Archive for January, 2010

27 days to go: The Count, The Cakes

31 January, 2010 1 comment

OK, so firstly, CAKES!!!

Yes, I said cakes. I think we forgot to put it on the info sheet with the invites, but we’re going to have a cake table. No official wedding cake – but a WI-style cake table for you all to bring cakes. There may be judging of them (the FMA’s sister Sarah (FSIL) wants judging because she thinks there’s a rosette in there for her) – and there will definitely be cutting and eating. But, the message is – if you want to – make a cake and either deliver it to Riba the day before, the morning of, or bring it to the wedding. I love cake.

Secondly, the Count:

Thank you to all those who’ve replied already to the invites that went out. If you haven’t then popping an email to would be good – and then if you wish to send a formal, old-school note, feel free.

Interestingly, my team win on the rapid response, but the clough team pulls it back later in the week and we end up with, after Week 1, ayers rsvps just ahead. on email. BUT, if you add in the postal replies, then the cloughs have it by 13 – 7. Which means, of course, they come out as Week 1 Winners at 32 – 28.

Conclusions? Not sure. But does it suggest that the clough ‘massive’ is slower off the mark, less email friendly, a bit more formal, but as a whole have got into their stride? Or am I just, surprise, surprise, over analysing the data? Or, am I just applying unnecessary KPIs?


Bloody Australians

24 January, 2010 1 comment

sadly, the bane of my life is this bloody aussie who’s going out with lovely sally. i wouldn’t mind but he brings the iq of the house down … and as for culture? bloody neanderthal. gingerish though – which is the only saving grace.

34 days to go: Riba, RSVPs and Rings

24 January, 2010 Leave a comment

This week lots of things happened. The best of which for me was spending some of friday afternoon with the best man sorting him a morning suit (black tails, dark pinstripe, grey waistcoat and grey tie in case you want to join us) and getting ourselves to Riba to join the FMA in a food tasting with catering queen Bobby and an arrangements discussion with organiser extraordinaire Julia.

The food was great. The wine was too. And the plans all fit the bill.

Yesterday we met with D2 to hand over the final invites they hadn’t/couldn’t put in the post. 90% have gone out and the others will early this week. We have to thank my good friend Mr Max Gadney who did a wonderful job of helping us to come up with an idea which was close to our hearts. We love walking, and mountains, and the Lake District… and Wainwright.  Also thanks Max for, er, bending the copyright rules (it’s a homage, we’ll make a donation).

In case you wondered, it’s the north western fells, Grassmoor. The ascent from Rannerdale via Red Gill.

To all the people who’ve commented how much they like the invites: please make sure you send an email saying how many of you are coming, whether you need to put kids in the creche and if you have any special dietary requirements other than vegetarian.


And finally, I tried on a ring this week. One of those that measures your size.

I’m R +½. Which seems appropriate.

T -40 days: Reasons to be worried?

15 January, 2010 Leave a comment

Reason 1: The FMA has a near-encyclopaedic knowledge of Big Brother (the early series) and random 80s pop. So much so that she spent aimed of Friday night competing with old uni friend Sang (and those who know Sang know that’s a feat). It’s a daunting and worrying trait.

Reason 2: The FMA has never seen a Lethal Weapon, Rambo, Die Hard and only one of the Indiana Jones films. I shall stop there to save her blushes. I ask you, is that natural? Eh? I mean, what was she doing? Reading books??

Reason 3: As shown by last week’s experience at the marriage preparation session, we are supposed to be panicking by now. I am supposed to be getting nervous, planning is supposed to be stressful and the FMA is supposed to be obsessing about the bridesmaids ribbons matching the ushers’ retinas. None of this is happening. Yet. Last week’s key milestones included booking the honeymoon hotel (the Kristiania in Lech in Austria) and I seem to have been signed off not only by the Papacy but by the Islingtonacy as well. Bureaucracy? Shmureacracy.

Reason 4: Stag do. Seems like plans are coming together nicely. Steve the BM is at the helm with Ferg FBIL providing excellent support. However it’s not the organisation I’m worried about. It’s the possibility that there may be a barbers in Charlbury. I may have to bribe them to go away for the weekend.

