuna and sitting in warm places.
"What? I was just checking me Facebook."

He thought his life was as simple as could be, hanging out with his people and making nests in their clean laundry pile.

Then, one day, along came a naughty little kitten called Spooky, who was full of mischief.

"I have definitely NOT just been jumping in your peace lily"

Granville's people thought Spooky would be a fun playmate for Granville, seeing as he was a sensitive sort of boy who didn't like being by himself. But Granville wasn't very sure about this. Why would anybody want a kitten? Kittens are so stupid, running about all over the place. What a ridiculous little animal this kitten was. See how she falls off the sofa as she tries to climb up it! What a little fool.

But Spooky desperately wanted to be friends with Granville, and she couldn't understand why he didn't enjoy her jumping on him. Spooky thought everybody ought to love being jumped on. But Granville didn't. What a grumpy old cat he was!

"If I hide behind this cushion the grumpy cat can't see me...."

Granville wasn't sure about having Spooky cat near him, because you just never knew when she might jump on your tail. So whenever she came close he would run away like a big sulkypants, and try and find somewhere more peaceful to sit.

Spooky quickly realised that Granville didn't like little bouncy kittens, and although she liked bouncing, she wanted to be Granville's best friend more. So whenever he came near, she would sit as desperately still as possible (this took a lot of effort and concentration) so he wouldn't run away.

"Must....sit....still....must....restrain....urge to bounce....ngggggg"

Eventually, Granville got used to Spooky sitting there, quietly. He wondered if maybe this little stupid fluffy thing his people had brought home might not be too bad after all. And finally he decided, as long as she wasn't too much of an idiot, he might let her hang out with him. Just sometimes.

"Alright then stupid kitten. But I'm still not sharing my biscuits with you, and you still stink." 

EDIT:  I'm also over at  Any Other Wedding today.....can't believe they're not sick of me yet.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Come As You Are

It's been creeping up on us for some time, but this season it's official: Grunge fashion is back.

Channelling Blossom

In magazines, on the telly, and in on your local high street, you can’t move for quilted lumberjack items and massive floppy jumpers. I’ve seen more pixie crops in the last month than I have since Girl Interrupted came out, and wearing a moth-addled cardigan over a pretty slip dress is suddenly (gloriously) acceptable. And round sunglasses! So edgy! No longer what you wear on school trips circa 1994. Mad for it.

 "Oooh, there's a Dieter Brummer poster in this ish!"

This is very exciting. I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to resurrect this look ever since…. Oh, let’s be honest I never really stopped wearing it. But finally my hoarding tendencies have been rewarded, I can dust off my grandad collar longsleeves, babydoll dresses and beanie hats, and fully indulge my layering fetish.

Other things from the 90s I would like back now please….

-Heartbreak High
-Coffee Shimmer
-Thursday night TOTP
-Pretzel Flipz
-The Big Breakfast
-Just 17 style Does He Fancy You quizzes (phwoaaaar)
-both Sister Act films
-Amanda de Cadenet

Now, that fashion rule that says if you remember it first time round, you’ll look silly doing it doesn't count if you never stopped, right? Right?

all images: Elle magazine

Monday, 26 September 2011

Conjugal Ink

A lovely (bitterly short due to working on Saturday, but still...) weekend had, featuring a housewarming party, a visit from my Mum for fancy champagne afternoon tea, and finally getting Sam's rather unusual birthday present from Black Crown Tattoo ......

Welcome the wedding tattoo! Yes, that is Sam's hairy leg and not mine.

And no, it's not his phone number in case he gets lost (although that might be useful), it's our wedding anniversary in Unix timestamp. For those of you unversed in web geekery, this is the number of seconds that have elapsed since 1st January 1970, and lots of things you use every day during your internetting will use the same system to measure time. Really! The mysteries of computerworld.

Having a Unix tattoo is possibly one of the nerdiest things I have ever seen, just like my husband (who also has a binary tattoo on his calf, and clearly needed to go one better this time), and it's also sort of sweet. Romantic declarations via tattoo do sort of make me a bit anxious - you must remember Johnny Depp's "Winona" ink incident (inkident?) - but Sam has reassured me he can always pretend it means something else. Or just get it covered with an enormous AC/DC lightning bolt. So that's OK.

And before you ask - nope, I'm still firmly in the felt tip tattoo camp. Getting married is quite enough commitment for now.

Friday, 23 September 2011

First Dance Friday: Loves R.E.M

Three decades of music, and R.E.M have called it a day.

