The Jumble Sale…

This post is so named for it’s total lack of coherency and inclusion of All The Topics. I love a jumble sale, me. Because I couldn’t possibly have fit anymore into this post, if you would like to know about a very, very exciting event that’s currently being planned and would indeed like to attend said event, pop back at 1pm for all the details… *cough*#anyotherhendo*cough*


We sent out the #bookswap questionnaires on Friday and the response so far has blown us away – you lot are hilarious, ridiculous and incredibly thoughtful and it’s such a joy to read all the responses as they come back in. If you havent already replied to your designated team member, remember you need to do so by this Friday, 25th January. The quicker we get your replies the quicker we can match you up and get these books flying around the world! If you need some inspiration, pop over to Flowers and Stripes for Rachel’s beautiful account of her visit to Mr. B’s Reading Spa. To quote Mahj, ‘le sigh….’


As I finish writing this post, I am vaguely uncomfortable but deliriously happy at 39 weeks pregnant, snowbound and alternating between PANICKING and pretending that EVERYTHING IS FINE AND THERE IS NO SNOW. I’m not going to lie to you, I’d really, really like Stella to be a fully-fledged citizen of the big, wide world by the time you read this, but we shall have to wait and see. As my mum said to me the other day, ‘just because YOU’RE ready, doesn’t mean SHE is.’

This is going to be my last personal post for a little while, you’ll still see me intro-ing a couple of submissions here and there and it’s quite likely I’ll still be on Twitter being nosy and irrelevant, time-permitting. I’m not going into actual Tudor-style confinement, but you will be seeing/hearing less of me for at least a month or so. (Stop that. I can see you dancing. STOP LOOKING SO HAPPY!) Fingers crossed that there’ll be a wee announcement post soon, though I predict the photo will be solely of my daughter and possibly including her father. Pretty sure I’m not going to pull off the post-labour glow like Clare…


Phil and I popped into town to get a few last minute bits for the hospital bags the other day. (Top marks to the lady who served me in Primark – when I mentioned I thought the nighties I was buying might be a tad on the short side, she declared, ‘You’re not going to give a bunny’s bottom what you’re flashing my love, BELIEVE ME!’ Phil nearly died.) We went for a coffee and were sat next to an adorable elderly couple reading the papers. Stella gave me a particularly sharp jab in the ribs and as I rubbed my bump and Phil told her off for being violent (cutest.thing.ever. I know, vomit.) the old man leaned over and said ‘Baby isn’t coming now, are they?’ We  laughed and said no, not just yet. They then made me afternoon by telling us some stories from when their children were born. AND THEY HELD HANDS AS THEY DID IT. Seriously, I don’t know how I made it out of there without bursting into tears. Our favourite story was this one, told by the old man whilst his wife smiled at him like he’d hung the moon and all the stars.

‘When our first daughter was born – she’s 50 this year, you know! 50! Gosh. Anyway – I was ever so excited. You’ll see, young man, you’ll see. Ever so excited. Yes, a bit too excited. I went off to send the announcement telegrams – no phones in those days, 50 years ago this was – and you’ll never guess what I did. Never in your life… I only sent the telegram to myself instead of my bloomin’ MOTHER-IN-LAW! Didn’t realise until I got home 2 days later. Died 12 years ago she did, never did forgive me, did she my love?’

I made myself cry just typing that. Seriously. Adorable. After we’d left the coffee shop, we bought some teenytiny babygros and some not-so teenytiny bras (MOON BOOBS, ANYONE?) and the whole way back to the car, Phil was so, so quiet. I watched him from the corner of my eye and imagined him to be overwhelmed with the thought of our daughter’s imminent arrival and excited at the prospect of telling everyone she’d arrived. As we left the car park I was existing in a completely parallel universe – there were birds tweeting and rainbows everywhere, there may even have been a unicorn. And then Phil spoke, for the first time in 20 minutes. ‘How does a telegram even WORK?’



