More than just a dog

I realise that I haven’t written a blog post in 3 months (bad Hannah) and I apologise that my first post back will not be the most cheerful post. But I felt I had to write, as a tribute, about the sad death of our family dog last week.


Today would have been Candy’s 14th birthday so I am writing this post in her memory. Candy is a Bichon Frise who to be honest was probably related to a sheep somewhere down the line. She has been in our family for the past 6 and a half years and has filled our lives with plenty of noise but a whole lot of love. Her death to me was unexpected, even though she was an old girl, and it has been a very long time since I have grieved this much for a loss.

Candy was the friendliest, happiest and silliest dog you would have had the pleasure to meet. She was always pleased to see you no matter how long it was since you last saw her, whether it was 1 minute or 1 month.

The innocent look...

She was also a madam, I’ll give you that! She was always demanding to sit on your knee and it was known that she would get very cross with you if you weren’t sat in the room that SHE wanted to be in!

Like most dogs as well, if she had the opportunity to eat something a bit rebellious she would take full advantage. I’ve known her on walks to eat egg shells and cigarette butts. She also famously ate my birthday cake and has managed to eat a whole packet of chocolate coins (even taking the wrappings off).

The pictures I have put up as well also do show her at her whitest. One of her favourite (and most disgusting habits) was finding the smelliest poo she could roll in, and then looking perplexed when we would then give her a bath, as if it was our fault…

Now my dad’s house is so quiet without the padding of paws around the kitchen and the background noise of her usual whining. The pain of losing a family pet is definitely equal to that of losing a family member, how could you not grieve for a pet who was in your life all day every day? Things just won’t be the same without her, no laugher as she head butted the floor after a sneeze, no squeaks from her basket as she is trying to scratch that itch on her head, no warm dog to sit on your knee and lick your jeans (don’t ask, she had a weird obsession with jeans!).

So Rest In Peace Candy, Cand, Cand Dog, Peewwwwch, Candyfloss, Stinky Dog – I really will miss you…


This post is written with the blessing of my dad and step-mum.

Holidays vs Parenting

I was watching the news this evening whilst the husband cooked the tea (check me out delegating!) and there was an article that came on about the quite alarming rise of parents being fined for taking their kids out of school during term time in order to go on holiday. The number of fines being issued was up something like 77% from last year.

I understand that holidays are expensive, and I do think that it’s a massive bitch that holiday companies deem it acceptable to bump up the prices of a holiday during peak periods. But isn’t it setting a bad example to our kids by taking them out of school?

I know that I’m not a parent, therefore my argument is pretty weighted, but I got really tired of these parents only justification being “we save a couple of hundred pounds” when the fines for taking children out of school is £120ish per child. Your kids are missing out on education!!! I found it hard especially at A Levels to catch up after missing one day at school, let alone a week! Surely it’s almost selfish making your kids fall behind in their education? And it’s setting an example that it’s ok to not go to school, something that I definitely wasn’t brought up with.

And what about teachers? They have their holiday exactly the same time as kids, they can’t just take a week off work to go on holiday because it’s cheaper for them. They’d get sacked.

Surely the solution is to crack down on the travel companies who put the price of holidays up by ridiculous amounts for 6 weeks of the year. Everyone wants to go on holiday when it’s hot anyway, so people will still book, in fact, people will surely book more holidays if prices were lower? Think about it travel companies…

I’d love to get the view point of parents, like I’ve said I feel pretty biased not having a kid myself. So please comment below and share your points.



The Scapegoat

Only and idiot will have not realised that the World Cup has been on for the past month. Just like any other tournament, this one has been filled with its own dramas, upsets and controversy. I already knew that England wouldn’t go far (any Brit knows that), so for me the biggest upset was how shockingly Brazil crumbled without their star player.

Yet, the result of their downfall seems to be Luiz Felipe Scolari resigning as Brazil’s manager. Now, I’m not claiming to be a massive football fan (cue man: “ha ha, go make me a sandwich” *yawn*), if anything perhaps my opinion from an outsider makes things less biased. But this screamed in my head when I read about Scolari’s resignation:


It wasn’t Scolari on the pitch kicking the football. It was the 11 players who couldn’t not physically cope with their star player being injured. I have never seen a bunch of footballers collapse from greatness so quickly to the extent that it was embarrassing. They shouldn’t have to be so reliant on one player to get them through each match. I mean, 7-1 to Germany!!! I know they ended up winning the World Cup but 7-1 is a result you’d expect from Germany vs Ireland, not Germany vs Brazil (sorry to pick on you Ireland). 

When you are a team, you work together and when one of you is down, the team carries on. A good team doesn’t crumble under pressure and I don’t for one second think the fault of a group’s actions should solely rely on the manager. But yet, you won’t see any of Brazil’s football team resigning – it’s the manager who takes the brunt of it all. Scolari helped (as a TEAM) to win the World Cup in 2002 and now a nation seems to have turned their back on him. It’s not just Brazil where I have seen this happen. My home team, Sheffield Wednesday, are also big culprits of this – after the amount of managers they’ve been through, how long will it be before they realise that perhaps the fault is with the players and not the person trying to bring them together.

