Wedding Planning: So it Begins

I’ve told a little fib already, in that I cannot in all honestly claim that I (we) have only just begun to plan the wedding. When Mr Hello and I became engaged over my three week pitstop in England in July, we made the most of the time I was there and used the last few days to make some crucial decisions.

It all happened really quickly, easily in fact, in the beginning. We had a shared vision of the kind of wedding we pictured for ourselves: simple, elegant, modern, and that favourite chestnut of wedding blogland (don’t judge me) a day that was “us”. We found a reception venue first, a local art gallery and tearoom that we could hire over a weekend. It will be their first wedding hire, which is quite exciting too if I am honest, and unlike most of the other venues that I saw in Kent, neither a barn, grand estate house nor a village hall. We’re a pretty contemporary couple. Despite my love for all things vintage – Mr Hello has a bit of a penchant for objet d’art of time gone by too I might add – I just couldn’t picture myself in another kind of venue. It would feel like dress ups, and that thought made me wriggle uncomfortably in my skin.

So we progressed. We were unsure of the date, hoping for a little more time to save and recoup after our year apart, but being quite the international couple we had to take into account when family could travel, and so it began to seem more likely that 2015 was the year. I have to say as well, once we’d found the reception venue it was hard to not feel overwhelmed with excitement and want to plan everything right now. We took a little spin around some civil service venues in our town, and before we knew it, we’d decided. A local wedding. A local contemporary wedding, in the town where we live. With the people we love. What could really be more us?

Now we’re apart, wedding planning isn’t quite so straightforward, and decisions have honestly not been quite so mutual. There were disagreements and terse conversations, and all of a sudden the wedding didn’t seem like quite so much fun to talk about. It became something that was our default conversation, to the point that we sort of stopped having a relationship. It’s hard enough as it is to feel connected to someone when you live on the other side of the world, and damn near impossible because you’re mad at them for not budging on some insignificant wedding detail. A pause was most certainly required. So we paused, we waited, we stopped talking nuptials for a month or so. Now the talking is coming back a little, but not so much that we have nothing else to talk about, and slowly we’re finding a path forward together, making decisions we’re both happy with to a certain extent.

So. The fun part. who wants a sneak peek of our wedding motif? We’re not doing a theme as such, but have something that will be echoed throughout the day. Friends, esteemed colleagues, I give you:

That's all, folks!
That’s all, folks!


Mr Hello designed it (among other things) in over a week or so. Without giving the game away, I feel compelled to say that this boy is so damned clever, I think I might keep him. I know – it doesn’t really give you all that much information, but HECK, that’s part of the fun of it! More will be revealed soon…

How I Developed a…Hobby?

A few years back, I got my first adult bike, and started cycling to and from work every day. I very rarely cycled on weekends, mostly because my partner at the time didn’t have a bike and so we like to walk around Rochester together. Around the same time I got on a bit of a health kick, losing about 7 kilos, which I found easy to maintain with the weekly cycling. I felt great for the first time in ages, physically fit and sleeping really well.

I had become a pretty confident cycler, and could pretty much have cycled home every day with my eyes shut, except for y’know, all those cars on the road. Apparently I began to disregard them, which culminated in a stupid minor crash with a car full of delightfully lovely and non-angry boys. Sorry about that chaps. Anyway, my bike was off the roads for a few months while I saved up the money for repairs, and ANNOYINGLY it got pinched from it’s lock at my flat. Damn. It was the pause I really didn’t need, because it took me about another year to replace the bike, by which time my exercise mojo had totally dissipated.

Over the next year or so I changed jobs at my firm, upped the stress levels and my long term relationship ended. These factors, plus a new ability to eat shocking amounts of pizza, meant that I say 2014 in at a new low of fitness and a new high weight. Oh dear. It wasn’t so much that I felt bad about myself, more that it was bloody annoying to be overweight because none of my clothes fit any more and I couldn’t afford to replace them. I also was returning home to sort out some visa issues and retrain as a teacher.

The last six months of this year have been spent in my hometown of Perth, which has been rather excellent despite the distance from my new BF (now fiancé!!). I’ve spent this time working myself up to a new activity that I had really wanted to try for ages. It was a name I really wanted to give myself, but I couldn’t. You have to earn it. Ladies and gents, I took up running. I have started to become a runner.

I run the same route 3 – 4 times a week, which is about a 5km run. But boy, I certainly didn’t start off running. It was 80% walk, 20% run, but over the last 8 weeks it’s nudged up and up until this week, where I am so close to non stop running that I can almost taste it! This might seem like a long time to work up to a mere 5k run, but to be honest, I never wanted to push myself so hard that I was crippled the day after. I didn’t want to put myself off. So I’ve always given myself more time than needed to run an extra leg, only doing it when I still felt amazing at my old resting spots. I’m really really really enjoying it.

This week however, was my first fully fledged week after some really dodgy runs last week. I hadn’t been feeling particularly well, and had had an extra day off. It felt like my body was sticking two fat fingers up at me, with my fitness totally obliterated. By the second run last week I felt like I never wanted to run again (despite still not quite running 5k), but I was determined to push through. This week had been great, I felt energetic and had an excellent 2nd wind which brought my pace up unexpectedly. But then…..dun dun DUN….I had a mysterious pain in my shin…..

Turns out I have developed shin splints in my right shin, which is a literal pain. I feel a little  afraid that I will lose my mojo, but I guess that you only fail if you give up, so if I just trust that once I’m healed I’ll get back into it, hopefully it will happen! I have no goals as such, I just want to continue on. I think somewhere down the line, probably before my wedding in August, I would like to do an official 5k or maybe even a 10k run, just to see if I can!

