You know, when you haven't updated one of these things in nearly a year it begs the question, "where the hell do I bloody start?" And the first wise-ass to say "at the beginning" will feel the back of my hand sohelpmegod. So you get a summary. of the important bits.
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I got married on the 23rd February last year, which was nice. The ceremony was in St Margarets Chapel, Edinburgh Castle. That's in Scotland, where contrary to poular belief they don't all wear kilts all the time. But I did, for the wedding. And given that it was blowing a blizzard I near enough froze my nads off. But we got really good photos:
My parents flew in from South Africa for the ceremony, and Alison's parents and grandparents were there, and half a dozen friends. The one bit of the ceremony I had to arrange, which was a CD for the walk-in music wouldn't play on the PA system I'd hired, so there was a bit of stress while I hunted around the castle shop for a version of Highland Cathedral that would work, but after I found one, the castle stewards lent us their portable CD player which worked just fine with the original CD. And for walk out music we had The Mission's Tower of Strength which I'd edited so the intro was only 25 seconds long instead of the usual 2 minutes or so - which was necessary because the aisle in St Margaret's Chapel is only about 12' long.
Then we went to Yorkshire for our honeymoon, and rented a stunning cottage for a week. Which was nice.
I also started a Maths and Computing degree back in February, with the Open Uni, which has been easy so far, but looks to get slightly more complicated now that I'm doing second year courses. Particularly the Math bitNo more cruising for me.
Alison's dad died a couple of months after our wedding, having suffered with MS for over 20 years, so we were back in Scotland to help with funeral arrangements. It was obviously a hard time for Alison, but she coped really well and pretty much made all the arrangements.
What else? Erm... built a dual Xeon watercooled video editing PC (news that is of interest only to the geekiest of us). Still a work in progress though.
And I shaved my head for charity... Children in Need. Which is ironic as I generallly can't stand the blighters. But I suppose that doesn't necessarily mean I want them to suffer. Much. I raised nearly £600 which wasn't too bad considering the amount of split ends I had. Too much hair dye and bleach, clearly.
Anyway... same time next year?
I'm still in the land of the living, and things are going quite well. Wedding plans are getting there: invitations are all but done, PA system is booked, venue is booked and paid for, reception, hotels, flights, honeymoon... booked and mostly paid for. Still need to arrange the music (it needs to be pre-recorded as the chapel is smaller than my spare room. No space for musicians). So what else is there to do? I haven't a clue - but then Alison is the organised one, so I'm not worried.
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I'm also officially old now. 30. Next step... death.
My birthday was on Saturday. Alison threw me a surprise party - I didn't have a clue that anything was up, right till the point when she told me to go put my coat in the bedroom, and I opened the door and nearly shat myself, what with everybody jumping out at me. It took me probably 5 minutes before I could say anything. I should have twigged, what with the Camden parking stub in the car, and Ali sending me to fix Ian & Jo's computer on my birthday. So we had snacks and burritos and drinks and a couple of cakes from Maison Blanc (which are like no cake you've tried before. Sinfully good.). And we listened (and sang along badly) to 80s music, Sandra set her sleeve on fire leaning over a candle, we played bop-it and generally had a good time.
And on Sunday we slept in (minus the guests) and then watched the last twelve hours of 24 (series 2). That's a bit too stressful all in one go. Now I have to go out and buy Series 3 to find out what happens. My poor heart... and at my age :-)
I took friday off work, and in the morning I arranged a banker's draft to pay for the car, and we had a look on the internet for train times to Exeter. I had called the guy selling the car and arranged with him that we'd go down to Devon on Friday and stay over at a hotel and pick the car up on Saturday morning. We found this little hotel called Two Bridges Hotel in the middle of Dartmoor. It was amazing, although we had to smile when we discovered that an inch on multimap.com can mean 45 minutes in a taxi on those narrow country roads. Four poster antique bed in our room, nice cheap bar with real ale, and absolutely incredible food. I won't bore you with the details of what we ate except to say I don't think I've had a better meal in a restaurant ever. If you ever find yourself down that end of England, check it out.
