About Me

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I am an aspiring writer living and working in Hull. I working on a novel, as well as writing short stories to keep my writing skills fresh. I decided to start a writing blog to connect with other writers. So please, take a look around and leave some comments - I'd love to read some of your writing blogs too. Nari X

Monday, 21 November 2011

Week Two: Progress

My lovely new desk

Please excuse the delay of this post. It was meant to go out Sunday last week, but, well, evidently it didn't. I have been making progress, which is really good. Last week was definitely a better writing week. Part of the reason is, da-da-da-da... I
  have a shiny new beautiful desk. It fits nicely into the space we have, and it has a nice little shelf for the printer. Shanequa has been enjoying having the company too. I also had a lighter week, at 21 hours, so I had a bit more time to play with (and no assessed services...). I do, however, have 2 exegesi (what's the plural??) and an assignment to do for Preacher training, which has been competing for my time.

The good news, though, is that I have been getting into the swing of writing. I've been popping off upstairs while The Husband dutifully sacrifices his much demanded time to make sure I don't have the option to be tempted to play Skyrim. Isn't he dedicated? I mean, even when I'm not in, he's making sure I won't be tempted when I do get in... It's amazing. The guy's a sweetheart.

I'm still not as far as I need to be, but I'm further than I was 2 weeks ago. I'm at just over 8,000 words now, which isn't bad. I'm on another long week this week - it was 40 hours, but one shift's been cancelled and one shortened and I haven't recalculated.

So, the actual story. It's coming along, and I've been getting more and more ideas and plot twists, which I've been writing down on memos or scrap pieces of paper, as you can see on the picture. It's really interesting to see how the plot is developing so quickly when I'm not jumping back and ahead and writing scenes far further along in the story.

I've not had so much time this week, but I have the weekend off. Friends visiting though... I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, 7 November 2011

First Week Blues

Pumpkin Soup and Goat's Cheese Bread for Bonfire Night

It's not going well. My word count as it stands is a pathetic 2,370. It should be 13,328.
I am positively screwed. 

What doesn't help is that I just so happened to get pretty much a full time week last week, which is brilliant because I can buy things... but It means I have had no time to write. I had an assessed service yesterday, which I have been dedicating any free time I have to planning. I also realised last night that I had not backed up my work, and then proceeded to leave my phone (and the only copy of my novel) in my assessor's car. I have it back now (phew) and I am backing it up as we speak. 
Oh, dear readers, things are not going well. 

But, the optimist in me wishes to say a few words. I have a much lighter week this week, and no services until New Years Day (groan), so hopefully I can at least try and catch up. I'm really struggling to let go of the quality control freak part of me, but I think I'm starting to get the hang of just getting words down and, more importantly, getting story down. At the moment the exposition feels shameless and clumsy, and the storytelling very rushed, but I will press on. 

In good news, we finally ordered a desk today, hurrah! It's more of a 'workstation', and yes, we ended up going to Rymans - Thank you Tom :) . It's narrow enough to fit into the space we have, and it had space for all my CDs too, with a lovely printer shelf on top. I think it'll do me for a while. 

We went into Game today and made another very exciting purchase. We Pre-ordered Skyrim. Oh yeah. Except the midnight launch has been cancelled. I was cross for about a second, but then remembered I have work on Friday anyway so couldn't have gone.

I also got to make my pumpkin soup and goats cheese bread for Bonfire Night which was lovely. The soup was pink. I thought it wasn't orange enough and put red food colouring in for a giggle. 
Anyway, the more time I spend here, the less my word count is climbing. How is everyone else's Nano Novel going?

P.S. Read this. Patrick Rothfuss makes me laugh. And he is now also doing NaNo. The rest of us don't stand a chance.

Monday, 31 October 2011

And So It Begins...

NaNoWriMo is just a day away, and I'm feeling the pre-nano nerves. It's the biggest project I think I've done, in terms of the most challenging. My coursework at Uni always involved lengthy planning and countless rewrites and edits (our guidelines were along the lines of 40 redrafts), so this is going to be a very different experience.

If I'm completely honest with you all, I don't feel even remotely prepared. So I've worked out some of the history and chunks of plot and named a fair few characters, but do I feel like a can turn it into a novel in a month? No. I do not.

