Friday, May 30, 2008

Today I Am Mostly....

An elderly patient calling to make an appointment for her husband:

Me: "and did they tell you which doctor he needed to see?"
Lady: "No they just said he needed to see a specialist"
Me: "OK, well can you tell me a little bit about his condition?"
Lady: "Well, .... today he is a little bit angry....and hungry."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Skills Leaned At School

Heard from the other room:

"Sniff, Sniff!, SNIFF!"
"Sniff, Sniff!, SNIFF!"

"Anna, are you OK in there? What are you doing?"

"I'm being careful!"
"Sniff, Sniff! SNIFF!

Coming to investigate - "yes, but what are you doing?"

"I'm sniffing out a lobster"


Suddenly seeing the shards of Smithsonian magazine 'Magical Maine' littering the floor, Anna brandishing her new safety scissors.

"Oh, don't you mean 'snipping' out a lobster?"

"No! Sniffing! Sniff, Sniff! SNIFF!"

How can I correct that?!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Who's A Boozer?

I've been thinking about booze a lot lately. About how much is too much, and whether or not I'm pushing the envelope.

If asked, I would consider myself a 'moderate drinker', we have a fairly active social life, out with friends more often than not, and whilst out we have a glass of wine or two. We do after all live in the land of wine, where a bottle of plonk is cheaper than a gallon of gas - particularly these days. It doesn't help that our friends drink and serve fabulous wine, the best stuff home-grown. Besides a glass of red wine of an evening is considered good for your health. What I was starting to research though, is how quickly more than one glass of wine a night becomes a health issue

I know that I don't have a drinking problem. I would not consider myself an alcoholic. However deluded that statement seems, particularly for non-drinkers, I am absolute certain of that fact. I never drink alone, I never 'need' a drink (however tempted I am to jokingly mention this to other parents). If I drive I will not drink. Of course, someone else offering to drive has cheered me up no end on more than one occasion. I very rarely drink to excess these days, though I have been known to 'tie one on' particularly in college where the stories need to remain. I had a series of absurdly noble and gallant boyfriends at University who would never have let me come to any harm whilst hammered. I have done some crazy, idiotic, embarrassing stuff whilst under the influence, but honestly what red-blooded British female has not? Therein lies the dichotomy. Culturally there seems to be a huge difference between the UK and the US. In the UK, particularly over the last 10-15 years you are perceived to be a 'good girl' if you're able to hold your own when it comes to alcohol. Sadly 100% of the socializing I did at College was alcohol-based (yes even, if not particularly, the sports). Over here, women who drink are called a 'lush'. That's not to say I stick out like a sore thumb amongst my Californian girlfriends. Our book club for example has been known to put away a bottle or two. Per attendee.

In reflecting on this subject I wasn't interested in whether I was perceived to be a drunk or not, I wanted to know about the longterm effects on my health. I remember a trip to the ER a few years ago with a broken collar bone. As it was the States, and a Sunday morning, they literally threw the medical book at me. X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds. I think they were just trying to pass the time. I do remember the attending physician giving me an ultrasound for any internal damage (it was a bike accident) and he was pleasantly narrating what he saw. "And there's your liver, which looks great", and I remember thinking "Really?! What are the chances?!"

I came across an interesting article on the BBC website a couple of weeks ago - that I now can't find - was I drunk when I read it? It stated that any more than a glass of wine a night, essentially 14 units a week (my glasses of wine are equivalent to about 2 units) is over the recommended Government limit for health. That made me sit up and think. 'Everything in moderation' is a usual rule of thumb with alcohol. Was my moderation way off the mark?

This article is interesting as it highlights how many women considering themselves 'moderate drinkers' are actually consuming more than three times the recommended weekly limit.

This paragraph in particular:

It's not just young women at risk. The 'typical housewife', who shares a bottle of wine with her husband every night, will equally run into trouble if they do it for long enough.

If they do it for 10 - 20 years they can get alcoholic cirrhosis from that alone.

Dr Record explains, "Indeed I had a patient like this just a few weeks ago who was a dentist's wife. Didn't think she was doing any harm to herself whatsoever."

"Suddenly she became yellow, and she developed serious liver disease, in her case it was irreversible, she went progressively downhill, her kidneys failed, and she died."

