Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The truth is that I like my inexpensive but original silver jewellery much more than any of those solitaires, princess cuts and eternity bands lining the Hatton Garden streets. The trip served a purpose: we decided we would design our own rings. And won't spend more than a couple hundred pounds on it at most. I will reuse a diamond out of an old ring my mom once found and wore for the rest of her life, so I will carry a bit of her with me as well. Miguel will get his desired mokume ring, and we'll all be happy.
What a well grounded decision, and one that the two of you I am sure will never regret, and always cherish.   and what a wonderful, heartwarming and insightful diary!  Thank you.
by wchurchill on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 02:20:03 PM EST
Unfortunately, Miguel's surname, which sounds great in Spanish, spells the same way as the word "carcass" in English. How's that for a middle name?

Well if nothing else it will give your child a leg up in the 2020 Goth revival ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 02:28:38 PM EST
Thank you for sharing and making me laugh. Well, I wish you both lots off happiness, even being married offially.

I had the same reaction when I saw that women adressed by their husbands name - and I found it even more amazing as I have been lectured as to how much more independent American women are compared to European women.

by Fran on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 03:45:23 PM EST
Thank you, Fran! :) I'm glad you share my sentiments on the newspaper issue.

"If you cannot say what you have to say in twenty minutes, you should go away and write a book about it." Lord Brabazon
by Barbara on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 09:51:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Up until a year or two ago, my mom would actually throw a fit if one of her kids addressed a card or a package to anyone but "Mrs. Ben Hogan." G-D forbid we should use her given name! (One part of this custom is that divorced women were supposed to go by Mrs. and their "real" first name, and I guess my mom thought she deserved some  recognition for sticking with Dear Old Dad all these years.)

Then Dear Old Dad had a massive stroke and stopped speaking to her (even though they live alone together) except on occasion to accuse her of having an affair with "that snake!," the kindly neighbor across the street. Now it's perfectly acceptable to address her as Doris.

by Matt in NYC on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 05:07:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I object to your picture, I believe a more accurate picture would have the wife's hand located somewhat lower, and the groom (hell of an English word there) somewhat more agitate than resigned to his fate.

Miguel I believe is right about the half asses.  See by having two half asses you can be stubborn together, rather than against one another.

Ah marriage.....

The details may change change, but the frustration is supposed to be all the same.  In the end though as the Spanish say, vale la pena.  I wouldn't know being somewhat more full ass, than half ass when it comes to women.  Ironically, I've found that it helps not to speak the same language, that way you can feign ignorance of the language.  Or find an English girl, because they'll put up with anything.

I ate dinner with my Korean friend's family a while back, and his wife asked if I had a wife.  I said I never found anyone (not entirely true, the aforementioned Englishwomen would have been perfect, but alas she lives in England.....)  So she says to me....

Have you ever considered arranged marriage?

Wow.  I didn't know how to respond.  I had never really thougt of it.  

So remember, no matter the frustration at least it was your choice.

Congratulations! Felicitaciones

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 03:54:21 PM EST
Good grief. I've spent a year proving to everybody that hte UK is clueless about everything and then you find something we do that makes sense.

Tsk.

Good luck anyway

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 03:57:04 PM EST
Based on my observations of the experiences of a few friends, I believe the purpose of weddings is to serve as a vehicle (in a lord of the flies sense) to ensure all parties involved understand exactly where all the other parties involved stand on their personal "needs," demands, and thoughts on the morals and character of all other said parties.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 04:11:42 PM EST
I said you should write more. It sounds so genuine and personal, and yet everyone can recognize the undercurrents. You put them into good, honest words.

I can only say that it is possible to get married in a registry office, and still have a memorable party, because I have done it twice. They are treasured moments even for Registry Offices. The obscure kipper tie on the official, his futile attempt to use English in an attempt to make me feel part of the ceremony, my terrible hangover from the stag party the night before, glimpses of proud faces etc etc. I don't think the experience is so very different from doing it in a church. It is the event that gives you the adrenalin rush and makes the memory deeper, not the place.