Riffing on pretty much the same 5 chords for an entire career (not my words m'lud, the words of Peter Buck) and being at worst noddingly interesting and at best plain bloody genius, I just marvel that they've managed to achieve so much, so consistently, and for so long.

Anyway, blah blah. I loved R.E.M when I were a nipper poncing around in my tie-dye skirt and Doc Martens, burning joss sticks. While our cooler mates were busy having bands like Nirvana and Sheep On Drugs change their lives, me and my best friend Catie were busy learning all the words to Automatic For The People and Monster and being far more interesting (we thought) for it. Never mind that we had no idea who Andy Kaufman was, or what it meant to be a sad tomato, or that I thought the lyrics were "What's the frequency Kenneth, the shopping's a dream, uh-huh" for years. Oh yes.

As I got older I neglected their current releases completely (sorry R.E.M) and instead delved into their extensive back catalogue, which alone contains more than enough awesome earstuff for a lifetime.

And this is where this week's First Dance Friday comes from. It's off Green, which Catie's older sister Beccie had so we never bothered with and -like Pinkerton by Weezer, which she also owned and we rejected- remained undiscovered by me until I was well into my twenties. It's one of the few slow R.E.M songs I can think of that could be interpreted as being about love, and not loss (Stipe seems particularly hung up on loss of innocence) or cryptic poetry that sounds very lovely but won't mean much to your Aunty Pat as she watches you waddling round the dancefloor.

Well done R.E.M., I'm sure I will continue to not listen to your solo endeavours just as I have not listened to anything you released beyond 1995, but I certainly salute your musical legacy.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Being Self Employed & Disorganised: The Reality

Yesterday I made timid steps into scraping together figures for my first ever tax return.


There were tears, there were tantrums. Items were thrown (luckily just against the wall and not at anybody), feet were stamped and the air was turned blue with foul, foul language - the stuff that would make your granny faint. I knew it was going to be bad, but I didn't expect it to be so soul destroying.

Now before you accuse me of being melodramatic (me? never!) the nuts and bolts of putting together the figures -once I had turned the house upside-down and eventually found the folder with all my receipts in- were not too bad. Maths may not be my strong point, but we are living in the age of the calculator (hurrah!) and at worst all that guff was just painfully boring.

No. The hard bit was confronting the bits of my personality that I just don't like. My flaws. The things I am bad at. The fact that I'm great at organising my accounts for all of a month, and then I lose interest and start forgetting to collect receipts, stop writing things down, and suddenly -WHOOSH- it's 12 months later and I've got no idea what's happened (like the kid in Flight Of The Navigator - while everyone else has been diligently keeping their monthly records, I have been in a spaceship partying with a load of weird aliens, completely oblivious). I hate that I'm foolishly tenacious and I'm also slapdash with details, so I end up enthusiastically ploughing endless time and energy into projects that don't get anywhere, or make minimal progress. That, although I am a great ideas person, I am not a natural entrepeneur. I HATE that I am not a natural entrepeneur. I look at people who are good in business and I just do you do that?


Needless to say, the final figure was a bit of an "oof" moment.

But at least the tax man will not be taking much -if any- of my money this year. And I did not make a loss (insert jump for joy).

Am I alone in this? Are there other people out there who find the housekeeping side of self-employment makes them feel completely inadequate? Is it normal to expect a moderately depressing start-up year in business? Should I just go and find a mundane office job, get bitter about wasting my potential and go back to stealing from the stationary cupboard?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Ken Speaks!

So, if you read our write-up on Rock My Wedding on Friday, you will now be familiar with Ken, the creatively coiffed mannequin who lives in our house and is the unofficial fifth member of the family. Ken got a great response on RMW, so I thought it might be timely to reveal the interview he kindly allowed us to feature in our wedding fanzine, so y'all could get to know the man just a little bit better...

Ken rarely does interviews, so we were pretty privileged to have him. Needless to say he did an excellent job hosting the Unicorn Dessert Buffet on the day. He stayed totally calm and cool regardless of the father of the groom trying to start a fight with him, our old housemate Tim threatening him with a cake slice...

....and of course the bride and groom flipping out because they had no idea where to cut the cake. Go Ken! May you forever grace our dining room with your legendary torso.

Yeah, Ken knows where to cut the cake. He's just not saying.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Patter Of Tiny Paws....

Introducing the new addition to the family....


After months and months of talking about it, we've taken the plunge and given a home to another rescue kitten. There were so many heart-meltingly adorable cats at the RSPCA, and our only specification was to find a young female. We already have our six year old boy cat, Granville, and this was apparently our best bet of finding a catbuddy he'll get on with.