Anna, Clare and I have been friends for so long now it’s almost impossible to remember a time when we weren’t – despite this I can remember the occasions I first met them both with total clarity, having Strange. We actually ‘met’ nearly three (THREE?!) years ago whilst part of a community on another blog. Indeed, Anna and I both had our wedding featured on that blog and I know I speak for us both when I say how proud we were and how special it was to see our weddings ‘on the big screen’. On our ‘Team’ page here at AOW we linked to our reports, knowing full well that everyone likes to have a good ol’ nose (including us, yes, at our own weddings. Frequently.) Unfortunately, our weddings are not available to view on that blog anymore, which was surprisingly upsetting. The effort that went in to those reports and the comments and relationships they generated became a huge part of the amazing parcel of memories we both have of our weddings and now they are simply….gone. 

Taken by the wonderful Lucy Stendall, TWO YEARS AGO. (2?!)

Partly for you guys, if you’re interested, but largely for ourselves and for posterity, our weddings are now available for you to see here. Anna was organised enough (shocking, I know…) to have kept her original report from all those years ago and I’m so pleased she did – you’re in for a such a treat. You can see Anna’s day of red roses, owls, pouts and cupcakes here. I did not keep the original report I wrote (me? disorganised? Never.) and have found myself totally unable to recreate it in any way that feels as special as the original. It’s gutting. BUT. I have shared a slideshow of my wedding photos here before now and it’s to this that I direct you, should you like to peruse my haphazard, sunshiney, back garden affair here.

Clare’s insanely elegant, peach and grey (you sense a theme…?!) winter wedding with the World’s Most Beautiful Dress is available to view starting here, serialised in her own stunning style and illustrated with the most wonderful photographs.

Enjoy, readers. We certainly did.


It may still be January, but we’re thinking ahead here at AOW. You’re impressed, aren’t you. I know. It’s International Women’s Day on 8th March and if you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ll know that we love to celebrate IWD here. We really love it. A lot. You can see 2011′s festivities here  (just read back over the previous posts) and 2012′s shenanigans here (again, read back for all the posts) - they’re worth losing an afternoon over, believe me.

We’re throwing this year’s celebrations wide open, readers. Previously we have ‘invited’ folk to take part and been blown away by the quality and style of the responses we received. We’re going to try and pull it together slightly differently this year as our readership and community has grown and developed beyond anything we could ever have dreamed. We’re excited at the thought of lots of you contributing to an amazing day (or maybe days?) on Any Other Woman. Even if it is going to mean some extra work on our part…!

We’re looking for a post or a picture that tells us, and tells the world, what it means to you to be a woman. Here, today, in 2013. It might be a subject that you feels needs fixing, changing, updating. Something that sets your soul on fire and makes you want to scream. It could be something that fills you with joy, with love and light. It can be ANYTHING. I can’t tell you how excited we are imagining the variety of wonderful submissions we’ll receive. (Hint: we’re VERY excited.)

If you would like to contribute, we’re asking that you send your post or picture to our Submissions inbox by 28th February 2013 with the subject heading ‘International Womens Day’. Posts can be of any length – you know we say around 1000ish words is around our limit. Please include who you are, your blog address if you have one and your twitter account should you dabble there, too. We’ll remind you of the deadline each week and please feel free to email any of us asking any questions you might have. It’s worth me saying again, we are throwing this wide open. Anyone and everyone is invited to contribute. Bloggers, tweeters, readers, cats….EVERYONE. Get thinking…


All that remains to say is ‘toodle pip’ and THANK YOU, readers. I know, I’m not leaving. (I’m really not, I promise.) I’m not even going away for a particularly long time. But I find myself missing you all, missing the blog and the writing and the endless apologising to Anna and Clare for being asleep All The Time, already. The last few years have been the hardest and best of my life and the ‘best’ part can be attributed largely to you all. Your friendship and love and twinkly guiding lights have meant so much and some of you have had the kindest words and brightest lights ready to see me through the darkest tunnels. You’re all an inspiration to me, each and every one of you. And I cannot WAIT to introduce you to my daughter. *Bursts into tears*

Anna and Clare, I LOVE YOU. That is all.

