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People say life is the thing, but I prefer reading*

Small Fry

Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'm not a tall person. I just asked the Boy to measure me, and I am the grand old height of 5 feet and 3 inches. I'm a little upset because I've always thought I was 5'4 but you can't argue with the statistics. My hands and feet are also quite petite. I'm normally a size 3 shoe but this varies depending on the shop and the shoe - I sometimes have to wear size 4, but I also own a pair of size 2 shoes that I bought for a friend's wedding. My hands are pretty small too. Freakishly small, according to some people whose names I will not mention, Boy.

Despite all this, I don't think of myself as being particularly small - I feel like a heifer standing next to the director of my department, who is truly tiny. And I suppose I feel only slightly smaller than the average person. Today though, my modest stature was pointed out to me by two complete strangers.

I bought myself a pair of new shoes. They're little ballet pumps, in my usual size 3, and for some reason the snooty girl in the shop didn't think they merited a shoebox. She was waiting for my receipt to print and I heard her mutter: 'I can probably just fit these into a tiny wee bag'.

And so she did. She put my pretty new shoes into a bag approximately the size of a VHS videotape. I didn't mind too much as the weeny little bag will be handy for taking random bits and bobs that don't fit into my handbag to work, but still - just because the shoes are little they don't get to go in a grown up bag? As Snooty Girl was handing me the bag, I could see the Boy's mouth twitching in an effort not to laugh. This has happened many times to me in shops - some implied comment about being short or the size of my feet or my hands.

After the shoe shop, we went to a jeweller across the road to try on wedding rings. I told the camp jeweller what I was looking for and he went mincing off to bring back some for me to try on. When he came back, he asked to see my engagement ring, and I took it off and handed it to him. He squealed and said 'oh my god look at it, it's tiny!'

Then: 'I wonder if you've broken my record!'

Cue more mouth-twitching from the Boy. I asked what his previous record was but I never found out. As he sized my engagement ring he said, with the air of a zoologist who has come across a new species of beetle: 'Wow, I've never sized smaller than a G on an adult!'

So there you have it, my dimensions appear to be significantly smaller than average. I suppose this is a good thing (it's certainly preferable to being significantly larger than average), but it does make it awkward when it's only 39 days till the wedding and your perfect, meant-to-be wedding ring is going to take 6-8 weeks to be ordered in the freakishly small size you require.

Ah well, worse things happen at sea.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

I have a typical Scottish complexion. For those of you who don't know, this means white. As in, milk bottle white. Pure incandescent white.

Now, my wedding dress is also white (actually it's ivory but, meh). The point is that my natural colouring means I blend in so well with the dress that you barely see me. So I went for a spray tan yesterday, as a practise run to see how I would look with a bronzed glow, in preparation for tomorrow when I get to collect The Dress, and prance around my mum's living room with it on.

So. I am instructed to remove all my makeup (gargh!) and am shown into a tiny room (really more of a cupboard) with a non slip floor, and a scary looking contraption with hoses and cylinders in one corner. The drop-dead gorgeous beauty therapist (why are they always supermodel material? Just to make you feel really inadequate?) tells me to remove all my clothes, gives me a plastic shower cap and a pair of paper pants to put on, then leaves the room. Why they feel the need to give you privacy when you're getting your kit off is beyond me - they're about to see you in all your glory anyway - but I'm sure they have their reasons.

So there I am, pretty much in the altogether, peely-wally in the bright glare of the spotlight directly above me, without the usual scaffolding and cosmetic enhancements of clothes and makeup, and all my wibbly bits and imperfections in plain view. Then Gorgeous Beauty Therapist comes back in looking, if it's possible, even more supermodelly. She fires up the contraption in the corner, and begins the process of turning me from pure brilliant white to healthily bronzed. She shouts various directions to me above the noise of the contraption - raise this arm, lift that leg, turn this way, turn that way, in, out, shake it all about. I feel like a Ford Fiesta in the garage getting a re-spray.

But by the end of it, I look more tanned than I have ever been in my life. When I go on holiday, I start off my natural white, then turn pinker and pinker as the week goes on. I then go ever so slightly brown, and by the time I've been home a week I'm white again. So it was a bit of a shock to see myself looking anything other than pasty white.

