Friday, February 26, 2010

Heavenly Delights {reposted}

The following conversation was observed on my aunt's flickr page a few weeks after our wedding....

Aunt A: If you look closely you can see the red shoes peeking out under her wedding dress. She wasn't going to buy them because they were really expensive but I told her they were an investment, like a sculpture. I'm so glad she listened to her Auntie A.

Unidentified Flikr Friend: What a good influence you are!

Aunt A: No pockets in a shroud, as Granny Peonies used to say

Unidentified Flickr Friend: Your granny a fan of the old Monolos was she?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Conversation in a pet shop {reposted}

A boy and a girl are in the pet shop, Boy had taken Girl to the pet shop to show her their new 'rescue' animal corner, populated with (you'll never guess...) animals that need re-homed.

Boy: Look, there's Max, the rabbit I was telling you about. Isn't he lovely?

Girl: Oh my goodness! Look at the rat! He's a rex! Oh isn't he lovely? He likes me! (she squeals as an adorable rat rushes over to the front of his tank and starts sniffing at her fingers through the edge of the door)

Boy; That's not a rex (unsaid: you idiot). That's a bald rat.

Girl; No it's not, it's a rex, look his head's fluffy...

Boy; Yeah, but the rest of him is bald...

Girl; Oh dear lord, it's a bald rat! Can we have the bald rat? Pleeeeease? I lovvvvvve him. Love him love him love him! Who else is going to want a bald rat? How much does a rat house cost?

Now I know that you get fancy, intentionally bald rats but I'm pretty sure that this was a special needs rat. He did not look nearly as chipper as this fella, in fact he looked downright dreadful. I'm in love. After musing that I really do have a thing for the completely buggered ones, The Boy is wondering if I only took him home because I knew no one else would have him.

Unfortunately we didn't come home with a bald rat. Our vets bills for the rabbits are already exorbitant, we just can't afford another critter. But damn did I love that rat.

(image source)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Hotel Bordeaux {reposted}

(image by The Boy)

It was late when we arrived in Meknes, stepping tentatively from the bus into the black night. We had left Casablanca under a dark cloud, the smell of poverty and pollution filling our lungs, the air of aggression and fear a shock to us. In the dark night of Meknes we were filled with relief at having left the city with such an evocative name, a name that conjured an exoticism and romance that we failed to find.

Gripping each others' hands tightly we made our way through quiet streets, looking for the nearest hotel mentioned in that bastion of reassurance, the guide book. The streets were empty, the area around the bus station dead to the night, garages and repair shops shuttered and blank. We were quiet too, each aware of the other's relief and sadness. There was no need to talk for we had passed the same damaged and desperate men and women and children lining the docks, breathed the same putrid air as shallowly as we could and reeled at the same mosque, built with countless millions of public money while the city's public rotted around it.

After 10 minutes walking the empty streets we found the hotel. It too was empty, an air of desolation hanging in the atmosphere - a huge crumbling building as dark as a gothic mansion, the reception area watched over by a silent stuffed hog's head. We stood quietly at the desk, waiting for someone to come. An elderly woman in cleaning overalls stopped half way down the stairs, looked at us and turned back the way she came. Minutes later a young man appeared, her son perhaps. The sight of a young white couple, both tired but smiling and she little more than a teenager seemed to surprise him. More surprised still when we asked for a room. But without questions he led us down the long dark hallway, past a door tied with rope to the furthest room. Opening the door he looked doubtful, as if the sight of its stained walls and broken furniture would lead us to the decision that this was not the hotel for us, but he had not reckoned with our exhaustion and our sheer relief to have found somewhere to sleep. 'Fine' we nodded, we'll take it.

It took us a few hours to realise that we hadn't been given a key for our room, when we went to ask for one gestures were made to indicate that none of the rooms had keys, none of the doors were locked. We were too tired to care and with our cameras and what little was left of our money tucked under our pillows and our heavy rucksacks and a chair pushed tight against the door, we climbed under the itchy blankets and tried to sleep. I lay awake for an hour or so, the sights of the day playing in my troubled mind. He held me tight, my body curled into his as I listened to him breath slowly and steadily. I knew he was awake too but both too tired to talk we just lay there with the full moon casting strange shadows through the curtains that would not close and the bars on the windows which although decorative with their swirls, did not convey the the notion that they were there to serve a purpose of mere aesthetics.

Eventually I slept and for the first night in many weeks, I was not tormented with nightmares. Under the charging horsemen I slept so deeply I slept that the strange noises in the night barely registered, the barking barely disturbed, for since 10pm a loud and savage beast had yowled and howled and growled from behind the door tied with a piece of old rope.

