We have progress

The wedding plans are coming along nicely. I have a list in my head of the ’12 month’ things we want to get ticked off:

  • Venue
  • Caterer
  • Band
  • Budget
  • First-cut guest list
  • Celebrant
  • Ask our bridesmaids/groomsmen

So far we are doing well. The budget is sorted, the saving has begun, and the construction of the guest list is underway. These will bubble away for the next few months.

We went and had another look at our preferred venue yesterday, it’s just perfect for us. It has a main room, a court yard and a barn for dancing . So we will sign on the dotted line and hand over the deposit tomorrow.

And we have have secured the band, I think perhaps the thing we are both the most excited about. We are going to have a Hoolie with the Black Velvet Band. The BVB are a part of my past and my present. Back in the day (the ’90s) I enjoyed going up to the Loft Bar to listen to them and have a good dance. They were little moments of freedom in amongst my married-with-two-kids reality. Fond memories.

And then Stephen and I have been to a couple of hoolies run by the band in the last year. They are great fun – everyone joins in and has a great time and we have been able to practice our newly developing ballroom dancing skills. So ‘tick’, and ‘clapclapjumpupanddownwithexcitement’.

The biggest challenge has been the caterer. When we decided we wanted to get married at Cossars, we decided we didn’t want to go with one of their suggested caterers. There was nothing in the contract saying we had to chose one of their ‘preferred’ caterers, so we found someone that suited what we wanted. Before we sealed the deal with Kiwi Cuisine, I thought I’d better let Cossars know what we were doing, and lucky I did! I got an immediate email from the manager letting me know that we had to make a deal with one of their caterers. Disappointing, but we love the venue so we will make it work.

So now we are going through a process of vetting these other three, figuring out which one fits our requirements best. We think we’ve chosen…I’ll keep you posted!

So once we find a celebrant and invite our attendants to be involved, there is nothing much more to do until we get to the ‘6 month’ list:

  • Start thinking about dresses
  • Plan the invitations
  • Book hair/makeup
  • Plan the honeymoon

…i.e the fun stuff!!!

PS I know you don’t believe that I’ll be waiting six months to start thinking about dresses! Planning is well under way, all in my head for now.


I barely know where to start…

I spent a wonderful Saturday doing the usual Saturday-ish things: skate lesson, breakfast with my Frayles, more skating, and then home for lunch. This weekend we had a full contingent of add-ons for lunch. Antony, Grace, Wyatt, and Megan and her new man James were there, and me, Stephen and Bronwen as usual. It’s lovely to spend time all together and realise that once all the marriages shake down, I will have two new daughters and Stephen will gain a son, two daughters and a couple of grandkids to boot.

On Saturday night, Stephen had arranged a lovely picnic tea for us watching the sunset at my favourite place in the world – Halswell Quarry Reserve. It’s a place of peace and serenity for me. We almost didn’t make it in time to watch the setting sun. It’s a bit of a climb up to our favourite perch, and we scampered up there just as the hues were starting to shift.

We sat on ‘our’ bench seat and munched our sandwiches and watched the beauty before us. Feeling happy and grateful, I turned to Stephen and said “I’m so lucky to have you”. In response, he pulled a box out of the picnic bag, knelt in front of me (with the beautiful sunset behind him remember) and formally asked me to marry him. I said yes in amongst the kisses and tears.

And as the light turned and it got dark, we wandered back down and off to find a comfy beanbag to curl up into together to watch Top Chef.

Saturday was about as perfect as a day can be.

Who do you think I am?

Okay, so I’ve been trying to write something in the ‘About’ section of the blog. First I started with my interests and hobbies. That sounded lame. Then I put nothing. That sounded stand-off-ish. So then I started again with the “…I was born in…” and it sounded boring. Now I honestly have no idea what to write, but I would like to have something there!

Then I had a thought. You people know me. How about YOU write my blurb for me? It’s not a big job, you just need to finish this sentence for me:

The thing you really need to know about me is that…

And then I will clip all your comments and make my ‘About’ page from them.

And I’ll even go first!

The thing you really need to know about me is that I am a genius!