I got another fright this morning when I looked in the mirror. They advise you not to shower or wash until the next morning, so the actual tan, and the brown stuff they spray on you to make you tan, combined to make me look startlingly beige. Thankfully the colour calmed down a fair bit after my shower, so I don't look like I've been tangoed (hopefully). My colleagues didn't point and laugh when I came into the office this morning, so I'm taking that as a good sign.

I do have an amusing outline of pure white where the little paper pants were - I considered taking a picture of it, purely for comedy value, but I really don't think I can (or should) stoop to posting pictures of my arse on the internet.

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Harry Potter and The Birds of Death

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I know it's all been about my wedding recently, and I also know that wedding arrangements are not nearly as interesting to other people so today I thought I would write about my favourite topic (which I haven't done for a while now). Reading.

It's the one thing I always make time for. No matter how tired/ill/drunk I am, I cannot go to sleep at night without reading a couple of pages. Although I am busier at the moment than I have ever been in my life, I have two books on the go.

In preparation for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows coming out on Saturday (squee!), I'm re-reading the Half Blood Prince. I don't care what anyone says about the Harry Potter books, I love them. I KNOW I'm supposed to read grown-up books, and I KNOW Harry Potter is written for children, but for a bit of escapism you can't beat it. I wish I'd gone to Hogwarts.

I've also just started 'The Birds and Other Stories' by Daphne du Maurier. I've wanted to read the short story ever since I saw the Hitchcock film, because it made a big impression on me. I'm a big girl's blouse when it comes to creepy films so it was quite brave of me to sit up late one night, on my own*, to watch The Birds and I was so glad I did. It's not a scary film, but you get a sense of creeping dread from the first few minutes, and the tension grows and grows until you almost can't stand it. It's disturbing, but in a subtle way - there are no gory death scenes, no psychotic murderers (not human ones anyway) or evil men lurking in bushes watching the pretty (but stupid) girl get undressed while they finger their axe. It's a masterpiece of tension and I loved it.

*The Boy has a bit of a problem with birds and flapping things, so he made his excuses that particular night.

So when I read the introduction to the du Maurier book, where Alfred Hitchcock is quoted as saying that he only read the book once before he made the film**, I didn't know if the short story would meet my high expectations. However, I was reading it on the bus this morning and I nearly missed my stop because I was so engrossed, and I can't wait to pick it back up again.

Suspense? Check.
Creeping dread? Check.
Flocks of murderous silent birds? Check.

And I'm only on page 20.

**The full quote is "What I do is to read a story only once and if I like the basic idea, I forget all about the book and start to create cinema. Today I would be unable to tell you the story of Daphne du Maurier's 'The Birds'. I read it only once, and very quickly at that."

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It's safe to assume that any posts between now and 7/9/07 will be wedding related

Monday, July 09, 2007

Dear oh dear, is it really so long since I last posted something to this here blog? I've been (as ever) busy sorting out the details for my upcoming nuptials (I love that word, nuptials. It sounds like a tasty treat!).

The invitations that we thought about so carefully, matched with the colour scheme and agonised over, arrived the other day. They were the wrong colour. And I mean completely wrong - they were green. They were not supposed to be green. Once I regained consciousness I managed to sort it out (turns out the shop had put the wrong code on the order form, a code that meant GREEN). The new invitations in the correct colour are now on order at no cost to us and should be here just in the nick of time to send out.

We've also been sorting out our gift list. We naturally ended up going for the selfish, grasping option of just having a gift list in John Lewis. And may I say, the process of setting up a gift list is worth getting married for - they give you a little scanner that you take round the shop, beeping everything that takes your fancy! It's like being given John Lewis, wrapped up with a big red bow.

I'm also trying to decide whether I should get my hair cut into a fringe or not.

I had planned for my hair to be back off my face for the wedding and I don't want to look like I don't have any hair in the pictures (the photographer will probably want me to face the camera, right?), so I've been toying with the idea of having a sort of sideswept fringe. Sort of like this, but not so... emphatic. Or like this blonde chick, but less... blonde.

Bearing in mind that it's 8 weeks on Friday* till the big day (i.e. not long enough to grow out any rash hair experiments), should I get a fringe?

*Obligatory panic attack ensues



*Logan Pearsall Smith

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