The party is the one you will really remember. We don't all gather, as friends and relatives, so very often in life. It is important to remind oneself of, and experience, all the connections and how you fit in.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 04:29:53 PM EST
Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, Sven.

Yes, I want to do the wedding because it's an opportunity to kind of review your life... and for me, it will be quite a pallette of people and cultures, and I'm very curious what will happen when I bring them all together! I think it will be similar for Miguel as well. We will need lots of interpreting, but that will hopefully be part of the fun. I really look forward to it.

As far as the separate party from the ceremony, we'll just have to see how awful it will get with the papers. Maybe somewhere in the process we'll just throw in the towel and run to the closest city hall in London, just to get it over with.

"If you cannot say what you have to say in twenty minutes, you should go away and write a book about it." Lord Brabazon

by Barbara on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 09:54:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe somewhere in the process we'll just throw in the towel and run to the closest city hall in London, just to get it over with.

Yes, it's a great thing to know that we can always get same-day walk-in service in London ;-)

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:16:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Depending on how you think about it, there's always the possibility of separating the legal element from the personal/social element of the wedding. You could do the legal bit in the registry office and do a solemn ceremony to your taste, religious or not, with friends and family.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:17:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that I am not big on ceremony.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:19:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm very curious what will happen when I bring them all together! I think it will be similar for Miguel as well.

You're curious, I'm terrified.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:18:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Where's your sense of adventure?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:27:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Socially I have none.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:29:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, strap on your pith hat and damn well grow a temporary one ... you can borrow mine, though I warn you it's pretty weak. Maybe Sven could lend you his, though he seems to be using it all the time.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:38:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
damn well grow a temporary one

Maybe I should smoke some pot on the morning of the wedding.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:41:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I said "sense of adventure", not "death wish".
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:41:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely - it's a very good way to deal with reality - everything seems sooo fine ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 11:55:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 
The party is the one you will really remember.

Are you sure, Sven?

Parties for me are like the Sixties: if you can remember them, you weren't there!

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 11:09:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's what we have an imagination for ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 11:54:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We were discussing taking on Merry's name - but that would have meant for me to change my name before the wedding so that in the wedding ceremony she could then take on mine....

But it is possible to have a bilingual ceremony and party. We had guests from five continents and quite a lot of different mother tongues. But the best was the party the evening before the wedding with everybody together rather then only everybody meeting at the actual wedding day. since  95% of all guests had to travel anyway it sort of just came together, but that really gave our wedding the relaxed and calm, yet exciting and memorable overall feel - we also had a ceilidh the best wedding dance possible!

and as most sustainable firework. sparklers attached to helium balloons every guests gets one. great show!

and I second Sven's comment - you are a good writer - more please - you got me back to posting comments (-:

by PeWi on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 05:36:11 PM EST
Yea, we've missed you and Merry

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 06:40:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, I was job loss lethargic, and slowly gain more energy (after the move and now also a new job - having been out for 7 months) but it is going up again. Next week we are off to take pictures of the most famous bridge in the world (well, in the US anyway) and I might even promise to make a diary about it...
by PeWi on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 06:57:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oh and Merry is doing very well as well, loves the job and now a business trip to SF, what more would you want?
by PeWi on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 07:00:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi PeWi, good to see you here again and to hear that live for you and Merry is improving. Hope to hear more from you and am looking forward to you diary. :-)
by Fran on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 12:32:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great to hear from you and Merry, Pewi, it was getting to be long... All the best for your trip!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 03:22:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
PeWi & Merry...yeah!! Welcome back...and congratulations on things moving forward on the work front...that whole thing can be very deflating. So good on you both. And hey! You are going to SF! Me and Lil will be there too, from 3-31 to 4-11...maybe we can cross paths!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 04:31:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
6th to 16th - Merry has to work, but I will have all the time of the world :-)

Would be great to see you.

