And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe

Something old, something new,

Something borrowed, something blue,

And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

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That’s how the Victorian wedding rhyme for good luck in a marriage goes. The first four are easy enough. Traditionally a bride borrows the veil of a happily married friend or relative – that covers old and borrowed – and the dress is usually new. Nowadays the blue is usually a garter to hold up the non-existent stockings.

How many brides have you come across putting a sixpence in their shoes? Or wear shoes which would be suitable (so, courts)? Mind you, since the sixpence was decommissioned as legal tender, it’s not like they’re ready at hand. I suppose you could substitute a five-pence.

If you look, you can find sixpences. Usually for stirring into Christmas puddings. I found a set on eBay with holes drilled in them, for jewellery-making.

On a whim, I bought some. And then spent an awfully long time (about an hour) carefully braiding threads, attaching a couple. It took much longer than I expected.

See, I reckon using sixpences as charms on an anklet counts as a modern-day “in her shoe”, don’t you? And if it’s made from blue thread, that gets rid of the superfluous garter.

Also, I begin to see what people mean when they suggest getting any DIY bits done early…

In Praise of Butter

Did you ever do that thing as a child where you hold a buttercup to your chin to see whether you like butter? If your chin goes yellow (which it invariably does), you do.

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Now, I’m never going to single-handedly save the dairy industry: I don’t drink milk or take it in my tea. I’m more partial to cream and even that I don’t really have much anymore. I occasionally (rarely) eat yogurt or cheese-on-toast. Ice-cream, yes, it’s necessary in this heat.

What I like, though, is butter melting on my toast. Jam is good for cream teas, but not on my toast.
There is nothing better than golden pools of melting butter on toast; on crumpets toasted on an open fire; on Sunday breakfast drop-scones that your dad made because your mum hasn’t made pain au chocolat. It’s just so gorgeously decadent, so wonderfully luxurious, to be eating something dripping with melting butter.

Now, usually, I buy basics butter, on the premise that, you know, butter is butter. Is there really any difference between basic brands and more expensive butters? There’s no point spending more than I need to, thought I, reaching for the cheapest. Well, actually, in a word, Yes. My goodness, yes.
You see, the other day, ASDA forced (yes, I will use that word) me to deviate. It had none of the Value Butter. I had to look towards the more expensive ones. Trying to stick to my budget, though, I went for the next cheapest. Only about 50p more expensive, so not break-the-bank expensive. It was a half-pound block of green-foil-wrapped Cornish butter, from Trewithen’s dairy.
It is, by far and away, the most delicious butter I have ever tasted. Mark and I ate the entire block, and the loaf of bread I’d just bought, in about two days. Honestly, this butter is all I need on my toast. I can’t begin to do justice to the taste of Trewithen’s butter. I have been raving about this butter to all who’ll listen. I eschew making “proper” meals to have more toast, just to eat the butter.

And now that I hear that fats are supposed to be good for me, so much the better. I suspect that, ideally, the powers-that-be would prefer me not to be slathering it over toast, or crumpets, or drop-scones, or whatever, but screw that. Life’s too short, and buttery toast too delicious.

How Much do I Care…?

I’m not quite sure whether I should be panicking that something will go wrong, or be too chilled to care.

Given that I’ve spent pretty much the last however long since setting the date too chilled to care, I should probably do a bit of panicking, but that just seems like effort. Lazy, is me.

You’re probably wondering why I’m getting married, given the lack of interest I’ve shown in planning the whole shebang. The thing is, though, I want to marry Mark. I’m just not fussed about a wedding. I wanted to elope. A trip over the border to Gretna Green. Drag two random strangers in off the street to witness it. That’s how I’d’ve done it. But Mark wanted a wedding. (I know, weird. Usually it’s the other way around.) Compromises. I have got some nice dresses out of it, so can’t complain….

