OK, so, I’ve left it waaaay too long to write about this, but the more time passes the more things I have to tell about and the more other things I have to do, so I figure I should say something, anything here even if it’s much less than complete.
So anyway, I got married. :-) A month ago!
I’m about half-way through writing properly about it, but it’s not ready for publication and right now I don’t have time, nor will I for a while… I just got back from a conference in Barcelona (where the weather was very Swansea-like, I might add, to my disappointment), and I’m about to depart on my honeymoon to South Africa on Thursday! Honeymoon is belated due to teaching duties immediately after the wedding, alas. It promises to be interesting and possibly overwhelming: the day after arrival, I’ll be meeting about 250 of Bash’s family & extended family for a big party, and will no doubt feel very much under the microscope – but so long as she’s by my side I know I’ll cope… :-)
Anyway – for now, here are some hurried words and a link to the photos, which have actually been online for quite a while. There are loads of them, and they’re not properly sorted out, and there’ll be more to add later, but what the heck. Here they are: Andy & Bash’s wedding photos!
Here’s a quick pick of maybe some of the best of the bunch (if you only look at one, look at the first one, which is Photo Of The Day, without doubt):
The wedding was, of course, marvellous, thank you – everything I’d ever wished for, absolutely. Bash looked incredible and although there were hiccups with the organisation (mainly the hotel being fsckwits), it went fine, and I don’t think any of the guests noticed, particularly.
It feels great to be married… Weird sometimes – particularly initially, we kept catching ourselves and saying “we’re married” with amazed voices, although really this was just the next stage of saying, for the last few months, “we’re getting married” with amazed voices – but so right. One thing I said in my speech was that people always say “when you know, you know”, and I’d always nodded but not really understood, and that now I understand.
Of course, now the real work begins.
That’s it for now, I think – I’ll say more after we get back (19th April), modulo internet cafes in SA, I suppose! (Heh – you can tell you’ve been hanging around theoretical computer scientists too much when you drop “modulo” into conversation, or refer to getting stuck in a turnstile as a “deadlock situation”)
So… The week or so immediately preceding the wedding was one of the most stressful of my life, I’d say… Looking back now it’s all a big hazy fog, but I think it was a combination of trying to keep up with work (which is a more-than-full time occupation anyway), getting jobs done for the wedding (eg burning CDs of music, printing & cutting placecards for the reception, etc.), buying things like presents for attendants and, oh, how about some shoes for the Bridesmaid, and generally running around like headless chickens.
I have a vast spreadsheet which has already moved into the pages of family folklore, and which I used to keep track of guest list, seating plan, budget, who’d booked rooms for whom, what music we were going to play and, critically in the last few days, a schedule and packing list. The schedule was fun – with just over a week to go before the Big Day I started allocated tasks to particular days, and all of a sudden I could see an unbroken path connecting where we were now with where we would be the day after we were married. The choice was to get very focussed on the task at hand or turn into a dribbling mess. I can’t remember right now which path we took. The packing list has about a hundred items between us – and we still managed to forget part of Bash’s outfit (but I’m getting ahead of myself). Yet another lesson that technology is just a tool, not a solution…
Things really started happening on Thursday 27th February: Bash had the day off in order to meet Bronwen, Bridesmaid coming from SA, but I had lectures to deliver & seminars to attend – boo! We went for a couple of swift drinks at JC’s (student bar) at the end of the day, but then I had to get back to the office printing placecards and burning the music CDs for the wedding. The girls swanned off to my house to have henna put onto their hands and, in Bash’s case, feet. I finished with the CDs at about 11, and popped round to help wrap their appendages in clingfilm to protect the henna overnight, then I tidied up and went to Bash’s house, there to sleep (they all stayed at mine – boo again).
Friday morning, up at 7 and back round to mine to help everyone get ready and packed (and to pack myself!). Barbara (the other Bridesmaid) and I both had lectures to deliver so the plan was to hit the road as soon after 1pm as possible. I guess we managed that, in that about 2:30 turned out to be as soon as possible. :-/ The car was jam-packed with bags, Brides, and Bridesmaids, and off we set.