I woke early as the sun was coming up. I lay still and quiet, still curled tightly in a ball, still nestled under the warm arm of the man I was falling more and more deeply in love with. I opened my eyes, my gaze falling to the windows, the gap between the curtains a foot wide and through the blinking early morning light saw the back of a man hurry by, shoulders stooped and tense and behind him a young woman, her large brown eyes looking in and catching my tired blue ones for a moment before turning quickly away. Twice more this scene played out, although neither of the other women looked in and neither of the other women play in my memory three years later.

I turned over and held the boy, whispering in his ear that we should try to find another hotel for this was one filled with sadness and desperation.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

'If you still believe...' {reposted} perfection, you are too young to get married'

(Meg, from A Practical Wedding)

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.

(Leonard Cohen)


Notes on Napkins {reposted}

I like notes on napkins. It's something about the impermanence of them. No matter how much thought has gone into the note it's still a napkin and the chances of it being to hand when I knock something over (which I do regularly) and being picked up and used without a thought just because it's a napkin and that's what you do with napkins is very high. And then it will be gone, a soggy, ink strewn mess and I will swear and curse and call myself an idiot (which I do regularly) for grabbing a napkin that was more than a napkin to clean up a mess that was just a mess.

. image via 100 layer cake of an invitation by Bryn of Paperfinger

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Joys of Wedding Videos {reposted}


Boy: "I'm making eyebrows at people. Do I do that a lot?"

Girl: "Yes, you've got very expressive eyebrows."

Boy: "hmmm."

a few moments later.....

Girl:"Do I really sound like that?"

Boy: "sure do Pix*"

Girl: "What, exactly like that?"

Boy: "Yup."

Girl: "Weird....... I sound sexier in my head.

Boy: "Me too."

Boy and Girl. By me.


I feel like this bunny.

There are Big Things happening in our house this week. Big Scary Things and I need a little nap.

I've recently been looking back over the last two years of posts on Peonies and Polaroids and I've scheduled some of my favourites to appear while I'm off, napping. Most of them are from way back, when I had two readers so hopefully they'll be all brand new to a lot of you.

Smooches to you my chickens. Have a loverly week.

* picture via Toast.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Spring is coming Spring is coming Spring is coming
Spring is coming Spring is coming Spring is coming
Spring is coming Spring is coming Spring is coming

Winter is hard on the Peonies/Boy/Rabbit household. We don't like dark skies and short days, we don't like getting our feet wet, we don't like waking up with frosty noses and snuffles and we really don't like how batshitcrazy the whole season makes us feel. But spring is coming. There are snowdrops* in the parks and in the florists and they told me so.

*First snowdrops of the season. Do you get to make a wish on them or is that something that I made up a little bit?

Thursday, February 18, 2010


images by Max Wanger

I've been struggling to concentrate these days. I sit down at the puter with the best of intentions and within half an hour my mind is wandering hopelessly. Listening to Michael's mixes is pretty much what gets me through my work days at the moment, it's harder to wander off when you're scared you might miss something good. I tried headphones but they wouldn't do so I've high jacked the Boy's ridiculous stereo which plays them at a very pleasing level of antisocial. Suddenly sitting in front of the computer all day isn't so painful.

I start the day with Practical My Ass , which was created for Meg. I might be imagining it but when I listen to it I feel like Meg's ridiculous energy and productivity levels are being beamed straight into my brain and the feeling that no matter how long I sit here I WON'T GET ANYTHING DONE starts to fade away. I think it's the image of her doing the electric slide to 9 to 5 at her wedding that does it. (There's a really great House of Pain -> Dolly Parton -> Run DMC bit in Practical My Ass that kills me. In a good way.)

When those 40 minutes are over I'm feeling like I'm on a roll, in the groove, getting something done. Panic over, I turn on Kathryn's Guest Mix which carries me on through the day in the kind of chillaxed manner that I can usually only accomplish with prescription drugs.

It doesn't last though. By the end of this sweet mix I've been sitting infront of the computer for 80 minutes (oh poor me) and my spirits are starting to flag, my energy is dropping, I want to have a nap. And so begins Eastsidebride's New Year Mix which is kind of like washing down a couple of proplus with expresso. Good stuff.

And that my loves, is how I get through a morning's work.

Unless of course the Boy wants to listen in too, in which case we go for a bit of Yeah! Gangsta Pop which reminds him of his youth ("is it embarrassing that I know all of the words to these songs?" "yes") and makes me laugh.

