Monday, 8 October 2012

Peace and Love

As most of you know, I'm a pretty big Beatles fan.  To some of you that probably makes me a sad old fart, and perhaps my devotion to them denotes me as some sort of crazy fan girl.  I guess the saddest thing is that I give too much of a shit what people think of me, and therefore, I often worry about admitting my undying love for a band founded more than 50 years ago (In fact, their beginnings were before my own mother was even born!)

But what I what to have a quick little rant about today is a certain person named Richard Starkey.  Or Ringo Starr to give him his stage name.  And why do I want to talk about Ringo?  Well, mostly I want to tell you of my immense dislike for him.

Y'see, Ringo isn't a proper Beatle.  That is to say, he doesn't go back as far as the others.  Did you know that?  Their original drummer was a fella named Pete Best.  Now, let's be clear on this, Pete wasn't a very good drummer, and so I have to relent on that point, Ringo is an okay drummer (although, he will never be remember as one of the greats).  The problem with Pete Best was that no one really liked him.  The girls liked him, but mostly, he was crap a drummer and dull as dishwater and so they dispensed with him shortly after their first recording session and was replaced by Starr just a few months before the release of their first single, Love Me Do.  But still, I will continue to confirm that Ringo isn't a proper Beatle....

So other than his heritage, why else do I feel less than warmly towards 1/4 of my favourite band?  Well, mostly it's this:

Peace and Love my foot Ringo mate.  Too busy?  Too busy doing what exactly?  Sorry, are you still recording and releasing albums?  Oh, you are?  Okay, what was your latest chart position?  What?  181 in the UK?  You sold just 752 copies of said album?  Oh, oh right, no, I agree, you really are too busy to sign autographs!

Seriously dude, you're a quarter of one of the most ground breaking, earth shattering, musically talented bands that has ever graced this planet, and you can't even spend a little time each week corresponding with fans?!  Fans who continue to buy the Beatles music and merchandise and continue to line your pockets.

This video has just really wound me up since I first saw it.  Because it was just so gratingly condescending and contradictory in it's message.  Peace and love, peace and love, but don't you dare fucking send me anything!  And so, aside from not being a proper Beatle, it's this that makes me dislike Mr Starr.

Also, never trust someone who wears tinted glasses day and night.....

What I will also say, and this leads me onto a slightly random point that I'd like to explore in detail another time - is that I don't like his songs.  Not his solo stuff, for as we've already seen, only 752 people in the UK liked his last solo album, but the songs he sung lead vocals on with the Beatles.  Again, little known fact, the only songs he wrote, on his own, were "Octopus's Garden" and "Don't Pass Me By".  I'm going to say it straight, I hate, with a passion, "Octopus's Garden".  What a load of bloody nonsense that is, and it's just a rubbish song.  As for the ones where he tunelessly warbles, I'm thinking "With a Little Help From my Friends" and "Yellow Submarine" in particular.  Urgh!  The one that I have to admit defeat on is "I Wanna Be Your Man," which was a relatively recent discovery for me, and I utterly love it.  So maybe I'm being self-defeatist on this point, but I still maybe my anti-Ringo stance.

This led to me thinking about the songs I do like, and invariably they tend to be those written by George Harrison.  Ah, George.  But, I'll save the George love for another time.

What, if any, are your favourite Beatles tracks?  I bet you've never given much thought to who they were penned or sung by (just me, being a saddo!)

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Sour Grapes

Now, don't get me wrong, given my physique, you would be forgiven for thinking that I'm not that into sport. The truth is, I quite enjoy a bit of sport.  Watching it, that is.

As an avid sport watcher (!), one can hardly fail to have noticed that a little thing called the Olympics landed in our fair isle a week or so ago.

We've followed the highs and lows of the Games, learning new things, watching different sports, oggling the ladies in the Beach Volleyball (don't deny it, everyone's had a quick peek on the Red Button...!)

There's been triumph and heartbreak.  Records broken and personal bests beaten.  And in all of this, Team GB seem to be doing pretty darn well.  It's rather proud-making to watch.

The thing that is not very proud-making is the sour grapes that appear to be emanating from a certain track cyclists' mouth.  I'm not talking about Victoria Pendleton, because I don't think I've heard her say a bad word against anybody, or Sir Chris Hoy, because I've heard he's a thoroughly bloody nice bloke.  I'm talking about Wendy Houvenaghel.

Who?  Well quite.  Poor Wendy was selected for TEAM GB (I emphasise the word TEAM!) only to be left out of the Team Pursuit races at the Velodrome.  The Team Pursuit races which ultimately led to another Gold for TEAM GB.

See Wendy in full flow here.  I warn you, there's 8 minutes of it, I've only managed to get to 3.12.

Now, instead of being sporting and supportive and full of praise for her team mates, Wendy has instead come out to 'slam' and 'blast' her team mates and head coach for the decision not to "let her do her job".

I don't know why this has riled me so much, but I think it's just so disgustingly unsporting of her, in what is a really huge time for Team GB, a time for this whole country - no matter who you are, or where you're from, or whether you even like sport - to be proud!

