Wizard Wedding Weekend

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the wedding of two wonderful friends, Laura and James. The bride and groom met at a Harry Potter wizard Rock show in a library a few years ago and honoured the connection by theming the wedding around books. This was a very special wedding, and Laura and James’ personalities and hard work could be seen throughout the weekend.

This was a very small wedding with forty-two people in attendance, meaning that we could all stay together in the large house where the reception took place. On arriving at the house, we could see the schedule of the next day’s proceedings while we settled down to a fish-and-chip takeaway.


On the morning of the wedding, many of us woke at quarter to eight and so we pootled into Kylie and Mel’s room for a chat and a cup of tea. By 10am we had Twerked, tea’d and Cheerio’d and decided it was time to put our nice frocks on before heading down to the Knight Bus to go to the ceremony.

Wedding bus

Ellie and I show off our hats aboard the Knight Bus!

We drove over hill and dale (singing a rousing bus-related wizard rock song) to get to the ceremony’s venue, a small converted barn on an organic farm. We saw lots of nice cows and sheep on our way, as well as a sign for pig racing, which we decided would be an excellent day out and a marvelous activity to follow a wedding…

Paper book flowers

Handmade flowers from the pages of books to tie in with the book theme.


Vintage and pretty decor at the venue.

When we entered, Here Comes the Sun by Laura’s favourite band, the Beatles was playing. There were strings of bunting and fairylights and garlands decorating the barn along with the red roses and book-roses that Laura had made. As is tradition, the bride was quite late. Untraditionally, though, it was because she’d got lost and ended up in a field. Luckily we had the Beatles playing and cereal bars to keep us fueled until she arrived. We also convinced James and our friend Neil, the best man, to keep us entertained. 🙂

Wedding Men


The ceremony was beautiful. Laura looked stunning and elegant in her red gown. We were so few in number that we all felt honoured to be there for Laura and James. When it came to their readings and vows, we knew exactly what they meant. Laura read a passage from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix that was so wonderfully relevant and poignant that Mel, Ellie and I all made good use of the tissues I’d brought.

In the Morris

Mr and Mrs in the Morris.

Vintage Wedding

The wedding party and parents on the farm.

When we got back to the reception house, the photographer took some photos of everyone outside the house. Meanwhile, a few of us scurried off to take some photos in the surrounding area. There were some great props like tyres and old sheds, long grass, and rubble! Grunge-chic!

Wedding fashion

Rachel in the wedding high-fashion photoshoot!

Feeling a bit... tyred? Hahaha...

Behind the scenes!

Leaning on the fence

David does his best model-farmer pose.

After a pretty sparkling wine and some nibbles, we moved through for dinner. The dining room had been decorated beautifully by the wedding party. As we arrived, we each found our names attached to a small charm (mine was a clock!) on top of an old book which bore the name of our table. All of our friends were seated at the Fantasy table, which was decorated with the one ring, the wardrobe, and a pile of children’s book, including Philosopher’s Stone and Beedle the Bard.  When we found our seats, there was an envelope each with our names on, and a literary address. (Mine was 4 Privet Drive!!) Laura and James had also chosen a different classic Ladybird book to suit each person. I got a make and do book! 🙂 This was such a lovely touch and made everyone feel really included in the wedding!


To celebrate!

Favours books

The wedding favours. The envelope contained a quiz about books and the bride and groom!

After an italian themed dinner, we dined on cupcakes and drank tea from vintage china teacups and saucers. Once the speeches and toasts had been made (there was an actual piece of toast raised), we all headed through to the dance floor.

Wedding Cake

The sideboard of sugar.

Cup and saucer

Everyone had a different vintage cup and saucer.

Ellie, Cathrin and I provided some live musical entertainment with a selection of songs from the 40s and 50s. This included Unchained Melody, sung by Cathrin, to which Laura and James had their first dance.

First dance

Serenaded by Cathrin.

At around 10pm, we came back to do a special set of Wizard Rock songs and to debut our new act Kate and the Bushes.  We sang Wuthering Heights and had a choreographed dance routine. It was fun! 😀

The night went on with sing-alongs to such classic hits as Vindaloo, songs from Greece, 500 Miles, Goodbye Privet Drive, Sweet Child of Mine, 500 Miles and 99 Death Eaters.

The following day we had a picnic in the garden, went to visit some nice friendly cows with the cow-whisperer (Lucy) and played Pointless. There was a group reading of some Mills and Boone in the late afternoon and a drama with a missing cheeseboard.

What a lovely weekend it was. Thanks Laura and James for including me. ❤


The Minds of Others

Ready to read!

(No spoilers!)

Reading ‘The Casual Vacancy’ has (thus far – I’m not finished) made me think about how people’s minds work. As a longtime hardcore fan of children’s literature and, in more recent years, the works of such authors as Dodie Smith and Agatha Christie, I am used to a certain type of thinking. The opening pages were quite jarring to me, as everyone – everyone has an agenda. Everyone’s thoughts veer towards the unkind and coarse or selfish with only a few exceptions.

Rather naively, this shocked me. Of course this is a work of fiction and contains heightened characteristics of human nature. I completely understand that, but it has made me think about thoughts and motives. Do people really have such dark thoughts when faces with a sudden death? Thoughts which have absolutely nothing to do with actual death?

