Thursday, 29 August 2013

21/08/2013 - Wednesday. Yep - I can't be more original than that!

It's Wednesday so we get a lie in today! Whoop! Not that we haven't had a lie in every morning this week so far. Aherm.

Anyway, nothing exciting of any note happened today. I carried on filing and sorting files and punching holes in pieces of paper!

Nope. I got nothing!

After work I went home and tidied up a bit as Chris was coming over, as always, for some #Whedonsday action! Always a high point to Wednesday!

We watched some Dollhouse and drank some beer! I decided to complete a wedding task and made some more decoration for the venue whilst watching tv. Talk about multi-tasking!

I'm not 100% finished with them yet I think. They need something else, which is why I haven't got a picture of them to show you.

Instead, here's Barney. Looking rather chunky.

Please excuse the mess. This is before we tidied up!

20/08/2013 - Wedding PAIN!

After a disappointing amount of sleep last night, and a brief discussion at 5:40am, we decided that the gym wasn't such a great idea. Neither of us knew what we would do once we got there and were not particularly inclined to go.


So we spent this morning sorting bits and bobs out. You know the kind of bits and bobs I mean. The writing stupidly long cheques to people to pay for your wedding kind.


Writing this word on a cheque is not my idea of a party. It PAINED me to do it.

We had a few things to pay for this week so figured it was best to get them off today so we knew that the payment would be made on time.

I dislike writing cheques. Especially when they're big cheques. I also dislike seeing the money go spiralling out of my account. Waaa. Stupid expensive wedding.

Paul was going off to our wedding venue with our photographers today to have a look around and scope out the best places to have pictures done.

I was going to work. I think I got a bad deal in this, didn't I?!

I have nothing really to show you from my day, as it was the same as most other days. Want to see some sneaky pics of our venue? Oh, go on then!

This is the Coach House (which I've never seen with all the door closed before!) where the reception drinks will be enjoyed, plus teas and coffees after the meal. Cute, huh?

This is a bridge over a little stream which is behind the big manor house which owns the barn.

Said manor house! So English, no? I love it!

This is the side of the barn where our wedding will be held, looking out towards the car park.

That's all the spoilers I'm giving you! You'll have to wait until I post some wedding pics to see the rest! Rest assured, the barn is GORGEOUS! :)

I came home from work to a very excitable Paul, who, after spending the morning at the venue was really looking forward to the wedding! The photographers loved it, and so I'm excited for the day now too!

To celebrate we made healthy (ish) pizza!

Instead of using a pizza base, it uses a tortilla wrap, so there's less carby-bread to bloat you! Plus only a teeny sprinkling of cheese (which we might have added a bit more than we should) and it was pretty good! Once you got used to there not being a stodgy bread base, it was a good eat!

After the pizza (and a stupidly long conversation with my parents) we chilled out watching telly for a bit then tried for another night to get a decent night's sleep.

19/08/2013 - Uuuuuunnnnnngggghhhhh

**I apologise for the sporadic nature of my posting recently. Wedding chores are taking up most of my time at the moment. I'm sure you understand. I can't say that after the wedding I'll be any better behaved. But I promise I'll try!**

I knew we wouldn't get up for the gym this morning. To be honest, I think I was still pretty merry when I woke up. And most of the way through work, actually!

I had warned work that I would be a bit of a mess today. They were fairly nice to me and gave me mundane tasks (like using my pal the hole-punch again!) and let me get on with it! I had a few obnoxious callers which I really didn't need but I came through it all. I think.

I was fading by the time I finished work though.

Paul was tired too, as it must have been hard for him to come home to go to sleep after driving for 40 minutes or so. Bless him.

We had a quick dinner and chilled out in front of the tv. Both of us like Zombies.

I didn't really take pictures of anything today. Except this:

I came home with this rose from the wedding. Isn't it pretty? I think my Instagram of it is prettier though, so check me out on there!

Sadly for us, the neighbours decided they wanted to be the loudest that they have ever been. Their music was loooouuuud. To the extent that we both needed earplugs to sleep.

Thanks, neighbours.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

18/08/2013 - Dum dum de dum!

