My Sunshiny Life











Time to get our glam on and step into the glamorous and decadent world of burlesque.  Primping, preening, donning wigs, applying beauty spots and quaffing copious amounts of Pol Roger is a fabulous way to spend time with a bunch of lovely ladies.

The Hen

Missy G and LMS

Sarah and B

Then we departed the hotel and made our way to Volupte Lounge, the final secret was at long last revealed. 

After cocktails and umpteen burlesque lady poses we finally took our seats downstairs in the boudoir style lounge.  The food was amazing, the show even more so.  We got swept away with the story from The Candy Shop and Missy G was pulled up to take part in the show.  I risked life and limb to get photos and footage of this as cameras were strictly banned.  I got told off twice but just resumed my camera sniper position once the staff member had left.  Missy G was the star of the show, as if I’m not going to take photos!

Missy G

Burlesque Beauties

Sarah and me

B, Me and Miss Nikki

Cheeky

The show was fabulous, the food was too.  The music was great, until it wasn’t and then we went back to the hotel to carry on our partying until the sun came up.

After the last of the party girls had left we made beds out of chairs, couches and of course, the bed.  Later that morning we woke up feeling the full after effects of the night before, plus some.  We called up for room service and got cooked breakfasts sent up.  I tucked in as soon as the tray arrived, enjoying the fried breakfast, eating like I’d never eaten before.  The waiter had forgotten our smoothies, but he brought them back up to the room quite quickly.  I was busily scoffing my breakfast and didn’t pay much attention as he placed them down on the table… until they splatted everywhere.  I looked up at him to see smoothie dripping down his hair, his face and shirt.  It was all over the rug and drips even made it up the wall.  He was shocked and didn’t know what to do.  It was like everyone in the room was frozen, including him.  If he had a wish at that precise moment it would have been to have the earth open up and swallow him whole.  He was beyond mortified.  He finally came to life again, said he’d be back and then sprinted from the room, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.  It was the funniest end to a fabulous weekend.

Smoothie Disaster

Advertisements


So Missy G had her instructions of what to bring along on Saturday for her hen’s do and the list included red herrings like; bikini, walking shoes and yoga gear. Well we had to enjoy our little games while we still had some secrets to guard!

 We all met at Soho Hotel at 2pm, and Bec arrived not long after. Due to Miss C’s BRILLIANT contacts we managed to secure the Penthouse Suite at the Soho Hotel. What a lucky group of girls we were. The suite was the perfect size for us and it even had a balcony. The weather had even co-operated and sunlight streamed in the huge expanse of windows. 

Hens

A quick champagne toast and then the girls were dispatched into teams and sent on the Bridal Bash Treasure Hunt. They needed to scour the streets of Soho to take photos of the clues they’d been given.

These were their tasks

1) Take a photograph of an object that will spice up Bec and Dan’s honeymoon – the winner was the photo that posed in a mexican chilli joint, other contenders had visited Ann Summers for various sexual aids

2) Get someone to take a photo of everyone in your group as you re-enact Dan’s marriage proposal – Bec’s team won this as they posed a grow your own husband and grow your own wife in front of a fish tank, with the husband wearing Bec’s wedding ring.

Will you marry me?

3) There is a prize for the group who dresses up in the most outrageously hideous wedding dress you can find – go forth and seek out trashy, nasty matrimonial garb girlfriends! You need to have the dress on a member of your group and take a picture. La’s team won this, with a pic of La looking like a fabulous trashy prostitute bride, wearing a stunning outfit courtesy of Ann Summers. They almost got kicked out of the shop, so deserved to win. I haven’t got that picture but think this one of B is just as funny!

B, a beautiful bride!

4) You need to get four things photographed for this picture – either in one photo or in four photos. If they are four separate photos then please label them 4/a, 4/b etc

a) Something old

b) Something new

c) Something borrowed

d) Something blue

Bec’s team won this one as well, with an assortment of greeting cards showing an old lady flashing her boobs, a little baby was the new, the borrowed was a bald man looking at wigs and the blue was a blue man flipping the bird.

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

5) Your last stop is Boots, where you need to take a snap of the three things that Bec would never be without in her handbag. She is kind of famous for ALWAYS having these things close to hand.

