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August 20th, 2006

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10:25 pm - There's gonna be a wedding!
Minutes ago, I returned from Cambridge to see wednesdayschild and uqx marry each other. I haven't looked at my Friends list and so am not aware of anything that might have kerploded in the last 36 hours or so, but am making a quick post of reflected joy while it's still fresh. I know that I'm good, and getting better, at not making posts I've been promising myself that I'd get around to, so this is probably the only way to make it happen.

In short, it was wonderful! I arrived in decent time and made my way to the chapel at Trinity College, Cambridge. Shortly after three, wednesdayschild and retinue made their way up the aisle. wednesdayschild looked gorgeous and was very obviously overflowing with happiness, and rightfully so; it was wonderful to see so many people in the audience so happy because she was happy. The ceremony was short-ish, under an hour, with cracking hymns. Stealing the setlist, we had "Love Divine" to the traditional tune Blaenwern; "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind", Repton - top tune, top choon! - "Lord of all Hopefulness", Slane and "Make Me a Channel of Your Peace", which is a heck of a way to finish. Lucy was so obviously incredibly happy that she was sobbing with joy while making her vows, which was just perfect.

Unfortunately not everyone could attend the section of the reception where the speeches were made, which I was sorry to miss, but there was a highly fun introductory salsa dancing class. As dezzikitty sadly could not make it, I danced with anatsuno, who was enthusiastic, talented, light on her toes and generally great fun. Really, the dancing (for me) made the reception, though the highly scrummy buffet and the chocolate fountain afterwards were tremendous as well. I have a feeling that chocolate fountains are going to be a very 2006 thing; the one here is great, my boss is having one at his wedding this autumn and Thornton's, the chocolatiers, are starting to feature them in their stores. They're very cool indeed, but have a feeling of being next year's "last year's thing" about them, which I wasn't expecting. I promise I'm not being bitter just because I got chocolate sauce on my best suit jacket :-/

I stayed overnight at the Carolina Guest House (entirely serviceable and easy to deal with, though very firm beds) with folk. It was really cool to have the chance to get an extended chat with him - maybe as much as an hour? - when I only tend to see him in group situations and unsurprisingly there are lots of demands on his attention. In the morning, we met up with anatsuno and altricial to go looking fruitfully for knitting supplies and fruitlessly for footwear for John. Afterwards, all those of a t00by disposition met up for a picnic on a Trinity College field; when a shower got a little too heavy, we decamped to one of Trinity College's many common rooms to finish off the rest of the food. Thanks so much, everyone who was there but particularly Lucy and David; it was a wonderful weekend!

It seems curmudgeonly to try to compare weddings, because almost all weddings are wonderful and wonderful weddings are wonderful in ways to especially suit the bride and groom. I've really, really enjoyed the last three weddings I've been to, of Mr. and Mrs. xorsyst, Mr. and Mrs. gayparee and Mr. uqx and Mrs. wednesdayschild. It's interesting to note that two of the three had tutored dancing. See, I like dancing when I feel confident about doing the steps, which I only ever do when there are people teaching it; however, I know there are tons of people who don't particularly enjoy tutored dancing and only enjoy doing their own thing, strutting their stuff and generally employing their creativity. The two extremes aren't really so different; after all, once you know the steps, it's up to you both how you put them together, and there's no definitively right or wrong ways, though clear partnership is evidently more graceful than not.

It's probably also true that I've enjoyed weddings more and more once I've been starting to put myself in the place of the participants; every wedding I go to makes me look forward to mine all the more, and I'm sure that ones I attend as a husband will serve as happy reminders rather than happy inspirations. I'm sure there must be good reasons for exceptions - particularly people rightfully jealous of either bride or groom, or weddings where things go unexpectedly pear-shaped for some reason - but can people with romance in their soul do anything but, well, bliss out and feel the love in the air at weddings? Either come in the right spirit, to enjoy and share in the couple's happiness, and damn the inevitable unpredictable, unavoidable hitches in proceedings, or don't come at all! I'm not always big on ritual, and some of the rituals of the extended wedding industry are distinctly commercial rather than romantic, but a really spot-on ceremony can cause almost untold amounts of YAY.

Photos to follow, possibly here, or possibly posted to Flickr or somesuch if that's what everyone else is doing with theirs. I believe that I took no photos of anyone who doesn't like their photos to be on the 'net, but please shout up sooner rather than later (possibly by e-mail?) if I need to watch out.

It was fantastic to meet lots of lovely people again, who know who they are and how special they are to me, and to get to enjoy getting to know other fine folk for the first time! It was great to get to know the highly charismatic kay_taylor (we might have met, though I don't think we talked...?) and her off-LJ man, who is already a /Friendsfriend through all sorts of geeky routes. Likewise, Meg and I went to the wrong week of Chat00bage to meet nmg and ias, when I'm sure we'd have got along with them like a house on fire. Lastly, hoorah for the groom, uqx. You have excellent taste and I am bet-the-mortgage-(if-I-had-one)-on-it sure that you have been rewarded for this so much already and will be rewarded for this unto infinity.

