Thursday, 30 August 2012

well Done

Massive, HUGE, Enormous CONGRATULATIONS  today go out to our Beckys Dad Simon. Along with 3 others this crazy man has just cycled over 1000 miles to raise money for Brain Tumour Research. To say we in the shop admire him (all of them) would be an understatement. They began their journey 12 days ago in a very wet and windy Cornwall, and today arrived at their Scottish destination. 

Simon started this journey to raise money for Brain Tumour research. It is one of the most common cancers in people under 40 with only 1% of all funding going into it's research. Simons (and our) attention was bought to this when he learned his best friend was diagnosed with un-treatable brain cancer; thankfully his friend is still here to see what has been achieved. I can only begin to imagine how proud he must be right now. As I know his wife, son and daughter will be. Heck anyone that knows him will be/is proud of him.

With an original plan to raise enough to keep the local brain tumour research centre open for a day, he has so far raised enough to keep it open for 2 days (potentially 3) as hopefully more money will pour in now they have completed the journey. So sad that in this day and age individual people have to raise the money to fund research to keep people alive, but that's all politics and not something for us to be getting in to right now. 

If any of you would like to dig deep you can still sponsor him via his Just Giving page (I know every penny raised will be greatly appreciated)
Can you believe though that some low life lawyers (who are fairly local) copied the evening news article word for word on their website to try and drum up business for themselves. How low are some people prepared to stoop?. The piece has now been removed and they made a token donation (hardly worth mentioning but every amount makes a difference).
Once again guys. WELL DONE. So proud of you all

The lads arriving at John O'groats

Friday, 24 August 2012

Wasn't expecting that

when I arrived this morning. What am I on about? Check out the photo below for a clue.
I leave the guys in the office alone for an afternoon, so I can sneak off and spend a few hours with my little old Mum whose birthday it was yesterday; this is what I came round the corner to find outside the shop where my paved area is this morning.

It turns out we had a power cut about 3.30 yesterday afternoon; thinking it was an all round one they left the office to go and see if our neighbours were in darkness. It turned out they weren't; it was just our shop. Several calls to the electric people; then several more to other numbers they gave for them to ring, finally, at 8 last evening someone finally arrived. The plan was to find the fault, fix it and get all back to normal before we open this morning; as you can see it hasn't quite worked out that way. As with these things, one person said one thing; another said another. When the fault was found and repaired, they managed to damage a gas pipe, so then the gas board had to come out (I know I'm showing my age calling them the gas board, but what should they be called these days?). Once they had done their bit so it should have been a case of putting it all back together.

As you can see; this really didn't happen. It turns out that rather then fix the gas leak problem, they just clamped it up. The electric guys needed to do something that required heat which could have had fatal consequences if they went ahead and started doing what they had to, before the gas leak was fixed proper and so there we were; fenced off railings outside; men sat around doing nothing in vans, until the gas people sorted their bit out.

That finally happened around 2pm; this then meant the power had to be cut for over an hour before all was restored to normal. When I say all I mean the power. Apparently it will be next week some time before they are able to get the hole filled and new tarmac down. Sadly this may not sit well with some neighbours, as one of the electric men came in to apologise to us about it not being finished. Told him not to be daft; at the end of the day I'd rather it was done properly so they don't have to dig up again (even if that does take a week or so). The reason he said sorry was because he thought I had complained. I've no idea who did, but sadly it seems one of our neighbours complained. Such a shame when that happens. We didn't ask for the cables to break, or for our front to be dug up but it really affected nobody other than us, so I'm not sure the reasoning for it. I guess some people just like to moan about things.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Four weddings

on Saturday; 2 on the Friday before, 1 on the Sunday after, and sadly a big funeral today. 

Yet again it's been all go in the shop; we do wonder some times if we should have our sanity checked (who in their right mind takes on so many weddings over a weekend? Having said that I am thinking back to a time when I worked for someone and we had 8 on one day (for 2 weekends running). Now that was madness, which is why I have set a limit of taking on only 3 for one day; yes I know we did 4 on Saturday but 2 of them were smaller weddings, so they almost counted as just one; it's so hard to say no to brides as well. 

All the brides this weekend went down the traditional routes so I won't be bombarding you with photos of all of them, but one bride on Friday had pomanders for her bridesmaids (stupidly I forgot to take any photos of them so you will have to wait until she gets back off her honeymoon and shares some of hers with us). I worked out it was back in 1991 - 21 years ago - that I last made (or got asked to make) a pomander so it was a real delight to get stuck in to something different. Back then the one I made was for a friends wedding; she had a ribboned pomander with just a spray of flowers on top; our bride this weekend had a fully flowered one (we used all white single Xant and I have to say they did look very impressive). For her bouquet we used a mix of pink calla lilies with deep cerise roses and germini, with a touch of pink/white lisianthus.  Our other Friday bride had purple bridesmaids (a very popular colour for the past couple of years) so had all the lilac and purple shades. 

