I have a good excuse this time :)

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So, as I often say to start posts; um, it’s been a while…

I can’t actually remember when I last posted. It was probably a rant about builders. But this time I have a good excuse. We’ve been busy *grins*.

So, I did my ATNC course, which I think I also whined about; this is the Advanced Trauma Nursing Course. It includes the Doctor’s ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support) but with some more info for nurses, ‘cos on the whole we’re not taught to read x-rays or auscultate chests (unless you’re up in the lofty position of ENP or Consultant Nurse, by which time it’s kind of expected). Hell, I’m learning to auscultate chests by picking on patients who’ve got wheezes or crackles and asking them if they mind me listening. Hopefully, eventually I’ll get to the stage where I can actually identify noises :)

At any rate, as the builders continued their month long assault on our kitchen Kathryn questioned me each evening on the identification of tension pneumothorax, massive haemothorax, cardiac tamponade, identifying different levels of shock, and so on, and eventually on the Friday I took the exam (which is, thankfully, different to the doctor’s exam. We have the same moulage scenarios but different test papers, ours being short answer and theirs being multiple choice). I’d got myself fairly worked up about the 40 question 45 minute paper (I think that’s right) – but in the end I finished in about 30 minutes, giving me time to go through and vascilate about answers for some items and remember random things I’d read online. The only really frustrating thing is that they don’t give you the paper back, so you never know what you got wrong…

At any rate, I passed* and headed home, unfortunately somewhat late. I say ‘unfortunately’ because my plan had been to get home, clean a bit (the builders having ‘finished’ at 1400, alledgedly), and then collect Kathryn’s Mom (Sherry) and Partner (Terry). So I was somewhat shocked to arrive home a full hour and a half late to find 2 white vans outside; which lead to me thanking them for finally getting the gas engineer in (because I through a complete hissy fit about them suggesting that after a month of work (that was meant to take a week and a bit) they couldn’t get a gas engineer in to finish the job until Saturday. A discussion ensued around the fact that yes I was pleased, but they also needed to be out of the house by the time I got back with Kathryn’s parents. Then I found out that their plane was landing early and lept into the mog for a swift drive to the airport.

Thankfully, Kathryn’s mom was not one to panic, because I’d (at this point) lost my mobile, Kathryn her charger and so they had no way to reach either of us to find out why I wasn’t at the airport at the officially sanctioned time. They settled down, had some coffee and I flew in sometime around half way through their drinks. And, thankfully, when we got home Kathryn’d had a chance to do the bits I was planning to do (changing the sheets, tidying and cleaning) and the builders had indeed left. Less fortunately, later that day the main fuse for the whole house blew. It appears to have been dishwasher related, but we’ve not been able to locate the specific fault. What we did find is that the numptie who last put the replacement fuse in didn’t replace the ceramic fuse container which has the rather important job of stopping the rest of the fusebox melting. I’ve now got a replacement fuse and fuse whatsit, and thus need to turn the power off to change it over, because currently the house is running on the semi-melted fuse (with a new fuse wire).

Unfortunately I had to to work all but two of the days they were here before the wedding, but they very kindly took us to see Avenue Q. I’ve wanted to see Avenue Q for years, always intended to go, but never quite made it. We got excellent seats for what turned out to be the 1000th performance, and I think everyone enjoyed it. I did have a few minutes of going “Oh god, third time we meet and we’re watching simulated puppet sex**….”; but the show was excellent, the tunes catchy and the puppetry*** phenominal. I do now want the soundtrack, and I also want a little Kate Monster to sit on top of my monitor. Not that I ever use my monitor…. But still.

Sadly they don’t do little puppets, which I think is a real shame, a mini Kate Monster would be awesomely cute.

Lots of people seemed a little concerned that Sherry and Terry were coming to stay the week before the wedding, and that it might be stressful for me/us. For me at least, I didn’t mind a bit. I really like Sherry and Terry, and enjoy their company – while a bigger lounge with more chairs, and perhaps, in general, a bigger house would have been nice (so that we had a real size spare bedroom); although thinking back I wish I’d done more when changing the bathroom over, because I could have made the bathroom smaller at the expense of the bedroom (albeit a slightly L shaped bedroom). Having them stay was really (apologies to English teachers the world over), well, it was nice. It was good to talk to them, and to see them again, and it was really wonderful to have them come to…

So, on Friday we collected our things together and piled into Rebecca for the four eight and a half hour drive to the Lake District. I felt pretty bad that we were in the Minor, for while big enough for 2 and 2 kids (as designed), four fully grown adults in the minor on a long journey should ideally have lots of breaks and lots of switching around (so everyone gets a turn up front where it’s a bit more spacey). The traffic was awful, really the worst I’ve seen, and the four hours to go from just south of Manchester to the Lakes was done at about 10 miles an hour. We were meant to have dinner together, my mum and her hubbie, Sherry and Terry, my sister and her husband and kids. We said they should go ahead and eat; and finally rolled up at the hotel (having dropped Sherry and Terry off just down the road) at around 2230.

