Category Archives: Perfect Moments

The perfect moments that life and happy memories are made of.

We’re definitely in Texas (Southern Belle Road Trip day 2)

Some photos from this morning’s shopping:

Love how wrangler advertise with a western saddle, a cowboy’s bum and that ‘fits over boots’ is a key selling point:

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The tab won’t let me rotate this one, but top ten chat up lines for cowboys… Made me smile!

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And last but by no means least, my gorgeous boots – was massively indulgent and bought two pairs, but as they’re my birthday present I didn’t feel too guilty!

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This afternoon and evening we met Gary, an old friend of my dad’s, who gave us a guided tour of the stock yards and surrounding area. I have managed to leave my card reader at home so can’t put pics up till I get a new one, but it was glorious… Saw longhorn cattle being herded up the street, found the candy store with barrels and barrels of sweets, drank and signed the walls in the White Elephant Saloon, had dinner at the Texas Pit Barbecue and came back to Billy Bob’s – the world’s biggest honky tonk and somewhere legendary to me, as dad has often talked about it when he’s been here before.

So all in all a fab day – keep half-thinking I could live here. Four separate people told me they loved my boots, which was nice!

Signs spotted today: We Buy Ugly Houses.com * Strip Club for sale * Speak your mind but ride a fast horse * Someday I’m going to marry a cowboy but first I want to be one * Live well, laugh much, love horses.

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Filed under Haul Posts, Learning, Perfect Moments, Shopping, USA Road Trip 2012

This weekend I mostly…

Watched: Neverwhere the play and Otto the puppy

Read: craft books

Listened to: my friends laughing

Ate: an absolutely stupid amount of chocolate, curry and twiglets

Drank: wine (but not from Atlantis, sadly)

It was completely gorgeous but almost completely photo-free… The only thing I do have is this rather lovely set of Otto.

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Long dog is long...

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srsly?! I was snoozing!

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centre of attention during Articulate

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with Auntie Sar (he belongs to her twin sister and her husband)

But lack of photos aside, it was wonderful to be back in Berkshire for a bit and to see everyone. Neverwhere was amazing and I’m muchly proud of Lou for putting so much love, talent and effort into the costumes. Kelly was fab as Lamia and I even found a previously unknown coincidence with a friend on Twitter with whom I share a hometown (and we’re both ex-librarians).

Back to the real world today… I was as unimpressed as Richard Mayhew.

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Filed under Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Laughing, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Twitter

Things that make me happy Thursday – overdue edition!

Ooops, I don’t appear to have done one of these since before Christmas! So, the run up to 2012 and the first couple of weeks of it… They have made me smile muchly…

Catching up with family over the festive break
Having a festive break – in my adult life I’ve never had more than four or five days off in a row due to work, and this year I had ten!
Getting unexpected Christmas presents
Celebrating New Year for the first time in a long time
Experimental cocktails with Rob’s new blender (notes: lime is good in SMALL quantities. Do not always follow the recipes to the letter. It is perfectly acceptable to mix two litres of lychee daiquiri, take it to a party and drink it all yourselves.)
Cooking from a Jamie cookbook. Several times. And succeeding!
Starting 2012 how I’d to continue it
Swapping socks with Holly
Seeing Anna on new years day :)
Enjoying the commute with my new toy
Dan not recognising me from behind because my hair’s so long
Amanda’s zombie app comment
Wearing floral trainers
Two of the girls who keep me sane at work going permanent
A label on a pack of ibuprofen tablets instructing me to remove all packaging before microwaving. Sure.
Catching up with Val via email
Making my resolutions/hopes/thoughts/dreams list for the year ahead

From the sublime to the mundane to the ridiculous and back again!

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Filed under Baking, Christmas, Family, Friends, Happy Thursdays, Laughing, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Perfect Moments, Personal Development, Technology and gadgets, Thinking

Hello 2012 – we’re going to get on famously

This will have to be quick, because I should have been in bed half an hour ago… oh, how I have really not missed the 5.30am starts at all over the break!!

I’m starting 2012 in an incredibly happy, uplifted and motivated frame of mind. I am surrounded by people I love who love me, I have my little haven of a flat and my much adored Poppy-car, changes at work in the last couple of months of 2011 mean I’m much happier there than I thought possible to begin with, and I’m ridiculously lucky that my main stresses are usually that I have too many people and fun things to fit into my social life. Terrible, isn’t it?!

