Today is Mr O’s birthday. He is officially 34 and continues to be younger than me out of pure spite. As Wednesday is a work day for me and not one of the days that Little O can stay with Mrs O Senior (who also works), we decided to celebrate on the weekend. Read more…
Today Mr O and I have been married for four whole years and I cannot believe how quickly it has gone. In one way it feels like just yesterday I was walking (and amazingly not tripping) down the aisle but in another way it feels like there was never a time when we weren’t married. Anyway what I really want to say is that Mr O is my spirit animal and I feel very, very fortunate to get to spend my days with someone who I love so much and who so willing to put up with all of my shit. In tribute here are some of my favourite pictures of us since our last anniversary.
Right now we are on our annual anniversary trip. This year we are visiting Tallin in Estonia, followed by Helsinki in Finland so look out for posts about that next week.
There’s no question that love has been one of the most universal cinematic themes since the dawn of the moving picture and that most of the time its all about the two lovers ending up together and disappearing into the sunset. Although sometimes the most compelling love stories are the ones where a couple never gets to have their happily ever after because of some kind of insurmountable obstacle that ensures their relationship is forever doomed. For some reason those always end up being my favourites. These are my top ten doomed movie couples. [Spoilers abound].
Eric Draven and Shelly Webster
Played by: Brandon Lee and Sofia Shinas
Film: The Crow (1994)
The obstacle: Eric and Shelly have been murdered and Eric is a spectre risen from the dead to avenge her
“Shelly Webster: I love you.
Eric Draven: Say that again.
Shelly Webster: I love you.”
Romeo and Juliet
Played by: Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes
Film: Romeo + Juliet (1996)
The obstacle: Their families are at war with one another and Juliet has been promised to someone else
“Juliet: O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name, or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet.
Romeo: Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
Juliet: ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy, thou art thyself though not a Montague. What is Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. Oh, what’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet; so Romeo would, were he not Romeo called, retain that dear perfection to which he owes without that title. Romeo, doff thy name! And for thy name, which is no part of thee, take all myself.”
Jack and Rose
Played by: Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet
Film: Titanic (1997)
The obstacle: Not only are Jack and Rose from different worlds but they’re on a ship that is destined to sink
“Rose: I love you, Jack.
Jack: Don’t you do that, don’t say your good-byes. Not yet, do you understand me?
Rose: I’m so cold.
Jack: Listen, Rose. You’re gonna get out of here, you’re gonna go on and you’re gonna make lots of babies, and you’re gonna watch them grow. You’re gonna die an old… an old lady warm in her bed, not here, not this night. Not like this, do you understand me?
Rose: I can’t feel my body.
Jack: Winning that ticket, Rose, was the best thing that ever happened to me… it brought me to you. And I’m thankful for that, Rose. I’m thankful. You must do me this honor. Promise me you’ll survive. That you won’t give up, no matter what happens, no matter how hopeless. Promise me now, Rose, and never let go of that promise.
Rose: I promise.
Jack: Never let go.
Rose: I’ll never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go.”
Brandon Teena and Lana Tisdel
Played by: Hilary Swank and Chloe Sevigny
Film: Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
The obstacle: Brandon is a transgender man and Lana is a straight woman who doesn’t know
“Brandon: “Dear Lana, By the time you read this I’ll be back home in Lincoln. I’m scared of what’s ahead, but when I think of you I know I’ll be able to go on. You were right, Memphis isn’t that far off. I’ll be taking that trip down the highway before too long. I’ll be waiting for you. Love always and forever, Brandon.””
