Done Deal*

Well I guess we in for the long term now. On Saturday past, after a 29 year “engagement”, Laurent and I were married in a brief ceremony at our friend Joelle’s home. I had hoped to get the vow exchange on video but that new camera would not cooperate. Stephanie, my niece, did manage to capture the last few seconds of the ring exchange.

Its been a busy time – Laurent coming home, getting last minute things arranged for the house sale, preparing for the move, the marriage ceremony, a “goodbye” open house yesterday – so it may be a few days before I have a picture album up for all to see.

*Apparently there was a problem with the video but I think I have it fixed now.

About Bloody Time!

Roses from Rick and JohnFirst follower: And will the veil of the temple be rent in twain?
Cult Leader: Well the veil of the temple is always dodgy.
The End is Nigh – Beyond the Fringe

Laurent and I will be exchanging our wedding vows at 1545 this afternoon in our friend Joelle’s garden. And despite the warnings of various religious groups we hope that the veil of the temple will remain unrent and the family unit as we know it will not dissolve. That is not our intention – our intention is to consecrate our loving relationship of the past 29 years.

We decided that at this point we probably won’t find anyone else to put up with us so why not make it legal. To be honest our original thoughts behind this step were based on legal and financial reasons; however as planning progressed the event has taken on a deeper meaning. We realize now that we are making a serious, spiritual commitment in the eyes of God, our family and our friends.

Many of our friends have sent good wishes via e-mail, snail-mail, blog comments and postings, flowers and telephone calls. It has been touching and both of us have found ourselves tearing up at the odd moment. A few have asked questions about the ceremony and a few have made lewd suggestions not appropriate to such a solemn occasion. So I thought I would post answers to some of them.

    • The ceremony will be held in Joelle’s garden – thank god its sunny and warm. Her son, our adopted nephew Andrew, suggested a lovely, shaded area surrounded by hedges – a perfect circle.

Flowers from Deb and James

    • We are a small group – Joelle, Blake – our oldest friend in Ottawa, our best friends Rick and John – who will be our witnesses, my niece Stephanie and Elaine, the Chaplain, make up the human contingent. The rest of the animal kingdom will be represented by our Reesie and Joelle’s Riley, Tugger, the cat and two ferrets.
    • Yes Reese will be there but not as a ring bearer, as evilganome suggested being a daschie he would probably eat the rings.
    • The service is a short Unitarian ceremony Elaine, Laurent and I created and includes much from the Book of Common Prayer. Elaine is the daughter of a former colleague at Air Canada and her father was my Director at Transport Canada – the world is small.
    • Our rings are the puzzle rings we bought in the Khan in Cairo in 1989 and have worn ever since. Laurent’s is gold and mine is silver. They cleaned up real nice.
    • Rick is reading the traditional passage from St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians however as much as I love the language of the King James version the translation of caritas as charity rather than love has always bothered me so he will be reading a modern translation.
    • Though we are not having flowers as such – no bouquets etc – we are bringing a beautiful arrangement Deb and James sent us from England and exquisite roses given to us by Molly and Dave over to adorn the table for the champagne after.
    • We are having a small wedding cake after the service with champagne sent to us by Deb and James, Maria and Gordon and my colleagues at Transport Canada.
    • There will be a small wedding supper at a local Bistro later this evening.
  • And yes I did see my intended after midnight last night and in his usual spot – pillow on the right side.

Roses from Molly and DavidAt the beginning of the ceremony Laurent and I will be lighting a candle together. That candle is meant to represent our friends, family and colleagues who cannot be with us. To all of you who have sent us wishes in one form or another – you are part of that flame and you are very much with us in our hearts as we exchange our vows and make our commitment.

Le Sense de Ha Ha

Though my sense of humour is decidedly British, I’ve always enjoyed the very different idea of what makes for the hahas in France – however I will never accept the rather strange Gaelic conception that Jerry Lewis is a comedic genius!

The bright sparks over at C’est so paris! are launching this billboard and newspaper campaign to convince Londoners that Paris is the place to be. They’ve totally convinced me!

Enjoy Rugby

“The second ad uses offbeat wit and the Rugby World Cup to show the world that Paris is also the capital of humour. The Paris region will be hosting several World Cup matches, including the final at the Stade de France.”

The Brits are probably getting a kick out of it but I’m not sure how “humourous” they’d find it in say… Calgary or Peoria!

BBF – Best Buds Forever

Our friends Bev and Kevin, they’re really more than friends – more like family, have always been adventurous. She’s currently working with the UN in Kabul – this after several stints in Darfur with CARE over the past three years. And Kev is currently posted in Sri Lanka doing security work involving Tamil Tigers. Even their idea of what constitutes a vacation can be a little out of the ordinary – paddling down the Zambezi for example.

Bev has some wonderful photos on her blog, Travels with Bev, which give a different perspective on life in Afganistan. She sent along this picture that her colleague Douglas Hageman, the Operations Manager for UNDP, took earlier in the week. I’ve included Douglas’ comment that came with the photo.

Best Buds Forever - Kabul - July 2007

“Took this picture yesterday–These two kids were just chumming along seeming without a care in the world.

I think you can find happiness anywhere–but it probably helps to be 5 years old.”

The Real Soph

Given the number of times Sophie Tucker sang “Some of These Days” on Ed Sullivan and The Hollywood Palace I’m surprised that there isn’t a clip on YouTube. Most of what is there appears to be come from British Pathé during the period when she was the toast of London. Sadly, giving real meaning to Sic Transit Gloria, one of the clip comments refers to Bette Midler playing “some character called Sophie Tucker.”

The little known “Only the Right Man Can Do Me Wrong” shows what a great vocalist and entertainer she was. What it does not show is her warm character and giving nature. Bette Midler use to say she was the only woman who could tell you to “kiss my tocass and plant a tree in Israel” in the same breath. And sell trees for the new born State of Israel she did -on some Kibbutz is a tree my Uncle and Aunt paid for between sets at the old Palace Pier in Toronto. They weren’t Jewish and they weren’t particularly political but I guess when Soph sat there and asked you to plant a tree in Israel… you planted a tree in Israel!

The Virtual Museum of the City of San Fransisco has a page devoted to Miss Tucker and Some of These Days including a great version with Ted Lewis and his Band – the instrumental alone could blow you away. And a 51 second clip of a number called “What’ll You Do” which shows exactly why she was called “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas!”