My Sunday Photo

I know that this photograph isn’t clear, crisp or in any way perfect… but this is me and my Dad at my 30th birthday on Friday. It came from us talking about when he held me thirty years ago as a fresh newborn. And off the cuff, he said, ‘Let’s do it again!’

So thirty years on and much heavier than I was back then, my dad scooped me up for a photograph for the memory book. It was funny, we laughed and then I rested my head on his shoulder, giggling like I’m sure I have plenty of times over the years.

I love this photograph so much (even though, he is never allowed to do it again because he suffers a bad back sometimes!)

I’m glad we managed to get this one. It’s a perfect picture to start a new chapter of memory making.

With Love,

-Ria x

 

Photalife
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The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

The 'Leaving For University' Party

It was raining. All day. Our plans for a garden party, to send our niece off to university in style, were looking less likely. We checked in with the weather forecast that told us it was brightening up. We looked outside. Heavy rain. We waited. We deliberated. We remained hopeful that the empty promises would show up for us after all.

The 'Leaving For University' Party

The 'Leaving For University' Party

The 'Leaving For University' Party

The 'Leaving For University' Party

We catered for thirty- something. A gorgeous, continental feast waited in bags while we ran around in the heavy rain, fixing fairy lights into the trees and hanging bunting all around. It was literally raining on our parade, ‘pissing it down’ all over our vision. And we checked the weather again. It was meant to be brighter by now. It was meant to have stopped. But the rain fell, straight down…No messing about, with the lone intention of making everything wet and ruined. And still,  like mad women, my sister and I set out the garden tables with jars full of flowers and tealight candles that we hoped would flicker in the night sky.

The 'Leaving For University' Party

It would have looked beautiful.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

It did look beautiful, in the end.

The 'Leaving For University' Party

Fifteen minutes before everyone arrived, we pulled the party inside. It was ‘The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof’ and the fairy lights looked beautiful against the slightly steamed up glass of my conservatory. It mingled with the bunting and we scattered the jars of flowers everywhere. I think, in the end… It looked better.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

The decorations blended in perfectly with the buffet for all, jugs of pimms and strawberries and cream. In the end, the raindrops set the perfect scene as they enveloped the glass and looked quite beautiful. It felt warm, cozy, friendly and the perfect place to say ‘cheerio’ to one of the most lovely people that the world now gets to know.

*Deep breath Ria… You can write this!

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

The reason that we wanted the night to be so special, is because it was for someone pretty amazing. Our niece. The beautiful Erin. The girl with the kindest heart.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

I am from a very close knit family and we like to celebrate each others successes in life. Erin has been accepted in to her first choice of university and will be taking a huge leap, away from her family and away from home to be one step closer to the career of her dreams. It was absolutely something to celebrate.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

She is about to embark on such a wonderful journey. She is about to meet a lot of incredible people. People who will change her world completely. People who will challenge her. People who will sit with her in the library all night, in their pyjamas because the night they were meant to finish their work, the student bar were selling shots for 50p…Something crazy like that.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

She will learn about chance, change and all kinds of things about who she is. She will have a lot of dodgy photograph’s taken of her in this time… but they will always make her smile / laugh/ feel something.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

She will dance. She will drunk dial her beautiful mama in the night to say hello (her mama will most probably answer!), she may sing karaoke and she may fall asleep in a fair few lectures (if she remembers to set her alarm for 2 o’clock in the afternoon and makes it in.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

She will eat way too many noodles. She will down too many drinks because she will lose at too many drinking games. She will regret this.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

She may do this, for many consecutive nights.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

It will not make her feel better.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

She will probably ponder this over a dominoes pizza because she had a voucher, somewhere!

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

She will get to be exactly were she is meant to be, at this time in her life. She will get to do all the things that comes with being young, with the world in the palm of your hands.