But then that, ladies and gentlemen, is the point, I suppose. To launch into it and just keep going, letting just the process of writing inspire you. At least I hope that's how it will work anyway.

On the plus side, I've been in the 'Hands-on History Museum' today, and have been reading all about Victorian school ethics, which might come in handy. The places work takes me...
Rob and I have decided that it might help me to keep track of my plot and where I am to put timelines and reems of paper to scribble on all over the walls of the house. No desk yet, but I'm hopeful for this Saturday. I think, however, that most of my novel writing, as ever, will probably occur on my phone, on the bus, while a service user is sleeping, while waiting for dinner to cook, or while himself is playing/watching wrestling.

Well, I don't have much more to say tonight, and my dinner just went 'ping', after Halloween pumpkin soup proved too complicated at 9:00pm having just got in from work.

An average word count should be around 1700 words per day, although I'm guessing I'm going to go over the word count by a lot.  What are your Nano strategies? (Warning: I do not guarantee that I won't steal them. You have been warned.)

See you all on the other side.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Cake and Sloe Gin

So much for every Sunday... It just so happened that my last two Sundays have been the busiest ever. One of these was the Hubby's birthday, involving painstaking cake crafting, which was much more trouble than it was worth, I feel. It tasted good though, and Rob was suitably impressed. I had a crisis with the icing, and had to resort to butter icing, then ran out of butter. It worked out in the end though. 

My other latest project in the kitchen department is making Sloe Gin. I was introduced to Sloe gin a couple of years back and absolutely love the stuff. It's a very warming Winter and Christmas drink.

My father-in-law part owns a farm in Essex, on which he grew up, and we went to visit the farm in August. Whilst there, we noticed how many hundreds of Sloes and blackberries there were on the bushes, so we went picking crazy. It was wonderful - the four of us picking berries until it got dark and we couldn't see well enough to pick anymore. I came home with 2Kg of Sloes and 500g of blackberries.
I only realised later, however, that it was far too early to pick sloes. Oh well. So I put them in the freezer until I was ready to make the Sloe Gin - some people favour this method, some people say it's bad because it waters it down. Well, we shall see.
It's looking quite red at the moment, so I'm hopeful. Anyway, I'll keep you posted on how that one goes.

A post or two ago, I told you about a good friend of mine who is a textiles designer - well she now has her shop up and running. Please head over and take a look at 'Summertimehols' - she has some stunning work for sale.

News on the study - well, we've cleared it, so there's now room for a desk. However, we need to wait for my first paycheck before we can even consider getting one. I'm considering drawing one on the wall in the meantime. Maybe it would trick me into working... I don't know, though, I have to say it really is rather comfortable sat here lounged across the sofa with a blanket round my legs. I do have the house to myself, though, so himself isn't playing Xbox and shouting at the screen to distract me. Men.

As far as writing goes of late, well it's mostly been sermons. With the holiday months this quarter, we were quite short staffed, and so those of us still training and usually only allowed 3 services a quarter were given four. That alongside the assignments for the training and the new job and various other commitments, I'm afraid I've not been finding much time. And I know it;s the age-old excuse.
My problem is, I simply haven;t got used to it all yet, so I'm gradually starting to make the best use of my time...(very gradually). I find that even when I do have time to sit down and write, it;s the last thing I feel like doing, or I just don't have any ideas or anything to write. I fear this could be one of the big challenges for NaNoWriMo. But what's life without a good challenge?

So, does anyone have any words of wisdom about time management? How have you learned to focus when you have a short amount of time with which to work?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Succor Dice and Nano

It's been a busy few weeks, but in a good way. You see I finally started my new job, which I accepted in May. Having gone away to get married and go on Honeymoon, I missed the induction, so the process has been slow. But I started last week, and I have to say, I'm really enjoying it. I'm working for a company called 'Danny's Dream', which provides support to those with learning disabilities, encouraging social integration and providing person-centred care. 

The down-side is, of course, that I have less time. Less time to blog, less time to write, less time to do housework (shame). But here is what I propose on the blogging front; I will aim to spend my Sunday afternoons blogging, so I *should* have one every week. No promises though.

