Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Night Before

After picking up the last remaining bits from Ballito for the wedding we headed out to the Rain Farm. Having watched the video on their website and seen the photos I was really looking forward to seeing what it was actually like. It was around 15 km off the main road and the amount of pot holes on the road were absurd!

As soon as we arrived at Rain Farm I started keeping my eyes peeled for wildlife. Doubtful that we would actually be able to see any so close to the roads. I was wrong, I think we had turned two corners before we came across the giraffe – all 5 of them all together almost like they were all waiting for my arrival – such a magnificent sight with them all having a nibble on the bushes. Sadly I didn’t have my camera or phone to hand & just gazed in awe of the wildlife so different to that in the UK.

We went and dropped the majority of the stuff down in ‘Zebra‘ – the honeymoon suite where I was staying with Lauren for the night, then went and had a look in the Boma at the set up and so on. It really was starting to come together, the fairy lights were up, the tables were nearly all laid out and the table runners & chair ties were in. It gave us all tingles! We had a drink with her parents on the veranda by the bar overlooking some of the landscape & I officially had my first beer since September!!

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With my first beer since September

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Geko!

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Love the label

We went out for Lauren’s ‘last supper’ at Hops in Ballito which was right down on the beach (& had WIFI!) we met her friend Niki down there and her friend from Jo’Burg – Estrade and her husband joined us. There was lots of giggles as we chomped away on our food & cocktails (tho as mine was REVOLTING I moved to Light Coke!) We headed back to Rain Farm after our food, time was getting on and we still had a couple of bits to do before bed time.

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The last picture of Miss Rush

Our main plan was to chill out a little, open the champers, jump in the jacuzzi and then hit the land of nod so that we were both well rested & relaxed for a long, long day ahead. This, somehow, didn’t exactly work. First there was the small issue of the frog that was hopping around the jacuzzi, La’s least favourite animal and I spent some considerable time trying to coax the ruddy thing away from the jacuzzi and out the pigging door. Total fail – bloody thing went in behind the jacuzzi and refused to come out! I’m there all ‘come on froggy, froggy, come on out you come’ – it took one look at me & turned his nose up at me before hopping off. Cue a mass of expletives from the a very flustered me!

It’s fine I thought, we will just forget about it and opened the bubbles & poured some out for La & I. She, during this time, was still trying to send the email with all of the songs on to the DJ for tomorrow night. The reception in the room was preventing it from sending so the tablet was wafted around the garden for a while, standing on tiptoes, waving it, shaking it, nothing. There was no other option, we would have to try walking up to reception as there was more coverage up there. So, already in our swimmers, towels around our waists in the PITCH BLACK we started heading back up the dirt path. I was indeed, how do I put this, BRICKING IT. (Despite telling La that of course I wasn’t scared – I mean what honestly could happen?!!) So much for our chilled out relaxing evening?!! After several more button presses, much wafting & reaching to the sky, the bloody thing STILL refused to send. Sod it. We’d do it first thing. Little could be done now.

We headed back to the room and pulled the covers off the jacuzzi and after La sticking a toe in & noticing that it was absurdly warm at 35 degrees and not quite so much as a hot bath but more a wet sauna temperature wise. I’m a flipping wimp with sensitive skin with the warm (just ask Mum!) I dipped about a cm of my big toe in before returning to the instructions on the wall to work out how to turn the bloody thing down!! Dear god this was clearly NEVER going to happen. Having followed them to the T all the way through 3 or 4 times (remember I’d had only one reeeeevolting MOOHHHEEETTTOOOO so this could in no way be referred to as a drunken faux pas!) we were getting NO WHERE with lowering the temperature at all. Sod it was confirmed and in we both went. We lasted, I’m really not kidding here, 30 seconds, if that, in there enjoying the bubbles until we both decided that actually it was not even enjoyable and both worried about our spray tans, how girlie?! How unlike me!?!

I had a quick shower & washed my hair before bed as I wasn’t allowed to wash it in the morning as it was being upstyled (like I knew what that meant?!) and so would be far too flimsy. I think it was lights out at 1130. Mission accomplished so far with a sober bride tucked up in bed ahead if her big day in the morning. 10 brownie points to moi!!

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The bed in Zebra

The Wedding Week

The week between the two main events was predictably hectic, to put it mildly. On the Monday I headed over to my Aunt and Uncle and spent the night with them as it seemed daft to be all the way over here and not catch up with them at all. It was lovely to see them and catch up on all their news.

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Hilda and I

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Uncle Ant & Juliet

We rushed around getting bits and pieces and paying off a number of the services that are all involved with the wedding. Met with the photographer who was lovely and gave me a lot of jip! He will get it back on Saturday, big time! The ideas for the photos all sound fabulous and so them, no really posed shots all natural and using the surrounding scenery (I’m still hoping for a giraffe or something similar to casually wander by behind for a quality African photobomb!).

Lauren didn’t want to pay for a spray tan for herself but as I sure as hell needed one so I paid for hers too as a treat on Thursday morning. The rest of the day was taken up with us trying our hardest not to rub up against anything touch anything or get wet. We also mildly panicked as it proceeded to get darker and darker as the day went on. We were both desperate to shower by the time that we could came round and get the stuff off!! We have to be thankful that it was not a day like when I first arrived and unbearably hot. I’d have been sweating it all off – lovely thought, hey!

Tam came around and gave us a hand with the menus as we were both at rather a loss as to how exactly to display them or add that extra touch. She came up with an idea instantly and so we all plaited brown ribbon and raffia, I think raffia is on everything as far as I can work out! The dogs were loving chasing around all tangled up in it.

The Oscar Pritorius trial was quite some focus of the week – there is actually an actual dedicated channel to the live reporting and feed from the court and as ridiculous as it sounds it’s hard not to get sucked into it. Still unsure, still no idea if it was with intent or not. The other piece of news that we’ve been keeping up with is the Malaysian Airplane that went missing randomly and there has been no trace of it since. The scenes of the poor poor families of the missing are heart breaking it has to be said. Looking forward to the flights home already?!!?

Friday came round all of a sudden and the miserable weather, though still warm, earlier in the week seemed to have passed and there was not a cloud in the sky, apparently it had all gone to the UK where there was thick fog – amazing what info you get on Sky News International!! With the dogs taken to the kennels first thing it was very quiet in the flat as La and her parents ran around sorting some last bits and picking some last things up too. The sounds of the crickets and the Hadedas really are so calming, though they are mainly out at night to be fair. At least the bunch of monkeys that were sending the dogs bonkers yesterday were not seemingly around on all of the roofs today. There were loads of them all sitting on roofs teasing the dogs of the neighbourhood. Such bloody pests.

Hen Party

As soon as I arrived back at the flat yesterday I spent a while stuffing the gift bags for today and putting all the bits and pieces out ready for the big event today. 25 bags all sorted with the Hen bag all sorted too – all of the pieces out of my main luggage and in one bag so I didn’t have to faff around this morning.

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The labels on all the bags – a labour of love I can tell you!

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All of the contents of the Hen Party bags as described in the blog

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The empty frame ready for the lip prints

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The Guest Book for the Hen Do

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The CD List that I pulled together from suggestions from others

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The wine charms and the saying attached, another labour of love!

We were off early to see Lauren’s dress for another fitting and also a fitting for the Mother of the Bride’s outfit which was being made by the same lady. It was beautiful. I had no idea what to expect and I thought it was simply stunning and stunningly simple. I was extremely privileged as it has only been myself and La’s Mum who have seen her in the dress.

Finally the day had come. I was as nervous as hell with all of the months of preparations and little bits that I have been working on and completing over the past few months I suddenly got really nervous that Lauren wouldn’t like anything I had done. I managed to keep a surprise until this morning the colour theme as I had told her what I wanted her to wear – all black – and she was going to see all of the accessories when I went out?!!

Lauren’s friend Tam, who I’d been Whatsapping with since mid Feb, picked me and the multiple bags up and we headed over to the Botanical Gardens where we were holding her Hen Party/Picnic Lunch. It was more than ridiculously hot & I was indeed sweating from every pore of my body. It was a similar sensation experienced while on the Great Wall in China. I took a change of top and to be honest I wasn’t even going to wear the hot pink bolero and hot pink shoes either but it was just WAY too hot.

We initially set up in a location right by the top entrance on Sydenham Road so that everyone could find us easily as none of us knew each other!! As soon Kirsten arrived the sun had made quite some appearance and so we shifted over a little further and were in the shade.

Lauren arrived with her Mum but we told them to dump their contribution and go for a little meander in the park whilst more people arrived. I only recognised some of the ladies by what they were bringing! I was relying entirely on them introducing themselves to the relatively bossy Brit who has been barking orders since before Xmas as what she wanted from them all. Thankfully they did and everyone looked fabulous in their black and hot pink outfits it was awesome I was most pleased. The amount of food that we had in the end was absurd!! We could have fed an army!

The cupcakes that Lizelle brought were absolutely spot on for what I was hoping. I know I shared images of what I wanted with Kirsten but I really couldn’t send them on to her too 😉 they really were superb and, having tasted them, utterly delicious.

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Once people had started eating and mingling a little I started handing out my gift bags to everyone and they certainly went down very well. The Mother of the Bride and the Mother of the Groom loved their sashes and little Survival Kit for the wedding. Once people had been looking at their bags I gave Lauren hers, you know, just so she didn’t feel left out and all! She started putting all of the bits I had got her that she had been so worried about for so long. Thankfully, as I knew, she loved them all & found them all hilarious, the glasses especially!

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Me, Lauren’s Mum, La herself & Lyn (Ray’s Mum)

I knew that she didn’t want a stripper and to be honest I really couldn’t bear the thought of one either. But every Hen Party is not really complete without one, and so of course, I couldn’t disappoint!! I introduced him and brought him out, all wrapped up, much to a very bemused and worried Lauren as to what the bloody hell was happening. She opened the following to many giggles. It was PERFECT! And Lauren LOVED IT.

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Lauren’s Stripper

We packed up as it all wound down and popped everything back in Tam’s car who dropped us back off at home to change and ‘freshen up’ good god I was so hot, so drained and so relieved. I think my late night was starting to catch up with me and the stress of today going well for my La. But it was a success in my book and I was thrilled. It was just what La wanted, and she was I think more than relieved that there were no nasty surprises.

We headed to a bar close to the flat where we met up with the guys and Ray was looking somewhat shabby after being plied with shooters galore on top of beers. He could actually hardly stand! We sat and watched the rugby and chatted and had a few drinks & some food. It was a lovely evening but I was fading rapidly and so when Lauren’s parents headed home after the rugby I joined them to then try sleeping. We left La & Ray partying on, fair play it was their evening a once in a life time!

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Ray & Charles from after I left

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Lauren with Andre from after I left

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Bear Hug Heaven

After a fairly decent flight, the success at Heathrow of getting all the Hen Party stuff through Security as hand luggage and not letting the cube with THE dress, appropriate bra & fat pants in (I kid you not) & of course my Bunny leave my sight and literally NO sleep, I finally made it to Durban to be greeted as soon as I got off the plane by a waft of hot air. It certainly didn’t do that when I landed in Jo’Burg a couple of hours earlier! We were inside too!!

The cube with THE dress, underwear and Bunny in!

The cube with THE dress, underwear and Bunny in!

Oh good god I’m going to spend the majority of the week sweating, beats freezing I guess like back at home! Waiting for the luggage to arrive (with fingers crossed & begging for it not to have got lost on route) I ‘slipped off’ the oh so attractive DVT socks – I really have no idea why the hell some bright shmuck has put L and R on the toes but then I did buy them on the way back from Australia in the summer. (Incidentally, did you know I went on the Lions Tour?!?)

I spotted my La as soon as I got my big bag and headed for the exit doors. My heart rushed to my mouth as I tried a faster pace with but with my two roller bags and my big ‘hand bag’, I’d say, as I’m now in Africa, that I had about as much grace as an elephant running (ie ALL OVER the place). Let go of everything for THE biggest and THE best bear hug EVER. I think we both even managed to squeeze out a tear or two!! It was just amazing, amazing, A-MAY-ZING to see her & have our pined for hugs we’ve been Whatsapping about for months. We quite possibly could have been stood there for a whole while longer, but we were kind of blocking the exit! That welcome & that emotion of seeing her. That was worth the ticket price alone. Never mind the ‘real’ reason as to why I’m here!!

We already had jobs to do with a trip from the airport straight to La Lucia Mall (yes I’m sure I looked & smelt a beautiful sight having been in the same clothes for the last 24 hours). The vest top purchased at Heathrow in Fat Face suddenly became the best buy ever as I had a quick change of top in the car park (with a fair few onlookers). One of the things I guess I learnt at Boarding School (AKA the institution) was the ability to dress & change with out displaying any ‘bits’. Job done. It wasn’t just a shopping trip though we were there to look at a sample of the table displays for next weekend & to buy a fan for my room – I needed one there & then, I tell you I was frickin melting by this stage and I’d only just arrived. It was, to my credit, 33 degrees so I think I had literally every right to feel a wee bit ‘glowing’!! We caught up with La’s folks too there who had only arrived last night from Botswana (& without their bags, I’d have been spitting chips hey! And of course Ray who chipped up just in time to see the arrangement for the centre pieces of the tables.

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A sample of the centre pieces for all of the tables, created on an oasis on driftwood that La & Ray had collected from the beach

 

Back at home I got to meet the doggies – Kye and Luna, Jack Russell’s as divine as anything and, as warned, absolutely no knowledge of personal space!! But I’m an animal & kid lover – it doesn’t phase me & they both calmed down after the initial MASSIVE excitement!

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Kye and Luna on one of the charis in the flat

 

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