Thursday, 28 August 2008

The Hainbach and Greaney's wedding!

Hillary Nathan and I just after we returned from church. I did a reading for Emma and Sean from the book of Ruth:

Wherever you go I will go; Wherever you live I will live
Your people will be my people and your God will be my God too..........

It only lasted 5 minutes or less but I was so nervous! They had a microphone for me to talk into and i was sure everyone could hear my heart beating through the mic!! I was so pleased to have been given the honour to read and was well complemented afterwards! Which was lovely!

This is Emma and Sean Greaney's car as it drove up the driveway of Rathsallagh House Hotel. There was a piper at the top of the drive which you can just see on the left hand side if you look closely! It was a gorgeous setting!!
I love this photo- they did a similar thing at Annabelle and Pete's wedding earlier in the year- getting all the kilted fellows together with the bride.

Emma's Dad and 2 brothers, who are all Irish along with some of their fellow countrymen donned the kilt to get into the spirit of the day!

There were lots of references during the speeches regarding the two nations and our similarities and differences- very funny!
The Irish ladies looking beautiful in their fantastic dresses! They are so much fun! I love how much they all dress up! They were the same in Madrid!

The Popl Neros Ladies.
(clockwise, starting bottom left: Emma B, Lynne, Laura and Hillary)

I originaly met Emma back in October 2000 when we both worked in a bar in Dundee. I had worked there for over 10 months but only stayed on one more month after Emma started (nothing personal!!) but Emma continued on working there all throughout University.
There was a Popl's reunion (pretty much!) at the wedding! With 6 of us in total having worked there at some time or other. I used to work with Lynn and Hillary.

Emma's Aunt told a wonderful story whilst we were sitting in the pew waiting in the church for her (she took forever!) that when she was small she would always dress up in gorgeous little dresses (and still does) When they were on holiday she was dancing/ twirling around and went up to two little girls who were dressed more casually- she asked them where their dresses were and they said they hadn't got any with them- she apparently replied- 'oh! what a shame for you! '.. or something to that affect!! and went back to twirling!

Everyone having champagne in the courtyard before the reception. You can see Emma B's fantastic silver full length bridesmaid dress- it looked so 40's Hollywood glamour!

Emma H and Sean Greaney's Rehershal Dinner

Nathan and I flew out to Dublin early on the Saturday morning and after spending a great weekend with my friend and flatmate from university, Diana we went back out to the airport to meet up with Hillary who was driving down from Belfast in a hire car.

We then drove across to Co.Wicklow where Emma and Sean's wedding was being held. The hotel was gorgeous and so quaint! (but more about that later!)

On the Sunday night Sean's parents hosted an amazing rehearsal dinner- it was a superb buffet!

We had great fun reconnecting with all of the Irish girls from the Madrid Hen weekend. I also had meet all Emma's family at her sister's wedding in Ireland a year and a half ago so felt like I knew so many people! I joked that I probably knew more people than I would at my own wedding! It was like seeing old friends again- they are all so hospitable!

Below: Emma H (the bride to be) Emma B (her bridesmaid to be) Myself and Hillary

Emma kept to her word and headed off to bed before midnight but myself and Nathan along with Hills and all the Irish girls and boys stayed up a bit longer. We were reasonably good but I think the Irish contingent were suffering a little the next day!!

What a great night and a fantastic start to the wedding celebrations!!

Kate, Alexander and Charlie

This is my friend from university , Kate and her beautiful son, Charlie- and my Godson. He is usually very smiley but for some reason the day I went up to visit them in Perth he just would not smile for the camera!

I had a great day in their company and enjoyed feeding the ducks with Alexander, who is almost
three. He has grown up so much since I saw him last- a proper little boy! They are both such boys- Charlie sat and either ate the bread or ate the stones on the peeble bank! Or threw the stones at the ducks!! The ducks weren't shy or put off by people, quite the contray! They were practically taking it out our hands!
Afterwards we went for lunch to a lovely little cafe near kate called cupcakes. They give you the cutest tiniest cupcakes to try or have for free with your coffee. Or you can induldge like Alexander and I did and have a big cupcake! Very tasty!