Alarmingly I would fit right in there. In actual fact, having done this survey I would rate in the top of 5% of female drinkers in the States. The 'where to go for help' button plumped squarely beneath my result.

I wonder if the same survey based on British female drinkers would render me in the same percentile? I don't think so.

Even so, I often consider being the Mum of a 2yr old, working more or less full time, coupled with everything else we are dealing with presently as a physical challenge. In order to cope I need to be on top of my game, essentially at optimum fitness, training to make life more manageable. I was aware that after a few glasses of wine in an evening I was far more likely to wake up in the middle of the night, usually thirsty and then unable to get back to sleep. Obviously broken sleep was one fall-out, dehydration and resultant fatigue probably another. On those lines, whether or not I would consider myself an alcoholic, (not), it clearly seemed like I could be doing some damage. After all this rather depressing research, what if any are my conclusions? Other than the fact that I don't yet appear to be turning yellow. My Mum would probably suggest 'just drinking halves' (an old family joke). I think limiting myself to two glasses of wine with company, whilst maintaining the social life is probably much better for my health, certainly mental if not physical, than abstaining. Possibly cutting back on the sly martinis with LK at home. Nothing too drastic. I don't think you have to drink to have a good time, but I'm certainly aware it helps. Particularly if you're going to spend time with my friends(!)


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Co-Sleeping For Dummies

Since we came back from England Anna has been sleeping in her own bed.

Some of you are probably reading that thinking, yay Anna, the big girl bed! You rock little snoozer.

I’m sure others of you are going I’m sorry what? She’s almost 3 for crying out loud, when were you going to kick her out of that nest? Maybe at 16 when hosting a sleep-over and she was forced to admit to friends that they'd have to share with her parents?

Then there are probably some people thinking, ‘wait, I googled homemade surfboard, what the hell kind of website is this? A Mommy Blog? Aaah, my eyes! they burn!

So yes, co-sleeping a brief family history:

Not long after we brought our deliciously fresh pink baby back from the hospital we realized that we could either:

A: Not sleep at all by putting the creature in the torture-chamber of hell known in baby circles as a ‘bassinet’.


B: Get quite a lot of sleep by sharing the bed with the tiny but all-powerful scream-machine and simply rolling over to boob her whenever she dared utter a squeak. This worked so well that I would frequently wake up in the morning with only the vaguest memories of having fed her, but with one boob the size of a watermelon and the other flapping in the wind. Not an easy look to pass off at work a few hours later let me tell you, but so completely worth it.

Things were going fairly well for a while. We were new parents, we were definitely getting more than our fair share of sleep, and then I started going to a parent support class. A group that seemed (in my insecure mind at least) to be solely designed to tell you YOU'RE DOING THE WRONG THING! Of course they don't say it like that do they, they say 'wow, and that's working for you is it?', or 'well, that's brave!' Then of course there was the couple we nanny-shared with for 2 years who said 'oh my God you POOR THINGS!' To which I mumbled 'actually, it seems to be working pretty nicely for everyone'.

"Oh you POOR PEOPLE, I really CAN'T IMAGINE, I would just DIE'.

So parenting guilt led me to try having Anna sleep in her cot/crib and many hours of crying and mid-night waking later she was more or less used to it. She'd still wake up at about 3-4am and scream to be put in our bed, but that's par for the course right? Parenting Nazis. Anyway, we were practically normal, with a child who to all intents and purposes slept in a separate room. Until a few months later when we got the mother of all stomach flus, every ounce of internal fluid making a simultaneous bid for freedom. We were all so sick we literally couldn't get down the stairs to the kitchen. For 2 days. For that 48 hours of hell, we all fought death in the same bed watching the same Hannah Montana marathon on the Disney channel because we were too sick to find the remote. After that we were back to square one with the creature sleeping in our bed.

Co-sleeping is almost the parenting dirty little word. Conjuring up images of slovenly parents lacking in discipline. Which of course is true(!) What strikes me as strange is the number of people who are doing it, but mostly on the quiet. Of the friends I have with young children, well over 50% have or have had their children sleeping with them. They all graduated to their own beds without fuss well before the age of 5, why is everyone staying in the closet?

