On 21st December, at 22:23 GMT, after a short, swift courtship, the following question was asked in the chatterbox:

wertperch gets down on one knee
<wertperch> Will you marry me, Christine?

A moment later, came the response:

<grundoon> Why, yes, I b'lieve I will.
wertperch grins like a fool, and cries some, too

Yes, Christine and Kevin together in London!

Scope grundoon from head to toe (make sure she measures up for the wert -g) and share our joy with us! Drink, dance and be merry, it's a celebration!

The Ceremony and Aftermath

On 21st December 2004 I publicly proposed to Christine, and was delighted that she accepted. As our betrothal was public, so we want to share a celebration and declaration of our bond with as many as possible. To this end, we plan to hold a handfasting ceremony on 5th February 2005 on Hampstead Heath, North London, at the conclusion of which we will jump the broomstick. (It's also my birthday, as I realised only after setting the date!)

The ceremony will begin at 1 o'clock sharp, on Pirate's Hill, the tree-ringed tumulus near Parliament Hill. All are cordially invited.

Bear in mind that it will be outside, in February. It is likely to be chilly, and possibly on the damp side. So bring warm clothes, a brolly, and be prepared to huddle together for warmth. There will be plus points for anyone who has the foresight to bring a thermos of tea or coffee. (Or a hip flask full of scotch. We're easy. -g) And possibly hugs.

Getting There

To get there, best bet seems to be the Northern Line tube to Belsize Park, turn right out of the station and walk up Heverstock Lane, then right onto Pond Street. A left onto South End Road, then right to South Hill Park and fork right for Parliament Hill. The map above gives visuals. You might also consider the tube to Kentish Town. That said, I went from Hampstead Heath tube station, and it's about 8 minutes to the pub, and another 10 to the Heath.

Alternative routes include the overground Silverlink, which goes to West Hampstead and Hampstead Heath - see http://www.silverlink-trains.com, and timetable.

Whichever way you go, it's about a ten or fifteen minute walk to the ceremony location. Having visited the area and taken photos of the pub and the hill, I'd advise you not to wear your bestest shoes - it is almost certain to be muddy! These photos are now available online at http://www.wertperch.co.uk/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=handfasting

There will be people stationed near the pub until 1250, to guide you to the ceremony. Please don't bother ringing me after that though, as my phone will be off!

It's a britnodermeet, where's the beer?

Yes, I know, it's traditional. We're British, damnit, there has to be a pub involved. Well, how about TWO pubs? After the ceremony, we can meet up in the Freemason's Arms, where drinks of all sorts, and food will be found. You'll find a map to the pub. In fact, there's a good chance that Christine and I will be there beforehand, from about midday.

There will also be a gathering in the infamous Penderel's Oak (directions in the node), beginning at around 1900 hours. That's 7pm. Or when the big hand is on the...oh, never mind. Note that the happy couple will arrive at about 8, and may well be leaving early.

If you have any questions, send me a message, or call my mobile. (Don't be too surprised if I don't answer the phone myself on the day, I may have a secretary for that!)


  • Q: I'm not a pagan/would not attend a pagan ceremony.
    A: Don't worry - you can stand outside the circle and not join in the ceremony, we'd still like you to be there. It's not like there will be a requirement to dance naked. Alternatively, join us later in either pub gathering!

  • Q: That's all very well, but they do weird stuff, them pagans.
    A: It's just a ceremony, blessing what is effectively an engagement. We invoke the elements and call for blessings. Simple. No dark robes or gothic lightning storms. At least, we hope the weather will bless us!

  • Q: I would love to attend, but have nowhere to stay in London.
    A: Don't worry, you won't be alone. Inexpensive hotel/hostel accommodation is easy to find. Then there's Ashlee House, from £13 a night. If you need crash space though, just let me know!

  • Q: I need help to get there, being both poor and without transport.
    A: Again, anyone travelling by car and willing to offer lifts, please let me know - I'll list you here, or try and pair you up.

  • Q: I won't know anyone there, I'll be all uncomfortable!
    A: Well, whaddya know. Christine and I met on the internet, on a writer's collaborative collective community database not a million miles away from you now, and became friends easily enough in real life. If you feel you don't know anyone, give me a ring, that way it won't feel so strange when we do meet.

  • Q: Why are there no actual questions in this FAQ? I thought FAQ meant "Frequently Asked Questions"!
    A: Oooh, picky, aren't we! Well, that's just the way it is, people.