I absolutely adore sewing, although I haven’t had much opportunity to do so this year, and via that interest I stumbled upon Melissa Fehr of Fehr Trade. She designs and sells activewear sewing patterns, and is also an avid London-based runner. I have been utterly devouring her blogs this week!

Varying Shades of Ugh.

Let’s start on a positive note today, shall we? Then perhaps the inevitable decline into the low points of the week won’t be quite so upsetting.


My family’s application for Polish citizenship is now IN. What excitement. For those of you who are lucky enough to be EU citizens, this is what’s known in Australia as a BIG DEAL. Dual nationality has to be one of the most useful things you can pass on to your children. Oh, to never again have to deal with the UK Home Office! To never again need a visa! I hardly dare imagine it. On a practical note, assuming it goes through without a hitch (one, should never assume, but still, I bloody well am) I will be able to get a job, go home to the FH and get married without a hitch. What a relief.

Several blessed reliefs this week: three more days added to an assignment deadline, and an extra week between the end of my uni classes and the beginning of practicum. Time to prepare – what bliss. Now to see if this will actually be the case. I don’t hold out much hope, but still. You never know.

This week’s shockingly superficial observation: I am in the midst of a rather fantastic hair phase. It’s growing out, partly for the wedding and partly because I am too stingy to go to a hairdresser, and I’m really loving it right now. It just seems to be behaving itself, which is an entirely new experience. Curly hair = dry ratty ends in my experience, but hey ho, I’ll accept smooth hair, if that’s what the universe sees fit to bestow me with right now.

My new ritual of jogging 3 -4 times  per week remains unbroken. Rather unusual, considering my typical laziness.

The weather in Perth is reaching near-bliss levels.



No progress to speak of on growing pile of urgent assignments. This must be rectified immediately, but instead the sudden urge to blog has come upon me.

I have totally succumbed to the marketing strategy of Apple. Ugh. But still, YAY SO EXCITING.

The number of weeks until I see the FH is still in the double digits, which I find frustrating in the extreme. Why is it that the weeks until assignments are due miraculously pass without notice, but the weeks until you see someone you love seem to stretch out endlessly? Totally unacceptable.

I’m fortunate enough to not have to work while I study this year, but instead of using that extra time to dedicate to improved assignments, I seem to be perpetually in a state of “ugh”, “meh”, “blergh” and even sometimes “hmm?”. It is most annoying. I’m finding it difficult to be around myself, so I can’t even imagine what it must be like for everyone else.

Soon, my pretties, life simply MUST deliver me the needed kick up the bum, and hopefully by then I will have developed a new outlook!


Going Down:

An overwhelming inability to work solidly for more than 10 minutes at a time. Just as I progress into the hardest four weeks in all of my studying life. Thanks brain, it’s so great of you to come to the party like this. You’re also being tremendously helpful with your obsession with iPad games and staying up to 1am consistently. Honestly, what is my problem? Severely need to get my A into G, but this is looking less and less likely to happen. May or may not turn my late-semester stress levels up to 11. JOY.

I have been running (yes, running!) semi-solidly for five weeks now. Long enough that I can see improvement in my runs, but sadly not long enough that the poor, tender skin on the soles of my feet have been able to sufficiently harden up against the blight of the blister.  I am absolutely covered in the damn things, which makes me want to refrain from running to let them heal, which also makes me feel like a total wimp. Dilemma. What to do, oh wise internet? Send me tips etc, for running bliss. Sadly there has been no discernible change in my weight, which is now at an all time comfort-eating high. Ho hum.

My bank balance is at a near-ruinous level once again. No comment.

Going up:

I have had at least three rather delightful conversations with teacher recruiters for the UK, which is an oxymoron if ever I have heard one. I’m feeling decidedly positive about my work prospects, and in fact it seems like my return to my adopted home will in fact happen, despite the general never-ending-assessments feeling that has swept over me regarding uni work.

My first assessment for semester 2 came back with a (totally unexpected) fantastic grade. I am particularly delighted, because I was close to tears about it, practically from the moment we received the task sheet. I don’t, however, hold any high hopes for my latest effort.

I have a JOB INTERVIEW on Thursday evening for a teaching position next year. It all feels a little unreal, but it’s in the diary so I guess I better buck up my ideas and get preparing. Funnily enough I am having no trouble planning things for next year, which probably says something about my state of mind. My mother used to say ‘don’t wish your life away Sam’; rather good advice which I have faithfully ignored for approximately 15 years.

It’s all happening, so it seems, at HSGS Headquarters. But it’s a damn struggle, so many threads to keep track of. How’s life treating you?

Bon Fête des Pères!

Sam and Steve
A little blurry film photo, but you get the idea

  We went for a walk this morning, and somehow ended up in Karrakatta cemetery. “Let’s have a look,” I said, “maybe we can find your Dad!”. Having never met the man nor seen the grave, I was perhaps a little enthusiastic. We walked amongst the headstones, as he wasn’t quite sure where it was after all these years. After a few semi-confident expressions of “I think this is the place”, at last a name, in a language I can’t understand, jumped out at me. Despite the barrier, it was intensely familiar, and I silently sounded out the syllables. A moment spent in silence, he brushed the end of the tomb with his hand. We walked home, taking the long way. He told me all about native flowers, and I listened. Happy Father’s Day Papa, I couldn’t be more grateful for you.