Category Archives: Memory

Just call me Mrs Clarke

Steph and James Wedding group shot

So three weeks ago today I got married. To James, of course, my best friend and partner of over 7 years. It was wonderful day, made all the more magical because of the people that shared it with us. We felt happy and loved, and the day was exactly how it should have been, stress free and fun.

So now I am a Clarke – I have to keep writing that down to remind myself, three times since the big day I’ve signed into events/venues with my maiden name and I keep coming across things that I need to add to my “change contact details” list. You don’t get a manual of these things from the church on the day – it’s up to you to remember the HMRC, the DVLA, Passport office, bank, home & car insurance, doctors, dentist, kid’s school, utilities all need your new details.  I’m not even a third of the way through getting them changed – in fact while typing that list I realised that I’d forgotten the water board!!

But I digress, The wedding – The wedding was amazing and below is a taster of our big day from our awesome photography team Mark & Vicky Wood of F8media / Wedding Deja Vous and Sarah of Sarah Giles Photography (yes we had a whole paparazzi following us around on the day).

2661 days ago..

Our Orders of service – hand made by us to continue the them from the hand made luggage tag invitations

The music of love

The amazing Dan Whitehouse  (no seriously he is amazing check him out on Spotify) played for us while we signed the register. He played one of his own songs which we both love, and he then played a cover of Pearl Jam’s Just Breathe – James and I are both PJ fans and Dan went out of his way to learn this in the 3 weeks prior to the wedding, Thank you Dan, it was appreciated!

99, sir?

My unique transport – I arrived at the church with the chimes going, and then after the service dished up ice creams to my husband and some of the guests (yes I know there was no strawberry sauce – I managed to get ice cream all down me do you really think I was going to risk something bright red in a white dress??)

Steph & James

We asked guests to walk with us between the church and the reception venue – it wasn’t far and a jolly group we made with all the balloons laughter and smiles.

Steph & James

We finished the day dancing into the evening  – we had the reception in a room myself, my bridesmaids and my Mom had decorated that morning with red and white decorations, balloons, fairy lights and paper chains. Our first dance was to Elbow’s “One Day Like This” and despite only really deciding we we going to dance the day before the wedding it was  perfect choice – and the local constabulary, who dropped in to bring us a celebratory card mid dance, thought we’d choreographed it – which isn’t bad for a couple who between them have four left feet!

We kept everything as local as possible for us and the guests and even used local suppliers where we could.

Music was supplied by the amazing Four on the Floor a wedding band from Wednesbuy, I can not highly recommend these boys enough. They hit just the right mix of old party tunes and indie sing-a-longs, keeping everyone happy and the dance floor full most of the night , They even, once they’d heard the speeches and THAT Pearl Jam /Eddie Vedder story, in the break between their sets went outside and learned Pearl Jam’s Alive to play especially for James – you can’t ask for better than that!

Food was a Hog Roast by Hammonds Catering  in Telford and a small buffet supplied by my good friend Sam of the Oasis Community Cafe in Pendeford, Wolverhampton.

The whole day was perfect and the smiles say it all…..

Steph James & Jordan

Abbey Road meets Steph & James Wedding Day

Steph & James

Some tracks from the day can been listened to on our play list below.

Brighter Than Sunshine was what I walked down the aisle too. Somebody loves you and Just Breathe are what Dan played while we signed te register. You Are The Best Thing is what we left the church to, and One Day Like This was our first dance. Everything else was either played in the church as our guests were arrived, or covered by Dan while we were having our afternoon tea in the church and garden. We know there are some missing we just cant remember them all…



A slice of history.

I posted this previously on my (now much neglected) Moblog but after visiting my grandparents tonight I wanted to share it here too.

My Grandad is really poorly again, I live in fear of the day he will no longer be around – he was is and always will be one of the main men in my life and I love him lots.

A Family Photo

This photo was taken before I was born, we think around 1978/79. It has all the most important men from my childhood included in it, It’s like a capsule containing my whole life history!

This man is Pete. He’s my Dad….

….He died suddenly in 1985, I was only 4. One day he was here, the next he was gone – I don’t miss him all the time – that sounds harsh but it’s true – I was too young to really appreciate what I had and then it was gone.  I never had the chance to get to know the man my dad was growing up and only really started questioning my roots as I got older. I missed having a Dad and the paternal side to my family more than I missed the man that was Peter Jennings – I just wasn’t given the opportunity to know him and I think I grieve for that more than I do for him at times.

This man is Tony, my maternal Grandad….

..My sister and I went with my Mom and lived with my grandparents for a short while after my Dad passed away.  My Mom needed the space and a chance to grieve and recover from the shock of becoming a widow and single parent overnight. We were only there for a couple of months but the effects lasted a lifetime.