Holden McNeil and Alyssa Jones
Played by: Ben Affleck and Joey Lauren Adams
Film: Chasing Amy (1997)
The obstacle: Alyssa is a lesbian and Holden may or may not be in love with his best friend, Banky
“Alyssa: You know, I didn’t just heed what I was taught, men and women should be together, it’s the natural way, that kind of thing. I’m not with you because of what family, society, life tried to instill in me from day one. The way the world is, how seldom it is that you meet that one person who just *gets* you – it’s so rare. My parents didn’t really have it. There were no examples set for me in the world of male-female relationships. And to cut oneself off from finding that person, to immediately halve your options by eliminating the possibility of finding that one person within your own gender, that just seemed stupid to me. So I didn’t. But then you came along. You, the one least likely. I mean, you were a guy.
Holden: Still am.
Alyssa: And while I was falling for you I put a ceiling on that, because you *were* a guy. Until I remembered why I opened the door to women in the first place: to not limit the likelihood of finding that one person who’d complement me so completely. So here we are. I was thorough when I looked for you. And I feel justified lying in your arms, ’cause I got here on my own terms, and I have no question there was some place I didn’t look. And for me that makes all the difference.
Holden: [pause] Well, can I at least tell people all you needed was some serious deep dicking?”
Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund
Played by: Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman
Film: Casablanca (1942)
The obstacle: She’s married to someone else and he only has enough tickets to get two people out of a war zone
“Rick: Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I’ve done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing: you’re getting on that plane with Victor where you belong.
Ilsa: But, Richard, no, I… I…
Rick: Now, you’ve got to listen to me! You have any idea what you’d have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten, we’d both wind up in a concentration camp. Isn’t that true, Louie?
Captain Renault: I’m afraid Major Strasser would insist.
Ilsa: You’re saying this only to make me go.
Rick: I’m saying it because it’s true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You’re part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you’re not with him, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.
Ilsa: But what about us?
Rick: We’ll always have Paris. We didn’t have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.
Ilsa: When I said I would never leave you.
Rick: And you never will. But I’ve got a job to do, too. Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that.
[Ilsa lowers her head and begins to cry]
Rick: Now, now…
[Rick gently places his hand under her chin and raises it so their eyes meet]
Rick: Here’s looking at you kid.”
Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist
Played by: Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal
Film: Brokeback Mountain (2005)
The obstacle: At a time where being gay is a complete taboo, they are both men… married to women
“Ennis Del Mar: I’m gonna tell you this one time, Jack fuckin’ Twist, an’ I ain’t foolin’. What I don’t know – all them things that I don’t know – could get you killed if I come to know them. I ain’t jokin’.
Jack Twist: Yeah well try this one, and I’ll say it just once!
Ennis Del Mar: Go ahead!
Jack Twist: Tell you what, we coulda had a good life together! Fuckin’ real good life! Had us a place of our own. But you didn’t want it, Ennis! So what we got now is Brokeback Mountain! Everything’s built on that! That’s all we got, boy, fuckin’ all. So I hope you know that, even if you don’t never know the rest! You count the damn few times we have been together in nearly twenty years and you measure the short fucking leash you keep me on – and then you ask me about Mexico and tell me you’ll kill me for needing somethin’ I don’t hardly never get. You have no idea how bad it gets! I’m not you… I can’t make it on a coupla high-altitude fucks once or twice a year! You are too much for me Ennis, you sonofawhoreson bitch! I wish I knew how to quit you.
Ennis Del Mar: [crying] Well, why don’t you? Why don’t you just let me be? It’s because of you Jack, that I’m like this! I’m nothin’… I’m nowhere… Get the fuck off me! I can’t stand being like this no more, Jack.”
Robbie Turner and Cecelia Tallis
Played by: James McAvoy and Keira Knightley
Film: Atonement (2007)
The obstacle: Cecelia’s sister falsely accused Robbie of a rape as a young girl
“Robbie Turner: Have you been in touch with your family?
Cecilia Tallis: No I told you I wouldn’t. Leon waited outside the hospital last week. I just pushed past him.
Robbie Turner: Cee, you don’t owe me anything.
Cecilia Tallis: Robbie didn’t you read my letters? Had I been allowed to visit you? Had they let me, every day, I would have been there every day.
