Tuesday, 30 March 2010

AARRRGGGGHHHH!

I am feeling very bogged down at the moment.

I don't seem to have time for anything.

No time for friends, family, responsibilities, to eat healthy, to excersise.. I even feel that I don't even have time to think.

I know I have been so delayed in posting for my blog but it is sadly so far down the priority list.

I have no idea how women work and have children as I can't even look after my self at the moment.

I had so many jobs to do this weekend and managed half of them- probably the least important ones!

My house suffered because I thought I cannot spend yet another weekend tidying and cleaning (and I am not that tidy!) and not relaxing... although that's a catch 22 as I am so much more relaxed when my house is clean.

It's just all getting a little bit too much at the moment so I need to get my house in order- in more ways then one.

I came into work early yesterday at 7:50am so that I had more time in the day. It felt good till about 4 when I was exhausted and then by 6 after an over 9 hour day it was like I was leaving early and not completing everything. I felt that I was falling short of the mark!

I know I spent over a year trying to look for a full time job and I am so thankful for the opportunity my role affords me. I would never want to give up my job. But HOW??? How do I survive working and having a life?

I need some inspiration and some guidance. Any words of wisdom?

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Toast to the Lassies and Reply


I thought it would be good to record Troy and I's speech. Although I have to admit that I borrowed some of mine from Elaine C Smith's Reply at a previous Burns Supper. 

Troy's Speech: 
Toast To The Lassies
Being a South African speaking in Scotland at a Burns supper I thought it respectful to turn to every mans best friend, the internet, for some guidance. I’d like to quote you my rather entertaining first lesson on ‘the toast to the lassies’
A traditional Burns Night ritual, this toast should be a light-hearted lampoon of the lassies' (few) shortcomings. Illustrations from Burns, or from first hand knowledge of the subject, may be used.
Helpful - But this is the good bit!
Warning: Please be tactful! It's funny, but even the mildest, vaguest, allusions to the faults of women, in even the most general sort of way, may be misconstrued as a viscious personal attack!
Well ladies, hopefully this will be your first lesson in how to laugh at yourself.
But not before I pay respect to what is of course ‘the fairer sex’ Afterall it is widely known that behind every great man there is a great woman. Looking at the world leaders of today there are few who would argue that Michelle Obama, Carla Bruni and Sarah Brown have broader appeal and respect than their partners.
Even back in the time of Burns A woman could serve as chief of the clan, and enter into battle, just as men did. A woman could divorce her husband if he failed to support her, or treat her with respect, if he was impotent, homosexual, sterile, or gossiped about their sex lives. And She could leave him if he was fat, a snorer, or just plain repulsive. So it’s pretty clear who calls the shots BUT.........lets face it, there are some reasons why us very rational blokes will just never understand women so let me tell you why.
  1. We will start off with a simple one – shopping! Why is it that you find what you’re looking for in the first shop but spend the subsequent three hours visting every other store just to go back and buy what you saw in the first place. Surely that time could be put toward ‘getting ready’ so you get to the pub before last orders.

  2. Going to the toilets in pairs! You say you’re going for the conversation, we think you just want make sure that ALL of your friends aren’t bitching about you when you leave the table!!

  3. Why are you all so crap at parking?? Apparently physiologically men have better special awareness than women. Sounds like an excuse to me, made up by physiologists or physiotherapists who in my experience have a high incidence rate of being female!
But ladies and gentlemen, there is one 4th and final reason why I don’t understand women and this is it. Rabbie Burns, the man we are here to celebrate tonight was a big fan of ‘the friendship of the thighs’ as they so diplomatically called it back then. He fathered no fewer than 13 children to no fewer than 5 women all without the help of Match.com. And by all accounts the women were hotties going by names such as ‘Handsome Nell’ and ‘Anna with the golden locks’. So why, pray tell, did they all lower themselves for a skinny, peely wally wee ginger who seemed to employ the rule, any port in a storm!! Seriously ladies, if that is where the bar is set, there is hope yet for Jimmy Tyrrell.
But before I finish, I’d like to give credit where it is due – Burns was a lothario, the lover of ‘the friendship of the thighs’, he’s Jimmy’s hero and so he is the kind of guy that women despise. Yet here we are tonight, celebrating the life of the afore mentioned lothario proving that our ladies here truly are the bigger people to forgive those flaws of character and appreciate the mans talent.
So on that note I’d like to invite all the men to their feet and join me in a toast to the lassies.
To the lassies!