Saturday saw us making a pink shades shower bouquet, that we had to add a touch of baby blue too; for this we used some organza ribbon as it is light, gives the colour effect wanted but doesn't take over from the other flowers in a way that a satin ribbon could do. This was one of the smaller weddings for the day. Although there were 5 bridesmaids, 2 of them were younger girls who had small wands. The reception for this wedding was already catered for so we only had to decorate the church, along with the main bridal flowers.   

We also found ourselves with 2 more purple themed weddings. Both of these were taking place in hotels so we had the added bonus of decorating the whole reception, from tables to fireplaces; cakes to pedestals. Our last wedding on Saturday had a dark red theme (which gave us the chance to work with grand prix ~ a rose we love ~ alongside the gorgeous white rose Norma Jean - that smells divine).

Sunday again had the whole lilac, white and purple theme, but this time the 4 bridesmaids were wearing lilac dresses. Again held in a hotel, we only had to provide the bridal party with their flowers, along with some thank you bouquets for the Mums, so it wasn't a massive one (thankfully as by then I was beginning to flag - especially with it being so hot over the weekend).

Then today we had the sad occasion of a funeral. The gentleman that passed away was a massive Manchester United supporter, so the whole ceremony was themed around that; everything we made had to be Red, White and Black. 

The only exception to this was the actual crest that we had to make, as this is Red and Yellow. I took a photo of it when I first made it up last night but forgot to take one this morning before it went out so please forgive the messy-ness look of it; I did clean/neaten it up before it was delivered.And yes I do know that I could have done what most people do; I could have printed the actual crest out, laminated it and stuck it on to the base; but where's the challenge in that? Anyone can do that.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Country House Wedding

Well it wasn't a country house in the sense of Highclere or Sandringham; but Rownhams House in (oddly enough) Rownhams, is an absolute gem of a property if you're getting married. Considering how close it is to us, my first ever visit there was this past Saturday; many thanks to our lovely bride Kim for choosing it as her wedding venue; without her I would have known nothing about it. The owner was great too and gave us a little tour of the property once we had sorted our flowery bits and pieces. I can only say if you're looking for somewhere with that little something special for your wedding ceremony, you can't go wrong paying them a visit. Sadly after October this year they won't be hiring their rooms out for the wedding breakfast and evening reception (not all guests shall we say have behaved in the past and have caused much damage) but you can still get married there. You're also guaranteed some beautiful back drops for photos.

Many thanks to Glen Jevon @ Glen Jevon Photography for allowing us to copy this photo.

I digress. I'm not here to sing the praises of a wedding venue; but to congratulate the lovely Kim and her new husband Brian on their wedding on Saturday. Every once in a while a bride will come along with similar tastes to myself; Kim was that bride. I would have gone for different colours (and a different shaped bouquet), but when it came to her choice of flowers for everyone and everything else, I was with her all the way. While Kim herself had a shower bouquet (with just a hint of a trail) she chose natural tied bouquets for her bridesmaids using Pacific Blue roses, lilac freesia and dark purple double lisianthus. Gorgeous flowers that work well together to give any bouquet that natural look.

This theme was carried throughout with the flowers; the table's had fishbowls with Lilac spray roses: single headed roses in lilac: lilac stocks: ivory hydrangeas: ivory & lilac freesia: purple lisianthus; they were finished with ivy and bear grass. Rather than arrange them loose in the vase, these were made as little tied bouquets, which were then sat in the vases; doing this meant guests got to take home a little bouquet at the end of the evening. As you can see by the photograph below, the fire place was also made up of 5 separate arrangements, instead of one long one. This again meant guests got to take some flowers home to enjoy for a few more weeks to come.

The fireplace and top table also had exactly the same flowers in them so that everything matched. As with most wedding venues, the room itself is beautiful; the tables were laid up lovely; the chair covers and sashes a perfect match; but those few flowers in the table centres and on the fire place just gave the whole room a lift. There was nothing huge or over the top; just simple, traditional elegance. It was a real treat for me as the florist to get the opportunity to arrange the flowers, and even more so as I actually got out of the shop for a change and was able to go along to the reception venue and set up. So often I end up stuck back in the shop; to be able to visit was a real treat.