Oh but hang on, Wendy has decided that the medal was meant to be hers, "for Northern Ireland."  Right, okay.  No further comment on that point.

You haven't seen David Beckham loitering in the Olympic Park, waiting to speak to a journalist and then decrying the fact that Team GB got knocked out of the Football 'because they didn't let me play'.

I get it, you thought you were in.  For 4 months you thought you were in.  Until 30 minutes before one of the heats you thought you were in.  And that must be hard to bear.  I feel for you, I really do, it's like being the last one picked for a team in PE and boy oh boy do I know how that feels.  So yes, somewhere deep inside, I feel bad for you, and do think the coach should've just come out and said it to you, but he probably didn't want to hurt your feelings.  Or maybe he felt pressured into it.  Or maybe he's scared of you.

To call the girls "juvenile" is in itself the very same.  They're probably scared of you too Wendy, I wouldn't mess with you, and one wonders whether to hit Publish at all for fear of the reprisals should you or one of your publicists stumble across it!

And if her 'people' do come across this, then I'm sorry, okay, don't sue me, there's plenty of people saying the same thing, here, here, here.  All I'm saying is that I think it's bad form to come out and say those things, when your Team are doing so well in the Olympics.  Think of all the other athletes who have competed, but not won a medal.  I'm sure there are others who were selected and then didn't get the chance to compete.  And what about those who weren't even selected?  Those poor buggers who had to sit at home like the rest of us, except for them, they had to wonder what if.

Maybe it's the 'what if' that's bothering you Wendy.  I know you're on the cusp of retirement, you're the wrong side of 36.  But wouldn't it have been more graceful to come out and congratulate those girls?  Those girls who have done wonders for your sport and promoting it's merits.  Who won medals for Team GB, who helped us keep the Number 3 spot in the table amongst the might of China and the USA, little old Blighty, and we're Number 3 in the world, thanks to those girls.

And to Joanna Rowsell, who I cannot applaud enough, for promoting awareness of alopecia, to young women who are probably having a really hard time of it.  For those girls, do you not think that seeing Joanna compete and win a Gold medal, has made them realise that there's nothing holding them back, they can be and do what they want and no one can stop them?

Anyway, I've had my rant, watch the video and see for yourself.  Makes me quite sad to be honest.  And actually, I think it's Wendy I feel saddest for.  You were picked, then not picked, they played with your heart and your emotions.  And some mad fool has shoved you into the limelight, wound you up and set you spinning for 8 minutes in front of a BBC camera.  And for that, I feel for you love.  You won't be remembered as one of the greats of track cycling, entering the sport just 6 years ago, I fear you may well be remembered for this ugly out burst.

Next time Wendy, remember, there is no 'i' in Team.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Oh Fifty, Fifty, Fifty

Well, my husband is very pleased to know that I've finished the Fifty Shades Trilogy by EL James.  And yknow what?  So am I.  At first I was intrigued - "What's all this about Mummy Porn?!" I wondered.  I'm a mummy...  I'm not going to mention the porn part....  But I thought, okay, so this must be for me.  Right?

Erm, well kinda.  Firstly I didn't like the age of the first character - if she was aiming it at 'mummies' then making the narrator/heroine 22 years old was a bit of a crap move.  I suppose it gave her more of an ability to play on the whole innocence lost theme.  And trust me, that was a big theme, for both Miss. Steele and Mr. Grey.  And that got boring.  Quickly. As did the supposed heroines dumb-ass subconscious and the way she over-thought everything!  Her over-thinking, takes up at least 1/2 the Trilogy.  You've met a rich man who likes a bit of domination - stop whining about it and enjoy it for FFS.  I bloody would!

But that wasn't the bit that bored me the most about the book.  Quite frankly, the sex in this book was a let down.  Kinky fuckery my foot!  It was more vanilla than a tub of soft serve!  And the language the writer used repeatedly was quite frankly childish.  Has this woman had an orgasm?!  It was repetitive and dull.  I don't think any of it particularly turned me on.  Perhaps it was too obvious, too in your face.  I'm sure it has worked wonders for some couple's sex lives - but not mine.  Mainly because my face was buried in it, gripped by the 'other' side of the book.

Because, supposed kinky fuckery aside, I will just say that parts of the Trilogy were pretty gripping.  In a predictable way most of the time, but still, it had me hooked for a week!  I think someone on Twitter hit the nail on the head last week when they advised, "It's not high art, but that's not what everyone wants. It's like a soap, but mucky."  And of course she was totally right.  It hadn't occurred to me until then.  I had been spending a lot of time reading the books and getting somehow offended when people said they thought the books were crap and badly written.  I guess because I felt it was an affront on my own intelligence - that I was thick for enjoying the escapism that the books were offering.

I feel a bit like, you need to read a soap opera of a book sometimes for your brain to recover from the more important stuff that you want to read and absorb.  I'm not going to compare the books directly with Marian Keyes, Lisa Jewell, Sophie Kinsella et al. as the characters and storylines in their books are much richer, if not deeper, but it's the same sort of easy reading escapism offered by the general chick lit genre.