Sadly I don’t think football will ever change, and I hope that Naymar does get better soon. But how many more managers will have to suffer because of the overpriced babies that they have to organise ever week to kick a football around a pitch? 

Now where’s the bread to make that sandwich…

So I tied the knot..

It finally happened! The wedding that I’ve been blabbering on about for months and months finally happened! And it was by far the best day of my life so far :-) Now I know that there will be plenty of brides to be that will read this blog so I hope you get some inspiration from the photos below. Image My dress was a beautiful fitted corset top and A line skirt  (from Francesca Bridal Sheffield) and I have to say I felt like a princess wearing it. It fitted beautifully (thanks to a very talented seamstress)and I felt like a prope10171796_10154210267965524_8808693599388522178_nr grown up! And everyone commented on how good I looked – especially my now husband. Doing WeightWatchers for the year before hand certainly paid of. Not that I’m stopping with the diet mind you.

I decided to wear a veil as I had a church wedding and felt it was more traditional. I did end up taking it off for the evening reception as it did feel a bit heavy after a few hours but felt it went very well with a strapless dress.

I had some fabulous shoes and jewellery (from Debenhams) and a garter that my mother-in-law gave me (from BHS). I really loved how I managed to get a matching tiara with the jewellery, it helped to compliment the outfit.

Besides the dress, my other favourite aspects of the wedding were the flowers and the cake. Our wedding cake was a four tiered heart shaped cake made by – the layers were: sponge, lemon drizzle, chocolate mint and bubblegum. She also made us perso10371021_777252532319586_3439902913253239592_nnalised figurines for the top – with Andy holding a tiny xbox controller and me holding a little music book. She also made us 6 lactose free cupcakes. I would recommend her in a heartbeat.

The flowers were done by and they created all the bouquets, button holes and table pieces (the glass bowls in the picture). They also made corsages for our 2 mums and 2 step mums and they matched the colours of each corsage to each mum’s dress. To me that is going above and beyond and created a personal touch which I don’t think you would get in other florists.

Everyone said that our day was wonderful and I hope that everyone had a good time. We ate, drank and were very merry until the early hours of the morning and I was so sad when the day ended. Two and a half years of planning were over in one day – it’s no wonder that so many brides claim to get depressed after their big day.

I keep wondering whether I feel any different now I’m a married woman, it still feels far too grown up for me! The one thing I have noticed is that getting dressed in the morning, my brain has a tendency to say “Hannah – would a married woman really wear that outfit?!” Crazy I know…! But I do really love being called someone’s wife and I am quite settled into married life already. The next step will be saving to buy our own house, which in Sheffield the deposit alone will probably cost as much as the whole wedding! Plenty of people at the wedding asked if there were to be kids on the horizon – not for a few years yet. Andy is still completing his part time uni course on top of working full time and we both want time to enjoy married life as just the two of us. We have started on the next chapter of our adventure and where it goes – we’ll just have to see…

The Diet – One Year On

So this time last year I wrote quite a sad blog post about myself and my weight issues and how I was struggling to find be happier within myself and lose the weight I’d gained over the years.

Well, 1 year on and it’s a very different story…

I decided to join Weight Watchers on the 18th May 2013 – I honestly felt that I had nothing left to try and this was a last resort…

Why the hell didn’t I do Weight Watchers sooner!

It’s the best experience I have ever had and I’ve found the portion control and control over what I eat the easiest thing I have ever done. And most importantly I have lost 2 stone 12lb!!!

My life has changed so much since losing that weight:

1. I’m in much smaller clothing now (having gone from a 16 top/18 bottom to a 12 top/14 bottom) and I find that I’m wearing skirts and dresses more often.

2. My fitness levels are getting better – I can walk further without breaking into a sweat and can walk for longer periods of time

3. My mood has drastically improved. A lot of the depression I had last year has gone, I now just get the occasional ‘blue’ day that every human being has.

4. My self confidence is coming back. I don’t ever think I’ll be 100% happy with myself (years of bullying destroyed that). But I can now look in the mirror and not see a big fat lump staring back at me. I see someone who has fresher skin, curves in all the right places and has a smile back on her face.

I still feel that I have a long way to go. A lot of my friends do the “now don’t lose any more will you” routine which actually I’ve come to ignore. I’m not aiming to get as thin as possible, that defeats the whole point of trying to make myself happier. But I do have my target weight in mind (slap bang in the middle of a healthy weight range) and I shall continue to go to my meetings, count my points and have a laugh with all the friends I have made. I can’t wait until I reach my goal and I know that I’ll feel a lot better for it.

I do feel that once I’ve reached my goal the biggest task will be to maintain my weight, but I feel this time around I have the right tools to keep the weight gain off and go forward in a new chapter of my life :-)

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 – – 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.