Sunday, June 30, 2013

(Mid) Summer in the City

This weekend has been a long time coming.  Life's pace has been frenetic for most of June, so to look in the diary and find a tonne of gaps was delightful.  There's been a lot of napping, reading, chatting....the best kind of set up for the final surge of the summer term.  Summer break is a mere 7-and-a-half days away, and I feel ready - in my self, my soul, my spirit, my body - for a change.  Time to relax a little, regroup, remember the little things, the moments, the givings that make life tick over more sweetly.

Last night I made the effort to actually don clothing other than pyjamas (stay classy, Thornley) because Matthew and I had a double date with one of our favourite couples, Rory and Eileen.  I'd caught up with Eileen midweek, but this was the first time we'd seen both of them since their gorgeous wedding in Vienna at the start of the month.  Eileen had noticed that Rekorderlig cider was doing a Swedish Midsummer house in Victoria Park, a hop, skip and jump from home, so we got tickets and headed over for an evening of catching up, (very sweet) cider and sausages.  Luckily the weather played ball, and the evening was warm and delicious.

Geese and goslings by the water. Aren't they cute?

Me and my handsome fiancé.

The newlyweds.

I love summer evening light :)

All about the posing ;)



Such a fab, lowkey evening.  After the Midsummer House we headed to a nearby pub for drinks (water for me after all that sugar!) and jumped into minicabs to get home.  Once there, Shona, Matthew and I continued our bonanza of late night movies by watching the tailend of Die Hard With a Vengeance.  I have to watch the Die Hard movies whenever I come across them on TV.  It's a rule.

By the way, I noticed as I headed to post this that this is my 1,500th post.  Thank you so much to all of you who read, comment, and giggle along as I write about my silly, fun little life.  I love having this blog to record, ponder, and chat, and you all make that even more fun.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Five Minutes: In Between

Five Minute Friday
 
As the end of term bears down, like the smallest shaft of light pricking the dark, dark, dark of a long and exhausting tunnel, I'm finally starting to find time.  To read, to sleep, to chat, to blog.  June in teaching comes second only to September in levels of exhaustion, and I write as one who feels like a shadow...eyebags like trunks, head like wool, body aching.  The demands of exams, activities and reports always leave me wrecked.  There are harder jobs, undoubtedly, but I like to give of my all, and the end of this month always finds me tired.
 
Now, however, we're moving forward and I find myself in the usual end of term whirl - parties and projects and sucking up the last of the goodness before the long summer break begins.  And as my to-do list calms that little bit, it's nice to find time for things that aren't school (thank heavens - I'm running out of clothes!).  Amongst those is finding the five minutes to link up with the lovely Lisa-Jo for 5 Minute Friday.  It has been too long!
 
This week's prompt is in between.
 
GO.
 
It's precious to me, this stage of in between.
 
A few months ago Matthew and I were girlfriend and boyfriend, happy together, bimbling along in our own happy way.
 
And then in April, that changed.  In the nicest, most unexpected, loveliest way.  A small question, a smaller answer, and a shiny pretty ring threw us gently from 'together' to 'engaged'.  And this is the in between we find ourselves in.  Excited to be married, enjoying planning a wedding, and travelling through the unique delights of being a fiancé and a fiancée.
 
It's a fun stage, a busy stage, a stage of lists and plans and dreams and budgets and ideas and conversations.  Between glasses of champagne and dinner chats we email vendors, design invitations and compare notes.  We visit and are visited by families, bridesmaids, best men to be.  We swap stories with our other friends planning weddings for next year.  We look forward.  We  talk not just about weddings, but about the future, the marriage beyond.  We're in between the lands of single and married, and it's a lovely place to be.
 
One of the nicest in betweens I've ever experienced.
 
STOP. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The other side

Every year, the demands of June at school hit me like a tonne of bricks.  I'm a fairly chilled, even-keel, graft-away-till-it's-done sort of person, but the triple whammy of exam week, activity week, and report submission week all too often leaves me exhausted (75 hour weeks drain me!).  That said, it's the nature of the beast - in teaching June and September are high pressure, full on, and tiring....but talk to me in a month and I'll be the most chilled person in the borough!

So the blog tends to slim down a little in those months, but I think that's no bad thing - all those lat night proofreading sessions and early, early commutes have given me lots of ideas and I'm looking forward to having lots to post about during the gentler months to come.

All has been well here - I'll be posting soon about wedding plans, parties at Lords, friends coming to stay, my beef with The Apprentice, summer fun, beautiful celebrations and cats (as ever ;)), but for now it's the first lazy Sunday in ages, so I'm off for a hot date with a pile of ironing and a movie.  Life is good.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Oooooooh.......Vienna!

