Rose Wine, Jagger Bombs and Me Do Not Mix!

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Saturday the 18th May was my brother, Stephen’s wedding to his partner of five years Stacey Griffiths. The ceremony was at St. Georges Hall and the reception afterwards was held at the Head of Steam.

My mother, brother Daniel, his friend Paul and myself and David were supposed to be at the hall for 3.10pm, the wedding being at 3.30pm. However, with David taking time to get ready, (he was under the weather with a cold) and then taking a scenic route to St. Georges, we arrived at the hall at 3.25pm! Then as there were no signposts as to which room the ceremony was to be held in, we wandered around the floors, going up and down the lift to floors one and two before finding the right room. I had visions of us knocking at a door and there being another wedding in progress…  ‘and if anyone knows of any lawful impediment’… ‘opps sorry wrong room.’

We arrived just in time! Unfortunately where I was sitting I could not get a good view of the ceremony so the footage is rather dismal. The ceremony was lovely though with two readings given by friends and family. My two nephews Nathan and Aaron alongside two bridesmaids brought up the front while Stacey looked the beautiful bride in a cream silken dress. The ceremony lasted about 20 minutes, we spent more time getting all our pictures taken!

At nearly an hour later, we all headed over to the Head of Steam which was across the road from the hall. The only down side to the venue was that it was a function room attached to a pub and the only toilets in the entire building were annexed to the pub, so we had to walk through a seething crowd of revellers every time we needed the loo and then they were disgusting! There were only four cubicles for the girls and none of the toilets flushed, so you can imagine the smell after a good few hours. It was not pleasant.

The function room was done up with balloons and bubbles. The wedding cake was delightful and the buffet catered for every diet. I loved the fruit salad, mmm pineapple and strawberries! 😀

What became my undoing was that our table with my mum, uncle Malcolm, aunty Dot, cousins, Sarah and Michael, myself and David were given a complimentary bottle of rose wine. My cousin Sarah and I noticed another two empty tables with bottles standing proud and we managed to bend the arms of Malcolm and family friend Paul to go and obtain these bottles illicitly before anyone saw us! So all in all it was a cheap night out for me, where I paid for nothing!

After 7pm the DJ arrived, the wine was flowing (I drank for about 5 hours!) and I had my first taste of a Jagger Bomb! It was very sweet and sickly, I don’t really see the appeal. My mum had to leave after 8pm as she was baby minding Nathan and Aaron so it was just me and David with the rest of my family who drank and boogied until we decided it was time to go.

We left about 11pm, slightly chatty and giggly with the wine I had consumed, (yes we drank all three bottles of wine between four of us! ) but feeling fine. It was come 3am when I awoke and could not get back to sleep my mind flashing up screen caps of the day and the music thumping in my head. It was after 6am when I first felt nauseous and I became acquainted with the toilet bowl (oh hello old friend!). I felt hungover until 8pm that night and I think it was only down to the medicinal ingredients of good old lentil soup! Thank God for lentil soup!

I am really not one to indulge much with alcohol, but I suppose it was the situation, the people I was with and the knowledge that the wine was FREE that tipped me over the edge. I had no sympathy from David nor any of my family for the self inflicted pain the next morning. I think it will take my body a good few days to really recover sufficiently, I am feeling knackered now as I go back to a full weeks work of exam invigliation for the University of Liverpool!

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The Rise of the Onesie!

Silliness at the start of 2013! Below find footage of David’s sister and boyfriend and myself and David all sporting onsies. The Red Panda onsie David got for me was too large, but funny none the less. Leanne is sporting a Mini Mouse Onsie and Ferhat, an elephant! Enjoy!

The first day of 2013 brought its own ups and downs. The down was that the poison I got for the nine rats in our garden had started to work! David had to remove a carcass! The up was that there were 12 Goldfinches at the feeders all lined up and there are four Blue Tits visiting the sunflower hearts also!

On the 7th January my eyes alighted on a new visitor to the back yard: I think it is a Chiffchaff  A bit early for him but he was a most welcome sight as he fluttered here and there in the trees.

Happy New Year…!

… Let’s hope that 2013 is a much better year!

Here’s the completed video of David and Christine’s 2012! Hope you enjoy!

Istanbul: Day two – sightseeing

Firstly, I went to the wrong mosque! I should have gone to Hagia Sophia and not the Blue Mosque! I really should have done my homework before visiting but I didn’t and so I never got to see the Norse runes!

Today was a Thursday, (20th December) and was a day set aside for sightseeing, though the weather did not play along with this plan as it SNOWED all day and was bitterly cold! The weatherman did not forecast snow!

Istanbul is such a vast city that seeing ‘all’ the sights is not possible in a day. It took a good 20 minute taxi drive from the hotel to the ‘old’ Istanbul to even see the Blue Mosque. I wanted to see the Bosphorus and get my picture with the city skyline saying, ‘Christine in Constantinople,’ but the snow laden cloud masked the river so that we could not see any landmarks!

