I… need to get those photos to move further down the page, seriously. Also I just updated WordPress and crossed my fingers and my eyes and tried to save off everything I might need to rebuild; it looks OK to me from here but if something looks screwy, please be sure to tell me and I will… well, I’ll be sad about it. I don’t think there’s all that much I can DO about it, but rest assured I will wish that I could.

My main problem with the dress you see below is not, in fact, the starfish (or the brittlefish if I’m being correct, I guess); it’s the way the ruching has been tacked down. On your four-figure wedding dresses, this stitching is done underneath the folds so it can’t be seen, and it looks as if a large amount of material has just naturally draped itself around you in the manner of a Greek oracle. I can, technically, remove this and restitch it, but a) I shouldn’t have to, and b) I don’t know if the satin material will hold the sewing marks & puckering, as I suspect it would (although I haven’t tried it and I haven’t asked a dressmaker). Nobody else has picked up on this stitching but me, but I find it GLARINGLY AWFUL and so it’s better I don’t have to defensively cross my arms all day, or request a horizontal bouquet I can hug against myself. Anyway, it’s v. nice apart from that so I don’t see a problem in selling it. Any takers? Beach Barbie, perhaps?

Car update: MY CAR IS BACK YAYYYYY. That’s eleven weeks. I am a SAINT. I drove it home on Friday afternoon, Mr. T washed it and on Saturday morning we drove it to trade it in. New car will be mine next Wednesday; with the slight problem that the registration on my car expires on Saturday, leaving me three days in which I must… catch the train. How I’ve missed my fellow train commuters. How happy I shall be to see them all again. How flat and lifeless I sound. Anyway, I have really liked my car (paid off! No trouble! Fill with diesel once a month!) but clearly I have moved into the expensive Old Age Upkeep part of its life and I am harshly fobbing its problems onto someone else. Good luck, little car! May your transfer case never (again) fail!

Cat update: He went to the vet for his vaccinations (well, we took him, he didn’t go on his OWN) and came away with a diagnosis of ear mites. The vet looked dubious when we told him large flakes of grossness were flying out of his ears when he shook his head (the cat’s head, not the vet’s), yet obediently looked down his ears only to find MITE CITY, or perhaps METROPOLIS. So we have a tiny bottle of yellow oily stuff which must be squirted into the cat’s ears and then you rub firmly under the ear to squidge it all in; it sounds revolting, and it can’t be any better hearing it from the inside, as the cat is doing. Anyway, it’s called canaural compositum, leading to us waving the little bottle over our head like a wand and intoning “CANAURAL COMPOSITUM!” towards the cat, in manner of Harry Potter. For the record, the yellow oil does not fire out of the bottle and directly into the cat’s ears; we still have to hold him down and drip it in there. This would explain our lack of back-to-school letters from Hogwart’s, I guess.

i just give and give to you people

[Ed Note: I remembered I wanted to take photos right on dusk, and ran out to my back yard with a giant wedding dress and a camera. You’re WELCOME.]

Why, I just happened to be walking past your clothesline here and I noticed this charming wedding dress taking the air most modestly. That is a lovely ivory colour, and a very flattering cut if I may be so bold. And is that a demure sparkling jewel at the bodice?

Let me come a little closer, the better to admire your decolletAAAAAH! AHHH. Ah. Pray excuse me. I was… startled. Is that… please permit me to examine…

A new species! The  are not usually so LARGE and full of ARMS, you know. Why, one would think it was aiming to take over the world, beginning right here by devouring your chest.

live in a cold climate

You know it’s a bad sign when you have to read your own blog to figure out what you’re up to. Answer: you’re totally up to date. Nothing more has happened. OK, maybe a little bit has happened. Shall we do bullet points? Answer: Yes.