While everyone else was pushing their luck and hearing “You just wait until you father gets home!!” This is the man I was I had to wait to get home, I adored him as a child, he was my Grandad, my stand in father figure and my friend, as a small girl I would often climb the tree by the bus stop and wait for him to get home from work when he’d scoop me up and carry me home on his shoulders, as a teen he had the best technique for help towel dry hair and as a young adult, pregnant and suffering from morning sickness he made the only thing I could stomache, the most divine poached egg on toast!

He was, and still is my rock and I know I could still go to him for anything! He’s been with me FOREVER!

Now this man is Dave, he was one of Dad’s very good friends before his death and now he is now my Stepdad!

My Mom and Dave got together when I was 14 and married in 2001 when I was 20. When he moved in we were going through my Dads vinyl record collection together and Dave pulled our a couple of records that had actually belonged to him.

I truly would not wish for her to be with anyone else! He is a fantastic Dad to me, my sister and brother and a devoted Grandad to Jordan.  He’s supported my Mom through thick and thin and cared for us all for years and I’m glad it was him my mom married!

Capturing images….

When I was in school I used to love art class but when it came to my GSCE years and we  had options the choices offered to me were Music, PE , Art OR Drama.

P.E was out straight away – choosing to spend the final 2 year of my life as the most unsporting person I know in the company of a PE teacher I hated (ahem,  Miss Dickie) oh no no no no that wasn’t going to happen. Music there was no chance I can’t hold a tune to save my life and the coordination to play a musical instrument….forget it, so that left Art or Drama, I went with Drama. I love Drama (being somewhat of a drama queen) and enjoyed being on stage, performing in several shows extra curricular to my school activities, where as in Art I really only ever drew when I felt like I WANTED to draw, when I really felt like I was really interested in the subject and I got to choose when that happened, so I let it slide – sometimes I wished I hadn’t.

Sometimes I wished I’d kept it up and had the skills to capture the images I take with my camera and turn them into something special with pen and paper – sometimes I wished I’d tried harder….

So last year I did.

Leaving work on my lunch one cold wintery day I spotted a leaf on the ground and did what every sane person would do I picked it up and carried it around with me until I returned to the office and snapped a photo of it with camera phone – I don’t know why I just felt like it, it’s not the most spectacular image in the world but I kept it all the same I then threw the leaf away.

That photo sat on my phone for ages……

A few months later I spotted a drawing book on sale in The Works and bought it, I still had a set of nice drawing pencils at home and I had half an idea that I would draw something , I just didn’t know what – then I started looking through the photos on my phone and inspiration struck, I knew there was  reason I’d picked that leaf up on that day, I just didn’t know what until I had my pencils in hand….

It’s not the most spectacular drawing in the world, it’s not even a true likeness of the image on the left, but it’s my drawing,  it’s the first I’d properly attempted since opting out of art class for drama when I was 14 and I was kinda happy with it.

That was over 12 months ago now. My pencils have sat in the box since un-thought of until today when I came across the photo of the leaf again and I thought it about time I gave them another airing. I’ve sat and pondered for a while about what I could draw and after a while I realised I was wasting my time….

…30 year old me is still suffering from the affliction 14 year old me suffered and maybe it will be another 15 years before I pick up my pencils again. I can’t think what I want to draw, what I’d be able to draw so I don’t and as what I draw isn’t as good as what I’d like it to be anyway I think I’m better off staying hid behind my camera lens instead after all I could never recreate this image with my hand!

Winter 2010

Random Memories: The Purple Fat Toy

Sometimes out of the blue while doing something completely unrelated a long forgotten  memory surfaces. Sometimes these are about something TBK said or did. I’ve written before about how I regret not documenting more his younger years so I’ve decided as they come to me I’m going to try and blog them, they wont mean anything to anyone but me, but I just don’t want to lose them again. Here are the first of two remembered this week.

When TBK was really little, when his language skills were less developed and he wasn’t as self sufficient as he is now he had some plastic toy zoo animals, and one day playing in my parents back garden he was trying to ask for one of them….

“Can I  have the hit-mut-hos” he asked, repeatedly, with both me and my mom trying to figure out what he wanted “THE HIT-MUT-HOS HIT-MOT-HOS” he demanded getting increasingly frustrated at our lack of understanding.

This went on a short while until he stopped dead, looked at the floor and finally looked up at us and asked

“Can I have the purple fat one”

His lateral thinking as he was getting increasingly frustrated made my parents and my day and for a while afterwards every Hippopotomus was know as “The Purple Fat One”