March 2008

Kits and Mortar – our new blog!

by Suw on March 20, 2008

Kevin and I have started ourselves a new blog – Kits and Mortar. As you might have guessed from the title, it’s about building an eco- and cat-friendly house, something that Kev and I dream of. Right now, we know really very little about self-building, or even about what we want or where we want it. We’re not entirely sure what “cat-friendly design” means either, although I suspect that it’s going to involve providing our future moggies with somewhere from where they can look down upon us.

So Kits and Mortar really is going to be a voyage of discovery. If you’re into house building or cats (or both), please do pop over and have a look, or add our feed to your RSS reader.

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Set your browser to ‘nag’

by Suw on March 20, 2008

Yes, Flock. I know.

Yes, Flock. I know. Now please leave me alone to enjoy Twitter.

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We – ORG and a number of other groups – have been campaigning against the extension of copyright term on sound recordings for quite a while now. My last big campaign as Executive Director of the Open Rights Group was Release The Music, wherein we called on the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property to reject calls by the music industry to extend the term. We were successful.

Not only does extending the term not make sense economically, it doesn’t make sense for musicians either, as only a tiny, tiny minority of them will actually benefit. The rest will just have to sit and watch their back catalogue recordings sit and rot in the vaults of record companies who don’t want to be bothered to re-release or promote them. Sir Cliff will rake in the cash whilst jobbing musicians will get nothing.

Now the fight has moved to the EU: Commissioner Charlie McCreevy announced in February that he intends to extend the copyright term in sound recordings from 50 to 95 years. In response, ORG and EFF Europe have put together a petition, which I strongly urge you to sign. It’s says, very simply:

The following individuals state their opposition to a copyright term extension for sound recordings.

We ask the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers to ensure that policy in this area reflects all concerned stakeholders, including consumer and public interest organisations, and not just the commercial rights-holders who advocate for extended copyright term.

ORG’s briefing pack will be helpful if you want to understand the issues more thoroughly, as will the posts on the ORG blog.

But please do sign the petition – it only takes a moment to do, and it’s really very important.

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I don’t believe in coincidences

by Suw on March 6, 2008

DOPPLR: a trip to The Crane in February for Suw Charman

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The hyphenated life

by Suw on March 5, 2008

We’re back! Sorta…
We got back from Barbados on Sunday, but this morning Kevin flew off to Sydney for five days and my brain is definitely still in the West Indies. So yes, only sorta back, only sorta with it. I’ve been trying to work today, and failing on pretty much every count. If I want to keep Friday free, I’m going to have to really pull my finger out tomorrow!

The Big Day
The wedding was absolutely amazing – we both had such fun! The morning was surprisingly relaxed, really. It all started off with an 8.30am hair appointment, which was pretty relaxing, followed by an hour or so of having my make-up done by my cousin Sonia in my parents lounge, with no one else around as my Mum was off getting her hair done, and Dad was busy ferrying people about. Eventually people – my bridesmaids, Matt who was our photographer for the day, my cousins – started to arrive, the flowers came, and it all slowly started to come together.

I even found a moment to sit down and check last minute emails.

I only had one moment of tension, when I started to worry if we were going to get everyone’s make-up done in time, but that turned out not to be a problem at all.

Thence to the venue, and my Big Entrance! It’s such a cliché, but the ceremony really did go by in a flash. We wrote the ceremony together – I’ll post the whole thing in due course – and I had been concerned that it would turn out to be too long, but it was perfect. Kevin’s cousin, the Reverend Gary La Croix, was a wonderful officiant.

Gary, Kevin and Suw

After photos, and spilling wine down my dress – d’oh! – it was time for the Wedding Breakfast. That was a nice chance to slow down a bit, and to look about us and just drink it all in. It was so lovely to have a moment to talk to Kev and enjoy the moment. The food was fab, although I couldn’t eat much with that corset on! And the entertainment – our wandering minstrel, Dante Ferrara – was just fabulous.

The cutting of the cake, which was predictably chocolate, came next.

And then the speeches. Dad did a really lovely, touching speech which was really two Pam Ayres poems, one for Kevin, and one for me. The Groom and Bride chose to speak together, as is our custom. And then The Big One – Chris Vallance gave the Best Man’s speech, which was completely inspired… and at times, a touch embarrassing.

And then, of course, the dancing! We had Diabolus in Musica to do a Tudor Ceilidh, which was a hoot. You’ve never seen so many people look quite so silly all in one spot before!

The best bit was watching the men ‘paw the ground like stallions’. Tee hee!

And before you know it, it’s time to throw the bouquet and leave. I gathered all the unmarried people together, male and female – we’re all equal here! – and stood with my back to the crowd. Then, well, I threw.

Ian was none too chuffed to be the catcher!

Vince recorded his thoughts on the day too, in a typically Vincian way. If any of our guests would like to, I’d be really happy for you to leave a long of a comment as you like, telling us about how the day went for you.

A few people have their photos up on Flickr already, including Ian, Vince, James, Amanda P, Amanda H, Jeff, and Jo. (If you have photos up on Flickr, you might like to join our group and add your photos to the pool.)

I will, in due course, put together a book, probably using Blurb, with the best of the photos and stories, quotes and excerpts from the ceremony, and any other things that come to mind. So please do leave a comment here, and do let me have copies of your photos if they’re not already up online.

And now…
Now I am Mrs Suw Charman-Anderson, although I still have some hoops to jump through to make it completely official, i.e. on my passport. Being married is wonderful. It really was the best day of my life. Kevin makes me so happy, and to be able to stand up in front of all our friends and family and declare our love and commitment has been very important to both of us. All the planning and hard work over the last year was so worth it – the day was everything we wanted it to be, and went as smooth as clockwork.

Huge thanks to everyone who helped, especially my parents Rob and Brenda, my Matron of Honour, Kate, and Kev’s Best Man, Chris. And thanks, of course, to my wonderful husband, without whom all of this would have been a very expensive and complex work of fiction.

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