Shopping for “Schtuff” In Person and Online

The wedding rings have arrived in the jewellers but we’re struggling to find the time to go there and make sure they fit before getting them inscribed. Deciding on what went in the inscription was another of those “easier than I thought” tasks.

We spent hours in House of Fraser sorting out the Wedding List. We just need to go over it again one last time before it gets published because we went a bit crazy scanning things, then later removing them again & adding replacements.

It turns out we’ve got some flexibility with the seating plan. Now that all the expected RSVPs are back, we could give that some focus. However, Vicky’s PC gave up under the strain last week so that’s gone in for repair.  It turns out that the graphics card went “pop” at some point.

Writing my speech has stalled. “I’m ruminating over it!” is how I’ve justified that to myself.

We’ve sorted out all the accommodation for the honeymoon. There’s 1 place where we stay for 1 night only; that’s the price we pay for staying near Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard for a whole 5 days. The plan now is to fully explore each place virtually as much as possible before pitching up.

I think it’s all coming together quite nicely.


Summary of Use Cases

High Level Description

  1. Description of steps or actions between a user (or actor) and a system which leads to achieving something useful;
  2. User or actor can be a person or another system interacting through an interface; &
  3. Use cases treat the system as a black box, concentrating on what must be done rather than how thus avoiding any implementation-specific language.


  1. Identify features (system requirements) to implement; &
  2. Capture functional requirements.


  1. Focus on how to achieve a goal or a task without giving any consideration to implementation;
  2. Multiple Use Cases will be needed to thoroughly define the scope; &
  3. Project formality and current stage will influence the level of detail included in each.


  1. Requires some form of interaction so does not consider non-functional requirements, e.g. performance; &
  2. Not a complete answer by itself, Use Cases are 1 viewpoint and should be combined with other analysis & design tools to drive out a holistic product.

Writing a Groom’s Speech and More Ring Shopping

The wedding rings are ordered. The look of glee on the jeweller’s face when we went back to Fattorini’s! She must be on some kind of commission. They’ll take a few weeks to be made. Then a quick check to make sure they fit before being inscribed. What with, we’re not sure yet.

I have no idea what’s being organised for the stag do. It’s all gone suspiciously quiet in my inbox.

Quite a few RSVPs are still outstanding even after the requested date. If you do get a wedding invite, please, on behalf of your hosts, return the RSVP as soon as you can and definitely before the requested date. It’s a slow torture coming home each evening to 1 or 2 replies, sometimes none for days.

Apparently “Thanks for coming – you’ve been a right laugh!” is not enough as a groom’s speech so I’ve done some reading and prep. work. The good news for me (and probably for everyone else too) is that it’s expected to be fairly short – about 5 mins. – and the structure is prescribed:

  1. thank everyone for coming and playing their part;
  2. say a few words about getting wed; &
  3. introduce the best man.

Easy! Even I can manage that I think.  I’ll post my speech’s framework after the big day.

The most exciting thing that’s happened recently for me is booking accommodation and a hire car for the honeymoon.  I’d opt for putting together a bespoke holiday any day over a travel agent’s package so we’re really looking forward to that.

Travel Walking

I Hate Camping!!! Or At Least I Thought I Did

I’m not a huge fan of camping. I find it claustrophobic and uncomfortable – even with a thermarest and a karrimat underneath me, I never sleep very well.

However, when there’s no other option, my ideal camp site doesn’t have to have fantastic (or any) showers. It doesn’t even have to have a half decent toilet block; a buff and some cheap aftershave can disguise that. What it absolutely MUST have is reasonable access to good food! You can wash in a mountain stream or go to the loo behind a tree (or with a shovel if you must) but if you’re hungry, you’re not at your best; not by a long chalk!

However, recently I’ve been cajoled into a couple of camping trips with more on the horizon. With that in mind, we paid a visit to Cotswold Outdoor and acquired a Primus stove. If you’re in the market for a new stove, I can highly recommend it.

In food terms, we found that dried pasta, a tin of tuna, a tin of sweetcorn and a jar of stir-in tomato sauce goes a LONG way towards feeling better after a big day in the hills. For breakfast, a bacon butty on really fresh bread with red sauce is something worth getting out of your sleeping bag for; so long as you give it a little time to settle, it’ll set you up for the day quite nicely.

If this is going to carry on, the next big purchase will HAVE to be a 4-season down sleeping bag. Even with 2 liners – 1 silk, 1 fleece – the bag I’ve got just doesn’t keep my warm enough. But then there was ice on the inside(!) of some tents the next morning.