Friday, August 05, 2005

Velu the friendly neighbourhood palmist

In the back streets of Bangalore sits an un-assuming house that is home to The Great Velu, palmist extraordinare!
Without much pomp or ceremoney he launched straight into the attack, sorry, reading.... "You are not putting any effort into life".... "you need glasses".... "your top is too low cut".... Ok he didn't say the last one but I could tell that's what he was thinking. General points of mention are as follows:

  1. I will own property
  2. I will life a long life
  3. I have good digestion
  4. I will marry Matt and live happily ever after
  5. I will have no children
  6. I will be a great house wife
  7. I was a sickly child
  8. I have over come great struggles in my relationships but all that is over.
  9. I will have one child
  10. I am a free spirit
  11. I am very traditional
  12. I like to have the ideas but don't like putting them into practise, I'd rather someone else did that.
  13. I will have health problems later in life but I will over come them.
  14. I will have two children, both girls.

All in all not worth the 500ir but I got off better than Katie who is getting cancer at about 40 or 50, and Hannah who numerically speaking has a first name that is bad news. She is currently debating if it's best to drop the last h or remove one of the middle n's.

I later found out our driver, the illustrious Kumar, can read palms too.... and I'm having one child... a boy. bugger.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

SophStar and SmedleyKins go international

and sample the local delights of Mcdonalds... yum.
So I've arrived feeling quite wasted due to lack of sleep but luckily Mr SmedleyKins knows what to do - we go shopping (hurrah!) Though this only happens because Matt quickly informs me after unpacking that everything I bought with me is inappropriate for India so I have to pick up some long sleaved, high neck tops to see me through the first few days.
Next stop The Leela Palace for champagne brunch. The food looks amazing and the suroundings are beautiful but having already eaten I choose to sip champagne and try and act like I was born to frequent these sorts of places. I do quite well until I stagger out of there about 3pm to be put in a car with Matt who kindly takes me home to catch up on that sleep I was sorely missing.
I had the McPizzaPie and the McVeggie, Matt has nothing (incase you were wondering.)

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Can I just say....

I saw both Fiz and Eileen from corrie in Manchester airport!!

Bucks fizz at 6am

July 31st - M-day (Matt day!)
Boolie collected me at 6am after a rather heavy night for me... went for a few drinks after work friday (trying to put off the cleaning) and stayed up late with Mads drinking red wine. BIG MISTAKE. I'd put my hair dye on just before Mads called round - hour and a half later it's not chocolate brown but the most awful shade of black! But it's not all bad news...Mads has my back door key and is doing my cleaning for me whilst I'm away :D
When we dropped Robin & Matt at the airport at 7am 2 months earlier it was dead. When I arrived at 7am 2 months later you would not believe the amount of people there. I couldn't spot my flight on the board and then heard an announcement for my flight directing me to the ticket sales counter imediately - oh dear. I panicked (as any self respecting emotional reck would) but when I got there a kind lady told me they were swapping my flights so I'd get the delayed 7:20 flight rather than the scheduled 8:20. Hurrah!! I joined a HUGE que and made a few new friends when a not so nice lady told everyone the flight was fully booked, we'd have to join the regular que again. (I say regular - this que was about the length of the great wall of china). I make many friends along the way including 2 old dears heading for a week long hiking trip to Zurich (they were about 70) when I offered to pull their suitcases whilst they headed for the newspaper stand, the toilet, and anywhere else they fancied. So four suitcases and 40 mins later I arrived at the head of the que to be sent to the ticket sales desk again.
I arrive slightly tearful (ok hysterical) hand over my passport and tickets and look expectantly at the woman hoping she can solve my problems. I realised by the look on her face that my problems had only just begun. the 8:20 flight went tech so the next flight she could get me on was the 9:25 meaning I'd miss my connection to Mumbi and my beloved SmedleyKins. much hu-har later I'm booked on a flight to london with my connecting flight scheduled for 13:40 to Channai. CHANNAI?? Yes I arrive in Channai (?!) at 3:55am Indian time (about midnight UK time) my next flight to Bangalore is at 6:15ish finally arriving in my lovers arms at 7:05am. I franticly call Matt in the hopes I've caught him before he checks in for his flight to Mumbi, the original meeting place and I have!
At 10am I board my first flight to the cheers and aplause of my fellow que buddies all glad to see me on my way, terrified but heartned by the generousity of strangers.
Customer services desk in terminal 4 is where I meet the man I would marry if it weren't for the fact I'm already engaged. We shall call him MIWM from here on in. MIWM successfully manages to translate my sobs into english to check me in and give me detailed instructions on what to do next. He asks if I have a preference for where I'm sitting. ANYWHERE as long as it's not a window seat. I later discover he's not as good at translating sobs into Engligh as I board the plane and find myself in a window seat. However, i shall forgive MIWM because he's also got me upgraded to Traveller plus!! All turns out well in the end as the man next to me is more than happy to swap my window for his aisle - yippee! We automatically became firm friends because of this... at least we were until I spilt water on him, woke him up, and kept accidentally touching him (Indian men aren't meant to touch women).
10hours, much sobbing, no sleep, 3 movies later and I hit Indian soil! Now to collect my bag. 2hours, much pushing and shoving, much sobbing later I'm on the last plane to Bangalore, joy of joys this one is only 30mins long. 7:05 exactly we hit the tarmac and in 10 mins later I've got my bags, freshened up and can see Mr SmedleyKins!!!!
It's not like in the movies... we smile politely and giggle (no touching going on at all - got more action with the guy on the Channai flight frankly). Once checked in and alone in the appartment we drop our reserve and for the first time in 2 months we hold on close to each other.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

A very long engagement

It all started Thursday night when matt returned home from a night out drinking. He was acting very strangely and when questioned was very cagy….