Robbie Turner: Yes but, if all we have rests on a few moments in a library three and a half years ago then I am not sure, I don’t know…
Cecilia Tallis: Robbie, look at me, come back, come back to me.”
Johann Friedrich Struensee and Caroline Mathilde
Played by: Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander
Film: A Royal Affair (2012)
The obstacle: Caroline is a princess married to the king of Denmark and Stuensee is his doctor
“Johann Friedrich Struensee: Do you remember our first night together?
Caroline Mathilde: It feels like we’ve been unhappy ever since.
Johann Friedrich Struensee: I have been happy.
Caroline Mathilde: Come to me tonight?”
Christian and Satine
Played by: Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman
Film: Moulin Rouge (2001)
The obstacle: Satine is a courtesan sold to the highest bidder and Christian is a penniless writer… plus she has TB
“Satine: Besides, I can’t fall in love with anyone
Christian: Can’t… fall… in love? But, a life without love, that’s… terrible…
Satine: No, being on the street, that’s terrible.
Christian: No! Love is like oxygen!
Christian: Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love!”
Most of you who know me will be aware that my lovely husband, Paul recently went back to work after five months off to start his business. During those five months we experienced a bit of a spoilt state in our home. With him having extra hours in the day he was able to do most of the housework, leaving our evenings free and our flat actually quite clean…
Since he returned to work, I have to admit that things fell apart a little. Between our two full-time jobs, his eBay business and numerous social commitments, we have been less good. Not what I’d call filthy per say, just disordered.
As the disorder spiralled further and further out of control, depression started to set in until we were eventually glaring at each other over the piles of random randomness and hating life.
And so began the planning of The Great Clearout.
In some ways Mr Osbiston and I are very similar and in other ways we are very different. Two of these things were reconfirmed during The Great Clearout. Firstly, I am not sentimental in any way. I will throw away anything that isn’t useful. I don’t keep souvenirs or mementoes. Paul, on the other hand, is a little bit of a packrat. I guess we balance each other out. Without Paul, I’ll be the one throwing out our first child’s baby photos and then lamenting my over zealousness at a later date. Secondly I am quite untidy, okay very untidy, for a reason that seems a bit bonkers. I can’t be bothered to pack anything away unless I have the perfect place for it. This is in direct opposition to Paul who is a tidying machine, but will happily put things away anywhere he can’t see them.
Cue fireworks. I left a trail of destruction behind me as I figured out where everything was going to go… getting distracted by new and more things… and being baffled by the fact that I had found screwdrivers in the stationery draw and unimportant old post from our previous flat in the important documents draw. Paul stood aside begging me to finish just one thing and stop obsessing about labelling the draws.
In the end, we managed to laugh at ourselves and get rid of seven bags of unnecessary things and about 100 books that we’re never going to read again. Since we only moved just over a year ago, I’m not sure where half this excess stuff came from. I think it might be breeding secretly in the cupboards when we’re not looking.
Of course 100 books are not easy to transport when you don’t have a car and we couldn’t face the idea of leaving them out, which lead to an episode of total chavviness… yes, kids, we “borrowed” a trolley from Waitrose (Orlando, put down the papaya!). If you ever need a mental image to make you laugh, imagine two harried, middle class South West London Suburbeners careering along Wandsworth High Street pushing a trolley full of books with the anti-theft clamps engaged. You’re laughing, aren’t you?
The thing is we kind of stole the trolley theft idea from the people two houses down, who permanently keep one in the front garden.
The upshot of all this, is that we managed to restock the library of the local Salvation Army… yes, I know they’re a religious organisation but we really couldn’t push the trolley any further. We were being watched by some very confused Community Support Officers and it was making odd noises #firstworldproblems. I also feel about a million times better in my newly decluttered home. I can even find my passport!
One year ago today, we were saying our vows swathed in polka dots.
It has not been the easiest year in the world but everything we have faced we have faced together. I love being married.