The main concern is that children become dependent on you to sleep, that they lack the ability to 'self-soothe', and while I'll admit that 'I need Mummy's hair' has been an oft-repeated sleepy refrain she has made the transition to sleeping in her own bed with very little fuss at all. She barely even questioned the move, seeming to accept it as the natural order of things. Quite honestly we had to face the alarming truth that we were just as dependent on her presence as she was ours. The overwhelming comfort of being able to reach out and touch her in the middle of the night, to know she was safe - particularly in an earthquake zone - the soft sweet smell of her downy head. We were rapidly becoming the ones that needed weaning.

Overall I would say co-sleeping has worked very well for us. At first we were worried we'd roll over and crush her, but as with most parents, we were so alert to her presence, to any half-uttered cry or fart that forgetting she was there was never an issue. It was also easy to keep her away from duvets and pillows that might suffocate her, as she was born mid-summer in California. It was a life-saver on our three trips to the UK, as jet-lag and sleeping in a foreign bed was made much easier with her being comforted by us being right there. Plus, when Anna sleeps, she sleeps like the dead. If she thrashed around a lot, I'm sure co-sleeping would never have taken off.

We decided to wean her when the logistics of having two tall adults and an increasingly gangly toddler in a Queen size bed became overwhelming. Too many knees and elbows, and quite frankly, butts, in a bed. One of us had to go. Then came the time when LK and I were doing some dozy half-awake spooning only to have her march into our room, sandwich herself between us and declare 'no, I go in the middle!'

Admittedly, we still wake up in our bed at 7am with her often sleeping soundly between us, both of us oblivious to her having snuck in in the wee hours.

That's fine with us, as long as she stops before she goes to college of course.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Please Please Me

I feel like I need to preface this with:



Anna will not, no never, never ever say please. Unless coerced or prodded with a red-hot poker and then she will spit out a 'plissss' like a basketball leaking air.

It was killing me and I couldn't for the life of me understand it, because she will say thankyou at the drop of a hat (mostly 'aww fanks').'You're welcome' is practically a visceral reflex. You should have seen her puzzlement when in England she would say 'fanks' to my Mum and wait patiently for her to say 'you're welcome', which obviously is never going to happen in the North of England. You've just thanked me? Well so be it, but I OWE YOU NOTHING!

I couldn't work it out, because the easiest ways to learn something as a toddler are by repetition, copying or reward, right? Thankyou gets you nothing, (except a knee-jerk 'you're welcome sweetie'). If you say 'can I have some candy?'. Not bloody likely. 'Can I have some candy please', absolutely, go crazy, since you asked so nicely. You would think please would be a no-brainer because the bottom line is, it gets you stuff.

Besides, Anna is generally a really well-mannered little girl. Staggeringly so sometimes. The other week I was hunkered down on a toddler-sized picnic bench having a 'Mothers Day Brunch' at Anna's preschool. Suddenly Anna trotted off and returned with a tissue. I was just in the middle of saying 'oh I have a napkin for you love', when she turned to the smaller girl sitting next to her, gently cradled the back of her head and wiped a giant trail of snot from under her nose whilst saying 'there you go sweetie'. Obviously she put me to shame - I hadn't even noticed the little girl's snot-slug. Anna's a genuinely good kid, and a fast learner. Why wasn't she saying please?

Then my friend R. enlightened me. People don't say please anymore (and I'm not prepared to make the cultural leap here and say it's just California - I honestly had not been paying attention to this phenomenon when in England, so I don't know if it's been abandoned there either). R's point was, please gets you nothing, because not saying please very often gets you the same stuff anyway. Furthermore, kids, and since I've started paying attention, adults too, don't 'ask' for things. They command.

"I want Anna tunes"
"Sure, do you want Old MacDonald or Twinkle Twinkle"

"Dada, I need a drink"
"Sure, do you want water or juice?"

"I'll take a ham on wheat, mayo no mustard"

See what I mean?

It's amazing that since we've issued the 'must say please' rule for getting stuff that what we're actually realizing is the number of times we give her things when she doesn't say please, and the number of times we don't say it either. No wonder she wasn't picking it up, we were effectively making it redundant - R. was spot on!

I know there are bigger pre-schooler battles so fight. Not peeing on somebody else's carpet for example (sorry Jen!), but I always wanted my kid to be the polite one. It would seem I might need to lead by example?

I blame the parents.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Anna Button!!

