Talk About Cheesecake

Musings, meanderings and meditation for my mind.


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Get off your backside and do something! 2

As voted for by Maddie and Dianne in my original post I am naming this post the “Get off your backside and do something” list. (GOYBADS ?!)

To save you having to read the original post, I decided that rather than have a New Year Resolution that I would not bother to keep, I would have a monthly To Do list and see how long that lasted.

I have to say, so far it has been pretty darn motivating. In the last week or so I have

  • organised photo albums of the wedding, honeymoon and family for the last year;
  • filled the photo frames AND (and this is even more impressive) got Mr G to get them up on the wall in the same weekend! Never underestimate the power of a good nagging.
  • filled that scrap book with the items we collected on our honeymoon in Sri Lanka;

Not bad going!

CHOICES

However, I did notice that whilst I spent the hours choosing photos and arranging albums I did not get to play with the kids or relax with the husband over the weekend. Something has to give – it seems it is always a choice between work or play, prioritising one job over the over.

Now I have the day to myself I have another choice. Coursework or paying work, blogging or job hunting.

So I am adding something else to my January GOYBADS list – to start noting down the time I spend on different tasks in the day and see where my life is going.

How are you all getting on with your resolutions? Ready to join me and GOYBADS?

(Do you think it will catch on?)


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Are weddings a child free zone?

While planning my own wedding at the start of the year I joined an online forum for brides (and grooms) to be. There were debates about wedding etiquette. There were discussions over who should lead the procession down the aisle. There were panics over centerpieces and rants about the rudeness of not replying promptly to invitations or the ingratitude of a bridesmaid in not appearing desperately interested in every aspect of the table layout.

One constant topic that continuously roused strong opinions though was whether children should be allowed at the wedding.

Family Occasions

There are of course two extreme viewpoints. On the one hand are those who say that children are the life and soul and heart of a wedding. Weddings are family occasions and children are a large part of that.

The family wedding ensures that children are catered for in every way. There are pretty little flower girls and page boys in the procession. There are gift boxes for the children on the tables, with games and toys and presents and sweets.  Some brides plan activities that place the children at the centre of attention. One friend of mine had a balloon race for the children, another had a children’s entertainer.

Of course these ideas are dual purpose. They ensure the children play a part in the day whilst also making sure they are kept occupied. A bored child is a disruptive one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Adult Affair

On the other hand some brides who do not want sticky fingers on their expensive dress, or screaming throughout their speeches. The couple who ban children from their wedding face some criticism from others. But are they wrong to do so?

For a start, consider the cost. At even half the adult price, every child is an added expense, especially when you consider they most likely won’t even eat the food.

And add up the bodies. When the venue of your dreams limits your numbers, every child you have to allow is another adult friend you can’t invite.

You can guarantee that one of the little tykes will spill drink on your train, drop a fragile present or knock down the cake. They cry during the ceremony, run about during dinner and throw up during the disco.

Kids are expensive and a risk for the bride and groom to consider. I understand that they may want to exclude them.

However, before making a final decision, there are other considerations. The ‘child free’ bride will tell parents that this is a chance for them to have an adult only night. The parent will respond that finding a sitter for a full day affair is expensive enough. Not to mention that they have to be able to get home to that sitter, a bit problematic for parents who travel a long distance to attend the wedding.

Consider also the flower girls. The bride may want her best friends daughter to follow her up the aisle throwing petals. But now there is one lonely and bored child at the wedding. What’s worse, she is not a ‘family child’! What’s this, your friend can bring her child but your own nephews and cousins are not allowed.

OK, allow family children. Only the children who form part of the bride’s life. Not Uncle Arthur’s second wife’s granddaughter who the bride has never met. Only, where do you draw the line? The possibility of starting a family feud is looming closer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Happy Medium

At my wedding I aimed for a happy medium. Of course I invited children. My own kids were bridesmaid and pageboy. It was as much their day as ours, their parents. Well, almost. Close friends and family with children were allowed to bring them, but I did limit my extended family to the one generation, thankfully cutting the numbers of cousins on one side from seventeen down to two. They were keen to agree, having to pay for their own upcoming wedding very soon.

The children had their own table, hosted by my daughter who was very pleased with her position as head of the table.  And during the speeches I had a baby sitter arranged who hustled the children out, thereby avoiding the running and screaming during the adult parts. Off they went to their own room, set aside with paper, stickers and other non-staining entertainments.

I made it clear to all my friends, as politely as possible, that whilst I had a sitter for my own children to allow us, the bride and groom, to relax, I was not responsible for the care of the other children. Bring them they could, but they were to keep them under control. As far as I am aware no one took offense. The kids had a great time moving between their own chill out room and the adult’s disco and to be honest I barely noticed them all day.

Are weddings adult only occasions?

I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer to this question. If a bride and groom chose to exclude children, well it is their day. Surely they have the right to choose. Unfortunately it seems that when you are planning a wedding your every decision becomes a matter for public discussion. Family, friends and colleagues all have an opinion and someone will be offended in the end.