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In the morning the guy picked us up in the car and we drove down to his garage to do the paperwork (and I drooled over a new Ferarri convertible and a historic Ford Rally car). Then we had a completely uneventful drive home - which was lovely given my recent experiences of mechanical things breaking when I come to use them. Sorting the insurance was slightly more painful as it added £650 to my annual premium. Bollocks to insurance companies - thieving bastards!
Alison has the car today - she's at a friend's birthday party down in Brighton, and she'll be back tomorrow (with the car in one piece, I'm praying).
I've just bought my most expensive purchase ever... on Ebay! My hands are shaking a bit as I type this.
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I had intended to use my 1969 BMW 2000CS coupe as the wedding car, when I get married in February, but on Saturday it decided to veto that decision by dying on me. Well the front right side suspension collapsed, and combined with the fact that the windscreen wipers and indicators have also recently stopped working means it's just about dead. And it only just had £2000 spent on it a couple of months ago. Anyway, may it rest in peace. Bastard machine!
So I started looking for a replacement vehicle. I half-seriously eyed a couple of Bentley Turbo R's for a brief while (which I though would make a nice wedding car which I could then sell immediately afterwards), then more realistically considered a VW Passat 1.9 turbo-diesel, or maybe an Audi A4 (which is really the same as a Passat, but with a different body). But this afternoon I spotted this Mercedes C220CDi on Ebay and it seems like a good deal, so now it's mine - once I've paid for it that is. I really only had intended to spend maybe £6-8k on a car, so this is a bit scary, but I'm telling myself we'll sell it in April and hopefully make a few hundred which will come in handy. But at least it should be reliable in the meantime because the wedding is enough stress as it is without a bloody car making it more difficult.
In other news, Alison had her gall bladder removed 3 weeks ago and is making a steady recovery - although she insists on doing stuff like lifting heavy monitors which can't do her any good at all. We had a good talk the other day about various past hurts - her abuse as a child, my trouble dealing with the rejection and hurt of my last relationship. I think it has helped getting things out in the open. I still worry sometimes that I haven't gotten over L. as quickly as I'd have liked (no doubt it would please her to hear that, but I don't care, I'll still leave this post as public), but at least talking about it has meant that it doesn't feel like a burden I'm carrying on my own. So yeah, whatever. Dinner is calling, so perhaps I'll post more later.
Some of these I've heard before, but what the hell, they're still funny second time around.
1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me for the path is narrow. In fact, just sod off and leave me alone.
2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a flat tyre.
3. The darkest hour is just before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbour's milk, that's the time to do it.
4. Sex is like air. It's not important until you aren't getting any.
5. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
6. No one is listening until you break wind.
7. Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.
8. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
9. If you think nobody cares whether you're alive or dead, try missing a couple of mortgage payments.
10. Before you criticise someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticise them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
11. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
12. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
13. If you lend someone £2 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
14. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
15. Some days you are the bug; some days you are the windscreen.
16. Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.
17. Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
18. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
19. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
20. Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
21. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.
22. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.
23. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
24. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
25. We are born naked, wet, and hungry, and get slapped on the backside ... then things get worse.
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Woo! Tickets to see Siouxsie on Friday at the Royal Festival Hall. And good ones too according to the box office lady.
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That has just made my Monday, especially as I didn't even know they were playing until 10 minutes ago.
I was aware of a certain irony in clicking 'Recent Entries' in Semagic to see where I left off... so... an update at long last. It's really hard getting back into LJ after so long an absence, but here goes.
