Saturday, December 1, 2007

Wisdom of crowds, part 2: Hen nights

by Suw on December 1, 2007

So Kate, my Oh Matron! of Honour, and I have so far failed to come up with any ideas for what to do for my Hen Party. I’m quite clear on the fact that I do not wish to go on a pub crawl, or go out for a meal, as those are, for the first part, really rather dull and uninspiring and, for the second part, something I do all the time. I shall not be trailing round London’s seedier districts with a blow-up ball and chain attached to my ankle, devil horns perched upon my head or a fake veil entangled in my hair. Nor shall I be getting blindingly drunk, snogging a male stripper or any of the other rather rubbish things that seem to be de rigeur for Hens on their Nights.

Were it summer, I would have simply bought a couple of cases of champagne, several dozen punnets strawberries and a vat of Rhodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream, and had a civilised afternoon on a well manicured lawn playing what I believe to be the most vicious and ruthless game known to man: Croquet. As it will be early February, (that’s another thing I’m not doing – I’m not having the Hen Do the night before we wed. Oh no. Not on your nelly), it will be cold, wet and miserable, and croquet is a game not really suited to mud puddles. Before you suggest it, eXtreme Croquet is not really a variation suitable for a young lady betrothed.

I’m really not sure what to do. I had thought about doing something like a chocolate making course, or wine tasting, or having a spa day, but I don’t want to do anything too expensive. There’s nothing worse than the bride-to-be who says “Hey, I’m blowing 500 quid on a tacky Hen Weekend in some poor unsuspecting city on the Continent and I’d love it if you could blow both your holiday allowance and your savings to be there!” It’s entirely unreasonable to expect one’s friends to fork out a small fortune for one’s own entertainment, and generally speaking, spa days and the like do not come cheap.

I had thought about having it down in Dorset, but realistically speaking, I’m not sure if that’s a goer. Many of my friends are in or near London, and they’d have to either have a long journey home at the end of the day or have to spend money on a hotel. So I’m open to suggestions. It mustn’t be expensive, predictable, or involve sex toys. Other than that, I’m game.

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Wisdom of crowds, part 1: Honeymoons

by Suw on December 1, 2007

Traditionally, deciding on the honeymoon destination is a choice that the Groom is responsible for making, but Kevin and I aren’t really the traditional sort and we like to make decisions together. But with everything else that’s going on at the moment, figuring out where to go has been a bit harder than expected.

Originally, we had thought that going wine tasting somewhere nice and warm would be a lot of fun, but the last two weeks in February aren’t wine season in Europe. We thought about South Africa for a bit, but then decided maybe not. Chile or Argentina would be a possibility, or even Australia, but I would prefer not to suffer jetlag on my honeymoon – it takes days to get over jetlag properly, and I get enough of that when travelling for work.

Since we started to think about our honeymoon destination, though, our priorities have changed a bit. Both of us are in a semi-permanent state of knackeredness, not just because we’re both very busy at work at the moment, but also because every spare minute is full of something, frequently wedding planning. The emphasis has moved towards spending two weeks somehwere very quiet, where we can crash out and do nothing. We’re just not sure where we want to go, so I thought I’d use the wisdom of crowds, and ask you lot.

Here are our criteria:

– It must be warm. I’ve had it with cold, wet and miserable, and I’m sure I’ll be even more fed up with the British climate by February, so I’d like a bit of winter sun. Doesn’t have to be hot; temperatures in the mid-20s C would be perfect.

– It must be quiet. I want to do a lot of sitting about, maybe a bit of reading, and really very little else. Maybe some leisurely walking, possibly some swimming (pool or sea). But I won’t want to hear traffic noise, crowds or thumping bass. Somewhere where the only other human beings we see are the ones pampering us would not go amiss.

– Countryside or seaside, but no cities. I want to hear nature at its finests: birds singing, insects chirruping, kittens purring. Oh, if only one could hire kittens. *sigh*

– Close to GMT. I really don’t want to have to deal with jetlag, so I’d prefer it if we didn’t have to cross more than two or three time zones.

– Not too expensive. We’ve got a wedding to pay for too, so destinations beloved by the rich and famous are out, as we’re neither.

– Maiden-name friendly. This is a tricky one. Due to having to send my passport away to the Home Office in order to get a Certificate of Approval so that I can marry one of them furriners, and then due to possible work in Italy in Dec, I can’t send my passport away in enough time to get it changed to my married name. (In fact, I haven’t even decided if I’m going to change my name yet – that’s a whole nother post.) But some countries apparently do not let you in if your passport still bears your maiden name. Not sure which ones, need to find out.

I think that about covers it. So, where would you go?

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