On Saturday Mr Osbiston disappeared for 7 hours to hunt down my anniversary present, which he had spotted and failed to buy. This is what I got.
It is exactly the right length, the right colour and the right style. I am a very spoilt girl.
Thank-you to my wonderful husband for just being, Here’s to lots more years together. I love you.
We have not had the best couple of weeks. I won’t go into detail. I think my tirade on my fail blog gives you a good enough idea of how it all started but let’s just say that in the last week it didn’t get better… it got worse. Fortunately Paul and I have very supportive friends and family and none of our dramas are going to derail our lives but with the wedding around the corner I will admit to feeling more or less despondent towards the end of last week.
On Saturday morning Paul convinced me to pull myself together and head into town to get supplies for the wedding project I’ve been going on about. We had a delicious lunch in a cute place called Konnigans, near Wandsworth Town Station, in our ongoing exploration of our neighbourhood and then spent about an hour noodling around Paperchase. We were going to head home but thought it might be a nice idea to have just one pint in The Fitzroy Tavern. This lead to a particularly raucous Spite & Malice (a card game I grew up with) tournament where I trounced Paul liberally about five times in a row.
Our return to Wandsworth seemed like it would benefit from yet another pint and the pub we picked happened to have some games so we decided that we should attempt Connect 4. It might have gotten to a level of competitiveness that could be considered unhealthy for our relationship but a good time was had.
By the time we eventually got home we were properly squiffy and I had forgotten all the things that were stressing me out and taking a break from WEDDING and LIFE reminded me exactly why I’m marrying Paul. He is my best friend and I like spending time with him more than anyone else. Spending a day just hanging out and playing games with him is enough to make me feel like I’ve had the best day ever. For the first time in a while I feel really, really excited about our actual wedding day. Only 12 days to go!
I know that I owe you all a run down of my visit to SA, particularly the beautiful wedding of a certain Mr and Mrs Costine… and I promise I will get to that within the next couple of days.. but first I have some news about me…
When I got off the plane at Heathrow yesterday morning, tired, sweaty and having dealt with as many coughing pensioners as one person can ever be expected to deal with in one life time, a certain Mr Osbiston was waiting for me.
He was holding this sign…
And when he turned it over, it said this…
After I got over my initial disbelief, it took absolute zero thought to say yes and so… we are officially engaged and I am on top of the world!!! It was so romantic and so us… and I couldn’t have asked for a better story to tell our kids one day.
For those who want to know, there will be two weddings, an informal UK-based reception and a more traditional South African formal wedding. All that awaits now is the resizing of my family heirloom ring as well as a mountain of planning…
Yesterday Paul and I had been together for exactly 6 months. Unfortunately we didn’t really get to have much of a celebration since I was the victim of one of my more bizarre and as yet unidentified allergic reactions and had to spend almost the whole day lying very still on the couch. Although Paul did bring Doctor Who and waited on me hand and foot, so in its own way it was a lovely day. And without reservation this has been the best 6 months of my life.
If you had told me all of this 6 months ago when I had reached the height of my cynicism, I probably would have told you you were insane. So I want to leave my friends who are single and don’t want to be (cos if you’re single and you do want to be, that’s a pretty awesome place to be in) with a couple of thoughts:
- You will meet someone. If you’re not someone who is inherently loveable there is no way I’d be friends with you.
- That person will probably be the last person you expect it to be.
- It is always worth waiting for the person who takes your breath away, turns your life upside down and makes you a better person
And while you are single, devote your time to yourself. Go out and do things. Have a hobby. Say yes to parties, dates and adventures. Become the most interesting person you can possibly be. That way when you do meet your someone, they’ll be in awe of how cool you are and you won’t disappear into an “us” and become a boring smug married.
On Monday my life changed completely. For the last six years I have been living in various houseshares in accordance with the rite of passage that I believe all humans should go through on the way to adulthood. Kind of like when your parents send you to nursery school to learn to share.
