Five Weeks to Wed: Reflection on Youth

By the time I was seven I had the whole marriage thing wrapped up – my husband would be tall (at least a head taller than me), dark and handsome, I would be bedecked in lavish jewels and wear a big meringue dress (almost exactly like the one Jennifer Connelly wore in Labyrinth – see below). The ceremony, no less lavish than the dress (naturally), would take place in a beautiful church, with the reception in a grand country mansion. Guests would eat plentifully (mostly chocolate), and I would spend the remainder of my days tripping the light fantastic and dancing on sunbeams with unicorns. Or something like that.

Fast forward 27 years (ouch) and the reality isn’t so far from the dream. My husband to be is indeed tall (not quite a head taller, but let’s not, if you’ll excuse the pun, split hairs) and handsome, if not quite dark (but red haired will do nicely). The lavish jewels are out (clearly my seven year old self had no concept of money), the dress thankfully not quite in the meringue league, and the ceremony will not be in a church (this part I’m sad about, but as we are not Catholic we weren’t allowed to marry in the on-site chapel, and will instead do it outside on the lawn, weather permitting…). And much as I’d have liked a meal made entirely of chocolate, my 34 year old self has to acknowledge it’s not to everyone’s taste. But on one front I’ve trumped seven year old me entirely, for we are not getting married in a grand country mansion, but an actual bona fide castle (albeit because our original, far less grand and ergo far less expensive venue cancelled, but still..). And in Austria, land of stunning lakes and mountains.

With five weeks to go the nerves are kicking in, not about the marriage itself (fortunately), but rather about the plethora of things still to be ticked off the to do list. And the weather. Such a thing shouldn’t matter, of course, but as putting up a marquee will cost us an extra grand I would dearly love to see a forecast devoid of rain when it comes to marquee decision day (two days before the main event). And also, given that our loved ones are making such an effort to be there on our special day,  I would love to have sunshine as much as for them as for us. But what will be will be. I’ve learned a lot during this process about not stressing over things you can’t control. It hasn’t always been easy but it’s another part of growing up. And on the whole, I think we’re both doing pretty well. Next stop: tripping the light fantastic and dancing on sunbeams with unicorns. Bring it on.


Midsummer dreaming

With a name like Hamlet I was always going to stick out from the crowd. Dad claims he chose the name because it was a dark and stormy night when I was born, and because he knew I’d be a leader. Mum says she went along with it because she’d always liked studying Shakespeare at school and had a fondness for Ophelia (which I think is frankly ridiculous). So anyway, for various stupid reasons I was lumbered with this name, and it’s haunted me ever since. Didn’t they realise schools would still be teaching Shakespeare when they had children of their own? Honestly.

Still, I shouldn’t complain. At least I’m better off than my poor brother. At three years old he’s too young to realise what he has in store for him, but something tells me it’s not going to be pretty. What on earth would possess someone to name their son Puck? Not only does it rhyme with a rude word that means the act of coitus (or copulation – we’re doing sex education at the moment and it’s funny as), it’s also the name of the Fairy King. Mum says it’s romantic, but I can’t see it being romantic when my brother’s friends are old enough to realise the joke.

Parents can be so stupid sometimes.