Sorting out bits and bobs

There’s not really been much progress of late. Other things have distracted us both from doing very much. So the To-Do list looks something like this at the moment…

1) select music for during the ceremony – I know that Vicky’s given this some thought as there are some wedding music CDs knocking about;

2) find a (jazz?) band for night do – we have listened to some samples online and we’re waiting to hear back from 1 enquiring e-mail;

3) sort out some kind of entertainment (magician?) for wedding breakfast – there will be quite a few kids at the wedding breakfast and rather than them getting bored during the speeches, we’re going to distract them in some other way;

4) contact the florist and room dresser about the colour scheme – I’ve always said that I was getting married in a kilt and so this is waiting on me finding a tartan. I’ve got 1 in mind; I just need to make a final decision. I haven’t told the best man that 1 yet. I’m not sure how that’ll go down.

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Sustainability in the I.T. Project Lifecycle

This was the title of a recent BCS Event in Leeds.  I’ve included some few key phrases from the information presented ostensibly to see what reaction they will generate.

We now know that the IT industry represents 2% of Carbon Dioxide  emissions worldwide, which is roughly the same as air travel.  However,  there is a case to be made for increasing the emissions from IT as this  will replace the emissions from other less sustainable activities,  primarily travel.

Sustainability is defined as “…development which meets the needs of   the present without compromising the ability of future generations to   meet their own needs…“ and is not to be confused with longevity.

Sustainability should be embedded within everything we do.

The overriding theme I took away from it was displacement borne out by the examples of success given: 1) replacing aging printers with multi-function devices; and 2) rolling out collaboration tools such as Office 2010 and Google apps.  No consideration seemed to have been given to the costs of developing the technology in the first place and bringing the product to market; the starting point always seemed to be an upgrade or newly available technology.

While the principle is admirable, the reality seems a long way off.

All the big stuff – engagement ring, venue, registrar, stationery, etc.

The biggest development this week is that Vicky choose an engagement ring. We had a browse in Leeds last week but nothing jumped out at us. Secretly, I think her heart had already made her mind up. That’s not a bad thing because I hate shopping and especially browsing. So we went back to Fattorini’s at the weekend to order it.

The bonus was they had the “precious” in the right size so Vicky was able to wear it out of the shop. I’ve seen her ogle her own left hand a few times with the first ring on and it’s happening just as much if not more now.

We’ve been through the contract with the Devonshire Arms with a fine tooth comb. There’s 1 or 2 things in there that raise an eyebrow but no earth shattering surprises. For example, accidental insurance is not included. They also reserve the right to increase the contract value by up to 10%.  So that’s been signed and sent off. There’s still a LOT of TBCs on it; it’s more of a framework agreement at this point but that’s what the next 11 months are about.

We’ve got an appointment in September with the local registrar’s office to go and give notice of marriage. Our local registrar’s office is in a different county from where we’re getting wed so it’ll be interesting to see how joined up they are.

We’ve started looking at wedding stationery. All I can say is that there are some very clever marketing people. I’d never even heard of “Save the Date” cards before last week let alone been sent one. Most of the rest of it seems straight forward. We’ve decided against going overboard on table decorations and concentrating instead on dressing the room as a whole to create just the right atmosphere.

We’ve been talking about who will play a part on our big day. Some people already know because we’ve already asked them. Others don’t yet for various reasons. The other dilemma is I could easily fill the guest list with just the family and friends I would like to invite. Vicky doesn’t have as big a family but I think both of us are going to disappoint a few people.

Although it’s far too soon to decide on a cake, we’ve been browsing. Well I say browsing; we’ve been to two, Bettys and Patisserie Viennoise in Otley. Bettys put us off straight away by limiting the possible choices. Off-the-shelf options were nice enough if a little uninspiring. We could have a custom cake but we would have to visit the bakery and talk to their master baker.

Patisserie Viennoise were the complete opposite. For starters when we walked into the shop, the smell of cocoa was fantastic! It was a really hot day outside but I still fancied a hot chocolate there and then. Nothing was too much trouble for them. They had 5 or 6 albums full of custom designs from novelty to traditional and loads in between. All we have to do is place an order in the spring telling them what we want and it’s sorted.

We’re Getting Wed!

Wedding planning is going to be a big part of our lives for the next 11 months. It’s an exciting time for us with lots of ideas floating around and I’d like to share some of that with you if I may.

I’ll start of with a little background. I met Vicky at a black tie do for the local Ramblers organisation and we started seeing each other about a month later. That was 8 months ago. You may think that that’s quick but when it feels right, what’s the point in hanging around going “Will I? Won’t I? Should I? Shouldn’t I?” Life’s too short! Don’t get me wrong; we both have our moments but we’re adult enough to admit when we’re in the wrong and make amends.

We like the outdoors and so I had the bright idea of proposing on a mountain summit on a fantastic day with glorious views in all directions. How romantic is that!! Unfortunately, British Weather had other ideas. Every summit we were on was either blowing a whooley or a white out. Not what I’d envisaged at all so I kept putting it off until the next summit and then the next….

We went to Wales recently for the weekend and scared ourselves silly on Tryfan; another opportunity missed.

And so it was that on a cold and windy day, in a white out on the top of Snowdon, I finally popped the question. I didn’t get down on one knee simply because the ledge we were sheltering out of the wind on was far too narrow for that kind of thing. (It was quite funny at the time watching seagulls trying to regain some dignity after crash landing because of the swirling wind.)

So the idea behind this thread is to keep you up-to-date with how we’re getting on. Feel free to leave any suggestions, comments, etc. at any time. Friends got married recently so there’s an open invite to them to come around to ours, ostensibly for some food but we’re planning to bleed them dry of any useful info. or tips they may have for us.

So where are we today? Vicky (rather obviously) said “Yes!!”, the venue, wedding car, photographer and registrar are all booked. We’ve been ring shopping and it’s been short listed to 2 possibles. (I bought a token ring for the asking.) However, we’re going to browse for a little longer before deciding.

That’s about it at the moment. There are times when I feel we’re in good shape with preparations and others, when I look at the To-Do list, when I just think “Argh!!”

Mountain Rescue – the real 4th emergency service

RAF Rescue

We were scrambling on the north face of Tryfan when we heard what I thought was a motorbike with a blown exhaust on the road below but then this rescue helicopter from the RAF came around the corner and started circling off to our right and hovering above us out of sight. Thinking it was just an exercise, we carried on upwards. We didn’t realise we were heading for a full on rescue in progress. We found out later that a fellow scrambler had slipped and sustained a nasty head wound. It had been raining that morning and the rock was wet and more than a little greesy.

It seems that while the chopper was hovering, it was also winching the local mountain rescue team down to the scene. Unfortunately, we were following much the same route as the casualty and found ourselves unwilling onlookers. With the chopper returning to the scene, we feared the downdraft would blow us off our feet and so took the opportunity to rest and put away anything that could be blown away. It was at that point that I took the above photo and footage. As you can see, the chopper didn’t come as close as it could have so we were able to continue.

However, the incident did shake our confidence a little and the rest of the day was spent being a lot more careful than we would’ve perhaps been otherwise. It was definitely a good learning experience.

Please support your local mountain rescue team.