Well Bec did have an unfair advantage in the competition and she would have won this one as well, if not for a last minute urgent consultation with co-judge Nikki. Unfortunately I can’t remember who we ended up awarding the prize to, I just remember Bec’s, which was her lip balm, water and handcream. They had taken the instructions literally and displayed them by some Boots, not the chemist. Very funny!

Just like school, everyone got a prize! It’s not the winning that counts, it’s if you get a prize (who cares about taking part, give me a prize!)

 Mr and Mrs Game

Next up was the Mr and Mrs Game where we’d test the soon to be wed couple on how well they know each other.  B did a fabulous job of organising it and N was a brilliant MC.  Missy G astounded everyone by knowing nearly all of the answers, she only forfeited on five.

In the question hot seat

Questions were asked like, What one thing would Dan take on a desert island? If you had to choose, would you think that Dan would rather you fainted on the wedding day or him? Dan thought Bec would prefer to faint because it was more ladylike.  If you had to choose, would you rather have rain on your wedding day or your dress ripping down the aisle? Bec is hoping, praying and wishing for a sunny day so she’d rather expose a bit more thigh and have glorious sunshine. What was Dan’s opening line when you first met? – it was actually ‘tell the scrounging bitch to f*ck off’ to his friend when Bec was trying to cadge a cigarette from Tom. Luckily he then started talking to her!

 We were most impressed by how well Bec and Dan know each other, it bodes well for the marriage!

We then presented Bec with her book of memories, good times and marriage pearls of wisdom. Everyone had made a sterling effort with their contributions and she loved it. It also made her family and friends in NZ seem closer too. We missed you guys on the day!

Book Presentation

It was now about 6pm so we had around three hours to hang out in our fabulous room, eating, drinking and starting to get ready for the evening event. Missy G still didn’t know what this was and it was our last secret so we were hanging on to it for as long as we could! The next instalment will be posted tomorrow and will reveal the evening part of Missy G’s bridal bash extravaganza!



I’ve been living on tenterhooks for the last few months, pulling together plans for Missy G’s Bridal Bash Extravaganza.  To give you a bit of background, Missy G is a driven, focussed, A type, Completer Finisher, Personality.  I am not.  I’m disorganised, a little bit helter skelter, an ideas person – not a person responsible for the deliverables, not interested in the finest details.  She was a little apprehensive about my project management skills, I was even more so.

Not to worry, with help from B and Nikki we pulled everything together for a smashing event that she’ll remember forever.  It was killing Missy G that she didn’t have any idea about our plans and I was enjoying this immensely.  In fact I started enjoying it a bit too much, in a slightly sadistic way.  On Friday I told her that she was to meet me at Liverpool Street station at 4pm.  Then two hours later I changed the meeting place to Waterloo and said that I already had her bag packed and I had her passport (momentarily forgetting that the eurostar now goes from St Pancras).  She rang me in a panic, had I packed her bag or had Mr J?  Then she got all excited that we were going overseas… I felt terrible.  You’re meant to downplay things and then surprise people, not build them up and then dash their hopes!  So I quickly said that plans had changed again and now we were meeting at Leicester Square.  She refused to believe anything I said after that.

Friday night was a warm up to the main event on Saturday, with only 5 of us in attendance, well 5 and a bit as Jake who is less than a month old slept through everything.  We had a fashionista high tea, a Pret a Portea, at the Berkeley Hotel.

Pret a Portea

The ladies who high tea

Everything was served on lovely Paul Smith designed crockery, cake stands came out filled with super cute handbag cakes, dress and shoe inspired cakes, cucumber sandwiches and lots of little yummy picky savoury things. All this was washed down with cold, crisp champagne.  Sometimes life is very very good.

Savoury and Sugary Treats

Pret a Portea Handbag

Bikini Bod Biscuit

We sat there afterwards, on a massive sugar rush high and looked around the restaurant… Lacy noticed first and then nudges and whispers made their way around the table.  Well it was only Victoria Beckham one table away from us!  I suggested that Missy G get her photo taken with her, but you couldn’t have done that here – it would be a total invasion of privacy (I still thought it was a good idea but no one else would let me do it).  She looked immaculate, very polished and put together.  No, she didn’t have any cakes.

The night was still young and there were cocktails to be drunk so we waddled out, full of cake and champers and made our way to Townhouse.  This bar has the feel of a private members club without the pretentious snooty attitude.  The doorman and bar staff were really friendly and the table service was top notch.  The drinks were fabulous too.