Lets face it, these books aren't exactly ground breaking - erotica and romance fiction has been around for some time now.  Is it the level of kinky fuckery (or perceived level thereof) that has made these books such a hit?  Housewives, used to the most vanillarest of vanilla are suddenly struck by the heady combination of pain for pleasure?  Maybe.  I wonder if Ann Summers light bondage range is seeing a boost in sales.  And M&S silver grey ties for that matter...!

So yes, I think Mucky Soap Opera is probably a good summation of these books.  By the end of the third book, I was totally ready for it to finish.  The third book did have some good gripping stuff in it, but the rest of it was just a bit too predictable for my liking, I think the whole series was, and I think that's one of its biggest failings.  Let's not forget, it all started as a bit of Twilight Fan Fiction, and the author even signs off the Prologue of Fifty Shades Freed in the style of something she's just posted on a forum thread.  And this is where it comes back to the accusations of it being written by a teenager.  

I'm going to let you in on a secret, when I was 15 maybe, a friend and I used to co-write a story.  It was based around us, and two boys that we fancied at the time, it had moderate sex (a subject we knew utterly fuck all about, and looking back, I laugh wholeheartedly at the way we've written about it!!), marriage, houses, babies, holidays, nice cars.  It was total, self-indulgent, fantasy fiction.  And that's pretty much was Fifty Shades is - a story of a boy and a girl, who fall in love, own mad cars, plush houses, yachts, helicopters, have staff, security, shoppers and stalkers and who ultimately, have babies and live happily ever after!  And you have to hand it to the woman - she's sold fucking millions of books, which are basically self-indulgent, mild sexual fantasy that started for her own gratification.  If my friend and I had thought longer and harder about it, maybe we'd be the ones raking it in!

Oh, and as an aside, I have suggested Andy read them.  He's declined, saying he will wait for the film.  If they cast anyone other than Ryan Gosling in it, I may cry!

Life List

So, having fawned over Sarah's Life List  for a little while and laughed and thought, ooh yeah, that sounds fun to most of her entries, I decided to give it a go myself.  Sarah reliably informed me that she saw the Mighty Life List over on Mighty Girl's blog and she believes this to be the definite article original blogging Life List.

So, I've had a stab.  I've only got 64 entries so far and I've only crossed one off - which is a posthumous one in a way - I saw Paul McCartney live 2 years ago at Hard Rock Calling and honestly, my life was complete so I'm putting that on there as it's something I've achieved that I wanted to in my lifetime (obviously, there's still Scarlett and marrying Andy but erm, A REAL BEATLE, PLAYING LIVE, no sorry, that is fulfillment for me!)

I've put it on it's own permanent little page so feel free to have a look - I'll give you a post when I update it in terms of achieving something or adding something new that I've thought of!

So, what do you think of my life's ambitions so far?!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Wonderful World of Being a Mrs

So, it's been and gone.  I do feel slightly bereft not having anything to worry and stress about in the evenings. And I haven't really but my new 'free' time to very good use lately, which is why I'm creating a Life List.  But more on that later.

So, the wedding, The Wedding, THE WEDDING!!  OF THE FECKING CENTURY!  Oh my goodness gracious.  Right, sorry, all other weddings, including those I have been to, and those I am yet to attend, but dude, we rocked the wedding thing.  Totally rocked it.  Thinking back, there is no way that I can't think, "Woooo Yeah!!" and get a little air punchy about it.

I'll post some pictures in a seperate page for anyone who hasn't seen them and really, I think I'll let them speak for themselves.  I guess because A: I might get a bit too show-offy, B: Because I get sad that it went so quickly and C: Because I don't want to bore you all.  Oh, and D: I'm in the process of submitting them to a wedding blog and I think I have to wait until after that!

Needless to say, the day went without a hitch (oh, wait, apart from my bridesmaids, Scarlett and the photographer getting stuck in horrendous traffic and me having to plead with the Registrars to wait.  Thankfully, they did, and we were married about 20 minutes later than planned!).  The food was excellent, my dress was ace, my shoes, whilst looking totes amazeballs, were bloody painful because I forgot the gel insole thingies (boooo!) and everyone had a grand time.

The evening was just the best bit I think.  First dance, went brilliantly (more on that another time), sweet buffet went down a treat, cheese tower was admired, many silly photos were taken in the photobooth and, er, the best bit - THE BEATLES!!  Well, nearly, but I tell you what, they were just so brilliant.  Everyone was up and dancing to them.  And the funniest bit - Starey George from Liverpool was there!  Cue enormous hilarity between us Liverpool Hen Do Veterans and much hiding from Lex!

There's just so much that I want to remember, and I will, and maybe every now and then I will slip in a post every now and then with a fresh wedding anecdote, because there were so many amazing little snippets of the day I want to share.

All that remains for me to say really is, thanks for following the very sporadic wedding posts and that, if you want to carry on reading my inane babblings, please do.  I have lots of writing projects in the pipeline that I want to share, including this blog going back to being just a run of the mill, normal blog.  I hope you don't mind?!  I promise to post pictures every now and then!


Mrs Hiorns x

Monday, 7 May 2012

Liverpool Hen Weekend

So I promised I do a write up of Liverpool, but I kinda figured that actually, it's a bit boring to read a big long rundown of things on blogs (save for weddings, of course!) so hopefully below should be a slideshow of the photos I took that weekend.

