13 October 2008

Happy anniversary, Francesca and David

Fanne and I had already left Scotland when Francesca and David were married in the Church of the Holy Rude in October last year. We were thus unable to attend the wedding and certainly missed her shining moment.

Although nowadays people can google a person whom they have lost touch with for a while through millions of web pages to find out the person's updates or whereabouts, unfortunately there appears to be no online wedding album of, nor weblog by, nor feature story on Francesca and David. I gathered no information about the couple's wedding in the cyber world.

I didn't contact her through email, either. Since the IT personnel of the University of Stirling had probably not only cut red tape but also eradicated it completely, they worked in such an efficient way that my campus email account was terminated immediately after the graduation, probably no later than one hour. Never been warned to back up all the mails and data stored in the university server by the graduation day, I lost all the mails Francesca sent me and therefore her email address.

Nevertheless, I might have been halfhearted and just didn't keep my mind on it, otherwise I could have retrieved Francesca's contact details through our mutual friends in Stirling. Luckily, I saw her on MSN Messenger a week or so ago and are now in contact. Fanne and I missed their big day, but we're in time to convey our hearty congratulatory message and post off a belated gift.

Since Francesca has been studying Chinese, in the end she will be able to decipher what these four-character idiomatic phrases mean, as well as the analogies therein.
For other readers of Principal Wei's Weblog, below is the paraphrased English translation.
String sound on the zithers in harmony;
reeds voice towards jade bars* with euphony.
Nuptial bliss outlast hundreds of years;
steadfast couple amass silver in hairs.
*As I cannot find any Western equivalent of the ancient Chinese musical instrument qing (磬 or 罄 interchangeably), a series of chime stones or jade bars with definite pitches suspended from above to be struck, I simply use jade bars. Perhaps jade chimes would look more elegant, but I love the word bar.

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