Friday, 17 April 2015

The soundtrack to my life

I knew when I read Janet's Soundtrack To My Life post I'd be posting my own list of songs. I don't listen to music everyday, which some of you will find unthinkable, but I don't feel the need for constant noise. I do like music in the car when I'm driving, playing when I'm out running (it helps me forget the pain) and occasionally when I need to kick back and get loud or jump around a bit.

What I like changes over time. When I was driving to work everyday I liked a lot of popular music, aka what was being played on Radio 1. If I listen to something enough I'll grow to like it. During my teens I liked heavy metal because that's what my brother played, and he played it so loud it wasn't worth trying to listen to anything of my own. I exacted my revenge by playing songs he liked over and over and over again, whenever I could, until he wanted to rip off his own ears. Fun.

These days a lot of what I like still comes from what I hear on the radio, or if someone says to me 'you have to listen to this song', which is generally Andy or my best friend. Although I have to say no matter how much Andy plays it, I will never be a fan of Kenny Chesney's She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy. Nope, never (although I do think his tractor's sexy).

Song you listen to when you're happy?
Happy, Pharrell Williams #sorrynotsorry

Song you listen to when you're sad?
Anything from KT Tunstall, Eye To The Telescope or anything by Alanis Morissette

What song will you have at your wedding?
Take It Easy, The Eagles (and we did, this is technically our first dance)

What song do you dance around the house to?
Dance With Me Tonight, Olly Murs and All About That Base, Meghan Trainor

Song you play on your headphones when out and about?
iTunes 'upbeat playlist' but I never wander the streets with headphones on, just when I run.

Song you listen to when you're angry?
Killing In The Name Of, Rage Against The Machine

Song you'd have at your funeral?
Wherever You Will Go, Charlene Soraia

Song that makes you lose your shit at a party?
Jump Around, House Of Pain. I jumped around to this at my wedding reception, easier said than done in a big dress but totally worth it - an excellent memory.

The last song you listened to?
Goodbye Mr A, The Hoosiers

Your karaoke song?
Never. Going. To happen.

What song do you work out/exercise to?
Crazy In Love, Beyonce

Song with the most memories attached?
Green Door, Shakin' Stevens - one of my earliest music memories. I could dance like him too.

It's My Party, And I'll Cry If I Want To, Lesley Gore - I cried at every birthday party I had as a kid. My brother used to sing this to me every single time.

Take on Me, A-ha - I did my first majorette display to this track and, erm, Morton Harket.

She's Like The Wind, Patrick Swayze - watching dirty dancing over and over again and a holiday spent revising for my GCSEs, listening to the soundtrack.

March Of The Cavalry, Jona Lewie - reminds me of my Dad.

Bare Necessities, Jungle Book - lots of childhood sing-a-long memories in the car on long journeys.

One and Only, Chesney Hawkes - reminds of camping in my teens, discos and later on friend who looks exactly like him.

When The Sh** Goes Down, Cyprus Hill - college memories, Hollywoods on a Monday night and Autumn Gold cider.

Groove Is In The Heart, DeeLight - technically I hate this song as it reminds me of a certain person and a bad time at college but it's a memory none-the-less.

Call Me Al, Paul Simon - memories of singing this with my brother and later my best friend

Mr. Mistoffelees, Cats - more childhood car memories.

Shut Up, Black Eyed Peas - Marrakech. My best friend is incapable of sitting in silence, she needs background music at all times. When we went to Marrakech for her 30th birthday this was played on the TV over and over again.

Everybody Get Up, FiveTake - Friday nights spent in Pals, my friends Helen and Nik, too much white wine and walking home with bare feet.

It Easy, The Eagles - loads of memories of Andy connected to this.

Song that makes you cry?
High, Lighthouse Family

Song you hate the most?
Anything by Kanye West, what a bellend.

Your favourite song of all time?
Before I got married I wouldn't know where to begin with this, but now it's Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran.

Could name just one song as your all time favourite?


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Wedding Wednesday #10 - My Top Ten Favourite Moments

In no particular order her are some of my favourite moments from our wedding day.

1. The vows

I was convinced that I'd get very emotional and would cry my way through our ceremony but I’m glad to say that I didn’t (OK, maybe a little teeny tiny bit). I was able to speak clearly and held it together during the reading by my sister-in-law.

I enjoyed it all so much, I held Andy's hands and we looked directly into each others eyes as we made our promises to each other. We also giggled, I stuck my tongue out at him, we didn’t let go of each other and, I later found out, we both had to fight the urge to kiss each other when I first arrived by Andy's side. I stole a cheeky second kiss after our first as husband and wife, and couldn’t help but comment on how clean Andy’s hands where as I put the ring on his finger.

If I had to describe our ceremony in just one word, I would say 'perfect'.

2. Waiting outside the room with my Dad before the ceremony

Someone from the hotel was meant to come and collect my Dad and I from my room before the ceremony, but Andy had given me strict instructions not to be late, so at 2.55pm Dad and I started making our way to the ceremony room, practicing our 'slow walk' on the way.

We arrived and had to wait for the music to start and I chattered away, knowing that if I kept my mind and mouth occupied I wouldn’t think too much about what I was about to do and get emotional.

I’m told they could hear me chatting and giggling inside the room, including my rendition of the Benny Hill theme tune. The perfect music to make your entrance in my opinion - I only wish I'd thought of it sooner.

I nodded to my bridesmaid to go in and as Dad and I waited for our turn I told him I loved him and off we went. Andy kept looking straight ahead, only turning when I arrived by his side. He was beaming from ear to ear.

