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Thursday, June 30, 2011

PAPER CHASE BEGINS

Now Jaq and I have married the Spouse Visa application process that will enable Jaq to enter the UK and remain can begin. The back up paperwork that accompanies the application is mounting with bank details and much more from both sides. I even have to prove my ownership of the boat as that will be our residence.

We have done a lot of research over the past 3 months and one of the things that came up via an ex-pats site on the net was that if when submitting your application the passport was in the married name this would be a big help to establishing your application as being genuine and not just a marriage of convenience to gain entry. So that has been our top priority and the passport has been away for a week with only a guarantee of it`s return within 2-3 weeks even though we paid $60 to fast track it.
Uk border require Jaq`s biometrics to be taken before visa application is submitted.
The passport is needed for the biometrics.
An appointment is needed for the biometrics but we need the passport back first.

Jaq has managed last week to grab online an appointment for the 6th July. No other dates were available in July. So our thoughts have been if the passport is not back we wait till August for the biometrics. Now this girl i`ve married is no bimbo, she has kept an eye on the appointment site and grabbed what we can only assume is a cancelled appointment for the 13th July that was back on the calendar so we now have an extra week for the passport to arrive.

I am now in my 6th week as a non smoker, piece of cake? doddle? easy?.  NO, bloody hard just going cold turkey but i can only say the urge to have a smoke only crops up now and again and for sure the worst is over. I really feel that it would be so easy to have `just one` and screw up 6 weeks of resisting so i`m now fighting that voice in my head "you can go without for 6 weeks so have one and stop again after".
I did buy some Liquorice root, sure it was called Spanish Wood when i was at school,  to chew but it didn`t help so it was back to sheer will power.

Sitting out on the back deck here in Pullman something amongst the Wheat crop caught my eye as it came


down out of the high ground stopping for water. Binoculars  revealed a Coyote that was aware of me but still came quite close before turning away keeping a safe distance from all the homes backing onto his territory.



Robins here are quite common but are much bigger than our little Christmas card star.




Red Winged Blackbird is not only common but makes a hell of a noise.




Black and White hooped jail bird is not so common. This is one of a pair on day release from the local county jail (average population 45) doing some gardening at public buildings in Colfax.


Jaq has asked me to apologise if you have not been able to find her blog, the problem was that by accident she deleted it when setting up a new e mail address. Her present e mail will be lost when she stops using her Internet provider so she signed up to a G Mail address and deleted the old e mail that was also the blog sign in and thereby deleted the blog. Anyway Google have after a lot of  fuss re-instated the blog. What bothers me now sitting here typing this is if we use e mail and password to sign in to our blogs can anyone tell me/us what happens when Jaq`s old e mail is no longer live i.e. when she ceases paying her Internet provider.
Jaq`s blog is here but i warn you Jaq is a writer and this blog post exceeds all others for length ( it includes the wedding) so fill your vacuum flask and make some sarnies before clicking the link.

 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wedding pics and the service.

Here are some more pics from the hundreds we are lucky to have been given by friends and family. There are so many different ways that a Wiccan wedding can be performed that i shall leave you all to do your Googling.
 I have posted the whole ritual for our wedding HERE and those taking an active part feature in the following pictures.
 The vows that make the it all a legal ceremony are as follows;
Vows
 Do you, Les, take Jaqueline to be your wife,
to be her constant friend,
her partner in life, and her true love;
To love her without reservation,
honor and respect her,
protect her from harm,
comfort her in times of distress,
and to grow with her in mind and spirit?
Les: I do




Of course these words mean nothing if not said in front of not only 2 witnesses but also an ordained minister recognised by the  State here in the U S that you are getting married. A very close friend of Jaq, Patti, got herself ordained on line and so ensured the legality of the marriage.
Un-like the UK the venue for the ceremony does not have to be approved here and enabled us to have an open air service in amongst some stunning scenery high up on Kamiake Butte.




The exchange of rings;
Les, as you slip the ring on Jaqueline’s finger, repeat after me: I, Leslie Charles Biggs; in the name of the spirit of love which resides within us all; by the life that courses within my blood; and the love that resides within my heart; take thee Jaqueline Marie Almdale; to my hand, my heart, and my spirit to be my lawfully wedded wife. To desire thee and be desired by thee; to possess thee, and be possessed by thee; as a token of our love. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint; in sickness and in health; in plenty and in poverty; in this life and beyond; where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee; thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself.