I started out in June 2004, twenty-three and straight from living at home with my mom and brother in the house I grew up in in Johannesburg. I lived in a haunted three bedroom flat on the cusp of the dodgy end of Southfields with Dawn, Kirsty, Kirsten and Simone in a room so small I could stand in the middle and touch the walls on either side. We had no money… and when I say no money, I mean no money but we still somehow managed to have the best time ever. So much so that when we moved out the neighbours stood on the landing and applauded. Amazingly, we amassed so few possessions that we managed to move all of them in a cab.
In early 2005 we moved into the next home, a three-bed maisonette unaffectionately nicknamed, Mordor, in the properly dodgy part of Southfields where I lived in relative disharmony with Dawn and Simone. It was a highly unsuccessful houseshare. The landlord was a massive douchebag, the décor was terrifying in its horribleness and a very hard line was drawn down the middle of the house dividing the loyalties of its occupants. All of that said, it was the site of the hallowed bank holiday weekend of destiny and probably the first place I thought of as my “home”.
By March 2006 Dawn and I had united forces with Kerry and moved into a flat in Putney Heath that we referred to as Clinique Towers. It was one of the happiest times I’ve had in London as the three of us learned to cook pasta with tomato sauce in 1000 different ways, got dive bombed by pigeons, held ruinous sushi and singstar parties and fell in and out of love on a weekly basis.
I don’t need to go into detail about my final house share. I think I have eulogised, the infamous Astonville Street enough by now and everyone who ever lived there knows how special it was.
But the world of houseshares is now behind me, because on Monday I officially entered into the realm of… CO-HABITATION… in a one bed ground floor flat in Wimbledon with my lovely partner, Paul. And I think it was only this morning while standing (naked) in front of the washing machine that I realised I never have to queue up to wash my pants again, nor do I have to wear any (in the house if the curtains are closed). It’s a big and exciting adventure and I feel completely ready for it.
There will be photos once our TV isn’t standing on a box of books but before that I want to thank everyone who was part of making this all happen… Sue, Marko and Kelly for taking me in for a month and making me wonder briefly if I really did want to stop house sharing, Kerry and Dawn for tirelessly helping me trek all of my possessions from one place to another on various occasions, Paul’s parents for their incredibly kind housewarming present (and for letting me have Paul) and most of all Paul for giving up his family home, his job and his sanity to put up with me every single day. I love you, baby!
I leave you with a quote from a Friends episode called The One On The Last Night where Monica is preparing to move in with Chandler:
Monica: You know that she has 147,000 pair of boots? She lets you wear them.
Rachel : Yeah, and you stretched them out with your big, clown feet!
Monica : She gets a lot of catalogs, and she folds the pages that she thinks that I might like.
Phoebe : Yeah, what else?
Monica : When I take a shower, she leaves me little notes on the mirror.
Rachel : Yeah,I do, I do do that.
Phoebe : That’s nice. I like having things to read in the bathroom.
Monica : When I fall asleep on the couch after reading, she covers me over with a blanket.
Rachel : Well, you know, I don’t want you to be cold.
Monica : (Starts to cry) When I told her I was gonna be moving in with Chandler, she was really supportive. You were so great. You made it so easy! And now you have to leave. And I have to live with a boy! (Hugs Rachel)
Rachel : Oh, it’s gonna be fine.
Phoebe : Okay, Rachel, now I can’t wait live with you! And you know what should we do? Bring Monica, and we’ll have so much fun!
Rachel : Yeah, but honey, I think she’s gonna move in with Chandler.
Phoebe : Oh,that’s right. You still on that?
Monica : Kind of.
Sometimes it’s surprising how fast your life changes completely and you go from one set of activities being your norm to a completely different set taking over in just a few weekends. Since the beginning of this year, my life has changed completely and I feel like a very different person from who I was last year. I’m more grounded, more focused and more settled that I have ever been before.
