First a wedding dress, then a maternity dress, now I'm just trying to fit into ANY dress.

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Mag article me and S 23 months 2

Like butter wouldn’t melt …


WE’VE all been there – a dull Wednesday afternoon, you open the fridge and half heartedly poke around hoping to find something to eat for that evening’s dinner.

There is nothing.

Unless mouldy tomatoes served on a bed of cardboard and gone off milk is suddenly a ‘thing’. And frankly, I wouldn’t put anything past the hipsters.

So anyway, you make the decision to go to the supermarket even though you’re on your own with the kid and even utter the immortal words ‘sure how hard could it be?’

Brimming with determination you get your coat and shoes on, make sure you have your keys and then Ninja tackle the two-year-old to the floor while shoving his arms into his coat and ripping the velcro on his shoes open with your teeth.

“We nare gooooinnng *pant* to the shhhooo *ouch* ppps. Put yer *yelp* cooaat nnnnnnn,” you bellow restraining the child like you learnt in juvie a book.

Both suitably attired you decide to bring the buggy in case the child gets tired so he can climb aboard and slumber peacefully while you browse.

*rolls eyes at own naivety*

It takes 15 minutes to get out the door as you negotiate how many toys the child is allowed to bring with him. You finally settle on 17, following an all out shrieking mickey fit on his part. And, let’s be honest, on yours.

Red faced and sweating you make it into the supermarket and for the first five minutes you glide serenely up and down the aisle.

‘This isn’t so bad,’ you think to yourself, as the child occupies himself eating the snack you have cleverly packed before you left the house.

You throw a few items into your basket and then, stupidly, make eye contact with your toddler. Big mistake. Huge.

The child suddenly realises that he may not be the centre of your attention and starts making attempts to escape.



Down and play!

His demands reach ear splitting level so you eventually release him from the instrument of torture buggy and tell him to hold on to your hand as you walk along.


That happens.


Not at ALL.

First chance he gets, he’s doing his Ronnie Delaney impression, legging it into the fruit and veg section and instantly disappearing behind a display of melons.


Where the fuck is he?

You finally find him playing with a kumquat which he will not relinquish under any circumstances. You remind him of all the lovely toys you brought with you, 17 in all, but he is adamant. He despises those toys. He wants this kumquat. You will buy it for him and let him keep it and you will like it.

You don’t even know what a kumquat is. You vaguely think it might taste like chicken.


Bastard kumquats

Bastard kumquats

Exhausted you try to continue with your shopping, holding tightly onto the child with one hand, while manoeuvering the buggy and the basket with the other.

You end up having to headbutt your groceries off the shelf into your basket as it’s the only appendage you have free.

Concussed, you make your way to the till and in your confused state you decide to check out using the self service tills.

Like a fucking gobshite.

Unexpected item in bagging area.

Please wait for assistance.

Unexpected item in bagging area.

Please take your items.

Unexpected item in bagging area.

Please take your items.


All the while you’re frantically trying to get the machine to take your crumpled twenty, while attempting to stop the toddler from scaling the tower of baskets.

Defeated, you stumble home, bowed and bloodied with a shrieking toddler triumphantly holding a kumquat attached to your face. And naturally, when you get home you realise you left your bag of shopping in the supermarket.

You eat mouldy tomatoes for dinner. Followed by fucking kumquat.

And you learn a valuable lesson. The only way to bring a toddler shopping with you is to leave him at home with his other parent or a grandmother. Or, you know, the postman, anyone at all once you don’t have to endure shopping with a toddler.

It’s the only way. Trust me.

SATURDAY saw another foray into the dizzying world of wedding dress shopping but this time Best Friend and I took a road trip to the wilds of Kildare in search of a bridal shop there.

And the wilds of Kildare it was. Ruben Bridal is in Calverstown, officially the world’s smallest village featuring a single pub, a single shop (called ‘Newsagents’) a church and the bridal shop.

The Tom Tom lady told us that after 300 metres we had reached our destination but naturally we didn’t believe her.

“This couldn’t be it,” I scoffed “sure there’s just this pub and all these houses and a sign here. What does that sign say?”

You are now leaving Calverstown.


A quick u-turn at the bottom of someone’s driveway later and we were parked in front of the pub looking at each other thinking that obviously we were indeed in Calverstown but where was the bloody shop?

Behind the pub apparently. Where it had been all along. God bless my good-enough-even-without-my-glasses eyesight.

Up the stairs we climbed, emerging into a beautifully decorated sunlit flooded room featuring two huge mirrors and racks of dresses and were greeted by two ladies.

“Pick a couple there to get started,” they encouraged stepping hastily back as we nearly knocked them over in our rush to get to the gowns.

Ooooh we’ll try this one and this one…and OH this one!

Dress Number One: V-neck, a-line skirt, huge underskirts, think Cinderella. Beautiful on the hanger. On me? Not so much. Best Friend gave me her patented ‘I’m being polite cos we’re in company, but get that RAG off you’ look. Next!

Dress Number Two: V-neck, satin with an incredible lacy overlay, studded with sparkling crystals and delicate silver thread. A corset gave a cinched in waist and it fit almost perfectly. Oh my. I could see myself in this. Best Friend approved. A definite maybe.

Dress Number Three: Strapless, diamond and bead encrusted bodice, netting and taffeta skirt scattered with crystals. Not something I would have thought would look good but I gave it a bash in the name of research. A corset again gave a waist and a shape and it swished becomingly when I moved. The diamonds and beads were already cutting and scratching under my arms though and while it was beautiful I wasn’t 100 per cent convinced. A maybe maybe.

