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A few years ago I decided to start a new career as a performer. I used to be a biology teacher but couldn't face walking around in a white coat all day teaching children who didn't want to learn. Actually it wasn't so much the children as the system cause I think all children want to learn - they just don't all want to learn in schools. Anyway I now work as a Life and Executive coach. Work is perhaps not the right word because it never feels like work. I just love to see people grow and change. I love it when they peel of the layers of limiting beliefs and find their true self. And I make some great frends in the process. I've re-discovered my writing and have published two poetry books and now working on 2 CDs, a novel, a book of short stories and talking to someone about a collaoration on a film script. That should keep me busy for a whild. Oh and I do bellydance.
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Friday, 31 July 2009

Getting back to normal

Two weeks ago today I was preparing for a wedding. Tonight I'm preparing for my writing group tomorrow. I'll be taking wedding cake for the group. Tonight I also performed the veiled dance as a group - it didn't work as well - too many of us on the stage and we looked scrappy. Some amazing dances by other performers. I've decided to try some other teachers over the summer; get a new perspective, learn some new moves. After the wedding I realized that I love dancing solo. I just need to get good enough to be able to do it well - and I can.

There are some fantastic wedding pictures. I'll be getting some of them on the web soon. I've joined Facebook so could post them there. And still the thank you cards keep coming. At least we managed to get our sent out today - even things up a bit I guess. It took almost all day to write them up as I wanted to address and thank each guest personally, and to let them know that our wedding is being featured in the Sunday Telegraph's Sunday magazine 'Stella' on the 9th August.

Today feels a long way removed from the visit to court on Monday - concilation didn't work and I've since learned a lot about water standards. About the WRC and Whitters and about junctions and connections. I've had to educate myself quickly to understand what I need to clarify with the independent surveyor who will be appointed by the claimant to assess what has and has not been done to our drains. Now the wedding is over I can dedicate a lot more time to understanding this issue as it will be going to full hearing and I expect to win.

I'm looking forward to reading poems tomorrow and to hearing others' writings. Still living in bubble of love -it feels great!!
Saturday, 25 July 2009

One week on

It quarter to four on Saturday and I've been reliving the day. I've had calls and texts from guests who are reliving it too. Still haven't seen many pictures from the evening. Have developed the ones from the disposable cameras but they are very dark (don't think many people used the flashes) I'm still relishing the day ones and finding it very difficult to narrow them down to just 40 images for the album. Evening ones should be available next week for viewing on the web.

I've got used to being Mrs Dixon amazing quickly (mind you it's been a long time coming). I feel I've changed on the inside and was struggling to understand why - until my bridesmaid pointed out today that in changing my name I changed my energy vibration. I feel a lot calmer, more self assured, a lot easier with life. Its not just a feeling of having someone to move forward with - its something quite intangible. I'm actually enjoying being a wife!!!
Thursday, 23 July 2009

Coming down

The thank you cards and letters keep coming from guests who want to thank us for a great day/evening. Seems like the wrong way round - we should be thanking all our guests for being there and for the many and varied presents - which we will do as soon as we can get our Thank You cards. The stationer who hand made all our stationary is ill and may not be able to attend to them for some time. We are also trying to track all the people who contributed to our Paris trip as the travel agents did not record all the names.

The adrenaline is beginning to wear off and my body is craving sleep, cake and champagne.
Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Venturing out

It's Wednesday and I'm going to venture out into Birmingham. We've hardly left the house; I went with Andrew to see his parents on Monday for about 30 minutes and to the Co-op for ten minutes yesterday. We spent most of the day opening presents on Monday and have been overwhelmed by our guests generosity. (And we haven't had the gifts purchased through Debenhams delivered yet but we are aware of who bought us what) We know of some of the contributors to our Paris trip but not all the names were recorded so thank you, thank you, thank you everyone.

We've been sent the web proofs of the wedding photos and are taken aback by the way the photographer managed to capture the essence of the day - every looks so happy! In fact the toast master told us that it is the happiest wedding he has ever presided over - and he's been at it a long time. I'll email the photo link in case you want to see what happened at the cermony (if you weren't there) or if you want to purchase photos. The rep from Stella magazine (Daily Telegraph) phoned yesterday to check if everything went OK and how I felt about the day. Article will be out towards the end of August. Will keep you posted.

