Now, I’m no expert (after all, the husband might be reading), but aren’t balls supposed to be wrinkly and a bit sweaty?
Haven’t men (and women) managed for years without sticking needles in their plums? Aren’t good hygiene and clean pants enough to keep the downstairs region fresh? Do balls need to look bigger? Does it make a difference? I’ve never judged a man on the size of his knackers.
(also, how many more words for testicles can I fit into this post????)
Scrotox givers and receivers doctors and patients – Twit(s) of the Day!
When the husband and I decided to get married in Mauritius, part of the appeal was it being just the two of us. The husband doesn’t like fuss and hated the idea of standing up in front of people and being the centre of attention, so we figured if we put some distance into the occasion it would help.
My mother-in-law’s first words were “I’ll come with you”. To which the husband responded in the negative, which she countered with “I can afford it”. But you can’t put that kind of financial and time pressure on people, plus my side of the family is both large and disjointed, with my parents being divorced and both with other people and my Mom having two step children to boot.
Plus, mainly, the fuss thing.
Somehow, and I’m not sure when or why it happened, guilt got the better of us me and I suggested having a small gathering on our return so that people who weren’t in Mauritius (basically everyone) still got their chance to celebrate. Because everyone loves a wedding, right?
I’m also not sure when or how it went from a small gathering to a renewal of vows ceremony at a hotel; with whole new outfits, a piano player, canapés, a live band and a big ol’ party.
But it did!
On the plus side, I got two wedding dresses. My light floaty one for the beach (made by my Mom) and a proper full on big beaded beautiful ivory gown for the UK (bought for me by my Dad).
How many brides get two?!
To the untrained eye you wouldn’t have even known it wasn’t a proper wedding. We had a proper officiate and witnesses and said words and signed a register. The only difference is that we didn’t exchange rings (instead, during the “vows” the officiate said to my husband “touch Kelly’s ring” at which point both of us and most of the audience howled with laughter at the innuendo!) Everyone dressed in full on wedding attire and we had a bridesmaid and page boy.
The husband looked every bit as uncomfortable as he said he would, and told me that he was glad it wasn’t our actual wedding else he wouldn’t have really enjoyed it!
Although, initially, we did it for other people, it worked out really well for us too. Mother in Law looked beautiful in her duck egg blue suit and pleased as punch to watch her only child tie the knot. I had a photograph taken which I never thought would happen – with both of my parents (things were still kind of awkward between them at that point).
Plus, most importantly right now, this happened. Me and my Dad, all smart and happy, having a cuddle in the grounds of the hotel. I think this was the first time I’d ever really seen how much we look alike, in spite of people saying it regularly. He was so proud and beaming.
Having lost him, I think I would look back now and regret him not walking me down the aisle on my wedding day. And although this wasn’t official, it was the time the husband and I shared our commitment with all our friends and family, which made it equally as important a day.
So, happy anniversary part 2 to the husband, and thanks to my Dad for being my Dad.
12th September is a day that will forever be etched in my head and heart for two reasons. 8 years ago – on Thursday 12th September – I married my best friend, the fabulous husband.
5 days ago – on Monday 12th September – my Dad died.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you may have read my previous posts about his cancer diagnosis and the advancement of the illness. We knew the end was imminent. But recent visits from the palliative care team suggested there were a few weeks to go until the end. In fact he was booked to go into a hospice for pain control on Monday. He never made it. He had a massive stroke at around 5am and was rushed to hospital. When my phone rang I thought it was his wife telling me what time his hospice transport was booked for. Instead she was telling me I needed to get to A&E as quickly as possible. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that’s not good news.
Somehow, maybe due to the strength of his organs due to his pretty healthy lifestyle and relatively young age, it took until 10.40pm for his poor cancer ravaged body to shut down. An agonising day into night of watching him, listening for changes in his breathing and willing him to let go. Everyone who needed to see him did, including his Mom. That’s not the natural order of life; having to say goodbye to your own child, no matter what age they are.
