Friday lunchtime I spent at the beer fest, partly with colleagues and partly with David/Peter/Karen/Sarah, which was nice. Then after a surprisingly productive afternoon I went home and lugged the futon upstairs to the spare room (study, library, music room) and reassembled it. Then Mike and I spent a very quiet evening mostly geeking. Played some Starcraft for the first time in ages! Eventually Ian arrived with a van containing a very large sofa that used to be Ernie's and helped us carry it into the living room before he headed back to his packing and Mike and I headed to bed.
On Saturday morning we got up fairly early and headed over to Relativity about 10am to help them move. Quite a lot of things were in boxes already, and the cusfs library had already been shifted over to the new house, but there was a lot still to do. I helped Sarah play tetris with boxes in the van, which Mike and Tom went to find more boxes at Tom's house. And in the meantime Clare and Ian packed more and more boxes. When the first load went Mike and I switched to packing boxes in the kitchen mostly while others were packing more books in the living room. And when the second load went Mike went with it with Peter and Tom and Ross to help unload, Clare and Naath headed off to the supermarket while Sarah and I made coffee and cleared the table and found paper plates and plastic cups so we could have a feast of bread and meat and cheese and houmous. We stayed after that to help for another hour or so and then we had to get off.
Back at our house we did a bit of tidying, had a shower and a brief nap, then spent an hour or so moving bottles and snacks into sensible places and putting cheese and pineapple and sausages and cherry tomatoes on cocktail sticks, all ready for our housewarming party (to which if you weren't invited I can only apologise: it's not a very *big* house and we didn't want to invite so many people they wouldn't fit. I have too many friends!). Steph and Dave arrived around 5:30, bearing shopping, and we immediately opened the gin. The first other guests arrived at 7, from Oxford via the beer festival, and I immediately dragged Steph and Jan out to the chippy to feed us all before we got completely plastered, leaving Mike to entertain the boys. Jack had arrived when we got back, and it was a pretty quiet party from then until we had another batch arrive at 9 and another around 10.
It was a really nice party anyway, the things on sticks amazing all vanished, as did about half of the cake and almost all the fruit, but not one bag of crisps got opened, and while we had less beer and less coke at the end than when we'd started we had loads more wine left! The last couple of stragglers left just before 3am, leaving Jan, Owen and Ian Snell to crash over.
On Sunday morning Steph and Dave headed back over from the Travelodge to join us for a breakfast of bacon and egg sandwiches and leftover cake and jelly, and we kind of all slobbed out together until the early afternoon, which was nice. We left Jan and Owen in CB2, pointed Ian at the bus station and did a bit of shopping with Steph and Dave, though we didn't find what they were looking for. Then came back for more coffee with them, and played Jungle for 2 hours on the living room floor, before going out for a lovely dinner at CB2, very kindly bought by Steph. We all crashed pretty soon after that though.
And today after a nice lie-in they popped back for breakfast again before setting off to drive back to Leeds through the rain. Mike and I are going to have a lazy day - all is tidied back up again although we still need to hoover. It's been a lovely weekend, and to be honest who cares if it's rained non-stop?
OK, I promised to talk about the house move. To be honest now it's 6 weeks ago, and hard to remember most of the details. Rachel, Ian, Richard, Pete and Laura were all great help though, and we got done in much less time than anyone expected due to lots of helpful hands (OK and to forward planning too). I took quite a few photos the day we moved, and of the place as it gradually got into shape over the next day as we unpacked, and couple of weeks as we bought and built more furniture, they're vaguely commented in the gallery below. Suffice to say that we're really really happy with the place, and loving living here. The only downside is a noisy neighbour, but another neighbour actually contacted our landlord about it, so he's looking into it for us. We've been and bought yet more furniture today, carrying a 23.5 kg media unit back from Fitzroy Street, and that's currently gluing together in the living room. We're just waiting on our dining table and chairs to arrive and then the place will be ready for a housewarming of some sort. Can't promise to invite you all, sorry.
I also promised to talk about the wedding, and that's now a fortnight ago, so I'm hazy on details there too. We went up on Thursday night after work, and had a quiet night in with mum and dad before going shopping on Friday morning for a few last minute odds and ends like earrings! Friday afternoon Steph came over and we had a trial run of getting her into the dress, which was corsetted with big ribbons up the back, and thankfully turned out much easier than mum had feared. Later we were joined by Grandad, Alan and Sharon (over from Northern Ireland), Hilary and Gem (friends from when Steph was at Uni) Em and John, and Dave and his family. It was a bit of a mad evening but we eventually had a lovely meal at the Navigation Tavern down by the canal.
