12 of the Best Scenery Photographs Taken On My Lumia 1020 Phone in 2014

Anyone who knows me well will be aware that walking anywhere with me will often mean pausing as something catches my eye and I feel compelled to take a photograph of it. As my Instagram account can attest to this happens on a fairly regular basis.

I love finding beauty in the world around me not just in iconic scenery, although I am a landmark fiend, but also in the everyday world that some people take for granted.

The invention of camera phones has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and with my click happy habit in mind I chose carefully in April 2014 when it was time to renew my phone contract.

The Lumia 1020 phone could easily be best described as a camera with a smart phone attached. And for me that is absolutely perfect. It also contains my entire music collection which no other phone has been able to handle so I’m more than happy with it.

I’ve taken many photos on phones over the years but the ones from this phone, edited with a mix of the in-built Creative Studio and Instagram filters are of a far superior quality to anything iPhones or Androids can offer.

I don’t profess to be a professional photographer but I do have a keen appreciation for framing a shot and enhancing its best features.

Below are what I feel are the 12 best photographs I have taken on my Lumia this year.

View across the River Thames from the Tate Modern Art Gallery, London, UK

London is the city I live in but it is so much more than that. The city is a living, breathing entity which has a skyline filled with classic and modern architecture that changes every year. This photograph was taken from the sixth floor of the Tate Modern art gallery which is located south of the river. For me the view of the city is better than any work of art that the gallery holds. The Millennium pedestrian bridge leads across the river Thames to the north of the city where St Paul’s Cathedral keeps a watchful eye over the inhabitants and workers who occupy the more modern buildings like the curvy Walkie Talkie tower that can be on the far right of the picture.


Umbrella Art in Bodrum Town, Bodrum, Mugla, Turkey

Bodrum is a Turkish town that I have come to know quite well since my parents retired to live out in a village close to it. Located on the Aegean coast Bodrum is a tourist haven but it has a sleepy charm and is peppered by stone streets such as this framed by arches and colourful Bougainvillea vines. The best parts of it for me are the hidden side streets like this one which someone had taken the time to make into a piece of public art.


Chain Link Bridge over the Danube River, Budapest, Hungary

I was lucky enough to visit the city of Budapest as a part of a long weekend to watch the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix. The city charmed me so much that I would love to spend more time there. It is full of a rich mixture of architecture thanks to historical influences from Russia, Turkey, France, Italy and Austria and its people are friendly and helpful and the food is a culinary delight. It deserves far more tourism than it currently receives but lets just keep that our little secret.

Grand Anse Beach, St Georges, Grenada

The little Caribbean island of Grenada really is a slice of true paradise. Whenever I visit I struggle to imagine why anyone would ever leave. However leave many did in the 1950’s when work on the island was scarce. This included my in-laws. My mother-in-law still faithfully visits the island every year to spend time with the family that remained and this year was the second time we have joined her on that journey. If you want to spend time somewhere warm, beautiful and slow-paced than Grenada is a place I would strongly recommend.

Uxbridge Lock, Grand Union Canal, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK 

For the last two years I have worked in an office that backs onto a stretch of the Grand Union Canal. This is a blessing in the summer as it means I can escape the office for a walk beside the water. The quiet tow path is often shared with a plethora of water birds, including the area’s resident swans and even a couple of friendly canal boat cats who enjoy a fuss. When the lock is in action it can be quiet fascinating to watch from the bridge where I took this photo.


Eiffel Tower, Paris, France during the 2014 French Open 

The Eiffel Tower has to be one of the most instantly recognisable landmarks in the world. For two weeks every year a giant tennis ball is suspended from its centre whilst the city welcomes the world’s top tennis players to compete for the French Open title on the clay courts at Roland Garros. This year a giant screen was erected in the park so that people could watch the action in the centre of the city for free. Maria Sharapova and Raphael Nadal were the victors who had their photographs taken in front of the tower with their trophies this year.

Autumn in Northolt, London, UK

This is a very personal photograph to me for two reasons. Firstly it was taken five minutes walk from where I live and secondly it evokes exactly why I love Autumn so much. The last gasp of colour before the season changes has fascinated me since I was a child and this year this tree inspired the following description:
“The flames of autumn consume the bows of a tree in winter’s firm embrace.”

Kos Town, Island of Kos, Greece

Kos is a Greek Island that I have visited twice in my lifetime. The first time I was in my late teens and with a group of friends who partied all night and spent all day in the pool. In more recent times I was better able to take the time to appreciate the traditional Greek architecture rather than the allure of the aniseed flavoured liquor Ouzo.

Henley Business School, Greenlands Campus, Henley, UK

Henley Business School is situated on the same part of the river Thames near where the famous Henley Regatta takes place. I was there as a part of a team building exercise with work. However if I’m honest I think I got more from the beautiful quintessentially British countryside scenery than I did from the course we were on. Britain on a sunny day really can take the breath away. All that green almost, almost, makes you grateful for all the rain we endure at other times of the year.

Torquay Beach, Torbay, Devon

The UK can surprise you on a long hot summers day which inevitably sends city dwellers to the coast to soak up some sun. Torquay, on the south-west coast, is a brilliant place to be on that sort of day as it can rival any Mediterranean resort with its beaches, bars and restaurants. It’s just a shame it dies such a death every winter. I know this is true because I lived there for two years. I still enjoy a visit but I try to keep those visits to the summertime to see it at its best.

Tower of London taken from the river Thames, London, UK

London has a lot of landmarks but one that has taken a lot of publicity this year is The Tower of London. It played host to the frankly awe-inspiring installation of ceramic poppies to commemorate those members of the armed forces who died during world war I and drew unexpectedly huge international  crowds to it. The day I took this picture I was on a tourist boat with my husband and you could see the crowds surrounding the tower. I have never seen so many people there. Aside from the poppies it has always been one of my favourite London landmarks anyway because of all the history tied to it and the fact that it houses the Crown Jewels. If you visit London I thoroughly recommend putting it on the itinerary. Although I suggest ignoring your partner if they suggest, like my husband did, that you be dragged through the Traitors Gate that can be seen here.


Bodrum Town Harbour, Bodrum, Mugla, Turkey

The final picture of my 2014 collection is a study of bright colour from the patriotic Harbour of Bodrum town near the beautiful Bodrum Castle. Turkey flies its national flag with real pride and it is seen everywhere you go. I think the British could learn from that. Also if you ever do visit Turkey be sure to take a trip out onto the ocean on a Gulet. It is a wonderful way to explore the waters of the area and enjoy a tasty lunch whilst you’re at it.

So there you have it. The 12 scenic pictures that sum up my year and make me incredibly glad I bought my new camera phone. Let me know which one is your favourite and why.

