Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Shopping for some wheels

Thanks for all the support on the dress everyone - I am still deliberating (this is not unusual for me. Up until a couple of years ago I was going to get married in a pewter ballgown. so we'll see).

This weekend we are doing something fun and non-wedding related - shopping for a van!! we are heading off in a little while to drive our way to Russia. Then train/bus/drive/hitchhike/swim our way back to New Zealand. I am {very} nervous, but very excited too. I am also nervous about buying a van, as my {our} mechanical know-how is not great. But we'll be fine.

In my day-dreams we drive a van like this:

But have you seen how much these things go for these days?!? crazy!!

More likely we'll get something like this:

But it will still rock. Oh yes.

Monday, 27 April 2009


Hope everyone had a great weekend! I had a lovely time in Liverpool for Julz's hens weekend. I love Liverpool more each time I go, it's such an interesting city. The Cavern Quarter is awesome. We dressed as pirates for the Saturday night, which was great until some mofo stole my hat. I recovered though with a few hearty "shiver me timbers's".
I think we were pretty good pirates, except we all ended up sounding a bit more like drunk Cornishmen than Johnny Depp. Only two weeks till the wedding now - can't wait!! (speaking of which, anyone who cares about the outfit - it's all sorted now, I've found a matte pewter clutch and matching feathery-jewelled-hair-clip thing. I'm probably going to make do with shoes. Unfortunately).

By the way - thanks for all the support re the dress "dilemma" - I'm sitting tight for the moment, in an effort not to make a rash decision based on a fleeting love affair with a dress-that-is-symbolic-of-much-more-than-a-dress. I'll keep you updated. In the meantime, here is the dress:

... and this is the bit where you all go "seriously Julia? that's hideous. What Are You Thinking???". It's ok, really - my taste has been questioned before (a guy I "dated" in uni and the dungaree/headscarf combo of 1998 spring to mind).

Friday, 24 April 2009

XKCD Friday!

From here

Have a great weekend everyone, I'm off to Liverpool for a Hens weekend! yipee!!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Lazy post today

These photos from The Bride's Cafe are spectacular. I wish I looked like that, and that Dave was into doing that kind of thing...

And how interesting is
this? While we were in Stockholm we went to the Nobel (prize) Museum, where they had a fascinating exhibition on censorship. It's amazing what you take for granted - my biggest problem is liking two dresses (that I have the means, and right to buy if I choose), when some people don't even have channels to speak for themselves.
Not meaning to get all deep. Just thought it was interesting. Plus, I really really like those journos in Fiji!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Weekly rant... and a cake.

Skip to the pretty picture if you can't be arsed with my negativity

* * *
One of my tasks at work is to sift through tons of CVs and put people forward for testing and interview (which for the most part is fun; getting to give people chances in today’s dire climate. It’s less fun when I have to turn poor old men away because they don’t have the right experience but are otherwise awesome).
I do have one bone to pick. One of our screening questions upon application is “what is an aspect of your personality that could be improved”. If I read ONE more “well, I am a perfectionist” I will actually SCREAM! Or go postal. Seriously. A couple of you might know that I have always had a problem with people saying that they are perfectionists. To me it smacks of “I rock, and work much harder than others, and when I hand work in it is perfect, unlike everyone else’s work which is shoddy by comparison because they are ok with handing in substandard work” with self-righteously pursed lips and furrowed brow. It’s an extreme view, I know. It’s funny the things that irritate you, huh?

Working here has multiplied this by a zillion. I get that people are afraid of writing something negative on their application, but the ones that are honest and say an actual thing that they could work on impress me so much more than the old twist and turn to wring a positive out of a question about negatives.

Or do people who think they are perfectionists actually think that they are, and are not just being cocky? I guess maybe I just don’t get it – most people I know wouldn't finish with something unless it is as good as they can get it. Sure, to others it may not look "perfect", but to them it is to the best of their ability. So how is that different? Is perfectionism in that case just diligence with a self-appointed cherry on top, because you are confident enough to say that your work, once completed, is perfect?

My apologies to any of you who consider yourselves to be perfectionists. It’s just my pet peeve…kind of like when people say they have the flu when all they have is a bad cold. Gosh I am grumpy today.
What irritates you out of all proportion?