They're in roughly the right chronological order.  Enjoy, feel free to comment or question!!

Monday, 30 April 2012

6 weeks and counting

So the official OMG countdown is starting to kick in.  6 weeks, how can it only be six weeks?  Last time I heard we still had 6 months!

What developments have I to bring you?

I'm off to Worthing this afternoon with the maids to get their dresses.  I hope they both fit and they look good.  I've seen a picture and I am quite impressed so far so we'll see how they fare.  Am sure it'll be fine, quite excited about seeing them!

I have my final fitting on Saturday.  Ordered a basque which was miles too big so that's going back today and I have another 2 in 2 different sizes arriving today so hopefully one of them will fit!!  I ordered a lace bolero but it was too small and too scratchy.  Serves me right for buying a cheap one.  It did however, prove that with my disgusting arms I need a proper cover up so have forked out £50 for a taffeta one.  Just hope that arrives in time for the fitting on Saturday (and that it fits, I've ordered a size 26 so it bloody well better fit or I shall cry!!)  I just am not confident enough at all to have my arms out, they're just so unsightly!!

I finally showed Andy the wedding shoes yesterday after keeping them under wraps for 6 months.  I don't have any time at home, without him there, to be able to sufficiently break them in.  So unfortunately that little surprise has had to be ruined but I really need the fuckers to be really nicely broken in before the wedding.  They're lush and I want to be able to wear them for as long as possible on the day otherwise they'll be too uncomfortable!  I think he was a bit bemused by them to be honest, he didn't really know what to make of them.  Yes yes, you'll all start whinging at me about having shown him, can you please just leave me alone, when have I ever A: Kept something secret and B: Been the traditional type to do things the 'right' way?!!

Went shopping yesterday and bought most of Scarlett's bits, little cardi (I wish I could just wear a little cardi, I might still buy a little angora one for the evening....!), bag, jewellery, and some shoes, but I'm not sure on the shoes, I can't work out whether she still just needs some little ballet slippers instead, with the crazy silver ones for later on in the day...  Equally I need to find some shoes for the evening, as broken in as my ones will hopefully be by then, I still think I'll need some for the afternoon and evening.  I don't really want just flip flops, I'm wondering about some crazy ballroom shoes for the evening?!!  Hmm, eBay here I come.

Evening invites went out about 2 weeks ago, people have got until this Friday to RSVP but so far we've heard from only one family.  So that's nice....! Not.

Gift List opened at the weekend and a few lovely people have already bought us a few bits which is really exciting.  I think I'm going to send them little emails now to say thank you and that formal thank you's will be going out after the wedding.  Is that the done thing?!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Catch up - 7.5 weeks to go!

So, it's been a while!

What to update you on?  Well, my lovely bridesmaid and my ma took me to Liverpool as a surprise Hen Weekend (more on that another time I PROMISE!)  I had the best time, it was just amazing.  As a self confessed Beatles fan girl it was just awesome.  Staying in the Beatles hotel and doing all the Beatles stuff.  And Liverpool is such a brilliant place.  Such characters we saw!!  But I promise I'll do a proper post on it soon with pictures and everything.

Dress is due back from seamstress in 2 weeks time, I delivered a little sparkly something to her a couple of weeks ago so hopefully that'll turn out okay along with the other tweaks.

I need to order a lace bolero but I've spotted one (on Amazon of all places!!) so will order that before the fitting (in theory!)

Andy finally bought a suit last week which is progress to say the least.  Mum told me earlier that she had bought a dress (FINALLY!!) from Vivien of Holloway no less!  Check my ma out!!

Did I do an update to say we'd bought the girls dresses?  We got them from a company based in Worthing called Courtesan Boutique.  One room of this utterly gorgeous house was given over to rails of gorgeous dresses.  We found one that looked lovely and which I'm sure will look ace in the purple chiffon.  Won't give too much away, but they're also due back in a few weeks.

Hair and make up trial had mixed results.  Make up was ace, just a bit more on the eyes and we're there.  Still not sure about lippy, I think it's just going to annoy me so need to think about that, or practice wearing it!  The base was so good it was still intact the next day (naughty, I don't take my make up off at night, I'll pay for that when I'm older I'm sure!)

Hair wasn't so ace I'm afraid to say.  It was okay, but like, it just wasn't me.  I know other brides would've loved it, very technically beautiful but it wasn't how I hoped I'd look.  So I've got a re-trial next Monday where I this I'll just go with the half-up-half-down beehive that I had originally planned for with a few fancy bits for good measure!

What else?  I'll do a post on our invites which went out about a month ago, with the evening invites going out last week.  Had lots of lovely RSVPs left (more on that another time too!) back and some ace song choices - checking the RSVP spreadsheet has really got me through at times.  Knowing that other people are looking forward to our wedding is a great comfort (!) and does make it all terribly exciting!

Cake has been ordered,  Flowers have been ordered.  Even a photobooth is now on the list!

And when I type it all out like this, it makes it all seem exciting and like I actually can't wait for it to be here.