Below: Alexander eating his cupcake!
The smile that we were trying to capture on camera all day!! One year and 2 months of mischief! He is learning to walk right now and is so proud of himself... he struts around and looks back as if to say 'check me out!'

I love spending time with Kate- she is such a great friend. It is harder to find time to visit now as she's gone back to working part time in the hospital- she is a Doctor. How she does it I have no idea! I can't even manage myself never mind two wee boys, a husband and a beautiful home.

I don't know whether it's her medical mind but she remembers everything you tell her... so whenever we meet up she asks me about things that I forget we've talked about!!

We also love to write letters and notes to each other- a letter from her always brings a smile to my face!!

Tea for Dad and Nathan!

This seems so long ago now!! So much so I have no idea what I did with the recipe- but rest assured I will find it somewhere!!

I made this for my Dad and Nathan one night and it was so different and really tasty!

I can't remember it's name exactly but I will update the blog asap. Let's call it- Lemon Cod with Soya Bean Mash. The Mash was so yummy and counted as 2 of your five a day!! Brilliant! It had garlic, veggie stock cube, garlic, lemon and basil stocks mixed in with it- so good!!

I'll update as soon as I have the recipe. It was served with oven roasted vine tomatoes and baby new potatoes.

Tying bows!

My friend Hillary and I both went to Duncan of Jordanstone Art College and now channel most of our artistic talents through gifts for friends and hobbies.

Hillary is so talented at card making and wedding stationary and so Emma H (as she was then) asked her to make all the name cards for the tables and also the table plan.

Emma wanted them to match her invites and save the dates which all had white bows tied round cream card with silver edging.

I was her assistant and tied all the bows for the table plan and the majority for the name cards. I'm not quite as meticulous as Hillary- her attention to detail is bar non! She sat and cut the ribbons I tied all to the same length- that's dedication for you!!

The tables looked beautiful and Emma was so thankful to Hillary!

Lily West Floristry Course

At the beginning of August I started another floristry course at Susan's florist- Lily West, West Port, Edinburgh. Click here to see her website.

I was so excited as this month it was wedding flowers- table decorations, bouquets and boutineers (not sure if that's spelt right!?)

Sadly because I had Emma and Sean's wedding I knew I would be missing one class out of the four but I ended up missing three as I came down to London.

So here is the beautiful photo of my table decoration from the first and only week!

Susan's approach to flower arranging is to put the greenery in first so you really fill up your display. Then you put in the largest flowers and then work down to the smaller. She also loves to put in embellishments (notice the giant pearls poking out from the flowers)

I lov this look with the bright pink vase and the antique roses. It looks so shabby chic! Just my style!

Also I think it would be great for a wedding as you could gave them away to the guests- mother's, grandmother's, aunts and they would keep for at least a week afterwards!

I won't make any of the classes in Spetember as I will still be down in London but I hope to go back later in the year. It is the highlight of my week and lights up a usually boring Tuesday night!


[A picture I took whilst my Mum's taxi drove past the houses of Parliament with the London Eye in the Background.]

Well finally I've managed to grab a few minutes to update my blog. It has been very busy down here. I have missed my blogging!!

I have some posts to update from earlier in the month: Emma and Sean's wedding, the day I spent with my friend Kate and her gorgwous little boys, my sister's friends kittens and my long bank holiday weekend with my Mum in London.

Hopefully I'll be able to update them all tonight. I am going to stay a little later in the office.

Monday, 18 August 2008

International Festival Cavalcade

On the first Sunday of the International Festival the Cavalcade takes place. My Sister and I were always taken to the Parade by my Grandparents when we were younger. We used to jostle to the front and reach our hands out for the sweets that they'd throw out from the floats... there are not as many floats now but just as many amazing troups and processions... there are many nationalities represented and all the colours are amazing.