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I have made my own veil though. See – I am getting into the spirit of it! I had some spare tulle, so thought, why not? I’m not certain I’ll wear it, but I have it if I do. Save me the £15 I was quoted by the people who altered my dress, or £5 on ebay. The ribbon cost a smidgeon extra, naturally, but pennies, really. Just took a bit of time hand-sewing the strips of tulle together.

And yes, I have used some peach tulle…

Love is in the Air

I’ve been hunting down quotations this week. The sort that make you go “awww!” (or “ewww!”, depending on your mood/ideas about expressing emotion). Quotations about love and marriage.

Because I agreed not only to read something at a friend’s wedding in September, but also to write it. Using my creative/artistic licence as a would-be writer. (It’s tricky to get out of the mind-set that I’m not a Real Writer until I’ve been paid – and, to be honest, I won’t feel like I’ve earned the right to call myself such until I am, but that’s just me. Seeking validation…)

Anyway, despite my own wedding being a scant few weeks away now, I’m still in need of advice from the Masters about writing about love. Although I still think that one of the best pieces is from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. Such a lovely description of love. But I can’t use that (civil wedding laws and all that).

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Another good quotation I like comes from the end of Frederica by Georgette Heyer. Our heroine has just become engaged to the hero and is explaining about not really knowing what love is.

“It has always seemed to me that if one falls in love with any gentleman one becomes instantly blind to his faults. But I am not blind to your faults, and I do not think that everything you do or say is right! Only—Is it being—not very comfortable—and cross—and not quite happy, when you aren’t there?”

Only then, of course, the happy couple are interrupted by the heroine’s adorable little brother, who demands to know why they are cuddling. He is, in a little boy’s way, so revolted by the thought of having to cuddle any woman that he swears off ever getting married.

What’s your favourite quotation about love and/or marriage?

Don’t Think Too Quickly…

And there I was, thinking that this part of the story was going so well.

Yippee! I thought. I’ve cracked this wretched ennui that’s preventing me from writing. Hooray!

Thought too soon, apparently. On the other hand, though, the glass-half-full thought is that I’ve managed almost 5000 words of an entirely new, unplanned section of the tale. Which means that I’m approximately half way through this bit. And I do know what’s going to happen. I just don’t yet know how it’s going to happen.

In the meantime, my Writing playlist is going to teach me all the words to the Wicked soundtrack. And if I listen hard enough, to Das Rheingold.

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What do you listen to when you’re writing?

On Blogs and Blogging

As with anything, there’s a lot of advice out there about writing a successful blog and making money from it. I’ve read a lot of it – it would, after all, be quite nice to make a decent living from a blog, writing a few hundred, maybe even a thousand, words a day and leaving it at that.
The one piece of advice that really stuck with me, though, was consistency. Write and blog consistently. Stick to the same time or day, so that people know when to check back.
Except that, if someone’s following you, they get an update anyway. People who don’t follow you probably meander around the internet and if what you wrote struck a chord, will probably pop back now and again. Every so often, there’ll be something new for them to read.
I try to keep to regular days. I do, honestly. I try for “series” – like with the Shakespeare. But (yup, you guessed it) I haven’t got around to reading Othello yet. So I skipped Wednesday. Bad form, I know. But I felt guilty not having read it. I feel like I should make excuses, like at school with not-done homework. I should say I’ve been horrendously busy or something. My reason is really the “something”. It might be simply because I don’t have a physical book: they’re all on my Kindle. Normally I only read it avidly when I’m travelling. That and I’m meandering on the internet.
But in the interests of being me, and not trying to do what others tell me, but rather to find my own way, my blogs are going to become more sporadic. I aim for every few days, and every once in a while my thoughts on whichever Shakespeare I’ve just read, but the rest is going to be more freefall. More streams-of-consciousness.
I shall leave with just this. A classmate from uni has just published a novel on Kindle. It’s called The Oystercatchers (by HE Bidgood, if you’re interested) and it’s about the Faroe Islands during World War II. I’ve only just started it, so I can’t comment on the entire thing, but this I will say: If the writing continues as it has started, I don’t think I care if the story’s terrible. I love the writing. I’m jealous.