We got as far as Port Talbot, about half an hour down the line, before I said to Bash, “I know this is a rhetorical question, but you did pick up your blouse from the shoe shop, didn’t you?” The blouse was part of her wedding outfit, and was at the shoe shop as a colour match because they were dyeing her shoes. I knew she’d picked it up, it was clearly a rhetorical question, I just had to ask. So she turns white, puts her head in her hands, swears a bit, and tells me that yes, she did pick it up, and yes, she left it back at the house.
I was the picture of calm as we turned around and drove home. :-)
So we got to my parents’ house, had welcomes, spooked the cat, unloaded, got changed and everything, then went into Plymouth for a meal. We were supposed to meet Bash’s uncle Yusuf Vaizie who’d come over from Ireland but somehow that didn’t work out – communication problems – but we had a good meal nonetheless. Considering we had an early start the next day we stayed up fairly late chatting about stuff, checking arrangements, etc. and I took this lovely shot at around 1am, just before going to bed.
In one of those wonderful touches that really make you believe in God, it snowed, and snowed well. Saturday morning, we woke up to see this outside the bedroom window (more here, including obligatory pawprints). It was really great to feel that our wedding weekend had got off to such a special start.
So we headed into Plymouth, ‘cos I, being a Super Uber Bridegroom, had arranged full body massages for the Bride and Bridesmaids (their delight at this offer was matched only by their disappointment that alas, I would be too busy to provide the massage myself). We arrived at the hotel, installed the Bridesmaids at the spa, and were then met by the first “hiccup” of the weekend – the first of many small hiccups, alas. I’d been told, not two days previously, that we would have access to “the Commonwealth Suite”, where our wedding and party were taking place, all day on Saturday, so we’d arranged to decorate it in the morning, and had a couple of people coming along to help. Instead, we found, there was an event going on there until 1pm, so we had no chance to do any decoration before then.
As I say, this was the first of several niggly problems. To be fair, the hotel responded pretty well to this particular problem and were generally helpful, and but generally there were a number of things and generally made promises and reassurances that things would be OK
The Plymouth Hoe Moat House (Moathouse ?) Hotel made some bad mistakes in handling our wedding. No details here, but they seemed inexperienced and really botched several important things (eg opening doors for bride’s entrance, implementing our seating plan properly, actually folding the name-cards we’d prepared telling everyone where to sit, not having food from breakfast on the floor at the wedding dinner, etc. — ask me for more details if you’re interested), and we generally didn’t feel like they were being helpful enough, particularly on the day.
We still haven’t written our thank you cards.
We still haven’t sent the throw-away cameras for development.
I’ve still got two films of XP2 (black & white) to develop.
In other news, the following have been sitting in my browser/inbox over the past couple of weeks:
- Around Cornwall in a mini – the continuing advertures of Krag Wad, erstwhile colleague at Frontier. (Ack – since I wrote this link, two weeks ago, maybe Krag has stopped paying his bills. Boo to that.
- Also from Krag, Webjay – “listener created playlists of songs on the web”. I must confess I haven’t actually downloaded anything from here yet, my brain won’t let me, but there you go.
- Via Simon, a set of spider-drawn world subway maps, all at the same scale – neat. Hey, Barcelona’s there!
- Driving home from work the other night, Bash was surfing the airwaves and came across some aural madness which we assumed was being projected from John Peel’s brain. How wrong we were – it was, in fact, Late Junction on, horror of horrors, Radio 3 (and of course, since then we’ve been cruising to work in the morning to the relaxing sounds of Grieg and Barber, rather than the grating claxons of John Humphrys and Jim Naughtie), and very eclectic it was too. Anyway,In particular, it introduced me to Moondog (true and improbable cartoon bio here). They played a track from A new sound of an old instrument, which was really great, so that’s on my Amazon wishlist now…
- Also really enjoying “Lightbulb Sun” by Porcupine Tree, and a mix CD of Ali Akbar Khan which someone put together for us…
- Exercises In Style – thanks, Rich!