Gourmet dresses……

Back to the bucket list, after having my portacath fitted on January 17th so that I no longer have to suffer the indignities of being a pin cushion every time I need a blood test taken or a cannula fitted for CT scans, its not quite gone to plan and I have ended up in hospital with a high temperature, I am still rattling with antibiotics to make sure that any infection doesn’t take hold and while I don’t feel great I know I will get there and in the long run this will be something positive.

Every month or so my friend Carrie and I go and sample something from the local eateries, now and again we go further but we find that in the 5 mile radius of Settle we have got some great places to go and if we stay in Settle we can both have a nightcap (just a small one obviously!)

So when I said that on my bucket list was to go to a Michelin Star Restaurant then Carrie was the only person to take with me. There are 3 in our local area but the only one I wanted to go to was the Box Tree Restaurant in Ilkley. In my teens I had passed there in the bus on my way to work and thought what type of people dined at such a beautiful place – well its people like me and Carrie!

From when we entered the restaurant to when we left nothing was too much trouble. Everything was described and brought to us as though we were the first customers they had ever dealt with and I suppose at the end of the day this is what you pay for.

The whole experience was worth the bill at the end and while Carrie and I will go back to doing our ‘normal’ meals out this was number 24 ticked off in style – actually got to tick off number 22 as well which was Eat Something New and I had truffles – there wasn’t enough to make it something I would say I would buy but not nasty to say I wouldn’t eat again if offered.

I chose Sunday lunch for 2 reasons – one financial, as a 3 course meal it was going to be cheaper than the evening one of multiple courses with wine in between and the second being that the menu was something I liked.

Now to dresses and more specifically WEDDING dresses. Originally in 2020 my friend Aileen in Hartlepool had organised through another bridal shop to go and try on dresses, severe lockdown restrictions came into force and everything was cancelled. As the industry had been so badly hit and not knowing how I would feel I thought this might be one I permanently on hold.

https://dreamdress.co.uk/ – Cinderella’s Skipton

Then Lucy came to the rescue, its not what you know but who you know. And that was Mandy, owner of Cinderella’s in Skipton – to me the best bridal shop ever. So the reasoning behind why I at the age of 56 I wanted to try on wedding dresses when there is no chance of being a bride – because I have been engaged twice so wanted the whole ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ experience (well I watch enough of the programmes)

I think I checked out her website nearly everyday looking to see what I liked and what I thought would suit me. Excitement was building up inside and it was going to be made even more special as Aileen was coming down from Hartlepool staying overnight at The Golden Lion. It seemed fitting really since she had organised the cancelled first one.

To me the bucket list is about making memories with family and friends and as we were limited to who I could bring Mum was priority, my sister Erika, Hannah (nephews partner), Aileen and of course Lucy.

I really was worried the night before when I was throwing up at midnight whether the day would ever go ahead and luckily by the time the morning rolled around I was feeling much better – hoping that a few pounds might be lost to fit into the dresses.

Tuesday 10am saw us go down to Skipton – I think everyone was excited at this stage. The range of dresses was massive but I had my list of about 12 dresses as I knew just the effort of stepping into a dress would take it out of me.

Meeting Mandy for the first time was a pleasure, normally I would feel uncomfortable walking into shops where most of the dresses weren’t in my size and the people selling them were all taller, thinner and definitely younger. But Mandy made me (and I am sure all her clients) feel as though they are wrapped in a hug as soon as they enter the door, pure northern and Yorkshire hospitality.

She doesn’t believe that there should be dresses for thin girls and a section for the say more curvy but that the dresses should be available in all sizes but with her knowledge and many years of experience she knows which style will suit each body type and I can vouch that she really knows what worked for me.

After posting the photos on Facebook everyone says how happy I looked and each dress, whether it be be the big puffy ballgown one that I first tried on (and the one Mum cried at) to the black femme fatal one that everyone loves, each one made me feel fantastic.

I am so glad that I really wasn’t getting married as I really wouldn’t have known which to choose and then because there were so many you would always worry was this the one. I am glad we all took photos as the one I liked the best in store wasn’t the one that I thought I looked best in camera wise – saying that everyone has their favourite.

The sofa has been my friend since then – not been feeling 100% since but thats the price to pay for making memories.

Next stop in 10 days time is a short break with Mum to Zurich so have to be fighting fit for that, seeing family I haven’t seen in over a decade.

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