100 Years Since Passchendale

Today I got to attend the 100 year commemoration of the battle of Passchendale organised by the Pontypool comrades club and the British Legion.

20431292_1884918885162119_1210064352207630808_n.jpg

20430132_1884900881830586_8452446043380647414_n (1).jpg

Advertisements

What To Wear On Your Wedding Day

Who knew that when it come to groom’s wear there would be such a choice out there, so if you find yourself in my situation and don’t know what to wear here are some classic examples of wedding wear for men.

A Lounge Suit

images (1).jpg

A lounge suit is your basic suit, if worn with a waistcoat it can look pretty smart, now the waistcoat doesn’t necessarily have to be matching and that adds something different and can actually lend a dash of colour to your special day.

A Morning Suit 

0f5da41f8e4f4075d1a4f48f50055641--morning-dress-morning-suits

Your basic morning suit is a morning tailcoat with a waistcoat and a pair of striped trousers, a classic look popular in Edwardian times and still in fashion to this day, worn with a cravat or tie is the height of wedding chic, but I will warn you, if you are going to wear a top hat to complete the look be sure that you aren’t a little on the larger side, because speaking from recent experience if you are and go for this look you do run the risk of looking like the fat controller from Thomas The Tank Engine.

A Prince Edward Suit

Slate_grey_prince_edward_suit

A cross between the lounge suit and a frock coat, the Prince Edward suit is a draped jacket that ends mid way between the waist and the knee (mid thigh) and works as both a suit or as a jacket over matching waistcoats and trousers.

A Frock Coat

hicheltblaalb_1_zoom

A long formal coat with satin lapels, to be worn with matching trousers over a waistcoat and cravat, again from recent experience, a navy blue frock coat looks bad ass over a burgandy waistcoat and a gold cravat, coupled with tan shoes and gold topped cane. Best worn during the winter months because they are very often made of thick wool.

Black Tie

perryellis_feb2008_cropped

Bow tie with a satin lapel jacket, the height of chic that the modern world offers, however I always feel that it isn’t really appropriate for a wedding, as weddings usually take place in the day and black tie is very much evening wear, and it does still bring up the waistcoat/ cummerbund debate. Other variants also include the velvet jacket and or a white diner jacket.

White Tie

C842

White tie is a classic, an evening tailcoat, a white waistcoat and matching bow tie, what could possibly look more elegant.

Accessories that will also need some consideration for all of the above will be:

  1. Bow Ties
  2. Ties
  3. Cravat
  4. Pocket Square
  5. Cufflinks
  6. Pocket Watch
  7. Top Hat
  8. Canes
  9. Tie Clips
  10. Stick Pins
  11. Cravat Pins
  12. Button Holes

Stag Do’s For Pretentious Shit’s

For those of you that didn’t know, I’m getting married, and whilst a date has yet to be set we are aiming for February of Next Year (2018) and in somewhat of a Don’t Tell The Bride style of thing, the planning of the event has been left to yours truly (The only bits I’m not touching are the Dress, Hair and Make Up). Maybe this has been left to me because my darling betrothed is overcome with her duties as mayor, or it could be because of my experience of event management, but either way its mine. And for all the hard work that I have in front of me the main reward (aside from wedded bliss) is that I get to finally have a Stag do, or Bachelor Party as the yanks call it.

Of course that being said living opposite a Wetherspoon’s I have been party to some fairly dismal looking stag do’s, but at the same time I wouldn’t really don’t want to hit up the cliche of just getting pissed up in matching t-shirts that are adorned with some crude nickname that the recipient didn’t know that they had. And I certainly don’t want to do that abroad in some STD riddled tourist trap like Benidorm, Malia, Kavos or Ibiza. As most people who have ever met me know, I am a fairly pretentious person by modern standards. I like Jazz and Opera, I can tell where a wine is from just by looking at the glass, I only smoke cigars and the occasional pipe and I own not one but two smoking jackets and also two tailcoats. So you see the sort of problems that would be faced by anyone trying to organise a stag do for someone like myself. And even if I were to organise my own stag do before researching this list I was still at a loss of what to do. This was also made even more difficult by the fact that I am in no way inclined toward physical activity, hopefully the following provides some inspiration.