I think I've resolved most of my body issues - i.e. I've resigned myself to being a bit of a heffer on my wedding day, but Andy loves me for who I am not what I look like.  He's attracted to me and surely I'll look ace on my wedding day regardless, as long as I remember to smile and enjoy it, who cares right!!

So that's it for now, will do some proper updates in the next couple of days (in theory!!)

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

More Fat Activism From Me!

I know I keep harping on about it, but this really is a 'big' issue for me.  Annabel at Love My Dress has been having a week of posts titled Laid Bare Week.  Today's was from Emma from the Wedding Reporter owning up about her drastic braces to fix her teeth prior to her wedding.  It made me think again of how brides change themselves to look better in their wedding photos.

I posted the following comment on the blog that I feel sums up my feelings in the run up to our big day:

As a 'plus sized bride', I have felt the weight of pressure to change myself very greatly.  It's now exactly 101 days until my wedding - have I lost any weight?  No.  And it's not for want of trying.  But as my day draws closer, I'm resigned to the fact that I'm going to be a size 24 bride.  On the outside I could say I really don't care but deep inside, there is that little niggle that says, "You should've tried harder."

I guess the fact is, Andy has always loved me this size, he's only ever known me as roughly this size (I was thinner when we first met - that's what a baby and comfort eating will do!)  I don't care if some of my family will tut and say, "She should've lost some weight," because they all know me at this size too and I'm not there to please them!  (Sorry for any family members reading, but please don't judge me on my one day to shine!)

My dress is going to look amazing, and I'm the bride dammit, it doesn't matter what size I am because I'm there to marry Andy and have an awesome day.  Brides always look amazing, regardless of size or shape, pick the right dress and you're laughing.

I'm sure I will look back on my wedding photos and think, "Oh dear tubby" but I guess that's where I've just got to be creative with the photographer.

Do it, don't do it.  The choice is yours, but quite frankly, I've had enough other things stressing me out than to worry about something I rarely have any control over (PCOS and comfort eating).

I know I'm probably just trying to make myself feel better for not having lost more weight but there's not a lot I can do to change it now!  I'm just going to focus on having a great day with Andy and Scarlett and the rest of my lovely family and friends and create some gorgeous memories!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Plus Size Wedding Dress Shopping

So, where do I start with the Plus Size wedding dress shopping?!  I've wanted to do a proper follow-up post on this for quite a while, and as the day (hopefully) draws closer to me picking up The One, I thought I'd take a little look back at my experiences.

I was inspired to write this based on this post on the Wedding Ideas Magazine blog and even more inspired back in November when Annabel from Love My Dress posted about the 'issue'.  Most of what follows is taken from 2 emails I sent to Annabel...

I was dreading looking for a dress and it took me 7 months after getting engaged to even pluck up the courage to phone a dress shop.  I dread clothes shopping most of the time anyway, let alone shopping for my wedding dress, the most important dress I'll ever buy, right?!  I had a rough idea of what I wanted, I knew I wanted something tea length, I had dreams of tulle skirts and bolero jackets.

So eventually I booked an appointment with a shop in Cheam Village.  I had a look on their website to see what designers they stocked.  I spotted a Chanticleer dress, well a few Chanticleer dresses, Babilee in particular, a gorgeous creation of polka dot tulle, amazing.

The day arrived and off I went to the shop with my mum and my sister.  I asked about the Babilee and the other tea length dresses I had spotted on the Chanticleer website.  The lady in the shop was very helpful but ultimately did end up pulling out a few other styles of dress for me to try.  As I had no idea what was what when it came to wedding dresses I agreed.  She was helpful and any I didn't fit into, she pinned me into with a false modesty panel.  I couldn't fit into the Babilee and so I tried on another tea length dress.  My sister immediately told me I looked like a hobbit and that the short dress made me look really short and fat.  

To clarify, I'm 5'6" and a size 24.  That's not that short and I like to think I'm relatively well proportioned so as not to look like a cube!

So, off came the tea length and on went a procession of long dresses.  I tried on a Grecian style one and a more structured one.  Pictures of all of these can be found in my previous post here.

I hated most of them, then tried on the Chanticleer Montiverdi.  The One.  Until I saw the price tag.  At £1300 it was a little over what I had been hoping to spend and so resigned myself to the fact I wouldn't be able to have it.

I put it off even more until October when I decided to make an appointment at All That Glitters at Allders in Croydon.  I cannot begin to describe how 100% unhelpful they were.  They saw me as a plus size bride and instead of listening to what I wanted, they just decided what they thought I should wear and so out came all these disgusting (to me) dresses with tucks and folds and silk roses and assymetric pleats.  One assistant, wouldn't stop talking and the other wouldn't stop rolling her eyes!  They got out their stock book and instead of listening to what I wanted, they just went through which ones they had above a size 18.  And I felt like I had to justify myself every time I said no!