My Speech:
Reply to the Toast to the Lassies


Ladies ….and Gentlemen,
You will have to forgive me…. as I give this reply.

As Troy referred to earlier…, behind every man… there is a GREAT woman… and in MY case…. THIS woman stepped in at the 11th hour to save her man from donning a wig and dress and giving this speech himself….- although, if there was nakedness involved I am sure he would have loved it!

Troy, thank you for your toast and explaining PART of why you blokes don’t understand us women.

For YOUR first lesson I want to reveal that although Burns may appear smaller than 21st century man, and as much as I hate to dash your dream of following in his diminutive lothario footsteps, infact in volume 1 of the works of Robert Burns from 1834 it was written that….

‘Burns’ form was vigorous, his limbs shapely, his knees firmly knit, his arms muscular and round, his hands large, his fingers long and he stood (I hate to tell you my wee man) at five feet ten inches high’

A KINDLY description no doubt. But he WOULD have ticked all my boxes… WELL except the height- nothing shorter than 6’7” for me!


However I speculate it was not his outer appearance that attracted the ladies but their fondness for him was because he knew how to woo a lady. He could communicate to women and THAT my friend- is KEY!

Whether match.com is your platform or poetry is your skill- talking and communication is the heart to any women and befriending her thighs!

As Troy highlighted previously there are a number of reasons you “RATIONAL” blokes don’t understand us ladies BUT if you work it all down it comes to a simple conclusion- communication.

Women DO infact use restrooms as social lounges and …we could go off to powder our noses and return giggling like old friends with a fellow female we have only just met in the toilet. We just like a good natter!

We’ll talk to sales assistants- we’ll ask the opinion of a fellow shopper- we may even stop to ask for directions and a chat- a NOVEL idea I know!

We enjoy the art of conversation and the use of language, just as Burns did.

And THAT is where YOUR problems begin.

According to the studies modern men use 7,000 words everyday- most of those words are uh huh, no, where did you put my clean rugby kit? what’s for dinner? And the remaining 6,986 are just additional commentary on the 3 or 4 sports games you’ve watched that day!

Men use language to exchange facts and information. This is THIS and that is THAT- it’s finished, DONE- no small talk.

As women we get very frustrated by this because we try and talk to you and we get that response. Yes, no, what? We get really upset and think that you are not really LISTENING!

But now that I have read these studies I UNDERSTAND it. (It’s not because you’re more interested in the rugby on the tele- ALTHOUGH….…?) It is because you have used up all your words! You’ve got 7,000 words and THAT is IT. There are just no more left!

We SHOULD understand that BUT you see we don’t because women…., according to these studies use 24,000 words everyday- (no doubt having listened to me talk you are not surprised by this!)

We also use language as a reward. If we like you we talk to you. If we don’t we blank you.

The first area of conflict between men and women comes when a women stops talking and goes in a huff. She WITHDRAWS language…. And men…. Well you don’t notice for 3 days!! You just think it’s lovely and quiet.


But the theory that Robert Burns could bridge that gap and language between men and women still holds true today.

I think it says something wonderful about this country, this nation of ours that we have chosen a man of words, a poet, a wordsmith, a man of love and passion to be our national hero. Not a warrior or a politician but a man of the people and a man of the heart.

Any man that could write-

‘had we never loved sa blindly,
had we never loved sa kindly
never loved and never parted
we would ner be broken hearted. ….

And countless other beautiful poetry is a genius in my book. And we in this country are so fortunate to have him and have those words.

So BOYS I hope you have learnt a wee bit tonight. And to those of you on the table over by the window if you want to score more than just a "swamp donkey" (the younger boys slang for an unattractive girl)  this evening just get scribbling or pinch a few lines from the bard- I am sure that will do the trick!       ………………………..Cheers!