It's Sunday. An odd day for what's in store for now, but we're going with it!

We're off to a wedding! Yes - a wedding on a Sunday! A mere 20 days before our wedding day! EEKS!

Many of the people at this wedding will also be at ours! This adds extra pressure. I have the fire dancers on standby, just in case.

Anyway, I had to get up at a fairly reasonable hour to start the preparations for the day. It's not just a regular Sunday, after all! There's work to be done here!

So, I had to get my scouse on.

What's this? resulted in me looking like this for an hour...

Excuse make-up free me.

People from Liverpool are called scousers, and it's a Scouse stereotype to wear rollers with your pajamas. Outside of the house. Seriously. To the shops with you hair in rollers. I don't have that much in the way of guts I'm afraid!

I don't have any pictures of the after. The rollers didn't really work. Except to give my hair volume, which is something that my hair does not need at all!

So we suited up (which is why Paul needed shoes yesterday) and headed to Chester where the wedding was being held!

This is as we are driving over the Runcorn bridge. The Runcorn bridge is a big icon in the North West. And it also happens to be very similar to the Sydney Harbour Bridge! So if we close our eyes, we can pretend we're on the other side of the world!


The venue was a lovely hotel just outside of Chester. We were there reasonably early and met up with a few of Paul's school friends. Then we headed to the ceremony.

It was a very quick ceremony but very nice. They had a string quartet who were playing some very quick music which was making us all tense. But it's all good because the wedding happened and the happy couple were married!

Congratulations, Mr & Mrs Taylor!

We were then shown out onto the lawn for pink fizz and canapes. The weather was lovely so we didn't mind.

After what seemed like a very long time we went into the Shooting Suite where the reception was to take place.

We quickly found our seat, along with other friends, and settled in for our scran.

My place card. Very nice. I personally can't wait to see people's reactions to their place cards at our wedding! I hope people don't just think 'nice', they think 'wow' or 'how much effort did they put into these?!'.

Anyway, the food was nice. We had a chicken and ham terrine for starter, followed by Chicken satimbocca with rice, veg  and potatoes. Very nice again. Pudding was a glazed lemon tart. Which was DIVINE. Perfect pudding for me. It was like a lemon tart crossed with creme brulee. OH EM GEE I am salivating just thinking about it!

We were kicked out of the room again so they could set up for the evening do. So we headed outside to have some pictures taken. Here's one of the boys.

How handsome is my lovely Paul on the far right there?! Like his suit? That's the one he bought last Wednesday while I was at my fitting!

This is also a tradition amongst that lot...

Next up is Paul's turn. Mwahahahahaa!

Then the party carried on!

Here are the lovely couple cutting their cake.

And during their first dance.

For any of you that are interested, their first dance was Goo Goo Dolls - Iris. Which is nice!

Then the party got silly! I was cuddling a gorgeous baby and Paul was catching up with his pals.

Such handsome boys!

I managed to catch up with the Bride as well.

Sadly, she can't make it to our wedding, as she lives in Doha and can't make it over so soon after their wedding. It's a shame as she's lovely.

She doesn't like having her picture taken though...or, more likely, she probably was fed up of smiling at people taking pictures. Mental note: face will ache after all the pictures taken!

Paul was driving and we left a little early, but not too bad. I was slightly merry...which would make work tomorrow very interesting!

17/08/2013 - Three Weeks to go!

It's Saturday morning, and we woke up quite early and felt great! This non drinking thing is great! It's not gonna last though. Maybe tonight...but not tomorrow!

I finally joined Instagram today! Follow me on whiney_caroliney. There you will see my filtered version of this picture:

He's a handsome boy, no?

We had a hot date with our florist this morning to look at holders for our table centrepieces for the wedding! I had given them full creative licence but they decided that they wanted to check with us anyway!

Can't complain!

Pretty (blurry) flowers all on display. And an evil giraffe. But we'll ignore him.

Our florist confirmed all our final details with us and then showed us what pots she had. She'd seen two whilst out in the week and bought them with our wedding in mind!

They're cute! They'll look extra cute with the floral displays in!

