Foodie Penpals II

August 1st, 2012 | Posted by Sonja in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

Gosh! I can’t believe it’s been nearly a month since my last blog entry.

Don’t think there is anything exciting to report from wedding wonderland.  For once everything seems to run smoothly.  There just seems to be a never ending list of small things to sort or get or organise one way or another.  I do like making lists.  But usually only because of that good feeling of ticking this off your list.  At the moment that list does just seem to grow all the time. We just keep our fingers crossed.  There is also still the slight matter of shoes for the bride but hey, I can always wear trainers, right?? The dress is very long and I’m convinced no-one would ever be able to tell…

Anyway, I received my second food parcel a little while ago and I’m actually a little late writing about it – sorry Joan!!

This month’s food parcel came from Joan in Glasgow. You can find her blog here. Please do pop over and visit.  I have been so excited by her parcel that I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture of all the goodies before eating most of it!  Oops.  Must really try and hold back next time.

Anyhow, for starters, there were some bits and pieces for my sweet tooth and some baking goodies.  Then there was something traditional. First of all (of course) there was haggis!  On Joan’s recommendations I didn’t read the ingredients but I know that it’s not exactly, shall we say mainstream?? So I didn’t but wow – I was sure they would explode!! They didn’t of course.  I will now have to go and buy more to try out a recipe for Chicken Balmoral Joan has kindly sent me.

Then there were some potato scones for breakfast. There clearly is a theme forming here with people wanting to make sure I eat my breakfast! I’m still trying very hard to make time for it in the morning but I just can’t get out of bed on a morning.  It’s really getting quite bad actually.

Then there was some lovely home-made shortbread which was beautiful!  I shared it with my boyfriend over a few cups of tea and we just couldn’t stop eating them.

The only thing I actually still have some left off is some home-made tablet.  This is basically condensed milk, sugar, more sugar and butter mixed together.  Soooo naughty but so very very nice! In fact I shall have a little piece now on my way to bed.

Thank you so much to Joan for all those goodies and your lovely note and recipes!

My foodie penpal in turn was Andy over at High Maintenance Life. Andy’s blog is amazing.  Into food? You must go and check it out! I tried to put together a themed parcel around the five basic taste senses of salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umami (or savoury) and I think he liked it.  But you will have to go and read Andy’s blog to see what I sent him…

The dreaded dress

July 4th, 2012 | Posted by Sonja in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Buying a big flouncy wedding dress is probably one of the most exciting parts of getting married for most brides.  For me the search for just “something” to wear has been quite stressful.

Getting married together with my gay brother meant that, even though I’m going to be the only bride, I don’t really want to be “the” bride if that makes sense. I could just picture it.  We all come out of the Registry Office and someone may walk past and say “Oh look a wedding”.  But it’s two weddings!! It’s just not that obvious for most maybe. I don’t really want to steal the show and it was all starting to get quite headachy. The fact that it is now about 6 or 7 weeks from my wedding day doesn’t really help either.

I had seen a lovely 50s style wedding dress that looked just amazing with a bright pink petticoat underneath the ivory skirt of the dress.  Unfortunately the dress doesn’t fit (apparently I’m off their size chart but that’s another story) so it had to go back – amazing or not.  It was something that said “let’s have fun” rather than being a formal wedding dress – so the search continues.

Anyway at least I know what sort of style I want now.

Running out of ideas, options, and time, I made an appointment in a really lovely Bridal House in town. There’s another big one across the street but I seriously would have been scared of walking in there.

When I called to make the appointment, the first question was when the wedding was going to be.  August I said very matter of fact.  And yes, of course I meant this year!!  Do some people really plan that far ahead?  I don’t think I could cope!  Their concern was that they may not be able to order any of the dresses in on time as some of them apparently take 28 weeks to arrive and then they are very likely to need at least some small alterations.  Oh dear – this is going to go well.

