the post!

Apr. 24th, 2009 09:22 pm
dear_prudence: (Default)
here it is! the big rbp post! i’d like this to be a post that will help me to remember the day, because i’ve never had such a lovely one in all my life.

all photos are taken by friends, and each one is credited in the flickr set linked below.

sajee and i put our dresses, and various other supplies for the weekend into the car on friday morning and drove up to glen harrow.
when we arrived at our cottage there was swing music playing, essential oils burning, and a fire crackling happily in the grate. it was just like stepping back in time. we unpacked...

... and then went up to the barn, where marg was working away in the kitchen, and where big trays of the most beautiful flowers in the world were waiting for us to play with. they came from chamomile farm, a herb and foliage farm that supplies to restaurants and naturopaths. the posies and tuzzie muzzies were full of fragrant herbs, rosehips, and delicate little flowers. i was just in love with them. we fished out all the lovely antique bottles, vases, inkwells and tins that we had been collecting, and then set to work with our nieces arranging the flowers in them. it was marvelous fun - i hope they remember it when they're older.

when we were finished, we put a muslin runner on each of the long tables, and then placed a few flower arrangements on each one. the effect was charming. even nicer than i'd imagined.

when we had finished, we briefly went to visit my mummy (who lives 1 minute down the road), and picked up the vegan friands that she had baked for two of our vegan guests – we had lots of vegan food organized for the day, but we wanted to make sure there really would be plenty, so mum agreed to help us out with that because she is awesome. after that we went back to our cottage for a bath, some quiet time, and a relax before heading out for a lovely family dinner with our parents and siblings. we followed that up with a nice big sleep.

we were up bright and early on the morning of the 18th (a bit earlier than we would have liked!), and went to the hairdresser with mel (sister-in-law), and our mums. it was fun to spend that time together, and rhea at harrison’s was so bubbly and enthusiastic that she soon perked us up! she got the job done quite quickly, which was good, because we still had to pick up sajee’s best friend jennie (a gorgeous girl, and professional makeup artist), decorate the cake & gift boxes and get dressed. we managed the decorating...

... and when it was time to do makeup and dresses my best friend, bridie, came to get ready with us too. She helped me get my dress on, and pretty much kept us giggling the whole time. the four of us getting ready together was a really special time.

then it was party time!

we greeted all our guests casually in the barn, and sipped strawberry champagne cocktails as we milled about chatting cheerfully and exclaiming over everyone’s amazing outfits...

before we knew it, it was time for the ‘formalities’ of the day. because same-sex marriage isn’t legal in australia, we were pretty free to make this up for ourselves (an upside to injustice and discrimination...? hmmm...).

we'd asked our gorgeous friend siobhan ([ profile] baroquestar) to be our m.c. for the day. she is so graceful and articulate, so we were thrilled she agreed. she directed all our guests to their tables, welcomed them, and introduced sarah ([ profile] maclabhrain). sarah is an old friend from uni, who now works for the registry of births deaths and marriages, so she was the best person to explain what the relationship register was. she was careful to make it clear that this didn’t mean we were married, and we still had a long way to go before we had equal rights, but she gave a good idea of what being on the registry meant, and also said some personal words that were really lovely. next, sajee and I said some words to each other. i went first...
sajee, you know i love you because i tell you so every day, so today i wanted to tell you, and the people who care about you, about the kind of love i have for you. that’s a very difficult thing to express in words, and in the end i had to turn to a better poet than myself, who described my love when he said:
“love is not love that alters when it alteration finds
or bends with the remover to remove
it is an ever fixed mark, that looks on tempests and is never shaken
it is the star to every wandering bark
whose worth’s unknown, although it’s height be taken
love’s not times fool, though rosy lips and cheeks within it’s bending sickles compass come
love alters not with brief hours and weeks
but bears it out even to the edge of doom...”

sajee, i want you to know that come tempest or the edge of doom, i’m your partner and your person. i’ll stick by you, and i will love you fiercely, because you are magnificent.
thank you for trusting me with your heart, and thank you for being trustworthy with mine.

then it was her turn...
as many (if not all) of you know, esther and I met through a love of music, i.e. choir. and we both love music. sharing music is very important to us and it is something we love doing. so, in honour of our mutual love of music, i turned to some of our favourite musicians to help me express what i love about esther and us and our love. it's like a very short mixtape.

the book of love has music in it.
in fact, that's where music comes from.
some of it is just transcendental. some of it is just really dumb.
but i, i love it when you sing to me. and you, you can sing me anything.

