Well well well. Three hundred and eighty-three days, and counting, if my shaky
mental arithmetic serves me correctly. That's right - amongst this wonderful
fabby weekend's most significant activities was a little Sunday afternoon
meeting with Claire's vicar Olivia, at which we provisionally set a wedding
date for 12 April 2003. Yes, that seems an age ahead, but there's plenty to do
- what with work, sorting out a house and everything, and that's even before
issues of the wedding itself come to the fore - so it's probably pretty
But that was only part of a splendid weekend, which once again only came to a
close in the small hours of this morning as you know - and I'm sadly realising
something may have to give a little with regard to the latter. Saturday
morning saw my car getting beautifully cleaned by Claire and miscellaneous
Girls' Brigade members, though I am assured it was both the first and last time
- and I have to say I am generally quite happy with petrol station car-washes!
The rest of Saturday daytime all seems a bit of a distant memory, but I think
it was mainly spent making things and watching videos with Jess - and Claire,
in between odd jobs needing doing.
Then for the evening we had a Girls' Brigade officers' and partners' meal out
at a Chinese buffet in central Slough - bringing back memories of Queensmere
and its airport architecture! - which was most pleasant indeed, even if there
weren't quite as many of us out as had been hoped, for various reasons. We'd
half promised to pop in to an engagement party of one of Claire's colleagues on
the way back from Slough, and we duly did, though it was stupidly noisy, so
once we'd said hello to everyone who'd been desperate to meet me - and I'd
managed to detach Cynthia from me - we decided to call it a day, and did not
excessively prolong our goodnights once home.
As for Sunday, well I should have remembered it was Palm Sunday, and what that
normally entails in the more traditional church circles, but I didn't complain
for a moment because it was an absolutely glorious morning to walk from Taplow
back to Burnham, increasing in our numbers as we did so. There was a short
more conventional service afterwards, with Claire and Jenny being dropped in it
at the last moment to lead the song after Communion. Back to Claire's house on
foot then - via the park, for Jess to have a bit of a run-around - for a lovely
chicken roast courtesy of her mum and dad, and soon after that, peace
descended. Claire's sister Sally had very recently somehow sliced her achilles
tendon and was to be incapacitated for a couple of weeks, so Claire's mum and
dad had agreed to go and help her for a few days, and took Jess with them.
Quite what then happened to the rest of the afternoon I can't exactly remember
- well, apart from together tackling the mountain of greasy washing up,
definitely a downside of the traditional Sunday roast, and perhaps the
clinching issue in our aspiration to own a dishwasher when we're married - but
the next major bit was our much-anticipated visit to Olivia, to talk about
various matters wedding-related, and of course to agree that date... A half
hour chat rapidly extended to an hour, but it was all very useful and we came
away with plenty of stuff to read and even more food for thought - and a date
next year for everyone to circle in their diaries!
After tea, and before going to the pub, Claire needed to do some preparation
for a church event on Good Friday, and - unsurprisingly - I needed to phone a
few people to let them know what we'd decided with Olivia! The evening
generally whizzed past though, and it was soon time for our customary visit to
The Bee. As I said earlier, though, I need to be more self-disciplined about
that, because after a busy weekend - as any involving Claire and especially
Jess inevitably end up being, happily - two hours at the pub followed by an
hour on the road really does take its toll. So in future I've decided - and
Claire's agreed - that I should never feel obliged to attend, and not to feel I
have to stay the whole two hours if I do!
So that was that - for the weekend, at least! I'm not sure who was up first in
the end this morning; I've been waking earlier lately anyway - perhaps some
kind of subconscious adjustment to what I have in store - but had set my alarm
for about as late as I could get away with and still get to work on time. With
no Jess to get ready for school or anything, Claire too was looking forward to
a similarly leisurely start, though I get the feeling we were both probably up
at about eight in the end, and briefly crossed paths on MSN before getting our
respective moves on.
And now, here at work, completely out of the blue I've just had a new 22"
monitor delivered, in advance of receipt of a new base unit to be expected in
the next few days. Goodness knows why, when they know my days here are now
numbered, but I'm not really complaining!