  1. Opera- Its a little different for a stag do, and can certainly be accompanied by drinks both before and after but opera is one of those things that regularly occurs, and is not always that expensive, The Welsh National Opera regularly hosts shows in Cardiff bay, a stones throw from some of the best cocktail bars in Wales and a very short taxi ride from Cardiff town centre.
  2. Food/ Wine/ Ale Festivals- Who doesn’t like a festival atmosphere and if you combine it with the wonders that are food, cheese, wine or beer, a good time will most likely be had by all.
  3. Jazz Festival- Keeping with the festival theme, but also being a lot more low key than things like Glastonbury and Download, and chances are that if its only a one day festival, you can avoid the hell that is camping with a large group of your fellow men, or camping in general really.
  4. Stand Up- whats not to like about watching people try to make you laugh and having a beer or ten while they do it?
  5. Horse Racing – What could be more manly than the sport of kings? Taking a day out to Chepstow or Epsom with a few cigars and couple of trips to the bar while you’re there? Nothing.
  6. Spa Day- Now hear me out. You’re going to need to get a decent hair cut anyway, so why not combine that with a wet shave from a cut throat razor and a massage as well ?
  7. Museum/ Art Gallery- Why not take a day to expand your cultural horizons, and visit some of the great museums and art galleries that our country has to offer, I would recommend the Tate, The Imperial War Museum and St Fagans National Museum of History (Cardiff)
  8. Burlesque Show- What says stag do or bachelor party more than the idea of seeing a bunch of oversexed morons perving over a stripper or crowded into a titty bar? It’s almost impossible to add a bit of class to this particular cliche, but a decent burlesque show does manage to pull of that fine line between tawdry and tasteful.
  9. Cigar Tastings- Since the beginning of the smoking ban in enclosed public spaces in the UK cigar tastings have died out, but hings such as cigar cruises have popped up to fill that need, so may prove a good part of the traditional stag smoker.

I hope that this little list helps for anyone who is planning a stag do or bachelor party for a pretentious shit.

Royal Welsh Show

Today I attended the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show near Builth Wells in Powys. The Royal Welsh Show is one of the largest agricultural and livestock shows in Europe and is organised by the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society  and the show has been held for the 110 years.

As well as the various displays of livestock and farming, which as a city boy, hold very little interest to me beyond the novelty value, there are a great number of traders from businesses across the length and breadth of Wales, and since it is first and foremost a farming show, a good number of these traders have something to do with the food industry. So for me much of the day was given over to sussing out which would be the best examples of food and drink to partake in after our official lunch. This was also interspersed with hunting out the stalls giving out things like free pens and bag.

20294202_10155500747530480_2389310957855302805_n.jpg
Swag Haul From the Royal Welsh Show

The Two traders that I would recommend the most would have to be Celtic Country Wines and The Snowdonia Cheese Company between the two of them, I could quite easily have bankrupted myself.

It was however a very tiring day, with a lot of walking, not aided by Marianna who was becoming quite restless by the end of the day, and rather unfairly for a pale skinned ginger, she wound up getting a fairly impressive tan.

20246026_10155502860245480_7291554366537913414_n.jpg
Marianna Being A Police Lady at the Dyfed Powys Police tent at The Royal Welsh Show

 

Community Stuff

After rolling in at about 2:30 this morning after more than a fair few drinks, I, along with Jessica and Marianna got to go and open the fete at the Cold Barn Farm Community centre, with lots of activities like face painting and coconut shies, raffles, tombolas various stalls selling things and the typical fete like foods like burgers, slush puppies which I found to my delight were a great hangover cure.

DFaaIYRXcAA4ucP.jpg