An Eastbournian Abroad with Ashley McMillan: Tough Week as a Stag

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I’ll make my apologies now for the content of this week’s particular article, but I thought as a one off, we’d use this vehicle to share some of my personal experiences over the last week or so as I spend my days ahead of my rapidly impending marriage union, here in what has been Eastbourne’s sunny riviera.

Having arrived back in ‘blighty’ a couple of weeks back, forcibly removing ourselves from the safe and stunning haven that is Whistler, we tried to settle in and come to terms with our good old friend, jetlag. We’d had to carefully plan to arrive here in the UK to fit in with the extremely old and outdated marriage laws (i.e.; we were required to be here some three whole weeks ahead of the actual day to serve notice with the registrars, etc) ... oh, and plan to actually catch up on the jetlag ahead of my marathon in Zurich. Some seem to suffer worse than others with this travel phenomenon, but I’ve read somewhere that typically it can take roughly one day for every time zone passed through to finally settle back to ‘normality’. This would certainly seem about right as far as my body is concerned and it definitely took me a good week to get back on top of things once more.

Having taken off once again for Zurich and the rigors of it’s lakeside marathon, I once more arrived back to catch up on the marriage planning and take care of a few formalities. It also allowed me ample time to relax and recover from my efforts and rejuvenate in the somewhat unseasonal, but oh so glorious weather you Eastbourne folks have experienced. It also happened to make for an extremely hot day running around some woodland with a number of friends shooting paintballs at each other.

This I can confirm, for anyone pondering over this, can be a fun event, but quite painful…especially for the stag…and best man in this case! You might well wonder why, when taking ‘adequate’ cover and refuge behind carefully selected barricades for protection, that you surprisingly find yourself being shot at in the back…particularly when it’s only your own team members behind you at this point. Is it a strategy? You can bet it is! Will it help win the other team flag and the game for you…unlikely! So when you draw your own conclusion as to who’s actually aiming for you (from behind remember!), this ‘strategy’ can only be chalked up to being the ‘stag’ and in this instance, wearing a very recognizable pink tutu….long story!

Fortunately, the ‘hen’ didn’t appear to be subjected to this manner of ‘celebration’, but both parties seemed to be herded around in the formal proceedings known only to those locals as the ‘South Street Shuffle’. Different nights, different levels of fatigue and suffering afterwards.

Having now spent the better part of this week, so far, soaking up and taking in the beautiful sights that this part of the world has to offer, namely – the downs, and catching up with friends and family, we buckle down to business. The business of the wedding that is! So now that we’ve made all the arrangements, met all the various planners, photographers, etc, the only sweat we have left (and it’s a big one!) is one caused by the royals Kate and Wills. Yep, that darn bank holiday has thrown a slight spanner in the works. After much careful planning around exactly when we needed to arrive on UK soil, register our intent for marriage at both our home town registrar and the town of our planned marriage, we now have the small matter of the new ‘holiday’ preventing our marriage licence reaching our registrar in time. Nothing we can do about it, except hope that the best intentions, promises and wishes from the very generous guys in our town hall, come to fruition…oh, and that the planned protesters that have threatened to close the Brighton town hall, doesn’t affect the appearance of our licence.

Again, my apologies for making this little article a personal one, but it is ‘Eastbournian Abroad’ after all. However, my next piece will come from a married man (hopefully) and we’ll see what difference the extra ring weight adds to my typing hand. Nothing to slow me down I hope (nothing to read into here guys..!), but after another busy weekend, when finally the stress should seep and fall out of the tightly knotted shoulders and back of my fiancé, we’ll be able to get on with some ‘normality’ again as we come crashing down to earth and a life of cherished promises.

Have a great weekend everyone!