David and I must look like tourists as a ‘tour guide’ latched onto us as we approached the Blue Mosque. With the slippery snow falling on marble steps, the going was treacherous! The sight of a screaming tourists stepping gingerly from the mosque recalled biblical scenes for me and an image of lepers crawling from the temple flashed in my mind. 😀

We had to take our shoes off to enter the mosque and I, as a woman, had to wear a blue scarf that was given to me. I do not suit scarves, and most definitely not blue scarves! I looked like the Virgin Mary! Inside, the mosque was beautifully ornate. I would have liked someone to have told me what I was looking at though. I just aimed my camera and took pictures.

Afterwards, frozen, we all headed for a cafe where we had toasted sandwiches and nice coffee.

Then, with our cockles warmer we ventured back out into the cold once again and visited the Cistern, an underground reservoir that harkens back to Roman times. I liked this place a lot, more so than the mosque.

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From the Cistern, we visited the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar, though shopping isn’t really my thing.

We got a taxi back to the hotel. One driver wanted to charge us more as we were English! Cheeky so and so! We then got ready for a most welcoming meal at Bilgen’s family home. I really loved the salmon and mash potatoes on offer. Meeting new people always stresses me out but I relaxed more as the week progressed. We were very much made to feel welcome which was nice. 🙂

Istanbul: Day five – homeward bound!

What with the wedding finishing after 12 am and not getting back to the hotel until 1 am. I decided not to go to bed that night but to stay awake until 4.30 am when everyone was getting up and ready to leave for the airport. David had four hours sleep while I emailed Mum and listened to music on YouTube!

We got a taxi to the airport and checked out! I had to laugh as the security scanning my handbag were pointing to the computer screen, probably wondering at all the electrical parts within! By 8 am Turkish time, we were on board the plane and seated waiting for take-off! I would love to learn to fly one day. I love the exhilaration of the take-off, its akin to the shivery excitement of good sex! I think I was the only person excited to be going home!

On the plane, David fell asleep for the majority of the the four hours flight. It was longer due to flying against the Jet Stream! I read from my Kindle and listened to music. I was so happy as I got the window seat! I saw mountains as we flew over Germany and then the flooding in the English countryside! I looked out of the window for most of the fight, listening to Kylie Minogue and looking at the clouds below us!

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I had breakfast on the plane, of omelette and muesli with yoghurt. I really enjoyed both my meals on the planes. It was a novelty for me.

We touched down on English soil at 10.23 am! Manchester was nice and sunny! A taxi took us back to Liverpool via the M6 and M62 and I got home to Mum and Riley at 11.30 am! It was nice to be home! 😀

Istanbul: Day one – arrival

We, all bleary eyed set off for Manchester airport at 7 am. It took us over an hour to get through security. I must say the body scanner is a scary contraption! 😀

Those we travelled with were: David’s mum Jeanette, his Dad Dave, his sister Leanne and David’s aunt and uncle, Janet and Mike. We met Leanne’s boyfriend Ferhat in Istanbul.

The plane we were on, was an Airbus 321 and it didn’t have much leg room. David went to sleep for most of the flight, he had the window seat! I read for most of the three and a half hour flight, thankfully I had brought my Kindle. Indeed my handbag was full of electronics, with Kindle, camera, camcorder, headphones and notebook! The other half of the flight I listened to music on my notebook and tried to write, but found that I couldn’t concentrate.

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We touched down in Istanbul, Turkey around 5 pm! (3 pm UK time) We were picked up by Bilgen’s (David’s brother, Gary’s fiancée) family and driven to the Titanic Port Hotel. We were given a twin room, I couldn’t be bothered changing rooms as it was only for a few days. After we had settled in, Gary and Bilgen took the family out for a meal at a local shopping mall. I had a Mediterranean Pizza which was nice! It had been a long and tiring day so we retired to our room to sleep, though in reality I didn’t have a good nights sleep as I can’t settle in a new bed on the first night.

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Burying One’s Head in the Sand Doesn’t Help Anyone…

… at least not yourself! Whatever you fear to face, will always come whether you try to distract yourself or not. That’s what I think regarding this trip to Turkey. For months I have not been thinking of it, thinking of all sorts to try stop worrying about it. However this imposed social occasion is almost upon me and I can’t do anything about it. I don’t do very well in social situations, hence the procrastination.

It was a friend of mine, who a while back said she was jealous of me for going to Istanbul. So it got me thinking, maybe I should be excited about going and not so evasive?

So I am packing my suitcase with a hope that I will get to see the Norse runes at the Blue Mosque (probably saying, ‘Sven was here’! ) and also to gaze upon the Bosphorus. This Thursday is set for sightseeing so hopefully I will be able to see some sights. David’s brother’s wedding is the Saturday and the day before we are attending a Henna night, should be interesting to witness, another culture in action.

We come home on the 23rd, so I only have Christmas Eve to plan anything. I have no hope that this Christmas will be any good. I’ll probably be too tired after all the travelling and David and I have not moved into our home. I had so hoped we would spend our first Christmas together in our new home.  Also I do not know how my mum will react knowing my father is no longer with us during the festive season. So I am not looking forward to Christmas this year.

House wise, the builder, a neighbour of David’s had knocked the hated shed down, bricked up the back door and put in the new door. Also today, we have had the gas turned on and the boiler checked. Everything at the moment seems all ok!

If the hotel we are staying at in Istanbul, (one of the Titanics’?) doesn’t have internet then let me wish you all the best for Christmas! See you in the New Year!