Sam was very gracious and let me pick her.... and as soon as I saw her tiny face peering at me with her big curious owl eyes and little smudged nose I knew she was our cat. She was very chilled when we first got her home, but over the last couple of days she's turned into a total nutcase with a penchant for jumping out on us dramatically (if she had a cape, she'd swoosh it). I've never seen a cat move like it, she bounces like a spider pounces - all four paws at once, boing, boing, boing. Despite being a crazypants, she is incredibly affectionate, loves to cuddle up and purrs at a deafening, outboard motor volume. Happily she is totally fearless in the face of her new big brother, who she keeps chasing around. Granville is yet to be convinced, but we hear it will take time...

She doesn't have a name yet, we keep trying things out to see what fits. We've gone through Zsa Zsa, Elfie, Snarf and Chaka Khan.... but I like Spooky best so far. She loves to stare at everyone with her big round ghost eyes and can't stop chewing on our broom, so she must be a witch's cat, right?

Look into my eeeeeyes.....

Monday, 19 September 2011


10 days packed with gigs, rollercoasters, walking so far every day that my feet turned into aching puffballs, thrift stores, delicious beers, a million tiny dogs and their fashionable owners, minimal sightseeing, vegan Oreo cheesecake and endless karaoke.

But the best bit of our honeymoon in New York was Arlene's Grocery. The morning after we both sang, triumphantly, at their famous live rock band karaoke night (mere days after Jim Carey trod the very same boards), we both declared it the highlight of the entire holiday. Then I said, unthinkingly,"it was the highlight of my year!" and Sam agreed. And then we went Oh Shit, because we had forgotten our own wedding.

We reflected on the statement, and decided we were only half wrong. The wedding was undoubtedly the most important moment of our year, possibly of our lives so far, but was it the most fun? Ummm...

NOT compared to this. It sounds silly, but this was us both living out our rock 'n roll fantasies, with no cost, no stress and (the most important bit of all) nobody to worry about but the two of us having THE BEST TIME. Yes there was terror. But this time, it was a fun kind of terror.

Because, for both of us, being the centre of attention is SO much easier to deal with in a room full of strangers when you're pretending to be heavy metal superheroes than it is on your wedding day.

We wandered into the venue knowing nothing, thinking it would be a standard karaoke set up, only to find a bar packed with 150 people with eyes riveted to the stage, and a roster of semi-professional regulars getting up and singing INSANELY well. We had already signed up to do a song by this point, and were both soiling our pants with fear. You want to knock the confidence out of 99.5% of X Factor contestants? Send them here. The girl who was on three acts before me was probably the best live vocalist I have ever heard. EVER.

Suddenly it was like the wedding all over again.... two people, utterly out of their depth, hanging onto each other and wondering what the fuck they're doing.....but doing it anyway, because they just WANT to SO badly. We were both shaking. We may as well have been back in that registry office.

We played the first-timer under-dog card, and being a honeymooning British couple got us some good back story points and crowd support. Then Sam bounded onto the stage and did his first EVER full band vocal performance to Judas Priest's Breaking The Law and was BRILLIANT - his awesome rock rumble and flailing on stage won the (very noisy and enthusiastic) crowd over. So proud of my husband!

Breaking the law, breaking the law, DUR-DUR

Next I got up and did my meek-little-girl bit, then sang the Trooper by Iron Maiden with the best Bruce Dickinson wail I could muster. Crowd roared at the end of each line I sang (possibly not expecting that 'orrible gruff rockness coming out of a dizzy English blonde), which only egged me on to start bouncing around, air guitaring and punching the air. I looked a total plonker but the Yanks loved it. Sam and I walked back through the crowd getting high fives off every single person, and props for the entire rest of the night off nearly everyone there. It was so surreal, I felt like we were in our own personal School Of Rock.

 Metal's answer to SuBo

We spent the next 24 hours in a daze of pride and glory over the Team Braz-Smyth triumph. We wished we could do it every week. And I'm just so pleased we did it together - not just that night, but the whole holiday, like partners in crime, answerable to nobody, no worries, no consequences, just going out every night and seeing what happened. As a result, we met some amazing people and had some fantastic (and some downright bizarre) experiences.

Seriously. Our wedding day was special, and significant, and brilliant. I wouldn't have changed a thing. But Sam and I are stressheads, we were never going to completely relax and enjoy it.

So for us, going on honeymoon was an adventure and a rush far beyond our wedding day. Finally we didn't have to think about anything apart from doing exactly what we wanted. It felt like our reward for all the stress and work. At last we got to be together on our first ever proper big holiday and enjoy hanging out, being silly, crashing parties, making friends and -the best bit- just being together.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Whole Shebang!