Onto a second appointment on that day.  Another shop local to me in Cheam.  I had tried to make an appointment with this shop back in July when I started looked but had never heard from them despite messages and emails.  I started to feel paranoid that it was because I was plus size that they didn't want to know!  My mum eventually got hold of them and so off we went to Aurora Bride.  I was met by Natalie, shoeless and slipper socks and whereas some people might find that unprofessional, it kinda put me at ease! (Plus the carpet was so plush in there, I don't blame her!)  She told me to have a look through and use red tags to mark the ones I liked. (oh dear, this reminded me straight away of my awful experience at the Bridal Factory Outlet I visited in North Yorkshire, which I realise I didn't blog about.... another time!) and told me to put them on the dresses I liked.

I told her briefly that I wanted relatively plain, tulle skirt, sweetheart neck and she totally got it.  Within 30 seconds she had pulled out 3 dresses that were just so spot on, I was like, "Why the fuck didn't I come here sooner!" and also I thought, "Why the fuck didn't the girls this morning get it this quick?!"

Natalie was so helpful, and didn't once make comment or pass judgement on my size.  It was such a totally different experience to before.  I found two dresses that day that I was quite taken with.  But still, something didn't feel quite right.

Panicking, I made MORE appointments.  This time with shops in Bromley.  I made 3 appointments in one day!

Basically, despite my sister's original feelings about tea length dresses, after my most recent shopping trip and the cold sweats induced by it, I had decided, this was my day, my one day to look super and so I was determined to get a tea length dress.  So I went with that premise. 

The first shop had nothing tea length and was full of really very fluffy, humongous dresses!!  I did find something nice in there but it was a size 14 sample size and therefore, I couldn't get into it.  The lady did promise she could get me a size 18 sample but I left it, knowing I had two more shops to visit.  I will probably still dream of that dress, a gorgeous 1930's Art Deco inspired chiffon creation. 

Onto the second one.  I had high hopes for this shop.  Marianne Jessica in Bromley.  I'm happy to name them as Michelle was SO helpful, it was such a breath of fresh air!  I was reassured when I made the call to book the appointment.  Michelle promised that she would help me as she was plus size herself and knew how stressful it can be.  I quickly realised that probably nothing would be within my price range but I vowed to try stuff on nonetheless.  I picked out all the tulle Chanticleer dresses.  First was the full length Rosita which was lovely.  The second was the Aurora which was tea length but a bit short.  Then came the Babilee.  Oh, oh, the Babilee.  The dress I had first coveted when I looked at the Chanticleer website and which I was unable to fit into on my first dress shopping experience.  It was amazing, I was totally in love.  Michelle measured me but she did hint that the overall price would be around £1400.  Oh.  Oh dear.  I suggested to my mum that perhaps I would go half with my dad to be able to afford it.

The one thing I did learn from Michelle, is that dress shops will quite often see a larger bride and assume we want to wear something frumpy/frilly/assymetric!  She put me in something frumpy, frilly and assymetric to prove her point and it was like a bolt of lightning!  I suddenly realised that this is what every other shop had been trying to do!  And it did make me laugh and helpfully shut my mum up because she realised how stupid that kind of dress looks!

We headed on to the third shop and stood outside for a minute deciding whether or not to go in and that maybe we'd send my sister in instead of me to try dresses on for a laugh.  We got up there and it was RAMMED!  It was really really offputting.  The shop assistants were busy putting all the dresses away and the changing rooms were all tiny!  There were brides in there with 5 people in tow plus brothers and the prescence of men I found particularly offputting.  I'm not saying, ban them completely, but, I dunno, I expect wedding dress shops to be havens of female dominated serenity.  This was not and I hated it.  I asked to go round the corner to a quieter part of the shop but after another 15 minutes of waiting, the shop had emptied until I was more or less the only one in there.

The assistant seemed VERY reluctant to let me try on the tea length dress, despite me telling her quite clearly it was my desire to have a tea length dress. She put me in two other dresses, both of which I said I didn't like and I didn't even step out of the changing room.  The third was quite nice and I was almost, ALMOST tempted.  The other assistant was bringing over various dresses and when I said I really didn't like it she just rolled her eyes at me and walked away.  I did find The One that day.  However, I decided to buy it from Aurora in Cheam (bare feet Natalie, who I loved so much, and spent most of my appointment sitting on the floor talking babies with!)

I won't divulge whether I went tea length or not (I'll keep you guessing until the big day, as I know some of my readers are actual guests at my wedding!!)

However, in a further disheartening move, my usual size 24 figure was rated as a size 30 by the designers size chart.  It's meant that I've had to order a size 28, and which kinda doesn't give me much to aim for (I had been hoping I could order a '22' and have something to aim for!!)  

I've rambled and I promised I wouldn't but the moral of the story is this:
  • Know what you want!
  • Don't let them put you in frilly dresses that, 'hide your bulk' if that's not what you want!
  • Be prepared that most shops only carry samples in a size 12/14.  Some will do larger samples but I've found they're never in the ones I liked!
  • Stand your ground - You are there to pay them ridiculous money for a few yards of fabric, You tell Them what you WANT! (without being too Bridezilla!)
  • Seek out the shops with larger samples - they're few and far between but they do exist.  I know a few in Yorkshire, one in Datchett and one in Catford.
  • See if the shop can order a larger sample.
  • Go armed with pictures.
  • Stick to your budget
  • If all else fails - prepare for bespoke...!  I was on the verge of bespoke, crying into my bank statement, but bespoke doesn't always mean expensive (I say this, even though I know it ain't true!)