Ed and Nathan were like grumpy old men. They gave up watching the parade half way through and sat on this bench the rest of the time. I have to say though it wasn't quite as exciting as I remembered from my childhood!! But then most things aren't... it was still a fun day out!!

Wendy, Me and Hillary after the cavalcade ended... we should have really been on this side of the street the whole time to take more picturesque photos, with the castle behind!!

Whenever my Grandparents took us to the Cavalcade we always got ice-cream after- whether from the ice cream van that went past their house or from a sweetie shop. So I insisted that we all got ice cream as our dessert! This huge banana split arrived at our table for Nathan! Delicious!

Wendy's birthday!

We had great tapas at a new place on George Street and then we headed to Gran Cruz for some Prosecco... I have some great photos of Wendy blowing out her candles but I can't flip them round the right way so they will have to be posted at a later date.

Ed posing at the camera...he had a whole routine-Blue Steel!! But it would take up the entire post!! Loreen, Zara and myself (I came straight from getting my hair cut! It's so much blondier!! Hooray!! But a little too short! I want to try and grow it.. but as ever Michelle gave me a great cut! I am happy with it... I just wish it would grow!!)

We ended the night by all going to the Spiegel Tent- this is a specific venue that is set up for the festival every year.. they put up bars etc in a garden in the centre of town... it is so much fun and you bump into loads of people you know... I lost Nathan for most of the night as he kept meeting up with friends he hadn't seen in ages.

We also meet up with Hillary randomly- we had great fun with her and her girls from work and ended the night by getting the night bus back to our temporary end of town.. it was pretty easy but not as easy as stumbling home to the West End!!

Piki's 30th!

On August 1st we all went to Leith to celebrate Colin Pikivance's 30th Birthday! We had a great night and ended up in the Port'O'Leith- a really old pub that used to be frequented by sailor's coming into the Docks... it was quite surreal as when we walked in they were having a school disco night and all the staff including Mary who owns the bar was dressed as a St Trinians school girl!! They played great music and we were all dancing and singing along at the top of our voices!!

Below: Wendy and Piki- I took this photo at midnight... it was Piki's birthday before midnight and Wendy's birthday after!

Above: Piki and his Dad, Mr Pikivance stayed out with us and was great banter!
Above: the girlies- Zara, Vicki (with her eyes shut- sorry Vic) and Wendy

Everyone in the Pot'o'Leith... I have some crazier pictures but at the moment my computer won't turn photos round from landscape to portrait!! Rubbish!! But you get the ambience of the night!!

Mrs Beeton

Well my first choice of library books has been a biography on Mrs Beeton!! The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs. Beeton: The First Domestic Goddess.

I thought after enjoying all my culinary experiments and learning how to run a household in the last year it would be worth reading about the woman behind the book.

For those Americans who read my blog and those Brits who don't know here's a wee summary of Mrs Beeton's famous book and a wee bit about her!

"Published in 1861, Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management was a guide to all aspects of running a household in Victorian Britain.

Its 2751 entries include tips on how to deal with servants' pay and children's health, and above all a wealth of cooking advice, instructions and recipes. It was an immediate bestseller, running to millions of copies within just a few years.

Perhaps surprisingly, author Isabella Beeton was just 21 years old when she started working on the book, and she died young at 28.

The book gives a charming and historically significant insight into Victorian domestic management.

Although its entries have little practical relevance today the name "Mrs Beeton" still has iconic status in Britain: most people recognize it and know its connotations, although very few have actually come into contact with the book itself.

Today's superstar chefs (especially Delia Smith) might be seen as the direct descendants of Mrs Beeton, who saw as they did the need to provide reassuring advice on culinary matters for the British middle classes, the Industrial Revolution having sealed the demise of traditional rural cooking skills"

the Biography is very interesting and they have found out so much about her geneology. So it explains where her family comes from and how she gained her skills... so worth a read- even just to laugh at the funny way we used to live our lives!!