My Dad told me a couple of weeks back that we should be relieved when it was finally over, because it mean he wouldn’t be in pain anymore. It’s not just physical pain. It’s the mental anguish of knowing the end is coming and wondering how bad things might get before the inevitable happens. He had no positivity or fight in him, because it was pointless. He had no quality of life because of the pain and was unable to enjoy anything because he was consumed by the disease. He told me, his wife, family members and medical professionals that he wanted to die, before the pain got too bad and he became solely reliant on other people to care for him.
Unfortunately, due to the archaic laws and closed minded politics in this country, that wasn’t an option. He didn’t have that choice. For that reason, rather than flowers at his funeral, we’re requesting donations, half of which will be passed to Dignity in Dying to help fund their continuing campaigning to allow people to be treated with the same compassion as animals (I know it’s a cliché, but you wouldn’t let your pet suffer in the same way we allow humans).
I had this tattoo in January last year. I wanted him to know how much I loved him while he was still with us, rather than having a memorial tattoo when he’d gone. It’s on my right hip, so he’ll always be by my side.
I also know how proud he was of this blog, and how much he enjoyed reading it. I have to attribute my level of education to my Dad; he encouraged me so much as a kid and spent time learning with me and teaching me.
I’m forever grateful to my Dad for everything he did for me – be that working all hours to provide for me; playing in the swimming pool with me on holiday; setting me maths questions; playing yahtzee; teaching me to drive; wanting to know everything about my first job; buying me a dishwasher for my first home; talking for hours about travels and holidays. I certainly inherited his appetite and we never tired of talking about food and how much we loved it.
I’ve been touched by the kind messages of love and support for me in my loss, and overwhelmed by how well liked and respected my Dad was by so many people.
Losing him at 59, losing our future years together, is the worst and most unfair thing I’ve experienced in my life so far. But I have no choice but to cope and get through this. Bitterness and anger won’t help in the long term.
At least we had time – time to talk about things, time to reminisce and time to somehow say some form of goodbye.
Well, not just me! Obviously a wedding anniversary needs a husband. And boy do I have a husband to big up.
8 years ago I stood on a beach in Mauritius and pledged my love to him.
And I would do it again now. Today. In an instant. He’s my lobster (Friends reference, if you don’t get it then soz, but that’s what Google is for)
This year has been tough and challenging and difficult. And he’s been amazing. He gets me. He understands me (mainly). And when he doesn’t understand, he still knows how to cope with me. Whether that’s letting me get drunk and rant (not big and not clever, but sometimes necessary), or hugging me while I cry, or leaving me to stew on things when he can tell that’s what I need – he just gets it.
The husband completes me. He also infuriates me. I think that’s healthy. I don’t think the sun shines out of his ass. Sometimes I want to punch him in the face. But always with love (so don’t judge me, yeah?!) Yes we argue, and yes he makes me cross, and yes I make him cross, but that’s life. It’s healthy. I don’t hold shit against him, and he doesn’t with me (although sometimes he threatens to throw my shoes out if I don’t tidy up). But sometimes, even right in the middle of a disagreement, I’m already looking for a way out. A backtrack. Because I hate us not being friends. That’s the main thing that we’re both here for. He’s my very best friend.
Someone at work (a boy, obvs) said last week “well it’s only 8 years, so not a massive anniversary”. And I was very vocal in my level of disagreement. Not because I’m married. But because I appreciate the value of marriage. Every wedding anniversary is important. Every day as a married couple is important. Because marriage isn’t easy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not overly hard – if it is you should probably throw the towel in. But anyone who gets married expecting nothing but hearts and flowers is misguided.
The best things in life are worth working at.
So, to my husband, my other half, the tonic to my vodka…
Happy Anniversary sunshine. Same time next year, yeah?
If it’s that easy to influence the future then please could someone give me a million pounds? Ta!
Anyway, onto the questions, and my responses!
You are leaving tomorrow to start a life in a new country, where would you go?
I think it would have to be the US. There’s no language barrier and the country is so big and varied that you could holiday and travel there and see so much. Internal flights are pretty cheap and as convenient as catching a bus. I’d base myself in the Los Angeles area for the great climate, and plan visits to New York, Dallas, Nashville, Niagra Falls and Miami, and a return to San Francisco, as a matter of priority.
