The countdown begins.
It’s now less than three weeks to the wedding of Sara,
my only child, and George, her partner of many years.
I realize that The Event hasn’t been mentioned in my recent
comments. It’s probably because it
seemed such a long way off. It now looms
‘Looms’ is probably a poor choice of word. It suggests the approach of the iceberg in
the path of that big liner – the name of which momentarily escapes me – a
century ago this week.
There’ll be no looming on this ship. We’re prepared for anything. It is, remember, my dear wife Martha who is organising
the event. She could plan the Olympic
Games, if called upon, or a coronation.
So, if anything has been left to chance, I’d be mightily
The site of the marquee was marked out on the rear
lawn months ago. The invitations went
out early in the year (after a series of negotiations to rival those leading to
the nuclear test ban treaty). The
caterers (finally selected after more auditions than Selznick gave to find
Scarlett) have reviewed the facilities and pronounced favourably (the garage having
been cleared out to accommodate a temporary kitchen). The menu has been agreed, the wines selected
and ordered. A friend of the couple, a
well-known musician, is arranging the music.
Most important of all, the bridal dress has been
fitted. I’m told it’s stunning, though
convention dictates that further details are withheld from me. (I’m not sure why, since as father-of-the-bride
I’ll be among the first people to see it.)
Oh, and someone remembered to book the church for some
kind of legal ceremony.
What, then, could possibly go wrong? The obvious answer is, to quote the British prime
minister who, when asked what could possibly derail his administration, replied,
“Events, dear boy, events”.
In that context, my bet would be the weather. The venue being England, nothing related to the
climate can be guaranteed. March was a
delightful month, unseasonably warm, confusing plants and birds alike into
thinking April had already arrived. When
the real April duly arrived, a thoroughly dismal month it turned out to be –
two weeks of unrelieved gloomy overcast.
This has reduced us to making trite remarks like,
“Maybe this will get the bad weather out of its system”. I’ve no idea who ‘it’ is, or what the so-called
‘system’ might be. The Met Office, I
suppose. Or God.
My own role in the preparations has been marginal at
best, which I’m told is the fate of my gender.
Once or twice I have been asked for and have given advice, but most of
my opinions have been dismissed as the demented burbling of someone no longer
in touch with the real world. They
probably are. I did manage to sneak through
a couple of ideas, though I doubt I’ll get credit for them.
I don’t care.
It’s going to be a helluva party and I expect to enjoy it to the utmost.
For those of you not invited, I’ll be making a
full report in due course.