Thursday 22 September 2005

go (south)west

We're off to Devon tomorrow oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy! It's the land of clotted cream, beautiful parks, and gorgeous beaches. Mmmmmm clotted cream. Dog, baby, husband and I are pootling off in our new car (it's not a minivan, dammit) to enjoy four days of food, fun, and frolic. Most importantly, we're celebrating our first wedding anniversary on Sunday. Awwwwwww bless.

The night before our wedding, Paul stayed at the house with friends and family while I spent the night at the hotel. He was concerned that I would get lonely at the hotel by myself, but I assured him that I would be fine. The days/weeks leading up to the wedding were so chaotic, and as more family and friends arrived in town, the pace became more frantic. We had a meal at our wonderful local pub, all 14 of us, then Paul drove me to the hotel and helped me up to my room. It was beautifully tranquil, with a huge bed and a spectacular bathroom. I changed into the big fluffy white bathrobe that was toasty warm from the heated towel rail, and collapsed diagonally on the massive bed. I couldn't sleep, so I watched a lot of rubbish television and eventually drifted off at some point. Early in the morning, I awoke to the sounds of two very excited voices outside my door saying "Can we go see Auntie Lisa?" "Shhhh, she's sleeping!" I dragged myself out of bed and looked at myself in the mirror. I gently traced my bump with my hands and said, "I'm so glad that you're going to be part of today." A delicious full English breakfast was brought up to my room, and amazingly, I had the appetite to polish it all off. My throat hurt, my nose was snuffly, and I had a pounding headache - I knew I had a cold. I sent my very soon to be brother-in-law on a quest for paracetamol/Tylenol, and my very soon to be sister-in-law started working on my hair and makeup. I was a bag of nerves, killing time with inane chatter and grateful to have Netti there to keep me sane. Jean-Luc called my mobile, minutes before the ceremony, to let me know that he was stuck in traffic. Grand. One of the managers knocked on the door to tell me that it's time to head downstairs, and I prayed that I would make it through the day and evening without falling asleep and/or throwing up.

Mere minutes before I walked down the aisle, a frazzled looking Jean-Luc appeared, apologetic but ready to capture the event on film. Huge relief. Me, my Dad, and my flower girls made our way out the door as our string quartet played the wedding march. I had a huge toothy grin plastered on my face that I couldn't, for the life of me, prevent myself from doing. Nerves must make the muscles in your face contract. The ceremony was a blur; I was so nervous that I can't really remember any of it now. As soon as it was over, a huge wave of relief washed over me. The quartet played "All You Need is Love" while we signed the papers (people at first wondered why we were playing the French national anthem during our wedding) and we posed for a million pictures. The day was brilliant and it went by in a flash. I was so worried that I wouldn't make it to the end of the night but when Paul told me that our car was here to take us away for our wedding night, I was shocked that it was that late already. It was, without a doubt, an absolutely perfect day.

So a year later, we're off to Devon to celebrate with our gorgeous baby boy and fluffy pup. We have reservations at not one, but two "celebrity chef" restaurants (Tanners and The New Angel). It's our first holiday as a family, and I cannot wait to hit the road. While we are gone, please don't break into our house and rob us because that would really, really annoy me. Until Tuesday...

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