Townhouse

The tone for the rest of the evening was slightly less civilised than it had been, those Pornstar cocktails have a lot to answer for! 

Girls and their pornstars

Yes, the tone has dropped

Yes, the tone has dropped

Someone call these ladies a taxi

Someone call these ladies a taxi

Actually, this sucks, I wanna go home!

Actually, this sucks, I wanna go home!

We still got to bed at a reasonable hour, we needed to be fresh for the main event on Saturday.  Before leaving, Missy G was given a document with items that she needed to pack in her overnight bag and bring along tomorrow.  The suspense was killing her!  Another instalment tomorrow, where all is revealed.



{August 21, 2009}   Birthday Bliss

I turned another year older yesterday and celebrated in the most fabulous way, all DAY!  Taking a day out to pamper and indulge oneself is such a decadent treat and I enjoyed every second.

The fun started when I got up and walked out my door to find some gorgeous White Company products and a heartfelt card left by my wonderful flatties.  Calls, texts, emails and facebook posts all contributed to my warm happy glow for the day and left me feeling very loved and cared for. 

Fact: You cannot gain weight on your birthday, no matter how much you eat.  Which is just as well really, as I ate delicious food and drank copious amounts of champagne and wine all day.  I started off my culinary indulgence at Raouls where I had lovely eggs benedict.  Then it was time to buy myself a present – bath and body products from Philosophy. I’ve fallen in love with their Amazing Grace range, it’s divine and I truly smelt heavenly after applying nearly every product I could find in the store. 

You MUST eat chocolate on your birthday and only the finest chocolate will do.  The Artisan du Chocolat counter at Selfridges was close by, so I popped over to pick out a little selection of high quality, hand made chocolates.  Then on my way out of Selfridges, I fell right into the cupcake stand and left with a DELICIOUS red velvet cupcake.  Life is good when you’re stuffed full of cake and chocolate! 

Artisan Du Chocolat Selection

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Not feeling guilty about catching a cab a very short distance, I made my way to The Sanctuary Day Spa in Covent Garden.  I lounged on comfy day beds with my magazines, sipped champagne cocktails, went for a few swims (they even had a noodle, brilliant!), had a spa, massage and sleep treatment.  What a wonderful way to celebrate your birthday, I highly recommend it. 

The rough patch of my day was going to a new salon (Saco) and being kept waiting for my hairdresser for 45 minutes, looking very attractive with my towel turban head.  Not the best introduction for a new client really.  EXCUSE me, it’s my birthday and I have a dinner to get to!  Stress crept in around the edges of my beautifully relaxing day, but a quick dash home, shower and speedy make up application had me at the restaurant only 20 minutes late.

Dinner was at Maroush 1 on Edgware Road.  I’ve been to loads of Maroush restaurants, but hadn’t been to this one yet.  The drawcard was the belly dancing and live music.  I was so incredibly spoilt and I felt very blessed as I opened all my presents and cards. 

Me and Bec

Me and Sands

The stunning belly dancer came out and put on an amazing show, getting us all involved. 

 Belly Dancer

The live music had everyone jigging about in their seats, until you couldn’t help getting up and busting a few moves on the dance floor.  The waiters were brilliant and I even got one to show me some Lebanese dance moves. 

There was another table celebrating a birthday, so Happy Birthday was sung to both of us.  They even shared their birthday cake, bringing a few pieces over with candles so I had something to blow out too.  What’s a birthday without a champagne toast?  The waiter brought over a complimentary bottle of champagne for yet another toast.  There was such a lovely warm community feel in the restaurant,  fuelled by fabulous music, fabulous people and thoughtful touches.     

Birthday Girl

Pampering, Indulgence, Shopping, Dinner, Dancing, Champagne, Presents, Cards, Cake and Fabulous Friends.  What a lucky girl I am!



{August 19, 2009}   Best Selling Novellist

I really want to be a novellist.  A best selling one actually.  I LOVE writing my blog and am hoping that this passion for writing will transfer to other’s passionately reading.  Obviously I’ll need lots of people to read it if I’m going to be a best selling novellist!

