I've just posted an very brief update on Mozart and Gonzo's blog, sadly, their last.
They have been rehomed in North Georgia for the last few months and are doing well. Fox's schedule just didn't give him enough time at home with them and it quickly became clear they were better going to live with a family who have known and loved them since each came into my life. They are safe, they are happy, and they are still amazing, they just aren't part of my family any more-it hurts and I will miss them forever.
But hearing that Mozart relaxed and was playing with Gonzo within hours of arriving at the new home, and slept belly up right away has made it much easier for me to let go. I hadn't mentioned to anyone, not on their blog, or in person, that Mozart showed the trauma of his life in the wild for a very long time after he came IN in his not sleeping belly up; he slept curled tight with his back up against a wall or sofa back for years and it was only the last year we were together that he started to relax enough to sleep fully stretched out with his stomach exposed.
Paul and I will be married in a little over a week. All of our paperwork has gone to the Home Office, been vetted, been approved, and sent back-we posted the banns on New Years Eve by notifying the Registrar. She is a lovely lady pulling out all stops to help us have a lovely wedding as quickly as possible so that I can quickly apply for the marriage visa instead of having the expense of requesting my tourist visa be extended, and then after a wedding in less unseemly haste, the expense of requesting a marital visa.
It's a lovely difference of about a thousand pounds-money better spent putting in the last of the double glazing on the front window and another wood-stove. Considering climate change we're seeing here in the UK, I'm for saving the money for the window and stove!
We had about an inch and a half of snow last night, and today have both existing stoves going (bedroom and study). It is not as bitterly cold as it was in the run-up to Christmas and New Years, but close. The photos below are of the icicles and snow we enjoyed:
Um, yeah, it WAS cold!
The snow isn't quite as high, and we are religious about getting out to clear the icicles as soon as we see them starting now. Paul gets out on a ladder and clears the rhones (gutters) while I shovel the paths and try to cut a few drainage channels through the snow from the garden walls to the downslopes-as a retired building conservation officer, Paul is meticulous about keeping water from the walls and building. Other people aren't as diligent, and there are burst pipes, collapsed roofs and walls, and interior water damage all over the UK. Not at our house, though.
Back to the wedding, am I practical, or what-I found my beautiful cashmere coat (gray, mid calf length) in a charity shop. I decided that wearing a dress or skirt was insane given the mid-January weather in Scotland. This is turning out to be the most brutal winter in over three hundred years-do you really think I'm going to walk to my wedding and reception in a dress and tights (what they call stockings in the UK), lol?!
So I hit the sales in Dundee last week, and found a lovely pair of gray slacks (called trousers over here), an equally lovely black cowl neck tunic knit, and a pair of very nice suede snow boots. I brought some of my fabric and patterns over in my luggage-I am one of those women who, when packing to leave somewhere, sees the sewing box and crochet needles as far more essential than dresses and shoes-so I am starting my white wedding blouse this afternoon.
Paul found his wedding suit in a charity shop too, and is wearing his old topcoat over it.
Monday after next we will wake-up, I'll put the finishing touches on the wedding flowers (yup, making those myself too) while he pops down to the reception site with the cake and favours. When he returns we'll dress for the wedding, and when the witnesses arrive-a lovely younger married couple Paul has known for years, and I have come to know and love-we'll all walk the quarter mile down to the Marriage Room at the Registrar's Office.
We'll be married in the Marriage Room, a lovely sunny yellow with period furnishing (the building is Victorian, built around 1860), Vivaldi's Four Seasons playing softly in the background and the floral decorations they kindly pull from a cupboard flanking the Wedding Table (which is where we sign the marriage paperwork).
Once we are officially husband and wife, we'll walk another quarter mile to the centuries old pub where we've reserved a large table next to the fireplace-our wedding luncheon. The favours will have been placed by the waitstaff before we arrive, but I'll hand carry the small floral centerpiece from the Wedding Table in the Marriage Room and place it on the table at the pub for further decoration; we'll eat the lovely trademark steak pie and veggie lunch their chef is preparing. We'll open the bottle of champagne, the waitstaff will bring out the cake, and then cut slivers of the cake for the quests share with us there, and some to take home too.
Fox will not be able to be with us (still trying to get his passport renewed, and frankly I didn't want him flying this time of year anyway) so when he comes to see us this spring we will be hosting a 'real' reception with around a hundred people. Another much missed guest and he will receive a parcel from us with cake, favours, cd of the wedding, and a hard copy wedding portrait, soon after the wedding.
I am making the flowers up from a half dozen roses to be picked up from the florist the Saturday afternoon before the wedding-two corsages (lady witness and Registrar), two buttonholes (groom and male witness), a single rose table decoration for the Wedding table where we'll sign our Marriage Schedule, and a single rose/heather/thistle/tartan ribbon 'bridal bouquet' for me.
I am also making the favours-sugared almonds and four different kinds of confetti in an organza bag with a hand lettered thank-you note and a wedding champagne bubble bottle tied on. I'll decorate each with a couple of paper roses.
Thank-you God, I am not expected to pull a cake out of my hat, too, and we've already ordered the cake-a traditional sultana with marzipan and sheet frosting with a wedding posie, our family tartans, and the date in silver lettering. Oh, crikes, I think I need to pick-up a packet of cake boxes so that our six guests can take home a piece of cake...I'd forgot about that!
I should have the materials for the favours by Tuesday, and I am going to get them put together as quickly as I can! Hopefully I'll even be able to post a few pictures.