I hope nobody minds if I geek out a bit. No? Good. Here it comes.
So, I wanted to tell you about the 'latest thing Peter Brett has sent me'. What a genuinely lovely man. Sat on our doormat yesterday was this lovely envelope with a warded sender sticker I would recognise anywhere. 
Never has a customs label been so valuable... 
Anyway, I suppose you are more interested in what was inside the envelope. Even though that alone was enough to keep the geek in me happy for days. 

I opened the precious envelope (ok, I'm exaggerating) and what tumbled out was my entrant's prize for Peat's Cosplay contest. No teasing please, I said it was geeky... I had never done Cosplay before, but I am so taken with the Characters of The Demon Cycle books that I thought I'd give it a go. Because Peat is so lovely, he decided that everyone deserved a prize for their efforts, so sent every single entrant one of these little packages:

The Dice are called 'Succor Dice', which are part of a game featured in The Painted/Warded Man. It's to do with rolling three of the same wards, I think, though there are not any detailed rules for the game. 

So there you are, my latest Geek-out. How sweet is Mr.Brett? We are some very lucky fans. 

In Personal Writing news, I have decided to enter this year's NanoWriMo. Terrifying, but I think it'll be fun and rewarding too. I have another novel brewing away in my head, so I thought, seeing as I'm giving CQ a break for a while, I will have a go at getting it onto paper. 
It's going to need a lot of preparation, as it's a big project. It will eventually reach way over 50,000, I'm sure, but it's the starting that needs to be kicked into action. I'll keep you posted on how it is going.

So, anyone else entering NanoWriMo this year, and have you started planning? It's never too early.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Operation: Study

Every writer has some corner of the universe where they like to write, be it a corner of the lounge, an office, bedroom, conservatory, patio, cafe, beach hut or exotic villa abroad. Those of you who read Writers' Forum will be familiar with the variety of places talked about by different writers on the last page, 'Where I Write'.

So far in my life, I have had little choice as to where I write; my bedroom, and then the corner of the dining room when I was deemed too stressed to sleep in the same room as I worked (I'd been hallucinating. A mother worries.) Then there were desks in the corner of my room in various student houses. Not ideal, but it has given me some degree of privacy and focus. There has always been the occasional cafe day, as I'm sure I've mentioned 'The Last Word' to you before.

Now I have my own whole house. Not just a bedroom/study/dining room/living room - an entire house, with a spare room. When Rob and I signed for the house, we had big ideas for the spare room - it would be a guest room, a drum room, and most of all, a study.
Unfortunately, it has so far been Shanequa's bedroom and a storage room. I've dried washing in there a few times, too.

Miss Sanequa Jackson

Needless to say, it has not reached its full potential as a spare room yet. Cross as Shenequa may be about it, I think she secretly loves having an entire room to herself. Though I have to say, I miss having her as a roomie. She used to wake me up in the mornings by chucking gravel at the side of the tank. And when I was all tucked up in bed, I'd look over at her, and she'd be all snuggled up in the gravel ready for bed too.

Anyway, the point is, I need somewhere to write. At the moment, whenever I want to work on anything, or if I have a service to plan, I have to bring all my giant books and a notepad down, spread them all over the dining room table, plug in my laptop which is on its last legs and put on my headphones so I don't get distracted by the husband creature watching TV. Quite frankly, it's driving me bonkers. I'm finding it hard to focus sat in the lounge.

So. One box at a time, we are preparing the spare room to become, dun dun duuuuuh...a study. Wish us luck. 
Now the question goes to you; Where do you write?

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Talented Miss Dale

As you know, it was my birthday last month, and I became the ripe old age of 22. My parents came to visit last week, which was lovely. Although, no matter how much notice they give me I'm never quite ready... Anyway, with them they brought some belated birthday gifts from a dear friend of mine, Miss Holly Dale. Holly is easily my oldest friend, so much so that she is like a sister to me. She is also a very talented textiles designer, as was clear from her college exhibition a couple of months back.

A few birthdays ago, Holly gave me this beanbag, an essential for students, which she had designed and made herself. She didn't just buy the fabric and go from there, she actually printed her own design fabric. This was the first taster I got of her talent. 

