January 2010 Archives

Brave Sir Charlie

Last night was a monumental night for Charles P. Hamster.

Since the arrival of Umber, our guide-dog-in-training, Charlie's ball-time has dramatically reduced. This is not, however, because of of anything we've done - Charlie hates the dog.

As soon as Umber moved in, Charlie started spending more of the evening asleep - when we got him out of his cage, he would just freeze and move very, very slowly. I felt like the worst mummy in the world, but there was nothing we could do but hope that it was just him being unsure - having never come face to face with a dog before, that would be perfectly understandable. But no, Charlie spent almost every night asleep in his nest, only coming out for the occasional toilet break and to stock up on food.

When we went down to do our notice giving, Charlie came with us and that week he was like a different hamster. 7pm sharp, he'd wake up like he used to and announce to the world "It iss teatime, where is my food?!" and then until we went to bed he would be out and about, running in his ball just like he used to. Obviously then when we returned, it was like someone flipped a switch - back to scaredy-Charles.

Umber on the other hand, loves Charlie. Umber has, on several occasions, sat and watched Charlie running in his wheel for up to 15 minutes.

Then the other night, Umber went away to see who might potentially be his new owner. We put Charlie in the ball first thing in the morning when we got up the following day (he was still wide awake and wanting very much to come out and play, we didn't wake him!) and he ran around the house, even though it still must have smelled like dog. He was running about, being put back in his cage every 20 minutes or so for a drink and a sleep if he wanted it) until 12pm!

For 3 days we did this, and he started coming out again more in the evenings. Umber came back and then last night, while Umber was shut in the kitchen and lounge, Charlie spent the best part of 2 hours roaming free and happily like he used to, top speed up and down the hallway.

Finally it seems like Charlie is not afraid of the dog any more, just as Umber is getting ready to leave us!

Two Months To Go...

Well today marks two months left until Kevin and I get married. Oh lord!

It's all action stations after Christmas. Before Christmas, I was the only one starting to panic about things not being done already - "Oh, it's ages away yet!" but since the start of the New Year everyone else seems to have switched to Wedding Mode and now most of the wedding party have organised their outfits!

My mum got the ball rolling with her outfit purchased in Birmingham - a tea-length dress in black and cream, with a faux-fur bolero to match. Sadly I don't have a "formal" picture of this, so you'll have to see it in the wedding photos!

Sarah continued the outfitting by buying her own dress from a shop in Chester, Always the Bridesmaid... - a gorgeous little D'Zage dress like the one in the middle here, but in a deep, rich teal - to match the swatch I got from another bridesmaid's dress a short while ago after falling in love with the colour. Jenny, stuck in London because of all the snow they've had, hasn't been able to get to a shop but, realising time is rapidly running out for ordering a dress, ordered one from a different shop in Chester - The Ivory Lounge. Jenny ordered a Belsoie dress in teal, pictured here, which I had originally intended to buy and "dress up a bit" as a wedding dress - but after trying on the larger bridal dresses felt the little bridesmaid dress to be a little humble, despite it's beauty.

The following Sunday, the Arlott gents went forth into Glasgow in search of an outfit for the groom and his attendents. Kev, Simon and Tom were all measured up at Geoffrey Tailor and kilted up and an order placed for three dashing outfits, in the style pictured here on the right, although Kev has opted for a plaid and brooch as well. The tartan Kev has chosen is Midnight Thistle, and should hopefully match nicely with the colours on the bridesmaids dresses and the ones chosen in the flowers.

Once the gents were organised it was time for Jane and I to hit the high streets of Glasgow - and hit them we did! We spent several hours shopping and Jane fell in love with a dress we first spotted in John Lewis - a Phase Eight Ophelia in navy with ivory and a deep cerise detailing, as opposed to the lilac colour pictured here. These colours should match the kilts, which also have a navy colour base.

This means my Dad and Ceri are the only ones left to find their outfit. Dad and I are going to have a look for something for him when I nip down to Chester for my Final Fitting at the end of January. Other than that it's just accessory shopping now for ways to keep warm - if this cold weather keeps up I will be wearing a wooly jumper!

Our invitations went out mostly before Christmas and a lot of our guests are returning their menu choices to me now - I'm hoping to have all of them in soon, so we can finalise the table plan and finish our place cards!

Table decoration wise, we are borrowing some fishbowls from Sarah's sister who is kindly lending them to us after her wedding back in November. These will be filled with sand (yes, a special kind of sand, yes, you can take the bride away from the ocean but you'll never take her sediment away from her!) and some pretty candles along with 100% British, responsibly sourced sea shells! Some of these Kev has been making into some fairly impressive little candles which I'll write about separately! Other beach miscellany will also be included, scattered on the tables including driftwood and tumbled sea glass.

Between now and March 15th everything has to be finallised, but now the important bits are done and we've (finally) given notice it's just tying up all the loose ends - the pressure is off but it's all go-go-go!