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.

Kefalos, Greece

Kefalos is a beautiful resort on the southern tip of Kos Island. To me, it is the smallest but not necessarily the quietest of the 3 main resorts on the island; the other 2 being Kos Town and Kardamena.

We stayed at the Antonis Hotel on a bed and breakfast basis. It’s a nice hotel at the western end of the resort; it’s a bit basic but comfy, with it’s own swimming pool. The quality and variety of surrounding facilities are very good. The only time we spent in the hotel was to sleep and eat breakfast. However, we did spend quite a bit of time by the pool too.

Kefalos boasts a 2km pebble beach which is just wonderful with tons of stuff going on. It’s the perfect spot for wind-surfing; every day we were there, there were surfers zipping up and down the coast. Obviously, some days were busier and/or better than others but they were always out there. There’s a number of places to go water-skiing. You can hire jet-skis or the more sedate pedalos.

I tried paracending for the first time while I was there. It was excellent! It’s really peaceful up there and, for me, it was the best way to have a look around the resort. Be warned though! If you get Georgis to take you, he’ll dunk you in the water on the way back down so don’t take any cameras, etc. up with you. Getting dunked isn’t really a problem because the water is so warm and you’ll dry off by the time you get back to shore.

NOTE: You should check your own travel insurance before doing any kind of water sports while on holiday. The organisation providing the water sports may be insured but I get the distinct impression that it’s insurance against being sued for compensation so heads up, people!

For other kinds of activities, it doesn’t seem to matter which tour company you go with. They can all provide you with tickets to numerous social events. From a traditional Greek Night with all sorts of food and free-flowing wine to a VERY blue comic who takes the mickey out of EVERYBODY; himself, the DJ Lance, all the people there and of course all the usual Irish, Scots, Welsh, American and battle of the sexes jokes. If you’re broad-minded then you’re missing out if you don’t see him. But, if you’re easily offended, give this guy a WIDE berth.