- the book of love, the magnetic fields

we sing. all the time. random little songs about making tea, sitting on the couch, checking our email, anything. i'm so thankful that I found someone who doesn't want to throttle me because I never shut up. and someone who loves to sing with me. and you can sing me anything.

i will have you with me.
in my arms only.
for you are only
my love.

- in this heart, sinead o'connor

we compliment each other so well - she makes the quilts, i snuggle under them. i bake the delicious things, she noms them (well, i do too!). she's my love and I'm hers and we fit, we go together.

if there's one thing that i've learned in my life, love is good.
and if you give it out, comes back to you ten times, love is good.

- love is good, jigzag

loving esther and being loved by her has taught me how to love, to love more and better and more constantly and openly. thank you.

so, in conclusion, esther, you're my most special, my precious, the caprica six to my gaius, the susan to my david, so let's find ourselves a leopard and going looking for an intercostal clavicle. you are my love. forever.

we signed the register, which was witnessed by our two besties, and as we did, nix ([ profile] nixwilliams), dan ([ profile] daniel_bethany), and esther grace ([ profile] johnnypurple) played us the most beautiful song which nix had written especially for the occasion:
'you must be tired of sailing,' she said
'pull down the rigging and come back to bed.'
but through the porthole the stars called me on
and in the morning both they and she were gone.

and i've been all around the world
across the oceans
and i learned that raw emotions
are more trouble than they’re worth

'you must be tired of flying,' they said
'come inside and rest your pretty head.'
but through the doorway i heard the owl cry
went out the window and vanished in the night.

and i've been all around the world
across the oceans
and i heard that raw emotions
are more trouble than they're worth

you must be tired
you must be tied down
you must be tied down
you must be tired

you must be tired
you must be tied down
you must be tied down
you must be tired

'you must be tired of racing,' she said
'why not slow down and walk with me instead?
you can't always be running away,
but i'll come with you if you don't want to stay.'

so we went all around the world
across the oceans
we went all around the world
and we went all around the world
across the ocean
we went all around the world

lyrics by nix williams: website |

our parents spoke then, and each of them had words of pride and support to offer us. we felt so lucky to be able to share this with them - we know that a lot of other queer people have to persevere without the support of their families, and we were so grateful for ours.

finally it was time for a toast from siobhan, and the cutting of the cake. my auntie had made the cake especially - it was a super-rich, organic, gluten free chocolate cake with tia-maria infused icing - and it was so dense that we could barely get the knife through it!

as we cut the cake, nix, dan and esther grace played us another song - it was an awesomely hilarious mash-up of "i kissed a girl", "owls", and "my name is potato", which are all songs that the five of us are particularly fond of. it was genius - those guys are hilarious.
"... you’re fond of her, she’s not an owl, you kissed a girl and you liked it..."

