Thursday, 25 August 2011

So long, South Carolina!

Life is not a constant; it ebbs and flows, twists and turns. Ribboning from one stage to the next, ever changing.

It is made up of many separate passages of time: childhood, adolescence, college years, marriage, parenthood, old age, all punctuated by sections of activity and adventure: holidays, careers, friendship.

The current section of our life entitled 'America' has now drawn to a close; the page has turned, a new chapter has been created: 'Home Again'. As yet, we do not know what will be written on the pages of this new passage yet it is this opaqueness to life, the inability to see our futures, that makes it so exciting, makes every day worth waking up to.

However, our pasts are, as always, very present and although our time here in South Carolina has now ended, we will remember it always as a happy period in our lives and have incredible memories to think back on as time rumbles by.

Here are a few things that I shall miss most about living in Greenville, SC:

sunshine and big, blue skies
the warmth on your skin well into November
constant friendliness
supreme street cleanliness
city pride
walking down the street and passing the time of day with strangers
Oprah in the afternoon
driving on the straight, open roads to North Carolina
Five Guys burgers
Chick-fil-A milkshakes
Whole Foods & The Fresh Market
Downtown restaurants
Falls Park and Cleveland Park in ALL seasons
looking out of my windows into the tranquil woodland all around
deers grazing in the garden at dawn and dusk
azaleas and orange day lilies in full bloom 
great steaks and home-cooked appetisers
grilling with friends at the weekend

During our years in SC, we met some incredible people, all of whom, without exception, welcomed us with open arms and treated us as old friends. There are too many special people to mention, plus, you all know who you are!

I hope we will be back one day soon to visit and I know that the area will have both moved forward and stayed the same, just as it should be. As the birthplace of our daughter, I will always keep the city very close to me and I have a Palmetto-shaped hole growing daily in my heart.

Stay 'Southern' Greenville! It is what makes you great and gives you your uniqueness. 

I miss you already.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Until December Mr Bob

So, today I said a temporary goodbye to my beloved dog, Bob, who has to stay at our friend's house here in the US while he waits out his rabies quarantine. He will be flying back to us towards the end of the year.

In honour of the fluffy monster, here are a few of his favourite things and some qualities I will miss the most while we are apart:

Mr Bob likes to run round and round in fields chasing birds and squirrels

He likes to chew bones and baby toys but has never once chewed our furniture

Bob likes to sleep on the bed, but only when there's just one person in it, two people in and he's not a happy bunny

Bob loves leftovers and will wait until he is absolutely sure there are none left for him before he goes to eat his own dinner

He loves a good stroke right deep down under his ears and on his belly. Actually, anywhere's a good spot for Bobble.

He loves a good daytime nap and will alternate between the comfy, warm sofa and the cool floor, especially during the hot summer.

Mr Bob deeply enjoys a walk. It doesn't need to be far or exciting. 

He is crazy and attention seeking, but is also gentle and patient (especially with babies and children)

Bob craves a proper Master in his life and will become your devoted dog-servant if you are.

Bobble loves to chase flies but as yet has failed to catch one in flight.

He loves to ride in the car and will race to jump in the seat beside you.

Bob is good at the vets and is adored by all the nurses there, of course!

Mr Bob will eat almost anything except cucumber. Bananas? He has to be 'in the mood'

Bring him a treat or bone home and he will LOVE you forever

Don't leave doors open in the daytime where it may be possible for him to steal towels or clothes as he will hump them mercilessly all day long.

Mr Bob is my baby, my first-born boy and I will be counting down the days until he is back with us. I know he will be in excellent hands and trust his guardian completely. I know he will have a great time and will grow up and become more independent without me molly-coddling him every day.

But oh!, how my heart is broken. I miss his oatmeal smell, his soft, shaggy blond curls, his yellow-green eyes and inch-long ginger eyelashes. I miss the way he snuggles in for a cuddle and bows his head down in deference to the stroking. I miss the beautiful way he walks, with his bum wiggling behind. I miss his plain gorgeous little Bobble face, framed in a halo of fur like a lion. I miss his long, swaying tail and his little brown paw pads. I miss his brown, wet nose and pink lips.

Bobble and I have been partners since almost the day we arrived in Greenville and without him to walk and play with everyday, my experience here would have been very different. Thanks for the memories! I cannot wait to see you at the airport in December.

Be a good boy x x x 

Thursday, 21 July 2011

A Year, In a Day

This time last year I still hadn't met you, you were just an abstract being in my belly, flailing around and causing me to drop to all fours in agony on the pavement at will as you pushed your head down deep inside...