So, as you can imagine, her house warming gift (we had a party the other week) and birthday card are absolutely gorgeous, so much so that I felt I just had to show you all. I feel particularly honoured, as I know she is charging good, well-earned prices for her work, as she should, so to get something of hers as a gift is... well, I was chuffed.
(C) Holly Dale

It is well known that my weakness in life is ducks. I love them. They're so cute and feathery. Rob think's I'm mad because I like to talk to them, and often explain in great depth to him the inner workings of the social circles of the Ducks, and their latest confrontations with the Seagull Gang. The pigeons like to stay neutral, but more often than not, they take alliance with the peaceful ducks. I digress. The point is, I like ducks. So I got very exited about Holly's duck designs. She designed and printed lots of different fabrics, and then designed all sorts of household items, my favourite of which was her gorgeous duck cushion. She also made a (very expensive) chair, canvases, and this lovely little card.

(c) Holly Dale
Our housewarming gift is just as adorable, and is now hung on the bathroom door. These little canvases were the first of Holly's recent work I saw, when we were having a film night at her place - they covered her bedroom wall, and I fell in love with them straight away.

I know these aren't the best photos, and I wish I had more photos of her work to show you. She is hoping to open an online shop in the near future, I think, which I have been strongly encouraging. I will keep you posted on any website/blog, but for now I shall leave you with these two tasters of the talented Miss Dale and her work. 

Next time I'll introduce Operation:Study with pictures. Maybe it will give me a kick to get the study finished if I post updates...

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

'Writing for Performance' at Fudge

Fudge is a local cafe and restaurant, situated on Princes Avenue in Hull, and I have been there a few times for tea and cakes and dinner. And, of course, home-made fudge. All of the above have been delightful. I was there the other week for the wonderful Nikki Joy's graduation dinner, and happened to stumble across a little advert in the ladies'.

The course was run by two tutors from the University, lovely ladies - Jackie and Susan. It sounded like a wonderful opportunity to meet other local writers, learn some new skills and just to get writing. It's the kind of thing I have been known to talk myself out of for some ridiculous reason or another, but this time I was determined not to get in the way of myself. So on Friday, I booked myself in and paid, so that I couldn't back out. 
It was a good tactic because on Saturday morning I found myself sat in the upstairs room of Fudge surrounded by new friends talking about life and writing...and Dr Who.

We all introduced ourselves and settled down with laptops and pen and paper. What did I forget? A notepad. But, because we are in the 21st century, we were allowed to use our laptops to write. Phew.
We started off with ice breakers, going round the room introducing ourselves by saying our name and then talking about our names for a minute or two. Then we wrote down three things about ourselves - two of them true, one of them false, and had to guess which one was the lie of a partner. This was a classic warm up at Uni, and emphasised the nature of fiction. If you make something convincing enough, then nobody will know if it's true or not. Still, I;ve never been very good at this exercise, and wished I could have come up with a more exciting lie than 'I've got a rabbit.' Maybe next time... (unless, of course, you count that time I talked at great length about my little sister, Lauren, to the poor girl in Blue Banana... I thought that was pretty convincing.)

We were then given the task of thinking of a pair of boots or shoes we had had when younger, and to write a short descriptive piece about them and what they meant to us. I didn't get very far with this, but enjoyed it nonetheless. I wrote about my first pair of boots - they weren't DM's, but in the same vain, as I recall. My Dad had encouraged the buying of them, and I remember they were black with multi-coloured flowers all over them. I with they still fitted me, because they were awesome.

It was time for a tea break. I was delighted to find Earl Grey teabags in the box and helped myself. I haven't bought a new box since I ran out, because at the time I still lived with Nikki; her tea collection is the greatest in all the land.

Now it was time to get down to serious writing business. 'Think of a particularly vivid or important memory,' we were instructed, 'and write a short piece of prose about it.' Again, a classic topic, and classic for a reason. We constantly make new memories, and life writing has a certain richness to it, especially this form, because we tend to choose the things that mean a lot to us and have a lot of depth behind them.

So we all got to work. I leafed through my 22 years of memories and wondered which one was good writing material. The memories I am most in search of at the moment are those involving my Grandfather. I wonder sometimes if I sound like a broken record. But I hope you understand that I must write about him, because I must remember. 
So I thought through all the memories of him I could find; taking me round galleries, the first time I went inside his studio - when he taught me to use oil paints, the time he took Heather and I on a pub crawl around London - to the places only a select few would know about. And I settled on one particular memory that has been fluttering around my head recently - you see, I found my old year 9 art book when clearing out my bedroom, and in it I found a landscape painting that landed me an A. I remember producing that piece as though it was yesterday - the lessons I learned that day. Because Granfer took me out and we painted together. He taught me about  colours, about light, and about looking through the things you think you see.