we then thanked our friends, and those who had helped us organise the day, and it was time to eat. the food was utterly divine:
whole ‘shadows of blue’ cheese with marscapone-stuffed figs and Syrian spices
whole ash-rolled cheddar & king island brie with selection of fruit and crackers (some gluten free)
asparagus with lemon myrtle dressing
hand rolled vegetarian nori rolls
hand filled inari
baby filo quiches with pumpkin, goats cheese and onion
salad of baby spinach, fetta, caramelized onion and pumpkin
french-cut cucumber sandwitches, and tofutti and gherkin sandwitches
flourless orange and almond cake
layered light and dark chocolate mousse cake
selection of gluten free cupcakes (including hummingbird, berry and others)
merinues with rose cream and berries
scones with homemade strawberry jam and frangelico cream

as the food was being nommed, we went and had some photos taken with just the two of us and then with our family. that was possibly the only mistake we made that day - our timing meant that we hardly got anything to eat! but we have some amazing shots of the day (mostly courtesy of amanda aka [ profile] piecesofalice, and nett aka [ profile] bondchick_nett), and they last longer than a full tummy!

the rest of the afternoon was spent in conversation with friends and family, listening to music, enjoying the setting, and generally having a lovely time. our dear jojo played a set for us, which was a joy and a delight (especially when some of our more coordinated friends busted some awesome moves on the dance floor).

the other activity that took up a large portion of people’s time, and created a lot of giggles and conversations, was the guest book. sajee had the brilliant idea of getting a bunch of blank album pages from bookbinders, and setting up a craft table with coloured paper, stamps, fabric, glue, ribbons, pencils, etc., so that people could make their own guest book pages. we asked jen ([ profile] binka_boo) to organize it for us, and to encourage people to participate, and she handled the job like a pro. the things people came up with were wonderful! there were cartoons, treasure maps, patchwork-style collages, and all manner of things in between. every single one had messages of love and support, and we have this amazing memento of the day now. it’s so precious. sajee is going to scan some of the pages soon, and we’ll upload the images as a flickr set.

it was all over so quickly - it was a whirl of loveliness and happiness.

that night we ordered thai food and stayed in at the cottage. bridie hung around for a while, mike and mel dropped by - it was just a lovely winding-down time, after a beautiful day.

here is a link to my favourite photos of the day: CLICK #1.
and here is a link to the flickr group with all uploaded photos: CLICK#2.

home again

Apr. 20th, 2009 12:43 pm
dear_prudence: (Default)
i have just had the best weekend of my whole life. it was beautiful from start to finish.
i am going to compile a set of photos over the next day or two, and post a link to it when it's done, but in the mean time...

thank you to those of you who were there, and those who sen their best wishes. i love you all x
dear_prudence: (Default)
today we met with marg and cherry at glen harrow, and talked about our plans for the really big party. it is coming together really well, and those women are going to help us put on an amazing event.

i brought my camera... glen harrow )

i probably should have taken some photos inside the barn, but we were talking and i was distracted. i'll get some next time.

aaah - it is going to be so beautiful!
dear_prudence: (Default)
we spent most of our last full day in france in versailles. it was beautiful...

i am a woman of mystery!

the mirror pool

sajee in the king's garden

me in the king's garden (this was my favourite part of the gardens)

the sitting room in marie antoinette's house

view of the lake at marie antoinette's hamlet

statue in 'the temple of love' at marie antoinette's house

in marie antoinette's gardens

so beautiful...
dear_prudence: (Default)
hello again! london continues to be very pleasant, and we are very comfortable and well looked after at chez katz. it's so lovely of dan's folks to put us up like this in their beautiful home!

i left off at the end of our second day in paris.

the next day began with a walk through the marais (the suburb of paris where we were staying), and a look at some stalls at a local market

when have i ever passed up an opportunity to take photos of flowers?

a mysterious mushroom tree (there was no angle to take this photo from that didn't have a busy background - but if you look hard enough you get the idea :p)

fromage! nomnomnom!

our walk took us to a garden with a name that were completely unable to pronounce. we sat there for a while and ate grapes and drank orangina. very pleasant on such a bright sunny day.

then we took the metro up to montmatre to see sacre coeur. here is sajee, with the view from sacre coeur spread out behind her:

the cathedral is a beautiful sight - especially when set against a bright blue sky

inside sacre coeur

i'm not sure how i personally feel about the catholic god, but i do respond to the idea of the virgin mary. whoever she was i'm certain she was an extraordinary woman. i lit a candle and placed it at her feet with a prayer for mothers and children, and for courage, compassion, and love.

