Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wednesday 28 December – Back with a bump

Current location: Sydney
11.11am, At work. Yep, just like that. I landed this morning, then came straight to work... hence the coffee. Then in an attempt to stay awake I went to the gym, unpacked, did the washing and the food shopping and managed to stay awake until 10.30pm. Go me!

Monday 26 December – Boxing Day bonanza

Current location: Dulwich
11.11am, In Dulwich Park. We had such a nice morning in the park, the kids riding their bikes and us having a walk in the sunshine. I've been loving walking so much! We played and took our time, and then had a really yummy Italian lunch all together. We headed back to the park then back home, where we snuggled on the sofa to watch Zootropolis and I tried to sqeeeeeeze everything in my suitcase with Jake's help. It finally worked. One of my fave parts of today was Jake accidentally discovering Siri on my phone then listening to him and Ella coming up with excellent questions for Siri, then arguing back. Excellent. 
All too soon it was tie to head tot he airport. No point in trying to sum up this past eight weeks. So many experiences, so many people we love, so many memories for life. So, so lucky. 

Sunday 25 December – A Rees family Christmas!

Current location: Balham
11.11am, Opening pressies! It's Christmas Day! I woke up relatively late (about 8.30am) to find the kids had been awake for a couple of hours... and Santa had been! We opened more pressies then had pancakes for brekkie and went out for a walk on the common. We came home and opened more pressies (so many pressies!) and then had bacon and avo bagels for lunch (my all-time favourite) and watched The Incredibles (well, the children watched it, I had a nap on the sofa) before an amazing Christmas dinner cooked by Jim. There were still more pressies to open before bedtime, then after the kids went to sleep, we played a game and chatted and just revelled in being together on such a lovely day. Merry Christmas gorgeous family. 

Saturday 24 December – Twas the night before Christmas

Current location: Balham
11.11pm, Setting out the presents for Ella and Jake. I was in London, where I'm having Christmas with my sister's family. I caught the train up this morning, with a big send-off from the Pyrahs and Mum and Dad (we also squeezed in a brisk and lovely walk along the pier), then met the Reeses Pieces at a carol concert in a church near their house. It was gorgeous and kids were all so excited, especially in the evening when they wrote their notes to Father Christmas! We snuggled up and watched a movie, then read The Night Before Christmas (England and Aussie versions!) and then it was time for bed to wait to see if Santa comes.

Friday 23 December – All the good people

Current location: Angarrack
11.11am, At Kate's house. All us schoolfriends met up for coffee at hers this morning, and it was just lovely with them all in their festive jumpers and the kids there. So proud of these girls who I've now known for almost 20 years. 
After our hangout Nicky picked me up and took me to Halsetown, where we had our annual Christmas lunch with friends. We got through quite a few sherries before the pub told us they were actually closed, oops! Back in Penzance I went to Pippa's house, and had the loveliest few hours with the kids, who were all loopy with excitement. 
As today is Tom Bawcock's Eve, we went to the Dock in the evening and saw some familiar faces. We were all pretty tired, so after a few songs Dad and I went home. Last day in Pz, it was a good'un!

Thursday 22 December – Touring Cornwall

Current location: Penzance
11.11am, Having brekkie at Duke St with friends. Andy headed off to get his train in the afternoon, while I went to Kynance Cove and Lizard Point with some of the family. We had a really good, windy, bracing walk, and then went to warm up with coffee and cake. Mum and I stopped off in Marazion on the way home, where there were millions of seagulls thanks to the fish that had been dumped on the beach.
At home, a few of us exchanged pressies, then I packed before a night in with Claire and Matt when we watched her Christmas carol concert.

Wednesday 21 December – Squeezing it all in

Current location: Penzance.
11.11am, Christmas shopping with Andy. We went into town in the morning, then went for a cosy lunch and mulled wine at the Benbow. In the afternoon we wrapped all our presents, then scooted over to Ruth and James' new house/palace, then squeezed in a hangout at Pip's house, then went to Kate's for dinner with her and Jim. Trying to see as many people as possible before we go!

Tuesday 20 December – Walking and talking

Current location: Madron
11.11am, Walking. We tried to walk to Lanyon Quoit or Men-an-Tol but didn't quite make it that far, so instead just moseyed through fields and up lanes with the Hewitts. It was fab to blow the cobwebs away. In the afternoon Andy and I checked out of our Old Sail Loft home (sob!) and then in the evening, we went for a drink with Mum, Dad and all my sisters at the Bath Inn. It was so nice to just have a drink, chill, chat and talk about our achievements of 2016 and hopes for 2017. 