When I first got my new car it came complete with XM radio. LK pre-programmed some channels for me and it was goodbye NPR, hello non-stop 80s at the press of a button. I can't tell you what a hit that 80s button was on our girls-only wine tasting trip in February, while Anna cooperated by sleeping through Men at Work and some cracking Cindy Lauper.

I wasn't the only one who got used to the XM radio, as soon as Anna got in the car she would demand I press the 'Anna button' switching us from 80s gold to the mind-numbing nursery-rhymes that are her current vogue. Sadly I had to ditch the XM a few months ago. I have a four minute commute to work and I couldn't justify the luxury, so it's back to eight minutes of NPR a day, which leaves me tantalisingly half-educated about Ghandian basket-weaving.

Unless Anna is in the car and then she still demands 'the Anna button' .

I would actually welcome any suggestions from parents out there who have some good kids CDs to listen to that won't leave me wanting to claw my own ears off at every 'hey diddle diddle'.

In the meantime, I bring you this, courtesy of my friend Jen. Kids songs that won't have you resorting to driving on valium. Damn this is funny:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Us vs. Them: Fashion

Whenever I go back to the UK I always end up dressing circa 1996. That's the last time I dressed for a cold climate, and my Mum and Dad still have some of my fashionable knitwear from the 90s in my wardrobe at home.

It's a little nerve-wracking going back, particularly if you have to dress for a big event, like a wedding, and you don't want to get it wrong. It is practically impossible to get a dress for a spring wedding in California that is not diaphanous and floaty and would render the wearer frozen in an instant in THE NORTH. Plus if you make the mistake of telling a Californian sales assistant that you're looking for something appropriate for a spring wedding in England they immediately start casting around for the Laura Ashley maternity dresses.

Basically I was really struggling, and I don't have vast expanses of time with which to go clothes shopping as the creature has a ten minute clothes-shop boredom threshold and any longer than that she's running amok in the lingerie section and I'm trying to coax her sticky hands from a rack of immaculate silk negligees. My friend Jen inadvertently came up trumps by inviting me to her four-year-old daughter's birthday party. Not the ideal place to find a dress for a wedding - unless it's in size 4T, or so you would think. I turned up at the party and she said 'you can leave Anna here if you want, we'll be done in about an hour'.

It was like the jailer had forgotten to shut the door.

Three nano-seconds later I was in the Department Store across the street looking at posh frocks. My mind was racing. Must find dress. Must find dress. Of course there was nothing. Everything remotely appropriate was in this season's 'jewel tones' and I have the colouring of, well 'colouring' at all is stretching things rather. In a fit of panic I grabbed, tried on and purchased a black polka-dotted halter-neck dress.

A black, halter-neck dress for a Spring wedding. My brother's Spring wedding.

They are an amazing couple and will certainly be married for a lifetime. I would be in their wedding pictures in my accidental purchase for a lifetime.

I was terrified that I'd bought the wrong dress. That I would appear the brash, ridiculously-attired American at the English country wedding. Then my friend told me to take a long hard look at every Hello magazine littering my bathroom *admits to guilty pleasure*. It was clear that you could wear anything you wanted to at a 21st Century English wedding as long as you had a pashmina and one of those feathery doo-dads perched atop your head. A fascinator, I learned. A collection of artful feathers, and in some cases twigs? on an Alice band instantly transforms any sad sack into a wedding guest. I absolutely loved mine, despite one of my brother's friends pointing to it and saying 'I'm surprised a blackbird asn't tried to ave a crack at that' (imagine a very broad Yorkshire accent). So yes, fascinators, great things, especially if your husband keeps accidentally calling them 'fantasizers'.

I am more and more aware though how inappropriate my typical Southern Californian wardrobe is for England - and not just in terms of warmth. Basically, one mans swimwear is another mans disgusting Euro speedo. LK and I frequently look liked we've dressed for a beach party every time we land at Manchester airport. My fantastic Ebay-steal Uggs that I thought perfect for April in North Yorkshire:

Were only slightly more upscale than the fake Uggs (Fuggs) worn by every single teenage girl in the UK. Whoops.

I did however stumble on my own personal clothing Aladdin's cave. I once had a dream during a particularly uncomfortable and insecure time at College that I found a shop where every single item of clothing was perfect for me. Turns out, fifteen years later, this shop actually exists. White Stuff, or 'Caucasian Clothes' as LK coined it was like dying and going to heaven. If heaven involved a horrible exchange-rate induced financial enema with every purchase. Honestly, just linking to that website again had my index finger poised over the 'add to your cart' button. Damn that's an amazing shop.

