36) Wedding plans, and the Roland TB-03.

“I want you for the rest of my life” Together Forever – Rick Astley

Hi there girls and boys, I hope you’re well.

There’s been a couple of you asking if I knew the woman that was murdered, allegedly, by a police officer in London. She was from York but attended Durham uni at the same time I were there. I can’t say I recognised her but friends tells me she said hello a few times. I hope her family find peace.

When Ellie has completed her time in Los Angeles, she’s coming home for good. In the past she’s asked me to marry her and I declined, as she knew I would. It wasn’t a real proposal, more of an “I’ll ask but we both know we don’t want to just yet” sort of thing. We were both about to leave for the US and Canada respectively, and it was her way of making sure we stayed together, not that we had any plans to drift apart. Now though, she wants me to ask her. I’ve no problem with that at all, I’m ready now. We were always planning to be married at some point. I will of course be the bumbling schoolgirl again.

This arose as we were chatting on Skype as we normally do on a weekend. Her new place in LA looks ..well.. bloody horrible. The apartment block is quite nice, but the surrounding area… It’s in the South Central area, not a good place according to just about everyone. It’s where her job is though, being a physio and sports science lecturer in a uni and a high school. Ellie isn’t the type to be scared of situations and she has a sensible head on her shoulders, but Houston looked like a palace compared to this place. My worries for her increase when you see the crime rate. It’s been said before, but anywhere in the UK is better than some of the places you see in the US. We have bad areas but my my. She told me that she just wants to come home and settle down now, and can I propose when we do? What’s a girl to say? She reads this blog before anybody else, so firstly, hi my gorgeous thing xxx. Secondly..where to propose? I know exactly where, and when, but I’m not telling you that!

We’ve had the honeymoon planned for a while. Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, then visiting her Indian relatives of which she has hundreds it seems, but mainly just us in a cottage in Windermere, away from the world. We both love Skye so may kick mum and dad2 out of their place for a month!

When would we be be tying the knot? That’s something we’ve discussed, and both agree that probably within a year..the types that are just engaged, grrr that annoys me. Just do it. If somebody does you the honour of saying yes, then you are engaged to be married, this is where the term comes from. You don’t just get engaged, at least in my book although it seems many do, with no proposal offered. Of course some don’t even need the other person to say yes, do they, waifuists of the world? As for the wedding itself, we’re torn between a simple us-and-two-witnesses thing, then tell everyone afterwards, or a large one. The former seems cruel to those that would like to see it happen, the latter too much of a look-at-us thing. Then who do you invite? E’s family, even here in the UK, is enormous. Her immediate family alone could fill a large church, I mean one of her older aunts has nine children, and twenty grandchildren from them. On my family side I’ve only four, then friends, so about 30? Over the years I’ve deliberately not made friends, my memory being bad for the recalling of names. For anything else it’s good, faces, bums, but not names. Even some work colleagues that I’ve known for ten years aren’t what I’d call friends. I have lots of acquaintances through the charity work, but do you invite them to your wedding? I’m dreading the list-making as leaving people off said list is going to be torture. Or do we go the whole hog and book a cathedral?

Then there is under which banner the marriage will take place, religion-wise. I would LOVE Father Dave to perform the ceremony, but Catholic priests don’t do same sex marriages. It would be ever so slightly hypocritical of me as well, don’t you think? He’s all for it though, and has asked many times if he can be in the front row when it happens. I’ve a better idea. He can give me away. My two foster dads are lovely, brilliant, I love them so much, but I can’t choose one of them, can I? I’m going to see him tomorrow after mass, to ask him if he will do.

Ellie’s family, at least the Indian side that practice Buddhism, say there is no real reason why we shouldn’t marry in the eyes of that religion. You may be asking why we care, not being religious girls? Why indeed? We’ve asked ourselves this a few times. Part of it is wanting to be accepted by her family’s culture, but a large part is that Catholic thing, it just wont let go. If the religion was ok with us being married in a church I’d do it. HYPOCRITE! Yes!

But we’ll probably go down the route of a register office, or have a ceremony in one of the many places it’s allowed. Our names afterwards has been something we’ve talked about for years. We both agree that my own hardly run of the mill surname just doesn’t sound right after Elouise, while Anna Stevens is perfectly acceptable, as well as a tad more anonymous than my current one. I will be changing it, unlike other couples that still go by their own names after a marriage. We could go double-barrelled of course but that sounds even worse. I feel no tug to keep my surname. If my parents were still here then I suppose I would as, as I’ve mentioned previously the name at least on my branch of a very branchless tree, will die with me. And yes, I know my initials will move from ASG to ASS.