We've received a number of thank you cards from our friends saying how much they enjoyed the day/evening; what a unique event it was; and one guest so enjoyed using the mike in front of an audience that she's considering a change of career!!

I feel like I'm still floating around in a bubble. I want to hold on to this feeling for as long as I can.
Sunday, 19 July 2009

Breathing out

Oh my God, what a day!! It's true what they say, it all goes by so quickly. All those months (even years) of planning and suddenly it's over. It's the end of the night and you are climbing into bed - legal status completely changed, clutching either a new husband or a new wife. And what a day it was. Such a kelideoscope of of wonderful moments; so many smiling, laughing, joyous faces; so many well wishes; so many amazing people in one room; the light, the energy that glowed from everyone. I will never forget the day.

The day went almost to plan; and where it deviated I'm sure it was all in divine order. Just a bit of information for those I didn't get round to telling on the day. The wedding is being featured in the Daily Telegraph's 'Stella' magazine. You could not have failed to notice that there was a camera crew with rather specialists lighting equipment - well, that was the Telegraph's camera guys. I was told they would arrive, stay for about 20-30 minutes and would discretely take some pictures. As you will remember they were around for the ceremony and the whole of the photography session (and I'm told they were taking pictrues before the cermony too) I hadn't mentioned this to anyone for two reasons. 1) They may not have arrived and people's expectations may bad been dashed, and 2) People may have been anxious and I didn't want that. Not even Andrew knew - and it wasn't till we were well into our meal that I told him. He was cool about it. I'll let you know when the article will be out.

I loved the ceremony. Walking into the room and seeing all those beaming faces, knowing that they were all rooting for us, and seeing the look on Andrew's face when he turned around a saw me would have been enough for the day - and yet there was so much more.

I'm not sure what was going on on Table 4 but all the other tables wanted some. Thanks to those of you who were grateful for the speeches being short - and thanks to my brother for sparing you from some of my much more embarassing moments. He was very kind. There was such amazing energy in the room, which only intensified when all the evening guests arrived. Such colour, such vibrancy, such love - we felt it from everyone - not a single grumpy person in the house. We didn't know Lassell was going to ask people to come up and say things about us so we were totally taken aback by all the lovely things everyone said.

And yes, Andrew was as surprised as you were by the belly dance. You have no idea how difficult its been trying to keep it secret for so many months. We've had many request for a posting on Youtube, we'll see what we can do. Just for the information, there was a bit of confusion with the music on my first dance - the DJ thought I'd finished and turned faded the music when in fact I was only half way though the dance - maybe that's all you were meant to see. Anyway thanks for your appreciation for the Shakira dance. My eldest son has calculated how much it's going to cost him for therapy to get the image out of his head of his mom dancing to one of his favourite songs.

And I'm really surprised that so many of you made it to the Belair - and were still there at closing time. 4 a.m, totally exhausted but still high on adrenaline we made it to bed. It was a perfect day.
Friday, 17 July 2009

Its tomorrow!!!

What a day - a complete whirlwind. I even did washing today - what was I thinking about? I didn't want to start my new life with a pile of dirty washing.

We collected the dresses and we looked beautiful (at least we thought so). The lady in the dress shop hugged us and wished us well. She has 34 other brides getting married tomorrow - marriage is not dead then. The forcast is for good weather.

We had a party in the suite, my brother, sons, nephew and bridesmaid. It was lovely but I seemed to be rushing around making sure they were ok - just like being at home really. There was food, wine, beer and great conversations. My sons saw the hen night photos for the first time and one of them is threatening to use them in his speech tomorrow. He kept shaking his head as if in disbelief - though eventually admitted that they were tasteful. (Must get some up on site soon).

My future parents in law are down the corridor and said I still had time to change my mind. They said tomorrow they will be 'mom and dad' to me - at least in law.

So here I am, about to go to bed for the last time as Mrs Gabbidon, no longer carrying the name of my children (at least two of them) they will all be equal now. I will have a different surname to all of them. I will be changing my numerlogy energy for something more dynamic and less egocentric. Will be interesting to see how that pans out.