But genuinely, I’m very lucky and well aware of this fact. I’m also intending and hoping for 2012 to be my best year yet… full of all the things I love to do, all the people I love to see and empty (or emptier, at least) of things that make me sad and stressed out. I’m not completely in la la land, I know that various things will be impossible and hard and tearful through the year, but right now things are rosy and I intend to make the absolute most of that.

Things I am muchly looking forward to this year:

Julia’s wedding ~ this is the big one, my best friend and twin soul is getting married on 7th July and I CANNOT WAIT! I’m honoured to have been chosen as one of her bridesmaids and I’ll do everything I can to make sure her big day is perfect.

USA road trip ~ a road trip round the southern states with my parents that we have been talking about doing for close to ten years, we’re flying out to Texas on 9th February and I’m so excited I can barely breathe!

CAE 2012 ~ Camping Auto Extravaganza with the ROC boys and girls is always a highlight of the calendar – this will be my third one, and each one makes me marvel that a bunch of people who only met each other because of their cars can be such very good friends and have such an awesome time.

Neverwhere ~ one of my favourite books by the awesome Neil Gaiman, and my best friend Lou of Contrariety Rose has been working on the costumes for the play for months and months. I’m off to see it on 20th January and am very excited!

Goodwood Revival ~ another one of those things I’ve been threatening to do for ages, Lou & Paul said they’d like to go and much to my surprise so did Rob when I mentioned it the other day… and dressed vintage too! So I’m hoping we’ll get to do that in September… fingers crossed!

My 26th birthday ~ not a traditional landmark I know, but I feel like I’m hitting my prime, and will be taken more seriously once I’m in my late twenties, and I’m hoping to celebrate with lots of friends and lots of family.

Unofficial Ireland rally with Rat Patrol, Team Allegro and Bucket of Doom ~ Assuming we actually manage to get this organised, I would completely adore to see the others again. I am perfectly prepared to abandon the idea of a banger and just go in Poppy if that’s the only way I can afford to go (as the £250 banger car spending limit would probably pay for most of my petrol and camping costs, lol). I’ve missed those guys!

And last but not least, launching Teasets to Typewriters, rejuvenating Ducking Fabulous jewellery as part of that and hopefully becoming involved with a new website, What Simon Said, with a friend I met on the rally and have kept in touch with via Twitter. I have many, many goals this year… some of them are listed on the 2012 Things page of this site, which can be found on the tabs at the top.

So, enough photo-free waffling from me – it’s been wonderful blogging and tweeting and ‘meeting’ people (I’m mostly looking at you, @craftyguider,@fairlyairyfairy@meanyjar, @CraftyThINKer, @MissJimJams, @ShhimUK, @LucyMoose ) in 2011, and I hope the friendship and support continues into 2012 and beyond! Happy 2012… enjoy it!

xx

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Filed under Adventuring, Blogging, Business Wafflings, Collecting, Creating, Driving, Family, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Lists, Love and Stuff, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Personal Development, Planning, Poppy, Projects, Recording, ROC, Thinking, Travelling, USA Road Trip 2012

Christmas time, Lego, food and wine…

Towards the end of a perfect Christmas day… presents, food, family and music. We ate and laughed and talked, I napped with the dog and then napped with the cat, I helped Eden build a Lego ship and we all ate lots and lots of chocolate – just the way Christmas should be :)

I hope all your Christmases were equally perfect if you celebrate Christmas, and that your Sundays were perfect if you don’t.

Happy Holidays!

xx

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Decisions, freedom and infinite possibility…

I am typing this on the train, sitting next to a woman with an ipad and an iphone. I feel a strange mixture of clunky (my laptop is ENORMOUS in comparison and I don’t have mobile broadband) and smug (I can type so much faster and more accurately than she can, mweeheehee).

The last few weeks have changed my life, overwhelmingly for the better. For various reasons I can’t talk about any of those reasons in detail, but one of the net results is that I have signed up for a season ticket loan for a train ticket, which means I’ll be at work for at least another year. This will give me time to get my finances straight and live my life a little without worrying so much about the future and what’s round the next corner (in the job and finances side of life, anyway).

Secondly, I have decided to put my shop plans on hold for the foreseeable future and concentrate on making things for fun and learning, rather than pressurising myself. The same with vintage homewares and clothing – I’ll buy them for me or for presents, and I’ll continue to research them and blog about my finds because I find them fascinating, but I need to remove the pressure for a while so I can focus on other things.

