Monday, 27 April 2009

Monday 27/04/09

As mentioned on Friday, we went up to Accrington to have dinner with No 1 daughter and her new fiancée. We made the mistake of staying at a local Mercure Hotel – the Dunkenhalge.

Mercure Dunkenhalgh

It all looks very nice, but the room we were first given had extremely chipped and chatty furniture, stained ceilings and cracked bathroom tiles. On my insistence we were moved to another room, which while better had obviously not been maintained in the last 5 years and smelled as if the previous occupant had been a smoker.

I swear I’ll never again stay at a Mercure. The prices are hideous given the low quality, and the Premier Inn budget brand is better value for money. The buggers charged Hay about £8.50 for a single glass of indifferent red which couldn’t have cost more than £4 a bottle.

The place was hosting a wedding reception and was crawling with heavily made up women with silly feathered hats perched on their heads, showing more tits and legs that strictly necessary and being escorted by men wearing black shirts with collars a size too large, badly knotted kipper ties, ill-fitting suits and spiked hair. Very chavvy. The buggers all returned rather loudly to their rooms well after midnight and I had to shout out of the window in no uncertain terms to get them to shush.

Rather than using makeup as a beauty enhancement, why do so many young women these days choose to use it as a complete beauty replacement, plastering themselves in the stuff in the most unattractive manner? As for black shirts being de rigeur for the young men, it makes them look like nightclub bouncers and part-time criminals.

Why is it that hotels never give you enough tea, sugar and milk in your room for more than one drink?

As a result of a head trauma, No 1 daughter had hydrocephalus as a baby which has left her with grand mal epilepsy, very bad eyesight, poor balance, learning difficulties, a total lack of spatial awareness and severe OCD. However, despite these drawbacks she managed extremely well and lives with 4 other young women with similar problems. She works in a charity shop, as well as helping out with admin at a local school.

Her fiancée, who Hay and I met for the first time on Saturday, suffered a severe stroke at the age of 15 and has lived the last 15 years with cerebral palsy. Despite being able to walk only with the aid of a crutch (and very slowly) and being in constant pain, he has the most cheerful personality you could imagine. The only thing I cannot overlook is the fact he hails from Yorkshire, which is unforgivable.

No1 daughter and fiancée.

They plan to marry in late 2011, and given my daughter’s OCD you’d think it was next weekend – plans are already at an advanced stage. Given we’re trying to build a house before I retire and that her impending marriage came as a total surprise to us all, there’s no way we can splash out on the full-blown wedding reception, as they are simply prohibitively expensive and require about 5 years of saving up (there’s no way I will borrow money).

What we suggested was that instead of giving the couple wedding presents, guests merely fund their own wedding meal and booze with me subsidizing the cost to a certain percentage. An elegant and equitable solution that sorts out the real friends from the hangers-on, and what Hay and I intend doing for our own wedding, if it ever happens.

A girl at head office has just married. We all became aware of this when we received an e-mail from her last week and didn’t recognise the surname. Why are women so willing to give up their surnames when they marry? To me my surname defines who I am and where I came from and there’s no way I would ever give it up. Perhaps it’s just an alpha male’s perspective and women are not so attached to their history.

Hay and I have decided that if and when we marry she will retain her maiden name and merely put a Mrs in front of it. We’re certainly not intending to have any kids, so giving any children surnames will not be an issue.


  1. Keep your maiden name, girls! I took my first husband's name when I married in the Dark Ages, and when we divorced, he 'wanted it back' (as if I 'wanted' to keep it, sad bugger). Cost a fortune to get all paperwork back to maiden name. Having just married New Husband here in Belgium, you keep your maiden name - you can take husband's name but normally don't. So that has saved me a few quid!
    Hope daughter and fiancé will be divinely happy - they deserve it, as obviously they have both been dealt some pretty crap cards - makes moaners like me look selfish ...

  2. Dragon: How do they allocate kids' surnames in Belgium?

  3. Interesting one ... dunno! I would imagine they can take either one or both names, as they can do in France. My children have both their father's name and my maiden name on their passports, but actually only use their father's name when they travel as otherwise it's too long-winded.

  4. Why are women so willing to give up their surnames when they marry?.
    I shall remain Blue to my dying day...

  5. Congratulations to your daughter - the two of them look really happy. I do like a good love story.

    The only reason I took my husband's name is that no one in France can either spell or pronounce mine! My daughter has her father's name (he's not my husband) just so that she has the same one as her half brothers and sisters. But I admit I find it really irritating that the prefix for a woman denotes her marital status (I don't count Ms, which seems to have its own hidden agenda).

  6. Blue: I'll probably remain beige.

    Kapgaf: That's because women are property - or were.

  7. Goody - a quick rant about women being 'property'!
    This happened in France where I lived, so may not be applicable in England ... separated from my husband about ten years ago (not a legal separation but we were living apart, you understand), I went to my/our bank as I needed an overdraft. Bank manager says to me that if I needed an overdraft my husband would have to give his permission (we had separate accounts) as I was still his 'property'! Almost fell off the chair ... and just to rub it in, he said that the overdraft facilities were at their max. as my husband had used it, so therefore there was nothing for me. Husband however didn't have to ask my permission. Have things changed? No idea, but for those of you divorcing, check your facts!

  8. They look so cute. How about a small ceremony they plan around where they worship or work? It cuts on cost, and is so much more meaningful anyways.

  9. 96: I'm afraid women are still left with the legacy of ownership.

    Lake: The problem is that while my daughter lives in Accrington, her intended lives in Barrow in Furness, which is miles away. On top of that, my daughter may have to move back to Southport (about 30 miles away) if she leaves her present accommodation, as that's the social services dept she comes under. She worships locally, but her fiancee is an atheist, having lost his faith many years ago.

  10. Your daughter is very like her dad, Sir, and such a smile - I hope they will be very happy together in life... I think that is such a good idea about guests paying for their own nosh, and eschewing Wedding Giftettes!

    I am a Ms - No explanation necessary, and I never took my husband's name, which has people asking, 'So are you married?!' all the time... But I wouldn't change it...

    I wanted to keep my own identity, and my familly surname would end with my line as an only daughter, so I kept it...

    Our teenager has both surnames - hyphenated - I thought it would make it easier for him to gain Oxbridge entrance - Haha. He mainly uses my name in school, ''Cause it's easier' - I like that fact.