It has been FAR too long since I wrote but since getting engaged I have been spending all my free time obsessively looking at wedding related stuff! It turns out that there is an awful lot of tulle to wade through – metaphorically and literally when I tried on dresses! Anyway I have put pinterest and Brides aside and have had a lovely day of catching up on various blogs I love – it’s been wonderful to read the adventures you’ve all been up to. Now I figured I owed you a bit of an update and a promise to be a more regular blogger, I have really missed it myself so hopefully this will be an easy promise to keep!
Since getting engaged Bond and I have been celebrating almost constantly. First we took a trip to the UK for our friend’s beautiful wedding (many tips for our day were noted!) in Surrey at Cain Manor. It truly was a stunning venue and a moving day, all the speeches had me in floods – there was a lot of love in that room for sure. It was a wonderful start to our trip as we were also able to see old friends and dance into the wee small hours!
From the wedding we drove in our rental car to Bond’s parents in Devon. The driving was mental, the roads suddenly seemed so narrow after Dubai and of course for Bond it’s the first time he has driven me in the UK since I got my licence, it transpires my back seat driving is even more irritating back in blighty…you’d have thought he would have been grateful for my helpful hints really!? On arrival we were greeted with some fizz to celebrate and Bond’s mother had made us a special engagement fruit cake which was terrific! It was lovely to be back and to catch up with my future in-laws. The following day my sister and brother in law to be joined us too! I really enjoyed being with them all! The weather was glorious for our whole stay, we were able to go for long walks and do some all important shopping. Oh how I have missed TK Maxx!! I spent a few days in Devon and then headed back to London leaving Bond to spend bit of time with his family without me.
I braved a Train (with tickets I had efficiently pre-booked online and thus ended up in first class as it was cheaper, only in the UK eh?!) for three hours and as we got closer to London it got greyer and greyer and started to rain. I was most peeved!! The city I grew up in had not dressed up at all, especially disappointing as I went right past the Shard and it just looked rather sad being lashed by the rain. A quick taxi and then I was able to have lunch with an old friend, it was a comedy of errors from all the lights going out and then the fittings all springing a leak! Anyway we were able to see the funny side about playing musical chairs, never a dull moment…
As I had all my luggage I took another taxi (my word the cost compared to Dubai still shocks me!!) and went to meet my friend who is an incredibly talented designer. The plan is that she will make me the dream wedding dress…we had fun talking about sketches and catching up. A lovely experience all in all!
Soon it was time to go to the Lansdowne Club to see my amazing American adopted family who had come over for my mother’s 60th birthday! It was so fun to see them after what has been far too long! A little while later my parents finally arrived and soon it was really time to celebrate all together – the engagement, my mother’s birthday and of course being reunited. We had a wonderful dinner and just chatted and chatted, I enjoyed every minute and I just wish we got to spend more time together!
The next morning after a decent nights sleep I went to see my best friends new house AKA the cottage of dreams, it is GORGEOUS!! For years it’s been her dream to have her country cottage and this place is just blissful. I couldn’t be happier for her! She and her fiance are loving it there and are now in the thick of wedding planning now that the house has all come together. It will be fun to be each others bridesmaids especially as we have found bridesmaids dresses we both love so now we can buy each other one! A result for sure! After our champagne breakfast we went back to London to go to Browns Brides to try on some dresses for ‘inspiration’…my aunts and my mother joined us at Browns and soon I was encased in more dress than I have ever seen before! It turns out that the bridal industry doesn’t cater for midget and even in heels on a MASSIVE box I was still drowning in fabric. I am lucky I have a friend who can help me out in this because I tried on a Monique Lhullier that cost more than a decent car and felt underwhelmed…it turns out you can take the girl out of the black body con but you can’t necessarily shove her in a wedding dress and make her happy…please wish me luck and any ideas would be welcomed!!!!!