Myself not having any strong religious beliefs found the ceremony very easy to take part in and that`s all i want to say as to compare ceremonies of  several beliefs i`ve attended over the years would not be right here. The Wiccan ceremony was what my lovely Jaq wanted and that`s all that mattered to me.
In the pictures the parts played by people referred to in the text can be read in full at the wedding ritual link HERE.



The ceremony over Mr. & Mrs. make their way down the hill.
The backdrop beats a UK registry office garden anytime.


Myself and the Reverend Patti



Sarah represents West/Water and also Invokes the Goddess.

Adelina not only represented North/Earth but also smudged people entering the circle.


Has your Reverend kissed you lately?

Handfasting part of the ritual.



On the left Steve who brought the Bride to the ceremony and on the right his wife Rev. Patti.


Bill representing South/Fire and also Invokes the God.


Karen who `gives over the bride`.


Jaq`s family, Michael left was holder of the rings-Jaq- Sparky caste the circle, East/Air, anoint of Rose Oil and most of all was my best Girl making sure i arrived etc. To the right of me Jesse holding Connor husband Ben at the back and front of picture Matthew 3rd son of Jesse & Ben.

Jaq and Myself with daughter Shiery (Sparky) in the middle


Jaq and I taking Communion wine.



Just before the Communion begins using Bread and Wine.






Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rush Pics




Wedding Rehersal Day

This Friday evening at 6pm (2am Sat UK) a group of about 15 climbed the 1000` or so up to the top of Kamiak Butte for a run through of  the Pagan Wedding ritual that will make Jaq and I husband and wife.
Approaching Kamiak from Pullman


Scene of the ceremony






Backdrop to the wedding site
I will try to get some pictures on the blog as soon as i can Saturday. I know the family want to see pics and also blog readers so will try to post some quickly at the friends house where we are having a wedding lunch. With the 8hr time difference i `m looking at 8pm uk time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wiccan Wedding ritual for JAQ and LES

`Set-up
Day before: 6 pm
We will have gone up the evening before and cleared the circle and set the boundaries. Anyone who wants to come up can do so and we could have a loose run through at that time.

June 18th:  9 am
Circle formed with something from nature: what is available on Kamiak?
Altar in the middle: small table  with handfasting cords, chalice with mead and loaf of bread
Appropriate items at each quarter: brought up in baskets

ARRIVAL:   Karen, Sparky, Les, Bill, Sara, Adelina, Patti, and Jesse need to arrive at the ritual spot prior to the start of the ritual in order to set up and get ready. We will have gone up the evening before and cleared the circle and set the boundaries.

GUESTS:
Guests should gather in the car park and wait for Jaq and Steve to arrive.  We will all start up together, guests in front, Jaq and Steve at the end.

As guests arrive, they need to gather in the East, which is the entrance to the circle where Sparky and Adelina will be waiting.  Adelina will smudge each guest with Sage, and Sparky will anoint each guest’s third eye with rose oil  and answer any questions they have about where to stand, and what to do. 

Guests enter the circle and walk sun-wise from East to South to West to North and filling in around the circle loosely.
Steve can call Jesse on his way up with Jaq and let her know when to start the music.

Steve and Jaq arrive, are smudged and anointed and enter the circle together.

Cast the circle: Sparky
“By the air which is Her breath, by the fire of Her bright Sprit, by the waters of Her living womb, by the earth which is Her body; by that which is above, and that which is below, this circle is cast and we are between the worlds; and what is between the worlds can change the world.”

Call the directions: 5 people: Sparky, Adelina, Sara, Bill, and Jesse
Spark: East/Air: "I am East, the symbol of Air. Know and remember that this is the element of life, of intelligence, and the inspiration that moves us onward. I bring to your wedding the power of mind."
Bill: South/Fire: "I am South, the symbol of fire. Know and remember that this is the element of passion, light, and energy; of the vigor which runs through our veins. I bring to you wedding the power of will."
Sara: West/Water: "I am west, the symbol of water. Know and remember that this is the power of love, of growth, of the fruitfulness of the earth. I bring to your wedding the power of desire."
Adelina: North/Earth: "I am north, the symbol of earth. Know and remember that this is the element of law, of endurance, of the understanding which can not be shaken. I bring to your wedding the power of steadfastness."
Jesse:  Center:  “ I am center,  the cauldron of life, death, and rebirth, and the well of the Ancestors; know and remember that this is the power of regeneration and eternity, and I bring to your wedding the blessings of all those that have gone before you.”