Anyway, I spent my lunch hour with a lovely lady called Lorraine, trying on a number of dresses. Lorraine agreed that given the boys colour choices (I think we are now at red and blue and blue and lime green although that may well be subject to change…) I would definitely need something with a bit of sparkle to make sure I would actually get noticed. And guess what? I saw this lovely little number just in that 50s style I want so much.  At this point I’m quite giddy with excitement and jumping up and down in my underwear and can hear myself ask to try it on…and taaadaaaahhhhh…

I looked like a #@*%*?! fairy! Seriously! All I needed were some sparkly little wings. I think even the very professional Lorraine agreed that it looked a little frumpy on me and that it would be best to get me out of it – quickly.  Hilarious. Best lunch hour I ever had!  I’m sure on someone else with the right figure it could look absolutely stunning but on me all the proportions were just wrong. Seriously wrong.

Anyway, as I was taking my fairy outfit off I did spot something in the corner.  Kind of golden and sparkly and lacy. (At this point Lorraine is nodding approvingly). And this one is actually going to be the one.  It was one of those moments where the flipping thing just sat beautifully and doesn’t even need much alteration.

It is rather long though and even has a bit of a trailing thing at the back – what do you call those again??

So I have made a complete U-turn on the dress. How did that happen? Sorry guys!!  Anyway I already told my brother and he thinks it’s actually really quite nice that I have decided to go for a full bridal gown. As we keep saying to each other “It’s your day too” and I think he just didn’t want me to miss out on anything. Bless. Gotta love him really.

He’s now feverishly making plans on how to get the husband to be out of the house and to the Registry office without seeing the dress beforehand. At this rate we may even end up spending the night before the wedding away from each other.  All very “proper” don’t you think?

It’s going ahead…or is it?

July 3rd, 2012 | Posted by Sonja in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Wohoo!  I (or should I say my brother) finally had confirmation that our appointment now stands!  Good job too with people travelling from the UK and as far away as Australia.  It would have been a little bit embarrassing to tell them all that after all the hype something had gone wrong somewhere.  Well I guess there would have still been at least one wedding – just not ours…

However, as you may have gathered by now, nothing has actually ever been straight forward with this marriage.

Firstly, my brother had a bill from the courts in Germany in respect of the exemption from the No Impediment to Marriage certificate.  Hang on I said. What do you mean by exemption?? We did provide that. Had it posted all the way from Australia, then translated and now we need some kind of exemption?? Apparently it turns out that these certificates aren’t really used anymore and what you need instead is some kind of exemption, which cost us another 50 Euros (on top of the fee from the Australian authorities, express international postage and translation – lovely!)

Apparently my brother was very close to having a rather huge argument with them about it but didn’t want to risk me getting married for the sake of 50 Euros so he paid up.  Phew….

He then also posted me the originals of the confirmation of our appointment and you would never guess it!  Somehow the German authorities managed to get the countries mixed up and all the paperwork refers to us living in Australia… I know it’s all very international with me being German and my partner being Australian and us living in the UK but it’s not really that difficult is it?  I’m just hoping this isn’t going to cause any bigger problems.

So another sharp breath in and another phone call to my brother (as the lady at the Registry Office is now actually just ignoring my emails and exclusively speaks to my brother for some reason).  Anyway she’s very sorry (or so he tells me) and they have amended their details accordingly.  Dear lord!!

My poor brother by now must be kicking himself for ever agreeing to deal with matters on our behalf.  Good job he’s a rather relaxed chap!

Keep your fingers crossed for us! Who knows what else might happen in the next 6 weeks.

Foodie PenPals

June 29th, 2012 | Posted by Sonja in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

Yep – this post actually isn’t wedding related

I have recently signed up to the Foodie Penpal swap over at Rock Salt, organised by Carol Anne. 

If you are a food blogger or just love food, I suggest you go and check out her blog.  In short, the idea is that at the beginning of each month you get matched up to one partner (who also loves food) and then you send a nice little foodie surprise parcel to your partner whilst in turn you will receive a parcel from yet another food lover. The idea is to include some unusual or local foods or something homemade for example.

I was very excited when my parcel from Meryl over at Community Gardening for Idiots arrived.

