There’s a four-week countdown to my wedding and I’m starting to realise the enormity of what we’ve taken on. I am almost starting to regret not listening to my mother when she told me that I would be exhausted and fat if I tried to get married when my baby was 15 weeks old (she’s very honest). She suggested that we rush the wedding and get a dress to cover my bump, but I felt like that would be compromising on my dream wedding as I wanted time to plan it and I wanted to be able to drink Champagne on my big day.
BUT have I really planned it any better now? Not at all, because it’s a full-time job looking after the baby and I’m trying to work on top of that. And we have a flat that we let out that has had non-stop plumbing problems since Rory was born. And will I really drink much Champagne? Not only have I been avoiding alcohol recently because of the empty calories, but when I do drink I find that my tolerance has gone right down and it gives me a headache. I don’t mean to be negative, but I have a big case of the pre-wedding nerves!
On the bright side, we have had some fun this fortnight with the hen and stag do preparations. Rory actually came to my hen do for the early part of the evening, but it wasn’t too disruptive. He’s too young to be scarred with the girly gossip. Besides, it’s good for boys to have some female company….
I’ll break down what we got up to in terms of hen and stag so I don’t waffle on too much, One of the best things about blogging is that it’s a release and a place where I can write down what I’m thinking so I start to make sense of it in my own head. But at the same time, there needs to be some structure so that I don’t keep going round in circles. Also, I think it will be lovely to look back on this diary when Rory’s older to remind myself of what it was like in the early days. One thing that I do want to put down in writing is that I love him very much and that he makes me very happy, and I wouldn’t change anything about him even though my life has changed dramatically. We’re having an adventure into parenthood together, and I am lucky that I have a healthy, calm and resilient baby who puts up with a lot when mummy makes mistakes.
Before I start, I want to say that I’m writing this the Monday after my Saturday night hen do and I am still hungover! I’ve heard people talking about two-day hangovers before and dismissed them for being lightweights / old. Now I’m both! I’ve gone from being a showbiz journalist who lived on two glasses of Champagne a night and called it dinner (with maybe some nuts and crisps thrown in) to being a mother who gets a headache after one and a half. Although, I couldn’t just have one and a half at my hen do, could I? This is what happened:
2pm – Late lunch and a bottle of Champagne between three of us at Sketch London. We booked a booth for four, but Rory didn’t have any – he just lay in our arms like a good boy. My sister enjoyed doing her ‘Aunt’ duties:
Gay Pride was happening in central London just a stone’s throw away from it, which meant that travelling with the pram (and a large bag containing six bottles of Champagne) was a nightmare and I earned that reward at Sketch.
You may be wondering why Rory came along? My fiance works on Saturdays, my parents were away in Prague and my sister was on the hen do. There was nobody else that we’d trust with our 11-week old baby and so he had to come.
It was lunchtime, so I had a club sandwich and my sister and my friend Emily had macaroni cheese and we plotted what we would do later that night. We’d booked an Air B’n’B that we had access to from 5pm and so we had time to chill at Sketch before the madness began. Sketch is a fabulous place for people watching. It gets all sorts of people including students, Japanese / American tourists and London society types that are too fabulous to take tea at Starbucks. I particularly enjoyed watching a lady in a headscarf, who was sipping tea and nibbling on some macaroons. I want to be like that when I’m older! My friend Emily gave me a veil to put on but it wasn’t as cool as the woman’s headscarf.
510pm – Arrived at the Air B n B, which was in a fabulous location in Marylebone.It was a smooth handover as the property managers wanted to get away and enjoy their Saturday night. First things first- put the Champagne in the freezer so that it has time to cool down. As I’m a mum, I’m aware that we’d need to line our stomachs before going out and so I asked everyone to bring food – cake!
The first thing I did was to put the Champagne in the freezer so that it had time to cool down. As I’m a mum, I’m aware that we’d need to line our stomachs before going out and so I asked everyone to bring…cake! I brought some nuts and crisps, but I love sweet things and I love challenges / competition and so I got my friends to do their homework. We had baklava, Toblerone cheesecake, mini cupcakes and more but my absolute favourite was white chocolate and ginger cheesecake that was home-made by my friend Ros’s husband. I was also touched to receive some M&Ms with my name on (and my fiance’s name and a love heart). I was vaguely aware that you could personalise M&Ms, but didn’t realise how cool they’d look when they had your name on. It doesn’t mean that they were too nice to eat, oh no! I had a lot of them.
At this time, Rory was being passed around the room, making all the girls feel broody.
630pm – Our hair and make-up team arrived.
I’ve always thought that a girls night in or out should include pampering and so I took advantage of Blow Ltd’s ‘At Home’ service. The more people they do, the cheaper it is and so I booked make-up for six people and hair for two as my sister hates others doing her make-up.
