First Anniversary

Sunday 20th September.  Our first anniversary.  It’s cliche to say it but it’s gone so fast.  We went back to Llangoed Hall for the night and had a great meal and stayed overnight.

Thanks all for the cards and gifts.

Rain stopped play

We’ve just arrived back at our beach villa having been caught on a pedalo half a kilometre from shore by a monsoon.  It was quite fun actually as we tried to outrun it but it caught up with us with 100 yards or so left.  Seemed like an opportune moment to write a blog anyway.

Since I last wrote we’ve been generally relaxing while I’ve tried to let a bit of sun burn calm down (it’s fine now) and yesterday morning I managed to get Kathryn to try snorkelling again by guiding her around the nearby reef.  It was going swimmingly (pun intended) until a moray eel decided to cross our path – it was probably 3-4 feet long but Kathryn decided it was a maneater and headed for shore at an decent rate of knots.  Michael Phelps would have been impressed.  I was proud of her for giving it another go though and I reckon we’ll have another bash at it later.

Other news, when we arrived they didn’t realise it was our honeymoon but luckily Kathryn’s dad had emailed us a copy of the marriage certificate so when we showed them that we got given all sorts of freebies.   We get a trip, a luxury bath (oils, candles etc in our private villa bath), money off at the spa (so we booked another session each!) and I think we get some sort of going away present.

As I speak the rain has now stopped and it looks like it’s brightening up already 🙂

Maldives II

I am currently writing from the sunlounger next to our personal plunge pool/jacuzzi.  Kathryn is currently at the Spa enjoying a deep cleansing facial treatment and should be there for the next hour or so.

Yesterday we both treated ourselves to a revitalizing treatment that included a foot bath, body scrub, all over deep massage, moisterising and a head massage.  It was part of a discount offer for new arrivals – within about 2 minutes of getting back K was booking her next treatment.

We have a small reef just off the back of our villa and I’ve had a bit of an explore – Kathryn had a fish smile at her upon which she decided that snorkelling wasn’t her thing.  Yesterday afternoon I went on a snorkelling trip and we went round a series of reefs on a boat.  There is another trip later in the week where you might be able to see rays, (small) sharks and turtles.  I’ve put a couple of photos up onto flickr and our photogallery but the islands satellite internet link wasn’t keen on the full half a gig of photos!

One last word about the food – the first night here we ate in the underwater Ithaa restaurant, it’s the top restaurant in the resort but it was our one week anniversary!  I won’t say any more as I think Kathryn was keen on writing about that experience.  Last night however we went to the standard buffet restaurant and I have to say it was great – the choice was massive and varied.  We both went for the Indian option and ate a massive meal followed by two different desserts.  If she’d had room I think K would have had 8!  We also had breakfast this morning and again the choice is excellent even if I did end up going for beans on toast – it’s funny how the heat makes you less hungry.


Well, I usually leave the blogs for Dave to write, but have decided its time for me to give a quick update (nothing to do with the fact that Dave is currently out swimming in the reef with all the wonderful fish!, will get to that a little later).

I didn’t think we could trump the hotel which we stayed in whilst at Dubai – but very quickly the Conrad Maldives resort at Rangali Island has now taken place as the most luxurious place we have ever stayed.

To give you a quick update since Dave’s last post – we did some extra exploring around Dubai and visited several Souks. It was amazing to see how many diamonds can be displayed in one window… we thought that the Cayman Islands had an impressive array of wares, but that’s not a patch on Dubai. I’ve never seen so much Gold or Diamonds so big in my life! We had some great fun walking around the shops, usually reserved for the rich and famous – but hey! we are on our honeymoon – nothing can spoil our fun 🙂

After a long day of swimming in the sea, eating a light lunch, some quiet reading by the pool then taking in some swimming (water temp 32 and air temp 40 if you want to know exacts) we checked out of the hotel at around 23.30. Our flight to Male due to leave Dubai International at 02.30. We managed to catch a few Zzz’s pool side post leaving for the flight so it wasn’t too bad. Dave managed to sleep some on the plane and I managed to sleep on the seaplane transporting us from Male to Rangali Island (much to my husband’s disgust!)

Today we have been finding our feet around the resort. The sea is amazing, crystal clear and with so many fish around the reef. I was quite excited when I saw what I thought was a giant angel fish, unfortunately for me, it wasn’t, and to my surprise (and Dave’s amusement at my completely panicked exit from the sea) it was a reef shark. I don’t care what they say, a reef shark may be harmless, but I don’t trust any fish beginning with ‘S’ and ending with ‘hark’!

I decided to opt for the sanctuary of our own, sharkless, private pool, for most of the day.

Tonight we are going to be having one of our most adventurous meals of the honeymoon. At the Ithaa restaurant. We’ve been told to expect a Champagne arrival with a 7 course meal. The most exciting thing about this restaurant is that its the worlds only underwater restaurant. Maybe shark will be on the menu 🙂

With the fridge fully stocked with Champagne, fine wine and Cokes (for Dave of course), His and Hers Spa treatments booked for tomorrow, I am sure that the remainder of our honeymoon will be as amazing as what we’ve already had.

