It was a glorious wedding. All were welcomed back after a two week break (arriving to Frank Sinatra singing Love and Marriage). They’d dressed up. The Ambassador rocked up in his braided jacket, the trousers with gold stripes on sides left on the hanger to admire; Gavin looking dapper his silk tie of beach balls, Jan in her Rolling stone dress; Gorden also dapper in a dark jacket; Lesley in warm ochre. They bought memorabilia from their weddings to deck the table: Jackie the hat she wore and the photograph of her wearing it, Will’s first marriage; Norman bought what looked like Lesley’s wedding dress; Mary and Peters marriage photos, with Peter looking just like George Best, radiant and cheeky along with their marriage certificate, describing the fathers professions.
We found our roles. Roy and Irene – a surprise to them – were to be married. So Irene was fitted out in simple cream white dress, with veil hat, and a feather decoration worn by their daughter for her wedding. Mary – who became the chief dresser – sorted out the groom, with wig top hat and great coat – what a dashing groom he was. The Jilted Girlfriend, and Jilted Boyfriend got into role, both gatecrashed the wedding. The Best Man, Chief Bridesmaid, the official Photographer, the guests for the Bride and those for the Groom.
The Bride entered. The music began.
The service, a Baptist service, was conducted with sincere gravity and gentleness by Norman, who bought us to order, and relayed the vows, said by Roy and agreed by Irene. The Groom kissed the Bride.
Babycham was served, and we toasted their health.
All the guests then presented their gifts.
From the Jilted girl friend came a plant – a poison ivy plant
From the jilted boyfriend came a one way ticket to India!
Turquoise Bri-nylon bed sheets
An Ironing board, and from another a high class electric steam iron.
Ambassadorial chocolate , 423 grams of it
A life time subscription to Spotify
A set of Pyrex dishes
Lemon, lacy and frilly toilet roll containers, with matching tissue box containers
A cocktail shaker, a bottle of Tequila and a lemon
A set of Gnomes
A fondu set
A garden sculpture by Brian Alabaster
Corn on the Cob forks
Next all gave the marital advice, how to be happy in a long marriage
‘You tell me and I’ll agree’
Live a long live
Kiss often and enjoy making love, with the response, Practice what you preach
Go for excitment
Respect each others wishes
Love each other for who ou are and not who you want them to be
Admit when you are wrong
Spend time together but also separately, so if one dies the other still has a life
Make the most of your time together
Forgive their trespasses as they forgive yours
Tat Tvam Asi (I am that)
In the fresh cold air, we had our photos taken before returning for a slice of wedding cake and coffee.
The second session we spent apart, carers in one room with Pippa while we talked of our marriage (and end of marriage) experiences.
We made up a marriage, here’s how it goes:
Carl and Betty got married, after knowing each other for 4 weeks. Took place in a Kensington registry office, on the Kings Road, because they were strapped for cash, with a reception booked in the Pub afterwards. Strapped for cash because they’d both been taken to the cleaners by their first marriage. Yes, an older couple with grown up children. On Carls side a bunch of body builders, tough nuts, from Plaistow. On Betty’s side a more delicate gaggle, who’d all been to University (everyone goes to University these days). Both sides eager to secure their inheritance. They arrived with Carl driving a motor bike with side car, out of which Betty emerged wearing a cerise sari.
We danced to I saw the Light (Todd Rundgren), after listening to True Love ways by Buddy Holly. And so the day ended.