Hurrah, it is here! You can now see/read me ramble on about our wedding day on Rock My Wedding. and delight in the pictorial talents of the Black Eye Specialist.  Happy weekend!

Friday, 16 September 2011

First Dance Friday: Flying It Under The Radar

Although I have never been the type of girl to idle away her formative years fantasising about puffy dresses and ten tier cakes, I would be fibbing if I were to say I never contemplated my wedding day before I got engaged. And one of the few things I did bother to think about was the first dance.

I knew it was going to be something that summed up me and my future spouse perfectly. Relationships came and went, and with each one there would be A Song, or at least A Band, something appropriate and romantic floating at the back of my mind. And I would be ready, poised, just in case we ever made it to the point of wanting to spend the rest of our lives together.

But with The One, there was not a The One. I became painfully aware within about a year of going out with Sam, that we didn’t have a song. Nothing you could call Our Song anyway. You know. A lighters-in-the-air, sobbing into your pillow after your last argument, driving along together on spontaneous road-trips on sunny days song. You know the ones. YOU KNOW because you’ve had them. That’s what your first dance is supposed to be.

What’s a girl supposed to do? She meets the perfect man, yet there is a ballad shaped hole in their relationship that needs filling. Panic sets in. What if he proposes? What will they do? Sit through both of their entire iTunes play lists in a desperate bid for some sort of romantic connection? Weeks pass, months pass, the wedding approaches and still they can‘t agree…“No LISTEN to this Fleetwood Mac song properly! You must remember! We listened to it together in that pub that time, and it was all romantic! You bought me a cider and black! You must remember!”

I knew this had to be nipped in the bud before it became an issue.

So I made Sam a mix CD. And in the midst of all that thumping electro and ball-busting heavy metal, I dropped in a classic tune, a tune he could not fail to be wooed by. There is no way around it people, this song is GREAT. It’s winsome and woozy and heady with the feeling of knowing you’ve found the person you want to be with for the rest of your days. And best of all, it’s in no way obvious. If I was John Cusack in High Fidelity, and Sam was the bird off it, this is DEFINITELY what would happen: I make the CD, Sam plays the CD, falls in love with The Song, and because I had introduced him to it, it would gradually become Our Song without him even noticing.


After about a fortnight of my frankly awesome CD being in constant rotation on the car stereo, I ventured to subtley inquire what Sam made of this 1970s masterpiece.

“It’s alright.” He said.

Three years later, we got engaged. I gently asked what he thought about having this song as our first dance. “That Todd Rundgren song!” I chirruped, “you know, the one I put on the mix CD! You used to listen to it all the time, and it was all romantic! You must remember!”

He couldn’t remember.

Not only this, my efforts were doubly futile, a on closer inspection of the lyrics it appears the song is actually about a break-up. Well, it just serves me right for trying to be sneaky (and vaguely psychotic).

I’d like to say I learned my lesson, but I persisted for a further nine mix CDs …. In fact my CD burner gave up before I did, preferring to emit a gutteral whirring noise and spew out its contents in a puff of smoke than participate in any more of my musical manipulation. Ah well. Seems that if you’re destined to spend the months before your wedding painstakingly going through both your iTunes (I went over mine three times, and that is no small list) then that is what you will do, and no amount of subterfuge is going to help you.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Last Night In The Big City

Having our final evening Broadway style. 

Will be so sad to leave tomorrow....

Monday, 12 September 2011

Rollercoaster Update

Sam went on his first rollercoaster.

He is now sworn off them for life.

Did not like

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Adventures In Williamsburg

Sam perfects his Kay's Catalogue pose ready to take on the hipsters of Brooklyn.  The 2nd part of our New York adventure begins.

Altogether now - blue steel!

Friday, 9 September 2011

First Dance Friday: Sam's Birthday Edition

Happy Birthday, Husband!


24 again today....and gracing us with his First Dance Friday to mark the occasion.

I'm not sure who else would have 6am by Screeching Weasel as their first dance, apart from maybe if Sam got cloned and then married himself. Unsurprisingly, it has no Youtube clip other than a teenage boy in his bedroom playing along to it badly. 

Screeching Weasel are an awesome scrappy punk band from Chicago, who are probably responsible for Green Day and definitely responsible for Blink 182. So next time some pierced up 14 year olds rag your ears down the local Tut N Shive with something they call "pop punk", you'll know who to blame.

