Monday, 27 July 2015

The wedding of the year
I have never attended a wedding as fabulous and joyous as Olivia and Stuart's wedding. It was a five day party that in some ways I wish could never have ended.

["Only in some ways?" you ask. Let's just say that there was one Shadow over the weekend and I'm not yet ready to talk about it.]

On Wednesday the bridal party drove down to Gloucestershire where many of Olivia and Stu's family had already gathered. The Banker was seriously pissed I wasn't taking him as my Plus One, but the night before we'd gone out for curry and beers and he finally saw the light: as a bridesmaid I'm going to be way too busy to pay him any attention.

We checked into the Cotswold hotel which had been booked out for the wedding, then that evening there was a dinner party at Olivia's parents' house. Some thirty plus people. Then us girls sat up late into the night, talking the way we used to do back in our Pembroke days, just the four of us and a bottle of tequila.

There was no lie in on Thursday as we had the rehearsal, followed by a day of Olivia's mother fussing about flowers and seating arrangements. She even made the musicians do a full run through. Twice.

By that night even more family and friends had arrived, so we had dinner in a restaurant they'd booked out for the night. After dinner, all us young people headed out to a nightclub (yes, there are some outside London, if you look hard enough). And Stuart's Uncle Martin, who seems to think he's still 30. (He's not!)

On Friday we slept in, finally dragging ourselves out of bed to hit the spa for manicures, pedicures, and overall pampering - and champagne!

Stuart met up for dinner with a bunch of his work-mates, then we all got together at the pub for drinks, partying until the early hours.
Then Saturday dawned. The day was kind of a blur of make-up and hair stylists, dresses and champagne, then Olivia walking down the aisle of one of the most beautiful late medieval churches in all England, the most radiant bride I've ever seen. I'll admit: I cried.

The bride wore white, the bridesmaids were in blue. The men looked dapper in their grey morning suits. There were blue irises everywhere.

There was more champagne, way too many speeches, lots of dancing, a little light flirting with some of Stu's friends, before Sophie and I collapsed into bed at 3am, too tired even to get out of our bridesmaid dresses. I have no idea what happened to Amelia after about one in the morning, but I know Sophie and I both went to bed alone.

On Sunday morning we had a late champagne breakfast on the lawn at Olivia parents' house. The champagne worked quite well as a chaser, but most of us were wearing sunglasses and not talking much. While Olivia and Stu had to be responsible and see off all their guests, Sophie, Amelia and I headed back to the hotel and our beds. It was then I dropped my bombshell on them and told them about The Shadow.

That night was a very subdued dinner in the hotel, a bit of a let down after the excitement of the previous days. I still hadn't quite recovered from the party the night before and headed to bed early. Alone again, and just a little maudlin. Not quite the way I'd envisioned the weekend panning out.

The next morning we sent the happy honeymooners off to start their diving holiday in Thailand, and those of us who hadn't yet left began our own journey back to London and the grind of everyday life. And here I now am.

Olivia and Stuart: I wish you a lifetime of happiness together. Thanks for a wonderful week and for showing me that maybe love is real, after all.

Monday, 20 July 2015

The week that was & Mile High Part 8

In spite of a couple of nights out this last week (Lakme at Holland Park and the opening of Green Day's American Idiot) I've managed to write the next chapter of Mile High for you.

If you haven't already read the ongoing story of Poppy's Carribean Adventure, click here, start at the bottom of the page, and work your way up.

The story continues:

"Please secure your seats in the upright positions and stow away the trays. Cabin crew to prepare the cabins for landing."
Poppy kept her gaze firmly on her Kindle, as she had from the moment the flight attendant had cleared away the detritus of their breakfast.
An hour earlier, she'd woken from the best sleep she'd ever had on a plane, wondering if she'd dreamt what had happened. She was pretty sure she hadn't. Well mostly sure.
If Gage had even as much as smiled at her, she might have believed it.
But instead, he’d behaved as if nothing had happened. He was already awake, working on his laptop, and he’d said a polite ‘good morning’ and ‘did you sleep okay?’ before focussing back on his screen.
Which only served to reinforce that, erotic fantasies aside, he was still her boss and she had to have bed hair, and her teeth were unbrushed. She’d sneaked away to the bathroom as quickly as she could to make herself presentable, and returned to find breakfast being served.
She managed to avoid looking at him all through the landing and disembarkation, though as they left the plane, she was sure the blonde flight attendant pressed something into Gage’s hand. Poppy worked very hard not to roll her eyes. If the woman hoped for an assignation during her lay-over, she was going to be seriously disappointed. In less than two hours they’d be at the conference hotel, and there’d be no time for play. Gage would make sure of that.
The heat hit them the moment they stepped from the plane. Thick and muggy after the cool, damp weather they’d left behind in London, carrying the rich scent of the tropics. Poppy had never been to the Caribbean before. She tried to look like a world-weary traveller even as she craned to see past the terminal buildings to what lay beyond.
They walked across the runway from the plane to the terminal, with Poppy hurrying to keep up with Gage’s long strides. At baggage claim he fetched a trolley and she grabbed a premium spot beside the conveyor belt. Then they waited.
She fidgeted. Gage cleared his throat.
And then she made the mistake of actually looking at him.
He watched her. His green eyes bright and amused, and looking straight into her. The edge of his mouth curled up in a complicit smile and her heart stood still.
Oh God, she hadn’t dreamed it. He really had fingered her to an orgasm last night. And he was remembering.
The Caribbean heat had nothing on the heat in her face, in her body, as his smile deepened.
“Isn’t that your bag?” he said, though he hadn’t even turned his head.
She looked at the belt and there was her bag indeed, about to sweep past them. How did he do that – notice everything without even seeming to?
She grabbed for her bag and Gage took it from her, his fingers brushing hers on the handle. She pulled away quickly.
Soon his bag emerged from the chute and Gage stowed it on the trolley next to hers, and they headed for the arrivals hall where the hotel driver awaited them.

Is the affair over before it even began, or are things about to hot up for Poppy and Gage now they've landed in the Caribbean? Read the next instalment to find out...

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Hen Night!

My head aches. We celebrated Olivia's hen night last night. A day of spa pampering, followed by tacky limo, champagne and dinner, followed by cocktails and all-night dancing at Konnect. I did not wake up alone. And it wasn't with The Banker, either. That's all.

Image courtesy

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Suffering the heat wave in Henley

The place to see and be seen this weekend is at the Henley Royal Regatta. Me and my girls, and a couple of Stu's friends, are booked into Phyllis Court Club for the weekend, so naturally this post is being pre-scheduled as I do not expect to be anywhere near the internet this weekend.

If you're stuck in London during the heatwave, check out the Nantucket Beach Club at SkyLounge, Double Tree Hilton. I highly recommend the Surfside Punch.

Have fun everyone, and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

Image from