3. The drive between venues

Andy decided a long time ago that he would drive us from the day venue to our evening venue. He wanted us to be completely alone. And he was right, it was absolutely the right thing to do.

People seemed perplexed that we didn't want a 'wedding car', we didn't want to be chauffeured - it just wasn't important to us. We love our car and when the mud is washed off it looks pretty respectable, and the chance to be completely alone meant so much more to us than a hired car ever could.

We chatted away, he told me how he’d spent his morning, and of how our girl cat, Tinker, had followed him wherever he went the night before, making him laugh and putting him at ease. I sat in the passenger seat with my dress bundled up around me and we giggled and chatted all the way.

4. The photographs

We’d chosen a spot off the beaten track to have some photographs taken. Our photographer, Katie, is an old friend of mine and it was an absolute delight to have her photograph our wedding. I donned my wellies and we traipsed over long grass into a clearing in the trees. Later we wandered hand in hand down the pathway, and also had some shots taken with Andy's tractor. We can’t wait to see the results.

5. Our first dance

Andy was adamant that there would be no first dance and I wasn’t keen on the idea but I did want to dance with him on our wedding day. I’d asked all of my guests make a song request and a few requested Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, which I love. So, I asked the DJ to play it near the end of the evening (when Andy was more likely to dance), followed by my bridesmaid’s wedding song, You & Me by Dave Matthews Band, followed by his parents song request (also their wedding song).

Technically we first danced to a snippet of The Eagles, Take It Easy (one of Andy's all time favourite songs) but when the DJ saw us on the dance floor he switched to Ed Sheeran, Andy protested a little but stayed with me chatting, and laughing at his friend's reluctant appearance on the dance floor.

When my bridesmaid heard the start of their song, she ran to the dance floor with husband in hot pursuit. It was so lovely to see them dancing away, bringing back memories of their wedding and mixing them with ours. Next up was his parent's wedding song, Leo Sayer, When I Need You. Andy was so sure that his Dad wouldn’t dance, I was delighted when I saw his Mum heading for the dance floor, dragging his Dad behind her. This prompted a round of applause from both Andy and I, and his sister and her husband who had joined us. Happy doesn’t even begin to describe it. It was such a lovely moment.

6. My speech

It wasn’t the speech itself that I enjoyed but the kindness of those listening. I was visibly nervous and Andy pulled me close to him as I spoke, everyone laughed in the right places and as I looked around I could see I’d touched people with my words.

I’d told Andy that I was just going to say a few words of thanks but when I started to write it all down I realised there was so much more I wanted to say. I’d written two versions (one long, one short), telling myself that I didn’t have to say much if I didn’t want to, at the last minute I decided to go for it and I’m so glad I did. It was the only speech of the day and I felt really rather chuffed with myself.

7. Getting ready with my bridesmaid

This didn't really begin until the lady doing our hair and make up arrived. With my hair done, Siobhan had hers curled and put into a waterfall plait, once her make up was done, she got dressed and things started to seem real. Very real. I was sat there in a robe, bare faced and a little overwhelmed. Nerves really started to kick in. My photographer had arrived and the room buzzed!

Everything from here went very quickly indeed and Siobhan was amazing throughout, calm, helpful and thoughtful, I don't think I could've done it without her. She also took her defeat in the logo speed contest at the wedding breakfast in good spirits...

8. The Lego speed contest

We put some small Lego sets on the table for the younger ones to play with. What followed prompted this Facebook post from my sister-in-law;

'Funniest moment after the wedding ceremony was the Lego speed contest between Tom and Siobhan. Both contestants carefully laid out their pieces in a methodical fashion, one of them cited sabotage when their time slipped away.... The same claimant had failed to tip the box out completely - comedy gold'.

9. Leaving the ceremony

Andy and I held hands and walked out of the room, only we've never had to walk side by side with so much dress in the way. I marched on oblivious as Andy struggled to keep up, trying not to step on the dress. The result looked like I was dragging him out like a naughty child.

10. A little help from my friends

After dancing for a while I needed to head outside to cool down. I went up to one of my friends, Jane, who was flanked by two male friends and said 'will you come outside with me a hold my dress up?' They all answered 'Yes!'. Having told the men to stay put, Jane helped me to hold my dress so I could cool down, I thought we were out of eyesight but another friend spotted us and came out to help - queue lots of girlie chat and giggling with my dress up around my thighs. I just hope there are no photos of this anywhere in existence.


Friday, 10 April 2015

Super Spring

What to do in the spring time? I love a list and a seasonal list is even better. I've been joining in with Lucy for a while but this time around she's talking about spring cleaning - yuck (good on you Lucy, but yuck) - so I'm sticking to a list of lovely things and DIY.

1. Walk in the woods amongst the bluebells

2. Go to the beach and eat fish and chips

3. Read three books
First up, The Hundred Year Old Man... by Jonas Jonasson. I've heard mixed reviews but having had it on my shelf since it first came out I'm determined to get it read.

4. Write thank you letters
The bit that you forget about when planning a wedding...

5. Wardrobe cull
Much needed and perfect timing for the (hopefully) warmer weather to come.

6. Plan a summer adventure
Be it a weekend away, a BBQ or an just afternoon in the park.

7. Paint the kitchen
Windows open, music on, it'll be fun...

8. Make Jaffa Cakes and boiled fruit cake
Still haven't done this even though I've had the ingredients for age. Note to self - check expiry dates.

9. Continue to make home improvements
In addition to the kitchen there are always little improvements to be made.

and finally...

10. Sort out my office!!
Seriously I only have room to walk to my desk and out again.

What do you have planned for spring?

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