~Kat

Should People Stop Asking When Are You Going to Have Children?

As a recently married woman in my early thirties I often get well-intentioned people casually asking when I’m going to start having children. Also if I mention that I’m feeling sick or bloated the first conclusion is “Oh! You might be expecting.”

Whilst I understand that none of this is done with malicious intent there are only so many times I can smile and say “No, that’s not the case I’m just ill” or “If children happen that’s great but we’re just happy as we are right now.” and then carry on with my day unaffected.  Speaking to my husband reveals that he is rarely asked the same question which means that it is an irksome double standard.

Society seems to have trouble understanding women around the age of 30 that haven’t yet produced a child. There is even more head-scratching if that woman is married as many believe that the primary purpose of marriage is to have children. For me, and I suspect a few others, that is not the case. I married my husband because I love him and cannot imagine life without him. If children happen to enter into our future then that’s great but if they don’t then that’s okay too.

Thanks to my social conditioning I feel guilty for admitting that last part. It is true that most little girls grow up playing with dolls and assume that one day they might have a child of their own but the fact is that in reality it doesn’t always work out that way.

Some of my friends have children and I am happy for them and I find their kids adorable but I’m equally happy for my friends who don’t have children. Watching my parent friends is a great education into just how much having a child changes the way that you have to live your life. Everything with children has to be pre-planned until they are old enough for spontaneous days out and sleep becomes a thing of the distant past. Those of us without children are still able to decide what we want to do and where we want to go at any given moment and if we want a lie in we can have one.

I think it’s because of the lifestyle differences between those that have children and those that do not that both sides become a little less able to understand each other. Those with children naturally want everyone else to experience the joy of becoming a parent and those without are happily enjoying their lives also being free to do what they want when they want to do it.

Ticking Clock

The way society pressures women to have children can be quite demoralising. There are many articles in national newspapers warning that western women are leaving it too late which implies that a women who doesn’t have children is automatically failing her gender in some way.

What about the women out there who don’t want to have children? Are they failures too?
Some women are happy as they are whether in a relationship or not. Others accept that biologically it is not likely to happen and throw their energy into other aspects of their life. I remember reading the warnings about Career Women “missing their chance to become a mother” as they focused on their jobs instead and I always thought that it was an unfair assumption.

Maternity leave laws in the west, the USA in particular, are not very generous and are generally geared towards women being the ones to take time off work. Some countries have addressed this better and even the UK, where I live, is introducing legislation that will make it possible for both parents to share maternity leave should they so wish which should make it fairer on women although it might be an administrative nightmare for companies.

However workplace attitudes remain somewhat antiquated in places with a few managers secretly dreading an employee telling them that they want to take maternity leave. This can lead to some women feeling that they have to make a choice between family and career. Some businesses are more enlightened and offer flexible working contracts, to enable employees to balance their work and life better, but I know this is not the case everywhere.

Even if your place of work is accommodating, parents then have to deal with the astronomically high costs of childcare should they wish to return to work and leave their child in the care of professionals. Some are lucky enough to have family close by who can help out but many do not so cost becomes a factor as to whether a couple has children or not.

Another reason I think that people need to stop asking whether someone is planning to have children is that some people have trouble conceiving. For people in these situations this seemingly innocent question can be extremely distressing. People who long to have a child but cannot find such a personal question extremely hurtful. So unless you plan on being there to counsel the person that you ask, please just avoid the topic unless they bring it up first.

By asking such an intrusive question you are opening the door to an emotional torrent in some women’s heads.Whether this is because the person you asked doesn’t want children or hasn’t decided yet and is sick of being asked about it or they do want children but they are having difficulties conceiving, doesn’t matter. I think it is time we stopped thinking it is okay to ask such an emotionally loaded question and just enjoyed each other’s company.

~Kat

Additional Reading:
10 Things Never to Say to Childless Friends (MSN)

Concert Review: R and B Superstars Valentines Special – Wembley Arena London – 15th February 2014

Is there anything better to do on Valentines weekend than to go and see some live music with your partner? For me that is a rhetorical question as both my husband and I are crazy about the music that we love. So it was inevitable that when The Show Tour announced a 90’s R&B valentines line up that we would be present.

I have to admit that although I was already a fan of En Vogue & Blackstreet, it was not until the late 90’s early 2000’s when I really began to get deeply into music. Because of this my husband has been my main educator of the era before that. As we have been together for a decade I have had time to develop an appreciation for the other artists on the billing also.

On the day, we set off early for Wembley Arena  as we thought the show might start promptly due to the number of artists in the billing. However once we reached the arena we had to wait until after 6pm to be let in to find our seats as sound-checks were still going on. Whilst this is not unusual when multiple acts are billed, it meant the show was definitely not going to start on time. It did however give us a chance to get some drinks in!

Eventually some music blasted to life from the sound rig and Frisky DJ and Rampage appeared on stage to warm up the crowd and introduce the first act. Comedian Eddie Kadi was supposed to be doing the warm up with them but he is notorious for being late and this night proved no exception to that rule.

Frisky and Rampage handled initial hosting duties well, including the difficult news that Silk would not be appearing as they had not travelled to the UK as expected and it was not long before Changing Faces were on stage.

It is never easy to be the first act on stage and as the ladies were accompanied only by a backing track it meant that they were quite exposed.  The crowd, some of whom were still arriving, took a little while to get into the occasion despite the duo opening with hit record G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T. They persevered however performing other hits such as Fooling Around as well as some new material and the atmosphere really got going after they invited one tall muscled guy on stage to perform Stroke You Up with them to hilarious effect.

By now the arena was filling up and Eddie Kadi finally arrived to some good-natured ribbing about his time keeping skills. As soon as he walked on stage with Frisky and Rampage his natural charisma and skills for working a crowd were evident. The hosts soon had us all laughing whilst the set was rearranged for Kut Klose. This would continue to be the format for the night in between acts although Eddie’s dancing techniques should be restricted to his house for everyone’s safety.

Kut Klose followed a similar format to Changing Faces by singing to backing tracks yet seemed to receive a warmer reception from the crowd who no doubt appreciated their unique throwback dress sense also. They completed a relatively short set that included I Like and both Twisted & Get Up On It that were originally collaborations with their mentor Keith Sweat.  

By now the crowd was ready for the show to really get going and the stage had been set up for Mint Condition’s instruments which were sure to impress. The volume of the music audibly went up a notch with real instruments in play and it certainly would have woken up any audience member that was feeling too relaxed after the opening acts.

Lead singer, and multi-talented musician, Stokley Williams impressed everyone by getting the crowd to join in as well as playing a variety of instruments. The whole band seemed jazzed to be on stage and threw a lot of energy into their performance. Their set encompassed of a wealth of tunes including I Want It, U Send Me Swinging, Forever in Your Eyes, You Don’t Have To Hurt No More, Girl Of My Life, What Kind of Man Would I Be and their finale was Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes) which had the crowd on their feet.