If you are interested click here for the Mrs Beeton website

You can buy the book I am reading from Amazon (hopefully the link works!)

Central Library!

Well the first week of August I took full advantage of the council tax that I pay and I joined the local library!!
My Dad doesn't have a computer at home, unless he brings his work computer home.. so I now can get access to the internet for free!! Hooray!! It takes so long to upload any photos for the blog (hence I've been a bit slow!) but it is really helping with the job hunt!
It is also a beautiful building!
I used to come here to look at the reference art books when I was in school.. and going really far back every Saturday my Dad used to bring my sister and I up to the children's library- I loved looking round all the stories and so the library has some good memories...
And I figure... after looking at all the books that I packed into storage once I have read most of my books (unless I lend them to friends) they just gather dust on the shelves or take up space in storage!! So this way I save myself money and I also don't cause any more clutter!! It's win win!!

The Edinburgh Festival

1st August 2008

Well it's August so the Edinburgh Festival has began!! The total madness and extreme craziness of crowds etc has started!! .. and it will go on for the rest of the month.

The population must go up by hundreds of thousands!!

I went up to the Royal Mile to get Parking vouchers for our visitors and the hustle and bustle was so exciting!!

They close off the Royal Mile/ High Street and there are loads of street preformers and stalls and thousands of tourists!! They also have loads of people handing out fliers for their particular Festival Show!! There is such a buzz!!

My picture shows a banner on the high street with St Giles behind it... a large Cathedral on the Royal Mile.

I don't think I will be doing that much at the festival this year (it can cost alot!) But last year I did it proparly! I lived in the Grassmarket with Hannah (which is so central) so I went to about 15+ shows. I saw some amazing dance! Great comedy and really good Drama.

My friend Kristin was also over visiting so I took her to some shows and exhibitions... she really enjoyed it and got a kick out of the atmosphere!

If you want to know more then click here for the festival website. And click here for the Fringe website. The Fringe is the part of the festival that most people are familair with. Hey maybe you can come visit this time next year!! It's the city at it's best!

Welcome to our Humble Abode!

OOoohh!! It scrubs up well!! Why I don't keep my house like this all the time is beyond me... (slight laziness maybe!!) It took SO SO much effort!! I was exhausted!!

Why is it though -only when you have visitors or like us are handing the flat over to someone else do you scrub it from top to bottom!!

I was really proud of all my hard work and they were so happy when they looked round the flat!! Hooray!!

And they also commented 'where was the cat'.. your house looks so welcoming it looks like there should be a small cat peeping round the corner of the door!! (take note Nathan!! Take Note!!)


Well I finally loaded the last load of all our 'extra' stuff into storage so the flat is able to be rented out for the festival.

I decided to leave all my kitchen stuff in the flat as I know they will be doing a lot of cooking and I wanted them to feel at home.

They are such a lovely couple so I am confident unless there are any accidents (which lets face it I am always prone too!!) then I think all the stuff we left in the flat will be safe!!

I had to do a HUGE inventory (mainly made up of the kitchen items!!)

It is a bit ridiculous when you see the extra bits and material possessions that clutter up your house and lifes... Nathan is insistent that half this stuff should not need to come back with me!!
(I think there is a huge portion of it that is Scrapbooking stuff!! If I could just make time then it wouldn't be clutter it would all be in the Scrapbook!!

mmmm.. this might be why!!

Well I have been doing really well with my MBT walking and although my legs seem to be a little more toned I was questioning why it hadn't been as miraculous as I would have liked!!

Whilst I was sitting starring at my morning treat I began to realise why!!

I have taken to walking to Starbucks and back so that I can get a coffee (I'm a tall Americano, no milk, no sugar- just black) .. so there is no/little calories in that... but in the last few weeks I am so hungry by the time I walk there I want a snack!!

Nothing wrong with that but when I got home I looked up the nutritional value... yikes!!

350kcal per Sicilian lemon muffin; 18g of fat of which 5.4g are saturated fat!!

So this will be becoming much more of an infrequent treat from now on!!