<>Checking the clock on the microwave I discovered it was already 10pm so I thought I ought to go to bed so I took out my mobile to set the alarm for work the next morning. It said it was 9pm. Strange. I checked the clock on the TV – 10pm, I asked Matt – 10pm. So I reset the time on my phone worrying that it was broken, knowing I couldn’t afford a new one right now. <>

So it’s Friday and the morning ritual begins…. <>

Matt gets up to make coffee, whilst I try and go back to sleep knowing I have no chance because like most other morning Matt’s made the coffee, put it on the window sill and gone out onto the landing. I brace myself. Matt RUNS into the bedroom and dives on top of me to bounce me awake forcing me out of bed. I turn on the radio and exclaim “this isn’t Terry Wogan, this is Sarah Kennedy! That Man is always off sick!”. How annoying. I love Terry Wogan. <>

Matt is looking shifty. He turns the radio off and forces me into the shower while he goes down stairs. Now here’s the thing the shower radio clock is an hour behind. It’s saying it’s 6:45am. Can’t be. I woke up at 7:30… It hits me… Mr SmedleyKins is up to something! Can I get anything out of him? NO. So I get ready. <>

I can smell cooking when I get downstairs at 8:30 and am greeted by the sight of what is going to be a full English breakfast. Ah-ha! THIS is what he’s been up to! I tell him it’s a lovely thought but I need to leave for work in 15 minutes at which point he presents me with a sneaky grin and exclaims “I changed the clocks - it’s 7:30!!” He expects me to be happy about this. <>

I’m getting excited as Matt sits me in the garden with my breakfast as he runs inside to get the coffee. I smile meekly as the men who have come to empty our bin stare at me like I’m crazy. Matt brings out the orange juice and pink (my favorite colour) cava so we can have bucks fizz. I LOVE bucks fizz. I’m feeling very spoilt and loved up right now… Even more spoilt when Matt tells me he’s walking me to work. <>

I get into work happy, if not a little tipsy and very, very confused and proceed to show off to everyone about how fantastic my boyfriend is. As per normal we’re emailing each other throughout the day and Matt tells me how much he enjoyed the breakfast this morning and “that it is turning out to be the best Easter ever!” Matt says strange things like that all the time so I don’t try to correct him anymore. <>

About 11:30 I call a call from the receptionist telling me there’s a packing waiting for me, “how exciting” I say thinking it’s the labels we ordered “it’s very exciting” is Sylvia’s reply. I tell my friend Boolie about the call and she smiles wide eyed and says I bet it’s flowers from Matt. Yeah right. But oh my gosh they’re the most exotic flowers I’ve ever seen and the card reads “Happy Easter”!

I feel fantastic throughout the day, and I’m getting more and more excited as our weekend trip to Liverpool is fast approaching.

<>I leave work for the train station far too early because I’m so excited and have to wait half hour before Matt appears. I can’t stop kissing him and he gets a bit embarrassed.

We get on the train and I’m like a five year old bouncing around, it’s been a perfect day and I REALLY can’t wait to get to Liverpool. Matt tries to calm me down by offering me a drink. He produces what is left of the bucks fizz and I get even more excited.

We arrive in Liverpool and get a taxi to the Albert Docks where we’re staying. I lean over to Matt and whisper (and I’m sure it’s the alcohol talking here because I’m normally a very rational person) I’m so excited I could cry… then I cry.

<>We check in at the hotel blah,blah,blah… then we’re in Est, Est, Est a restaurant we’ve both been eager to try. We are told the wait for the table is about 30-40mins so we get drinks and we wait. I’m hyper and Matt’s distracted but I take this opportunity to tell him that even if we do nothing else this weekend, if we have to go home right now before we’ve even had the meal I wouldn’t mind because this has been one of the best days of my life. He gives me an “aw bless aren’t you a simple child” look. <>

Once seated we choose what to eat and agree to share a bottle of wine .The waiter take FOREVER to serve us so I get really narked off when Matt doesn’t order the wine, we have a whispered conversation where I tell him he better order it now else we’ll be waiting another hour to get it. Matt retorts with “I thought you needed the toilet”? So I roll my eyes and go (I ALWAYS need the toilet, I think I have a slight bladder problem).

I get back from the toilet to find a white envelope on my side of the table, I ask what it is and Matt tells me it came this morning. Strange how I don’t think that it’s weird that it’s not addressed to anyone or that it doesn’t have a stamp on it. I open it and am blown away. My heart stops and I’m so in love with the man sat opposite me that all I can do is cry. Here’s why….

<>Many moons ago Matt introduced me to his two boyhood friends who grew up with him called Simon and Paul. They both Married ladies called Helen. I jokingly told Matt that he wouldn’t ask me to marry him he’d just advise me it was about time I changed my name to Helen. <>

So I looked at my new name on the completed Deed Poll form in front of me, no longer was I Sophie Billing but “Helen Smedley” instead. All it needed was my signature. <>

Not quite believing it I looked up and saw Matt half smiling half smirking, one eyebrow raised, hand outstretched offering me a ring. So I did what any self respecting girl would do in my position – I cried some more. Then panicked thinking Matt would get the wrong impression so I made a grab for the ring and shoved it on my finger quick as I could. Then the champagne arrives and it’s a perfect day complete. <>

So we got engaged without him having to ask and without me having to answer.