Friday, 29 April 2011

A Tale of Two Wedding Dresses

Royal weddings full of pomp and splendour are all very well for the royal family; it is what is expected of them and presumably they can afford it, but should the rest of us aspire to anything like these weddings?  Is a wedding about the bride being a princess for a day, or is that a myth that helps to sell expensive wedding dresses and the accompanying paraphernalia?

A wedding is an important day, but it is the start of something even more important, which is married life.  Married life will have a better start if the married couple are not in debt and a simple wedding with less to worry about will be more enjoyable than one where the bride and her mother, and quite possibly everyone else, are worn to a frazzle worrying that every last extravagant detail is perfect.

To my mind planning a wedding you will both enjoy but that is realistic and affordable is the best recipe for a happy wedding day and quite possibly for the start to a good marriage, too.  My husband and I had a church wedding and then had our reception in the village hall.  We didn't have too many guests, either, as it was too far for half my family to come and several of hubby's cousins couldn't make it.  Yet we both remember it as a happy occasion.

My mum made my dress, too, and I was very happy with it and even now I wouldn't have changed it.  I may not have been a princess, but I was happy being me and felt special enough.

Is it Time to Redefine our Royal Family?

My feelings towards the newly wed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are somewhat ambivalent.  I wish them well as I would any other young couple setting out on the great adventure of married life.  However, there were aspects of the ceremony I was uncomfortable with, such as the military uniforms worn by the groom and others.  Do these have any place in a church, where we are supposed to be worshipping the Prince of Peace?

Why was it necessary to have bombers, machines of death, flying over the happy couple as they stood on the balcony? Is this how the royal family define themselves, as members of the military, aka killers, albeit in the defence of the realm?

Isn't it time we moved forward as a nation, away from glorifying war, just or otherwise?  Surely all war is destructive and should be avoided wherever possible.  I think in the 21st century an enlightened royal family should redefine itself as peacemakers and bridge builders, not as supporters of death and destruction, even if only in name.

The bombers flying over the bride reminded me of this song by Sydney Carter.


Crow on the Cradle by Sidney Carter

The sheep`s in the meadow
The cow`s in the corn
Now is the time for a child to be born
He`ll laugh at the moon
And cry for the sun
And if it`s a boy he`ll carry a gun
Sang the crow on the cradle

And if it should be that this baby`s a girl
Never you mind if her hair doesn`t curl
With rings on her fingers
And bells on her toes
And a bomber above her wherever she goes
Sang the crow on the cradle

The crow on the cradle
The black and the white
Somebody`s baby is born for a fight
The crow on the cradle
The white and the black
Somebody`s baby is not coming back
Sang the crow on the cradle

Your mother and father will sweat and they`ll slave
To build you a coffin and dig you a grave
Hush-a-bye little one, never you weep
For we`ve got a toy that can put you to sleep
Sang the crow on the cradle

Bring me my gun, and I`ll shoot that bird dead
That`s what your mother and father once said
The crow on the cradle, what can we do
Ah, this is a thing that I`ll leave up to you
Sang the crow on the cradle
Sang the crow on the cradle

Thursday, 14 April 2011


Lake Geneva

I've just had a lovely few days away visiting my husband in Lausanne, which is on Lake Geneva, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.  We were surrounded by some lovely scenery and the weather was wonderfully warm and summer-like.

The old town of Gruyeres

There were some wonderful market stalls selling all manner of edible leaves and toadstools as well as more normal produce.

Vegetable stall selling dandelion and wild garlic leaves as well as normal salads leaves and other vegetables.

Stall selling a wide variety of edible funghi

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Save Another Mother's Life on Mothers' Day

As Mothers' Day approaches Save the Children are campaigning for more mid-wives and health workers in poor countries.

Apparently the UK government has promised to make sure babies are born safely and to save the lives of 50,000 mums and 250,000 babies by 2015 as part of Every Woman, Every Child, the global maternal and child health strategy,

1,000 women and 2,000 babies die every day in the world’s poorest countries from birth complications which could be easily prevented because the women give birth alone, or without a midwife.

Midwives save lives but there aren't enough.

Around the world, many more children's lives could be saved if there were more midwives, doctors and nurses to treat simple diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea, and help these children grow up healthy and well.

Read more here

As part of their No Child Born To Die campaign Save the Children are calling for world leaders to help recruit and train 3.5 million vital midwives and healthworkers and they are asking each of us to call on International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell to support the campaign to ensure that no woman gives birth alone.

All you have to do is go here,  fill in your details and press send.