What have we been up to?

Well, Robbie has once again fobbed writing a full post onto me and given me the task of writing up 2009 to date. I wouldn’t mind but he also seems to be taking credit for the photos which isn’t exactly true either (I’m not complaining!). I’m also stuck, bored out of my brain in a hotel in Auckland, so its helping pass the time.

Well there’s a lot of 2009 gone and so I won’t write everything but will do some highlights – mum and Paul’s blog has been fairly useful and will try and write something more meaningful than just list what we’ve done. Though that said, there will be a lot of listing as this is our memoire of what’s happened and dialogue for what I’m meant to do each year which is create a printed diary to flip back through – I’m still at April for 2008, so never mind.

I’ll start with present day – things are all a little odd, not because we’re now married but we’re completely out of synch with what our normal routine is. We got back from honeymoon a couple of weeks ago to an empty house – no cats and no visitors, it was all eerily quiet. It didn’t last long as we had presents delivered, Jackie visited as part of her tour of NZ, we got the cats and started to think about normal life. Unfortunately, normality hasn’t quite returned, we’ve both been slightly under the weather, probably a result of living on adrenalin for the last few months. Really bad timing given that we slept through the long Easter weekend. We’re almost back to normal but not quite.

So the wedding and honeymoon. What can I say, we had a fab time. It was always going to be a little difficult, thinking of family and friends in the UK, but my teary moment in hearing messages from ‘home’ was saved by much amusement provided by the videos – some very well timed humour. Strangely, the dance floor was filled with the Brits with the kiwis doing their part singing in the bus on the way back.

The unconventional approach to our wedding continued with our honeymoon as we spent the first half with UK friends exploring NZ – catching our dinner in Golden Bay (see photos), kayaking in Abel Tasman (guys need some photos please) and enjoying the views around some stunning scenery.. I hate to say it but by the time we got to the TranzAlpine on day 5, with some of the best views – we were all tired and over it.

The rest of the time Robbie and I spent alone in the Whitsundays, not doing a lot. We drank cocktails each night and ate good food our only activity managing a 5km walk to look out over passage point. It was a well needed rest and recuperation. I just wish it was longer and I do feel a little bad about being that close to the Great Barrier Reef and not diving but so be it.

At some point we have to start the next one and to be honest it feel a little odd not thinking about what’s still outstanding to do – but then again I think too much. Would we do anything different for wedding take two? Of course, why? Because we can, and there are so many other things to do and its a different location, how can it not be different…. and maybe I’ll get some orchids in my bouquet this time!

As for other lessons, a few but most of them we knew the first time – there aren’t actually that many decisions to make, they just need to be made. Its easy getting completely overwhelmed with info, but the one that grabs your eye first is probably right – my dress took ages to find but then I was expecting that (and I’m still not convinced by the back – not that you could really tell as it was bussled most of the time and even so I managed to dunk is in the gutter (thankfully cleaned now)). I also learned that I’m not quite a control freak and that I’m to delegate but only to those that I have confidence in – and I have very high standards. Thankfully, those key people involved were fab – the venue, florist and celebrant were wonderful.

Oh god, I’ve only just covered the wedding and I’ve already tapped a page.

So did we have a life outside of planning before the wedding? Sort of, well we had house guests – they needed entertaining. We generally ate and drank a lot…. (with the exception of a low carb two week diet to make up for all the other eating and drinking that made my wedding dress a little tight – I definitely wanted to eat and drink on the day, what”s the point of having a wedding at a vineyard with great food if I wasn’t going to make the most of it) …. and made the most of the NZ summer: events like the Botanic gardens music festival, Cuba Street Carnival and Martinborough Fair, shows like Billy Connolly and NZ Tutus on Tour as well as a long sunny weekend enjoying Taupo. All good fun and all a little hectic or so we though until we knew what hectic was in the week running up to the wedding.

Not only did we have houseguest but also non houseguests and all the little things that we hadn’t finished like creating the menus and printing off the seating plan (which eventually), In the week before the wedding we ate once at a great restaurant, Paul made dinner for 8 and we held two BBQs, one on the Thursday as a welcome for overseas guests and the other prior to our annual quiz night – which itself followed High Tea for the Hens and a Pool competition for the stags. Oh and yes we still survived to party the night away!

Impressively Mum and Paul arrived the day before Paul’s birthday and only just over a month after moving into their new house in Norfolk. We celebrated by eating in a local restaurant and at the weekend showing off the wedding venue – unlike the wedding, it was beautiful weather – so at least they got to see the vineyard!

Before Mum and Paul arrived we’d spent a weekend in Christchurch to attend another wedding, Steve and Kirsten’s, my favourite memory is that the bride never stopped laughing even when the celebrant continually referred to Steve, Robbie’s male colleague, as her wife! We also took the chance to spend the day after exploring the Bank’s peninsula to the French village of Akaroa – we managed to drive all the way back to the airport in the midst of large raincloud.

Think that’s it, am sure I’ve missed things but it’s been a good year so far. We’re both looking forward to the UK in September and just have to get through the next lot of planning.

Wedding Bells

I will leave it to Nicola to write a more full post but…. on the 21st of March 2009 Nicola and I got married. Everything went fairly well apart from the weather, which despite being lovely and fine the morning of the wedding by the time the ceremony started it had turned into a rather spectacular storm. However it was strangely nice as the volume of the rain on the roof droning out the celebrant broke the tension of the day for us and we seemed to enjoy it from then on. Nicola, as you no doubt expected, looked amazing while I somehow managed to look like a tall dwarf.

Over the next few weeks I will put up a number of photos that you can see through this link. The photo on the right however is one of my favourites – You can see the dark brooding sky behind us but Nicola looks great, we both have a glass of champagne in our hands and our finest photo smiles on