28 June 2007

More photos from my Scottish Wedding

I've just been back from the honeymoon and attended the graduation ceremony with my wife. I came to Scotland with a Fiancée and now I amd going back to Taiwan with my doctorate and a wife. I still remember that whenever I was awarded a prize or received a good ranking in my class at primay school, my mum always said to me
It's OK. Being ranked as the fifth in your class is not good enough as it's not the third; the third is not good either as it's not the second; the second is just so-so as it's not the first; the first is OK as other people more or less win their first ranks in something in their life as well. It's really not something special.
It is the way in which I was brought up: whatever you achieve, it's OK. However, I believe she should be proud of me now. I've got my degree, a wife and friendship and support from the congregation in my church and people in the local community.

(Bridesmaid my sister Liwen, bride Fanne and her auntie Joy)

(Bridesmaid and bride before the procession)

(Lo and behold, the six-foot-long train)

(Keep smiling)

(And we just couldn't stop smiling)

(Another photo of groom and bride)

(With my fellow choir members of the Church of the Holy Rude)

(Fanne's uncle Richard who presented her to the marriage, best man Yung-Yao and myself)

25 June 2007

I'm a married man now

Just a quick announcement before I go for the honey moon: I've got a wife now. How the bride looked on our big day remains to be seen until my film director sends me the video and photo album. For the time being, I suppose a photo of the best man and myself in kilts is good enough for this quick annoucement.

I can assure that more photos will be uploaded after we return from the honey moon.

14 June 2007

I'm going to get married

It is required by the Scottish Marriage Law that both of us have to complete and submit marriage notices to the local registrar no later than 15 days before the date of the marriage. The registrar will issued a marriage schedule and no marriage can proceed without it. A minister will face six months in jail together with a fine of £5,000 if he officiates our wedding in the church without the schedule.

As I am neither a British nor a European citizen but subject to immigration control, when giving the marriage notice, I have to submit a Certificate of Approval for Marriage in the UK issued by the Home Office. We almost cancelled the wedding at one point because there was a 'catch-22' situation.

The Home Office demanded to see my fiancée's 'visitor for marriage' visa so that they could grant me the Certificate, but the British Trade & Culture Office in Taipei asked for the Certificate so that they could issue my fiancée the visa. Fortunately, having fought against the British red tape of bureaucracy for almost three months and obtained help from Stirling MP Anne McGuire, my fiancée got her visa and I managed to get the bloody certificate, which cost me £295.

Now that the local registrar in Stirling have accepted our wedding notices and announced out intended marriage on the notice board, we will definitely be able to get married in the six-hundred-year-old Church of the Holy Rude as planned and no one should interfere with it.

We'll definitely get married!

05 June 2007

Working holiday in Cambridge

Having implemented the required corrections to my doctoral thesis and unexpectedly won the losing battle against the Home Office to obtain the approval to get married in the UK, I can have my Scottish wedding as planned and attend the graduation ceremony after the honeymoon.

I'm so glad that everything is coming together after going through numerous sleepless nights, or nights full of terrors if I managed to catch forty winks.

Before coming to this pleasant point, I spent a week in Cambridge staying with my soon-to-be best man Dr Lin Yung-Yao in late May. It was intended to be a break to allow myself to switch off and get rid of the British red tape coiling around the Home Office, but finally it proved to be an alternative break, a working holiday. I had been busy painting the ceilings for Yung-Yao over the last weekend of May.

However, as it was wet and chilling in Cambridge during the English bank holiday weekend, I shoudn't complain. Miserable were those who came to Cambridge camping in the rain and mud.

Yung-Yao bought a terrace in Cambridge in January. Although he started re-constructing the interior of his 'castle' immediately after he moved in, he has actually been waiting for me to help out with painting.

As we are both fussy and obsessed with perfection, we didn't achieve what we planned. We painted at least three coats on the ceiling, including ghost painting, base coat and top coat, and super coat when necessary or when Yung-Yao desired. Moreover, in order to have shiny, smooth and blemish-free finish similar to crystals, every layer has to be sanded properly before we started next coat.

Therefore, although we thought we could have done all the ceilings and walls, finally only the ceilings were done. We reached a conclusion that we, the two perfectionists, could never start a business together, for we would never finish any contract work on time.