I am excited now. Almost as excited as my bridesmaid. Just hope I can sleep!!
Thursday, 16 July 2009

2 days to go

I spent two and a half hours getting my nails done today. It was fantastic. I sat in a wonderful chair that massaged my back while a very attentive nail therapist gave me a pedicure and painted pretty pictures on my nails. Why have I never done this before? I certainly think it will be somethinhg I'll be doing a lot more of now - at least once a month.

Lots of wins today. All the stuff delivered the Belfry (main events manager responsible for the wedding is ill, we've been assured she will be back by Saturday) but didn't get to taste the curry mutton. I forgot to ask and the work experience assistant probably didn't know about the tasting. Maybe tomorrow but it's now at the stage where I'm just going to have to trust that the chef gets it right on the night.

I go my hair done. Hairdresser coming on Saturday morning to make sure I'm properly styled but the groundwork has been done. Huge complements at my bellydance class tonight.

All presents bought. Number one son has his shoes and I've managed to get all sons all agreed on a time for checking in at the Belfry. They will allow us to check out at 2 p.m. on Sunday, three hours later than normal checkout, on account on our anticipated late night on Saturday.

Friends arrived from New York, Barbados and Finland today.

It's been a long day but I think the meditation this morning helped to stretch the hours and foster a sense of calm - or was that the back massage? Quite a bit of running around tomorrow but I feel that I've broken the back of it now!
Wednesday, 15 July 2009

3 days to go

It's just felt like a slog today. The punch is made, the champagne is bought, the presents have been secured, the body has been worked out and steamed, the flowers are confirmed, the MC has been contacted, the braids have been removed (in preparation for the new style tomorrow) and I am knackered.

High points- getting the dance right with Andrew - very high point. Finding the right presents. Having my ring cleaned and looking like new again. Acheiving everything I set out to do toady.

Did I mention I'm knackered. Have not even checked to see if my friends from Finland and Barbados landed safely today. Have not been in touch with my friend from Canada who landed in Manchester on the 9th.

Only two more days of the rushing around then it's D-Day or should I say W-Day. Cards have begun to arrive. It feels very real!!
Tuesday, 14 July 2009

4 days to go

Oh God, the time seem to be rushing by. I had to cancel my massage today so I could meet a photographer in town. She's lovely and will be photographing the evening part of the wedding when the official photographer goes home. All she wants is for us to buy a minimum of 30 prints from her if we like them. She's quite happy to come to the whole day (not sure if we can feed her) but I'm sure we can work something out.

The florist has still not confirmed our order. (To think we made the booking last March) She emailed me the quote instead of the confirmed booking/final invoice today. One of the guys phoned to ask if he needed shoes as the hire company didn't give him any. I had to breathe deeply before responding because I specifically remember a conversation with him where I explained that he did need them. Must remember to go and get the replacement for the ones that didn't fit on Saturday.

I've made a start on the punch; should be finished tomorrow; and I've started to take out my braids. Can't get hold of the MC or the DJ and one of the singers is not returning my calls.

On the plus side, I managed to have a long conversation with one of my friends and was able to focus on her issues (her mom is very ill) instead of the wedding. Tomorrow is another day. Another day closer.
Monday, 13 July 2009

5 days to go

With five days to go to the wedding I completed my NLP Master Practitioner course. Following a presentation to 30+ people, we had the opportunity to listen to and critique the recordings we made of health and goal setting CDs. Although the content of my recording (the script) was rated highly by the trainers the quality of the recording was so poor that I had to do it again. We had the usual presentation ritual which this time included a beautiful crystal on which our names and qualificfations were engraved. We then headed out to Pastishe - a very nice bistro in Stafford with free desserts on Monday nights.

It was a stark contrast to yesterday when they had us abseiling down Ramshore Rocks (near Leek) BLINDFOLDED. The ultimate trust exercise. No brain space for any wedding stuff yesterday as I had to staqrt preparing for today's presentation as soon as I got in.

Today it was Andrew doing the running around to pick up the table plan and order of ceremony from the stationer - who did not manage to make all the changes as she ran out of materials. She's offered to reimburse me for the lack of standard - but I really would rather she had delivered what I wanted. Nothing I can do about it now as she's off to Turkey on holiday from today.

All the men's suits have been collected now - and they all fit (except the best man and we won't know that till he arrives from America on Thursday) My friends from Canada, Barbados and Finland will all be here by Wednesday.