At this point there was definitely an excited atmosphere in the place which would continue thanks to a fabulous turn from Tony! Toni! Toné!.

Even without soul maestro Raphael Saadiq, Tony! Toni! Toné! put in a flawless enthusiastic performance that had the crowd happily singing along to songs like the new jack swing inspired If I Had No Loot & It Feels Good and the soulful goodness of It Never Rains (in Southern California) & Let’s Get Down.

Next up was a highly anticipated set from Total. A lot of the crowd had never had the opportunity to see these ladies perform live so there was definitely a peaked interest.

Some were disappointed that original member Keisha Spivey was not present and felt that this took away from the performance. Personally I thought that, despite the ladies being in amazing shape and singing in good voice, their performance paled in comparison to the two acts that had come before them. But many of the crowd seemed to be enjoying the medley of tunes including What About Us & If You Want Me and Notorious B.I.G collaborations Hypnotize & Can’t You See as well as catchy new song You Don’t Have to Worry.

It was with a mixture of trepidation and excitement that I awaited the penultimate act, En Vogue, to grace the stage. Trepidation because I knew that they were without vocal powerhouse Dawn Robinson but excitement as having seen them live before I knew the crowd was in for a real treat.

The ladies did not disappoint. Terri, Cyndi and Rhonda belted out hit after hit such as Free Your Mind, Never Gonna Get It and Don’t Let Go that had the audience singing loudly and dancing wildly. The also provided a medley of retro covers including Got To Be Real and Lady Marmalade. For me they were the absolute highlight of the entire night and they were not afraid to call out a couple of idiots in the crowd who decided to start a fight for some reason.

Unfortunately by this point, thanks in part to the late start of the night, time was running out for the event. Blackstreet 2 (or BS2 as they are known) were the headline act and it was evident that they would not have as much time for their set as they would perhaps like.

With this in mind it made little sense that they chose to keep in time-wasting videos about Teddy Riley’s career (a pointless history lesson of which most of the audience would already be well aware) and added many unnecessary pauses into their songs. Long time fans also felt disappointed that this was, with the exception of Teddy Riley and Dave Hollister, an almost entirely different band. The sound just was not the same as when founding members Teddy Riley and Chauncey Black worked together and it left many longing for the good old days. With the new line up they need new songs in order to create an identity that the fans can relate to.

The group managed to get through a few well-known songs such as I Like It & Don’t Leave and a solo mix of Teddy’s production hits before Wembley Arena pulled the plug and they were forced to vacate the stage. By this point many of the crowd had left anyway in order to catch the last underground train home so it would have been pointless to go on any longer.

Overall the show was an enjoyable way to spend valentines weekend and we certainly felt like we got our money’s worth. When a concert has a multi-act line up such as this there is always likely to be some acts that the crowd will enjoy more than others but it does also mean that time is of a premium for each act. It is a delicate balancing act which, in general, the organisers handled well. It is just a shame that it overran to the point at which the venue cut the power.

However I thank The Show organisers for a good night and I’m already looking forward to what they might host next.

~Kat

Thyroid Disease and Me: A Continuous Learning Experience

January is Thyroid Disease Awareness Month in the USA. Even though I live in the UK I’ve decided to join in with the campaign turn social media blue because thyroid conditions are often overlooked, poorly understood and under-treated no matter where you live in the world.

Since changing my profile picture on Facebook and Twitter to the below graphic I’ve had no less than four friends in different countries tell me that the information I’ve been posting has opened their eyes to the realization that they too might have an issue with their thyroid. This is awareness in action and I wish them luck with their quests. It’s the start of a long winding road to understanding the condition and how best to treat it.

944844_10153632749545487_681510664_nUntil there is something wrong with it most of us are not even aware of the butterfly shaped thyroid gland that quietly goes about its business inside the front of our necks. The best way to understand its function in plain English is as follows:

Every cell in the body has receptors for thyroid hormone. These hormones are responsible for the most basic aspects of body function, impacting ALL major systems of the body.

Thyroid hormone directly acts on the brain, the G.I. tract, the cardiovascular system, bone metabolism, red blood cell metabolism, gall bladder and liver function, steroid hormone production, glucose metabolism, lipid and cholesterol metabolism, protein metabolism and body temperature regulation.

You can think of the thyroid as the central gear in a sophisticated engine. If that gear breaks, the entire engine goes down with it.”
(Quote taken from the Thyroid Sexy Facebook Page)

thyroid glandThis gland is highly important as it regulates so many functions of our body and when it goes wrong boy do you know about it! You might not realize that a faulty thyroid is the cause of your problems as most medical professionals base their diagnosis on a very basic TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) level blood test. Whilst this can diagnose some people it should not be the only test performed as the levels of Free T3, Free T4 and Reverse T3 all have an impact on how effectively the gland is able to work. A great post from Thyroid UK explains exactly why the extra tests are necessary. The Free T3 is particularly important as this is the active hormone that is created by conversion of the T4 hormone. Some patients have issues with this conversion which causes them to remain ill despite treatment with the synthetic T4 hormone (thyroxine). Personally I do not have issues with conversion but I do have issues with vitamin deficiencies (specifically Iron and Vitamin D). Getting your vitamin levels checked and supplemented is important too as if any are deficient then the medication given to you to treat your thyroid will not work correctly.

You may be wondering how I know about the challenges of this illness and what gives me the right to judge the way that the medical profession handles it. So let me tell you my story and then you might begin to understand.

Kat at 18 with hyperthyroid and 32with hypothyroid

Me at 18 with hyperthyroidism                                                     Me at 32 with hypothyroidism

I’m now in my early 30’s but I’ve been living with a malfunctioning thyroid gland since my mid-teens. My late paternal grandmother had issues with her thyroid in her latter years and this was put down to a consequence of her being an elderly woman. I sincerely believe that kind of dismissive attitude is dangerous and I’m astounded that the link was never made between her thyroid condition and the development of her dementia as well as to the problems I experienced in my teens.

I think that this condition has strong hereditary links that must not be ignored. If the disease runs in your family you must make it your responsibility to be aware of the symptoms of both crazy Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid) and it’s slower opposite cousin Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid).

From the age of 14 when my menstrual cycle began my body began to act strangely. I was constantly hungry and ate anything I could get my hands on and yet perversely I seemed to keep loosing weight. Whilst this might sound fabulous to anyone longing to be thinner I can assure you it was not. I also suffered from dizzy spells, racing thoughts, heart palpitations and fast speech. Extremes of temperature made me feel nauseous (and still do) and friends voiced their worries that I had developed an eating disorder. I had not of course. I simply had no idea why I kept losing weight.