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Things are going really great between me and Alison,which is handy, being engaged and all. It's strange that we've been friends for years and not realised how complimentary we are to each other. OK, sometimes her tidyness gets a bit much - I mean, is it such a sin to leave the wardrobe doors open? I'm only going to need to open them again if I keep them closed. And ironing bed sheets? What's up with that? But she does remember things that I forget, like the fact that we had to go to my friend's 40th on the weekend, and we really should get her a present. Anyway, she's just moved up to London - last Thursday in fact - and started a new job today. She will be staying with some friends of ours until we get married which is unusual these days - at least most people I talk to seem surprised that we won't be living together. But we both would like our wedding day to be special, and it's not that far away.
Other news. My bicycle got nicked a couple of weeks ago, despite being double locked to some railings outside my workplace. It's a bit of a bitch, as I really hate public transport, but I've had it 6 years so it was a good innings and probably time to upgrade. So I've gone and bought a motorbike - only a 125cc, but until I get a full license, that's all I'm allowed to ride. Maybe after a year or two I'll upgrade to a big bike. I passed my CBT (provisional license) on Friday and bought insurance a few minutes ago so I'm all road legal.
My car is still being its usual money-sink self. After spending a couple of grand repairing it last month, it decided on Saturday morning that indicators and windscreen wiper facilities were optional, and it is no longer performing those services. Great. Especially going down the M1 on Saturday night when it decided to start pissing down. Yes I know I oughtn't to have been driving it, but it was my friend's 40th as mentioned above, and I could hardly miss it on account of car troubles. So rain stopped play and we were forced to sit it out at a Days Inn motel at the next service stop. We resumed after breakfast the following morning. So that should be going into the mechanics next week.
What else? Oh, yeah... I am now the only IT person in the company I work for after my colleague was erm, rationalised. Close shave there. At least he got another job almost immediately. I may not be the most sociable person in the world, but it's a bit too quiet now. And a bit too busy.
That's all for now. Catch y'all later.
I'm off to see the Mission in a little while. I don't have a ticket, but there are usually kind gentlemen in the vicinity who will let you have one of theirs for a few of your English pounds. So fingers crossed I'll get in without too much trouble.
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Sorry I haven't updated much lately - I'm going through one of those phases where social interaction is the last thing I want - even the sort where I'm separated from everybody by means of a screen, keyboard and several (thousand?) miles of fibre optic cabling. I do of course see Alison pretty much every weekend, but that's different. I enjoy being sociable, but it does drain me, so every so often I get a bit hermit like and recharge my batteries. Enjoy it while it lasts. Sometime soon I'll get chatty again and you'll not be able to get rid of me.
Link shamelessly nicked from aviavhg (who is an ISFP)
How to Love an INTP
- Respect my privacy and independence.
- Appreciate my competencies and wealth of creative ideas.
- Encourage me to spend time alone.
- Don't talk too much or force an emotional conversation before I'm ready.
- Try not to nag me about being messy or meeting deadlines.
- Above all - give me plenty of space to pursue my interests in depth and time to think things through.
Well. I've got a lot to write about, and a lot of reading to catch up on, but right now I'm planning on catching up on some sleep. Left work at 3am yesterday, and was back in at 10am, so I'm a little drowsy now. Take care y'all.
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I just made the best milkshake ever.
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Half a punnet of strawberrys (slightly over-ripe)
a handful of peanut M&Ms
Some chocolate buttons
A huge scoop of Carte d'or strawberry & vanilla icecream
A splash of milk and a splash of cranberry juice
Hmmm - I've just remembered I had some Brie in the fridge... nah, maybe that would have been a little too much!
Right - so I disappear for a month, come back with an announcement that I'm getting married, and follow up with a.... Meme?
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Well, not so much a meme as the results of my online handwriting analysis...
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You can get your handwriting analysed here: http://www.handwritinglady.com/
Well I haven't been online a lot lately... maybe you've noticed :-) Ah, who am I kidding.... I'll have to be silent a lot longer before anyone notices.