Must go and lie down now.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mothers Day/Mothering Sunday

Rare photo of me caught in the act of 'mothering'.

Did you know that the UK and the US have different dates for Mothers Day? I'm sure every US/UK expat is more than aware of that logistical nightmare thank you very much.

In the UK 'Mothering Sunday' is tied to Easter and is thus a 'floating holiday' usually floating in to my consciousness the minute I turn my 'Yorkshire Beautiful' calendar over from February to March and realise YET AGAIN that Mothers Day is mere days away and I'd better getter my arse on pdq.

It is not easy to track two Mothers Days, or at least that was LK's excuse this time last year when we were England. I dug deep into my passive-agressive personality when I informed him he'd best call his Mom as it was Mothers Day in the States. I watched his Adams apple bob as the repercussions hit home.

"You're not my Mom" he countered.

To be honest, fair play, I'm not, but we both knew that such an approach would jeopardize his Fathers Day golf game. A handcrafted 'Anna special' card and a few hastily plucked flowers from my Mum and Dad's garden about fifteen minutes later meant we had entered into a new detente. I think we both knew that 1 for 2 for Mothers Days was not an auspicious start and that he'd have to come up trumps in 2008.

At least I think we both understood that. The Lakers do in fact have a play-off game tomorrow so we shall see.


Updated to add:

Here's just a small selection of the thirty+ homemade Mothers Day cards I received this morning:

These, coupled with a picnic with friends at a private beach this afternoon, I would say he is *redeemed* wouldn't you? and I will now officially quit my damn whining.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Food Glorious Food?

Does anyone really go to the UK for the food? Well, times have changed, so yes people do, but more particularly, ask any ex-pat and they'll confess to buying that first packet of hula hoops the second they reach their first drizzle-suffused high street.

In the past I've actually gone on diets prior to a trip back home, knowing full well that as soon as that plane lands I would be on a sweets and carbs binge to rival any sixteen year-old with the munchies.

This trip was no exception. Even though I can get a lot of 'Brit foods' (Heinz baked beans, McVities chocolate digestives, Branston Pickle) at World Market, or funnily enough the 'Indo-China Market' over here, there are still so many things I miss that I don't seem to stop stuffing my gob for a single minute. That's one of the things I've never got used to about emigrating. That I only ever go back to my native country when 'on holiday', so for short oases amongst a desert of time I have to try and fit in an entire year's worth of British epicurian delights.

Yes I did just write 'British epicurian delights'.

That results in me eating non-stop trying to literally 'fit it all in', or packing my suitcase full to the brim with Wheat Crunchies, Nik Naks, Thornton's toffee, and Cadburys chocolate (because as Little Britainer so scientifically researched, the Cadburys you can buy stateside is a poor imposter!!).

I had to write this post because it's only 2 weeks (a fortnight!) since we arrived back to sunnier climes and my 'stash' of Euro junk is almost gone. I have one sticky lump of Thornton's original toffee left - and let's be frank I packed three giant bags of licorice, treacle and original toffee - no more crisps left, and the last of the chocolate was polished off by a pack of post-concert friends the other night. The only things that remain standing are Typhoo Green Tea Bags (sadly no longer available online), and a jar of M&S Fruit Chutney.

I must have ploughed my way through a staggering 25,000 calories in about fourteen days. My teeth and gut hurt just thinking about it. Add that to the stuff that I just couldn't bring back in my suitcase and felt obliged to work my way through while we were over there (fish and chips, curries, endless poppadums, Dandelion & Burdock, Wensleydale & Lancashire cheese, M&S prawn & mayo sandwiches, meat pies!!, washed down by endless gin and tonics. I think it's time I started training for this year's triathlon.

Why don't I ever lust after anything fresh, healthy and green? Well the truth is I do, but when you're awash with calories, adding some runner beans, rhubarb, gooseberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and Victoria plums is not going to save you. Plus these items are seasonal, and the only things I managed to scarf down this year from that list were runner beans, which I love and are strangely completely unavailable in California - land of all produce.

Oh, and these things, can anyone take a guess what these are?

Tiger Nuts!! I only know one or two places that sell them back home, and I absolutely love them, and it appears they're really good for you too. Can you get them in the States - does anybody know?

