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Wedding bells…

I had a lovely weekend. I was invited to accompany a friend to his niece’s wedding and as I do like a good wedding, I dusted off my posh frock and my dancing shoes and accepted. I had promised to make the bride and groom a guest book for the the wedding guests to sign at the reception. This is what I came up with. The book spine is white leather and the cover image is printed onto Belgian linen ink jet bookcloth.

The wedding guest book

The wedding guest book

  • The book and its box
  • The book and its boxInside the book
  • The box

    The box

    The wedding was in a very beautiful and tiny church in Weymouth called St Anne’s. The service was really sweet as the vicar kept forgetting the groom’s name – not ideal, but luckily, he got it right at the crucial bits of the service. One of the readings was a Pam Ayres poem which brought the house down.

    Yes, I’ll Marry You

    Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear,
    And here’s the reason why;
    So I can push you out of bed
    When the baby starts to cry,
    And if we hear a knocking
    And it’s creepy and it’s late,
    I hand you the torch you see,
    And you investigate.

    Yes, I’ll marry you, my dear,
    You may not apprehend it,
    But when the tumble-drier goes
    It’s you that has to mend it,
    You have to face the neighbour
    Should our labrador attack him,
    And if a drunkard fondles me
    It’s you that has to whack him.

    Yes, I’ll marry you,
    You’re virile and you’re lean,
    My house is like a pigsty
    You can help to keep it clean.
    That sexy little dinner
    Which you served by candlelight,
    As I do chipolatas,
    You can cook it every night!

    It’s you who has to work the drill
    and put up curtain track,
    And when I’ve got PMT it’s you who gets the flak,
    I do see great advantages,
    But none of them for you,
    And so before you see the light,
    I do, I do, I do!

    The vicar also included my ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’ quotation (which I am reading at my god daughter’s wedding in October) in his sermon. It sounded good, so I am busy rehearsing for when I have to stand up in public and read it – gulp. It will be a bit ‘curly’ as my ex will be there too – a bit strange for me to be extolling the virtues of married love but – hey ho, has to be done.

    Lulworth Castle

    The wedding reception was held at Lulworth Castle, which is actually a mock castle. It was built as a hunting lodge in 1610 by Thomas Howard but it was destroyed in a fire in 1929 and left as a roofless ruin. In the 70’s a restoration was begun which was completed in 1998. It is fascinating, the ground floor has been renovated but the upper floors have not been replaced. It was re-roofed and the walls cleaned so as you stand inside you can see the full height of the building above you and see fireplaces, doors and windows which were in rooms far above you. One of the towers has a spiral staircase which takes you up onto the roof to see the spectacular views of the surrounding parkland to the sea as far as Poole harbour.

    During the afternoon, we went outside to watch a display of jousting which was great fun. Here are some photographs of the afternoon.

    Such a fun day – and the only sunny day of the whole weekend, so doubly blessed. I hope the weather is as kind at the wedding in October.

    I’ve spent the time since then re-writing my friend Claire’s web site and giving it a bit of a revamp. Last week, she discovered that her old website had been blocked by Google. It turned out that it had been hacked and big chunks of it had been overwritten with malicious code. When I had removed the code, it was easier to write her a new website than try and resurrect the old one. You can see the results and read what Claire has been up to here.

    claireheading

    I should have been busy this week making an album for my #2 son. He wanted me to make him one using all the photographs that he and his three friends took during their four months of travelling in South East Asia earlier this year. They are having great difficulty deciding on which photographs to include – they have managed to edit it down to 2000 so far, so I’m not holding my breath :-)

    travels

    Finally, news of Milo. After his ordeal at the kennels, I had to take him to the dog groomers. The only way to sort out the matted knots in his coat was to give him a severe haircut – he has been shorn naked! Poor thing looks like a demented poodle. Here are before and after pics. At least his hair will grow I suppose…

