Monday, 27 August 2012

Get ready for a rant and the wedding that's ALMOST here


Every so often a book comes along that rocks your world. You stop watching tv and read it instead. You nearly miss your train stop from being so involved in it. So awesome you can’t imagine there is anyone out there that wouldn’t love it.

50 shades of grey is not one of them. Nor is book two, or book three in one of the WORST book series I have ever read in my entire life. The main character is ridiculous. The love interest is a controlling idiot. Why was there a need for having an inner goddess who wears outfits? Was it really necessary for the pair of lovers to tell each other on every single page how attractive the other person is? We get it. They’re hot, now let’s move on. Why have storylines that are SO farfetched they just made me roll my eyes in disgust. Pointless dribble that as I read each chapter, I just got more and more irritated.

Fine, I’ll give the author a bit of credit for the first book. Something a bit different that isn’t quite as woeful as Mills & Boons. But after that, the next two books just get more and more stupid and the ending to the third one – don't worry, I won’t give it away to those lucky people who are still keen on reading them – is so bad, I nearly ripped the pages out.
Yes, fine, now you’ll ask me why, if they were SO bad, did I continue to read them? And as some wise person once told me (who also told me not to read them, because they were so bad I would hate every page. She was right.) ‘It’s like a car crash. You don’t want to watch, but you just can’t turn away.’

My advice to those of you who haven’t read it is don’t. But you’ll probably get caught up in the hype like I did and just want to know what happened so you’ll read it and regret it. Try to borrow the books from a friend and not waste your money – spend it on a decent book, like Harry Potter, or ‘A thousand splendid suns’. You won’t lose brain cells by reading those books.

I refuse to put any 50 Shades
referenced photo up. Harry Potter studio
tour - amazing. I bet 50 Shades won't have
a studio tour. And if it does... gross
Rant officially over.

I hereby solemnly swear that I will always RSVP to every single wedding invitation that I ever receive, even if they already know we can / can’t make it. Chasing RSVPs has got to be the most annoying thing so far. That is all I will say on this subject – wow, and I just said ‘rant over’ – clearly not!

Right, moving on... Three weeks to go! THREE WEEKS and I am getting ridiculously excited now. Well, I was up until last Thursday, but more on that later.

First, let’s talk about my no bows rule. It seems that my hatred of chair covers, bows, twinkly twig lights, glitter, ruffles and ‘love’ signs is most unusual. It seems that my style and taste is NOT the norm for good old stuck in the 90s Toowoomba. Most brides like wedding reception rooms that look like this...

Photo courtesy of Elegant Weddings by Florence
Or this...
Photo courtesy of Elegant Weddings by Florence
Each to their own I guess! The bridesmaids have been pre-warned. If you see a bow, get rid of it before it comes into my site!

And then there’s the dress. Fitting two weeks ago, went quite well, despite the dress maker getting angry at me for forgetting my shoes. “Did you honestly forget your shoes? [huge, irritated sigh] Well we can’t do the HEM without your SHOES.” Chill out love, we’ve got two more fittings booked in, we can do them hem next time.

Dress fitting number two and the hem was the least of my worries. “Have you put on weight?” Yes, that’s the first thing the dress maker (a different one this time as the first dress maker was dealing with another bride who was in tears because her dress has been altered all wrong and couldn’t be fixed...) said to me. Oh joy! My dress was taken in two inches too much and she had the nerve to ask me if I’d put on weight. Sure, I’d had a piece of chocolate cake at lunch but there’s no way someone can put on two inches of fat on their back, in seven days.

And so now we wait. My awesomely wonderful matron-of-honour, J, was outraged at the bridal stores unhelpfulness and rang up and complained, getting me an earlier appointment despite them telling me over and over again that there were NO more appointments. Seems you just need to go bridezilla (or in this case, ‘bridesmatron-zilla’) on them in order to get stuff done.

To be continued...