You can take someone for a weekend away to the place you had the best holidays ever, where would that be and who would you take to go with you?
It would probably be the West Hollywood neighbourhood of Los Angeles, with the husband. We’ve been there 4 times and had some amazing experiences. Even though we’ve done it all before, every single time has been fabulous, and would be a pleasure to recreate.
This would be my schedule:
Saturday – We’d stay at the Mondrian on Sunset, as usual, and have breakfast at Mel’s Drive-In (which is the coolest 50s American diner ever, check out the photos!), go to Griffiths Observatory for the planetarium show and the views, spend the afternoon by the hotel pool, have early evening sushi at Katana (the first place I ever tried sushi, and it was amazing!) and Happy Hour frozen margaritas at Cabo Cantina then shower and change before heading down to Sunset Strip for drinks at the Whisky a Go Go, maybe catch a band, then grab a booth at The Rainbow and eat one of their amazing pizzas.
Sunday – bottomless mimosas and a breakfast burrito at The Saddle Ranch, then bus down to Santa Monica, wander round the pier and go on the big wheel, hire bikes and cycle to Venice Beach, look around all the stalls and talk to the crazy people, back to Santa Monica for a bit of shopping and some late lunch, then back to We-Ho to play rock music on the jukebox at the Rainbow, maybe get another photo with Ron Jeremy and then finish the night with burgers and milkshakes in Mel’s.
(all photos by me or the husband between 2010 and 2012)
God that’s made me miss LA!
You can get married wherever you want to, your budget is limitless, what is your choice?
We got married on a beach in Mauritius which was pretty damn special, and I wouldn’t change that in any way.
I’d quite like to do a renewal of vows in Las Vegas though, officiated by Elvis!
During your travels you can bring back home one animal as a pet, which one would you pick?
A panda. No doubt. They’re so cute and playful and cuddly. And naughty – watch this video to see my point!
I don’t know why I don’t have one as a pet already.
You can get back in time and relive one family trip, which one?
A week in Greece with my Dad. I blogged about it here. Things were pretty fraught between us after my parents’ divorce and the holiday not only fixed our Dad and daughter relationship but strengthened it no end. Plus the location and food and climate was just so idyllic and beautiful – I’ve actually been back 3 times since.
What is the first thing you would pack for a one year travel around the world?
My passport! Duh!
What would your fantasy 100th birthday destination be, and why?
I don’t want to live to 100. Sorry to be miserable, but it would be too sad going somewhere and not being able to do everything it had to offer.
During your travel you can learn one sport to become a pro, what would that be?
I’m not a sporty person at all and don’t really crave to be, but it would be nice to be able to surf. Or maybe snowboard.
I lack the coordination to ever be able to do either!
Plus surfing is so wet, and snowboarding is so cold.
Does drinking sangria until I fall over count as a sport?
Today would have been Freddie Mercury’s 70th birthday.
Wow. It’s hard to imagine the flamboyant exuberant performer as a man of 70. I hope he’d still be wearing sparkles and fur and playing up to the crowds. I hope he’d still be touring with Queen. I hope I would have got to see him, at least once.
I was only a teenager when he died, and was very very moved and upset. I’d grown up listening to 80s Queen in my Dad’s car – it was part of the soundtrack to my childhood. Seeing him so poorly, so frail, so unrecognisable in the last video for “These Are The Days Of Our Lives” was so sad. HIV and AIDS was still a fairly unknown and uncommon disease at the time, and unfortunately was a death sentence. But he was a performer right to the very end.
When Queen announced a tour with Adam Lambert as the front man, I knew I had to go. A lot of die hard fans were up in arms, and didn’t agree with another singer. And of course I, and any Queen fan, would have preferred to see the band in full, with Freddie at the helm. But with that not being an option, I still wanted to soak up the songs I’d grown up with in a concert setting.