I have images of me sitting in my very fabulous house, immersed in fantasy land as I craft my best selling masterpiece.  Many images come to mind when I imagine myself as a writer.  In summer, there is a light honeysuckle scented breeze gently drifting into the open french doors, where I’m sitting at my laptop typing.  My dog Dolly is at my feet, lying there with her lead in her mouth, looking at me with hopeful ‘take me for a walk’ eyes.  

Dolly

Sitting in a cafe seems like a fabulous way to combine people watching, eating and writing.  I think this will be the perfect way to while away the days, getting inspired by life and the characters sitting around me. 

In winter, I’m sitting in my living room watching it bucket down with rain outside. I have the fire going and have hit a particularly interesting part of my book, words are flying out from my brain on to the keyboard as if I’ve been possessed.  Dolly (my miniature schnauzer dog) is happily lying in front of the crackling fire, having happy doggy dreams, moving and growling occasionally as she chases squirels in her sleep.  A comfortable silence fills the room, punctuated only by the tapping of the keys as the words transfer from my brain to the screen at warp speed.  This vision is made even better by imagining business suited commuters hurrying down the road to their 9-5 jobs, huddling under umbrellas, with miserable expressions on their faces.

So every goal needs some action behind it. I’ve drafted out the bones of my story and I’m currently reading ‘How to Write a Damn Good Novel’ by James Frey (not the one that wrote that book A Million Little Pieces and told all those porkie pies to Oprah, this one is a writer and university lecturer – who must be SO mad that other James Frey has besmirched his good name!)  The book seems to be delivering on everything it says on the cover – apparently you need to create sympathy for the central character, get your readers to identify with them, empathise with their plight and then the magical transition – you need to transport the reader into your carefully crafted world.  HOW exciting! 

That’s only chapter one, I’m going to be a fount of knowledge by the end of the book.  Then I just have to start writing, then keep writing, even if what I’ve first written is a pile of shite.  Apparently that is the hardest bit.



{August 18, 2009}   The Invitation

When did life change?  When did it become all about how old we are, where we live, what we do for a living, how much money we earn, what car we drive, where you went to school, who has the biggest diamond ring, what’s the latest designer bag, is your push chair the best, do your children wear the best labels, are the bonuses coming this year? 

Apparently you can never be too skinny, too rich or have big enough diamonds.  I do think you can be too shallow however.  From now on I’m going to focus on the important stuff.  Do you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing?

Hopes and Dreams

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love, for your dreams,
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain,
mine or your own, without moving to hide it
or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own.
if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy
fill you to the tips of your fingers
and toes without cautioning us
to be careful, be realistic,
remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty every day,
and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,”Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live,
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,
weary and bruised to the bone,
and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what
or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself,
and if you truly like the company
you keep in the empty moments.

© Oriah Mountain Dreamer, from the book The Invitation, published by HarperSanFrancisco, 1999



{August 17, 2009}   Kate Miller Heidke

I blogged about Kate not so long ago  and was so enthusiastic about her that I booked tickets to her gig at Barfly. 

Kate’s support act was interesting to say the least.  If you’ve ever seen Chris on Youtube, the young man from ‘Leave Britney Alone’ fame then you’ll have a fair idea of what the emo support act was like for Kate.     

Think emo, with a double helping of misunderstood.  Then add lyrics that I’m sure were soulful and philosophical when composed in the safety of his bedroom, but which sounded like ‘teenage angst, I have no idea about life, poor me’ when bleated out from the stage.  Lyrics like ‘Where’s my stapler, sticky labels, get your shit off my table’ which described a 9-5 job he’d once held down.  I think the title was ‘textbook life’  Where’s Simon Cowell when you need him!

The crowd shuffled around awkwardly, not wanting to look each other in the eye, it was that cringe worthy.  The other four in my group, who had trusted me blindly with this gig, had no idea about Kate’s music and were now starting to give me pointed looks.  Oh. My. God, what had I got everybody in to!

There was no need to worry though, Kate was brilliant and I was like a very excited groupie.  She put on an excellent performance and won the crowd over with her irreverent sense of humour and absolutely flawless performance.  Her vocal range is amazing and I love her lyrics.  Her husband is a very talented individual too and they have a lovely chemistry on stage.

Kate Miller Heidke

Kate Miller Heidke

Ok, I’ve hit gush mode and I was in a similar mode when I got her to sign my CD, saying ‘I think you’re lovely’  like a moron.  I also asked her to pose for a photo with me and here it is.

