2007: All Good So Far…

…2006 ended interestingly, as well. Got a lift North to Maulds Meaburn, yonder Cumbrian village what Dan mentions, and where, at weekends, Ruth’s father hangs out, away from nuisances like telephones bearing people who want to speak to him.

We arrived – Ruth’s mother (the Rev.), her brother Robin and I – in horrible weather, and bang between the starter and the main course of a dinner Tom & Judith were giving for a couple of friends they had staying for New Year. The timing, all things considered, could have been better, but, dutifully sticking to the Plan (I like sticking to a plan, it means the only trouble you really face is bringing the Plan about and hoping it all goes like you thought it would) I carted Tom away from the table and into the living room, where, full of nerves, I asked him if he’d give me permission to marry Ruth.

…This would appear to be a good point to insert a clarifying parentheses…

(Firstly, I was asking, rather than making a bald matter-of-fact announcement, because we were rather keen that he understood we weren’t – and, indeed, still aren’t – planning on doing anything just yet; we’re waiting until 2010, so we can save up some cash, Ruth can finish her degree, we can say we’re at least a reasonably respectable age [mid twenties], and we can have a nice round number from which to remember anniversaries. By asking a question, rather than making a statement, I was not only inviting further questions [because I didn’t force a simple ‘O, right, that’s a surprise’ issue] and I was, in theory, signaling that we’d rather like him to be OK with it, without giving away too much of the fact we’ve rather been waiting for a chance to do the Ask Tom bit and this was the first chance we’d got…)

In accordance with the plan, he didn’t raise objections once he’d been re-assured on points such as “No, I don’t mean this Summer, I mean at some sensible time” and “Aye, we’ve thought about it and it’s something we’d both like to do,” and “No, we’re not planning on including unhelpful members of the clergy or mendacious white dresses,” and thus we reach a stage at which the whole thing gets rather more public, since we’re not concerned about breaking it gently-ish to sundry family members.

So, aye. That made for a good end to 2006, that did. And, indeed, a good start to 2007, and, when Waitrose opens tomorrow, a good excuse to nab a bottle of their 1999 Moet, the only drink that’s ever given me a hangover, but which is fantastically nice.

In anticipation of some potentially asked questions:

  • We’re no doing a “traditional” church wedding because they’re a bit, uh, naff, especially since Ruth only really likes Churches for their musical potential, and I remain deeply mistrustful of the vast capacity for abuse the system of organised religion seems to build into itself in the same way the human body contrives toenails. We’re rather more likely to be doing a Quaker wedding instead, but that’s still some stages of planning away, since I’ll need to speak to my Meeting first, and tell ’em.
  • Yes, probably is a bit of a shock. And, quite possibly, to one or two of you more than others. Still, we like it, and are really very happy with the way it’s all panning out, so we anticipate reactions of “I’m not that bothered, please don’t keep telling me about it, shut up” and “Hey, that’s cool, I hope it all goes well and you’re happy.” You’re welcome to have variations on them, and, of course, completely different reactions, but, by and large, we’d preffer the latter…
  • We are indeed a wee bit young. But since we’ll be not nearly so young in three and some months year’s time, that’s probably no huge problem. And we have gone through considerable periods of mass stress and penury, some fairly crap times, and some wrist-slashingly abysmal times, so I don’t reckon you could say we’re too young to understand how tough the world can be, or that we’ll go to bits in the event of our first “real” problem, because you’d not get past the first comma before I shoved your fists up yer bum. [I still get tetchy when people say I dunno what shit life can be…]
  • I know, I know, I know… telling people via the Internet: lazy, cheezy, and just a wee bit insulting. But the alternative would be ringing you all up, in which case I’d miss someone, and really upset them, or sending out a load of e-mails, which would either be personal, but two lines long, or an impersonal and even more insulting “hello people, here is news, bye”… Sometimes mass communication is kinda handy…
  • And, finally, aye, we’ve done the ring bit. Note “we’ve,” – technically, I think, Ruth’s the only person entitled to one, but that smacks to me of a pre-feminist “women are chattels and should be marked as belonging to people” plot to deprive me of the excuse to buy a nice bit of jewelery, so bugger that for a lark, I’m having one as well. And it’s very nice. Kudos to David Lloyd, who are an excellent family chain of jewelers in good old Shropshire, [Newport, Wellington, Ludlow, probably Shrewsbury and some other places] and who’ve done us good on what’s now three occasions, and four bits of sundry gold and silverware. Though, to be fair, House of Williams actually made the things, David Lloyd just ordered ’em and handed them over, with excellent timing, the morning after I returned to Newport.

So there’s a bit of news for you. I’m hoping that I’ve successfully conveyed what’s been going on with a reasonable explanation and sufficient notes to explain that we’re all hugely cheerful about it at this end (and Tom didn’t vanish and return with an axe, or anything), but I imagine Ruth will contrive a post herself, so you can grab a bit of the other side of the story.

And, aye,

Happy New Year

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  1. On January 02, 2007 Statto says:


    (let the inevitable slew of comments commence)

  2. On January 02, 2007 Graham says:

    Congratulations no. 2! I wouldn’t worry, there are stranger ways to announce these things than over the internet :)

  3. On January 02, 2007 Luke says:

    I shall play it safe, and also offer my congratulations.

  4. On January 02, 2007 Alex says:

    Congratulations, wish you much happiness.

  5. On January 02, 2007 Binky says:

    I’ll add my Congratulations! and say good luck and roll on 2010. The next time you two venture into the wilds of western Wales (or the grim north-west for that matter) much celebrating is called for.

    You guys just put a smile on my face at 8am, which is no mean feat.

  6. On January 02, 2007 Scatman Dan says:

    Hey, that’s cool, I hope it all goes well and you’re happy.

    And congratulations, too.

  7. On January 02, 2007 Katie Eve says:

    Dearest JTA,
    What wonderful news! It really doesn’t come as much of a surprise among my friends – three couples married at 21, one of which a year post-wedding is now with a three month old baby, so you are taking things terribly slowly (and considered and sensibly) by comparison! I wish you every happiness,
    Katie xx

  8. On January 02, 2007 Jon says:

    Congratulations. I remember having to ask Hayley’s father – nightmare.



  9. On January 02, 2007 Claire says:

    Congratulations to you both. You’re wonderful people who are even more wonderful together.

  10. On January 02, 2007 MattP says:

    Nicely done with the asking permission thing, sounds like hell.
    Best wishes now and in the future. Much celebration is needed when I see the pair of you again.!

  11. On January 02, 2007 Sally says:

    Bloody hell
    How very exciting
    Congratulations pip

  12. On January 02, 2007 Suz says:

    Aw, I’m so happy for you! So very exciting!

  13. On January 05, 2007 Jenny says:


  14. On January 09, 2007 Ben Leach says:

    Congratulations Ruth and JTA!