This time last year I was still Pregnant Clare, I hadn't yet passed over to the Promised Land, the place beyond 40 weeks...motherhood...

This time last year I hadn't laid eyes on your beautiful (large, 9lbs!!!) head, your perfect body, fully functional, complete with fingernails and everything...

This time exactly last year I was strapped up to IV lines and foetal monitors; I slept my last sleep with you on the inside in the hospital bed and waited patiently, watching the hours tick by slowly as the anticipation and excitement built steadily within.

Tomorrow is your First Birthday, already! We have cake and a candle, even a special birthday girl party hat. It's all for us really as you don't understand the significance, it's just another day for you.

When you popped into my life last year you were not what I expected. I never dared to believe there was a real baby in there so when I saw you, you blew my mind and covered me in a fog of disbelief which numbed me. In the first few weeks following, the fog began to clear and I saw you properly for the first time. You, our child, our incredible achievement, borne from me, of us. I saw my past, present and future in you, stretching out well beyond my life on this Earth. 

You complete me in every way. You teach me about myself daily. You are merely 12 months old but already so bright and funny, intelligent and caring.

Where the next 12 months take us, I do not know. I don't dare to dream about the person you will be by then. There surely won't be room in my heart for all the love and admiration...

Happy Birthday to my pigeon pie. You are, without doubt, the BEST! 

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Listography: Top 5 Ice Creams

My Mum doesn't like ice-cream, I think it's the coldness (which kind of rules it out) so she won't appreciate this Listography.

I, on the other hand, have a voracious sweet tooth and adore ice-cream, especially if it has a) chocolate and b) caramel in it. 

Writing this list takes me right back to my childhood and trooping off to the local shop with my friends and cousins to buy ice-creams on that one, magnificent summer's day in the school holidays. 

1) Zzapp!

An enigma in the ice-cream world, I never found these in shops where I lived. Maybe this added to the deliciousness of them, but they only turned up on specific ice-cream vans.

The psychedelic ice-cream colours and the unique flavour which I never really pinned down: toffee? caramel? all add up to my top favourite lolly.

2) Bounty

Bounty runs a close second to a Zzapp and is a relative newcomer to the world of ice creams. The combination of creamy coconut and rich dark chocolate sends me to a higher plane.

3) Snickers


From the same family as Bounty, I love the way all the different elements blend together and you end up with a big, sticky, chocolately mess by the end. 

4) Solero

Perfect on a really hot day when a chocolate lolly wouldn't suffice. The sharp fruity outer layer would dissolve away to leave the luscious ice cream middle!

5) Nobbly Bobbly

This is the husband's contribution to the list, running closely alongside cider lollies (yuk!)

For more trips down ice-cream nostalgia lane, visit Kate Takes 5 and her fab Listography.


Monday, 4 July 2011

Frock It! #10 What To Wear To a Wedding

This week, my head nearly fell off with so many high profile social events going on around the world; I could hardly bear to tear myself away from the computer! Starting from the bottom up, you had footballer Peter Crouch and his model/TV Presenter/WAG Abbey Clancey's wedding, then Kate Moss showing us you can be a bride and still achieve the 'dragged through a hedge backwards' look at her 'Rock n' Roll' nuptials on Friday.

Over the weekend, there was the climax of the Wimbledon championships and finally the Eurotrash wedding of the century of Price Philanderer Albert II of Monaco and his South African swimmer bride Princess Charlene. 

With rumours swirling of the bride trying to flee on no less than 3 separate occasions and new love children running amok, it shows Charlene really does have nerves of steel to go ahead with what soon became the greatest anti-climactic wedding EVER. I have seen more chemistry between a dead dog and a plank of wood than between these two 'lovebirds'. Only time will tell the future of the Grimaldi house...personally, I don't see a happy ending, but hey ho, she certainly looked the part, quite exquisite. 

For my Frock It! post this week, I have chosen to stick to the Monegasque wedding and focus on the happy couple's niece Charlotte Casiraghi.  

I feel like I do a lot of bitchy Frock Its, which is fun, but today I'm playing it straight as I thought Charlotte looked simply sublime.

With her Aunt, Princess Stephanie. Anyone for Botox?
 Obviously she wore Chanel; it is the go-to designer for the Grimaldis. From the label's Spring 2011 couture collection, she looked absolutely the epitome of style and not unlike a pink, padded handbag from the eponymous designer, non?!