Kate and her groupie

Kate and her groupie

Yes, I am very cool.



{August 14, 2009}   I'm NOT a camping kind of girl

When I told people I was going to The Big Chill they exchanged surprised glances.  Really?  You?  Do you go camping often?  Well no I don’t,  the last time was actually four years ago, funnily enough at The Big Chill.  Four years had put a thick rose coloured filter over my camping experience, so I found the reality a bit of a shock.

Let’s examine the upsides of festival camping.  Ok, that was a short list. 

Now let’s look at the downsides, bugs (lots of them), spiders (there was a momma spider there somewhere with a whole nest of little baby spiders), deflated airbeds, chilly nights (with ridiculously thin sleeping bags), hearing people in the tents around you (that was actually kind of funny sometimes), lack of hot showers (well there were showers but the queues were long, the shower was one open air room where boys could see in – some pervy ones worked out there was a good vantage point from the top of the hill).  I ended up having a shower from the hose pipe in the corner of the camping field.  FREEZING cold, but it was so nice to be clean.

The last downside of camping needs it’s own paragraph.  The toilets.  Words fail me.   I was gagging when walking up the hill one morning, the smell was so stomach turningly putrid.  I have major public toilet issues anyway and that’s for toilets that flush and are cleaned regularly!  I met people and my opening topic would always be about the toilet.  I had major issues all weekend and could not put myself through that again. 

Toilet Dilemma Solution

Toilet Dilemma Solution

I tried sneaking into the Podpad bit because they had their own power showers and toilets.  We got busted and escorted out of their enclosure, we were so close too!  I tried bribery, wheedling and then downright begging.  Nothing worked.  Next year I’m going upmarket. 

You may wonder why I’m actually planning on going back.  Well let me explain.  Norman Jay.  Sunshine.  Music.  Fancy Dress.  No Responsibilities.  Junk Food (even for breakfast!).  Funny festival experiences, you just can’t beat them. 

Good friends balance out the toilet trauma somewhat too.

Me and Missy G

Me, Bracks, Dolce

Me and B

Elliott, Dan, Me and Sam

I love the fancy dress, we were partying by the group that had yellow  as their theme

Bananarama

Bananarama

Rockin Banana

Rockin Banana

Here’s some more yellow fans

Bees

We met a Jack Sparrow look  a like, who was a total festival con man and I loved it.  He told us he was planning to fight global corporate evilness to save the rain forests, we just needed to cross his palm with silver (or caress it with a note).  We declined, but I did get him to read my tarot cards and gave him a tenner for the privilege.  He was totally full of crap, but I found his style of delivery most entertaining and it was well worth the money.

Jack Sparrow Con Man

Jack Sparrow Con Man

We helped (I watched) let some lanterns off too, so pretty!

Lanterns

So I will be back, but I’ll be back with my own private shower and loo.  A winnebago would fit the bill I think.  It will be a much more pleasurable experience if the topic front of mind is fun, rather than ‘oh my god, I can’t drink anything or I’ll need to visit the toilet of doom’  I would happily pay £5 to do my business in a loo that is clean and flushes.  For a fiver I’d like soap and water to wash my hands and paper towels would be nice too.  In fact, that could be a bloody good business opportunity.  If you’re interested in setting up a new business, I’d pay £50 for the weekend for a sparkly dunny.  Long live the porcelain bowl.



{August 10, 2009}   Door stop

The Dolce went on a cooking spree recently, but found this bread not so much to her liking.  Wholemeal is meant to be dense, but not brick like dense.  In the age of recycling it’s good to think of what other uses household items may have, so this little wholemeal brick has a brand new lease of life as a doorstop.

Wholemeal Doorstop

Wholemeal Doorstop



{August 6, 2009}   London in Lights

Oxo

After 6 years in London I still hadn’t made it to the Oxo Tower, so was happy that Dee decided that it was the perfect birthday drinks venue.  I can’t comment on the food because I didn’t eat there (I know, very strange!)but the venue is fabulous, the drinks were delicious and of course the draw card is the view, which didn’t disappoint.  It’s one of those experiences that make me happy I live in London.  

23mmGirlies

23MM Girlies

Pretty Little London Town

Pretty Little London Town



et cetera