So my time helping the new Mr & Mrs Pfaff has come to an end as Sarah & Russ had their big day yesterday. We've spent the last year planning the reception and wanted to create a cosy, comfy and relaxing environment and I think we achieved that. I went back to finish off the decorating in the morning and was just so pleased with how it all turned out. You have a picture in your head of how you want things to look but always worry how it will turn out on the day but I loved it all, especially the Gin Bar we designed. Once the decorating was finished, I then stayed on to help coordinate the day and it was just incredible to be able to see the wedding in its entirety and to hear the guests reactions when they first walk into the room. AMAZING!!!!
So I get to the barn this morning to start (sadly) taking the decorations down, which in this 30 degree weather, believe me is not easy. As most of you probably know, I hate the heat and am much more a fan of winter so you can understand that literally within 2 minutes of being outside, I feel like my face is sliding off. (It's not obviously but that's how it feels.) How people can lay out in it all day I'll never know. Anyway I manage to get all my bits ready to load in just about an hour which is pretty cool but then I realise I'm not sure what time anyone is arriving who may be able to help with the 3 metre bar top........so in my infinite wisdom, I say to myself "no Laura, you are strong. You can lift the barrels and stumps and get them in the van no probs, so how hard can it be, right?!!?!"
Ummmm very hard is the answer to that question. So picture me with a determined let's do this look on my face. I've backed the van right right up to the bar, and have the doors open ready. I somehow manage to slide the wood so one end is in the van but then realise if I push it any further, the other end is going to fall to the ground so I need something to prop it up with. I spy some hay bales so use them and low and behold after much sweating, swearing and vowing to never do this again (I will, of course) I get the piece of wood in.
In my smug state, I finish loading the van putting all the other props in and around the wood making sure nothing can slide around or fall out, tie the doors together with bungee ropes (the doors won't shut completely as the wood is too long) and set off for home thinking how impressed Matt will be when I tell him that I did it all by myself. I stop by the house to tell Sally the owner that I'm off and we have a chat about my next wedding I have back at the venue in a couple of weeks time. I get back in the van and check the mirror to find I am as red as a tomato, my fringe is plastered to my forehead and I have mascara smudges under my eyes. Nice one Laura, nice one.
So finally I am off. The windows are down, the music is on and I've got the biggest grin on my face from completing my first full venue styling and day of coordination all in one weekend. I'm not 10 minutes down the road when I hear the most almighty crash and look out my side mirror to see all of the poles from the brand new gazebo that I had brought falling out of the van and just rolling around on the road behind me. It takes my brain a second to realise that yes, this is my stuff and shhhhhhiiiiitttttttt.
I slam on the brakes, put my hazards on and start running up the middle of the road with my hands up both ways shouting "stop" to the oncoming cars. May I just take you back up 2 paragraphs to how I looked when I was chatting with Sally? Well picture that now but with me out of breath just to add to the whole deranged, crazy woman look I'm currently rocking. One car drives over one of the poles, slows down to perhaps ask if I'm ok, make sure I don't need any help and to perhaps allow me to ask if they are ok and to check if I've done any damage to their car.......but no. They just take one look at me and drive off!!!!!
The next drivers from either direction kindly stop and pick up gazebo parts and also offer to help me take the poles back to the van which is half a bloody mile down the road, because of course I didn't have the sense to reverse closer. "No, no, honestly I'm fine" I say between huge gulps of air all the while trying not to die of embarrassment. Said poles are stacked very precariously in my arms but then I see I've dropped the end sections and pegs. I know that if I take one more step or try and pick up anything else, that I'll drop the lot so trying to act as if I'm not bothered by the whole mortifying experience, I pop the poles on the bank at the side of the road and with my head down walk back to the van making no eye contact with anyone.
I open up the back and move the offending gazebo box to another part of the van whereby it can't cause me anymore problems. I reserve back up the hill and retrieve the poles, cursing as I go. I'm finally back on the road, cruising at a max 40mph. I'm terrified the same thing will happen again that I just can't find the confidence to put my foot down so I let all the cars that are backing up behind me get more and more infuriated with the idiot slow driver blocking their way. I decide there is nothing else for it but to stop at the next garage and console myself with the biggest bar of chocolate I can find. Even the lady serving me asks "Bad day love?" so my face must have said it all.
Once my nerves have calmed, I'm back off again and I'm sat clutching the steering wheel so tightly as if that will somehow make nothing else fall out of the back and I get to Stonehenge without any issues but then find there has been an accident so it takes me an hour to literally drive 1/2 mile past the stones giving me time to admire the view & to grab some photos and you'll be pleased to hear that I then made it home in one piece, albeit 2 hours later than planned but at least there were no more accidents or props falling out the back of the van. The first thing I do when I get home is to dump the hideous, cringe causing poles in the bin and vow to forget the whole day ever happened!
So I guess the moral of the story is: to never place an open box on top of props in a van when the doors can't shut. If you have to put a box on top, then make sure you tape it up or just never buy a gazebo.
p.s Matt asks me if I ever embellish on my blog stories and the answer is sadly no. This all does happen to me just as I've written