This was our wedding cake:
This was me actually cutting the cake. With my concentration face on. Apparently:
My thoughts went like this: Are we actually s’posed to cut it? Is this freaking marzipan? I hate marzipan. I specifically told the cake people ‘no marzipan.’ Oh, well. The mint chocolate layer will make up for it. And the toffee layer. And the Baileys layer. And even the gluten-free layer. Is Neil actually holding the glass penguins in place so my knife-skills don’t cause a disaster? Or is he moving them? Such a smart guy I married. I’m cutting this thing. Are we actually s’posed to cut it?
I can think really fast.
And I think that this is my favourite cake shot:
Starting as we mean to go on, together. Only without the knife for the rest of time.
Notice the glass penguins are in a safer spot?
Photos taken by a bunch of people who love us slightly more than they loved the cake. Maybe.
Regular readers will know that Sarge likes to play Go. He plays it online and is also a member of a local club. Though I believe the first rule of Go club is you don’t talk about Go club.
We’ve traipsed around game shops looking for what Sarge calls ‘a real Go board’ and even the right wood so he can make his own. A few weeks ago, we sat down to watch The Go Master, a biopic of Go Seigen. Before I watched this beautiful film, I thought of Go as something like Chinese checkers. I was wrong. And now I want to learn to play.
Sarge has tried to talk me through moves. When I look at a board, I still don’t know what I’m looking at. Except maybe black and white stones that make me want to eat Junior Mints.
Last night Sarge came home with a board that he’d ordered. I was writing, and he was on the couch. I thought he was happily playing out moves, and I went over to see if he was winning.
This is what I found:
*Penguin is not actual game play.
We may even play a real game. When the penguin waddles off the board.
I’m getting old. And I don’t care. I’m not going out with Sarge anymore. Because we’re too busy staying in. I can’t remember the last time I went to a club. These days, the highlight of my Friday night is a new episode of Come Dine With Me. And that’s OK.
Take this weekend for example. For about five minutes, Sarge and I thought we’d make our own wedding invitations. We got a penguin stamp and a butterfly stamp and a butterfly ‘punch’, which is apparently a Martha Stewart product. I feel dirty. I might hate myself. A little.
Then we went to a café that played Frank Sinatra tunes while we waited for brunch. A full breakfast for Sarge and Eggs Benedict for me. I might not hate myself for that one.
After that, we went to use an engagement gift certificate. We did need some stuff for the house that wasn’t covered in cat hair, and ended up with two robes/dressing gowns and a grill pan. Yes, really.
I picked mine first. Sarge carried it around for a while and said, ‘This is nice, I hope they have a man one.’ And he got one. They don’t match. Because that would be silly.
We arrived home feeling domestic. Eager to try out the stamps and ‘punch’ some butterflies. And it wasn’t just me. The first thing Sarge did was ink the penguin and stamp his arm. And the current Filmhouse brochure has a butterfly on the front. Because we can.
After beer and butterflying all available bits of paper, we decided to send away for printed invitations.
This is why:
Today is World Penguin Day.
Sarge loves penguins. If he had a spirit animal, a brother or a higher power, they would all be penguins. They are all penguins.
I have only just recently established that he loves me more than penguins. Here are some reasons why that may be the greatest compliment I could ever receive.
15. When we first started dating, he gave me Death and the Penguin. He called it Required Reading, and said if I didn’t like it; our relationship wouldn’t get very far. I gave the book 5 stars.
14. Our travel mascot is called George Bailey-Penguin. Sarge gave him to me for our first Christmas together, to ‘up your penguin/human ratio.’
13. Our favourite ‘Christmas Elf’ is called MC Penguin, he raps.
12. For Sarge’s birthday, I adopted a penguin from Edinburgh Zoo. It was like Christmas in March.
11. For another birthday, I got him a bottle of BrewDog’s Tactical Nuclear Penguin. We haven’t opened it yet.
10. I proposed with pebbles.
9. We made a special trip to the zoo to notify the penguins of our engagement. They approved.
8. He thinks our wedding registry should be at Penguin Corner.
7. He’s asked if we could rent a penguin to be in the wedding. But not really, because people who kidnap penguins make him sad. He does want our 3-foot plastic penguin called Jemima to be involved somehow, though.
6. Our cake-topper will be a butterfly and a penguin and both will most likely make an appearance on the invitations.
5. He loves penguin books and Penguin Books. Because they’re all penguins.
4. We have a print of 6 penguins lined up on our living room wall. We call them our parents surrogate grandchildren.
3. When we do have kids, his favourite name for a girl is Penelope Gwyneth. PenGwyn for short.
2. Sarge finds peace by looking at Edinburgh Zoo’s Penguin Cam. He is very sad that some of the penguins have been shipped off and that the parade has been cancelled. But we’ll both be excited when everyone is back in their new digs and everything is back to normal.
1. Sarge aspires to be Scotland’s answer to Belgium’s Mr Penguin.
How are you honouring your favourite penguin today?
And so, as I was saying, a few weekends ago, Sarge and I took Frodo-Bob ring-shopping.
Maybe it was the complimentary champagne they gave us in the first shop, but the third ring I tried on made me cry. It was as if it had always been there. I (grudgingly) left it to traipse around other shops. But every other ring looked like costume jewellery. Which has its place, but not on your wedding finger. And there was no more complimentary champagne.
I had found The One.
We met Dad, Anne and two of the bridesmaids for celebratory noodles, before the final sign-off on my ring and our wedding bands. Sarge tried his on, and my heart skipped three whole beats. Maybe ten.
We brought everyone with us to see the rings. As I said to the very lovely and patient salesperson, ‘It takes a village.’
Now, my actual ring had to be made. A two week wait.
The ring was early. I may have screamed in Sarge’s ear when he told me it was. As a matter of fact, I did.
On Saturday, we took Frodo-Bob to fulfill his purpose as ring-box. Everyone in the shop was very impressed with him.
Sarge, FB and I carried the precious ring to the coffee shop where we ended our seven-hour first date. He got on one knee and asked me. Again. And I said yes. Again.
And in a full circle moment, I believe the people at the next table were having their first date.
Back to our story, some time later…