Mr T has bought some bathroom scales, which is an item we have never owned. He set them up and levelled all the complicated electrickery parts (of COURSE they’re the complicated kind of scales) and then weighed himself. I then weighed myself out of interest and was horrified. HORRIFIED. Now, I haven’t weighed myself for a good couple of years but I am quietly confident that my weight doesn’t change much. I like to think I weigh X, I actually weigh X + 3kg, and yet these scales were telling me that I weighed X + 8kg. The scales are WRONG. Clearly. Can’t be right. Can’t. I shifted my weight to see if that would help, and nearly tipped the cat off my shoulders where he was… ah. Right. That’s five extra kilos of STUPIDITY, right there. Ahem. After releasing the cat (who was quite enjoying himself) it turns out I weigh X + 3kg. As I thought. Actually, these scales can also tell you your fat percentage, a no doubt horrifying number that I have NO WISH to know.

Wedding update: OK, I was lying about the bullet points. It’s paragraphs, all the way!

Days To Go: Actually, I don’t know. Calendar? 23 days. OK then. That seems… close.

People Freaking Out: One, my mum. Maybe more. Although she now has something to wear, which is good.

Bridesmaids with Clothes: One, or 100%. This is good, because I forgot my sister can’t make a decision to save her life, and therefore telling her to wear whatever she wanted was actually a special kind of torture. Anyway, she found an awesome dress in peacock blue silk. Done.

Grooms with Clothes: One, or 100% (200% if you count the best man, who just has to follow along, poor lamb). Clothes had all been decided ages ago, but we couldn’t find any shoes (barefoot would have been fine but bloody cold). Shoes found: Chuck Taylors, which look great. He is considering bright blue ones, but turned down the silver velvet ones (silver velvet! They were so nice to pat). I’ll keep you posted on what actually eventuates.

Wedding Dresses Owned: Three. Yes. Correct. Remember when, a couple of weeks ago, I said there was a long story here? Well clearly it has now gotten even longer, and is in fact so complicated that I can’t remember where in the story I am up to when I talk to people, and just sort of gloss over the whole thing. Short story: decided on dress and couldn’t find anything similar off the rack or as a sample or second-hand. My only option, with my short timeline, was to get it made in China. China sent me the dress, which was a) the wrong colour and b) had a gigantic starfish made of beading on the bodice. I pointed out this out. China flogged the 9-year old seamstress (I may be extrapolating this part) and sent me the dress again, without requiring me to send back the other dress. Received dress number 2, which was the right colour but (due I presume to being made within a week by a flogged seamstress) had one shoulder strap half a cm larger than the other and because this colour fabric was somehow thinner, the boning was visible through the dress. Well, I felt it was, even though my Objective Opinion Person thought I was mad and that the dress looked great. It just wasn’t as awesome as I’d hoped. But the dress is flattering and fixable and I was prepared to fix it, especially considering I got it made at the standard length and had to get it taken up anyway. Except that on Saturday I just stuck my head into the clearance bridal shop I had been to at the start of my search (and found nothing then) and… of course found a dress. It’s basically the floor sample of the original dress which had just made its way into the store that week: identical designer, identical colour, very similar cut, half price. So of course I bought it and now I have three dresses. And keep in mind this is the SHORT version of this story. Are you exhausted yet? Try being me. So the moral of the story is as I said it was all the time: buying a dress off the internet is a gamble, but it is one that can pay off. If it doesn’t, be prepared to deal with it.

No, Wait, Go Back to the Starfish: I know, it really is the funniest part. On the original picture of the dress, there’s a brooch on the bodice. I didn’t think to mention the brooch to the Chinese people, as I planned to turf any tacky brooch they sent me and source my own brooch. Here is a mistake right here: NEVER ASSUME. Because instead of just pinning a crappy brooch to the dress, they “interpreted” the brooch in beading. A LOT of beading. With ARMS. I was… mildly nonplussed when I zipped open the bag, that’s for sure. I have just gone looking for photos but they are all blurry once I crop myself out of them, so I’ll get right on that.

What, No Photos At All? I’m as surprised as you are.

Car Update: Eleven weeks. ELEVEN WEEKS. I have the patience of a SAINT. They tell me this Saturday. They have told me this EVERY Saturday. I am… not optimistic.

magnum pi (mmm, pi)

I know, right? Let’s just move RIGHT ALONG and pretend I’ve been here the whole time talking to you all … my god I have just been distracted mightily by seeing Miss Panama’s Miss World costume, seen in the first pic here. Now THAT, my friends, is a costume!