And there is still so much to do!!!
Saturday, 11 July 2009

7 days to go

Highs and lows today. Picked up three of the suits for the guys today and they look stunning. The shop wants us to send them some pictures for thier portfolio. That was the high. The low? The table plan and order of service stationery were not what I was expecting and after a long debate I took them back to the supplier. She will re-do them for Monday before she goes on holiday.

Three of my friends have life threatening illnesses, which, when I reflected on it made my strop over the stationery seem like a childish tantrum.

I've found it very hard to concentrate on the forthcoming NLP presentation on Monday and for the first time since I began the course am not looking forward to a whole day of NLP tomorrow. Even less so since we've been told to bring outdoor clothes and the weather looks foul. Just praying it brightens up by next week.
Friday, 10 July 2009

8 days to go

The bridesmaid is ecstatic. Her dress looks fabulous on her and together we ooze sophistication and charm (if I do say so myself). The challenge will be doing 'the dance' in the dress. Went to the gym and ate only two mangoes before going for the fitting - then made up with some chips afterwards. Fitting reward for all my hard work and abstinance of the day.

How did I forget to book a room at the Belfry for my sister-in-law's brother? And to top it all the hotel is fully booked for that night. Now I know they are not all my guests so who the hell else is filling the other 500+ rooms? Sorry guys, if you haven't booked yet it's too late.

All the men should be collecting their suits tomorrow - no call yet from the store in Nuneaton to say the two from there are ready. Loughborough, Bradford and Stockport have all got their's in. Fingers crossed Nuneaton's are in as I've arranged to take the two guys in tomorrow.
Thursday, 9 July 2009

9 days to go

Some more wins today, and I am desperately tired. I made a decision not to attend the Property Mastermind course tomorrow so that I can have a lie in and go with the bridesmaid to try on her dress which arrived today. That phone call from the dress shop brought much relief, much whooping and cheering. (to the amazement of the gardener who was sitting in my kitchen when I got the news) The curry mutton recipe that I got from the Jamaica travel and culture site produced a lovely curry and I've now emailed the recipe to the chef. I have another tasting on Thursday. Please dear God let this one be good - dare I even hope for fantastic?

Got the ingredients in for the punch. Trying had to resist crisps - Walkers ready salted - mindful that a moment on the lips could ruin the fit of that dress. It all still feels a bit wierd. Sometimes I feel like I'm outside of me looking in as I make all the arrangements; sometimes it feels unreal, but I guess in 9 days time it will be real enough.
Wednesday, 8 July 2009

10 days to go

Had a few big wins. Dress fitted perfectly - only alteration needed is to shorten it a bit. Phew! Just need to keep the weight off now. Bridesmaid dress has been dispatched from the USA and she's booked in for a fitting on Friday afternoon. Means I'm going to have to miss the afternoon session of Property Mastermind. Belfry stuff mainly sorted. Just trying to get a good curry mutton recipe to the chef - actually cooking one myself to be certain of the ingredients then I can emial it to him. Found my hair extensions on Soho Rd, sorted out the flowers today and our dance is much improved.

I'm finding it difficult to sleep now - so many small jobs left to be done - and I still have an NLP presentation to prepare and deliver. I hope tonight will be a good one for sleep in the light of thisw rapid movement.
Sunday, 5 July 2009

Hen night on Broad Street

Yes, it was on Broad Street and it was enormous fun. We started off in Around the World in 80 Dishes and moved on to The Brasshouse to finish off the night. The combination of Moulin Rouge and Bond Girls was a huge success - randon people stopped us to take photos and we were seriously propositioned as we waited for our lift at the end of the night. Hoping to post a few pics on the blog soon. Not sure if it was one too many champagnes or one too many coctails but I had to go back to bed this afternoon.

The plans are going well. Only two hiccups - the bridesmaid dress is proving to be very elusive as are my hair extensions. My only regret just now is agreeing to do the NLP Master Prac course this close to the wedding. We (the four of us on the course) have to do a half day workshop on Monday the 13th to approximately 40 people - something I'd prefer not to have to think about just now.

I'm going for my dress alterations tomorrow and just hope I've done enough on the diet front to do it justice.