we had lunch in montmatre in a little cafe where a man played cello to the diners. my salad had five kinds of cheese in it. win!

in the afternoon we went for a drive around the city and saw some of the big sights again. it was such a lovely day, and this was the perfect way to finish it.

dear_prudence: (Default)
day two in paris! it involved a trip to the eiffel tower:

there were lots of really pushy, and kind of scary guys selling trinkets and souvenirs there, but we ignored them and just took in the scale of the icon before us. we walked right underneath the tower, and considered going up, but i decided it was a wee bit too scary. the national police standing around with berets and big fat guns didn't do a lot to create a mood of confidence and calm...

i wanted to be at least a little bit fashionable in paris, so i was wearing my cute flats, as i had done the day before. they didn't treat my feet kindly, so we had to make a few stops here and there to reapply bandaids... (by the end of the day we'd been to lafayette to buy me a pair of runners *sadface* - but that was yet to come!)

the next stop is what in retrospect was my favourite part of the whole paris experience - the musée d'orsay. the building was incredible, with all the little galleries sprouting off from the bright, airy main hall. we saw as much as we could...

paris is so full of incredible art that i am a bit loath to spend too much time gawking at the classic pieces. i could honestly care less about david or the mona lisa (sorry, [Bad username or site: piecesofalice!!! @], but there's something about the work of the impressionists that you just have to see 'in real life'. it makes sense - the whole point of impressionism being about the interplay of colour and light - that's something that just never translates on prints or postcards... i don't now. i'm rambling.

as we admired some of the pictures in the van gough gallery we were kindly informed by another australian tourist that the picture we were looking at was "really famous". armed with this invaluable insight i found that i could truly appreciate the rest of my d'orsay experience. i made sure to demonstrate just how awed and excited i was by the "really famous" pieces:

we had lunch, in the d'orsay restaurant, with a goat and a faun. saj struck up quite a friendship with the goat in particular:

joan d'arc in the sculpture gallery

behind the clock face (we have a photo like this of sajee at home from when she visited paris in her gap year - this one can go next to it now! :D )

balloon sculpture on the seine outside the gallery

there was time for one more stop that day. one very important stop - the chanel store on rue cambon.

this is the very bag i received my purchases in (my perfume, some lipstick and some mascara). i found a bag i quite liked. but it was 2000 euro, so i decided that maybe i'd pick it up next time XD

more from paris soon! xoxoxoxoxox
dear_prudence: (Default)
bonjour! we are now back in london after a wonderful few days in paris. last night we were honoured with an invitation to spend rosh hashanah with the katz family, which involved much good food, wine and merriment, so i've left updating til this morning. i'm going to have to report on the paris leg of our journey in several parts, but i'm hoping to do that over the course of the day.

so! we had an uneventful flight and took the most expensive taxi ride of our lives to our little apartment in rue du temple in the marais. it was the cutest, frenchiest apartment you can imagine. to get to it you had to climb up four flights of old wooden stairs that got narrower and more rickety as you went. there was one more staircase once actually inside, and you could actually see roof tiles between the steps - we were staying on the roof! it had a curved ceiling with exposed beams so it felt like sleeping in an upturned boat. on the roof. it was so cool!

a short trip to the monoprix down the street saw us set up with the parisian necessities:

then we had an earlyish night.

the next day we started with a visit to the glorious and imposing notre dame. on the way we passed this very interesting fountain:

all the little contraptions in it whizzed and turned and moved with the water flowing through them. it was very cool.

i'm thinking of making a book entitled 'stained glass windows i have loved' - i'm pretty sure i already have enough material just from this one trip

the pope candles puzzled us until we found out a few days later that he'd recently visited the city

i was very impressed with the general beauty and splendor of the whole cathedral, and then we rounded a corner, i saw this, and it absolutely took my breath away. there was something about the richness of the purple glass, and the sheer size and delicate beauty of the whole thing that just stopped me, gaping, in my tracks.