We then headed into town. Paul needed to get some new shoes for our 'event' tomorrow and I wanted to get a few lip glosses to test for the wedding. I don't really like what the make up lady used, and she said I could pick my own, so I tested a few colours and thought I'd put them on my thumb to see how well they lasted.

Four of them wouldn't come off. Not even in the shower the next day! Nail polish remover was the only thing that would get rid!

So that's good. Which do you like?

Once we got home, we got a few bits and bobs done. I blogged about my hen weekend and Paul watched the football. You know, those important things!

We then had dinner and chilled out some more!

Spanish chicken bake in the making. Delish.

Again, more relaxing had and another fairly early night. For me. Paul stayed up to watch Match of the Day.

Our neighbours decided that tonight would be a good night to sing very loud. For hours on end. So whilst I might have been in bed, I couldn't sleep. Urgh.

16/08/2013 - Naughty treats!

Another morning, another date with the gym. It's a good job I like it there!

Same old same old in the office as well. Me and the hole punch continued to get to know each other and form a bond that cannot be broken. Except when he spills the little circles everywhere. That's when we have a tiff.

I made it through the date unscathed, for once, and headed home for a nice relaxing evening in with Paul.

We were very well behaved for dinner...and didn't have any booze at all.

Yeah. We can't be that angelic. You know us, or at least you should by now!

So we have to be slightly naughty, and what better option than a scone?!

This was DELICIOUS. All that sinful clotted cream...MMMMM.

And after a wee break, we went to bed. Very early! Much sleep needed, so why not?!

15/08/2013 - R.S.I

We went to the gym this morning. Because we can. And we should. Wedding around the corner and all that! I ran and it was ok! Well done me!

From there I went to work. Little did I know what was in store for me.

I was going to get rather well acquainted with this chap:

Me and Mr Hole Punch were great mates by the end of the day. Heck, even by lunch time we were swapping life stories.

We've had a load of new files in, and the previous solicitor who had conduct of the cases liked to document EVERYTHING. Which is good. Except that the files don't fit in a regular card folder. So they had to be punched and put in a lever arch file.

There are 29 to do. I got through 3. In a day.

My wrist is now very sore.

I also took this picture.

I don't quite recall why. Maybe it was to ask whether I'm the only person in the world who eats every apple (where practicable) like this? I don't eat them straight off the core where I can help it. Does that make me odd?

In other news, since taking this picture, I cut open an apple to find it mouldy and bad inside but still looking perfect on the outside.

Who's laughing now, huh?

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

14/08/2013 - It's getting close!

Another lie in this morning. Because it's Wednesday and no matter how hard we try, the gym just does not open before 9.30am!

No big deal!

So I headed to work, then left for an early lunch at 11:51am. I have an appointment to keep!

Yes, as mentioned yesterday, it's my second and final wedding dress fitting! EEKS! SO I got the train to town to meet Lucy for some moral support! Paul came into town with me, but went suit shopping while I was being poked, prodded and forcibly added to a wedding dress!

This is Williamson Square in Liverpool. The old-looking building at the back of the pic is the Playhouse Theatre, and in the middle is a fountain which (I think) was unveiled as part of Liverpool 08 when we were capital of culture. Of course, it could have been before then. I've been here a while.

Anyway, that's the view from outside my bridal shop. And this was the cause of much distraction for A, Lucy's daughter, who also joined us for my dress fitting!

The dress shop is above a bookie. Because what better place for a bridal store?!

Anyway, the fitting went well. A (who's 2 1/2) didn't say I looked hideous, so that's good! Lucy learnt how to straighten my frock correctly and to bustle the train so it looks pretty; I paid up and we were good! I can sit in it, and I can walk in it. There's nothing else I really need to do!

I'm not in love with my wedding dress. I'm putting it out there. Any brides reading this who haven't got their dress yet, DON'T WAIT. Seriously. Keep shopping until you find one you love. Start as soon as you can. I am satisfied with it, but I think if I had started earlier I would have found something that would have blown me away. Ho Hum. Not the end of the world. At least if I spill on it, I won't give a crap, right?!

