Archive for September, 2008

38 days

It is 38 days till I am wed and I officially have nothing else to talk about except weddings.If you need to discuss how to hire suits, how many Everton mints fill a small sweetie bag, hair accessories, bespoke stamps with your name in fancy script, welcome drinks, seating plans and the like then I am your girl. Current affairs – no chance. For a person who didn’t want the big shin dig I do seem to be doing an awful lot of work. Today my mother called to tell me some parcels had arrived at her house and I honestly could not remember what I had ordered.
But I do remember Mr. Rigby got his suit on Saturday and he looks damn good in it, I however can never go in Armani again which is a shame as it was my first time. I totally embarrassed myself when I walked smack into a mirror thinking it was some kind of magical hallway, then to make matters worse I apologised to the woman I had bumped into which of course was me. 

Also I am currently waiting for that “you will be so stressed the weight will just drop off” time because it has certainly not happened yet, my heavy drinking may be affecting this though.

38 days till the wedding, 39 to the honeymoon!!



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A Woman’s Right to Shoes

I have been reading a fabulous blog called I hate planning my wedding. In fact I have been reading it compulsively over the last few days. It is fantastically, wickedly funny and I know I should not laugh at her misery but I can’t help it, she writes her pain so damn well. Go read now!
Anyway it is a blog about trying to plan a wedding with the involvement of lots of family and the different pressures that will bring. In fact wedding stories like this were the one of the major reasons I never wanted a big wedding, my plan was always to elope or at push do it on a holiday. But The Talented Mr. Rigby dreamed of the big wedding and I went with it. While Engaged and Enraged battles daily with mother and mother in laws and upset bridesmaids I realise I am getting it pretty easy.

One major reason for that is that I wanted to pay for it all ourselves, in fact we will not be paying for it all ourselves but we are paying for almost all of it. Anyway I felt that any money given should be a gift. A gift. In fact so much did I insist on this that I am making my Mum give me her gift on the wedding day. Mean, yes but a well thought out strategy.

Since we picked a date my mother has called me nearly every day, usually at work to discuss some vital/trivial detail of the wedding. She loves to throw a party and is very opinionated but totally not organised and I really didn’t want her planning everything. I haven’t let her choose anything but have kept her informed of decisions made, in general she has been fabulous about it all. Because she isn’t paying she has managed to keep most of her opinions under her fascinator.

I didn’t want a bouquet, she took a deep breath and accepted it, I didn’t want a proper wedding dress, she was not amused but was pleased with my final choice, declaring it exactly the dress she had imagined! I didn’t want a cake, she accepted that, I didn’t want morning dress, she accepted that Mr. Rigby would look like the artful dodger. But I did want black shoes.

Black shoes, yes, a black and white wedding, I am wearing white but with a black shrug thing and I thought black shoes would look very nice. Meltdown. She went into complete meltdown, tears and all. Apparently black shoes would  just be my way of embarrassing her, it would look ridiculous and she would not be the only one thinking it. She was way way over the top in fact she was so insane that it had the effect of making me very calm. She did apologise the next day in a round about way that I recognise as they way I apologise, but the seed was sewn. So at the weekend I went off to buy my shoes, not black, just sparkly. I didn’t want my mother to hate something so violently that I had picked and I certainly didn’t want to upset her so I thought fine no black, it is the least I can do for her.

On Monday I told my mother about the shoes I was hoping for a simple how lovely what she actually said was  “I knew you would realise black was ridiculous in the end”

Bloody typical the one thing I did specifically for her. Luckily I love my shoes or I may have cried.





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Jan, the man.

I have quite an awkward relationship with my Dad, for a long time after my parents divorce I found it difficult, in fact my mother forgave him a long time before I did. But in the last few years we have started to get on better, he remembers to call me from time to time and I remember he is human. Actually if I am honest I think he likes me more now that he can talk football with Mr. Rigby. You see my Dad is a very shy, quiet man who once told me that he hated the fact that he could never start a conversation with anyone.

It is shame he is so quiet though because he can be wickedly funny and has some great stories to tell. He is completely deaf in one ear (parachuting with no protection will do that to you) and often seems like he is not listening. That is because he isn’t. He is probably doing one of his absolute most favourite things. People watching. Except he doesn’t just watch he makes up entire lives for the people he is spying on.

For example, this weekend while he was visiting me in the Dam we met up with friends for a glass of wine. It is a busy bar and my Dad was having difficulty hearing so he decided as he could not hear much of what people were saying he would have a good gawk at the clientele instead.

A man sitting on his own near the door caught his eye. The man had on a floral shirt and tank top (Dad thought the overall ensemble worked but was not keen on the floral shirt) and good shoes (always approved of by Dad) The man, let us call him Jan, was sitting behind us with a bunch of flowers and two glasses of wine. When a table became available Jan hopped up gathering his flowers and wine and raced for a seat on the terrace. At which point my dad announced to everyone that that man was right on the verge of being stood up. He said Jan was obviously very nervous and that the girl/guy was not going to show up. He told me that it was probably very hard on Jan as he was getting older and dating was difficult game. Then my Dad turned to face me and said “Oh I really hope his date shows up, I don’t think he gets too many dates and he has tried so hard”.

Then his date did show up, a tall fancy looking blonde. My dad was very happy and declared that Jan had done very well for himself. Conversation moved to football and finally my dad had an ” in” so he started to chat and with that he was back with us and Jan was forgotten.

Still I couldn’t help giving Jan a little smile of encouragement as we left.

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I have life envy. I met a girl last week who has been in Amsterdam for five minutes and already speaks far more Dutch than me, she has two fun jobs, lives on a houseboat and never shops at supermarkets. Oh and she is nearly ten years younger than me. Like I said envy. I don’t know why I get like this because in truth I know I have a great life, a fantastic man, nice apartment, good (ish) job, great cd collection, some fancy shoes and great friends. But meeting this lovely girl has niggled at me all week. I have now been in Amsterdam for seven years and it made me wonder if I have done it right. Did I miss out on something? I still know hardly any Dutch people, my language skills are limited to restaurant ordering and mumbling and I work in a completely different city. But then last night as I was tidying away our wedding rings I thought about the life I am about to have in Amsterdam, the one where I marry a man that I never would have met if I hadn’t come here. The friends not Dutch but from all over the place that I never would have met and I decided that I just did it differently.

Monday 1st September was my seven year anniversary in Amsterdam and I still love the city, I arrived here fresh out of university and broke. I was joining my long term boyfriend but it all went horribly wrong. He left me but I clung on to my life in Amsterdam, I had nowhere to live and about three friends but I am still here. I love this city.


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