On Saturday we had to get up early to get all of us through the bath and the shower before breakfast of scrambled eggs on toasted bagels, with bucks fizz to drink. Then mum, Em, Steph and I had to dash down the the hairdressers at 9am (when they open) to have our hair styled for the day. With three of us it was just a wash and blow dry (straight for me and Em, with plenty of volume for mum), but Steph was having hers put up in curls, and it was incredible how lovely it looked but didn't half need a lot of hair spray! We didn't have much time to faff though, for the cars were coming at 10:15, so it was back to the house to change and do makeup in a mad rush (including sewing my underwear into my dress to stop it showing - do you know how impossible it is to get a strapless plunge bra in a 40DD?). Still, we waved Steph and my dad off in the Rolls and Em and I followed in the Daimler, and John was left to drive Mike, mum and the buttonholes over to the wedding venue at Oakwell Hall.
Steph and Dad had arrived just before us, and we were escorted round the back with them to the old kitchen to go through the details before the wedding, before it was time for the music to play and for Emily and I to follow them down the aisle. It was a lovely wedding, with two readings from Mum and from Dave's sister Jenny. Steph and Dave both looked lovely (well, especially Steph) and both Emily and I were witnesses, along with Best Man Thomas. After the service we all congregated outside in the glorious sunshine in the gardens and rose petal confetti was thrown and lots of photos taken. Much amusement when the photographer asked those who were not family to leave the shot and nearly everyone stayed.
Mike and I had a quick look round the hall itself, before we were called because it was time for me to go. This time Steph and Dave in the Rolls and mum and dad in the Daimler with us too, and again John got to play chauffeur for Mike and all the stuff. This took us on to the reception venue at Haley's Hotel and Restaurant in Headingley. There we had the public rooms to ourselves pretty much, so had a nice lounge around in the bar and library before a lovely dinner and some excellent speeches. Lunch finished at around 5, and then nearly everyone congregated on the steps or the lawn outside. Drinking wine and talking and playing catch with the small kids (Jake 5, Anna 3, Alex and James about 20 months). It was all rather lovely. And after we'd managed a small nap in our lovely hotel room we got up again for the evening do at 7ish, with more guests, a blues duo playing live in the lounge, a buffet dinner with a recorded "radio show" I'd prepared playing in the backgroun for that - though timings didn't work out right and only about half of it got played. Then Steph and Dave danced their first dance to Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl", and we partied on with more dancing in the lobby for the young-uns til Mike and I wimped out shortly after the best man around midnight. According to mum most of the rest gave up around 1 or 1:30, but there were a small bunch of die-hards up until 3.
And the lovely thing about staying in the same hotel was that we all got to meet up again over breakfast, and wave Steph and Dave off for their honeymoon in Turkey, before packing everything up into John's car and the immediate family heading back to Mirfield for a quiet couple of hours and a tapas lunch before we had to get the train home. Part of me still can't quite believe Steph's married, but I'm really really happy for her, and we all had a lovely lovely day. We didn't get a chance to take many pictures, we were too busy enjoying ourselves, but the few we did are here (mostly taken by Mike).
As most of you know I work for the Engineering Dept of Cambridge University, mostly dealing with email related things. We have a bunch of people with a shared role account on hermes, the university mail system. They're using two different mailers to access it, and saving messages in IMAP folders. They're nearing quota, and want to archive old material in a format which is accessible (in particular) in both Outlook and Eudora. We have shared filespace, but could do with ideas as to how on earth to store this mail in a way that they can all access it.
So far it looks like the best answer is to continue to run our own IMAP server, so it can be used for such archives. We were hoping to run it down though. Hermes is hoping to provide larger quotas in future (currently at 250MB default, up to 1G, which this team are already allocated), but don't intend it to be used as an archive.
Will write at some point about a) sisters hen-night and b) moving house, but I'm a bit busy at work this week as a result of b) and will be at a course all next week, so it'll probably have to wait til we have internet at home. Suffice to say: thanks to all who helped, and we're very happy.
As some of you already know I'm moving out of Arden Road on 17th of March (3 weeks on Saturday). I was wondering if anyone would like to help us move? It's only across town to the Grafton Centre area. Ideally we need someone to hire and drive a van for us for the day, and help carry boxes and furniture. Obviously we'll refund the van hire and petrol, but dinner will also be included, and a bottle of whisky or preferred nice present.
If anyone else wants to help lugging boxes there's dinner on offer for them too. Probably takeaway of some sort.
Thanks in advance!