2012 contains, among other plans, my best friend’s wedding, my parents’ long awaited move into their new home and another rally, closely followed by a Canada trip to watch ice skating in early 2013, so now is not a good time to be starting up. Quite apart from the fact that although I know I’m capable of running a business, my finances are most definitely not, and I’m not sure I’m yet ready to sacrifice my social life in favour of it.

Thirdly, but possibly most importantly, after the weekend that’s just passed I am left with a feeling of happiness, peace, freedom and infinite possibility. My sense of self is fully restored and my inner pin up is well on her way to being part of my everyday life! Although I am never taking a train that far again – driving is SO much more fun and less hassle!

So I’m going to make the most of feeling like that, use the sense of purpose to get my flat and my life in order, and then focus on doing fun stuff… and blogging about it all, of course!

Sorry, this is somewhat of a stream-of-consciousness post, but it does feel good to write it down rather than just have it floating around in my head! A little part of me still can’t quite believe I’ve come this far and made this life for myself. When I look back to how I was four short years ago, and realise just how much I love my ‘new’ life… I wonder how the Carla I am now and the Carla I was then can possibly be the same person. I wouldn’t go back now if you paid me, I love who I’ve become and everything that I do. It’s amazing, empowering and really rather lovely. Ok, enough of the soppy crap now.

Right. Before you all throw up, I’m going to get off the train and go and make sausages and chips for dinner :)

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Filed under Blogging, Collecting, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Learning, Life Plans and Goals, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Planning, Recording, Thinking, Thrifting, Vintage

A weekend in the life of me

So, I had every intention of participating in the One Day On Earth project, until I realised that a) 11/11/11 was going to be super-busy, full of train travel and that the project wanted video and I very much work in photos not videos. So here, instead, is a selection of snapshots from my weekend…

This was actually on Tuesday, eating ice cream on the back of a Vespa at Joe Deluccios in Westfield Stratford City.

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On the train. My handbag (the red and beige one) snapped on the way to the station, so I had to hastily repack, then ditch it without looking like a terrorist. Not easy when you go through London train and tube stations looking shifty!

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I spend quite a lot of time doing this – sitting on the floor of a train, reading books. People think I’m mad for sitting on the floor, but I like being able to stretch my legs.DSCF5018 

Twitter Mafia love on a Friday morning – love these ladies!

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The reminder email that came round from lovely Kim just before the two minutes’ silence for Poppy Day.

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Biscuits! Work has a delivery of biscuits and other groceries (tea, coffee etc) every month, and this is what the cupboard looks like just after delivery!

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Impromptu trip to Moorgate to buy a new handbag. London is grey but has some striking buildings if you look up while walking.

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Mid-afternoon Wispa. Is any day complete without chocolate?!

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The emergency/accidental new handbag, to replace the one that snapped in the morning. I like it!

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St Pancras station – took this on my way home after a fabulous weekend. It was utter carnage on the way in, and I was trying to sprint which is never a good idea!

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And finally home again, with the awesome vintage suitcase we took to Romania. That case started off full of 80s porn magazines, went all the way to Romania on Rusty’s roof, and came home with Team Allegro on their roof. It has a lot more character now than it did when we bought it, but I’m in love and it improved the journey home enormously – I felt like a 40s starlet! (for the first couple of hours, anyway – six hours later I just wanted to be back home, lol). The wheelie case under it was bought for Poland and also came on the rally with us – my luggage is well travelled :)

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Filed under Adventuring, Collecting, Friends, Inspiration and inspiring things, Laughing, Learning, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Photography, R2R 2011 (Banger rally), Recording, Travelling, Vintage, Week in pictures

Happy Thursdays… times two!

A double dose today, as I don’t think I was organised enough to do a post last week…

Last week:

Unexpectedly meeting Val for lunch at Nandos

Corsets – hehe, see my posts on Project Pin Up

Tentatively enquiring whether our drunken ‘yeah, let’s do a rally round Ireland’ could become reality and getting a very enthusiastic response from the other teams. Hey, plans made at 3am in an obscure part of Europe under the influence of alcohol are clearly the best ones!

Spending an entire evening talking boys and horses with Lizzy

Type-writing a letter to Dan (another one – I’m improving!!)