Scotland really needs a Flashdance. It would be nice to catch my husband's eye across a crowded dancefloor and not see him grimace in pain as another fat middleaged bloke in a white polyester shirt murders Superstition.

* crazy beautiful photos of Michael's wife and sprog by Max Wanger.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

flit, float, flee, fly

As if I wasn't feeling all misty eyed enough about the whole valentine's swap thing, Jamie had to go and make a flight map of all that love flitting and fleeing all over the globe and now my heart's all swollen and fluttery. Fly over to Amanda's blog to see it all super huge and follow just what went where.

* I'm thinking that next year we need to add a few more continents? yes?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

stripes + tulle

It should have been mine...

clothes by Ouma, photographs by Galaxie Andrews

Monday, February 15, 2010

A little redesign

Finally, after hundreds of weeks and millions of years we finally finished tinkering with the new website design for Lillian and Leonard last week and it has gone live. Now I can go to bed without lying awake all night debating smoke grey vs cloud grey and whether it's ok to have, you know, personality on a wedding photography website. Maybe.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Swaplets, received

I don't think I could possibly have been a luckier thing with my swaplet ever. I was sent the goodiest of goodies by Celia of Life According to Celia , only one of my favouritest blogs that there is.

Celia sent me a card with a gorgeous little doe eyed bunny farting glittery hearts...

a hot cocoa kit (YUM) comprising of the biggest and heaviest slab of gourmet chocolate ever...

and a very lady-like vintage teacup and saucer, homemade vanilla sugar and beautifully printed hot cocoa instructions. Instructions with a squirrel attached. There was also a candy heart bracelet (for wearing, not eating)

And and and! A new friend! A very special friend...

How'd she know I'm all about the bunnies?
And it was all so boofully wrapped in red tissue with little felt birdies and ladybugs (Celia calls me P. A little bit short for Peonies and a little bit short for Pixie. I like it)
I kind of spaced out on taking pictures of the candy bracelet and the cocoa instructions. I was going to go back and take some more today but I woke up with a sprained ankle (it was fine when I went to sleep, how does that happen?) and haven't been able to get off the sofa.
I love ">Amanda for organising this and I love Celia for being the biggest sweetheart that there is.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Swaplets, given

I'm not much into Valentine's day (Celia and A sum it up pretty well) but this year Amanda made it the bestest with her Valentines swip swap. Girlies from around and about sent homemade cards and little bits and pieces to other girlies and it was lovely. This is the second year Amanda has organised such a thing. I didn't take part last year because I was shy. This year I'm still a little shy but I wasn't missing out again.
My swapee (swaper? swapet? recipient.) was A Girl and this is what I sent her....
a card made from brown recycled kraft card we had left over from the wedding and a piece of lace that has been in my dressing up box since I was very little, an antique hanky whatsit tied up with silk ribbon and a string of hearts cut from a dud photo of some cherry blossoms, a Canadian two dollar note and some Cabbages and Roses striped fabric.
And because it was all getting just a little too sweet....

Coming up: Swaplets, received...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Meanwhile elsewhere

Things from Other Places that I have loved over the last week or two....

Isn't wedding dress shopping just the most funnest thing ever?

I need to buy some crayons. Or steal a kid

It's not fairies?

The sleepy one on the fence is killing me

This life which I hope will be ours (did you know that I want six seven kids? Just like the Weasleys. Seven, the Weasleys have seven children. Not six)

Oh dear god, the cheese

*photo by Maria of Vintage Simple
*one of Maria's treasures is a photo of mine and when she first framed it she put it in her bathroom. On second thoughts she decided that maybe it wasn't appropriate to rest your friend's artwork atop your crapper and moved it to her bedroom. Not before taking a picture of it though, just because she knew it would make me laugh. It did.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


"I sauntered out on to the veranda to have a look at the lunch table, which had been put out in the shade of the vine. In the centre of what had been a very attractive floral centre-piece perched the Magenpies, reeling gently from side to side. Cold with dismay I surveyed the tables. the cutlery was flung about in a haphazard manner, a layer of butter had been spread over the side plates, and buttery footprints wandered to and fro across the cloth. Pepper and salt had been used to considerable effect to decorate the smeared remains of a bowl of chutney. The water jug had been emptied over everything to give it that final, inimitable Magenpie touch.

There was something decidedly queer about the culprits, I decided. Instead of flying away as quickly as possible they remained squatting among the tattered flowers, swaying rhythmically, their eyes bright, uttering tiny chucks of satisfaction to each other. Having gazed at me with rapt attention for a moment, one of them walked very unsteadily across the table, a flower in his beak, lost his balance on the edge of the cloth, and fell heavily to the ground, The other one gave a hoarse chuckle of amusement , put his head under his wing and went to sleep. I was mystefied by this unusual behaviour. Then I noticed a smashed bottle of beer on the flagstones. It became obvious that the Magenpies had indulged in a party of their own."