My parents were at a loss as to what was wrong with me and encouraged me to go to the doctor. At 16 I made an appointment with a locum doctor (our family one wasn’t available) to discuss it only to be told that it was probably “Gravity affecting your age”. I wish that was a joke. Sadly it was not. I was not offered any further tests. The locum doctor probably assumed I was a teenage hypochondriac. What I actually was is a naive and trusting youngster who would never have thought to question the wisdom of a medical professional.

I left school with average GCSE results and began my A-levels at sixth form college.

By this stage my concentration and energy levels were beginning to take a pummeling. My thoughts were racing at a hundred miles a minute and yet my energy levels were plummeting no matter how much or how often I ate or slept. My eyes had also begun to bulge out of their sockets and were often dry and irritated. At the time I put this down to the contact lenses I wore, unaware that it is one of the most obvious signs of Hyperthyroidism.

overactive_thyroid_pi2

Classic signs of hyperthyroidism
NB – I did not however have a goiter

I managed to somehow pass my first year of A-Levels but the second year, when I was 18, would be the year when it became clear something was seriously was wrong.
My energy levels became so poor that I started to fall asleep during my classes and yet I could not sleep at night due to the racing thoughts and pounding heart palpitations. I did not know it at the time but I was experiencing a Thyroid Storm. The disease had gone undiagnosed for so long that I was in real danger of having a heart attack.

The college contacted my parents concerned about my behaviour. A conclusion was jumped to that perhaps I was taking recreational drugs. This assumption upset me as I am and have always been very anti-drugs. I walked out of the house in tears and kept walking until my Dad came after me. I honestly thought I was starting to lose my mind. However I am lucky that my parents love me very much and they decided to take me back to the doctor for a second time and vowed not to leave without a diagnosis.

This time my symptoms were so pronounced that our family GP diagnosed me on the spot. I remember her words “If that isn’t hyperthyroidism I’ll eat my hat!”. She didn’t have to eat anything. I will be forever grateful to the late Dr Sturdy from my family practice for saving my life that day. She made an emergency referral to a local ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) hospital unit for me as well as taking thyroid function blood tests that day.

With a diagnosis at last I was ready to start getting better. However my studies had been so damaged by my condition that it was agreed with the college that I could defer my final year of A-Levels and retake them the following year if I was well enough. This was hard as it meant all of my friends would finish a year ahead of me and I would be taking classes with students I did not know but in the grand scheme of things I was lucky to be alive so I accepted the bump in my life plans.

After seeing the ENT Consultant at the local hospital and starting a course of carbimazole and beta blockers I began to feel better. I was not keen on the side effects of the beta blockers but as they were a temporary measure to calm my hyperthyroid symptoms whilst the carbimazole took effect I learned to live with them.

However after 18 months of treatment it became clear that carbimazole was not enough to get my hyperthyroidism under control. It was at this point, during the summer of my first year at university, that I was given a choice. I could either have an operation to remove part of my thyroid gland or I could try Radio Iodine Therapy which would destroy part of my malfunctioning thyroid gland via ingesting the treatment orally. Both treatments came with the risk of the condition flipping to Hypothyroidism which the doctors convinced me was easier to control than Hyperthyroidism. I chose the Radio Iodine Therapy as I didn’t want to go under the knife.

IodineTherapy1It is a little disconcerting when the ENT doctor hands you the Radio Iodine Drink. They hand it to you wearing protective gloves and yet you have to drink down the liquid that they pass to you. The reason for this is that it can adversely affect people with a normal functioning thyroid and because of this you have to keep your distance from those you love for a month following treatment.

At first I felt a hundred times better after this treatment but a few months later I realised that all was not right again.

I began to feel very tired and forgetful for no reason and developed dry skin and constipation problems. I was also gaining weight rapidly and often felt dizzy and nauseous. I had developed hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism-Symptoms-in-womenAlthough I diagnosed myself and had it confirmed with blood tests at the University doctors surgery, I did not yet realise that my journey with this disease was far from over.

I was put on a high dose of thyroxine to begin with as I had become severely underactive from the treatment for being severely overactive. My TSH level was monitored every 3 to 6 months for 2 years with gradual dose adjustments. No other course of treatment or lifestyle changes were recommended. Check ups were gradually reduced to a annual medication review and blood test.

Until 2013 I too assumed this minimal treatment would be enough. But in the run up to my wedding I began to experience severe symptoms again. Particularly noticeable were the bloating after eating, poor concentration, exhaustion and crying for no reason and heavy, long and very painful periods.

I told my doctor about the symptoms but I was ignored as my TSH level was within range from a test taken earlier in the year. My doctor even suggested that I was simply depressed. This was not the case as depression is a symptom of under treated hypothyroidism not a problem on its own.

It was at this point, desperate to be well on my wedding day, that I began to research in earnest other factors that can affect thyroid function. I discovered the crucial link between vitamin levels and treatment effectiveness and also began to look closer at my diet and what changes I could make to help (such as cooking more food from scratch rather than relying on convenience food). With my husband’s support I went back to my Dr and demanded a full thyroid profile of blood tests as well as tests for my vitamin levels.

It was a difficult battle with my local doctor but it paid off. I discovered I was slightly anaemic which meant I needed to supplement my iron levels in order for the thyroxine to work. My vitamin D3 is also lower than necessary. Because of this I now take multivitamins especially during menstruation. These supplements alongside an adjustment to a lower dose of thyroxine seem to have settled me again for now. I do however still have issues with how my body reacts to extremes of temperature (standing up in a hot crowded space is not something I can do for long before I pass out) , I bloat when I eat and I have dry skin conditions.

I am currently considering cutting gluten out of my diet to see if it will help with easing the bloating. It is just a thought in my head after reading how it has helped others but I have consciously begun cutting down on my intake anyway.

This is the stage I am at with this disease. For each person with thyroid problems the journey and treatment is a little different. But what is so frustrating for all of us is the attitude of the medical profession towards the condition and standard treatments for it. No doctor advises you on how your personal body chemistry and genetics effects treatment or what you can expect from the condition. And if you want a test or treatment outside of the standard you will have a fight on your hands.

lbKiHVxnEYPcpzx-556x313-noPadI for one am prepared to go on fighting for better treatment and I hope everyone will sign the Global and UK petitions to that effect.

I hope my story will help another lost soul who does not know what is wrong with them or maybe even be read by a dynamic brave medical professional who is not afraid to go against the grain and actually work with their patient to define a better individual treatment plan.

~Kat

Our Wedding: Family and Friends

One thing that was particularly special about our wedding was that it brought most of those we love, but do not often get to see, together in one place for a happy celebration.