Categories: Behind the Scenes at AOW, Written By Aisling
41 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted January 21, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Lovely. Seriously lovely. All of it. Thank you Aisling. Will miss reading your posts but thinking of you over the next few precious weeks x x

  2. Vivienne
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    *sobs* And we love you. So very much. I am almost catatonic with excitement that you are about to experience the most awesome, overwhelming, exhausting, and delirium inducing rush when Stella arrives earthside and to watch you grow in to the most beautiful mother.

    I’m also very sad your original wedding report has been lost – it was where so many of us girl-crushed all over you, and a real sense of community was born. More fool them for discarding of real heart in favour of flash and hype.

    And the moonboobs? They only get BIGGER.


    • Posted January 21, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Is that your baby in your pic??? I missed that announcement if so. Many many congratulations and love. xxx

      • Vivienne
        Posted January 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that’s Toby. Thank you xxx

        • Posted January 21, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          Literally gorgeous.

          • Vivienne
            Posted January 22, 2013 at 1:59 am | Permalink

            Thank you. I’m sort of biased but he is rather scrummy xxx

  3. Posted January 21, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Love you too, el divmeister. You and Phil will be that old couple. And you’ll be showing people pictures of S, and it’ll be twitter you talk about, not telegram.

    Readers, if you go into the cold sweats at missing Aisling ‘s writing whilst she’s on maternity leave, we made some shiny new buttons on the right hand side of the blog where you can find all our personal posts. Aisling ‘s is at this link:

    Enjoy! X

  4. Posted January 21, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Sigh, way to make me cry at the start of the week A! I am so excited about Stella’s imminence, goodness knows you must be giddy as a kipper. Also I’m kicking myself that I hadn’t stalkerishly saved a copy of your wedding report (shocked that I didn’t really).
    And finally, roll on 1pm!

  5. Posted January 21, 2013 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I proper love you, Aisling. I love all of you, actually.

    I love jumble sale posts, somehow the peek into your lives are always the most inspiring and life-affirming posts, it’s like sitting down for tea with a best friend. I’ve started my week grinning as tears plop into my cereal.

    Can’t wait to meet your gorgeous daughter. Come on Stella!

    K xx

    PS: I’m so sorry your weddings got deleted from the other blog. It is thoroughly their loss but I can’t hate them entirely because without them I’d never have found this place and that would sincerely suck.

    • Posted January 21, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Katie is so right, these posts are just like sitting down for tea and a catch up with a best friend. I think because they have everything- humour (Moon boobs, snigger), confessions, joy, history and soppiness.

      Can’t wait to peruse the AOW team weddings when I’m on a computer! Also, is it possible that there is still a cached copy of your wedding report on Google somewhere??

      Lots of love to you, Stella and Phil. I hope she makes her appearance soon- I know we’re all blooming excited to meet her! Xxxx

    • Posted January 21, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      I agree with Katie also, without them I wouldn’t have found you all.
      And I wouldn’t have realised that IT’S OK that I don’t like bunting and my wedding will be pretty without all that faff. You guys have given me love and confidence to make my wedding as un-blogworthy and just me as possible. So thank you all so much.

      Absolutely love you all. Hope for an announcement soon, but until then I really hope I can make #aowhd and actually meet you all and make real life friends with you. That pic is just brilliant (especially Anna’s face). Everyone needs more friends like that!

      • Posted January 21, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        I think every wedding is blog worthy. Maybe it doesn’t have the stuff people think it should have, but the stuff I love about weddings is the joy and love and fun involved. That’s what I want to see in a blog over perfect pictures and bunting. Not that those things aren’t wonderful to look at, and great if that’s what the people involved want, but that’s not what I read wedding reports for!

        • ClaireH
          Posted January 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          I’m with you Crysta – it’s the love and togetherness and happiness that make every wedding so special. Every time you can just see the love shining right out of the pictures and words on these pages it totally gets to me.

  6. Posted January 21, 2013 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Sending you all love for the next days & weeks & then some… Take care in the snow x

  7. Posted January 21, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    What a lovely start to the week. We’ll miss you too, Aisling, but I’m so excited for you and Phil!