Monday 19 December – Higgo holidaying

Current location: Madron
11.11am, In our lovely little Airbnb place, having brekkie (they'd left us so many presents, including stuff to make bacon butties and bucks fizz!). Such a gorgeous spot. The Reese's Pieces came over in the afternoon and while the kids drank hot chocolate and watched a film, the adults looked through the wedding Polaroid pics and chatted. Then we all headed to Pippa's for jacket potatoes en masse, then went over to Mousehole to see the lights. 

Sunday 18 December – The next day...

Current location: Madron
11.11am, Packing up the hall. We had lots of helpers (including Charlie, who we sent off in a taxi with a big bag of rubbish) so it didn't take that long – thanks everyone! Andy and I then headed back into town, where he went to the pub to watch football and I went to see my rellies at Mum and Dad's house. In the evening a group of us went to a Christmas-themed pub quiz at the King William (the third day in a row we'd been there!), which was very bizarre and kind of hilarious. Plus we were armed with boxes of pasties... Oh, random Cornwall. 

Saturday 17 December – WE GOT MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!

Current location: Penzance
11.11am, Getting my hair and make-up done. Today I'm getting married! I had such a nice, chilled morning at home with the lovely Shelley doing hair and make-up for Kate, Pip, Claire, Mum and me. As predicted, it felt like we had loads of time until we had no time, and suddenly all the kids were bundled in cars, the bridesmaids were off, and it was just Dad and me (and Jo, who was driving us). I felt so lovely, and a teensy bit nervous, and very excited. When we got to the church, and I could see it was full of all our friends and family, I nearly burst! Eeeee! It was such a gorgeous sunny day too, we were so lucky. As we walked down the aisle, I couldn't stop grinning at everyone, I wanted to stop and say hi to all our beautiful guests... I barely remembered to look at Andy until I got almost the whole way down the aisle! He looked so handsome and happy and smart and lovely. 

Our ceremony was beautiful. After a lot of consideration we decided to have it at the Catholic Church and I am so glad we did. Fr Dyson gave the most beautiful homily about salt and light (salt: good for preserving, good for healing, adds flavour), and the hymns and readings were just perfect. 
When we were just about to say our vows, my stole started to slip, so I just ignored it. It then slipped all the way down my body and off! So i just stepped out of it while everyone was bursting out laughing, and then had to say 'I solemnly swear'. I definitely wasn't feeling solemn; I had the giggles!
It was over too quickly – we were married! I couldn't stop smiling and was just happy and not nervous anymore, just so happy. As we went to sign the register, my friends Rhian and Emily got up to sing. I didn't know what to expect but as Rhian opened her mouth and began the first few lines of 'What a Wonderful World' I was absolutely blown away! That girl can sing!!! I nearly cried, I was in absolute shock, and I just loved it so much. Then they performed 'Walking in a Winter Wonderland' and I just felt so festive and bloody brilliant!

After the ceremony was over, we went outside and our guests threw Lily's amazing homegrown confetti on us, and we got a chance to chat to everyone a little bit. Jo drove us to Landithy Hall, and as we got there, a group/choir of our guests were lining the entrance singing Christmas carols beautifully, while everyone was drinking mulled wine and eating gingerbread. It could not have been more perfect. For about an hour, everyone mulled around, chatting and drinking and feeling festive, then we sat down to eat stews and drink wine. 
The kids (my nieces and nephews) were having a ball, and Louis stole the show when he found the microphone and began to sing ABCD... then got stage fright and cried. So he did what any two-year-old would do and got his mum up on stage with him, and then proceeded to sing the song, with all our guests singing along... what a surreal but hilarious moment. The dinner was delish, then it was time for speeches. They were funny and sweet and so touching, I love speeches! Some of our friends did 1-minute speeches too, which included songs and jokes and funny stories and poems. Amazing.

At some point around then (I can't remember if it was before or after dinner), suddenly the fire alarm went off. We couldn't get hold of the woman who looks after the hall, so made a back-up plan to go to the pub. Just as we were about to leave, Charlie (my electrician friend) managed to turn it off, to great applause. On with the night! We ate brownies and drank champagne, then cleared away the tables and began to dance. Kir, our friend and DJ, absolutely killed it and got everyone dancing straightaway, the dancefloor stayed full all night. He even played MMMBop for me, twice!! What a man. 
I had the best time dancing and chatting to everyone (and even had a costume change into another wedding dress!), and drinking boozy hot chocolate and dancing on the stage with a pasty in my hand. You can take a girl out of Cornwall... 

It finally came time for the music to stop (at which point the 20 or so people left started another rendition of ABCD) and so we went to the pub next door, armed with bottles of wine, and had a lock-in there. I never imagined I would be in a pub in Madron doing tequila shots at 2am in my wedding dress, but there you go. What a day, what a night, what a husband. I am so happy!