Annual Accies Burns Supper

I don't have many snaps of the Burns Supper and none of the girlies! :( However I thought I'd post the few I do have. 

The Burns Supper is an institution of Scottish life: a night to celebrate the life and works of the national Bard. Suppers can range from an informal gathering of friends to a huge, formal dinner full of pomp and circumstance.

Nathan once again was Chairman at the Accies Burns Supper overseeing a great night- although smaller than usual. We had a good top table who preformed the Selkirk Grace, Toast to a Haggis, the Immortal Memory, Toast to the Lassies, Reply and some musical entertainment.
 
I was again (as I was 3 years before) roped in at the last minute to speak on behalf of the girls for the reply to the toast to the lassies. Troy, who is South Africa did the toast and went for a few obvious digs at us girls- shopping etc.... He was really good but I was very chuffed to be told afterwards that I pretty much wiped the floor with him. Firmly putting him in his place!

For the Americans that read my blog: 

The humorous highlight of any Burns Night comes in the toast to the Lassies, which is designed to praise the role of women in the world today. This should be done by selective quotation from Burns's works and should build towards a positive note. Particular reference to those present makes for a more meaningful toast.

The Reply to the Toast to the Lassies is revenge for the women present as they get their chance to reply.
My favourite speaker was one of the younger boys who did the Toast to the Haggis- he really got into it and was very good!
The entertainment was amazing with Piping- here the Haggis is being piped into the room.
And I was amazed that Arnie played us the flute... and he was actually really good!
Arnie played Scottish Music as well as a few Irish tunes.
Marshy (who used to play at Accies) and his wife Lorraine were visiting from the Borders and so stayed with Nathan and I in the flat. The Captain's raffle took place at the end of the meal and I was asked to pull out the winning ticket for the big prize f £300 and it was Marshy's ticket that won so he was delighted! (I wasn't so popular with everyone else though- but there can only ever be one winner!!)

Monday, 15 March 2010

Wedding Planning

The last three months we have been doing a lot of wedding planning. They say that the first few months are hectic as you plan the cornerstones of your wedding and then it will calm down until the few months before. We would both agree with this so far and now we have booked our main vendors (a few deposits left to pay at the end of March) we are pretty much there. 

I am keen to make a personal book about our wedding planning etc and so have decided to make a seperate wedding blog. Not sure I will share this for the moment as we want to keep things to ourselves so our wedding is a bit of a suprise! But I will be using this website to create our Blogging Book. However I may tease you with a few sneak peaks before the big day!

I have spent a lot of Sundays at the start of this year making some home baking, sitting down with a pot of tea and my wedding file and planning. Along with reading through wedding mag after wedding mag. 

Nathan has been amazing and so involved with everything which makes me so happy as we want to have OUR wedding not 'my' wedding.

Even though we have been engaged for over 3 months I still have our engagement cards up! I love them! 

We got so many lovely cards and messages from people. It makes me so excited reading those notes. For us it is about the people- friends and family.... and I know that is going to be the hardest part. Choosing who is invited, because with our venue we will be limited with our numbers. I wish we could have everyone come to celebrate with us!

New Year- New Look

As our engagement present Nathan's parents have bought us new wardrobes so we put these old school pine wardrobes on gumtree and they went to a lovely new owner. We are just awaiting our wardrobe doors and then I will take a wee after picture. (I am LOVING the new wardrobes!)

I loved the look of theses waredrobes but they are just not big enough. The one on the left is mine and that is all the hanging space I have! I wish we had American walk in wardrobes- but I guess that wasn't a feature when our house was built over 100 years ago!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

New Year 2009

For New Year Stu and Vicki hosted us all at their new house. It was a great night but I didn't envy them the clean up the next day! The theme was Vegas and it was to celebrate Stu's 30th and New Year.
Stu and Vicki in fancy dress (well co-ordinated!) I also loved the fabric they put on the walls in the kitchen- very Vegas!
Becky and I in our feathers and sequins!
Becky and Dougie.
Nathan and I toasting in the New Year.
Mark and Zara. Mark was a gold Elvis... minus wig and glasses here.
Nathan as the Croupier and Matt as a tourist.
The table where all the cards were played.
Some of the boys. Dougie, Chris, Andy, Stu and Ross.
Mark, Zara, Michelle and Malcolm
The girlies taking it easy in the den. Emma, Emily, Gail and Lesley.
Dan and Ross
Jason and Nathan.
Stu, Becky and Mark looking great in their fancy dress outfits.