Sara: Invocation of the Goddess                                                                                      
I who am the beauty of the green earth
And the white moon among the stars     
And the mysteries of the waters
 I call upon your soul to arise
And come unto Me.
For I am the soul of Nature
That gives life to the universe.
From Me all things proceed
And unto Me they must return.
Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices
For behold—all acts of love  
And pleasure are my rituals.
Let there be beauty and strength,
Power and compassion,
Honor and humility,
Mirth and reverence
Within you.
And you who seek
To know Me, know that
Your seeking and yearning
Will avail you not
Unless you know The Mystery:
For if that which you seek
You find not within yourself,
You will never find it without.
For behold, I have been with you
From the beginning,
And I am that
Which is attained
At the end of desire.
 Blessed Be.


Bill: Invocation of the God
Lord of the colors of Day,
Untamed Awakener of Hearts,
Morning’s Son, Vine ripened Seed,
Heart’s ease and Sorrow’s end;
Sun Child, Seed Sower , Grain reborn;
Many jeweled One, Winter born King,
Wheat sheaf, Green Man, Lord of the Hunt,
Sailor of the last sea, Guardian of the gate,                            
Horned God, Lord of the Dance--
COME!  Be here now. Blessed be!



CEREMONY

Giving over of the bride: Karen & Steve
Karen will step out of the circle to the center with broom in hand and face Steve and me. She will ask:
Karen:  Jaqueline, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord?
Jaqueline: Yes, it is true.
Karen: With whom do you come and whose blessings accompany you?
Steve: She comes with me, her brother, and is accompanied by all of our blessings.
Karen: Les, take Jaqueline’s hand and listen…(Karen and Steve step back into the circle o f those assembled)

Les and I join hands and face Patti who is standing with us in the center of the circle.

Patti: These two who are joined in love now have the desire to make their bond a matter of record, so that all the world and the society in which they live may witness it, and lend to them the support of their hearts and minds.
Like stones should your love be firm. Like a star should your love be constant. Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage; let the strength of your wills bind you together, let the power of love and desire make you happy, and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable. Be independent of one another, and interdependent one to another. Be free in giving affection and warmth.  Rejoice in laughter. Ever love, help, and respect each other and then know truly that you are one in the eyes of all assembled here today. Blessed Be.

Vows
Patti: Do you, Les, take Jaqueline to be your wife,
to be her constant friend,
her partner in life, and her true love;
To love her without reservation,
honor and respect her,
protect her from harm,
comfort her in times of distress,
and to grow with her in mind and spirit?
Les: I do

Patti: Do you, Jaqueline, take Les to be your husband,
To be his constant friend,
his partner in life, and his true love;
To love him without reservation,
honor and respect him,
protect him from harm,
comfort him in times of distress,
and to grow with him in mind and spirit?
Jaqueline : I do.

Handfast: Patti moves in front of center altar with cord
 Patti: Likewise, this cord is a symbol of the lives you have chosen to lead together. Up until this moment you have been separate in thought, word, and action. As these cords are tied together, your lives become intertwined.
Jaqueline and Les hold their palms up, facing each other and cross hands while Patti ties their wrists together in a loose knot

 Patti: As the right hand is to the left hand, may you be forever one, sharing in all things, at home and abroad, in love and loyalty for all time to come.

EXCHANGE OF RINGS
Patti: You cannot always be physically joined (Patti removes cord without untying it and lays it on the altar) therefore the exchange of rings is one of the deepest symbols of a marriage. It is a constant reminder, a shared touch between this man and this woman. The circle is a symbol of the eternal. To give a ring to someone you love is to say that your love has no beginning and no end."
"This bond I draw between you: that though you are parted in mind or in body, there will be a call in the core of you, one to the other, that nothing and no one else will answer to. By the secrets of earth and water is this bond woven -- unbreakable, irrevocable; by the laws that created fire and wind this call is set in you, in life and beyond life.