What about you lot? We're all expat's to some degree, I know very few of us actually live in the same County or even Country that we grew up in. What's the first thing on your list when you go back home?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Weddings: Part Deux

Where was I? Oh yes, so we came back from London, having had a simply marvellous time running around being both childless and childish, and taking ridiculously touristy photos like these:

This doesn't look at all like London does it?

We had a fantastic time staying with some old friends Eggy & Tom at their shamefully fabulous place which made me want to start working harder in life, and then I realised I quite like having Fridays off and must content myself with living in squalor. Sunny squalor. I did have a long hard lust at their bookshelves in the guest bedroom where I wanted to read 89.9% of their entire collection, and only then because I'd already read 7.8%. My second night away from the creature ever, a skinful of fantastic wine and all I wanted to do was stay up all night and read. Prize for wife of the year right here please.

We literally stepped off the train from London and my brother's wedding arrived.

Thanks to my cousin Andrew for the photos.

And it was absolutely perfect. Even the terror of me doing a reading, and LK being the best man and having to do a speech to rival the Father of the Bride and the groom (no easy task) did not detract from the day. It was one of those weddings where everything seemed to go right. Of course I missed the juiciest part of the night as Anna fell asleep on my shoulder at 10:30pm, and if she could sleep on me while I was dancing to 'Night Fever' then all was lost and I clearly had to take her to bed.

I missed dancing with my brother (who dances so well only the fact that he was the groom would make you not question his sexuality), and I may never forgive Anna for the fact that I missed the bacon butties brought round at midnight.

The amount of love in that room was overwhelming (and not just from my brother's friend who was trying to mate with everything in a skirt). It sounds trite, but it was very life-affirming to be surrounded by all those people that I love, and to see them so happy.

Thanks P & L, I think you made me realise that things can never be truly bleak when everything we'll ever really need we have.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Two Weddings & A Fascinator

Oh, you want to hear more about the trip?!

As much as we all love going to England, we wouldn't ordinarily have left our nuclear-mushroom-cloud of a life in California just as the fiscal A-bomb was about to make landfall. However, my baby brother was getting married, and thanks to some generous financial assistance, we were able to buy that one extra plane ticket for the creature. Our child who no longer flies free. She already has a passport littered with immigration stamps, but now that she's old enough to require her own seat her traveling days may be limited to the Ventura Target, and that's only if gas prices don't keep rising.

We had to take her though, as not only did she have a fabulous dress to wear:

but she's the only recent offspring on both sides of the family, and therefore about as popular as a half-price sale in the Marks & Spencers knicker section.

*Very popular*.

As luck and fantastic friendship would have it though, we ended up sneaking in a second wedding a few days before my brother's big bash. My BFF from University, Sus, is getting married in May. She knows pretty much all my secrets, so I'm not going to publish *that picture* (plus, she's an incredibly famous actress darling, and there is such a thing as bad publicity - or bad hair). Sadly we can't make it over in May, because breaking it to an American employer that you're taking three weeks off in a single year is hard enough. Twice in one year, not going to happen. So we were truly gutted that we would miss her walking down the aisle with this fabulous man:

How Sus, who is half American, married a bloke from Yorkshire, and I, who can't leave THE NORTH without hyperventilating, married an American, has got to be one of the biggest, but most fantastic mix-ups of all time. If someone had told us 15 years ago in the College bar that was going to happen, we'd have wanted to be drinking what they were drinking.

Anyway, back to the story. In order for them to get married in a rose garden in Kent, they would have to get married in a registry office first (in England the place is legally consecrated for marriage, not the person). Here is where I will be forever grateful. Instead of going to the registry office the morning of their big wedding, they chose to get the legal bit over with a month earlier so that we could be present. When she first suggested this as an option I literally choked up. It was an incredible honour.

My Mum and Dad watched Anna overnight, and we headed down to London, to Haringey registry office where it was truly beautiful to see two very accomplished actors fluff their vows ever so slightly because they were overcome by the enormity of the moment. It was beautiful, classy, sweet and sincere. And then we went for ice-cream:

and they called everyone they knew and said 'we just got married' and the bloke at Thornton's gave them free chocolates because they'd only been married for fifteen minutes, and love ruled Haringey(?) High Street and all was right with the world.

 be continued.