Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Wedding VII

first hymn

Love Divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven, to earth come down,
Fix in us thy humble dwelling,
All thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation,
Enter every trembling heart.

Come, almighty to deliver,
Let us all thy grace receive;
Suddenly return, and never,
Never more thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve thee as thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise thee, without ceasing,
Glory in thy perfect love.

Finish then thy new creation
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see thy great salvation,
Perfectly restored in thee,
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise!

As we walked down the aisle, I held tight to my Dad's arm and tried to smile and look at the guests who were all smiling at us. I could see M, stood next to his best man, looking slightly nervous and standing up very straight and tall and looking so beautiful.

We stood next to each flanked by my Dad and Ben and, like a couple of teenagers, M and I nervously squeezed each others hands and sang the first hymn. I could hear my Dad's voice breaking a little as he sang, which of course made me start to cry as well. He handed me his hanky and whispered "Good luck, Miss G...".



Just down the road from my house, in the land between 2 tube stations and an overland railway line, is a patch of scrub land. A chance walking that way one sunny day on the way back from the job centre imparted the knowledge that there were hedges full of blackberries. In central London. Zone 2. Blackberries!

So we went last Friday afternoon, in a gorgeous sunny interval between monsoon style downpours, which have come to define London weather this July. And picked bowlfuls of blackberries, at least a kilo each, with plenty more to ripen in the coming weeks.

I brought my share home and turned half into a blackberry and apple pie and half into blackberry compote, which I froze, for another day. The pie was delicious; tastier in the knowledge perhaps that the berries were free, and from less than a mile from home.

The other day, I discovered a plum tree. Just around another corner from our house, this time in someone's garden. But most of the tree overhangs the pavement. I took Husband there last night, just as it began to get dark. A stealth mission for plums. But they were all too high for us to reach without a ladder. And somehow, using a ladder just seems wrong.

So it will be blackberries again this weekend I think...

{Image by me}

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Style Me Pretty Look Book Competition

My entry for the Style me Pretty look book inspiration board competition:

Peek a Boo Knickers by Ell & Cee
The Boathouse Dress by Lela Rose
Grammy bow Clutch bag by MISMA via Etsy
Grosgrain bow-front Shoes by Fendi via Net a Porter
Butterfly cake by Iced
Vintage Pearl Labrinth Head dress by Million Design
Image from US Vogue June 2008

Friday, 24 July 2009

EAD Living

Elizabeth Anne Designs

Am very excited to be posting on EAD Living. Come over and say hello...

Thursday, 23 July 2009


Following the bunting that I made for the wedding, I have decided to accept orders from others.

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in lengths of handmade bunting made from vintage material {Liberty, Laura Ashley and so on} please contact me for further details.

Perfect for tea parties, hen parties, bridal showers, baby showers and weddings.

I can work to your theme, or I can supply florals, stripes and patterns in matching tones or simply a mismatched collection of fabrics a la the bunting for my wedding.

All bunting is sewn into white tape unless requested otherwise and I can post internationally.


{Images by Alex, my sister's boyfriend and other wedding guests}

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Coco Before Chanel

if it is still raining in two weeks time i am going to wear stripes and sit in the cinema eating cupcakes and drinking tea whilst watching this film.
{actually, i will probably go regardless. but daytime cinema when it is raining outside is more romantic, somehow}

{photo from here}

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Groom Style

Shirt: Liberty
Suit and waistcoat: vintage 1970s, altered by sister-in-law and me
Socks: Falke
Shoes: Pied a Terre
Cufflinks: M's Grandpa's.

something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue...

{Images by Katie Thompson Photography}

Wedding recaps

They are coming, I promise you. Just slowly. I guess I am just a little afraid that if I write about the whole wedding and show all the photos it will be over. Officially over. And I don't want it to be. I want it to be real. Not just a memory of a great day.

Because it was a great day. One that I didn't want to end. I kept thinking "this is our wedding day. the one day I will look back on more than any other. remember it all, least you forget". I keep thinking back to the day {the good and the one bad moment - getting my period on the way to the church...} and wanting to be back there.

At the German wedding 'informal' pre-wedding drinks on the Friday night (read very formal) I kept looking around for my family and then remembering that it wasn't about us any more. In the space of 3 weeks we became an old married couple, handing on the newly wed baton to the next of our friends. We weren't centre of attention. we were guests. it was odd. But nice.