 Michael steps out of the circle and gives the rings to  Les and Jaqueline and steps back into the circle
Patti: Les, as you slip the ring on Jaqueline’s finger, repeat after me: I, Leslie Charles Biggs; in the name of the spirit of love which resides within us all; by the life that courses within my blood; and the love that resides within my heart; take thee Jaqueline Marie Almdale; to my hand, my heart, and my spirit to be my lawfully wedded wife. To desire thee and be desired by thee; to possess thee, and be possessed by thee; as a token of our love. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint; in sickness and in health; in plenty and in poverty; in this life and beyond; where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee; thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself.
Patti:  Jaqueline, as you slip the ring on Les’ finger, repeat after me: I, Jaqueline Marie Almdale; in the name of the spirit of love which resides within us all; by the life that courses within my blood; and the love that resides within my heart; take thee Leslie Charles Biggs; to my hand, my heart, and my spirit to be my lawfully wedded husband. To desire thee and be desired by thee; to possess thee, and be possessed by thee; as a token of our love. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint; in sickness and in health; in plenty and in poverty; in this life and beyond; where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee; thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself.
Communion
Patti steps to the far side of the center altar and Sara and Bill step forward to fill her place in front of the center altar.
Sara: As symbol of Her presence do I offer this bread which represents the Goddess. From this day and through this union shall you know the Goddess through Jaqueline:
Jaqueline tears off a piece and feeds it to Les, saying: May you never hunger.
Les tears off a piece and feeds it to Jaqueline, saying: May you never hunger.

Bill: As a symbol of His presence do I offer this wine which represents the God. From this day and through this union shall you know the God through Les:
Les offers Jaqueline a sip, saying: May you never thirst.
Jaqueline offers Les a sip, saying: May you never thirst. 

Remembrance of Val
I raise our cup in remembrance to Valerie Biggs.
She kept your heart  and soul full and whole,
Filled with love, and joy, and passion;
And you kept hers as well.
She taught you to love truly,
I thank her with all my heart for looking
Out for you then—and now.  I am grateful
Val knows what you need; and I rest assured
In my belief that we three will be united someday,
For love never dies, and those who are remembered, live.
To Val. (We both take a sip.)  

Patti: By the power vested in me by the State of Washington , I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.
You may snog the witch! Blessed Be!

Devocation:
Bill:
Lord of the colors of Day,
Untamed Awakener of Hearts,
Morning’s Son, Vine ripened Seed,
Heart’s ease and Sorrow’s end;
Sun Child, Seed Sower , Grain reborn;
Many jeweled One, Winter born King,
Wheat sheaf, Green Man, Lord of the Hunt,
Sailor of the last sea, Guardian of the gate,                            
Horned God, Lord of the Dance--
Go if you must, stay if you will. Hail and farewell!

Sara:  Great Goddess,
You of ten thousand names who are nameless,
from your lap we come into this world
and to your lap we shall return.
Go if you must, stay if you will. Hail and farewell!
Devoke quarters:
(Jesse) Center: Power of the cauldron of life, death, and rebirth, souls of our ancestors, thank you for keeping company with us. Go if you must, stay if you will. Hail and farewell.
North/earth: Elements of the North, spirits of the earth thank you for keeping company with us. Go if you must, stay if you will. Hail and farewell.
West/water: Elements of the West, sprits of water thank you for keeping company with us. Go if you must, stay if you will. Hail and farewell.
South/fire: Elements of the South, spirits of fire thank you for keeping company with us. Go if you must, stay if you will. Hail and farewell. 
East/air: Elements of the East, spirits of air thank you for keeping company with us. Go if you must, stay if you will. Hail and farewell.
 Jumping the Broom
Karen: puts the broom down in the East for Les and Jaqueline to jump, and says, “In the rituals of the once ways, from the Cymry (Kim-ree) in Wales, to the Romani whom we know of as Travelers , Tinkers, or Gypsies, to Africans brought to the Americas against their will,  jumping the broom has been a ritual of love and marriage when formal, legal ceremonies were not allowed these subjugated peoples. Jaqueline and Les choose to jump the broom today as a sign of respect for all those who went before them, and as a sign of respect for a Witches second most important tool—a besom or broom. Jumping the broom signifies an end to the old lives lived separately and an acknowledgement of a new life begun together.