  8. Posted January 21, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Aisling, that last paragraph basically WAS the closing sequence in the Labyrinth. You know we’re just beyond your bedroom walls, jigging about to Dance Magic Dance don’t you? Whenever you need us… just call…. (I’ve always thought of myself as a bit like Ludo)

    Now…. WEDDINGS!!!! *rushes off to look*


    PS. got a VERY good post brewing for IWD I have been thinking about for maybe years….
    PPS. GOOD LUCK and stay cool and embrace….. hugely excited for you!

    • Katielase
      Posted January 21, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      The rest of you are also dancing around the room singing Dance Magic Dance now, aren’t you? AREN’T YOU?! I want to be the worm.

      K x

      • Posted January 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Haha I watched Labyrinth this weekend (it helped me get through a YEAR’s worth of filing), I love it so much. Sir Didymus for the win (the worm is also brilliant. And Ludo. And all of them)

        K x

  9. Posted January 21, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Oh, Aisling. We all love and care for you so, so much and I wish you the very best from the bottomm of my heart for the next few weeks. A baby – you’re having a baby!!

    In a world where, as you say, ‘real’ friends can let you down and others can be petty, it’s wonderful to have this blog and the amazing community that comes with it. It really does mean a lot to me.

    Now what can I write for IWD….?


  10. Mahj
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Aah Aisling this was lovely. I fully join in with all Aisling love in these comments.

    Am hoping that Stella doesn’t keep you and Phil waiting too much longer. Can’t wait to see a wee pic of her when she arrives.

    Also am going to make it my mission this week to use the phrase “bunnies bottom” in a sentence. And then kept a straight face.


  11. ClaireH
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Aisling – just to send you a big virtual hug and lots of luck for the next few weeks!

    But argh – links to all your weddings…don’t tempt me!! I don’t think I’ve actually got round to reading about them and now I’m going to have to literally turn off my internet so I don’t just think ‘oooo I’ll just take a peek’ and lose three hours wandering around the awesomeness that is AOW when I’m supposed to be doing a job application :-(


  12. Lee-Anne
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    What a lovely post. Wishing you and Phil all the best for baby Stella arriving xx

  13. Zan
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Oh Aisling. This was brilliant. Am still sniggering at MOON BOOBS! Hope little Stella makes her grand entrance soon and wishing you and Phil lots of love and exciting times ahead!

    PS Will be putting aside time to review the weddings tonight! :)

  14. Jen G
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Tears in my eyes and giggling at this morning’s post – very best of luck Aisling, looking forward to seeing the announcement! [runs to check whether her wedding is still on the other blog... so sad that yours aren't] Jx

  15. Rach M
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Gorgeous post! Love and luck to you Aisling, can’t wait to hear about Stella and see pictures of her on here. Love this community so much, so gutted to miss any other hen do but I’ll be there in spirit. Rach xx

  16. Katie
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Lovely post, and Aisling you look so cute in your ear muffs.

    Good luck!


  17. Posted January 21, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    *Ehem…so, anyway, I’ve got Aisling’s wedding report:

    If anyone has lost there’s: Penny, I’m looking at you! I can get yours too. Or email you and let you know. If you know the title of the post or the URL, copy and paste it here:

    I am SO SORRY I forgot about this resource until now!

    • Posted January 21, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      I say it again Crysta, you are bloody ace!

      • Katielase
        Posted January 21, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        A-MAY-ZING *loses self in pretty weddings*

        K x

    • Sharon
      Posted January 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Loving this Crysta, well done x

  18. Posted January 21, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I think this is one of my favourite posts ever! (Heh at ‘moon boobs’) I love elderly couples like that, we once saw the sweetest couple in a park in Paris picking up conkers and holding hands – they’re my relationship role models for the future.

    Hope baby Stella appears soon and all goes as planned. Can’t wait to see pictures! xx

  19. Posted January 21, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Aisling, I wish you all very very best in the coming months (and hopefully we’ll be hearing an announcement very soon!!). I can’t wait to see a picture of your lovely Stella, and will be eagerly awaiting your return (and reading your past/wedding posts in a stalkerish fashion instead).