As you can tell, it was a very important day for me, so I thought it would be perfect to write about.
I'll tell you, I'd forgotten just how great it is to sit and write among other writers; I had got talking to the lady next to me, Lynne, and so we were helping each other out a bit as we wrote.
'What do you call this action?' or 'What's a better word for this?'  It was a wonderful atmosphere. At the end of our twenty minutes, we read our pieces out to our partners (in crime) and gave each other feedback.
After redrafting, we had a look at various writers performing their work on YouTube, including Benjamin Zephaniah. I'd forgotten how much I love him. I was lucky enough to see him perform about six years ago now I think, as did most people my age. He was in the curriculum, you see. 

Lunch was glorious. Truly divine. It was a buffet provided by Fudge, and they really know how to put on a lunch. There was all sorts, but if I go into it I may never stop. I had second helpings, needless to say. 
So then Jackie and Sue performed pieces they had prepared earlier to give us an idea of what we needed to produce. We were put to work editing our pieces to be performed. 

This was an interesting task. Writing descriptive prose is one thing; writing descriptive prose to be performed is quite different. There was a lot I had to take out and replace words with an intonation or an action, and I found myself adding more in to make it more lively.

And the climax of the day was an hour of performance. We were each given a slot, and five minutes to perform, with a tea break in the middle - Fudge's sponge cake. Wow. 
Everyone's work was great, and it was inspiring to hear how people's pieces had changed and improved from the first draft. There was such a mix of good talent and different approaches to the task, and it was really fun to watch everyone perform. I was a wee bit nervous to begin with, but after about the first line, I got into it. It's strange how I wasn't phased compared to a few years back, when I wouldn't have done anything of the sort. I guess it goes to show that all that Preacher Training has paid off.

I'm really glad I went to what turned out to be a wonderful day of creativity, learning and making friends, so thank you to Fudge, Jackie and Sue, and everyone else who was there for making the day such a great experience. 

Has anyone else been on a day course or workshop like this recently? I'd love to hear about it :)


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

On the Nineteenth Day of July, My True Love Gave to Me....

Editor's Note: This is a bit overdue, sorry. It's been sat in my drafts for weeks, and I have a busy weekend to fill you in on too.

On July the 19th 2011, I turned 22. I got completely spoiled. 
Not only did Rob take me out for both Lunch and dinner, take me to see the new Harry Potter film and make me breakfast in bed, he also bought me some wonderful presents.

Firstly, he bought me The Sims Medieval, which I've actually had for a week already because he was nice and let me. Whilst it is very different to what I expected, it is a good game and I am enjoying it. It just feels very close to the original Sims, which of course it effectively is. It's not a development of the Sims, but rather a creation of something new, so I feel it is still fledgling.
That said, it is good fun and has got my imagination rolling. You see, you get to be in charge of a Kingdom. What fun.
I really like the character creation aspect of it, though it is still fairly basic; but, new from the Sims 2, you have to pick two traits and one fatal flaw of each character you create. The traits affect how the character interacts with others, and the fatal flaw can have a specific negative affect on their mood, for example insomniacs never sleep a whole night and gluttons are constantly hungry. 
It got me thinking about character creation in stories, and took me back to reading Christopher Booker's '10 Basic Plots' in writing class; he talks a lot about the fatal flaw aspect of plot, and the driving force behind it. Everyone has one, and it's almost essential to think about the thing that most plagues a character - the thing that they strive to get the better of. 
So I've begun a character review for each of my characters, seeing if all the vital aspects are there and if my characters are as fully rounded as they could be. 

He also bought me the Shooting scripts from the first series in the remake of Dr Who, which I saw years ago and thought it might be useful to have on my bookshelf. I like to get to the root of the story, and seeing the script on paper is really useful, I feel, to get an idea of how television programs come to life. I've not written any screenplays or scripts in the last five years, although it used to be one of my main forms of writing. I don;t really know what happened, but I'm wondering if I might have another bash, even if just as an 'exercise' for my writing muscles. 

