Say my name, say my nammeee

So it’s less than 10 weeks now until I get married and the excitement is building up and up every day. I have started to think a lot more recently about one big change that this wedding will bring (apart from the marriage of course) - that I will be choosing to change my surname.

For those who don’t know, my surname upon getting married will be Dobson. I keep saying it over and over again in my head. Hannah Dobson, Mrs Hannah Dobson, Mrs Dobson. Ahhh!!!

I think that concept of changing your name upon marriage is so different now to say 20 years ago. When my parents got married it was expected that you would change your name upon getting married. Now I know many people who have wed in the past  5 or 10 years who have kept their maiden name. And I won’t even hide the fact that at least one of those has found it weird and almost insulting to feminism that I am taking a different name upon marriage.

I thoroughly believe it is a personal chose whether a woman (or man) changes their name upon marriage. I understand that it is traditional which is why many women do it; but I have a few reasons why I will be changing my surname:

1. I get so fed up of having to spell my surname to people, I feel like I’m constantly saying “Harriman H-A-R-R-I-M-A-N” and yet people STILL won’t get it right. So far mishearing my name has lead to me being called: Harrison, Harrisman, Harryman, Hairyman, Horrible, Hannibal. You get the jist… At least when I change my name I shouldn’t have to spell it out to every single new person I meet. 

2. The Hannah Harriman I was 10 years ago is very different from the Hannah Harriman I am now. A lot of people who have known me for a long period of time perhaps sometimes still see me as the Hannah Harriman who was very socially awkward, who didn’t really have many friends and was quite a loner. I don’t feel at all that I’m like that now. Perhaps Hannah Dobson will help to evolve my identity into something that I feel more comfortable with. New people I meet in the future will know me as the Hannah Dobson that I am now and hopefully not hear of the Hannah Harriman all those years ago. I understand that this sounds a bit pathetic, but when you believe something enough sometimes it just happens.

3. Hannah Dobson just sounds so grown up – and I think I’m finally ready now to become a fully fledged adult!

That isn’t saying that I won’t find it weird or perhaps struggle to adapt to the change. I will have been Hannah Harriman for 23 years on my wedding day – that is a long time to have something for isn’t it? 

I would love to hear other people’s views on the matter. Did you change your name when you got married? If you did/didn’t then why/why not?

The Most Natural Thing in the World

Over the past week or so, I have seen in the news a story which really rattled my cage and saw me having one of my famous rants. The basic synopsis involves a woman who was photographed breastfeeding her child in public and then had said photo uploaded to Facebook with the tagline ‘Tramp.’

There has then followed a large protest for those who rightly agreed that the person who uploaded that photo is a moron - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-26592340 – to those who protested, I salute you.

To whoever uploaded that photo in the first place, you are a small minded, pig headed, uneducated, pathetic, childish and stupid little prick. Who the hell are you to label someone who is feeling their child a Tramp? What do you think breasts are for? They aren’t for ‘just looking nice’ in a top – they are used for feeding.

The person who uploaded the said picture (who I shall now label Photo Prick) was probably breastfed as a child, just like myself and many billions of child past present and future. Breastfeeding is a natural process which is also is a time for mother and child to bond. Mothers are thoroughly encouraged to breastfeed – but as soon as they do, are met with criticism and have people telling them that what they are doing is disgusting and what they are doing is offending the person not being discreet enough to look away for 5 minutes.

Would you eat your dinner in a toilet? Would you cover your face with a blanket because you eating was offending people? Would you go hungry and then cry in public because you are starving? Photo Prick and everyone other human being would answer “no, because that is just ridiculous!” But yet you would ask a mother to go through this with her child. And stupid people like Photo Prick bring humiliation and bully innocent mother for no legitimate reason. 

I was walking home from town today, and noticed shops that had a sticker in the window saying “breastfeeding welcome here” you shouldn’t have to say that breastfeeding is welcome, it should be allowed no questions asked and no permission needed. 