Anyway, while I was being manhandled by the seamstress, Paul was looking for a suit to wear to a wedding on Sunday. You see, he's lost a bucketload of weight and everything he owns is too big! Yes, we have a wedding coming, but a budget suit is a good investment right now! Better to be slightly poorer but look better, yes?!

This isn't the suit. It's one that I can see a picture of though. so you can see he was shopping. Apparently it's a very nice suit. If it's still there when we're a bit richer, I bet Paul buys it.

While we were in the dress shop, A was fascinated by the fountain. She nearly fell through a window watching it. Ooops. We closed the window and good old Auntie Caz said she'd take A through the fountain.

So, after the fitting I did.

Paul missed the moment we went through. Only us walking back. A didn't want to walk about through it. It was cold and wet. She was using the words we were using at her to try to stop her wanting to go through it in the first place!

 She wasn't even wet. My legs were soaked.

I had to get back to work and got through the rest of the day with no problems. I only needed to make up half an hour so I stayed late to get that done.

I then called Mum and Dad (who isn't well - send good vibes to him) and chatted to them for a while.

Then...I can't remember. #Whedonsday was cancelled due to Chris playing host, so we must have just watched TV. I don't remember!

13/08/2013 - BOOM! Done!

Another day! Another dollar!

We got up and went to the gym, because we're good like that and feel bad about not going yesterday!

After that...well...guess what? WORK! It wasn't interesting. I won't bore you with it! I worked bloomin' hard though!

Once I got home, I decided to crack straight on with the last table of place cards that we have to make! I'm a bit sad about it to be honest, as making them has been quite therapeutic!

We stopped part way for me to have some dinner. As I have my final dress fitting tomorrow, I figure we need something healthy and good.

How awesome does this salad look?! Let me tell you, it tasted as good as it looks!

I then had some news that Paul's Mum wanted to move a few people around on our seating plan. Which messed up lots of stuff...but nothing that couldn't be solved with a few more minutes work and pretty soon it was sorted!

Then...well...bed, actually. How dull was today?!

12/08/2013 - BUMP! Back down to earth!

Sooooooooooooooo tired today! No gym this morning as sleep was very much needed.

I managed to get up at a decent hour all the same. Threw myself in the shower and made a semi ok effort to get ready for work. As I was going to put my face on, I was confronted with this:

A battered toilet roll on the floor? Can only be Barney.

When confronted by it, he had a staple response:

Look cute. Today it was drinking from the bathroom tap. He doesn't do it often and it's so adorable I couldn't get angry about the toilet roll thing!

Paul, however, wasn't impressed.

This is Paul's 'not impressed but pretending to be nonchalant' face.

Work was difficult, being as tired as I was. But I made it through. It's a big achievement for me! It was touch and go there for a while.

I came home and caught up with some blogging whilst watching True Blood. Penultimate episode! It's all go!

While catching up I was disturbed by some snoring. SPIDER MAN IS BACK!

 Gorgeous boy!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

11/08/2013 - Hen Do Day 3!

It was Sunday morning in The Lake District. I had had a very late night. I woke up at 6am with a headache so bad I thought my eyes would pop out.

I hadn't drunk that much, but I had drunk lots of different things, and I think that's what had done it. It wasn't a migraine or cluster headache - just a regular skull-crunching headache.

I went to the kitchen, very stealthily and took some pain killers, then went back to bed for a couple of hours.

I woke up when Sue got up to go for a shower. Sadly, she wasn't able to spend Sunday with us as she had to drive back down to Winchester, which would take a bloomin' long time!

I got up and showered after she did, then headed downstairs for breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon. It was very nice too. Lucy blamed my headache on the half glass of red wine that I had had the night before. I too blamed the red wine...but only in conjunction with the white wine, gin and prosecco that it had been mixed up with!

We bid Sue a massive goodbye. She has a crazy few weeks coming up, mostly moving to Zurich! Madness! She'll be back for the wedding though, so at least she's not going away and never coming back again!

After Sue left, we got our stuff together and headed to the car. I had no idea where we were going.

We ended up in Bowness on Windermere.

Yeah, I think I spoil that one slightly.