What to wear? Can I tell you a secret? Shh, there’s nobody else about. “I think we’re alone now”. I already have a wedding dress. It was in the window of a shop in Durham. We had walked past it then Ellie pulled me me back, saying, “I’d like you to wear that for our wedding”. I went in, tried it on, tried another of a smaller size, made sure it was alterable for my swimmer’s back, and bought it there and then. It wasn’t hideously expensive either. It’s a slim one, unlike these Princess Diana versions which seem to explode from the car. And it’s white! You what..you wouldn’t expect me to wear white! Cheeky bastards! Calf-length, backless.. I think it’s amazing. The images below are so similar as to be identical. We purchased this two years ago and asked for the label to be removed, so the manufacturer is forgotten. I’ll have to lay off the pickled onion Monster Munch and the Kitkat’s though…

We’ve not yet got around to Ellie’s dress, but we want something similar. Our rings are easy. I’ve mum and dad’s engagement and wedding rings. In my little black book of people I’ve met through the charity events, there’s a jeweller in Newcastle that will make us something from them. We’ve yet to decide what, whether to have them melted down and something new created, or re-use them for their original purpose and in their original design. Mums wedding ring is a little too ostentatious for me, so maybe we can work the stones into a ring each, both the same and something more suited to us.

Where to live should be easy, you’d think? I’ve two places, both of which we could settle down in. However, we’ve looked at houses elsewhere, mostly on the Northumberland coast. Holy Island is always good..but then it gets so many tourists in the summer. Berwick is glorious, as are Craster and Bamburgh. We aren’t planning to work for a living, at least not in the lifeguard/physio sense. I’ve a small talent for craft items, and E can always find a market for her physio skills. And it isn’t like we cant just start up our own businesses if we are bored, after all people will always need to be taught how to swim or helped to recover from injuries. Maybe a small farmhouse, complete with a couple of pigs…”Bacon” and “Chops”?

I was online last week, and for the life of me I can’t recall where, so if you’re the people that I was chatting to about synthesiser music..hi! I think it was Reddit, or a Discord channel, or it may have been somewhere else. Anyway, the topic of just how the music is made came up. Not being a musical person I assumed that EDM, (electronic dance music) was all software, but apparently it’s physical machines. I was directed to a few YouTube vids of people using a Roland TB-03 to recreate some of the Prodigy tunes. Hooked! I could sign up to the Roland Cloud, where you have access to many of their keyboard, synths, drum machines etc but that would mean having to learn another program such as Logic Pro before even using the 03, and all I want to do is dabble. So after a search I bought one of these. I got the keyboard as well, after being told it was easy to sequence in a few keystrokes.

I’ve had a bit of a play..I lie, I spent all day yesterday playing with it. The sound is superb, and it is just so easy to record a track, even if that track is basic. Just playing with the knobs, not an expression you’ve ever heard me saying, produces so many different notes and variations from just one original note. Before I knew it the time had got to midnight. This week I’ll be hooking it up to my Mac, I know a Pet Shop Boy so next time I see him I’ll be asking for keyboard advice, and then the world tour awaits. Hello Wembley!

I called a DJ acquaintance and discussed the machine, which led to a Skype session as he took me through the basics. I’m in love with the sound. It immediately takes me back to raves I attended in abandoned warehouses around London, possibly the only good thing that came out of living there!

It looks like I’ve exhausted the audience for this here blog. My interest in it has waned slightly over the past few weeks, as people tell me that they don’t like what I’m posting, whatever I post. The thing is they never tell me what they’d like to see! The Sunday Service has gone and won’t be returning, it’s sarcasm for the church being lost on many. Sarcasm and irony is beyond a lot of folk, it seems, online being one of the places it fails so badly. I promise to try harder, or maybe not at all.

As ever, thanks for reading.



16 of March, 2021


2 thoughts on “36) Wedding plans, and the Roland TB-03.”

  1. My wife and I put our wedding together in 3 days. Livingroom, registrar, such family as was close enough to attend. Whatever you do, remember it is YOUR (and Elly’s) wedding not anyone else’s. Do it your way. Everyone else should respect and honour the choices you make.
    And congratulations!


    1. Hi Mark, and thanks. I’ve been told this on numerous occasions, but the thought that somebody may take offence at not being invited! I’m sure, when it happens, it will be fine!


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