Happiest Day of my Life

d and k Taking over from Palace’s play off final victory in 2004 as my best ever day, yesterday I married Kathryn Louise Hopkins.   It truly was the most fantastic day in so many ways.

Eighteen months of planning and preparation came down to one single day and almost everything went according to plan.  Following one of the wettest summers I can remember I awoke in my B&B to look out across the Usk Valley knowing that in a few hours the sun would have burnt away all the mist and we were set for the best Saturday weather in months.

Carl and I (and Jodie) enjoyed breakfast and got ready well in time and when we arrived at 12.30 were the second car to arrive.  Over the next hour our many guests arrived including many I hadn’t previously met including Kathryn’s friend Vee from work.

Ten minutes before the start time Carl and I sat down at the front and waited.  And waited.  And waited. Then Carl got asked to go out.  Then Carl took dad out with him.  At this point I was starting to geta little concerned.  Shortly afterwards though everyone sat back down and I later discovered it was just a bit of drama due to to locating the rings.  Then Paul the organist started up with Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and we were all set to go.

I must admit I did expect a heads up of when Kathryn would be coming down but didn’t get it and as I turned to look she was almost alongside me.  At that moment my head swirled as I stood there with my jaw dropped.  Kathryn looked fantastic and simply took my breath away.

We said our vows and I can guarantee we both meant every word of them but it was all such a blur, one second we were at the front, the next signing the registry and I can barely remember walking back out. Trumpet Tune was playing and I can’t remember it at all.

Mark, our photographer then took numerous photos before whisking us away for a few photos on our own and in no time we were back at Llangoed Hall and meeting our guests as man and wife.  At no point in all this do I think I stopped beaming.  Every time I looked at Kathryn I felt I had to pinch myself.

Several hundred more photos later we were taken to one side while the guests were seated for the Reception Breakfast.  We had a short time to chat and chill out before we were introduced.  In almost no time the food was over and it has to be said it was stunning.  I think everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and even though everyone was already full the trio of chocolate desserts all went down well.

During the meal I realised I’d left my speech in the car boot but although Carl offered to go fetch it for me I was never really happy with it anyway so took it as a sign and decided to just come up with it off the top of my head.  Kathryn’s dad was a bag of nerves by this point but he thrived on the pressure and his speech was excellent – no-one who was there will be able to read the words ‘Nil by Mouth’ in quite the same light again.

Dad’s speech was good, and mine went down well enough – it was shame the twins were asleep by this point so couldn’t have their bears.  Carl went fairly easy on me although he did come up with a video from when we were kids but Barrie came off worse than me so I’ll take that!

Soon it was onto the evening entertainment and this started with fireworks which were great – and only slightly spoiled by the grand finale celebrating the wedding of G and J.  To be honest it was a minor point and I think it gave everyone a bit of a giggle.

The entertainment was an Elton John tribute and while there were some initial reservations I think everyone enjoyed it – personally I thought it was great fun.  Then Sammy played some music to follow which was most appreciated and worked really well.  The evening wrapped up around midnight and we settled down by opening a few cards.

In the morning everyone was down at breakfast when we arrived and it was great to hear everyone saying how great the previous day had been.  We started to watch our guests depart and when our parents left we took a quiet walk around the gardens while we got our emotions in check before finally saying goodbye to Lynn and Bryan.

Since I’ve been home I’ve been humming Jesu Joy – I think because, for me, it signified the true start to the happiest day of my life.

It was a perfect day and I’ll post shortly with a list of thanks.

Wedding Site

Have been ridiculously bad at keeping this up-to-date, indeed it’s been nearly 6 months since the last. Will try to get back into doing it as we head towards the wedding. Speaking of which – our wedding web site is up at It’s mostly complete but it’ll be tweaked over the next few days.

Better late than never

We’ve not updated in a while but a lot has happened.  Dave completed his triathlon, the wedding is booked and we’re 3 days away from our trip to New Zealand.Â

Wedding is booked for 20th September 2008 in Llyswen near Brecon with the service at a local church and then the reception at Llangoed Hall.  We’ll be sending out invites in due course and when we do we’ll provide more details of local hotels and B&Bs for those who want to stay the night.

Oh yeah, I’ve got a new job – starts the Monday after we get back from NZ.  Tuesday is my last Logica day!

We’re in!

Chris and I today completed our entries for the 2007 Warwick Triathlon so there is certainly no backing out now. Fund raising is at £70 at the moment and big thanks to those who have put money in already but there are loads of you out there who, I’m hoping, haven’t gotten round to it yet.

For those of you’ve who’ve seen me post training sessions you’ll be more than aware of how much effort the two of us are putting in – it’s certainly not going to be a walk in the park.


ring.jpg If you haven’t already heard – Dave and I got engaged over the weekend! Dave asked me on Saturday, with plenty of time to find the perfect ring before going out to celebrate his 30th birthday 🙂 No dates set yet as we are looking for the perfect place – but at the moment we are looking at late 2008/early 2009. We’ll keep you updated with all the details!

As you can imagine, I’m still on cloud 9!