    Milo and his favourite toy

    P1010018

    Wedding belles

    What a wedding! I am just about recovered from a very hectic weekend indeed. It all began on Friday when I was still dithering about which outfit to wear to the Indian wedding celebration on Saturday. I kept trying the two choices on, asking opinions of anyone who happened by my house, I worried about which shoes to wear with both outfits. I tell you chaps, you have no idea how lucky you are. Suit, shirt, shoes – your only potential problem is the choice of tie. You have no idea of the minefield of fashion dilemmas we ladies face. Anyway here are the choices – two shalwar kameez – tunic, trousers and shawl suits. Click on all images to enlarge.

    Both outfits were beautifully made and I suppose my dilemma was that I wanted to wear them both! Here are some details of the embroidery on each shalwar kameez.

    Sequins and embroidery

    Sleeve detail

    I eventually decided on the red suit as I thought that the pink one was a bit too bright, a bit too ‘bling’ and maybe the more classy, subtle colours of the red and cream was more appropriate for a wedding. How wrong I was! I have never seen a more stunningly colourful wedding. It was uplifting and wonderful to see the vibrant rainbow of colourful clothing, both saris and shalwar kameez, worn by all the female guests, Indian and European alike. I have a small slide show at the end to give you a flavour of the proceedings but to be honest, I didn’t take too many photographs as I was too busy enjoying myself and kept forgetting to take them!

    Me and my lovely boys

    My younger son and my house guests, Garry and Beryl, arrived on Friday,  but my older son who was travelling from Bath, said he would arrive on Saturday morning. He finally pitched up at 1pm (the wedding started at 3pm) and I was relieved that he had made it in time. My joy at seeing him was soon shattered. His first question was ‘My suit and smart shoes are here, aren’t they?’  He hadn’t been able to find his suit at his house in Bath (needless to say he doesn’t wear it much) so he assumed they must be at my house. Wrong! What followed was an hour of panic while he tried on several old suits we had in the wardrobe. As you will see from the photograph, he is very much taller than his brother and all the old suits we had were much too short, so he changed into the shirt and tie he had brought with him, borrowed some shoes off his brother (a size or two too small) and still in his jeans they both shot off into Dorchester to try and buy him a suit. I went off to the wedding very apprehensive that either they would be late or #1 son would be unable to find a suit to fit. I needn’t have worried. They turned up with 30 minutes to spare and as you can see, he found a lovely suit which fitted perfectly.

    The afternoon was gloriously sunny and began with afternoon tea where the most delicious canapés were served. We were then asked to cover our heads in preparation for the ceremony. The men were given scarves to tie around their heads and despite making them look a little like pirates, they all looked very dashing. Then, having removed our shoes, we went into the Gurdwara – another marquee which was decorated in shades of fuschia pink and orange – auspicious colours. The wedding ceremony is called the Anand Karaj (Ceremony of Bliss). On entering the Gurdwara, we had to bow to the Guru Granth Sahib, a box containing sacred texts, which was positioned in the centre of a dais where the ceremony takes place. All guests sit cross legged on the floor, females on the left, males on the right.

    The bride wore a stunning red sari, heavily embroidered with gold thread and the groom wore a long cream brocade tunic, with a long red scarf, over slim cream trousers and a red turban. During the ceremony, Kirtan (hymns) are sung by the Raagis (musicians)  Ardas (prayers) are recited. The bride’s father places the end of the groom’s scarf in the bride’s hands, this is called Pallae di Rasam – tying the wedding knot. A series of four verses called the Lavaan are recited and for each one , the groom leads the bride around the Guru Granth Sahib, she is assisted by her brothers or close male relatives.

    As you can tell, this photograph was taken by my friend Garry, who was sitting on the men’s side of the Gurdwara. The bride and groom are circling the Guru Granth Sahib during the Lavaan.

    The First Lavaan is a promise to love each other for ever.