Today families and friends are less likely to live in close proximity to each other and it is not unusual to have those we love living in four different corners of the world.

For me this is particularly poignant as my parents retired and went to live in Turkey a few years ago. It was wonderful for them to be reunited not only with me but with some family and friends that they might not have had the opportunity to visit otherwise.

It is life landmark times like this when you realise just how important family and close friends are to you. One of my good friends was not able to make it because her Mum was ill. Although I missed her presence on the day I more than understood her reasons. You only get one family in this life so you have to make the most of it.

I, for instance, would have given anything to have had my paternal grandmother present on the day but as all my grandparents have passed on this simply wasn’t possible. However I made sure she was there in spirit by attaching a picture charm of her wedding day to my grandfather to my bouquet.

One of the best decisions I made in regards to the big day was to get ready at home.
My parents were staying with us so, not only was it easier to have the bridal party all in one place, but it allowed our photographer Louie to capture some very special moments between my parents, bridesmaids Jem & Heather and myself.

Amongst those moments was the first time my Dad saw me in my dress. For any girl who is lucky enough to have her father still close to her this is one of those fairytale moments that you will remember for a lifetime.

Once we were all dressed and ready to go we shared a few celebratory toasts with some champagne brought by one of the bridesmaids. It was a great start to what would be a fantastic day.

Waiting for us at the venue, whilst our friends gradually arrived, were Roger’s parents and his best man Lanre. Roger’s parents and his sister Sandra have been very welcoming to me since we’ve been together and, as his Dad suffers with various ailments, we had kept the wedding as local as possible so he didn’t have to travel far.
It was great to see them all dressed up and enjoying themselves.

With everyone in place it was time for the formalities to commence. The pictures taken during our ceremony prove why it is so important to invest on a good photographer to capture the moment. When you are a part of it you are so caught up in the moment that it is hard to take in everything that is happening around you. Our photographers caught some touching reactions from our families and friends.

We also have a new appreciation for the work that they have to do with group shots. It is really hard to get everyone to gather when they need to and to look at the camera all at the same time. Dads it seems are particularly bad when it comes to looking at the lens! My Dad for example was intent on telling Rog’s Mum that he liked her hat so had to be told several times to face the right direction.

However some of the big group shots are my favourites from the day as they capture most of the people who were there. This is great for me as my memory isn’t the greatest so it’s a good reminder. It’s also fun to see everyone from our past and present standing together in support of us as a couple.

Although a few friends and family members somehow managed to completely avoid the camera, there were also some surprise shots that I’m glad were captured such as one of me with my Dad’s brother and his wife and one of Rog with his cousins and their kids.

Speeches are a traditional part of most wedding days and mine was no different. My Dad’s speech kicked off proceedings as soon as our meals were finished.  Although I’m surprised at how tame his speech was, my Dad is not known for holding back with his sense of humour, I’m still impressed that he managed to both flatter me and include the football team that both he and my Mum are avid fans of.

“…I must admit that I am the proudest dad in the world to have accompanied Katherine today. I think you will all agree she looks stunning!…This is where I am supposed to say a few embarrassing things about her when she was younger, but as she has probably, no, change that to definitely, got more against me, so I am saying nothing!… We are both happy she has someone who she loves and is loved in return. I am so glad to still be alive to celebrate three events. Here they are in chronological order Our beloved Chelsea winning the Champions league (eat your hearts out, Spurs and Arsenal); Andy Murray winning Wimbledon; And todays Wedding. To Katherine and Roger I wish them enjoyment for today, the fulfilment of the hopes and dreams for tomorrow, and love and happiness always…”

Everyone at our wedding seemed to get along well and had a good time. I’m still feeling thankful about the good vibe that lasted all throughout the day and just wish that we could do it all over again.

To all our friends and family, including those that were not able to be present, never forget that we are thankful to have you in our lives and even if we don’t say it enough, we love you and appreciate you all very much.

~Kat

Our Wedding: Planning, Details and Vendors

One thing no one ever tells the blissfully unaware newly engaged couple is that they are about to take on a herculean task when they finally begin to plan their wedding.

At first it seems simple, venues are amazing, details are pretty and shiny and you think that once you’ve chosen your theme that you are good to go.

Truthfully planning is mostly fun and it is an opportunity to unleash your creativity on all of your friends and family but it can also become overwhelming as there are lots of details to think about and so many vendors to choose from. Despite it being very much worth all the work on the day you will need help to stay sane in the run up to it.

Because of this my best bits of advice to anyone planning their wedding are as follows:
1.) Enjoy it. This is a rare moment in life where you can do anything you want your way.
2.) If it stops being fun take a break and come back to it later or it will drive you crazy.
3.) Try not to get carried away buying pretty shiny things that you don’t really need.
4.) Go to local wedding fairs with your bridesmaids or groom to find vendors.
5.) The internet is your friend for bargains, especially for decorations.
6.) If you’re good at crafts (I’m not) go for it but ensure you have time to do it.
7.) Buy realistic wedding magazines like Wedding Ideas for great tips and timelines.
8.) Choose and secure your venue as early as possible.
9.) Ensure that you finalize any necessary legal paperwork well within time.
10.) Keep a schedule of payments made and to make in order to keep on top of budget.

The first two things that we did when planning our wedding were booking our venue and registering our intention to marry with our local council.

Our venue was The Cavendish Country House in Eastcote, Middlesex. We chose it because we loved the Tudor style architecture, its proximity to public transport near to where we live, the fact that whole house is privately yours for the day, the friendliness of the family and staff that run it and the amazing selection of food on their catering menu.

Food was always going to be high on our agenda because my husband’s parents are originally from the Caribbean island of Grenada and have very particular tastes. Not many venues in our local area carry any Caribbean food on their menus so, once we saw jerk chicken with rice and peas as an option in the catering brochure, the deal was sealed.

We signed up for one of their wedding packages which included drinks for arrival and for the wedding breakfast, canapés for after the ceremony, main meals of jerk chicken and lamb cacciatore and mini puddings. Also included in the package were the services of their in-house DJ John Bell from G.P. Discotheques who catered excellently to the extremely varied tastes of our family and guests (Soca, 90’s New Jack Swing, R&B and Cheesy Pop Music) and some lovely chair covers and bows for the ceremony and reception from Julie at Cupid Chair Covers.

We also attended a couple of the venue’s hosted wedding fairs where we also found our wonderful photographer Louie Donovan, Classic Wedding Cars who provided of the beautiful 1956 Siddley Limousine that brought us to our wedding and brilliant cake makers Heriot Catering.