It was a bit spooky because when I opened the parcel and read Meryl’s note it was a little as if she had been spying on me.  I’m a bit of a skipper when it comes to eating breakfast in the morning.  I usually just can’t get out of bed in time to straighten my hair AND have breakfast.

And you know what Meryl sent me??? A Dorset Breakfast!!!! Wanna see?

There is some Dorset fruity porridge (for the microwave so even I should be able to make some time for it), some dorset tea, some lovely organic wild berry tea, and some hunza apricots (never had those but apparently you have to soak them overnight and then heat them up until they go all syrupy which I will try this weekend!) And that’s not all!! There is also a bar of Green and Blacks milk chocolate which didn’t last very long at all and some baking cups for some weekend baking!

I’m now thinking dorset/apricots breakfast muffins…I wonder if I could come up with a recipe… I will let you know.

Thank you so much for my lovely parcel Meryl! You may have just started a new breakfast trend here!

In turn my partner was Jess and I sent her a parcel of “All Things Yorkshire” but I will let her show you herself.  Do pop over to visit her at House Tales.

I’m already looking forward to next month’s food parcel swap!!

Marriage v Gay Marriage

June 16th, 2012 | Posted by Sonja in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Whilst I really wanted to write about my wedding dress (which was delivered on Thursday), there has been something far more important on my mind this week. It has taken me almost a week to write this post as, I’m nearly ashamed to say, I had to go and do some research on the topic to make sure I wasn’t talking utter rubbish.

I guess it’s just a sign that, whilst I take it for granted to be able to get married pretty much wherever I want, to the man I love and want to spend the rest of my life with; for some this has been, and continues to be, not the case.

Now you may wonder what the hell is going on. There is me talking about that double wedding of me and my brother to our respective partners. The fact is that whilst countries such as Spain, Canada, Argentina, the Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden and Belgium have already legalised marriages between same-sex couple, in some places (including Germany and the UK) this is not yet the case.

Back in March, the UK Government started a 12 week consultation on whether to allow same-sex marriages. On the back of the Government’s consultation, the Church of England has responded on Monday of this week, and created a bit of a storm.

It has warned that proposals by the Government to legalise gay marriages by 2015, would “alter the intrinsic nature of marriage as the union of a man and a woman, as enshrined in human institutions throughout history”.

What all this means is that whilst “civil partnerships” were introduced in the UK back in 2005 to give same-sex couples the same legal rights as married couples, the law does not allow such unions to be referred to as marriages. This may seem like a small matter but believe me, it really is not.

Irrespective of the definition of marriage (‘the formal union of a man and a woman…’), and the definition of gay marriage (‘the legally recognised union between partners of the same sex…’), let’s just take this back to basics for a moment.

What all four of us are doing is making a commitment to our partners to spend the rest of our lives with each other, whatever the future may bring. My brother and his partner (who by the way have been a couple since 1996) will not have given this any less careful thought than my partner and I have. It means exactly the same to them as it does to us. All we want is to celebrate this decision with our friends and families and just be treated the same…

Whilst I’m allowed to say I’m getting married, my brother has to refer to the fact that he is “entering into a civil partnership”.

So, dear Church of England…

On the 18th August 2012 I will be getting married. My brother and his partner will also be getting married. All four of us will spend many happy years in our respective marriages. Whilst my brother will not have a piece of paper confirming his ‘marriage’ (yet), we will shout from the rooftops and tell anyone who will listen!

The Government’s consultation is now closed and I will be keeping a very close eye on the outcome.

On a final note, whilst I can even see how some church members could be offended by potentially (as they call it) having marriage redefined, my best advice would be that if you don’t agree with same-sex marriages, you simply do not enter into one. As Christians at Pride point out, some Christians are gay…get over it! Which brings me to the point that there is a World Pride march in London on the 7 July 2012.
If you happen to be in London, please go and show your support! (And if anyone is happening to travel on the day from Leeds please get in touch!)

(The dress didn’t fit by they way so I’m off back to the shops…)