Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Weddings, Parties, Anything....

On Saturday we attended Kate and Maca's Wedding in Winchester. This event has been sat (usually alone) in the column labelled "good things to come from our house sale fiasco".

Due to our current limited financial resources, we were staying at the Youth Hostel and had arranged for the warden to let us call round after the 10am closing time. We didn't want to travel down in our finery or have to carry our normal clothes to the big event. He was expecting a quick bag drop so it was with a slightly put-upon air that he showed us to the ladies' washroom.

We were getting changed in record time when a puzzled look crept across Vic's face. It was the same sort of expression she sees on me when I finish assembling flat pack furniture to find a bag of screws and a piece of wood which looks worryingly load bearing left over. In these instances I can claim spare parts or a design amendment are responsible but it would be difficult for Vic to pass off her dress as wearable with the inner layer two inches longer than the outer....

It's character building to discover your wedding outfit is ruined two hours before the service but as veterans of the TV show "SAS: Are You Tough Enough" we knew well enough not to panic. In fact there are many similarities between having to survive in a hostile environment where any wrong move could lead to injury or death and life in the SAS.

Winchester is a beautiful city but its cathedral and museums were sidelined in favour of Debenhams which, unable to compete directly with Jane Austen's final resting place went for providing a reasonable array of dressy women's outfits.

By 12 o'clock we were out and waiting for the 12:10 bus to Alresford. By 12:30 we were in a cab slowly and expensively negotiating a one way system.

Still all was well and we arrived to see our friends Paul and Sandra get dropped off by Paul's dad. They too had had a difficult morning, but we happily accepted our role as bad luck magnets for the event.

The service itself was both moving and fun. Rev Phil Collins kept things light with a couple of jokes but sadly avoided any readings from Genesis and missed his chance to warn that "your can't hurry love". One of the hymns, Lord of the Dance, was a real blast from the past as it was an old school assembly favourite for the majority of the people there. I probably hadn's sung it for the best part of 25 years which was cause to stop and think....

The reception also had Kate and Maca's unmistakeable stamp on it. From the table decorations (sugared almonds out, lottery tickets in) to the speeches. The food was excellent, as was the company, but the highlight for me was when additional goodie bags containing howler balloons and peas shooters with crepe paper "peas" were handed out. There followed a pea shooter battle which accompanied dessert, coffee and about half an hour beyond and was notable for the way everyone joined in. As either participants or targets....

The rest of the day passed in a blur and it was a real wrench to leave for our 11pm curfew. As it was I had to tackle climbing into my top bunk in pitch darkness. Which probably explains why I woke up having slept on my backpack.