With boyfriend, Alex Dellal
Proving elegance and grace runs through her blue-blooded veins, she tops off the outfit with a simple black veiled headpiece which cast subtle shadow across her magnificent cheekbones.

Tres belle, Mademoiselle.

Happy Fourth of July

I hope all my American friends are having a fantabulous Fourth of July weekend.

I was inspired to make this flag cake after seeing it on A Cup of Jo. So, the photos aren't great, but the effect is pretty good and it tastes deeeelicious (trust me, I've had a lot of it).


....and after, da daaaah!

We grilled out with our neighbours and the babies enjoyed a splash around in the paddling pool.

Couldn't you just gobble up those chunky little legs!

 A great start to what I hope will be a lovely week (it's nearly birthday time!!)...

Top up the vino please JP!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Frock It! #9

For this week's Frock It!, I am taking the lead of Mid30sLife and am showing one of my favourite baby outfits.

I was going to wax lyrical about Duchess K of Mid's style overhaul and the two sublime outfits she chose to wear publicly this week; her military-style coat and the ballgirl chic white Temperley dress at SW19 but, it's all too predictable now. She's clearly not going to put a LK Bennett foot wrong anymore, which is good, but it just means endless fawning and that's a bit, well, boring.

Maybe I will digest her Canadian and US outfits over the coming few weeks and do a fully comprehensive one-stop shop Duchess Tour of Duty special where I can hyperbolate and fawn to my heart's content...

So, back to this week and I have chosen a little dress that's a bit different from what you would pick up at your local Mothercare.

My Dad bought this outfit as part of Imogen's Christmas present and it came all the way from 78 Degrees North ie, the Arctic Circle. 

Back last year, my Dad undertook a sailing expedition to the North Pole via Norway (I think) mainly to explore and to view Polar Bears in their natural habitat. He found this great little shop that designs and makes childrenswear.

I adore it's uniqueness and it's Scandinavian simplicity. Imogen has only worn it once as I have no idea how to wash it and am petrified of ruining it, so it hangs up dutifully in the wardrobe and will be a keepsake for her future. Also, I couldn't be arsed had no opportunity to put it on her to take a photo, so, sorry about that, but she does look very cute (obviously). 

Completely unrelated photo!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Mummy in Meltdown

Today I did something about which I am completely ashamed and guilt-ridden.

This morning, Imogen would not go down for her morning nap. This is not that unusual, more times than not there will be a little battle, but she sleeps eventually. Today was different. 

Earlier this week, she had suddenly decided to start rolling over in bed onto her front. Now, I know most babies do this and it's fine, but she's always been a very still sleeper; lay her down on her back and she'll be in the same spot when she wakes up. But now, out of nowhere, she's decided to do cot gymnastics before the morning nap. It would be OK if she rolled over and slept but she cries, so I have to go in and turn her back over, then she rolls back, cries, I turn her back ad nauseum......

All this to-ing and fro-ing inevitably winds her up into a frenzy and to a point where she struggles to sleep. Today was a bad episode.

James had taken the dog for a walk and I decided to try and lay her down again with the house being quieter. It started off well, I thought she'd drifted off and I headed to the shower, but then the whining started again and gradually got louder and louder until it became a screaming cry.

For some reason, today these screams really got to me, really pissed me off and I lost my patience. I stomped into her room, pulled her out of bed, sat her down and shouted at her, calling her stupid and silly (two things she most certainly is not) and she just sat there screaming even louder, sobbing her heart out in confusion and distress. I don't know where all my pent-up frustration had come from and why I had to vent it on her. Then I did what I knew I had to do, I put her in a safe place and went to another room to calm down. 

I remember being told/reading this advice not long after I had her and it's obviously to avoid the unthinkable - shaking your baby with anger.** It's good advice. It took me less than a minute to find clarity and to regain my composure. I immediately realised that my behaviour was unacceptable, childish and irresponsible. I realised that I am my precious daughter's only mother, that I am her anchor in this crazy world, I ground her and my unconditional love makes her feel safe and secure. I do not EVER want her to feel unloved by me and insecure of my affection.

So, I scooped her up, both of us now sobbing, and we had big cuddles. I put my hand on my heart and made a solemn promise to her that this would never happen again. It won't. I know it. 

Losing my self-control, if only for a second, was scary and sobering. This is not the person I am and definitely not the mother I want to be.