I replied to the rest of the summers wedding invitations last night. Writing Mr and Mrs M... B... thank Mr and Mrs xyz was actually rather satisfying. It's hard getting used to my new surname though. Especially with all my job applications in my old one and all my social things in my new one.

I guess what I am saying is that I am slowly getting used to being married. And soon, soon, will come the rest of the recaps.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

these leggings are made for dancing...

...until 4am. Old and married? I don't think so.

birthday outfit

how fitting then that this photo should look like one from a tabloid. Turns out photos taken drunk in bars at 3am are quite dark.

Just in case you can't actually tell, in the end I wore the sequin leggings with a black t-shirt dress and patent leather pointy high heeled court shoes. with a leather jacket and clutch bag. and the watch of course {which didn't help me either be on time, or get home before it got light}

it did help me to get to see Harry Potter last night though, via a hungover 'meal' at Yo sushi {which essentially involved miso soup and green tea}. Harry Potter was fantastic. Go and see it.

Friday, 17 July 2009


I have alternated my time this week between two activities: preparing for and attending interviews and watching Season 1 of Gossip Girl. I watched the last episode this morning and now need to watch Season 2 asap. Is it available on DVD? Does anyone have it...

Speaking of interviews and other things, I have decided it is high time {pun not intended} that I experimented with being on time for things. It has been made easier by a beautiful ships clock that we were given as a wedding present. To carry on this good work, I thought I should get a watch and ended up buying this 1950s vintage men's watch on eBay. It arrived this morning.

{Image via The Vintage Wrist Watch Company}

My first test for an on time social event is my sister-in-law's 31st birthday dinner and drinks in Soho tonight. I shall team my watch with some black sequined leggings which my sister was given at a fashion shoot she is doing the PR for, and something else, depending on whether this rain passes over.

{Image via Topshop}

Shoes however, are another decision altogether...

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Wedding VI

arriving at the chapel

the chapel

walking down the aisle

And then, finally, it was time to get married.

{All photos by Katie Thompson Photos}


I have been tagged by the lovely Wife In the City to answer a few questions... I'm sure it's nothing that you haven't heard before, but just in case, I thought I'd answer some of them.

What is your current obsession?

{aside from finding work} I seem to be obsessed with our house: decluttering, tidying and trying to make it look as beautiful as a rented house ever can. Thankfully the basics are in place: high ceilings, wooden floors, white walls, fireplaces but the main problem is the lack of storage.

Other obsessions include my husband and vintage clothing.

Coffee or tea?

Tea if I am at home. Tea in a cafe never tastes as good so I usually opt for coffee {latte often}

What was the last and most exciting thing you bought?

I bought a vintage mens watch yesterday as I decided that I'd better start wearing a watch now I am experimenting with being on time for things. And before that a 1930s silk chiffon evening dress for the ball/dinner at the German wedding we attended at the weekend.

What's the best gift you have ever been given?

If gift is defined as present then the best one must be the aquamarine ring which M gave me last June.

What is your favourite ice cream flavour?

I never was much of an ice cream fan until a trip to Milan last year when I discovered that pistachio was exactly the right combination of sweet and savoury.

What do you think of the person who tagged you?

Marie is the first person to have truly translated from a blogging friend to a real friend.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?

Cliched as it sounds, anywhere, as long as my husband was there too.

Which language do you want to learn?

Having just returned from Germany, and rather liked the place, I think learning some more of the language would be useful.

What is your favourite colour?

Blue. In every tone from the palest blue green through to the stormiest inky navy.

What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?

Too many to name. Almost everything I own is a favourite in one way or another.

What is your dream job?

Some days I think continuing in my current profession would be a dream. Other days I wish I could make my obsession for weddings and fashion translate to proper work.

If you had £100 now, what would you spend it on?

Hmm. If I'd had 15 euros the other day I would have bought some beautiful blue knitted sock/slippers. Not sure what I would choose if I actually had some money.

Do you admire any one’s style?

I admire people who dress effortlessly stylishly. More often that not they are European, who seem to be able dress better than British people. At the German wedding, the Bride's Granny was beautifully dressed and the most glamorous Granny I have ever seen: at 3am on Sunday morning she was dancing to techno with her Granddaughter in a ball gown and jewelley; at 12pm she was sitting on the beach in a white linen trouser suit and wide brimmed straw hat.

Other than that, I admire people who can dress to suit their shape and who are confident enough to create their own style.

Describe your personal style?

A mix of vintage with more modern pieces. Often black, grey, blue and white with occasional more colourful pieces. At the moment I am a lot in love with stripes.

What are your favourite movies?

I am a teen film fanatic {I even studied a module at university called Hollywood and Youth Culture} and my all time favourites include The Virgin Suicides, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club and Clueless. I also love The English Patient.

What is your favourite fruit?

Freshly picked blackberries made into pie with home grown apples. I also like nectarines, blueberries, gooseberries and raspberries.

What inspires you?


Your favourite book?

Pigeon Post by Arthur Ransome. My current favourite is Hotel Du Lac by Anita Brookner.

Do you collect something?

I loved Marie's answer to this: "No. I hoard everything." Which I think rather applies to me as well. I do collect postcards and matchboxes and often make scrapbooks from holidays and trips.

What is your favourite smell?

Lavender. The sea.

How many times do you press the snooze button before you get up?

As many as I can get away with. I love to snuggle in bed.

Cats or dogs?

I have never had the fortune to live with either but I look forward to both eventually.

What do you look forward to coming home to after you've been away?

My husband. Tea. My bed.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

On being married

"Talk to brides, as I did while researching Wedding Babylon, a look behind the scenes of the happiest day of your life, and the symptoms are obvious. They all spoke of feeling flat after the wedding, of being in tears on the honeymoon and the dreadful empty feeling of anti-climax.” Compound this with the fact that the average couple spends between £20,000 and £24,000 (the equivalent of the annual national wage) on the wedding and that 20 per cent of couples start married life in debt, it is no wonder that new brides are so miserable" writes .

I wouldn't say that I am miserable. Frustrated perhaps, at not having a job. Irritated that, technically, I suppose I am now a housewife, which is very much not where I saw myself when I said 'yes' last June. But not miserable. I didn't think I would mind being paid for. I was wrong. Not bringing in any money makes me feel I have to do all the housework and keep the place clean and tidy, rather than simply my share as I did before. Despite the fact that I am spending my time applying for jobs, attending interviews, doing unpaid work etc, so I don't actually have that much more 'free' time, it somehow seems that as I am not earning, I should be doing more of the other things.

So yes, if I am being brutally honest, coming back to London after the honeymoon felt a little flat. {although, thank goodness for Wimbledon and hot weather: I had plenty of distraction during the first week}. I do feel that the support is better between us, even when we are jostling for position within our new relationship; that we really are a family unit.

leaving the reception 1

Leaving the wedding, just before I threw the bouquet {of which Alex caught such an amazing photo I will devote a post to it later in the recaps}

leaving the reception 2

Saying goodbye to the DJ and the band {inc. BestMan}, carrying a plate of cheese from the 'cake' which one of the bridesmaids had thoughtfully put aside for us, thinking correctly that (a) we wouldn't have eaten any earlier on and that (b) we would be starving when we got to our hotel.

leaving the reception 3

Leaving the reception...

the next morning

...and returning again the next morning to help with the final clearing up. Yes, we are still in the same clothes...

{All photos by Alex, my sister's boyfriend}

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Wedding V

And then, finally, it was the big day. I woke, feeling like absolute shxt, to be perfectly honest. Cold sweats, hot shivers, stomach pains. The whole works: I felt like I had flu. My sisters got into bed with me and massaged my legs and my shoulders and then Mum and Dad and Alex came into the bedroom too with their tea and I had a good old cry about this being the last time we would be together as a family and, after a healthy dose of painkillers, started to feel a bit better. Grannie and Grandpa came over and made coffee and then the hard work began.

I started out helping in the marquee with the laying of tables but was quickly chased back upstairs to wash my hair and have a shower. In fact, Francesca, my makeup artist arrived promptly at 10am and was horrified to find me still in my pyjamas, dirty hair and helping the girls in the marquee.

getting ready

Two hours later and that is the reason why you have a professional hair and makeup artist. Francesca was brilliant: calmly and quickly my hair had been dried and styled and she had applied beautiful but natural looking makeup. Her assistant even removed my old toenail varnish as I had not even had time to stop for a manicure the day before.

getting ready 2

Of course, during this time, the bridesmaids were also getting ready: doing their own hair and makeup between them and curling their hair. I had been in the master bedroom which Mum and Dad then needed so there were 6 of us cramped into a small twin bedroom, people fighting for mirror space. Francesca and her assistant, Tara, are actually friends of mine, so after my makeup and hair was finished they turned back into regular guests who needed to get ready.

bridesmaids get ready

And then, all too quickly, the wedding car was here and it was time to leave for the service.

wedding car

Monday, 6 July 2009

On cupcakes and invitations

Wedding recaps to continue shortly, if anyone is interested. Meanwhile, tomorrow is my first day helping out at the vintage shop in Primrose Hill and I hope that I manage to make some sales.

I picked up the keys today and whilst sheltering from the rain in the Primrose Bakery {any opportunity for a sneaky cupcake} I discovered these invitations.

I tried to think of an occasion for which to use them, but realised I had better send our thank you cards before I start on any more invitations...

{Image via The Pod Company}

Friday, 3 July 2009

A dress for a wedding reception

Next Friday, at the ungodly hour of 6am, M and I head to our first married wedding. In Germany. With only hand luggage. For a reception on the Friday evening, a formal day ceremony on the Saturday early afternoon followed by a formal evening dinner and ball.

And what to wear?

Well, a dress, hat and jacket for the Saturday day time. But for a ball where I needed to eat? That wasn't so easy. My university ball dresses just aren't suitable: one is too dated (and too hot for July) and the other is too stained. Grass, ketchup, cigarette marks, alcohol. My university life can be remembered through the hem of that dress. The dress I wore to M's brother's wedding, bespoke couture. Too hot and too tight for eating and dancing in the summer. I was going to borrow something but suddenly the wedding is next week and I have been awfully busy with other things.

And then, a friend who owns a vintage shop needed some part time help. Starting now. Or rather, starting today. And I picked up this 1930s turquoise dress which I think should be just right. And somewhat of a bargain at £35.00.

vintage dress 1930s

{image by me}

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Wedding IV

So, after the quickest supper ever with my parents, grandparents, sisters and boyfriends, I dragged everyone back out to the marquee. Despite having a splitting headache I knew we needed to get as much of the setting up done as possible the night before. There would be a lot of laying up to do in the morning and so I wanted to at least have the main set up done.

setting up the wedding

We arranged tables and chairs, discovering at that point that the marquee company had not cleaned the chairs as they said they would {leading to a frantic call for chair cleaning volunteers the next morning} and set out glasses {learning the hard way that if you hire glasses from Sainsbury's they may be dirty and may leave dark rings on your white tableclothes}. We set out all the soft drinks and beer that we had bought, leaving out icebuckets for the ushers to fill the next morning.

Bunting was hung, peacock feathers were put out and candles placed on all the tables. Napkins were set out at each place with name tags attached. The whole family were wonderful and everyone pulled together, working effortlessly to get the task done. Eventually, after a team photo, we decided we had done all that we could and so headed back inside to celebrate my Grannie's birthday with a cake and more tea and opening some cards and presents.

grannie and me

I then turned my hand to the 100 peonies which were siting in buckets of water by an open window, to try and keep them from opening properly until the morning. Having only had one practice, and not with peonies, I wasn't sure what they would turn out like, but in the end, with my Mum and Dad's help, I made one large bouquet for myself and three smaller ones for the bridesmaids. And they looked exactly like I had hoped. Bizarely, I realised I had perched on an arm of an armchair for over an hour wrapping the stalks in tape whilst my Mum knelt on the floor stripping the leaves and my Dad held bunches together to be wrapped in more tape. Again, an effortless team and I realised when we finished that Mum and I had not had one stressed or cross word with each other all day.

making bouquets

With another cup of tea it was off to bed. A single bed in a shared room with my little sister. I am usually a good sleeper but that night, I struggled. It wasn't so much that I was nervous, it was that I never felt truly relaxed. I woke at 4am with hot sweats and shivers and felt like I had flu. Absolutely bloody terrible. I got water and paracetamol {thank goodness for those bridal survival kits and the leftovers} and tried to sleep again until Mum came into our room with breakfast at 7.30am. The wedding day...

{All images by Alex, my sister's boyfriend and Dad except the top left bouquet photo by Katie Thompson photography}