So from wedding rage and drama to the perfection of Sardinia, Italy. Sardinia is by far, one of the best places in the entire world for a number of reasons. 1) There are no tourists. I mean, no English tourists. The entire time we were there, we heard just one other English speaking couple. Bliss! 2) No tourists means no picture menus, no overpriced stuff just because and no westernised menus. 3) The food. It. Was. Incredible. Best seafood pizza I’ve ever tasted. Best spinach and ricotta ravioli in the world. Best place to eat simple, delicious Italian food that just made me go ‘Mmm!’ with every single bite. 4) Beaches and sunshine. There is nothing more to say on that.

B and I went to Sardinia, Italy in July and had one of the best ever holidays. The weather was in the high 20s the whole weekend with nothing but blazing sunshine and bright blue skies. We hired a car and travelled all around the top of the island from Alghero to Bosa to Olbia. Every day was brilliant. Every meal we ate was amazing. The people were so wonderful, the beaches were heavenly and the water was so perfectly blue, it took my breath away. But enough of the gushing, I will just let my photos do the talking.

I suppose I could just waffle on (no pun intended - I haven't had waffles in ages) about Sardinia and all the amazing food we ate there but I think I’ve mentioned it enough and it will just start to get a bit boring. But just so we’re clear, I have never had better Italian food in my life, not even in Rome.

Food perfection in Bosa, Sardinia
The last few weeks have seen us taste all kinds of foods, including my current cooking obsession of Chinese food. Ever since a bad Chinese takeaway experience in Canberra three years ago, I have been severely put off Chinese food. Watching a cooking show changed my mind and the obsession began. Rice paper rolls, prawn and tofu steamed moneybags, chicken and leek potsticker dumplings, ginger and beef ‘wellness’ soup, sticky pork fillet and twice cooked melting pork – just to name a few. Normally I think my cooking is good-ish but this stuff has been amazing! I keep on raving to everyone about how good all this stuff tastes, to the point that my Mum has bought a bamboo steamer in anticipation of my return home to cook the whole family a Chinese banquet. Wish me luck with that one!

Prawn and tofu steamed moneybag dumplings
As for eating out, I can very happily report that I have FINALLY had a decent, well cooked, delicious steak in London! Thank you Marco Pierre White's steak & ale house. It’s only taken two years but there you go, better late than never. The triple cooked chips and bĂ©arnaise sauce were both pretty average but I guess that’s what you get when a ‘celebrity’ (I use this term very loosely) chef sells his soul and has his face on chicken stock cubes. And B was disgusted at the selection of ales on offer, considering it was called a 'steak & ale house' his expectations were high and very much let down. But hey, a decent steak after two years of searching so neither of us was too upset.

There was also a trip to an American style diner, Sticky Fingers, on the cards where racks of ribs were enormous, chicken wings were tasty and most items on the menu were deep fried. Not amazing food but still good enough. They must've got something right considering we went there to celebrate a belated J's birthday and we ate ALL the starters before she even arrived... Hey, turn up late and it's your own fault!

Ribs, coleslaw and fries at Sticky Fingers, London
A more resounding success was The Seagrass – a pie shop by day and a pop-up restaurant by night. B and I took our friends visiting from The Netherlands, M and D, to this place which has a small menu that changes daily, three courses for £30 (about $45) BYO wine with NO corkage! Brilliant, I was in love with the place before we'd even set foot in the door.

Roasted wood pigeon; smoked salmon salad; whole sand crab; venison with spinach and red wine jus; scallops – not just two or three on a plate, there were about ten or more, all giant and juicy and just sooooooo good. The whole menu was amazing and when the table next to us left and gave us a whole, unopened bottle of wine, the night just got even better. I also like being forced to try things I wouldn’t normally go for and both my entree of pigeon and main of venison were new and seriously tasty experiences for me.

A whole crab at The Seagrass, Islington

Pigeon breast on a rocket, pine nut
and crispy pancetta salad from
The Seagrass, Islington
Next blog post... THE WEDDING...

1 comment:

  1. Waffle on....ha ha. I've avoided reading the 50 series. Though the last book I read was Sweet Valley High 10 years on - that's not as bad - is it?? So excited for your no-bows wedding Darne. Can't wait to see your beautiful pics xxx PS I like waffles too.