I suppose it would be easy to ascribe it all to my change in relationship status but I think it’s more a case that finally getting to a settled state mentally and emotionally meant that I was finally in the right place to attract the kind of person I can see myself spending the rest of my life with… and who treats me like I want to be treated… and you know, fate and destiny…
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I had a very quiet, peaceful weekend, much like a lot of my recent weekends… and I really like all these peaceful times.
On Friday night Paul and I went to Andrew’s birthday party at Charlotte Street Blues, which has some pretty awesome live music and some even better amaretto sours… although I learned that whisky sours are a bit scary by comparison and to avoid getting into conversations at the bar that end up with the other party just repeating over and over again that they’ve decided to order the shrimp. Unfortunately I’ve gotten my annual bought of hayfever induced sinusitis so by 11pm I was exhausted and ready to get into bed.
On Saturday I had a real adventure, heading up to Muswell hill to meet up with Cleo, Jenn and Claire so we could teach Ben’s little girls to bake. I was in charge of decorations and went unexpectedly overboard. I look back now and realise I must have also subconsciously felt like I was in charge of bossing people around since I seem to have done rather a lot of that as well. (Seriously, people, you have to stop me when I get out of control because my “ordering people around” muscle is a bit overdeveloped). Elsie (2 ½) and Beth (1) were an absolute joy though. Cleo is like the baby whisperer and did an excellent job of keeping Beth entertained and feeling like she was part of the event and to Beth’s credit she did an excellent job of tasting all the non-food items. Elsie kept us all amused with her interesting observations on our baking techniques and taught us the important lesson that more is more when it comes to cupcake decoration. At this point I’m not sure who had the most fun… I think it might have been the grown-ups. If anyone else wants a baking session, I might just be available again.
From there I went to Paul’s house where he and his mum were kindly waiting for me to arrive to watch Doctor Who. Paul’s dad has been stuck in New Jersey for a few days because of the volcano (statements you thought you’d never type) so it was nice to be able to keep his mum company cos I think she’s missing her other half. In the end exhaustion took hold though and I fell asleep in front of The League of Gentleman.
I felt pretty ropey on Sunday but after Paul kindly served me French toast in bed we managed to spent some time at his local in the sun (shade) playing cards and drinking Pimms, which is what you’re supposed to do on sunny English days.
Today I am eating the delicious lunch Paul packed me and thinking that I live a truly charmed life to have someone so lovely in it.
For those of you who are eagerly awaiting pictures of the new tattoo, which is now finished, I am just waiting for the last few bits of the scab to peel off and then I’ll put up some photos.
This is a semi-meme that Stono has gotten going… you can check how it started here.
I can’t remember my first crush and my first couple of boyfriends were really insignificant so I’ll tell you, very briefly, about my first love…
When I was 16, I went to a friend’s party where a guy she knew had brought along the son of his mother’s childhood friend who was 18. He was Welsh and on holiday in South Africa visiting his grandparents. No one else was particularly interested in speaking to him but after he rescued me from the boys (who were bullying me as usual) I spent an entire evening in the corner chatting to him and falling in love with his accent and his life of rock ‘n roll excess… and then the next day I went off on holiday to my grandparents at the coast. This was before people had mobile phones so he had my home number but I wasn’t there so we had no contact for a month.
But he never forgot me and the day I got back he invited me to a party and I went along and we kissed for the first time. We were absolutely inseparable while he was in South Africa and I still have all of the rambling love letters he wrote me and the presents he made me.
After three months, he had to go home to Wales. I lay in my room in the dark for about a month and wished I would die. We kept in contact for a long time and then realised that the likelihood of us ever being able to see each other again was very slim.
I saw him again a couple of times after I moved here. He’s married now and we have nothing in common anymore. He’s a hippy and I’m a punk (figuratively not literally) and our two worlds are don’t “fit”. I actually sometimes wish I had never seen him again because I think I might have preferred to remember him the way we were when we were kids.