Making Plans

There is a saying … “people make plans while god looks on and laughs”. In other words, we have a destiny before us, and most of our plans don’t much resemble how things actually turn out.

Having said that, there is something very hopeful about planning. Short term plans (what’s for tea, I think I might go for a run in the morning) or long term plans (I want to have my 40th birthday somewhere fabulous, I want to be with you for the rest of our lives). They both have so much hope in them. But that thought is a distraction from the real point…

I’m getting married!

There are so many things I can say about this, so I apologise in advance if the next few (possibly year’s worth) of posts all come back round to this momentous fact.

When Stephen asked me to marry him, the second thing I thought was, “oooh, the planning!”. I relish the idea of the unfolding plans, the decisions, selections, choosing between this and that. It’s our first project together, and it’s quintessentially optimistic, forward-looking. While at one level we are planning a fun party for March next year, we are also laying the ground work for everything else that will unfold in our lives over the next 40-or-so years.

But what it really all comes down to …my point at last… is that I love to plan. I make 2-hour plans and yearly plans and 5-year plans and grand plans. And Stephen loves lists. He’s a man with a notebook and a sharp pencil. We are made for each other.

Hanging in the loo…

Why is it that people hang calendars in their toilet?

Am I the only one that sits in the small room and wonders this? Is it considered a good moment to do some forward planning? Time to sit, relax and reflect on where you’re at in your week so far? The worst thing is that I almost PUT ONE in my loo! It’s contagious I think.


I have 22 loyalty cards in my wallet.

They breakdown by type as:

  • coffee cards
  • other food cards
  • clothing/jewellery cards
  • beauty cards
  • supermarket cards
  • random other cards

The cards that I use the most are the coffee cards (Starbucks, Globe, C1, Mondo, Esquires, BBs, Muffin Break, Robert Harris). They great value for money. Every little stamp or click brings me closer to a freebie coffee. I like to save them up and redeem them when I’m poor and needy. There is nothing more joyful than finding a fully stamped card when you are tired and frazzled and in need of a latte. I find it interesting that they all have different schemes to keep me loyal. At C1 I get the 10th coffee free, but if I save up five fully-stamped cards, I can get a free t-shirt! At Muffin Break the fifth and tenth stamp is a free coffee. The Globe Cafe is stingy, they only give me the 11th coffee for free. Esquires has the most complicated system: the third stamp gives me a free flavour shot, the sixth one I get a free size upgrade, and then after I’ve purchased ten coffees, the 11th is free.

I haven’t really figured out how the Countdown Supermarket OneCard works. Perhaps it’s the OneCard to rule them all…but I wouldn’t know. I swipe it every time I go to the supermarket, and nothing has ever happened as a result of all these swipings. But I’m hoping that this will change. Yesterday I logged onto their website and updated my address. I suspect some lucky punter at 43 Brockworth Place has been reaping the benefits of all my (not) hard work. But no longer!

I think the one I love the most is my Body Shop club card. I buy all my beauty products at the Body Shop, and usually stock up every 3-6 months. With my club card, I get a $10 gift voucher every time I spend $100. The dollars rack up really fast, and I usually have an extra $10-20 to spend each time. There is something especially luxurious about free beauty products.

Anyway, my point. Looking through the volume of loyalty cards that I’m carrying around, I question the value of the system. Does it make me any more loyal to a particular brand or store? Not when it comes to coffee. There are three coffee shops within stone’s throw of my work, and I really just visit them at random, using the appropriate stampy-card. So really, there is no particular benefit to the company to hand out these things. There is however, a cost – to me! I must be paying for these things. I assume that the cost of all these freebies are built into the price of the products I buy. On this basis, Michael Moore once implored me to cut my cards up and JUST SAY NO! He argues that loyalty programmes are a trick and a gimmick, and we are paying for them through higher prices at the till. My strategy is to make maximum use of what these stores offer, since I’m paying for it anyway.

It takes commitment to carry all those cards around and have them at the ready, but it’s a commitment I’m prepared to make.

What do you think? Love them? Hate them? Ignore them? Do tell.