In the end, James had the strength of nerve to outlast her defiant cries and she slept. We then went on to have a wonderful day out to Asheville, NC :-)

** By writing about this advice, I am not implying that I, personally, was close to shaking her; I was not and never would do.  It's just a good method for calming down and finding five minutes alone to see the wood from the trees! Also good for when dogs DON'T STOP BARKING!!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Frock It! #8

Slim pickings for this week's Frock It!; I couldn't find many outfits that stood out, at least on my radar.

So I have also plumped for a sporting event. This Mid 30s Life went for Royal Ascot and I agree there were some eye-catching dresses there, but (apart from the stilton hat) nothing really stood out as being different from any other year. 

After scouring the web for like, minutes, I found this gem of a sporty Frock It!, cue the rant:

I really, really dislike this get-up. Not just for the obvious reason that it's hideous, but that it is once again, completely inappropriate for Wimbledon. 

The All England Club is the epitome of Englishness, the historic and revered home of British tennis. It is not the place for plunging playsuits and shiny gold underwear. For goodness sake, sometimes The Queen is there...

Some of you may think I'm being prudish. Maybe I am, but I wish we could go back to women wearing more demure sporting attire at Wimbledon. They needn't be wearing skirts (I'm not that old-fashioned), shorts would be fine, just not something you would find on Venice Beach. 

It's not just Venus who is guilty as charged, many other players in recent years seem to have forgotten the occasion and dress with disrespect. With regards to Venus' outfit, how can you even play good tennis with those batwings flapping around???? Crazy! 


Monday, 20 June 2011

Happy Father's Day: 5 Facts About My Dad

Here is my belated Father's Day post. I intended to write it over the weekend but time skedaddled away from me as did most of Monday. It won't do any harm being late, I'm sure my Dad will enjoy it anyway.

Five Facts You May Not Know About My Dad

1. He has an insatiable wanderlust and the more diverse the country, the better. Some places he has recently travelled (alone) to: Colombia, Greenland and Iran.

2. Linked to the international travel is a passion for sailing. His sailing trip to Greenland was most recent but by far his favourite waters to sail are Scottish including trips through the Hebrides and all the way out to St. Kilda and the Faroe Islands near Denmark.

NW, Mr Croft!

3. Dad is an incredible intellectual, an avid reader and a crossword wizard. He was recently invited to an event where he was able to meet many of the crossword setters he knows so well from the papers; a really special day for him. Dad is so good at crosswords he even submits cryptic crossword clues that are sometimes printed!

4. Born and bred in Stoke-on-Trent, Dad's second home could be said to be Ireland, where he has a bolthole cottage in Donegal and where he spends much of his time following the Irish horse racing. He has shares in a few racehorses and will travel extensively to watch them run. His wins and losses are a closely guarded secret; we only get to hear about the cracking wins!

5. Dad runs two very successful pubs in his hometown, The Old Brown Jug and The Albion but he doesn't drink a drop of alcohol himself...

With his Grand-dog, Sir Bobby Dogg

3 Generations of Woolliscrofts in Downtown Greenville, March 2010

Dad may not always agree with whatever my brother or I do in life, but he always supports us in the end. He is funny and generous, clever and sensitive. We've had some ups and downs in the past but today we find ourselves on an even keel and I can say I am proud of who he has become and am proud he is my Dad and I love him very much. I hope he can continue living the life he has had for the past few years and is able to spend more time doting on his precious granddaughter!

Listography - 5 Inventions I Wish Were Real

This week's Listography is all about things you wish had been invented that would make your life easier.

As Kate says, this is the kind of list where, once you start thinking of things, you can't stop. I had a plethora of ideas spilling out of my brain but then I realised most of them had actually been invented already, it's just I didn't have/couldn't afford them in my life. I had thought of so many 'already invented' ideas, I thought I would have to branch off and create my own Listography: 5 Inventions I Wish Were Real But Then Realised Actually Are, Stupid Girl. For example, I thought how lovely it would be to have an automatic cup of tea made for me, then duh, cue the teasmaid or grass that never needs cutting: astroturf....

However, I re-focused my addled brain and came up with the following:

1. Wash-free hair

Washing & drying my hair is my most hated personal grooming chore. I quite literally despise it, even more so now I have zero time to do it. If someone could just invent something that meant I could wake up every morning with clean, sleek, blow-dried hair in a perpetual state of follicle perfection my life would be complete.

Oh, how I covet K-Mid's glossy tresses!