Gerald Durrell, My Family and Other Animals.

vintage photo from Christel Weixelman , found by A Desert Fete

Monday, February 08, 2010


February was supposed to be our month off. A month off work and stress and busyness and ohmygodtheressomuchtodo. February was supposed to be the kind of month that lends itself to lazy days, coffee with friends, large pots of soup, reading books, baking bread and writing blog posts with leisure and no panic. February is only 8 days old and so far it's not looking like it's going to be working out like that.

It doesn't really matter, busy is good. Busy means work and work means that that apartment we just booked for four weeks in NYC that is six times our monthly mortgage payments is not quite so terrifying.

Busy means no time to brood and worry and nibble my bottom lip as I wonder WILL EVERYTHING BE OK?

Today busy has meant putting together this wedding for L&L which has meant a whole day of indecision and dithering and swapping and deleting and rearranging and just driving myself mad. Some days just getting the photographs in the right order feels like the biggest challenge there could ever be. But it's a pretty wedding with stripes and tulle and ravens and twinkly skies and I think we did good, so maybe I should just stop tinkering with it and chillthefuckout?

Can anyone please tell me how to do that?

Friday, February 05, 2010

She hearts flowers

One of my best girlies, Sophie, is setting up her own floristy business here in Scotland and she is looking for ladies and boys who are planning their weddings on little budgets (or ladies and boys who are planing their weddings on big budgets but don't want to spend loadsa money on flowers) to help her build her portfolio.

In her words....
"I am looking for lovely brides and grooms who might like to save a little money on their wedding flowers. As I am currently building a portfolio I would be delighted to design the flowers for your wedding at a very reasonable price - just a smidgen over the cost price of the flowers. You could either spend your original budget on flowers and have so much more for your money or just simply save a penny or two for the cake, photographer, dress or a fabulous honeymoon. I am based in central Scotland so a Scottish wedding would be ideal, but I'd also love to travel a little further afield if I can."

Sophie and I met when we were in art school together. We didn't like each other very much at first but now we do. Lots. (Sometimes we grab each other inappropriately. This confuses my husband a little)
Sophie is the bestest. Not only does she have beautiful red curls, the cutest kitties, bring me flowers when I'm blue and know some excellent rude words (if you don't know how much I love a girl who loves rude words then you haven't been paying enough attention) but she was one of our bridesmaids a hundred years ago when we got married and she was the best bridesmaid ever. Top notch.

Oh, and she's very very clever with flowers. She made this prettiest of pink bouquets one evening at our house when she had the flu. About ten minutes after the boy finished taking these pictures we all passed out and died. Imagine what she can do when she's not dying....

It helps that she really loves flowers. She also really loves weddings. And people. I've been to a lot of weddings and I've met a lot of florists and I've been appalled at how many seem to really hate weddings. (The same goes for a lot of caterers, venues and musicians but those are stories for that blog I'm not allowed to write). Sophie loves weddings though and the thought of being part of someone's day really excites her. It's kind of sweet!

So please, go ahead and get in touch with her. She wants to make your pretty pretty flowers and best of all, she wants to do it dead cheap. She will be especially excited if your wedding is within the next couple of months as she's raring to get going.

You can email her at sophie [at] iheartflowers [dot] co [dot] uk and her blog is here. Tell her I sent you, she'll like that.

flower photos by The Boy. Sophie photo by me.

* yes, that's a cage in our living room. How else are we supposed to contain The Beast?

** I don't know how many of y'all readers are still brides-to-be, nor how many of you live in Scotland (which I would know if I looking at my analytics page didn't plunge me into a pit of dispair) but maybe still some of you engaged ladies are hanging on in here with us boring marrieds.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Observations from a week

People believe that 'rsvp' is a suggestion. It's not.

At some tragic point in the last hundred years it became ok to wear trainers to the ballet. I do not approve.

The words 'thank you' have gone out of fashion.

While I've become capable of buying an item of clothing that is neither black jersey, grey and/or stripy I am not yet capable of buying said item of clothing without also buying black jersey and grey stripes at the same time. This is progress. Of a sort.

Not everyone really wants to sell what they are offering to sell. This is confusing.

Leggings are not pants. Not everyone has received the memo.

People are mean on the internet. People are also wonderful on the internet.

Birthdays are the best.

Twenty five is a nice age to be.

* Cristal de sueƱos y realidad by Elena Baca