after notre dame we went for a walk down the seine to the louvre.

i have been very nervous about this ever since we decided to come to paris - so much wonderful art, so impossible to take it all in! we decided to have lunch intheir restaurant (very delicious, btw!), look over a plan of the gallery, and just choose a section. we ended up taking in most of the richelieu wing, including the 15th-17th century dutch and german paintings, as well as some renaissance & medieval tapestries and objets d'art.

after all that excitement, and serious sensory overload, we had to have a nice long sit in les jardins des tuileries with some macaroons. oh yeah, they're gluten free! *happy dance*

stay tuned for the next installment! ♥
dear_prudence: (Default)
today was a quiet day. we went to the pump rooms for tea (just like austen heroines).

the pump room chandelier. i was too busy drinking tea and eating gluten free lemon drizzle cake to take any more photos!

then we went to "1 royal crescent", a house that has been decorated in the georgian style. it was very beautifully furnished, and full of interesting artifacts, but photography wasn't permitted (v. annoying as i would have liked to take lots of pics). you'll have to content yourself with the website's virtual tour if you want to see it.

from there it was a short walk to the bath botanic gardens. you all know how much i hate botanic gardens...

+7 under here )

then we came back to the b&b for a nap and it's suddenly quarter past eight. we couldn't find anywhere to go for dinner so i am eating some kind of nut-and-seed bar. slowly.
tomorrow we're off to paris, and i don't know whether we'll be able to get internet access there. if i can update, i will, but if you don't hear from me for a few days don't go calling the embassies or anything.

*big love*
dear_prudence: (Default)
hello from the beautiful city of bath!

a quick catch up on the last couple of days - mostly in photo form (again) :)

we had a lovely last morning in stratford-upon-avon. we visited the beautiful churchyard of the holy trinity church more graves, and some weeping willows )

then it was time for a last stroll through the rsc gardens...

a farewell kiss for mr tennant...

and we drove to bath - we took a stroll around in the evening light and it was really beautiful

today we have been wandering happily around bath - home of jane austen, pretty architecture, and other cool stuff )

i really love this city. it's so old and so majestic, and it's easy to imagine yourself right into a jane austen novel here. am very tired now, though, so i won't ramble any more. big kisses to you all xoxoxoxox
dear_prudence: (Default)
hello, darlings! you'll be pleased to know that sajee's bag arrived intact, and only put us a little bit behind on our schedule. we arrived in goring a little later than we intended to, but we still got there. the trip involved five different trains, one of which departed from PADDINGTON STATION! i got my mum a bear. we also went via camden, so i made lots of jokes about trousers:

'i got these great trousers at camden'

once in goring we put up at a sweet little b&b called 'north view house'. they had two cats and three dogs and a garden that was so english you wouldn't believe it - climbing roses, hollyhocks, etc. one of their dogs, dorrie, was tiny and hilarious - she would growl at you if you stopped patting her:

dorrie of north view house

we were served a breakfast of eggs and toast, yoghurt with sunflower honey, and fruit salad at a round table in the bay window of a sitting room that looked out over the garden, and then the others started their big walk.
we'd established that oxford wasn't far away, so i decided to take the train up there for a look around. it was utterly, utterly brilliant. i cannot describe how amazing it was. truly. i saw oscar wilde's old college. i saw the places lewis carrol was inspired by when he wrote 'alice in wonderland'. i saw the pub where tolkein, c. s. lewis and the rest of the inklings would sit and read their stories aloud to each other. i saw the place where king charles set up headquarters during the civil war. it was so full of stories and history and culture and beauty. i didn't have time to see everything that i wanted to see (you could spend weeks there exploring the libraries, museums, galleries, chapels, etc. etc. etc.) but i did explore christ church college and trinity college...