As for a theme, this didn’t really fall into place for us until we ordered our wedding stationery. We knew that we wanted something a bit 1950’s retro with blue in it somewhere but that was as defined as we got until we discovered the butterfly themed stationery by the ever helpful and patient Jen at The Pattern Boutique. It was perfect for us as not only because it fit the colour scheme and butterflies are beautiful but the butterfly is also a symbol for those of us, like myself, who fight daily against from Thyroid disease. So despite my head bridesmaid having a fear of the real thing, butterflies it was for the theme. I stopped short of releasing real ones at the wedding as I did not want my lovely friend to have a heart attack.

To match the now defined theme I commissioned a handmade wedding post box from Lisa Bowerbank at BeSparkled and we really loved the outcome. So much so that we are using it for our keepsakes from the wedding now. We also ordered a butterfly covered guest book and shaped trivia cards from Confetti as well as the wooden blocks with our name painted on them and some 3D butterfly table confetti from Not on The Highstreet.

To add to the fun at the wedding breakfast and reception I also bought some vintage styled camera’s from Party Packs. However most of our guests forgot to use the flash so the quality of the photos from them was not that great sadly.

For favours, after searching wedding magazines for unique ideas, we finally settled upon some personalised jars of retro sweets tied with a blue ribbon from The Sweetie Jar. These were a storming success and probably one of the most photographed bits of decor on the day.

Our tables were planned around world landmarks that we have visited during our time together. Because of this I used photographs that we took of each landmark as the table numbers and put them in some silver photo frames from Wilkinson’s.

Two of the landmarks also had meaning for the guests that were seated at those tables. We deliberately placed my husband’s Grenadian family on the Fort Frederick table and we placed our friends from Sweden on the Drottningholm Palace table. This brought a few smiles from them all.

One of the last big purchases that we made was the flowers. Despite the fact that I come from a family with quite green fingers, I do not seem to have inherited that gene and my husband doesn’t have an interest in it either. Because of this we were both a bit clueless. I assembled a few magazine cuttings of flowers I liked the look of and took them to local florist Susan at Floral Art in South Harrow, who had been recommended to us by a friend.

She talked us through our needs and eventually guided us to choose our bouquets and table flowers. I absolutely loved my bouquet which had some picture charms, from Charm Supplies, of my late grandparents tied to it and I also appreciated the little touches Susan applied to the centerpieces which we kept simple with cut flowers in a jar. She tied blue ribbons around the jars and finished them off with some coloured water which worked really well.

As you can see it takes a lot of people and a lot of time to make a great wedding. Ours truly was fantastic but it would not have been so without the care and attention given to us by our vendors.

I feel I have to make a special second mention of The Cavendish’s management team and staff including both Richard Arens, senior and junior, and Gina Ford. Without their care, attention and professionalism we would not have enjoyed it half as much. Both ourselves and our guests were well looked after and nothing was too much trouble. I very much appreciated the fact that they always made sure that my aunt, who has trouble walking, always had somewhere to sit and that the DJ, John Bell, gave us such a fantastic reception where the dancing continued to the very end.

Weddings are a lot of work, make no mistake. But if you pick your vendors carefully they can be a very magical experience. Ours was and I plan to proudly keep reliving it for a while yet.

~Kat

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Our Wedding: The Bridesmaids

For any Bride-To-Be choosing who you want to accompany you on the journey is a special but also difficult moment. Some of us choose our family, sisters, cousins etc. Others feel pressure to choose the family members of their intended and the rest of us choose from amongst our friends. I’m definitely in the latter category partly because I don’t have any sisters or pushy new family members but mostly because there are certain friends in this life who know you better than you know yourself and love you just the way you are. They are also the ones who will be there for you no matter what. Heather and Jem for me are two of these friends.

But that doesn’t mean that choosing was easy. One other friend in particular took my choice, or rather the way she found out about it, quite badly. I knew that she would flip when she found out I wasn’t choosing her so I simply didn’t tell her. In hindsight I realise this was pretty stupid but honestly I just didn’t want the drama. Sadly it meant an end to our friendship and because of this my advice to the friends of any Brides-To-Be is do not assume that you will be asked to be a bridesmaid, just be there for her no matter what capacity that is in.

Some of the best advice I personally received during this process was that you need people around you who are going to keep you calm. Getting married, whilst a wonderful celebration, can also be a little stressful. In light of this, Jem was an obvious choice because she has been through it herself, I had been one of her bridesmaids, and she and I just get each other on a level that it is hard to attain with most people. As for Heather, she’s known me since I was seven years old and we have an amazing shared history together, she is also like a second daughter to my parents. Both of them feel closer to me than friends. I don’t know what its like to have a sister but the way I think of them can’t be too far off the mark.

1956 Armstrong Siddeley Limousine from Classic Wedding Cars
Click the picture to go to the website

Between them I knew I had everything I needed to support me along the way to my marriage to Roger.  They threw me an awesome weekend-long hen party in central London and I shared all my planning ideas with them.  We made sure, despite none of us living nearby, that we got together a couple of times just to chill out and enjoy a few bottles of wine after shopping for dresses and shoes.

Talking of dresses, after traipsing around traditional department stores and various shops it soon became obvious that the same dress was not going to suit them both. We also wanted to find dresses that would compliment the retro style of my own Candy Anthony dress. With this in mind Jem pointed me in the direction of Vivien of Holloway (VoH) and Heather and I made an Saturday appointment to see them. Jem couldn’t join us for the first appointment but she and I would later return separately.

Although not a dedicated wedding shop, VoH does have its own line of wedding dresses and is used to brides shopping for their maids outfits too. They specialise in 1940’s and 1950’s style clothing reproduction and have a shop on Holloway Road in North London. The staff in the shop helped us to first figure out what size we would be, their sizes are not the same as high street sizes and concentrate most on your waist measurement, and then helped us into some of their lovely dresses in the fitting room.

We eventually found two Royal Blue dresses of different styles that complimented each other and suited them down to the ground. Both Heather and Jem looked fabulous in their respective dresses and for Jem and me the experience sparked a new addiction. We have both since purchased again from VoH. Jem ended up with a halterneck circle dress in Royal Duchess and Heather found a classy sarong & bolero covered in golden dragon print. We also bought a white belt and flower to break up the block colour on Jem’s dress. It was then down to them individually to find some shoes and jewellery to match.

On the wedding day I felt calmer as soon as my girls arrived. Without realising it, up until that point I’d started to worry about everything running smoothly. As soon as they appeared I felt so much better.

Whilst we were all having our hair and make-up done Heather gave me a couple of very thoughtful presents. One was a real horseshoe which she had decorated. This is extra special as she keeps horses herself and we used to go riding together when we were younger.

The second was a cute picture with cats on it with the caption “Purrfect for Each Other”. It might seem cheesy but I like it a lot as I was brought up with lots of different cats for pets and I still love them to this day.