Even though I am not yet a mother, it is something which I would love to happen one day, and I will be choosing to breastfed my children whether in home or in public. Rue the day that someone questions my actions because dear God the ignorant person will get an earful from me in return and I will show them how little I value their opinion.

Oh and if you know Photo Prick – give them a slap for me.

The Stupid Questions Brides Will Hear

So my wedding is now just over 3 months away which is so crazy yet incredibly exciting! Myself and my fiancé are in the final stages of planning and starting the laborious task of finalising everything with various companies who are involved.

I’m sad that the wedding planning is almost over (considering that we’ve been engaged for almost 2 and a half years) but one thing I will not miss are some of the stupid questions I get asked whether by those who know me well, or not at all. I have given below an example of the daft questions and statements I’ve heard over the years and what I really wanted to say in return.

“I bet it feels really real?”

Yes, because the wedding was just a bit of a sham before hand… – I find this question odd because I have no idea whether I was suddenly meant to have this big epiphany or not. Yes, I have certainly found I am getting more excited but using the phrase ‘feeling more real’ just seems completely daft. Why make my wedding sound like something which was previously fake and make believe?

“I’m looking forward to getting my invite”

Who are you again? – I don’t mind closest friends and family saying this to me, but the people who do ask this are people I’m not particularly close to, or work colleagues I’ve barely even know outside of the office. The amount of money that gets spent at wedding (especially reception venues) is stressful enough as it is, let alone when people assume they’re invited when we didn’t even consider them. This is especially awkward for the speaker of this statement when they don’t find an invite falling on their door mat.

“Aren’t you too young to be getting married?”

Aren’t you too old to care? - I’ve had more then my fair share of people asking me this question and it does my frickin head in! I will be 23 on my wedding day and I do not think this is too young. I already have close friends who have gotten married before me at younger ages and I have never look at any of them and deemed them too young. This is because mentally they are mature and ready for it. There is a particular cut off which I perhaps feel is too young to get married (alas I will not say in fear of offending) but I have definitely found that it is purely on the individual, age is but a number. I’ve been with Andy since I was 17 and I know in my heart that I am ready to make this commitment to him and to us. Please don’t judge me as this WILL backfire on you when we’re still married in many years time.

“Do you want colour inserts in your napkins?”

Say what?! This is an example of the daft wedding questions I’ve had when it comes to aesthetics. Questions they make me question my sanity and wonder why on earth does that question even need an answer. Surely napkins are for wiping your mouth with? Who cares if they match the rest of the decor? Sometimes I think common sense is thrown out the window when people are wedding planning and they care about things which aren’t really necessary. As long as YOU are happy with how the place looks then boo to other people and their opinions/money spinning ideas.

“Aren’t you inviting _____ to the wedding?”

What? ____ who I haven’t spoken to since I was in nappies? – I’ve had this question from friends and family and this relates back to my invite comment. It’s stressful coming up with the guest list and why should I have to invite people to MY wedding who I barely know and will probably never talk to again until the next major event. You wouldn’t invite someone you don’t know to your birthday party so why is a wedding any different? Ok so it’s different if say the groom knows them and you don’t, that just happens sometimes especially with my fiancé’s family. So unless you want me to bite your head off, don’t ask me any of these question (though I already know some smart arse is going to know I’ve written this post).

“It ONLY took you 45 minutes to buy your wedding dress”

So you’d rather it took me 4 hours and I looked like a Bridezilla? - Yes it did only take me 45 minutes from walking into the bridal shop to purchasing my dress. Why should I spend hours searching for the right one when actually I ended up buying the first dress I tried on? I completely understand that a bride wants to look beautiful on her day and finding the right dress can be crucial to helping with confidence but sometimes I think too much effort is put into ‘the dress’ and brides just need to chill out.

I hope this has entertained someone out there. And if there are brides reading this who can share similar funny statements then please comment and let me know.

Facebook…the ruler of the world.

I came home from work today to an announcement from my fiancé that he had deleted his Facebook profile. After giggling for a short while (and perhaps calling him lame) I asked him in all seriousness why he had done so. He gave multiple reasons all of which got me thinking about the power of Facebook in the world. 