    The Second Lavaan is a promise to merge together completely.

    The Third Lavaan is a promise to be faithful to each other.

    The Fourth Lavaan is the promise to be together in both happiness and adversity.

    After the completion of the Lavaan, other hymns and prayers are sung and then a sweet cake called Koraah Parshad is passed to all members of the congregation.

    Then we collected our shoes and left the Gurdwara. The ceremony was then followed by a champagne reception, dinner and dancing. I don’t know where to begin telling you about the marquee where we had dinner, it was vast, magnificent, awesome, splendid, gorgeously decorated – I’m running out of superlatives here – outside, the lake had been illuminated with floating lanterns and there were lanterns in the grass around the lake, leading to the surrounding trees which were all lit up – it was quite magical.

    After a sumptuous dinner, there was much dancing to a wonderful Indian group playing Bhangra music (I think that is what it was called).  My knees are still feeling the effects – it was so, well, danceable! Later on,  we all chilled out in the stunning relaxation area until it was time to go home.

    It was a truly magnificent occasion. My friend Edwina, is now very nervous as her two daughters (the girls in the photographs with my sons) have now got very firm ideas about their perfect wedding – the bar has been set very high indeed. Nick, their father, is keeping a very nervous eye on his wallet! As for me? Well, I’m planning a Bollywood party sometime soon so I get to wear my pink outfit….

    Back to the real world…

    It already seems a long time since my holiday. I have spent the past week faffing about trying to fix my internet connection which has been sporadic at best, dropping every couple of minutes at worst. #2 son was here and his connection was fine, so it was obviously my laptop which was the problem. I tried everything I could think of to fix it, rang my Mac guy for advice, followed his suggestions but no joy. To cut a VERY long story short, after days of increasingly desperate measures (including buying a new router) I was diverted by a pop up which kept appearing during my few and far between connected moments. It was called ‘Real Player Downloader’ and had started appearing since I updated ‘Real Player’. I decided it was so annoying that it had to go. I googled how to get rid of it – and found a thread on an Apple forum suggesting that if network connections were constantly dropping, Real Player Downloader might be the problem. I deleted it and lo and behold, hallelujah! Internet restored and no irritating pop up in one fell swoop. Joy.

    When I haven’t been fiddling with my laptop, I have been searching for the garage keys which I had just before I went to Los Angeles, but which have now vanished. Can’t blame anyone else, I have lost them. I have given myself until Monday to find them and then I shall have to call out a locksmith – so annoying! It’s a good job I am so mellow after my trip or I would be going mad after such a frustrating week.

    I thought I would have been making lots of lovely books by now but I have been so distracted and next week looks no better. I have some lovely friends from Vancouver coming to stay next weekend as we are all going to a wedding together, so I have gone into sort-the-house-out mode, which involves lots of dusting and tidying up. I like it when I have visitors because apart from the fun of having people to stay, it also means my house gets a thorough clean. Housework is so not one of my favourite things.

    I’m really looking forward to the wedding. The bride is the daughter of some friends of mine and as they are an Indian family the wedding is going to be a traditional Sikh ceremony and we have all been requested to wear traditional Indian clothes. Most of the female guests are looking forward to dressing up, but from what I understand, the English male guests have chickened out and are wearing lounge suits! I am SO looking forward to wearing the shalwar kameez I have bought – which is a 3 piece outfit consisting of a knee length tunic over loose trousers with a matching shawl – all made out of silk and beautifully embroidered with sequins and beads. I promise you lots of photographs after the wedding next Saturday. One good thing is that I intend to make them a photograph album as a gift so at least I will have a new book to show you. The groom is a photographer – so no pressure there then….

    Finally, à propos of absolutely nothing – but especially for Creechman who has a penchant for blonde actresses (and brunette actresses come to think of it…..)

    This is SO cute, I’ll never eat octopus again (not that I could ever eat octopus now – all those tentacley suckery bits…..