The hotel (Miller Howe) was amazing. They  sat down with us to run through our wedding ceremony, and when we needed to be around to see the registrar, and asked about centrepieces, and arrangements of the room, and a few little details we’d not thought of. Despite being the kind of league of hotel our incomes don’t usually enable us to frequent, it didn’t feel like they were looking down on us at all (even in my coffee stained teeshirt and jeans, having spilt coffee on me somewhere on the M6). They arranged a hairdresser for Kathryn in the morning, and fed us the freshest salmon / cheese platter. We finally rolled in to bed in our suite**** around 2330, and then crawled out of bed in time for a gorgeous breakfast – the only sad thing being that Kathryn’s mom wasn’t there to share with us). We then headed in to town to get the few things we needed to complete the wedding preparations. Sparklies for my hair, foil to wrap the plants (for favours and table decorations) in, general bits and bobs; and the heavens opened.

Apparently it means the Gods are pleased if it rains on your wedding day. Well, I’ll say this, they were clearly ecstatic about Kathryn and I’s ceremony. Proper lake district weather was produced, horizontal rain, floods, high winds. The hair dresser doing Kathryn’s hair and make up made Kathryn (already beautiful) look breathtaking. She looked simply stunning. I felt so warm and fuzzy as I ran to get the car nearer to the hairdresser that the weather didn’t matter at all… We shot into the hotel and organised a last minute use of Ali and Kris’s room to get changed (because we weren’t walking up from the cottage where our suite was, no way, no how, not in that weather) and I greeted a few people somewhat swiftly, handed the reading (indirectly) to Lauren (who very sweetly read it, despite having not seen it until about 20 minutes before the ceremony).

Kathryn and I got changed with Sherry and Terry helping – and – after trying not to see each other too much all dressed – we headed down to meet with the Registrar. It turned out that she was really the most lovely Registrar and then we waited for our cue to walk down the aisle.

I don’t think I can put into words how fantastic it was to walk down the aisle, with friends and family around. I can’t say how lucky we are to have such good friends, both in the states and here. In a way, going through the marriage ceremony once is stressful, and doing it twice certainly is more stressful, but it’s also a blessing to get to pledge your love for someone in front of friends and family.

Kathryn’s vows were gorgeous, the music played by both Nikki (oboe) and Sarah (violin) was something that just made the day incredibly special. As soon as they played it felt like a *ceremony*. And when they surprised us with an impropmtu improvised duet***** – I wanted to cry and hug them both for being such awesome people.

Lauren read out our carefully selected poem, and…well… looking back on it makes me feel so incredibly lucky, to have my mum get us the hotel, to have kathryn’s mom get us the dresses, to have all the help from everyone on the day, that everyone dragged themselves hundreds of miles to watch us get married in the Lake District, because I happen to think it’s pretty (and have a somewhat sentimental attachment to it).

After the ceremony we did photos with James, who has produced some awesome photos. John also snuck around producing awesome photos too, and having decimated their arrangements of furniture we went in to lunch. The food was just amazing. It…well, you see why they get the stars in their rating, let’s put it that way.

…and then my mum and Sherry gave speeches, and I think other people said a few things. It’s a little hazy, there may have been two glasses of champagne. I was so touched by my mum’s speech, and the fact that Sherry’s welcomed the little british lesbian in to her family so generously.

…and *then* we got to do cake. My mum had agreed to do the wedding cake and I have to say it was gorgeous. (Have I used that word enough?). She’d made the most fantastic cake and decorated it with acer and purple sugar. It was so much more that what I’d envisaged, and frankly tasted delicious.

After coffee, chocolate, more photos and getting very overheated we headed to the pub where we had our ‘party’ booked. Music was played, dancing was done, the rain poured, we shook our booties, and it seems a good time was had by all. Thankfully people mingled, and chatted and I have nothing but happy memories (and a shiny shiny video thanks to John).

The rest of the honeymoon we spent in the company of friends, family and each other. We had a B&B booked for our last two days, up in Keswick, from which we had an excellent view of the mountains. We explored book and antique shops, we wandered up a snowey/hail-y/wet mountain to look at pretty waterfalls, we ate in the Lakeland Peddlar (which is an excellent cafe)…and generally had a very nice, somewhat indulgent time.

And finally we headed home to spend a very nice rest of the week with Sarah (Kathryn’s friend), before settling into married life. It is scary to commit to someone, but with Kathryn it feels so right and I love her so much. We spent 3 weeks together 24/7 in the States and weren’t sick of each other, and I have to say that seems like a good sign. That I want to stay home and be with her, rather than go to work (and I enjoy my job, although perhaps less so yesterday), that seems like the kind of sign that’s good. I am so very happy to be with her, and I love her so very much. She is the light of my life and I am the luckiest girl on Earth. :)

As a side point, we got recognised as married when we were in Sainsbury’s by the cashier (who noticed our matching, and may I say, awesome) rings. That was supercool :)

And now I’m off to see how the bathroom’s doing in it’s wait for dryness so I can go get sealant and reseal the shower, which leaks like a sieve where the tiles meet the showerbase.

* 92.5%. They seemed quite impressed. Woot.
** is there any other kind?
*** is that what you call the work of the puppeteers?
**** Yes, really, a suite. I’ve never stayed in a suite in my life. It was lush, open (gas, admittedly) fire; antique furniture, jacuzzi bath, heated tiles…
***** Because Kathryn wasn’t certain of the spelling of her mom’s name, and I…uh…forgot that my mum’s name has changed now she’s remarried.


Kate's a human mostly built out of spite and overcoming transphobia-racism-and-other-bullshit. Although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, it's all good.