There were crazy amounts of swans, geese and ducks hanging around. A little later, a load of children were running around and chasing after them. DO THEY NOT KNOW SWANS CAN BREAK YOUR ARM OR KILL YOU?! What's worse is that their parents were LETTING THEM.

Aherm. Idiots.

Anyway. I had no idea what the plan was. Lucy disappeared and then came back with a big question: Would I like to go on a 'cruise tour' of Lake Windermere, or would I like to hire a motor boat?

Honestly, I didn't know. So I let the others choose. They chose the motor boat, so we headed for the 'dock'!

 YEAH! We get to be captain for the day. Well...the hour at least!

Our boat was called Helen and we had all the safety talks before getting in the boat and heading away.

Captain Koran took the helm first!

It's a little rainy at this point.

 Yep - I'm rocking that life jacket! My best model pose!

See ya, dry land! For one whole hour, we are masters of the Sea!

Yep, we love our Captain!

The boat went slower than walking pace. Seriously, I think I could have swam faster than the boat. And I can't swim well! But still, it was fun!

Posh sailing yachts in the distance. And also BLUE SKY!

Preferring to stay behind the camera, due to my not feeling too hot, I took a few pics!

 Our best girls!

A little house I wouldn't mind living in!

Ranger! He didn't wave back, so we don't like him.

 One of the privately owned islands on the Lake. It was so cute. We think it might have also been called Hartley's Wife...which is kinda appropriate!

 Lucy doing her catalogue pose!

Captain Koran poses well. It suits her!

I gave the camera back and then it was my turn to captain the ship.

Yeah. I didn't like it! I didn't like the responsibility! I lasted about 5 minutes (if that!) and relinquished control to Katie! I took control of the camera again. Something I felt very confident about handling, unlike the boat and the responsibility for all our lives!

Koran was probably tweeting to say how her life had been in danger by a maniac of a boat driver...or something.

 Pretty view of the back of our boat, the yachts and the fells!

Unflattering selfie!

 After our hour was up, we took a walk around the lake a little, mostly to find a cashpoint for Lucy. We also had ice cream, and bought some nice tacky presents to remember the weekend by. You know how I love my tat!

On our way back to the car park we saw an Owl protection charity with some owls to raise money.

There were some cute ones and teeny tiny ones. And also, there was Oscar.

I love this guy. Those eyes! He's really intimidating and kept staring at me! Maybe he knows the camera loves him?!

We left Bowness and headed back to the cottage to get changed and pack up. Except I hadn't really been told to bring a change of clothes. So I changed out of my hiking trousers into jeans and put pumps on rather than hiking boots. I had no idea what to expect!

We were going for afternoon tea. No idea where but I'll go with that!

We were driving for a while, and ended up at Linthwaite Country House Hotel in Windemere!

Lucy went on ahead and we followed.

 What made Katie laugh like that?

 What made me pull this unattractive fat face?

 These two.

Also known as Mummy and Daddy Hartley wearing masks of mine and Paul's face.


Apparently Lucy had requested a different table but they didn't reserve it for us so we didn't get it.

Never mind, we had a good window seat all the same!

I think I'm texting Paul to tell him that my Mum and Dad had turned up to my hen do.

The view from our window. Pretty!

So we were having a champagne afternoon tea, complete with some sort of pear thing...

Not exactly sure what it was, but it was nice!

 So were these! Some yummy cakes!

We also had sandwiches (complete with crusts cut off) and tea.

It was all very civilised and nice!

Me with my Mum and Dad. And the view. I love the view!

From there, Katie left for her long drive back down to London, and Ma and Pa drove us back to Lucy's house then she drove Koran and I back to Liverpool.

I got home (with leftover cakes!) at about 8pm.

Exhausted doesn't quite cover exactly how I felt to be honest!

Paul and I had a glass of wine and then went to bed. I had missed him loads, but I was sooooo tired!

The kitties were pleased to see me! For all of 5 minutes, then it was like I hadn't been away.

Ho Hum. Back to reality tomorrow!

Sorry for all the pics, but this is my diary so I want to remember it all! :)

I had a wonderful weekend! It was fun and exactly what I needed to get away from all the wedding stress and just relax in my favourite place in the world (so far)!