At this point I should admit that I am a ruthless self-analyser. I question every thought I have and every action I take. Part of this just a trait of an anxious personality. The idea of causing anyone else unhappiness on purpose is horrifying to me and I’m deeply convinced that something terrible will happen if I ever make anyone suffer, intentionally or not. On the whole, though, I don’t have nasty thoughts about people. I’m usually too busy being worried about something.

If someone had asked me sixty pages in to describe the book, I would have said that it’s a grotesque depiction of the less attractive aspects of human nature. It sounds strong, but it really did catch me quite off-guard. The topic at the start of the book is sudden death, and how everyone copes or does not cope with it. It’s a subject that I have some experience with, and am therefore interested in. Pagford’s inhabitants are each self-obsessed, their thoughts are for themselves.

It’s a good and very different exercise to be presented with a group of characters with whom I don’t immediately sympathise. I’m looking forward to unwinding the rest of the book.



Chocolate Hazelnut Torte from Sunday lunch today. Got to have the dark chocolate! 😉

Hooray! I was tagged in this meme thing by The Cottage Smallholder. The rule is to tag eight other bloggers and make your own eight questions. 

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

__..::1* What have you learnt from blogging?
I started blogging when I was an angsty 17 year old. Over the years I’ve learned that it’s a very good idea to just let all the ideas, troubles, annoyances, happiness sprawl on the page. Once they’re there it’s much easier to be reflective and to work things out. I’m actually looking forward to meeting more bloggers. I’m new to the public blogging thing, really. If anyone has any tips, I’m open to learning!

__..::2* What was your proudest moment and why?
Graduation day at university. I have never worked so hard or suffered so much for anything in my life. It was an incredibly tough course (Music and Drama and Theatre Studies) and I learned so much about the world, people and myself.
__..::3* What is the naughtiest thing that you have ever done?

I picked up all the business cards for a rival soprano, put them in my handbag and replaced them with my own. I feel so guilty to this day. I think I’ll put them somewhere else because I can’t live with the guilt.

__..::4* Who or what populates your nightmares?
Men with knives coming to stab me. My mother.
__..::5* Do you have “me time”. If so what do you do and why?
I love meeting up with my friends in Cork and Tweeting/Facebook. I find the internet so relaxing. It’s better than a bath. I also enjoy tidying….
The whole social thing is good for me. I like socialising and meeting with people and the internet opens up the possibilities of who I might meet. 🙂 It’s very useful for keeping in touch with my friends in other countries, which I do every day. I prefer real life contact though, and that’s why it’s important to me to see my close proximity friends regularly.
__..::6* The one food or ingredient that you fret about running out and why?
Dark chocolate. Things can never go completely wrong when there’s good quality dark chocolate in the store cupboard.
__..::7* The best book that you have read in the last five years and why?
OH MY GOD, HARDEST QUESTION EVER!!!!  I’m going to say ‘His Dark Materials’ which is a trilogy by Philip Pullman. It sucks you right it to its world and almost makes you into a character.
From my LiveJournal:
Jan. 5th, 2005 at 1:16 AM

“I’ve been reading Northern Lights and thinking about daemons. When I’m reading it/thinking about it I’m like “Wow, thank God no one will ever separate me from my daemon.” It’s actually surreal to think that I don’t have one. I feel like I do.”

__..::8* If you could erase a person/experience/mistake from your life who/what would it be and why?
No, never. Nothing. I don’t think I’d erase anyone or anything. I’ve learned from everything.
1. What inspires you to blog?
2. What’s the best thing about blogging, for you?
3. What is your favourite book of all time?
4. It’s 9pm and for some reason you’ve been hungry all day, despite the three square meals. What do you rustle up?
5. Who are three of your style icons?
6. What’s your current favourite song/piece of music?
7. What’s the last book you read?
8. What is your current favourite recipe?
aaand I fail because I need more blogs! I INVITE YOU  TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS! 😀 



The house has been closing in on me for quite a while now. I finally snapped and as a result, we are about to make some big changes. The kitchen is being expanded to include the dining room and the living room and kitchen are being re-floored.


In preparation for the improvements I’ve decided to either donate or sell many of my books. This is really difficult! I keep thinking “Ohhhh, but, maybe I’ll read it again!” or “What if I need it?!” etc. It’s so hard. I’m a freak about books too. No one may crease the pages, bookmarks must always be used. They must be kept away from moisture and food. (The exception to this rule are all of the Harry Potters which are frequently read in the bath…)

This morning I was practically just closing my eyes and stacking the books while trying not to look at them too clearly. It’s distressing. Hopefully posting little pictures of them will make me feel better. Like proof they existed. 😦

If you see anything you like, leave me a comment or a message on facebook. I’ll be adding to the list as books go out. The first consignment is going to the second hand bookshop tomorrow!

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.SOLD!

Looking for Alaska by John Green SOLD!

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris SOLD!

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green SOLD!

Things I Wish My Mother Had Taught Me by Lucia Van Der Post

Beauty Basics for Teens by Dianne York-Goldman

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket

Wicked by Gregory McGuire

  Tolkien’s Gown and Other Stories of Great Authors and Rare Books by Rick Gekoski


Life Strategies for Teens. (I never read this. And I have literally JUST realised who wrote it…) SOLD!

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne SOLD!

Girls in Love three-in-one by Jacqueline Wilson SOLD!

Girls in Tears by Jacqueline Wilson SOLD!