His main gripes were the lack of privacy on Facebook and the over sharing of personal information that there seems to be nower days. This involves the constant sharing of photos, information about our personal lives and general busy bodies who love to know what we get up to every second of the day. 

The controversy’s of Facebook seem to make the news more often then we should be comfortable with, our personal data used to make financial gain. It could be argued that the information Facebook shares to third parties is verging on breeching the Data Protection Act. And yet, billions of Facebook users still use the website and continue to tell everyone our birthday’s, show hundreds of pictures of our children and let everyone know where we are every single moment of the day. And this is passed onto advertisers, other users of Facebook and God knows who ever else is reading.

Should we really not all be kicking off over this? Do we really accept this as just a fact of life therefore ok? Do we have to accept it? We hear stories of people such as Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning who try and tell the world who is spying on us and taking our seemingly personal data  and in return for telling the truth – get locked up in prison or forced to flee the country. 

Even now, writing this blog post I am telling the world about my life, giving you all personal details about myself without knowing who is reading this and what they could do with the information I am providing. I am allowing this to happen and I am doing it freely and not against my will. Does this make me wrong or deserving to have information sold about me? I really don’t know, this world has changed so much that I don’t know what we should accept or not. 

I would love to know what other people think and please comment if you would like to share your words of wisdom. Oh and if you are interested, the fiancé has set up his own blog, read about the man wonder at http://ixanon.wordpress.com/

The New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year Folks! My head is still hurting from the night before and I’m currently curled up on the sofa feeling sorry for myself, even if it is self-inflicted pain!

As is the norm/mandatory for New Years, I have come up with my list of new years resolutions which I shall try and keep/maintain for as long as possible and I shall share with my readers what I plan to do for this year.

1. Finish writing my book

I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post that I have a book on the go, and this year I’m determined to finish putting it all onto paper (well, Microsoft Word) and hopefully send it off to a few publishers and if it gets published then that would be fantastic. I have all the book idea in my head and it’s just the putting it down onto paper which is the problem. I shall have to get into the right frame of mind and just get on and write it. I may even put a couple of snippits on here if you’re lucky ;-)

2. Stop biting nails/skin around nails

This is such an annoying habit I have, especially when I’m bored too and my nails currently look soooo unattractive. And with added broken skin and slightly red tinge – I need to change this habit. I’d really love to have nice looking nails so hopefully cutting down on the biting, picking and chewing will help. Though I can already feel my self itching to bite around my fingers. Naughty Hannah!

3. Reach my target goal weight

I love how I’m writing this just as I’m finishing a bag of chocolate…

I’ve almost reached the 2 stone goal mark with my weight loss and I know for sure that I’ve stupidly put some weight on over Christmas. I have about 2 and a half stone to go until I reach my goal weight and I know that this is my year to reach this goal. I’ve got to get focused again and perhaps think about joining the gym to help shift a couple of extra pounds or 5.

4. Be happier

Easier said then done, but I need to stop taking crap of people, getting wound up so easily and stop stressing about things which aren’t worth getting stressed over. 2014 is the year of the Hannah and I’m determined to make the most of it!

Bah Humbug and Ho Ho Ho

So unless you’ve been living as a hermit/in a coma/in denial you will realise that it’s finally got to December which means that it’s almost Christmas. And this blog post is dedicated to summing up the best (Ho Ho Ho) and worst (Bah Humbug) things about Christmas. I would love to know if anyone else shares the same opinions as me, so comment below and let me know:

1. The build up- Bah Humbug

I do love Christmas but I really do hate the build up to it. Shops will start stocking Christmas items in September and everyone will say “Oh it’s almost Christmas!” But then, everyone moans that the year is going so quickly. I just think that if everyone stopped talking about it being ‘almost Christmas’ for 4+ months of the year then it wouldn’t feel like the year was going so quickly.

2. Family- Bah Humbug and Ho Ho Ho

Ah family, they drive you potty don’t they? We always have the family get together which usually includes my grandparents coming up and this year we have my brother’s girlfriend over too. My family are a bit crazy though and sometimes they do drive me up the wall. And with so many people about I find it hard when I want to escape for some peace and quiet.