Oh there's more. I am a lucky lady. We had been talking about my 'secret' project, which I am about to give an enormous hint about, and I mentioned that I needed some help in the form of books. Lo and behold, what should turn up on the doorstep, but these:

I've read bits from both of them, and they seem like they're going to be really helpful. I've never tackled anything like this before, but have always been itching to. Anyway, that's all I'm saying on that for now. 

And finally, he bought me some beautiful garnet earrings from Past Times. He had been looking for Ruby ones, as it is my birthstone (and I love red), but couldn't find any. And I love my Garnet earrings. 

And.........A partridge in a pear tree.

Thank you Rob. I consider myself well and truly spoiled. 

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Will and Kate, move over... (Part Two)

So, the venue:                                           Rowfant House

(C) Alex Lewis
We held the reception at Rowfant House in Crawley/Rowfant. As you can see, it is a gorgeous 18th century manor house, now owned by the Latvian Church. It is breathtaking from the outside, quite possibly because of the stretches of lawns and the lake. The interiors are just as impressive - dark wood paneling, an open fire and gorgeous furniture. 
Anyway, enough of the advertising. We had a drinks reception, during which the lovely Heather Wrighton played the harp (she's a genius) and we explored the grounds with Alex to find good photo spots.

After lots of mingling, we made our way into the hall for our meal, and it was absolutely divine. The wine flowed freely, and everyone seemed to get on really well, which is always a plus. We cracked out the champagne and listened to three wonderful speeches, during which I both laughed and shed a few tears, so well done and thank you to the three men in my life - my Dad, my lovely husband, and the brother I never had (the fiance of one Nikki Jackson) :).

And then began the party. 

Despite a communication problem with the DJ (he apparently didn't get the playlist), we had a great night. Samm (the afore mentioned brother creature) saved the first dance by downloading the song we had asked for (which of course the DJ didn't have) - Man and Wife by Michelle Featherstone. Thanks again, Samm. And that's why he was best man. 

You have to see the cake:
(C) Alex Lewis
My Dad's friend, Ann, made this for us, and it was beautiful and delicious. Tatty Teddies on the top - couldn't have been anything else. The bottom layer was fruit cake and the top was sponge. We had two tiers, and ordered the sugarcraft roses and ivy online. Don't you think they look good?
I think my parents still have a good half in their freezer for our next visit. 

(C) Alex Lewis
The first dance. 
Now. Neither Rob or I can dance. This was the element of the evening that worried us both the most. We decided that the safest bet was to go with the sway and spin, and do you know what, I didn't fall over once. I hate to sound slushy, but we both got so lost in the dance that we didn't even think about whether we were any good or not. Nobody laughed or saw us treading on each others toes, and we had fun. 

I know it sounds cheesy, but I don't think I have ever had that much fun in my life. Wearing that dress, I felt like royalty. The only thing that even came close to that feeling was Graduation. 
Which reminds me, I've not properly spoken about the dress and shoes etc. 

(C) Alex Lewis
The dress was from By Design on Princes Avenue, and the lace shawl belonged to my Grandma. When clearing out their house, my Mum came across a couple of gorgeous lace scarves and suggested I could use one as a shawl. When we showed the one I'd picked to Jenny (the dressmaker), she was both terrified and excited by it. Terrified because it was so delicate, and excited because it is gorgeous. She worked her magic, measuring, playing about while I had another excuse to stand in my dress and stare at it in the mirror.

When I went to collect the lace and the tiara, I was breathtaken. she had made the scarf into this beautiful shawl which attached to the front of the dress, and had sewn in lots of little crystal beads so it sparkled in the light. I like to think that Grandma would have approved.

The Shoes. Oh, the shoes. 
(C) Alex Lewis
I am not a shoe person. The extent of my shoe collection has always been Vans, Doc Martens and Converse, so when I was trying on all these tiny white things, I was nonplussed. I felt like I was shopping for school shoes aged seven. I even considered bridal Doc Martens, and so many people said 'that is so you'. However, when shopping in Leeds with two of my bridesmaids, Nikki and Hannah, I stumbled across these beauties. For anyone who doesn't recognise the style, they are by Irregular Choice. It was the most I had ever spent on a pair of shoes, and considering I aodre Doc Martens... well. You can imagine. And I wore them all morning, not taking them off until the meal (which no-one saw), and then finally at about 10 o'clock they defeated me. 

