Tag Archives: wine

A Friend Who Saved The Day (And My Sanity)

12 May

I met my friend Fran about fifteen years ago. We met more or less by default: my boyfriend and her boyfriend were old high school buddies. We always got along well enough, but we didn’t really become firm friends until just over two years ago, when Fran emailed me to tell me she was moving to Canada. By then both of us had long split from the boyfriends who had been responsible for us meeting in the first place.

Despite living on the other side of the country, since Fran came to Canada she has visited me in Toronto several times. During her first visit we ran a race together. I did the 10km race and Fran – running in her first race ever – did the 5km. During that same visit, she assembled an outdoor grill that I had been given and that had me stumped. This is why you have friends who can put helicopters together. Seriously. That is what Fran does for a living.

During Fran’s visits, we always seem to go through an inordinate amount of wine. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Most recently, Fran came to my wedding. I can safely say that if she hadn’t been there, I would have been lost. She arrived three days before the wedding, when I was roughly halfway through a week-long nervous breakdown. By this point, she had already helped immensely, having offered to play flute music at the wedding ceremony (Fran can fix helicopters and play the flute like an angel).

On the day she arrived, Fran and I went driving all over the place, picking up the guest favours, sorting out a camera for the as-yet unconfirmed photographer, buying crafty stuff to make the guest favours look pretty.

The following day, while I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off and doing frantic last-minute shopping, Fran calmly took charge of the guest favours. She spent the day wrapping them, putting ribbon around them and even adding a bit of hand-written calligraphy to finish them off. They looked gorgeous.

I have to pause at this point to give credit to my Mom. She helped with the guest favours too. Enormously. For a day and a half the two of them – Fran and my Mom – were at it, working hard to make everything look perfect. If it hadn’t been for them, I honestly don’t know what I would have done.

Fran also helped keep me from unraveling completely at the seams. During the day, she was offering practical help with all kinds of things. During the evenings, she kept me supplied with wine, good humour and great conversation.

On the day, she drove back and forth to the reception hall with her friend Corrigan, dropping off things that needed to be dropped off and helping keep everything in line.

And of course, there was the music at the ceremony. It was beautiful, it was personal, it made the ceremony complete in a way that some random organist could never have managed. The musical interlude continued at the reception, where Fran and Gerard’s cousin Liam played a wonderful set of Celtic music. They played together effortlessly, despite having met and practised together for the first time the previous day.

Then there was the photography. We had a number of people present with cameras, many of whom are very capable photographers, and Fran was one of them. She took hundreds – literally hundreds – of fantastic pictures that are a wonderful record of a perfect day.

Fran, if you’re reading this, thank you does not begin to be enough. You came through for me in so many ways at a time when I really needed it.

Next time you’re coming to town, let me know and I’ll stock up on wine.

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Rough As A Badger’s Arse

18 Apr

To say that I am feeling rough today would be an understatement. I have that exhausted, fuzzy-in-the-brain, all-over achy feeling that is usually associated with the aftermath of a weekend of heavy drinking and dedicated partying.

I guess this is partly true. On Saturday our bridal party threw a Jack & Jill party for us. One of the groomsmen showed up with several bottles of wine and a beer-filled cooler that could have sunk a small ship. “Drink!” he commanded. “Enjoy!”

Well, orders are orders. I drank. I enjoyed. The guys crowded around the cooler of beer like bees around a honeypot, while me and most of the other women present tucked into the wine.

It was an outstanding evening. There was food, there were happy people, there was a lovely raffle prize (which was won by my five-year-old), and there was the incredible spectacle of my soon-to-be mother-in-law enthusiastically throwing a pie into the face of her firstborn son, the groom-to-be.

Eventually the guests left, leaving Gerard and I to settle our over-excited children. By the time we fell into an exhausted sleep ourselves, it must have been close to two in the morning.

I woke up yesterday morning with a well-earned hangover – the kind that comes complete with a queasy stomach, an excruciating headache and a death wish. I stumbled into the bathroom to get some extra-strength Tylenol and some water. Then I somehow – probably by luck more than anything else -found my way back to bed, and with the room spinning around me, I went back to sleep.

For a change, the kids were not up at the crack of dawn, as they usually are on weekends. They let me sleep, the little treasures.

When I woke up for the second time, I still felt kind of gross, but at least I felt as if I was going to live. I got up and went for a run (I say that as if it was a seamless event – the process of getting up and going for a run actually took about three hours).

The run was hard. The weather was bad. I was exhausted at the end of it – as if I hadn’t already been exhausted to begin with.

You’d think I would have slept last night, but no. Not only is George going through one of his phases of not sleeping, my mind is chock-full of details right now and just isn’t letting me rest. I tossed and turned and eventually fell into a fitful sleep, not long before I had to wake up.

To borrow a wonderful phrase from a book I read (This Charming Man by Marian Keyes, if you’re interested), today I am feeling as rough as a badger’s arse.

After another seventeen or so cups of coffee, I might start to feel normal.

Performing Artist In The Making?

16 Apr

Sometimes it is just not possible to write a post. People get sick or busy, unexpected things happen, and life just gets in the way.

Or sometimes people throw bridal showers for you – or in my case, Jack & Jill parties – and you spend the day drinking red wine and watching your future mother-in-law pay $50 for the privilege of throwing a pie in your fiance’s face.

The last of the guests has left, and the last glass of wine for the evening has been drained. It was a good, good day – one that I needed, because my stress levels have been through the roof. I’m in no fit state to write because I’ve had a lot of wine and I’m slurring my words. Instead, I offer you this picture of James acting like a ham.