  • Q: What about the dress code? What should I wear?
    A: Given the shell suits I've seen worn at some weddings, I doubt you could do worse. Be comfortable, it's not a formal "do", it's a celebration of life, love and spirit. Although it will be chilly, possibly, so wear a big coat.

  • Q: What about a wedding gift?
    A: No need. If anything, we are trying to cut down on possessions, so just bring yourselves!

  • Q: What about the reception?
    A: Like many people, we're on a budget, so the "reception" is the usual "drinks and meal in the pub" that is the traditional British nodermeet manner.

  • Q: I can't make it that day, will we get to meet with you?
    A: Hard to say. We will be spending a week travelling, so it's just possible we may visit you!

  • Q: Will there be another wedding?
    A: There is going to be a similar gathering in the US, West Coast, on or about May 1, so you don't have to fly to the UK to be part of it... -g


Please also see notes for the day, at Christine and Kevin's Handfasting Notes.

Those confirming so far:

The hopefuls:

Those unable to attend:

  • StrawberryFrog (away in furrin places)
  • SharQ (still in furrin climes)
  • Siobhan (stuck in Switzerland, of all places)
  • Tiefling (off somewhere better)
  • Berek
  • Heisenberg
  • borgo - "I hope you know I'll be there in spirit..."
  • Laura Elizabeth - "I'd give anything to be there, but I'll be with you in spirit."
  • Palpz - "sorry I won't be able to make it, stuck in basic training at the time. I hear they'll shoot me if I try to leave."
  • Cletus the Foetus - "I won't be able to come but I really wish you both the best of luck with it, I'm happy for both of you."
  • themanwho - "I'd *really* love to come, but it appears my professors would like me studying for exams around then
  • jack - "Unless you're a miracle worker of a very particular sort (teleportation, etc) I'm going to have to wish you both extremely well from afar."
  • exceptinsects - "I wish I could come, but I'll wish you happy from sunny CA instead!"
  • Siouxsie - "You know that I will be with you in spirit."
  • junkill - "Wish I could make it to the big handfast! Unfortunately, barring inheriting an aeroplane from a long lost relative (grin) I'll be drinkin' one to you though!"
  • gwenllian -"ooooh, I wish we could come :( I'm thinking it's not in the cards though..."
  • indigoe -"can't make it to north london, unfortunately, but you know you've got a place to stay in north texas anytime:)"
  • The Big See - "a tentative maybe, alas. But mazel tov, in any case."
  • drownzsurf - "Put me down as a not able to attend, but only physically, too."
  • olmanrvr - "wish I could make it, but well, the big pond stands in the way...congrats again."
  • Maylith -"May the Lady bless you both at your handfasting! I'll be there in spirit."
  • Dawggy and Harmony - "we want to wish you and your sweetheart nothing but the BEST!!!! We would attend if we had the funds to...but we will be there with you all in spirit."
  • Great Neb - "ironically I am back in london that weekend for my 21st birthday celebrations"
  • siouxsie - "I wish I could come to both, but I can pretty much promise I can't make the London one"
  • skybluefusion - "If I had the money to travel to London I'd be there in a heartbeat!"
  • JoeBaldwin - "due to various constraints I will not be able to attend the nodermeet. Congratulations all the same."
  • auduster - "I am very grateful for the invitavtion..."
  • toalight - "I wouldn't get to have a snoring competition with you in Louise's living room anyway, so it's okay I guess."
  • haruspex
  • graceness - "I cannot come as I will be recovering from surgery, but know I send you my blessings and best wishes."
  • stupot and shimmer - "Unfortunately we are at a wedding in London that day. We were hoping to get to both but the wedding is in Wandsworth at 2...we'll be thinking about you both."
  • LSK - "I won't be able to make it I'm afraid, but I'd like to wish you all the best for the future!"
  • Redalien - "*plays student sympathy card* I hope you have a great day though!"
  • momomom -"Time not money is the brake."
  • RoguePoet - "Truly wish I could be there, but the ocean is wide, and I'm not much of a swimmer. Best o' luck to yahs."
  • Sui - "Frickin universe and It's frikin temporal 'being in one place at one time' rubbish"
  • crewgrrl - "Mazal Tov! sorry I can't come (poor college student and all that), also it's on a Saturday. But, of course, I wish the two of you all the best. Much love, happiness, warmth, health, and friendship."
  • K9

Last-Minute Updates

The circle line is out of action all weekend and restrictions on other lines, due to engineering work. Check before you travel, at http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk