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Gretna Green in a T-shirt?

Posted on: Sunday, 26 June 2011

Buggery buggery bollocks bollocks BALLS. BALLS BALLS BALLS.

Dress wobble of epic proportions.


Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

To be fair, it isn't finished. Or wasn't. The wee sashy bit around the middle hadn't been stitched on. The lace needs tacking to the satin under-layer bit to stop it flapping around.

Also, it was a hot day. That might sound a bit random, but hot days make me stressed.

And she kept touching me as she was pinning bits here and there. I get stressed out when people are too close/flap around me/stand too close to me on buses. We weren't on a bus, like, but you know what I mean. It makes me want to scream.

And she was talking a lot. Too much. She was trying to tell me the life story of the cat as she scrabbled around my hemline on her hands and knees ("...and then our Daniel and Fiona had a baby and one day I saw the cat in the baby's cot and they wouldn't have him any more so then...." I don't even LIKE cats! I HATE them! And the thought of a fat black and white one rubbing up against my dress makes me feel a bit like what touching cotton wool does to me!) and I had to resist the urge to scream 'Shut up!' or kick her.

I am talking about kicking an elderly lady. I am a BAD PERSON.

And now I'm looking at Totally Utterly Plain dresses on the internet and wondering whether I should be buying one. Argh.

I've just rang Adam who is shearing a sheep somewhere in West Riding. He finds it very difficult to comment having seen neither the Mrs Doubtfire dress nor the Utterly Plain ones I'm currently perusing. He does, however, think I've gone mad, clearly.

Maybe I have. Maybe I'll just wear a t-shirt. Why the buggery can one not wear a t-shirt to get married in? And skinny jeans. Favourite outfit. Why the bloody hell not?

I feel a bit like I've been conned by this whole bloody industry. I would NEVER in a million years buy an ivory/cream/white dress in a High Street shop for the simple reason that I am Of Paddy Descent, and therefore am pale and freckly and wholly unsuited to colours more or less the same shade as my skin. Why on earth am I buying one now?

OK. Less hysteria. I need to check my work emails, write a new assessment policy, plan two year 10 smartboard poetry lessons, dry my hair and make paella. Then I need to Sort My Bloody Head Out and work out what a girl is to do.

Oh Jesus. What to do?!


Poems on the Underground

Posted on: Monday, 13 June 2011

I was looking for poems on the Underground to add to my pinterest unashamed 'BUY ME' board (to be fair, it's more of an instruction for myself than for anyone else). And I found the above.

Oo, Hopkins. Oo, The Windhover.

Almost ten years ago (HOLY MOTHER OF GEORGE WASHINGTON!) I was given this poem at a University interview. I had ten minutes to read it and think about it sitting on a plastic chair in a draughty corridor and then had to speak to a Professor (Doctor? Surely they wouldn't waste the Professors' precious time interviewing the likes of us?) about it.

They were careful, mind. They didn't say 'Tell us what it means.' Poems don't MEAN stuff, you see. I didn't know that at the time, though. I was paralysed by the fact that I hadn't 'done' the poem. At that point in my education, I didn't realise it was wrong to say I'd 'done' a particular text.

If I''m honest, I still cringe a little when I think of the clangers I must have dropped at that interview. "Oh no, we didn't DO Jude the Obscure. We DID Tess of the D'Urbervilles. I reallly liked DOING Tess of the D'Urbervilles."

Y'see, I was still in that 'All-Literature-is-good-and-I-must-like-it-or-I'll-sound-thick' stage, too. Truth be told, I hated Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Thomas Hardy's pervy-wholesome-milkmaid prose made me want to vom.

Darlings, we don't 'do' Literature. That's what I tell my 6th formers now. In a wanky, uber-sarcastic posho accent. Then I tell them they'll meet a couple of Crispins and Lovedays at University and won't know what's hit them; and, more importantly, Crispin and Loveday won't know what's hit them. Then I tell them my story about the girl in my first seminar at Durham who started banging on about the 'dichotomy within the text' and how I thought she meant some sort of medical procedure that I'd clearly totally missed.