Treasure hunting with Mum

Awesome numberplate on a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream van

Deciding we should drink the last bottle of Romanian rum and toast Rusty sometime

Starting my Vivien of Holloway dress fund.

This week:

Lunch with some of the girls from work last Friday, which was fab, as I got to speak to some of the ones I never see during work time

Going through the R2R photos again and reliving the whole thing

Mum coming round and making me soup after a truly hideous migraine on Tuesday

The sense of achievement that comes from having almost built a whole website for a dear friend

Vintage hair and makeup workshop (I really need to blog about this separately too) at Make Do and Mend in Chelmsford with the lovely Mimi and Lou, led by the equally lovely Hannah

Spotting a hedgehog under a tree on the way home from work one evening

An unexpected, glorious, sunshine-filled, warm roof-down blast round the Suffolk countryside on Sunday afternoon

Extended phone and text conversations – I have wonderful people in my life

Finally booking a haircut – I don’t want to lose any of the length but it’s long overdue, it’s lost its swish!

Lights near Bishopsgate in the evening

The general soaring happy feeling I’ve had most of this week :)

 

Fully aware I should have photos in this post but I’m absolutely shattered so may have to add them tomorrow. But really can’t go two Thursdays in a row without posting or next week’s will be utterly ridiculous!

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Filed under Adventuring, Beauty, Blogging, Friends, Hair, Inspiration and inspiring things, Life Plans and Goals, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Planning, R2R 2011 (Banger rally), Recording, Shopping, Staying in touch..., Thrifting, Wearing

CAE 2011 – the ultimate epic weekend, 22-24 July 2011

Bit of a late post, but here goes…

So first of all, CAE stands for Camping Auto Extravaganza. Which should give you some idea of the type of event it is. Last year was the third, and my first. And the first time I’d met the majority of the club members, even though I’d spoken to them all online via the club forum.

In the intervening year, friendship and bant has developed and I now consider them all to be friends and some of them to be close friends.

I had Friday off to get ready and get there, and Brad suggested I join their convoy from Birchanger Green services. So I got there ridiculously early and sat and sunbathed and read a book in the sunshine (and had a sneaky KFC for lunch!) while I waited for him, Jim & Karine and Nigel to turn up.

(Can’t find a pic of my car in the car park )

As it happened the traffic was completely horrific so I had longer than planned to read and chill out, but eventually got a call saying they were there and to head off, and they’d catch me up. Knowing they were all in turboed cars, I did.

And spent the next 30 miles driving as slowly as I possibly dared, letting trucks overtake me and desperately looking in my mirrors for signs of MR2s coming over the horizon! Eventually decided to go off at a junction and over the roundabout to delay myself – got back on the sliproad and they all shot past me! But I beeped and they’d seen me so I caught up, and then the drive got fun! (the traffic was stil horrific and there was lots of stopping and starting, but it’s fun driving in convoy with friends. Jim & Karine livened up the journey by dropping back and chucking jelly babies at us – hit my car but not me, sadly, but the thought was there!

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We arrived in Peterborough about 4ish I think, although I was so excited to be there I didn’t actually look at the time. The rest of the afternoon passed in a blur of chatting and hugging and catching up with people, it was so lovely to see old friends, and be introduced to new ones! It was also fantastic to finally meet the people behind the usernames I’d been chatting to for so long J

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Michelle and Ian’s place is beautiful, with space for us all and beautifully put together both inside and out. The pool was warm, the hot tub was warmer and they had two BBQs and several fridges for all our drinks J and a BAR!

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Friday night was spent munching takeaway, deciding on treasure hunt partners (for anyone curious, this is the closest we got to keys in a bowl, lol – just names in a hat for who drove and who navigated the next morning!) and then drinking, dancing, swimming (Anna and I got in the pool at stupid o clock) and talking. I even braved the hot tub. I drank far too much, to the point where I flashed my floozies (only a little bit!) for Rob and Russ (and Luke – who I then spent ages trying to convince I was normal. I hope I succeeded!) and had an unexpectedly fabulous time – much better than every time I go out clubbing and try hard to have fun. I think I eventually went to bed about 2am, and did that really annoying thing where you try to be quiet and make more noise than you would have done normally. Oops.

Saturday morning was a convoy of all of us, which definitely ranks among the most exhilarating experiences of my life – was such a kick to see so many roadsters and other toyotas all together, revel in the looks we got and know that every car contained a friend of mine J (yeah, I’m a sappy idiot, lol).