It did occur to me that there is a remedy to this problem: a full time hair stylist. But, alas, I am not Kate Middleton and currently cannot justify adding a personal hairdresser to my entourage for any forthcoming international tours of duty.

2. Time Machine

In an attempt to 'eventuate' time travel (thanks to Sydney Shop Girl for the word!) I have doubled up on the suggestion from many other lists. I would use my time machine to fast-forward a few hours in the afternoons. As much as I adore the precious witching hour bonding time between my daughter and I, I think we could both get on quite well without it. So from say 2pm, I would like to move time on to that most wonderful of moments when I lay her down in her cot for the night. 

To the Delorean, McFly!

3. Sun/weather adjuster

Why does there never seem to be a completely perfect day of weather? All across the world, it's too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, you would have thought that after all these years, the sun could've sorted itself out and found an equilibrium?
This is where the temperature adjuster comes in! Too hot? Just turn the sun down a notch! Perfecto.

4. Automatic tooth brusher

No, I'm not talking about an electric toothbrush, I have one of those. But something to take away another of my most hated tasks, brushing my teeth. Is it just me or do other people find it dead time? It's so boring, you can't do anything else but stand there and wait for all the teeth to be covered.Uggh. And no, mints are cheating, they don't count. 

5. Teleportation

Another popular choice on other peoples' lists; I have a phobia of flying but I love to be on holiday. If only I could cut out the aviation middleman...

To see other (better) lists, look here.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Apocalypse, Now!

So, this morning I had my first shower in nearly two days.

I know, I know, grim, grim, grim.

Normally, my morning shower is sacrosanct, along with my second cup of tea. As soon as the baby goes down for her morning nap, I hop in, hop out, get dressed and put some make-up on. Then I am ready to face ANYTHING the world brings.

Yesterday, I forwent my shower as I planned on walking the dog for a long time downtown to try and drag some of his never-ending energy out of him and give me some afternoon peace. I thought, there's no point showering only to get all sweaty again, I'll have a shower later.

A busy day followed and the shower was pushed back & back, so I planned a long soak after I'd put the baby to bed.

Well, Mother Nature had different ideas.

At about 6.30pm, all was settling down Chez Priest. James was back from work and was fiddling around in the garage, I was clearing up and preparing dinner when the sky suddenly turned purple in the East and the storm arrived.

Now, this was no Joplin tornado, mercifully, but it was pretty hardcore. As soon as the wind started whipping around the trees, the hail came. This was no small-fry hail, some of the chunks of ice that fell to the ground were about half a cup in size. 

Fork lightening and thunder rumbled all around, tree limbs came crashing down and the hail continued to pummel our house and the car which was parked outside.

Take cover!

The storm didn't last long, but it's aftereffects have caused us considerable grief. First there's the car, barely 6 months old, that now looks like the inside of a steel drum, pock marks cover the roof and all down one side. And the siding on the house also barely 6 months old, looks like someone took a machine gun to it, all chipped and shattered.

Cue a day of insurance companies and deductibles. 

Luckily no-one was hurt, although some houses up the road had smashed windows and the roads are covered in tree debris. It made me wonder how on Earth tornado victims cope with the devastation wreaked by these terrifying twisters.

Today was definitely a 4 Lindt choc truffle day.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A Brief Look Back at Peapod

So, I was fiddling around with my blog yesterday, changing settings, making minor improvements (I hope!) when I noticed that I had written 55 posts!

I don't know when or how this happened, it sounds like such a lot!

I know it's only a drop in the ocean compared to many other bloggers; I'm sure there are writers out there who post 55 times a month let alone in 18 months.

I had no idea what I had written 55 posts about, so it was fun to have a quick read back and it was interesting to see how the blog has evolved. Although I began writing back in October 2009, it hasn't been until this past 6 months that I feel I have found my stride or my 'voice'. My followers seem to increase slowly every week which thrills me more than anything and yet bemuses me that anyone would bother to read my nonsense! 

The blog's name has changed a few times since the start, but I feel I have settled on a title that I am happy with and which encapsulates the theme of the blog without being too narrow. I don't see myself as a specific type of blogger and although many of my posts are baby related, I don't feel like a pure Mommy Blogger; I like to write about a variety of topics and I felt that 'Peapod' is a loose enough name to allow me to do that.

So, with all that in mind, I thought I would pull up a few of my favourite older posts that maybe people haven't read before. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did writing them...

The Birth of a Mother

Mr Bob gets his own post

Being thankful

Mr P, the leader of the Pod

A babbling blog on Mamas

Frock It! Down Memory Lane

Here's to the next 55! Thanks for reading...