Probably a fine indicator of the wonder of the wedding and the assembly of so many lovely folk was discussion of all tomorrow's parties! The craftier vaguely-associated-with-fandom-whether-or-not-this-applies-any-more folks are mooting getting together for a giant stitch'n'bitch, with the best name mooted so far being T00berdashery, and there might well have to be a cheap'n'cheerful Northern!t00bage at some point. Admittedly we've been saying this for years, but the flow of lovely folk back to the North might just make it happen. :-D

I've driven 440 miles in the last 36 hours! It's about 200 miles from Middlesbrough to Cambridge, but there was some positioning at either end, lots of ferrying people around in Cambridge (being useful is always fun!) and a 20-mile detour on the way back in an attempt to find a McDonalds which had the colourful Coke glasses from which to buy a salad. (NB Anyone have a spare blue one?) This was by far the longest I'd ever driven. I was pretty tired on the way down towards the end - inevitable considering I was travelling in the morning - but was actually, scarily, starting to enjoy it for the last hundred or so miles of the way back, when the roads were less busy and the pressure was off. Certainly driving to Manchester or Gatwick to pick Meg and luggage up now holds no fears. I have been kept excellent company by Radio Five Live, news and sports talk from the BBC, and have learnt greatly about the practical workings of my fuel gauge. I have real-world data suggesting I get about 7 miles per litre (funny metric/imperial unit there, marvellous) on fast roads.

Responding to a couple of news stories quickly about which I have heard much, though: something is very, very wrong when passengers get to vote each other off the aircraft. In truth, it's hard to have a fully informed opinion on the story because we don't know just how suspicious the apparently suspicious behaviour was; it's certainly not beyond my imagination to concoct behaviour about which I would have severe reservations and I like to think myself far from prejudiced, though I know I'm not perfect. That said, it seems more likely than not to have been horribly dangerous intolerance as far as I can tell. There's a part of me that would like to have seen all the passengers but the two speaking apparent-Arabic inconvenienced, with the two unfairly maligned passengers properly compensated for the insult.

There was a story of genuine global sporting importance and interest in the fourth Test Match in cricket today. In short, the umpire decided that Pakistan had been tampering with the ball and penalised them for this. The Pakistan team then refused to return to the field of play after tea; later on, they took the field, but the match umpires responded with a flounce of their own and declared that Pakistan had forfeited, almost certainly the first time that this had happened in a match of this importance over the 126 year history of Test Cricket. My view is that, especially with the match being irrelevant to the result of the series, England should have been the bigger team even though they were clearly innocent and forfeited the game at the first hint of controversy; it's a pretty hollow victory as England were clearly losing. Hopefully there will be a big one-day game to benefit charity tomorrow, hopefully at no cost to the spectators, which is probably the only way to try to make some good out of the whole situation. I also wonder whether there might be a whiff of a betting scam here somehow...
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
Current Music: "Timerider" by Cocoon (milquetoast late-'80s house - FAB)

(30 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:August 20th, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC)
>but was actually, scarily, starting to enjoy it
>for the last hundred or so miles of the way back

Glad to hear it. How do you get around? I use a TomTom and that's been a real boon in comforting me around the busy streets of Ye Londone. I've also worked out all of its GPRS-style gubbins so it can re-route me around traffic problems and the like. It's only any use on the major motorways and A-roads but it's useful for longer journeys. It saved us some major holdups after driving down after picking up the car in the North.

>I have been kept excellent company by Radio Five Live
>news and sports talk from the BBC

There's something very radio about cars. I can't stand CDs or MP3s in the car. Somehow the radio keeps you feeling connected to what's going on outside.

>I have real-world data suggesting I get about 7 miles
>per litre (funny metric/imperial unit there, marvellous)
>on fast roads.

32mpg is a Bit On the Low Side for fast roads - I get 40 from my Focus, a largish hatchback. I think that might be the vagaries of the fuel gauge rather than the efficiency of the car, unless you have a saloon or something.

>England should have been the bigger team even though
>they were clearly innocent and forfeited the game at
>the first hint of controversy

What, even if Pakistan were guilty?
[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2006 06:18 pm (UTC)
1) By sticking to well-trodden routes. The 440 miles I drove over the last two days represent about 60% of all the driving I have done since passing my test. The route was an easy one - A19, A1, A14, though freestyling through little towns like Worksop on the way back to go from A1 through A57 to M1 was fun.

2) Radio has traffic 'n' travel, whereas music does not.

3) My car is a big old gas-guzzler - well, I think it's big, though Meg disagrees. :-) My own preference would be for something small, nippy, cheap to run and easy to park, though the Nissan Primera 2.0 (a.k.a. "Dad's old car") scores very well on the beggary/choice axis.