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IMG_4407  My Poppy is the car on the very far end :)

Then the treasure hunt was on, and we all met back at the house for a photoshoot and lunch. Look at the pretty cars…

271363_10150731556690022_55(this pic courtesy of Luke Abbott – I failed to get a decent pic of all the cars together)

Took the opportunity to get a new profile pic too..

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Saturday afternoon was really chilled, involving chatting, playing pool, reading magazines and in my case napping *blush*. I came back outside blinking at about 6ish and asked if I’d missed anything. Someone said ‘yeah, you’ve slept so long Amy Winehouse is dead’. Which obviously I dismissed as the usual bant. Then realised it was true and was actually quite sad!

The chilled vibe continued into the evening, only with added alcohol, and I remember sitting at one point by the pool, lit by candles, laughing at something ridiculous (I believe spiderman pants and a drawing of thongs and mankinis were involved) with some of my favourite people in the world and just being the happiest and most content I can remember for ages.

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IMG_4564 Hou in foreground, Anna and someone headless in background

Then we had dinner, then we drank and danced and talked some more, I dropped my duvet in a puddle, we realised it was actually quite cold and broke out the sleeping bags, and I continued drinking and got sleepier and sleepier. We had some ridiculous but wonderful conversational moments (and ahem, educational too) and I gave up trying to stay awake and went to bed somewhere between three and half three.

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Anna and I having a silly moment in the hot tub

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L-R Brad, Luke, Jim

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Sunday morning… was mostly full of people ambling around sleepily, talking about the weekend and their plans for getting home. We had an amazing full English breakfast, then people started to wander off. Which made me really sad, actually.

So we said our goodbyes and promised to get on facebook/keep in touch/do this again really soon, and then Anna and I went and spent the afternoon sat in a pub garden talking about how lovely it had been.

Returned home, helped my housemate pack some of her stuff, and then settled down to the flurry of photos, new friends, messages and comments on facebook. Turns out that this year, it’s not just me that’s soppily nostalgic about the weekend and would much rather it hadn’t ended. Everyone’s struggled to get back to reality this week. And I’d like to think that we’ll all stay friends for a very long time, having experienced it together. There’s not many groups of people I could have an entire weekend with without getting seriously cross with some of them at some stage. And I’ve never in my life met so many new friends at once!

Best. Meet. Ever.

And I really hope we do another big one before next CAE – I can’t wait a whole year to see these guys again!

*apologies to anyone reading this who went, my words and photos don’t do justice to how awesome it was.

**apologies to anyone reading this who didn’t go, who is probably bored senseless. But really – if you do one thing this year, buy a Toyota and join us next year!

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Filed under Adventuring, Blogging, Driving, Inspiration and inspiring things, Laughing, Loving & Living, Perfect Moments, Photography, Poppy, Recording, ROC

Heather and Steve’s vintage seaside wedding

Definitely one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve been to. The ceremony was small and intimate, and we were invited to the reception to help them celebrate. Hevs said she was looking forward to celebrating ‘with all my favourite people’ which I thought was really lovely.

 

Here are the bride and groom, my first glimpse of them together, cutting their (completely amazing) giant cupcake on top of the stack of Mr-Whippy-style cupcakes (complete with Flake in each one!)

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And the obligatory (but very lovely) kiss:

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Heather’s dress was Biba, and the whole wedding had an incredible vibe. It was held at the Bluebird Cafe in Ferring, between Brighton and Worthing, right on the sea. They arrived and departed in a sky blue VW campervan, which they are currently honeymooning in at a selection of festivals.

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And with the gorgeous bride (left to right me, Heather, Janine)

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Their guestbook was a selection of postcards with a box to post them in and a line at the window with little pegs to hang them all. I know mine was fairly sappy, but I didn’t record exactly what i wrote.

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They had the first dance, with a live band and singer, and then we all joined them in dancing the night away and taking photos and generally having a wonderful time!

 

I took a lot of pictures, and will link to the Flickr album when I’ve had a chance to edit and upload them all!

And just to top it off, I got to rollerskate along Worthing seafront AND meet Janine and Sean for a long lazy brunch the next day before heading off to work. Utterly, utterly wonderful weekend. Congratulations Mr & Mrs Tilley – I’m proud to have been part of your celebrations!

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