* * *

How pretty is this??? from here via here. Dave and I love us some crepes, so I think it would be perfect. I love the fresh, modern look. And it could possibly replace dessert.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Yes, I am ridiculous and an embarrassment to my mother.

So, having an immature wedding “crisis” this week.

It’s really not a biggie, but true to form, it’s now all I’m thinking about – even when I should be thinking about bigger, more important things like, ahem, work. So I have my dress – it is perfect for me; a touch vintage, romantic, pretty, not too meringue-y, and in a style that I know makes the most of my shape. The fact that it fits me perfectly straight out of the box and had a waaaay less than RRP price tag were also bonuses. It’s the kind of dress that goes with the style of wedding that we are planning too; with the cake, flowers, church, reception, dance, photographer, invites, save-the-dates, table plan etc etc etc. And that is the wedding that I want too; I’m not being a whiney brat crying that I am being forced into a big wedding. It’s not like that at all. It’s just that it is turning into a Big Deal, you know? A kind of intimidating big event with near-certain day-after wallowing “what do I do now” moping and self-pity (yes, I am a big baby). This is ridiculous, because I know how much fun I’ll have, how much I will love the day – after all, my sister’s wedding was one of the so-called “traditional” ones and it rocked. And that’s the kind of wedding I (we, hopefully! Ha!) want – it’s nothing so dramatic as me rebelling against the pressures of family or anything like that. In fact, I think it is fair to say that I am the one turning it into a big deal with my endless dwelling on bridesmaid dresses and flower arrangements!! So I have only myself to blame. Hell, it’s not even that big of an “affair” – just your standard wedding with all the regular accoutrements.

But (there’s always a but) now I have seen a dress that is the cause of a dramatic paradigm shift (ha, again – I’m far too melodramatic) in my wedding thinking. I tried it on in the hope that it would emphasise my munchkin-esq physique. Unfortunately, it made me look tall and thin with legs up to my armpits (anyone who knows me well know that this never happens). This dress inspires visions of a town hall elopement with minimal flowers and fuss followed by a blow out party. And I would wear sunglasses in our photos. So, the question is; shall I put on my big girl pants and Deal With It – I have a beautiful beautiful dress and let’s be realistic, it’s not all about the dress. Or, shall I channel my inner J-Lo and have a second dress for the reception. It is £125, which doesn’t seem like much, but to me is enough money in NZD for it not to be considered a bargain – so would be more expense on something that is certainly not a necessity. And I don’t want people to judge me for being that girl with the two wedding dresses. But, dammit I would have SO much fun partying in that dress.

Monday, 20 April 2009


Happy Monday! We had a great weekend. We got to see one of our most favourite music groups - Mnozil. They are an Austrian septet of brass musicians, and they are AMAZING! We were so lucky to get tickets to one of their concerts, they are uber popular all round the world. Also, the gig we made it to was a teeny intimate one of only 220 people in the middle of the Saddleworth Valley (a.k.a. the middle of nowhere) It was cool. It's so hard to describe what these guys do - they are first and foremost musicians, and they are seriously some of the best brass players I have heard ever. They all have very prestigious backgrounds in their own right(s), but have been together as Mnozil for years. The other side of their performance is comedic. I can't actually describe it, suffice to say that it was hands down one of the funniest things I have ever seen, as well as the most impressive. Check them out, but bear with me, the youtube clip doesn't begin to compare to the live show. Also, I can't find clips of the funniest parts of the set, which were a spoof on Jazz and a spoof on modern classical music. And a ridiculous version of Edelweiss. Bohemian Rhapsody is their signature tune though, so it gives you an idea. I don't have the skills to embed video. sorry.

Friday, 17 April 2009

XKCD Friday

Ah, the end of another short week - and luckily for us here in the UK, May is action packed full of bank holidays, so there are still another few short weeks to look forward to!

A couple of xkcd's for you today: the first is for my big sister and her husband who have just announced that they are expecting again! as Katie said; go Nic and Sean, way to procreate!!

And this one, just because...

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009


One of these by Della Nonna:

Found here via Globetrotting Bride (which happens to be a favourite blog of mine).

