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May Ball

When I was at uni, the May Ball was the event of the year. I love dressing up in big fancy dresses, I miss not having any reason to do that anymore! (Sure, I can dress up for peoples weddings, but when is a floor length gown acceptable? Never. You may end up being punched by the bride.) I’ve blogged before about the fun we had each year but apparently I’ve never shared my dresses on the blog. These are some fashion mistakes that need to be shared. So in lieu of an outfit post (I’m getting so lazy with those), here are my four ball gowns (including my sixth form leaving ball, because I loved that dress)

So back in sixth form, I was a twig. Its very weird to look at this photo, and realise that it was 10 years ago. I don’t know why I look so bloody smug here either. My mums sister made this dress, and I remember being so excited picking out the different fabrics. I had my hair and nails done at the hairdressers as well  – this was before Chester heard of such things as proms, so it was quite unusual for any of us to make this much effort.

I found this dress in Zara at the Trafford Centre in the January sales reduced from about £70 to £15 because one of the straps at the back had ripped. It only needed a few stitches to fix, so I wore it to my first year May Ball. I remember running down into town on the morning to pick up these long gloves from the party shop because I couldn’t be bothered to paint my nails then heading over to the Wife’s house in PJM so she could curl my hair. It took 3 hours for Lou to curl it all which I then ruined within 5 minutes by going on a ride at the fair. Chesney Hawkes was the main attraction at this ball (oh, and David Sneddon, but no one ever remembers him)

In my second year, I ordered this dress from which was far too exciting…buying clothes online was still a relatively new thing in 2003/4 to me, despite going to uni in the wilderness of Aberystwyth (I think the only clothes shops we had were a tiny New Look, a small Dorothy Perkins, a small Peacocks and a few independents). I begged my dad to buy this for me, which he did eventually, then waited about a month for it to be delivered. It was a very frilly, pink, sparkly dress that I never wore again, and that got a little ruined at the bottom from all the spilt drinks in the union. Boo drunk students.

I have no idea what this pose is.

In my final year, I spotted this dress in a new independent that had opened up on the Aber high street, and would go in every few days to try it on and think how pretty it was (and took photos to torture myself about it). I had no money to buy it and didn’t think I would so I just filed it away in my head as a want (this is obviously back in the days before wishlists were commonplace on blogs…actually, it was 2006, so before blogs were commonplace really!) A week or two before the ball, my dad phoned me and said he would be putting in a bit of money into my bank account because he had received my mums life insurance payout. I thought it would be a small amount, that would just about cover my overdraft and pretty much forgot about it. A few days after that, I was in my econometrics tutorial, and idly clicked over to my online banking. I nearly whooped in the middle of the tutorial when I saw how much had appeared  – enough to cover my overdraft, a loan I had, a credit card and enough left over to buy a few pretty things. As soon as the tutorial finished, I pretty much ran down the hill, straight to the bank to pay everything off, then straight to the shop to buy the dress!

Can someone have a big formal party please so I have an excuse to wear a pretty dress? Thanks.

Popping The Bubble

As quite a few of the Aber lot are posting blog posts about this, it’s got me thinking as well.

Whilst I loved Aber for the time I was there, theres a very good reason why I’ve not been back since I graduated – because I want to keep it in that happy little bubble.

If I go back, I’ll point out everything thats different, I’ll be sad that the people I loved aren’t there (even if we went back as a group, we’d be staying in a hotel, how can you compare that to kipping on someones floor or staggering up the hill at 4am?) and – this might sound oddest of all – I don’t want to go there with Alex. (Yes, its nice that I don’t have to explain certain Aber stuff, but Alex wasn’t part of *my* Aber life, so it would be wrong to be there with him.)

There’s no more Beggars night (how shit faced could you get spending less than 50p a drink – as it turned out, very, because that was first year, and Beechings did shots of tequila for 50p.) No more Y Bae (a scummy shit pub but cheap and opened late). Not even The Glen, which closed in second year, ending skanky dancing and all you could eat and drink for £10.

But I love what I have now, I love that so many of the Aber lot are around the Bristol area, or a reasonable journey away. I love that when we all get together for a wedding or whatever, nothing has changed that much in the group. I even love that things like Twitter and Facebook have made it easy to stay in contact.

I love Aber, but you won’t find me going back any time soon.

Ode to a Sewing Machine



Oh sewing machine.
I love you. You were given to me in 2006, from a very kind lady who answered my Freecycle plea. The wife and I drove 30 miles to collect you from a tiny little beach village called Llangrannog one March afternoon. I used you quite a bit in those days, then I moved back to Chester and you were put away in a cupboard and forgotten about mostly.
I came to Bristol and after getting a little workbench set up, I used you quite a bit.
But I have been rubbish towards you lately. I’ve barely switched you on over the past few months. I’ve not been going to Stitch and Bitch (mostly because I’m afraid of the neighbourhood I walk through to get there, and I don’t drive)
But then I remembered that I like making things. And that I could do with a new skirt for work. Also that I’ve been getting annoyed with all my crap rolling around loosely in my bag (I’m a fussy neat freak in certain aspects of my life, and my handbag is one of them!) and have been meaning to make some pouches to pop things in.
Sewing machine, I promise I will use you some more. But I have no idea what to make!

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