Perhaps I speak to soon – perhaps it is still to come. Perhaps I *should* be worried.

T -47 days: The man from the marriage preparation course, he say “Yes”!

11 January, 2010 3 comments

Yes, we have the certificate to prove it. We have officially passed the course. Admittedly the FMA got an ‘A’ and I got a ‘C+ could do better if he didn’t spend his time making gags’ but I imagine that’s not a surprise to anyone.

If you don’t know, if one wishes to get married in the/a Catholic church then one must do a course with Marriage Care. Sounds oppressive, right? Sounds like a hurdle to go through and a hoop to get over? (or similar) Well, we were surprised to find it a lot more fun than that. Basically it’s a relationship advisory session – with a focus on commitment, conflict resolution and communication – with 10 other couples – with two session leaders who were the wry, witty, realist and humane Ingrid and the mildly distractingly attractive 30sthg lawyer Shellane. There was lots of chat and no role playing. Or praying. Or group hugs. Thank you Ingrid and Shellane, it was well worth while. But get the heating fixed.

Oh, and to all the other couples who are pulling their hair out because the ribbon from the bridesmaids dresses doesn’t match the ribbon on the stationary … Ffs, get a grip.

In other news…

Gifts: We’ve gone vouchers from John Lewis, good booze from Highbury Vintners or charitable donation to my mum and dad’s charity ‘Kimberley Kids’ which supports township kids in South Africa. More info on the Wedding Info page.

Flowers: sorted. Venue, RIBA: sorted.

Dress code: I’m delighted to hear that a number of guys are joining me in morning dress. The more the merrier – come on gentlemen, it’ll be cool. Ladies, glamour is good. Kids, fancy dress is good. Actually, fancy dress gets big points for anyone who is brave enough.

Invites: We’ve been gathering address details and getting stuff sorted. Most people who need to have the day free know by now … and the formal confirmation of that will be with you next week.

T -55 days: Lists of people and presents

3 January, 2010 Leave a comment

When I was a much younger man, I got married. A variety of circumstances and choices meant that I invited less than half of my extended family, *and* chose not to invite any children.  Everything’s easier with hindsight, isn’t it?

So, this time the invitation list is going the other way.

Family – My parents have been good enough to pull together the extended family list, *with* all the kids invited. And when you’re 38 your cousins have a lot more kids than they did 15 years earlier. Most of them I’ve hardly ever met but BDMs (as the newspaper guys call them) are the significant points where families get a good excuse to come together.

Friends – Of course, the other thing about being 38 is that you have a lot of good friends you’ve built up over the years. What with the entire Ayers/Curran extended family and the Clough clan there’s a pressure on numbers. We did think of hiring the O2 centre, but thought that we’d just have to draw a line somewhere. So we’ll be welcoming everyone we can for a good knees-up and obviously, if you don’t get an invite, then it just means we don’t like you enough.

Formal invitations – will be coming out in a couple of weeks.

Catching up – Let’s be honest, the day I’m getting married isn’t the best time for having any kind of decent conversation with all the people I haven’t seen for a year, two.. five or, in some cases people that I’ve hardly ever met. So I shall be taking the regal approach – introducing the FMA and looking forward to talking properly another time. Forgive me (us) if we don’t get much time to catch up.

In the meantime, this week has been one for another kind of list:

Gift List – If you feel that you’d like to give us a gift, that’s lovely and you’ll find all the details on the Wedding Info page (also on the tab at the top of this page). If you think we’re too old to be getting gifts, or you want to give it to your favourite charity, then that’s wonderful too.

We’ve already got two houses worth of stuff to fit into one and you know what I’m like about trying not to buy loads of new things, recycling etc etc … so at the moment we’ve got a few larger items from John Lewis in mind (the HD projector is the best idea yet) to which you could make a voucher contribution if you wished. The other list we’ve set up is for Highbury Vintners (that way we’ve got an excuse to open some good stuff when you come and visit). Of course, the FMA would love it if you bought a lifetime supply of golf stuff for me too. Titleist pro v1s, since you ask.

And finally, as this has been such a dry update. Here’s something from Dara O’Briain to lighten the mood:

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