Have you got my email?

by PeWi on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 08:48:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurotrib SF Meet-up?
by PeWi on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 08:49:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I love the sparklers and helium baloons idea! :) Thanks!

"If you cannot say what you have to say in twenty minutes, you should go away and write a book about it." Lord Brabazon
by Barbara on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 09:55:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We were wondering what happened to you two recently. Nice to see you around.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:28:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Welcome back!

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 04:35:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Congratulations to both of you!  Sounds like a well thought out decision, so it will be good.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Tue Mar 27th, 2007 at 07:11:06 PM EST
Good luck, to the three of you actually!!

I'd say yes to party and also yes to party in a Medieval custom setting and yes to making Mig do some elaborate fencing on top of the table for all to behold. Oh well. One can dream. I learned in the USA that The Wedding should be the most revered moment in one's life - which I find ridiculous. Though it doesn't make sense either (to me anyway) to go completely the other way and huff yourself past it. But well. I still don't understand the purpose of weddings...

Your diary was a blessed read - and I concur with Sven, and have said this to you before! - your writing is superb. It's deliciously refreshing in between diaries on energy and gridlocking politics and all negative gloom.... This shines, it makes me smile, and it also grabs me by the throat - like this:

European Tribune - Comments - The True Purpose of Weddings

It reminded me of Dolly Parton's quote: "You don't know how much it costs to look so cheap." I thought of all the things in the world I'd rather have for that price than this Tiffany knock-off. For instance, our entire house furnished with the most beautiful antique Chinese furniture. Or a good chunk for a deposit for our own place. Or three top-notch courses for Pilates in the best schools in London, or a series of fantastic holidays all over the world. You could rebuild an entire friggin' village in Africa with this money if you wanted, and die in peace for having served mankind. And I wanted to cry, concluding the world was truly insane.  

That is so true, my heart turned over. Being here in South Africa has sobered up my feelings on the quality of life even further, which began crystallizing after my trip last summer to Sweden. I feel a diary starting to mellow.

And now I also need to write about diamonds - because your link is nice, but there's a lot more to add to the story of the Kimberley process, good and bad. It's not only PR, really. As a geologist, I'm not keen on diamond rings anyway. It's just carbon, swhat! Friends of mine (she being the geologist) of mine had rings made of fossilized wood - that I find truly appealing.

by Nomad on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 03:21:21 AM EST
Hello Nomad,

You made me smile as well, thank you! :) If I keep getting comments like yours, I will definitely keep writing more!

I think you should definitely write a diary on diamonds. I read quite a few articles on them, and didn't include all the links because I thought it would make for a whole new story. So the floor is yours!

You should share your experience from South Africa with us. I'm sure there is a lot to tell. I'll be waiting. All best to you!

"If you cannot say what you have to say in twenty minutes, you should go away and write a book about it." Lord Brabazon

by Barbara on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:10:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Congratulations, and this diary is very funny.
by lychee on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 07:33:00 AM EST
Congratulations Barbara & Miguel!!  It is a bit of a flashback to read your process...reminding of me and Liliana's process about getting married (her in Switzerland, me in the US at the time), and all the what's, why's, when's, how's, etc. We had 3 declared parties and .5 of a spontaneous one (which was a surprise that happened on the street in front of the town hall after our ceremony - and was THE best). One of these parties was awful, one was great, and one was so-so...but it enabled us to cover a lot of territory, with big & small, Swiss & US versions. We actually wished that the day 2 formal event (the awful one) which included all the friends and family in Switzerland, would have either been in a friends art studio or in a pub...it would have been much more fun if it weren't formal. (I hate formal...). My only "advice"...be true to what is comfortable for you.

A-N-Y-W-A-Y...you will sort it out and it will be great. Just have fun!!

Again..CONGRATULATIONS!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 07:43:13 AM EST
I don't collect children out of wedlock

Isn't that a bit old-fashioned?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 07:53:26 AM EST
Congratulations guys! Four years? You young people are in such a rush these days.