    I’m also giggling a bit too much at MOON BOOBS…

  20. Becca
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Sorry to laugh at moonboobs but it always makes me chuckle when a normal sized boobed individual gets pregnant. My pregnant best friend has taken to wearing hers as hats. I send her pictures of using mine as a fruit bowl. As someone that constantly walks around with boobs the size of my own head – I dread to think how large they will be if/when we have children.

    Cannot wait to see Baby Stella. Its pretty much the only reason I check twitter (that and the #aowhd). If anyone is going to be all pretty baby glow, its you Aisling!

    As to the “other blog” you know my feelings on this. Like a few others, I’m glad we have this blog as a sensible place from the “rustic-luxe-urban-hunting-country-fete-themed” bullshit. I can’t believe they were so petty as to take your weddings down from the blog. Aside from the fact its utterly hillarious that they would feel a need to do so, it shows that they are bothered by the progress of this blog and the significant sway in the bridal industry from being “all about the pretty”.

    Feeling pretty smug this morning – we did wedding band, suits AND invitations this weekend #bridalprogress

  21. Sharon
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Good luck Aisling, can’t wait to see a pic of your gorgeous daughter, sending the three of you lots of love xxxx ps will miss you, don’t stay away too long x

  22. Posted January 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Good luck Aisling, can’t wait to see pictures of Stella when she finally decides its time. I bet she will be cute as a button!
    I lurvvvvvvvvvvvve the wedding slideshows by the way…Just. So. Much. Prettiness!

  23. Amanda M
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    All the best for the birth Aisling – wishing you much joy in motherhood.

    Love the story about the old couple – isn’t this the sort of relationship we all long for when we do the big ‘I do’? And nice juxtapositioning that adorableness with the weirdness that is men!

    And why did they take your weddings down? I don’t understand. Maybe I’m coming into a story 3/4 of the way through but that just seems….peculiar. Look forward to seeing your weddings when I’m not pretending to work!

  24. Steff
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think I’ve ever smiled, cried and laughed out loud so many times in one post. Aisling we’ll miss your wee face round here but can’t wait to meet Stella and hear all about your adventures of motherhood.

    I think moonboobs should be added to the dictionary… So accurate, they’re ridiculous!

    *heads off to perve over wedding reports*

  25. Leni
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    What a lovely post Aisling. Best of luck to you and your family. Look forward to hearing from you soon! x
    Crysta – you are amazing. Aisling’s wedding gave me some amazing inspiration for ours and it is lovely to look through the report again.
    Katielase – Labyrinth is the scariest film ever but yes that darn Dance song is now mashing its way around my brain. If I have David Bowie nightmares tonight I’m blaming you!

  26. Roz
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Aisling you gorgeous pregnant lady you!!! You look so hot in that picture it’s probably just as well we never met up in London, I may have licked your face! :)

    Cannot wait for you and Phil to meet your daughter, oh how Stella will be loved! Lucky little lady. All the love in the world to the 3 of you xxx

  27. Posted January 21, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Aw, I remember being seriously moved by your weddings and stressing ridiculously over mine and having a lot of ohmygodit’llNEVERbegoodenough moments! Whatever ‘good enough’ even means. You’ve made me go back to my RMW days (now THERE was an error – although it was nice to reminisce over my write-up). Removed? Deliberately? Jesus, sadsters.

    Lots of luck, Aisling. Jeepers, it’s gone quickly!

    PS The bookswap is the BEST idea this blog has ever had :D Yes, I just did a smiley. THAT excited.

  28. Helena
    Posted January 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Ooh, I hadn’t realised that I had read both Anna and Aisling’s wedding reports over at *otherweddingblog* many years ago! They were both lovely (and Aisling’s made me curse living in London and not being able to have our wedding in our garden).
    I am looking forward to seeing a lovely, squidgy new baby photo soon!

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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image by Lucy Stendall Photography

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