Last weekend, Matthew and I were lucky enough to travel to Vienna for a few days to help our dear friends Eileen and Rory celebrate their wedding.  It was *such* fun to visit such a beautiful city and be part of such a special day. 



The newlyweds arriving at the venue.  Isn't Eileen's gown beautiful?

The architecture in Vienna was awe inspiring!

Shannyn, Dan and Matthew eagerly awaiting the arrival of the happy couple at the reception venue!

Kate, the maid of honour, and one of the many awesome cakes we made friends with!

Kate's brother Bill was the official photographer - I couldn't resist having him ham it up for the camera!

Eileen and Mary, her other bridesmaid, at the hairdressers.

The new Mrs!  Love this shot of our girl.

Moar cake!

We had our rehearsal dinner opposite this beautiful building - what a view!

Me doing my best Mufasa impression at the salon.  Don't worry, I didn't have hair like this for long - it was tamed in time!

Karen, one of Eileen's readers, raises a glass.

The happy couple - the bride even gave me her best 'Blue Steel' (TM Derek Zoolander)!
Rory and Eileen, thank you once again for having me be one of your bridesmaids - I was so thrilled to be there!  Matthew and I love you both dearly and truly wish you a married life together full of good things.  And board games.  And wine.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

A Missive From Master Fry

Enjoying the sun in the garden.

Well hello there, dearest friends!

How art thou?  How goest it with thee?

Do forgive my flowery lexicon, I am well and truly full of the joys of spring today!

The sun is in the sky, the weather is fine, and I have plenty of time to bathe in the rays.  I even have a suntan - the fur on my belly is turning gingery-brown amongst the jet.  Added to this, both Claire and Matthew are home this weekend, so I am demanding LOTS of fusses.

It's only right.

So yes, the life of this young man-cat is a good one.  I do so hope the sun is here to stay.  Are you enjoying the end of spring and the start of summer?

Yours ever,

Fry Zanzibar R.
Claire borrowed our kitteh room to throw a party - Mater and I 'helped to tidy'.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Fall

Five Minute Friday

Fridays around here mean many things.  Coffee and a pastry on the way to school.  Classroom tidying.  The delicious moment when the weekend begins.  And linking up with Lisa-Jo for 5 Minute Friday.  Five minutes to write, to think, to feel...

This weeks word is 'fall'.

GO.

For so long I played it safe.

In a world where I'd been hurt so many times, it was easier to toe the path of least resistance.  Lest I fall.

Having leapt before and been greeted by nothing but off kilter landings and the bruises they bring, I lived in a way that kept me safe.  Kept me grounded.  Kept me alone. With all the risks of falling, why bother at all?

I was happy...ish.  I thought sticking with gravity, staying safe, being sensible was the way to go.  So I read my books, sang my songs, loved my friends and kept my heart in a place where falling was not an option.

And then you came along.  And with every smile, every in-joke, every quiet moment I felt a thaw.  A shift.  A longing to leap. And the falling didn't seem so scary anymore.

I'm so glad I fell for you.  I hope I, I hope we, never reach the ground.

STOP.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Project Life Tuesday: Onto April!

The Mom Creative

Time to link up once more with Jessica for Project Life Tuesday!  I'm working hard to keep on track, but am aware that summer break will be the ideal oportunity to 'mop up' any journalling I've yet to do!  Love that this gives me a chance to refect on all the excitements we share.

My first visit up to see Abby, our niece.  She is just the most precious dot and her mama and daddy (and grandparents, uncle and aunt!) are all just smitten!  I went to visit on a wild and windy March weekend, so Abby, Elly and I cosied up with movies and snacks and had a whale of a time!  The weekend after that it was over to Cornwall to spend a long weekend with Mum, Dad, Sian, Chris and Peter.  Such fun!  Peter got me a '50 Shades of Grey' poster for Christmas which he brought along.  It totally cracked me up - I do not like that book or style of writing at all.  Oh my.

We did get some blue skies in Cornwall!  It was lovely to see my sister's dogs, Daniels and Sutherland, and to visit the owl sanctuary too.  I love owls!

Owls & ducks & dogs....quite the menagerie!  And Matthew, drink ing a teeny tiny beer.

I am really enjoying documenting all that goes on in our little whirly world through Project Life.  Note to self though.....more pictures of humans, Claire!


Hi, I'm Claire...

Hi, I'm Claire...

About Me

I believe in 80s pop, 90s teen movies, and proper thank you notes. I just like smiling...smiling's my favourite.

I write here about London, food, books & travel, and a lot more besides. I'm never happier than when having adventures, cooking for friends, or lost in a good book.

If you'd like to work together, or if you'd just like to say hello, my email is: countrymouseclaire@gmail.com

Please note that on occasion affiliate links may be used in this blog. All items received for review or paid posts will always be disclosed.

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