christ church college
this is the exterior of (part of) christ church college. it was begun by cardinal wolsey in the reign of henry viii and was going to be called 'cardinal college', but then wolsey died and it just sat there for years and years before king henry decided to finish it. i'm very glad he did, because it is quite magnificent.

more beautiful than i can possibly describe<a href= )

so i was completely overstimulated, and spectacularly excited when i left and met the others in nuffield (after a hilarious taxi ride with an old ex-serviceman who told me i was a tough little lady and would have been a credit to the service. i think that was because i could lift my own suitcase...?) they had had a good day's walk and had lots of stories to tell, and we compared tales over dinner, then wend back to our b&b to sleep. the next day i said goodbye to those insane walkers and took a hair-raising taxi ride through the hedgerows to our next inn. it's part of a miniscule village, resembling dibley in many ways, with lots of thatched cottages. all it had by way of public services was a church and a pub, so i was obliged to take a bus to nearby thame to get some stamps, and have a look around for gluten-free food (which i found - hooray!). when i got back i had a walk around the village and it was very charming:

sydenham cottage
can you imagine living in a little house like this?

the lovely village of sydenham )

i'm back in oxford today. i couldn't stay away - there was so much more to see! i'll tell you more later, but i'm at an internet cafe, and all of oxford is out there!!!!

big love to all of youuuuu xoxoxoxoxoxo
dear_prudence: (Default)
hiiiii! we're in LONDON! hahahaahahah!!!

we're staying with [ profile] daniel_bethany's family, and it is really lovely. we had intended to be on our way to goring by now, where j, d & sj will begin thier walk tomorrow, but saj's bag was lost by the airline and we have to wait for it to be delivered here before we can move on. we are hoping that happens this afternoon. cross your fingers for us!

in the mean time it is very lovely to be here. our hosts have the most beautiful home, and it is very english... look )

yesterday, since we arrived at around 7am we decided that it would be bad for our jet-lag to go to bed, so j & d too us on a little trip to hampstead heath, and i think you'll agree that it is prettier than anything... )

after all that we stopped at a tea house for, surprisingly enough, some tea, and went to see keats' house (yes, the actual keats - i fucking love this country) which was closed, but still there to be gawked at from the outside.

i was convinced i was finwe and that jet lag wasn't going to hit me, but then i curled up on the couch and was pretty much instantly unconscious.
dear_prudence: (Default)
hello from the united arab emirates!

i wish we had time to go and see more of this place. they've made the airport so beautiful that i can only imagine how wonderful the rest of it must be.
when you walk into the central hub, this is what you see:

everything is domed and tiled. it's more than utilitarian. it's just lovely.
muslims are celebrating the holy month of ramadan, so everything is decorated with lamps, moons and stars. it's so pretty. also, i'm glad we've flown in at night because it means we can eat if we want to. the whole nation is fasting during daylight hours and it is forbidden to eat in public places.
in the airport everything is in english as well as arabic, and all the staff speak english so we have had no trouble communicating with people. announcements on the plane were in english and arabic too. arabic sounds so lyrical, and the script is so elegant. i think i'd like to come back here one day and actually go and spend time finding out about this place and its people.

i had an asthma attack on the plane, but they had ventolin so it was fine. i got to go up to the front of the plane and sit in the first class lounge while they found me a puffer in the first aid kit.
apart from that, the flight was reasonably uneventful. i did some sewing, watched 'made of honour' (one of the worst movies i've ever seen), an episode of red dwarf, read a bit and, most importantly, slept. i have no idea how long i slept for, but it was definitely more than half the 14 hour journey.
saj didn't sleep as much as i did, but she watched more movies. i think she's pretty tired now. poor duck.

we board our flight to london pretty soon, so i'm off for now!
dear_prudence: (Default)

we're still ironing out a few kinks, but it's up and running. tell your friends!

big love to nett for designing such a beautiful site and putting up with all my emails, and of course to my sajee for encouraging me to do this at all, and for helping me along, every step of the way ♥


dear_prudence: (Default)

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