Les and Jaqueline will move around the circle widdershins and jump the broom leaving the circle. 

Patti and the assembled circle: This circle is open but unbroken. May the peace of the Goddess go in our hearts. Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again!  People will walk widdershins around the circle and exit. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

LICENSED TO WED

On Friday we travelled down by train from Rugby to Watford and stayed in a hotel overnight to make the journey to Heathrow easier on the Saturday. The hotel room including fruit chocs and Champagne was a gift by my friend Amanda, thank you so much. Also included was access to the Sauna, Spa and Swimming pool which we made use of.


Saturday morning having awoken refreshed and indulged in an excellent hotel breakfast we were picked up by d-in-law Bev and spent some time at her mum & dads before being dropped off outside Terminal 5, thanks
Alan & Tina,where this huge beast was being fed before our 9hr flight across the pond. It`s a 747 with 467 seats and can be a maximum of  442,000kg on take off. After climbing to 35,000ft it will reach speeds of 610 mph. I know how it gets off the ground but still sit there at each take off saying to myself  `how`.  It must have reached it`s top speed for most of the journey as we left late after a passenger was off loaded by a medical team plus the patients  luggage and we arrived about 10mins late having made up 40mins.



 Now every girl likes to browse the shops and Jaq is no exception so with plenty of time before take off we
 strolled around T5.
 . Wedding shoes?

 
Wedding Car?


 Wedding Hat?

The only thing we needed was the license issued by the Whitman County Auditor at Colfax court house in Washington State. As you can see it gives permission for Jaq and I to be wed  by a person legally able to
Solemnize the marriage. The cost was $58 and it is valid after 3days and expires after 60 days. On the Monday following the marriage we will be back at the Court house to get certified copies of the certificate to start off the paper chase involved in getting Jaq a spouse visa to enter the UK. More of that little game as we play it.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

PROGRESS OF THE HONEYMOON CRUISE

The stay at Marsworth ended Friday lunchtime with the arrival of the new mattress. Typically all my instructions had been ignored and pure luck brought me face to face with the delivery driver as i waved off daughter in law Joanne after a visit. I had given the White Lion pub as a postcode with instructions of the boat being moored alongside the car park, included my name, boat name and phone number.  When i got the mattress aboard all it had was my name and the pub address so anyone at the pub would have just said sorry not here driver.


Anyway the few days stay at Marsworth were pleasant enough and Jaq enjoyed the church both inside and out as i`ve always known the door to be un-locked at marsworth.
Carol one of the followers made her second visit to NB Valerie this time on her way back from the Crick show with g`son Kai and her lovely friend whose name escapes me. Once again Carol arrived with cakes, lovely to see you Carol with or without cakes.x

Jaq liked this boat name as she is not just a Medicinal Herbalist but also a Green Witch. Our outdoor wedding will be a Wiccan ceremony as well as a legally binding service.




Stoke Breurne was busy as this coming w`end is Gala Weekend Plus Thursday 9th Mikron Theatre will be performing on the green next to the Museum.





Having been a solo boater for the past 5 years everything on board was allocated a home by me but during the past 3 weeks a few things seem to have moved to new moorings within the boat.  The lady

in the picture is responsible and has my full support in doing so. I know the saying is `if it aint broke don`t fix it` but sometimes things will work better in a new position and now my say in how things function is now on a 50/50 basis. As this pic shows Jaq in the galley i will just mention my diet has taken a turn for the better as Jaq once run her own catering business.

On the way through Bugbrooke we saw Moore 2 Life moored up but no sign of Chas or Ann so not wanting to miss the chance of a chat with 2 lovely people we moored up and awaited their return from a walk.
We now find ourselves in Braunston and having just stepped off the boat to moor along came Jill & Graham on Matilda Rose. Just a quick hello as they were about to do the Braunston flight on their way to.......check their blog it might tell you their plans. Nice to see you both and maybe next time we all might have more time.

Well this coming Saturday Jaq and i will be flying back to the states to marry on the 18th. We will post some pics on the blogs. The 3 weeks jaq has been on board have flown by but at least from now on we will be together with no more 4/5 hour phone calls through the night.
I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone who has sent their good wishes be it via blog comments, in e mail or in person, we do appreciate it. Thanks.