Oh, the shame. 

Mind you, on the whole, my 6th formers are largely more concerned with how totally rad their emo fringe looks than their University prospects, so perhaps my adolescent pain is lost on them a little.  

Anyhoo. I saw this and was reminded by how ridiculous the text choice was. And of my 18-year-old-angst. And about the fact that I barely got it was about a bird, never mind about Christ.

I shall find a much better Poem on the Underground and post it over here.  

Thought for the Day

Posted on: Sunday, 12 June 2011

"A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." 

 - Roald Dahl, The Twits.

North Wales innit?

Posted on: Sunday, 5 June 2011

Belated Mother's Day weekend in Wales. Mum and I went a bit mad and climbed Snowden. As you do. It's was pretty luscious, mind.

Lakes in Wales are actually turquoise. How do they do that?

For the bathroom

Posted on: Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Which, unfortunately, needs cleaning.

But at least I'll do it with a bit of enthusiasm now that I know this has arrived in the post.

Like it? Etsy, baby.

A Grand Day

We went to Northumberland County Show on Monday.

Bedders was working, dishing out 1/3 pint bottles of milk to the ecletic crowd that passed the NFU stand.

Barbour-clad farmer....girl in pearls....manky horrible chav.....Barbour-clad farmer....blond Rah in a Joules top...cast member of Geordie Shore (never heard of it? Oh, t'is a treat. Check it out.)

"How much are these like?" (gesturing to milk)
"They're, ah, free."
"Ah divvn't like milk. But ah'll have some. How much are these like?" (gesturing to Mission Milk fridge magnets.
"Err, free."
"Ah'll have one of these n'all." (puts three into pocket).

It was a 'public' event, which I think means raising the profile of farming as opposed to talking to members. The big thang seems to be promoting Mission Milk (y'see, you should buy your milk from a local milkman. Not a supermarket. Supermarkets are basically Milk Bastards. They cream off - excuse the pun - all the profit for themselves and leave poor dairy farmers struggling to make any money at all out of the milk they produce and process. So there. Get a milkman. Here's a link to ThisIsDairyFarming. They're hip, ay? I'm telling you, get a bleedin' milkman.) 

I enjoyed the shearing competitions and the beautification of the sheep the most. Watching a farmer rub a sheep's face with a flannel is a bit surreal, mind. Then it was followed by The Judging:

Showing Sheep

And lots of grabbing of the sheeps' bits. You can tell a lot about a sheep from its bits, apparently.

Yesterday, we had a day of Wedding Craziness. It began with the registrar ("Are you in any way related?"), continued with the priest ("Marriage is a taking off, not a settling down!"), developed with an inpromptu conversation with a baker re: favours (quote not included for the sake of secrecy) and ended with frantic searching online for accommodation in Kerala for the Indian section of the honeymoon.

Gaaaaaaah. Mess. In. My. Head.

Although we were agreed that the meeting with the priest was, well, pretty lovely, actually. He did some 'instruction', which sounds very heavy but wasn't at all. He's a good man, our priest, which kind of sounds like stating the obvious, but when your previous experience of a Leeds priest involves him asking your husband-to-be if he's got you "trained up yet" (I know. I was like, "HOLD ME BACK!"), expectations are low. 

Fr Michael, however, is a gem. I started to write things down like a total religious nerd for fear of forgetting it. Everything just...resonated. Marriage as a taking off, not a settling down, marriage being support and love without confinement or conditions (I loved that), it being like a parents' love for a child, it being a mirror of God's perfect love for us (like Plato's forms), and how humans will ultimately fail to achieve an idealised love but human instinct is always to aspire to that, which is bloody marvellous...

I sound like a bit of a tosser. But it was deep, man. I was a bit overcome.

So yesterday evening we ate lasagne and chose our readings. And t'was lovely.

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