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Anyway it's been busy. Way busy. The company I work for is moving offices. And replacing it's entire IT infrastructure at the same time from servers through networking hardware to desktops, workstations and laptops - all in the space of a month and a half. It's geektastic but it doesn't half involve a lot of hours. Especially when the Exchange 2003 upgrade you're working on goes unexpectedly pear-shaped and eats half the company's email accounts. Panic stricken restore-from-backups followed by another fortunately successful attempt at upgrade, although various niggly configuration settings have meant a week of troubleshooting, whilst at the same time migrating our database and application servers.
And I got engaged.
It following a swift transition from Alison being my best friend to being my lover. It's nice, although strange and nerve-wracking at the same time. A date hasn't been officially set, although Feb 2005 seems likely, and Edinburgh Castle is currently top of the list of locations. I didn't really do the whole getting down on one knee thing - we had just been talking about it for a few weeks and it was kinda like 'well, OK then - lets get married - next week? Nope, well next year then.' I'll probably do the official thing when the ring arrives.
Other stuff is also happening but it's relatively uninteresting, and I'm a bit knackered and have to be up early.
Reading 4 days worth of LJ and running a bath at the same time is a bad combination. At least the overflow pipe works...
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A truly inspired take on the traditional 419 scam (nabbed from theregister.co.uk):
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Subject: Nigerian Astronaut Wants To Come Home
Dr. Bakare Tunde
Astronautics Project Manager
National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA)
Garki, Abuja, FCT NIGERIA
Dear Mr. Sir,
REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE-STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
I am Dr. Bakare Tunde, the cousin of Nigerian Astronaut, Air Force Major Abacha Tunde. He was the first African in space when he made a secret flight to the Salyut 6 space station in 1979. He was on a later Soviet spaceflight, Soyuz T-16Z to the secret Soviet military space station Salyut 8T in 1989. He was stranded there in 1990 when the Soviet Union was dissolved. His other Soviet crew members returned to earth on the Soyuz T-16Z, but his place was taken up by return cargo. There have been occasional Progrez supply flights to keep him going since that time. He is in good humor, but wants to come home.
In the 14-years since he has been on the station, he has accumulated flight pay and interest amounting to almost $ 15,000,000 American Dollars. This is held in a trust at the Lagos National Savings and Trust Association. If we can obtain access to this money, we can place a down payment with the Russian Space Authorities for a Soyuz return flight to bring him back to Earth. I am told this will cost $ 3,000,000 American Dollars. In order to access the his trust fund we need your assistance.
Consequently, my colleagues and I are willing to transfer the total amount to your account or subsequent disbursement, since we as civil servants are prohibited by the Code of Conduct Bureau (Civil Service Laws) from opening and/ or operating foreign accounts in our names.
Needless to say, the trust reposed on you at this juncture is enormous. In return, we have agreed to offer you 20 percent of the transferred sum, while 10 percent shall be set aside for incidental expenses (internal and external) between the parties in the course of the transaction. You will be mandated to remit the balance 70 percent to other accounts in due course.
Kindly expedite action as we are behind schedule to enable us include downpayment in this financial quarter.
Please acknowledge the receipt of this message via my direct number 234 (0) 9-234-2220 only.
Yours Sincerely, Dr. Bakare Tunde
Astronautics Project Manager
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And it goes without saying that if you visit one of these places, BE CAREFUL, and don't go defacing the walls or dropping crisp packets. Not that any of you are the type of muppet that would do anything like that... I'm talking about the person next to you.
The following is surely the worst example of an email scam that I've seen in a long while. Anyone stupid enough to be taken in by it deserves to be relieved of their cash:
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Dear CITI_bank Members_,
_This E-MAIL was seent by_the_ citibank_ sevrer to verify your _EMAIL_ address.
You must complete this process by clicking on__the_link beloww and entering
in the little _window your Citibank _ATM_ full_card_nummber and card_pin that
you_use on _ATM_. That_is _done_ for_your protection because some of our
members memmbers have access to their E_MAIL addres_ and we must verify it.