Dress Number Four: Strapless, sweetheart neckline, diamante beading detail at the hip, gathered in a ruching kind of way sweeping across the body, falling into a straight, yet swishy, skirt with a small train. Silky/satin/taffeta material, so light to wear yet heavy enough to give good drape, in a warm ivory colour. I looked in the mirror and fell head over heels in love. It was amazing, my figure was pure hourglass, my skin creamy – the pasty, fat, red-faced girl of a minute ago disappeared and a bride replaced her. Looking at myself, I felt guilty. What about ‘the dress’ from last week, the first one I tried on, the one I also fell in love with? If I’m honest, this new dress blew it right out of the water. Best Friend gasped when she saw it. Good enough for me! It’s in the ‘this could be it’ pile.

Reluctantly I let the assistant shoehorn me out of the dress and back into my civvies and then it was Best Friend’s turn.

Dress Number One: Halter neck, detail on the bust, a-line skirt that had a lift at the front revealing lovely netting/lace underskirts. Gorgeous on, really made the most of Best Friend’s lovely little figure – but a heavy dress with a long train and lots of underskirts, not practical for a Canadian wedding in 30 degree heat. Next!

Dress Number Two: Strapless, with a stunning band of crystals around the bust, falling to a beautiful swishy skirt with a short train. Simple, elegant, the luxurious soft material moulded itself to her, accentuating waist and bust. “I like it!” she announced sounding surprised. So did I, it was stunning. A definite front runner.

Dress Number Three: Chiffon, strapless, with a sparkling diamante cross across the bust falling to a straight chiffon skirt. Simple, elegant, beautiful. Exactly the type of material she had been looking for and really pretty, it looked beautiful. But perhaps a little too simple? A maybe maybe.

Dress Number Four: The same Dress Number Four as I tried on above! Just as beautiful on her as it was on me, though she thought it looked better on me. She’s too polite for her own good! I think she’s kindly marked it off her list as she saw how much I loved it. Aw!

Heads full of dresses we stumbled back out into the sunlight and bade Calverstown goodbye. For now.

The hunt continues.


Image: Sharron Goodyear /

THIS is the post where I should be waxing lyrical about my fantastic weekend telling you all about the fun I had. The wedding I was due to go to on Friday, the wedding dress shopping jaunt I had planned with Best Friend for Saturday, the chilled out barbecue I was toying with for Sunday.

But it was not to be.

Reader, I have been struck down with food poisoning. A rogue prawn has inveigled its way into my system and fecked me up royally, I’m in tatters so I am. I’m just barely back on the solid food now and the past few days have been a total bust.

I’m raging, RAGING, to have missed the wedding last Friday. Yer Man’s cousin it was and he and his now-wife are little dotes and I would have LOVED to have been there. Not least, obviously, to steal some of their lovely ideas for my own wedding next year.

What? It’s a year away, everyone from that wedding would have forgotten where they saw the lovely ideas first time around!

I was up for HOURS on Thursday night prepping myself, trying on a variety of outfits that I had dry cleaned, wrestling myself into tights, squeezing my lard into sucky-in knickers – the good kind, the industrial kind – turning this way and that in the mirror before finally deciding on two outfits and hanging them up carefully, ready for the final decision the following morning.

I washed myself, I exfoliated myself, I plucked, primped, shaved and moisturised myself, my hair was scrubbed, conditioned, hot-oiled, blow-dried and straightened to within an inch of its life, raring to go first thing the next morning. I spent a full hour doing my nails, an almost unheard of activity, including base coats and top coats and endless hanging around waiting for the damn things to dry, waving my hands about like a half eejit.

Eventually at about, oh, 2am I struggled into bed, sure the six hours of preening would mean I’d look half presentable the next day and fell almost instantly asleep.

Until 5am. When something woke me. I lay for a moment in the darkness wondering what it was before finally realising it was my stomach. Speaking most urgently to me.

I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

Needless to say, several sweaty hours later it became clear I wasn’t going to make the wedding. I could barely stand upright and had taken to curling up into a ball, keening softly to myself, in between bathroom runs, to try to ease the pain.

Go on without me, I urged Yer Man. Save yourself. I’m no good to man nor beast today. Go. Dance. Have fun. I said the last bit bitterly, secretly hoping that he wouldn’t, that he’d be too overwrought with worry about me that he wouldn’t be able to enjoy himself for a minute. I know, I’m a right bitch.

Didn’t work though, the fecker rolled in at 2am full of the joys of spring. Though he did bring home cake. I’ll have to give him credit for that.

Throughout the afternoon it became clear I wasn’t going to be up for the dress shopping on Saturday with Best Friend either, so I was forced to bail on that as well. Thankfully Best Friend being a paragon of understanding loveliness didn’t mind a bit and was happy to postpone until next weekend.

I called the dress shop croaking ‘I have food poisoning’ down the phone pathetically, hoping for some sympathy but receiving only a cheery ‘no problem if you want to postpone’ in return. Pah! I was sick. And alone! I wanted sympathy goddammit!

And I was so looking forward to the dress shopping. Ireland’s only exclusively plus size bridal shop it is apparently. We had booked a private appointment so loads of time to look around, acres of space to try on dresses in, everything would fit, everything would look good.

No rushing, no squeezing into dresses four sizes too small and ‘imagining’ what it would look like in the right size. No hordes of girls waiting in the shop for their turn in the dressing room. No sidelong glances from skinny brides, smirking because I had the audacity to be fat in a bridal shop. It was going to be mighty.

But it was not to be.

Even on Sunday then, my half-formed idea to drag out our beautiful garden furniture that we’ve sat on precisely twice since last June and barbecue us up some dinner went by the wayside. I just couldn’t, I barely managed to drag myself out of the bed and into the shower before collapsing on the sofa again for another six hours of solid wallowing. It was all I was fit for.

So the weekend has been a disaster, all my plans went out the window and I have nothing to report at all.

Now, how are all of you?