We went through the "let's just elope to the Carribean" thing several times - I think everyone does . We found that the trick for reducing stress was just to keep everything as simple as possible. Identify the bits you care about and just go with the flow on the rest.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:11:44 AM EST
Four years? You young people are in such a rush these days.

That's what I keep saying, but our American friends thought 18 months was too long already.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 10:14:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm...we were going out 5 years before we got engaged...then took another 4 years to get to the wedding day.
On the day I grinned so much that after walking up the aisle with my Dad the priest joked that I was supposed to be serious about this stuff!
It was a great day...glad we were able to make it through all the pre wedding day stress!!


We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 04:43:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just to add to the concert of voices, Barbara, that congratulate you on your writing. It's always a pleasure to read your diaries.

And, whatever you two decide to do (it will soon be thirty years since we decided not to get married, wheeze croak, the old folks...), please keep the bit where Mig wears Renaissance costume (including tights) and fences. You will never forget that. You will watch the video again and again. Every time life wears you down and you wonder what you're doing together, you will pop the DVD into your antique DVD machine and laugh and fall in love again. Miracle guaranteed.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 03:46:09 PM EST
Charles: Let me ask you one thing. Do you think - after we've dried off, after we've spent lots more time together - you might agree not to marry me? And do you think not being married to me might maybe be something you could consider doing for the rest of your life?
Carrie: I do.

(Four Weddings and a Funeral)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 04:36:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely fabulous diary Barbara!!!
You've had me nearly crying laughing here reading it...I think Colman has ticked the box 'totally bloody insane' just watching me.


We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 04:28:42 PM EST
I'll confess every time I see you've got a diary up, I'm in a good mood before the page loads. Then I automatically hit the recommend box, lean into the screen and enjoy your every word. A pre-marital diary! Congratulations!

The wedding bands session caught my eye, but really you should not settle for less than platinum for yourself. Silver is really too soft and wears easily. By the time you're into kid three, it'll break. Sure, platinum costs but it won't give up a microgram for the next ten generations. Then if you're going to set a god-awful stone in it, platinum never moves. Mount a stone in silver and it'll be rattling around so bad you'll end up gluing it down. But aren't stones for engagement rings anyway? I mean wedding bands shouldn't have a break in their pattern. You've got to wear one night and day, year after year, haul kids and groceries, wash dishes, move furniture, all this with a damned stone getting in the way.

Mokume-gane is very beautiful, although I can't understand why Binnion uses that awful 14k gold. Europeans will not settle for less than 18k. The colour contrast usually fades quickly, but it is an original choice. Other options are Damascus steel rings with an optional inner sleeve of palladium white gold, pure gold, platinum or plain nothing. Etched Damascus steel gives that nice wood grain effect (Binnion seems to have one in his gallery- second on the left, next to last row).

As far as Pliny had it, rings should only be made of iron. He considered gold a source of evil while iron's noble nature fed and defended the empire (well, actually had a hand in building the empire) through ploughs, tools and weapons.

But if you really want something very unique and have an unlimited budget- and no allergies to nickel- you might consider using meteorite steel.

Otherwise, my choice would be tamahagane, the heart of steel, which simply has no price. In the highly improbable case that someone were to offer it to me, for example, as a gift, I would be far too ashamed to accept it. But, yes, in that case- if you were more enterprising than myself, that is not prone to grovelling at the mere sight of the stuff- it would make for a very special set of bands.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Wed Mar 28th, 2007 at 05:51:25 PM EST
Three hours later we pried the pen out of our crooked fingers. "Okay, ...2358... no, 2360, I haven´t counted the kids!"

Adding ETers tends to make the guest list explode.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 02:21:04 AM EST
just put up a webcam and a little monitor at a strategic place and we can all share the joys!
by PeWi on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 03:45:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Congratulations!

You have a normal feeling for a moment, then it passes. --More--
by tzt (tzt) on Thu Mar 29th, 2007 at 09:31:19 AM EST

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