The Goodbye Garden Party With A Roof

And yes, even though I told her all of this the other night while drinking prossecco straight from the bottle, I have to say it out in to the world so that she always knows it…

I am really proud of my her. She has always been so smart. Smarter than I ever was. But… in the last couple of years, she has had to fight for her next steps in to the big wide world. She hasn’t been the girl that everything just goes right for. She has been knocked down…and so she brushed herself off and stood back up. She did not crumble under pressure, expectation or fear…and that is what makes me most proud. Because like always, she holds herself with strength, courage and belief in herself… Even when it probably would have felt easier not to. Easier to give up.

She didn’t!

We have all watched her grow into such a beautiful young lady, so mature, comfortable in her skin and well adjusted. She used to be someone who remembers listening to ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ by Green Day with me, in my teenage bedroom when she was small and then, as if by magic she became the person who I watched Bridget Jones with for the very first time. And we laughed like mad people. Like friends.

So, even though it will be emotional to see her go. It is bittersweet. She is ready for this. She has got this. She is going to love this. And as I’ve said it a million times before…

I am so proud of her and she truly deserves to have this chance, to follow her dreams and to be all that she can be.

With Love, Ria x

 

 

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This will be a date that I will always remember. For many reasons.

London Baby

This was the day that I trotted off to London with one of my best friends, had a marvellous day and went to a concert in the evening.

London Baby

Doesn’t that sound simple? To me, it really is not so simple.


I am a Mum, a wife, a blogger, a vlogger, a business partner in a retail shop, a friend and somebody who worries non-stop over things that I probably can’t change.


A day trip to London would usually have me feeling very anxious. Anxious about getting bombed or stuck on the underground somewhere… All crazy and incredibly neurotic thoughts! It has been such a long time since I shimmied around on the tube without a care in the world. Back in my single days, I was always on a bloomin’ tube but now it all feels like the scary realms of the unknown.


I was setting myself up to feel a panic for a few days prior but for the first day in a long time, the day came and I didn’t feel anything but excitement! I got myself ready and armed with my lippy, I rushed to catch the train and to embark on a wonderful day out with my girl friend. My heart didn’t race, I didn’t need to catch a breath and for a change I really felt like I was in the day. Wingin’ it without the constant haze of questions that would usually plague me when feeling out of my depths.

London BabyI felt so proud of myself.

London Baby

I didn’t search for constant reassurance that everything was okay back home. The kids were with Matt. They were all okay. Without me their worlds did not crumble and fall apart. It was absolutely okay that I took a day to be me in the city, looking around at the magnificent buildings, marvelling at the history, posing in a red phone box and ahem, falling out of a bar door, oblivious of a step after what, one cocktail?… It wasn’t so grim, in my embarrassment, I turned my little stumble in to a dance move and moved on. It’s a bit sad that it had to be somewhere as thriving as Leicester square though, that sucks a bit haha.

London Baby

London Baby

We laughed all day.

We were even mistaken for Londoners on three occasions and were asked for directions like we knew where the fudge we were. Most happy in our comfies and particularly me, in my wellies- we were a little phased as to why people would think that us country girls knew anything about anything at all. Especially as we seemed to be the only people in London waiting for the green man to ping up at the traffic lights to cross the road and on the occasions we crossed with everybody else, dodging traffic… we held hands…like that would stop us from getting ploughed down by a truck, haha.

Honestly, the whole day was amazing… but then… it was Usher O’clock! Words cannot express how surreal it was watching him perform. Laura and I have grown up loving his music. Hearing him sing and dance his songs back to us… in an arena with thousands of other people… it was just crazy insane. It took us back to our teenage years in a heartbeat and needless to say, we screamed like teenage girls, loving every second of such an incredible experience.

London Baby

I can’t believe that London, The O2 and Usher was a week ago. I can’t wait for what adventures are coming next for us girls, in whatever place we end up in next. If I can handle London… I can handle anywhere- no matter how scary it may seem!

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Originally Written On 01/04/2015