It was such a treat having someone else beautify me and it meant that I didn’t have to stop socialising and start re-applying make-up. They did a beautiful smokey eye on me that I’m often too lazy to do myself and I felt confident that I’d look good in the photos taken at the event. I mean, what’s a party these days without pics to prove that it happened? I also enjoyed seeing the transformation of some of my friends who don’t usually bother with make-up. Those friends really should wear it more often, as they looked STUNNING.
The nice thing about being at the Air B n B was that we could help ourselves to as much Champagne and cake as we wanted.
7pm – Rory’s bedtime is at 7pm and I didn’t want to disrupt his routine, so I disappeared to the bedroom to feed him and put him to sleep. He’s still so small that he can comfortably sleep in the bassinet of the iCandy, which makes life a bit easier. The excitement from being the centre of attention with the ladies tired him out and he went to sleep quickly, which I was very glad about so that I didn’t miss too much of the action.
845pm – Daddy’s here! Rory’s daddy / my fiance arrived on the scene, which is also unconventional but Rory had to get home somehow. My fiance hadn’t met some of my school friends, so it was a good opportunity for him to meet them before the wedding. And it meant that we had time to do a Mr and Mrs quiz in front of everyone. We discovered that my fiance had no idea about my celebrity crushes, nor did he know my favourite song. But aside from that he showed that he knows me well, which gave me a warm glow that added to the glow given by the Champagne and being surrounded by my close friends.
915pm – Uber time! We’d booked a table at Aqua at the Shard for 10pm and so we had a road trip. Of course, there was a lot of music in the cab.
10pm – Eight of us go up The Shard to the Aqua restaurant. There is a gorgeous view across London and we’re so high up that we’re looking down on Tower Bridge.
Unfortunately such luxury comes at a price as it costs £16 – £17 for a cocktail. Thank goodness for the Champagne we had beforehand. The menu was pretty boring, consisting of English classics but it also came at a price with the cheapest main course being £25. Some of my friends were so shocked that the conversation became stilted. Also, I preferred running round the apartment, chatting to everyone and eating cake to being sat around a formal table. My sister was more interested in taking selfies than anything else. People should have focused on meeeeee, not the view!
Anyway, to be honest I was pretty glad to leave there and go on to dance!
12am – We find Cecil’s down a dark alleyway near London Bridge. I knew the owner, who used to run the bars at showbiz parties, and he gave us a free bottle of prosecco. The music was Afro-beats, dancehall and reggae, which was a bit unexpected but my sister got into it and the rest of us tried to join in. I’m not the best dancer in the World, but it was my party so I had to set an example.
130am – I think I peaked to early at the apartment as I’m exhausted! My feet hurt and I miss my Rory! I had planned to stay at the Air BnB, but I gave the keys to the other girls and said I’d meet them for breakfast.
330am – I’m sleeping soundly in my bed after having just got into it an hour ago and Rory wakes up. My fiance is told that he needs to sort it out.
630am – Rory wakes up again and is no longer in a sleeping mood. My fiance steps in again and takes him to the local cafe. That’s why I’m marrying him…
9am – We have to leave home to meet my friends at the Air B n B at 10am. Grudgingly, I have a quick shower and put some clothes on.
10am – Brunch at the Daylesford Organic cafe in Marylebone with the girls, my fiance and my baby. I’m surrounded by all of my favourite people, I have Eggs Royale (with hollandaise on the side) in front of me and a steamy cappuccino. How much better can life get?
And then the comedown / hangover starts…
Well, to be honest, I don’t actually know what really went on. All I know is what my fiance wanted to tell me. This is what I have to piece together:
(1) It took place in Valencia, Spain from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening.
(2) There was a mankini incident. I was shown a little scrap of lime green lycra that my fiance wore to run up and down the length of the beach.
(3) There was tapas for lunch and dinner and my fiance is now sick of tapas. However, it was worse for his vegetarian friend, who ate potatoes the entire time.
(4) Clubbing took place on the Saturday night, but it made my 40-something husband-t0-be feel old
(5) The main activity was a tennis match between my fiance and his work colleague. It took place at 1pm on the Sunday in 40 degree heat and neither won because the tennis club closed before a winner was crowned. My fiance lost the first set, won the second and was winning the third 5-4 when they were asked to get off so that the club could close. No amount of pleading in Sp-english would do. There was no winner and now he must practise tennis in London at every opportunity so that they can have a re-match.
Although I might have travelled further afield if I didn’t have a Rory, I reckon my hen do sounds a lot more fun. Occasions like this make me so grateful for my friends! Also, I have to be grateful that my son is relatively chilled out and calm as not many babies would cope with going to a hen do and sleeping in an unfamiliar place until daddy came to pick them up.
Let’s just hope he behaves himself at the wedding and I’m talking about the daddy and the baby!