No sounds for your ears, but I like the words best anyway. They're cute:

I know that the things that I say aren't too cool
But I feel like I'm whacked out on high octane you
We walked and we talked 'til around 4 a'clock
And I'm flippin my wig over you

I laid on the floor wondering what I should do
I couldn't help smiling at you like a goof
I wish I had known that I could have gone home with you
Flippin my wig over you

You had me wondering why I'm so lame
You had me thinking about you all day every day

The sun's coming up and the bud's going down and its
certainly nice that we got to hang out
But when push comes to shove I think I fell in love,
or at least had a dumb crush on you
Now I sit here and sing thinking up stupid things I'm still
flippin my wig over you
I'm still flippin my wig over you

Edit: Our last full day in Manhattan is just beginning...we are moving residence to Brooklyn tomorrow for EVEN MORE EXCITEMENT. Last night was truly bizarre- ended up crashing a fashion week party at Kiehl's and getting drunk on free wine amongst all the posh moisturiser, and then bellowing out Spandau Ballet on karaoke in front of a load of bemused fashionistas. God knows what tonight will hold....hope you all have a fabulous Friday night, especially those jammy enough to be going to Any Other Party. I am there in spirit!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Star Spangled Spanner

New York pissing rain but good beer. Have sussed subway and tipping. Husband has bought awesome vintage checky sports jacket and we walked past Moby. Hoping to see more famouses.

Wish you were here? Course you do.

Monday, 5 September 2011


After a booze-riddled weekend of musical fun with the Sausages in South Wales, we are back in Yorkshire and readying for the off....


I'm attempting to keep a pictorial record of our adventures via remote blogging, so you're not completely rid of me (fat chance!) but I'll be back here in usual full-on ramble mode in just over 10 days time.
Laters alligators xx

EDIT: I have a piece up on the awesome Any Other Wedding today.... you should go and read it. It's a bit soppy.

Friday, 2 September 2011

First Dance Friday: Short & Sweet

Fabulous song, beautifully simple and (more importantly) only 1:48 long. Perfect for anybody bashful about awkward shuffling for any longer than necessary....

If you're not familiar with Big Star, I really recommend sorting that out. They were catalytic to the US power-pop movement in the 80s, and their sound influenced a boatload of other amazing bands, including The Replacements (who are still, in my mind, one of the greatest bands of all  time). They have classic, radio-friendly song-writing that somehow avoids drifting into the realms of commercial blandness.

They are the Beatles for people who are too cool for the Beatles.

Sam rejected this one as it sounded like an unrequited love song. I say whaaa, am I NOT the finest girl in the world??? Pssshhh.

In other news, I managed to lose half a tooth last night (just crumbled away - disgusting - don't drink Diet Coke EVER) and our band are off to Wales for the weekend to play music, charity shop and walk up Pen Y Fan in the rain.

All feels like getting old....

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Married Life Is Like A Bowl Of Cherries. With Icecream.

Average weight gain for newly-weds over the first 1-2 years of marriage?



Why is this? Surely the majority of modern couples live together before marriage and have already established a routine of meal-times/exercise etc? Is it really, as the press seems to claim, that we get hitched, decide we can't be arsed anymore and let ourselves go?

That seems a bit harsh. I don't want that to be true.


Although.... as human beings we are culturally programmed to bond over eating. And when you get married, I think you do bond with your partner in a new way. And sometimes that way involves romantic meals out (celebrating your anniversary every month for the first year if you're as ridiculous as us), eating more in sync with your other half meaning portion sizes creeping up, or just bonding over your love of icecream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles. No, not in that way. Minds out of the gutter please.

I'm not sure that's the whole story though. Hang on. I'll just put my Thinking Cap on ....

Thinking Cap must be worn before Thoughts can be dispensed.
Most brides tend to want to lose weight before their big day. And, in the last few months measures can be a little more drastic than would be ideal. So just by going back to eating normally after the wedding, brides (and grooms) will automatically start regaining the lost weight. If you're really unlucky, your body will go into refeed mode (wine! biscuits! oh how I have missed thee!) and it will be hard not to go a tiny bit crazy on all the things you've been missing out on in a bid to look your best on your big day. Not to mention your poor old starvationed bod hanging onto it all because it's worried it's going to get the shit dieted out of it again.

Throw in a honeymoon on top of this? Those 6-8lbs are no surprise.

Best thing to do is get back off honeymoon and establish healthy eating patterns straight away... I can only think getting into good routines will mean we won't end up another statistic.

ANYWAY here's the good news - married couples apparently get a whole ton of statistical up-sides, including a longer life, less incidence of depression and anxiety, lower stress levels, increased overall happiness.


If nothing else, all the above would all undeniably make the extra pudge easier to bear.

*figures published by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health