4) Yes, absolutely. It's cricket, after all, foremost (modulo Ultimate frisbee, though it's all arguable these days) among the "sportsmanship is more important than the result" games. Furthermore, Pakistan were clearly winning, having a whole innings and still a 50-ish-run lead against six wickets. There are other issues of legacy and making history for the right reasons rather than the wrong ones, too.
[User Picture]
Date:August 20th, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the wedding-blogging!

Perhaps if the bride and groom agree, next spring, we can liveblog right during the ceremony and/or reception on flickr via sidekick?
[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC)
That does sound like fun, though I imagine we should check whether there would be reception or not first. You're also giving me "webcam-but-better-quality-and-mobile" live broadcast thoughts.

Have to admit that I would almost certainly be too busy squeeing to be able to type away, no matter whose wedding!
[User Picture]
Date:August 20th, 2006 11:17 pm (UTC)
Absolutely smashing to see you again, Chris, and particularly to have time to chat independently! I'm incredibly honoured by [you know what]. Let's talk further sometime between 25 August and 25 September (when I start new!job) about possible ideas, shall we?
[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2006 04:54 am (UTC)

I shall be in town (okay, country) from 17 September to 22 September, if you find yourself with a particular desire to wander in a northerly direction....
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2006 08:29 am (UTC)
One was a gift at the last wedding I went to. Definitely the wedding accessory of our time.

Lovely writeup, Chris. I must confess I've been to some weddings I liked more than others; this sounds like the good kind.
Date:August 21st, 2006 03:08 am (UTC)
Lovin' the setlist! I wasn't familiar with Repton or Blaenwern--but you're right, they're splendid tunes.

"Lord of All Hopefulness"/Slane was my closing hymn this weekend. Coincidence? I wonder.

[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2006 07:11 pm (UTC)
The devil may have the best tunes, but the angels definitely have the best cadences.

This site has a fantastic list of wedding suggestions, though their list of suggestions for a civil ceremony is very hit and miss and miss and miss - or, rather, pop hit and hit and hit would seem to make for wedding miss and miss and miss.

Having U Can't Touch This at a wedding would be fun, just so long as it's not mine. Not even if people were to, ahem, improve the lyrics.

Wedding time!
[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2006 08:56 am (UTC)
Cracking hymns indeed! -- great choices.

Hopefully the ball will be revealed at some point, or at least the umpires'll say what they thought was wrong with it. It does all seem a bit petty though, I wonder if Pakistan would have saved their protest for afterwards if the series had still been at stake.

Weddings as a husband -- you're quite right, although there is sometimes the less worthy "doing that slightly differently, like we did, might have been better" feeling when you see something that isn't working quite right.
[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2006 07:12 pm (UTC)
Or, conversely, perhaps there concievably might be "Wish we'd done that!".

Unrelatedly, did you ever play Saturnalia?
[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2006 09:12 am (UTC)
Simon pointed me here, as I am sadly whiling far away and couldn't attend. So thanks for writin this up, now I at least have an inkling of what went on!
[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2006 07:13 pm (UTC)
Yay! I am enjoying looking for other attendees' comments about it too :-)
[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2006 02:48 pm (UTC)
It was nice to get the chance to chat with you! We've crossed paths at previous fandom meets but never got the chance to actually speak to you so I was glad I did this time. I was saying to John how motherly you are with the baking and taking care of people :D I mean motherly in the most manly way possible of course :D
[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
I mean motherly in the most manly way possible of course

That sounds positively hemaphroditic! O_O

Lovely to get to meet you again! I like being helpful and I like baking cookies, so motherly stikes me as a very kind compliment. :-)

Did you take the coach home in the end? Presumably you're safe now, er, wherever you are (still in transit?) which is the important thing. :-)
[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2006 02:57 pm (UTC)
Two out of the four were hymns at our wedding too. They're very poplar at weddings (though, if truth be known, I have long had a dislike for "Make me a channel", which needless to say wasn't one of the two). bopeepsheep chose our hymns on the basis that the Anglican and Catholic halves of her family should both know them, so we ended up with only very well known hymns. (So I cheated by asking the choir to sing one of the songs I'd have chosen if I'd been given free reign. <g>)

I went to a party in May which featured a chocolate fountain. It got left on until 1am, when someone remembered to go and turn it off, at which point it had apparently broken down. (I haven't enquired since about its state of health.)

I have real-world data suggesting I get about 7 miles per litre (funny metric/imperial unit there, marvellous) on fast roads.

My long-term average in the Saxo is just over 10 of your marvellous impetric units.
[User Picture]
Date:August 21st, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
...but what a way for a chocolate fountain to go! (Does anyone still do champagne fountains - or pyramids of glasses, I suppose - any more?)

Unrelatedly, this article put me in mind of the AAAA of your old Organization: header, in a Wikipedia inclusionist/deletist war stylee :-)

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