Our last dance consisted of Queen and Thirty Seconds to Mars, which completely topped off the night. When we retired to our room, we found a lovely big bunch of flowers waiting for us, as well as a cleverly short sheeted bed. Thanks Trish. (The one with the pink hair). 
One final picture to demonstrate the amount of fun I had:

Now, can I get an award for most pictures crammed into a blog? I will now let you lovely people get back to your lives. It has been lovely sharing this wonderful day with you, and reliving the day. Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Will and Kate, move over...

(C) Alex Lewis
June 11th 2011. 6:30am. My eyes blinked open, letting in the weak morning sun that was creeping through my window. I could hear my parents shuffling about, having whispered conversations. I wondered if they were drawing straws, like they used to, for who would wake me up. I wasn't a very pleasant teenager in the mornings.

I spent a few minutes trying to work out the ratio of excitement to nervousness, and by about 7:00am I think nervousness was winning over. 
Getting ready was made a lot easier by my Mum's bathroom schedule - getting 6 females (and one man) through one single bathroom before 11:00am is no mean feat. As it was, we had time to spare. Thanks Mum :)

So, the Bridesmaids:

(C) Alex Lewis

Heather, on the furthest left, is my older sister, and was chief bridesmaid. Next to her is Nikki, my sister-in-law and housemate last year. Holly is one of my oldest friends (because I've known her a long time, not because she's ancient...). Hannah is a good friend from Uni, and housemate for two years. Don't you think they all look stunning in their lovely red dresses? Luckily Holly's mum is a dressmaker, and was able to make last minute emergency adjustments - thank you Christine :).

(C) Alex Lewis
As you can see, the cars we got were vintage and fancy. The one shown in the picture above was the bridesmaid's transport - a vintage minibus. Then there is the one me and my Dad travelled to the church in, and then Rob and I travelled to Rowfant House in.
Alex, the photographer, arrived early to do my make-up and to take some getting ready shots. Alex and I have been friends since College, and he is blooming rapidly as a photographer. Most of these pictures are his - please have a look at some of his other stuff

We pulled up to the church, and I could have sworn I had actual butterflies fluttering around in my tummy. Can't have been fun for them. I don't think I've ever had a feeling like it, stepping out of that car to see so many people gathered around the church, including my Dad's hairdresser and the elderly lady who lived next door to us when Heather and I were growing up - Daisy. All these people, looking at me. As I stood holding onto my Dad's arm, I could feel the pride radiating from him. It was a good feeling. 
We had lots of photos taken, and then my tummy gave a leap when Kath, my minister, gave the nod. We walked down the aisle to the traditional bridal march, played by a local organist, Fiona - Me and my dad, followed by the bridesmaids in twos. 
London Road is not actually my home church, but is in the same circuit and I have preached there a few times. St Andrews was a bit too small for the number of guests we wanted, so thank you to all at London Road for being so accomodating. 

The St Andrews music group played for us as well as Fiona, which was wonderful. The songs: 
O Lord My God (How Great Thou Art)
Jesus Stand Among Us
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
Be Thou my Vision

The ceremony was beautiful, and were quite greedy because we had two ministers. The Rev'd Tim Jackson (now my father in law) took the ceremony, and Rev Kath Jones (the minister of my home church and R.S teacher for two years at college) opened the ceremony, did the sermon, communion and blessing. 
During the signing of the register, the lovely Nikki Joy (now my sister in law) sang 'Kiss Me' and then 'This is the Air I Breathe' during the communion. It was lovely :) She did really well, considering she was trying not to cry the whole way through. 

(C) Alex Lewis

We left the church to 'Flowers' by Tor and the Swans of Exile, which none of my family approved of... I'm such a rebel. Check out the band - Tor has an amazing voice and writes some wonderful songs. I definitely recommend having a listen over on Facebook. Ok, no, he's not paying me (but maybe he should...). Advertising done.

Photos outside the church, and confetti - most of which ended up inside my dress... flower petal confetti is itchy... the driver was very discreet and averted his eyes as I attempted to remove them in the car. 

We got our 20 minutes of rain while we were in the car, which I though was incredibly lucky considering it rained the day before and after. Gotta love a sunny wedding. 

To Be Continued...