From dress shopping we went to have a restoratative beverage and then my mother and her bestie headed to high tea, those women know how to live for sure! The aunts, my bestie and I headed back to the Lansdowne to meet the uncles and to get some drinks on board!! We sat in the courtyard and had yummy cocktails and got a tiny bit tipsy…we then comandeered my aunt and uncle’s room and changed for dinner. I had invited my bridesmaids for dinner at the Ivy Kensington as I had little presents for them and I wanted the excuse to see them! We had a lot of fun gossipping away and I think the gifts were a hit so that was lovely. I am so lucky to have such amazing women in my life – and now I ge to dress them however I like mwahahaha (just in case they are reading, butt bows AND stomach bows ladies…get ready!!)
On Friday I went with my mother to look at potential London venues and summarily wrote them all off. It turns out that EVERYWHERE has a ‘special entrance’ that doesn’t really feel terribly special at all and rather feels like you’re losing out on all the magic of the main place! I was a tad despondent because I felt the dream crumble to dust and I just didn’t know what to do but my mother is a resolutely positive person who felt we could make it work so I was all smiles by the end of the day. Just as well as a rather special someone was going to have her big party!!!
Mummy and I went to the Lansdowne club and made ourselves look pretty…Dad had put Bond into service blowing balloons and ordering cupcakes so I had a bit of time on my hands! Soon people began to arrive and so I went to get my mother so she could make her entrance for her big party!! So many people came from all over the country and even the globe which was just wonderful. There were lots of speeches and it was a really joyous event all together. My in-laws all came and met my mob so that was really great, they all commented how much love there was and it’s true. We have manged to find great friends and we were lucky enough to be born into a pretty special family.
On Saturday Bond went to have lunch with his friend to see if the lovely guy would agree to be his best man! Thankfully he said yes and we are both delighted and certain he will do an excellent job! While they had their man time I went to meet the Americans for a bit of quality time which was lovely as my parents were at the Trooping of the Colour. Rather generously every year the Queen throws her parade on my mother’s bday and this time she actually went along and watcehd in style. Pretty fitting for a 60th! We managed to spot the Red Arrows flying by while we were having lunch which was amazing too!
Later I went to meet the family for tea! The whole lot of us took over a corner of Richoux, my cousins were there with their kids and my uncle and aunt came too and Bond joined us to meet the youngest generation. The ‘minis’ as I call them are all growing far too fast for my liking and will no doubt tower over me like the rest of the family! It was fun to see them and to be presented with art works and to see that the eldest is doing his level best to keep his English up so he can speak to his mono-linguistic cousin (namely me). I had great fun asking them to be flower girls and page boys and I think they will look adorable, so long as they stay at least a head shoulder than me…
After tea my parents and Bond and I headed off to open our birthday presents. I am now 30 and Bond is about to be and so my parents wanted to give us our pressies in person. We were both spoiled rotten!! My big gifts were a Kate Spade golden party bag and a black Diane von Furstenburg handbag with metallic lining – I love them both and they add glitz to any look! Bond received a smart wooden watch box so he can keep his new watches in style! We are very lucky indeed! They had also found lots of fun couple presents and even romantic food, heart shaped salt for example!! The Germans have all sorts of fantastic ideas.
In the evening Bond and I hosted a party at the Army and Navy club for all of our friends to celebrate the fact that we are now 30 and engaged! We were so touched by the amount of people who made the effort to be there with us. They spoiled us with gifts and cards and made us both feel really special. All in all it was an incredible evening that lasted into the wee small hours and left us feeling a tad worse for wear the following day.
On our last day in London we mainly ran errands and tried to avoid the rain before hopping on our flight back to Dubai.
Since being back we have celebrated our birthdays even more – including a trip to the Burj al Arab for amazing cocktails and a cinema trip to Finding Dory so that I could recapture my inner child! We just enjoyed a long weekend for Eid al Fitr where we mostly relaxed and recharged our batteries which was just what we needed!
For those of you who manage to read to this of this epic monologue – thank you and apologies for the essay!!!