 

Jem and my Mum were the people who helped me into my dress whilst Heather was having her makeup done. Once we were both ready we sat on my sofa playing with our puffy skirts. It was entirely too much fun and, just like me, Jem could not stop spinning around in her circledress!

When we were all ready and waiting for the car to arrive, our photographer Louie took a shot of the girls with my parents and myself in our back garden. It’s probably one of my favourite group shots from the entire wedding. An explosion of colour against a bland background created by some of those nearest and dearest to me.

Once we arrived at our wedding venue, The Cavendish in Eastcote, it was agreed that Heather and Jem would precede me down the aisle. I thought it was particularly touching that Jem put a reassuring arm on my Husband Roger’s as a signal of good luck.

At the wedding breakfast afterwards it gave me and Rog great pleasure to hand out gifts to Jem and Heather as a thank you for all their support. And although I didn’t expect the gift to make Jem cry, it certainly made the moment memorable!

Now was the time for them to relax and enjoy themselves and that they did. I’ll finish this entry with a few shots of Jem and Heather with their partners, Rob and Lee, and ourselves relaxing and dancing at the evening reception. Thank you ladies you are both stars to me.

~Kat

Related articles:
Our Wedding: The Bride (krazyangelkat81sobsessions.wordpress.com)

Our Wedding: The Groom

My second dedicated wedding post must, of course, be about my husband Roger. Without his actions our wedding would never have been conceived.

Lanre (Best Man), Roger (Groom) and Mark (Usher)
Suits hired from Impeccable in Hatch End – click picture to go to their website

He surprised me two years ago when we were on holiday in Toronto, Canada. Unbeknown to me, he had booked us a table for dinner in the revolving restaurant in the CN Tower. I nearly ruined it by eating too much for lunch as I wasn’t aware that we were getting dinner. He managed to convince me not to stuff myself silly and as the sun set we entered the tower and got the lift to the top.

We had been to the CN Tower once before during the day and I already adored the views of the city that it gives but being there at night was much more romantic as the city glitters below you as the darkness falls and the lights come on.

We ate three very good courses and drank some wine. We were relaxing and enjoying the views after dessert when Rog took my hand and told me that there was another reason that he had brought me there that night. He then produced a box containing a long heart pendant, that I now wear all the time, and asked me to marry him.

Crying with happiness we then went to the uppermost observation deck to enjoy the views together. No thoughts of the actual wedding were in our minds at this point, we were just taking in the moment.

For a year we simply enjoyed being engaged before we booked our venue, The Cavendish, and the planning really began.

My husband has been unusual for a groom in that he has given his input at almost every step of the planning process.  I’m glad that this was the case as in the end the wedding reflected both our tastes very well.

On the day of our wedding Rog made sure that he was at the venue on time and nervously awaited me whilst I was confirming my details with our registrar.

Once I started to walk down the aisle he did not take his eyes off of me and gave me a reassuring smile. When I reached the front he put his arm around me until I was able to hand my bouquet to my bridesmaid Jem and take his hand.

When our registrar, Lynn, asked if there was anyone present who knew any reason why we should not marry, we both looked behind us and jokingly eyed up the crowd with warning looks before turning back to face her again. Lynn then joked that Roger had not paid someone enough to say anything. This broke any lingering nerves we might have had and made our guests laugh.

Next it was time for the serious part. We had kept our vows simple and somehow managed to remember to put the rings,  handed to us by Best Man Lanre, on the correct fingers. Roger did call me his “unlawful wife” by accident but that will now be something that we remember fondly as a fun point of the ceremony.

Here is a small snippet of our vows:

“Please accept this ring, let it be a symbol of our marriage, of my love for you, of my commitment to you, and of our joining in matrimony today and for the rest of our lives.”

“I call upon these persons here present to witness that I Roger do take thee Katherine to be my lawful wedded wife.
To be by your side, in good times and bad, to support you and comfort you, to be a friend to you and love you always.”

With the formalities done we could relax a little bit. The joyous relief was very obvious on both of our faces but I particularly loved the beam on my new husband’s face.

After the ceremony it was time for the guests to be served their canapés and fizz whilst the formal photographs were taken. This is the part that Rog struggled with the most as he just wanted to go and greet everyone but I helped him realise that we could do that after the shots that we had pre-planned with our photographer Louie were done. It was actually nice to get a breather with just the two of us in the rose garden once the family and group shots, taken at the front of the building, were completed.

From the quiet of the rose garden it was time to enter the wedding breakfast room upstairs to our names announced loudly by Lanre and applause from our other guests.

Once seated it was time for the meal to begin. We had a buffet that was served by table and composed of jerk chicken, rice and peas, lamb cacciatore and a selection of vegetables. Some of our guests had never tried jerk chicken before and were pleasantly surprised. A few even went back for seconds. Pudding consisted of three mini desserts which also seemed to go down well.

When the meal was finished it was time for the part of the day that Rog had been most nervous about: The speeches. He thinks that he is not a natural public speaker but anyone that was there that day would tell him otherwise. His speech was wonderful.

He thanked both sets of parents and all our guests for coming and then he added an unexpected section that brought tears to my eyes:

“Unfortunately, it’s not been possible to have everyone we love here with us today. Such as Kat’s Gran who I know she would have loved to have here and one of our dear friends, Ken, who passed away in an unfortunate road accident. But we know they are here with us in spirit and in our hearts. So, with that in mind, would you please raise your glasses and join me in a toast to absent family and friends.”

Rog then went on to thank our bridal party and his sister Sandra whilst I gave out gifts.
Then he went on to flatter me as his new wife:

“Finally, I would like to thank my wife for agreeing to marry me and it’s an honour to be her husband. I think you’ll agree that she looks absolutely gorgeous today and I know I am very lucky to have her.  Kat put a huge amount of effort into organizing today and it really would not have been possible without her. Kat, you know and understand me better than anyone else I know and, I know I don’t say this often enough, but I love you with all my heart! So, ladies and gentlemen, please stand and raise your glasses for the most important toast I am ever likely to make: To my wife Kat!”

After the meal everyone headed back downstairs where the evening reception had already begun. Our DJ, the brilliant John Bell from G.P. Discotheques, was all ready to get the party started and as soon as everyone was gathered our first dance to Eric Benet’s One More Tomorrow began.

Once the romantic part of the reception was completed our guests and ourselves proceeded to tear up the dance floor. This is especially true of my new husband and his clubbing buddies who demanded everyone’s attention with their moves to the New Jack Swing tunes that they love so much:

I feel very blessed and privileged to have had such a wonderful celebration with my new husband. Here is to our future my Baby!