It was an outstanding gig. Adam Lambert is a more than worthy front man – theatrical, camp, full of energy and with an amazing voice. I read an interview with Brian May where he said that Adam could reach some notes that even Freddie couldn’t reach live, and that he’d hate him a little bit for it! But it’s important to note that that Adam wasn’t trying to replace Freddie, and neither were the band. They toured as Queen with Adam Lambert.
There were homages to Freddie during the show and a fantastic segment where Freddie was shown singing and Brian played the guitar alongside him.
Freddie Mercury is irreplaceable. The band knew that, Adam Lambert knew that and the audience knew that. But the chance for a legion of newer – and older – fans to enjoy the music and the performance was a great one.
So Farrokh Bulsara, I hope you’re enjoying your party in the sky, and rocking out hard.
I’ve banged on many many times about how I’m a sucker for a sale, blah blah blah, so I won’t bore you with that again.
But I will share with you the bits and pieces I’ve nabbed in the ASOS sale. How lucky do you feel right now?!
Lemon t-shirt with California print – £8
This could well be in response to the fact that autumn is upon us. It’s a 2 finger salute that screams summer. I’m wearing it today. It’s cute.
Lemon suede touch and patent ankle strap pointy toe flats – £15 with an extra 10% off
See above. I like these a lot. I’m wearing these today as well. They’re rubbing my heels slightly, but fuck it cos they look nice and they make me smile.
Khaki t-shirt dress – £15
I’ve developed a real love for loose fitting and drapey clothes recently, which is good because I no longer have my early 20s figure which looked good in body con styles (thanks a lot greed, laziness and aging metabolism). I have a similar dress to this in black, which I love. This will work into warmer autumn days with ankle boots.
Black tassel capelet – £4.50 with an extra 10% end of sale discount
This is cool; I’m thinking worn over a plain white tee or a black vest a la the website image. It was a super duper bargain and not worth not having (spendaholic logic right there).
This month the husband and I will have been married for 8 whole years. Wowsers! We have a way to go to catch up with Chris and Charlotte, who I posted about yesterday, but it’s pretty good going for an unmarriable handful (me) and a previously engaged twice commitment-phobe (him!)
There are two things that stick out in my mind about our first wedding anniversary. The first is that my Dad actually said “I don’t know how you’ve made it to a year” with the reasoning that I am the afore-mentioned unmarriable handful. I mean, he had a point. But still!
The second thing is that we went to Marseille
Based in the South of France, Marseilles has an enviable climate and a very Mediterranean feel. We totally fell in love with the place. It’s small enough to get around quickly with a great public transport system, lots of pretty buildings and great architecture, harbours, beaches and we got door to door in 6 hours. We declared it our new go-to weekend break.
Unfortunately, after we got back, Ryanair ceased the Birmingham to Marseille flight route and we haven’t been back since.
My top tips for visiting Marseille:
Pre-plan your airport transfer. Stupidly I didn’t, thinking it would be cheap enough to grab a cab on arrival. All the drivers wanted between 60 and 70 euros; no way! So we jumped on a bus, me blagging the husband that I knew exactly where we were going, when actually I had no idea (if I’d ‘fessed up he’d have panicked and just thrown money at a taxi). Between a printed map and some pigeon English to the very French bus driver we established he was only going as far as the main bus station. So from there we jumped in a cab to our apartment; which still ended up costing us 20 euros for what would have been a 5 minute walk, had we known where we were going.
Jump on an open top bus tour. This is something I recommend wherever you go on a city break, as it gives you a really good feel for a city and you can then decide which bits you want to revisit. The audio guides are usually pretty interesting too for some history. If the weather’s good try and sit upstairs for the best views.
Do consider going for longer than a couple of days. Ours was just a flying weekend visit but there are lots of beaches with watersports and activities in Marseille, so you could easily have a mix of city and beach break.
Get familiar with the underground metro system. There are only 3 lines (from memory) so it’s easy to use, very cheap and very convenient with little to no crowding and comfortable air conditioned trains.
On that note, here are a few pics! I have less than I would like, because 8 years ago phone cameras were pretty naff and I didn’t blog or live my life on instagram – if I went back now I’d be snapping everything!