But at the same time, one of the great things about Christmas is having the family about, especially after a drink of wine or three. And it’s always nice having the nice big table crammed full of people having a giggle and enjoying themselves.

3. The religion- Ho Ho Ho

I was brought up a Christian (perhaps hard to believe to some of my friends) and I do enjoy the religious side of Christmas. I always loved the Nativity story and I love proper Christmas carols too. I will be cracking out my Christmas album with my ‘away in a manger’ and ‘silent night’ on it. Even if I do have to have the ear phones in as I’m sure my fiancé will roll his eyes at me.

4. Christmas Shopping- Bah Humbug

Shopping at Christmas is horrendous. I hate going to Meadowhall (our nearest shopping mall) because it is packed, hot and full of slowing walking people who dawdle and think it’s acceptable to do this in a way where you can’t get past them. Getting ideas of people as to what they want to Christmas is always annoying. Thinking of ideas is rubbish and whenever I ask my family and friends what they would like is always answered with ‘I dunno’.

And yet, I do refuse to shop on-line. It does depress me how many shops in Sheffield city centre and closed and boarded up and I also do not trust the Royal Mail this time of year. So I will make the brave trip to Meadowhall to find the shops that aren’t in the city centre, then help support retail shops by going into town.

5. Christmas food- Ho Ho Ho

Mince pies, Turkey, chocolate log, chocolates, roast potatoes, Christmas pudding, wine, wine and more wine. Jesus this really isn’t going to bode well for the Weight Watchers diet =/

6. Christmas Television- Ho Ho Ho

DOCTOR WHO CHRISTMAS SPECIAL- AHHHHHHHHHH :-D

7. Christmas Number One’s- Bah Humbug

I’m fed up with the stupid Christmas number one’s that we now have the endure. Especially X Factor Christmas number one’s which have no Christmas meaning to them. The last time that a Christmas song was number one was in 2004 (Band Aid 20- Do They Know it’s Christmas). 2004!!! That was 9 years ago :-( why can’t we have songs about Christmas and festive cheer. Not some snotty smug teenager who’s just won a ‘talent’ contest.

8. This time of year- Ho Ho Ho

You can’t deny it, no matter how old or young you are. There is something magical about this time of year isn’t it?

Winter’s coming, now where’s the chocolate?

So I’m sat here in my lovely flat in Sheffield, blanket wrapped around me and I’m freezing my ass off. It’s a sign that winter is here *sobs*

Now, if it was this time last year, I’d still be sat here freezing my ass off; but with an added mug of coco, a box of chocolates or two, and one of my best friends, Melody, to cuddle (we did used to live together, I didn’t just kidnap her off the street).

Sadly 1 year on, Melody’s moved back to Mansfield *more sobbing* and I’m still in the process of trying to lose much needed weight. So far, the grand total of weight loss is 1 stone 8.5 pounds, and once again I’m stuck in my stupid greedy rut of just wanting to eat anything and everything.

I think another tough part of the weight loss is when it comes to winter time. It’s cold, I struggle to get warm once I’m cold and the human body is designed to store fat for the winter. No wonder I want to spend all day stuffing my face with crap! 

I will sadly admit that the past couple of weeks, I’ve been in a weight loss denial. I don’t know why I keep having these big swings in controlling myself around food. One day I’ll be fine, but the next I all want to do is eat and eat and eat. Last week was terrible, I am ashamed at how many biscuits I made my way though. Even my work colleagues were staring to make ‘Man vs Food’ references with the amount of biscuits I ate. But I’ve made a promise to my fiancé that I will stop eating biscuits, and quit snacking on treats that people bring into work. I’ve stocked up on lots of yummy satsumas (a positive of wintertime when these come into the shops more) and being just 6 and a half pounds of losing two stone, I really want to make that push to get to the 2 stone goal. Well, after I rectify the damage I’ve inflicted over the past two weeks.

Who wants to make a bet that I’ll reach the 2 stone mark before Christmas? Any takers?