Love to you all

~Kat

Our Wedding: The Bride

I’m not one to hold back my feelings on things and following that precedent I fully admit that I am still on a high from getting married to Roger, my boyfriend of nine years, in September. Not only am I now married to my best friend but we also had a celebration with most of our close family and friends that surpassed all our expectations. And I was lucky enough to spend the day in my dream dress from Candy Anthony which I did not want to take off at the end.

So, in the first of several posts, I plan to celebrate the memory of our big day starting with paying homage to the dress, which I wore from just after getting my hair and make-up done until the early hours of the following day when my feet hurt from dancing to all the songs that my husband and I know and love.

When I first started to search for a dress I only knew three things:
1.) I did not want a traditional floor length dress or a hoop. I’m clumsy and I like to dance       so any dress I chose for our big day had to be practical as well as pretty.
2.) I’m a UK size 14 on top and 16 on bottom so I needed a shop where that wouldn’t be      an issue. Some wedding dress shops can be snobby about anyone over a size 12
3.) I really wanted a splash of colour somewhere on the dress. My husband and I have        lived together for 7 years and I always like to go against the grain, so a pure white            dress would not only be a lie but wearing one would be untrue to my personality too.

It is surprisingly difficult to find dresses with touches of colour in traditional wedding dress shops where I live. This is something I had already discovered when helping my good friend Jem to search for her dress when I was her bridesmaid. Therefore I knew that I had to think outside of the box for my search.

In the end, after browsing dress styles on hitched.co.uk, I fell in love with the cut of 1950’s style dresses and set my heart on a tea length dress. When I told Jem this she pointed me in the direction of Candy Anthony, a London-based dressmaker who specialize in 1950’s and 60’s style with a modern twist. After browsing their website I realised that they also had a Facebook page which is actually better than their website as there are many pictures of real brides wearing their dresses to browse through. From the moment I saw the gorgeous dresses with colourful petticoats and ribbon belts I knew I had to have one and e-mailed them to book an appointment.

Their shop is in central London on the South Bank in the historic Oxo Tower. It is a fantastic setting if not the most practical of places to get to. At my appointment I took my Mum and bridesmaids, Jem and Heather, to help me choose what I would buy. Originally I’d believed that a circle skirted dress with full length lace sleeves would be for me but after the very helpful Hazel from Candy Anthony got me into the style I realised it didn’t suit me. Instead I opted for a halterneck circle dress with sweetheart neckline covered completely in lace with a matching lace bolero, royal blue petticoat and ribbon belt. I felt like a princess in it and couldn’t stop twirling around the fitting room!

After that initial appointment it was six months before I got to go back for my second fitting and another three months later I actually got to pick it up. At all times I was kept informed of progress and when I visited the shop I was always treated with respect and friendliness. The dress and service are worth every penny spent.

It was rather amusing bringing the dress home on the Tube. The bag it is kept in is big enough to stand in so it certainly attracts some attention from fellow commuters. The reaction kept me smiling all the way home.

Once the dress was ordered it was time to find accessories that complimented it. On a daily basis I wear a long heart pendant, that was given to me by my husband when he proposed, and a pair of large drop earrings. I am also known to like a bit of sparkle. However the engagement necklace and my usual earrings wouldn’t have suited the style of the dress so I went to The National Wedding Show in February hoping to find a solution and thankfully I did.

After getting my hair and make-up done at home by the very clever Bride By Becky and her friend Jade on the wedding day, I got some assistance from my Mum and Bridesmaids to put on the vintage style headband and jewellery that I had ordered from the talented By Harriet. Alongside this I wore a watch gifted to me by my mother-in-law and a bracelet that had been a 30th birthday present from Heather.

As for shoes, they are a bargain that I’m still pretty proud of. Those that are targeted at brides can be quite pricey and most of the ones I had seen were also either too high or too flat for me. The highest heel I can wear and still walk properly in is about 3 inches.

Eventually I found a plain and simple pair of comfortable shoes which were a reasonable height in BHS. To bling them up a bit I was inspired by an article in Wedding Ideas Magazine to buy some cute shoe clips from Pretty Pink Toes which immediately make the shoes look far more expensive than they actually were.

With my outfit complete I was ready to go downstairs, show my Dad and wait for the car.
I was ready well within time which really helped to calm my nerves. I also felt a sense of relief when the car from Classic Wedding Cars turned up a little early. This was because Roger and his best man had travelled in it to the venue first. He is ordinarily not the best at timekeeping so it put my mind at rest to realise that he had managed to be on time for our wedding day.

Once our car arrived at The Cavendish and I saw a few of my friends and family just outside it really felt very real. My nerves came particularly to the fore during my pre-wedding interview with the registrars. I nearly got my age wrong when confirming details and I later discovered that my husband did get his age wrong. Thankfully we have now had our certificate corrected to reflect the truth.

Our Ceremony was very emotional aided by our friend Helen who did a reading of a poem for us. And apart from Roger calling me his “unlawful” wife, a moment that caused much laughter in the room, it all went without a hitch.  I walked in to If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys and we signed the register to Keyshia Cole’s Signature. Once we were officially husband and wife you could not wipe the smiles from our faces for the rest of the day and it was thoroughly appropriate that we walked out to the upbeat I Choose You by Ryan Leslie.

As you can tell, music means a lot to Roger and I. We met dancing in a club and since we’ve been together one of our favourite things to do as a couple is going to concerts featuring the artists that we respect and enjoy.

Our first dance was to a very moving song by Eric Benet called One More Tomorrow. But as it does have quite a sombre tone we ensured that the next record to start the party off was Ne-yo’s Champagne Life. And party we all did until the music stopped. We could not have asked for a better day.

Love to you all.

~Kat

Credit for all photography goes to our amazing photographer and all round nice person Louie Donovan. She did a fantastic job of catching shots that I would never have posed for under normal circumstances and she also caught some moments that I never realised that she had.We would recommend her to anyone. She makes you feel very comfortable and able to just be yourselves.

Well Hello Again Blog – In Which I Explain Where I’ve Been

Hello Blogsphere!

I’m well aware that I’ve neglected this blog and the internet in general for the last year or so.

Mostly this is because I’ve been consumed by wedding planning fever as well as dealing with an unstable thyroid problem which saps a lot of my energy when not treated correctly.

Now the thyroid is under control and my wedding and honeymoon, which were beyond my dreams, are very recently over.

I will admit that the previously impossible has also happened and I’ve fallen out of love with The Sims PC game. This is due to EA not fixing or caring to fix numerous bugs in the game and also that the direction they seem to be taking it in is not staying true to what most long time fans want (less celebrity endorsement for a start). However I know things change and maybe Sims 4 will be better? We’ll see.

Anyway, my next few posts will be about my wedding because I recently got the official pictures and they are beautiful and I have to share them. It was worth every minute of the planning stess.

Love to you all from a new Mrs!

~Kat