And since I’ve been here the whole time, no doubt I told you a friend of mine had a costume party for her 40th. Did I also tell you I have a friend old enough to have a 40th, spinning the rest of us into a spiralling vortex of our own mortality? Anyway, my costume was lame but Mr T’s costume was Scooby Doo and was a sure-fire hit. He didn’t like people grabbing his tail, though. The only downside was that he wouldn’t do a bottleshop run in the Scooby costume – he insisted on stripping down to his shorts and T-shirt he was wearing underneath. Which didn’t look at all weird, on a freezing night of about 2 degrees. Maybe marginally better than the Scooby costume. And then we went to ANOTHER 40th birthday (oh my god how is this happening, I swear it was all 21sts just a couple of years ago), this one a birthday dinner (at which I made the cardinal mistake of not looking up the restaurant and turned up in jeans – albeit jeans with a fancy shirt – and found everyone else in suits & little dresses at one of Melbourne’s fancy CBD restaurants, um, oops) and ended up sitting next to a vet, who turned out to be no ordinary vet, but one of the spinal surgeons who consulted on my Black Dog’s gold-plated spine operation. He was very excited to hear how well he did after the operation, which was nice. He wouldn’t refund any money, though.

I went to Costco on the week of its opening (I made work buy a membership, which happened to be in my name, funny how that happens). (For foreigners: The first Costco in Australia just opened in Melbourne. Also: you all talk funny.) I was really hoping for more American food (Mr. T and I steered our giant trolley through the crowds chanting “Goldfish! Goldfish!” but unfortunately Costco FAILED to import crackers, damn their eyes) but we did OK. I did buy a gigantic bucket of caramel popcorn, complete with pecans glued into the caramel, and that was yum. Mr. T bought jerky and that was eh. We solemnly bought our 48 rolls of toilet paper (I don’t think you’re allowed out without that) as well as a few other bits and pieces, and got out relatively pain free. Having said that, all around us on the other registers people were buying stuff that I never even SAW (gigantic pizzas! Crocs! An orchid plant! A gigantic whole fish!) (SO not joking about any of these items) so clearly we need to go back when the entirety of Melbourne is not standing gape-jawed in the aisles like yokels. We may have hit a few people in the arse with our giant cart as they stood there vacantly staring at jars of coffee (hint: it’s JUST LIKE the coffee you currently buy in Woolworths, but in a BIGGER JAR) and we may not have apologised. You know how it goes.

The wedding planning continues but my mum is now panicking, which is annoying because there is nothing to panic ABOUT. I think she just wants to. There is a gigantic amusing saga with my dress which ends with a seamstress being flogged, but remind me to go into all of that when a) I have more time and b) my dress is safely in my possession. I have bought all sorts of other fun bits & pieces (clutch bag, underwear, hair fascinator thing) so I am still enjoying the whole process. Buying fun things! What’s not to like? I also went and checked on my ring once it was finished last week (but which I’m not picking up until the week before we leave) and I love it. New jewellery! This whole wedding thing is really stimulating the economy.

Oh, also I still have no car. That’s over eight weeks, people. And I have developed a horrible chesty cough thing, no doubt caught from my feral fellow commuters. Curse you all! They are promising my car back any day now, but I am now resigned to the fact that it will NEVER RETURN. I always said I didn’t want a new car and I would just drive this one into the ground; well, turns out I’ve done that. Huh.

The eldest Oyster winked his eye,

  • Reading:
    Wedding forums. Oh yes. There are a LOT of stressed-out girls around, I tell you. About table linens, mostly. And chairs. Who cares about chairs?
  • Listening:
    Hamish and Andy on the radio. I really do think they genuinely crack each other up.
  • Watching:
    Glee, sporadically. I keep forgetting that it’s on.
  • Eating:
    I am in a huge pasta phase. If it’s a noodle, I’ll eat it.
  • Liking:
    My new wedding dress. Yes, number three. It’s a sickness.
  • Pondering:
    Why do all these people insist we need an MC for the wedding? We don’t. I promise you.