To verify your E_Mail adress_ and access _your Citi-Card
account, clik on__the_link beloww.
Still no ADSL, although I will soon have a 2Mb service from the nice folks at Bulldog. So here am with a telephone cable plugged into my laptop (which is back from repair and working very nicely). How retro :-)
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Saw Die So Fluid on Wednesday at the Camden Barfly (same venue as the Cure last month). They were supporting some other band that I didn't stick around to see, and unfortunately only had a 1/2 hour set. Nuts. I'd forgotten how much fun they are live - they completely rocked my ass off. And the lead singer / bassist, Grog is Sex On A Stick (TM).
This morning my old BMW got taken away to be fixed on the back of a flatbed truck. It's one of the minuses of having a rare classic car that that there are limited places that can fix them. In the case of my car, there's only a couple of places in the UK, and the nearest is 30 miles away in deepest, darkest Kent. The rest of the day was housework day. Sort of. But I kind of listened to music, browsed the web and read Steppenwolf in between. And I did a bit of work on the tiling in my bathroom as well. At the moment the tidying up is at that stage where it looks worse than when I started. But I'll start the Putting Things Back Where They Belong stage after I sign off. Good thing I'm not expecting visitors.
So... definitely a rock and roll lifestyle I lead, isn't it folks?
Back to tidying :-(
Congratulations to tintaglia30 and her hubby (Craig, I think?) on the birth of her daughter Meagan!
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Man, LJ is hard work when you come back from a long Internet free weekend. 220 posts, most of which I skim read, none of which I replied to. Hugs, comiserations, congratulations etc to you all where appropriate.
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I had a great time down in Brighton, visiting aliewan for her birthday party. We went shopping on Friday and I bought T-shirts (because I negelected to bring any spares), and she picked out a nice little handbag for her pressie. Came out of Debenhams smelling like a tart's boudoir, having tried on half the perfume counter. The Gucci one was particularly nice. Did grocery shopping. Had a lovely meal in the evening with a couple of her friends (ciabatta with pesto & mozzarella as starter, rattatoui in puff pastry, with cous cous and salad, and chocolate cake for desert).
On Saturday morning it was an early start, as I chose to be dragged along to Kidz Club, which Alison does on a Saturday. Despite my kids allergy, I'd been told so much about it, I couldn't very well not go. It was actually rather fun, and I helped out with inanimate objects like benches etc. You need a police check to work with the kids, and I'm not planning on getting one of those any time soon. Leave the children to the people who actually like the blighters. It was also good because I met a lot of the people who I would see later at Ali's party. Afterwards we went back and started making food for the party. Well, Ali made food, and I
helped hindered. Party was good. I hitched my laptop up to the stereo and set a random playlist of fairly middle of the road stuff (10,000 maniacs, Beatles, REM, The Cure, Queen, Elton John etc) and just let that run on in the background... it was a more sociable type party than a get down and boogie one (which was fine by me). Even so, I was dead by the end of it, not having slept that well, and fighting off a bit of a head cold.
Sunday was spent lazing around in Ali's room, chatting about stuff and watching videos. I was planning on heading back to London in the evening, but was persuaded to watch another video and go straight to work from Brighton in the morning. So I did just that. Now I really want my bed, but first I need to drag my plague infested head through a boring day at work. Only 4 hours to go.
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You're a BUFFY/WILLOW shipper:
Love grows from friendship, hesitant but deep down
inside of you...no matter what the others will
say, you belong together...
In your opinion, this innocent love is the only one
that can heal Buffy's wounds.
Who'd make Buffy happy?
brought to you by Quizilla
What exactly is a shipper anyway? If it wasn't in the context above I'd have taken a guess at FedEx or DHL :-) Weird ass quiz.
It must have known I fancy the pants off Alyson Hannigan... Buffy I'm not overly enthralled by (she has a strange nose).