So, about this time nine years ago I think we were dancing, or possibly sharing left over cupcakes with friends while combat Morris Dancing was taking place, or maybe we were going back for thirds of the spit-roasted whole hog and encouraging the bar staff at the castle to take shots with us.
Whichever it was, it was fun and messy and nobody really cared too much except to keep a weather eye on the few kids in attendance. I suppose as a metaphor for our lives since then it’s not too far a stretch either.
Of course as we’re still in lockdown we’ve been a bit more limited this year as to how outrageous we can be, but a quiet day of hot beverages, TV shows, takeaway, and playing games is not a bad way to go.
We’ve exchanged gifts, we’ve curled up on the sofa, and watched the generally soggy day outside through the window. And the best bit? Neither of us is working in the morning and we can do it again if we like.
Nine years. Wow. It’s as if we like each other or something..!
We had a lovely time at my cousin’s wedding on Saturday at a grand gathering of family. Readings were delivered by actors, music by string quartets, and the food was stunning. After the wedding, the day was spent celebrating at Hoghton Tower – and it was one of the grandest celebrations it has been my pleasure to attend.
It was also the Charleesi’s chance to introduce everyone to her boyfriend, Sir B and, you know what? He did well. They survived being plied with many many drinks without going over their limits, and given they’d had very little sleep due to train disruption that had got them in to Preston at about 1am, they were reasonably clued up and alert.
Being full time students in their third year, I’d expect nothing less.
It was good to see them properly as a couple too, rather than the hurried crossing of paths we’d had back in May at Comiccon. They’re good together, they’ve my nod of approval. It’s so easy to see how much they care for each other and are comfortable with themselves and each other at the same time. A true delight to observe.
Sunday we drove back home, dropping the kids back at university on the way, and today we just chilled until a few hours ago when we headed down to catch up with lady s.
One of my cousins got married on Saturday. My own journey to the church bore more than a passing resemblance to the opening sequence of Four Weddings and a Funeral, up to and including driving past the church, last minute course corrections and getting there just before the bride.
Still, the service was good, the hymns melodic and the bride glowing, and with only a small amount of nervous map reading and navigation of one-way systems we were soon on to the reception. There, good food and drink and an increasing circle of new acquaintances was waiting – and hardly anyone got hurt or their food ruined when everyone realised their place holders were functional card planes and began throwing them everywhere.
It was a grand evening, and I only had one mild anxiety attack midway through the evening as I became over-saturated with people. A short walk around the gardens, a contemplation of the empty swimming pool and the trampoline next to it, and I was back on track to be able to be sociable again.
It was one of those rare occasions when the whole family was in attendance – a gathering of the clan as it were – and I’ll have fond memories of the day for quite some time.
Edward and Rosie – congratulations, thank you for having us, and see you soon we hope.
There’s a bone deep lethargy making everything just that little bit too difficult right now, and it is mostly a result of travel and grief. (It was my Grandfather’s funeral on Monday.) As a result I’ve not been blogging, writing, or doing much except travel up and down the country and drive Ladies M and P to distraction. They’ve only occasionally growled back, being themselves busy people, but to them, and anyone else I’ve breezed past or barged through over the last week or so, I’m sorry.
We have had good news this week, most notably in the Charleesi’s results. Her GCSE results came through on Thursday morning, and with an A* in Geography, 6 more As including triple science, and a B in Maths ( her least favourite subject), she’s romped off to enrol at college for A levels in Photography, English Literature, Biology and Geography. Being the perfectionist that she is, she was more irked at missing out on an A* for her English by a couple of points than anything else, but is ecstatic that she’ll never have to study Mathematics again.
Today is my sister-in-law’s wedding, so I’m trying to rest up so that I can be on top form to be an usher, and be a more gracious and outgoing person. I’m sure it’ll be a fantastic day, even if my anxieties are playing merry havoc right now. I’m currently looking out over the Hartlepool Marina, listening to gulls and the gentle lap of water against the dock. It’s quite a gentle way to spend a morning, so there’s a bonus
You know, as opposed to an unhappy one. Three years ago, as I write this, I think I was in a Starbucks with my father, getting drinks before cramming into his car to drive to Rowton Castle for my wedding to the redoubtable Lady M-to be. The nervousness was rising, but manifesting in my appearing more distant and reserved as the project manager in me picked off the possible problems and matched them to the contingencies we’d arranged.
In the end, there’s whole swathes of the day itself that I just don’t remember because it all went by so quickly. There are just some key moments: the panic on people’s faces when the doors stayed shut at the beginning of the bridal march; being piped to our first dance to the Halo theme; making the PA system virtually explode when I made my speech, and the sheer glorious expression of joy on Lady M’s face as we exchanged vows and rings.
I regret not seeing the Combat Morris Dance-off, which sounded awesome, but that’s about the only regret I have about the last few years.
We have an amazing, joyous life together. We face everything together, but give each other the space and freedom to be ourselves. We recognise that the flaws and oddities in each other are as part of who we fell in love with as beauty, humour and simple awesomeness.
That acceptance and wholehearted openness to explore life together and support and encourage each other through ups and downs only begins to scratch the surface of how rich and beautiful this marriage is.
We’ve a quiet night planned. I have steak and chips planned for a meal, and just sometimes that’s enough. Love you Lady M.
I got married again on Saturday – you may have noticed me posting a few things about the preparations earlier…
It was amazing, even if before it started I got to that point of nervousness where I forgot how to fasten buttons or do a tie up. Loads more posts to come, but for starters, here’s the text of my wedding speech – minus the exploding microphone and the quip about breaking peoples’ daughters.
Wow… Thank you all for coming, I know it’s been a bit of a trek for some. Part of the reason we picked Rowton was that if we all had to travel, then it would be difficult for anyone to legitimately complain, but thank you all for making the effort, we really do appreciate it.
Thanks is a word I’ll be using a lot as it’s what I’m meant to be using this speech for. I’ll keep it brief.
One of the pitfalls of being a professional writer is that it’s easy to forget to write things for yourself rather than for an articles deadline. Warren asked me weeks ago for a copy of this speech so we wouldn’t talk about the same things.
The text I sent him last night was along the lines of: “wow, what a party! We’re having a great time, hope you are too. Thanks to everyone who’s helped, especially the castle. Aren’t the bridesmaids beautiful?”
I know I have my moments, but giving my Best Man such a short time to write his speech is pretty poor, so warren: sorry… But thanks for putting up with me. Again.
Biggest thanks of the day go to Jo of course. Several people have commented on how happy and relaxed I am. I couldn’t do it without her. So I’d like to thank her for a few things:
For being forthright and determined
For her patience
For her laughter
For her taking no nonsense from me
For making me smile
For letting me make her the centre of attention today
For agreeing to be my wife…
I’d like to finish by thanking the bridesmaids – for their charm and their poise – and for all their help and support. You’re awesome. So I’d like everyone here to raise your glasses and join me in a toast : to the bridesmaids!