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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!!
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.
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!