What better way to mark the big day (or any occasion - birth of a child, important birthday anniversary etc etc)?

Thursday, 9 April 2009

XKCD nearly Friday!

This one is called "Fuck Grapefruit"

Courtesy of XKCD. Have a great Easter weekend! we're off to Stockholm, yipee!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

If only I had the ability to walk in heels.

Then I could wear these on my wedding day.

Or might I be mistaken for a drag queen? I can't entirely decide whether they are classy enough for our wedding (not that I am particularly classy, but I don't want any of our guests thinking I'm the 'entertainment' at the reception). However, it is certain that they are fierce.

I am still sad that I didn't buy the shoes from this post when I had the chance. They even went on sale for only £35! what a fool I am. Of course, now they are long gone, and I am crying inside.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Yay!! happy Monday to me!

Amanda at The Blissful Bride has finished my inspiration board!! you can see the whole post here, including colour palette and pattern. Isn't it lovely??? I love it!! especially the shoes and the bouquet and the not-quite-matching bridesmaid dresses. Funnily, I was looking online over the weekend and found the exact same picture, and loved it so much I filed it away for future reference, so well done Amanda!!
If you've not done so already, head over to Blissful Bride and check out all the lovely posts (and for goodness sake put in your request for a custom inspiration board - I hear the orders are rolling in, so be quick!)

Friday, 3 April 2009

Julia's dark side.

So I yelled at a hobo yesterday.

Now I feel a mixture of guilt, shame, and indignation. Let me explain:

In Manchester (as with the rest of the UK and possibly some other countries) there are people selling the Big Issue magazine. As I understand it, these are disadvantaged types – homeless/halfway house people etc – who sell the magazines for donations and get to keep the money (perhaps they only get some of the money, or it gets taken off them by the Big Issue and put into some sort of care fund. I’m not sure – if you know the particulars can you please enlighten me?). Anyway… I’m a fan of Big Issue people because they are actually doing something with their day. And, at least in my experience, they are always unfailingly polite and are pleasant even if you don’t donate. Possibly they lose their “beat” if they are rude. I’m not sure, but I like them. I plan to give my favourite hobo £20 when we leave Manchester because he always says hello to me.

However – I was on my way to Chinatown yesterday (a whole other post involving Phad Thai), and had to get some cash out. There were two hobos sitting right beside the cash machines. I saw one guy get cash out and get yelled at by the hobo for not giving him any change. So I was on my guard and approached my hobo/cash machine with trepidation. When he asked for change I looked in my wallet, thinking I would give him some – I honestly didn’t have any, and told him so. When I walked away, he yelled at me across the street and called me a “sad b!tch”. I lost my cool and yelled at him. Nothing lengthy, just a few choice words.

On one hand, I feel completely in the right about this – how dare he yell at me! There was no way I was going to get out a tenner for him, because he had the alcohol shakes and I didn’t want to fund his addiction. And surely, if he was serious about changing his life, he’d have hooked up with Big Issue? And anyway, he started it (na na na na naa naaa).

But…. On the other hand. What the hell is wrong with me? In these times I am so lucky to have a job and a home and a future – did I really need to respond to the tramp? Did I really need to yell at him? I donate my £2 to the Cancer Society each year and think I’m Mother Theresa, but who am I kidding? So I don’t give a homeless guy money, then walk down to the supermarket, spend a few pounds on luxury food items, then wander back to my cushy desk job and spend the afternoon drinking free coffee. I know I whinge about money at times, but I honestly do know how lucky and privileged I am. So why don’t I do more to help those less fortunate than me? Why do I begrudge them a couple of quid that I am probably just going to spend at Starbucks anyway? I try to justify myself by adopting a smug tone and saying “oh, I would give money but we’re saving for our future/house/jetplane” but seriously folks, what am I really saying; “I like having money and don’t like giving it away” Any one else have this problem?

Having a bit of a middle-class crisis here. Also, just realised that I wore a bright pink bra today and classily matched it with a white shirt. Nice.

Sorry for the lengthy post. I may post an XKCD comic later to lighten the mood… (see?! I can’t handle such introspection!)