Tuesday, 5 May 2009


Not much about O.R. today. It has been the Bank Holiday weekend in the U.K., but for Tina and myself, it has been our wedding anniversary party. We celebrated 33.3333 years since we got married on an overcast day in December 1975. We decided to mark one third of a century for several reasons, but most imporatnat, it moved the anniversary to late spring, and, hoepfully, good weather, and the opportunity for friends to travel to be with us.

On Friday evening, our church hosted a concert by the Exmouth Town Concert Band in aid of charity, and we had requested two items which had been played at our ceremony. The first was the theme from the film "The Dambusters", the second was Grieg's "Morning" from the Peer Gynt Suites. Our ceremony included a hymn written in the early 1970's to be sung to the film tune, but it was not well known then. So John, our organist, included it in the voluntary before the service. We heard later that many in the congregation had expressions on their faces showing their gradual recognition of the tune, and also their surprise at its use in the voluntary. Later, those faces showed even more surprise as our guests realised that they were going to sing to that music. We wish we had had eyes in the backs of our heads to see the congregation. John had also suggested, wisely, that the music before the service should be selected by myself and Tina's mother, as Tina herself would not be there to hear it!

On Saturday we hosted a party in the garden for about 60 friends and family. The sun shone, the food and drink were there in plenty, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Thanks to my brothers, sisters-in-law and nephew, Tina and I were free to circulate. In my welcome, I realised that the most appropriate word to describe the fact that everyone knew us, but nobody else knew everyone else, was the mathematical term intersection -- so I used it! Apart from that, the only O.R. related part of the day was the need to schedule the preparations of garden, food and ourselves, and that had to be done dynamically!

One unexpected aspect of such a gathering was the way that several people had known us very closely at different times in our lives and in different circumstances, and such people had the opportunity to share their memories with others. So a friend from undergraduate days discovered how different I had seemed when I embarked on a postgraduate course at a different university, and friends from Exeter discovered varied aspects of our lives.

Then we had a small, intimate supper for family and one couple whose love and support has meant a great deal to us over more than 33.3333 years.

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