The whole experience has made me want to start my own plus size dress shop because I think we get a rough end of the deal (and I realise, that extends beyond wedding dresses, but I won't get into my fat activism here!)  I know very petite brides get a rough deal too, but, oh woe is me, plus size brides get a harder time of it.  Oh and the other thing.  We have to pay extra for being plus size....

Monday, 13 February 2012


I have a confession.  In case you hadn't noticed!  I am a huge Instagram devotee.  I bloody love it.  It's given me the control over photography again, it takes me back to being at uni and doing my final year project using only the camera on my phone.  It's a camera, right?

I post all my pictures to my other blog:

But I also just discovered this natty little website too:

Just thought I'd share....

Monday, 6 February 2012

Wedding Converse

Well, lookie here, we are totally going to order these for the evening do at our wedding, oh yes!!

Andy's Converse - You can't really see it, but it says Mr Hiorns on the bottom of the heel...

These are mine, of course, check out the leopard print!  As with Andy's these are stamped - mine of course say Mrs Hiorns

I hope we do actually get round to ordering these as they're brilliant and will make a brilliant keepsake of our day.  Andy's never had Converse before so I'm taking his Converse cherry!  Ha.

What do you reckon??

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


Gah, I used to be ever so good at blogging things, and lately, I just don't have time!  I need more hours in the day dammit!!

So, what news have I for you?

First, and most recently, I attended the #ZOMGBloggersBash on Monday night at The Distillers in Smithfields.  Can I just say, lovely pub, BITCH TO GET TO!!  Total fucked up nightmare to get there but nevermind!

I quite enjoyed it, I was nervous as hell, but I was with Lex and Charly and so I kind of felt safe.  The bar was rammed when we got there, we picked up our name badges and were handed our Bloggers Bingo cards - the name of the game was to meet new people and gather their names based on criteria - red nails, someone who uses Wordpress to host their blog, someone whose twitter name begins with a capital letter etc.  The prizes on offer were pretty cool.  Personally, I was holding out either for the Illamasqua goody bag or the You're Naked Without One hairclips!

We kinda stumbled around, not sure of ourselves, and not sure of really where to place ourselves.  Lots of bits going on, the girls from The Historical Sauces were there with a table full of vintage styling books and luscious lippies, Little Miss B hats with some gorgeous samples and Wonderland Wigs were there too with some samples to try on (though my beehive, WHICH I DIDN'T GET A PICTURE OF!, wasn't well suited to wig trying!).  There was even a pop-up studio hosted by Tigz Rice Studios, but it was all a bit too busy and so we headed to the bar and got a cider and sort of stood bewildered for a bit.

Eventually we sort of stumbled into conversation with Bethany from My Arched Eyebrow and Betty from Betty Leopard which was lovely, ah, at last, lovely girls to chat to!!  From there we headed upstairs to where Lex and I had thrown our coats at the beginning of the night.  Relief to sit down, stupid pink kitten heels.  I re-iterate my point, kitten heels look great when paraded in front of the bedroom mirror but they're a feckin nightmare to walk anywhere in!  Lex was there chatting away to Tabatha from You're Naked Without One.

Eventually came the climax of the night - the burlesque.  I'd never seen any burlesque before and so I wasn't sure what to expect!  Ruby Jones was first and did something that I wasn't expecting, but I loved it a lot!  Miss Banbury Cross came next and didn't disappoint - champers everywhere!

Then came the Bloggers Bingo raffle draw.  First up was the consultation with Genna McWhinnie - I think it was aimed at beauty and fashion bloggers, lots of whom were in attendance that night - as the paper was drawn out I said I wasn't sure if I'd be able to use this prize.  Lex said, was your sheet really folded up - I said yes, and by the looks of it, I guessed it was my sheet Ree Ree was pulling out!  Sure enough it was!!  Mixture of "Yay I've won!" and "Oh dear, I feel bad, someone else would probably have a real need for that!".  That probably makes me sound really ungrateful, but I felt bad for winning a prize I wasn't sure I could use!  Nevertheless, I think Lex is going to use the prize to hook up with Genna and create a "What Happens at a Rockabetty Shoot" video so that's pretty perfect really!

Time to head home, we grabbed a cab with Shona from Heyday (lovely to finally meet her, albeit, I felt starstruck for some reason, no idea why, but she's just such a lovely beautiful lady!) and Cathy from Perdita's Pursuits.  They both got out at St Pauls and we carried on to Waterloo.  Lex headed off to Waterloo East but Charly and I were greeted with empty departures boards.  Oh.  Lovely.  Snow?  Perhaps?  No, apparently a train had broken down at WIMBLEDON which had shut down more or less everything North of there.  Lovely.

I cannot thank Charly's Chap Phil for coming to pick us up from Wimbledon (we got the Tube, with a nosy bloke who was ever-so interested in our conversation!) and dropping me back to my car at Worcester Park!

I'd love to do something similar again, but perhaps on a slightly smaller scale.  Big thanks to ReeRee Rockette from Rockalily and Zoe from The London Lipgloss for organising.  It was lovely to finally meet ReeRee after chatting to her on Twitter for what feels like years!  Hope to meet again soon!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

God Bless My Parents

After yesterday's doom and gloom post I received a wonderful email from my mum and dad.