We all had a great night and although it was a late one my head wasn't too sore the next day. We helped with the tidy up right at the end but there was loads to do the next day. Poor things. Those boys, lots of booze and wooden floors are a recipe for disaster. But thanks go to Stu and Vic for a great New Year.

Dave and Jess' wedding

30th December 2009-

I wish I had better photos of this amazing day but my camera wasn't working properly so I borrowed Nathan's Dad's in the hope that I got better shots but I couldn't work it correctly so apologies for the quality but it gives you an idea of the fun of the day.

Nathan went to school with Dave and him and his now wife Jess live in New Zealand although they both grew up here. So they held their wedding back in Edinburgh in Dave's parents' garden. I was concerned about the temperature as it had been snowing non stop before Christmas but it made it a winter wonderland and the marquee was really toasty. They had a marquee hallway all the way to the house too where we had a drinks reception after the ceremony- it looked so Christmassy.

They had a Humanist wedding which was lovely and their reading was from the Adam Sandler movie, The Wedding Singer. They had put so many beautiful accents into their day from their twig centre peices and escort cards to the lanterns around the garden. I didn't get pictures of it all sadly but hopefully you will get a wee flavour of the fun! 
 Dave getting a hug as him and Jess walk down the aisle after their ceremony.
Cutting their cake, which was our desert, it was delicious Croquembouche, which is a delicious french desert made up of profiteroles.
I loved the twigs that they used for the escort cards. You were then asked to tie your name tag which was at your place setting onto this wee tree putting a comment/ note on the back of it for Jess and Dave.
Not sure why this photo has downloaded like this but I really like this shot. Donnie, his wife Rosie, Finnie and Annie.
Becca and Duncan, whose wedding we were at in October 2008 outside of London.
Catriona and Benji with Benji's Mum. There were a lot of the boys parents at Dave and Jess' wedding as Dave's parents have remained friends with them from when the boys were all at school.
Vicki and Stu all tanned from their holiday to Cuba.
Stu, Geoff, Vicki and Becca.
Annie and Finnie.
The girls- Rosie, Jarrien, Annie, Me, Catriona and Vicki.
Having a wee dance. Benji and ROsie, Stu and Vicki and Annie.
Colin and Jarrien
Doing some Scottish Country Dancing in the Marquee.
Rosie and Donnie. Their beautiful wee girl Isla was also at the wedding during the day and she kept on twirling to show us her new dress. She was very proud and so cute!
Dave being lifted by the boys as Jess looks on.
Final dances of the evening.
Making a tunnel for the new Mr & Mrs Rutledge to leave through. I love this photo.
After everyone else had left it was only the stragglers that remained. Benji put on his i-pod and so began a Michael Jackson tribute as well as all sorts of crazy dancing!
Who said boys don't like to dance! It's usually girls that fill the dance floor!
This is a great photo- Dave's Dad at the end of the night- quite rightly enjoying himself in the knowledge that they all threw a fantastic wedding!

Monday, 8 March 2010

Engagement Family Dinner

On the 28th of December my Mum and Dad took us all out as a family to celebrate Nathan and I's engagement. We went to the AMAZING Champaney Inn. The seafood and steak were divine! So good! See here to look at their gorgeous menu. It was a real special treat and we felt very spoilt! 

The weather was prety horrendous out in West Lothian with a lot of snow under foot. 

I wore my new black dress and pearls my parents gave me for my 30th. I wished I'd put my boots on rather than my nice black heels as I was slipping everywhere as we walked up the path. 

We had a great night with everyone with some fun conversations. Nathan's sister was away travelling so she was unable to join us.
 
 Dougie and Becky
  
 Lily, Nathan's Mum and my Dad, Jim
  
 my Mum, Lorraine and Nathan's Dad, Neil
  
 Nathan and Dougie
  
 The girls: Becky, My Mum, Me and Lily
 
Nathan and I