Oh, and by the way, my first ever rosebush bloomed yesterday. So proud as I absolutely do not have greenfingers!

Beautiful, right?


Monday, 13 June 2011

Listography: Top 5 Places To Visit

When I first read this week's Listography topic, I thought it would be a breeze: 'Top Five Places I'd Like To Visit'.

Easy peasy, I can rattle this off in a nanosecond, but when I actually started to try and commit to just five places, it suddenly became quite tricky.

I still don't know if I'm 100% satisfied with my chosen five as there are about a million places I'd like to go, but here goes:

   1. New York, New York!

When we moved to the US back in 2009, top of our list of 'Things To Do' was to visit NYC. It's somewhere neither of us have ever been to and with us being just a 90 minute plane hop away down here in South Carolina, I felt sure we would be able to scratch the Big Apple itch fairly quickly. But then almost as soon as we landed here I found out I was pregnant and then along came a puppy...the rest is history and we have hardly been outside of the state since we arrived! Not that that's a bad thing, SC is wonderful.

Obviously, the opportunity is always there for us to go, it's just a lot harder with a baby and a dog to think about. One day though, one day I will catch a glimpse of Lady Liberty and eat a burger at a Shake Shack.

   2. Denmark

My mum recently came back from a short break in Copenhagen and I was green with envy that she had been. I don't know what it is about the place, but it's on my list. Apparently, it is as lovely as I imagine with great food, architecture and friendly locals. Sightseeing spots would be the Tivoli Gardens, the Little Mermaid and the Royal Palaces, swooooon!

This is no Disney Little Mermaid!

   3. Australia

Understandably, Down Under has appeared on quite a few other 'bucket lists' this week. In reality, I don't think I will ever make it to Oz due to a phobia of flying, but I still harbour a desire to go there, just once, to say I've done it. Top of my Aussie must-sees would be Sydney, Melbourne and of course, Uluru.


I recently watched Oprah's Australian Adventure and it only served to whet my appetite for the place even more. I've just got to get there.....

   4. Singapore

It's always Cocktail Hour at Raffles

Singapore goes hand in hand with Number 3; ideally, I would travel to Australia via a stop-off in Singapore. To sit in the Raffles Hotel drinking a gin sling, would, for me, be heaven. 

   5. Italy

Somewhere in Tuscany, European perfection

Again, I've seen Italy on quite a few other peoples' lists and I'm surprised. Why is it that people go to France and Spain, but less so Italy. I've been on holiday to Europe countless times, but sadly, never to Italia. I know I would love it, I have no doubt. The magnificent history, the food (oh, the food!), wine and rustic countryside. I don't know why Italy is #5 on my list, in actual fact, I think this is my top holiday destination!

As an aside, I asked my husband's opinion on his Top 5; he stayed pretty close to mine with the exception of Thailand. Now, I would LOVE to go to Vietnam and Cambodia, but Thailand leaves me cold. Maybe I would be pleasantly surprised...?

Bon voyage!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Frock It! #7 - Wedding guest etiquette

For this week's Frock It!, it's off to the quaint, leafy village of Cranham in the Cotswolds and the quintessentially English wedding of singer and fashion designer Lily Allen.

The bride looked radiant in a 1920's inspired Karl Lagerfeld design complete with metres of lace which barely concealed her growing baby tummy and an unusual veil headdress secured with flowers over each ear (sounds hideous, actually suits her).

The remainder of the wedding party looked borderline presentable and the sun was shining; everything was adding up to a beautiful occasion when...da da daaaaaa....

along comes this frocky horror:

What would the vicar say?!

WTF is going on with those boobies?!

You can usually count on someone in your family to upset the apple cart in some way on your wedding day. Usually it is a drunken uncle leching over the bridesmaids, but for Lily, unfortunately, it was her half-sister, Sarah.

This dress would be appropriate in the following places:
  1. A fancy party in a bar or club in London, esp. one swarming with paparazzi
  2. A peep show in Amsterdam
  3. A street corner in any town, anywhere
A place this dress is not appropriate:
  1. The church wedding of your sister, or in fact, anyone!

Too short, too booby, the pattern is beautiful and it could have been a winner if it wasn't for the Lolo Ferrari cleavage on show.

Hang your head in shame Ms Owen for committing the cardinal sin of upstaging the bride (and for all the wrong reasons). Consider yourself slapped in the face by the wedding etiquette fairy.