I just wanted to share one snippet as it made me pee myself laughing this morning at 6am when I read it:

"If you end up going in the van dont worry he will put some clean carpet down and maybe bolt a chair in there for you to sit on,  we still have the full harness seatbelts, it'll be fine,  if you are lucky he will even give it a wash beforehand!"


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Is this cold feet or just a winter of discontent?

Hello!  And I suppose Happy New Year!  I am lacking in a desk calendar right now so I’m a bit lost as to what day it actually is.

I realise I have not blogged in about 2 months.  I think I was probably disheartened, being the comment whore that I am, that no one commented on my last post about finally finding my wedding dress.  That and the fact that I’ve run out of steam and inspiration again for the wedding.

It’s now 2012.  The year we get married.  We got engaged just over a year ago.  This time last year, we were in the throes of finding a venue and ultimately realising we couldn’t afford a wedding.  Fast forward a year, I’m in the throes of second thoughts about the venue and ultimately realising we can’t afford a wedding.  Nice.

I should be excited but I'm bricking it, we have what, 4 months or so to find nearly £15k. HOW? HOW HOW HOW? We're already making a list of what we're going to cut - band, sweetie table, flowers, house for the week (and just spend two nights in a hotel) etc. Nice huh!

I think our flowers are sorted, my mum knows a florist but it was quite hard getting across to her what I really wanted and most of my ideas where shot-down. Nevermind,.  Apparently I don’t want lilac roses or gerbera’s or hydrangea’s, “Because they’re the wrong purple and are not ‘vintage’”.  It took me a good 20 minutes to get a word in and tell her I didn’t want a vintage wedding, it just so happened that my dress was a vintage style.  Might have to go back in a few weeks and put my foot down on what I want.

My dad is going to attempt to make our cake. We saw an image in a wedding cake magazine and I just said, "That's the one".   I’m pleased he wants to make it (well, that said, I think it’s going to work out cheaper to buy pre-made cakes and then my dad will just decorate them).  But it means we can have what we want without the ridiculous price tag (no offence cake makers, I cannot afford £400 on a CAKE!!)

Andy finally asked his Best Man last week, so that’s good news and only took him a year to the day from our engagement!  Think he’s going to sort out suiting in the next month or so.

I need to find shoes and underwear and a bolero by the end of March for my prospective dress fitting.

I sat awake for a good hour lastnight worrying about logistics; how to get my great Aunt there, where can she stay, how will we get the cake there, will the cake be okay as my dad will have to put it together on the Friday night, do I get dad to put it together after the ceremony, do we get the caterer to put it together, whose car are we going in, do we need to hire a car, am I going to end up travelling gypsy boy style in the back of my dad’s Transit?  On and on and on and on these questions went round and round and round.  It wore me out thank fuck so I eventually fell asleep, but still, it was just awful. 

I’ve been back at work two days now and have achieved shit all because I’ve been worrying about the wedding.  I start looking at other venues, before I remind myself it really will be cheaper this way, it really will be the day we want, even if we are getting married between two toilet doors….  Yes, really, this is a HUGE stress of mine, and I’m really considering throwing my toys out of the pram and telling them that I want to get married in the upper barn – even if that means it’s all hands on deck to get the tables laid post ceremony.  ARGH!!  Then, I keep thinking, should we have just got married up here in the local registry office on the Friday?  Should we have just got married in the registry office in Chichester?  Should we have just got married in VEGAS?!!!!

To be honest, I'm a bit too pre-occupied with lots of other things to be that interested in the wedding at the minute, how depressingly sad is that? I should be super excited, but I'm just not, because I feel like I've made the wrong decision with all of it so far and ultimately, we can’t afford any of it.

I’m sure my parents will read this and weep.  Yes, I’m sorry, I am sounding like a bridezilla and I cannot thank the two of you enough for the support you’ve given so far.  Do not think for one minute that I don’t appreciate it, I just feel terribly stuck with it all (it’s probably not helping that our boiler broke yesterday, eating our last £300 for the month, and so all I’m dreaming about is payday, even though, as soon as payday comes, we have to save save save, or rather, pay the photographer off and save the rest.)  And I know everyone involved in this is bricking it about money as much as we are.  Whatever happens, we will have a wedding, Andy and I will be married, and so I just need to tell myself that, and everyone else involved needs to stop worrying.  Who cares if we have to have an iPod instead of the band, who cares if I have shoes from BHS instead of Vivienne Westwood? 

I tell you half the problem.  Wedding blogs.  And I don’t like to drag up conversations/arguments/rants from last year but it’s true.  I look at other weddings on wedding blogs and I find it really hard to compete.  Like my wedding is a fucking competition.   It’s OUR wedding day.  Why should I care about gratification from blog readers/writers?  Why am I so goddamn needy for attention?!

Anyway, rant over, my back hurts, I have another day of nothing to show for having sat at my desk since 7:30am and I have to take Scarlett to the Dr’s as we’re getting sleepless nights with her whimpering all night long.