Written for the Weekly Writing Challenge, DPchallenge. Yes, I already wrote one for this week’s subject matter, but I really had more to say, so I went for it again. 


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Some days are marvellous, some days are murder

Some days are unforgettable.

The day your daughter is born, and you see her tiny little scrunched up face for the first time. The moment in that day when the midwife tells your partner to tell you what you had and he says ‘It’s a boy’ because he is so overwhelmed with feelings. Every part of a day like that is etched on your memory in flashes of feelings, emotions, physical and mental stimulation. Seconds lasted like hours, hours passed in minutes. The day your first child is born is unforgettable.

Some days are one of a kind.

The day you married your partner, surrounded by friends and family and with your own ‘home made’ bridesmaid and page boy as the stars. A day like that flies by, as if the happiness, excitement, pride, love and laughter are just too much to absorb in one hit. A day like that has to be drunk in by reminiscing with every other attendee over the weeks that follow, to get a different viewpoint and make sure that every detail has been examined and polished before committing to the memory banks.

Some days are marvellous.

Fun family days out, trips to the amusement park for your son’s third birthday, where the parents are relaxed, the children are laughing, ice cream is flowing (down arms due to sunshine). Walks through the woods, kicking piles of gorgeous coloured autumnal leaves and watching the puppy bouncing through the streams. Sledging on a snow day, coming home to hot chocolate and a warm open fire. Days that are to be treasured as a brief respite from the mundane.

Some days are idealistic.

The day you look back on as a lazy, hazy summer day, when you think you had it all, but didn’t know it. Youthful escapades, giggling and joking with your friends. Finishing exams and the final day of school, sitting in the middle of the vast green park, music blasting. Spontaneously jumping up as a group to do the actions to Whigfield’s ‘Saturday Night’ to the amusement and bemusement of passers by.

Some days are cold.

The day that the phone call came and woke you up. Hearing your mother crying, your father telling you your nan was out of pain.

Some days are murder.

Trying to work on a Sunday because of a deadline. Bored, restless kids sprinting through the house, shrieking and fighting, throwing wooden blocks down the stairs. Tantrums over cleaning the bedroom. Frustration and tears because of the maths homework. The puppy cowering under your desk to avoid being used as a pony while you try to just finish 5 minutes before going to referee, or provide more drinks or to produce food at the drop of a hat. Leaking nappies and angry cats. Jumping at the loud crash and the angry bellow that follows as the picture frame smashes to the floor and glass shards scatter across the room.

Whatever the day, it’s a memory worth keeping.


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So that’s what it’s like to be a man!

Well – here I am again. A little lax on maintaining my blog and not doing too well at keeping up to date with my coursework. But – to be fair it has been a busy few months. A busy 12 months actually. Still, I had a funny episode yesterday, a moment out of time which I though I would share, where I had a brief insight into the mind of a man!

It started as a normal Saturday. Get up, wash, feed and dress kids. Tidy some small section of the house to gain a measure of control over the chaos. Do an hour or two of work. Play a game of ‘supermarket sweep’ followed by ‘how much can I fit in a cupboard’. Then off to my sister-in-laws to spend an hour relaxing (also known as a long walk with 2 hyperactive puppies, 4 out of control children and a moderately enthusiastic teenager).

And then, well I sat down in the kitchen, coffee in hand, silence surrounding me as children and puppies went to recharge in front of a cartoon and . . .

. . .

. . .

‘What are you thinking about?’ asked the moderately enthusiastic teenager.

‘Well, nothing actually.’ I replied, in bemused amazement.

Because, actually, there was for a short time absolutely nothing happening in my head. No worrying about redundancy, no job hunting or preparing for interviews. I have started self-employment and am quite ok about it. The hen night passed, the wedding was fantastic and the honeymoon is over. For the first time in 12 months, life is on an even keel.

In my head there was just an absent notice and an ‘out of order’ tone.

‘And that’, said my brother-in-law, ‘is what it feels like to be a man!’


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Weddingitus

Planning a wedding is a daunting task. It is also one I never thought I would be doing. Not that I am staunchly feminist, determinedly single or for any particular reason. It is just not something I dreamt about as a child (which is, according to all those glossy magazine, a regular past time for little girls) it isn’t something I planned as I moved through university, I didn’t gaze into bridal windows or make note when hearing a particularly romantic song. When I met my then boyfriend and he informed me early on that he didn’t want to marry, I was fairly ok with that.

Move on 12 years and here we are engaged and planning that wedding. After all, we are allowed to change our minds.  I began tentatively, looking at local venues online and emailing relatively anonymous requests for brochures. Then driving around a few and having a quick look at rooms and gardens. And suddenly, perhaps a little belatedly, the wedding bug bit.

No detail is too small, no decision has ever seemed so important. Should the dress be floor length or have a train? Is a train even suitable for a thirty something with 2 children? How high should the heels on my shoes be? A formal long head table, or rounds? Ivory napkins or white? After three weeks of discussion, surely a decision should be made over bay or rose trees.

Less than 3 months to go – 86 days to be precise – let’s hope things are finalised in time. And please people – RSVP!